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Chapter 20 : Chapter 20- The Scene of the Crime
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I was raining in this part of England. I cursed the God who had thought it might be a good idea to make it rain this day. It was difficult to see, even for us, as we ran up the main street of the muggle village. We couldn’t apparate directly to the house- Leon and Audrey’s protective charms were still in place.
I wondered how Rostam had gotten in, but then again, this wasn’t the first time he had wormed his way into someone’s life. He could do it again. I imagined him, disguised as a beggar, taking advantage of Leon and Audrey. They would fall for that, I thought. They’d take him into their home, hear his story, and make him welcome. Then would come the part where he destroyed them. I blinked rapidly, trying to clear my mind of that image.
Suddenly, we rounded a corner and there was their house, waiting before us.
“Bombardo!” Jasper yelled, pointing his wand at the gate. The gate burst open and he and I charged through. All was very quiet. I stopped running and looking up at the house, breathing deeply.
“Draw your wand.” Jasper murmured softly besides me, and I did. The house was silent. No lights were on and no movement or noise came from the windows. I squinted through the pounding rain.
“Let’s go through the back,” I said. Jasper and I made our way through the trees around the side of the house. There was no sign of a forced entry, no sign of a fight, no sign or anyone.
I looked at Jasper, his expression mirrored mine. What was going on? I looked at him again then, gathering my courage I walked forward and tested the door. It gave in without a fight- it was unlocked. After another glance at Jasper, I pushed my way inside.
Everything was perfect. Even though the room was bathed only in dim, natural light I could see no evidence of anyone being here. Everything was just as we had left it. But where were Leon and Audrey?
Together Jasper and I made our way into the lounge room. The room that just weeks before we had sat in with our friends and contemplated the message that had been sent to us. Nothing had changed. The low, mahogany coffee tables were immaculate, the mantelpiece- pristine. I stood back to back with my brother in the center of the room, wands at the ready and waited.
“Lulah,” Jasper whispered. “No one’s here.”
That was when the first drop fell.
It landed with a small, muffled thud on the clean white cotton of Jasper’s school shirt. He looked at it for a moment, at the tiny red dot that was slowly seeping across the fabric. And then, as though he already knew what was coming, he turned his face upwards and screamed.
I screamed too. There, suspended against the ceiling by some unseen magic were Leon and Audrey. Their limbs were splayed, their faces empty and streaked with blood. Their eyes were open, but they did not see- their pupils were wide. Blood slowly dripped from the cuts on their bodies. They weren’t moving.
“Leon! Audrey!” I yelled, panic engulfing me. Stupidly, I pointed my wand at them, though I did not know what to do. Suddenly it flew from my grip and soared across the room. Jasper was disarmed too. I spun around wildly, looking for the culprit, but the room was empty. A low, dark, chuckle echoed from the shadows.
“Well, well, well…”
Slowly, not stepping fully into the dim light Rostam Ayers walked out from behind the bookshelf. An involuntary shiver coursed through my body. It was over.
“Rostam,” Jasper said, his voice betraying his shock. We thought he was dead, we thought he was gone forever. We were wrong, so wrong.
“In the flesh,” he smirked, taking another step closer. “Admiring my handiwork, were you?” He grinned, gesturing deftly to Leon and Audrey on the ceiling. We glowered.
“Oh don’t worry,” He continued striding closer slowly. “They’re not dead. Just… resting. I thought I’d put off killing them until you got here. I’d enjoy it more that way.”
He stopped talking and stared. He had fully emerged now, and I could make out the features of his face. He looked the same as I remembered, but a little older. Tall, olive-skinned, perfectly handsome… Then he turned his face. I couldn’t help it, I gasped.
All along the left side of his face, his skin was mottled and scarred. A burned and blistered mess. He grimaced and his face contorted into horrible shapes.
“Oh yes,” He remarked softly. “I don’t suppose you dears have seen what you did to me. You know, that night when I killed your parents? Well, I’m sure you remember. Let’s not go into the details. However, it seems when you two pulled your little exploding trick, I got rather badly burned. Not just here, but here as well.”
He shook back the sleeves of his shirt to reveal tough, burns and scars up both of his arms.
“I ran, I shielded myself… but I guess I just wasn’t quite fast enough. Not matter, I’ll get my revenge tonight. First, when I kill your friends here, and then when I killed you.” He turned to us once more and smiled again.
“Honestly! Don’t look so scared. It won’t hurt. I promise I’ll go easy on you. If you like, you can die twice as fast as your parents-”
“SHUT UP!” It burst from inside me, a wild flaring hatred. I took a step forward as I said it, breaking away from Jasper. Now I was exposed, my chest heaving as I glared at his across the room.
“Lulah,” He said my name so tenderly. “That’s the spirit. Yes, you always were the spirited one.” He took a large stride forward. Suddenly, his tall frame was towering over mine. He looked down and smiled cruelly and spoke very softly. His voice sounded so dangerous, it was just a growl.
“Luckily, sometimes… spirit can be knocked out of people.” And then he hit me. The first blow, right across my head. I staggered, seeing stars for a moment. Jasper roared in anger but Rostam had the advantage- we were defenseless. With a flick of his wand Jasper was blasted backwards against the staircase. His head hit the tiles with a crack.
I rose to my feet shaking. Concentrating hard on what Leon had told me. I could feel the ball of fire burning in my palm. With all my effort I hurled it at Rostam.
He ducked it and laughed, watching as the bookcase behind him went up in flames.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you not to play with fire?” He taunted, circling me. Jasper was still lying on the ground, blood dripped from his head. Again Rostam flicked his wand and I was thrown backwards. My head was on fire, it had crashed against the marble mantelpiece. I crouched in the ashes of the fireplace. Blood dripped from my mouth.
Rostam was standing over Jasper; he laughed at my brother and prodded him with his foot.
“You never liked me, did you, little Jasper?” He stroked Jasper’s face with his wand, where the wand had been a scarlet stretch of blood appeared- a long scratch on his face.
“I suppose you were right not to,” Rostam continued. “Word on the street is I’m somewhat of a bad guy. But is it really so bad to want you filthy, dangerous half-breeds eradicated? That’s all I really wanted after all. It was for the greater good, trust me.”
He dragged his wand across my unconscious brother’s chest. Blood began to seep through his shirt.
“No!” I was on my feet again. I grabbed one of the fire tongs and threw it with all my might. It caught Rostam on the shoulder. I watched as his face distorted in horrible anger.
“You filthy little slut!” He bellowed, advancing towards me. He struck me across the face and I fell, too weak to fight back. I was scared, I was broken. My emotional barriers had been lowered hours ago when we first heard the news. I was so vulnerable.
“You slut!” He yelled again. “You wanted me so badly. You were quite happy to be seduced by an older man, weren’t you? It was so easy- like taking candy from a baby. You would have done anything for me. I hated myself for having to touch you, to pretend to love you. But it was what needed to be done, and look- it paid off.”
I cried out in pain as he grabbed my hair and dragged me to my feet. He pulled me against himself roughly and whispered over my shoulder, his breath tickled my neck.
“You weren’t such a bad lover,” He whispered. His wand pressed against my neck and I didn’t dare move. With one hand he held my hands behind my back; with the other he used his wand to keep me in line.
“A little clumsy perhaps, a little inexperienced. But that was years ago right? You’ve probably improved since then. I bet you’ve been slutting around with all the boys.”
He kissed my neck. I shivered.
“How ‘bout one kiss.” He growled. “Just for old time’s sake?”
He grabbed me forcefully and turned me around. I tried to struggle, to push him away but I was so weak. I couldn’t fight any more. I tried not to cry as he pushed my hair aside and slowly moved his face towards mine.
“GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM HER!”
There was a jet of light, and a crash. Suddenly I felt myself flying through the air once more. My body was on fire, I couldn’t feel my limbs. I smashed into something hard and tasted blood in my mouth. Then everything went black. It was over.
A/N: Talk about a quick update! I was in the mood, so I thought “why not?” Hahah, I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll admit, I’ve been dreading this chapter since I first started the story. I’m so terrible at writing action/horror/suspense, but I actually REALLY enjoyed it. I hope you like it! Review my pretties
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