Dear Merlin, did I forget how beautiful she was. It seems like over the past three years, she’s blossomed into a more beautiful woman than I ever thought possible. Her flaming red hair has the perfect amount of curls, but nothing overbearing, and her beautiful blue eyes see straight into my soul. Her awkward body from her first years at Hogwarts transformed into beautiful curves, like an ugly caterpillar becoming a stunning butterfly. I think it was her overall transformation from fifth year to sixth year was what solidified my falling in love with her.
As I walk back to my desk, I think about how I envy Carolyn because she sees Rose every day. Carolyn gets to see Rose at her highest moments, but also at her lowest. Oh, if only I could be there for her during her lowest moments. I would make sure that she could see the light at the end of the tunnel and not get enveloped by her sorrow. If what Carolyn said last night was completely true, I would wish even more to be there for Rose. But, I know that would be too fast for her. Even if Carolyn says that Rose has moved on from those days, I don’t think she’s completely open to the idea of even talking to me yet. What if Carolyn is just saying that Rose has forgiven me? What if Rose really still hates me and was just acting nice when she saw me earlier?
I continue to think these things as I glance up to look at my desk and see two faces that I haven’t seen in a very long time. Jacob Goyle and Rowan Parkinson stand by my desk with their hands tucked in their cloak pockets. I furrow my eyebrows as I hurry towards them, my cloak billowing out from behind me. Rowan and Jacob stand stoically as I reach them, but I can tell that they’re bothered by the fact that both Philip and Anthony have been killed and that I almost died. I glance slightly to the right and see Griffin staring at me with evil eyes. I roll my eyes and think that he needs to get over himself. And why is he even here? He should be out, watching Sienna.
“Malfoy,” Rowan says in his stern voice, something that clearly hasn’t changed since our Hogwarts days.
“Parkinson,” I reply back and nod at Jacob. “What can I do for you?”
“Goyle and I would like to speak with you about these…deaths,” Rowan tells me and runs his hand through his signature black hair-which was voted Witch Weekly’s Best Male Hair five times running. “Are you able to discuss this over lunch?”
I nod and grab my scarf from my chair. “Of course. It’s quite an important matter.”
“We’ll go to Merlin’s Clubhouse,” Rowan says as we begin to walk back towards the atrium together, clasping his hand on my shoulder. “My family has a private room there where we can discuss this matter.”
Once the three of us reach the main atrium of the Ministry of Magic, we all Apparate to in front of Merlin’s Clubhouse. Since it is the middle of the lunch hour, the restaurant is filled to capacity in the main dining room. But the hostess recognizes Rowan and leads him to the private room, in the very rear of the restaurant. We squeeze past the crowded tables and around the wandering waiters, then silence surrounds us as the hostess shuts the door behind us when we reach the private room. We sit down at the round table and wait until our assigned waiter leaves us after ordering our drinks. Rowan leans forward and folds his hands on the table.
“What in the bloody hell is going on with these murders, Malfoy?” Rowan whispers urgently at me, boring his dark brown eyes into mine.
“We still don’t know, Parkinson,” I whisper back and recline in my chair. “Potter has Lupin and his entire department looking for suspects. We’ve got our own Aurors protecting people we think will be targeted.”
“So, Goyle and I are protected, so to speak?” Rowan asks, rubbing his thumbs against his hands.
I sigh and pinch the bridge of my nose. “Yes, you both are. And so are the Crabbes and Dolohovs and any surviving Lestranges and Death Eater families. And Sienna is protected too.”
“I just wonder why these attacks are occurring now,” Rowan says and runs his hand through his hair again. “It’s been over twenty years since the whole Death Eater thing has ended. People can’t seriously still be bitter about it.”
“Well, according to Potter, people still believe in the whole Death Eater principles,” I explain and rub my hands on my pants. “But Potter thinks that the suspect is a muggle-born or a half-blood.”
“Pft,” Rowan snorts and alerts Jacob, who was beginning to fall asleep beside him. “Mudbloods aren’t smart enough to become a serial killer.”
“Well, purebloods don’t know anything about muggle weapons and a muggle weapon was used in these attacks,” I explain to Rowan. “I can’t really talk to you about anything else relating to the case because I’m not even involved with the investigation, Parkinson. But I can tell you that they’re looking for a muggle-born or half-blood that most likely has been affected by Death Eaters in some way.”
“Watch it be a bloody Potter or Weasley,” Rowan spits with wrinkles of disgust displayed on his face. “Stupid blood traitors. Bloody ridiculous. I bet you that Potter already knows who the killer is, but he’s hiding it because he thinks the people who died deserved it.”
I clench my hands into tight fists and lean forward to look Rowan dead in the eyes. “Potter is a good man, Parkinson, despite what your evil mother tells you.”
Rowan cracks his knuckles. “Don’t mention a word against my mother, Malfoy. Your traitor father did that plenty in their Hogwarts days and she’s never gotten past it.”
“Well, it looks like the Parkinson/Malfoy rivalry is back on track,” I tell him.
Rowan clenches his jaw and his eyes blaze with distaste. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that bloody Rose Weasley is the one doing the killing. I’m sure you remember her hatred for all of us.”
Once he says that, he smirks and immediately, it becomes clear to me that he knows about my feelings toward Rose. Maybe he doesn’t know to the extent of it, but Rowan knows that I have positive feelings towards her. I clench my jaw tightly and I dig my fingernails into my palm so I can focus on not punching Rowan Parkinson across the face.
“I forgot how much I hated you,” I tell Rowan.
“And I forgot how much I loved to annoy you,” Rowan smirks again.
I swear, I wouldn’t be surprised if smoke has started steaming out of my ears at this point.
“Rowan, give it a bloody rest,” Jacob snaps at Rowan and Rowan looks at him alarmingly. “Stop being such an arse. We’re all worried about this killer and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were next because of your attitude.”
I snort at Jacob’s outburst. He had always been the quiet one of the five of us, but when he talks, you bloody-well listen. Especially when it has to deal with him getting annoyed with Rowan, which happened rather frequently. It’s surprising that Jacob and Rowan were the two that really stuck together after Hogwarts ended; the two always seemed to annoy each other to no end.
Jacob looks over at me. “You have to keep tabs about what’s going on with the investigation, Scorpius.”
“I can’t, Jacob,” I reply quickly. “I was shot by this killer person, remember? I can’t be involved at all.”
Jacob leans across the table to look me square in the eyes. “Scorpius, I have a fiancée and a child on the way. I can’t be afraid every bloody day that I’ll get shot by some raving lunatic who’s going after Death Eater families. You’ve gotta tell us everything you can find out about this investigation.”
I sigh and shrug. “I’ll try, Jacob. But, I don’t think I’ll be able to help much.”
“Whatever you can get will help, Scorpius,” Jacob assures me. “Michelle is panicking every time I leave the house for work. I swear, if she keeps worrying like that, she’ll send herself into an early labor and neither of us are ready for that.”
“I said I’ll try, Jacob,” I say for the second time. “It’ll be difficult, but I’ll try.”
“You better,” Jacob tells me. “I can’t be looking over my bloody shoulder every time I go out. I’m so close to just staying at home until they catch this guy.”
“I wouldn’t blame you,” I say as I sip on my drink that somehow appeared in the midst of Rowan talking to me.
Rowan snorts. “Look at both of you, being such prats. Don’t feed this guy fear; it’ll just make him hunt us down faster. Keep living your lives, even if they’re both pathetic.”
I roll my eyes. I can sense Rowan about to brag about his job in the Department of Mysteries, so I just begin to tune him out as I begin to see him open his mouth. But, just before he begins to talk, the hostess from the front of the house walks back with a piece of paper.
“Mr. Malfoy,” The hostess calls to me and I look over at her. “Here’s a message for you. It was just delivered by owl.”
I take the message from the hostess and she marches out quickly. I furrow my eyebrows as I unfold the message and begin to read the piece of paper. I can already sense from the sinister handwriting that what I’m about to read isn’t good.
I missed you once. I won’t miss again.
Oh, but maybe for a bigger impact, maybe it’ll be your beloved Sienna next.
Or maybe even that blood-traitor Weasley you seem to pine after.
I crush the piece of paper into a ball. “I gotta go.”
“What did it say?” Jacob asks me as I jump up from the table.
“It was a threat,” I reply quickly as I walk out of the restaurant and Apparate back to the Headquarters.
I march through the lanes of desks to the back office where Potter has been residing since the investigation began. I barge through the door and alarm Potter, who’s filling out papers on his desk with his hippogriff-feathered quill. I unwrinkle the message and toss it onto Potter’s desk. I don’t care that he’s about to read that I’ve been trying to go after Rose; he needs to see this threat. After Potter reads the message, his eyes widen as he looks up at me.
“When did you get this?” Potter asks as he glances over it again.
“Several minutes ago while I was at lunch at Merlin’s Clubhouse,” I reply. “The hostess said it was delivered via owl.”
Potter sighs and lays the message on the desk. “I don’t think you should do much until we catch this guy. Work and home. That’s it.”
“What about Sienna?” I ask immediately.
“Griffin is starting his watch tomorrow morning. Some of the guys are just watching her schedule for today so Griffin knows what to do tomorrow,” Potter replies, then looks up at me. “And what about this ‘blood-traitor Weasley’ that’s talked about here?”
I gulp. “Yeah…”
Potter slides his glasses to the tip of his nose. “I assume this is talking about Rose.”
I gulp again. “Yes. It is, Head Auror Potter.”
“Well,” Potter says as he takes a deep breath, “can’t say I’m exactly surprised. I knew it was bound to happen. One of my family and a Malfoy.”
“She doesn’t know, sir,” I tell him quickly, kneading my hands together.
Potter raises an eyebrow. “Why not?”
“Because I’ve been in love with her since my sixth year and we just saw each other for the first time after Hogwarts,” I explain and take a deep breath. “I don’t want to spring it on her.”
“Well, I guess I should assign someone to look after her,” Potter says as he sighs. “Dammit. This man is threatening to go after people who don’t fit in the normal profile.”
“I think he’s only doing this to get to me, Head Auror,” I tell Potter as I begin to pace around the room. “It says ‘maybe for a bigger impact.’ I think this guy is only threatening them to get to me because he didn’t kill me the first time.”
Potter sighs and points at me. “I’m serious about just work and home. I’m taking this threat seriously.”
I nod in understanding. “I am too, Head Auror.”
“From now on, Carolyn will be escorting you back to your home. In the morning, you will Apparate directly from your apartment into the Ministry,” Potter instructs me. “That will go on until we catch this guy and can safely end this investigation.”
I nod. “I understand.”
“Tell your parents to look after themselves, Scorpius,” Potter tells me sincerely.
I nod. “I will.”
“Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to keep this note to look at,” Potter says as he fixes his glasses. “You can return to work now.”
I take a deep breath. “Thank you, Head Auror.”
I head out of the office and back towards my desk, reeling from the sinister message that I just read. I can’t even imagine this crazed killer going after Sienna and especially Rose. This guy needs to get caught before he causes any more damage. I can’t let him kill Sienna or Rose. I can’t let him kill anybody else.
But what can I do?
I’m basically on house arrest and I don’t have any ideas as to who this guy is.