Hello! Don't worry, I'm not gonna keep you for long but I wanted to get a couple of things outta the way right away. 1) Nope, I don't write like this in the story, unless in dialogue. 2) I don't have a Beta, so if you find any mistakes at all, please point them out to me. If you'd like to be my Beta, feel free to message me. 3) English is not my native language. Whilst I think my language skills are quite good, you may find that I often blur the lines between American and British English. That is because I didn't learn one version exclusively but picked it up by actively using the language. I'll try to keep it to a minimum but sometimes, I don't really notice when I jump between BE and AE. 4) I'm an aspiring author but, alas, I'm not an author yet. This story won't be top notch at all and I know that. I write so that I can learn from my mistakes, which is why I'd love for you to give me some constructive criticism that I can use to improve. Now, the emphasis here is on the word 'constructive'. If you criticize or flame me for the sake of criticizing or flaming someone, you can consider yourself strongly urged to go away. Everyone else...Enjoy!
The castle was still plunged in silence, eerily quiet without even the faintest echo of a voice. No light had yet reached the windows and his only guide through the darkness as he crept along the cold walls was the flicker of his torch. Figures seemed to dance around the shadows, not truly there but still unchanged through the years. There was a time, he remembered, when those figures had frightened him, those figures that weren't there during the day but appeared as soon as the moon sat upon the darkened sky.
He crept up the stairs. He knew these halls, had walked them since he was a mere boy himself, but wandering them at night, when no student thought to leave their bed, made every corner, every known wall and step lose their familiarity and turned them into something unknown, something mysterious. Yet, he found his way, as certain as during the day, and stood before the wooden door he had sought before the moon had fully vanished behind the great green mountains that lay behind the castle.
Only a few days had passed since his son had returned from this very school, his young mind filled with stories of the tournament that had taken place that year- he himself had tried to fight the Ministry's decision to hold the tournament in the first place. There was a reason it had been dispelled, he had argued. Children had died. Yet, the Minister, fool that he was, hadn't listened to reason, instead choosing to lend his ears to Ludo Bagman. An idiot's voice was always louder and more pleasing to the ears of his fellow idiots. Well, the man had gotten his wish and now- now they were just inches away of another war, not that the Ministry knew. He shuddered at the thought- the first war had cost them so much. He'd lost his only brother to the war, his wife had lost a sister. And both together…it had cost them too much. It had cost their son too much; their son, who had been only sixteen months old when the war ended. He rubbed a hand over his face. Until this very day, their son didn't know of his grievous loss. That would change today, he knew. A lot would change.
He raised his hand and knocked. The door flew open immediately and Severus pulled him inside without a greeting. On his desk lay a large book, far too large for any man to carry it without a swish of his wand.
"Are you certain?" Lucius asked.
Severus nodded and led him to the book. "I am. I have triple checked everything, even the birth records, and Madam Pomfrey's notes. There's no other way."
He sunk into the nearest chair. "I can't believe it. All these years and he was right under my nose- I talked to him, I threatened him," he paled. "Severus, I've watched him be tortured."
"You didn't know that it was him-"
"He was still just a boy. I've treated a child like the enemy and have done so for many years. He will never forgive me-"
Severus scoffed. "You wouldn't believe how much that child has forgiven. Say the right words and the boy will forgive you everything."
"What about his brother?" He asked, if only to distract his own mind.
The younger man shook his head. "No news."
No news. Two words he had become too accustomed to hearing when it came to the twins. We're very sorry, Lord Malfoy, but there are no news on your sons.
The game had changed. Finally, finally, he knew that at least one of his twins had survived the war, had survived whatever had happened to them. Now that they had Eoin…yes, Eoin was the key. His life, everything he had seen and done so far, it all would take them one step closer to Finian.
"Where is he?"
"Muggle England," Severus said. "I cannot say for sure where exactly. Dumbledore keeps his location quiet, even from the Order. Few know where the boy lives when he's not at Hogwarts."
"Is he being watched?"
He nodded. "Certainly. Dumbledore won't want to take any risks. Potter is essential to his plans, he won't give him up easily."
Potter. That was another thing he'd need to work on. Beating that name out his friend's mind, and more importantly out of his son's, would require hard work. The boy had never made a secret out of his admiration for James Potter. There was no doubt in Lucius' mind that the boy would refuse to have his image of the man shaken, especially if it were Lucius' words that warranted it.
"You say he forgives easily."
"Indeed. I have seen that boy forgive the entire school for thinking him evil. He forgave his so called friend for betraying him in the blink of an eye."
"He has never forgiven Draco."
Severus shook his head. "He had just learned that his parents had sacrificed themselves for him and Draco insulted them and their memory. Had Draco apologized and seen the errors of his way instead of continuing this silly feud, I do not doubt that Potter would've forgiven him as well," he leaned forward. "Let us not worry about this until the time comes, Lucius. For now, we have to decide how to handle this situation. You know as well as I do that Potter has a special dislike for your family, he won't let you take him away silently. Go home, inform Narcissa and Draco of what is happening. Prepare the manor for your son's return. I will talk to Dumbledore, see if he can put me on the Pottersitting roster."
"You're right. Goodness, Draco doesn't even know that he is no only child."
"Then it's about time he is told. I will meet you tonight. Maybe by then, we'll even be one step closer to finding Finian as well."
Lucius left Hogwarts soon after. The sun was already up by the time he walked through the giant gates, feeling as though a heavy burden had been lifted from him only to be replaced by another one. Narcissa would still be asleep by the time he arrived home, he knew, but Draco had been an early riser, ever since the days of his earliest childhood. He would be up and about, possibly strolling the gardens with his broom in hand, ready to take off the second he reached the Quidditch pit. In another life, he might have done so with his brothers and now, now Lucius had the opportunity to give him that life- and this time, he wouldn't let his twins slip away again.
Short chapter I know. From here on, they will hopefully be longer, though. The name Eoin is the Irish version of Owen and is pronounced just like its anglicized counterpart. Finian is pronounced like Finn and Ian put together.