Chapter 3 : Part Three: Gatehouse
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Also, this part is very dark and features some moments that might shock certain people. Don’t let your mind wonder ok?
Melissa---Edgar Amelia Brother
Taylor Sarah Annabelle
The cup was there, on the mantle, like some sort of trophy; as if they had actually won it by killing Hepzibah Smith. It was all rather insulting.
Edgar averted his eyes and pulled his hood farther down his face as two more Death Eaters walked into the room. This was hardly the time to think about how unfair the situation was.
Alastor stood across the table from him, flanked by Dorcas Meadows and Caradoc Dearborn just as he was between Marlene McKinnon and Benjy Fenwick. They all had their hoods pulled down just even to cast a shadow over their faces but not enough to draw suspicion.
He needed to focus his thoughts on the mission because now, there was no backing out. The danger of this task was unfolding with each passing second and while it wasn’t Voldemort that led this campaign, his right hand, the vile Lucius Malfoy, was to be just as feared.
Even at such a young age, he was already valued as one of the Dark Lord’s most faithful. The stories of what he had been asked to do to prove his loyalty were chilling, even to trained Aurors. And to think that now he was there to coordinate the next attacks on hundreds of muggle-borns. One man should never be in that position, should never have that kind of power.
“Sit down all of you,” Lucius said curtly and fell into a chair himself.
Edgar was somewhat pleased that he wasn’t in a good mood; at least he wouldn’t get any enjoyment out of this meeting. Yet, what he knew of Lucius only made him half smile. He might not be one for planning, but he was lovingly callous to his victims.
“The Dark Lord is not pleased,” several of the Death Eaters around them cringed, “our missions have been successful, but not in the manner our great master wishes. The information coming to us is not enough, we must restrain ourselves from killing before we get every last drop of news out of them.”
Edgar looked around the room. He did not know the names or faces of most of the people before him, as many had their hoods pulled down just as low as his, but he could see several clench their fists in irritation.
“Our posts do not grant us free rein over murder, we still have a job to do.” With that, Lucius plunged into the news of the Dark Lord’s latest, twisted plans. All the information the Order of the Phoenix had been waiting for.
Edgar took note that the list of names he was hearing was almost all the ones he had gone to school with, some being his close friends. However, the plans only focused on the families outside of Voldemort’s favored Slytherin house.
It was no surprise. With Albus Dumbledore as Headmaster of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, teaching the students to oppose the Dark Lord’s views, Voldemort had rightly come to despise the man they called ‘the only man You-Know-Who fears.’ His attacks on those connected to the school were his method of chipping away at Dumbledore’s statement that the place was ‘in safe hands.’
The Order had heard talk that they were planning to place a spy in the school and sometimes wondered if one was already there. Several instances had already occurred where information only talked about on the grounds of the well protected school had become public knowledge to their enemies. Minerva’s trip to Romania, Hagrid’s offering to the giants, both sabotaged by an unknown party.
For now however, the end of the conflict was not within reach and both sides could only hope for small victories. Death Eaters would kill a muggle-born, the Order would save another…it was a never ending vicious circle at times.
One Edgar would be happy to see laid to rest. It wasn’t a pretty job, listening to this; people joking about the murders they had committed all because their victims had ‘dirty blood.’
As they laughed away, the Order slowly moved back into the shadows. They had the information they wanted and now it was time to escape with their lives. However, for Edgar, it was time to escape with something else.
It would be a long while before they realized it was missing and would probably blame one of their own. He saw no draw back in taking back stolen property and so, carefully removed the cup from the mantle as he followed the others out of the room.
Once they all safely reached the gates of the Malfoy estate, they disapparated to meet the other members of the Order and quickly went over all the details of what they had seen before placing their memories carefully into Dumbledore’s pensive.
Plans were put into action. That very night all the names they had heard would change. The owners would disappear and the Death Eaters would not be able to harm them. Edgar had lost count of how many Fidelius Charms had been cast already.
But he didn’t want to think about that now. His work was done and he wanted to share his fortune with his family. So long they had wondered what happened to Taylor, his uncle. Ever since the cup had appeared on his aunt’s bed…they knew what it meant. It meant he was never coming home. They never found his body, even after long hours of searching, and that left them unable to answer the question of why.
His aunt and mother had always claimed the cup was cursed and that, with the death of Hepzibah, even more so. Yet Edgar never put faith in a curse and now he knew it had all been the work of Lord Voldemort. Finally they would know why, finally the cup was back in the rightful hands of his Hufflepuff lineage.
As he stepped up to his front door, Edgar thought of how his wife, Melissa, would react. He knew the last thing she would want would be to have a marked object in the house so Edgar decided to just stop in and tell her that he was alright before he took the cup to Dumbledore.
Yet when he pushed the door open, the house was dark. There was no one waiting for him in the front room, no cries of ‘you’re ok!’ to greet him. Something was wrong.
That was the last thing he remembered.
When Edgar opened his heavy eye lids again, he could only make out the blurred shapes of people. One large, dark figure paced between him and several smaller ones huddled together on the other side of the room.
“Crucio!” The word filled his ears and he was sick with the screams that followed. It was Melissa.
That was when Edgar realized the dark figure in front of him was not pacing, it was circling. Circling his innocent wife and torturing her. As his vision became more focused, Edgar looked to the three children huddled terrified across the room. His children.
“Oh you’re awake,” the voice was menacingly sweet and he knew who it was instantly.
“Lucius, leave my family out of this,” Edgar said as calmly as he could manage. It wasn’t very convincing.
“Oh please Lucius! Don’t hurt my family, my precious family!” mocked a female Death Eater who Edgar knew to be Bellatrix Lestrange, “you see? This is why Rodolphus and I don’t have children. It makes you pathetic and weak.”
The other Death Eaters snickered and Edgar estimated there were about seven of them.
“It’s not for lack of trying though is it?” another Death Eater remarked impishly, obviously her husband Rodolphus Lestrange.
“Enough about your seamy love life; return this to the Dark Lord and inform him that I have dealt with the situation.” Lucius handed the cup over to Rodolphus and Bellatrix. Edgar could feel their fingers stain the pristine gold to a tarnished black.
They walked out of his vision but Edgar could still hear Bellatrix muttering, “why do I always have to miss the fun?”
“We’ll have our chance my dear,” reassured her husband before they disapparated off the front lawn.
“Since we’re all friends here…” Lucius snidely joked, pulling Edgar’s attention back to the scene before him, and removed his mask. The others followed.
Evan Rosier, Roman Wilkes, and Igor Karkaroff he recognized immediately for their various crimes while another Death Eater stayed masked, muttering about how unwise his fellows were. One face, though, left him almost speechless, near tears of regret. “Regulus… wha…why?” he stammered.
“Why? Ask my brother why!” Regulus jeered at Edgar, something that very much reminded him of Sirius.
“Now, Edgar. I am curious what made you think you could take the Dark Lord’s belongings and get away with it.” Lucius circled his wife again.
“It was taken from my family,” Edgar said slowly trying not to enrage his tormentors.
“Crucio.” Melissa screamed in pain again and it rang through the house. “Taken by your family just the same, twice now. How does that make you better than our great Lord?”
“I don’t murder people!” Edgar shouted, losing control of his emotions for just a moment over the screams of his wife.
“What do you call what your lot did to Antonin’s father?” asked Wilkes coldly.
“I don’t murder innocent people.” Edgar stated, regaining himself and making his point perfectly clear.
“Ah yes,” Rosier said bitterly, “we’re not innocent because what we’re fighting for, no matter if we believe in it or not, is not what you approve of. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t fighting for what you believe in the Order’s motto or something? Or is it to bring down those who stand against your views? Either way, doesn’t sound so different to me.”
“We don’t torture and kill people because they are different. We don’t murder to achieve our goals under a maniacally deranged master.” Edgar knew he had to be careful, but he was irate. One wrong step out of line and they would all be dead before anyone could save them. It was a line he was getting very close to crossing.
However, no one would know they needed to be saved unless he could get a message to the Order. Edgar looked around while the Death Eaters talked candidly between themselves and saw his wand perched on a table next to his children. The placement was obviously a ploy to get his family to ‘try something stupid’ but they had no choice.
Edgar looked to his son, the oldest at only nine, and tried to indicate with his eyes what he needed him to do. Taylor, just like his namesake, was exceptionally intelligent for his age and knew what his father wanted immediately. He also knew the risk and moved his two crying sisters further behind him.
The motion was quick. Taylor grabbed the wand; cast the spell to free his father, which he had been taught for this very occasion; and tossed him the wand before turning to guard his sister’s from any retaliation the Death Eaters sent towards them.
Yet what attacked his children was not a Death Eater, it was something much more heinous. Two swift and precise cracks filled their mother’s ears as she closed her eyes in pain to the screams of her son.
“Perhaps, I’ll keep the boy alive. Make him the son I never wanted,” joked the gruff voice of Fenrir Greyback.
Melissa screamed in protest. “Crucio! Shut up!” yelled Wilkes irritated.
Edgar stood there, his wand on Lucius, his eyes on his children. Sarah and Annabelle, his two little girls who were not even old enough to understand why mommy was screaming, now lay in a crumpled heap next to Fenrir whose bloody mouth quivered playful close to his son’s neck.
“What will you do Edgar? Save your life, save your wife’s,” as Lucius said this, Karkaroff grabbed hold of Melissa’s hair and pulled her up with his wand at her throat, “or save your son’s?”
Lucius stepped forward slowly, a slight smile tinged at the edges of his lips, “come now Edgar, what will you do? You can’t save them both and your life is forfeit either way.”
He moved closer, “no one’s coming. They can’t save you, we’ve seen to that.” As Edgar’s eyes narrowed with curiosity, the smile that had previously been hidden came into full view on Lucius’ face, “the Order were fools to think we would hold such a pronounced meeting in such a public manner. As we speak, all your fellow members who attended are being tortured for information.”
Edgar thought of Marlene and the others who had put their lives in danger earlier that night. She probably went home to see family too… “You all so willingly fell into our trap. While the rest of the Order run around hiding all those degenerate, useless mudbloods, it will be easier to keep track of them as we go after our true targets undeterred.”
Lucius took another step toward Edgar and this time, he reacted, “Expecto Patronum!”
Rosier and Wilkes roared with laughter as a silvery white badger appeared between Edgar and Lucius.
“We’re not Dementors my dear Edgar,” Lucius mocked, “however we are flattered by the idea.”
Edgar’s mind was wild, blocking out all the sounds of the room so that the Death Eaters before him seemed to convulse like mimes pretending to laugh. One moment, one memory of this was all he could send. Edgar knew he had to make it quick before they discovered what he was doing, before they found how the Order communicated. The badger circled him and then seemed to swim away, disappearing into the night.
“Ha! Even your own patronus won’t protect you!” jeered Regulus and the others soon followed, the sound of their laughter flooding his ears again.
There was another stomach-turning crack and the spiteful merriment stopped as they all looked to Fenrir. “Sorry,” he said as he dropped Taylor’s limp form onto the girl’s, “couldn’t help it.”
He grinned a bloody smile and the others returned to their laughing, rejoicing in their newfound amusement. Melissa had no more tears left but her body still heaved hysterically as hot, silent tears burned Edgar’s vision.
“Ah, Karkaroff put her out of her misery already will you?” came Regulus again, standing near the still masked Death Eater. Edgar’s ears refused the words, but his brain could not ignore the tone. It was more bored and relaxed than cruel. It was painful how it reminded Edgar so much of Sirius.
“Why not let Fenrir have a go with something that can actually fight back,” the masked Death Eater was calm, but Edgar could hear the sadism in his voice. It was one he knew but could not place, sounding almost like the head of the Magical Law Department. But the malice in his tone was unmatched, even by the stifling agony that already gripped Edgar’s shattered core.
“You two will make the Dark Lord proud I am sure,” Lucius smiled, pleased with their ruthlessness.
Karkaroff backed away and Melissa looked about wildly. She spun around and jumped up, only to collapse again. It was no test to see why terror gripped her legs; Fenrir was hunched low over her children’s bodies and he sniffed them euphorically.
Then his eyes hardened and locked onto hers. The scream she sounded was nothing more than an inaudible whimper.
“You see Edgar,” Lucius said with malicious brutality and lurid satisfaction in the eternity of seconds that passed, “forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. And oh yes, the Dark Lord forgives you. He forgives by taking the action of freeing your family from your blind idiocy.”
Fenrir jumped, this time a scream sounded. Edgar reacted to save his wife, but before his wand could twitch in his hand, Lucius countered, “Avada Kedavra!”
He went down. His last sight was Melissa struggling against Fenrir; a heart shattering crack the last thing he heard.
“Come,” said Lucius, causing the intensity of the evening to come to an abrupt halt. He replaced his mask, “let us go before someone shows up.”
The masked Death Eater and Regulus were the first to disapparate, followed shortly after by Rosier and Wilkes. Lucius and Karkaroff almost trailed them back to the Malfoy estate but stopped when they noted that Fenrir was still playing with his latest victims.
“Fenrir,” Lucius said aggravated but composed, “we have work to do. There will be plenty more little brats for you to torture later I’m sure.” Karkaroff glanced to him with a smirk while Lucius thought of his wife’s latest talk of starting a family.
Fenrir gave him a ferociously bloody, yet contented smile and then followed them out of the house under the glow of the dark mark hovering in the clear, starlight sky.
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