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And Love Prevails by Phoenix_Flames
Chapter 3: Missing Person
stunning chapter image by nymeria
- Year 2022 -
Harry paced back and forth in the main atrium of the Ministry of Magic at six AM. He gnawed on the nail of his thumb, eying the large, ticking clock over the statue. “Where is she?” he muttered under his breath to no one really but himself.
She was late. Dominique was rarely, if ever, late. She was always prompt and did her best to arrive on time. Especially when it came to her work. She knew she had been given the easy road when it came to her job due to her uncle’s position, so she knew how vital it was for her to live up to her uncle’s expectations. If she didn’t, it would be just as easy to let her go as it was for her to join the career path.
It was vital for Dominique to show up for this mission. Harry had given her his cloak because she was the most valuable player in this. Now she was late and they were without the cloak. He told her that they would leave without her, but Harry needed that cloak.
When the clock struck 6:05 and Harry and Ron were still standing in the atrium with six other Aurors, Harry turned to his brother-in-law. “Ron, I’m going to get to cloak. If Dom isn’t ready, we’re leaving without her. Why don’t you get a hold of Evyn Murray? She’s on call and should be ready; she’s being brought on board.”
“Yeah, Harry,” Ron answered and shoved his hand into his pocket, digging out the coin all Aurors carried when they were on call in case someone needed to get a hold of them.
“If I’m not back in five minutes, leave without me. I’ll meet you there.”
Knowing Ron had things under control, Harry set his bag down and apparated directly into Dominique’s flat. Inside, nothing looked amiss. Her living room was quiet and empty. All the lights were out and it was dead quiet. “Dominique?”
Harry huffed and headed for the stairs, calling up, “Dominique! You’re late!”
When there was no answer, he went to the second floor and poked his head into her bedroom at the end of the hall. His brow furrowed at the sight within the room. There was no sign of Dominique, but the room clearly showed that she had been there. The light by her nightstand was still on, and her suitcase was half packed. It was open with clothes folded neatly both inside the suitcase and on top of her bedspread. Harry approached it, wrinkling his nose. He fingered her black cloak curiously. “Dom? Dominique, are you here?”
There was still no answer. He looked further about the room. The door to her bathroom was wide open, and the light inside it was ablaze as well, but there was still silence throughout the flat. He stepped away from the bed, and that was when he noticed the liquid on the floor. He gave a small slip, swinging his arms around to steady his balance.
He looked at the substance that caused him to slip, and he grunted in confusion. The liquid was a thick, sky blue that reminded him oddly of unicorn blood, and it covered a large puddle of the deep, mahogany wood. Seeing that it hadn’t eroded at his shoe or didn’t permeate the air with a foul stench, he crouched down and prodded the potion with his finger. When it didn’t burn or sting him, Harry was satisfied that the substance wasn’t harmful and was therefore reassured that Dominique’s well-being didn’t pose an immediate threat. He rose from his stance and looked about the room. He called Dominique’s name out again, but of course, there was still no answer.
Only when he was standing again did he notice the different color that was swirling into the liquid with the sky blue. It was a deep red, and Harry didn’t have to think twice to know it was blood that now stained the floor. “Dom…?”
He found himself scouting the room for any sign of Dominique. He had believed her to be safe, but the blood on the floor now showed him differently; she was clearly hurt. But how badly? And that explained the half packed luggage and her late appearance to the Ministry. Was she missing? Was she unconscious somewhere in her flat?
He didn’t even know what he was looking for as he searched the room. Perhaps other droplets of blood, misplaced items, anything he could find that would give him a lead. He pulled out his wand and muttered, “Homenum revelio.”
When nothing happened, Harry knew he was alone. Perhaps she had apparated to the Ministry just as he arrived. But he wasn’t ignorant enough to believe that. He returned to her bed, his thoughts jumbled with Dominique’s whereabouts. He had to at least get the cloak to Ron, and then he would notify Kingsley and the family to keep an eye out for Dominique. The cloak was now the least of his worries, but rather his niece was. If she didn’t appear somewhere within twenty-four hours, they would send out a search party, but Harry looked back to the mess on her bed, the concoction of blood and potions on the floor, and was certain of two things.
Dominique was missing, and the cloak had disappeared with her.
"I do not understand," Ignotus finally muttered. Dominique didn't know how long she simply stared at him for, her eyes set ablaze with intensity. She had been looking for his reaction, but he hadn't given her any wiggle room. He had been expressionless until he was finally able to speak.
"I'm not from your time. If I'm right, I don't think I belong here. I think I went back in time..." By the time she had finished her statements, she was spinning about the room as if her surroundings would give her a sound answer to if she truly were in another time. But of course, that did no such thing.
"Is that possible?" he asked.
She blanched, temporarily taken aback by his question. Of course it was possible. Clearly if she were standing before him, but everyone knew of time turners. Unless...
It hadn't occurred to her that there was the strong possibility that time turners had yet to be created. She hadn't considered it, but it was highly likely. She had no idea when all sorts of useful magical objects came around; it wasn't like she spent her free time memorizing the dates, but a full 800 years separated that gap. She decided to play it nice and give it the benefit of the doubt that no, time turners were not around just yet.
"Yes," she answered. "Well, not exactly. I had no idea someone could make such big jumps in time, but where I'm from we have time turners." The look on Ignotus' face convinced her to elaborate further. "Objects that send someone back in time to a precise moment of their choosing."
"Oh," he said with a satisfied nod.
But come to think of it, no time turner had been involved during Dominique's time jump. She didn't even know where the closest one to her would have been. She didn't even own one; her method of transportation had been a concoction of potions, her uncle’s cloak, and blood gone wrong. This was all an accident. It was no 'moment of her choosing.'
With these thoughts, Dominique began to ponder how her travel was even possible, but Ignotus quickly pulled her from the thoughts that bewildered her beyond repair. "So, you used a time turner to get here?"
"No," Dominique shook her head. "That's the thing. I didn't. It was an accident."
"And that cloak. A family heirloom, you say?" questioned Ignotus, and Dominique then began to realize that Ignotus was figuring out the very thing she already knew. He looked to the cloak in his grasp once more and wrinkled his nose. He rubbed the material between his fingers, glanced to Dominique's cloak, and then asked uneasily. "These two cloaks...They are the same one?"
Dominique pursed her lips. Was there any point in lying to him? Was there any point in telling the truth? This was an instance where she did not know which would benefit him the most, which would benefit herself. But she was stuck in the year 1234 with no one to help her. If she ever wanted to get home, those helping her would have to know the truth. Perhaps it was indeed best for her to share the truth.
"I believe that they are, yes. This belongs to my uncle. It had been passed down to him for generations. We believe that it is the same one, yes, and that he is ultimately the descendant of you," Dominique answered.
Ignotus looked somewhat shocked, but he kept his composure well. After a few moments, he didn't know what else to say other than, "I have no children."
Dominique rolled her shoulders. This was not a big deal. Ignotus was young. Didn't men generally begin to have off spring at an older age? It was women that began to have children at a young age. She believed that was how it went. Looking at Ignotus, she would say he was around twenty-years-old, her age, in fact. He still had plenty of time to have children. She answered as if it were not a big deal. "Then, you will."
"So..." Ignotus began and tried to reform his thoughts. "You are my descendant?"
"Not really," Dominique rolled her shoulders as she thought about it. "Only related by marriage."
"But you are sure your uncle is a descendant of me?"
"Well, yeah," she answered plainly. "I mean, there's only one known cloak like this that doesn't lose its effect over time, and my uncle's has never lost its effect. We can't track the generations this far back, but we know my uncle's is one of the three Deat - "
She faltered. She didn't quite know what was holding her back. She had, after all, just made a pact with herself to tell the truth for the benefit of herself, but what did sharing her knowledge of the Deathly Hallows with Ignotus mean? If she told him of his own mark on history, would it ultimately affect that mark? It was a puzzling situation, but for the moment, she wished she could gobble her words up just to rethink them so she could be certain next time she began to speak of the Deathly Hallows.
"Go on," he urged.
"We know he is your descendant because of the cloak," she said, "and that's that."
"Wait, you said one of the three. How much do you know?" Ignotus questioned.
That was when Dominique had to think about her answer. She was not good at hiding her reactions. So she stood there simply dumbfounded, trying to find a way to answer Ignotus' question. She tried to find ways to dodge the bullet of him finding out things about his future. Wasn't that exactly what you were supposed to do? Not let others find out about their future? Well, that wouldn't even have been an issue if she had followed the number one rule of time travel: don't be seen.
"Not much," she answered with a roll of the shoulders, playing it off as if it were no big deal.
"You said 'three.' Do you know of my brothers...?"
She sighed. There was no use in holding anything back, was there? No matter how hard she tried. Despite Ignotus' rather long attempt at finding out what Dominique meant about her time travel, he was unusually quick at piecing together bits of information dealing with other things. Like how she had already let slip that she knew of the Deathly Hallows, that there were three, and that was ultimately a bigger puzzle piece than any of them had let on.
"Yes," she finally blurted.
"Y-You know...?" Ignotus asked as if their day by the river crossing had been a crime.
"Everyone in my year knows everything. That day you met Death is bigger than you can possibly comprehend," said Dominique.
"What do you mean?" he asked. By this time, Ignotus had grown too interested and curious about the girl before him. He had so many questions. She was peculiar to him. Of course, he knew the reason he found her peculiar would be due to the year she came from, but that did not lessen his curiosity about her. He went to sit in the rocking chair by the window. He would have motioned for her to sit as well, following the customs of his time, but she seemed fine maneuvering herself about his bedroom and sitting on the edge of his bed just like she had done minutes ago.
"That day became legendary. I don't know how, but the story of the Peverell brothers is kept alive, the story of how you met Death and asked for those three items, how the three of - "
"Tell me the three items," Ignotus interjected. He demanded to know the items from her for further proof. He didn't know what made him decide to believe the girl, but he did. He believed that she was from another time, that everything she said was genuine. He just couldn't afford to think that she was lying. If she was, then he didn't know what he would do. He would have to discover how she knew of those events if she were, in fact, not from the future. For the girl's sake, he wanted to believe that she was being honest. This was just another test to discover if she was telling the truth or not.
"The Cloak of Invisibility, the Resurrection Stone, and the Elder Wand."
Ignotus had to take a moment to himself to appraise her words. She spoke of the three exact items they had received only a week ago; they even had formal names. Dominique seemed to have discovered his method to the demand, and seeing his satisfaction, she moved on. "Everyone knows the story. It faded from being history into legend into just a myth. Some doubt the truth in it, if the three of you actually met Death or if the three of you were just seeking power."
"Most certainly not!" Ignotus shouted. He was appalled by the very idea. Dominique watched him rise from his seat, his right hand coming to his chest and clenching in anger. She only watched him, knowing he would calm down momentarily, and sure enough, he did exactly that after a few seconds. He breathed in sharply and sat back down. "Well, not me. My eldest brother cannot speak the same."
"I know," Dominique said. He shot her a glance at those words but did not question her. Sensing the tension that suddenly entered the room and knowing she had to defuse it, she changed the subject. "You believe me?"
"Strangely, yes," he answered.
Dominique welcomed a smile. "Thanks."
"Now that you are in 1234, what will you do?"
"Try to find the quickest way back..." she muttered, again looking about the room as if it would offer some sort of solution.
He nodded in agreement. "I will help you. Do you need shelter?"
"If you are willing to offer it, yes please."
"You are welcome to stay as long as you need. But if you are to fit in, you must change that disgraceful attire," he said with a chuckle. He rose, wiping his palms on his trousers, and he went towards her. He offered her his hand to assist her in rising, but Dominique looked at it in confusion. Her brow furrowed, and she eyed the hand. Stifling an awkward cough, Ignotus wiped his sweaty palm on his pants once again and pretended he hadn't done that as he watched her rise. "My servant will see you are washed and dressed properly. Jocosa!"
After a few moments, the kind, gentle looking woman entered once again, eager to serve. "My Lord?" she asked in questioning.
"Please have Lady Dominique made presentable. Also see to it that an additional setting is placed at the table for supper and a bedroom is prepared for her. She will be staying with us indefinitely," he said in such a formal fashion. Just watching him speak and listening to his words fascinated her. It was so well thought out and organized, but it also seemed like too much work. He clearly thought about his words and what he said, whereas Dominique had already spoken carelessly. She wouldn't like having to think so hard about her words. Sometimes it was just so much easier to blurt it out all jumbled together.
Lady Dominique, she thought. She liked the sound of that, though.
"Yes, My Lord," answered Jocosa in response. Dominique looked to Ignotus one last time before he gave her a persuasive nod to follow his servant, and so she did so. Jocosa led her from the room, Dominique following in her wake. They entered a room on the other side of the second floor. It was clearly what Dominique would call their bathroom. There was a hearth with blazing coals sitting in the bottom of it while buckets of water absorbed their heat, and a stone wash tub sat in the center of the room. Behind it there was a small vanity of boxes of oils, flower petals, and other items used for scents. Perched on the vanity was blurry glass used as a mirror with thin, off-white cloths beside it for drying.
It was actually quite decent and different from what she would have expected of a bathroom in the 1200's, although, as she thought about it, she didn't quite know what to expect at all. She only grinned, pleased at the living standards. She only hoped that those at the front of the village were just as lucky, even though she knew that they weren't.
She was startled when she felt Jocosa try to figure out the methods of her clothing. She jumped and clasped her hands around the buttons of her shirt. She pursed her lips, prepared to retaliate with harsh words, but she realized that it must have only been a custom of their time. Politely Jocosa turned away and instead filled the wash tub with warm water from the hearth. Realizing that it was Jocosa's duty to make sure she was bathed, Dominique undressed herself and slipped into the warm bath water.
She was pleased that Jocosa payed it no mind. She went to the vanity and grabbed the metal basket of flower petals and sprinkled a handful into the water Dominique laid in. She dropped a bag of other herbs into it and let a dollop of oil drip into it as well. She then dipped her hands into the water to wet them before settling on a stool behind Dominique, and her tender, gentle fingers went to work on her hair.
It was different, having everything about herself tended to. It was somewhat relaxing, knowing someone else could take care of it. It was a good moment to simply breathe, but she could not do that. She was troubled. She had to find a way to get home. Despite how riled up she got, Jocosa's fingers untangling her hair found a way to coax her into a sense of tranquility once more. The woman was humming softly under her breath.
"Your hair is beautiful, my Lady," said Jocosa in a soft voice after many minutes of combing through the tangles.
She nodded in thanks. Dominique wiggled her toes in the water until she finally found the will to speak to the woman. "So you...work for Ignotus?"
"I am his servant, yes, my Lady," she answered kindly.
"Is that..." she faltered. How was she supposed to go about asking that question?
"He is very kind to me and he pays me well. I am grateful that he is my master," she said. Dominique tried to decipher her answer. Her brow furrowed with her thoughts until she finally continued to ask questions, weaning out different answers. "Is that because of his brothers?"
Jocosa pursed her lips, not wanting to speak against the brothers of her master. Her answer was well thoughtout. "I used to work for the entire Peverell family until Lord Antioch moved out from under my Lady's roof. Then Lord Cadmus was betrothed and living with his fiancée until she died. When she died, my Lady moved to help Lord Cadmus and his child through this difficult time. I stayed here with Lord Ignotus."
Even through her story, Dominique knew the answer. That yes, she was grateful to be Ignotus' servant rather than the servant of either of his brothers. But Dominique only nodded.
That was when something else dawned on her. Were the other two Peverells alive even? She knew they died shortly after the creation of the Deathly Hallows, killed by Death's evil doings himself, but had the Peverells received this misfortune yet? Dominique would have to devise a question to which she could formulate the answer.
"Does Ignotus visit his brothers often?" she asked quietly. When her hair had been fully combed through, she dunked under the water and reemerged rejuvenated. Jocosa moved to scrub down her legs and feet with a cloth. She answered while continuing, "Yes, quite often. They do not live far from here."
That only meant one thing. That all three Peverells were still alive, and that Antioch Peverell was currently number one on Death's hit list.
Dominique swallowed and did her best to pretend that nothing was amiss, but she didn't speak much more until she was fully cleansed. When she stood in the bath and Jocosa draped a thin sheet over her shoulders and Dominique hugged it to her body, she wondered if she had ever even smelled this good at home. Of course, she didn't smell bad, but the aura of roses, sweetness, and something like honey gave her such a pleasant feeling. She wouldn't ever have imagined such a lovely smell coming from the year 1234, but then again, she kept telling herself she would have no idea what to have expected.
Jocosa said as she wiped her wet hands on her apron, shuffling about the room and heading towards the fragile, wooden vanity. "I believe some of Lady Eirene's things are still here."
"Lady Eirene?" Dominique asked quizzically.
"Yes, my Lady. Master Ignotus' mother," she answered. Jocosa did not turn away from her search, but rather she went to her knees and shuffled through a few things in the vanity that Dominique could not make out. She took that opportunity to dab her body dry. Jocosa rose again with a gown in her hands, muttering about how it would do. She turned to face Dominique, holding the deep purple gown up to her.
It was simple, not quite like what Dominique had expected. Perhaps it was more of a day gown and the fancier things were for later, but she still thought it was beautiful. The fabric fell loosely to the floor, and the edges of the gown were embroidered with gold ribbon. It was shaped to fit the curves of a woman, and the neck of the gown expanded to the shoulders, where the arms went down to the wrists. Dominique smiled, approached her, and gingerly fingered the gown.
"It's beautiful," she commented.
Jocosa's look was a mix between appreciation and kindness. She began to help Dominique into the dress when she finally spoke her thoughts. "You're not from around here, are you?"
"No, ma'am," she answered, running her hands over the folds of the dress. It fell perfectly about her curves.
Jocosa began to plait her hair and then placed a gold band over her forehead, weaving it into the braid. Dominique looked at herself in the mirror and was surprised by her appearance. Dressed like she was supposed to, no one could tell that she wasn't from this time. She looked like she belonged, and she liked the change in attire. She smiled at herself as Jocosa smoothed the folds of the gown on her shoulders.
"There," said Jocosa with a smile. "The master should deem this appropriate enough."
"Thank you, Jocosa," she answered, and after much debate over her thoughts, she finally continued on. "Do you really have to speak about Ignotus like that?"
"Yes, ma'am," she replied. "I am his servant. I do his bidding, as well as any other requests he wishes me to tend to. This also includes having little personal conversation."
Dominique's brow furrowed at this. Was that really how it worked? Why couldn't Jocosa have a normal conversation with her master and whoever else she wished? She said to her over her shoulder. "You can always talk to me, Jocosa."
"Thank you, miss," she said with the sweetest smile. After she had given Dominique a final look over, she escorted her from the washroom and back into the hall. Jocosa stopped Dominique before they reached the door. If Dominique were in her own world, she would have given a quick knock and then gone inside, but these circumstances were different. Jocosa knocked and stated that she had Dominique ready, and then Ignotus answered from somewhere within his chambers.
She pushed Dominique into the room, and then Jocosa dismissed herself. Ignotus was sitting in the wooden chair in the corner of the room, his elbows perched on his knees and his hands rubbing the scruff of his beard. He finally looked to Dominique, and his brow rose in acknowledgement. "You...You."
She held her lips tight together, awaiting him to finish his thoughts. "Mmmhmm?"
"You look like you belong," he said. He rose from his spot and wiped his palms on his trousers. "No one will suspect a thing."
"Uh," she paused and smiled. "Thanks. That's good, right?"
"Yes," Ignotus nodded. He grabbed a few of his things and walked towards the door. Dominique, lost and confused, followed in his footsteps. She questioned what was next, and he answered her kindly. "I know you have had an eventful day and I know you wish to return home, but I believe it best that we at least situate you here. Since your stay is currently indefinite, I should accommodate you with proper clothing."
Of course he meant that he would buy them for her, but Dominique felt guilty at this. She sighed in frustration and said quietly and in a voice full of guilt. "No, Ignotus. You don't have to do that."
"What else will you wear?" he asked in a convincing fashion. Dominique looked at him seriously, but he flashed her a smile and it was enough to convince her.
"Fine," she nodded. He escorted her from the room. They passed Jocosa warming something over the fire, and Ignotus told her they would be out for a few hours and expected to come home to dinner. Outside, Dominique looked at the people who passed. They paid her no mind; Ignotus was right. No one would notice her if she looked like she belonged. She fiddled with her hair and pulled the two loose curls next to her ears closer to her cheeks so they somewhat blocked her peripherals. Even though they didn't acknowledge her, she didn't want to meet their gaze. She felt like they would know immediately she was from another time, as if they could read her mind.
Ignotus seemed to register her fear. He was suddenly by her side, touching the small of her back. "Do not fear, my Lady. All will be well."
She only swallowed her fear and nodded to him before he continued on. "We will go to my brother's, where we will borrow my mother's horse. She rarely rides anymore and would not mind if you rode her during your stay."
"Are you su - "
"Yes, Lady," Ignotus stressed again. He untied his horse from the post and directed Dominique to the flimsy saddle. He stuck out his hand, and she looked at it in a questioning fashion. She took it, but Ignotus pulled her close and whispered a warning to her before helping her mount the horse. "I do not know what the customs are like in 2034, but here you do not mount or dismount without assistance of a gentleman. You will also ride side-saddle. You are a woman."
"Ugh," she huffed at his words. She understood why he asked this of her. If she wished to blend in, she would have to abide, but she could hardly ride a horse in a normal fashion. Let alone side-saddle. He helped her up onto the horse, and she muttered. "In my time, women don't have to ride side-saddle. We ride just as you do, for those who still ride. I, for one, had never ridden a horse before until you yanked me on top of one today. I don't get it; this is not going to be a piece of cake for me.”
His brow furrowed, and Dominique only then realized that he must occasionally struggle to understand the meaning of her words. The contractions he didn't use, the odd phrases and changed words. He climbed on behind Dominique and chuckled. "You talk so strangely. I do not know if I like it."