Chapter 154 : A Snatcher's Past - Trystan Scabior
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It was a hobby of Aurora Sinistra’s that had become a passion after discovering it one day trying to earn extra credit that she didn’t really need. What started out as a small assignment became much more. She found the stars, planets, and comets fascinating and the Astronomy Tower became her refuge. She also found enjoyment in the silence and peace that came with being under such a vast and beautiful night sky.
But when the King of all Trouble Makers, Trystan Scabior showed up to invade her space, she felt irritated to the core. She wanted to be left alone, just her and the stars. But she couldn’t kick him out, as the tower was not her space alone. Every student had equal access.
She decided it wasn’t worth trying to study them tonight with the annoying Slytherin being such a huge unwanted distraction. So with a long sigh she began to gather her things.
But Trystan did not want Aurora to leave.
“Hey, Ravenclaw, don’t you know a genuine compliment when you hear one?”
“Genuine? The only genuine thing I’d expect from you is a genuine hard time or a genuine insult.” She said in a kind, gentle manner. “Certainly not a genuine compliment.” She heaved her heavy bag of books over her shoulder with a little too much effort and the momentum had her embarrassingly falling off balance and into his strong embrace.
But he didn’t keep her that way. Instead, he gently lifted her back up so that she could steady herself.
But as he did this, she caught the look on his face. He looked a bit hurt and disappointed at her words.
“Aurora Sinistra.” His voice saying her name sounded sweet to her ears. “I am being sincere.”
The hushed tone of his voice caught her off guard and she turned to face him. He was dangerously close and she began to be conscious of her rapidly beating heart, hoping he wouldn’t notice it racing under her school robes.
“Do you know what makes you so beautiful to me?” He asked in a sincere manner, inhaling the sweet scent of her Jasmine perfume.
She froze at his question. She didn’t feel beautiful. She thought herself to be quite boring with her brown eyes and hair to match. She never could tame it or style it properly like the other girls, so she would give up on it and put it up in a large bun at the top of her head.
She managed to blink and answer with a shake of her head. She couldn’t possibly know what he might see in her, a plain girl.
“It’s because you are so beautiful… but you don’t even know it yet.”
It was true. She was beautiful, but she didn’t walk with an air of arrogance and never acted haughty or irritated when others of a seemingly lower class spoke with her. She treated everyone as equals, regardless of class, House, age, or blood status. She was friendly to all and Trystan Scabior had taken notice.
She was an anomaly to him and he became more and more interested in her.
“You told me that my eyes and hair were the color of dirt.” She recalled of their first encounter as First Years.
Trystan gave her a grin. “You remember that after all this time?”
“A girl never forgets when her feelings were hurt. Or more importantly… who hurt her feelings.”
“Let me make it up to you.” He said as he leaned in to kiss her.
But she turned her head in rejection and backed away from him, something that no other girl had ever done. They never backed away and most certainly never refused a kiss. He was shocked and intrigued at the same time.
He thought she might be furious with him, but instead she was still her ever polite self.
“You’re a clever thief, Trystan. Come to steal kisses from me.” She said as her eyes went to the floor shyly.
“But you won’t let me.” He said with a smile and a hint of disappointment.
She began her trek toward the Astronomy Tower stairs and just as she met the threshold, she turned to say one last thing.
“I’m not interested in being one of your flings, Trystan. But whenever you decide to grow up and want something a bit more serious, then I shall give you your kiss and then you won’t have to try to steal one.” She smiled at him before shying away yet again.
He was left shaking his head and more in love with her than he was before. She gave him hope and a mission… to grow up and be more serious.
And so… he did precisely what she had said. He put aside all of the other girls and began slowly courting her… only her.
At first, it was hand-picked flowers and quiet after-dinner walks by the lake.
He would listen intently when she spoke of the stars. She taught him how he could always find his way by looking at them.
And it was under those very stars that he finally got that kiss he wanted. But when his lips went to hers, he found that it was the best kiss he’d ever experienced. Not because of some technique or anything like that. It was because he was kissing someone that he loved. There was more meaning behind her kiss than any he’d ever experienced.
He loved her so much, that he could see himself marrying her one day, pledging his life to her… a smart, beautiful girl with a heart of gold that filled up every empty space of his being.
There were times when he would look at her, trying to memorize everything about her just in case something bad would happen that might take her away from him. Every other person in his life had been taken by death. So he figured he would try to memorize her… not just the way she looked, but the way she walked, breathed, smiled. He memorized the touch of her hands and the perfume that she wore… Just in case.
Vaden Sharpe was just about to begin a kissing session with a blonde beauty in one of Hogwart’s many quiet alcoves. She was a new girl… at least new to him. And just as his lips were about to touch hers for the first time, his best mate, Trystan Scabior ran past them with a determined fury… looking extremely distraught.
Something was wrong… very wrong indeed.
Vaden thought as any young man would when presented with this agonizing dilemma… kiss the girl or go find out what was wrong with his best friend?
The only answer the Slytherin Sixth-Year could come up with in that split-second in time was… well… doing both.
He planted his lips to hers with a quick and unintended harshness that was all too brief.
“Sorry, love… but I… uh… I gotta go.” He said as he backed away from her. “We’ll continue this… um… some other day. Sorry.”
The girl gave him a whimper and a frown at his sudden and abrupt exit. Her little heart had been pounding in her chest in anticipation of Vaden Sharpe’s lips on hers… only to be disappointed at his leaving as fast as the kiss had started.
‘Perhaps this is the night’. Vaden thought sadly as he raced to his friend as fast as possible, hoping he could talk him out of it.
Ever since their first meeting on the train, Vaden had suspected that for some unforeseen reason, they would not be graduating together… that there would come a day when his mischievous and unruly friend would leave Hogwarts early, never intending to return again. And now that they were at the beginning of their 6th year, Vaden had a gut feeling that the time was near… time to say goodbye to his friend.
There were things about Trystan Scabior that spoke volumes of a reckless and free spirit, a kid as hard to tame as his wild long hair. But he also hid many secrets. Some of which Vaden had figured out over time.
Like the night he found out that Trystan was being raised by his dirt-poor grandmother at the beginning of their third year. No one knew because Trystan was also an excellent thief… acquiring his school robes, books, and anything else he wanted via ill means.
The only thing he hadn’t stolen was his wand. His grandmother had raised the money for it by selling off her collection of magical decorative kitten plates to some woman obsessed with the color pink. An excellent trade in Trystan’s mind. He always hated the annoying meowing things hanging on the wall. Besides… he was always more of a ‘dog person.’
Despite his cunning personality, Trystan was an excellent friend and partner in their petty crimes… even taking the blame and punishment for things his friends did. He never would tell them that he did it to save them. He felt there was no reason for them to be labeled “bad” or ruin their potential future just by being associated with a trouble maker. He always felt lesser, but he would never let on that he felt that way.
He only did about half the detention time given to him whenever it was a woman professor. He would turn on his charm, flash them his adorable smile and say, “You’re not really going to keep me here all this time, are you?” And they would always cave… as if a mere glance at his long dark braided hair and smoky blue eyes had cast a spell on them.
He was a pureblood wizard, but held no prejudice in regards to blood status. He never cared if someone was born to Muggle parents. If he understood anything about life, he knew that no one could help who they were born to.
Not one had any say in their family tree. And this knowledge and wisdom actually came from his biggest secret of all... the secret that he had successfully hidden from everyone.
But secrets have a way of surfacing eventually and he wasn’t about to stick around for the aftermath when the biggest secret of them all came out. It was his fault, really, because the love of a woman had him speaking a name… the name of his pureblood father.
“Where do you think you’re going?” Vaden Sharpe demanded.
But Trystan continued to pack his trunk with a fury.
“I’m running away, Vaden. Away from this place.”
“Why? What’s happened?”
He ignored his friend’s questions and kept packing.
“Scab… stop.” Vaden positioned himself between him and the trunk.
“Fine then. Keep it all for all I care. I’ll replace it with better.” He said angrily while heading toward his Quidditch broom in the closet.
“I’ve been your best mate since day one on that train. You better bloody tell me what’s going on, mate. Whatever it is... You know I would never say a word. So spill it. You owe me that.”
Trystan felt the remorse in his gut. Remorse at telling Aurora, the one he loved most in the world… the truth.
“Is this about Aurora?” Vaden guessed.
“It has everything to do with her, but at the same time… nothing to do with her.”
“What is that supposed to mean exactly?”
“I told her the truth and now I find myself with no reason to stay here when everyone in the wizarding world finds out.”
“The truth about you being poor? Who cares?”
“No worse. I told her who my father really is.”
“What? I thought you didn’t know.”
“Yes. Don’t be so shocked. If I wanted you to know, I would’ve told you.”
“Who is he then and why would it need to be some huge secret?”
Trystan let out a sigh remembering the last few moments with Aurora Sinistra.
As their hearts grew closer, her parents began questioning her about his blood status. She was a pure-blood witch whose family demanded that she only be involved with a pure-blood wizard. They would make no exceptions.
And just because someone said they were a pure-blood didn’t necessarily mean they truly were. Him swearing it was true just wasn’t good enough. They knew of his mother. It was his father that was in question.
Aurora agonized over the situation. Trystan swore on his life that he was a pure-blood wizard, but would never give up his father’s true identity.
“You must tell me, Trystan. My parents must know. It’s the only way we can be together.” She would look up at him with her deep brown eyes, pleading with him and holding on to him for dear life.
“I don’t understand why blood status is so important. We love each other. Why does it even matter?” He whispered to her, brushing his cheek to hers as he lovingly returned her embrace.
His heart would sink with the irony of it. He truly was of pure-blood.
“It doesn’t matter to me. My heart is yours, Trystan… no matter your status.”
Trystan didn’t want to tell her. Regardless of his status, the name of his father would only bring them shame. Shame to her.
She pleaded. “They must have an answer, Trystan my love. Please tell me so that at least I know. Your mother was Elwyn Scabior, a known pure-blood. Trystan, if you know… who is your father?”
Trystan looked away from her. He hated this.
“Is it because he is really a Muggle? Is that why you don’t want to tell me?”
“No. It’s not that!” His voice raised in frustration.
“Trystan, please. Tell me, my love. Otherwise, they will forbid us from seeing each other. It will be the end of us!”
“If I tell you… I fear it will be the end of us.”
Trystan closed his eyes, hoping that he could resist yet again. But this time, there was a desperation in her voice that he could no longer ignore.
“Please. I'm begging you.” She said, turning him to face her once again.
Trystan swallowed hard, knowing that it was time to confess.
With a deep reluctant breath… he began…
“My father is a well known wizard, my Aurora. He is a known murderer… a prisoner in Azkaban… a man named…”
Her eyes grew wide with anticipation.
With dread and loathing, two words escaped his lips. Two words that he thought he would never actually say or admit to anyone.
She left out a gasp. “You’re a… you’re a Black?”
“No. I’m a Scabior.” He gently corrected. “My father is a Black. And a murderer. And a deranged man. He was disowned by his own family… through dishonor and shame. How do you think they would take the likes of me showing up at their doorstep as the illegitimate son of their disowned? His blood may run through my veins… but I assure you… I am no Black. They would never accept me. And I don’t want them to. I don’t want to be known as the son of a murderous mad man.”
“Are you absolutely certain that it is him?” Aurora looked up, filled with shock and horror.
“My mother told me before she died. She showed me pictures of them as friends and said that by the time she found out she was going to have me, their situation… had changed. She was about to graduate Hogwarts and he still had another year. She didn’t want to tell him and so she kept her secret and they went on with their lives.
That is until I had turned five years old. She decided that my father and I should meet. But just before the arrangement, something terrible had happened. He betrayed his friends, causing them to die. And after that, he killed one of his own along with twelve Muggles… then sentenced to Azkaban for his crimes.”
Aurora began shaking. “Oh, my God, Trystan. This is dreadful.”
Trystan looked at her with agonizing disappointment at her words. He was hoping that she would have words of comfort, but instead, she had backed away.
“This is terrible. My father will never allow this. The son of a known murderer… a crazy man? Please, tell me this isn’t true. Tell me your father is someone else.” She began to get hysterical. “This cannot be!” She was practically screaming at him as tears began flowing down her face.
He grabbed for her, but she moved back and looked at him with horror, as if he were the one who should be locked away.
“Aurora, don’t. Don’t treat me like I’ve done something wrong.”
“I don’t know what to think. This changes everything.”
“What?” He whispered in disbelief. Trystan’s heart began sinking in his chest. He could feel it as a lump in his throat grew larger at her rejection.
Aurora didn’t know why, but she began to feel afraid of him and afraid of what people would think when they found out. It would be shameful. How was she going to deal with it? She wasn’t sure that she could.
“Trystan, I didn’t expect this. I didn’t expect that you’d be the son of Sirius Black! I mean… Sirius Black? His name alone frightens the magical world. What are people going to think?”
“Right now, I’m more concerned about what you think.” He said, knowing that this was the end of them. He could feel it. She was rejecting him before his very eyes and he wasn’t sure he could take it. “Now you know why I never told anyone.” He said, his own eyes beginning to blur. “Do you think I wanted it to be him?”
He took a step toward her, but she only backed away yet again.
“Aurora, please.” He begged. He wanted to touch her. Maybe if she felt his embrace, she would feel his love for her and how he could never hurt her.
But she stood shaking in fear. “I don’t think I can do this.” she said through tearful eyes.
His voice broke as he said words that were lies… “It’s alright, love. I understand.” His heart cried out, but somehow he managed to silence it with the clearing of his throat. “It’s going to be alright.” His grandmother’s words were the only words he could think of, but nothing was ever ‘alright.’
But just then they heard a noise and both glanced toward the sound. Whatever it was, it had been hiding behind a curtain.
Trystan walked over with a fury and yanked the curtain to the ground.
The person standing behind it ran away from them as fast as she could. It was the school gossip, Rita Skeeter who had over-heard every last detail. News would indeed spread throughout the school like wildfire. It was the absolute last thing that Trystan wanted.
He hated that witch and her foul, evil gossiping mouth.
He knew that it would take all of five minutes for everyone living there to know that he was the son of Sirius Black. And no doubt, it wouldn’t take long before the entire wizarding world was talking about it.
The deranged murderer, Sirius Black has a son!
And he had no intentions of sticking around and watching people look at him differently. Some would be afraid of him, but others would look at him in disgust. No doubt, it was time to leave, as his beloved Aurora Sinistra was the only thing that had kept him from leaving Hogwarts sooner. And since she had rejected him, there was no longer a reason to stay.
As Trystan furiously returned to his dorm to pack what little things he wanted to take on his journey, Aurora ran off to find the wretched witch, Rita Skeeter.
Once Trystan had told Vaden what had happened, he added. “I will not stay here and have people look at me differently. And really… she was the one keeping me here in the first place.”
“Stand and face them. You’ve done nothing wrong.”
“I’ve done plenty wrong, Vaden. Hogwarts won’t miss me.”
“But what about your education? Your future?”
“I can take care of myself.”
“Where will go? What will you do for money?”
“I don’t know. I’ll figure it out as I go along, I suppose.”
“You should stay here as long as possible, Tystan. No matter your father, Dumbledore will still make sure you are well fed with a home to live in.”
“Step aside, Vaden.” He said as he pointed a wand at his best friend’s chest. “I am leaving this place and I’m not coming back.”
Vaden knew full well Trystan would never hurt him, but he also knew that his mind was made up and nothing he was going to say would change his friend’s mind. He raised his hand and slowly lowered the wand so that it pointed at the ground.
“Here then. Take this.” He said as he took three steps to a small chest on his nightstand. Opening it, he took all of the money he had and handed it to his friend. “And this,” he said, giving him a trinket of some sort in his hand.
Trystan let out a long sigh.
“I cannot take your grandfather’s pocket watch. You’ve cherished that thing ever since his funeral.”
“It will fetch a good price should you need money. And Trystan… you will need it.”
“You’ve been a good and loyal friend, Vaden. I shall miss you and our adventures here. Will you help me do one last thing?”
“Help me break into Slughorn’s office so that I can use the floo to escape? Either do it willingly or I shall Imperious you into doing it.”
“No need. Come on.”
Once they managed the break in, the two friends came together in a final embrace.
“Do be careful, Trystan.”
With one final thought of the life he would be choosing, Trystan Scabior looked at his best friend. And with sadness of what the future might hold managed to say, “Live a good life for me, will you?”
With that, the future Snatcher ran away from Hogwarts with fear in his heart that his shameful secret would come out.
But ironically, it never did. For Aurora Sinistra caught up with a scared and shaky Rita Skeeter in the library, hiding in the Restricted Section. And with wand pointed at the blonde girl’s face, Aurora uttered one word.
“Hey, kid.” Said a tall man wearing aristocratic black robes, looking down at a skinny, hungry, dirty, wretched-looking teenage runaway with a matted, half-braided mess of hair. “Need a job?”
“Depends on the job.” He said with his stomach screaming at him for lack of food.
“Find people that owe me money. You find them, bring them to me… and I’ll pay you for your services. Simple as that.”
The man tossed him a wad of cash and a card with an address on it. “Get yourself some clean clothes and get something to eat. Afterward, go to that address with further instructions."
“And if I don’t?”
“Then I’ll hire someone to find you so that you can give back the money you are borrowing.”
Scabior knew from the man’s words that he was at the very least, a shady businessman, but a wealthy one at that. The man had money, which was something that he desperately wanted.
And so ended Trystan Scabior’s Hogwarts years and the beginning of his occupation as a Snatcher.
Scabior found out about his father’s escape a little too late. Sirius Black became number one on Scabior’s personal list of people that he wanted to find. But when he finally stepped up to #12 Grimmauld Place, Sirius had already left for the Ministry to fight Death Eaters and didn’t live to see the day his son came to introduce himself.
When Vaden Sharpe’s name appeared on Scabior’s list of Muggle-borns to snatch and take to the Ministry, Scabior went out of his way protect his friend. First, concealing the name on the list to buy him more time. Then sending back his friend’s pocket watch with a message. “Hope this finds you in a Safe House.”
Vaden read the message loud and clear and was able to escape by living as a Muggle in Canada.
Aurora Sinistra, even though young and barely graduated from Hogwarts was offered a position by Dumbledore to stay on as a replacement for the retiring Astronomy professor. And so with much reluctance and her giving up on ever seeing Trystan Scabior again, she took the position during Harry Potter’s Hogwarts years, hoping that someday she would hear her beloved’s voice again saying, “Hello, Beautiful."
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