Another huge thank you to those who remained faithful to this story during this story's hiatus. Those of you who returned, it truly means a lot to me. And to any new readers, I am so glad you are enjoying this story enough to have made it this far.
When I began this story, I really did worry about how it would be received, but I didn't let that bother me. It was an idea I knew I had to write, and I only hope that you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it! :)
A cast list to help the imagination:
Dominique Weasley - Tamsin Egerton (as appears in Camelot)
Ignotus Peverell - Henry Cavill (as appears in The Tudors)
Brigid Pellinor - Gemma Arterton (as appears in Clash of the Titans)
Edric Pellinor - John Lynch (as appears in Merlin (BBC) as Balinor, Merlin's father)
With that said, here's chapter 10! Enjoy!
another wonderful chapter image by Clara Oswald @ TDA
"Come on, Tyrion," urged Ignotus. He held the bag of Tyrion's things in his grasp, standing in the doorway of his home. He looked to the young boy, pouting in the middle of the sitting room.
After leaving Cadmus' home last night, he had sent a messenger to Wiltshire to deliver the message to Lord Pellinor that he would be bringing Tyrion in the morning to him without delay. He had also written in his letter that no questions be asked, but rather he would explain everything in person when they arrived the following afternoon. Ignotus had also told his mother earlier that morning of her middle son's death, and he had also shared his decision to send Tyrion away with her. Unable to argue due to her cries, she had nodded in agreement. She also believed this to be the best decision for the boy. Even though Tyrion acted as if he were fine, they all knew he was hurting from Antioch's death still, and hearing the news of his father's death would only destroy him even more. And if that wasn't enough, how were they to explain to an eight-year-old that Cadmus had willingly left him behind?
"But, Uncle!" whined Tyrion. "Must I really go now? Where is Father?"
Ignotus dropped to his knees in the doorway and opened his arms for his nephew to come into them. Pouting, Tyrion approached his uncle and let Ignotus cup his face in his hands.
"Yes, my boy," said Ignotus in a somber voice. He felt his heart clench in his throat at his next words, knowing they would be the biggest lie he had ever told. "Your father has matters to attend to, but we cannot delay. Your father will come visit you soon, Tyrion."
Ignotus felt terrible for having to strip Tyrion away from the life he knew on such short notice, but Tyrion should have been preparing himself for this day. He knew he would have entered an apprenticeship in approximately a year, and to do so, he would have to leave home. The only difference in the matter was that it came as a surprise to Tyrion at his younger age.
With his lips pursed, Tyrion finally nodded.
"Tell you what, though," encouraged Ignotus, and he grinned, knowing his next bit of news would make Tyrion a very happy boy. At least someone would be happy amongst this mess. "I have a surprise for you."
"Really?!" the boy beamed. "What is it, Uncle?"
"You get to take your father's horse with you! Dax is yours now: a gift from your father," Ignotus said enthusiastically.
As Ignotus had expected, the news thrilled Tyrion beyond belief. Ignotus had pondered giving his brother's horse to Tyrion, as the beautiful black horse, Dax, no longer had an owner. He had debated giving Dax to Dominique, but as seeing Eirene practically never rode her horse and that horse was virtually Dominique’s now, Ignotus had decided this to be best. As he had anticipated, giving Dax to Tyrion also softened the blow.
Tyrion clapped his hands together and gave a jump of excitement. He threw his arms around his uncle's neck in an embrace, and Ignotus couldn't help but smile into his nephew's long, copper hair.
"Oh, really? Dax is mine? Oh, Uncle, thank you!"
"Of course, my boy," cooed Ignotus. When Tyrion pulled away, he patted his head, pushing back his long hair so he could look into the boy's eyes. "Now you have a horse of your very own! And guess what else?"
"What, Uncle?!" Tyrion demanded to know. Ignotus could tell that he had pumped excitement into the boy, excitement for his journey to Wiltshire, and perhaps excitement to be going somewhere new and exciting to him as well.
"You get to take Arrow with you as well," said Ignotus with a generous smile.
This brought the biggest smile to Tyrion's face, the biggest Ignotus had ever seen from his nephew before. With better reassurance over the situation, Ignotus finally rose from his knees and asked Tyrion to gather the last of his things. He went out the front door where the two horses were waiting. Dominique knelt beside Arrow next to the horses, encouraging the Tamaskan husky to drink from a bowl of water before the journey. Hearing his approach, Dominique looked to Ignotus as she stroked the dog and flashed him a smile.
He returned it before he went to strap the bag of Tyrion's thing to Dax's saddle. When he turned around, Tyrion was padding out of the house with the remainder of his things. Ignotus took that bag from him and strapped it in as well. Realizing there was nothing more to be done, Ignotus knelt beside the boy again and gave him an encouraging smile. "It is time to say goodbye to Lady Dominique now."
Hearing her cue, she rose from her spot beside the wolf-like dog and approached them. She dusted the dirt off of her green day-dress and gave the boy a sympathetic smile. That was when Tyrion's frown returned. He had already said goodbye to his grandmother; Eirene had long ago stolen back into the depths of Ignotus' home to cry in solitude, but now it was Dominique's turn.
Despite her conflicting feelings for the boy over the past few weeks, she was sad to see him go. She had grown fond of him. He was quite like a little brother to her now. She had enjoyed looking after him, holding his hand when they walked in the streets about Godric's Hollow, joining in with him in chasing Arrow across the plains. She hated the moments when she would look at him and all she could think of was Voldemort, but she had done her best to force those thoughts to the back of her mind. Tyrion was too loveable anyways to let that bother her too much, and besides, the future was the future. She was already doing what she thought was best in maintaining the future, so she couldn't do anything about the fact that Tyrion would be the ancestor of Lord Voldemort.
Tyrion turned to Dominique, a pout on his face, and his eyes full of sorrow. "I do not wish to say goodbye, my Lady."
Dominique knelt down beside the two as well and she grasped his small hands in her own. "I know, sweetheart. I will miss you terribly," she said carefully and with a genuine smile. "But I promise your Uncle and I will come visit you soon."
"Please do!" requested Tyrion with a smile at the thought of Ignotus and Dominique coming to visit him in Wiltshire.
"I promise," she said again, and she took the boy into her arms. She hugged him tight to her, Tyrion clinging on to her shoulders, and she kissed his cheek.
She released him, and when she did so, Ignotus guided him to Dax. He helped the boy up onto Dax, and then Ignotus was heaving himself up onto his own horse. He looked to Dominique as his horse absently beat its front hooves on the ground.
"I will be back by nightfall," Ignotus said to her in a gentle tone. "Look after my mother."
"I will, my Lord," she answered humbly.
Then with a nod of his head, Ignotus kicked his heels into his horse and Tyrion followed suit. Ignotus looked over his shoulder and whistled sharply. Responding to the whistle he had been trained for, Arrow's ears perked up and the dog began to follow behind the horses. Ignotus and Tyrion gained speed as they set off down the road that led out of Godric's Hollow. They turned the corner, and Dominique was out of view.
They rode fast, the horses responding well to the orders of their masters. The townspeople were quick to clear out of the road when they saw them swiftly approaching. Some didn't even have time to bow in respect to Ignotus, but Ignotus was hardly a man to take offense to such things. All he wanted to do was reach Lord Pellinor's. He wanted to share his brother's death with the man, but more importantly, he wanted to return to Godric's Hollow so he could rightfully take care of his brother's body. He had set his brother on his bed; he had even pulled a blanket over his body and tucked him in, as if he were only sleeping, but the thought of disregarding his brother's body for so long only upset him further.
They were soon leaving the comfort of Godric's Hollow and traveling through the plain and to the hills Ignotus had long ago memorized. He remembered riding through them with his father, learning how to hunt, and then with his brothers. He remembered when, shortly after their father had died, the three boys had left Godric's Hollow for one night just to come camp under the trees between the hills, sitting around a warm fire and telling stories about their father. He remembered fighting off bandits with his brothers another time. How many varying memories those hills held for him, and now his father and brothers were dead.
Feeling his demeanor grow weak with his nostalgia, he gave a deep sniff from atop his horse and sat up straighter. He shook himself into the strong and courageous demeanor he knew he had to hold, and he looked over his shoulder to check on Tyrion and on Arrow. Tyrion was silent, but he was neither beaming with enthusiasm nor pouting. Arrow was still following along at a run, but Ignotus knew the dog was fine. Arrow had travelled with them like this before; the dog was used to long journeys and following behind his masters' horses. He was also a wonderful hunting dog that the Peverells had taken on many adventures.
Pleased, Ignotus turned to face their path once more and kicked his heels his horse's side once more.
After another hour of riding, they were finally coming upon the front gates of Wiltshire. Wiltshire was much like Godric's Hollow; it was a respectable wizarding village not much bigger than Godric's Hollow, and like Ignotus' home village as well, it was home to many noble wizarding families, the Pellinors included. Smoke was rising from various spots within the village, most presumably blacksmith's at work, and even from their small distance, the sound of chatter, the clanging of metal, and the rustle of skirts on grass was audible. The village was happy, and it was a happy change to Ignotus. Sure, Godric's Hollow had seen a fun and happy night only the previous day, but it was obvious the people of Godric's Hollow were trying to move past the mysterious murder of Antioch Peverell, and now - when Ignotus returned - they would only have another death to deal with. Ignotus was once again reassured that he had made the right decision for his nephew; Tyrion would be in the presence of blissful ignorance. He would be happy here.
They approached the gates of the town where an elderly man was slouched in a chair. He had a pipe hanging from his mouth, and his cheeks were bearded, his hair long and matted. A staff rested against the gate he leaned against, and spotting the visitors, he perked up. A gatekeeper. Many villages had gatekeepers. Godric's Hollow, however, had been one to do away with gatekeepers a long time ago. He wondered, though, if Antioch's murder would inspire the idea of reinstating gatekeepers.
Ignotus and Tyrion came to a stop just feet away from him, Arrow panting behind them, and the gatekeeper rose with a smile.
"Not from Wilthsire, sires? How may I be of service?" The man continued to approach them, leaning against his staff. Before Ignotus could open his mouth in reply, though, Ignotus saw the gatekeeper's eyes pass over his horse, and something must have struck his attention, for he perked up immediately. "A Lord Peverell of Godric's Hollow?"
It then occurred to Ignotus that the gatekeeper must have recognized his family's crest on his saddle bag. Ignotus inclined his head in answer. "Yes. Lord Ignotus Peverell, and my nephew Tyrion."
"It has been many years since I last saw you, my Lord. You were only just a boy then," the gatekeeper chuckled. Ignotus briefly pondered if this could possibly be the same gatekeeper from the last time Ignotus was in Wiltshire when he was just ten-years-old. "Welcome back to Wiltshire. Lord Pellinor is expecting you."
The gatekeeper stepped aside and allowed them entrance. Ignotus nodded his thanks, and they weaved their way through the village. Recognizing a noble family, the townspeople stepped aside and bowed their heads as they passed. Ignotus was respectful and nodded in return; if it had been a decade since he had last visited Wiltshire and he was to marry Brigid, surely the townspeople would recognize him from this moment on. With that thought in mind, he wanted the village to believe him to be a kind man, not one of arrogance with a large ego due to a sense of entitlement.
Ignotus remembered his way through the village as if he had just been there yesterday. He remembered what it was like to be a boy here, splashing in the puddles when it rained with Brigid, chasing chickens in the streets until their mothers ordered them to stop. With his memories fresh on his mind, he used them to weave through the town, and shortly they were coming upon the Pellinor's manor.
The manor was a vast one, far bigger than Ignotus' home. It had many windows with shutters, and flowers were planted along the edges of the house and in the front garden. He imagined the plants were Brigid's doing.
He instructed Tyrion to dismount, and after they both did so, Ignotus tied the reigns of both horses to a post. He found himself adjusting his tunic, running his hands through his hair, and trying to make himself appear more than presentable. He didn't quite know why he wanted to make an impression with his looks. He knew he was about to see Brigid again for the first time in a decade and now they were betrothed, but Ignotus didn't want to marry her. Not now at least. So why did he care?
He felt his face grow hot with his anxiety, but he forced himself to remain calm and collected. He wouldn't have Tyrion seeing him like this, especially when Tyrion didn't know of the betrothal and he wanted to keep it that way. He wanted to keep all knowledge of his betrothal between himself, his mother, and the Pellinors, but more importantly he wasn't ready for Dominique to know. He knew he fancied her, but after their kiss last night, he didn't know what she would think.
"Come, Tyrion," encouraged Ignotus, pulling himself from his thoughts.
They approached the manor, and with Tyrion tucked into his side, Ignotus raised a hand and rasped on the front door of the manor. The door was soon opened by one of the Pellinor's servants, a young woman with a kind and generous face and blonde hair. She bowed her head in respect and stepped aside to grant them entrance. "Lord Peverell," she said in acknowledgement.
Ignotus nodded in return, stepping inside. The young woman showed them into the sitting room on the side and she dismissed herself to fetch her master. Shortly the friendly and burly man was entering the room with his arms outstretched for a friendly embrace. Ignotus rose from the chair he had positioned himself in and embraced the man he had known his entire life.
"My, my," Edric Pellinor beamed as he embraced the young man, "Ignotus Peverell. What a fine young man you have become. Last I saw you, you sneaking either mine or your mother's horse out of the stables and riding away with Brigid to the river. What a man, Ignotus. What a man."
"Why, thank you, my Lord," Ignotus said kindly as they released one another.
He let Edric Pellinor hold him at arm’s length and appraise him. Edric was a man entering his elder ears with his hair past his shoulders. He was tall and burly, his arms thick with years of wielding a sword. Beneath his thick, dark, and graying beard, he had a friendly face with wrinkles pulling at the corners of his eyes.
Ignotus waved Tyrion over, who had been humbly sitting on a chair. He scurried over and leaned into his uncle's side. Ignotus squeezed the boy's shoulders in an encouraging fashion, looking to Edric. "Lord Pellinor, my nephew Tyrion."
"Hello, Tyrion," said Edric kindly, his mouth pulling into a smile, dimples forming on his bearded cheeks.
"Hello, my Lord," said Tyrion quietly.
"Thank you for agreeing to my request on such short notice," said Ignotus, scratching his chin where his stubble was growing. His cheeks and chin were currently covered in short, dark stubble. He reminded himself to shave again.
"Of course, of course," nodded Edric, patting Ignotus on the back. "It seemed urgent. Surely you have your reasons."
"I do. Perhaps I can explain them to you further," Ignotus said, and he paused to think about how he could get Tyrion out of the room. Seeing that Edric was waiting for him to finish his sentence, Ignotus finally just blurted out the rest of it. "While Tyrion is shown his room."
"Of course," agreed Edric. He waved the blonde girl over and instructed kindly to her. "Keira, please show young Tyrion to his room, and once he's settled, why don't you fetch my daughter?"
Ignotus felt his face grow hot at the mention of Brigid. He could feel himself grow more nervous by the second to see Brigid once again.
"Certainly, my Lord," the girl said with a curtsy.
Ignotus urged Tyrion to the girl with a gentle push. When he watched Tyrion round the corner and disappear into the home, Ignotus took a quick step forward and spoke to Edric in a hushed whisper. "Really, my Lord, thank you for taking Tyrion in on such short notice. Cadmus is..."
He faltered. He could feel his throat clench with the horrible words that his brother had died. He had already told his mother, and that was pain enough. He was tired of the pain life had brought him over the past few weeks.
Edric looked upon him in worry, and he gripped his shoulder, trying to encourage Ignotus to continue speaking.
"Cadmus is dead, my Lord," Ignotus finally choked out.
"He what?" gasped Lord Pellinor. "But I spoke to your mother only yesterday. She made no reference to such a tragedy."
"He was still alive when my mother visited you yesterday. He died last night. I found his body in the early hours of morning."
"And the boy?"
"He does not know," whispered Ignotus. "His uncle's death was painful for him. His father's...His father's death will ruin him. He cannot know. Not yet. That is why I have asked for you to begin his apprenticeship. I will tell him, but all in good time."
"Of course," nodded Edric again, rubbing his beard as if in deep thought. "I trust your judgment, Ignotus. I will not tell him. We will take good care of him."
"Thank you, my Lord," sighed Ignotus in heavy response. He felt his shoulders drop with an overwhelming relief of tension he didn't know he had held. He let his shoulders fall with relief, and he began to rub his forehead with one of his hands, as if he could relieve himself of his loss and his stress.
"Ignotus." He listened to Edric gently begin to console him. "I truly understand your reasoning. Tyrion will be happy here. Do not fret. I am terribly sorry for the loss of your brothers."
He only nodded as he continued to rub his forehead. He gave a started jump and yanked his hand to the side of his body when he heard the gentle voice of a woman from the entrance to the room. "Father? You sent for me."
Ignotus swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat and let his eyes come to rest on Lady Brigid Pellinor for the first time in a decade.
"Ah," Edric said quietly and leaned into Ignotus with a whisper, his lips pulling up into a knowing smile, "perhaps this will brighten your day." He then turned to his only daughter in the entrance of the room and beckoned her forward. "Yes, my dear. Come here, sweetheart."
Obeying, Brigid Pellinor gracefully approached the two men, and as she did so, Ignotus was left to stare in shock and surprise. He had to do his absolute best to maintain a respectable demeanor. When his eyes had first come to rest upon her, he could feel his mouth drop in surprise, but he had quickly clamped it shut. He remained frozen, rooted to the spot, and he could feel the heat in his face continue to grow as she approached them.
Ignotus had remembered her as a girl. Always small, petite, with long brown hair, fair skin, and chocolate eyes. Now she was a woman. She was of average height and still had a petite form. Like she had in her childhood years, her skin was still fair and smooth, and her brown hair was down to her hips. Today it held waves from being braided, and the top was pulled back and pinned with a gold banned delicately weaved into her hair. Ignotus could tell she was still gentle and kind, and the pink touch of life in her cheeks and the tug of her smile suggested she was still young and youthful when she didn't have to be so careful of her actions. She was the same girl he had known; he could tell that much, but he wondered if the girl he once knew was there at all anymore. Or had she become yet another reserved socialite like the other noble women Ignotus knew?
She was breathtaking; Ignotus knew that much, and he knew he should be lucky to marry her, but still something seemed wrong.
He ignored the despairing feeling in the pit of his stomach for having to marry the woman, and he instead let Edric re-introduce them.
"Ignotus, you remember my daughter, the Lady Brigid," Edric said with a beaming smile.
"Of course," Ignotus said sweetly, standing up straight and holding his shoulders back. He reached out a hand, as he knew he should, and he took one of Brigid's in his own. He brought it closer and leaned over it to place a gentle kiss on the smooth back of her hand. "How could I forget? My Lady, it is wonderful to see you again. The ten years we spent apart served you well."
"Thank you, my Lord. They have been kind to you as well," Brigid said in reply to him. Ignotus was quick to notice the wavering in her voice. He could feel her hand delicately shaking in his grasp. Her voice had waivered, but she had been careful to hold her composure. Ignotus couldn't help but wonder why. Was she just as nervous as he was?
The small, sharp intake of air that escaped from Brigid as he pressed lips to her hand did not go unnoticed to him, and he then released her hand, standing up straight once more. From the corner of his eye, Ignotus could see Edric giving a knowing and mysterious smile. He cleared his throat after their exchange, and both looked to him in surprise. Edric Pellinor shuffled from foot to foot and pointed to the door.
"Perhaps I should see if Tyrion's accommodations are to his liking," Edric said quickly, a smirk tugging at his lips.
Ignotus was quick to react. He knew what Edric was getting at; despite the custom to not leave a man and a woman who are betrothed alone before they are married, Edric was eager to give time alone to the two young adults, and Ignotus was fully aware of that.
"Really, I'm sure they are - " He shortly faltered. Lord Pellinor was already leaving the sitting room, leaving his daughter alone with her fiancé.
Why was Edric so eager to break the custom? Was it because he trusted Ignotus with his daughter? Perhaps Edric was a man who believed in young love and awnted the two to have a chance to spend unsupervised time together. Despite Edric's desires, Ignotus had different ones. He didn't want to be left alone with her. Not when his mind was only on one woman, and that woman was most certainly not Brigid.
Ignotus turned uneasily back towards Brigid. She had a humble and nervous smile on her face, and in that moment, Ignotus believed her to be just as uneasy as he was, although most likely for different reasons.
After a few moments, Brigid took a bold step forward, raising her head to meet Ignotus' eyes. "I see that you have become a man, my Lord. Surely you are a fine wizard and warrior, but have you done away with the boy I once knew?"
Ignotus wanted smile at her question then. He was beginning to understand that his expectation of Brigid was wrong; the young girl he had once splashed about in puddles with was still somewhere inside her. Perhaps she was beating at the social class constructed cage she was virtually held confined in, wanting to be let out.
He felt his smile tug at his lips until he saw Brigid then grin at the reaction she received from him.
He finally shook his head. "I have not done away with him," he answered gently. "Not completely."
Brigid's grin grew bigger with his response, and her next words were eager and quick.
"Shall we take the horses and ride like we used to? Or just one, just like the times of our childhood," she asked eagerly. Her eyes were wide and bright with life.
Igntous actually chuckled, and he felt comfortable enough to take a small step forward and take hold of her hands. He squeezed them gently, pushing his admiration for this woman into her hands. She seemed surprised by his sudden contact, for her gaze went briefly to their hands. She seemed to admire his large ones before looking back to meet his eyes. Ignotus wondered if he should have considered his actions more before taking her hands into his own; he knew he hadn't even given the action a second's thought due to his time spent with Dominique, with how carefree he could be around her, and he wondered if he now should have acted differently. But Brigid's reaction suggested differently. She was fine with it, it not slightly surprised.
"As much as I would love to, my Lady, I must tend to my nephew. Then I must be going. I promised my mother I would be back by nightfall. But another time, I promise," he said kindly, and he knew his words were genuine. He knew he couldn't leave Tyrion. Not yet. And he did wish to ride with her like he used to. After hearing her speak, unguarded due to her father's absence, Ignotus had realized that she was the same free spirit he had known when he was a boy.
He was grateful for this. She hadn't become a stuck-up woman like so many others. She was beautiful and
he knew she was everything he could have ever hoped for in a wife. He knew he should feel lucky and grateful for such a betrothal.
Brigid's spirit did not diminish with denial. Instead, she only continued to smile, and she squeezed his hands in return.
"I shall hold you to that promise, my Lord," she said generously.
He knew that no man had ever been as lucky as him to be marrying a woman such as Brigid, and yet he couldn't seem to let go of his despair to the entire betrothal. He knew he was selfish to have this woman and yearn for another, another he knew he could never have if his mother and Edric Pellinor were to have their way, but he had always been one to wish to obey the heart. No matter what it told you.
And his heart, right now, was telling him he couldn't marry Brigid Pellinor. He couldn't marry her because he was falling in love with Dominique.