Chapter 7 : A Ray of Light
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Dominique seethed with fury as she watched the expression on her boss’ face change from polite indifference to confusion, her perfectly shaped eyebrows arching up.
“Excuse me?” Delilah Jones purred, her voice dipping low, usually a sign that it was dangerous to continue the conversation. However, Dominique was having none of it today. She was not in the office to play the part of the perfect little employee but to confront the vile woman who had ruined her life.
“You heard me. I said, your game is up,” she responded coolly, though her insides were burning with rage.
“Miss Weasley, are you sure you’re feeling fine? I don’t quite understand.”
“Just stop with the acting already, Ms. Jones!” Dominique spat and the older woman looked taken aback before her face darkened and she stood up.
“How dare you talk to me like that, Dominique? I could fire you in a moment!”
“Oh please! As if I give a damn about keeping this job anymore. I would gladly leave if it means working under a horrendous woman like you!”
“That’s enough. You may leave, or I’ll have to call the security. I want you out of my office right now.” Delilah narrowed her eyes but before she could so much as snap her fingers, Dominique whipped out her wand and pointed it at her editor’s chest.
“Oh no, you don’t!” She growled.
“What on earth do you think you’re doing? Has that monster inside you already taken control?” Delilah sneered and Dominique blinked in shock for a moment before regaining herself.
“Yes, Ms. Jones. The monster inside me is eager to tear you from limb to limb. You know why? Because you’re the one that planted him inside me!”
Delilah Jones took a step back at Dominique’s words, and her face paled.
“What, what nonsense? A werewolf bit you. You’re insane.”
“Oh really? And you didn’t pay the werewolf to bite me?”
Dominique stared down at her editor and something seemed to change in her. Delilah Jones took a deep breath and sighed.
“Dominique darling, I think you’re not feeling quite fine. Maybe the drugs the healers are administering to you are messing with your head. I think you should go home, take the day off, and have a lie down.”
Before Dominique could respond, the door to the cabin flew open and Teddy walked in, with what appeared to be an Auror holding Wilson Young in tow. Dominique realized that a lot of people were starting to peer in curiously and she waved her wand indignantly so the door snapped shut.
“Oh no, I don’t think so, Miss Jones. Dominique is feeling perfectly fine. You’re the one who needs a check up,” Teddy muttered, his eyes flashing with anger. All color drained off Delilah’s face for a moment as she looked at the three men, before she rearranged her expression into one of politely confused.
“I, I don’t understand officer. What is going on? What is the meaning of barging into my office and harassing me like this?” She said in a pathetically sweet voice and Dominique cringed in disgust.
The Auror looked at Wilson Young for a brief moment before turning his attention to the blonde woman.
“Ms. Delilah Jones, we have received an official complaint against you. You have been accused of a serious offense. I am Auror Daniels, in charge of the investigation. I request you to please cooperate,” the tall heavily built Auror said in a flat tone, his eyes staring at the accused unflinchingly.
At his words, Delilah seemed to lose all composure as her features contorted in rage and she screamed at Dominique.
“How dare you? What have you gone and done? I didn’t do anything! You have no right to lodge a false complaint against me. You bitch, I am so going to make you pay for this!”
“ENOUGH!” The Auror barked, glaring at the lady as Dominique opened her mouth to argue. “Ms. Jones, control yourself. Mr. Young, before I take this woman to the holding cell in the Ministry, I’ll need a reconfirmation of your statement. Is this the woman who paid you and gave you explicit instructions to inflict a werewolf bite on Miss Dominique Weasley?”
Dominique bit her lip and glanced nervously at her former attacker. He was sweating profusely as Delilah glared at him.
“Speak up, Young. You have nothing to be afraid of,” Teddy muttered, throwing him a look of warning.
He gulped and nodded in response. “Y-yes officer, I think this is her.”
The Auror narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean, you think? Didn’t you meet her?”
“I-I did, sir. But her hair was…different, and something about her face, it was slightly different also. But she definitely has a striking resemblance to the woman that came to see me,” Wilson stuttered and Teddy looked at him in shock. Dominique, however, lurched at him.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing? You said it was Delilah Jones! You heard her say her name. You met her. Don’t lie!” She almost screamed, her wand in front of Wilson’s face.
“Ms. Weasley, please! Calm down,” the Auror stepped in between. “I have a statement of two people, one of sight witness by Mr. Young here and other the letter of Mr. Dale, so we will not let the matter go uninvestigated. It is a possibility that Ms. Jones here may have used an appearance-altering charm on herself when meeting this man.”
“Officer, this is all bullshit. I didn’t do anything. I-I am seeing this man for the first time. I never paid him to do anything. I am innocent.”
“We’ll see about that. I’ll need you to come with me to the Ministry. You will be given a chance to defend yourself there. We’ll be doing a thorough examination of Mr. Young’s memory in the pensive chamber, and then, as per the law for situations when the crime of the accused is partially confirmed, we’ll administer veritaserum to the both of you.”
Dominique breathed a sigh of relief at this. She knew veritaserum was only used in the most crucial of cases, and she suspected Uncle Harry had something to do with approving its use for this one. She owed him a huge thank-you.
“What? No, you can’t do that. I want my lawyer. This filthy werewolf is an alcoholic! He says anything. You can’t just call the crime partially confirmed based on his testimony! He can’t even recognize me properly!” Delilah screeched, and Dominique could see her panic finally breaking through her resolve.
“How do you know he is an alcoholic Ms. Jones if you are seeing him for the first time today?” Teddy said, his voice almost a sneer, and the Auror raised an eyebrow at this as well.
“I-I…oh, screw all of you! You’re all just trying to frame me!”
“Oh shut up for Merlin’s sake! You’re the liar here,” Dominique snarled and Delilah glared at her.
“YOU! This is all happening because of you! You little bitch, first you ruin my career and fame, take my company’s spotlight away from me because you’re the daughter of the freaking war-hero Weasley, and now, even after being bitten by a bloody werewolf, you still are given enough importance to be taken seriously about a fucking complaint!”
Dominique sucked in a sharp breath at her editor’s words and tears clouded her vision. How could anyone be this selfish and cruel?
“So, this is what it was all about? You felt like me being a part of the Prophet was stealing away your fame? For heaven’s sake, you were the one who hired me in the first place!”
“Yes, I hired you! But not because you could steal all my glory! I thought that having a Weasley working for me would add to my credit, but apparently you were so popular, everyone only wanted to talk about what you were doing and how you were feeling! No one bothered about me anymore! All clients wanted you to interview them, even the bloody Minister wanted you to publish a personal piece about him, and not me when I am the fucking editor of this company and I should be getting the most important people. But no, you stole my limelight. Suddenly, it was like you and not I were running my company! How do you think I took that, huh?” Delilah breathed heavily, her face red with anger, stunning Dominique into speechlessness.
“So that is why you had her bitten, isn’t it? You wanted people to stop treating her well, you wanted them to shun her from society, you wanted the spotlight back on yourself, which is why you stooped so low?” Teddy muttered, his tone one of shock and disbelief.
Delilah looked at him briefly before a smile spread on her face.
“Yes, Mr. Lupin. That is precisely why I bribed this stupid Young to bite your precious girlfriend. Of course, I didn’t think that you would track him down or that he would be this thick to rat me out,” she responded calmly, no hint of remorse or guilt in her tone. In fact, she sounded proud. "My plan was perfect, had you both not ruined it!"
Dominique closed her eyes briefly before speaking through gritted teeth, “You heard her, Officer. She has confessed. Please, take her away before I kill her myself." The Auror nodded solemnly.
“Ms. Delilah Jones, I hereby pronounce you under arrest. Further investigation will be conducted at the Ministry. Come with me.” He conjured a pair of handcuffs and moved forward but before he could as much as touch her, Delilah had taken out her wand and turned on her heel.
There was a brief moment when Dominique thought all was lost and she had apparated away, before she realized that her boss was still standing across from her, an expression of disbelief and horror on her face. She turned around to find Teddy chuckling.
“You think you are the only one who knows how to cast an anti-apparition charm? Well guess what, you are wrong. The minute we entered, Officer here ensured no one could apparate outside or inside this office. You are trapped, Delilah Jones. It would be best if you went along with him quietly or I am sure he won’t mind using force,” Teddy said with a smirk. Dominique had never felt prouder of him than she did at that second. When her eyes met his, he gave her a small nod of understanding and she conveyed all her gratitude and love in that simple moment.
Delilah screamed profanities at everyone in the room until the Auror handcuffed her and took her away, with Wilson Young following suit. As soon as they were gone, Teddy moved towards Dominique and wrapped his arms around her. She hugged him tightly, the tears she had been holding back now flowing freely.
“I can’t believe Ms. Jones did all of this just to put me down and ruin my career, so she could up hers. She could have just fired me or something, why go to such extreme lengths and ruin my entire life?” She whispered sadly.
“She was crazy, Dominique. She wanted power so badly, she’d have done anything to get it, no matter who or what she has to destroy along the way. It’s best we let Uncle Harry and the Ministry handle it. I am sure they will do justice.”
Dominique pulled away from him and nodded.
“What about Wilson Young though? Did you talk to Uncle Harry about him? You know we struck a deal…” she bit her lip nervously. Teddy took her hand in his and planted a kiss on it.
“Don’t worry, Dom. I have talked to him. He said he’ll do everything he can to allow Wilson the shortest time possible in Azkaban. He also said that the Ministry might put him in a reform house where he will be under constant scrutiny of the Aurors but be able to lead a better life with a job and everything. I think that’s the best he can get.”
Dominique smiled in relief at this and kissed him passionately. Teddy had taken care of everything and she loved him for it.
The couple broke apart as the cabin door opened and someone cleared their throat. Dominique blushed as she saw Julia grinning at her.
“Well, that was dramatic,” Julia commented lightly. When her comment was met with confused expressions, she laughed. “I was talking about the fiasco with Jones. I think am still in shock,” she rolled her eyes and Dominique smiled before hugging her best friend.
“I am glad it all worked out fine. That horrible woman deserves to rot in Azkaban forever,” Dominique mumbled and Julia nodded.
“I swear, I can’t believe she did that! If it was me, I would just kill her with my bare hands, forget approaching the damn Ministry.” Both Teddy and Dominique chortled at her response.
“Believe me, that’s what I wanted to do,” Teddy muttered and Julia smiled.
“You know, I am glad she has you by your side. I don’t know how she’d have coped without you,” she told him and he shrugged.
“I am glad she has you too then, especially now when she really needs a good friend.”
Dominique sighed at her boyfriend and best friend before clearing her throat. “Guys, I am right here, you know.”
They all laughed and Dominique felt like a heavy weight had been lifted off her chest. Her culprit was soon going to be punished, her friends and family were with her, and though she knew the Full Moon was looming nearer with each passing moment, she suddenly realized that she could do this – that she was not as afraid of it as she was before, and she had the people who loved her to thank for that.
A/N: I want to thank each and every reader and reviewer for sticking with this story so far. As you may have noticed, the length has been changed to Novella, because I exceeded the word limit for short story, hehe. It's been awesome writing this, and I am a little sad that it is soon coming to an end - only 2 or 3 chapters at the most left and the story will be completed! So, thank you guys for staying with me and Dominique, and I hope you are enjoying reading this as much as I am writing it.
So anyway, what did you think about Delilah here? Her motives? The way she was taken? About Dominique's changed feelings? Please let me know your thoughts in the little box below!
Up Next: A family gathering and some more...