Chapter 1 : Flight
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The rain continued to pour as he angled the horse around the bend in the road, trying his best to protect that most precious cargo inside the carriage to his left. His wand drawn ready to strike at any who tried to get close to that carriage. Inside was that which he was most ill prepared to lose, his pregnant wife. Their destination was now in sight, yet there were still several kilometres between them and their goal. He signalled to the driver of the carriage.
"Do not stop until the Lady is safely inside those walls!" he shouted, pointing to the castle. “Take her directly to Lord Hufflepuff.”
The driver nodded and asked. "And what of you my Lord?"
Xavier merely stared at him and repeated, "Do NOT stop until you have her safely in that castle. No matter what happens to me!"
The driver sat contemplating what he meant, for only a moment before forcing the horses to accelerate on their course.
As the carriage pulled ahead, Xavier noticed movement to the right and directed his horse towards it, placing himself between the carriage and the disturbance. As he approached he saw that there were two people standing in the shadows of the tree-line discussing something. The assassins sent by his brother Thomas, to kill him and his wife. For Thomas wanted to rule these lands as Lord and the only way he could do this was to kill his brother. This was the very reason for their flight to Hufflepuff Castle, and Xavier would not allow them to stop that carriage. Once he was close enough to catch their attention he leapt at them from his horses back.
"Expelliarmus!" he shouted as he flew through the air towards the two.
The spell hit the smaller one squarely in the chest and flung them back as he struck the other full-bodied to the ground. He lost his wand in the collision but was successful in knocking the others wand from his hand. The smaller one was up again and was searching for their wand while Xavier continued to focus on stopping the one already in his grasp. They continued to exchange blows as they rolled over the soaking wet ground. As he managed to pin the attacker to the ground a bolt of lightning struck a few hundred meters away lighting the foes face.
Xavier lay on the attacker, his eyes transfixed upon the face of his nephew Charles. The shock was evident on his face as he glanced at the smaller assassin and recognised the features as that of his niece, Belladonna, who had now recovered her wand and was stalking towards them. It hurt his heart to see that they were both as prepared as their father to commit murder in order to achieve their goals, he could not bring himself to kill the two and his brother had known that when he sent them after him. Charles used this momentary lapse in concentration to throw his uncle off him and began searching for his wand.
Unfortunately he threw Xavier straight onto his wand. Charles was focused single-mindedly on locating his wand so Xavier chose to deal with Bella first.
Bella struck first, "Stupefy."
"Protego," yelled Xavier and the spell bounced from his magically reinforced shield and nearly struck Charles who ducked under the blast just in time and fell onto his wand. He slowly rose and swung to point his wand at the carriage.
"Petrificus Totalus!" Xavier watched as his niece collapsed to the ground completely unable to move.
Xavier cursed himself for his single-minded pursuit of his niece, forgetting about Charles until it was too late. He felt the magical ropes bind him tightly and saw the ground rush up to meet his face.
"Expelliarmus." He felt the wand fly from his hand again as he turned his broken face to the castle and was elated to see that the driver was leading his wife up the stairs to the open door where Lord Hufflepuff stood. He breathed a sigh of relief, the Hufflepuff's were the only wizarding family in the area, and he knew he could trust them to take care of his wife and child. As they disappeared inside he noticed Charles was standing over him scowling at the same sight which now gave him solace. His nephew kicked him hard in the stomach before turning his wand upon him and then Xavier
Charles stood in the pouring rain, looking down the dead body of his uncle. He almost couldn't believe it. He had killed his own uncle. The blood that was running from Xavier's broken nose and mixing with the rain was beginning to pool at his feet. He suddenly snapped out of this trance as his sister got up, now released from Xavier's spell, and yelled something at him.
"What?" replied Charles as he slowly looked over at Bella to see her pointing at the castle where several figures had just disappeared inside.
"We still need to finish that blasted wife of his you moron, now hurry up."
She started towards the castle and he gradually followed after glancing back at his uncle's body again. As Bella approached the castle Charles saw her tap herself on the head with her wand and slowly she disappeared from the head down. He stopped at the point where she had disappeared unsure of what to do then he felt something hit him on the head as his sister cursed him.
"We can't be seen you fool!" and all of a sudden he had the sensation that someone had smashed an egg on his head and the cold trickles seemed to be running down his body from the point of contact. When he looked at his hands they had taken on the appearance and texture of whatever was behind them.
"Come on Charles," Bella hissed and he was suddenly pulled towards the guardroom entryway which led into the entrance hall.
She dragged him through the doorway closing it quietly behind them. The room they had entered into was a small guard-room. The guard had obviously forgotten to seal the door on his way back inside, and was now sleeping in the seat by the archway.
"Stupefy," whispered Bella as she passed the guard. His only notable reaction was to stop snoring. They peeked out through the archway into the cavernous entrance hall of the enormous castle.
"Where do you think they are?" whispered Charles.
"I'm not sure. You try upstairs; I'll look around down here. If you don't find her in 30 minutes get out and back to fathers. And remember if you get caught you are on your own." she reminded him.
They stepped out into the hall and he continued upstairs. He heard some sounds to the right so he walked slowly down the corridor, keeping to the wall so as not to bump anyone. He approached the slightly open door where the sounds were originating. He peered inside and saw Lord Hufflepuff bent over a bed talking to the person laying on it. The doctor suddenly appeared at the door, swung it open and looked out to the right.
"Where the hell is Nicole? She better hurry up or Jennifer won't make it." he said as he looked straight through Charles.
"Just come back in here and help her or neither will make it." said Lord Hufflepuff.
Both? Thought Charles, She must be pregnant. Father never said anything about that. But they don't think she will make. I might just wait and see what happens.
He crept slowly inside the room and waited in a corner where he could see all that transpired before him.