Chapter 1 : The Tale of the Three Brothers
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So, with that said, I hope you enjoy it. At this point, any sort of feedback at all would be much appreciated, and I could most certainly benefit from it. Especially with this opening part of the chapter. I was looking to make it as accurate as possible. So please review! Thank you so much!
This story puts Ignotus and Dominique at 20 years old. :)
Edited and revised: 1/12/13
absolutely STUNNING chapter image by Lucie Longhorn @ TDA
- Year 1234 -
Three brothers traveled across a vast plain together on a long journey. They had traveled from their complacent homes in the small dwelling of Godric's Hollow in West Country, England to the plains of Devonshire for some hunting. All game near Godric's Hollow had been driven out of the area as more witches and wizards settled in, scattering their sources of food and forcing the inhabitants to travel out of their small towns.
After a rather unsuccessful day of hunting, the youngest of the three brothers came to a halt as they reached the mountain top. He sighed, adjusting himself better on his horse, holding the reigns in his hand and patting the creature’s long neck. He made sure his bow and arrow were still appropriately attached to his back, and he looked towards the boundless plains that he and his brothers had yet to travel.
"Thankfully the journey for hunting is pleasant," the man's brother, Cadmus Peverell, said as he came to a halt next to the youngest man. Cadmus readjusted his cape and tucked a strand of his thick, chocolate hair behind his ears.
"Yes," the youngest agreed as he looked to the plain were the sun was gently setting. "Quite pleasant."
Ignotus Peverell glanced to his older brother from the corner of his eye. He caught Cadmus' face holding a smile as he looked at the painted sky. Ignotus smiled at his brother's happiness. However, Cadmus’ pleased look faded before Ignotus’ smile could even form itself. Cadmus sighed and looked down to his saddle, and Ignotus let out a heavy breath. "Brother, you must move on. Look to the future with hopeful thoughts."
"You are young and foolish, Ignotus," Cadmus said in a low voice as his brother seemed to know exactly what he was thinking. "Do not speak of things you cannot understand."
"What?" Ignotus weakly challenged. He sat up straighter in his seat. He never liked it when his brothers used his younger age to their advantage. They always spoke to him as if he were foolish and did not understand the meaning or importance of things, or of life period. "Because I have not married, you find me incapable of understanding love? Do not forget that you and Antioch are my brothers. I love you both, and I understand the emotion perfectly."
"You do not know the kind of love shared between a man and his wife," Cadmus said again. He looked to his brother with wise eyes, and hidden beneath that exterior, was Cadmus' pain of losing his fiancée only months ago.
Ignotus sighed and let it go at that. He knew he was fighting a losing battle with Cadmus. He did feel for his brother; he felt his pain, but Ignotus knew there was nothing to do but put the past behind him. Yes, Cadmus and Seraphine had been madly in love. Seraphine had been a woman of lower class while the Peverells were the most noble family within Godric’s Hollow; their mother had not approved of their love, but the birth of their son had allowed his mother to see reason.
Ignotus had never experienced a love between a man and a woman such as that, but he could understand the emotion between the two, and he knew what was best for his brother now that she had passed on.
The third brother, Antioch, came up from behind, oblivious to the heart-to-heart his two younger siblings had just shared.
"Come, brothers. We should not delay. It is nearing twilight now," Antioch said as his horse trotted past his two younger brothers. Cadmus and Ignotus looked to one another as he pulled in front of them. Smiles reached their faces, and they brought their heels into the thighs of their horses, triggering a slow trot.
Cadmus came up next to the eldest brother and looked to the plains on the far left. "If we go through the plains, it will be three more days before we reach home. What about the forest there on the right? Cut through it, and it could cut our journey in half."
"Another one of your clever shortcuts, Cadmus, eh?" Antioch laughed as he gently kicked his heels into his horse's abdomen, gaining speed. He looked over his shoulder to grin at his younger brothers. "You shall make us lose our way again!"
"I would not," Cadmus laughed.
"Right, because the shortcut through Devonshire was so successful, was it not, brother?" Ignotus joined in on the playful banter and caught up with Antioch.
"We survived, did we not?" convinced Cadmus.
Cadmus set off in the lead, and the three brothers galloped forward. Their horses picked up speed, kicking up the lush grass as they went. They traveled through the forest and shared stories as they went. They told jokes as they made their bee-line through the trees, occasionally swatting at branches and shrubs with their swords to clear their path. Before they knew it, they had reached the other side with the sun setting in the distance.
They picked up speed as the plain opened. A pathway revealed itself to them from past travelers leaving signs of grass that had been trodden upon. Antioch reared up on his horse's hind legs and sprinted forward.
"Well done, Cadmus," he complimented.
"The both of you should have more faith in me," laughed Cadmus.
They continued on, riding at a great speed, until suddenly Antioch leading the three of them came to an abrupt halt. His horse reared up once more, and he yelled to calm the animal, patting its neck. "Woah, woah! Easy."
Cadmus and Ignotus slowed so they did not face the same situation Antioch did as he began to back away from whatever had spooked his horse. A horrified look took over Ignotus' face, and he asked in worry as his horse only meandered towards the eldest brother. "What is it, Antioch? Are you all right?"
"Fine," he answered. "Just spooked. That would have been a long ways to fall."
Ignotus swallowed in worry, and he peered over the ledge they were suddenly standing upon. Indeed, the drop down was a long ways to go, and a thick, roaring river lay in the valley that separated the land they stood upon and the gap to the other side.
Antioch backed away from the ledge and cursed under his breath. He circled around Cadmus, grinding his teeth in frustration. "Look at what you have done, Cadmus. How shall we cross now?"
"Can the horses jump?" Cadmus asked casually. He did not seem to be worrying about the situation in the least.
"It is too far," Ignotus said quietly.
"You fools," Antioch said once again under his breath. “This shall be the last time we agree to one of your clever short-cuts, Cadmus!”
“As you wish brother,” snorted Cadmus. He was clearly amused by the situation, for Antioch appeared to already have their escape route figured out.
He dismounted his horse and let the animal graze amongst the grass by his side. He whipped his wand out of the saddle bag and motioned to his two brothers to do the same. "Well? What are the two of you waiting for? Heaven and earth to collide?"
Ignotus and Cadmus followed the motions of their older brother. They each peered over the edge at the long drop down, and together they flourished their wands. Sparks shot out of the end, and the ground of the edge of the cliff shot out into the gorge. The roots of the ground beneath their feet reached out over the valley and entwined themselves. It continued to weave itself together until it reached the other side, chunks of dirt falling into the river beneath. They made a thick, wide, supportive bridge together, and when it was finished, Antioch lowered his wand and placed one foot on the dirt and root bridge.
He tapped gingerly at it with his foot to test its support, and he finally stepped fully onto it, gave a few jumps, and then nodded in satisfaction. Antioch placed two fingers along his lips and made a sharp whistle; his horse, knowing the call of its master, quickly reacted and returned to its owner.
"Come now," Antioch told his brothers as he tugged his horse onto the bridge.
The other two followed in his wake, but as they reached the center of the bridge, a commotion occurred. Dirt from the bridge rose into the air with large gusts of wind, twine and leaves following in the wisps as it gathered in the center. Amongst the swirling, a dark hooded figure appeared on the bridge connecting the two landforms together.
To the three brothers, at first sight it appeared to be a Dementor, but as they looked closer at the figure, it no longer looked like a Dementor. They racked their minds, trying to determine just what was before them. It had a long, black cape and a thin frame. It had skeleton-like form, and it reached out its long and bony fingers, opening up its arms with congratulations. The horses reared up in fright, and the brothers dismounted them in an attempt to calm them as well as themselves. Their eyes were glued to the scene before them, but neither had a clue as to what was happening.
"Well, well, well, such clever men," a deep, cold and raspy voice left from somewhere beneath the black, translucent cloak. Its long, frayed ends were delicately touching the bridge as it hovered over it. However, what resided beneath the cloak was neither human nor another defined creature. "How clever you are to best me. No man has ever survived the crossing of this path. I congratulate you on your excellence."
"What are you?" Antioch was the first of the three to speak. His horse pattered back and forth anxiously, neighing in apprehension, but he ushered the horse into silence. Cadmus and Ignotus stood behind the eldest brother with bewildered expressions on their face.
"I am everywhere, yet none have seen me. Every man, woman, and child must join me some day. Some call me Heaven and Hell. I simply like to call myself Death," it said in a cool, eerie voice.
"Death?" Cadmus stuttered. He seemed to be torn partly between laughter and bewilderment. He looked to his two other brothers for questioning, repeating the name under his breath.
Ignotus seemed apprehensive, his brows pulling together, and he tried to stop his brothers from getting themselves into anything too risky. Death was death, and the meaning of the word followed. Did such a name ever have any sort of pleasant congratulations to give? Welcome to the afterlife, congratulations on making it here!
His brothers enjoyed living on the edge; especially Antioch. Antioch lived for adventures and thrills, and not only that, but he was power-hungry like no other man Ignotus had ever met.
"Antioch," he tried to speak up. He tugged on the sleeve of his tunic, trying to grab his attention, but Antioch pushed his little brother off and strut forward towards the cloaked creature that called himself Death. "Antioch, we should turn around. Take the plains through Devonshire and start again in the morning."
"And add nearly a fortnight to the journey?" Antioch asked. "No, sir."
The creature did not let them carry out any further conversation. He opened up his arms, a secret plot formulating in his mind. "Oh, no. Do not heed me any mind. I have not appeared to you to take you with me, but rather I have come to give you my congratulations. You used extraordinary magic to best me when others would sooner perish in the river. As a part of my congratulations, I will reward you each with your own gift of choice."
Antioch's thoughts rested on the fact of how he and his brother's had evaded Death's best efforts. "Anything we like...?" Antioch asked.
"Yes, my lord," said Death in a cunning voice.
"Antioch..." said Ignotus under his breath. “We are being played for fools.”
Cadmus elbowed the youngest brother in the ribs, and in an embarrassed fashion, Ignotus rubbed his side and looked to the ground of the bridge to avert his attention.
Ignotus watched his brothers completely misinterpret the situation at hand. It may have seemed like Death was offering a hefty reward for accomplishing just what was said: performing extraordinary magic and avoiding Death's trap. But why would Death, a creature who had no obligation to perform any good, a creature whose existence was for the very reason to take away life, have any reason to perform an act of kindness? There was something wrong with the entire situation.
Death had a plan up the sleeve of his cloak. Ignotus just didn't know what it was. He pursed his lips as he watched his older brother Antioch gratefully accept Death's offer.
He stepped forward, chest puffed out with deep breaths. He shook his head about so that his hair was better positioned against his forehead. The long brown locks went past his shoulders, and he adjusted his tunic, tucking his wand safely into his pocket. Death bowed down respectfully.
"Antioch Peverell," he said in his droning voice. Antioch gave a flinch of surprise at Death's knowledge about him, but he said nothing. He remained standing tall with his chest held proud. "The eldest brother. I admire your thirst for power. I know what you seek from me. You need only ask."
"Anything?" Antioch questioned, and Death gave a nod, whispering the word to Antioch in persuasion. What was he to ask for? Antioch knew Death must have been humiliated for being bested by three wizards, so Antioch tried to determine what would humiliate Death even further. Finally he knew.
"I ask for a wand more powerful than any in existence."
Antioch awaited the reaction of Death while the two brothers looked at each other in surprise. Ignotus believed this was taking a drastic turn for the worse. He only wished his eldest brother would listen to him and view it as he did. But Ignotus did not have time to further react. Death made a deep bow and said in his raspy voice, "Most certainly."
Death turned to view an elder tree sitting peacefully on the side to which the Peverell brothers wished to reach. Looking at the tree, he placed his hands together, and when he separated them, forming between his hands was a wand of unique design. It was different from any wand the men had ever seen. The wood was fine, smooth, and embellishments decorated the length of it. The corners of Antioch's mouth pulled up into a grin, and he happily accepted the wand.
With his new wand in hand, Antioch grabbed the reins of his horse, and Death slipped to the slide to allow the eldest brother to pass. Next he addressed Cadmus who, when received the attention of Death, began to stand straight and proud like his older brother. Ignotus always knew Cadmus yearned for the acceptance and respect that Antioch received, and Cadmus would go out of his way in an attempt to receive such respect. Death bowed to him and began speaking in a voice that was all too persuasive. "Ah, and Cadmus. The middle brother. You yearn for approval of those around you, but something is troubling you, Cadmus. Come now; ask for the very thing that would solve all your troubles and you shall receive it."
Ignotus looked to Cadmus and then to Antioch, awaiting his brothers on the other side of the gorge. Ignotus' eyes went wide, and he immediately knew the troubles Death was referring to. Cadmus’ yearning to have Seraphanie back from the dead. He feared that Cadmus would fall into Death's trap just like his brother had. He wanted to say something to stop anything horrible from happening, but he couldn't do so without Death realizing what he was on to and potentially taking his own life.
"Brother," Ignotus said with a warning, "a life cannot be lived when such life is being lived in the past. You must move on."
"Foolish Ignotus," Cadmus hissed to his brother under his breath. He gave his brother's shoulder a gentle push and stepped towards Death's congratulating arms. "I ask for an object to awaken those from the grave."
Death was silent for many moments, and such actions only convinced Ignotus further that something was amiss, but his two older and foolish brothers did not notice. Death finally inclined his head, a hand sweeping over the long drop down to the river below. Swiftly a stone was rising from the hundreds of feet below them, and it finally came to rest in Death's palm, and he reluctantly turned it over to Cadmus.
He stared at the thing in his hand for many moments. It was a stone that Death had pulled from the river over a thousand feet below, but it was not like any others. Just like the wand the eldest brother had just received made of the nearby elder tree, it was different in its own way. It was not of a disfigured shape, or of the white or tan you would find in a river. It was a deep black stone, and it was shaped like a diamond. With a smile, Cadmus nodded his thanks and led his horse to the other side just as Antioch had done.
Knowing it was his turn, Ignotus debated simply accepting nothing from Death. But he believed such an action would bring forth questions. He swallowed as he tried to prepare himself for any ploy that Death may have been conspiring. Death then addressed him. "And finally, Ignotus. The youngest; a kind man with a pure heart. You are misunderstood by your brothers and question their reckless decisions, and you genuinely fear for their safety. But what you want from me is not clear. You must be troubled. Tell me, Ignotus, what it is you seek."
Ignotus stepped forward, leading his horse. Humbly, he opened up his hands as he believed he had determined the right request. "I ask to not be followed from this place by anyone or anything other than my brothers."
"An unusual request, but I oblige nonetheless," said Death. He lifted one of his bony arms, and with his other hand, he tore a large section of material from his cloak. In his hands, the material shifted, expanding in size, rippling in his hands and giving off the effect as if one were viewing water. When the material finally sat still in his arms, Death offered the item to him, and uncertainly Ignotus took it from his hands.
Ignotus nodded to Death as he passed, and he turned the object over in his hands to determine that it was a separate cloak that Death had torn from his very own. Ignotus reached his brothers, and without another word, the three of them turned to leave. Together they continued their journey, but Ignotus could not rid of the sickening, fearful feeling boiling inside of him, and as they crossed the bridge, Ignotus could swear he heard a cruel laugh leaving the mouth of the creature behind them. Then, with an uproar of the wind around them, Death was gone just as soon as he had appeared.
"Well, what do you think, Dominique? With or without the lace?" Victoire Weasley asked as she held two different napkins up to her sister. Victoire looked at them both, appraising the napkins, and then looking feebly to her sister.
Dominique looked up from her comfortable spot in an arm chair by the window at Shell Cottage. She had been reading a book, quite enjoying the afternoon. The window nearest to her was cracked, letting the cool breeze and the smell of the ocean water just outside waft into the cottage. She dropped her book as she looked up to her sister with little interest.
Shell Cottage, as well as the Burrow, had been hectic with the planning of her sister's wedding, and while Dominique was happy for her sister, it was all she heard about. The topics of the wedding planning were the only source of conversation and had been for months. She had listened to her mother, grandmother, sister, aunts, and cousins all question what the color of the center pieces should be, if they should serve chicken or salmon, what color the bridesmaids’ dresses should be. Anything and everything possible to decide about a wedding had arisen and had still yet to be decided because Victoire was either so precise or just didn't know what she wanted; Dominique couldn't tell which.
The only thing any of them knew for certain were the names of the bride and groom that would be going down on the wedding invitations. Other than that, it was all still up in the air.
Of course, she was excited for her sister to be marrying Teddy Lupin, but she could only handle so much of the constant bickering about colors and place settings.
"The ones with the lace say more elegant, but I was going for the simple theme," Victoire sighed.
At that, Dominique tried to decipher just what 'simple' meant to her sister. Victoire had a wedding book of all combinations possible, ranging from the simplest of weddings to the most extravagant. As far as Dominique was concerned, a theme had in fact not been declared as of yet.
Dominique sighed and ran her fingers through her strawberry blonde hair, inclining her head. "Then go with the ones without the lace."
"But the ones without the lace are just so dull," hummed Vic as she squinted at them as if that would persuade her decision.
"Then the lace ones," Dominique said in an empty voice. Her head moved to look out the window. The day was beautiful; she could hear the waves of high tide rolling in, the cawing of the sea gulls, and she could hear her brother Louis demanding a game of Quidditch from a few of his cousins a ways down the hill the cottage sat on. She would much rather be outside with them, joining in on the game, or dipping her toes into the ocean water rather than sitting inside and making no progress whatsoever.
"Yes, but the lace isn't simple," huffed Victoire.
And you are? Dominique laughed to herself. She rolled her shoulders and suggested, "Then find one in between."
"Yes, you're right. Neither of these will do." She dropped them in defeat and picked up her tedious book of different napkin patterns and table settings. So Victoire started from scratch as she flipped through them, dropping hopelessly down into the chair at the table. The table was so full and cluttered with all sorts of booklets and fabric sample patterns that the wood of the actual table didn't even peak through.
"There are too many options," Victoire sighed, and she closed the booklet of napkin options and moved on to something else. "I'll just try to decide color schemes for now. I've always liked beige."
"Ugh," Dominique grunted under her breath. She glanced to her sister to see if she had heard, but Victoire seemed to be in a completely different world in that moment. She shut her book and dropped it on the coffee table in front of her. "I'll be outside."
She rose and approached the back door, letting her fingers toy with the chimes next to the door. They made a pleasant sound as she left. Victoire seemed to only then recognize her sister leaving the room, and she called after her, "Hey! Dom! Come back here. You’re my maid of honor; you’re supposed to help me!”
Dominique didn't answer as she disappeared out onto the lawn. She felt relieved as the cool air swept over her. It lifted her hair from her back and shoulders. The long, strawberry blonde locks fluttered about her, and she strolled off down the hill. She hadn't bothered to put shoes on, and the sand was already seeping between her toes.
She came across Louis, Rose, Albus, and Molly all trying to balance the tip of their brooms on their noses. All were being quite unsuccessful until Albus managed to hold the thing on his nose for nearly twenty seconds.
"Aha!" he blurted cheerfully. "Beat that!"
Dominique grinned at them and sat comfortably on a patch of grass. She picked at the blades and began to twirl one between the tips of her fingers. She placed her chin on her knees, watching her cousins in an appraising fashion. She wished she felt confident enough to join in on their fun, but she had never been one to join in on their games. She had always been the cousin to sit back and watch. Not only was she a spectator to their games, but they never bothered to ask her to join in as well. She felt like an outsider to her cousins most of the time, but it was something she had long ago accepted.
She didn't know how long she sat on the ground for, watching her cousin enjoy the afternoon until she heard her uncle calling her from the house. She jumped to her feet, wiping her sand covered palms on her thighs and returning to the cottage.
"Hey, Uncle Harry," she said with a grin as she came to a stop in front of him.
"Hi, sweetheart," her uncle said. He flashed her a smile before leading her into the cottage and away from any chatter. Once away from any distractions, Harry grabbed a bag from the kitchen table. He reached inside and pulled out his old invisibility cloak. He pushed it into her hands, and he quickly went from being 'loving uncle' to 'responsible boss.' Dominique took it carefully and folded it under her arms, preparing herself for the next few minutes. Harry began to talk in a responsible voice. "Here's my cloak. Be careful and don't lose it. Your itinerary for the case has been finalized. I have a copy of it with me for you, but you need to be at the Ministry ready to go by six AM."
"Got it," she answered with a smile. She nodded her head in reassurance.
Dominique had recently completed her training, and only a short month ago she had become a full-fledged Auror. She had been on a few cases, but she would begin her largest case so far the following day. Her uncle's invisibility cloak was something that she knew she would need for the case, and she had been waiting for the moment when Harry would lend her the cloak. She was excited for her case. She enjoyed her job; she was good at it, and she wanted to make her uncle proud.
"Atta girl. Rest up. You should get a good night's sleep. Busy day tomorrow. I'll see you at six, Dominique," Harry said as he clapped her on the shoulder.
He left her to call James and Albus inside, and shortly Dominique said goodbye to everyone and returned to her flat where she made herself a nice dinner. After she had cleaned up and prepared her bags for traveling to Rio the following day, she began to pack a small bag of items that she would possibly need in between traveling from the Ministry till they reached their destination in Rio. She gave her small bag an Undetectable Extension charm and dropped a few things into it, finally coming to the last item: her uncle's cloak.
She ran her fingers over the fine, smooth fabric. It rippled under her touch, and she lifted it to experiment with it. She draped it over her shoulders, pulling the hood over her head, and she turned to face the full length mirror on the other side of the bedroom. She knew what to expect. She knew she would see an empty mirror, but actually witnessing it was an entirely new feeling to her. She smiled as she moved closer to it, moving in and out of the mirror's view as if it would change the outcome each time.
Finally she pulled the cloak off of her and returned to the edge of her bed to sort through the mess of items spread out across it. She gathered a few potion vials to shove into her bag, straightening up and backing away from her bed. In the process, she lost her footing and tripped. She stumbled for a bit before falling backwards onto her bum. To steady herself, her hands played out, prepared to smack the wooden floor. However, this action caused the few potion vials to roll out of her hands, and she landed on top of them with enough force to break the vials.
She winced as her hands impacted the glass. She could feel the cuts on her palms, glass and an assortment of potions beginning to push themselves into her skin. She lifted her hands in pain, blood running from her palms down her forearms. She turned over onto her knees, realizing she was sitting in a pile of mixing potions. As she turned, her uncle's cloak fell out of her lap and onto the floor. She tried to snatch it before it soaked up the liquid covering the floor. When she reached for it, she felt the glass embedded into her palm snag at the cloak, making small tears. She groaned in pain and frustration at herself as the cloak in her hands turned into a frayed, potion and blood soaked one.
She attempted to rise to begin cleaning up the mess when the mixed potions on the floor began to create a small layer of fog around her. The air grew thick and humid, and a strong smell overwhelmed her senses. She could feel the potions mixing together as if a concoction were being made within a cauldron, a thick and unusual smell taking over. She tried to not inhale, but she could not rise in time to continue holding her breath. Sucking in a quick one, she felt herself go lightheaded at the smell.
Dominique could begin to feel her thoughts weighing down on her, her mind growing hazier by the second as the air grew thicker. She couldn’t recall what happened next; she was only aware that she lost all sensation, and she fell to the soaked floor in a heap as she lost consciousness, coating her front with a mixture of blood and potion with her uncle's cloak tight in her glass-stricken hands.