Chapter 2 : Patient Zero
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20 June 2024
A cloaked man ran through a dark alleyway, with another one following just behind him. They entered a main street, with a sign saying "Knockturn Alley.” The street was just as dark as the side alleyway. Its stone floor of the was covered in big dark puddles that splashed dirty water whenever one of the men stepped in them.
They passed by shops with windows that were so dirty they could barely see inside. Some of them had signs announcing what they were selling, like poisoning candles, shrunken heads and all kinds of dark magic artifacts. Knockturn Alley was indeed crowded causing both men to push the people so that they could pass.
“Hey watch where ye goin’!” a tall, dark haired wizard yelled, showing his crooked teeth. The cloaked man ignored him and kept on running.
He looked over his shoulder, checking to see if his pursuer could still be seen. He turned away and ran into somebody in the alley, crying out as he fell.
There was the sound of glass shattering, and right before the shoppers shocked eyes a small purple cloud formed, coming from the cloaked man’s inside pocket. A circle of people began to form around him, and the people who had not been staring at the incident previously now had their eyes locked on the purple cloud. Some were gasping, other whispering. The man that had been following the man that had fallen pushed through the crowd that was now forming, and pointed his wand at the cloaked man.
“Show yourself!” he demanded, taking a wary, slightly confused glance at the purple cloud before fixing his eyes on the cloaked man.
The people around the two men were staring in amazement at the purple cloud as it slowly faded, and then focused their attention on both men.
“Do as I say!” the man was still pointing his wand at the cloaked man on the ground.
“Since when do I take orders from an Auror?” the cloaked man hissed before disapparating.
The Hogwarts Express, UK
20 June 2024
Albus, Rose, Hugo, Lily, Molly and Lucy were sitting in a compartment on the Hogwarts Express, heading to King’s Cross.
Another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had ended. For some of the students, including Albus and Rose, that also meant the end of their time there, and the beginning of a new life.
Albus and Rose had made the most of their last year of school with a lot of pranks and sneaking out of the castle, rather than focusing on their impending exams.
Molly was reading The Daily Prophet, while Rose was taking pictures of the rest of the group with the camera her parents had given to her for her birthday.
“When I develop these photos I’ll send them all to you,” Rose said after taking a group photo with Albus, Hugo, Lily and Lucy all making funny faces. “Molly, why don’t you join us for some pictures?”
Molly peaked up from the newspaper looking a little annoyed for being interrupted. She looked exactly like her father, except for the brown and straight hair that she must have inherited from her mother. “I’m reading the news.” She said it like it was the most obvious thing the world. After giving Rose a stern look she turned back to her newspaper and began to immerse herself in it once more.
Rose frowned and rolled her eyes, greatly resembling her mother, a trait that she greatly wished she had not inherited. Her bushy, dark-red hair, round freckled face and brown eyes was a mixture of the Granger and Weasley genes. “Don’t be so uptight Molly. You’re young, live life a little.”
“It’s my life.” Molly went back to reading the Daily Prophet.
Lucy looked at Rose and shrugged.
“Albus, my dear and beloved cousin,” Rose turned to Albus, putting her arm over his shoulders and grinning. “Do you feel like doing some pranks?”
“Well Rosie, my sweet, I’m always up for a prank,” Albus laughed, and the others joined in the laughter.
“Shouldn’t you read the newspaper Rose? You want to be a journalist, don’t you?” Molly interrupted the laughter. She was staring at her cousin with her arms crossed sternly over her chest, looking like a fifty year old in a teenager’s body. The Daily Prophet was folded in the seat next to her. “I am sure you have to read the news, to know how to write them.”
Rose narrowed her eyes. “I want to be a freelance journalist, Molly. That means I will write about what I want, when I want, and to whom I want.”
“I have no doubts you will be very successful at that” Molly took a book from inside her bag and hid behind it.
“Oh, give me that...” Rose picked the journal from the seat, unfolded it and opened it to a random page. “... You fun ‘ruiner.’ Let’s see – this seems interesting. Russian Scientist Murdered.”
Molly closed her book and looked at Rose. The rest of the group looked at her with curiosity. Rose cleared her throat dramatically, before reading.
Russian scientist Dr. Gregory Solovyov was found dead yesterday morning in his laboratory at the Research Institute for Magical Diseases in Moscow, Russia.
One of his co-workers, who refused to give us an interview, found him dead at 10 o’clock yesterday morning in his laboratory. Russian Aurors refuse to give any statements as of yet, but Daily Prophet’s reliable sources have confirmed that Dr. Solovyov was murdered with the killing curse. The Aurors are still examining the crime scene for any sign of the perpetrator.
Dr. Gregory Solovyov, 44, was researching the source of the Muggleborns magic, for the last twenty years. Some of his co-workers say he was in the process of publishing his findings.
This is a sad day for magical science. The founding of how Muggleborns are magical is one of the most important in magical history.
Dr. Solovyov will be buried this Saturday at 10 am, at the East Moscow Cemetery.
“Happy now, Molly?” Rose folded the Daily Prophet and put it back on the seat next to Molly. “I think my mum will like to read this doctor’s findings.”
Molly glared at Rose and began reading the book.
Unknown Location, UK
20 June 2024
“You idiot!” a masked, cloaked figure hissed.
In the centre of the small gathering was another cloaked figure, on his knees with his head bowed low. He looked up when the other man had hissed at him, waiting for his punishment.
The group was in a dungeon. The floor, walls and ceiling were made of stone like a cave. There were some torches lit that gave the place a macabre look. The faint sound of drops of water falling could be heard in the distance, echoing off of the stone walls.
The five people in the group cast glances back and forth between the man in the middle and the man shouting at him.
“I didn’t-” the cloaked man in the middle of the circle tried to say, but started coughing before he could finish the sentence. “ I didn’t – I – I didn’t know there would be Aurors in Knockturn Alley.”
“It’s common knowledge that Aurors have been monitoring Knockturn Alley for years!” a woman’s voice came from behind the man in the middle of the circle.
The man in the middle of the circle started coughing again heavily. He leaned forward and put his hands on the floor and started vomiting blood. The cloaked men in the circle stepped a few steps back, gasping, looking at the puddle of blood that was forming in front of them with disgusted curiosity.
“What’s the matter with you?” the man in front of the kneeled man demanded in disgust.
It took the man in the middle another minute for the vomiting and coughing to cease. “I think I might be ill,” the man chocked out.
“Serves you right,” the woman said laughing harshly at the man‘s obvious agony. “Maybe you should have been more careful, and not drop the flask.”
“I don’t think it would have worked anyway!” the man on the floor coughed. “Solovyov said it hadn’t been tested yet!”
“Well, now we will never know will we?” asked the woman. “We should kill him for his recklessness!” She drew her wand out of her pocket and pointed it at the kneeling man.
The man got up weakly and, shaking as he did so, turned around to face her. He could barely stand, yet drew his wand anyway as his hand shook. “Not if I kill you first, Pansy!” he mumbled.
The rest of the men took their wands out too.
Pansy laughed mockingly. “We will see about that Goyle.”
“Stupefy!” Goyle shrieked with his voice cracking, but the only thing that came out of his wand was a red spark. “Stupefy! STUPEFY!” he tried again unsuccessfully.
Pansy laughed even harder. “You can’t even stun me! You were always really thick weren’t you Goyle? Ava—“
“Enough!” the man behind Goyle yelled, interrupting Pansy. “We will not kill him!”
Pansy Parkinson gasped, taken aback. “What?” She asked in disbelief.
“We will not kill him yet.” The man who clearly was the leader of the group started pacing around the circle, toying with his wand. “We still need him ... I still need him.”
“B-b-but -?” Pansy tried objecting.
“You are all dismissed,” the Leader of the group said, waving his hand.
The other three men in the circle retreated, stowing their wands in their pockets and disapparating. Pansy looked at the Leader for a few more seconds then at Goyle before disapparating too.
Goyle fell on his knees, coughing. He had blood all over his mouth and hands. He looked shocked at his own shaking hands as he started cleaning the blood on his mouth and chin, only making it worse.
“Go to St. Mungo’s!” the Leader said with disgust in his voice.
Goyle closed his eyes and concentrated hard. A few seconds later he opened his eyes again, with pure horror on his face. “I can’t apparate!”
The Leader carefully grabbed Goyle by his shoulder to not get blood on his hands or anywhere on his clothes and, avoiding Goyle’s face so he wouldn’t cough or vomit on him, apparated to St. Mungo’s.
St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, London, UK
20 June 2024
The squeezing feeling only worsened Goyle’s coughing, and when they arrived at the hospital he fell on the hard marble floor and started vomiting blood again. The Leader disapparated again before he could be seen.
The Healers that were in the corridor looked at Goyle; stunned. The Healers were startled by the sudden appearance of the current state of this vomiting man. They rushed to him, helped him up and took him to the emergency room as fast as they could, pushing everybody out of their way as they hurried.
“Another one?” One of the healers that was in the emergency room said, looking at the state Goyle was in. Big dark bags started to appear under Goyle’s eyes, as if he hadn’t slept for weeks. “He seems to be in a worse state than the others. Take him to room 112, that’s where they all are.” He said to the Healers that were dragging Goyle.
Goyle was as pale as the marble floor and his eyes started rolling to the back of his head has he began to faint from the blood loss.
The Healers took Goyle to room 112. The room was full of beds separated by blinders. They passed by about twenty beds that were already taken by men, women, or children. They all were white as the sheets they were laid on, with a tube in their arms connected to a blood bag, and were coughing and vomiting blood.
The room was full of Healers and medi-witches taking care of the patients, constantly changing their blood bags that emptied at an abnormally accelerated rate, and the sheets that were all blood-stained.
They took his cloak, laid Goyle in one of the empty beds and took a sample of the blood he had in his hands. One of the Healers connected the almost dead Goyle to a floating heartbeat monitor, while the other healer dipped a little white stick in Goyle’s blood, which instantly turned blue.
“A positive!” the Healer yelled. A few seconds later a medi-witch came with a blood bag labelled A+.
The Healer stuck the needle in a vein on Goyle’s left arm and hung the blood bag in a cage IV holder. Just then blood began coming out of Goyle’s nose and eyes.
“Fucking hell!” one of the Healers said in shock. “If they keep losing blood like this, they are all going to die of blood loss! I hope we have enough blood in the blood bank to keep them all alive.”
The Healer who was checking Goyle’s vital signs nodded. “He looks much worse than the rest. Do you think he is patient zero?” he asked before covering his mouth to cough.
“It’s hard to tell, but none of the others look as bad has him. He must be.” The other Healer said, closing the blinds around Goyle’s bed.
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