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Chapter 15 : Cyrus
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Just letting you know this Chapter features a sensitive topic and might be upsetting….
“Mister Malfoy.” She paused, waiting for me to stop sneezing. “You are on your last leg.” I sat with my hands between my knees, refusing to look away from her eyes. “For no respectable reason what so ever that they have yet to give me. However, with the life you’ve led so far. Many Aurors have decided, as Rudolphus is paying quite a bit of attention to my school, that they can march in and decree what they please.” She paused for a calming breath. “It seems they are going to be inspecting you under a strong scrutiny to see if you are an insider, much like Miss Parkinson.”
“Professor, where is Parkinson? I didn’t see her after…” Her face took on the expression like she was sucking a lemon.
“Now you must keep it quiet. The aurors believe she was helped out whilst you were focusing on Poppy. So that is why they believe there is an insider and you are top of their list.” I froze.
“So there’s another, insider?” She nodded.
“Someone else is at Hogwarts and selling kids out to a nutter?” Her eyes gave a slight flicker. She didn’t reply but she didn’t have to. I felt myself slid down the chair slightly. My eyes flickered to the portrait on the wall, his half-moon glasses dangling off his nose as he slept. “How could I do two things at once?” My voice was a touch quieter.
I can’t face Azkaban. I can’t.
She leant forward slightly, her razor sharp eyes softening slightly. Making me feel worse, even though she meant well. “Don’t ask me, but after everything. They seem intent on sending every person who breaks the law to Azkaban. I have a few ideas that might help your case though.”
Somehow I suspect it’s not an enjoyable idea.
“If you want to stay out of Azkaban, I suggest hanging around more with Mr Potter and Ms Granger.” I let my expression speak my thoughts. She didn’t even twitch. “Not on your own, your little group can join with his.” Not possible. Not happening.
“With all due respect Professor, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She pursed her lips.
“Not all the time. In lessons that you share, stand or sit together. It’ll improve your image to them.” I couldn’t say anything. I just gave a head jerk. Wonder what Cy and Blaise will make of this. “Also, I want you to make a point of keeping your head down, do as well as you possibly can and.” She paused. “Not pick arguments with Professor Weasley.” I opened my mouth to argue. “I don’t want to hear ‘he did this he did that’. If you want out of Azkaban, you bite your tongue when something is said that you take a disliking to.”
I sat back, biting my lip. I hated two of the three ideas she had suggested. It made my skin crawl and my mouth go dry. Weasel.
“Well, I think we’ve spoken long enough. I’ll let you head back to your common room, just bare what I’ve said in mind.” She went back to her long quill and parchment, signalling that talking time was over.
Cy had caught me and McGonagall heading into her office, carrying a bottle green jumper and white trainers so I had something to wear. I pulled my hood up and wandered into the corridor.
Oh this is not good, I’m going to be sent to Azkaban for sure. Oh Merlin I’m going to Azkaban.
I stopped, the hairs rising on the back of my neck. Turning around I spotted two blokes staring at me from outside Professor McGonagall’s office. Wearing black auror robes, the closer had curly brown hair with dark eyes, the other had matching eyes but his hair was shaved close to his head. Both were tall and their jaws sharp with high cheekbones. The tall one had a scar across his right fore-head and cheek over his eye whilst curly kept licking his thin lips. I half-smiled at them as they watched me. I turned back and continued walking down the corridor, feeling their eyes watching me.
I can’t go to Azkaban. I can’t.
“Draco.” I lifted my head, Blaise and Cy were walking forwards, arms crossed and chins raised. Both were looking at the men behind me. “Who died?” They fell in step with me.
We walked back to the common room in silence, we went into our dorm, sat cross-legged against our beds on the floor so we could face each other and I told them everything. Parkinson to McGonagall’s advice.
“Well, I guess we can stomach the Weasels for a bit. Do they know?” Cyrus said
I nodded. “She spoke to them before speaking to me, their aware of the situation. Both Weasley’s, Potter and Hermione.” I was growing to like Weaslette, she was actually quite decent. I was also making an effort to call Hermione by her first name more often, it still felt weird.
Blaise munched his lip for a moment. “Well, might as well get on with it. But Malfoy.” He paused. “You don’t go anywhere on your own, we’re not giving them the chance to cart you off to Azkaban when our backs are turned.” Cyrus nodded in agreement, I didn’t argue.
Normal I would think they were being stupid. It was nice though, I really couldn’t face Azkaban. Even if no attempts were made, it was reassuring to know I didn’t have to go everywhere checking over my shoulder. I sighed.
This was tiring. “You know what guys. I think I might just go to bed.” I lifted my numb legs up.
“No you’re not.” I felt Cy grab my arm. “The aurors will be at dinner, therefore we need to be at dinner. Show them we’re not going to back down easily, we’re Slytherin remember.” He was right. I let them pull me up, the worry was exhausting me. I thought I’d left it behind.
No rest for the wicked.
I changed out of my pyjama bottoms into a pair of jeans and we headed to the hall, quietly talking about schoolwork. The hall chatter was in full swing, I was glad to see Madam Pomfrey sitting at the teachers table, looking like nothing had happened at all. The only discussion seemed to be about what happened in the medical wing and the two men, standing in either corner of the room next to the door. On one side was curly, whilst next to the Slytherin table was Scar face.
We sat, further into the table than usual. Birdy and Rhianna came and sat with us, chattering away about the two aurors. Eventually McGonagall stood, her expression was unreadable but not one of joy.
“Hello again, as you may have heard, the students in the medical wing have decided to leave Hogwarts. You may also have noticed that we have two aurors here with us.” She gestured to the two men, Scar face nodded but Curly couldn’t seem to keep his eyes off me. “They are here under the ministry’s request, until the last of the ‘Voldemort Conspirators’ are behind bars. They are not here to inspect or interview or arrest any of you.” Curly’s eyes didn’t flicker from me. I locked my eyes with his and we stayed. Staring each other down.
“Stop it, you’re making yourself look bad.” I was loathed to take Blaise’s advice, I won’t back down.
Cy hissed under his breath. “Meek and mild or Azkaban. Make your choice.” I ground my teeth but agreed, lowering my gaze back to my drink. Trying to block his smug smirk from my mind and focused on getting the hard clench out of my fingers.
It wasn’t long till McGonagall had finished talking, we stood and made our way to the buffet table. My eye was on a chocolate cake in the middle. “Draco!” I jumped.
Hermione bounced next to me, her smile making my stomach flutter. Her eyes looked at the aurors in the corner helping me to realise what she was doing. “Hey Hermione, what you getting?” Potter came and stood next to us, giving me a smile. I nodded at him. Weasel didn’t look happy at all but he wasn’t complaining.
“I was thinking about trying some pie, you?” I copied her.
We said goodbye and headed back to our table. I started tucking into my pie.
“Mind if we sit here?” I glanced up at the two aurors, the one who had spoken was Scar Face. Both had two identical plates of pasta.
“Yeah sure.” They sat, Scar Face was next to me whilst Curly plonked himself next to Cy. I focused my eyes on Cyrus who had his fingers curled around his wand and his eyes on Scar Face.
“Hey do I know you?” Scar Face said. Waving his fork at Cy.
“You were the auror who found my parents dead.” Scar Face smiled.
“Oh yeah, how are you doing about that?” His fingers were curled, every muscle looked tense and his eyes were burning holes in Scar’s.
“Fine.” He said through clenched teeth. Scar Face smiled.
“Good to hear it.” He turned his eyes on Blaise. “So how are you doing, both your parents are in Azkaban aren’t they.” I felt him tense next to me.
“Shouldn’t you be up with the teachers, where all the others sit?” I said, cutting Blaise off. He smirked.
“Well, thought we’d keep you lot company, there being so few of you.” He was looking for a reaction.
“Oi!” We all turned to look at Rhianna. The whole hall went silent. “If you’re going to be jerks you can get lost! Otherwise be nice or I’ll curse the pair of you.” She glared at the pair of them, her wand in her hand.
I could hear the Auror’s repress laughter, but as the whole hall was listening they kept quiet. “I think you should leave.” I kept my voice low and firm. Scar Face smiled and carried on eating.
“Come on guys.” Rhianna stood with her plate and we all followed.
Slytherin had about fifty members, there was plenty of room to sit in our little groups. As we walked to the far end next to the Professor’s, every group we passed stood and followed. Till we were all sat in a tight group as far away from the auror’s as we could get. The whole hall had gone silent and even the Teacher’s watched what happened.
Dinner finished in a very quiet and subdued manor. McGonagall sent us off and we all stood. The auror’s stayed sitting as we passed and headed towards our common room. I could feel Cyrus quietly fuming beside me. “Hey Draco.” I glanced down at a smiling Hermione but I didn’t smile back.
Looking in a window I could see the auror’s following a little further behind. “Hey Malfoy.” I frowned and looked to my right, Hermione was now walking in front of us and Potter was next to me. “How’s it going?”
“Fine.” My reply was as calm as I could make it. One warning glance from Potter told me I was failing. “You?”
I couldn’t care less.
“I’m good, you know we’re finishing the Polyjuice potion next week?”
“You don’t say?” I said. “This is us. See ya.” He nodded. Watching us turn off the corridor and down the steps.
Into the common room without glancing behind us.
“Fucking arsehole!” Cyrus smashed his way into the dorm. “Stupid little insolent prick!” He grabbed his bed and upturned it.
Quite impressive actually.
Blaise stormed onto his bed, clenched his hands into fists and ground his teeth. Cyrus collapsed on the mangled mess of his bed. I stood in the middle of the room. Not thinking. Not moving.
I have to do something.
“Fucker.” Cyrus growled into his carnage.
“Cyrus, what happened with your parents?” There was a moment of silence. Even Blaise looked up from his fists.
He rolled over. The anger going out of him in a huge sigh. “I was nine, Sean was about six, Birdy was four and Mum and Dad had just had my baby brother Kit.” He sat up. “Something was up, they left me and my brothers at my Grand-dad’s on my father’s side for a few days holiday. Kit got a cold after a day and our Grand-dad just sat there and said he would be fine but I was paranoid. He was so small. Turned out he was right and he would have been fine, but I called mum and got her to take Kit with them. She didn’t look right. But she took the baby and I felt happier, that I’d done something good and independent. That I could look out for my brothers.” He went silent for a long moment. “They were all found dead two days later. Killing curses for all three. My mother had been part of the Death Eaters due to her family, but never positively looked to become part of his inner circle. Yet the auror’s just deemed they had it coming. Didn’t even look for who did it. Just patted me on the head and said ‘sorry kid’. Then closed the case and never looked back.” He turned his head to cover a tear. I pretended I didn’t notice.
I stood and sat next to him. Not touching. Just sitting. “Thanks.” His voice was slightly hoarse. “I just always wonder. If a mother’s love saved Potter. Why didn’t my mother’s love save my baby brother?”
“Guess it doesn’t work that way.” He nodded.
“Sorry dude.” Blaise murmured. “That’s harsh.” He nodded.
“It’s fine, I came to terms with it, thankfully Birdy and Sean were too young to fully understand what happened. It was just seeing him again, made me angry and hurt all over again.” He closed his eyes and leant against the wall.
“Hey guys.” Rhianna’s head popped around the corner. “There are some Gryffindor’s at the door for you.” Her eyes were as wide as tennis balls and filled with judgement.
“We’re coming.” I stood and the others followed out to the common room, Cyrus lagging slightly to compose himself. The door was open and being guarded by two sour-faced fifth years. Everyone in our year was milling around the room and watching, the staff twins were watching quietly as they cleaned their bludgeons in the corner. “Come in to our dorm so this lot can’t listen in.” I led Weasley through the common room, Potter, Hermione and Weaslette emerging from behind him. I flicked my wand to fix the damage just as they came in. I sat against my bed and waited for them all to come in. Blaise shut the door behind them and muttered a spell to stop anything else being heard. Weasley pressed his thumb against his wand and eyed Blaise at the door.
I glared at him till he shifted his hand away, making Blaise relax slightly in the corner of my eye. I turned to Potter. “Malfoy, we need to talk.”
I know this chapter is very sad, and I hope it didn’t upset any of you too much. I thought it was about time we got to know Cyrus and his family a bit better. Remember reviews are always welcome J
X Ravenpen x
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