Written for the Who the heck is that challenge on HPFC

Character: Caradoc Dearborn


The moment he sees the mask slip to reveal the face he knows he had to get away and warn the others. For months now they had suspected a traitor in their ranks, but no-one seemed a likely candidate. Sure the Lupin boy vanished from time to time, but he was camping out with that filthy pack of vagabond werewolves, and Minerva kept a close eye on him. Certainly Black had the family connections, and the possibility of threats to the brother he pretended he didn't care about to make him turn, but Caradoc doubted the boy had the subtlety to split himself that way.

Fletcher, the disgusting sneak, though they kept him well away from anything important; Meadows, whose sister was married to a Selwyn; Even Caradoc himself had been under suspicion at one point simply for not being airheaded enough to have been sorted into Gryffindor during his schooldays.

Certainly the last person any of them would have expected was the pinch-faced boy standing here now.

"You fool! Put your mask back on!"

Caradoc doesn't recognise the hissed voice as the tallest of his captors slaps Pettigrew over his head, but that doesn't matter. He is dead regardless of what actions he takes now; the only thing left to negotiate is the manner of his end. This in mind, he leaps at the nearest black-robed figure, aiming first for the wand clasped in the gnarled fingers, then for the throat when he fails to obtain the wand, hoping they will kill him quickly to protect their ally.

When everything goes black in a sudden flash of light, he is glad for his Ravenclaw heritage that allowed him to out-think his opponents, at least until he wakes in the dank cell.

The chains that bind his wrists are nearly loose enough to slip now, a sign of how much weight he has lost. How long has it been? Two months? Two years? Possibly only two days. There is no light down here to tell, and they never fed him regularly. The questions are always the same: Where is the Order hiding? Who is their Secret Keeper? What do they know of our plans? What protections do they have in place at the Ministry? At Hogwarts?

Sometimes he answers, sometimes he finds the strength to resist. Sometimes he lies, sometimes he tells the truth in the vain hope that they will set him free, but he always ends up back in the dark, in the damp dripping cold.

Until today. Today there are two black-robed figures at the door. The one on the left has the squat plumpness of Pettigrew behind his mask, while the other is taller, thinner, trembling.

"Get up."

He obeys without hesitation; not obeying leads to more pain, more hunger.

They each grasp an arm and drag him into darkness, choking and suffocating into the fresh salty air. Grey stone beach with grey-blue waves. A good a place to die as any. He doesn't bother trying as the taller one raises his wand, doesn't blink as the spell flashes out to end his life. He is falling, falling…


The stones dig into his back as he tries to stand. A pair of hands reaches down and helps him up, a teenage boy and his friend. One is short and plump and sweaty, the other tall, dark haired and handsome.

"Looks like you slipped mate," says the taller one.

Slipped? He doesn't remember slipping. Or even walking. Why is he here on this beach anyway?

"I guess you're on your way to catch that ferry."

He looks at the ticket in his hand. Of course, the ferry. That's right, he was going to go catch the ferry and live on the island over there for the rest of his days. He never wants to go back to London or anywhere else on mainland Britain again.

Thanking the two boys for their kindness, he picks his way down the path, trying to remember why exactly he decided this. Or what his name is for that matter.

A distant thought echoes in his mind, there was something he needed to do. Something he needed to tell someone, but he can't remember. Not a problem, they'll come find him if it's important enough. They can find him on his island, where he wants to spend the rest of his days.

Humming to himself, the older man wanders down to the dock and boards the boat to his new life.