The Quidditch World Cup had been amazing, and Beth began to make her way back to her tent feeling delighted that Ireland had won, and still clutching her many souvenirs. Spotting a familiar red head in the crowds leaving the arena, she caught eyes with Ginny and they grinned at each other before being pushed away towards the hundreds of tents. In any other situation, she would have been terrified of never finding her way, but she was following the very recognisable blonde head of her mother, and she could feel the pressure of her fathers’ hand on her back, letting her know that he was still behind her.
The swarm of people lessened as they got further and further away from the arena, and after some time, she, her mother and her father could walk together and talk without having to shout. They talked mostly about the game, Beth recounting many different exciting moments, and pinning her green Irish badge to her father’s hat, where it continued to yell out the names of its team. She was still clutching her many souvenirs, and placed a couple in her pocket so that she wouldn’t drop them.
They finally reached their small, one-man tent, and went inside to reveal a multi-roomed canvas apartment. Beth grinned, and immediately collapsed on one of the small beds, exhausted by the long day. Through half-closed eyes, she could make out her parents moving around before getting in bed themselves. With fireworks going off and people yelling with happiness or anger, she assumed it would take her a long time to fall asleep, but it was a matter of seconds before she drifted off.
What seemed like minutes later, she was awoken by a loud bang. She sat up groggily, and looked over at her parents, who had woken up at the same time - presumably by the same noise. Her father picked up his wand immediately and warned them to stay inside as he went to check out what was happening.
Beth went to sit on the foot on her mother’s bed, wrapping her hands on her knees and resting her chin on them. Within minutes, her father had returned.
“We need to leave, now. Some Death Eaters are here.”
She looked up, alarmed, and began to move quickly, throwing on the first clothes she could find and making sure her wand was safely in her pocket.
“I’d hold that Beth – you might need it.” Her mother warned her.
Stumbling out into the night, all she could make out were people running in all different directions, and the bangs getting closer and closer. Clutching her mother’s hand, she ran straight into a man who was running the other way. He yelled an apology over his shoulder, and continued to fight his way towards the Death Eaters.
They followed the screams and sounds of people running, and found themselves heading towards the woods. She turned, and could make out the black figures of the Death Eaters marching – with their wands in the air. Looking up, she could see the family of the man who let them into the campsite. Her jaw dropped open as she stumbled over a tree stump, and she felt an arm dragging her forwards. She quickly turned back so she wouldn’t completely fall over, and continued to follow her father’s tartan pyjamas.
When they were a little way into the forest, and assumed that they were safe, Beth slowed to a stop, clutching her stomach. Her parents drew closer to her, to make sure that she was fine, and suddenly something was wrapping around the three of them, and she was being sucked through a tube that wasn’t made for a human to fit through. She couldn’t breathe – her ribs were being crushed and her lungs were being squeezed. There was so much pressure on her head she thought she was going to explode – and then it was gone.
She was lying down on what seemed to be the forest floor. As she looked up, dazed, a haggard looking man appeared out of thin air, clutching what looked like an invisibility cloak. They caught eyes, and he smirked, showing her his yellowing teeth and bad breath.
She could hear her father breathing heavily behind her, and his wand was pointing at the chest of the gaunt man who had brought them there.
“Barty Crouch Junior. We all thought you were dead.”
“And that was exactly my plan.” Barty replied, swiping a lock of greasy hair away from his face.
His eyes flicked once again to Beth, who was now picking herself up off the floor, and he nodded towards her.
“Got yourself a lovely looking daughter, didn’t you Billy? Are you sure she’s yours?” He looked her up and down, and licked his lips, making her squirm.
Her father sent a hex towards him immediately, but he deflected it almost lazily, and disarmed all three of them quickly.
“You’re not getting away from me now, Billy. You may have got away with murder before – murder of some of Voldemort’s most loyal supporters – but you are not doing it tonight. In fact,” he grinned, menacingly, “you won’t ever do it again.”
He aimed his wand at the three of them, and there was a whisper – “crucio,” – and pain filled their bodies, and they wished that they were dead, so they would no longer have to feel the knives digging into every inch of their skin – but it was gone as soon as it had started.
“I always said I would get revenge for Wilkes, and Rosier, and Rodolphus,” he hissed the last name, as if it had caused him particular pain to say. “AVADA KEDAVRA!”
Beth’s neck cricked as she spun around to see her father crumpled on the floor. Another yell of the same words, a second later, and her mother had joined him.
“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” she yelled, but with another flick of his wand she was silenced.
“I should send you to the same fate as them, but I think I’ll want to see more of you,” he gave her another appreciative glance, and continued sarcastically. “But you can’t know I’m alive – how difficult. OBLIVIATE!”
The curse was so strong that she was flung through the trees into a clearing, hitting her head soundly and crumpling to the floor, unconscious.
The greasy man made his way over to her, carelessly stepping on the bodies of her parents, and picked her up, flinging her over his shoulder as he turned on the spot and disappeared with a loud crack.
They reappeared on a quiet country lane in Cornwall; Barty’s legs bending slightly with the dead weight of the girl slung over his back. He righted himself, and continued to walk along the road, pausing now and then to listen for any noises. A loud rustle stopped him for a minute, before he decided that it was only a fox or some other nocturnal animal, and continued on his way.
After about ten minutes of walking silently, he began to speed up. The lights of the nearest town were almost upon them, and it seemed that this was his destination. He appeared to know the town well – dodging out of the light and through alleys to make sure he wasn’t seen.
He walked down one last alley, and stood still at the end of it, staring at the pub in front of him – The Kings Arms.
“Just the place,” he muttered, placing the unconscious girl at the edge of the passageway and promptly apparating back to the forest, where he picked up his invisibility cloak, raised the wand to the sky and shouted -
Bartemius Crouch Junior smirked and lowered his wand. He would make sure he saw that girl again.
A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I'm actually extremely excited about this - the plot came to me about six months ago, and it's taken a while for everything to fall into place and for me to actually start writing it, but I've got a few chapters on the go now, so yay! :-) Please review - I appreciate each and every one of them. Megan xo