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The Girl from Slytherin by Lululuna
Chapter 23 : The House of Nott
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7

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Perfect chapter image by Lake @ TDA! 


A/N: This chapter is dedicated to marauder5, who has been so lovely in supporting this story since Day 1! You're the best! :)

In the night, terror visits me in the form of a dream. I dream of a dark forest, of seeking to find that which cannot be found, patterns of moonlight flickering in bizarre shapes across the treacherous floor, roots reaching up to trip me, hissing angrily. I dream of a cold, high voice that plays within my head, ringing against the walls of my skull as if it is trying to escape. I dream of forgetting, of digging through the dry soil of the forest to find the key to a memory that has been forcefully extricated from my consciousness, the key of wood and dirt that will unlock the flood of memories to cleanse this forest. It is only until I wake that I realize: perhaps this dream was not my own.

The moment Fernanda Nott arrives at our home, Pyxis and Theo are immediately tense. It’s the day they’ve both been longing for and dreading, and it’s my turn to serve as their buffer. It’s the day we go to visit Mr. Thanatos Nott in Azkaban.

After scribbling an apprehensive message to Terry, I pack a small purse full of all the chocolate I can muster. I dress for the weather, in a black dress with heavily spelled tights for warmth, and a heavy peacoat, but deciding I look like I’m going to a funeral, exchange the dress for a brighter blue number. Downstairs, I find the Nott brothers conversing awkwardly with their great-aunt. The muscles on Theo’s face tighten.

“Astoria, darling, how are you?” Fernanda Nott exclaims throatily, kissing me wetly on each cheek. I smile up at her, sure not to betray any emotion or opinion besides an instinctive, pleasant front, and hoping her glaring ruby lipstick didn’t leave smudges on my cheeks. Tiny crinkles line her lips, making the lipstick cracked in places.

“I’ve been well, thank you. Hogwarts sure is keeping us busy this year-has Pyxis been telling you about our new Potions Master?” I refrain from blurting out the exciting news that I got a Pygmy Puff, who is still alive, by the way, no thanks to Guinevere’s efforts.

“Oh yes, but then Horace is an old acquaintance. I hear he’s become most unbearable in his old age-”

Chattering away, Fernanda takes my arm and guides me through to my own garden. Father is waiting, an uneasy look on his face, clutching what looks like an old, rusted fireplace poker.

“Tor, boys, are you sure you’re comfortable with this trip? I’m sure your father doesn’t expect you to-”

“It’s fine,” Pyxis says tersely, then adds “sir” as an after-thought.

Father fixes his eyes on my face. “Tor, did you want me to accompany the boys instead? Azkaban, it’s a hard place. No place for children. I could go instead.”

“No, I really don’t mind,” I say firmly, though my heart is racing a little with fear. Of course, Father couldn’t really go- it would be too questionable, a Ministry executive visiting convicted Death Eaters, and some of the mad prisoners might cry out and expose him as being amongst them. I am much less obvious-a friend of the boys, a schoolgirl, Astoria Greengrass with no named connection to Mr. Yaxley of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Plus, my Nott boys need me.

“Oh, don’t worry Orpheus, the kids and I will do just fine,” Fernanda simpers, looking at Father through her eyelids in a way that is most unbecoming. “They’re in very capable hands, believe me, and Azkaban is of course staffed by very competent guards. I myself have been to visit my dear nephew twice in the past few months, and no trouble has arisen. Why, I’ve even sent Selby a few times with news and supplies, and he’s been absolutely competent.”

Pyxis and I exchange looks, feeling sorry for poor, sweet Selby being forced to brave the Dementors.

“Alright,” Father says reluctantly. “You must be careful, however. Do no hesitate to use magic if you need it. Especially you, Theo, since you’re of age now.”

“I know, sir,” Theo says, faking a confident smile.

“Bye, Father,” I say lightly, going forward and taking the fire poker from him. The rust chafes slightly at my hands. “This is the Portkey, I presume? We had better hurry, isn’t it set to depart at ten?”

Theo, Pyxis and their aunt move forward to place a finger on the Portkey. Theo’s shoulder presses into my own, and I lean against him as if to offer silent comfort and support.

“Good luck,” I hear Father saying, and suddenly we are being picked up by an invisible force and hurled through incomprehensible space. I hear Pyxis whooping and a few words of flustered muttering from Fernanda. It’s a most peculiar feeling, going through a Portkey, but I like the thrill and the rush of oddness that permeates it. Finally, feeling rather dizzy, we are deposited on solid ground. Theo clings to me for a moment, looking a little green, then rights himself.

At my feet is a terrain made of sharp bits of rocks and sand, coated in a dusting the color of ash. This is a place where souls come to be corrupted, where death and the stench of it sticks to the billows of the very seat itself. I kick a piece of rock and it thuds dully, the small movement strangely unsettling.

The smell of the sea, of salt and dead fish and chill, works its way through my senses, barely masking the scent of something worse, something rotten.

“Well, let’s get on with it, then.” Pyxis breaks the silence and begins walking up the slippery steps, towards the jagged, enormous black structure cutting through the murky skyline. Glancing at Theo, I fall into step in the rear, checking over my shoulder and trying to shake the uneasy feeling I’m being watched.

“Keep up, Astoria, dear,” Fernanda bumbles from in front of me. I pretend her words were lost in the roar of the sea wind.

Staring up at the great fortress of a prison, I am wondering how it can be to live in a place without windows when the misery hits me like a chilling wave. I see Pyxis stagger, and he glances back and meets my eye. I notice that he’s biting his lip, his fists clenched tightly at his sides. Alright? I ask him silently and he gives a little nod, as if steeling himself, and continues on the climb.

Dementors. I feel cold. I feel, not unhappy, but as if there is no mention of happiness, as if it is a measure of something that is less concrete than air. I feel them before I see them: their clammy, anxious hands slipping back into robes, the mottled insides of what were once brains and minds, decayed and unsalvageable. Frantically, I erect the Occlumency wall in my mind, and the misery recedes a little, a tiny flame of warmth treasured inside of my head. I grip my wand tightly in my hand. I’m here for Pyxis and Theo.

We are met at the sole entrance to Azkaban by a large, vicious looking woman with dirty fingernails. She holds her wand lit, and in the moldy darkness within the prison the light makes her features distorted, as if they are all the wrong sizes for her face. Her eyes are small and piggy, and glare into each of us as we assemble at the top of the greasy steps. Waves of hostility pour off her, and something else, like a fruit with a rotting core. Like a hidden Azkaban within Britain.

“The Nott party?” The guard demands, and Fernanda nods, feigning cheeriness.

“It’s Carrow, isn’t it? These are my nephew’s boys, and their friend.”

Carrow stares dumbly at Fernanda for a moment, then turns and hunches her shoulder, a clumsy gesture at asking us to follow her.

I feel uneasy and awkward as we pass the dank, crammed cells, whittled into the stones of Azkaban as if the prison had been hollowed out around these dirty pockets. Rusted bars separate us from the convicts, walking the rocky path, and I nervously calculate that it is just wide off that were both prisoners on either side to stretch out their hands towards the median, their fingers could just graze me.

Most of the inhabitants do not acknowledge us. I pass an old, weary woman staring blindly at the wall of her cell, clutching a fading bird’s feather to her lips. I catch the eyes of a scrawny young man: his eyes are wild and mouth hangs open dumbly. He gapes at me, and I close my mind against him to avoid taking on any of his pain.

As we advance deeper into Azkaban, the feelings of anger and despair become more pronounced. Soon, we approach the first clusters of Dementors: they appear to be hovering around a cell where a man clutches a small photograph to him. He looks fearfully at us, tears dripping off his chin. The Dementors swarm us, but do not come too close: they seem able to differentiate visitors from inmates. Beside me, Pyxis is trembling, and I take his hand, the sweat rubbing from his skin to mine. I twine my arms around his arm, not looking too closely at the Dementors. Secretly, I am afraid to catch a glimpse of what lies beneath their hoods.

I stumble over a thin rock, and a faceless man cackles “be careful darling,” from somewhere close by. Pyxis steadies me, but for a moment my Occlumens defenses have tumbled a little and the Dementors trickle towards my consciousness.

Terry Boot, lying cold and still on the floor, his dark hair fallen over his face. A hooded figure standing over him: as he rises, wand still pointed at the corpse at his feet. He lifts his head and I see the killer is my father: even as he shakes his head at me in paternal disappointment a curse leaves his wand and Terry is writhing, is crying, his body contorted, his lovely face twisted in wild pain-

No. I force the terrifying thoughts from my head, focusing instead on the idea of Terry, alive and laughing and carefree, his arms wrapped around my waist, his eyes lit in the thrill of discussion. That is the reality, I remind myself, chasing these thoughts of grief and guilt from my head. I squeeze Pyxis’ hand, and he squeezes it back without looking at me.

Carrow stops in front of a non-descript cell, and Theo and Pyxis gasp as they look down upon their father. Thanatos Nott is a wreck of a man, gray rags clutched about his body as a useless shield against the chill, eyes empty and dead.

“Father? Father, it’s me,” Pyxis calls tentatively, kneeling as close to the bars of the cell as he can get. “Dad?” His voice cracks.

Pyxis stretches his hand through the bars, but the thin man shrinks from his son’s touch, his skin white and veined against the grime of his cell. I feel the Dementors hovering, feeding off our hopes and attempts at love.

Pyxis looks up at Theo hopelessly: he was his father’s darling, I remember, the little golden boy, and now that same man who he so loved and looked up to is no more than a childlike shell in the dirt.

“Dad,” Theo begs, but it seems Mr. Nott is beyond recognizing his sons, is trapped within the confines of his own sort of prison. He looks up, as if trying to arrange his scrambled and broken thoughts into words, into a social interaction, but fails. The Dementors are gleeful. I can sense it, a cold, perverted kind of thrill.

Carrow watches impassively, her mouth curled in faint disdain. I wonder how years of working in this unique circle of hell could have hardened this woman, watching the cruel set of her jaw. The Nott brothers and Fernanda try to coax Mr. Nott out of his silence, while I stand back respectfully.

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?” I say without thinking to the Carrow woman. She looks down her nose at me, assessing this underage girl child.

“Pathetic, isn’t it,” she smirks. “Poor little brats, ‘e’s too far gone for that, ‘e is…”

“Shut up,” I say tightly, but she only rubs her hands together in anticipation.

“Brave you are now, little girl, but there isn’t no hope once we got ‘em in ‘ere…”

The Dementors, sensing weakness, press forward.

My father, alone and grubby on the floor of Azkaban, driven mad by isolation, the palms of his strong hands pressed fiercely against his ears. Theo and Pyxis, dead on the floor with Dark Marks gleaming from their exposed forearms. Terry, screaming—

“I won’t have this,” I say through my teeth, and draw my wand. Acting instinctively, fiercely, I scour my mind for the happiest thing I can think of: I think of Terry, of Theo and Pyxis and Amaris and Taurus and my parents, happy, strong, living and safe, laughing with me, Terry’s hand in mine, Pyxis’ hair blowing in the wind. I imagine them as they could be someday, fearless and carefree. If I’m ever going to be a great Occlumens, I should be able to conquer the mind games these foul creatures play. I capture the joy of their faces in my Occlumens fortress, magnifying it through empty windows, letting it thrill me.

“Expecto Patronum!”

To my surprise, a large silver shape, fuelled by the faces of my loved ones, bursts from the tip of my wand and flaps – yes, that is the only word for it- towards the Dementors. The hooded inhuman figures scatter in alarm, swooping from the Patronus’ path like being chased by hellfire. I laugh, gleeful, ecstatic at what I’ve created, and the Patronus, the great creature soars back and perches upon my outstretched arm, settles it’s wings. Carefully, I launch it towards Mr. Nott, and it passes through him in a rush of light and warmth. I see Mr. Nott look up at Pyxis, his eyes bright in the light of my Patronus, and he reaches out a hand towards his sons. Fernanda and Theo gaze, amazed, at the Patronus, while Carrow hangs her mouth open dumbly, astounded and annoyed.

“It’s beautiful,” Theo whispers, and he smiles so sweetly at me that I bite my lip. The Patronus only grows brighter, preening it’s feathers within the cell. And Mr. Nott looks weakly to his boys, and tells them Merry Christmas in a harsh, unused sort of voice, and I step away to give them privacy, and this is when Carrow grabs me by the shoulders, shaking me forcefully.

“Make it disappear,” she growls, spittle flying in my face. “You can’t cast those there, yer, little -”

‘Get away from me,” I say steadily, shoving her off me and pointing my wand straight at her heart. “Don’t you dare touch me again.”

“’orrid cow,” Carrow snarls, and I feel rather than see the curse on the tip of her tongue. However, someone is bluntly grabbing me, and I notice Theo’s frightened face as he realizes what’s been going on between Carrow and I. The dirty woman looks piercingly back at me, her eyes reflecting her fear at having something as pure as a Patronus in this decrepit place.

“We’ll be going now, children,” Fernanda says nervously, and the boys bid goodbyes to the shade that was Mr. Nott. I lower my wand, and, noticing my Patronus flickering, concentrate again on the image of Terry’s laughing face, glorious and alive, and the great silver creature guides our small party through the masses of Dementors, disappearing only when we are back where we left the Portkey.

Alecto Carrow watches us go, brittle fingers clutched around her wand, piggy eyes clenched in an angry grimace. She will not forget my disrespect, bringing light and hope into the decrepit haven of wrongness that is Azkaban, disrupting the little authority she had achieved in her bleak life. In the coming months, when she would be recruited as a Death Eater, and given the run of Hogwarts she would not forget my insolence that winter day. Only the threat of my father’s wrath and his superiority in the Dark Lord’s inner circle would keep her from using the Cruciatus Curse on me, that November day in the approaching year when I would refuse to betray the whereabouts of Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom.

We pass one more Dementor on the way to the Portkey, lingering a curious distance from its brethren. The Dementor ignores us, clutching what looks like a bright red apple in it’s scabbed hands. Strange. I do not waste time dwelling on this odd sight, however, when I realize that Pyxis’ face has grown gray, his hands trembling. He drops his wand and I quickly retrieve it, wishing I could find the strength to cast another Patronus.

When we reach my home by the particularly boisterous Portkey, Pyxis is still shivering, eyes that don’t know what to see, that are absorbing the impact of what has become of his father, and what fate awaits Death Eaters who are not careful enough. Fernanda trails into the house, calling for my mother.

“We need to warm him up,” I inform Theo, annoyed that I need to state the obvious, and he nods mutely and helps me drag his brother to the library, where we set him up with three afghans and a handful of Chocolate Frogs. I unwrap a couple – pocketing the cards, which are Morgan le Fay and Helga Hufflepuff- and force-feed my friend until he can manage for himself. Theo returns only to deposit a cup of hot chocolate in his brother’s hands, then vanishes.

“Are you feeling better now?” I ask Pyxis, concerned. He shrugs, looking a little embarrassed. I fetch Lancelot the baby blue Pygmy Puff from his cage in the corner, where he is humming happily, and silently hoping he behaves, place him in Pyxis’ hands. The edge of Pyxis’ mouth twitches up in a smile and he strokes Lance’s fur gently, feeding the tiny beast a bite of chocolate.

“I don’t know why I acted so oddly just now,” he apologizes, staring down at the dark chocolate swirling in his mug. “It’s just… the Dementors, they were so… so cold. I couldn’t stop thinking about… you know.”

“I do know,” I tell him, and lean in to hug him, pulling myself onto the chesterfield beside him. He leans his leg against mine absently. “I’m here for you, Pixie. If you ever need to talk, I’m here.”

Pyxis looks at me sideways. “Are you, though? I don’t know, Tor… lately you’ve been a little… absent. You’re always off and I barely see you at school.”

I keep my face and mind relaxed. “What are you talking about, silly? I’m here now, aren’t I.”

“I can’t quite pin it down,” Pyxis murmurs. We sit in silence for a few minutes, sipping the hot chocolate and staring at the warm, magical fire as Lance, nestled in the crook of Pyxis’ arm, chirps for attention. Finally, Pyxis breaks the quiet again.

“You’d tell me,” he begins in a low voice. “You’d tell me if you were… you know… recruited?

I nod slowly. “You mean with…” I gesture in the direction of my father’s empty desk, still covered with papers, and Pyxis nods imperceptibly.

“I’m still too young, you know that,” I whisper tensely. “We’re… we have to be out of it, at least for a few years. Yes.”

“I’m worried about my brother,” Pyxis whispers back, furtive, hands involuntarily clenching around the mug in his hands. “Did you see his face, back there in that place? When we saw Father? He’s deep thinking, and bad things happen when Theo starts deep thinking.

I recognize the term from our long years of friendship, but try my best to reassure Pyxis. The problem is, I don’t know if Pyxis is jealous, or worried. And what does it mean if he doesn’t want his brother to join up? Is that right or wrong?

“They’d never have him,” I return, “he’s just a kid.”

“So is Malfoy,” Pyxis says, his lips barely forming the words that whisper in the air like a bad spirit. “And I’d bet my broomstick, Tor, that my brother is next if he has anything to do with it. He’ll be joined up by Easter.”

The morning of Christmas Eve, I am surprised to find Draco Malfoy presumptuously perched on one of the armchairs in my library. Startled, I tighten my grip on The Noble Art of Legilimency and other Mind Control Methods, my reading material for the morning, and march over to where Malfoy is seated next to Theo, dark head and light head bent closely together over some sort of document.

“Alright, boys?” I ask, taking a big bite of the toast I’m clutching in both hands. They jump up, startled at my presence, and Malfoy expertly whisks away the parchment before I can catch a glimpse.

“Won’t your mother be angry if she sees you dropping crumbs in the library?” Theo asks. I arch an eyebrow at him.

“Well, what’s the point of having a house guest who’s of age if he can’t charm a few bits of food out of the carpet?”

“Touché,” Theo acknowledges, then eyes my toast in a most unsubtle way. Graciously, I extend it out and let him take a nibble. Today, I decide, is going to be a very different day from the visit to Azkaban. That horrible day need not even exist.

“Good jam, that,” Theo comments. I realize that Malfoy is looking a little left out. Perhaps he’s not accustomed to our kind of banter. Spontaneously, I decide that I won’t give him the opportunity to snub or insult me. This is my turf. Even if he has authority among the other Slytherins, I refuse to give him any power over me here.

“You’re looking very tired today, Draco,” I comment, grinning ruefully up at him. “Want to hold my Pygmy Puff?”

“Nobody wants to hold your Pygmy Puff, Tor,” Theo groans. “Plus, he hates boys. Little bugger bit me yesterday!”

I choose to ignore him. My little Lancey wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“Let’s do something fun today!” I exclaim instead, stretching myself out on the carpet in front of them and straining to touch my own toes. “It is Christmas Eve, after all. You can’t possibly have more revising?”

“Hmm… we could play Gringottsopoly?” Theo suggests, ticking his fingers. “Life-size game of wizarding chess? Move all the furniture out of Daph’s room and onto the roof?”

I bite my lip, thinking. “Hide and seek? Bake dancing gingerbread men? Cut Pyxis’ hair?”

“Er, dueling practice?” Malfoy suggests, looking uncomfortable. He sniffs heavily, nostrils flaring.

“Gotta do better, mate,” Theo tells him, flushed with thought.

“The Muggle brats down the road from yours were having a snowball fight?” Malfoy offers, and both Theo and I look at him in shock. Quickly, Malfoy re-arranges his features in an expression of haughty disinterest. “I mean, I, unlike you, have actually looked outdoors today since my mother Apparated me over, and just noticed that the snow is perfect for… I mean, not that I would know-”

“Malfoy, you just earned yourself a spot on our team,” I exclaim, jumping up and dragging Theo to his feet. “Zabini is set to arrive soon, yeah? I’ll go fill in Daph and Pyxis, and we can begin preparing munitions. Theodore, fetch the mittens.”

Theo gives me a bizarre sort of salute. “We can finish this later, eh Draco?” I hear him say as I race from the room, filled on some strange elated energy. Glancing outside on my way upstairs, I acknowledge that Malfoy was not lying: it is indeed perfect packing snow, one of those rare days when English weather actually does exactly what you’d like. The snow is deep, glistening and sparkles in the bright winter sun. And soon it will be smushed into Daphne’s face.

I remember Terry telling me that when it snows, the Muggle world shuts down: trains stop running, shops are closed, people hibernate inside their houses. I giddily tell myself to send him a gleeful message later: thank Merlin we wizards don’t worry about such Muggle conventions!

Less than an hour later, we are assembled in position after pawing through the hodge-podge collection of winter gear in the house. I am currently wearing mis-matched mittens, a pair of short snow trousers, and a bright red hat with a tassel twinkling cheerfully at it’s end. Working quickly, Theo and an unnaturally amiable Malfoy assemble our defenses: a knee length wall behind which we can throw ourselves to the ground, and a large supply of magically colored green snow out of which to make our missiles. I’m honestly surprised that both Malfoy and Zabini have agreed to this, but there’s an eager, childlike air around Malfoy today, like he just wants to be ridiculous for once. Zabini, I think, just wants to impress Daphne, and will mould himself into whatever kind of person does that best.

The other team has red snow, and the snowballs have been quickly enchanted so that if each one of us is hit four times by the other team, we will be paralyzed for a full three minutes before we come back to life. If all three opposing members are frozen, then victory is ours. Brooms are allowed, but wands must be left inside.

Pyxis glares at me, clearly not pleased to be paired up with Daphne and Zabini. However, he’s a ferocious dynamo when it comes to competition, and could probably take just Theo and Malfoy on his own. I, however, have an obnoxious older sister with pretty hair begging to be ruined.

The battle begins with Pyxis’ war cry, which sounds more like a Hippogriff choking on a bobcat. I hurl a handful of snow at his face but he dodges it nimbly, sending one straight into Malfoy’s stomach. I sigh. Knew he’d be the weak link. Fortunately, both Daphne and Zabini are tossing the snow rather clumsily and gingerly, most of their shots going wide or hitting the ground feet away. I hit the ground hard and drag Malfoy down with me behind the wall as Pyxis advances, then cackle wildly as Theo, who has take to the air, drops enough snow to hydrate the giant squid on his brother’s head.

We rage on, laughing, freezing, breathless, and as I get Daph square in the face and she gives a little squeal of outrage I am silently thrilled to be alive, in this moment, and to act as a child would. Zabini gets a good hit on at me when I double over in hysterical laughter at Malfoy, who has snaked along the ground under a layer of snow to grab Pyxis from behind and causing him to emit a girly scream. Zabini smiles slyly at me, his cold face cracking like ice. He and Daph whoop and bump chests, which only makes us all laugh harder.

“Take that, baby sister!” Daphne screams, and I shake my fist at her mockingly. She grins at me, resembling the little dark-haired playmate of my youth.

The game comes to a close when Theo tackles me from behind, wrestling me to the ground as she rubs cold, sweet snow in my face and it gets in my nose and mouth. I scream as he throws himself on top of me and holds me down, leading to Pyxis, then Daphne and finally a hesitant Malfoy and Zabini to join the pileup. Through the mess, I wipe my runny nose on the only thing I can reach- Theo’s sleeve- and stare up at him dolefully.

Et tu, Brute?

Finally, bedraggled and exhausted, we drag ourselves off the chilly ground and walk back towards the house, chattering to each other. Daphne tries to jump up on Zabini’s back and sends them both toppling down. He gives her a little kiss on her pink nose and slings an arm around her shoulder. Theo steals the red tasseled hat off my head and shoves it over Malfoy’s face, leaving him sputtering blindly, but letting the hat rest on his head.

Nobody has spoken of the war or the Death Eaters, of danger or glory, as if in this tiny euphoric portion of the snowy world these grand issues need not exist.

My parents poke their heads through the kitchen door, Father’s eyes crinkling as he applauds our soaked appearance. Mum insists that we line up for a group photo and waves her camera at us, and feigning reluctance we assemble dutifully.

Months later, I will look at that photo and admire my flushed cheeks, nestled between Theo and Daphne, our arms slung around each other’s shoulders. Zabini glances down at my sister, his hard mouth curving a little. She is pink and giggling, a princess of light shining in the snow, our dark hair mingling together. I lean my head on Theo’s shoulder, and the afternoon light glances from the space between he and Pyxis, their eyes bright with the same temporary forgetfulness. Malfoy’s transformation is the most dramatic of all: his pale hair mussed and tumbling against the ridiculous red hat, his ears red, arm placed a little awkwardly and a little admiringly around Pyxis’ shoulders, caught halfway between a laugh and a memory.

The last truly happy day we would have for a long while. Two Christmases from now, one of us would be dead.

A/N: I don’t own Monopoly (Parker Brothers), or the quote from Julius Caesar (Shakespeare) or Harry Potter characters (JK Rowling). I do, however, own Tor Yaxley and Pyxis Nott (though not their names), and I quite liked them in this chapter. Did you? And anyone who has read Derwent Demented, yes Derwent made a cameo in this chapter, I couldn’t resist!

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