Chapter 1 : 1. The Survivors
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The Summer’s night air was heated and unpleasant as a large hooded figure limped towards an old unkempt bungalow in the middle of the narrow lane that was Harlow Street. As the man drew closer, a pair of teenage girls dressed in revealing, brightly coloured Muggle clothes walking in the opposite direction caught sight of the elderly, scarred face from under the hood of his black cloak. As the man passed them, he heard them giggle drunkenly to each other and the urge to draw his wand and put an end to their sniggering was so strong he had to ball his hand into a fist to stop it twitching towards his pocket.
He had just reached the foot of the door when a familiarly snide voice called to him. “Long time, no see, Rabastan. It's nice to know you did in fact get my message.” Rabastan Lestrange turned and saw the hooded figure who he knew by the voice was his old companion, Edmund Selwyn, step from out of house’s shadow.
He was much shorter then Rabastan was and, as he lowered his hood, Rabastan saw the tangled shoulder length brown hair and the pale round face that still possessed the smug look of someone that was in on a particularly nasty secret.
“Are they here?” Rabastan asked him in a rough growl of a voice.
“Of course.” Selwyn replied.
“How many?” Rabastan pressed quickly as he advanced on his smaller companion.
“Seven, though there are eight of them in total.”
“Not exactly an army is it?" Rabastan retorted coldly. "The way your message put it, it sounded like you had replaced the entire inner circle.”
“You underestimate their abilities, I assure you. But once word spreads around that we are planning a return, I have… confidence that others shall join our cause.” Selwyn said, adding a smile to the pause. He sounded very pleased with himself.
“You are deluded, Selwyn. Even now, after nine years, the Ministry is obsessed with catching all of us and you want to try and rebuild with an attendance of seven? Do you know what I have been through? What I have done to survive and escape? Even fleeing the country is damn near impossible with...!”
“Hush!” Interrupted Selwyn. He was looking sideways across the street at an elderly couple who was watching them cautiously as they slowly walked home.
“Bloody Muggles.” Rabastan growled. “Why did you pick this place to meet anyway?”
“It is a Muggle town with a wizarding family living just a few doors down to take the blame for when we do use magic.” Selwyn explained. “Now if you’re done ranting and questioning me, you will enter.” Selwyn grabbed the doorknob. The moment he touched it, it glowed a bright green briefly before opening.
The entire house was dark apart from a slither of brightest blue light appearing from the crack of a door opposite them.
Selwyn walked briskly ahead of Rabastan and indicated him to go through the glowing door. He did so and before Rabastan could even see clearly from the brightness of the ball of light hovering over the table, seven people rose and pointed their wands at them.
Rabastan went to draw his own wand but Selwyn held out an arm to halt him. A muscular, dark haired man with rough stubble all around his tough, chiselled face approached them slowly.
“Who made your wand?” He asked Selwyn threateningly though it was Rabastan who was catching most of his attention.
“It was the girl who stands behind you. The brilliant Felicia, apprentice to a Welsh wand maker who...” Selwyn smiled to himself for a moment. “...mysteriously died a year ago.” They all lowered their wands and Felicia and a young blond boy sat back down.
“So,” Said the dark haired wizard. “This is the legendary Lestrange brother?” He bowed and continued “It is a pleasure, Rabastan.”
Selwyn smiled and said “Rabastan, this is Mosby Elfrin. He was a Wizaring Law Enforcer who worked for us during the last war and continued to do so during the reign of the Dark Lord.” Mosby straightened back up and moved so Rabastan could see the others. “This is Cecilia Lox.” He indicated a tall, thin witch with straight, shoulder length brown hair and an expressionless, stony face that eyed Rabastan cautiously.
“Her mother was Catriona Lox and young Cecilia joined us after her mother was wrongly imprisoned in Azkaban for murder. She ended up starving herself to death five months later.” Although her expression did not change, her face seemed to harden at the mention of her mother. Selwyn always had a way with making the most tragic of news sound casual.
“That is John Nolan.” He continued, pointing to a slim man with untidy dark-red hair next to Cecilia who, though had lowered his wand, had not put it away. “A natural Muggle-hating wizard with a gift for handy little charms like that Entrance Identification charm you saw just now.” John nodded at him.
“These are Cade and Morgana Bowton, a brother-sister duo even you’d have trouble messing with.” And two bulky look-a-likes who shared the same short brown hair and round chubby face, that almost made them look comical, also nodded at him with a sinister grin.
“This is Felicia Hamnet, whose story you’ve already heard.” Felicia gave a giggle as she stroked her wand with her index finger. She was an attractive pale skinned witch, slim with vivid cheekbones, bright blue eyes and bleach blond hair that curled down her seductive face.
Selwyn then pointed to the young blond boy, who seemed to look the best kept of the group. “And this is-”
“Bailey, Bailey Miller.” Interrupted the boy as he looked at Rabastan as though he was part of a joke.
“And you’re supposed to be part of the notorious Lestrange family? You look like one good hex would finish you off.” Bailey looked around grinning to his peers, pleased with himself at his insult at Rabastan.
“Would you like to be the one who tries to cast that hex, boy? Because I can assure you, I will make it do more damage to you then to me.” Bailey looked as though he had just been horribly insulted.
Selwyn laughed. “Fresh out of Hogwarts.” He said “And a dead ringer for Yaxley, don’t you think?”
Rabastan looked at him then looked at the small group before saying “So, this is the rebellion you were talking about? And what about this eighth member?”
“Ah,” Started Selwyn. “I’m afraid our Ministry mole can’t be with us tonight, but you will meet her in time no doubt!"
“If they survive that is." Rabastan snarled. "Can you prove them to me at all? Can you give me proof that I should trust these...?” He paused, unable to find the right word. “People?” Selwyn laughed, a little harder than he had done all night and some of the others smiled and smirked with him.
“Actually,” He said still smiling. “I can. For you see they have gone out and successfully got you a welcoming present. Mosby, why don’t you bring him down?” Mosby obeyed and left the room.
A few minutes later, he returned using his wand to levitate a thin, shivering body with a sack covering the figure’s head. Mosby removed the charm and the man fell to the floor with a thud.
“Rabastan, we have here the biggest Death Eater traitor since Igor Karkaroff. A man who, after the battle of Hogwarts, took side with the Ministry and gave up the names and locations of everyone on our side. Despite this, because of the Ministry’s watch on him he was a tricky one to capture.” Rabastan looked down at the quivering figure before removing the sack. Staring back at him, was the pale cowering face of Lucius Malfoy.
“YOU!” Shouted Rabastan and he grabbed Lucius by the neck, pinned him against the wall and pointed his wand directly between his eyes, Lucius’ long blond hair flying everywhere as he did so.
“Will you kill him now?" Selwyn said, smirking. "Or would you like to use him for target practice for our more unpleasant curses?"
“Neither.” Growled Rabastan, a crazed look glistening in his dark eyes. “I’m going to make him beg for death.” And he threw Lucius across the room and, as the captive crashed into the wall opposite, Rabastan pointed his wand and shouted “CRUCIO!” There was a wail of pain from Lucius and he slumped to the floor, not moving.
“Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way,” Selwyn said casually. “I would like for you to look over and review our first move, Rabastan.” Rabastan still had his wand pointed at Malfoy. His mad eyes flickered from Lucius to Selwyn and back again before he lowered his wand and turned his full attention to Selwyn. He snatched the large rolled up piece of parchment that Selwyn handed to him, unrolled it and examined it carefully. Minutes later, Rabastan’s entire expression had changed as his head rose from behind the parchment and he asked very seriously "These names, are they-"
"Most of them." Selwyn answered, his grin bigger than ever. "We are still working on releasing and contacting the others but I happen to know for a fact that they are just as desperate as we are." Rabastan looked back down at the plans, breathing heavily. The International Confederation of Wizards has spent every day since the last war trying to supress our kind and destroy us. It’s made them all desperate and I mean to use that to our advantage.”
“According to this,” Rabastan said, indicating the plan. “You need to be ready by next week, do you really believe you will be ready for then? This assassination attempt... this could mean the end before we've even begun.”
“On the contrary,” Selwyn said turning to his allies, the bright blue ball of light still illuminating their determined faces. “This is just the beginning.”
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