A/N: Hello readers! Thanks for popping in. For the purposes of this story and plot, very minor
changes have been made to Rowling’s ending in DH, like with Bellatrix ( and further on…Snape) still being alive. I got many questions concerning that and so thought I should make it clear from the get go. Also, at first things might be confusing; you'll wonder about Harry, Ron, Hermione and what happened to them but that is what this story is essentially about: I promise I'm not blantantly ignoring their VERY IMPORTANT roles in the first chapter, but remember, this is the prologue, so it's meant
to raise questions.
if you stick with it you will get your answers.That’s it though. Everything else is canon to where Rowling essentially ended the tale (minus the events in the epilogue, though characters are the same) I hope you enjoy and let me know what you think!
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. –Winston Churchill
The marsh waters rose with each step that they took. The sky was a mix of bleakness and gray, much like their circumstances at this point. Not that his sister would ever bother to admit they were lost though.
“Will you quite dilly-dallying?!” Her anger kept flaring up at how slow he was being, despite the fact no one alive could probably keep up with her impossible pace as she stomped through the swamp like an ogre, destroying nearly every loose vine and plant in their way.
“Why are you going so fast?” He gasped as he staggered to keep up with her. She stopped slashing for a moment, her shoulders twitched in annoyance.
“Please, Rose?” He tried, fumbling over his words. “J-Just for a moment, come on…”
A sigh of exasperation escaped her lips as she turned around, wand still wound tightly in her hand.
“Don’t be a baby.”
He didn’t bother with a reply, merely taking advantage of their stop. His brown mop of a head was matted with dirt and dead flies; his face leaked sweat down his petite neck as he bent forward, gasping for air. The t-shirt he was wearing, that Aunt Ginny had sent him last Christmas, clung to his small slender body with a sticky discomfort. He wanted to change. He wanted to stop. He wanted to sleep.
Laboriously breathing, ready to keel over in exhaustion, Hugo felt more like a woman in the process of giving painful birth than the ‘chirpy young chap’ the ladies down at the department liked to gush and fawn over.
They would probably offer to lull me to sleep if they saw me like this, he thought with slight amusement, or give me a bath…
Rose, who was not as easily swayed by his cuteness, merely stared down at him with coffee tinted eyes, centers of which were a very scary dark chocolate.
Food. His stomach rumbled on cue, making odd rumbly noises that were difficult to ignore. His eyes began watering and dry sobs rose in his throat.
“You’re crying.” Her coffee eyes melted, now the texture of sweet hazel. “Oh Hugo…”
“I’m hungry!” He croaked irritably, using his sleeve as a tissue to wipe his runny nose. “Why, we haven’t eaten anything since –since…morning!”
With another sigh, she reached into her magical pouch, fumbling about a bit.
She held out a piece of bread, which he took and devoured in a single swallow. Clearly it was not enough.
“We’ll get something else to eat soon.” Rose assured him, patting his little shoulders, “I promise. But we have to keep moving for now. It’s best not to linger in a place like this.”
And with that, briskly turning around, she continued to trudge, knee deep through the swamp waters. A man –or per say, girl, on a mission.
Hugo gulped, following cautiously behind, careful to leave a decent amount of space between him and his sister’s deranged lunacy. No doubt, she was in one of those moods of hers, Rose- land as he liked to call it, where nothing else mattered except her latest object of obsession. Neither rain, sleet, snow, nor the apocalypse could stop her right now.
A groan escaped his lips, amplified for dramatic effect, but alas, ignored; he had no choice but to trail behind her. Like a dog, he thought miserably. I’m a pet right now.
Deep down he knew it wasn’t really true, it was just Rose being, well, Rose, but it bothered him at times how stubborn she could be. But then again, it was her stubbornness that had probably kept them alive at this point; because if there was one way to sum up their relationship, it would have to be this:
She protected him, and he followed her, unconditionally, loyally. She was the fighter, the under-aged, over-privileged auror with an ego to match and he was the voice of reason, constantly having to talk her down from idiotic schemes and ideas that just didn’t make sense in the real world. (for instance, in Rose land, it was perfectly acceptable to go ‘round the ministry in a fit of rage shouting about how unfair the Head was being). Despite it all, they were a team, constantly traveling, working toward a common goal.
They were searching for a cure, for him, for his lycanthropy.
“Maybe we should call it a day?” He tried again, hopefully, “You know…make camp, roast marshmallows, tell comforting stories by the campfire as we peacefully doze off to sleep?”
“Don’t be silly.” Rose scoffed, “We’re almost there now. I’m certain of it.”
He was not in favor of this particular mission, searching, nay, mindlessly scouting for a weird, unheard of herb, the Nox Orchard, fabled plant of knowledge, in a weird, unheard of estuary–
–in bloody Canada, no less–
–that was a supposed vital ingredient for the potion their neurotic cousin, Dominique, was working on; Right now, this potion was the only cure in the works for werewolves like him, the only chance he probably had at a normal life.
It had taken weeks of persistent pleading and overtime for his sister’s boss, Head Urban, to finally give her clearance (“Which he was clearly not in favor of.” claimed Rose with a snort, “Reckoned we’d get into more trouble than we’re worth) – to go hunting for the Nox Orchard since lately they’d had been looking into the field of herbology for answers.
But Hugo felt this mission to be a dead end. For one thing, they’d been searching for days now, and the mythical plant was nowhere to be seen. The second thing was that they were utterly and hopelessly lost; he’d been dropping rocks behind him to mark a trail and was sure they’d passed it twice now. And worst of all, they were almost completely out of food.
He could sense his sister’s resolve breaking as well, no matter how much of a front she put on. Her shoulders sagged miserably and she was soaked by the marsh waters from the waist down, letting out a violent sneeze every two minutes. Her red mane had come loose from the braid he had skillfully woven for her that morning, and fell unevenly down her shoulders, giving her the appearance of a rabid animal than the deranged sixteen-year-old girl that she was.
It was then that a sharp, sudden chittering sound came from the midst of faint animal noises in the marsh, from Hugo’s right, causing him to violently jump and make a loud splash of water.
“Hugo!” She whipped around, infuriated at now being totally drenched.
“Err…Sorry, I’m just–” All of a sudden, he stopped mid-sentence, his watery blue eyes slowly widening to the size of saucers, as the strange sensation worked its way up his trousers. His voice caught and he began to hyperventilate. His face was the color of a ghost as he croaked feebly:
“Rose… there’s…something crawling up my leg…”
She tried to calm him down, looking around nervously.
“Keep quiet, Hugo. We don’t want to make too much noise –it’s probably just a spider…”
“AHHHHH! GET IT OFF!” He anxiously tore off his pants, threw them on the ground and, burned the poor piece of clothing a thousand times with his wand, heaving madly. She stood there, watching as he, after fully confident whatever sad creature had been crawling up his leg was thoroughly dead, stood tall and proud in his underwear, grinning with triumph.
Perturbed for his mental health, she suggested nervously:
“Maybe we, err, ought to take a break after all…”
“Yep, we’ll be there any second now. Just a little further…Don’t give up on me now Hugo!” Rose panted, peering into the fog. There was a weird little smudge in the distance she thought looked like it could’ve been a tree. Or a giant rock. Or maybe an alligator. No matter. Reptiles were edible weren’t they? All they had to do was somehow grapple one with the sheer force of their hands (and magic, of course), quietly put it out of its misery, cook it over a crackling fire and, then, they would enough meat for days! Surely Hugo would be pleased, he loved meat of all sorts! Cooked, uncooked, bloody…after his ‘time of the month’, he sometimes spent hours puking up rabbit and squirrel bits.
It was hard to imagine, sometimes, that a cutesy little boy like him could turn into such a cold-hearted, carnivorous beast.
A brief pause and glance sideways confirmed that her brother had not passed out from lack of food yet.
“You know, I think Urban might’ve given us the wrong directions, Rose.” He spoke in a slightly pinched voice, bare legs now covered in mosquito bites, “We were supposed to see something a while back. I think we might be…”
“Will you stop worrying?”
Rose could picture her Head sitting in his lavishly decorated, air conditioned office, smiling –no, laughing at their unruly circumstances, and the very thought motivated her to continue onward.
She grabbed Hugo by the arm, forcefully pulling him along. “I’m leading aren’t I?”
“I think what might be the problem.” He muttered under his breath, wiping sweat off his brow.
“What was that?”
“Nothing, Rosie. Just…quite a bit of fog isn’t it?”
“Well you try leading without being able to see a bloody thing then!”
Hugo stopped walking.
“That’s the problem!” He shouted at her, throwing his hands into the air, “We can’t see anything in this stupid fog!”
The last bit of his sentence echoed louder than expected and they both froze almost expecting an avalanche of some sort. Lucky for them, they were nowhere near mountains, much less anything else. But suddenly came several cracking noises from the distance, anticipating something much worse. The sound of apparition.
Rose shot Hugo a dirty look, who only grinned sheepishly in response.
They simultaneously pulled out there wands. Rose peered to see faint figures approaching them through the haze. “Well, well, well…” The cocky voice trailed off, making its way toward them as hooded figures emerged from all corners. She and Hugo immediately got back to back, wands alertly up.
Just Perfect. Rose cursed under her breath. She should’ve seen this coming, them being followed. In a place like this, naturally; why they were alone, isolated, miles from the ministry. A perfect place to for the two of them to mysteriously turn up dead. No would even know.
But of course, if Draco Malfoy thought he could kill them so easily, he had another thing coming-
“–if it isn’t widdle Weasel frolicking about all by her lonesome….” He drawled, making several lazy strides toward them with his serpent encrusted cane. Then he paused to glance at Hugo. “And her pants-less little pet is here with her too! My, aren’t we lucky?”
His drones laughed.
Rose clutched her wand and nudged Hugo off to the side who’d just stepped in front of her at this remark, from which he took a serious offense and forced himself back in between her and his offender. Malfoy, then, with a flick of his wand, pulled Hugo toward him and constrained him by his throat. He tsked:
“The way you two carry on, you make this almost too easy to find you, Weasley…along with this pint sized half breed-“
“Hey! I’m a Weasley too, you know!” Hugo piped up indignantly, trying to fist his way out of Malfoy’s grasp.
“No doubt you’re a Weasley,” Malfoy snorted, restraining him violently. Hugo tried to gnaw at his arm. “Insolence runs in the stupid bloodline. So does crappy luck and a tendency to mess things up. A bunch of filthy, hideous–“
“We didn’t ask to hear about your family Malfoy!” Rose cut him off, aiming her wand and shouting, “Confringo!”
Malfoy’s hood flew off, revealing his silvery blond hair, in an effort to miss her spell by the elbow. This gave Hugo just enough time to free himself from his grasp and regroup back with his sister.
“Why you little…” Malfoy’s newly visible grey eyes glared at her but narrowed once again on her brother, “He… he will pay for this.” His lips moved just the slightest amount for Rose to know what he was saying. Her eyes widened in shock. No. It couldn’t be…
“Move!” She pushed her brother aside and dodged the curse herself, which flew into the distance and erupted into vivid sparks of light, causing a mass shrieking noise. Everyone covered their ears. Hugo fell over trying to keep the noise out of his highly developed ears. It was unlike any dark magic Rose had ever seen before. It was so powerful and yet–
Yet there had been no sort of effort to do on Malfoy’s part. It made no sense.
The killing curse required you to take a life: a sacrifice. The Imperious curse took the will of the person inflicted upon: yet another sacrifice. And of course, the Crucio curse, the torturing spell, required a significant amount of malicious energy and evil intent on the user’s part, without which the spell fell flat.
Dark magic didn’t just happen with the careless flick of a wand. It always required some sort of sacrifice.
She would know.
Five Years Ago…
Eleven- year old Rose stood there, horrified.
“Rose! Rose! Do something!” His guttural screams echoed throughout her mind, and yet she was unable to get herself to move. Frozen in stricken fear. What was she doing standing there watching as her brother was mauled apart by a werewolf? But what could she do? She would surely get killed.
The werewolf fled after he was thoroughly done and disappeared into the forest.
Rose rushed to her brother’s side. He lied there, whimpering, too wounded to move. There was a deep gash running through the side of his leg and a slash through his neck. A pool of blood surrounded him. Too much blood.
Her hands shook. Oh no. oh no.
What had she done? Her eyes welled up. This was all her fault. She’d led him here. She’d insisted they take the short way through the forest. And tonight, of all nights, when she should’ve known better.
Tears began to pour out of her eyes and slide down her cheeks. Oh god, what had she done? This was all her fault. She was supposed to look after him. What was she going to do?
There was no time. He looked nearly dead. She forced herself to think of a solution. Anything! There had to be something! She remembered…. reading something in her mother’s books.
Rose hastily looked around for her wand.
“R-rose…” Hugo hacked violently, “wh-whu-“
“Hold on!” She panicked, trembling, “I’m going to save you. Just hold on!” She had no choice. At this moment, she found herself praying, pleading. Bargaining with an invisible entity.
Please, please don’t let him die. He was all she had left. Please let him live.
She heaved with anger. She shook with rage. Rage at herself. There had to be something! She stared at her bloodied hands. Her father’s wand. There was a way! All it took was a certain kind of spell, a spell that involved a sacrifice, a large enough sacrifice to save him. Dark magic. She knew it was forbidden, but she had no choice. Whatever it took…
Head bent over her brother’s body, she muttered under her breath, concentrating. Concentrating as hard as she could on saving his life. She had heard people say that sometimes if you believed in something hard enough, it had a chance of happening. Well, she believed she could save him. She believed she could perform dark magic and save his life. She had to! She had-
A bright vortex of light emerged from under her, consuming her brother’s body. She gripped his arm as hard as she could to avoid their getting separated. Wind and flame swirled around them at an impossible pace. The spell was out of control. A surge of lightning shot through her body. She screamed in pain. She screamed in anger.
“Don’t let him die! He’s all I’ve got! Don’t let him die!”
She knew she’d have to make a sacrifice.
“Take anything I don’t care! Just don’t let him– ARGG!”
It felt like her entire body was being ripped apart but everything suddenly stopped before it tore her completely. She fell limp on Hugo’s body, breathing heavily. Her sudden shock was soon replaced by amazement as she found Hugo’s wounds were no longer bleeding freely, and he was no longer gasping for air.
He was breathing, silent and still. Rose sat there holding him in her arms, sobbing silently.
Tears of joy
She clenched her fists. The fact that her brother nearly died that day and was now a werewolf was her fault, her responsibility, and she would find a cure for him no matter what. But this spell Malfoy used was unlike anything she’d ever heard of before–
“That’s not fair!” She barked as the noise around them began to die down, “How’d you do that anyway?! There’s no way you can make magic like that without some sort of sacrifice!”
“Stupid child…” He merely sneered, “You don’t know the first thing about combat, do you?” Rose stared him head on, refusing to budge. “But very well, if you insist, I suppose I can use something you know… Crucio!”
To see so much hatred on Malfoy’s face was almost a relief to her. Now this was dark magic she was familiar with, kind that required some sort of malicious intent or energy. A sacrifice. She side stepped to her left and rebounded.
It was a straight hit. There were a series startling cracking noises sounded as she dropped her wand, and with a groan, fell to her knees. Her arm…it felt like it was being snapped into pieces by some invisible force and the bones were being ripped out of their sockets. She resisted the urge to scream out in pain. The given distraction though, gave Hugo time to pounce Malfoy’s back– doggie style– and bite him, hard, on the shoulder.
“ARGG!!” The other figures crowded around their furious leader, trying to pry Hugo off of him.
“No you idiots!” Malfoy howled, “He’s a bleeding werewolf! If he bites you too…” The others suddenly took a step back at this, and stood watching as their boss wrestled with a boy half his size. At this point Hugo had managed to snatch Malfoy’s wand and was holding it out of his reach. Malfoy kept trying to hit him with his cane. “Get off me you mutt!”
Rose couldn’t help but chuckle, even in pain, at their enemies’ stupidity. At least there was one good thing that came with her brother being a werewolf. It gave them the perfect distraction. But did they honestly not know that a werewolf’s bite only mattered during the full moon?
Nearly every bone in her arm was severed, but she grunted and forced herself to stand up in the commotion. There was no way to attack Malfoy without hitting Hugo as well, what with her broken wrist lacking aim. She’d have to be careful.
“Get the girl!”
“Rose!” But Rose was already up and running. There was no time to waste. She gritted her teeth and aimed as best she could with her other hand, “Pertificus Totalus!”
The others scrambled to dodge her flyaway spell, leaving her open from capture. With a dash and the same arm, she grabbed her petrified brother’s body, pulling it off an also frozen Malfoy’s, and apparited them out of there before the others could have a chance to comprehend what was going on. In the slight moment before they completely disappeared, Rose could’ve sworn she saw the silhouette of a figure standing there in the distance, watching them.
But was it a friend, an enemy, or a mere onlooker? Had there been someone else following them, besides Malfoy, all along? Exactly how many people were after them anyway?
A/N Please leave a review as it gives the incentive to write more and better. Questions, concerns, and constructive criticism is welcome as well.