Chapter 4 : Taken
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Louis was out 'looking for him' while they had breakfast in his kitchen. Or Alejandro was eating breakfast; AJ had a bowl of cereal in front of him, now soggy because it had been completely untouched. He thought that Alejandro had talked about giving him toast instead, but he ignored it. Instead he kept his eyes closed and his head in his hands and he focused on what he could See.
Visions were easier to handle when they came to him willingly, showing what he needed to See. Looking for what he wanted to See was a lot harder, causing migraines and sometimes, if he tried too hard or for too long, caused him to pass out. But he'd escaped from Azkaban, become a fugitive and promised to go back, and he'd done it all for a reason - his visions. The migraines would be worth looking for his reason for getting out of prison.
And if he passed out, then maybe Alejandro would catch him before he hit the tiled floor.
Maybe. Alejandro Martinez was a hard man to read.
But so far all he was getting was flashes that didn't make sense. There was yelling, running and screaming - he was the only face he recognized, everyone else was a blur. They were nameless shapes; he didn't like that. He didn't like that at all.
He gave up after almost an hour of looking, only when he thought his head would split in two if he tried to continue.
AJ looked up to meet Alejandro's gaze for a moment, and then squeezed them shut and softly asked for pain relief. He felt a vial being pushed against his elbow, it already on the table for him, and grabbed it, downing it in one. It was cold on his tongue, causing shivers to run down his spine, and tasted vile, but it helped and that was all he cared about.
"Nothing helpful," he murmured finally. "Apparently I'm not ready to know yet."
"That sucks," he replied, sounding like he didn't care.
But AJ had known the man since they had started Hogwarts when they were eleven and dorm mates in Slytherin; he may not be particularly helpful in some cases, but Alejandro did care. He'd promised Louis he'd go underground to find AJ, but then AJ came to them. Now his 'assignment' was to get information on anything happening with big time criminals in the area; long con artists, hit men and gangs, particularly La Oscurità, because something big had to be happening if it was worthy of a vision to get AJ out of Azkaban. And he wasn't doing it for Louis, he was doing it because they were friends.
AJ was worried about how tired the man probably was.
"So, how is Lucy?" Alejandro asked.
AJ winced, and then sighed. Lucy was an even harder person to read than Alejandro; harsh one minute and calm the next. She was never boring, that was one of the things he loved about her. Even when she ignored him for work, she interested him.
He was relieved beyond belief when she told him where to meet her with their son; he'd been ready to leave disappointed and start looking for another way to see Cameron, even if it meant going to the school. But she'd agreed and that was what he'd needed; she would have made things much worse when he'd finally gotten out as a free man, kept him away Cameron altogether. Right now, she was just protecting their son. He understood that.
It still hurt that she no longer loved him.
"Complicated," he told Alejandro. "I'm meeting her this afternoon to see Cameron."
Alejandro looked a little more awake than before, surprise lighting his eyes. He'd gotten in late and Louis had left early; he didn't know about his plan to see his son. From the look on his friends face, AJ could could guess that he was making a mental note of all the things that could go wrong. That was what Alejandro did; he figured out what could go wrong and stopped it before it happened. He made plans as flawless as humanly possible.
With a nod, one that assured AJ he was helping, they talked through how AJ was going to get to the park undetected.
Cameron's birth was one of the happiest days of AJ's life, along with proposing to Lucy. Their relationship had started as a casual thing, neither wanting something real because they had other things on their minds - Lucy was working on her N.E.W.T.s to get ready to join the Ministry and AJ was hiding his first arrest and making sure it never happened again. They hadn't planned on it getting serious, even after years together and Lucy getting pregnant, but when he stopped and thought about it, counted up their dates they'd had and the nights in to just be together, and that he wasn't working on a new scam, he knew that his little family meant more to him than he'd thought and he wanted to be there for them both, because he loved them both.
He asked her to marry him a few months after Cameron was born, when he knew that she was ready and it was the right time. But that wasn't for a while yet.
He had tried to be involved in the birth, helping Lucy any way he could, but her father never liked him and wasn't against telling him to get out. He thought he'd miss everything until a healer came out and told him that it was time and Lucy only wanted him with her. Percy Weasley was outraged, but no one else seemed to care.
He held her hand, soothed her when she cried and told her everything was alight, but it was all background noise compared to actually holding his baby boy in his arms.
Lucy was fast asleep when a medi-witch came in with Cameron. He didn't have a name yet then, the healers had taken to calling him Little Wolfe - a name that had stuck.
From the moment AJ held him, he knew that he loved the little boy, would do anything to keep him safe and happy. He whispered all the things they'd do together, all the things AJ would teach him, and AJ promised then and there that he would no longer get into trouble. He would follow the law, get a real job and look after his son, like his biological father had never done.
It lasted two years.
Only he and his friends knew the real reason why.
AJ opened his eyes and leaned back against the tree with a sad sigh. He wasn't entirely sure if he was having a vision of the past or if he was just remembering; he could usually tell, visions were more vivid and real than memories, but he knew that day so well, he'd never forget it.
Lucy had woken up when he'd gotten to his promise, had made him swear, and it was that promise that had allowed him to keep them in the first place; Lucy had made it clear that she wouldn't allow his 'activities' to hurt their son.
The fact that he'd broken his promise was the main reason she had refused to visit him; he hurt her and Cameron.
He'd hoped that she'd loved and trusted him enough to know that he'd had a reason, but her hurt had overpowered reason and her pride had kept her away.
With any luck, she will listen now.
He hoped that was true, but only time would tell. So instead of thinking about it, he focused on the present - Cameron's school should be over now, if Louis was right, and Lucy should be on her way. Unless she'd changed her mind since they'd last spoken and wasn't bringing Cameron, which was entirely possible; she hadn't promised, after all.
She wouldn't do that to me, not when she seemed to understand.
He sat and he waited for almost two hours, wishing that she was just running late, that something had stopped her but she would be at the park with Cameron soon. When five o'clock came around, he gave up and headed for the path that had gotten him there and should also get him back without being seen.
I'll just go to the school tomorrow.
"Ashley!" Lucy's voice screamed at him.
He turned, too shocked to fully acknowledge that she was drawing attention to a fugitive. She looked hysterical and she wasn't trying to hide it. Tears streamed down her face and she looked ready to kill him.
"Where is he?" she yelled, pushing him backwards into a tree. "Where's my son?"
"What do you mean, where is he? I assumed he was with you, that you just weren't coming," he insisted, starting to get scared. "I've been here since quarter to three, waiting for you."
"You didn't take him from school?" she asked, desperate for him to say yes, he could tell.
"Of course not, I would never." He meant it, even when he planned to go to the school, he was only going to talk to Cameron there. He'd never take him without Lucy's consent. "Louis said only a family member could take Cameron from school."
"It should be, but you're his father, he looks just like you and he tells them he's waiting for you all the time," she whispered, running her hands through her hair. "I hoped he'd be with you."
"We'll find him," AJ promised, resting his hands on her shoulders until she looked up at him. "He's five years old and only family can take him; he can't have gotten far."
"I've been searching for two hours," Lucy reminded him desperately.
"You didn't have a Seer before," he countered before he screamed in pain.
The force with which the vision came brought him to his knees, he threaded his hands through his hair and pulled. He vaguely heard Lucy demand to know what was going on, felt her hands on his chest to keep him up.
But that wasn't what he saw...
In his head, Cameron was waiting by the front gates; his mummy had promised she'd be at the school earlier than usual because she had to take him somewhere special. It was a surprise and he was so excited, even if his mummy looked nervous. She was always nervous. He didn't get a lot of surprises; his mummy was always telling him what was happening.
He found her quickly; it was easy when only a few parents were in the playground - school had only just been let out. Excited, he reached up and let her carry him, giving her a quick, tight hug in greeting. She didn't return it right away; Cameron began to feel weird.
He pushed the thought away; nothing was wrong.
"What's the surprise?" he asked, trying to keep his earlier excitement.
"You'll see," she replied with a smile and a voice that wasn't his mummy's voice.
Scared, he tried to jump down and run, but she held on too tightly. He tried to scream, but she used magic and he couldn't talk anymore. They stopped in front of a van and a strange man he didn't know opened up the big sliding door on the side.
His mummy dropped him inside and sat in front of her, then she wasn't his mummy anymore. She had blond hair and green eyes and a smile that had Cameron pushing backwards.
They wouldn't let him talk the whole way there, so he settled for crying; tears fell until he could hardly see.
And then he was in a large, cold warehouse. Cameron shivered violently, but they had finally taken away the magic on him and he was kicking and screaming, yelling for Harry and Louis to save him. They ignored him, dragged him into a cleared out part of the warehouse.
Standing in front of him was another strange man, this one older and obviously a boss; everyone else in the room looked to him like people looked at Harry and his headteacher at school.
He moved forward, kneeling in front of Cameron; his eyes were cold and his smile was not kind. Cameron kicked him.
"Harry is coming," he shouted.
The strange man gestured to the others to let him go, knew the boy wouldn't run away when he spoke his next words.
"We're not waiting for Harry," he murmured dangerously. "We're waiting for your daddy."
Cameron's eyes widened.
Lucy shook him over and over, until AJ finally focused on her, was back in the real world. His own eyes were widened like Cameron's, fear mixing with the shock they shared upon hearing what his captor had said.
"What did you See, AJ?"
He gulped, scared of what she'd do or say once she knew, but knew she had to know. He took a deep breath and he answered her.
"La Oscurità. They took him."
A/N: Finally got a new chapter posted. I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think. :)
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