Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter (That's all J.K. Rowling), or Stop and Stare by One Republic.
Rose Weasley and Louis Weasley, thanks to bellatrixx @ TDA for the wonderful chapter image
I step into the cool, fresh air, closing my eyes. Azkaban… Dad… The thoughts run through my mind and I can’t make them go away.
They have to be connected. But how?
What does Dad have to do with an Azkaban breakout?
Why would the Death Eaters take him for any reason with that?
Sure, he’s a great auror, and might have had a case on something to do with this, but that still doesn’t mean the Death Eaters would have captured him.
They probably would have just killed him.
I bite my lip, and knock on the door, my heart pounding.
Rose opens it and smiles sadly at me.
“I’m glad you decided to come today,” she whispers. I shrug silently and step inside, my arms folded across my chest.
She wraps her arms around me and leans her head on my shoulder, sighing softly. “Al,” she starts. I shake my head and twist out of her arms, turning down the hall, and leaving her to follow after me.
Rude, I know, but I don’t want to talk right now.
I sit down at the table in the family room and Uncle Ron turns to look at me. He shrugs and says, “We haven’t got anything, kid.”
Mum sniffles slightly from where she’s sitting with Aunt Hermione.
I glance around the room. Lily and James are sitting in the corner, looking very much like they wish they were somewhere else. Fred and Roxanne—the twins—are running around the room, oblivious to the fact that half of us are talking about Dad. Uncle George and Aunt Angelina are talking with Uncle Bill, Aunt Fleur, Uncle Percy, Aunt Audrey, Grandma, and Grandpa, and since they keep glancing at Mum, James, Lily, and I, I know they’re talking about Dad. Louis, Dom, Hugo, Rose, Molly, and Lucy are chatting in the corner. Teddy and Victoire are sitting quietly in another corner, kissing every once and a while.
Uncle Ron continues, saying, “He wasn’t even working on any assigned case that we know of. It’s strange.”
I glance down at the papers on the table. “Can I look at those?”
Uncle Ron looks at me in surprise, and then glances down at them. “Well, sure. They’re just papers I got off of his desk. I haven’t looked at them yet.”
I pick them up and flip through them, ignoring the racket in the room. When I get to the last one, the title reads Death Eaters reforming?
I glance around nervously and quickly slip the paper into my pocket.
I can’t let anyone find out. It has to be Scorpius and I, because everybody else would take this to the ministry, and I can’t let them do that.
Can you imagine the panic it would cause if they knew the Chosen one, the-boy-who-lived was gone?
I put the papers back on the table and shake my head at Uncle Ron.
Suddenly James cries out, “No! Don’t you get it?! He’s probably dead!”
Everyone in the room freezes, and there is a long moment of haunting silence. I turn to look at my brother, who is biting his lip, staring at the wall.
“But that doesn’t make any sense. Just think about it, James.” Teddy’s voice says quietly, logically.
Everyone turns to look at Teddy as he continues, “If he was murdered, why would the killer still have his body? And, he wouldn’t just pick up and leave. We all know Harry. It’s not like him.”
“So then what are you saying?” Dom inquires, her eyebrow raised.
Teddy swallows slightly. “I’m not saying I like it… But, it seems the only way is for Harry to have been kidnapped.”
I jerk upright, my chair falling to the ground. As everyone turns to look at me, I flee the room.
I run into the garden and lay in the grass, watching the stars. I’m not upset. I already knew that Dad wasn’t dead. He couldn’t be.
But they’re so close to figuring it out. And they can’t. They just can’t.
I won’t let them.
I hear footsteps, and then Rose murmurs, “It’s beautiful out tonight isn’t it? You can really see the stars.”
I turn my head a fraction of an inch to stare at her. I nod slowly, and after a moment of silence she says, “You agree with Teddy, don’t you?”
I face her fully, still lying on the grass and tell her, “Of course I do. He’s my Dad. I can’t believe he’s dead.”
“I don’t want to either… But what if he is?”
I shake my head and turn to the side. Rose breathes out a sigh. “Al, look at me.” I turn back around and her blue eyes meet my emerald ones. “Everything will be fine in the end, I promise.”
“Oh, sure,” I agree. “I’ll be okay, eventually. Everything will be great for you.”
She looks at me, confused, and I smirk. “You’ll finish Hogwarts, get your dream job, marry Scorpius, have like six kids… You know, perfect life and all.”
Rose turns a furious red when I mention Scorpius. “Oh… Just go… Go fly a Hippogriff!”
I raise an eyebrow at her. “‘Go fly a Hippogriff?’ Nice comeback, Rosie.”
She lies down beside me and stares at the stars. “Is it that obvious?” She asks me quietly.
I glance at her, and she breathes, “That… That I fancy him?”
I smile peacefully, and tell her, “No. Not really. It is to me, though. I’ve known you my whole life, Rosie.”
She twists slightly in the grass so that her blue eyes meet my emerald ones, her red hair sprawled out everywhere and says, “Dad will kill me.”
I shrug. “Who cares? Don’t you want to live your own life?”
She smiles slightly. “Well, yeah,” she admits, and I turn my eyes back to stare at the glittering stars in the black night as she continues, “Of course I do. Do you ever feel… Upset that our parents are famous?”
“How so?” I ask, not moving. My eyes flit across the stars, the moon, everything that looks so peaceful and beautiful.
“Well, more of trapped than anything else. People expect us to be someone that we’re not.”
I shake my head. “You forget, Rose. I’m in Slytherin. I’m a disappointment. People don’t expect anything from me.”
Rose sighs softly, her breath fogging in the cold air of the crisp July night. “Al, do you really think that five years from now the house you were in at Hogwarts will matter that much?”
I shake my head slightly. “No, I don’t believe that.” Her eyes meet mine again and I say, “But everybody else does.”
She rolls her eyes. “You’re more of a Gryffindor than a Slytherin.”
I shrug. “It doesn’t matter to me.”
Truthfully, it doesn’t, although, I suppose that if I was in Gryffindor I wouldn’t know Scorpius right now.
We sit there in silence for a moment, and I pick a flower from the bush, and pull off the petals one by one.
He’ll come back, he’s gone forever. He’ll come back, he’s gone forever. He’ll come back, he’s gone forever. He’ll come back.
She touches my shoulder softly. “We’ll find him, Al. He’s Uncle Harry. He’s incredible, and you know it. He’s not dead.”
“I thought you said he could be,” I accuse her softly, trying to work through her confusing logic as I drop the stem of the flower next to the petals in the grass. I pull my fingers through my hair, as Rose twirls a piece of grass around two of her fingers, smiling.
She nods. “He could be, but he’s not.”
I grin slightly.
I hear more footsteps, and then another person sits down next to us.
I can hear a light voice, soft and sweet, humming quietly.
Rose turns around to look at Louis, and asks, “One Republic? Really?”
He shrugs, a light grin on his face, not stopping his humming. I catch a few words,
“Stop and stare. I think I’m moving but I go nowhere. Yeah I know that everyone gets scared, I become what I can’t be,”
I raise an eyebrow at him, trying to figure out why he's humming a Muggle song, but shake my head and let it go.
He's Louis. He doesn't go anywhere without singing something
He leans his head back against the fence to the vegetable garden and continues to hum quietly. I roll my eyes at him.
He smiles softly and says, “Hey there, Al.”
“Hey yourself,” I say back, going along with the old joke between us.
“Hey is for horses,” Rose says with a slight snicker, and then she giggles. Louis and I both chuckle.
“You know,” Louis says softly, “I’ve kinda missed this.”
“Missed what?” I ask in surprise.
He gives a sad smile. “Us. You’re my best friends. I haven’t spoken to you in nearly six weeks.”
“Sorry,” I say. “That’s my fault.”
He shakes his head. “Don’t be sorry. It’s your family. I get it.” Then he makes a face. “Well, technically it’s my family too…”
I smile slightly. “Thanks, Louie.”
He shrugs. “I get it. You remember when Mum got sick?”
Rose blinks up at him, surprised that he would bring up the topic, and I say, “Yeah. She was in the hospital for two weeks.”
Louis nods slowly. “It was awful. I can’t imagine how much worse it must be for your family.”
I bite my lip. “It’s not good, I can assure you that.”
He chuckles slightly. “That was expected.”
We sit in peaceful silence for a few more minutes, and then I stand up with a slight groan. I glance down at them. “You guys coming?”
They stand up, and the three of us go inside together, and for once, I feel safe and happy again.
“You know, it strikes me as odd that first we break into Zabini’s house and now we’re trying to—”
“Shut it,” I hiss at him, glancing around nervously.
The ministry is crowded with people, and Scorpius and I seem to fade into the crowd as we walk towards my Dad’s office.
I stop at the door, and find Uncle Ron there. He blinks at me and asks, “Al?”
“Oh!” I say, stepping inside quickly. “I—I was looking for you.”
… Uh… Right… Not strictly true, but we’ll go with that.
“Really?” Uncle Ron asks. I nod and he says, “Well… Ah, come on in then.”
I step inside my Dad’s office, and Scorpius follow awkwardly, obviously not sure what else to do.
Uncle Ron glares at Scorpius but says, “What is it, Al?”
“I was… I was wondering if I could go through Dad’s office.”
Uncle Ron gives me an odd look, but shrugs. “Not something I haven’t done already, but if you want to give it another shot go ahead.”
He quietly leaves, ignoring Scorpius. There is a pause, and then Scorpius asks, “What are we looking for again?”
“Anything,” I mutter. “Everything.”
Sunlight streams in through the window, and I walk over to my Dad’s desk, bending down to peer at the papers. We search for about twenty minutes, looking through every paper, when finally, Scorpius says, “I don’t see anything, Al.”
I drift across the room, trying to find where my Dad would hide important papers, when I spot an odd glitter in the corner of my eye. I turn, searching and find the sun coming from the window is shining off… A doorknob?
I start over, confused, because I can’t see a door anywhere, but there’s still a doorknob in the middle of the wall.
I stare for a moment, trying to figure it out, and Scorpius catches on. He joins me, and does a double-take when he realizes that there’s actually a doorknob there. “What the hell?” he mutters.
Slowly, hesitantly, I reach out and grab the doorknob. The metal is cold in my grasp, still glistening in the sunlight. I glance up at Scorpius, who’s wide grey eyes meet mine, and he nods quickly, biting his lip. He looks quickly behind us to make sure no one is watching, and I twist the doorknob in a sharp motion.
There is a moment of silence, and then with a creak, the door swings open, flinging and bumping against the wall.
I step inside the dark room, glancing around nervously. Scorpius follows behind me, looking confused.
At that moment we hear footsteps.
Scorpius looks back at the open door, terror written across his face. In one quick motion he shuts it, leaving us in pitch-blackness.
“Shit,” I mutter, “I can’t see a—”
“Shut it,” he hisses, pressing his ear against the door.
The footsteps stop and the office door swings open. There is a long moment of pause, and then they continue, stopping at the desk. There is a long moment of silence, and then a voice, that murmurs, “Yes… It will come together… We will win…”
I glance at Scorpius, not even knowing why I did, because it’s still jet-black in here and I can’t see my own hand in front of my face, much less him.
Then the person is gone. Just like that. Any sign or sound of them disappears in one second.
Scorpius jiggles the doorknob and then says, “Oh. Great. Just bloody great.”
“What?” I demand, already half knowing how he’s going to answer.
“We’re locked in.”
Somehow I knew that was going to happen. Merlin, why must you mess with my life like this?
I don’t find it funny, for your information.
… If you’re listening that is.
I’m rambling aren’t I?
I should stop.
“What do we do?” I ask him, panicking slightly. “We don’t have any light—”
“Are you a Wizard or what?” Scorpius asks me, and I can practically hear him rolling his eyes at me. There is a slight ruffling noise and then he whispers, “Lumos.”
A soft blue light fills the room and I blink at Scorpius’s face, looking pale and waxy in the bare light in the room.
“Oh. Right… Right.”
He shakes his head slightly, smirking, and I pull out my wand. “Lumos,”
I agree softly, and my wand lights with light as well.
Scorpius turns to me and questions, “Where are we?”
I turn to look behind me and stop. “Holy Merlin,” I breathe.
Scorpius whirls around, and then freezes too, staring, wide-eyed.
“What is all this?” I demand, gazing at the mess in front of us.
Scorpius walks up to it, his eyes narrowed. “It looks like there was a struggle here,” he says to himself. “You see how the papers are all strewn everywhere?” His long, nimble fingers trail down the desk and he continues, “The floor has marks on it too.”
I move over and start to shift through papers. I get through about ten, paling as I finish each one. “All of these are about Death Eaters,” I whisper, spreading papers out along the desk. I glance through all of them. A list of the Death Eater during the first wizarding war, and then a list of them during the second. A list of people who were associated with Death Eaters.
It went on and on.
The last one caught my attention the most though.
A list of possible leaders for a new formation of Death Eaters.
“Look at this one,” I say to Scorpius, offering him the paper. He takes it from my hand and reads. Suddenly, the blood drains from his face.
“What?” I ask.
He turns the list around and points to the last name.
My eyes catch the one above it, and I see Blaise Zabini
scrawled in my Dad's sloppy handwriting.
But that’s not what he’s pointing to. I glance down at the next name and read Draco Malfoy
My eyes flash up to Scorpius’s, and he gulps.
I take a deep breath, and grab the paper from him, shoving it in my bag. I toss the others in there and turn back to the door, perplexed.
What was that spell Rose told me about once? It started with an A…
Oh. That’s it!
… You know, I should probably try and remember this stuff. The more that I think about that, it seems like a good idea.
The door opens an inch, and we step out, shutting it behind us. We close it and leave the ministry as quick as possible.
My mind is still swimming. Dad knew about the Death Eaters. He knew. So what happened?
Where did he go?
I so badly want this to end with Dad being the big hero again, bringing back the leader of the Death Eater conspiracy, saying that he left to protect us all and was so sorry that he couldn’t tell us what was going on.
Somehow, I having a feeling this will end up messier than that.
I go to apparate home once we exit the ministry, but Scorpius stops me, his hand on my arm.
I turn to look at him, and after a moment of silence he mutters worriedly, “I was… I was wondering… I was going to visit my Mum, and I was wondering if maybe… you’d, uh, come along.”
I blink up at him confused, but after a short second I get that he’s asking for support. He feels alone. He feels as if I’m the only person around him right now that he can trust. He needs me.
For some reason, I get an odd fuzzy feeling inside.
I’ve never really felt… Needed before. Sure, my family loves me, but James and Lily always acted like I was an embarrassment for ending up in Slytherin. I’ve never really been close to any of my cousins except Rose, Louis, and Hugo, but they’re still very independent people. I never really had many friends either that weren’t family because people thought I was a mental case or something for being a Potter in Slytherin. So this is new. It feels… Nice, actually.
“Of course,” I say without a moment’s hesitation. “I’d love to.”
He visibly relaxes and smiles slightly at me. “Thanks,” he murmurs.
“Not a problem,” I respond, smiling back.
I never thought something would kill me to watch more than my family falling apart.
I didn’t think it was possible to sense pain practically coming off of another person.
I didn’t think it was possible to see such heartbreak on one person’s face.
I was wrong.
The look on Scorpius’s face when we enter his mother’s hospital room kills me slowly, bit by bit. I can see him fighting off the tears, trying to be strong.
I can feel agony radiating from him.
Somehow, his situation seems worse than mine.
What would it feel like to know you were going to die?
What would it feel like to know someone you loved more than your own life, the only person who really loved you, was going to die in less than a month?
I can’t imagine it.
It would be horrible, crippling. I can’t picture just how much worse I would feel than I do right now.
And Scorpius is living through it.
He looks like he’s living through hell at the moment.
I reach out and touch his arm softly, and he forces a smile, his watery gaze averting mine.
He steps up to the side of the bed and murmurs, “Hey, Mum.”
The woman in the bed—Astoria Malfoy—turns her head to smile at her son. It looks as if just that one smile took a marathon’s worth of effort from her. I notice that she can barely even move her hands. “H—hello,” she whispers, after a few times trying to accomplish the word. She is pale and deathly looking. Her long blonde hair splays out across the pillow. Her arms and legs are sprawled out limply on the covers, not moving. Her chest rises and falls softly, the only sign that she’s really living.
Scorpius swallows. “I miss you at home, Mum. Dad’s still of working on… Business in France. I’m hoping he’ll be home soon.”
Astoria’s eyes lit up at the mention of her husband, but otherwise, she remained practically the same. I watch her, silently wondering how difficult this must be for Scorpius’s whole family.
Astoria. I can’t even imagine the pain she’s going through. She can barely talk. She can barely move.
Astoria’s family. Surely they know that she’s about to die. Her parents, her sister. It must hurt them too.
Draco Malfoy. I’ve always heard from my Mum and Aunt Hermione that he was a cruel, conniving prick when they were in school, but as soon as he met Astoria, his life changed. They say that he completely changed, free of his father’s harsh influence on him, now living with a beautiful wife. Now she was going to die, and he was hiding far away, leaving his son to deal with the mess, unable to do anything else, most likely hating the feeling of hopelessness.
Scorpius. He was the one stuck picking up all of the loose ends. He was the one who helplessly watched his mother slowly approach death every day. He was the one who would soon be left all alone, no family.
I’m drawn off of this train of thought when I hear Astoria murmur weakly, “Love… You…”
Scorpius looks down at his mother, his eyes watering even more. He seems unable to stop his tears this time, and allows them to spill over. I rub his back comfortingly. He reaches for his mother’s hand, and takes it, whispering back, “I love you too, Mum. More than anything.”
She smiles up at him again, pain etched across her face, showing in her eyes.
He takes in a shuddering sob of a breath, biting his bottom lip to keep more tears from falling over, just taking a moment to watch his Mum.
Finally, he looked up at me, and said, “Okay. We—we can go know.” He turns to his mother. “Bye, Mum,” he whispers. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t go anywhere.”
She laughs weakly at his bad attempt at a joke, and we leave the room quickly. When we step outside into the sunshine I turn to him and ask, “See you tomorrow?”
He nods quickly, and I apparate home, just wanting to fall asleep for a long time and forget the world.
Hey all! I hope you enjoyed that chapter. I'd love a review. :)
So, I’ve planned the whole story out, and it should wind up being twenty chapters, maybe nineteen.
Anyways, chapter six will probably end up being a chapter with just mainly Al and Scorpius. It has to happen sometimes.
Chapter six preview for anyone?:
“Why are we in here again?”
I roll my eyes. “This was your idea, idiot.”
His eyes widen. “It was?” I nod slowly, raising an eyebrow at him. He glances around and then shakes his head. “No it wasn’t! …Was it?”
Chapter six will be up as soon as possible!