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Chapter 17 : Conflicting and Missing
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Catherin Willcoat sat on the couch in her living room, staring with wide eyes at the three people in front of her. Her hand was firmly pressed across her lips as she narrowed her eyes to the man who she had once called her husband, and abandoned her and their son almost a year and a half ago.
Rose shifted awkwardly in the silence. Harper’s wife wasn’t at all what Rose had expected from a woman whose son had just been kidnapped. She was surprisingly put together, of course her brown hair was slightly greasy and shoved into a ponytail, and her eyes were red rimmed from where she had been crying, but other than that she seemed to keep her emotions in.
Catherin’s palm twisted so that she was now rubbing the side of her temple. “So…” she said breaking the silence, holding up a finger as if asking them to please hold on. “Let me get this straight. You’re telling me that you’re an F.B.I. agent who works with a hidden branch of the government that deals with Magic, and that my son was taken by your cousin who is a wizard?” she said the words extremely slowly.
“Yes,” Harper said sternly, not lowering his eyes.
“And that these two behind you,” she motioned her finger between Scorpius and Rose, “Are like wizard cops,”
“They actually prefer to be call Aurors and yes,” said Harper his voice unwavering.
Suddenly Catherin started to laugh darkly “I swear I’ve died and gone to hell,” She stood up and grabbed her purse which was sitting by the front door. “You have pulled some messed up crap before, but this is batshit crazy. Now I am due at the police station in a few minutes because they want to ask me some questions. I don’t have time to listen to you tell stories about magic and wizards.”
“It’s true,” He argued. The woman rolled her eyes as she pulled on her coat, “Catherin,” Harper shouted.
Rose sighed, this would have been easier if they could have been able to perform a spell in front of Catherin, but that would have alerted the ministry and that was the one thing they didn’t want. Rose and Scorpius had stayed up through the night talking about possible reasons, as to how Warwick was not in Azkaban. In the end the conclusion that they arrived at was, that Warwick had someone inside the Auror department that was helping him. If anyone caught wind that they were on Warwick’s trail again then the news would spread and whoever was helping Warwick would notify him, most likely resulting in the boy’s death.
“DON’T CATHERIN ME!” Catherin yelled at Harper, drawing Rose’s attention back to the room. “Do you know what I’m going through right now? Is he cold? Is he hungry? Is he even alive? If so what are they doing to him?”
“You think that I don’t feel the same way, he’s my son too.” Harper said darkly.
“He’s your son too,” she repeated the words. “Who do you think he is thinking about right now?” Harper’s expression went hard “Levis is six years old Harper, and he is alone and scared, and he’s wondering where I am? Why am I not there to protect him?” Catherin shook her head “He isn’t thinking about the police who are trying to find him, or the man who left him a year and a half ago. He’s thinking about me. In his mind I am his only hope that he will be found and if I fail, then he dies believing that his mother let him down.” Taking a deep breath, Catherin held back tears she had to keep strong, for Levis sake.
Rose could tell that it was taking everything that she had for the woman to not break down. Compared to what Catherin was going through, it made everything in Rose’s life seem trivial.
Catherin was about to storm out the door, when she heard the blond man say “I know it sounds insane,” she paused, her hand on the doorknob staring at the bronze metal. She heard the sound of footsteps coming from behind her.
“We have given you no reason to trust us,” Scorpius continued, as he stopped walking towards the woman, only a couple of feet between them “But I can tell you right now that the cops aren’t going to be able to find your son. He is probably in a building that can’t even be seen by mug… by non-magic people” Watching as her grip loosened on the doorknob, she still let her hand linger. “And if by chance they do happen to find out where your son is, they won’t stand a chance against Warwick. He will kill them instantly.”
“Do you have kids?” Catherin asked suddenly, her back still facing the group.
“No,” Scorpius said softly “But I do have someone that I love more than anything else.” Rose’s stare quickly shot to Scorpius, “Someone who I can’t bear to see in pain, someone that I would do anything for if she ever were to ask.” he peered at Rose from the corner of his eye “I may not have kids, but I know that if anything were to ever happen to her I would search every inch of this world to find her, or get killed trying. But I would die before I ever stopped fighting for her, because I know in my heart that if she is not in my life then I have nothing to live for.”
Rose bit down on her lip, holding back shaky breaths from his words. She forced herself to look down to her shoes, reminding herself that this moment wasn’t about her, it was about finding the boy. Scorpius focused his eyes back on Catherin “You don’t have to believe us, but I am asking you please trust us enough to know that we will find your son.”
Catherin turned around and glared at Harper “You swear on your life that they will bring my son back?”
Harper released a breath “They are the only two that I would trust.”
Catherin rubbed her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt “I tell you what I told the police. A man stopped us in the super Market on Burns street a few days ago. He didn’t ask anything out of the ordinary, just how I was doing.”
But Scorpius and Rose hadn’t listened to the last part. Their eyes meeting each other’s instantly, reaching the same conclusion. “What’s Clarks address?” Scorpius asked Harper.
“1334 Wes Street,” Harper said.
“Wes Street which is two blocks away from Burns,” Rose stated.
“Yeah, but Clark is in Azkahban,” pointed out Harper, he was sure of that fact.
“Doesn’t matter, it’s about Warwick knowing that he’s not home.” Stated Scorpius, excited that they were getting some sort of lead. The one thing that Scorpius had engrained into his memory about his first year of Hogwarts was that Professor Slughorn said daily the best place to hide is where no one is home. He also remembered being overjoyed when the man retired because he wouldn’t have to hear that stupid saying anymore.
“You think he would be stupid enough to hide Levis so close to us.” Harper quickly questioned.
Scorpius shook his head no. “But I do think that he would be stupid enough to leave evidence to where your son is.”
It took everything that Rose and Scorpius had to convince Harper to stay behind with Catherin. They didn’t know what they would find in Warwick’s hiding place, and they didn’t need to be worried about Harper while they were doing their job.
Waiting until the coast was clear, they made their way inside the rundown apartment complex. When they got inside Warwick’s room, what they found was shocking.
Hundreds of pictures covered the walls of the small room, making it seem even smaller. Mostly they were of Catherin and a little boy, which Rose could guess was Levis. There were outlines of Catherin’s day to day schedule along with Levis. Alexander had been tracking them for months, gathering all the information that he possibly could. There weren’t any pictures of Harper but Rose assumed that Harper knew how to hide.
Glancing sideways, she picked up on Scorpius’ rigid stance as he stared at a group of pictures on the wall. Walking over to see what he was looking at she was startled. These pictures weren’t of Catherin but instead of her. They showed her walking to work, running in the evenings, having dinner with Rex. Some were close up but others were taken through her apartment window, but the most disturbing were the few shots of her asleep in her bed, which were extremely close up. It was unsettling to think that someone had been in her apartment watching her, and she hadn’t even known.
There were no words that could calm either of them. Scorpius’ hand brushed lightly against the back of hers, as he resisted the urge to grab ahold of it. Feeling slightly on edge Rose turned to observe a map that was unfolded on the kitchen table.
Scorpius flipped through some papers that sat on the desk to the corner of the room, making sure to avoid the spiked metal object that could have been mistaken as a paperweight. He knew what the object was the second his eyes landed on it. He’d never actually seen one before but he had heard about them from his father, and he was well aware of what the it was capable of with a single drop of blood. Skimming across the papers once more he announced “I have nothing,” letting the papers flick down on to the desk.
Looking at Rose, she straightened her posture and said “I have nothing either,”
Scorpius released loud breath of frustration. They were exactly where they were an hour ago, and that was nowhere. Propping his hand flat on the desk, only inches away from the spiked object, he attempted to think of their next move. Finally Rose asked “Do you think he would leave the city,”
Thinking long and hard about it Scorpius shook his head “No, Warwick likes to play games; he would like the idea of being right under our noses.”
Rose nodded in silent agreement. Staring him down he looked perplexed, unable to get the thought of those pictures out of his head. Picking on a piece of lint from her jacket “We could always offer up live bait,” she suggested suddenly.
Scorpius eyes darted to her instantly, with a stern glare. “We’re not doing that,” he said darkly.
“It might be our only option, he’s coming after me next,” she argued taking a few steps closer to him, “If we let him, then we could find out his location."
“And who’s to say that he will hide you in the exact same place as the boy?” Scorpius countered, “Also you would be left powerless to tell anyone.”
Rose lowered her eyes from his “Isn’t that our job, to put our lives before others,”
“Yes but…” Scorpius protested, trying to seek reason “He is ruthless Rose, he will torture you until you are wishing for death.” Not to mention the unthinkable actions that he would do to her body sexually. “I won’t let you do it,” he spoke harshly.
She knew that it wasn’t up to him to make the finale call, it was her choice. “Scorpius the boy is six and he is helpless.” Scorpius jaw clinched together at being reminded of their duty, “I’m not, I am an Auror. I have been trained, mentally and physically. I know that if there is a way in there is a way out, it’s just a matter of finding it.”
Scorpius was silent, becoming visibly uncomfortable with the thought of letting her do this. He was unable to look her in the eyes at the moment. That was until he heard her voice say “Did you mean it?”
“What?” he mumbled, listening as her footsteps became closer to him.
The cold of her hand pressed against the back of his neck “What you said to Catherin,”
Scorpius relinquished a reluctant sigh “I meant every word of it.”
Tilting his head so that she could see his eyes “Then I should have nothing to worry about.” She stated clearly.
Their eyes locked on each other’s. This was the closest she had been to him in six weeks, and the thought of letting her willingly give herself up to Warwick was torture. A look etched on her face suggested that she knew what she was doing, and that he should trust her.
Scorpius’ mind worked quickly, searching for a solution that wouldn’t involve someone being taken prisoner, none came. All he could do was stare at her and want nothing more than to touch her. He moved his hand to the base of her neck, her pulse beat quickly against his thumb.
The look in her eyes was full of uncertainty. Her palm began to sweat as he traced his hand up along her neck, feeling as she swallowed nervous breaths. Her heart raced as he came up to her chin, continuing to make his way up to her cheek. She wanted him to stop, because this was too much for her to handle. Still she remained speechless, understanding that this was probably the only thing that was giving him enough comfort to go along with her plan.
It was hard to look at him in such a tenderly way. She was with Rex because she didn’t want to let someone have her heart again, at least not in the way that Scorpius had it. Though in that moment she couldn’t help but feel that longing for him, the longing of that connection that would always be between them.
Scorpius could honestly say that he had never been truly scared in his life but in that moment he was scared out of his mind. Something about this felt like goodbye. What she was planning on doing was dangerous. He knew how Alexander worked; Scorpius had studied him long enough to know what pushed his buttons, and that’s what Rose would do. Warwick wouldn’t think twice about killing someone, and Rose was to head strong for her own good. If she said anything too confrontational he would kill her in an instant. He couldn’t let that happen, and then his plan came to him.
Abruptly he pressed his lips on to hers. Taking Rose completely off guard, she didn’t push him away. Instead she closed her eyes, giving into her heart’s needs. Flinging her hands into his hair, she tugged on it tightly, feeling as he pushed his entire body into hers, forcing her to lean against the desk.
Wrapping one arm around her securely, he was doing this for her own good, even though she would have disagreed. Pinning her to the desk he let his lips follow in the way she wanted them to move, focusing his own thoughts on his free hand.
Rose pulled him close to her, losing her balance he held her sturdy. Opening his eyes, Scorpius glanced to the desk, and deliberately lowered his free hand onto the spiked metal object. Pushing his flesh into its sharp points, he felt his hand start to bleed, only to heal instantly.
Thrusting his now healed hand into her hair, he heard her moan into his mouth, before he pulled his lips away from her, surprising her. Scorpius didn’t move as they both panted for air. Holding her as tightly as he could he lied “I’ll go along with the plan.” Not giving her a reason to doubt him.
Relieved Rose grazed her hand across his cheek, not sure what to make of the sudden kiss. Pushing her forehead against his, “Thank you,” she whispered still in his embrace.
It was later that evening, and the practical side of Rose was kicking her for allowing herself to lose control with Scorpius. She attempted to avoid the thought as she knotted her sneakers tightly, preparing for her run, which if everything went as planned, she wasn’t going to return from.
Based on the pictures, she figured someone would be following her, and at some point she was going to make sure that she ended up on a road that would make her seem lost, causing her to slow down. With luck Warwick would come after her then.
“Are you alright you’ve been quiet this evening.” Rex said from the door way of her bedroom.
Rose quickly brushed past him nodding a slight yes “I’m fine,” she said going out into the living room, listening as Matt and Carla laughed in front of her, their eyes focusing on the stove… Obviously it was Matt who was cooking.
Rex looked at her with worried eyes. Something was off about her today, and he couldn’t place it. “Is this about me asking you to move in with me?” he asked concerned that maybe he had scared her, but he didn’t think it was that big of a deal, seeing as how they were technically already living together for the time being.
Going through the room, Rose grabbed her athletic jacket, and slipped it on. She hadn’t really given much thought to what Rex had asked, another subject which she was avoiding. “It’s not about that,” she stated, pulling on the zipper.
“Then what is it?” he pushed.
Rose sighed hearing a loud knock come from her door. Sighing, she was more than relived to go answer it, allowing her to escape form this conversation. Although, when she opened it she had thought otherwise.
Cornell stood in the doorway with a very serious look on his face, two other Aurors behind him. “Weasley,” he greeted.
Confused, Rose heard Matt and Carla’s voice lower as they came to see who was at the door. “Is something wrong sir?” she asked trying to piece together what was going on.
Cornell pulled out an object that was folded up in a white cloth, “Do you recognize this?” he asked. Rose stared at the spiked object and shook her head. “It’s a dark artifact able to track down a wizard location with their blood.” He said sternly.
Huffing a low breath Cornell gazed to Rose’s eyes “Malfoy’s neighbors were complaining of loud noise earlier this evening. When the tenant went to investigate the apartment was ripped apart, as if there was a struggle, and this,” he motioned to the object “Is what we found,"
Rose gripped the door tightly, unsure of what Cornell was trying to tell her, “Sir what is going on?” there was a hint of worry in her voice as the piece’s started to come together.
Taking a deep breath Cornell said “Malfoy has gone missing,”
Stunned Rose swore her heart stopped.
A/N: Sorry that I’m late again, when you’re an English major all of your papers tend to be due at the same time. I am going to start posting on my author’s page where I am with chapters that way you will know when I have updated or sent chapters in for validation. So thank you for reading, I hope you like the chapter, the next one will be much more exciting. I promise. Please review and tell me what you think about Catherin and the scene with Rose and Scorpius? I will be back in two weeks.
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