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I Specialise in Murders by ThestralPrincess

Format: Novel
Chapters: 20
Word Count: 51,565
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Contains profanity, Strong violence, Scenes of a mild sexual nature, Substance abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme

Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance
Characters: Albus, Scorpius, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 01/03/2014
Last Chapter: 06/10/2015
Last Updated: 06/10/2015

Summary:





Lucy Weasley’s shop straddled the corner of Knockton Alley and Diagon Alley. Knockton Alley was black, Diagon Alley was white, and Lucy was most definitely grey. Scorpius Malfoy was blazing blinding white and struck like lightning into her life with a cocky smile and a murder case.

For VioletBlade's The Five Elements Challenge V.3 & Rumpelstiltskin's Murder Mystery Challenge-2nd place.


Chapter 5: My quenwood is interested in you.




Scorpius resisted the urge to run away from the auror department and not come back until Milly had sorted out this case on her own.

She had somehow arranged it so that he would be the one interviewing the Rosier sisters and their widowed mother. Milly had had an evil grin on her face while she did so. She had informed that it was either that or they could swap and he would do the interviews of the guards at Azkaban. A typical plague over cholera dilemma, and Scorpius had decided that interviewing the Rosier’s was the lesser of the two evils.

That was before he’d recalled how much he hated dealing with crying women. And right now in the waiting room sat Circe, Desiree and Medora Rosier, all with puffy red eyes and mournful expressions that indicated they just might burst into floods of tears at the drop of a pin.

“Why is it again that Guffy can’t do this?” Scorpius hissed at Lily, who rolled her eyes at him.

“Guffy went with Milly to Azkaban.”

Scorpius sighed. “Chambers?”

“Diagon Alley with Zeller searching for the mysterious Gwyn and Clue.”

Damn it. “Hugo?”

“Hugo is in Bridlington with Alistair for a case. And this isn’t his case, so he has no business interviewing them. Stop fussing. Accept nothing, believe no one, and check everything.”

Scorpius snorted. “Yeah yeah, I knew that stuff before you were born.”

“Than you were a freakishly advanced two-year-old, you’re not that much older than me you idiot!”

Scorpis grinned at her scowl. That scowl must be a pretty dominant Weasley gene. He was pretty sure they’d all got it Molly Weasley Sr. Just as dominant as the freaking red hair that only James, Albus, Fred and Roxanne seemed to have escaped.

“You’d better call in Miss Rosier. Circe first. We’ll take the daughters first, the mother last.” Scorpius said, settling into his chair, his grin sliding into a resigned grimace.

Lily rolled her eyes. “You just want to do her the least because you think she’ll cry the most.”

“Damn right. If I’m lucky Milly might come back in time to do her.”

“Hardly, you’ve only got three women to interview while she has fourteen guards.” Lily said, before calling in Circe Rosier.

Scorpius braced himself for the tears and placed the tissue box prominently on the table in front of her.

***

It really was a setback Lucy realised as she surveyed her shop. She barely had the money to pay the rent on her flat, much less refurbish the shop, and some of the pieces that had been destroyed had been expensive.

But she’d be damned if she even considered asking her parents for money. Her father would insist on how both she and Molly would have been so much better off taking the ministry internships he’d arranged for them. Lucy was in no hurry to prove him right.

Closing the doors she hung up the closed sign in each door and ascended the stairs to the first floor. The shop could wait a moment. She walked through the doorframe to the first floor and stopped in her tracks.

When she’d bought the shop initially the roof had been rotten, and she’d decided to install a glass roof on the side facing away from Diagon Alley, and turn the first floor into a greenhouse. This was where she housed her potions ingredients. Her on the side business. Where the money that kept her antiques shop afloat came from. Where the money would come from to fix the floor downstairs.

However someone else was already there.

“It’s a nice garden you have up here.”

Lucy glared at Gwyn with cold eyes.

“I do so like pretty things.” Lucy replied frostily, her eyes casually scanning the room, her mind not so casually hastily cataloguing everything, looking for anything out of place, anything missing.

Nothing. Gwyn had touched nothing. So far so good. Lucy watched her warily. Gwyn was the exact opposite of Lucy in so many ways. Where Lucy was petite and short, Gwyn was tall, all long limbs and slim sashaying hips. Where Lucy was all bushy red curls around her head like an overgrown halo, Gwyn was all long blonde straight hair moving across shoulders like liquid.

“You could grow quenwood here you know. It would pay for the damage downstairs.” Gwyn said lightly, admiring the raised box beds that contained a myriad of plants.

Lucy could tell Gwyn was not a herbology expert. First off, not one of her beds were suitable for the growing of quenwood. Second, she could see it in the way Gwyn held herself, stiffly, not touching any of the plants, not allowing any of the questing green tendrils to touch even her clothes. She could pretend to be as casual as she wanted, but Lucy could tell Gwyn was uncomfortable, unsure if any of the plants could harm her or not.

“Take care of the red flowers, they bite.” Lucy said lightly, and watched in satisfaction as Gwyn uneasily edged away from anything and everything with the colour red.

“Gwyn, I have no interest in your quenwood.” Lucy said, picking up the watering can from beside the door and filling it from the tap, pretending she wasn’t bothered by Gwyn’s presence.

The truth was she was bothered. Frightfully bothered. She toyed with the idea of sending a patronus to Malfoy or Uncle Harry, but could think of no way of doing so without alerting Gwyn. Was terribly bothered by finding Gwyn on the first floor in a greenhouse that few people knew about, finding her in her shop that Uncle Harry had locked up after the aurors had left.

“Ah, but my quenwood is interested in you Miss Weasley.” Gwyn replied silkily, picking her way carefully through the rows between the raised beds, sashaying those ridiculous hips that almost seemed to mock Lucy.

Lucy figured she was just being oversensitive about the size of her own hips, which was naturally ridiculous. But it felt better to worry about the size of her hips compared to Gwyn’s instead of fretting about how Gwyn had gotten into her shop and what exactly she meant when she said her quenwood was interested in Lucy.

Gwyn brushed past her and Lucy closed her eyes as she listened to the taller women clatter down the uneven stairs in ridiculously high stilettos. Tea. Right now she needed a cup of steaming hot tea. She opened her eyes and glanced around the greenhouse.

The plants could wait a few more seconds. Her fast-beating heart could not. She needed tea to calm her nerves. And then she needed to talk to Uncle Harry. She descended the stairs and double-checked that all the doors were locked behind Gwyn. Tea.

***

Scorpius sat in his office, playing back the recordings of the interviews with the Rosier’s, reading Lily’s dictation as he went along, highlighting anything of potential interest.

“I can’t believe he’s dead. Just before Desiree’s wedding as well.”

She wasn’t crying yet though, and her voice was steady, not choked up or tearful. The tears had come later.

“Do you know of anyone who might have had a motive to kill your father?” Scorpius asked, watching her face carefully, which twisted mournfully at the word kill.

“Well. He wasn’t well-liked. I’d like to think that no one disliked him enough to resort to murder.”

Well clearly one of them did. But Scorpius had refrained from pointing this out.

“I understand he was an excellent business man. Why do you believe he was not well liked?”

“All the best business men are disliked, aren’t they? Then there was the fact that he’d been coerced into being a deatheater. People never forgive that sort of thing, even if he was only eighteen. I’m sure you know what its like.”

Scorpius knew all too well what it was like. Knew what it was like to have his whole family defined by a faded tattoo, which was always covered and never saw daylight, on his fathers forearm.

“What do you know about quenwood Circe?”

“Quenwood?”

“Yes.”

“Nothing. Am I supposed to?”

“What if I tell you it’s a plant of magical properties, from Iceland.”

“You should ask mother. She knows plants. Adores her roses. Desiree’s reception is supposed to be in the rose garden you know.”

Nothing of importance. Just a young woman who was mourning the loss of her father and trying to cope in the face of her twin sisters upcoming wedding. Desiree had been much the same.

“Did your parents ever argue Desiree?”

“Don’t all parents? Only over petty things. Leaving a book in the wrong place, saying the wrong thing etc. And very rarely. Mostly during my mothers time of the month you know. She gets frightfully irritable. Father usually locks himself up in his study then though.”

“Anyone else you are aware your father may have had a quarrel with?”

“I am uninformed about his dealings outside of our home. He could have had a dozen quarrels for all I know. He never discussed business in front of Circe or I.”

“How are your wedding plans going?”

“They are going well. I briefly considered pushing it back, with father death and all, but mother insisted that it would be silly. It doesn’t change anything about father’s death if I marry now or in six months. I secretly think she just wants it out of the way. Then she can focus on mourning rather than my marriage.”

There wasn’t anything suspicious about anything Desiree had said. Like her sister she had known nothing about quenwood. It was the mother who had known.

“It is a drug. My husband indulged in it.”

“How often?”

“On a regular basis. I pretended not to know. He would take it in his study.”

“How did you know?”

“It affected our relationship naturally.”

“In what way Mrs. Rosier?”

“His performance in bed.”

“Why did you suspect quenwood?”

“I have a friend who’s husband uses it. She described the symptoms to me.”

“And who is this friend?”

“Shame on you Mr. Malfoy. That would be a breach of confidentiality between a friend and I.”

“And you wouldn’t break that confidentiality in order to discover your husband’s murderer.”

“You must understand Mr. Malfoy. My husband is dead. Finding his murderer will not bring him back. My friend is very much alive. Breaking her confidentiality could mean losing her friendship. No, my priority is currently definitely in maintaining the friendship of a living friend.”

Scorpius sighed. Mrs. Rosier had not exactly been forthcoming with any interesting information apart from being aware of her husbands drug use. She had been cold and distant. He felt like he was no closer to understanding anything. All three had alibis, and none of them had access to Azkaban that he knew of. A firm knock sounded on his door and he looked up as Albus opened the door and poked his head in.

“They’re all clean.” Albus said, holding up the papers to prove it.

Scorpius nodded and accepted them from Albus, sliding them into his gradually growing file. He’d decided to have Albus to check them all for quenwood just in case.

Albus was about to leave when Harry came in. Standing side by side they looked practically identical, except for the greying of Harry’s hair and that Albus was taller, inheriting the Weasley height.

“Lucy just sent me a patronus asking me to come down to the shop. I assume its something related to your case, do you want to come?” Harry asked.

Scorpius nodded rising from his desk and reaching for his cloak in a languid fluid motion.

“Let us go see what the fair maiden desires.” He said with a smirk, following Harry out of his office.

***

With a deep sigh Lucy washed her teacup and emptied the kettle. It took her a moment to conjure up her patronus, still somewhat shaken from Gwyn’s visit and vauge words. She eventually got it and she sent it to Uncle Harry asking him to come around at his earliest convenience. She figured he’d come quickly, he knew she’d only send a patronus if it was urgent.

She ascended the stairs once more. As she entered the door she stopped in her steps. A shadow blocked out some of the sunlight. For a brief moment Lucy’s heart stilled, and she wondered if Gwyn were still here. Then she looked up.

She screamed.

Hanging from the rafters of her greenhouse hung a large broad shouldered man, his eyes open and vacant, and his mouth hanging open, slack-jawed. He was dead.


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