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Chapter 3 : Unwanted Visits
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She checked her watch, thankful that she had enough time to change into something more comfortable than the suit and heels she'd been in all day thanks to her meetings. She was mentally figuring out where she'd left her sneakers when she saw the note on the floor by the fireplace.
Lucy stared at it almost cautiously, her head tilted a little to the right; she didn't pick it up until she was sure that it was Harry's handwriting, not trusting anything that wasn't given to her in person by someone she knew, given the mess she was still sorting through because of her relationship with AJ, despite it ending three years ago, after he'd been arrested.
Refusing to think about him, Lucy picked up the note and read. Then she re-read it. And then read it one more time, unable to fully grasp what her uncle was telling her. She didn't want to acknowledge it, to believe that it was true. But she knew it was, she trusted Harry's word and he would never lie to her, not about AJ Wolfe.
What the hell he would escape for, Lucy didn't know. But where he might go came to her instantly.
Forgetting about comfortable clothes and naps, they were the least of her concerns right now, Lucy grabbed her keys and ran towards the front door, only to freeze.
"Hey, Lucy," AJ murmured, watching her nervously. He pushed himself off the door and took a step forward, stopping quickly and holding up his hands in surrender when she jumped back. "You can't be afraid of me."
"I'm afraid of hurting you," she countered angrily. "I don't fancy joining you in Azkaban."
"And there you are," he sighed, dropping his hands. "I was beginning to think that you were an imposter."
"You shouldn't be here, Ashley. Why did you come here?" she demanded to know, making sure there was a good few feet between them. As discreetly as she could, Lucy put a hand behind her back, feeling for her wand. She gripped it tightly.
"You know why I'm here."
"He's not here," she said immediately.
"I know, Cam's in school. I still can't believe he's in school already," AJ murmured, regret mixing with pride over their son. "I would never go to him without telling you first. That's why I'm here; I want to see him and if I have to get permission to do so, then so be it."
"You can't. No, Ashley, you're going to listen to me," Lucy snapped, finally closing the distance between them. She pressed her wand into his chest until he winced, his back against the door. "You are a wanted fugitive, you're going to be all over the news by dinner and I will not let him hear about it if I can help it. But to let him see you? To spend even a few minutes with you only to lose you again when you're caught? It will crush him, Ashley. I will not put my son through that just because you want to see him. If you loved him that much, you never would have done what you did in the first place!"
"You have no idea what I've done!" AJ shouted, desperate for her to listen to him just once. "You didn't want to know. You just turned your back on me, left me to rot in prison, my own fiancée!"
"I had a little boy to protect," Lucy countered. "Cameron cried all night when you didn't come home, he wouldn't settle until I had promised him you'd come home soon. I have been counting down the days until your release, even hoped that you'd get out early, so that he could see you. Now you've ruined that. One day, he's going to have to stop wishing for you to come back. Now leave or I'm calling Harry."
"You're going to call him anyway, you were just waiting for me to leave," AJ said sadly. "That's the reason I'm still here. You didn't listen to me before, but please listen to me now. I will beg if I have to."
Lucy watched him, her eyes hard and suspicious, until she was sure that he was serious and as desperate as he had sounded when he'd yelled at her. She didn't drop her gaze or stop being suspicious of him, but she did lower her wand, though she kept it pointed at him.
"You have five minutes. Make it count."
AJ told her all about his vision, explained how he had escaped from his cell and gotten back to London. She scoffed when he got to the part about Louis and Alejandro helping him to get to her house and helping with his next visions, but said nothing and waited for him to finish. She kept her eye on her watch, pressuring him to talk faster. He needed her to listen, she realized quickly, he needed her to keep quiet about his visit here; she just didn't know why. And neither did he, it was obvious that he had no idea what his vision meant.
"I promise you that these visions are important, Lucy. I can feel it," he said. "I just need time to figure out what's going on, then I can either stop it or fix it or... I don't know, but it's big and it will happen soon. You give me that time and I will go back to Azkaban. I swear to you, I will do my time."
"Why do you need me to know this?" Lucy asked slowly, speaking her thoughts as they came to her. "Why not just do what you need to do and avoid me, then I can't turn you in."
"You know why," he muttered.
"Because you want to see Cameron," she answered with a nod, running her hand through her hair while sighing, annoyed and unsure. Though she didn't ever understand what AJ's visions meant until they had happened, she knew that he always took them seriously. This one was no exception; it made not allowing his request just a little harder. "I can't do that to him, Ashley. He'll want you to stay and you can't. You're not, you've just promised to go back. He'll be crushed; I'll can't see that look on his face again."
"A phone call then, I'll be quick," he begged.
"I don't know, Harry sent me a note saying that you had escaped and that some people from law enforcement are coming to make sure that you don't show up here or are hiding here. They could stick around to make sure you don't and if they think that I have anything to do with you hiding from the law, Cam could lose both of us. I can't let that happen."
Lucy shook her head repeatedly, wanting her decision to sink in both of their minds; she respected AJ's want to see his son and she wished that it could happen despite what he had done, but she couldn't see a way that was possible without him, her and Louis getting into trouble with the law. AJ was already a fugitive and Louis was under suspicion just for knowing him, people even looked at her weirdly when he was first arrested, like she had known everything. She knew those looks were going to come back. She couldn't be caught with him.
"I'm sorry, Ashley, but you can't. You have to go now. I won't tell them you were here this time, but I will next time I see you."
She went to open the door for him, it barely moving before he slammed it shut and put pressure on the door to keep it that way.
"Please, Lucy. He's my son, too. There has to be a way. I need to see my kid," he murmured.
She knew it was imagining how he was feeling that changed her mind; she was good at ignoring his pout and the soft tone of voice he reserved for getting what he wanted, something he had perfected as a child. But she had a horrible tendency to get into someone's head, to imagine what they'd do or feel in order to better understand them, and while it helped with her job and working with Ministries across the world, it also meant that she felt more sorry for AJ than she liked. She didn't want to know what it was like to not be with Cameron like he did.
"He likes the park, the big one you must have passed to get here," she said. "I'll take him tomorrow after school. If law enforcement do decide to check on us in case you come looking for Cameron, which should happen because it's the first thing I'd suggest, so it'd be the first thing Harry would suggest, then I'm sure I can lose them. Like I said, it's a big park. I'll meet you by the duck pond, there's a bunch of trees nearby. You should be able to stay inconspicuous there."
"Thank you," he breathed, grateful, and released the pressure on the door. Lucy opened it and stepped bak for him to get past. "I'll see you tomorrow. I've missed you, Lucy."
"Don't think this changes anything, Ashley. You ruined everything we had and broke your son's heart and it was for nothing in the end," Lucy said. "If seeing you makes it worse for him, I'll hate myself for letting it happen. And I'll never forgive you."
She shut the door in has face, leant against the frame and sobbed over the life she had lost and the thought of her and Cameron going through that pain all over again.
She waited until the tears had subsided and she was sure that AJ was gone, then left the house. She needed to get Cameron home.
She sat on the small wall that separated the front lawn from the street, directly across the road from the school, and waited. It wasn't a particularly busy street unless the caregivers where picking up the children and that was dying down now, but she blended in well enough. With her headphones in and her phone in her hand, no one took any notice of her. She might as well be invisible for all they cared.
That was how she liked it.
Every so often she watched the school, reading the notes she'd been sent about her target and his family, and was surprised to find that he was one of the last left in the playground - she'd seen his picture. He was sat with a woman she presumed was his teacher and was playing with his tie. He was too far away for her to see clearly, but even she could see that he looked just like his father, with the same straight brown hair and, when she squinted, dark blue eyes. If she had to pick one word, she call the kid adorable.
It was almost a shame that his father had decided not to play by the rules. Wolfe only had himself to blame for what was going to happen.
She continued to read through the notes, frowning when she got to the part about the mother; everything about her was precise, done right away, almost to a point where she forgot the world and drove her family crazy. But she never forgot her son and she was never late.
So, where was Mummy?
It was the kid's loud call for his mother that caused her to look up again, able to see Lucy Weasley run into the playground, have a quick word with the teacher and hold out her hand for the kid to take. She was out of breath, probably from running the whole way to the school. Weasley had chosen to bring her son to this school because it was closer to home than the center in Diagon Alley and made picking him up easier; Weasley was probably thankful for the short distance, even though her feet must've been killing her in those heels.
She wasn't the only grateful one; it would've been much harder to watch the boy and carry out their plan if he'd gone to the school in a Wizarding street. But in a Muggle neighborhood, they were out in the open, vulnerable. It was too easy; all she had to do was wait for her orders.
She watched Weasley and the boy leave, curious enough about the woman's odd behavior to follow her down a few streets. Weasley was nervous, glancing around every moment she could and had to carry the boy when she realized that he couldn't catch up.
At the crossing, she got a new message, telling her that Wolfe had escaped from Azkaban and had been located somewhere in London by their people. She grinned and looked up, no longer feeling the need to follow because she knew now that Weasley had more than likely heard about Wolfe from her uncle and was looking out for him.
Little Cameron didn't know about his daddy. But he would.
La Oscurità would make sure of that.
A/N: Finally, new chapter. It was meant to be finished a while back, but I was working on OF (first draft done *happy dance*). But it's here now and I hope you enjoy. Please let me know what you think. :)
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