Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. Ms. Rowling is the brainchild behind them. I just have the honor of playing in that world.
Friday, 30 March, 21:45 GMT
The short drive home from the restaurant was a quiet one. The young woman kept her head turned toward the window, watching the rain as it fell harder than it had since leaving the restaurant. The young man held onto the steering wheel tightly, clenching his fists around it, not letting up until he pulled into the car park of the home in which he had lived during his young adult life.
He stepped out of his father's blue BMW and opened the door heading into the foyer of the home from the garage. He stepped into the house, not waiting for his old friend to exit the vehicle. He was, of course, a bit miffed at her.
She blew out a breath as she stepped out of the vehicle herself. She, too, walked into the home.
The young man had already eschewed his blue Armani jacket and tie, tossing them onto the coffee table. He had turned the big screen television on to watch SportsCenter at a fairly high volume, not wanting to address his dinner companion.
She shut her eyes for a moment before heading straight to her guest room. He was upset and she knew it. 'Why had she been so sensitive about him mentioning his ex-girlfriend during dinner?' she thought as she entered the bedroom.
She changed into a set of blue medical scrubs, her usual sleepwear. She took a seat on the bed, staring at the door. She scrunched her toes into the shaggy carpet trying to relax. She sighed before standing up. She needed to brush her teeth before bed.
He made sure not to look her way when she entered the living room. He was still upset at her, for whatever reason. He watched her, out of the corner of his eye, enter the bathroom. He stared up at the ceiling trying to replay what had happened earlier that evening.
The grey-eyed brunette rinsed her mouth out and spat into the sink after brushing her teeth. She looked up into the mirror and then sighed. The visit home started so well three days ago.
The two friends had met up for dinner in Boston three weeks ago, after the thirty-year old doctor had her job interview with Massachusetts General. She had mentioned she was going on another interview back home in London at her mother's hospital the week after. The six foot eight professional basketball player had suggested accompanying her. He had needed to tie up some loose ends anyway. He had needed to finish paperwork dealing with his father's death and possibly start the paperwork to sell the home in London.
He had even offered boarding to her; although it would have been just as easy if she had made arrangements to board at home with her parents. But her heart skipped a beat for a moment when he had asked her to do so and she had agreed.
Friday, 30 Mar, 21:20 GMT
Drew Granger took a sip of her coffee as she looked up at her dinner companion. She unconsciously hooked a loose strand of hair behind her ear. He took a sip of his own coffee.
Two hours ago, Drew was surprised to see Phillip Martínez waiting outside of the hospital's lobby upon leaving the Associate Director's office after the long three-hour interview. She was about set to hail one of the taxis that were always stationed in front of the hospital when she saw the familiar blue vehicle.
She unconsciously straightened out her black pantsuit before waving hello. Phillip had said he called her mother to see if she were still at the interview. He had just finished the day's errands; picking up multiple copies of his father's death certificate and attending meetings with his father's estate lawyer as well as with a realtor.
Busy as his day was, he was able to get reservations at Berners Tavern, one of London's most difficult reservations. Phil was a professional athlete, she rationalized; he had many connections.
Dinner was amazing. She had told him about how well the interview went. Associate Director Patrick Wilson had treated her professionally; treating her like any other prospective doctor interviewing for the position of Head of the Emergency Room. She welcomed this and was grateful he didn't give her any special treatment considering her mother was the Director of Saint Augustine's Hospital.
Friday, 30 March, 21:25 GMT
"So, are you thinking about taking the post?" Phil asked Drew, after nodding his thanks to the waiter who had returned the check carrier with his copy of the receipt.
Drew shrugged her shoulders, "I still have to weigh my options. St. Augustine's package is comparable to Massachusetts'. Either choice offers a nice place in which to settle. I don't know. There's a lot to consider."
Phil nodded, as he took a sip of his own coffee. His breath hitched for a moment. He tapped his trouser pocket, feeling the plastic key fob tapping against the small leather box.
"London's a shorter flight from Boston than Honolulu is," he smiled.
She took a deep breath. She took another sip of her coffee.
Phillip shrugged his shoulders as he took a breath. "Um, yeah," he hesitated. "Lisa and I could fly over. We could hang out or double date, you know."
It was as if someone had punched her in the gut. She looked at him, unable to hide her incredulity.
"Why do you do that to yourself?" she asked him softly.
"What do you mean?" he asked, hiding his insecurity.
"Lisa's the worst of the 15 steadies that you've had since I've known you," she said without thinking.
He narrowed his eyes at her. "You're giving me relationship advice?"
"No, it's just," she paused, averting his eye contact for a moment before looking into his face. "She's cheated on you three times since you've been together. She's a conceited, pompous, and callous bitch."
"You've never liked her," he said exasperatingly.
"What's there to like?" she asked, her voice slightly raised.
"My personal life is none of your business," he sneered at her as he abruptly stood up from the table. He snatched the dinner receipt from the check carrier and headed towards the exit. She had to take a deep breath as she too stood up to follow him.
Friday, 30 March, 21:55 GMT
Phil emptied his pockets, slamming down his wallet, car fob and mobile onto the coffee table. He took a deep breath as he stared at the small leather jewel box. He snuck a glance at the bathroom door. He was still annoyed at her. He cocked his arm and threw the box toward the hall closet. The curtains, that served as a door fluttered and a slight thud was heard; probably the box hitting against the towels.
Phil closed his eyes for a moment before standing up to head to the closet. The bathroom door swung open. He almost collided with her.
She gasped slightly. Phil narrowed his eyes at her, waiting for some sort of reaction. He saw her eyes widen. He heard several pops just as he heard her yell for him to move. And then he felt it; the most excruciating pain he could ever imagine. He looked over at Drew who was surrounded by three hooded figures, holding sticks in their gloved hands.
Drew writhed on the ground as the three Death Eaters surrounding her hit her with torture curse after torture curse. Drew saw the other three figures around Phillip hurl the same curse at him. Drew got to one knee, a little shakily. She looked up at one of her assailants and with all the strength she could muster, she cocked her left fist and threw an upper cut into the attacker's groin. His hood fell off as he hit the ground writhing.
She tackled a second assailant into a wall. But he recovered before she did, pounding his fists into her back. She whimpered in pain. The burly man pulled her up by the back of her shirt. She looked square into the young man's face, looking for an entry point. She was a doctor by trade; she knew full well the vulnerable areas of the human body. With a quick upward swing of her palm, she hit the man in his Adam's apple so hard, he started to double over, coughing violently. Drew asked silently for forgiveness as she cradled his head in her hands and twisted, killing the man twice her size. She tumbled to the ground with him.
The attacker that she had emasculated was steaming. He grabbed her by her hair and pulled her to a standing position. She rammed her head into his face, causing him to stagger. She pulled him into a headlock and twisted, killing the brute.
The third assailant, his hood dropped as well, caught her with a sixth torture curse which caused her to drop. The brown haired crew cut attacker walked toward her and heaved her up to a standing position. Drew struggled against him, noticing the assailant had a leather glove on his left hand holding onto his wand while she felt his right hand grip tightly on her right upper arm. The effects of the six Cruciatus curses coursed through her. She watched as two robed figures grabbed a hold of Phillip as an older, white haired robed figure approached the two. She whimpered, knowing these were Death Eaters. She felt helpless not being able to do a thing. She looked down at her right bicep and something seemed very familiar with the tattooed hand that grasped her.
The older gentleman turned to face Drew. She took in a sharp breath recognizing the older wizard as Cecil Schield, who had died five years ago. "So this is the boy?" he addressed her captor behind her before turning back to the young man in front of him, pointing his wand at the taller professional basketball player.
"That's him, Sir," the younger man behind her responded.
"He has her eyes," the older man said as he gripped Phillip's chin, studying the young man's face. Phillip's legs were wobbly. The four torture curses he had suffered took their toll.
"We should leave, Sir," the Death Eater behind her said, with a bit of urgency. "The Ministry Aurors will be here any moment."
The older Death Eater nodded. The three other robed figures who were left dropped their wands, knowing the Ministry had a trace on these wooden weapons that were used to administer the Unforgiveable Cruciatus curses used to subdue their two captives. With that, they pulled their own wands from their robes and apparated.
The scene had shifted to a busy workroom. Drew tried to take in every detail. Witches and wizards, no doubt their attackers' fellow Death Eaters, were handling Muggle weaponry. The realization soon hit her like a ton of bricks.
Draco Malfoy had retired from teaching after 25 long years instructing Potions at the venerable Wizarding school five years ago. All of his sons had since graduated from the school. He had returned to work as a Ministry Auror for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, a post he had briefly held after his generation's Wizarding war had ended and before he took the Potions Master teaching post. He left Hogwarts in good hands, as his youngest son, Heath had taken over the position a year after the older Malfoy had retired.
His second stint as a Ministry Auror was a seamless transition, teaming up with veteran Aurors, Harry Potter, Pansy Zabini, and Dean Thomas. He would be joined, two years later, by his other son, Hans, Heath's twin brother.
The two law enforcement officials had shared with the family information about the uptick in criminal activity. Rumors of Death Eater sightings were increasing.
The recent news of stolen Muggle weapons hit a nerve. Even the Malfoy Matriarch felt the uneasiness in the Muggle world. It was all too reminiscent of the incident almost three decades ago. Mr. Malfoy tried to reassure all of them that the Ministry would do everything in its power to prevent a similar tragedy from happening again. Although he didn't seem to be convinced of it himself.
Drew looked over at Mr. Schield, who was instructing the two wizards who were holding onto Phil to drag him out of the room. She struggled against the Death Eater behind her again. The older wizard nodded in her direction.
She was dragged backwards into a shadowy dimly lit long foyer. She tried to adjust her eyes. The lone captor ushered her down a corridor. She almost lost her balance as he led her down a flight of stairs.
She felt the stone floor under her feet as he pushed her into a barred cell with just a lone light bulb hanging from the ceiling. She looked around at the dungeon cell under the Schield estate as the young Death Eater pushed her to the floor. She looked up at her attacker, finally able to place his face.
He aimed his wand at her as he uttered Levicorpus. He cocked his wand hand and snapped it forward, hoisting her body and hurling it at the back wall. She tried to brace herself but her left side crashed into the wall. She breathed deeply as she hit the hard stone floor. She grasped at her left shoulder, knowing she had injured it.
He grabbed her by the hair and threw her against the wall. He charged at her, fisting the front of her scrub top and yanked her off her feet. She gripped at his wrists, hoping to loosen his grip on her.
"There's nothing I would love more than to use an Unforgiveable on you," he sneered looking straight into her eyes.
She averted his eye line for a moment, looking straight at the hooded serpent tattooed on the back of his right hand. She looked at him, "So you can finish the job?"
He looked at her questioningly. He took in a deep breath, loosening his grip a little.
"I remember you," she said, taking in a pained breath. She looked at his face. "You've let your hair grow out. You're the boy from the alley."
He narrowed his eyes at her. "I don't think I was able to introduce myself the last time we met. Harlin Jankovic," he said pulling away from her for a moment. He aimed his wand at her chest. "You Malfoys are the bane of my existence.
"Your Mudblood mother left me an orphan," he said measuredly as he threw her down to the floor. He kicked at her side. She wailed in pain. She tried to crawl out of his reach.
"Your father followed the outdated beliefs of a generation where differences were looked down upon. He and the Schields and the Tanners thought they could bring that sort of discrimination back into the fold," the Half-blood squib said.
"Your father tried to abduct my mother," she continued, as she took in a breath. "My Mum was just trying to defend herself when she stabbed your father."
He forced her to stand, shoving her against the back wall again. "I can't kill you," he sneered. "I won't be able to finish the job tonight. That opportunity was lost after that night in the alley.
"You separated from the pack of boys. And I thought I could corner you," he said, pointing the wand at her. Her legs wobbled. She slumped to the floor, still looking up at him. "But your friend tagged along. I apparated ahead of you when you were a ways down the alley.
"You knew the gravity of the situation. Your friend did not. I was going to kill you to avenge my family."
"Vengeance never brings back the dead," she said softly, shutting her eyes for a moment. Her mind was beginning to cloud.
"I had you in my crosshairs," he said. "I lunged forward. But your boy stepped in front of you. You started to scream bloody murder. I fled.
"Mr. Schield was upset. I got the worst torture of my life that night," he said, his shoulders slumping slightly. "There were some positives that he and his team discovered. He found out about your healing power and through the DNA from the dagger, he found his long lost grandson.
"His plan has been thirteen years in the making. Along with hatching a plan to bring his grandson home and faking his death, he's figured a way to finish his daughter's plan."
"The Muggle weapons," she whispered.
He smirked at her, "The new potion works in half the time."
She looked up at him, trying to digest everything. Her eyes fluttered. "I forgive you for trying to kill me that night," she said, slumping lower against the wall behind her.
"You actually think that will earn you a reprieve," he asked fisting her shirt top again.
"People make wrong choices sometimes," she said groggily. "It's how they learn from them and their actions afterwards that show their character.
"There's good in you," she said, looking into his eyes.
"You don't know me," he sneered as he let go of her shirtfront. She slumped over, lying on her side, hardly able to keep her eyes open. She knew she was suffering the effects of a concussion.
"You didn't kill me in that alley," she said, taking in a pained breath. "After you gutted Phil, you could have turned the dagger on me. You didn't.
"You don't have to follow the same path your father did, making evil choices," she said softly.
"This is my fate," he answered softly.
"You can change. Redemption is a part of life," she trailed off.
Harlin looked at her unconscious form. He couldn't believe what she had said to him; forgiving him for his cruelty.
He took a breath. His job that night was done. He was supposed to have primed her for the real torture Mr. Schield had in store for her. He took a step back, unsure of himself, before he turned to the door and exited the cell. He gave her one last look before heading to the dark flight of stairs.