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Chapter 42 : Brooding
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“There’s nothing simple about murder,” Uncle Harry muttered. They were the first words he’d spoken since we’d all gathered in his office with the medical file and the new found discoveries. He wasn’t scolding Dom; he was too deep in thought to comment any further. He held an intense scowl as his one hand covered the bottom half of his face, resting his chin on his thumb. The other hand tapped an erratic rhythm on the table with the tips of his fingers.
Draco and Astoria Malfoy — Scorpius’ mum and dad… murdered. It was absurd and maddening and completely overwhelming all at once. I was finding it difficult to grasp the magnitude of it all, and the emotions were putting Scorpius through the ringer.
He’d refused to sit down ever since we’d got to Uncle Harry’s office. Actually, I don’t think he would’ve even considered going to Harry except for the fact that Al had grabbed all the photos and documents and stormed through the ministry in a whirlwind of fervor. Al’s intention wasn't to be insensitive to his best friend, and he wasn't wrong, either. His discovery was huge.
We were all crowded around a small, square table Al had conjured to spread out the paperwork. I was in a chair on one side; Dad was on my left and Teddy sat to my right. Uncle Harry was opposite me, with Dom and Colleen flanking him. Kali and Caesar sat on the right side, examining the paperwork with great intensity. Healer Lawrence took up one entire side, not because he was a large man, but because no one wanted to be next to him. Al was wildly pacing around, shoving himself between people to point at documents and photos as he explained all his findings.
“D’ya see how the dates don’t line up?” Al explained. “And the missing windscreen glass? That’s when I first realized something was off. Then Rose noticed that the wounds here,” he pointed to the male victim’s picture — or rather, Draco, “see here? They look like verbero scalpere. Sort of. Dom’s right. It’s quite possibly murder.”
“I think I should take a look at these photos to determine if the injuries were caused by dark magic.” Healer Lawrence reached for the pictures and Teddy leaned in close to him as the head Healer was scrutinizing the photo. His face was screwed in concentration. I was caught between straining to pay attention to the conversation and keeping one eye on Scorpius, standing across the room. If I hadn’t been looking up at that exact moment, I wouldn’t missed the subtle flick of Teddy’s eyes at Dad and Uncle Harry. After the quick gesture, he was back to examining the photos with the Healer, but none of them acknowledged the exchange.
“Well the photo quality isn’t very good,” Healer Lawrence commented. “It’s difficult to see the details of the injury, but I concur with Junior Auror Potter’s conclusion. This is not likely the result of an automobile accident.” He stood up and shuffled through the other papers, “Let me take a look at the reports with the dates that are off—”
“Yeah, it looks exactly as Albus said,” Dad had the papers in his hand, examining the notes Albus had attached with the temporary sticking charm. “The dates are off.” He ignored Healer Lawrence’s outstretched hand, rolled up both scrolls of parchment and tucked them into his robes with one smooth motion. Without looking up, he grabbed several other papers and began skimming through them, as was evident by his finger tracing out the important information.
Healer Lawrence was obviously caught off guard, but, as no one was acting out of the ordinary, he switched his focus back to the photos.
I cocked my head to the side, trying to catch someone’s eye, but no one seemed to notice me craning my head around.
“And I also found this,” Albus pointed to another document and tapped at the scrap of parchment he’d stuck to it. “See here? Two different medi-witches signed each of these reports and here,” he tapped the bottom of a scrap of parchment in Colleen’s hand, “and here,” he stretched over Caesar and touched a document in the middle of the table, “are signed by two different Healers, but they all look like—”
“Lemme see!” Teddy stood up so abruptly that it startled me and a few papers fluttered to the floor. However, no one heard the gasp that I made because just as quickly, he launched himself across the table, diving for the medical form that Albus was extending to reach. Healer Lawrence stood up too, and I’m not exactly certain what happened next, but very suddenly, there were more papers flying everywhere and chairs knocked backwards as nearly all the Aurors stood up at once.
There was only one beat of awkwardness and, as suddenly as it had happened, each of the Aurors fell into lockstep.
“Healer Lawrence, are you alright?” Dom asked in a deeply concerned voice. She put her hand on his shoulder and drew him in with her concerned face. My jaw dropped open. Dom had never used that tone before — at least not that I’d ever heard. My confusion was compounded by the fact that Healer Lawrence had made no indication that he wasn’t alright. He’d simply been sitting there, just like me.
“Here, sir, let me help you,” Kali was standing on his other side, guiding him back to his seat. “Did you drop your wand, sir?” She bent down behind his chair to pick up something from the floor. The Healer’s eyes followed her movements. I was so puzzled by their actions that I couldn’t even find the words to say so.
While they tended to the head Healer, the rest of the Aurors were reaching to pick up all the scattered photos and documents off the floor. Somehow, the entire file ended up in Uncle Harry’s hands.
“Dad… I—” Albus looked up from the floor, clearly taken aback, but he recovered quickly and snapped his mouth shut. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew enough to keep quiet. I chanced a glance at Scorpius, who was still propped up against the far wall, his head in his hands. My heart wrenched and I was struggling to get out of my seat when Uncle Harry cut in.
“I think it’s time we all took a break,” he said with a light, but tired inflection in his words. “We’ve all been working very hard,” he nodded to Healer Lawrence, who opened his mouth to speak.
“Excellent idea, Harry,” Dad piped in, before anyone else could say anything. “I’ve got some tea and biscuits in my office. The promise of food and drink, coupled with the fact that Dom and Kali were leading Healer Lawrence out of the office, was enough to move the entire group down the hall to Dad’s space.
Everyone… but Scorpius — who didn’t move a muscle from his solid stance. A swell of guilt overtook me once more. I’d let myself get distracted by the dramatics of the afternoon. Once everyone was gone, I went to him and smoothed his hands and softly tugged them away from his face. For the second time that day, I was met with his red, swollen eyes. Swallowing to hold back my own tears, I guided him away from the wall and toward a small loveseat in the corner of Uncle Harry’s office.
I tried to broach the subject of his parents’ murder gently, but he simply shook his head. It was too much for him to process all at once. I didn’t press him; instead, I snuggled into him and placed both our hands on my belly, in the hopes that he could see how our future connected to the past. I knew from my own experience that some wounds couldn’t be healed by magic.
It wasn’t nearly long enough before the Aurors started pouring back into the room. Sitting up, I scooted to the edge of the loveseat, trying to stand quickly and let them know that Scorp and I were done for the day; we’d both had some serious information to digest.
They entered the room with a ruckus, the three second years snickering and patting each other on the back.
“Tosser never saw it coming,” Caesar snickered. “Totally deserved it, I’d say.”
“The look on his face was priceless, I swear,” Kali added. Albus came through the door after them, and he was grinning as well.
Healer Lawrence was not among the group and everyone seemed to have a slight eagerness to their step.
“Where’s the Healer?” I asked warily.
“Oh,” Colleen couldn’t hide the mirth in her voice, “he very suddenly remembered how much work he had to do at St. Mungo’s, didn’t he?” Caesar, Kali and Albus exchanged smirks with her.
“Did you obliviate him?” I asked.
“No… I wouldn’t say that…” there was a teasing tone in Colleen’s voice. “... but he might be a little confunded.” The three of younger auror-trainees broke out into fits of giggles.
“Using magic on a colleague is never something to take lightly,” Uncle Harry spat, not loudly… all the same, the room fell into instant silence. “I couldn’t take a chance using obliviate, because we may need his expertise at some point. However, at this very moment, I’m not one hundred percent certain where his… erm… loyalties lie and we’re on the cusp of discovering something that may involve St. Mungo’s and its employees.”
The air hung heavy around his serious tone. It was obvious that the younger crew thought he’d only disposed of the Healer because he was annoying and overbearing. But even I wasn’t sure what he meant about his ‘loyalties.’
Uncle Harry gathered the group around the small table one more time, and his tone was the most serious I’d ever heard it.
“All right, you lot. What do we know?” he tossed the file on the table, and it slid impressively across the polished wood, documents and photos skidding, slipping out and sprawling to look up at us.
I cocked my head in confusion. What was he bloody talking about? We knew next to nothing. Things were more messed up than ever.
“It’s murder,” Teddy said matter-of factly. “Murder and a cover up,” he added, holding the photo of Draco close to his face to stare at the image.
A cover up? How did they ever come to that conclusion?
“That part’s obvious,” Dad muttered. Apparently I was the only one that was surprised by the ‘cover up.’ “But you sound like you know more than the rest of us, Ted?” Dad asked him, trying to peer over his shoulder.
“I can’t be sure just yet, but…” Teddy took the photo and brought it over to Uncle Harry’s desk, examined it closely for a few moments and then drew his wand before continuing. “I was immediately suspicious when Healer Lawrence made the comment that the photo quality was bad. And then Al mentioned that Rose had seen something on the photos, but couldn’t remember what she’d seen. It made me think...”
His voice trailed off as he scanned his wand slowly over the photos and muttered an incantation I couldn’t hear. Then he shook his head, “No good. I need some more specifics. Rose! Can you come here and look at these?”
“Me?” I asked. I’d no idea what he was getting at. “Teddy, I’ve looked at those photos so many times—”
“That’s what I’m getting at. You know these better than anyone else in the room.”
I wiggled to the end of the loveseat and hoisted myself up. I managed to squeeze myself into the seat next to him and he leaned over, holding the photo of Draco.
“Can you just look at it one more time, and see if you can remember anything?”
“Just try, Rosie,” Dad said, gently massaging my shoulders.
I took the photo and tried to clear my head of the emotions that passed through, knowing I was looking at my unborn child’s grandfather. The picture looked much the same that I remembered from staring at it time and again… in my office at the ministry… at home sitting at my desk… sitting on my bed with Selenia all those months ago. She’d come to my room to comfort me and we started looking at the file. At the photos in the file. I saw the scratches on Draco’s head. And I looked closer. There was something more. But when I looked at the photo in my hand, I couldn’t see anything more than a few blurry scratches, and one deeper cut on his scalp line. I leaned in closer and squinted.
“There!” I pointed to the dark wound. “That is definitely different. The cut right here on the hairline was… something that caught my eye. I don’t remember anything other than that.” I was stuttering out the words, as my thoughts raced around my head, squeezing my brain to remember the details. I sighed and looked up at Teddy, feeling deflated. I realized I wasn’t being much help to the case.
But his answer caught me by complete surprise. “Yes!” he exclaimed, looking eagerly from Uncle Harry to Dad and squeezing my shoulders in his excitement.
“It’s just as I suspected — the photo’s been altered. I thought I saw traces of a curse on here, but the standard revealing charms didn’t work. Now that we’ve narrowed it down to a specific area… whoa —” he paused his speech while making intricate movements with his wand. He stopped talking for only a moment and pointed his wand at the part of the photo with the scratch. He must’ve recited a nonverbal spell. It was like an invisible screen had lifted off the paper and revealed the image of a tiny, bright red, but unmistakable lightning bolt-shaped wound.
“What is it?” Dom asked. She was the first to find her voice. Dad was leaning over my shoulder to see, and Uncle Harry was quick to squeeze in on my other side, not grabbing at the photo, but leaning over to look at it with the rest of us.
“It’s avada kedavra,” I breathed, as nearly everything from that night came crashing back to me. We’d found evidence of the killing curse.
Scorpius let out a small groan as Teddy began working on the other picture — the photo of the woman, or rather, Astoria Greengrass Malfoy.
“Same curse here,” he said matter-of-factly and then he caught the look on Scorpius’s face and faltered. “Erm… Sorry, Scorpius. I really am.”
Albus reached past me and the sleeve of his robes slid up his arm. I remembered the verbero scalpere comparisons and my eye shot back to Draco’s photo. They were nearly identical, now that they could be seen clearly.
Scorpius was deflating in his seat and I attempted to raise myself from my spot at the table, but Teddy, Dad and Uncle Harry were crowding around me and I couldn’t maneuver around them. Caesar and Dom jumped up from the crowd of onlookers to support their friend and fellow Auror, each sitting down on one side of him, squeezing three into a loveseat that was clearly built for two.
“Rose, did you notice these markings before?” Uncle Harry asked me, distracting me from Scorpius.
“Yeah, I think so,” I said, shaking my head to clear it and settling back in my seat. At first, I was having a difficult time trying to remember, but as soon as I laid eyes on the photo, it all came crashing back.
“Yes,” I said definitely. “This is exactly what I saw with Selenia. There was evidence of avada kedavra on both victims! … Oh Merlin Scorp — I’m so sorry—” For my second attempt, I managed to heave my enormous belly out of the chair and make my way over to him. Dom and Caesar sidled away and headed to the table, examining the photos with Teddy and the rest.
I put my hands on either side of Scorpius’s face to block out the rest of the room. My mind flashed back to when he’d done the same for me the night at the Quaffle and my words were nearly the same as his had been. I waited until his eyes met mine and I faltered when I saw how deep his emotions were running. But I managed to keep my voice steady, “We don’t have to do this now, Love. We can just go home and give it some time. It’s up to you.” I slid my hands to his shoulders and wrapped my arms around him — as best I could with my huge belly.
He shook his head and said, “No, it’s alright… I’m alright.” I cocked my head to ask him if he was certain, and his response was a firm nod. “Rose, it’s okay. It’s not gonna be easy, but I need to know the truth about… this.” His face hardened with determination.
I nodded and rested against him. Overall, it was an exhausting day, but I wasn’t going anywhere. Scorpius seemed to be most comfortable sitting on the loveseat instead of in the middle of the action and I was most comfortable being as close as possible to him. Our hands found each other and we held on like it was the only thing keeping us from losing our sanity.
The rest of the group was sorting everything out, trying to determine exactly how and why everything happened, reconstructing the order of events. The buzz of chatter was in the back of my head as I was focused solely on how Scorpius was handling the news.
“Hold it,” Dom was urgently trying to get everyone’s attention. “Wait one moment. Everyone. Listen! If Rose and Selenia noticed avada kedavra on the victims, then that means these photos were altered after Rose saw them. They were messed with at some point from when she saw them with Selenia and… today.”
“Where were you and Selenia looking at the photos? Were you at St. Mungo’s?” Teddy queried.
“No,” I said, recalling the night before I’d fallen down the stairs. “I was in my room at Number Twelve. Selenia was helping me by taking a look at the pictures and we noticed the avada kedavra scar.” I was talking slowly as my hazy memory was coming back, but also trying to keep one eye on Scorpius and make sure he was doing alright. “I’d decided to bring the file to Healer Lawrence the next morning… but then I fell down the stairs.”
“Had anyone else gotten a chance to look at them? Or mess with them?” Kali cut in.
I thought hard for a moment. Things were still a bit hazy the morning of my fall. “I’m pretty sure I dropped them when I fell and then I found them in my desk drawer with an undetectable charm on it when I returned from the hospital. So that was several days that they were unaccounted for.”
“Not necessarily,” Dom added. “I ran home from the hospital that evening. I grabbed them from the floor and put them in your desk with the charm. I didn’t get a good look at them…”
“What about before?” Kali was really quick with the questions. Her mind seemed to work almost as fast as Albus’s; making connections and demanding answers.
“Before what?” Caesar countered.
“Don’t you think it’s odd that Rose ‘falls’ down the stairs and then all of a sudden a case that she’s been working on — which coincidentally happens to be Scorpius’s parents — ends up being altered? Too many coincidences.”
“Yeah,” Albus began nodding furiously. “Damn — how did we all miss that?”
“We were distracted,” Dad growled. “As soon as Rose got to hospital, she was cursed — and then there was the Death Eater attack on her and Scorpius in the middle of the night. We were too focused on keeping her safe and —”
“— and we lost our perspective because the case was close to home,” Uncle Harry finished for him. The two senior members exchanged a serious look. I knew they were blaming themselves, but when I opened my mouth to talk, the words were already coming from someone standing behind Uncle Harry and Dad.
“Let’s not waste our energies by beating ourselves up. We’ve got to keep working on this and look for any clues that can lead us to what’s really going on.” Albus said. I felt the tiniest bit of relief. The fiery look in his emerald eyes and the grim yet determined expression on his face meant only one thing: he was back. “Rose,” he stepped out from behind Dad and Uncle Harry and walked toward me, “you’re remembering more about that day, aren’t you? Think really hard, Rosie. Take your time and tell us anything that comes to mind.”
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. Despite his current state, Scorpius squeezed my hand and I felt the warmth spread up my arm and into my heart. Slowly, I started talking, “I remember tripping and almost catching myself, but then I just couldn’t. It was weird. Not like I was being pushed, but that my feet wouldn’t land properly.”
“Pushed by magic...” suggested Colleen. The room fell into silence. All the Aurors’ eyes were on me. Not even a single paper was being shuffled around to have a look.
“Okay — so let’s say this did happen — and someone made Rose trip and fall, why didn’t they just destroy the papers and photos?” Albus blurted out to the room.
“If they’re anything like Ministry records, it’s not easy to destroy official documents — they have an indestructible charm on them. It can be done, but it takes some serious magic and quite a bit of time.” Harry added.
“Wait!” Albus realized, “Whoever it was, must’ve heard James coming! He said he found Rose just a minute or so after she fell. Remember he said that it was so lucky he didn’t apparate upstairs?!”
“Yeah,” Scorpius cleared his throat next to me. “I remember that.” I squeezed his hand. My emotions were hanging somewhere between intense anxiety over having to relive the horrid moments of my fall and the utter shock of everything that’d been discovered over the previous few minutes.
“So— Rose was magically pushed down the stairs and when the documents couldn’t be destroyed, they were quickly altered.” Dom summarized.
“But who?” Kali asked. “The house is under the fidelius charm. Only people with the secret can get into Number Twelve.”
I felt the blood drain from my face at her words and Scorpius tensed next to me. Someone had gotten into Grimmauld Place.
“Maybe Rose really did trip and stumble,” Colleen offered feebly.
“Not bloody likely,” Dad’s voice was measured, but deeper than usual. “This was Stannous.”
“Could it have been an animagus? Or perhaps a goblin— or even a house elf! Wizarding magic doesn’t always apply in the same manner to different magical creatures.” Albus was shooting ideas around the room.
“I think I’m fairly confident in my abilities to set up a fidelius charm, thank you very much,” Uncle Harry growled. His face was as white as I felt, but his eyes flared dark like the sea. It was that emotion, filled with desperation and turmoil and fierce determination, that pulsed through my heart. When Uncle Harry was at a loss, there was little else I could do. I leaned my head onto Scorpius’s shoulder. He didn’t move.
“I think I need to go home,” I mumbled weakly. If I thought I was tired before, it was nothing compared to the wave of exhaustion that crashed over me at that moment.
“Rose, are you not paying attention?” Dom’s hissed. “You’re not safe at Grimmauld Place!”
“Alright, let’s just take a moment to reassess the situation.” Uncle Harry’s voice was terse, and his words came in sharp contrast to his usual gentle tone. “Rose, for the time being, you’ll be staying with your parents — or my house.”
I raised my eyebrows at the order he was giving.
I felt my body go rigid at the command, all the way to my belly. I knew Uncle Harry was only speaking in my best interest, but it felt like I was being imprisoned — like the last time all the restrictions were put in place. It was the same as it had been for the past year. Rose has to be protected. Rose can’t take care of herself. And I knew it was true, but I couldn’t stop the rush of anger and guilt and overwhelming sense of dread.
I knew, at the end of all this, Stannous was going to win, one way or another.
Scorpius had not moved or given any indication at all that he was even listening to the conversation. I turned to look up at him, to make sure he was at least still breathing. His eyes were trained on the photos and documents on the table and I realized that our discussion had turned from what had happened to his parents that awful day to my own personal safety. For the first time since we’d gotten together, I had no idea at all what to say or even what to think. I was so tired, and I felt the pressure of the situation tightening my muscles, all the way down my back.
“Alright,” I conceded, trying to hide the lump in my throat. “Sure.” It was all too much and I couldn’t even bring myself to form any other words. I caught Al’s eye when he looked up from analyzing the documents and he saw Scorp and I slumped against each other and stilled. I didn’t think the humanity aspect of the situation was hitting home with any of the other Aurors. Al dropped the papers that he was holding and came over to the two of us. He kneeled down in front of us and rested his hands on my knees.
“Dad… erm…” Albus cleared his throat, but didn’t take his eyes off of me. The whole room turned to face us. Instead of Uncle Harry, my own Dad took a few steps forward, but then stopped and gripped the back of an empty chair.
“Dad,” Albus began again. “D’you think we could reconsider?” Uncle Harry set his chin and opened his mouth, but before he could speak, Al cut in, “I agree, something fishy happened when Rose fell down the stairs, and we need to analyze it. But that was three months ago. And if he’d wanted to or been able to get into Number Twelve, he would’ve done it by now. Either Stannous can’t get to her at Grimmauld Place, or he won’t.”
My heart skipped a beat. Not that Grimmauld Place was my ideal choice for a home, but we’d gotten settled over the past few months and we had the baby’s room all set up. Perhaps I was being a little foolish about all of it, but I’d already imagined snuggling with my little one in the rocker that overlooked the back garden, and giving the baby a bath in the ancient clawfoot tub. The idea of packing up everything and trying to get used to being a mum while being a guest in my parents’ house made me feel like a completely useless human being. I held my breath, waiting for the rebuttal from Dad and Uncle Harry.
“That’s quite a gamble to take, Albus.” I noticed that Uncle Harry didn’t flat out turn him down, so there was at least a tiny bit of hope. “But, let’s hear your plan.”
Albus opened his mouth and faltered for a bit. I didn’t think he was expecting his dad to budge an inch. “W-well…”
“We could remove the fidelius and put up another one,” Kali jumped in. “There are actually quite a few people who have the secret. Originally it was the Weasleys and a few close friends, but you added in some people over the past year — like the three of us,” she pointed to herself and motioned to Caesar and Colleen.
“And a few of your colleagues from Mungo’s,” Albus added. I wavered my head slightly in assent. I’d asked for a few study buddies to be able to come over a few times, and Uncle Harry didn’t say no.
“Hmmm… St. Mungo’s…” Dom muttered across the room. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Albus give her a questioning look, but she shook her head to quiet him.
“So, we can put up another fidelius charm,” Kali restarted the conversation. “And only the bare minimum get the secret. I’m thinking Rose’s parents, Harry, and the four of you,” she pointed to Dom and the three of us against the wall.
“Not James?” I asked.
“No need,” she stated matter-of-factly. “He’s not home that much anyway, and he’s not an auror. No offense to James, but he can really have a flat anywhere, and if something were to happen, there should really be one of the Aurors who are trained to deal with sticky situations around. James can’t even summon help like we can with our wand connections.”
“If that’s the case,” Caesar thought aloud, “Hermione’s not an Auror, either.”
“Yeah, right,” Dad muttered. “You tell Hermione Weasley that she can’t visit her daughter or grandchild at their house, because I’m bloody well not about to deliver that news.”
I felt the tension in the room lift a bit as the rest of the team chuckled. Uncle Harry even cracked a smile, at least for a moment. He cleared his throat, “Yes, well, no one wants to be on Hermione’s bad side, and I’ve got a fair bit of confidence in her ability to fight her way out of a situation — or summon help. Or hex anyone who gets in the way of her family...”
“Maybe we should switch to a different secret keeper?” Colleen suggested. “You know, someone that wouldn’t be so obvious?”
Harry and Dad spoke in unison. I felt like a conversation had happened at some point before, they were both so adamant.
“No switching,” Uncle Harry repeated flatly.
Colleen recoiled and looked as if she’d been scolded for eating biscuits before dinner. It lasted only for a moment, and then the conversation turned back to the business at hand.
“Alright,” Albus spoke up and he sounded confident and in charge. “Grimmauld Place is a good choice, because it’s unplottable and putting up another fidelius charm should clear up the issue with so many people having the secret. Plus, it really has become a home for us. And I know how important it is for Rose and Scorpius to feel like they’ve got some sort of a normal life, so it makes sense. For the most part, one of us Aurors will be around. If not, Rose is already connected to our wand network, and she can summon us.”
Everyone in the room nodded and Uncle Harry took a step back and let Albus continue.
“Alright. We’ve concluded that the photos were tampered with at some point after Rose’s fall. Most likely someone — we don’t know who — got in and caused Rose to trip down the stairs, wanted to destroy the photos, but didn’t have time, so they could only alter them.”
“And then Rose was cursed in the hospital,” added Caesar. “Healer Lawrence said it was a dark magic curse that caused her heart condition.”
“So someone got into the house, caused the fall, and then when we brought Rose to the hospital, snuck into her room to finish the job?” posited Kali. “That makes sense.”
“And when that didn’t work, Stannous launched an all-out assault in the middle of the night. It’s just so frustrating we couldn’t get any useful info from the lot of Death Eaters that Scorpius captured. Those tossers didn’t know their wands from fire kindling. And it didn’t even help that we had a Bulgarian translator. They knew next to nothing.”
Scorpius shuddered beside me. It was too much for both of us. I wasn’t cut out for all the Auror business, and I didn’t want to sit there and relive all of the worst moments of my life. And poor Scorp, we hadn’t even touched on the fact that his parents were murdered. I wrapped one arm around Scorpius and reached out to grasp Al’s hand with my other. He was in mid-sentence, but he turned to see me.
“I can’t do this right now,” I said quietly. “We can’t do this right now.” I cocked my head at my fiance.
“Rosie —” Al halted when he saw I was on the verge of tears. “Yes, of course. Of course… Dad?”
“Rose, it’s going to take me a day or so to set up the new fidelius. Plus, I want to add a few of my own touches to the protections. I know you just want to go home right now, but would you mind staying at our house for a night or two? I promise to have you back in your own bed as soon as I can.”
There was no fighting it. And I did appreciate Uncle Harry’s offer. I wasn’t sure I could deal with my Mum fussing over me at her house for two days, so I agreed and Scorpius stood with me. We used the floo right in Uncle Harry’s office. Within the hour, we were both fast asleep in his guest bedroom.
A/N: Hiya everyone! I know it's been ages since I've updated. I'm really so sorry. I hope you like this latest chapter and, as always, I'd love to know what you think! ♥ Beth.
Edit 3rd December, 2016. I owe a HUGE apology to my beta, merlinsbeard. She's a fabulous beta and a wonderful person. If you get a chance, stop by her page and take a gander. She has some amazing stories! Thanks Anja! ♥ you!
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