Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Dark Angel

Chapter 2: Predators

July 19th, 2006

Edinburgh, Scotland UK

Harry was bored. They had been in Edinburgh for just over two weeks now with little to show for it. The location of the enclave for the Breeding Cult was known before they ever left Wyoming. Other than that, Harry and Alec had learned nothing from their observations of the people moving in and around the area. Their handlers, growing impatient with the situation, ordered them to infiltrate the facility and gather what intelligence they could.

The pair spent another day planning. Despite what their handlers wanted, they would not proceed without at least something of a plan. Most of the structure seemed to be underground but the portion that was above ground seemed to be mostly unguarded save for the main entrance. There was a pair of skylights on the roof that should allow access. Once inside they would split up, Alec was going to find a computer if there was one and download everything he could find. Harry would investigate the lower levels to see what else he could find.

Moving silently, the two ran across the roofs of neighboring buildings, avoiding the street level to lower the chance of being spotted. Harry was in the lead, he sped up and began running so fast he would appear as nothing more than a blur to a normal human. Without hesitation, he leaped into the air vaulting over the fifteen feet of space between the building and the enclave structure. When his feet touched the roof, his knees bent and he rolled forward into a crouch, a silenced 9mm Glock in his hand. After scanning the rooftop for any threats, he signaled the 'all-clear' to Alec who soon joined him.

Alec moved forward to the nearest skylight and pulled out a set of lock-picking tools. Moving with inhuman speed Alec had the lock open in seconds and was lowering a pair of ropes that Harry had secured. Not speaking, Harry signaled that he would go first. Alec nodded reluctantly but watched as Harry lowered himself into the dark room.

Both wore pitch black army fatigues with black face paint smudged on their face. Black fingerless gloves covered their hands and soft soled black shoes completed the outfit. Once Harry was in the room, Alec allowed his pupils to expand enhancing his night vision so that he could track Harry's movements. He watched tensely as his partner secured the room before signaling for Alec to follow.

Moving silently they left the room and checked out the rest of the floor. There was nothing there. No furniture, no signs of anyone occupying the floor at all. It was obviously not in use. The stairway was old and the pair took special care not to make any sound as the descended to the main floor. Luck was with them because the stairway took them to the rear of the main floor away from the street entrance.

Alec held up his hand motioning for Harry to stop when he heard the sounds of footsteps. The footsteps were accompanied by the closing of a door and then the floor was quiet once again. After turning a corner, Harry noticed a flickering light coming from under the edge of one the doors. He reached out and slowly turned the door knob in attempt to keep the noise down. With an almost inaudible click, the door began to swing open. His silenced 9mm in his hand, Harry crept inside and found a single guard. The man was watching the security cameras covering the entrance and the street. There was no hesitation when he placed the barrel of his gun a few inches away from the man's head and pulled the trigger. The muffled sound of the gun shot belied the damage caused by the bullet. Reacting swiftly, he grabbed onto the man's shoulder before he could collapse onto the keyboard on the desk in front of him.

Alec joined him as soon as he heard the gun shot. He helped Harry lower the man to the floor. The top third of his face was gone and could be found in bits and pieces on the wall and monitors. Alec grabbed an empty file folder and covered what was left of the man's face preferring not to have to look at the mess. Super soldier or not, there were somethings a person did not need to see.

Harry left the room while Alec sat down and got to work hacking into the computer system to see what he could find.

It didn't take too long for him to find another set of stairs that led to the basement level. Something was off though, other than the guards at the entrance and the one he had killed, there was no one else around. Every other night, the place was filled with people going in and out. Even as he made his way down the stairs, his ears picked up sounds of chanting. As he got closer to the source, he was able to discern that the chanting was coming off the corridor to the left so he decided to follow the sounds for now. But he wasn't prepared for what he found.

The end of the corridor opened up into a large dimly lit room. What little light there was seemed to be focused on the center of the room. A woman stood in the center of the room on a raised platform, she had strange features narrow eyes, pale skin, and she was bald. Her limbs almost seemed too long for her heights and there was a faint reptilian look to her overall appearance. The only thing she wore was a sheer white robe that seemed ceremonial. In her hand she held a long silver dagger.

Harry couldn't understand what she was saying but he watched as a child maybe 10 years old approached her. The child nodded his readiness to her and moving almost as fast as a transgenic, she slashed his arm open with the dagger. The child made no noise even as blood started to drip to the floor. Then his body started to convulse and he collapsed to the floor dying a few moments later.

Despite himself, Harry was shocked that these people could so callously kill a child. He had to restrain himself when he saw another child approach in the exact same manner. This time though, the boy did not go into convulsions after being slashed. Another few minutes passed and the boy stood straight and proud before the group. The woman greeted him and directed him to join the others watching the ritual.

Before the next child could approach, Harry felt a hand grip his shoulder tightly. "Priestess, I think we have volunteer for the sacrifice at the end initiation rite." The man's voice called out. "701 has kindly handed himself into our care." Everyone in the room turned to look at Harry, their faces filled with disgust at the sight of him.

Harry felt his blood go cold, whoever this was, they knew he was from Manticore and they knew his designation. "No thanks, my schedule's booked tonight maybe some other time though. " His body twisted slightly and he kicked backwards, the blow landing on the man's thigh. The man didn't cry out or make a sound but he was forced away from Harry by the strength of the kick.

Harry completed his turn, disregarding the people in the main chamber in favor of this opponent. The man was a couple of inches taller than he was. He was dressed in an expensive suit that contrasted with their current location. Ames White grinned maliciously at him. "I'm going to enjoy seeing your heart cut from your chest 701. Filth like you should never have been allowed to exist."

There were two other men that had joined White and were standing on either side of him and just slightly behind him. Despite the odds, Harry couldn't help but respond "Yeah well, fortunately for me it wasn't your choice." Then, he snapped his hand up and shot one of the men in the chest. Harry was moving before the man was even knew he was dead.

White watched as the man crumpled to the ground dead. Rage filled him and his own gun was aimed at 701s retreating form. His speed was almost equal to that of Harry's. A gunshot echoed off the walls of the corridor and Harry's body spun into the wall when he felt the bullet impact his shoulder. His gun dropped to the floor when his hand opened in reflex. In desperation, he pulled his wand from a specially design pocket on the leg of his pants.

"Avada Kedavra" he said and a sickly green light flew from his wand towards White.

White moved out of the way, but his partner was hit in the arm by the spell. The light left his eyes and he fell to the floor dead. White didn't say anything; he just fired off two more shots without aiming. One tore in Harry's calf the other bored a hole into the wall by his head.

Harry hissed in pain. He sent a pair of blasting curses at the ceiling of the corridor. The explosions blinded him for a second but filled the air with dust and the corridor was partially blocked off with chunks of stone from the ceiling. Turning painfully, he heard the sounds of men approaching from the stairs. He looked up just in time to see blood blossom on the lead man's chest while the second man's head blew apart. Behind them up on the stairs stood Alec with his smoking gun still in his hand. "Come on, what are you waiting for, an invitation?"

"I've gotten enough of those tonight." Holding his left arm against his chest to help stabilize his shoulder he hobbled over towards Alec and they climbed the stairs before White could free himself. Luckily, there were no additional guards and they made it to the exit without incident. Reaching the outside of the building, they proceeded at street level towards their safe house.

Once they were a few blocks away, the pair ducked into a vacant warehouse to examine Harry's calf and shoulder. The bullet had left a deep gouge in the muscle but it was nothing that wouldn't heal in a day or two thanks to their accelerated healing. Alec ripped a strip of cloth from his coat and wrapped it tightly around the wound to prevent any further bleeding. His shoulder was a different matter, the bullet was still in the wound. All they could do for the moment was bandage it with another strip of cloth to slow any bleeding.

Another 10 minutes passed but there were no signs that they had been followed, so Alec and Harry left the warehouse and began heading to the safe house. Just in case, they took a circuitous route to throw anyone off their trail. By the time they reached it; Harry was ready to collapse. His wound were painful if not debilitating and all the walking was aggravating his calf especially.

When the safe house was in sight, Harry grabbed Alec's arm stopping him. His eyesight focused on the doorway and zoomed in like a camera. The heavy door was ajar and it looked damaged. "Something's wrong." He whispered.

Like Harry, Alec studied the doorway for a moment before nodding his head. "We need to check it out. If we have to run, we are going to need our money and spare weapons."

"We can't just waltz in the front door. One of the side windows would be better." Harry suggested.

"You stay out here, I'll check it out."

Harry started to protest and then stopped himself. While he certainly wasn't useless in a fight, Alec would be able to move more quickly and silently without him there. "Fine but if you get killed don't come whining to me."

"Yeah whatever dude." Alec drawled lightly before sprinting off to the side of the building and jumping straight up to grab onto the fire escape on the second floor. As quietly as he could, he slid the window open. He and Harry had disabled the lock on it should they ever need to sneak in or out without their handlers knowing it.

Alec made his way inside and crouched down by the door of the bedroom listening for anything. There was nothing, no talking, no TV, and no movement. By all indications, he was the only person in the place. Moving quickly, he padded across the floor to the bedroom he shared with Harry. His footsteps were loud to his ears in the deafening silence of the flat. On reaching the bedroom, he found the door open. The room had been searched thoroughly furniture was overturned and the beds had been torn apart, no doubt searching for anything the boys may have hidden. Alec couldn't stop the grin that came to his face when he saw that the window appeared untouched.

With little effort, he had raised the window and removed the wooden window sill. Beneath it was a hollowed out storage hole they had spent a couple of hours working on. Alec reached in and withdrew a thick wad of bills that had been lifted from the unsuspecting inhabitants of Edinburgh, a set of passports and ID, and lastly a spare set of Glocks with a number of ammo clips.

Before leaving, Alec descended to the first floor when he found no sign of the handlers on the second floor. Like the bedroom, the first floor was in shambles. There wasn't a single piece of furniture left in one piece. It was also where Alec found their two handlers. The larger of the two was tied securely in a chair but he made no move to untie the man. It was obvious that he was dead based on the unnatural angle of his head.

The second man was sprawled on the floor. A small bullet hole in his forehead was the only visible injury. The carpet around the body looked subtly darker than the rest a good indication of the blood that had no doubt been absorbed. Alec didn't bother checking either man and didn't really care that they were dead. Neither man was popular with him or Harry.

Less than a minute later, Alec was dropping from the second floor window he had used to enter and was walking over to Harry who had moved to stand in the shadows on the far side of the street.

"Well?"

"The place was torn apart. Don't know what they were looking for but I don't think they found it. Wells and Clark are dead though."

Harry just shrugged his shoulders without meaning to and stiffened with a jolt of pain for his action. "I think they were looking for us. The guy that shot me called me 701."

Alec's eyes widened in surprise. Very few outside of Manticore knew of its existence and no one should know of their designations. "They must have a mole on the inside. There's no other way and it explains our handlers. I think it's time we got the hell out of Dodge."

Harry smirked at him "You really should've paid more attention in the social idioms class; we're in the UK not the Deep South. We need to report in." Harry could imagine Alec's objection before he ever said anything and went on "But, I think we do it from London. It will be easier to blend in there. I don't know about you, but I have a feeling we are being setup."

Alec couldn't disagree with him. "I guess I get to put my car stealing skills to use then. Don't want to use up our cash if we don't have to. And we need to find someplace where I can get a better look at that shoulder wound."

"Oh Joy!" Harry said sarcastically.

A few hours later back at the Breeding Cult's enclave, Ames White and the others participating in the Initiation Rite had finally managed to clear the debris from the corridor without bringing the rest of the ceiling down on their heads.

Ames had been surprised to find Jason Masters a member of the Conclave, the ruling body of the Breeding Cult, present for the Initiation Rite. The Edinburg Enclave was fairly small and would normally not attract such an honor. More than anything, it made him even more suspicious about what was going on. The transgenics were filth but their numbers were too few to be a major threat to the plan.

As soon as the way was clear, Masters ordered Ames to follow him. They walked past the bodies of the dead guards without even glancing down. Once they were away from the others, Masters turned towards Ames, rage burning in his eyes. "I want that filth found and wiped off the face of this planet."

There was no need to ask what he was talking about, Ames was pissed off himself. If he had been given all the information up front he would have just put a bullet in 701's head. He wasn't going to let this opportunity pass. "If I'd been told they were trained to use magic, they might not have gotten away to begin with!"

Masters took a deep breath, swallowing his anger. "We didn't know they had been trained. Our agent only told us that 494 and 701 were the only X5s to show any signs of magic. It was thought that Manticore didn't bother to train them since there were only two."

"Well obviously that was wrong, maybe you need to have a word with your agent in Manticore. Now, I'm going to need a team of Familiars if I'm going to track them down. At least their handlers are dead, I saw to that personally before coming here tonight."

"Good, that will make your job somewhat easier. We have to make sure that they don't reach the wizarding world. You're authorized to do whatever you need to in order to eliminate 494 and 701. Risk of exposure is not an issue."

More than anything he had seen or been told tonight, this shocked Ames. To risk exposure before they were ready to go ahead with their plan was unthinkable. "Why, what threat do they pose? The transgenics do not have great enough numbers to be a threat to us."

Masters weighed his words before speaking. It wasn't his way to explain himself to those not part of the Conclave but if he wanted White to succeed then he was going to have to give him the information to do the job. It was critical that Ames understand the importance of this mission. "Manticore tried to breed magic into their monstrosities but only 494 and 701 have the ability. To make matters worse, we believe they are likely immune to the pathogen. If they are able to mobilize the wizarding world, the normals may be able to stand against us."

"Immune…but how?"

"That's unclear; it could be a combination of their magic in conjunction with everything else that Manticore put into them. So far the other transgenics that we have captured are susceptible but the DNA assays that were done on those two show an almost 100 immunity." Masters paused for a moment. "You can have any resources available to accomplish the goal but we are still rebuilding the UK Enclave so for the time being those resources may be somewhat limited."

Ames knew he was walking a fine line. Masters was being far more open with him then he ever expected but the time it would take to bring in full resources would give the two freaks time to go underground making his job a whole lot harder. "What happened here?"

Again Masters found himself weighing his words and deciding what Ames White needed to know. There had been talk in the Conclave of bringing him in and this mission; if he succeeded may be his ticket. "About 150 years ago, the wizards and witches that were members of the UK Enclave split and formed a splinter group of sorts. They twisted our beliefs and began breeding exclusively amongst their select little group stressing the purity of blood. It's destroyed the value of their genetic lines from our perspective."

"Why let them live?"

"We didn't want to risk exposure at the time. About 50 years ago or so, a dark wizard rose to power and used their beliefs in blood purity to recruit his followers. Many of the families were devastated but there are still a number that remain. If 494 and 701 make it to the wizarding world, you are authorized to reach out to the remaining families for assistance."

"But they are traitors; they should be wiped out just like the transgenics."

"Yes they are and that is why you are also ordered to eliminate any that assist you once you accomplish your goal. Any wizards and witches that associate with 494 and 701 are considered targets as well. If we are exposed hopefully we can at least frighten the wizard into passivity."

The grim orders were a relief for him. Ames felt like he was on solid ground again, these orders made more sense in light of the situation. "Fenest'ol" He said in acknowledgement. He was about to leave to begin organizing his team when Masters grabbed him by the arm.

"Ames, I want you to make it painful. They both are to be examples of what comes from interfering in our business."

For the first time since he had found 701 that evening, a grin appeared on White's face. It exuded all the menace he was known for back at the FBI. It was the kind of grin that made people turn and walk in the other direction. And it promised a very painful death for X5-701.

July 23rd, 2006

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, UK

Albus was enjoying his breakfast in the great hall with the few professors that were present over the summer holidays. The only other professors that had stayed over the holidays were Professors McGonagall, Trelawney, and Sinistra. Albus had just started to dig into a delicious looking cherry tart when the door at the side entrance flew open and Minerva McGonagall rushed in, her grey hair loose from its normal bun.

"Albus, you must see this!" She urged brandishing a letter in her hand.

Regretfully, he put his tart back down on the plate to get a better look at the letter she was waving about. Smiling he quipped "It's a little hard to see what it is if you don't stop waving it around."

Minerva huffed indignantly before slapping the letter down onto the table in front of Albus.

Albus saw it was the letter that was prepared for Harry Potter every year just as the ones for the other students. "Minerva, I'm not sure what you expect me to see. It is Harry Potter's letter just like any other year."

A bit of Minerva's normal personality began to peek through her excitement again. She said waspishly "Maybe that twinkling in your eyes is blinding you to what is right in front of you Albus. Surely you noticed the addition of an address. He must have returned from wherever he has been the past 14 years."

Albus' bright blue eyes snapped down to examine the letter once again. There in bright green ink was an address and it was in London no less. A smile bloomed on his face and he felt a heavy weight lift from his shoulders. Perhaps it would not be too late to give the boy the chance he would need to defeat Voldemort. That had been Albus' greatest fear that somehow Harry would be found by Voldemort or his Death Eaters and the boy would be killed without ever knowing why or having a chance to defend him.

"This is glorious news." He stood up, his tart forgotten in his excitement. "I think I will deliver his letter personally."

Minerva fell into step beside him. "You're not leaving without me. James Potter was one of my best students. I'm not about to allow his son to go through life without being taught by me."

The remaining professors just stared at the pair; no one had heard the discussion or knew what the letter was about. Shrugging their shoulders, they returned to their meals and conversations.

Grand Residence Marriott, Mayfair London UK

"Alec we can't stay here much longer. We're burning through our cash too fast and unless you want to spend your nights as a cat burglar we need to find somewhere a little less upscale." Harry argued for the 10th time that morning. The room was large, spacious and far more comfortable than anything they had ever been provided at Manticore or on a mission. It had been especially nice while his calf and shoulder were still healing. His calf was fine now and his shoulder was still sore but nothing too severe. Part of him, a big part of him wanted to stay but the more practical side was telling him to find something where they wouldn't stand out.

"I know but you can't say that you actually want to leave."

Harry nodded his head "I don't ok, it's nice to have something other than a military bunk for a change but what about Manticore. We stick out here, we're just lucky that the hotel bought our story about our parents showing up in a couple of days."

"Of course the 100GBS I gave the clerk might have helped some too." Alec offered. "Look I get it, we need to leave but we also need to figure out what we are going to do. Our cash and picking pockets is not going to get us very far. It's just a matter of time until Manticore thinks we've gone rogue if they haven't already."

A frown marred Harry's features; it was odd their mission code that they were supposed to use to report in was not working so they had been unable to reach anyone in Manticore since the night they had found their handlers dead. "Fuck and that freaky Breeding Cult is probably after us too. You got away with the mother lode of intelligence hopefully we can use it as a bargaining chip if necessary. But I'm still not sure what we should do with it either. If Manticore is compromised they might not do anything with it."

"How the hell were we lucky enough to land in the middle of this shit?" Alec grumbled.

"We're special that way. Seriously though, where are we going to go? Do we stay here in the UK or go back to the States? It's closer to Manticore but it's also more familiar ground. Not to mention the fact that it is a hell of a lot easier getting weapons there than it is here."

"I don't see any easy way out wherever we go. We're gonna have Manticore and the Breeding cult on our ass." Alec snorted "Maybe we should look for the other escapees. They've certainly evade Manticore long enough to give use some help."

Harry grunted noncommittally. He knew Alec was kidding, despite years of trying Manticore had never found a trace of the missing X5s. Before he could reply though, someone knocked on the main door of their suite.

Harry looked at Alec, the question in his eyes. Had Alec ordered anything to be delivered? Alec just shook his head and slid his hand into his jacket letting it rest on his Glock.

Slowly, Harry opened the door after looking through the peephole. Standing there in the doorway was an elderly man and woman dressed in rather outlandish outfits. The man had a ridiculously long beard and snow white hair beamed when he saw Harry. "Harry Potter…" Albus got no further.

As soon as he heard his name Harry reached out with a strength and speed that surprised the man and grabbed onto his wrist. With a strong pull, Albus stumbled into the room only to come face to face with the muzzle of Alec's gun. Harry spun around and had his own gun pressed into Minerva's back before she could register what was going on.

"Who the fuck are you people?" Harry demanded as soon as they were all in the suite and the door was closed and locked.

Albus was stunned for a moment by the reaction of Harry and this other boy. Yet he had been in tense situations before and he did not think that they were interested in hurting himself or Minerva. As much as possible, he adopted a calm reassuring voice and said "Harry, I apologize, my name is Albus Dumbledore and my companion is Minerva McGonagall."

Harry and Alec relaxed somewhat but didn't lower their weapons. "That doesn't explain how you know my name." Harry replied but his tone was slightly less hostile than before. He wasn't sensing any danger from either of the strangers.

"I knew your parents. I was there headmaster while they were in school and Minerva was one of the professors. I've known you since they first brought you home from the hospital."

Harry and Alec were thinking the same thing. These people didn't know anything. He had been created in a lab at Manticore that fact was drilled into every X5's head. But Harry did have vague memories of a red haired woman with bright green eyes and a black haired man with a laughing face. He supposed it was possible that Lydecker had let them care for him for some reason but he couldn't fathom why.

Alec butted in and asked pointedly "How did you know where he was?" If these people knew Harry's parents then they may be from Manticore but he found that unlikely. This was not the standard MO.

Minerva knew Albus well enough to stop him before he made a giant mistake. "Albus you can't, you know the law."

"It's quite alright Minerva he is the same as Harry." It was true; he could sense powerful magic from each of the boys. From Harry it wasn't a surprise, he was born from two powerful parents and he was a child of prophecy. The other boy should have been trained somewhere, his magic was strong enough that it would not have gone unnoticed. Moving his hand slowly so the boys would not register his movements as a threat, he withdrew the letter from his pocket and offered it to Harry.

Harry used his thumb to tear open the envelope without moving his gun away. Once open, he grabbed onto the letter and shook it from the envelope. After perusing it for a moment Harry turned his eyes back to the old man "Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, is this for real?"

At this point, Harry decided to take a chance and lowered his gun. If they worked for Manticore, there was no reason for them to go through such an elaborate charade and the Breeding Cult probably would have shot them on sight.

Alec took his cue from Harry and reluctantly lowered his gun as well. Like Harry though, he didn't put the gun away, preferring the security that it offered if something should happen.

"Yes my boy. Hogwarts is one of the most renowned magical schools in the world." He paused long enough to study the reactions of both boys. They didn't seem surprised by the existence of magic but something else was troubling them. "Neither of you seem surprised that magic is real." He observed.

Alec offered a vague reply "We've had some private tutors over the years but we don't really know anything about that world."

Minerva argued "Your accents are American; surely you would have attended one of the schools there. If your parents knew enough to get you tutors then I don't understand why they wouldn't send you to a school or at least teach you of the wizarding world."

Harry fell into the story they had come up with should someone ever ask about their upbringing or training. "We've been going to a military academy since we were 5 years old. Our guardians felt it was better that we complete our schooling there and hired private tutors." The last part he had made up on the spot, they never expected to run into a witch and wizard.

It made sense to Albus now. If Harry was in the United States, he would have been outside the range of Hogwarts' locator spells and years spent in a military academy could surely explain the training that was evident in both the boys. "Where are you parents? Why would they allow you to have weapons?"

"Our guardians" He replied stressing the word "were killed a few nights ago and whoever did it tried to kill both of us as well. So Alec and I ran from Edinburgh and ended up here. We haven't figured out what to do next yet." It wouldn't hurt to try and generate a little sympathy so Harry let his voice quiver a little but he almost lost it when he saw a tear roll down Alec's cheek.

There acting must have been better than he thought because he found himself wrapped in a tight hug by the stern faced woman. After releasing him, she rounded on Albus and said authoritatively "Albus, we can't leave these boys here. Whoever was after their guardians might follow them here, surely they would be safer at Hogwarts."

"I am in agreement Minerva. Harry would you and Alec be willing to come with us to Hogwarts. The wards protecting the school are perhaps some of the strongest in the wizarding world. And it will give you a chance to learn about the our world as well." Behind his calm façade, Albus was worried. There had been rumors of increasing Death Eater activity. Somehow, they must have discovered Harry and his friend when they were in Edinburgh. Still, he couldn't help but wonder what part of the story was being left out. No doubt it would be some time before Harry trusted him enough to share the whole story but for now it was more important the he be safe.

"We wouldn't want to impose." Harry protested but this would be a perfect escape for them. Manticore would have no way of finding them and hopefully it would make it more difficult for the Breeding Cult to find them as well. Plus it would give he and Alec time to plan their next move.

"Nonsense, Hogwarts is a boarding school so there is plenty of room. In fact, you might want to consider staying here for the school year, give yourselves a chance to interact with other witches and wizards your own age."

Harry was a little reluctant to agree to stay for school but the offer for shelter was too good to pass up. "I can't promise we'll stay for the school year but I would like to see Hogwarts."

Alec nodded in agreement. Soon enough they were packed again and after checking out of the hotel, Albus created a portkey to take them to Hogwarts.

Manticore, Gillette, WY USA

Lydecker was pacing in his office waiting for an update on the fuckup in Scotland. There had been no word from 494, 701 or their handlers for four days now. Two days ago he had dispatched a team to investigate. The report he got in return did not make him happy. The safe house was torn apart and both handlers were dead but there was no sign of either X5.

One of the X5s should have reported in by now. It left Lydecker with two viable options; they were either dead or rogue. Lydecker hoped the two were dead because if they weren't that meant that they had gone rogue. Either way, a retrieval would be required, if the X5s were dead, their DNA was too valuable. It could be used by a foreign government to start their own super soldier program.

The door opened after a hard knock. Lydecker moved to stand in front of his desk as the man delivered his report. There had been sightings of boys matching the X5s descriptions leaving Edinburgh. Lydecker was left with no choice. "Dispatch a retrieval team."

"Yes sir and what are their orders."

"Capture if possible, kill if necessary but the bodies are to be brought back to Manticore."

New York, NY USA

"This is the 3rd victim. The cause of death is different but the teeth are the same. Whoever is killing these people rips their teeth out after the victim is dead. Who knows what the killer does with them after that." Detective Kelly said to his partner Murphy.

"And don't forget, each victim has that strange barcode tattoo on the back of their necks. It's always new so the question becomes did the victim get it done willingly or did the killer do it." Murphy added.

The pair of detectives continued to survey the latest crime scene when a uniformed officer ran up to them. Excitedly the man said "Detectives, you're going to want to see this. The guy was actually caught on a security camera."

Not wasting any time, the trio of men hurried back to store at the entrance to the alley where the body had been found. Once inside the uniformed office queued up the recording and replayed the murder. The tape showed everything, even the removal of the victim's teeth.

"Jesus, he's just a kid. He can't be more than 15, 16 years old." Kelly said softly. Even after he saw it, he was having a hard time believing that kid was capable of something so gruesome.

"Wait, rewind it bit." Murphy ordered. "Stop, there look." He pointed to the kids neck. There it was, the same bar code tattoo that was on the victims. "Get this kids face to all the precincts, I want him caught before he can kill someone else."