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Chapter 8: Russian Roulette
Scorpius arrived at the address, and wasn't the least bit surprised to find a wand fight happening inside. He pushed through the doors and saw Rose diving, blocking and fighting three fully sized men.
"WHAT THE HELL WEASLEY?" Scorpius breathed as he shot down one of them.
"I DON'T REALLY HAVE TIME TO…" She rolled to dodge a killing curse. "TALK!"
"WHO'S THE TARGET?"
I pointed to the heavier man trying to escape in the back. "GO GET HIM! I GOT THEM!"
Scorpius raced along the edge of the room, jumping over the buildings debris and chased after the man. His blonde hair was flattened as he galloped through the off colored rooms. The man was fast, much faster than he should have been. His legs tensed as he pushed himself faster and faster through the building until he finally had the man cornered. He was about to apparate when Scorpius shot three spells at him, one to disarm him, one to bind his arms and legs and one to freeze him. Letting out a satisfied breath, Scorpius strutted up to him, picked him up and threw him over his shoulder. When he came back Rose had someone managed to knock both of them out without hurting herself. It was then that it occurred to him that it wasn't be happenstance, it was that she might possibly be good at her job. Something that had never occurred to him before.
"Where the hell is Sampson?" She scoffed with heavy breaths as linked the unconscious men together. "We started at 10 this morning, he's NEVER this late."
Scorpius shrugged. "Maybe he overslept."
"Maybe." Rose conceded wiping the sweat off her forehead and checking her aching body for any damage. There was none.
Scorpius's heart seized as he looked at her. Why didn't he just get James? Seeing her was more painful then he let himself believe, but instead of this agony shifting into anger he just looked at her. For the first time since he'd been back he sincerely looked at the woman she'd turned into. No longer was she warm. No longer was she even remotely weak. She could have handled this entire situation by herself if she needed to. There was something driving her, something he hadn't noticed before. Furrowing his light eyebrows, he wondered distantly what had changed her. Sure it had been awhile, but there was something darker about her, damaged even.
"You've changed." He noted bluntly before he could stop himself.
"Pain does that to people." Rose shot at him blankly and then it seemed to hit her that Scorpius was here, and not James, the person she requested. "What are you doing here?"
His lips thinned. "Found your note, Potter was busy."
"Ah…" Her eyes flashed with an emotion he couldn't understand before becoming impassive. "I've been looking for this asshole for weeks…Um…Thanks for …uh helping."
"Don't mention it." He retorted meaning every word.
For a moment they starred at each other unsurely. They were both still breathing heavily from the pursuits so the adrenaline was still pumping hard through their veins. She looked away first, which he was thankful for because he wasn't sure he would have been able to. She then, raised her chin into the air and put on an air of professionalism he never thought they'd be capable of having with one another.
"How the hell are we going to get all of them back to the ministry?"
"Side along apparate them to the visitors entrance, then take the back way in to get to holding prison." Scorpius figured aloud.
Rose paused starring at him in surprise.
"Nothing," She shook her head. "Let's go."
They both fastened the men together, and without another word did exactly as Scorpius said. Scorpius wanted to say more to her, but he couldn't find it in himself to do so. There was a time when he could tell her anything, but that time was long over. Now she was locked up, unreachable and completely closed off. As he helped her he wondered how this had escaped his attention. Had his anger been so blinding that he hadn't noticed how truly changed she was?
He wanted to know the reason why. It couldn't be because of him. She had left him. If it hurt her this deeply she could have gone back to him. She swore she always would. So something else had to have caused her breaking point. But as he locked up the prisoners in the temporary confinement, his curiosity couldn't be helped.
Right after Scorpius returned from helping Rose he saw James was back from training. His face wasn't it's usual jolly self, but was more formal and professional. Scorpius furrowed his eyebrows.
James handed him a note, "My dad, or rather the Head of the Auror department wants to talk to you."
Scorpius searched the note for a reason, but found none. "Do you know why?"
"All I know is it isn't good." James told him grimly, he clapped a hand on his shoulder, "I'll be back working on some cold cases. Find me when you get out."
His nerves raised as he strutted over to Harry James Potter's office. The last time he'd spoken to the man he was seated at his kitchen table with his arm around his niece. Scorpius knocked on his door, and then waited for the mans response. Once he was granted entry, he paused in the doorway feeling terribly like he was walking into a horrible trap.
"Scorpius," Harry Potter acknowledged him. "Come in."
"You wanted to see me? Sir?"
He nodded, with a look of mixed emotions. "Please sit."
"Alright." Scorpius answered, lowering himself into a crimson chair tensely.
And then for six minutes they said nothing. Scorpius could hear the sounds of cubicles around this main office buzzing with influxes of information, but Harry Potter just starred at his desk with a torn expression. His hair had switched from being mostly black to mostly grey in the past few years, but his eyes remained the same.
"Am I…in trouble Sir?" Scorpius broke the silence, unable to stay quiet any longer.
Harry let out a low laugh. "No, you aren't in trouble. I'm just trying to decide if I'm making the right decision or not."
Scorpius sat frigidly in his chair completely unsure of what to do or how to respond.
"My niece," He began clearly, "Was kidnapped several years ago. She was tortured, and then forced to watch her father murdered." Taking a breath, as the honesty flowed out of him, his green eyes turned on Scorpius gravely. "The parties responsible were never caught, but someone mailed me this."
Scorpius leaned forward and grabbed the note skeptically.
"It's been tested for everything that could be wrong with it, but that's not the unsettling part.
'On the anniversary of the death of one of your own. I will take another, and there will be more to come until you all fear me and repent for your comfort. This comfort is a delusion into thinking you won the war. You will never win as you are all tainted and most be purified.'
Scorpius's hand tensed on the note as his face became tight. "I'm sorry, but when you say you're niece….which niece are you talking about?"
Harry's heavy eyebrows met as his face blinked astonishment at Scorpius. "I'm referring to Rose. Surely someone must have told you."
Letting out a humorless laugh, Scorpius shook his head. "I don't believe you."
"Didn't you notice her father wasn't working here?"
"No. I actually was too distracted with the fact that she was working here…" He breathed in shock. "I don't understand when did this happen? How did this happen? I don't understand."
Harry Potter ran a hand through his hair slightly of his element. "I thought someone had told you. This happened five years ago. Here's the reports. It's filed under public record."
Scorpius took the file; with steady hands he opened the file and fists tightened as he recognized the handwriting.
'I returned to my house from my boyfriends house and then there was a man there. Before I could get out my wand he had disarmed me, and put me to sleep...'
Scorpius stopped reading. He skimmed a few of the minor details and stopped when he saw the pictures at the back. Tears pricked his eyes, as all the oxygen left his lungs and his entire body felt like it had been sucked dry.
"We haven't found her partner, but he didn't call in today and he didn't answer any owls. If he doesn't show up tomorrow we will start a search for him."
Scorpius closed the file and handed it back like it was toxic.
"I don't want her to know until we're sure this is credible." He told Scorpius not like a boss, but like a parent. "She's settled into her life. I don't want her to panic."
"I understand." Scorpius fixed his features to control himself. Now his face was impassive and cold.
"I know you and Rose are no longer together, but I also trust that you will still do your duty as a fellow Auror to protect her."
Harry stood up, and walked over to him. "I trust you will keep the information you've learned today to yourself. She's been through enough, she doesn't need to go through anymore pain than necessary."
Scorpius pushed himself to his feet with a curt nod. "I understand sir."
"So," Aiden asked me as we settled into our chairs at the restaurant. "How's the family doing?"
Feeling unnerved by the events of the week, I gave him an unconvincing smile, which he bought.
"Well, I'm glad you asked," I snorted, latching onto the distraction, "Because a few days ago I went to go see him for our weekly breakfast, and he wouldn't open the door. I think there was a girl in there," My eyes widened for emphasis. "He wouldn't tell me who though."
Aiden laughed at my expression, as he sipped his half sugar filled coffee. "Maybe it's someone you know."
"Probably. Point is he should know he can't keep anything from me long. It's just weird because I'm usually the one he tells everything to."
He looked a little skeptical. "Well hasn't that changed a bit over time?"
I shrugged, "I guess you're right."
"No," He smirked arrogantly as the waitress brought him food, "You know I'm right."
"What about you Mr. Successful?" I mocked him knowingly, "How's your life been?"
"Utterly boring and dramaless with you." He grinned, "But it's been alright, jobs good, my family's good. My sister just got engaged."
I smiled, "Congratulations, when is Anna getting married?"
"Well, it is wedding season."
Aiden's dark eyes dilated in surprise, "You?"
"Oh no." I laughed immediately, "No. Kelly is getting married soon too."
"So you're single." He grinned with an evil glint in his eye.
I shook my head, with a wide smirk. "You are ridiculous."
"No, I'm just honest. I'm single too if you're wondering which I know you are because I, have aged well."
Busting out into laughter, I looked at my old boyfriend with a mixture of mirth and disbelief.
"Well I'm happy for you and your looks. I hope you remain happy together."
"That we will," Aiden answered promptly before taking a bite out of his blueberry muffin. "So what do you do now?"
I sighed and took a sip of my hot chocolate. "I'm an Auror."
"…No seriously what do you do?" He rolled his eyes at me, "I know you were visiting your cousin or something the other day."
My face tensed.
"Last I heard you had a desk job."
Reaching into my pocket I grabbed my badge and showed it to him.
His face dropped in shock. "No way!"
"Originally I did work a desk job, but I hated it so I started to be trained as an Auror."
"But why?" His hands rose innocently as he handed me back my badge. "I mean I'm sure you kick ass at it, but why the drastic switch?"
My stomach tightened and my eyes burned with pain. This was the one question I hated the most and the one question I'd always gotten the most. I'd dated Aiden for a long time back at Hogwarts and somehow we managed to stay civil afterwards, but I hadn't kept in touch with him since we left. He didn't know about what happened. It was featured in our papers, but only when we were missing. My uncle stopped them from posting a follow up piece when I escaped. The follow up story floated around the Ministry verbally, but Aiden wouldn't have heard it, not all the way in America.
At one time Aiden was my best friend. He knew me better than even Lauren and Kelly did, but I couldn't tell him this. I couldn't tell anyone this. James had figured it out right of the bat and tried to stop me, but no one else cared why I signed up. All they cared about was that I found a reason to get out of bed those mornings. Aiden wouldn't. He would know that even though I've moved on with my life, it still haunted me, and that no matter what I've done and what I do it still bothers me. Then again, how could anyone erase the image of their father being murdered right in front of them?
So I did something I wasn't proud of, I lied. "Oh well you know my whole families in that department so I figured maybe it was genetic and I gave it a shout out."
"And it worked out." He commented, his face looking suspicious. "Interesting."
"Well sometimes life works like that." I forced a smile on my face, "You enjoying your muffin?"
Aiden nodded, "It's doing its job."
An owl swooped in the shop and dropped a letter into my lap. Frowning, I opened it and discovered that I was needed back at work.
"Duty calls. I'll see you later."
His hand shot out to grab my arm. "Lunch next week?"
A real smile came back on my face, "Yeah, I'd like that."
Once I left the restaurant, I felt tears whelping up in my eyes. Why? I didn't know. Aiden and I had a brief, but perfectly nice time together. He didn't push me. He just was curious about my life. So why did it hurt so much more when I lied to him, then when I lied to myself? Stopping by my apartment, I ran my face in water to calm myself down. I was supposed to be back at work as soon as possible, but I needed a minute. This week was shaking me much harder than I ever thought it would. I thought I was stronger than this, but as my body began to betray me, I fell to the floor in tears.
Hugging my knees I tried to calm myself, but I couldn't. I was being so stupid. When I took off on that mission I was asking for trouble. If Scorpius hadn't shown up I could have still handled it, but once I saw him…
Why did he come after me? Why didn't he just tell James? Or hell just left me alone? He could have. I wouldn't have blamed him for it.
Shaking my head, I smacked myself in the face. I had to snap out of this. I was acting ridiculous. It was five years ago. I haven't heard a peep from the man or men who abducted me and I probably never will. If I don't let it go it's going to eat me alive. Getting a grip, I closed my eyes and did some soothing breaths. This week I will be happy. This week I won't let it get to me. This week it will be better.
Stepping out of my bathroom, I was surprised to see Lauren leaving her bedroom in just a t-shirt.
Her big blue eyes were the size of saucers. "Ro…Rose? What are you doing home?"
My eyes narrowed suspiciously, "I forgot something. Why?"
"Hey Lauren, we forgot-" My little brother began as he came out of my best friends room in nothing, but a pair of boxers.
My mouth narrowed into an,'O,' formation as I finally connected the dots. My face flushed bright red as my throat clamped up. My best friend is fucking my brother. My brother is fucking my best friend... There were no words to truly convey the horror of it all.
"Well." I gulped, "I'm going to go…far, far away."
Neither of them tried to stop me, and I was extremely glad. The last thing I wanted to know was what it meant. In my mind, it simply didn't happen. The idea of it was too much so I refused to acknowledge it. Later on, preferably when I had a rather large bottle of firewiskey available, I would talk to them, but for now I begged for ignorance. As I walked through security and traveled to my desk, I wished I had just gone to one of the thousands of bathrooms around the restaurant Aiden and I had gone to.
My eyebrows raised as I saw Scorpius coming out of my Uncle's office. It wasn't an odd thing to see an Auror meeting with the head of the department. Actually in the scheme of things it was pretty by the book. But this was different. I could tell by the looks on their faces, but what could it be?
Lips thinning, I sat down at my desk. Sampson, once again had not shown up. It wasn't like him to miss this much work without so much as a word. Yesterday I managed with Scorpius, but I couldn't do without for much longer. He was really starting to worry me. My eyebrows lifted when I saw my uncle heading my way. Usually he tried to keep distance from me to keep up a professional appearance. But the minute he stopped in front of me I knew it wasn't good news.
"Rose about your partner-"
I raised my hand to cut him off. "If he isn't here tomorrow I will personally go out and look for him. He's probably just sick."
"No Rose." He sighed with a heavy heart. "He's dead."
My chest clenched as my eyes became hard. "What?"
"He's been murdered."
"I want to see the body." I told him firmly.
My uncle looked taken aback. "Rose you can't-"
"He was my partner, and I won't believe it till I see it."
"I'll have James go with you."
I shrugged, keeping my expression cool and aloof. "Fine."
Grabbing, my jacket, I secured my wand and followed James to the elevator. I wasn't going for closure. I wasn't going for proof. I was going to see what the cause of death was. Auror's were killed all the time, but rarely murdered. Until I saw how it had happened I couldn't process it. I couldn't feel it. James said something comforting. Something warm and fuzzy to make me feel better, but I ignored him. My eyes were burning with hate, as I followed James through a maze of rooms I knew I didn't have clearance to be anywhere near.
Then we stopped at one room in particular, his body was half covered, half naked laying on a gurney. James starred at me waiting for me to burst into tears like he did when we were younger.
"James give me a minute."
"I'm not supposed to-" He began gently.
My eyes slated into steel. "James, give me a minute."
Giving me an I-hope-I-don't-regret-this-look, he moved to stand right behind the door. "Don't take to long Ro."
I nodded, tears climbing up the back of my throat in an attempt to flee pouring out of my eyes.
As soon as he shut the door, I checked his body for something. Something I knew I would find, but hoped to Merlin I wouldn't. On my hip bone there was a very rigid carving of a lightning bolt. Something Sampson had on him too.
A chill went down my spine as those tears shot up into my eyes and slowly rolled down my cheeks. To anyone else it could have just been a scar, but to me it was a clear cut warning that danger was coming and it was headed straight for me.
Brushing his dark hair out of his face, I said to him though I knew he couldn't hear me. "I'm sorry."
Then, after a tug of effort I wiped my face clear off any and all tears and walked back with James. "It's procedure that I tell his family right?"
"Considering the circumstances-" James started hesitantly as we got into the elevator.
"No. I will do it."
His dark warm eyes turned to me compassionately. "Rose-"
"Don't. I'm fine." I set my jaw and prepared myself for what was to come. "I can handle this."
If he wanted to come back and rattle me fine. Consider me rattled, but the masked man had to know things have changed. It's a new game and this time I'm not weak and defenseless. He chose the worst time to come back at me and the worst way. Walking back to the fifth floor, i was no longer lost. I was full of seething rage. Sampson was a good guy, he will be avenged.
Song in the summary is Russian Roulette By: Rihanna. THANK YOU FOR READING! I appreciate it much more than any of you will ever know! PLEASE REVIEW! I will updating pretty regularly untill writers block sneaks up on me, which hopefully won't be for awhile.