The rain was pouring down in Bucharest International Airport when Scorpius landed. He thought of all the places where the girl could go study, thinking of sunny shores and white beaches, but no, she had to go somewhere where the rain fell in the autumn like the Biblical flood.
His task presented itself with mixed feelings. What if she wouldn’t speak to him? She had no reason. If she wished to remain here, he was not supposed to pressure her. He was to give her all the information she needed but not exaggerate. They treated him like he was sixteen again. Explaining how to do his job.
Draco Malfoy hadn’t been pleased when his son announced that he wished to be an Auror. A Malfoy working under Harry Potter was regarded as a job similar to caretaker of Hogwarts. Astoria Malfoy was more supportive and together they managed to win Draco over and he gave his approval in the end.
There was tension on the team at first and Scorpius was under the impression that Ron Weasley didn’t like him very much. There were still times, even now, two years later, when there was friction between the two. And Scorpius could imagine that the senior Auror wasn’t too happy with him going to retrieve his only daughter.
A Muggle taxi left him near the center of Bucharest. The city was crowded at that time of day, afternoon rush hour and the drive took almost forty five minutes. The driver didn’t speak English and Scorpius was thankful, he didn’t feel like making polite conversation with a foreign Muggle. The car finally stopped next to a tall, white marble building, that from what he could gather was the Palace of Justice. A river flowed in front of it and across the river he could see a set of streets, narrow and crowded, packed with cafés and restaurants. That was the old part of the city and inside one of those buildings Scorpius knew he would find the wandmaker.
He slowly made his way across the street and entered the street. Young Muggles were drinking colorful drinks inside the various pubs, probably hiding from the rain. It took him some time to locate the wandmaker’s shop. The streets weren’t very different from London’s own Diagon Alley, narrow and with various shaped buildings on the sides. It couldn’t have been a more perfect place to hide a store filled with magical instruments.
The shop looked like an old abandoned building, across the street from what appeared to be a bridal shop. Scorpius carefully pulled his own wand out and tapped the door of the building, the doors opening. It was dark inside the shop and boxes filled the walls. At the front was a counter with a small bell, no doubt placed there to call upon the owner if needed. The air was stuffy and Scorpius noticed the lack of windows, wondering how the people who worked there could resist long hours in the old store. He rang the bell and moments later a man wearing dark red robes emerged from the back. He was very old, short and round, with a stern face and light blue eyes. His appearance was elegant and something about the air around him commanded respect.
“Buna ziua.” he said in a deep, grave voice as he eyed Scorpius up and down.
“Erm… Good afternoon, Mr. Stanoiu?” the Auror greeted, unsure of how to proceed if the shopkeeper didn’t speak English. He now wished he would’ve brought a travel guide with him.
“Yes, I am.” the man confirmed, not taking his eyes off the man a second. It gave him the chills, he felt like a small child that had been caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to. “And you are?” the old man inquired, as if Scorpius had omitted something that was logical.
“My name is Scorpius Malfoy, I’m here to see…” Scorpius explained but the old man cut him off.
“Malfoy? The name is familiar. You are family of Lucius Malfoy?”
“Yes sir, he is my grandfather.” he answered, unsure of where the man was headed with the conversation. Was he going to send him away because of his family history, tell him his business was unwanted there? And if that was the case, how was he going to get in touch with Rose?
“Yes, you are son of Draco. They come to me, many years ago, after war. Your grandfather’s wand was broken by the Dark Lord, nobody in Europe wanted to make another. But Vasile Stanoiu never refuses when people come wanting a wand.” the wizard reminisced, seeming very proud that it was him and him alone that had served Lucius in a time when others turned their back. The whole air around him was that of a proud man, yet Scorpius felt there was something off about him. Like he was hiding something and he took pride in the things that he hid and no one knew. The fact that he had traveled across a continent and the first person he met knew of his family’s past did nothing to ease his nerves in regards to the task he had set out to do.
“Mr. Stanoiu, I’m here to see one of your students, her name is Rose Weasley.” he finally managed to tell the wizard and at once he turned on his heels and entered the back room, shouting indications in Romanian that Scorpius could not understand. Finally he heard him resume the use of the English language.
“Roza, there is visitor for you.” the man said and Scorpius waited to hear a reply on her part.
“A visitor? For me? Who is it?” a young woman’s voice said. Scorpius didn’t remember her voice sounding so warm and friendly. “Never mind, I’ll go see for myself.” Impatient, the man grinned to himself. Daughter of Weasley indeed.
“Hello, I was told you wanted to see me, Mister…? What in Merlin‘s name are you doing here?” she asked, a bewildered look grazing her soft features, as she let go of the bag she was carrying and it fell to the ground with a soft thud.
“I’m sorry to disturb you Rose.” Scorpius began, trying to look apologetic.
“It’s alright, it’s just that you were … saying that you were the last person I expected to see is putting it lightly. You were actually the second or third person after that.” she chuckled and picked her bag up. “What can I do for you? Need a wand?” she joked as she motioned to the boxes on the walls.
“I’m here on Ministry business. I was sent to speak with you in regard to a delicate matter. I would appreciate it if we could set up a meeting at your earliest convenience.” Scorpius informed her in his most official tone. To his surprise she started laughing.
“Off your high horse, Malfoy.” she grinned at him. “Give me a second to tell the old man I’m going.” she pointed to the back of the store and disappeared through the doors, her voice ringing after a few moments. “Vasile, I’m going home now. Acasa, Vasile. See you tomorrow. La revedere!” she greeted and returned to Scorpius. She motioned him to leave the shop and he followed her, planning out the conversation he was about to have with her in his mind.
They walked the streets in silence for a while, reaching the river Scorpius had seen earlier and that he now learned was called the Dambovita River. The rain had stopped and the air was fresh, making the walk a most pleasant one. Rose seemed to know a lot about Romania and Bucharest which made Scorpius understand that she wasn’t here just to study, she was enjoying every moment she got to spend in the foreign land.
“You said it was official business, so I don’t think we can discuss it anywhere else but my flat. Anything you tell me will be safe there, Dad and Uncle Harry set up all the wards and magical protection they could think about when I moved.” she explained their destination as they reached a grey stone building and entered, making their way up the stairs. Somehow, the existence of the wards didn’t strike the Auror as odd and with a scowl he realized he had now spent that much time with Weasley and Potter. He could now recognize certain patterns of their behavior.
They entered the flat, a comfortable one bedroom located near the old center where they had met. Rose invited him to take a seat at the table as she made the tea and prepared a light snack for the both of them. Scorpius observed her as she prepared the meal, noticing how content was written across her face and how her brown eyes gave away her happiness at being here. She was calm and settled into this new life and he felt a tug at his insides when he realized that he was there to end her state of bliss. She sat down across from him with a mug in her hands and motioned for him to begin, as she helped herself to a sandwich.
“Earlier this week we’ve had an incident. It was reported shortly after midnight and I was one of the men to arrive first on the scene. There had been a home invasion that resulted in the death of Dedalus Diggle, a war veteran, your family was acquainted with him. But that wasn’t the strange thing. His death, it was caused by the Killing Curse.” Rose started choking on her food and gulped down a large amount of tea to wash it down. Scorpius waited for her to regain her breath and then continued. “The next morning we found another victim. Another war veteran, a woman by the name of Hestia Jones. The modus operandi was the same, Killing Curse. But this isn’t why I was sent to see you.”
“I was sent to see you because at both scenes of the crime we found wands. The first belonged to a witch by the name of Parvati Patil and we brought her in, but further analysis revealed it wasn’t possible for the wand we found to belong to her, because she had never let her own wand out of reach at any time. We found it strange enough, the presence of duplicate wands, but what really made us see that whoever is behind this is playing a game, taunting us, was the fact that the wand found on the second crime scene belonged to an Auror that died in 1997, Alastor Moody.”
Rose nodded as the man finished his tale, her mind already working on all the leads that they could follow.
“I came to see you Rose, because…”
“I’m family. I know.” she finished for him, leaving him at a loss for words. “I grew up with tales of these people. Dedalus, Hestia, Moody. This is personal now.” she said, a sad and chilling smile creeping on her face as she stared ahead.
Scorpius searched for something to say to her, but she had said it all and if she understood then all he needed was her answer.
“I suppose one of the things you want to know is how the killer managed to duplicate the properties of a wand the belong to somebody that’s been dead for a long time.” she inquired and Scorpius nodded. “A wand is a living, breathing entity. It breathes magic and it’s bound to the magic of the wizard it chooses. In the way a soul is bound to a human organism. Take my wand, for example. I was chosen by an elm wand, ten and a half inches long, unicorn tail, very pliable. It reflects my thirst for knowledge and the depth of my roots. But in the same way that you can maul the soul, by splitting it, you can take the characteristics of a wand and copy them, bend them in an unnatural way to do your biding.” she stroked her wand as she spoke, not looking at anything but it. It was a sort of respect that seemed to draw her to the wand and that made her understand all the quirks that came with this branch of magic. “Magic like that leaves a trace and you can tell who did it, if you know where to look. And lucky for you, Malfoy, I know where to look.” she smirked, finally looking at him. Scorpius nodded and opened his mouth to explain the terms of their journey when a Patronous soared through the window and spoke to Scorpius in Ron Weasley’s voice.
“Break-in at Potter Manor. Attempted kidnapping of Harry. Come home.”
AN: Here I am with chapter four. I had the hardest time with some writer's block right in the middle of this chapter. But I have the next few chapters planned out so that shouldn't happen anymore.Thank you all for reading and reviewing!
Now for some translations:
Buna ziua - Good day;
La revedere- Goodbye.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything!
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