Chapter 1 : 1: The Return
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"Lumos," she murmured, her delicate features became visible as her grey eyes took in the surroundings. When the trees finally started to lessen, the night seemed to come alive once more. The chirping sopranos of the crickets and the throaty basses of the frogs welcomed Patricia, as they did everyone who came to the Weasley's home, however, that night, there was nothing that could lighten her mood.
The warm light engulfed her and the smell of freshly baked cookies wafted out to meet her as someone stood in the doorway. "Patricia? Is that you? I thought you were going to that muggle thing tonight?" It was Ron, his ginger hair looking even redder in the light. She hurried up the porch stairs to meet him at the door.
"I've got unsettling news, I think it best we go inside." She cast another look over her shoulder into the blackness that she just emerged from. With a quick nod, Patricia stepped into the house and they headed down the corridor, straight to the living room, passing moving and still pictures of the Weasley and Potter children alike.
"You two, time for bed, go upstairs!" Ron said shooing Rose and Hugo towards the stairs.
"You three should get going too." another, familiar voice quickly added.
Upon fully entering the homey living room, she was not at all surprised to see the familiar, dark haired man. His hair was messy as it had always been and nearly in his eyes once again- a spitting image of his school boy self: Harry Potter, and of course, the ginger woman sitting with him was none other than the kind hearted Ginny Weasley. She stood now in an attempt to shoo James, Albus and Lily up the stairs, it was clear that their curiosity was getting the best of them just as it had their father.
"Dad, it's not even-" Harry cut James off with a sharp look, which caused James to send a look of his own in the direction of Patricia. She didn't know the children very well, as generally they were away at school, as the summer break was coming to a close, she supposed they would be headed back soon. Patricia remembered her trips to Diagon Alley, the excitement of seeing her friends, the new books and robes, cloaks and wands swishing around- the fascinating magic that seeped from every corner.
James huffed and headed up the stairs, breaking her train of thought immediately and reality then sunk back in. As the children headed up the stairs, Ginny following them, as to be sure they actually made it all the way there, the attention turned back to the matter at hand. "So, what brings you all the way out here at this hour?" asked Ron, the all too familiar look of curiosity overcame the famous trio.
"They're back." It was as if the volume on the world had just turned off.
"Who is back, Patricia?" Harry asked, the authority of the Auror he now was, reflected in every word he spoke.
"What the bloody hell is that foul git doing here?!" Ron glared out the window behind her. She spun around, hand on her wand half expecting the night's earlier events to be repeating. She stood frozen on the spot, staring into the familiar grey eyes of a blonde man, standing on the other side of the glass. "And he's got that bloody kid here too! If he think's we're gonna-" but she took off towards the door before Ron could finish his episode.
"Draco, what are you doing here?" She asked, concern written across her features. Draco never sought her out in front of these people, rarely at all in fact, and especially not with Scorpius at his side. Scorpius. Her eyes immediately went to him, gripping his dad's hand so hard his knuckles were white. He looked even more pale than usual, his eyes bloodshot as though he had been crying.
"Why did you bring him here?" she whispered furiously. "She's going to realise he's gone and come looking for him."
"She won't" he said quietly
"What do you mean won't?! How could she not? I mean unless she's…" She trailed off, watching Draco's expression change.
"They're back, Patricia."
"I know, they were at the gathering tonight, muggles and wizards injured alike." He was silent for a moment and then pulled her into him.
"I can't have this all happening again, I can't." he whispered. "I need to take care of this, he's leading them, I can't sit back and let it happen this time, I won't."
"What do you mean, you need to 'take care of this'? There's people dead Draco, people are dead! You can't die on us, don't go doing something this rash." she pleaded, unaware that their reunion had gathered some curious onlookers.
"Would someone please tell me what's going on here?" came Ron's voice.
"Oh, this ought to be a good one!" Ginny had rejoined the group and had an amused look on her face. Just as she had opened her mouth to respond, to defend herself, the unmistakable cracking sound of apparation echoed through the air, one after the other.
"They're here! Get yourselves inside, turn all the lights out before they get close enough to see! I'll make sure they pass by." Patricia opened her mouth to protest and he shook his head and gave her arm a tight squeeze. "Go." He whispered, and turned, his black cloak making him seem to melt into the night, almost as if he hadn't been there at all.
"I'll explain everything later, we need to get inside." Scorpius clung to her now. Hermione stepped out on the porch and quickly began muttering under her breath, her wand flicking through the air, a professional if there ever was one. Protection. "Scorpius, go inside. Listen to whatever they tell you to do alright?" He nodded, fear in his eyes as Harry pulled him inside.
Patricia pulled her wand out and started another incantation, in days like the ones that were surely to be coming, there was no such thing as enough protection. They moved quickly, a few moments later, both Harry and Ron joining in the fevered attempt to protect the Weasley house. They were getting dangerously close now, the glint of their masks even becoming visible and then the surrounding woods fell silent. They stopped and listened, the sounds of their own breaths seemed as loud as gunshot.
They stood, silently, wands raised, waiting for any sign of movement, even the slightest sound. There was nothing. "Whoever that was, they must have been after Draco." Harry rationalized, Patricia's stomach churning at the thought.
The rumours were true; the Death Eaters had in fact, came back.
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