Chapter 22 : XXII - Past the Point of No Return
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Scorpius snapped his eyes open. It was early in the morning, barely five o’clock so he could still see the silent shadows dancing across the ceiling because of the soft rays of sunlight. He then suddenly realised that he could not see the usual green draping of his bed at home or in his dormitory. He was not in a familiar bed. Shifting his weight slightly he realised there was a gentle pressure on his chest that did not come from his own body. Looking down he saw a pretty red head and pale flesh. Then he remembered everything he and Rose had talked about last night and everything they had done.
Leaping out of his bed he scourged the room for his clothes picking them up and throwing them on haphazardly. Even though he was achieving this relatively quietly he was sure that Rose was going to wake up. Almost on cue Rose began to stir, lifting up her head and pulling the thick duvet around her. She stared at Scorpius for a moment; her eyes matching the fear he felt.
“What did we do Scorpius?” she whispered, watching him until he was fully dressed. There was a sense of regret in her voice and she looked positively fearful. Moving slowly, Scorpius sat next to her on the bed and gently kissed her. When they broke apart he could not help but let a small pang of happiness tease his lips into a smile.
“We did what all married couples do Rose, we...” he chuckled, just to tease her. He wanted to tell her all about the birds and the bees, but Rose put a finger to his lips. Scorpius watched Rose as she pulled her dressing gown towards her and wrapped herself up in it, looking at him sheepishly. He did not know what Rose expected from him and so watched her apprehensively.
“What do we do?” she asked simply, taking one of his hands in hers. He watched her for a moment, taking in every inch of her delicious beauty. He appreciated every one of the freckles that peppered her pale face and her wild red hair reminded him of a burning fire. Even her rosy lips were perfection and drove him to the edge. But she looked scared and so he squeezed her hand gently and whispered, “I’ll think of something, I promise.”
Suddenly there were three urgent knocks on the bedroom door and Ron Weasley’s voice was heard saying, “Rosie, are you all right in there? Are you talking to someone?” Scorpius leapt from the bed in panic as did Rose and as she pointed towards the French doors and onto the balcony at which he quickly obeyed, pulling the door close behind him. Pressing himself up against the smooth stone of the outside wall, he listened carefully as Rose opened the door to her father.
“Rose, I swear I heard you talking to someone in there!” came Ron’s irritated voice. Scorpius could hear his footsteps reverberating from her bedroom and it quickly became evident that Ron was making his way towards the balcony. Reaching into his pocket, Scorpius quickly found the little bronze knut and with one quick flip he vanished into the early morning.
In his panic Scorpius had appeared a little way down from his house in Montmartre, but the slow walk gave him time to think. The first problem he faced was Rose’s upcoming wedding that she seemed to be thinking that she would except, or at least go through with the charade, and off the top of his head he could not think of a way out of the situation without Rose becoming a fugitive, like him and he did not want that for her. At the same time he knew neither he nor Rose could give up on their love for each other.
Ruffling his hair and not looking at the various people speaking in rapid French who were passing him by he was suddenly reminded of something. It was the terrible nightmare he had had in Rose’s bed. The dream he had had back at the Weasley’s house terrified him. He knew that stone and the dagger were linked and he felt like he had seen them before but could not quite place them. It also seemed as if the dark haired boy who usually habituated that particular nightmare was gone, and just the stark imagery of stone and dagger remained. Suddenly his train of thought was broken however when he arrived at the front of his house.
It was not how he left it. Thinking it was just a little house in a Muggle suburb, nothing special to the untrained eye Scorpius had only put a simple locking charm on it. After all, only his mother and father knew where he was. But the door stood slightly ajar and it was evident that no Muggle force had been used to pry the door open. Only someone magical could be there. Pacing forward rapidly he slammed the door open and lifted his wand as he glided forward into the musty house.
“Hello?” he shouted. His voice echoed round the entrance hall as he stepped further inside. Then it all happened at once. He felt an ice cold arm slide around his neck and the tip of a wand nestle into his hair. With one hand he tried to desperately reach for his own wand which had been disarmed; if this was a group of Aurors come to collect him, he had to fight his way out, or die trying. But then he heard his captors voice and it sent shivers down his spine.
“Stay still Malfoy, or I’ll blow your brains out,” came Lestrange’s icy voice. Scorpius stopped struggling as several people appeared, just having pulled their invisibility cloaks off. Each wore the garbs of Deatheaters and Scorpius instantly knew why they were here. Before Mercutio died, he and spoken to Scorpius about the takeover of Hogwarts and several Gryffindor boys had overheard. They were here to kill the last remaining person who had spilled their secret before going off and destroying the order within Hogwarts.
Lestrange let go of Scorpius neck but repositioned his wand in the centre of his back. “The Heir is here,” began Lestrange, “and he is not very happy with you.” Scorpius gulped nervously as Lestrange grabbed the back of his shirt and dragged him into the old lounge. There, by the empty fireplace on the chair in which Scorpius’ father usually sat was the Heir. He had a hood drawn over his face and his breath was rasping and cold.
“Mr Malfoy,” he spat sinisterly, “it has come to my attention that it was you who let slip the knowledge of our little invasion of Hogwarts.” He paused for a moment, and Scorpius imagined his captor staring at him, but he could not see his eyes. The Heir suddenly lifted his head and stared at Lestrange, “Rupert,” he breathed gently “I have changed the plan; we are to invade Hogwarts tonight.”
Scorpius let in a sharp intake of breath for two reasons. The first was that Scorpius had never heard anyone address Lestrange by his first name. He wondered why the Heir knew this cold, calculating boy as “Rupert” as opposed to “Lestrange”. Scorpius supposed there was some deeper connection between the two. The second thing that shocked him was the plan to take over the school was to be put into action that evening. Marie, Isabelle and Orion would all still be in their dorms, directly in the firing line. Scorpius could only breathe a sigh of relief that Rose would be out of harm’s way.
“As for you my friend,” snapped the Heir nastily, turning back to Scorpius, “you have betrayed us, you have ruined our perfectly formed plan.” The Heir suddenly lifted his wand and pointed it directly between Scorpius’ eyes. Scorpius, convinced he was going to die took in a deep breath as if to defy death, but Lestrange’s voice stopped the would be killer.
“Uncle,” he said, “are you going to kill him?” Without hesitating the Heir answered with one syllable, “yes.” Scorpius’ mind whirred, he had been given a chance to save his own life and he was going to use it. Moving to the side slightly to avoid the Heir’s wand, Scorpius felt the plan forming in his head even as he began to speak, “you can’t kill me.”
“Why not you insolent boy?” the Heir said, not a hint of humour in his voice. “Because,” began Scorpius casually, “I have that pretty little dagger you wanted kept safe...” At these words the Heir jumped to his feet causing Scorpius to see what was hanging around his neck; the stone from his dreams. The realisation hit him instantly; the way to destroy the Heir was to plunge the dagger that was hidden back at Hogwarts straight in the centre of that stone.
“I possess the dagger. I assure you I will not be afraid to stab it straight into that stone. As some insurance I have placed it in the hands of a person who could hand it to the Order of the Phoenix so they could some pretty serious damage with it,” lied Scorpius. He knew he was playing a pretty dangerous game and saw his life hanging precariously in the balance.
“How do you know the work of the Peverell’s?” snapped the Heir. Scorpius thought the Peverell name rung a vague bell, but he could not place it. “Do you not think I do my research?” The Heir seemed to snap at this and he lifted his wand again, “I have made several alterations to the Resurrection Stone and it will protect me from death at all cost. I have tied my very soul to this stone and I will not have you destroy it!” Scorpius gave him his inherited withering smile as he said, “It’s simple then, isn’t it? You don’t kill me.”
The Heir let out a roar of anger as he flicked his wrist, signalling for Lestrange to remove Scorpius from the room. Scorpius complied without resistance, and almost felt relieved to be out into the cool air of the hall. It was only then that Scorpius contemplated Lestrange for a moment as he opened the door to let several more Deatheaters out. Lestrange was doing this for his family, and was being spurred on by his “Uncle”.
Soon, Scorpius found himself alone in the hall, as the others had all disappeared in various rooms in the house. This gave him time to contemplate the Stone and the dagger. If the Heir had tied himself to the Stone he would surely die if the Stone was destroyed. It was acting like a rare piece of dark magic – a horcrux. Scorpius knew it would not be however. The stone was taking power from the Heir’s soul to keep the body alive. If the Stone went down, so did the Heir.
As the hours ticked past; Scorpius rightly assumed that he would soon be forced to return to Hogwarts for the takeover. He therefore wanted to know everything he could about what he was doing so there was as little chance as possible of him getting caught or hurting someone. So, he had taken it upon himself to spend the day spying on the Heir and Lestrange.
He stood in quiet corners and peered at them across rooms at first, but failed to hear anything. Next, they went into the living room and Scorpius kept offering to get them drinks, hoping he would catch a glimmer of the conversation. When this did not work, Scorpius attempted to ask the other Deatheaters if they knew anything about the plan. Then Scorpius had remembered the Extendable Ears he kept here as a child and had hurriedly tried to use them, but the door had been sealed from any invaders of that kind. But towards the end of the afternoon, the Heir moved to Draco and Astoria Malfoy’s usual sleeping quarters and then Scorpius thought he would never be able to catch any of the conversation at all.
But suddenly, he had an idea. As Scorpius had spent many summers of his childhood in this house, he knew the place like the back of his hand. He had therefore remembered climbing along into a little square of space under the attic floorboards above his parent’s bedroom ceiling. When he was young he had dreamt of being an Auror, and used the opportunity to get some practice. So, following his child within, Scorpius climbed into the same little space he had when he was young. It was smaller than he remembered it and there was considerably more dust because of the lack of use. Trying not to sneeze he used an Extendable Ear and Scorpius was able to listen to their conversation through a pin sized hole in the ornately decorated ceiling. Leaning in Scorpius caught the middle of one of their conversations.
“Well,” Lestrange was saying darkly, “what are we going to do without the Basilisk as a distraction?” There was a long drawn out pause until the Heir spoke, “we use another distraction. As I am invincible I will be in the centre of the Great Hall, right on the spot where Bellatrix died. I will remain quiet until one of you brings the girl to me. Then I will grab everyone’s attention and they can watch as she dies.”
It seemed the plan about this girl had already be formulated; Scorpius stomach tied in knots as he wondered whether Marie or Isabelle would be the girl killed just to grab attention. As he was thinking Lestrange answered his uncle, “There is a problem you see. As Malfoy killed the Potter boy barely last night, she will not be here. She will be at home with her family. He was her cousin after all.” A chill shot through Scorpius’ back as the Heir answered, “you will bring Rose Weasley to me or else.”
It was at this moment that Scorpius knew his allegiance had changed forever. He began to formulate the plan quickly in his tired mind. He would get to Hogwarts, retrieve the dagger and then take it to a member of the Order of the Phoenix and explain they needed it to kill the Heir. He no longer cared about being caught or spending the rest of his life in Azkaban. He would die for Rose Weasley if he had to.
The Heir brought all his Deatheaters to the living room, where a nervous looking Lestrange explained what was going to happen. “You will all use those new coins we gave you. That way we can apparate into the centre of Hogwarts without having to take the longcut. Firstly, I will return to Gryffindor tower to complete my area of the mission. Then, Malfoy, you will go to Slytherin Tower to retrieve what needs to be brought to me. The rest of you will take positions throughout the rest of Hogwarts, using disillusionment charms of course. Then, when you hear the explosions you will wait ten minutes until the whole school is rounded up in the Great Hall. Then we attack them and Imperious all of them before the Order of the Phoenix have a chance. Then we will go from there.”
Lestrange said this all in one breathe and Scorpius could clearly see he was just as panicked as the rest of them were. Scorpius thought it sounded like a ridiculous plan, but he didn’t really care. He wanted the plan to fail. He loved Hogwarts as it was. A person felt free there. If Hogwarts were to be taken over by the Heir, then it would not be the same place as it always had been. Scorpius watched as all the other people in their room simultaneously flipped their coins over. He now knew why the coins had all been in such high demand and he supposed Lestrange knew he owned one.
Holding the shiny bronze coin in his hand, he sighed dejected as he flipped it up into the air and thought of Hogwarts, but suddenly, Rose’s image came into his mind. Next thing he knew he was standing in what he supposed to be the Gryffindor girl’s dormitory. The beds were empty; creeping to the door he opened it slightly ajar and saw girls chatting in the corridor outside. Closing it, he returned to the beds at which he sat down thinking of Rose. If he was going to succeed at this mission, he would need all the courage he could get.
He flipped the coin again and he appeared in his own dormitory. Darting to his bed, he unlocked the side draw and immediately saw the dagger. Grasping for it he took it in one hand and then suddenly it seemed he realised something, something that he almost knew all along. He finally clearly saw what his dreams had been trying to tell him for months now. Firstly, that it was James Potter who was to hold this dagger and plunge it into the heart of the Heir. He was the Heir of his father, just as the Heir was the heir of Lord Voldemort. Secondly, he realised that James was dead, and the person who had killed him was standing right there holding this dagger. Finally he realised that person whose job it was to kill the Heir was himself as a replacement for the deceased James.
As he stored his dagger in his pocket he realised there was only one thing that was confusing him. In his dreams he had seen Mercutio’s murder and Scorpius surmised that it was his own free will that had put him in this place. He had killed James Potter out of cold blooded revenge and Rose’s love for him had not been enough to hold him back and stop him murdering her cousin. He had been weak. But then he remembered himself at that funeral with Rose, and everything being all right. Whose funeral had it been? Did it mean one more person needed to die? He had never attended James’ funeral, but he supposed that if James died in a different way, fighting the Heir, Scorpius and Rose may have been able to reveal the truth and be happy.
All Scorpius knew for sure was that he needed to be forgiven for his weakness and saving Rose and the school from the Heir may be able to make up for his cruel murder of James Potter. Thinking of Rose, Scorpius closed his eyes as he lifted the coin again, not knowing where exactly where he was going.
As I've been so long with the previous chapter, I thought I'd give you this one as well which I wrote ages ago. I will update another chapter of Legendary before I start on the next chapter of this one as this story is reaching its conclusion...Next Chapter...the Heir's plan goes horribly wrong as Rose, Cecelia and Julia find themselves flung into the battle...
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