Chapter 4 : Family
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22 June 2024
The Laboratory and Magical Maladies Research department, at St. Mungo’s, was still immaculate since it had been rebuilt the year before. After a volatile potion exploded, destroying the entire south wing of the hospital, that department had been moved to a more safe part of the hospital.
It was a small room, compared to the rest of the departments. The bubbling, steamy and smelly potions made it almost unbearable to be in there. But the two Healers, dressed in white coats, seemed to be immune to it. The room was divided in two by a glass wall.
In one of the sides was the part where all the Potions were brewing. The white walls were starting to turn black in some parts, from the humidity. There were ingredients scattered on the tables and big stains on the marble floor, from potions that had spilled. A woman, one of the two Healers that were working in the department, was cutting asphodel and throwing it inside some of the steamy cauldrons.
The other Healer was on the other side of the glass wall, the part where all the research was made. He was looking through a microscope. Suddenly the Healer grabbed the microscope and threw it to the floor, smashing it into pieces.
“Stupid, muggle micro-thing! Piece of rubbish!” he yelled in anger, kicking the pieces of the microscope.
The Healer that was taking care of the potions looked at him with a scared and questioning look. “Calm down Fintan,” she said, her voice a bit muffled by the glass wall.
“It doesn’t work, Charlotte! There’s nothing wrong with the blood, no changes, nothing!” Fintan said in frustration, rubbing his forehead. “I don’t feel so good.”
Charlotte went to help Fintan. She looked at the broken microscope and sighed.
“Reparo,” she said with a flick of her wand at the microscope and it was restored. “We should send some blood samples to other countries. Maybe they can find something.”
“We need to ask for the Director's permission,” Fintan said, coughing. “I really don’t feel good.”
Charlotte put her hand over Fintan’s forehead, feeling his temperature. He was burning up, and starting to get pale.
"Fintan, you should go downstairs to get examined. I'm afraid you might-"
Charlotte stopped mid-sentence when Fintan coughed blood, spilling it all over her face. She opened her mouth in horror and put her hand on her face, cleaning some of Fintan's blood from her lips.
"Fintan," she said in shock, looking at the blood on her trembling hand, her voice just a whisper. She looked up at Fintan, whose eyes started to roll to the back of his head, as his body collapsed on the floor.
Charlotte screamed at the top of her lungs, kneeling on the floor next to Fintan. She turned his body to his side, so Fintan wouldn't choke on the blood that was coming from his mouth like a waterfall. With tears on her cheeks, she grabbed her wand and swished it over her head. Suddenly all the alarms on that floor of St. Mungo's went off, in a high pitched sound.
The Leader’s house, Unknown Location, UK
22 June 2024
“Incendio” a man said, pointing his wand to a beautifully carved white fireplace.
The entire big living room was white. In the centre where two big, black silk sofas facing each other stood with a coffee table between them and with tall, thick and cylindrical black candles in random places all over the room. Most of the walls were made of glass that gave the room a light and springy feeling. The glass doors were wide open, letting the warm summer breeze in, making the black organza curtains wave slightly.
The man took his cloak, throwing it to the floor. He looked at the painting of a woman that was hanging over the fireplace, and sighed. He took the painting out of its hang and carefully laid it up against the wall.
Behind the painting was a small steel door. The man took out a small key that he had on a thin chain around his neck. He opened the small door and took out the content of the safe. Most of it was letters and a small accounting black notebook.
The man threw everything into the dancing flames in the fireplace and watched as every single piece of parchment burnt, until there was nothing except for ashes.
The Leader looked at the ashes for a few minutes, before picking up the portrait. He looked at the beautiful woman in it. His Mother. She looked so serene and so peaceful. It had been painted years before her death. The Years before the defeat of the Dark Lord, matter of fact. She was happy then, but after Voldemort’s downfall her happiness became sour.
He put his hand on her face. The roughness of the canvas contrasted with the softness of her skin, while alive. He had inherited her complexion, as well as the green slanting eyes that reflected cunningness.
He remembered the day of her death so clear, as if it was only the day before. The day she decided to take her own life. She was lying on the floor of her bedroom. A bloody silver dagger in one hand and a simple, small, note on the other with “Goodbye my son,” written in her beautiful handwriting.
He knew why she had done it; Pureblood pride.
The man decided to hang the painting again, before his thoughts were clouded by the ghosts of the past.
The Leader took out a piece of parchment and envelope, and a quill and a bottle of ink from inside a drawer of a console table. He scribbled something and called his owl. When the beautiful, snowy owl came, he gave it the letter and watched as the owl flew into the sky and was no more than a tiny white dot in the horizon.
Taking one last look at the portrait of his mother, he put his cloak back on, covered his face with the mask, the rest of his head with the hood and Disapparated.
The Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, UK
22 June 2024
Scorpius was playing the piano like usual. If there was something he loved doing, then that was it. The black great piano was a family heirloom. It was almost falling apart when he found it in one of the closed rooms in the Manor. It looked like nobody had played on it for more than a century. It was full of dust, the wood was chipped and eaten by termites in some places, it was out of tune, and there had been a Boggart living inside.
It had taken two months to fix. After Scorpius found it, he told his mother he wanted to learn to play. Draco wasn't pleased to hear that his son had been snooping around the Manor and getting into locked rooms. But he was more intrigued has to how his son had gotten in the room without using magic.
When finally the grand piano was fixed, Astoria and Narcissa decided it would give the Manor's main living room a more classical and sophisticated look. Astoria hired a wizard piano player to teach Scorpius to play. Though Scorpius loved playing Wizarding piano sonatas, the Muggle piano players were his favourites. He enjoyed anything from Beethoven, to Mozart and Bach.
He was now playing the Presto Agitato movement, from the Moonlight Sonata, by Ludwig van Beethoven. It was neither happy, nor sad. The fast pace of the tune was enough to keep his mind busy. He often played this song when he was trying to keep his mind from thinking about bad things. He had played the same movement when the news about his grandfather's death had arrived from St. Mungo's, two years ago.
His grandfather wasn't his favourite person in the world, but he still loved him. The news hit him like a lightning bolt. He had always thought of Lucius Malfoy to be indestructible, even when he was in St. Mungo's. But the thing that affected him the most about his grandfather's death was the way his grandmother had mourned him. She was usually a caring person, as caring as someone can be when all they thought about was keeping up appearances. She had suddenly confined herself to her room, and almost never went out. It was disturbing.
He often worried that that would happen to his mother. She was a person full of life, she loved being in the gardens taking care of the white peacocks and the exotic flowers. He would often see her under one of the trees next to a small lake, in the Manor's gardens, stroking the dogs’ fur. She was a Healer in St. Mungo's, in the Paediatrics’ ward, and she often tells him how rewarding her job is.
Now, that his father had been admitted to St. Mungo’s, she barely went outside to the gardens and took a leaves of absence from work. He would see her crying sometimes, but when she saw that he was looking she would clean her tears and smile. He knew that his father's internment in St. Mungo's was getting to her. She wouldn't tell him what his father’s malady was, but Scorpius knew. He had read all the articles about this new disease, the White Disease, as they called it now. He didn't know why it was called that way, but he knew that the symptoms were the same of his father's.
When his mind started slipping to his father's predicament, Scorpius lost his way in the music and hit a few wrong notes. This made him angry and frustrated, not even the music could take his mind off his father's state. He snapped; throwing the music sheets that were in front of him on the piano to the floor. Some of the sheets swirled in the air until they finally hit the floor, and stood there all scrambled.
Scorpius took a deep breath to calm himself down. He started hearing a strange sound, coming from upstairs. He got up, without caring about the music sheets, and followed the sound up the stairs. The sound became more distinct, it was crying. It sounded like it was coming from his grandmother's room. He opened the door, and saw his mother and grandmother sitting in the four poster bed, hugging and crying.
His mother, realizing Scorpius was watching the scene, quickly cleaned the tears and took a fast deep breath and smiled.
"Scorpius, you stopped playing," she said in a conversational manner.
"You were crying," Scorpius stated.
"Nonsense, we were just-" Astoria lied.
"You were crying!" Scorpius was tired of this. "Mum I'm not a baby anymore, I'm eighteen years old! You don't have to hide things from me, I can deal with it!"
"Scorpius," his grandmother said in between sobs.
"No, I'm not dumb. I read the news, and I know what's happening to dad!" Scorpius yelled. "Please mum, tell me the truth!"
A new flood of tears filled Astoria's eyes, which broke Scorpius heart. He hated seeing his mother like that, and he would do anything in his power to stop her from crying. He sat on the bed between his mother and his grandmother.
Astoria laid her hand on Scorpius’s cheek and sniffed some tears. Scorpius put his hand over his mother's.
"I promise you," he said. "Nothing is going to happen to him."
Astoria shook her head and let some more tears fall.
"It doesn't have a cure, Scorpius," she threw her arms over his shoulders and cried even more. Scorpius hugged his mother tightly, making a promise to himself that nothing would happen to his father.
The cave, Unknown Location, UK
22 June 2024
“Where are the rest?” the leader asked with his deep voice, echoing in the walls of the cave.
“St-St Mungo’s,” Pansy coughed out.
She was slightly curved and shaking everywhere in her body. Her uncovered hands were white as sheets. She coughed again and put her hand in front of her mouth. It instantly was covered with blood.
Pansy took off her mask and hood. Her paper white face was frozen. Her eyes looked in horror at the blood she had in her hand. Blood was pouring from her mouth and sliding down her chin. She started breathing heavily, and shaking her head. A tear rolled down her cheek.
She looked at the Leader in despair.
“Help me,” she said with her voice cracking. She coughed again and fell to her knees, on the dirty stone floor.
The Leader leaned his head to one side and chuckled.
“Why?” he mused, shaking his head slightly. The Leader stopped laughing and looked at Pansy straight in the eye. “You are already doomed,” his voice was deep and menacing.
Pansy started crying even harder.
“Please –“Pansy pleaded again, but was interrupted by the Leader’s laughter, once more.
The Leader took out his wand and pointed it at Pansy, no longer laughing. He uncovered his head and took out his mask.
“You know too much, Pansy.”
Pansy screamed in horror as the green flash of light hit her. Her lifeless body fell forward, hitting the stone floor like a sack of potatoes.
The Leader looked at the body and touched it with his foot to make sure she was indeed dead. He then put his mask back on and covered his head with the hood.
"Confringo," the Leader said, pointing his wand at the roof of the cave.
He covered his head when the part of the roof, where the spell had collided, exploded in a ball of dust and stone. A second later the cave started to shake like an earthquake, dust and small rocks started to fall from the remaining of the roof. The walls of the cave started to crumble and break.
The Leader Disapparated, before he could be smashed as the roof cave in with a horrible, deafening sound. Stones and water fell over Pansy's body, covering it, making the remaining of the cave Pansy's grave.
A/N: I know this is a bit of a short chapter, compared to the previous one, so I'm sorry for that. But it has as much important information as the other chapters.
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