Auror Death Linked to Death Eaters
Today, Ministry officials released new information about the disappearance and subsequent murder of muggleborn Auror Andrew Clark. Clark was reported missing from his home by the Auror department last Tuesday, after inexplicably missing two days of work. His body was later dropped outside of the hidden entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Two muggles had to have their memories modified due to this incident.
A representative for the Auror department told reporters today that Clark was believed to have been murdered by Death Eaters in an attempt to extract information about the Auror department. No specific Death Eaters have been named in connection to the incident, and the Ministry insists that this is an isolated incident unrelated to the general wizarding public.
Dorcas was beginning to wonder how much of her life she was going to spend battling with Death Eaters.
She had been on duty at Kings Cross earlier that day (the students left for Hogwarts that day, and where better for a Death Eater attack than a muggle tube station?), and had just been leaving to head back to the office when she got a Patronus from Mad Eye demanding that everyone get to a small muggle shopping center a few miles away.
It’s easy to tell it’s a bad day when the entire Auror department is outsmarted by Death Eaters.
Turns out, they had planted the “leaked” information about the attack on Kings Cross, knowing that the majority of the Aurors would subsequently be placed there. Then, with almost no Aurors patrolling the rest of London, they attacked.
Needless to say, Mad Eye was livid. More than one Auror had been found murdered in the past month (and not one person thought it was a coincidence they had both been muggleborn), and now there was an attack during broad daylight? It really instilled a lot of faith in the Ministry.
Now, everyone that worked for the Auror department was in that shopping center, actively battling the Death Eaters present in an attempt to capture as many of them as possible. Their success level was questionable at best.
Many members of the Order had also shown up, apparently summoned discreetly by either Mad Eye or Dumbledore. Good thing too, because the Aurors were getting to be outnumbered significantly by the arrival of more Death Eaters. Dorcas saw the familiar faces in the crowd as she hit people from behind with Stunning Curses, determined that even if she couldn’t capture the Death Eaters, she could at least slow some of them down so that the Ministry could catch up with themselves again.
Just as a particularly small man crumpled to the ground at the hands of Dorcas (he didn’t see her coming, and she didn’t even attack this one from behind), she heard her name shouted from behind her.
Rounding quickly, Dorcas barely had time to cast a shield spell and protect herself from the curse that Bellatrix had thrown at her when she had her back turned. She quickly gave Gideon Prewett a friendly nod in appreciation for his warning.
Bellatrix snarled, angry that her attempt had been thwarted.
“Bella, I’m flattered.” Dorcas sniped immediately. “It’s probably for the best that you finally acknowledged that my magic is so far superior to yours that you can only beat me with my back turned. Oh look, you couldn’t even do it then.”
“Are you sure it’s in the best interest of your baby sister to taunt me Meadowes?” Bellatrix asked, and it took everything in Dorcas to keep her face impassive as the blood in her veins turned to ice.
“Now Bella, I know you’re a few years older than me, but I didn’t know you were going senile already. ‘Cause you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.” Dorcas responded, and Bellatrix cackled.
“Nice try Meadowes. That was quite the performance.” The evil smirk on Bellatrix’s face was disconcerting for more than one reason. Dorcas knew that with the smirk came the certainty that Bellatrix had certain knowledge of who Amber was, because she didn’t bluff. Also, the vague familiarity of the smirk bothered her.
And everyone thought that Sirius inherited nothing from the Black family.
“I don’t know what you think you know Lestrange.” Dorcas said coldly. Though Bellatrix undoubtedly knew more than was ideal, considering that Dorcas wanted her to know absolutely nothing about Amber, Dorcas still wasn’t confident that she knew everything. And Dorcas certainly wasn’t going to tell her anything she didn’t know.
“You can give it up now Meadowes.” Bellatrix replied. “Your buddy Clark and I had a lovely little chat the other day. For a while there, he was quite the Gryffindor. Rather take a Crucio than tell me anything about you. When it was his mum taking the Crucio though, he was a little more keen to talk.”
Dorcas felt physically sick when the various conversations she had with Clark about Amber over the years flew through her mind. He had always shown a casual interest in Dorcas’ life, even after she rejected his advances.
Though undoubtedly angry, Dorcas knew it would be hypocritical for her to blame Clark for the knowledge Bellatrix now possessed. After all, she wasn’t even that close to her mum, but if it had been her screaming there was little doubt she would spill secrets of a casual acquaintance.
Sometimes she wondered if she should have been a Slytherin, and then she realized that none of her actions were for self preservation, but the preservation of others.
It shouldn’t be comforting that she would only betray people to save someone she loved, not herself, but it still was.
“So you’re the one responsible for what happened to Clark?” Dorcas asked, and Bellatrix got a proud glint in her eye.
“Sadly, I can’t claim credit for the final moments of the stupid mudblood.” She replied, and Dorcas felt her blood boil. It was sick that someone could take so much pleasure in the death of another human being. “He was much easier to catch and get information out of than you were Meadowes. The Dark Lord was pleased to add another faithful follower to his ranks.”
“You’d better be careful then Bella, wouldn’t want to be replaced.” Dorcas prodded, knowing that she was hitting perhaps the only sensitive spot that Bellatrix had. “Please tell me this recruit is a pureblooded male. Merlin knows they’re more useful than the females anyways, right? Aren’t you just supposed to look pretty and have little incestuous, pureblooded babies Bella? Not doing a very good job are we?”
Bellatrix made a growling noise in the back of her throat, and Dorcas tried to resist the urge to laugh. It wasn’t appropriate.
“Now now Meadowes, don’t be rude. At least my babies would be magical. Please tell me, when a mudblood and a squib have a baby, what are the odds it will have any magic at all? And when it inevitably doesn’t, would that make it just a muggle or a squib Meadowes? This should be your area of expertise. What would you consider that sister of yours?” Bellatrix taunted.
Dorcas repressed the urge to snipe back at her, because that would be exactly what she wanted. It was well known that Dorcas in particular had never taken taunts about squibs and mudbloods well, simply out of loyalty to her parents.
Those had been the only taunts that had warranted a response from Dorcas in Hogwarts. Only a few students made them before their subsequent stays in the Hospital Wing became infamous.
“Speaking of sisters Bella, how is that sister of yours?” Dorcas knew she was toeing the line with this one. “I saw Andromeda the other day, she looks well. You two always did look so much alike, but Andy is much more beautiful now. Probably had something to do with having a soul. Does wonders for the complexion.”
“You know what’s truly amazing though Bella?” Dorcas posed her question loftily, knowing that this next moment was going to be one she would want to remember forever, but that also had to be presented properly for the maximum effect. “Have you by any chance met your niece? Surely you’ve heard that she’s a metamorphmagus, right? Isn’t that amazing? She’s a half-blood, and a metamorphmagus. That's incredibly rare. Her father is nothing more than that filthy muggle who stole Andromeda away from you. If you’re such a powerful pureblood Bella, why aren’t you a metamorphmagus?”
Bellatrix had no verbal response, but instead began shouting an angry stream of hexes in Dorcas’ general direction. Her fury had thrown off her aim, and none of the hexes even came close to making contact with Dorcas. Though a Death Eater behind her to the right did spontaneously erupt with a nasty case of boils on his face.
Dorcas felt a bit of relief when she realized exactly how much she had infuriated Bellatrix. Now that she was angry, she wasn’t likely to want to banter anymore, and with the topic of Amber still hanging in the air, Dorcas didn't particularly want to either.
With the rapid succession of spells Bellatrix was shooting at Dorcas, it was all she could do to cast shield spells and dodge them all in time, never mind cast spells of her own in retaliation.
Dorcas was infuriated with herself. Never before had she been so totally and undoubtedly outmatched during a duel. She didn’t have time for this.
Dorcas decided that so long as the next hex for Bellatrix’s wand wasn’t green, she was just going to take it in order to make an opening for her to cast her own spell in retaliation. It was risky, but Dorcas wouldn’t let the battle continue the way it was going.
Dropping her shield charm, Dorcas took the purple charm flying towards her right on the arm. Instantly, the pain was so overwhelming that she bit her lip until it bled, just to not give Bellatrix the pleasure of hearing her scream. Glancing down quickly, Dorcas noted that she could see bone.
Ignoring the blinding pain in her arm, Dorcas discreetly shot a spell at Bellatrix’s feet, knowing that she stood a chance at taking the older witch out if she took advantage of this exact moment.
Bellatrix was too busy cackling with glee over having hit Dorcas to pay close attention to the way she was doubled over, supposedly in pain. The hex flew towards Bellatrix’s feet, hitting their mark exactly.
She tripped immediately, and Dorcas took advantage of her opening and summoned Bellatrix’s wand, disarming her.
The look of shock on Bellatrix’s face was one that Dorcas would sincerely like to remember forever.
With a shriek unlike one that Dorcas had ever heard in her entire life, Bellatrix attracted the attention of every Death Eater in the shopping center. All dueling seemed to cease momentarily, as every eye focused on Dorcas and Bellatrix.
The calm was only momentary however, before a few people on both sides took the initiative to attack their unsuspecting partner. Before Dorcas could conjure ropes with which to bind Bellatrix however, she was engaged in an active duel with Antonin Dolohov.
Within moments, Dorcas noted with frustration that Dolohov may have even been a better dueler than Bellatrix was. He, however, didn’t have the anger behind his hexes that Bellatrix had, and it wasn’t personal for him. Dorcas refused to let him get the upper hand. If this duel was going to be anything besides an obvious win for Dorcas, it was going to be evenly matched. She would be sure of that.
“Dolohov, might I recommend that next time you need your picture taken, you return to whoever took your mug shot for the ministry. I’ve been staring at your wanted poster for a month, and had just managed to master suppressing my urge to vomit. Now you’re here in front of me and it’s taking everything I have to control myself. I didn’t think it was possible for you to be more ugly in person, but kudos to you for proving me wrong!” Dorcas declared haughtily, trying to engage Dolohov.
Even when a green jet of light flew past her head, missing her by only inches immediately after her commentary, it didn’t occur to Dorcas that her favorite dueling strategy might be a touch dangerous.
“Dolohov!” Bellatrix snapped at the burly man who was firing off spells in a rapid succession. Dorcas was dancing around them easily, smirking. “Get my wand!”
As if reminded of his mission, Dolohov immediately made concentrated efforts towards summoning Bellatrix’s wand. Dorcas barely maintained her grip on it, struggling to the best of her abilities not to lose her only chance at an upper hand.
If Bellatrix got her wand back, this duel was going to go downhill quickly.
Just as the wand began to slip through Dorcas’ fingers, a loud crack echoed through the air, and green sparks flew everywhere. This distraction caused Dorcas to lose her grip on the wand, and it flew easily into Dolohov’s hand.
While the wand was still in the air, Dorcas began rapidly placing protection spells around herself. If she was going to be dueling Bellatrix and Dolohov, she was going to need every single one of them.
It didn’t take long however, for Dorcas to notice that many of the cracks around her weren’t the sparks, but Death Eaters disapparating. More than one of them were hauling wounded others, and Dorcas even saw a few unmoving bodies.
Dorcas looked quickly to Bellatrix and Dolohov, and saw them engaged in a verbal battle. Neither looked pleased at the concept of leaving, but Bellatrix was insisting that the Dark Lord summoned them and that they must go immediately.
“You can’t expect me to let a filthy mudblood get away with saying what she said to me!” Dolohov shouted, and Bellatrix looked entirely unconcerned.
“You obviously have never dueled Meadowes.” Bellatrix stated. “Verbal sparring is her favorite game.”
“Well, the only games I play with mudbloods are ones that they don’t enjoy.” Dolohov snarled immediately, turning his wand on Dorcas. Without pause, Bellatrix disarmed Dolohov.
“The Dark Lord has summoned us!” Bellatrix shrieked. “We will go to him immediately, no matter how bruised your ego may be!” Dolohov still looked furious, but nodded tersely at Bellatrix.
“You heard your Mummy Dolohov.” Dorcas said seriously. “You can’t play anymore; it’s time for your nap.”
At that, Bellatrix had to dig her fingernails quite viciously into Dolohov’s arm to stop him from attacking Dorcas even without a wand. Dorcas resisted the urge to chuckle at his facial expression, contorted with rage. Instead, she shot at spell at it. He ducked quickly, and barely avoided it.
“This isn’t over Meadowes.” Bellatrix said nastily, not releasing her grip on a fuming Dolohov. “You’re playing with fire, and we both know that disgusting squib little sister of yours is going to pay the price.”
Dorcas merely ignored her, swallowing the angry lump that formed in her throat at the squib comment. She was beginning to feel quite woozy, and it disconcerted her.
She pointed her wand at Bellatrix, preparing to fire another curse while her defenses were down. All the other Death Eaters were gone now, and the Ministry employees that remained standing were moving quickly towards Dorcas, intending to help finish this battle.
Realizing she had only moments, Bellatrix gripped Dolohov’s arm tighter, and spun on the spot. They disappeared almost immediately, and the last thing Dorcas saw of them was Dolohov’s face twisted into an angry snarl.
As soon as the threat was gone, Dorcas found her own legs give out from under her, and she half fell, half sat on the ground. By now, everyone was getting very close.
“Meadowes!” A voice called, and glancing up, Dorcas determined that it belonged to one of the Prewett twins. Though usually quite skilled at telling them apart (they had been in her year), her vision had blurred, and Dorcas found herself unable to determine which one it was.
Dorcas remained seated on the ground, even as all of the people closed in on her in a way that would usually make her so uncomfortable she would be cursing them all. She wasn’t positive she even could muster up the energy to perform a spell right now, never mind that she wasn’t confident about the current location of her wand.
“Sit still.” Dorcas heard a soft and vaguely familiar voice say quietly to her, as warm, slim fingers gripped her right arm tightly.
A moment later, a sharp burning sensation flew through her arm, and Dorcas yelped involuntarily. Turning to see who had caused her pain, Dorcas found herself face to face with a pair of startling green eyes. The Order’s resident makeshift healer, Lily Evans.
Dorcas’ eyes immediately shifted from the eyes to the placement of the wand, and saw the large gash on her arm. Her jumper and robes were torn, singed and soaked in her own blood.
“That’s quite the cut you got yourself there Meadowes.” Dorcas heard, and immediately recognized the voice as Mad Eye. Her eyes followed the voice, and found her mentor standing right over her. “It’s a wonder you managed to stay up. Must have been running on pure adrenaline. Maybe if you were paying attention it wouldn’t have happened.”
“Sorry we can’t all lounge around and duel Malfoy like you were Mad Eye.” Dorcas sniped. “Some of us had to take on the big kids so you could sit back and relax while fighting your little girl.”
“There’s my girl.” Mad Eye said. “That’s gonna leave a scar you know.”
“Eh” Dorcas said, shrugging with only a slight wince of pain when she moved her arm. “I didn’t have any plans to be a beauty queen anyways.”
“Well, even still, we need to get this looked at by a real healer, no offense Evans.” Mad Eye said, and Lily backed up slowly, nodding in agreement. Though talented with healing charms, Lily wasn’t a trained healer and was mostly able to keep wounds from bleeding any further.
With the bleeding having ceased in her arm, Dorcas was beginning to feel much better. Someone tossed her a bottle of water and she drank it quickly, surprised by how thirsty she was. She hadn’t realized before.
Standing slowly, Dorcas only had a slight head rush. Gideon Prewett grabbed her arm.
“I’m going to apparate her to Mungo’s, make sure she gets there all right.” He told Mad Eye, who nodded gruffly in response.
Moody turned on everyone else standing in the circle around Dorcas. All eyes shifted to him, and she was glad, because she was beginning to feel self conscious with all the attention on her.
“All right everyone, back to the office, I don’t even want to imagine the paperwork nightmare this here just caused.” Mad Eye said, and was treated to more than a few groans. “And next time, nobody else try and pull a Meadowes here and think that taking on two Death Eaters at once gets you a free pass from paperwork.”
“Oh, Mad Eye, you caught me.” Dorcas said with a weak smile. “Have fun doing my paperwork.”
He chuckled under his breath and Gideon gripped her arm a little tighter before apparating her away to St. Mungo’s.
It was three weeks after the incident in the muggle shopping center, and the Auror office was still buzzing with activity.
Luckily, there hadn’t been any more public attacks, though a few families and individuals had been harassed and reported missing. It was already taking everything that the Auror office had to keep everything under control.
Dorcas was sitting at her desk, and an enormous pile of paperwork sat menacingly in front of her. Mad Eye had thought he was funny, assigning her all the paperwork the office had all week because she hadn’t been there for the paperwork disaster after the shopping center incident.
Just as Dorcas convinced herself to tackle the smallest stack, a small, fluffy black owl flew into the tallest stack of paperwork, knocking things everywhere. Dorcas huffed moodily before she realized it was the owl she had bought Amber.
Confused, Dorcas quickly untied the letter from the small bird’s leg. School had started two weeks ago and it was the middle of the day. As far as she knew, Amber didn’t take the owl with her to school.
Opening the letter, her questions were immediately answered. Instead of being written with a quill on parchment (Amber liked to say she was practicing for Hogwarts) the letter was written carefully on expensive stationary with a ballpoint pen. Her mother’s signature on the bottom only confirmed Dorcas’ suspicions.
I need to ask a huge favor of you. I just got a call from your sister’s school, and all of the children have to be picked up early because they had a few pipes burst in the basement. Normally, I would go and get her myself, but work is really busy today and I just can’t leave. Can you please go and get her and keep her until I get out of work at 3? I’ll even get her from your flat if it is more convenient. Thank you so much! Can you call me please instead of responding by owl? I need as much time as possible to find a babysitter if you can’t do it.
Picking up the phone, Dorcas immediately called her mother at work and told her she could pick up Amber. She could hear all the noise in the background, and knew that her mother wasn’t lying about it being a busy day.
Mrs. Meadowes worked as an assistant in a prominent London law firm, and while her job was always quite busy, she usually had a fair amount of flexibility. However, whenever the firm got a particularly large case, every bit of the staff was on call all day, no exceptions.
Dorcas, however, had more than enough vacation time available to her, so it was very easy for her to take a half day and go get Amber. It was already almost noon anyways, and she felt absolutely no desire to stay and complete all of her paperwork. This was a convenient excuse.
Flooing home quickly to change, Dorcas knew that she had to hurry in order to pick Amber up from primary school in time. She threw on jeans, trainers and a jumper, and shoving her wand in the waistband of her pants, apparated near Amber’s school.
As soon as she hit the main road, Dorcas began discreetly scanning her surroundings for people who may be following her. This was a recent force of habit that Dorcas despised but understood was necessary. She was living directly in the center of a war, as much as she hated it, and there were going to be casualties. She was trying not to be one of them.
Walking into the schoolyard, Dorcas immediately started to search for Amber. She found her almost immediately, and began heading in that direction.
Even from a distance, she could see Amber’s blonde curls blowing softly in the wind. She saw Dorcas, grabbed her backpack, and pulled eagerly on her teacher’s skirt, pointing at Dorcas approaching.
Upon Dorcas’ wave, the teacher released Amber, who sprinted across the playground. As soon as she made it all the way across Dorcas picked her up and spun her around, hugging her tightly.
Amber giggled loudly, and Dorcas placed her back on the ground, immediately bending over to tuck her jumper back in and taking the backpack from her.
“Guess what ladybug?” Dorcas asked, and Amber stared at her, blue eyes wide in anticipation. “I think that getting out of school early calls for going out to lunch in celebration. What do you say?”
“Yes, yes!” Amber cheered, jumping up and down. Dorcas stifled the giggle that wanted to escape when she watched Amber’s curls continue to bounce even after she had stopped.
“Good, I know a yummy café down the street that makes the best
grilled cheese.” Dorcas said, and Amber grabbed her hand and followed her around the corner, walking on the sidewalk.
Within five minutes they were at the café, and Dorcas asked the hostess for a table. Because it was a beautiful day out, Amber wanted to sit outside, and Dorcas readily agreed.
Sitting outside under the large umbrella that shaded their table, Dorcas couldn’t help but note what a wonderful turn her day had taken. Had her mother not owled her, she would be sitting at work, filling out endless hours worth of paperwork.
No, surely this was an improvement.
“I got a 95 on my spelling exam today Dor!” Amber said, chatting happily about school. Dorcas smiled and listened intently. “It was the best grade in the whole class, and Jenny Lawrence was so angry I did better than her that she cried! It was so funny!”
Dorcas’ grin grew even wider. It seemed that her sister had inherited her sense of humor.
The sun was shining brightly, and though there was a low hum of noise in the background, Dorcas was glad that this particular café wasn’t on one of the main roads in London. She couldn’t stand all of the noise right in the center of the city.
Amber was smiling and humming softly under her breath, and it was so cute that Dorcas wished she had a camera to take a picture. Her collection of pictures of Amber (both wizarding and muggle) was growing rapidly, though she kept them all locked away safely at home. Someday, when this war was over, she would put them up everywhere.
Dorcas noticed an errant curl had escaped from the headband Amber’s hair had been so carefully tucked back in by her mother, and smiled sadly to herself when she remembered a time when her mother had put ribbons and bows in her hair before school every day.
She leaned across the table to tuck the curl back in, and just as she pulled her hand back, she watched as Amber’s eyes went wide in horror and amazement.
Flying towards the table they were sitting at was a jet of bright orange light.
A/N: Hello! Chapter 4 is up! And I have a new MTA page, so if you have some time, check it out and ask me questions :)