Sunday Bloody Sunday
(Childhood Is The Kingdom)
Author's Note: This chapter happens the same day as the previous chapter. Pay attention to the time of order in this chapter. It starts at one point, then goes back a couple of hours before it goes back to the present later.
Warning: Multiple Character Death.
Useless Warning: Bring Your Own Tissues! Or a bucket to hold your tears in.
Disclaimer: I disclaim the poem in this chapter.
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies that matters,
—mothers and fathers don't die.
"Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies"
Edna St. Vincent Millay
(Susan Bones – Present)
Sunday evening, Susan Bones was pulling on her sleeping gown when she heard a knock on her bedroom door.
"One moment!" she said, then pulled the rest of her gown over her head and straightened it out. "Come in!"
The bedroom door opened and her parents, Rodger and Cynthia, stood there.
"Come to say goodnight?" Susan asked; she smiled to herself. She knew the answer to that. Her parents had done this every night she was at home. She missed it when she was at Hogwarts.
Cynthia walked in and hugged Susan and kissed her on the forehead.
"Good night, sweetheart," Cynthia said.
"Good night, Momma," Susan said; she usually called her 'Mum', but Momma was another tradition she had since she could talk and she did it once a night before bedtime.
Rodger walked over to Susan and hugged her.
"You know," he said, "Before too long, you might be too old for this tradition."
"Never, Daddy," Susan said, then smiled, "Daddy? Can you read me a poem before bedtime?"
"Sure, sweetheart," Rodger said, "Which one?"
Susan loved poems. Muggle poems especially. Robert Frost, Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters. But she had one poem that was her favorite, and she wanted her Daddy to read it to her. He always read it best. She walked over to her bookshelf and took out her book of poetry. She then opened the page and handed the book to him.
"I'll be downstairs, love," Cynthia said, "Good night, Susan. I love you."
"Love you too, Momma," Susan said.
Cynthia walked out of the room, and Susan climbed into her bed and laid down. Rodger went to his knees and sat on the floor by her bed.
"This poem always makes me cry," Rodger said, "It always makes me think of your uncle and cousins and grandparents. Because you never got to know them."
Susan nodded. Rodger cleared his throat. He had the book in his hand, but Susan knew he didn't need to look at it. He had practically memorized it.
He then began to recite it:
"Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Nobody that matters, that is. Distant relatives of course
Die, whom one never has seen or has seen for an hour..."
(Cornelius Fudge – Nine hours ago)
Former Minister Cornelius Fudge sighed heavily as he collapsed into his favorite chair in the sitting room of his Wiltshire home. He rubbed his tired eyes. He had been up since six-o-clock in the morning, woken by one of his personal security, who immediately informed him about another riot at the campgrounds of the Quidditch World Cup.
He remembered a particular conversation with Bartemius Crouch, months before the events that led to his retirement from his position of Minister of Magic. The man had happily announced that there were talks of the Quidditch World Cup taking place in England. A glorious moment it had been that day for Cornelius Fudge. He had pictured himself sitting in the Top Box of a large stadium, as Minister of Magic during one of the greatest days in the history of the British wizarding world.
But that was not to be. The truth of his past had come back to bite him, and once it had been discovered, he knew it couldn't get out into the public. So he had done the only thing he could do: resign from his position of Minister of Magic. Almost everyone in the wizarding world believed he had, in fact, retired from the position, because of ill health. What a sham that was! Everyone of his friends, those who didn't turn their back on him after his resignation, had wished him good luck in his future. This forced him to lie to them, informing them of a disease even he didn't know existed. It had been what his personal adviser had suggested.
What followed his "retirement" was weeks and months of solitude in his large and glorious Wiltshire Manor. He had no family. His wife had killed herself a couple years before he became Minister. She had been depressed ever since their only daughter was killed during the Great War, a victim of a Death Eater attack on Diagon Alley. Delilah Fudge had just finished her years at Hogwarts, and was going to join her father in a wonderful career at the Ministry. She had been promised to marry the son of a prominent pureblood family. That man's name was Barty Crouch, Junior. It was discovered that he had been a part of the attack where Delilah had been killed.
Fudge sighed and glanced to his left, at a wall where a large family portrait hung. It was painted after the death of his daughter, and had been copied from a picture taken of the small family. None of the inhabitants talked, however in her depression, Cornelius' wife had stared at the picture for hours on end, begging for her daughter's figure to talk to her. She had hung herself next to the portrait. Cornelius was the one who discovered her.
"I've failed the both of you," Fudge said to the portrait, not for the first time, "Haven't I?"
He had failed. He knew it, but he tried to deny it. He tried to do everything he could to amend his failures. He had continued his annual Christmas party the previous year, even when he was no longer Minister. That turned out to be a failure too, since Lucius Malfoy had somehow been in attendance, and he didn't even know about it. That was particular embarrassing to find out from Sirius Black. How many more times would someone with the name of Black embarrass him in his life?
The most recent time was that morning, however this time it turned out to be his successor Amelia Black who had a part in his embarrassment this time. Every now and then, after his resignation, Fudge would go to the Ministry, in an attempt to lend his advice on current events. He had gone today, after he had found out the news of the attack at the campgrounds.
He had been shocked to discover those who took part in the riot were Death Eaters! When Fudge asked if Malfoy was a part of it, the answer was negative, and Fudge was then interrogated by his successor herself on if he knew anything about the whereabouts of Lucius Malfoy. The discussion turned into a screaming match, mostly by Fudge, who had been a sputtering mess trying to defend himself. He had stormed out of the office, and was met by a horde of reporters, looking for some more updates about the attack.
He knew that a picture, revealing a flustered, angry former Minister, would end up in tomorrow's Daily Prophet. They'd probably blame his red face on his "ill health", and another disease he never heard of.
"Tiberius!" Cornelius said, calling for his house-elf.
He tapped his fingers on the edge of his chair, as he waited for the house-elf. After half-a-minute, when the house-elf didn't come, he called for him again.
"Blast it!" Cornelius growled, when the house-elf still didn't come.
He stood up from his chair and walked to the other side of the room where a wet bar stood, complete with an ice chest, bottles of alcohol including firewhiskey, and shot glasses, as well as bigger glasses. He filled a shot glass with firewhiskey, and drank it down. He then filled a larger glass with ice, and filled it with firewhiskey. He paused for a moment, staring at the bottle of firewhiskey, then grabbed it and walked over to bookshelf on the other side of the room. As he looked for a particular book, he realized it was in his bedroom on the second floor.
"Tiberius!" he called again, and cursed when the elf didn't appear, "Where is that blasted house-elf?!"
He walked over to his chair, and set the bottle of firewhiskey on the table beside it. He took a large gulp from his drink, and put it next to the bottle, then walked out of the sitting room.
"Tiberius," he said, walking toward the kitchen, where the elf usually was during the day, "I swear I am going to give that elf clothes when I find him! Useless -"
He froze as he walked into the kitchen. Tiberius, the house-elf, was laying on the ground in front of him, his glassy eyes wide open.
"Guards!" Cornelius said, with a panicked voice.
He turned around and ran toward the entrance hall of the house. When he arrived, he found the front door wide open, and one of his security guards on the ground of the porch beyond the door, clearly dead.
He patted his robes, checking for his wand, and realized he had set it down beside his chair in the sitting room. He turned around and ran in the direction of it.
And as he arrived in the sitting room, he saw his would-be killer on the other side of the room, with his bottle of firewhiskey in one hand, a wand in the other.
"You," he said, with wide frightened eyes that still appeared so when he was found many hours later.
And it was the last thing he ever said.
(Rufus Scrimgeour – Five hours later)
Senior Undersecretary Rufus Scrimgeour tapped his fingers on his desk as he sat back in the comfortable leather chair of his office at the Ministry of Magic. It had been a very busy day, much too busy for a Sunday. Sunday was supposed to be a day of rest, but today, he was having no rest. He had not slept in over twenty-four hours. As if to confirm this, he yawned hugely.
Then he scoffed loudly. Minister of Magic, Amelia Black, his boss, and her husband, his successor, Head Auror Sirius Black were probably at home sleeping peacefully. Two of the most important names in the Great Britain portion of the wizarding world, and they asleep! On such a day like today! Death Eaters had attacked the Quidditch World Cup campgrounds, and the two responsible for putting the pieces of a half-broken community back together was having a snooze!
This wasn't the first thing that made Rufus Scrimgeour angry at the Blacks that day. In the early hours of that morning, he had been part of an emergency meeting with the Minister, the Head Auror, and several other key Ministry staff members. He had strongly opposed the term "Death Eaters" being put in the Daily Prophet for the public to see. For all anyone knew, the attackers were men in masks and cloaks. There had been no real proof that the attackers were Death Eaters! Nobody who had been captured had the Dark Mark on their arm. The Dark Mark that had appeared in the sky might have even been a trick by some punk kid, possibly even a sore Bulgarian fan, mad at the fact his team had lost the final of the Quidditch World Cup.
But Sirius Black had insisted that it was indeed Death Eaters. He was there, in the middle of it. He was there, trying to fend off the attackers. He said two known Death Eaters had attacked his own godson. When Scrimgeour asked Black if his godson's attacker's were branded, Black said they were not.
In Scrimgeour's mind, Sirius Black should be held accountable for everything that had happened at the campgrounds during the attack. He was in charge of the Aurors, even the ones from other countries. He should have known there was a group present capable of such violence. If, as Sirius had said, they were Death Eaters, then how were they able to get around the campgrounds when most of the branded Death Eaters had wanted posters all over the country!?
Hours after the Minister of Magic and Head Auror had gone home, there were still important meetings held that Scrimgeour had been a part of. In fact, he had led most of those meetings. Representatives of Ireland, Bulgaria, and several other countries who had lost Aurors and civilians during the attack were present. They were demanding to know what the British branch was doing about the attack, and who was responsible for making sure the bodies of their people were able to get home to mourning families. Rufus tried to explain that he wasn't exactly sure what was being done. He hadn't spoken to anyone who was in charge of that yet.
Also there was the fact that every ten minutes or so, he was getting howlers and owl post from angry civilians about ruined tents that had been burned or trampled upon, and questions on what the Ministry was going to do about the Death Eaters. Stuff like this was meant for the Minister!
Rufus scoffed again. None of this would have happened if he had been chosen as Minister of Magic. He certainly would have been present all day whenever he was needed. If he had been chosen, the Dementors would still be at Azkaban, which meant they wouldn't have attacked the prison in anger, causing Death Eaters to get free, nor would they have attacked Hogwarts earlier that year, causing the death of two students, and other victims in Hogsmeade!
He remembered when the Minister and her husband had been on their honeymoon. The first break-out at Azkaban had happened during that period of time. He remembered the yelling match he had with Amelia and Sirius. How it was she who was the Minister, and he was just filling in for her. He had never been insulted so greatly in his life!
Minister Black was a menace to her job, almost as much as her predecessor. But Rufus Scrimgeour had no real way to prove it! Not without sounding petty, power-hungry or bloodthirsty!
Suddenly, there was a knock on his office door.
"What?!" he barked.
The door opened, and there stood Minister Black's assistant, Samantha whats-her-name.
"I thought the Minister sent you home," Rufus said.
"I came back," Samantha said, "because I needed to talk to you. Without Minister Black being here, I mean."
"Why?" Rufus asked.
She walked into the room and closed the door behind her.
"I have reason to believe the Minister and her husband are behind last night's attack at the Quidditch World Cup," Samantha said.
Rufus raised an eyebrow, and a feral smile crossed his lips. Could the Minister's personal secretary be the reason he became the Minister?
"Come in," Rufus said, standing up, "Come sit down. Please!"
Samantha smiled, and walked across the room, then sat down in a chair on the other side of Rufus' desk.
"Do you want something to drink?" Rufus asked, walking across the room toward a wet bar, "I have firewhiskey. Only for best for my palate. And my guests."
"Sure," Samantha said.
Rufus filled two glasses with firewhiskey and walked back over to his desk. He handed one to Samantha, then sat down and took a sip from his own glass. Samantha took a sip, and raised her eyebrows.
"It is impressive," she said.
"Goblin-made," Rufus said, "Rare for a drink to be brewed by goblins and given to humans."
"You must have some impressive connections," Samantha said, "How did you not become Minister?"
"I am confused as you are," Rufus said, "Let us get to the topic at hand. What were you saying now?"
"What if I told you," Samantha said, "That Sirius Black had the fugitive Peter Pettigrew in his grasp in Italy, and let him go?"
"I thought Pettigrew escaped on his own," Rufus said.
"Pettigrew," Samantha snorted, "He's as dim as they come."
"How do you know that?" Rufus asked.
Samantha cleared her throat. "He and Sirius used to be friends. Sirius talked about him to the Minister. The Minister talked about him to me."
"Pettigrew escaped Azkaban, girl," Rufus said, "And has been on the run since. He's smarter than we give him credit for. Tell me what you meant by the Blacks having part in last night's attack."
"I have the evidence in the breast pocket of my robes," Samantha said. "Discussion I've eavesdropped on between the Minister and her husband. I assume the Blacks were very insistent on the fact that Death Eaters attacked the camp."
"Yes," Rufus said, "they were."
"What do you think?" Samantha asked.
"I don't know," Rufus said, "I just feel... I admit it, alright. I'm afraid what it means if they are correct."
"Don't worry, they aren't," Samantha said, "The Death Eaters that escaped Azkaban ran off to many different countries. You really think they'd stay here when their faces are all over wanted posters, and Aurors are looking for them? They're not stupid."
"I agree there," Rufus said, "In all my years as an Auror, I never faced a stupid Death Eater."
Samantha shrugged and took another gulp of her drink.
"This evidence you have," Rufus said, "I want to see it."
Samantha smiled and reached into the pocket of her robes. Rufus took another gulp of his drink and looked at Samantha, expecting to see an envelope or roll of parchment. What he saw was a wand.
And it was the last thing he ever saw.
(Samantha – Amelia Black's Personal Assistant – Twelve hours ago – mid-morning)
Samantha stood outside the door of her flat, having just returned from work. She had expected to stay at the Ministry for most of the day, but the Minister had gone home early and had dismissed her for the day.
That was alright to her. She had plans for the rest of the day. She would spend the next couple of hours preparing a nice meal for Katrina, then spend a romantic day with her. And to finish it off...
She brushed a hand through a pocket of her robes. She reached into the pocket of her robes and took out the object inside. She smiled when she looked at it. It was a small black box with yellow stripes, the color of her and Katrina's House at Hogwarts, Hufflepuff. Inside was a silver ring. Inside her mind was a question that, if the answer to it was positive, it would make her the happiest woman in the world.
She sighed happily, praising the fact that the current minds of the wizarding world weren't as bigoted as many in the Muggle world these days. She remembered what her mother said when she revealed her sexuality: someone like her deserved love, in whichever way she could find it.
She hummed a tune, and tapped the doorknob with her wand, then opened the door, and walked into her flat.
"Katrina?" Samantha said, "I'm home! Amy went home to be with her husband. So I have the rest of the day off."
She heard no answer, and realized Katrina must be sleeping in, like she always did on the weekend. Samantha walked through the house, and toward her bedroom. She opened the door and looked around for Katrina.
And then she screamed!
Katrina was laying on the ground, her eyes wide open in fright.
"Kat?" Samantha said, her voice breaking, "Katrina? Katrina!"
Samantha ran over to Katrina and knelt beside her. It was obvious she was dead.
"No," Samantha said, weeping, "No! Katrina!"
Suddenly, Samantha heard movement behind her.
And that was the last thing she would ever hear.
(Susan Bones – Present)
"... Your tea is cold now.
You drink it standing up,
And leave the house."
Susan and her father recited the last three lines together. Rodger smiled, and stood up. He kissed Susan on the forehead, blew out the flame in her lamp and walked over to the bedroom door.
"Good night, sweetheart," he said.
"I love you, Daddy," Susan said.
"I love you too," Rodger said, "Sleep tight."
Rodger closed the door, and the room went mostly dark, except for the rays of moonlight shining through her window. She stared out the window, as thoughts went through her mind as they usual did while she waited to fall asleep.
She thought of the news she had heard earlier that day. Of how Death Eaters, which she had only read about in school books and newspapers, had attacked the Quidditch World Cup. How the Dark Mark had shown up in the sky for the first time in many years. Never before had she seen the Mark – no author of any book had dared show a picture of it, just like they never called You-Know-Who by his real name – until today, when she had seen a picture of it in the Daily Prophet. It terrified her, which was odd, since it was only a picture. It was the meaning behind it that terrified her.
What did it mean? What did the appearance of Death Eaters mean? Did it mean You-Know-Who was really coming back? The man, if he could be called a man, responsible for the deaths of the family she never got to meet. She had been told by her father and aunt that the evil man had been personally responsible for the deaths of her uncle, his wife, children and her grandparents.
How could You-Know-Who return? Harry Potter – who she was proud to say that she was a friend to – was responsible for the evil man's defeat! Could he really come back? Is that what the Dark Mark meant?
She didn't voice this stuff to her parents. They didn't like talking about the man who killed their loved ones. It was her Auntie Amelia she could always go to with this stuff.
Suddenly, a heart-wrenching scream from her mother echoed through the house, making Susan bolt up in her bed into a sitting position. The door opened, and her mother hurried in then closed it, and pointed her wand at it. Then she lit her wand up and turned back to Susan with wide fearful eyes.
"Susan, where's your wand?" she asked.
"Here," she said, grabbing her wand from her bedside table, "Mum, what's wrong?"
"Don't ask questions," Cynthia said, rushing over to the window and opening it, "Climb out the window. Do you remember how to summon the Knight Bus?"
"Yes, Mum," Susan said, standing up, "Mum -"
"No questions, you must go now!" Cynthia said. "Take the bus to Northampton, to Auntie Amelia's house! Tell the conductor it is an emergency, and you are Minister Black's niece! Use the phrase Blackwater."
Susan opened her mouth, and was interrupted by a banging sound on her bedroom door.
"GO!" Cynthia yelled.
Susan ran over to the window and climbed out of it, landing on the small roof below it.
"I love you, baby," Cynthia said.
"I love you too, Momma," Susan said.
Cynthia closed the door. It was the last time Susan would ever see her alive again.
Susan turned and just as she was about to move away from the window, she heard her mother scream. A bright white light shone in her bedroom, and for a moment, through the window, Susan could see a face. She would see that face in her mind for the rest of her life.
As she climbed down a gutter pipe on the edge of the house, a green light erupted from her bedroom window. She knew what it was, but she had to ignore it. She had to get to her Aunt. She hurried to the road, and lifted her wand hand. A large triple-decker purple bus appeared. The door to the bus opened and Susan hurried aboard.
"Northampton, go!" Susan said, "I am the Minister's niece. It is an emergency! Erm... Blackwater!"
The young man's eyes widened. "Ern, Northampton, go!"
Susan fell into a chair, just as the bus took off at high speeds.
"Are you okay, little girl?" the conductor asked.
"No," Susan said, staring out the window at the speeding scenery passing by, with tears in her eyes. "No, I'm not."
(Sirius – Thirty minutes later)
Sirius Black and his wife, Amelia were curled up in bed, after a romantic evening, topped off with love-making. They hadn't had a night to themselves in quite a while, what with how busy their lives had become. Even their wedding anniversary had been interrupted. So they were making the most of that evening.
After spending most of the last half of the day asleep, Sirius had made him and Amelia a special meal, which they ate in the privacy of their bedroom.
"Could this night be any more perfect?" Amelia asked, as she lay her head on Sirius' chest.
"It is exactly what we needed," Sirius agreed. "However -"
"Sirius, don't say it," Amelia said, "I know what you're going to say."
"Something always tends to interrupt us," Sirius said.
Just as he said it, there was a rapid knock on their bedroom door.
"Damn you," Amelia said to him, grinning.
"Come in," Sirius said, with a heavy sigh.
Melina appeared in the room, looking rather distraught.
"Melina knows Sir and Lady told her not to bother them tonight," Melina said, "But Melina had to bother."
"What is it, Melina?" Amelia asked.
"Lady Amelia's niece is downstairs looking very distraught," Melina said.
"Susan?!" Amelia asked.
She and Sirius both jumped out of bed and hurriedly put on their night robes.
"Lead us, Melina," Sirius said.
"Melina couldn't understand what she was saying," Melina said. "She kept repeating a word over and over. Blackwater."
Sirius saw the fear in his wife's eyes. There was only one reason Susan would use that phrase. It was a security phrase, and it had been given to the Knight Bus that would lead the bus straight to Potter Manor, even though it was under the Fidelius Charm. The conductors and drivers had been given special charms and when they heard this phrase, the bus would go to this house. Only the most trusted people knew this phrase, and there was only one reason they'd use it.
Something had gone very wrong tonight.
They soon found Susan standing in the sitting room. She was in her bedclothes, her wand was in her hand pointed at something no one could see, and shivering all over, muttering "Blackwater" over and over.
"Susan?" Amelia asked, rushing toward her niece; she kneeled down in front of her. "What's wrong, honey?"
"Malfoy," Susan said, clearly.
Then she fainted.
"Life gives way into death then death turns around and gives way into life."
"Death must come to all men in order for life to be brought forth" – (Deut 32:39)
–hides behind chair he is sitting in – Don't kill me!
Hmm... what could those quotes at the end possibly mean?
This chapter has been in my mind for – oh – many months, and half of it had been written for about half that time. In fact there were probably only around twenty or thirty chapters of this Book finished when I thought of this moment.
All of the deaths in this chapter are connected. How? Some of you may be able to figure that one out. It actually might be fairly easy. The answers to the connection will come next chapter! For those of you confused on the order of chronology in this chapter, here is how the Deaths go:
Katrina and Samantha
Rodger and Cynthia Bones
I have a confession to make! Between this chapter, and the Hogwarts Express chapter which should come fairly soon, I haven't thought of much that will happen in between these moments. I know of a few things, but I had been so focused on this chapter, and every moment leading up to it, I didn't think much of what would happen once we got to this point. So there might be a small delay. Maybe not, maybe I'll be as lucky as I was last time.
Next chapter (if my plans go right): Aftermath of Bloody Sunday. Ginny's birthday party.