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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 1: And the stage had been set.
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It was five thirty in the morning. Scorpius Malfoy stared at the dead man’s face. His skin was tinted a cold stiff blue. He’d been dead for a several hours.

Scorpius could feel his brain trying to catch up. His mind didn’t run at optimal speed at five thirty in the morning.

Fitz Rosier. He’d seen him alive and kicking, with his usual weak wan smile and nervously twitching eyes at his father, Draco Malfoy’s, office only two days ago. Between then and last night Fitz Rosier had been murdered.

Now Fitz Rosier looked like something out of a pantomime. A murderer with a theatrical flair. Scorpius couldn’t possibly think of anything worse.

Fitz Rosier was dressed in black dress robes with elaborately detailed gold trimmings. And he was wearing dress shoes. The kind one might wear to the fancy-pants pureblood events that Draco Malfoy was always dragging Scorpius along to.

Milly Brandon, his partner, informed him they were new dress robes. Apparently bought just the day before at Madame Malkins by Fitz Rosier himself, purchased for the event of his daughter, Desiree Rosier’s wedding to Florentius Selwyn in a month.

Scorpius sighed. Desiree and her twin Circe had been in his year and house at Hogwarts. He had received an invitation for the wedding four months ago, with a plus-one. He still hadn’t figured out whom to bring despite his mothers many suggestions.

He wondered if the fact that he knew them personally meant he should be the one to inform the family of Fitz Rosier’s death, or if he could possibly fob it off on someone else. He hated informing families.

Fitz Rosier was laid out on the floor at an awkward angle. Spread-eagle. His wand placed in his right hand. Which was all wrong since Scorpius recalled that Fitz Rosier was left-handed. A mistake, or on purpose? He took a note, filed away for future reference. An ornate dagger was stabbed through his heart.

Stabbed in post-mortem though it would seem. The blood was all wrong for a stabbing. It hadn’t been the murder weapon. It was simply part of the pantomime, part of the set-up. He hadn’t worn the dress robes when he was murdered either Scorpius figured. He had been dressed in them by his murderer after his last breath.

The large pool of blood that surrounded him was fake, theatre blood, which looked more dramatic than real blood Scorpius supposed. The fact remained though that whether or not the blood was Fitz Rosier’s, Fitz Rosier was still dead, dead on the floor.

Which made it all the more frustrating to Scorpius Malfoy that the corpse of Fitz Rosier was laid out in the dead centre of the Ministry of Magic’s function room where a charity ball had been held only the night before.

Scorpius looked up at the ceiling. It was far too early in the morning for this. Five-freaking-thirty in the morning. His head was screaming at him, pounding at the walls of his skull, informing him less than politely that right now, his rightful place was in bed. Milly Brandon, his auror partner had called him a ten past five and informed him he had to come into the ministry. His eyes were still itchy with sleep.

Merlin, why did it have to be him dealing with this stuff? It would be easier if all murders were all just nice and straightforward. Victim, cause of death, murder weapon, and a murderer with a straightforward, sensible and perfectly understandable motive for murder. And definitely not murderers with a ridiculous flare for the theatrical. Was that really to much to ask?

With a deep sigh he surveyed the scene. Gustav Whitehorn nodded at him, indicated he had taken all the photos of the crime scene they needed, and Scorpius waved Milly over. She passed him a pair of plastic gloves and Scorpius wrinkled his nose in distaste. He hated the way these gloves smelled. Stale. They always smelled stale.

“Who found him?” He asked as he snapped the gloves on with a scowl. The gloves never slid on easily either, and always became sweaty on the inside within seconds, staining them yellow.

“Security guard, Peter Wardi, I took his statement already.” She replied, pulling on her own gloves as Scorpius nodded.

She started from the right of the doors that opened to the large room, and he started from the left. He always started from the left. Like the maze at Hampton Court Palace, if one goes left one gets to the centre. They both combed the scene for every significant and insignificant detail, passing each other in the centre. Everything. They would sort through it later. Better to collect too much data now than to stand with empty hands later.

“Fingerprints?” Scorpius asked Milly as he pulled off the smelly gloves.

“I’ve got Pippin on it. He’s got a good eye for it.” She assured him as she moved to give further instructions.

He grabbed Milly’s arm. “Hollens can do the initial sweep of the body. But then I want Albus in charge of the body. He can do it tomorrow morning.” He instructed, and she made a face at him.

“You know forensics hate it when you do that.” She moaned.

Scorpius shrugged, and Milly nodded before hastily sending a memo to forensics and barking out instructions to Pippin and Ryan. Then turned back to Scorpius.

“I think the knife is our best bet at a lead initially. It looks like a one-off piece, not mass produced. I’ll get someone to track down where it was bought from.” Scorpius nodded, and took one last glance at Fitz Rosier’s face.

 He realised the murderer had even applied make-up to the face, and couldn’t help but take another deep sigh. Inside the freaking Ministry of Magic.

There was going to be so much pressure on him and Milly to solve this thing fast. And he’d been hoping for another quiet weekend.

***

Lucy Weasley stood in front of the back door. A large heavy-looking oak door painted a dark shade of navy. Lucy liked navy. It had no door handle. Only a brass plaque that read ‘Trade Entrance: Contact L.C. Weasley for assistance’ and a single small keyhole. Lucy believed door handles were a waste of space. Door handles suggested that just anyone could go on.

Lucy reached into the deep pockets of her navy duffle-coat and pulled out the key. A heavy iron key, orange with rust that rattled and scraped in the lock. It glowed pale blue, fast and bright in the lock. The sound of no less than twelve bolts sliding into the door frame groaned and moaned mechanically.

She pulled the key out of the keyhole, and drew out her wand, pulling it across the door almost as though she were using a paintbrush to paint pictures on the door. Which wasn’t far from the truth. She was drawing runes. Three layers one on top of the other. Once the third was completed, an audible deep click echoed from within.

Pulling off her left red leather glove, she pressed the palm of her hand against the paintwork. Only then did the door swing open. And even then, if one was observant one would see the series of runes etched all the way around the door frame, carved and activated to catch out the riff-raff.

Lucy Weasley was nothing if not careful about her shop.

She moved into the front of the shop, unlocked the two front doors, and turned the signs to ‘open’. Two front doors, less than two metres between them. One that faced out onto Diagon Alley, and one than faced onto Knockton Alley.

Lucy Weasley quite successfully straddled two worlds where her poky little shop lay on the corner on Knockton Alley and Diagon Alley. Knockton Alley was black. Diagon Alley was white. And Lucy Weasley was most definitely grey.

Outside hung a large sign with a name in cursive. ‘Clearwater Antiques’. Lucy had named it after her mothers maiden name. Her father had been mildly offended that she hadn’t named it ‘Weasley’s’, however that name had far too much attached to it. Also, there was already ‘Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes’ larger than life only a few shops further down Diagon Alley.

Clearwater had no baggage attached, implied no preconceived values, didn’t represent hero’s and victories.

Lucy liked her little grey area. The walls were covered in various shelves; Boxes were pilled up wherever possible, over spilling with things, pieces of antique furniture and ancient sculptures seemingly sprouting up out of the floor helter-skelter all over the space. Everything shoved in, barely fitting, leaving very little room for manoeuvring.

With a content sign she smiled, and took off her coat and gloves, stashing them behind the counter. She expected a slow, quiet day today.

***

Scorpius was going through the Ministry visitor’s lists, desperately attempting to narrow down the list of people he needed to quiz about whether or not they had seen anything. The charity ball had finished at eleven in the evening, and everyone had been cleared out by midnight. One would think there was a limit to how many people were present in the Ministry of Magic between midnight and five in the morning.

Scorpius had quickly discovered that that assumption was highly incorrect. Didn’t these people have homes and families to go home to at night? Apparently not. Especially the Unspeakables. Scorpius had always wondered what happened down there. The fact that it was a hive of activity at midnight did not lessen his curiosity. It did however make his job harder.

He sighed heavily and wondered if he could possibly fob off this particular chore on Hooper, rubbing his eyes which stung with exhaustion. A soft knock sounded at the door and Milly popped her head into the office that they shared.

“I got information on the knife. “Guffy says she thinks it was sold from ‘Clearwater Antiques’ on the corner of Diagon and Knockton Alley. I figured you might want to take a break and drop by there before taking a lunch break.” She said, handing him a folder that contained printouts of Gustav’s photo’s of the murder scene, close-ups of the knife, photos of the knife cleaned up and on a white background from various angles.

“Milly Brandon, you are my absolutely hero.” Scorpius said in relief, grabbing the folder and his cloak.

“Want to tell Graham Pritchard that? He might give me a pay rise.” Milly replied with a grin, shooing him out of their office.

Scorpius figured that if he could get at least one solid lead today on the murder of Fitz Rosier he might be able to get a proper nights sleep tonight.

***

The bell jingled over his head, an echoing chime ringing in the back room as Scorpius opened the door from Diagon Alley into ‘Clearwater Antiques’. He noted with interest that only two steps away an identical door opened onto Knockton Alley. He wondered if she frequently entertained customers from that side of the back alleys of London.

“Can I help you?”

Scorpius suppressed a groan when the shock of red curly hair filled his vision. A Weasley. Why didn’t Milly warn him that the shop was owned by a Weasley? The British wizarding world was freaking flooded with Weasley’s.

In his mind he tried to match her up to a name. Something that ended in ‘y’. Milly, Emily, Molly (no wait, that was her sister, wasn’t it?), Sally, Emmy?

Dash it all.

“Miss Weasley, I’m here representing the auror department to ask you some questions.”

Scorpius held up the printout of Gustav’s photo of the knife.

“I understand this knife is likely from your shop. I need to know who bought this and when, where it is from, any significance it may have, etc.”

“I’m afraid I believe in client confidentiality Mr. Malfoy.” She said snootily.

“Well, I’m afraid that you’ll have to set that belief aside for now Miss Weasley as this is a murder weapon in a current investigation.”

Her eyes flashed and she snatched the photo from his hands, studied it carefully, before handing it back to him calmly.

“That’s not possible Mr. Malfoy. This series of runes here on the pommel are an inlaid spell that stops the dagger from piecing living flesh. It’s from Imperial Rome, they became rather popular among the elite in the wizarding community after the assassination of Julius Caeser. A symbol of goodwill if you like. The runes would lose effect if significantly disfigured, but your photo indicates they are still intact. You’ll have to keep looking for your murder weapon.” Lucy explained snappily. She didn’t much like the idea that anything she sold be used as a murder weapon. And she was pretty confident about this one. She had tested it herself.

Scorpius scowled.

“Okay, so it’s not the actual murder weapon, but it is implicated in a murder, it was stabbed through a murder victim post-mortem. The fact remains I need to know who bought it and when.”

Lucy pursed her lips. “Narcissa Malfoy did. About two months ago, 4th September just past noon.”

“Do you need to check that somewhere…” Scorpius suggesting, narrowing his eyes at her.

“I’ll provide you with the receipt.” Lucy said, already turning to her archive. She took great pride in her organisation within her shop. She found the receipt within seconds and with a flourish of her wand, made a copy that she kept before handing the original over to Scorpius.

“I understand that she bought it as a gift for Fitz and Gwen Rosier for their wedding anniversary.” Lucy added.

Scorpius failed to suppress a groan. This murderer had set his stage and set it well.


Chapter 2: Dead Men and Snapping Teacups
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Lucy Weasley stood in front of the navy back door to her shop and ran her red gloved fingers along the doorframe. It was scorched. Someone had attempted to disfigure her runes and break in. She huffed in annoyance.

They would have succeeded too if she hadn’t had the warden against fire placed on it. If she had complicated locks and runes on her door, did people think she was fool enough to not protect her door against fire?

There was no knowing who had done it. Or for what purpose. It could as well have been vandalism as attempted theft. Regrettably, she had plenty inside worth stealing. And she was aware that this was also to some extent the price of placing her shop on the corner of Knockton Alley.

If a safe shop is what she had wanted she would have settled further up Diagon Alley, probably in the shadow of ‘Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes’. But she hadn’t been looking for safe. She trusted her own skills to keep the shop safe.

She debated whether to call the auror department officially. So they at least had the attempted break-in on record. Quietly though of course. She’d send Hugo an owl she decided. She could always trust him to it quietly and not ask too many questions.

Not that any of her cousins really asked many questions. Just accepted her for what and who she was. Lucy recognised how blessed she was to have a close-knit family that trusted one another explicitly and loved unconditionally.

Unlike the Malfoy’s. She knew that with her answers to Malfoy’s questions yesterday, Narcissa Malfoy was now more than likely a murder suspect. She had seen it in his eyes, the way they had gone flat and hard, cold and calculating, as if he were already adding up inside his mind what Narcissa Malfoy would have to gain by murder.

Lucy couldn’t even begin to put herself in his shoes. If it had been her, it wouldn’t have even crossed her mind that old grandma Molly was possible of murder. But perhaps that was foolish. Grandma Molly’s violate dispatchment of Belletrix Lestrange was the stuff of legends. It was not because her grandmother was incapable of killing that made it impossible for Lucy to pair her grandmother and murder together.

Perhaps it was because she made cake. How could people who made cake murder people? Lucy couldn’t imagine Narcissa Malfoy making cake. Did that make her more likely a murder suspect?

Lucy grinned to herself, shaking her head as her own wayward logic. It was silly. Malfoy had asked his questions and gone, and it was no use dwelling over murder cases that she had no business sticking her nose in.

She unlocked the door in her usual slow methodological way. Even if they could have disfigured the runes etched in the inside of the doorframe, they would still have had to get past the lock, and only her own personal magical signature could open the door. She was a Weasley for goodness sake. Why did people insist on believing she was naïve and stupid?

She made a thorough inventory of all her stock, plants and processions’ and did so twice. All accounted for. She opened the two front doors and let in her first customer, from the Knockton Alley side.

“May I help you madam?” Lucy said as the bell tinkled above them.

The woman smiled at her affably. “I was wondering if might have any old tea sets? It’s so difficult to find a complete one these days.”

“I have a particularly nice one in the back, though I’m afraid it requires some transfiguration skills to fix it, all the cups have a tendency to bite, and I haven’t had the time to fix it yet.” Lucy said, retreating into the back room the find the box. Perhaps she’d make a few good deals today. She had to pay the rent soon.

***

Albus was standing outside Scorpius’ office, scowling. Change of direction then Scorpius figured. To the morgue! Without Albus knowing of course.

“I got Milly’s memo.” Albus ground out irritably.

Scorpius assumed correctly that he himself was the reason for his best friend’s bad mood that morning. As Scorpius strode past Albus fell into step beside him, matching his pace with practised ease.

“You do realise that I’m not in forensics. I’m a healer. I work with living people who are in the process of dying Scorpius. Not those that are already dead.” Albus said sharply.

Scorpius waved aside his objections with his hand as though it were nothing.

“But you’re a natural at it Albus. You’ve got excellent visual awareness, pattern recognition and you think outside the box.” He insisted.

“I’m a natural at looking at dead people?” Albus deadpanned, glaring sideways at Scorpius, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose irritably. Dead bodies always made him irritable.

“Come on Albus, you went into healing to help people right? Well, you’re helping.”

“I went into healing to help people stay alive. I can tell you right now that Fitz Rosier doesn’t need that kind of help anymore.” Albus replied.

“But you’re looking at him will help me apprehend a murderer and help keep other people alive.” Scorpius knew he just had to wear him down.

“I knew I shouldn’t have become a healer in the auror department. I knew I should have specialised in cardiology and stayed at flipping St. Mongos.” Albus said

“You know, it did confuse me why you did that until Rose told me.” Scorpius said, a knowing smirk sliding onto his face.

“How the heck does Rose know why I didn’t specialise in cardiology?” Albus spluttered.

“She said, quote: ‘the only reason Albus Severus Potter chose to join the auror department as a healer is because Eliza did’ unquote.” Scorpius said in a high-pitched voice in order to imitate Rose.

“No way did she use my full name. And, that’s a stupid reason anyway.” Albus grumbled irritably, wanting to do nothing more than shove his friends head down a toilet at this moment.

“But it’s the reason isn’t it?” Scorpius crowed victoriously, jabbing his finger into Albus’ shoulder. “You’d follow our little Eliza to hell and back if she decided to go.”

“No I wouldn’t.” Albus insisted, shoving Scorpius’ offending finger away from himself.

Scorpius feigned mock hurt. “Lying doesn’t suit you Albus. Now, be a dear and take a look at my body.”

Albus grinned. “As in Fitz Rosier’s body, or your body?”

“Very funny.” Scorpius sniffed imperiously.

“One day you’ll be in the morgue and I’ll be looking at your body, just to make sure you’re dead and will stay dead.” Albus said wryly.

Scorpius was not impressed. “I thought you were into helping people stay alive? Anyway, I’d come back to haunt you. That’s what friends do, don’t they?”

Albus was pretty sure that was not what friends did. He had never heard of a ghost coming back to haunt a friend just for kicks. He scowled as he looked at their surroundings and realised that Scorpius had successfully led him all the way to the morgue in the lower levels of the Auror Department. This was also not what friends did in his opinion. Make them take a look at dead murder victims.

“You do realise the only reason the forensics don’t hang, draw and quarter me every time you send me in there is because my surname is Potter.” He muttered, his good humour gone once more.

“Goodness, I didn’t think you were the sort to go namedropping Albus.” Scorpius mocked.

He succeeded in returning the dry self-mocking grin to Albus’ face. “It keeps me alive every now and again.”

“Look at that, we’re here.” Scorpius exclaimed with mock cheerfulness, and opened the door for Albus with a flourish.

Albus sighed deeply and walked in with slumped shoulders, defeated, a scowl set firmly on his features. He hated dead people.

“Tori, will you be a dear and wheel out Fitz Rosier’s body for Albus here to take a look at.” Scorpius said cheerfully to the first forensics assistant that passed them by.

Tori looked between Scorpius’ cheery grin and Albus’ scowl and rolled her eyes.

“I hope you realise Hollens is furious. Body is in room three.” She said dryly before continuing on her own path.

Albus strode off towards room three as soon as Tori made as if to leave.

“Thanks Tori, you’re a doll.” Scorpius drawled after her retreating back before striding hurriedly to catch up with Albus.

“Doll?” Albus hissed at his friend.

Scorpius shrugged. “What? She likes it.”

“If you ever called Eliza or Rose ‘doll’ they’d slap you.”

“Hence why I call Tori ‘doll’ and not our darling Eliza or Rose.”

They reached the door to room three and Albus tapped the door with his wand causing it to open. He strode in impatiently and pulled the sheet off Fitz Rosier’s body. His scowl deepened, a feat that Scorpius hadn’t known was possible, as he chucked a pair of latex gloves at Scorpius and snapped a pair on himself.

Albus stared at the body in silence for a moment. Scorpius watched Albus. With a frown, Albus moved closer and looked at the stab wound from Lucy Weasley’s Roman knife.

“Post-mortem, right?”

“Yeah. Apparently the knife can’t actually stab anyone. Some kind of spell according to your cousin.”

“Which one?”

Scorpius rolled his eyes.

“The one that deals in antiques.”

Albus’ eyes snapped up to glare at Scorpius.

“What are you talking to Lucy for?” He asked sharply.

Ah, so that was her name. Scorpius knew it was something that ended in y.

“Knife was sold from her shop.” Scorpius replied with a shrug.

“I see. Have you um, been to the shop?”

Scorpius narrowed his eyes at Albus. He was sounding awfully shifty.

“Yeah. I had to question her about the knife.” Scorpius said slowly.

“I see. Why not question her here?”

“That would require me to arrest her or call her in for questioning, what’s wrong with her shop?” Scorpius drawled impatiently.

“Nothing. Nothing wrong with Lucy’s shop.”

Scorpius chose to ignore Albus. This was not the time or place to needle him about his cousin or his cousin’s shop.

“Anyway, the spell on the knife would explain the fact that it looks like he was stabbed twice in the exact same location. Probably first to actually create the wound, the second time to insert the other knife. Your murdered must have really wanted you to find that particular knife.” Albus said, eager to change the subject.

Albus picked up the arm and peered at the blood veins in the wrist. “Pass me a scalpel and a dish.”

Scorpius passed them to him.

“Merlin, forensics are going to hate me. They always hate me. Hollens hates me. He’s going to murder me in my sleep one day.” Albus muttered as placed the dish underneath, pressed the scalpel to the wrist and slit one of the blood veins expertly.

Thick black liquid oozed out, dripping lazily into the dish.

“With my natural looking-at-dead-bodies skills, I can tell you Scorpius that that is not normal.” Albus drawled sarcastically.

Scorpius made a face of disgust. “That much I can tell. But what is it?”

“Quenwood.” Albus replied.

“Quenwood?”

Albus was tilting the head of the body back and opening the mouth, using the butt of the scalpel to get a good look at the inside of the mouth, humming quietly to himself.

“Yep. And he’s been taking it over a long period of time. Mixed with his wine. Its been slowly breaking down his teeth, cheeks and gums.”

“What the heck is quenwood? A poison?”

“When mixed with the right things and in the right quantities most things are pretty lethal. Quenwood is a plant with magical properties.”

“So he was poisoned.”

“Not by the quenwood, he took that willingly. Otherwise he’d have complained of the pain and this would have been discovered probably a month ago. But he didn’t want it discovered. No, he’s been taking quenwood as a drug. It has medicinal qualities when crushed. When mixed with wine it’s a strong euphoric drug. It’s an imported illegally from Iceland. Extremely rare though. Ask Guffy and Ryan about it. They’ve been attempting to root out the problem from England. They’ll be interested know Fitz Rosier apparently had a regular source of it.” Albus explained steadily as he poked and prodded the body, looking in his ears, up his nose, pressing and feeling his abdomen.

“So he what, overdosed?”

“No. there would have oozed more of that stuff if he had. And it would have been more obvious. His blood veins would have stood out more, been darker.” Albus said, gesturing at the dish of thick black liquid.

“So what exactly killed him Albus?” Scorpius asked impatiently, dragging a hand through his hair.

“tea.” Albus announced with a grin.

“tea?” Scorpius asked, glaring at Albus.

“Yep. Strong tea as obviously it’s the tea leaves, not the water that is the lethal combination. It’s lethal when combined with a quenwood addiction. Bloats the belly, closes up the throat, makes it impossible to breath. I bet if you ask people who know him, they’ll tell you that Fitz Rosier hasn’t touched tea in at least the last year. But he has tea-stains on his teeth, and he has the symptoms. The murderer may have been careful about a lot of details, but didn’t brush his teeth. Step one when you poison someone, brush their teeth.”

“I guess the murderer didn’t want to stick his hands into his mouth.” Scorpius said wrinkling his nose in disgust. “I wouldn’t either.”

“He was forced to drink the tea. Physically forced. He chipped one of his front teeth.” Albus added. “So your murderer is someone who knows Fitz Rosier was a quenwood addict, knew the properties of quenwood, really wanted you to find that knife, and knew the properties of the knife. Should narrow down your suspects. Few people know about quenwood, most of them wealthy. It’s an expensive drug.”

Scorpius grinned. “You know, I don’t get why your father doesn’t just assign you to the forensics department, everyone knows you’re good at it. Including Hollens.”

Albus scowled. It was apparently his permanent facial expression when he was in the morgue.

“Maybe because unlike some people, my father knows I do not care for dead bodies.”

“Personally I find the living ones more irritable, they talk nonsense and blubber all over the place; be glad you don’t have to deal with to the witnesses.” Scorpius said with a smirk.

Albus glared at his friend. “I can assure you, I have my fair share of talking nonsense and blubbering when the aurors come in and I have to stitch them back up. The fact remains that I much prefer it to them being freaking dead.”

“I still can’t believe you singed up for healing in the auror department just because Eliza decided to.” Scorpius said sniggering.

Albus looked at him darkly and muttered something that sounded suspiciously like donkeys, illegitimate children and female dogs as he covered up the body once more and put away the dish and scalpel, noting down all his observations, and making a note to send the black liquid for analysis. Scorpius was tapping his foot impatiently.

“How the heck do you know so much about quenwood anyway?” Scorpius asked as they made their way out of the morgue.

“Because I’m not a flipping forensic, I’m the healer they have do the physicals when Guffy and Ryan arrest the quenwood addicts.” Albus replied, dragging in a deep breath of relief as they excited the morgue. Being good at it didn’t make him like it. “You want to join Eliza and me for lunch?”

“And play third wheel?” Scorpius teased, sending a wink at Tori as she passed them once again, earning another eye-roll from her.

“There is nothing going on between Eliza and me. I’m her best friend. And so are you. And Lily’s coming with us anyway.” Albus said firmly, thinking that shoving Scorpius’ head down a toilet was looking more and more attractive as the day wore on.

Scorpius smirked. A dangerous kind of smirk that Albus knew all too well.

“Thank you for the invitation, but I’m afraid I have prior commitments.” Scorpius drawled, a firm glint in his eyes.

Albus decided he was better off not knowing what his friend’s prior commitments were.

***

Scorpius had decided he could do with stretching his legs during his lunch-break. And his idea of stretching his legs was to allow them to carry him down Diagon Alley, down to the corner of Diagon and Knockton Alley. This time he decided to turn the corner and enter via Knockton Alley.

Lucy looked up from the front desk where she had the snapping tea set all laid out as she set to removing the layers of transfiguration spells that caused the teacups to bite. The woman this morning had been delighted with the tea set, but obviously their violent tendencies were an issue. So she had paid handsomely for the tea set and the removal of the spells.

When it came to antiques such as those Lucy dealt with where the spells had been active for so long, a simple ‘finite incantatum’ wouldn’t do. The spell was as much a part of the object now as the paint and the lacquer, and it was a delicate network of transfiguration, charms and defence spells that were required to remove them and keep the piece intact. Especially with something as fragile as china.

She looked up and her eyes met those of Scorpius Malfoy and her look of concentration slid into one of curiosity for a brief moment, before she replaced it with one of polite disinterest. Scorpius nodded at her and began to look around, browsing through the various pieces of furniture, art and odds and ends. Lucy watched him for a while with carefully blank features, before turning back to her teacups. They were awfully temperamental things.

“Is that what I think it is?”

Lucy looked up with measured carefulness, not showing that she had been startled and realised that Scorpius was standing right in front of her. He was pointing at the oriental carpets in the corner.

“They are antique carpets.” Lucy replied evenly, hiding a frown, hiding it deep inside, deep where he couldn’t see even its shadow. She hated when aurors came poking round her shop asking questions.

“Flying carpets are illegal.” Scorpius said firmly, looking at Lucy sternly with cold grey eyes.

She looked back at him with stubborn big brown eyes. “No one said they could fly.”

They both knew they could. Lucy however also knew that Scorpius couldn’t prove it. She had stitched subtle runes into the fabric to suppress and hide the flying spells. No one would fly them until Lucy undid the threads of the runes. Scorpius assumed she must have done something to hide their ability to fly. Plus that wasn’t the reason he had come. However he was beginning to get an idea of why Albus was fidgety about the idea of Scorpius being round his cousin’s shop. And Scorpius wondered just how much Albus knew.

“What kind of customers do you usually get Miss Weasley?” He asked instead, looking curiously at the tea set she had spread out in front of her.

He reached out to pick one up, admiring the fine summer green pattern, and only just pulled his fingers back in time as the teacup suddenly opened a china mouth lined with sharp little china teeth and chomped at him.

Lucy allowed herself a soft smile, wishing the teacup had been just a little faster and sunk its teeth into his hand.

“All-sorts Mr. Malfoy.” She replied primly.

Scorpius couldn’t help but look appraisingly at Lucy Weasley. He compared her to her cousin Rose, whom he knew all to well. She was shorter than Rose. Same red hair though. He thought perhaps there was a similarity in the wide full mouth as well. Lucy’s hair was curlier. Thicker. She had a spattering of freckles across the bridge of her nose. A nymph-like rounded face with high cheekbones. And she was just all-round smaller than any of her cousins. A petite little thing, with large brown eyes that filled her face. She was the picture of innocence.

Lucy was also a closed book. Rose wore her heart on her sleeve, allowed her emotions to well up, bubble out and touch all those around her, displayed for all to see. Lucy wore an expression of polite carefulness. As though the world around her was only of mild interest, and had no influence upon the existence she had carved out for herself. She spoke in an even measured manner as though weighing every word carefully. The only thing she couldn’t hide was the flash of stubbornness in those cow eyes of hers.

Scorpius had to wonder how someone that looked so innocent and was so prim and proper was dealing in illegal flying carpets. She was Percy Weasley’s daughter for goodness sake, if he knew he’d blow a gasket.

“Call me Scorpius,” He said, daring to wink at her. “What kind of sorts?”

“Mr. Malfoy I sell antiques. My customers are those that are interested in antiques.” She replied firmly, steadily ignoring the wink and his request.

Winking, in her opinion, was simply another way of announcing to the world that one was up to no good. Why on earth would one announce such a thing? If one was up to no good one did not desire anyone to know, and if one wasn’t one shouldn’t pretend one is.

“Do you get many customers from Knockton Alley?”

“You came in through that door yourself.” Lucy pointed out, turning half her attention back to the teacups. She only had three more to go out of a set of twelve.

Scorpius opened his mouth, but was interrupted by the silvery form of Milly Brandon’s patronus, a large Flemish giant rabbit. She had a real one at home that she had brought to work once. To be honest, Scorpius had found it mildly terrifying; it was a giant of a rabbit.

“Scorpius, need you in the office.” It said with concise clipped tones in Milly’s voice.

Lucy looked at it with that expression of polite disinterest, and Scorpius frowned.

“Have a good day Miss Weasley.” He said, excusing himself quickly, hurrying out through the door.

The Diagon Alley door. Once outside he turned on the spot and apparated to the ministry. It had to be urgent for Milly to send a patronus. Milly’s face looked up at him in concern when he hastily barrelled into the auror office.

“We’ve had a second murder.” She said quietly, walking swiftly towards the floo network, Scorpius walking alongside her. “Same theatrical style. Set up to look like he was bashed in the head with a candlestick.”

“A candlestick?”

Milly nodded. “A heavy antique one. Guffy says she thinks it may also be from ‘Clearwater Antiques.’ This time the murder was committed at Azkaban.”

Scorpius tensed, realising that Azkaban was where Milly and he were now headed. He hated visiting Azkaban. When he was younger his father would take him to visit his grandfather there once a year. A murderer who could strike both within the Ministry of Magic, and inside Azkaban.

Lucy had said her customers were those who were interested in antiques. Well it seemed their murderer had an avid interest in antiques.


Chapter 3: Things We Lost in the Fire
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“I must admit, few people are going to mind that he’s dead.”

Scorpius met Harry Potters gaze steadily. Scorpius knew it wasn’t a reflection on his abilities that the head of department had made the executive decision to accompany him and Milly to Azkaban. He knew Harry had every confidence in him. It was the situation itself. A murder committed in Azkaban. It was unthinkable.

“I have the idea the majority of inmates of Azkaban are preferred dead by most people.” Scorpius replied quietly, failing to exude the confidence he normally shrouded himself in.

Including my own grandfather he thought to himself, but did not say out loud. He felt a shudder down his spine and felt like a child. Scorpius did not feel comfortable in Azkaban. He felt jittery and uncertain. Like a child. A child come to visit his mad grandfather. Could almost taste the relief in knowing it was only an annual event. If he could overcome the few hours it would be a whole year before he had to come back.

Scorpius had to remind himself that he was no longer a child, and that he wasn’t here to see his grandfather. In fact he was entirely and completely going to avoid that part of the prison compound. It was the first time he had ever been here without his father, and he felt the loss of it.

He found that he was secretly relieved that at least Harry Potter was here. Wished Albus was there. Someone at least that felt like family. Someone that would recognise the symptoms if he began to panic and shut down. That knew when he would have to be removed. He didn’t trust his own self here on this island prison.

Merlin, give him the most disturbing of murders and most violent of deaths, give him blood and gore and he could face it with a frozen face. But Azkaban. He couldn’t even begin to analyse his own feelings about Azkaban.

Perhaps Harry knew. Perhaps that was why he was here after all.

Scorpius steeled himself and entered the prison.

The murderer had taken great pains to stage the murder of Amycus Carrow. Scorpius pursed his lips in irritation. This wasn’t exactly going to narrow down suspects based on motive. Just about everyone who had attended Hogwarts during the last year of the Wizarding War hated Amycus Carrow with a passion. He had seen it in his own father passing Carrow’s cell on the way to see his grandfather. The tightening of his eyes, flat line of his mouth.

Which was why Scorpius knew that Amycus Carrow had been laid out no where near his cell. His cell was on the opposite side of the prison compound. The side that Scorpius was hoping to avoid.

Amycus Carrow’s theatrical murder scene had been laid out in the large industrial kitchen where they prepared all meals within the prison. It looked like something out of a horror novel. Spreadeagle, like Fitz Rosier had been, on the long silver kitchen table. Next to his head lay the candlestick that Milly had mentioned. A heavy ornate gold thing that looked like it could probably take out a giant.

Which was also why it was obvious that just like their previous murder scene, the candle stick itself was not the actual murder weapon. The gaping wound in Amycus Carrow’s head just didn’t match up. It was too small, too precise, deadly yes, but not dealt by this ornate monster of a candlestick. It was just another part of the staging, a theatrical antique, a token.

Pulling on the latex gloves mechanically as Milly passed them to him, he began from the left. Always from the left. He let the routine familiarity of it allow him to forget that he was in Azkaban. It was just a room, an industrial kitchen, just another murder scene. Not Azkaban at all.

***

Lucy finished with the tea set. It really was a lovely set once the teacups were no longer attempting to amputate ones fingers. She nestled each teacup carefully in tissue paper in their box, and packed them delicately under the counter to be picked up the next morning. There was always satisfaction with a job well done and a deal well made.

The bell rang cheerily, and she looked up at the costumer that had come in. She couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman. It was tall and thin. Hidden within a long grey cloak with the hood up, hiding the facial features. Lucy kept her face carefully blank.

She hated it when she couldn’t identify costumers. People who hid themselves like that were usually up to no good. It was as much an announcement of the fact as winking was. Automatically she slid her slender wand subtly into her hand. Now would have been a good time for Malfoy to be hanging around her shop asking awkward questions.

“May I help you?” Lucy asked politely.

“Yes Miss Weasley. Yes you may.”

The voice was just as sexless as the shape Lucy’s mind registered. Hands shook themselves loose of the wide sleeves. Hands that could either be the hands of a tall women, or a skinny man. Nondescript pale, almost translucent, white hands. Well kept trimmed nails, soft palms, no calluses. Lucy registered all of this before great only barely controlled flames leaped from the persons bare hands before her eyes. The scorched navy back door.

Lucy instantly produced her patronus, a graceful lithe mongoose, and dispatched it to her cousin, Lily Potter who worked as a secretary in the auror department. Backup would most definitely be appreciated in these circumstances. Hopefully they wouldn’t ask questions about the carpets.

Then she turned to her ‘customer’. Fool. Did they think she had only warded the outside of her shop?

***

Scorpius had finished his round of the room and regarded the body of Amycus Carrow thoughtfully as he pulled off the hated latex gloves. Milly came up beside him with a sigh.

“Albus?” She asked.

Scorpius nodded solemnly. Harry glanced at him and grinned, shaking his head. Scorpius grinned back.

“Everyone knows he’s good at it.” He justified as he watched Guffy attempt to wrangle the candlestick into an evidence bag. It looked damn heavy.

“I’m his father, if I made him do it he’d hate me. You’re his best friend, he’ll still love you, just wants to shove your head down a toilet.” Harry replied with a knowing smile, jotting something down in his notebook. “I think we’re done here. Milly can ensure Guffy, Zeller and Chambers get this stuff bagged up and shipped back. I want you to show me what you’ve got so far on the Fitz Rosier case and your action plan for moving forward.”

Scorpius easily matched Harry’s stride. They’d reached a cross-section when the screaming started.

Scorpius froze, eyes wide, staring down the corridor that he knew would carry him to the holding cells that held those that had committed war crimes during the wizarding world. Scorpius found that he was automatically analysing it to know if perhaps it was his grandfather screaming. But he had no way of knowing.

As quickly as it started it stopped. Scorpius shut his eyes tight, reminding himself it was madness. Madness that made men scream like that. No cruelty occurred at Azkaban after the wizarding war. But madness prevailed. Some said it was the dark mark itself that was designed to cause madness in the Dark Lords followers.

Scorpius knew that wasn’t true. His father had that mark, always hidden beneath heavy robes even in the warmest of weather. But the walls of Azkaban still contained centuries of madness, madness that seeped into the skin and bones of those who were sentenced here for life.

“Scorpius?”

Scorpius opened his eyes and stared at Harry.

“Do you want to stop by and see him?” Harry asked with an uncertain look in his green eyes.

Scorpius shook his head in the negative. Harry inclined his head towards the other corridor, the corridor that would lead them to the outside. Scorpius followed him.

“You know I’d go with you if you wanted me to.” Harry said quietly, looking at the tall blonde boy beside him.

Scorpius heart filled with affection for the Potter’s who had only ever accepted him for who he was and supported him in his career choices. Scorpius wasn’t sure if he’d been able to get a job in the auror department if Harry hadn’t been the head of the department. They had always treated him as another son. There was always room for more sons in the Potter family.

“I know. I don’t want to see him.” Scorpius said quietly. They returned to the auror department.

Just as they arrived the silvery traces of a patronus faded from the front desk where Lily Potter sat, and she leapt up from her seat. “Dad Lucy’s shop is being attacked!”

Lily looked like she just might faint and Harry’s face went hard, instantly barking out orders as the aurors mobilised.

Harry grabbed Scorpius wrist in a tight grip and apparated them both with a resounded crack to the corner of Diagon and Knockton Alley. Several cracks around them announced the arrival of other aurors.

Scorpius looked at the shop with horror, smoke billowing out of both doors and sprinted in after Harry Potter. He’d been here only hours ago. How had things gone so wrong?

***

Lucy backed up against the wall, away from the burning hands.

The person had already attempted to light several pieces of furniture on fire. Until she had realised that whatever Lucy had used to protect the door was as much in force within the shop.

With an angry shriek that threatened the split Lucy’s eardrums (she wondered if it were perhaps part veela, her aunt Fleur could scream like nothing else) the figure had changed tactics, and instead used her magic to splinter a priceless Russian cabinet into kindlewood. Than set that on fire. Lucy’s heart sank. It was burning. She could feel the figure smile triumphantly even if she couldn’t see it. Gradually her shop was being turned into a destruction site. And billowing with smoke.

Lucy attempted to fling spells at the person. Still the burning hands continued moving towards her. She wondered if she just might wet her pants.

Lucy pulled herself together determinedly. This would not do. This would not do at all. She lifted a bronze figurine of Athena from the counter and threw it at the figure, simultaneously shouting Herbifors!”

The figure grunted in surprise as it ducked the figurine and as a result was hit by the spell. The robe bulged and flowers began sprouting from the hood and sleeves.

The smoke thickened as the flowers caught fire, wilting and turning to ash. Suddenly the whole figure burst into fire.

“Oh crap.” Lucy whispered under her breath.

This, this her shop was not protected against. The floorboards around the figure caught fire. This her runes and spells could not hold off. Lucy feel the heat, like an oppressive, oxygen-sucking presence that seemed to fill the room.

Augmenti!” She attempted. The water immediately evaporated.

Her mind was racing, her eyes darting around the shop. There had to be a way to stop this thing. Was it even human? It had a human voice, but this, was it a chain of complex spells? She reached out with her magic, desperately attempting to strengthen the spells and runes that held together her shop, willing them to hold the flames licking along the smashed furniture and floorboards somewhat contained.

“Miss Weasley tell me, what do you know about quenwood?” The flaming figure asked calmly, approaching her slowly, its burning hands coming closer and closer.

Lucy could smell the foul smell of burning hair and wondered if it came from the figure or from herself. Perhaps the runs and spells directed at protecting herself could hold out even as those that protected the shop were groaning under the magical onslaught.

Not normal fire it would seem. Fiendfyre. It was impressive really that her runes had held on this long against such a force. Not good enough though it would seem. What a pity, she’d have to do more research and renforce the shop after this. Assuming of course that she and the shop were going to survive this.

“Quenwood?” She asked, hating how her breath came in short gasps and her voice quivered.

What on earth did this person want with quenwood? Surely if they had done their research they would have known that she certainly did not deal in quenwood.

“Lucy!”

Lucy looked up. She had never in her life been more relieved to see her Uncle Harry and Scorpius Malfoy.


Chapter 4: Sacrifice for What Greater Good.
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The flaming figure had fled with the resounding sharp crack of apparition. As soon as her shop had been flooded by aurors it had fled, leaving her backed up in a corner and her shop licked by flames and filled with smoke.

Lucy was furious. Not just angry. Furious.

She’d taken it out on Scorpius Malfoy. Malfoy had instantly taken her statement and she’d been so irate that when he asked her what spell she had used on the fire-person, she had pulled out her wand and demonstrated it on him, hissed ‘Herbifors’ before she could really think about it, causing him to sprout white roses all over his skin. He had not been amused, and she supposed she was just lucky that she hadn’t been charged with attacking an auror.

Upon concluding taking her statement, he had promptly bundled her off to the auror department to get looked over by Albus while her Uncle Harry had taken control of her shop as a crime scene. Albus had sat her down on the table in his medical office and not let her move for the past hour.

Lucy fought back the urge to sigh deeply as Albus hovered around her like a worried mother hen, running diagnostic spells, wrapping a ridiculously large fluffy purple blanket tighter around her shoulders, asking questions she had already answered five times.

He had already run a whole battery of spells on her to cure the effects of smoke inhalation, treated her for shock, and given her a calming potion though she had attempted to insist irritably that she didn’t need it. He had shot her a withering look and she had meekly taken the potion.

Sometimes she wondered how on earth out of all her cousins, Albus was the one that reminded her most of their grandma Molly. It was downright disturbing at times.

“Albus, I’m fine.”

“Yeah, because normal people are completely fine after being attacked by Merlin-knows-what and having their shop set ablaze.” Albus snapped back at her.

“It was obviously a witch or wizard since it could apparate. Or an overgrown house elf. Or a house elf with a glamour charm. Okay, it’s Merlin-knows-what. Anyway, it hardly matters. I’m a Weasley. We don’t do normal.” She said with a grimace, attempting to tug off the blanket he had well and truly wrapped tightly around her.

 She wondered briefly if he had perhaps placed a spell on it so that she couldn’t escape. It was just the kind of thing both he and Grandma Molly would do.

“We also don’t do illegal flying carpets.”

“Who says I do illegal flying carpets?” She hissed, still fighting with the fluffy purple blanket.

Definitely charmed, this wasn’t normal, she was sure the more she fought the tighter the blanket was getting. Albus was pretending he didn’t notice her struggling, sorting through some potions in one of the cupboards, peering at labels.

“I saw them in Scorpius’ office. He says he took them as evidence from your shop.”

Lucy cursed loudly.

“We also don’t use language like that!” Albus exclaimed, covering his ears with his hands.

“Don’t you have anything better to do? Like looking at dead bodies?” Lucy asked scowling at him as she gave up her battle with the blanket.

Her scowl was matched by Albus who removed his hands from his ears. “I’m a healer damn it, not in forensics.”

“Doesn’t matter, everyone knows you’re a natural at it.” Lucy replied with a shrug.

“Shut up or I’ll pour more potions down your throat.” Albus threatened, holding up a particularly awful looking orange one.

Lucy mimed zipping her lips shut.

“Good. Now be a good girl while I go look at dead bodies in the basement.” Albus said, his scowl deepening at the mere thought of the forensics department.

“I can’t freaking move you idiot.” Lucy hissed, narrowing her eyes at him as she tried to kick him in the shins.

Albus just dancing out of her way, his eyes twinkling in a very Dumbldoresque fashion.

“I know. Best way to keep you out of trouble in my opinion.” He replied, before leaving her to vent her frustration alone in the medical office.

***

Scorpius was sitting in his and Milly’s office, his long legs flung up onto the table, slouched deeply in his chair, reading through Lucy Weasley’s statement. Repeatedly. His skin was still itching from the spell she had used on him to make those damn white roses sprout out his skin, even though Eliza had quickly removed them when he returned to the auror department, trying not to laugh while she did it.

Quenwood. The fire-thing had asked her about quenwood. Was this related to Fitz Rosier’s death, or was it just coincidence? Not a coincidence. He didn’t believe in coincidences. Rarely was the universe that lazy.

“Getting anywhere with that?” Milly asked looking up from the data she was studying, attempting to decide who to call in for questioning about their theatrical murders.

Scorpius pursed his lips thoughtfully.

“I they're their linked. The attack on Weasley’s shop and the murders of Fitz Rosier and Amycus Carrow. Objects found at the scenes link to her shop. And then this fire-thing asks Weasley what she knows about quenwood. An extremely rare drug, taken by Fitz Rosier. But if this fire-thing is involved with the murders why is there nothing suggesting that at the murder scenes? No charring, no burning. Obviously theres some kind of powerful magic going on there. And I still don’t get how anyone could sneak a murder into both the ministry and Azkaban. They're awfully bold.” Scorpius said in frustration, dragging a hand through his hair.

Albus burst into Scorpius and Milly’s office, the door banging open and bouncing off the wall on its hinges, causing both Scorpius and Milly to look at him in surprise.

“Quenwood! Amycus Carrow was a quenwood addict.” Albus huffed, his hands on his knees, attempting to catch his breath after having run all the way from the forensics in the basement.

Scorpius cursed loudly scrambling up out of his seat ungracefully.

“Which means someone has been supplying him with quenwood in the prison, not to mention wine to mix it with, and someone’s been turning a blind eye to it.” Albus continued, still trying to breathe somewhat normally.

“Milly, we’re going to have to quiz all the guards at Azkaban.” Scorpius said quietly, watching as she added it to the list she’d been compiling as he stuffed Lucy Weasley’s statement into his files.

Milly rolled her eyes. “Well I suppose I had nothing better to do after all.” She said sarcastically “I’ll floo-call Azkaban and arrange it now. You need to go quiz Lucy to ask about the candlestick and this ridiculous quenwood business.”

Albus grinned. "She's still in my medical office."

***

“Lilykins, wanna’ abandon your post and play scribe?” Scorpius asked, leaning on Lily’s desk with what he hoped was an adorable puppy-dog face.

Not that the puppy-dog face worked on Lily. Never had as a matter of fact. The first he’d done it she’d laughed so hard she’d snorted like a pig. She’d been ten, and he’d thought he’d been pretty cool at twelve. He had however before than never heard a girl snort like a pig. He had stared at her as though she had grown three extra heads. That was when he’d adopted Lily Luna Potter as his own little sister.

Sometimes he wondered if the puppy-dog face only worked on Slytherins, because only his mother, grandmother and girls in his own house seemed to fall for it.

“You don’t have any minions to do your scribing?” Lily asked with a grin, already opening her drawer to grab parchment and quill and shooting an apologetic smile at their other secretary Wesley who waved her off with a grin.

“But Lilykin’s, you’re my favourite minion.” Scorpius drawled.

Lily grinned and smacked him upside the head. “Minion my arse.”

“Such language in such a pretty mouth!” Scorpius exclaimed in mock shock, walking towards the medical offices.

“Who are we cross-examining?” Lily asked excitedly, matching each of his long strides with two steps of her own.

“Your cousin.” He replied.

“Which one?”

“The red-haired one.”

Lily scowled reminding him awfully much of Albus, absentmindedly tugging on a lock of her own red hair. “Very funny.”

“Lucy Weasley.” Scorpius confessed, opening the medical office and holding the door open for Lily.

Scorpius had to admit he was somewhat surprised when he saw that Lucy Weasley was wrapped tightly in a large fluffy purple blanket. Lily took it all in stride and settled herself comfortably; quill soon poised over parchment, as though the fluffy purple blanket was nothing.

“Why are you wrapped in a blanket?” Scorpius asked, looking at Lucy in surprise.

She took it all in her stride, that polite disinterest on her face, as though it were perfectly normal for her to sit there wrapped up tight in a blanket. Perhaps it was, who was he to know what odd quirks Lucy Weasley had? Lily hadn’t commented on it.

“It’s for shock apparently.” Lucy said coolly.

“Are you in shock?” Scorpius asked, taking the seat across from her, peering at her intently.

Not an odd quirk then. She didn’t look like she was in shock. Or sound like it for that matter.

“Not as far as I am aware. You may inform Albus of that fact.”

Ah. That explained it. Lily snorted, and Scorpius couldn’t help grinning. Lily Potter’s snorts were hilarious in his opinion. Albus was playing mother hen to his cousins again. Scorpius wondered if they ever cursed the day that Albus had become a healer. All one of his cousins had to do was sneeze and he would descend upon them with bright-coloured, foul-tasting potions. And large fluffy purple blankets apparently.

“You are welcome to remove it now Miss Weasley.”

“That’s very kind of you. I’m afraid I can’t.” Lucy replied primly, shifting uncomfortably in her seat.

“If you are cold we can turn the heating up.”

“I mean I can’t. Albus charmed it.”

Her calm façade was cracking slightly. Lily was trying very hard not to snort with laughter. Scorpius was certain he could see the hint of a scowl on Lucy’s face. He was terribly familiar with that Weasley scowl. Both Albus, Lily and Rose used it liberally.

He was beginning to think it was as much a Potter-Granger-Weasley trademark as the Malfoy smirk. He was also beginning to think that the only thing that cracked Lucy Weasley’s cool calm was her cousins. To be fair, he’d given up on it around them long ago.

“I see.” Scorpius replied behind a vague smile, trying not to laugh, focussing on folding his hands on the table in front of him, on top of his folder.

“You could remove it.” Lucy suggested, vaguely gesturing (as well as she could wrapped up like a mummy) towards his wand in his robes.

Lily moved to get out her hand, but Scorpius held up his hand, stopping her.

“I believe this is infinitely more amusing.” Plus there was the advantage that this way she couldn’t pull out her wand on him. “It’s quite simple Miss Weasley. We have two murders on our hands, with staged weapons. The weapons both come from your shop.”

Lucy snorted. “Well that was stupid. If I was going to kill several people, I’d shop around a bit.”

Scorpius could hear Albus sniggering in his head. He found it mildly disturbing that the voice of his conscience belonged to Albus Potter. He’d rather not analyse that fact right now.

“So what actually killed them?” She asked.

“Tea according to Albus.” Scorpius replied offhandedly as he opened up his file and pulled out photos of the dagger and the candlestick, courtesy of Gustav Whitehorn, and placed them both facing Lucy.

“Tea?”

“Yes Miss Weasley. We have a serial killer wandering around London, offing people with perfectly good British tea.” Scorpius replied, only able to keep his face straight because it was actually true.

“I see. Well I’m glad I haven’t been offered any then.”

“I’m afraid they weren’t offered it politely. Miss Weasley, tell me, what do you know about quenwood?” Scorpius asked, quill poised over parchment to take notes.

“I don’t sell it.” She snapped coldly.

“I didn’t suggest you did.” He replied. Obviously she knew what it was. Interesting.

“I’ve been asked to. I declined. I’m not interested in illegal drugs. Especially not illegal drugs like quenwood.”

Ah, that would explain how she knew what it was. Lucy Weasley was gradually becoming more and more interesting in his opinion.

“So you know quenwood dealers?”

“I know of quenwood dealers, I avoid acquaintances with such people. But I know of them only by alias, not their real name. They’ve only ever sent a go-between to my shop. The go-between is a young woman called Gwyn. The Dealer is known in Knockton Alley as ‘Clue’.” Lucy replied.

“Clue?”

“That’s what I’ve heard. All that I’ve heard. I tend to not delve into those kinds of things so deeply.”

“But you do deal in flying carpets.” Scorpius couldn’t help but say with a smirk.

“They’re antique carpets. They don’t fly. You’re welcome to test them. And then you may return them.” Lucy said.

“Yes your majesty.” Scorpius quipped with a smirk.

“Thank you.”

Scorpius was certain that no one could do regal haughtiness wrapped like a mummy in a blanket quite like Lucy Weasley could. He wondered if she’d taken lessons from his grandmother or if it just came naturally to her.

“This candlestick. Do you recognise it?”

“I sold it from my shop seven months ago. As a pair. To Fitz Rosier’s sister, Yelena Rosier. I understand she recently passed away at St. Mongos due to heart complications. I assume her brother inherited them as she had no husband or children.” Lucy informed him.

“You know a great deal about her.” Scorpius said, looking at her intently, the scratching of Lily’s quill in the background as she took notes.

“She was a returning customer. Interested in antiques. Had a particular interest in dinnerware, plates, jugs, serving bowls, candlesticks, cutlery, that sort of thing.”

Scorpius sat in silence for a moment, staring at Lucy’s large brown eyes thoughtfully.

“Anything special about the candlestick? Like not actually being able to kill people?” He asked at last.

“No spells or charms. Yelena Rosier had a strict aversion to charmed objects. I believe she had some bad experiences with hexed objects during the war. She mentioned it once, but never expanded on it. It’s medieval. This one bears the shield of Juliana of Brid and its partner the shield of Graeme of Thwing. They are the earliest recorded evidence of them. They come from an old legend, a witch and a wizard who lived in the northeast of England. According to the legend Graeme was attacked by a coven of vampires and turned into a vampire himself. In order to save everyone Juliana stabbed him in the heart herself and turned herself into a raven. They were a popular symbol of sacrifice for the greater good.” Lucy explained.

Lily’s quill scratched frantically, writing all that Lucy said. Scorpius dropped his gaze from Lucy’s eyes to the photo of the candlestick.

“So Amycus Carrow was bludgeoned by Juliana of Brid?” Scorpius said at last.

“So it would seem.” Lucy said, inclining her head politely, her eyes darting to the photo of the candlestick.

“Sacrifice for the greater good. How symbolic.” Scorpius figured many felt that murdered Amycus Carrow was certainly for the greater good. But what greater good did their theatrical murderer believe they were working towards?


Chapter 5: My quenwood is interested in you.
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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.


Chapter 6: Hanged Men and Cluedo Cards.
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Lucy couldn’t quite understand how she ended up wrapped tight and unable to move in Albus’ large fluffy purple blanket twice in the same week. Then again, she also couldn’t understand how someone had succeeded in hanging a large dead man from her rafters, while she was in the same building.

“Stepladder.” She said calmly.

Always calm. She needed to be calm she reminded herself. Scorpius looked at her questioningly.

“They must have used the stepladder. Behind the door.”

Harry immediately directed one of the many aurors that had flooded her shop to check behind the door. Scorpius was watching her like a hawk as Harry arranged for the aurors to get up the stepladder and cut down the corpse. Almost as though Scorpius was afraid that she was going to spontaneously combust. Lucy was pretending it didn’t make her uncomfortable, him watching her like that.

“Malfoy, if you want to be useful, release me from this blanket.” She said, injecting some of her usual firmness back into her voice.

Scorpius looked at her with eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “I’m not convinced you don’t need it.”

“I’m going to keep it on, but if you don’t release the charm I’m going to have a panic attack.” Lucy said, not entirely sure whether or not she was joking about the panic attack.

She was feeling dangerously close to one. She was looking at everything except the dead man they were now lowering to the ground. Scorpius removed the charm with a smooth movement of his wand.

Her Uncle Harry was watching the procedures with a dangerous look on his face. He’d identified the corpse as soon as he had arrived on the scene with Scorpius. Walden McNair. Formerly executioner of dangerous animals for the ministry of magic, also a former deatheater and a murderer. One of those open vacant eyes was in fact a glass eye, replacing the eye he had lost at the Battle of Hogwarts. Scorpius also figured that he was most likely a quenwood addict if the pattern in these murders persisted. And it hadn’t been the rope that killed him. It was freaking tea messing up with the chemicals of the quenwood. Tea! The British staple. How twisted.

Lucy could quite honestly say she didn’t care. She had never seen the man before, and she never wanted to see him again. She just wanted it out. Far away where she couldn’t see it.

Harry glanced at Lucy and his eyes softened. “Scorpius, take Lucy downstairs and give her a calming drought. Albus said there should be some in the cupboard over the sink.”

Scorpius didn’t ask twice, just wrapped an arm around Lucy’s shoulders and led her down the stairs. The kitchen was small, but organised. As Scorpius looked it over while getting the potion for Lucy he realised it wasn’t just a kitchen. It was a potions lab. It had the telltale sign of charred circles on the small kitchen table, the stack of different sized cauldrons in the corner and more stirring rods in the draws then forks and knives. Fascinating.  Hobby or production line he wondered.

Lucy took the calming drought without a fuss. Not even a twisted face at the taste. Scorpius had to give it to her; she gave his mother and grandmother a run for their money in frosty classiness.

“So why do you have two separate doors?” He asked casually, leaning against the stone kitchen counter.

“I sell drugs out of my Knockton Alley door.” Lucy said calmly.

Scorpius figured his eyes must be bugging out of his head. “Seriously?!”

Lucy rolled her eyes, and for a moment she looked so very much like Lily that Scorpius couldn’t help grinning.

“Of course not. I’ve already informed you I do not deal in that sort of thing. But having two doors does mean I get customers from both alleys.” Lucy replied frostily, as though he should have been able to reach such a conclusion himself.

Scorpius looked relieved. “Thank goodness. I wouldn’t put it past you. With the flying carpets and all.”

“You haven’t proved they fly yet. I do sell wolfsbane potion on the side though.” Lucy added, her voice less cold, more like how she spoke with her own cousins.

Scorpius looked at her funny. Unsure of whether or not she was joking.

“Wolfsbane? You have a license for that?” He asked, strongly suspecting she didn’t.

“Goodness no,” Lucy exclaimed “have you seen the price of those things? They cost about as much as I earn in a year. Nope, no license means I can sell it much cheaper you know. Means more can afford it. Very few can you know.”

“You sell wolfsbane without a license?!”

“Yes.”

Scorpius wondered if it was the calming drought that made her spill these things to him, and wondered if it were possible for him to get calming drought down her throat more often. Or maybe get her drunk. Maybe she was more forthcoming when she was drunk. And less cold and composed as well. He wanted to imagine her as a funny drunk, but he was struggling to imagine her drunk in the first place.

“I could slap you with a massive blinking fine for that which would make the license look cheap.” Scorpius muttered.

Why on earth did he have to end up dealing with the one single Weasley girl who seemed to have a total disregard for rules and the law? She was Percy-freaking-stickler-for-regulations-Weasley’s youngest daughter. How had he created this little monster? Every other Weasley he knew were good and proper law-abiding citizens. Even if some were prone to pranks and an absurd level of inventiveness. A decent amount of them were in the auror department in some form or another. For goodness sake, wasn’t her younger brother currently close to graduating from auror training?

“That would be stupid. I’m providing a public service. Cheaper wolfsbane means that the average werewolf can actually afford it, use it, and therefore more people stay safe at night. I’ve heard werewolf attacks are a messy business for the auror department. You should thank me really.” Lucy said, her voice back to the coldness.

She wasn’t looking at him anymore either. As though her composed disinterest had slid back into place. Scorpius figured he should probably not have mentioned the possibility of fining her.

“How long do you think they’ll take upstairs? I need to water the plants.” Lucy said.

Scorpius shook his head. “Lucy, your shop is a crime scene. A murder scene. We’ll probably want to tape it off for at least a few days.”

“You’re going to let my plants die?”

Though she kept her voice calm, he could hear the strain in it, and she couldn’t hide the stricken look in her eyes. So Lucy Weasley did care about something. Her plants. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. She seemed more upset at the idea of her plants dying of thirst than her shop burning downstairs, and surely the antiques were far more valuable.

“I won’t let them die.” He promised.

They stood in silence for a while. Silence with which Lucy seemed completely comfortable. Silence however that chafed at Scorpius like an ill-fitting collar. He wanted answers. Answers which he felt he was perilously few of on this case.

“What’s the significance of the rope?” He asked suddenly.

“Pardon me?” Lucy inquired, startled out of her own thoughts.

“The rope. The other staged weapons had some kind interesting background story. Does the rope? Or is our murderer losing his touch?”

“It is supposedly the rope used to hang Garold the Grusome, a wizard who committed several awful murders in the late medieval era. He was supposedly hanged with the same rope three times in three different cities before a young witch layered it with charms all aimed to stop him from manipulating the rope in any way. The charms also caused the rope to choke him to death before they even hung him the fourth time. Not sure how much of the stories are true, but it is definitely from the late medieval era and is layered in several charms, one of them the one that keeps it like new.”

“You sell things like that?!” Scorpius asked incredulously, though he supposed that it was a stupid question considering the flying carpets and unlicensed wolfsbane and Merlin knows what else. He was struggling to figure out where Lucy Weasley’s borders between black and grey were.

“I keep it in the back for special interest costumers.” Lucy replied with a shrug, tugging at the hem of the fluffy purple blanket.

“Special interest customers?”

“Most antiquities collectors collect within certain confines, categories or themes. Such as the former Miss Yelena Rosier’s interest in non-charmed dinnerware. I have a costumer who is particularly interested in instruments of historical murder, one who is particularly interested in objects linked to martyrs and one who collects artefacts relating to political executions. Either of them would have had a potential interest in that rope for all it looks like nothing.”

Scorpius was busy wondering how on earth she found these ‘special interest’ customers and how she obviously kept track of them in her head.

“And you? What attracts you to all these things?” He asked curiously.

“Their stories. The idea that so many stories can be contained within one object fascinates me. Not really the objects themselves. Rather the fact that something so mundane can have such stories embedded to tell. Which is probably why I don’t earn better money on it. I only buy the antiques with stories. The others bore me. No matter how pretty. I’m in it for the stories.”

Scorpius mulled over her words, watching her with badly disguised interest which she found unnerving, though she didn’t let it show. This time Scorpius seemed comfortable with the silence and it was Lucy that struggled to suppress the urge to fidget.

Gustav stuck his head in round the doorframe, still clutching his camera.

“Potter says Milly’s come back early from Azkaban and suggests you take Weasley back to the department and get her to look over the candlestick and dagger in person with Milly. He wants you to get Albus to look at the corpse.”

Scorpius nodded and extended his arm to Lucy with a flourish. She took it, navigating her hand around the fluffy purple blanket, and they apparated back to the auror department.

***

Scorpius sat on a stool in the morgue with a quizzical look on his face, eyebrows drawn together, while Albus examined the corpse of Walden McNair with drawn pinched features and a scowl. Typically Scorpius would demand he examine a corpse every now and again, perhaps once every other month. He was cursing Scorpius for this particular affair which was definitely using up his personal annual quota of interaction with dead people. It was making him more irritable than normal.

“Do the whole Weasley-clan just turn a blind eye to Lucy Weasley’s quasi-illegal dealings?” Scorpius asked.

 “I suppose we trust her to not do anything stupidly illegal. And she’s sensible enough that she never mentions it.” Albus said quietly shrugging his shoulders. “Its quenwood and tea. Just like the others. Killed not all that long before he was ‘staged’ in Lucy’s shop mind you.”

“Does Percy Weasley know?”

“About the quenwood?” Albus asked confused as he started to clean up.

“No, about Lucy’s little grey area.”

Albus snorted.

“Of course not. In fact he believes of his three children she’s the best off, because at least she owns her own business. He’s still upset none of them work at the ministry despite his best efforts.”

Scorpius nodded thoughtfully, not really paying much attention to the large ugly bulk of Walden NcNair.

Tori walked in, her heels clacking on the stone tiled floor. “Milly Brandon’s out there saying she wants you up in your office as soon as possible.” She said, helping Albus pack away the body again in its body bag.

“Fine. Come on Albus.” Scorpius said, getting off his stool and tapping his foot impatiently and Albus finished up with Tori.

Albus scowled. “Healer. Not an auror, remember?”

“Does it matter? Anyway, Lucy still has your blanket.”

***

“Playing cards?” Scorpius asked, looking at the three evidence bags. One from each murder scene. “I thought you were supposed to be looking at candlesticks and daggers?”

“We did. Their in the same condition that Lucy sold them in. The playing cards are much more interesting. It doesn’t seem important does it, except all three bodies have exactly three cards in their pockets. It’s only obvious as a pattern now that we have three murders. Looks like their from the same deck. But apart from that they don’t seem important at all. Except Lucy noticed something odd about them.”

Scorpius looked up into Lucy’s large brown eyes expectantly. She was still wearing the ridiculous large fluffy purple blanket wrapped around her shoulders like some absurd royal cloak.

“They’re enchanted. A glamour charm.” Lucy said with calm efficiency. “You can see it here at the corners. Glamour charms always have a slight difficulty attaching themselves properly to corners. This dis-colourisation here is actually the real card underneath.”

Milly looked at her with glee.

“Isn’t it brilliant? Lucy, if I wasn’t straight, I’d kiss you. Scorpius will have to do it for me thought. I’m sure he’s a better snog then me anyway.”

Scorpius struggled to reign in the blush that threatened to turn his face into a beetroot. He would not blush like a silly schoolboy in front of Lucy-freaking-Weasley.

“I’d prefer if Scorpius not kiss any of my cousins.” Albus said with a look of mild disgust on his face.

Milly rolled her eyes and grinned. “Who else is he supposed to end up with? He’s always hanging around you Potter-Granger-Weasley’s.”

That was not a line of questions that Scorpius wanted to descend down today.

“Call a cursebreaker in Milly. We can’t afford to lose the evidence. If someone cared enough to hide the real card, there must be some meaning behind it.”

“My sister is a cursebreaker.” Lucy piped up, still studying the corners of the cards intently.

“Of course she is. Why don’t I just surround myself with more Potter-Granger-Weasley’s?”

“You love us really.” Albus chimed in, and Scorpius glared at him, successfully imparting to him his deep desire to shove his head down a toilet.

Albus merely smirked. The Malfoy smirk that he had perfected while they were both in school. Scorpius was beginning to think that it had been rather sensible of his parents to never indulge his desires for younger siblings. Imagine if he had to cope with more than just Albus and Lily Potter.

***

Molly Weasley did indeed turn out to be a professional cursebreaker from Bill Weasley’s team which were typically consulted for auror cases when necessary. She asked minimal questions and was efficient. Scorpius couldn’t help but watch her for similarities with Lucy. Only marginally taller then her younger sister. Longer hair. Same unruly curls, but tamed by the weight of the length. Same calm composed efficiency. But while Lucy was cold, Molly was warm. Interesting.

Most importantly however was that she left an interesting set of cards in her wake.

In Fitz Rosier’s pocket: A card with a ballroom, a card with a dagger, and a card with a character called Mrs Peacock.

In Amycus Carrow’s pocket: A card with a kitchen, a card with a candlestick, and a card with a character called Professor Plum.

In Walden McNair’s pocket: A card with a conservatory, a card with a rope, and a card with a character called Miss Scarlet.

“It’s cluedo! It’s a massive game of cluedo!” Milly exclaimed in excitement, leaping up onto her feet and narrowly missing elbowing Scorpius in the face.

“What the heck is cluedo?” Scorpius demanded, moving out of the reach of Milly’s limbs and looking at the cards thoughtfully.

“A muggle board-game. My brothers and I would play it all the time.”

“You’re telling me these murders are based off a freaking muggle board-game?” Scorpius asked.

“Pretty much.” Milly replied with a shrug.

“That is sick.”

“But it also means we know the clues and the rules of the game. Come on, we’ll do research.” Milly said gleefully, bounding out of their office, already demanding quill, parchment and an owl from Lily Potter.


Chapter 7: Lilac Cluedo Peices.
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Scorpius groaned, and made to bang his head on the table, which would have hurt if Albus hadn’t shot off a softening charm that cushioned his head.

“I can’t believe we’re playing a board-game and calling this research.” Scorpius said with a moan.

“Personally I like this kind of research.” Albus said as he rolled the dice and moved his piece (Pastor Green) five spaces towards the dining room.

Lucy rolled her eyes. Of course Albus would like this kind of research. Why on earth he worked as a healer for the auror department she didn’t know. She’d pegged him down more as the type to specialise in cardiology and work at St. Mongos.

Milly had written to one of her older brothers and demanded that he send her their childhood copy of Cluedo as part of an ongoing investigation. He had dutifully wrapped the Cluedo board game and sent it to the auror department reminding her that he still hated owls with a deep passion, could she please send future absurd requests by Royal Mail.

Royal Mail? Scorpius had inquired confused and Milly had had to explain the muggle postage system to him. Why Royal he’d finally asked and she had shrugged and hazarded a guess that the Queen owned it or something.

“This is serious Scorpius, you have to stop imagining it as a game. Because at the moment, this is a simplified version of your very real murder case.” Lucy said patiently, moving Miss Scarlet into the living room. “Miss Scarlet with the dagger in the living room.”

“I know, I know, just honestly, a flipping board-game?!”

Albus rolled his eyes.

“Scorpius, do you have any of those cards?” Lucy asked in calmly, hiding the fact that she was quite ready by now to beat him over the head with the cluedo board.

“Why would I show you any of my cards?” Scorpius asked affronted, holding them protectively to his chest.

Milly huffed. “For the millionth time Scorpius, because that’s the rules of the game, honestly, did your parents never play board games with you?”

“I had a house elf for that.”

Albus snorted. “He’s joking. He played board games at our house.”

“Stop ruining my image Albus.”

“The spoiled pureblood image?” Albus asked.

“Yeah that one.” Scorpius replied with all the snobbery he could muster.

Albus shock his head with a wry smile. “You ruined it when you decided to get a job. Spoiled purebloods don’t get jobs.”

“I became an auror in order to protect the realm!” Scorpius said dramatically.

“That’s very noble of you.” Lucy muttered, still waiting for him to show her one of his damn cards.

She was fairly certain she was winning this game. And Scorpius was losing.

A knock sounded at the door causing all four of them to look up. Lily poked her head in.

“Scorpius. Your mother is here.” Lily hissed, her eyes wide as saucers.

Lily was not easily intimidated. She easily faced hardened criminals, ministry bullies from other departments and agitated aurors on a regular basis. But Mrs. Malfoy had always cut an intimidating figure in her opinion.

Scorpius’ face fell. He and Albus looked at one another in horror. The last time Mrs. Malfoy had turned up at the ministry it was because she had discovered that they were the culprits behind the missing section of her beloved prized hedge-maze. It had not been a pleasant experience. Immediately they were wracking their memories trying to find out what she could have discovered this time.

“Well you two had better find out what she wants. I’m off to lunch.” Lucy announced, getting up and straightening her lilac pleated skirt.

Scorpius realised she really looked extremely pretty in it. She had paired it with a simple cream top. The lilac suited her hair. Accented it. Plus there was the heels. Dark purple. Scorpius had always rather liked a girl in heels. Even in tall hells Lucy was shorter then himself. Purple in its various shades and nuances rather suited Lucy Weasley he figured.

“I’ll join you. The only gentlemanly thing to do you know.” Scorpius said hastily, recognising that joining Lucy was definitely far preferable to whatever discussion his mother felt important enough to bring to his office.

Lucy glared at him, narrowing her eyes threateningly.

“You will do no such thing. You will go see your mother. And I am going to have lunch with my sister.”

“We could swap. I would much rather have lunch with your sister.” Scorpius suggested.

Lucy didn’t even deign that with a response. She politely said goodbye to Albus and Milly and left.

“Or you.” Scorpius called out after her retreating figure. “I’d love to have lunch with you.”

 

***

 

“I’m suffering from harassment!” Lucy declared dramatically as she dropped heavily into her seat across from her sister at the small table at Moreen’s tea shop.

She attracted several stares, but Molly ignored her dramatics, concentrating on stirring sugar generously into her tea. She had already ordered Lucy’s usual, tea and scones. Lucy wrinkled her nose in disgust at the amount of sugar Molly dosed her own tea with. Lucy took no sugar. Just milk.

“What kind of harassment?” Molly inquired calmly. “Sexual harassment, cliental harassment, family harassment, general harassment? Be more specific please Lucy.”

Lucy narrowed her eyes at Molly.

“You don’t sound quite as concerned as a good sister should be. I was going for more drama.”

Molly raised an eyebrow at her. “Lucy I’d be concerned if you were concerned. But if you were concerned you wouldn’t tell me, you’d bottle it up. If you were really concerned you’d tell Hugo, Uncle Harry or Uncle Ron and they’d fix it with their magical auror powers. All you want to do with me is moan about it.” She said dryly, sipping her tea and making a pained face when she burned the tip of her tongue and placing the teacup hastily back on the table.

Lucy ignored the little voice in her heard that was telling her that Molly was right. What was she doing complaining to Molly about Scorpius’ attention rather than the dead man they’d found hanged in her shop?

“Are you going to let me moan?” Lucy asked, nibbling on her scone that she had spread liberally with jam.

Molly looked at Lucy as if she’d said something stupid. “Lucy, I’ve been patiently listening to you moan since you were born. What makes you think I’ll stop today?”

Lucy decided not to deign that with an answer but just launch straight into the moaning.

“It’s this damn Scorpius Malfoy!” She declared, helping herself to more jam for her scone.

One could never have enough jam. Especially while moaning.

“Rose and Albus’ friend.” Molly confirmed.

“How many Scorpius Malfoy’s do you know? Ts not exactly a common name.” Lucy replied scornfully.

“In what way is he harassing you?”

“He… looks at me.” Lucy muttered.

“How awful.” Molly replied mockingly, widening her eyes comically, trying very hard not to laugh.

“He looks at me funny.” Lucy insisted firmly, nibbling on her scone.

“I understand. It must be terrifying.”

“You’re taking me seriously.” Lucy accused.

Molly rolled her eyes, lifting her teacup and sipping, finally satisfied with its temperature.

“You’re not making it easy to take you seriously Lucy.” Molly replied, setting her teacup back down. “He’s a perfectly normal person with perfectly normal eyes. He probably thinks you’re pretty. That’s normally why boys look at girls you know.”

Lucy scowled. “No, no, you don’t understand, he doesn’t look at me like that. He always looks at me as though he’s thinking.”

“Thinking about sex more than likely. Apparently that’s what boys think about most of the time.” Molly said casually, her eyes sparkling mischievously at the look of indignation that flitted across Lucy’s face.

“Molly Beatrice Weasley, what a thing to say. No. He looks at me and he frowns.”

“Maybe he’s thinking about bad sex.”

“Why would he be staring at me and thinking about bad sex?!” Lucy exclaimed, not realising that she had said this last part rather loudly and attracted the attention of several other customers.

Molly tried to keep back her giggles, succeeding only in turning them into an unladylike snort that she couldn’t suppress. Lucy ate her jam-slathered scones with cool composure. Thinking about bad sex indeed, what a thing to say.

No, when Malfoy looked at her, frowning thoughtfully, he was definitely not thinking about sex. But it bothered her to not know what exactly went through his mind those many times when she caught him looking at her.

 

***

 

“Scorpius, we have a minor issue.”

Scorpius knew that his mother never used the phrase ‘a minor issue’ for anything minor. The war ‘issue’ was only reserved for things that in her opinion were serious problems that must immediately be worked upon in order to be solved. ‘minor’ merely meant that no one had or was in the process of dying yet.

However at times his mothers idea of a serious problem, and his own idea of a serious problem differed wildly. For example, this murder case that he was working on right now, that was a serious problem. The fact that Lucy was selling illegal wolfsbane potion and flying carpets was however what he would refer to as ‘a minor issue’. Something of interest to look into and potentially solve when he had some time. His mothers idea of ‘a minor issue’ ranged widely from that the manor was on fire to that her shoes no longer fit. Both problems which in her opinion must naturally instantly be acted upon.

Therefore Scorpius felt that his following question was a perfectly valid one.

“What kind of minor issue mother?”

“Why that you still do not have a date for Desiree Rosier’s wedding.” Astoria Malfoy replied, glaring at her son as though he were the village idiot.

“You have been given several months notice, I have suggested several amiable girls and even a few young men in case that was your preferred cup of tea, and still we’re standing here with only ten days until this wedding and you have asked no one to attend with you.”

She turned to Albus who was lurking in the corner, happy that at least this time Mrs. Malfoy’s ‘minor issue’ was solely regarding Scorpius and did not include him. Or so he thought.

“Were you planning on bringing Albus?” She asked mildly.

Albus spluttered indignantly and Scorpius smirked.

“What would the papers say mother? Besides I don’t think Albus would like to be my date.” Scorpius replied lightly, slouching into his chair, recognising that this conversation was going to take longer than he had initially hoped.

“I wouldn’t judge you know. I’d love you both just the same.” Astoria Malfoy said, looking between Albus and her son with wide eyes.

“Mother, Albus is head over heels in love with Eliza and has been since he was eleven, and I can assure you that I am sexually attracted to girls and girls only.”

“Then I fail to understand why you have not yet asked one of these girls you are so attracted to to be your date.” She asked coolly.

That cool voice and her poise reminded him so vividly of Lucy Weasley. And in that instance the idea struck him.

“Because I’m not quite sure that she would say yes.” Scorpius said thoughtfully, throwing the thought out there in order to buy more thinking time as he allowed the thought to develop within his mind.

“So there is a girl.” His mother asked in delight.

“There is?” Albus asked, looking at Scorpius in confusion.

That was the most difficult part of all Scorpius realised. Albus had always been so adamant that of course Scorpius Malfoy would never date one of his own beloved Weasley cousins.

“Well. She’d probably say yes. She’s polite that way. But Albus would probably say no.” Scorpius replied cagily, looking thoughtfully at his best friend.

He watched as the scowl bloomed on Albus’ face.

“You’re going to ask one of my cousins.” Albus said, a statement, not a question.

Scorpius nodded slowly.

“I thought I’d invite Lucy. I’d love to ask her more about those oriental carpets of hers.” He said, nodding to himself, a self-satisfied smirk firmly in place.

It was a rather neat solution really. It solved his mothers ‘minor issue’. And incidentally it also solved one of his own. He was finding himself rather fascinated by Lucy Weasley. And surely attending a wedding with her as his date would be enlightening.


Chapter 8: Clues, tea and wolfsbane.
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Scorpius and Milly were both slumped over the table in the middle of their office on which they had spread all their current information and evidence of what Milly had now named the ‘Cluedo Murders’. Photos and descriptions of each murder scene, photos and the accompanying notes and background on each artefact from Lucy’s shop (significant somehow, but how?), the cluedo cards from each body with accompanying notes written by Milly about their assumed significance, the statements and interviews with guards at the ministry on the night of Fitz Rosier’s murder, all guards at Azkaban, all family members of Rosier and the one distant cousin of McNair (Carrow had no living relatives), the written reports Albus had put together about each body.

The only existing lead was the quenwood.

“The quenwood dealer, Lucy says she calls herself ‘clue’. Perhaps a link to the Cluedo game?” Milly said, looking at the Cluedo cards with a frown.

“It’s too much of a coincidence to ignore.” Scorpius replied, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

“These two guards are the quenwood dealers within Azkaban. They’re not the ringleaders though. Their quenwood addicts themselves as well. However they are under unbreakable vows that stop them from saying anything about who supplies their quenwood.” Milly said, pointing out the photos of the two guards.

“Guffy and Ryan are still trying to turn up information in Knockton Alley. As of yet they’ve met several people who have heard of ‘Clue’ but know nothing of her. Apparently she works through this woman Gwyn who in turn works through a network of prostitutes who keep themselves scarce whenever Guffy’s around. The plan is for Ryan to go in on his own during the night throughout this week.” Scorpius reported, placing Guffy and Ryan’s report on the table along with everything else.

Milly snorted. “I bet Ryan doesn’t mind that job.”

Scorpius rolled his eyes. “I bet his girlfriend does.”

Albus strolled in holding a ministry memo plane in his hand.

“Tori says she’s run her analyse on the stomach contents I asked for and we’re invited to visit the morgue.” He announced, looking less than thrilled.

Scorpius sighed, pushing himself up from the table. “Excellent. Milly, try and see if there is anything else we can do to track down the elusive ‘Clue’ apart from Ryan playing with prostitutes.”

Albus noted Scorpius pensive mood as they walked side by side to the morgue.

“Case bothering you?” Albus asked.

Scorpius sighed heavily. He felt like he’d been doing a lot of deep sighing over this case lately.

“It’s frustrating. It’s all so obviously linked and planned and put together and yet no obvious suspects. Not anyone obvious who would off all three of them. Plus I don’t think their the last. Milly thinks there’s going to be at least six murders based off the freaking muggle board game. That’s the number of weapons and characters there are. Our only obvious lead is this quenwood business, and that’s proving to be a difficult lead.” Scorpius explained, running his hand frustrated through his blonde hair.

Tori was waiting for them as they entered in through the large grey doors of the morgue.
“Reports, all written up nice and clearly.” She said cheerily, waving them in the air.

“Thank Merlin, at least you have nice handwriting.” Albus said in relief accepting them from her and flicking through them. “Hmm.”

“Hmm?” Scorpius queried.

“The tea.” Albus and Tori said in unison.

“What about the freaking killer tea?” Scorpius said.

“It may just help us track down the source.” Albus said with a smirk that reminded Scorpius terribly much of his own trademark Malfoy smirk.

“It’s a very specific blend. Clove, vanilla and a magical plant called ‘rem’ which was very popular among pureblood women during the regency period, but is rarely used now.” Tori explained. “A blend like that most likely comes from ‘Renata’s’, an apothecary on Diagon alley that does tea blends that include magical ingredients. Renata should be able to supply a list of regular customers of the blend.”

“They all drank the same kind of tea?” Scorpius asked, feeling a smirk spread across his own face.

“Yep.” Albus said. “Our murderer made a slip.”

***

Lucy found herself hanging out with Lily at the Auror Departments reception on Saturday evening. Lucy was not entirely certain how Lily had caused this to happen. She also was wondering how Lily had avoided ending up in Slytherin and Albus had since in her opinion, out of all the Potter children Albus was the biggest pushover and Lily the most manipulative. Lily could charm fish into the sky and birds into water. Albus should have been a damn Hufflepuff. He was such a grumpy helpful badger.

Lucy and Lily were painting their nails (it was a slow evening). Lily a bright apple green, Lucy a pale lilac and Lily was telling Lucy, with a liberal application of eye-rolls, about her frustrations regarding a certain Hamish Finnigan who worked as an explosives expert in the Auror Department. Apparently Hamish made Lily’s heart do funny flip-flop stuff, and Lily found it horribly annoying. Lucy was swivelling round on her wheeled office chair pretending to pay attention.

That is until Scorpius and Albus interrupted them, coming up from the Morgue.

The Morgue would naturally explain why Albus looked like he really wanted to stab something repeatedly right about now. Scorpius on the other hand was looking awfully chipper. Lucy really didn’t understand how their friendship worked sometimes.

Without a word, Scorpius approached them and dropped a thick A4 envelope into Lucy’s lap. She looked up at him quizzically.

“What’s this?” Lucy asked, picking it up, weighing it in her hands.

Scorpius shrugged casually. “A license to sell wolfsbane. And licenses to grow all those herbs in your garden. Half of them are illegal you know.”

“I can’t take this Scorpius. I can’t afford it.” Lucy only just held eyes from bugging out of her face, and instead stated this calmly while attempting to hand it back to him.

She was well aware how much money such licenses represented and she’d be damned if she’d ever owe Scorpius that much money. She might as well sell him her soul. And she was personally far too fond of her soul to sell it.

Scorpius rolled his eyes and danced out of her reach. “Think of it as a donation. So you can continue your public service to the nation and all that jazz.”

Lucy was about to say thank you when Albus scowled fiercely between them. “It’s not for free.” Albus muttered.

Lucy hesitated, feeling for a moment as though she was standing on the edge of a cliff. She rather felt like that a lot around Scorpius. As though he were somehow always wrong-footing her.

Lily laughed. “Of course it’s not for free. He’s a freaking Slytherin. That equates to manipulative bastard.”

Scorpius sighed.

“I resent that Lilykins. Albus isn’t a manipulative bastard. However I wasn’t planning on asking her with you here.” He said, rolling his eyes at both Albus and Lily.

“Well you might as well. Think of me as your chaperone.” Albus replied snarkily.

“Are you going to give her a medieval chastity belt too? She probably has one in her shop.” Scorpius shot back.

“I have three.” Lucy announced formally.

Albus and Scorpius looked at her with wide eyes. She shrugged calmly and Lily erupted into giggles.

“People buy them as curiosities, and they were rather common among the pureblood elite during the middle ages.” Lucy explained.

Lily was looking between them all with great amusement while applying an extra coat of apple green to her nails.

“What’s your ulterior motive Scorpius?” She teased, and Scorpius glared again at Albus for good measure. He hadn’t exactly been planning to do this in the Auror Department foyer with the Potter siblings looking on.

“Lucy, will you be my date for Desiree’s wedding?” He asked finally.

“You want me to wear a chastity belt to a wedding?” Lucy asked, allowing her confusion to seep into her voice.

“No. No chastity belt. Just you, as my date.” Scorpius said, shifting uncomfortably, keeping his voice level.

“Oh... Well... I mean…”

Scorpius almost wanted to laugh. Now this, this was the first time that he had actually seen Lucy Weasley flustered. He’d have enjoyed it more, except her hesitation was rather disconcerting. He genuinely did want her to come as his date after all.

“I have nothing to wear!” Lucy protested finally, as though that were the end of that.

“Purple. You should wear purple.” Scorpius replied.

“I don’t own a purple dress.” Lucy said firmly. “Lily has dresses, you should bring Lily.”

“Don’t be silly Lucy; you can acquire a purple dress.” Lily said, her green eyes dancing.

“But… I… I can’t…”

Lucy could feel her face flushing, which only caused her to blush harder. This was ridiculous. Why on earth would Scorpius Malfoy ask her to be his date for a wedding?

“You just want me to confess about the carpets!” She announced hotly, pointing accusingly at him, narrowing her eyes dangerously.

Scorpius tried very hard not to smirk. So that might have been part of the reasoning, but certainly not the whole of it.

“Anything you may or may not mention while my date is entirely off the record.” He promised sincerely.

Lucy kept her eyes narrowed, her finger hovering threateningly in the air in front of his face.

“I’ll even return your carpets.” He added.

“Deal.” Lucy said quickly.

Albus rolled his eyes, and Lily was still smirking in amusement. Her cousins sucked. Especially since she knew that Lily was going to force her to go dress shopping with her now. Dress shopping with Lily was a royal pain in the butt.

“Excellent.” Scorpius announced with a smirk, turning on his heal and rushing off to his office.

Probably before she changed her mind. Lucy shook her head wondering what she had done.

“I’m off to check on my plants before I head home for bed.” Lucy told Lily, grabbing her cloak and giving Lily a quick hug before she waved goodbye and heading off.

“Check your plants?” Lily called after her.

“I’m meeting up with a friend there.”

“Potential boyfriend?” Lily asked cheekily, a smile in her voice.

“Ex-boyfriend.” Lucy called back with another wave before she disappeared around the corner towards the ministry floo network.

***

He was already there when Lucy arrived, and she unlocked the back door. It took longer than usual. She had added two spells to the procedure since the murder had occurred at her shop. It had rattled her. It reflected in the increase in runes and spells throughout the whole shop.

He followed her inside to the kitchen where Lucy lit the oil-lamps.

“How many are you buying this time Jules?” She asked quietly, dropping the packet of papers she had received from Scorpius on the kitchen table, and turning to her locked and heavily warded potions cupboard.

This cupboard had also received several new wards and spells and Jules watched her in interest as she went through the process of opening it.

“Seven.” He said quietly.

Lucy looked at him with her features carefully and calmly composed. She refused to let him see the pity and sadness she felt for him. She knew he wouldn’t appreciate it. Knew that the cheap wolfsbane was the best she could do for him.

“Two more than last time?” She asked carefully.

“Grendal and Scarpin saved up for it. They can only afford it every other month though. It’s… frustrating.” Jules replied in a low voice.

Lucy allowed a small sigh to escape, bottling the wolfsbane potion into seven separate vials. Her eyes flickered up to him again. He looked tired. He probably felt even worse. His eyes looked dark and bruised, and his skin was so pale it looked practically translucent. She knew he worked as a muggle cab driver around London. He had the memory for it. She remembered him in school having a great memory. An excellent memory that meant he scored one of the highest in their year in Newts, a memory that could have gotten him many places in the wizarding world. If he hadn’t been attacked and become a werewolf.

Lucy had dated him for a couple of months. It had felt wrong for both of them though. They had parted after a couple of months on good terms though, deciding they were better off as friends than a couple. And than Jules had gone off and come out of the closet and Lucy had been relieved, and they had been best friends ever since. She knew it was hard though. Hard to not just be a werewolf, but also gay. Insanely clever, and only able to get by as a taxi driver because he had no muggle qualifications and no one in the wizarding world would have him.

“You’ll be happy to know I actually have a legal license to sell wolfsbane now.” She announced with a grin.

Jules raised an eyebrow at her.

“And how exactly did you get that?” He asked suspiciously. Funny, Scorpius always sounded suspicious around her like that as well.

“Charitable donation to my cause.” Lucy replied haughtily, grinning.

“I don’t believe you.”

“Scorpius Malfoy gave it to me. I think he’s trying to get me onto the right side of the law.”

“Scorpius Malfoy?” Jules said with a grin that lit up his face and made him look younger, more like the Jules Lucy remembered from Hogwarts.

“Yep. He bribed me to go on a date with him.” Lucy said, smiling as she packed the vials into a warded box, simply glad to see Jules happy.

Jules grinned and opened his mouth to say something… and that was when they heard the screams.

Their stared at each other with wide eyes.

Than Jules bolted out of the shop towards the sound, and with a quick spell on her shop (weak and temporary, but it would do) Lucy bolted after him.

The screams came from a smaller alleyway off Knockton Alley. Everyone else on Knockton Alley had fled or hidden, studiously ignoring what had nothing to do with them. As they arrived in the mouth of the alleyway the screams abruptly stopped, punctuated by a bang, like the sound of something heavy being dropped and they heard the immediately following sharp crack of apparition. A heap, a person, lay in the darkness. Jules approached it quietly, Lucy right behind him.

“He’s dead.” Jules announced in a hoarse whisper.

Lucy peered around him at the body before he could stop her and would slumped to the ground if he hadn’t caught her just in time. Blood was seeping from the mans head in a gradually growing pool around his head. Beside him lay a revolver. A revolver that Lucy however knew wasn’t real. A replica, a fake. One she had sold from her shop several months ago. She recognised the man as well. She had sold it to him. Had found it especially for him in fact because he had expressed an interest in muggle weaponry. Michael Maynard. An retired obliviator from the Ministry.

Lucy saw the three playing cards poking out of his pocket as if they had been placed there in haste. Saw the discolouring around the edges that informed her they were in fact most likely Cluedo cards like the others.

“Jules, you have to leave.” She whispered hoarsely.

“What the heck?!” He hissed at her. “Are you freaking stupid Lucy?! I’m not going anywhere without you!”

“No you don’t understand. This is the fourth in a string of murders. I’ll send a patronus to Albus immediately, but you have to leave.”

“What kind of a person do you think I am? I’m not leaving you in a dark alleyway with a dead body in Knockton Alley! Especially after you just told me its a seriel killer!”

“Jules, you’re a werewolf, people love to blame werewolves. When the aurors get here you need to be gone.” Lucy said calmly, looking at him, trying to ignore the fact that she was in fact in a dark alleyway with a dead body in Knockton Alley.

Jule’s eyes darkened and she knew she’d gotten through to him, no matter how little he liked it.

“You can wait for Albus at your shop.” Jules attempted to insist, but Lucy was already shaking her head.

“What if the crime scene gets tampered with?” She pointed out.

Jules sighed deeply.

“Send your patronus, and I’m staying for three minutes afterwards, that’s about how long it should take for your patronus to get to Albus and for me to get away before he gets here.” Jules said, not looking happy about it at all.

Lucy sent her patronus and set to waiting, looking anywhere but at the body. Trying desperately to pretend there wasn’t a body. How did she always get involved in these things?


Chapter 9: I Was Alone.
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Lucy was simply glad that Jules was gone when Albus arrived. Albus took one look at her, took one look at the dead body, and let lose a long string of swearwords that Lucy would never ever repeat.

He looked at her and sighed heavily. “Lucy, what are we going to do with you?”

“Wrap me up in the fuzzy purple blanket of yours? That’s what I called you for after all you know.” Lucy said quietly, still trying desperately to ignore the dead body in the alley.

Albus grinned and got the blanket out (charmed to fit undetected in his back-pocket), wrapping it around her gently.

“Might as well be yours with how often you’ve been using it lately?”

“More than I’d like. I didn’t kill him. I found him. Just in case you were wondering.”

Albus laughed, and Lucy let herself fall into his arms, comforted that at least she wasn’t alone in the alley with a dead body.

“Lucy, I can assure you that that was the last thing on my mind.” Albus assured her. “Aurors are on their way.”

No sooner had he said it before several sharp cracks shattered the darkness, announcing the aurors arrival, Scorpius at their head, looking as though he really wanted to strangle someone just about now.

“Lucy whatever-your-middle-name-is Weasley, you have got to be one of the stupidest women I have ever encountered! What were you doing walking down dark alleyways off Knockturn Alley, at night, on your own, with a murderer with a preference for weapons from your shop running amok?!” Scorpius hissed, stalking up to her and Albus.

Lucy bristled, pulling herself to her full height. Which wasn’t very impressive at all to be honest. Especially when wrapped in purple blankets. Even though she was wearing high heels. Platforms even. She was still shorter then him. She found that infuriating. Scorpius was finding the high heels frightfully distracting. It should be illegal to look that good in heels.

“Her middle name is Holly.” Albus piped up from beside her.

Lucy shot Albus a death glare and he held up his hands in surrender.

“Well its hardly confidential information is it?”

“Well its not public knowledge either Albus Severus.”

“Hey, I like my middle name. Unlike some people. Its Scorpius’ middle name too! We’re like middle name twins. Plus he has Hyperion as well! Because one middle name isn’t good enough for purebloods and all that jazz.”

Lucy looked at him coldly. “Sometimes I wonder what Uncle Harry was thinking naming you all after dead people.”

“Hey, Luna’s still alive!” Albus said, causing Lucy to feel the deep urge to stick her tongue out at him, though she was far too old to indulge in such childishness in public.

“Except I think the Luna bit is more a nod to Remus Lupin than Luna Scamander.” Lucy insisted.

Scorpius looked like he was genuinely about to explode.

“Lucy Holly Weasley, can we please cease discussing middle names and discuss your immense level of stupidity and complete disregard for personal safety!” He barked.

Lucy blinked at Scorpius, (Scorpius Severus Hyperion Malfoy apparently, she filed that information for future use) frustratingly cool and composed. She made him want to tear his hair out and snog her senseless simultaneously.

“Does it matter? The point is she found the body.” Albus replied, dragging a hand tiredly through his unruly hair. “She attracts them. Like a magnet.”

“I do not!” Lucy exclaimed indignantly. “I went down here because I heard screaming.”

“Merlin, how stupid can you be?” Scorpius moaned, running a hand across his face in fraustration. This case couldn’t possibly be good for his blood pressure. Damn Lucy Weasley was good for his blood pressure.

“It’s her revolver too.” Albus added helpfully.

“Technically it’s not mine, I sold it. From my shop. Legally.”

“You don’t have a license to sell wolfsbane, but you have a license to sell firearms?” Scorpius grounded out suspiciously.

Lucy looked at him coldly. “It’s a fake.” She said, as thought that at least should be obvious even to a five-year-old. “A solid piece of metal designed as a paperweight. It was bought by Maynard himself.”

“I can’t believe you went alone down a dark alleyway off Knockton Alley because you heard screaming.” Scorpius said, shaking his head and running his hand through his hair, looking like he wanted to literally tear his hair out at her stupidity.

Lucy remained stubbornly quiet, and realised that Albus was looking at her thoughtfully.

“But you weren’t alone were you Lucy.” Albus murmured quietly.

Lucy glared at Albus, mentally informing him to shut up, while Scorpius eyes narrowed suspiciously and snapped to her face.

“Lily said you were going to meet someone. And I don’t think it was Michael Maynard in a dark alley.”

“I was alone.” Lucy said stubbornly, but Albus was shaking his head, just as stubborn. Those stupid, freaking Weasley stubborn genes!

“Lucy, no way would you have gone a dark alleyway on your own, your not that stupid. I know your shop is on the corner of Knockton Alley, but you rarely actually venture down it.” Albus insisted.

“I was alone.” Lucy insisted.

“Withholding evidence is a criminal offence Weasley.” Scorpius hissed, his voice threatening and dangerous low as he glared at her.

Lucy glared back at him.

“Its pretty close to the full moon, isn’t it Lucy?” Albus said quietly.

Scorpius transferred his glare to Albus, raising his eyebrow quizzically.

“Yes Albus.” Lucy replied calmly, still glaring firmly at Scorpius.

“You were selling wolfsbane.” Albus concluded.

Lucy transferred her heated glare to Albus and he took a step back, fearing for his personal health with that glare on him.

“I thought you were a healer, not a damn interrogator.” Lucy said quietly, her voice deadly calm.

“You were in a dark alleyway in Knockton Alley with a dead body with a werewolf?” Scorpius said, returning his glare to Lucy. “Merlin you really are stupid!”

“I haven’t sold anything tonight,” Lucy insisted, reminding herself that it was true as they hadn’t finished their business at her shop “and I was alone.” Technicalities she reminded herself. She was alone when Albus arrived. That was all they needed to know.

“I’m sure I can find out who exactly was with you if I bribe a couple of people.” Scorpius drawled.

“Oh yeah, because that’s real ethical!” Lucy hissed “People in Knockton Alley will tell you anything you want if you bribe them!”

Scorpius scowled, they both knew it was true.

“Lucy, were you with…” Albus started. But he never finished his sentence.

“Herbifors!” Lucy said, quietly, calmly, composed, as though she were not in the process of cursing on of her favourite cousins.

“Damn it Lucy, I wasn’t going to say who it was!” Albus hissed as roses (a nice dark red shade of the nice traditional English variety, Lucy had taste and style after all) sprouted from every inch of his body.

Quickly he was a walking talking rosebush.

“Good, because I was alone.” Lucy hissed threateningly before releasing the spell with a quiet disgruntled ‘finite’.

“I know you’re stressed out about all this Lucy, but how about we don’t take it out on me? Look, Scorpius will take your statement quick and nicely, and I’ll take you home.” Albus, said, itching his now uncomfortable skin absentmindedly.

Lucy nodded mutely.

***

“I need to stop by the shop first.” Lucy muttered to Albus once she’d given her statement and he finally dragged her away from the murder scene.

Albus nodded without asking questions and immediately steered her towards her shop. Lucy remembered why Albus was one of her favourite cousins. He knew when to not ask questions. That and he was honest to a fault. He didn’t try to be fake or portray himself well to the press. He was honestly his own scowling, smirking, compassionate, lovable self.

She undid the quickly done charms and instantly when to the kitchen in the back and took the box of wolfsbane potions and made to place it back in the cupboard.

“I’ll deliver it for you.” Albus said quietly.

Yet another reason to love him.

“How is he, Jules?” He asked.

Lucy sighed, handing the box to him.

“Tired. Ill. Pale.” She said quietly. “I just wish so desperately that I could do something for him. Something he wouldn’t interpret as pity.”

“I’m surprised he left you in the alleyway with a dead body.”

“He wasn’t there to begin with.” Lucy insisted, and Albus shrugged with a grin.

“If you say so. Anything else you need from here?”

Lucy looked at him hesitantly. “Would you help me water the plants upstairs? I don’t like… I mean, upstairs. I don’t like… being there on my own. I’ve rather neglected them.” She said in a small halting voice.

Albus’ face softened. “Of course I’ll help.”

They ascended the stairs and each grabbed a watering can and filled it before moving systematically from plant to plant.

“You should get Arthur to help you. Brother-sister bonding time and all that.” Albus suggested.

Lucy snorted. “He’d get poisoned or eaten by them. He failed Herbology. I’m only letting you do this because I know that you know what you’re doing.”

“If you’re uncomfortable being up here on your own, you’re going to need help from someone.” Albus insisted.

Lucy sighed. “I know.”

She knew. But she hardly wanted to admit, even to herself, that whenever she went up here alone now, she was frightened of finding dead men hanging from the rafters. She wondered if she now also would be frightened of dark narrow alleyways.

***

It was late and Lily was packing up her stuff and ready to hand over her shift to Wesley when Scorpius and his aurors finally made their way back to the auror department with photos, evidence and the body.

Lily couldn’t help but notice that Scorpius looked like a menacing, black, pouting thundercloud. And she figured it wasn’t the murder that had caused the expression. She’d known Scorpius for too many years now. When a murder bothered him he looked pensive and frustrated. This thundercloud only made its appearance when women were involved.

“Who’s bothering you?” She dared to ask, wondering if it really was a good idea to ask him.

“Your stupid cousin.” Scorpius snapped.

“Lucy?” Lily guessed.

“She insists she was alone at the crime scene, while Albus seems to think she was with a werewolf, but she won’t budge on it!” Scorpius whispered fruastrated.

Lily regarded Scorpius carefully, her lips pursed in thought. Scorpius got the distinct impression that just like her brother, Lily with that snippet of information was well aware exactly who had been with Lucy when she’d discovered the body.

“Look, who she was with is none of your business.” Lily said finally. Scorpius looked at her incredulously.

“She’s withholding crime scene evidence!” He exclaimed frustrated, throwing his hands irritably in the air.

Lily shook her head firmly. “No she’s not. She knows it wasn’t him. Heck, I know it wasn’t him, because I have a pretty good idea who she was with. But she’s not going to tell you, because as Albus said, he’s a werewolf and she’s not going to tell you because she thinks that the fact that he’s a werewolf is going to make him an instant suspect, regardless of whether he has a motive for murder or whether all the evidence is against it being him. She knows people will happily blame werewolves for pretty much anything.”

Scorpius stared at the wall thoughtfully. “I just don’t get her.” He snorted finally.

Lily laughed. “What is there to get? It’s Lucy. You can’t just box and label her.”

“It would be so much easier if I could.”

Lily’s eyes twinkled. “But that’s why you like her Scorpius. You don’t like the girls with easy labels. You like the girls that surprise you. And keep on surprising you.”

Scorpius looked thoughtful.

Lily leaned in closer. “I can promise you Scorpius, Lucy will keep on surprising you until you day you die. And you’re not going to find another girl like her.”

“You sound like your playing matchmaker.”

“Of course I am. I have so many cousins, its great fun!”


Chapter 10: Suspects and Alibi's
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Scorpius sat at his desk, Milly leaning over his shoulder, both of them regarding their current list of suspects critically.

1. Narcissa Malfoy – Owner of first murder weapon. Prior knowledge of quenwood. No solid alibi for murders 1 or 2, but solid alibi’s for murders 3 and 4. Purchases tea from Renatas. However not the blend used for the  murders. Knew all four victims. Motive?

Scorpius had been pretty surprised when Milly had interviewed his grandmother and discovered that she knew what quenwood was. He wondered if perhaps paying more attention when his parents demanded his presence at pureblood parties would in fact give him more information to use in his job. Typically he spent them pretending he wasn’t there and wishing he could convince Albus to come along with him.

2. Circe Rosier – daughter of first victim. Supposedly no prior knowledge of Quenwood. Solid alibi for three of four murders. Had inherited candlestick from Aunt that was used as second murder weapon. Knew victim no.4 had done business with her father. Motive?

Circe was a nice girl in Scorpius. Opinion. She’d always been average. Averagely pretty, averagely clever, averagely popular.

3. Desiree Rosier – daughter of first victim. Supposedly no prior knowledge of Quenwood. Solid alibi for all four murders. Knew victim no.3 through her fiancé’s family. Motive?

Desiree was currently obsessed with her wedding and with very little else. Well and her husband-to-be naturally.

4. Medora Rosier – Wife of first victim. Prior knowledge of Quenwood. Solid alibi for murder no.1. Murder weapons 1. and 2. came from her home. Knew victim no.2 from attendance at Hogwarts while he was a ‘professor’ at the school. Knew victim no.3 as a friend of her fathers during the war. Knew victim no.4 as a business associate of her husband. Purchases tea from Renatas. Not the blend used for the murders. Motive?

Medora was cold and closed off. She reminded him of his grandmother Narcissa in many ways. As though she sat there judging the world while sipping her Monday morning cup of tea and found both wanting. Scorpius main concern was the fact that she actually knew all the victims. And about quenwood. Not a quenwood addict herself though.

5. ‘Clue’? – Cover name of known quenwood dealer in Knockturn Alley. Known to have threatened Lucy Holly Weasley. Represented by go-between called Gwyn. Investigation in process. Motive?

Clue was Scorpius’ best bet for the time being. But there was naturally the concept of motive. As a quenwood dealer surely she had nothing to gain from systematically murdering quenwood addicts. But it was impossible to know really. There was so little to go on.

6. Gwyn – Known to be involved in the quenwood industry. Threatened Lucy Holly Weasley. Surname unknown. Was present at murder scene 3. just prior to body being discovered. Investigation in process. Motive?

They had yet to find Gwyn. Like ‘Clue’ she had seemed to disappear into thin air.

7. Lucy Holly Weasley – Knowledge of all four murder weapons, all acquired from her shop. Murder no.3 committed in her shop. Discovered murder scene’s no. 3 and 4. Had previously done business with sister of victim 1. and victim no. 4. Motive?

Lucy was on the list. Which Scorpius had to admit he found simultaneously frightening and ridiculous. The main problem was she had no alibi’s and there was the stupid fact that all the murder weapons came from her shop. Only one had actually been in her possession at the time though.

It was all so frustrating. It was the motive. Who had motive? And what was the motive? There was no clear motive. Scorpius dragged his hands through his hair with a sigh and Milly patted him on the back, heaving a sigh of her own.

“I’m off to question Arnold Peasegood’s wife. Be good won’t you? Don’t worry too much. I’m having lunch with my brother so if you need me I’ll be in muggle London, don’t send a patronus or flying origami or anything like that. Use an owl and glamour it as a pigeon or something.” Milly said softly grabbing her cloak and heading out of the door.

Scorpius snorted. “A pigeon?” He asked incredulously.

Milly rolled her eyes. “It still won’t be normal but it’ll be acceptable than an owl okay.”

The door clicked behind her and Scorpius let out another heavy sigh. He stared at the Cluedo game set up on the desk in the space between his part of the desk and Milly’s part. Arnold Peasegood had had three cards in his pocket. The revolver, Mrs. White and the library. Clearly interrupted by Lucy and whoever she had been with before the murderer could placer the body. Scorpius couldn’t help but wonder what poor library the murderer had singled out as their stage. The murderer was probably not happy in the least to have their theatrical tendencies curbed in such a fashion.

Scorpius glared at the weapons, laying innocently in the different rooms on the board. The dagger, the candlestick, the rope and the revolver. Two weapons left. The lead pipe and the spanner.

***

Lily had succeeded in capturing Lucy and dragging her out shopping. Lily never passed up an excuse to go shopping. Lucy by contrast however felt like she would rather die.

“Purple, he said purple didn’t he?” Lily asked for what must have been the fourth time.

Lucy rolled her eyes.

“Yes. Doesn’t mean it has to be purple.”

“Scorpius likes you in purple.”

“Merlin forbid we let him down and not give him what he wants.” Lucy muttered with another eye-roll.

“I heard that.”

“Good.”

“Its still going to be purple. A nice deep lilac purple.” Lily insisted.

“You’re playing matchmaker.” Lucy accused Lily with narrowed eyes.

“Naturally. I enjoy it.”

“Well I don’t need to be your project. Throw your matchmaking skills upon someone else. Like Albus and Eliza. Merlin knows they need it.” Lucy replied with a huff.

Lily rolled her eyes. “Everyone knows Albus and Eliza need it. I keep telling myself that surely with everyone in our entire family dropping hints one of them will take the initiative and snog the other senseless. They’ve been dancing circles around each other since they were fourteen for goodness sake. Anyone else in their position would be married with four children by now.” Lily exclaimed exasperatedly.

“Lost case I suppose. I guess their both to frightened to ruin their friendship if something happens.” Lucy mused.

“As if anything would happen. They would happily ever after if they ever let themselves.” Lily said. “When they finally get together they’ll spend the next five years kicking themselves that they didn’t just do it earlier.”

“See, you should go off and do a good deed for them. Matchmake them. Leave me and Scorpius alone.” Lucy suggested innocently.

Lily looked at her sideways with a smirk, Malfoy’s smirk Lucy realised. His smirk must be contagious since both Lily and Albus had picked it up. See, an obvious reason not to spend too much time with him.

“Oh not to worry Lucy my dear. I can run more than one matchmaking project at a time. Higher success rate then you know. First step, find you a purple dress. Preferably something that shows off a lot of skin.”

Lucy groaned. “It’s a wedding Lily. A wedding appropriate dress please. A dress worthy of a nun if possible.”

Lily snorted and looped her arm in Lucy’s, dragging her into Madam Malkins.

***

Scorpius sat on a stool in the morgue as Albus with narrowed eyes and his mouth pressed into a thin line finished up his evaluation of the body of Arnold Peasegood.

“Quenwood naturally. Long-term addict. He’s been doing it for years. Probably since before we were born to be honest. Probably wasn’t happy it was what killed him in the end. It will have been what caused the screaming. I imagine it would be a painful way to die. Cause internal bleeding to start with. It’s the choking that typically kills them though. But I guess since Lucy and… Lucy turned up the murderer just gave him a good whack in the back of the head with the revolver-paperweight thingy. That’s what is the cause of death.” Albus summarised with a deep frown.

Scorpius nodded thoughtfully. He wished Albus would have slipped up and told him who had been with Lucy but he figured since both Lily and Albus seemed to know who it was and weren’t bothered he would pretend it didn’t bother him either. Secretly he also wished that Albus would take just a bit longer with the body. Scorpius found the morgue soothing. Down here he could just watch Albus do his thing and for a moment not worry about the list of suspects on his desk.

“Lucy is on our list of suspects.” He said quietly to Albus.

Albus nodded sagely. “I figured as much. No alibi’s after all. Plus she discovered two of the murders. Not that I think she did it of course. But it doesn’t look good does it.”

Scorpius bobbed his head thoughtfully. Albus looked at him carefully.

“Lily implied she was matchmaking.” Albus said, irritation seeping into his voice.

“Keep your pants on Al. Wouldn’t that be awful if she turned out to be the murderer and I took her as my date to the wedding of the first victim.” Scorpius said with an amused smirk.

Albus shook his head. “Don’t joke about my cousin being a murderer. I’d rather not think about it. Lucy’s sane. Plus she’s not theatrical. Not like this.” He said, glaring at the body of Arnold Peasegood in disgust.

Scorpius just nodded, looking at the body as well. Four deaths. Hopefully they’d get to the bottom of this before two more deaths occurred.

***

Lily and Lucy settled themselves down at a table and ordered two butterbeers and two ice cream sundaes. Lucy insisted she needed the sugar boost after being dragged out shopping. Lily had finally gotten her way and Lucy had a purple dress in her bag. Not lilac though. A soft warm plum purple with a flaring knee-length skirt, white petticoat and cap sleeves. It had been their compromise on a dress they both liked.

Lily had herself acquired three dresses and Lucy wondered when on earth Lily was going to use them. When she had asked Lily had laughed, that pretty tinkling bell-like laugh that Lucy had always secretly envied, and reminded Lucy that there was always an upcoming wedding, graduation, anniversary or baby shower in the Potter-Granger-Weasley family, she was sure she would find occasions for all three dresses that year.

Suddenly the crack of apparition was heard and Lucy turned in surprise. Her eyes met the form of the tall thin figure in a grey cloak with the hood up. Its pale gender-less hands held the body of a tall slender grey-haired man. Lucy’s heart froze, stuck in her throat.

With a loud dramatic thump the figure dropped the body and a spanner and with a crack apparated leaving behind the body and spanner. Blood seeped from the body’s head quickly spreading in a puddle on the floor, staining the floor. Then the screams started.

Lucy watched it all with wide eyes and open mouth. People were spilling drinks and scrambling away from the body and the bloody stain, parents covering children’s eyes, screaming at each other to contact the bloody aurors.

In a daze Lucy turned to look at Lily who also looked at the body with wide eyes.

“Well at least this time I have an alibi and the object doesn’t come from my shop.” Lucy said in a hoarse voice blinking at Lily, doing her very best to remain calm. “I suppose Scorpius will be along any moment now. I’m betting the cluedo cards are Reverend Green with the spanner in the dining room. What’s your guess?”

That was before she realised that the figure had set the bar on fire wordlessly before it had apparated. Lily and she glanced at one another before scrambling to the bar and drawing their wands out to help put the fire out.

Usually dress-shopping wasn’t quite this eventful.


Chapter 11: In which Harry Potter Frowns.
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Harry Potter was frowning. Scorpius found it frightening just how much he looked like Albus in the morgue when he did that. Albus scowling and frowning was however not abnormal. Lily always said that Albus got a disproportionate amount of their grandmother Weasley’s genes compared to the rest of them. And Merlin had he seen Molly Weasley Sr. scowl when things didn’t go her way.


 

But Harry rarely frowned. Scorpius though he could count with just his two hands the amount of times he had seen Harry Potter frown. Even when Professor McGonagall had called him and Draco Malfoy in when Scorpius and Albus had gotten in trouble in their fifth year for convincing the houseelves to spike all the Gryffindors pumpkin juice with firewhiskey and gotten the whole Gryffindor House tipsy. Harry had grinned and reminded McGonagall that at least they hadn’t escaped from Hogwarts on Thestrals and broken into the Department of Mysteries and destroyed all the prophecies in their holdings.


 

But Harry Potter was frowning at the problem of these Cluedo Murders.


 

“So run me through this again.” He sat as he leaned his back against the door in Milly and Scorpius’ office.


 

Milly sighed, pulling her glossy dark hair up into a ponytail. “The murders are based on the muggle game Cluedo. As a result we know the last weapon will be a lead pipe. Lucy Weasley is currently going through her records of the past five years of what she may have sold that could be interpreted at the lead pipe, however the murderer did break that pattern with the spanner. The irritating thing is that there are more rooms than weapons in the game. It could be the study, hall, lounge or billiard room. And these don’t really narrow us down to a location. It could be anyone’s study, hall, lounge or billiard room, or the murderer could take some creative liberty with it like she did with the dining room. It could be your hallway at Grimmauld Place. It could be the ministers office here. It could be my lounge at home. There is no way of narrowing it down according to location.”


 

 


 

Scorpius picked up where she left off. “There are patterns within the suspects. They were all official deatheaters or heavily involved in Tom Riddle’s regime within the Ministry. They are also all quenwood addicts. We’ve already got Guffy looking up a list of all living deatheaters and ministry workers who were heavily involved in deatheater operations during the war. However the only other way to narrow down potential victims is to test them for quenwood substance abuse.”


 

Harry sighed. “You won’t be able to test everyone on your list.”


 

Scorpius nodded. “We’re planning on screening it for top suspects of substance abuse. Victims have also until now all been male so we would only be testing men. As you know Albus has been involved in testing suspects apprehended as part of the quenwood trade.”


 

 


 

“But you’re going to need my go ahead.” Harry said, rubbing his scar thoughtfully.


 

 


 

“Yes Sir.” Scorpius nodded.


 

 


 

Harry sighed deeply. “Make your list. If you can somehow get it narrowed down to about 25 people I’m sure I can pass it by the minister. The trouble is that we’re screening possible victims, not possible suspects so we can’t as such have arrest warrants to bring them in. Plus obviously those that are quenwood addicts aren’t going to willingly be tested for it.”


 

 


 

A knock sounded on the door and Harry stood up straight and opened it. Albus stood outside and waved a file at Scorpius.


 

 


 

“Latest autopsy of Michael Maynard. Death by tea. Quenwood addict. Signs of a struggle, bruising, cut on eyebrow the like. Apparently also had problems keeping it in his pants as he has three different sexual diseases, but I don’t think that’s directly relevant to the case. You should also know that when this case ends you’ve reached your annual quota on my looking at dead people.” Albus announced.


 

 


 

“Damn, it’s only March.” Milly said with a grin, grabbing the file and flicking through it.


 

“I’d like to point out I don’t even get paid for forensic work. I’m a healer. I should be stitching you up when you fight the bad guys, not poking in dead peoples bloated guts.” Albus replied peevishly, shoving his hands deep into his pockets.


 

 


 

“Lovely visual Albus.” Harry said mildly, a soft smile on his face. “Are you fishing for a pay rise?”


 

 


 

Albus rolled his eyes. “I’m fishing to not have to go back to the morgue for the rest of the year.”


 

 


 

“You know, Hollens asked if you could be transferred to forensics.” Harry said with a grin.


 

 


 

Scorpius snorted. “Merlin, then we’d have to see him scowl like that every day.”


 

 


 

Albus was already shaking his head furiously. “How do people not get that I just don’t like dealing with dead people!”


 

 


 

Harry put his hand on Albus shoulder and flashed an understanding smile at him. “I get it. Hollens knows too.”


 

 


 

“He’ll probably still try to lure you over to the dark side though.” Scorpius said, playfully tossing a crumpled up paper ball at Albus’ head.


 

 


 

Albus caught it just before it hit him and glared at Scorpius. “It’s all your fault too.” Albus muttered, throwing the paper ball back at Scorpius who ducked it.


 

 


 

“Alright, make your list Scorpius and Milly. Albus, back to healing.” Harry said firmly, the command softened by the smile on his face.


 

 


 

They all three chorused ‘yes Sir’ and Harry left the office with Albus behind him.


 

 


 

***


 

 


 

Lucy looked up from the pile of records on the counter as the bell over the door off Diagon Alley rung.


 

 


 

Scorpius flashed his trademark Malfoy smirk at her, holding up a bag of pumpkin pastries. She smiled politely back wondering to herself if he really didn’t have better things to do on his lunch break then turn up at her shop. He wasn’t even interested in antiques for goodness sake.


 

 


 

“I figured I would bring you lunch.” Scorpius said smoothly, looking at the organised neatness of the piles of records on her counter.


 

 


 

He suppressed a grin. Funny, in some ways she was so opposite from her father Percy Weasley, and in others so obviously his child. Her piles had a neatness to them that almost seemed fake, all lined up as though she had used a ruler to measure the exact distance between them, and the height of each stack to make them correlate.


 

 


 

“How is it going?” He asked, cautiously placing the bag of pumpkin pastries down on the only clear space on the counter.


 

 


 

Lucy pursed her lips. “It’s frustrating. I’m working on the premise that anything even vaguely resembling a lead pipe could be used. Then attempting to contact those who bought those items to see if it is still in their possession.”


 

 


 

Scorpius nodded thoughtfully, pulling out a pumpkin pastry and passing it to her. Lucy accepted it without thinking about it, sinking her mind once again into the records in her pile, nibbling absentmindedly on the crust.


 

 


 

Scorpius pulled a pastry out for himself and dug into it while watching her face, taking note of the way she bit her lower lip thoughtfully in between nibbling on her pastry, turning pages carefully and placing them neatly in stacks as though it was an art form.


 

 


 

Suddenly she stilled, her whole form stiffening as thought she had been hexed.


 

 


 

“I found it!” She exclaimed victoriously, holding it up and waving it under Scorpius’ nose who couldn’t help staring at her large brown eyes that seemed if possible wider than ever, sparkling with triumph.


 

 


 

Belatedly he took the sales record from her hand and looked at the photo of the object. A metal rod, made of lead, inscribed with lines.


 

 


 

“Its what is commonly referred to as a Merlin’s Rod, they’re inscribed with Ogham script. They were made out of lead and buried with wizards and witches in the Romano-British period primarily in the Midlands and South-East, South-West of England. The inscription in a spell that made the grave essentially invisible to muggles and repelled them from the area, much like the spells placed upon Hogwarts. However as the Romans invaded England they were also often inscribed with curses against other witches and wizards. The Roman invasion of Britain was seen by many witches and wizards as a threat to the traditional ancient magic practiced in Britain, as we can see today it was since we primarily use the classical understanding of magic using Latin spells. These Merlin Rods were influenced heavily by the Roman lead curse tablets used by the Roman magical community which also became popular in Britain.” Lucy explained excitedly.


 

 


 

“So what’s special about this one?” Scorpius said, waving the photo in the air.


 

 


 

Lucy rolled her eyes. “You could read it you know, its all in there. This one has inscribed the typical muggle repelling spells, but also a curse on Ronan Therin who destroyed six muggle settlements under orders from the Roman army. It is believed that Ronan Therin is the earliest recorded ancestor of Salazar Slytherin. The ‘Sly’ was added later during the early medieval period.”


 

 


 

Scorpius looked at the photo with narrowed eyes. “It says all that in this bunch of lines?”


 

 


 

“It’s Ogham Script.” Lucy repeated calmly, looking up at him with those cow eyes of hers that he realised he adored.


 

 


 

“If you say so. Who owns it?” Scorpius said with a shrug of his shoulders.


 

 


 

Lucy snatched the papers from his hands and flicked the page while Scorpius took another bite of his pumpkin pastry.


 

 


 

“I sold it to a squib called Fergus Raymond who collected wand-like objects. If you ask me he was a bit obsessed with them because of his own inability to ever use a wand. Was desperate to include the Elder Wand in his collection and would never listen to sense when I informed him it no longer existed. However I was informed of his death two years ago by his only living relative, a witch called Mrs. Emmalina Ashford Warrington. She contacted me to value each object in his collection. I believe she sold some objects, and kept others but she never informed me what happened to the various objects. I’ll send her an owl.” Lucy said.


 

 


 

She was already a flurry of movement, efficiently writing a neat polite missive to Emmalina Warrington. She went into the back room and came back out with a small barn owl that took off through a small round window high up near the ceiling, clearly specifically designed for owl post.


 

 


 

“You mind if I get a copy of this?” Scorpius asked, indicating the records for the Merlin Rod.


 

 


 

“I assumed it was a given.” Lucy replied, already making a copy of the papers with a flick of her wand and passing it to Scorpius.


 

 


 

“Thank you.” Scorpius said with a wink, flashing Lucy the Malfoy smirk again.


 

 


 

Lucy had the frightening urge to somehow smack that irritating smirk, and infuriating wink off his face, but she had always believed in passive resistance, so instead she carefully put on her polite, uninterested face and blinked at him slowly.


 

 


 

Scorpius, recognising her carefully constructed calm façade dared to wink at her again and dash to the door. He turned to her just as his hand touched the door handle.


 

 


 

“You look pretty today Weasley.” He declared with a grin, before the tinkling of the bell announced his departure.


 

 


 

He risked a glance through the window to see Lucy looking after him with a stunned expression, staring at the pumpkin pasty in her hand as though it would somehow explain to her what had just happened. Scorpius grinned. Flustered Lucy was his favourite kind of Lucy. Of all the Weasley girls she was the hardest to crack. And therefore the most satisfying he decided.


 

 


 

***


 

 


 

Milly waved to Scorpius as he returned to the Auror Department.


 

 


 

“Guffy got back to us with the list. All living deatheaters and people closely involved with deatheater operations through the ministry during the war, all male. I sorted out all the ones living abroad. We’ve got it narrowed down to 45 people. Want to have a look?” She asked, waving the list at him.


 

 


 

Scorpius grunted in acknowledgement, taking the list from her. In reality he was quite ready to admit that looking at a list of names which he knew included his father and grandfather was not at the top of the list of things he wanted to do today.


 

 


 

He picked up a red quill with a sigh, seeing all those that Milly had already struck a line through. He flicked to the back of the list, figuring he’d do it backwards. No matter what, Malfoy always landed approximately in the middle anyway. His eyes widened as he say the second to last name on the list.


 

 


 

‘Seigfred Warrington.’


 

 


 

Scorpius Severus Hyperion Malfoy did not believe in coincidence.


 

 


 

“Milly, send Harry a note. I think we can start with just bringing one potential victim in.” Scorpius said as he circled the name of Seigfred Warrington with the red ink quill, smiling in satisfaction.


 

 


 

Seigfred Warrington, the husband of Emmalina Ashford Warrington. Who owned the Merlin Rod, the potential last weapon in this demented game of real-life muggle cluedo. Right now Scorpius would bet his auror badge that Seigfred Warrington was a quenwood addict.


 

 


 

Scorpius pulled up Seigfred Warrington’s file of war crimes. It got even better. Warrington had been involved in six raids of muggle residential areas as a deatheater during the war. Just as Ronan Therin had been instrumental in the destruction of six muggle settlements. Their murderer really did like a bit of dramatic flair.


Chapter 12: Turning me Legal.
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It had been easy to get the papers from Harry for permission to take Seigfred Warrington in for questioning. It was less so to do it subtly as both Scorpius and Milly agreed they wanted to avoid raising suspicion from their murderer. And without Warrington being suspicious that they wanted to check him for quenwood.


 

It was eventually decided that Guffy would call him in due a ‘clerical error’ with his criminal record that they needed him to come into the department to get cleared up. Scorpius was pacing impatiently outside the examination room they had rather unceremoniously shuffled Warrington into upon his arrival. Guffy and Ryan were in charge of his ‘clerical error’ with Albus being there to take the blood sample necessary to test for quenwood.


 

The door opened and closed behind Albus as he came out into the hall, holding a veil of blood. He gestured to Scorpius to go with him and the two of them made their way to Albus’ medical office with long strides.


 

“He’s upset about his ‘clerical error’. Guffy and Ryan explained the whole scenario to him, that deatheaters are being targeted in a series of murders and that we believe he is a potential victim. He’s tense, definitely didn’t cooperate with the blood sample. Most likely means he has something to hide. He refused tea. Just had water.” Albus said once the door closed behind them.


 

He was already rummaging through cupboards, setting up the veil of blood in a stand, placing various potions on the worktable, getting a stirring rod out of the drawer. Familiar with the procedure he quickly, with confidence, placed a few drops of the blood in a Petri dish and added careful measurements of three different potions, giving it a quick blend with the stirring wand.


 

“That does it. Four minutes. If there is quenwood in his blood system it’ll turn turquoise.” Albus said, leaning back against the worktop.


 

Scorpius nodded, staring at the Petri dish. Albus’ eyes were trained on the timer on the counter. Four minutes. The timer rang shrilly and Scorpius almost jumped and grimaced.


 

Albus and Scorpius both looked at the petri dish.


 

“Seems pretty perfectly turquoise to me.” Scorpius said with a satisfied smirk as Ablus bottled the rest of the blood sample and froze it down, setting it down in a cupboard of equally frozen blood samples.


 

Albus nodded sharply. “It also means you now have an official reason for having him in for interrogation. Quenwood dealing and abuse is a serious offence. Has a pretty hefty fine and a short prison sentence attached.” Albus said, packing things up with practiced efficiency, signing some paperwork quickly and handing it to Scorpius who nodded gratefully.


 

Scorpius strode with long graceful strides towards the examination room where Warrington was being held. As he passed her desk Lily stood up briskly and jogged to match his strides.


 

“Scorpius, don’t you desperately need a scribe today?” She asked with a beaming smile.


 

Scorpius glanced sideways at her suspiciously.


 

“Whatever for?” He asked.


 

Lily scowled. “I may or may not be attempting to escape Finnegan. I swear I’ve had my full quota of him for the week, and its only Monday.” She grumbled.


 

Scorpius grinned. “Come along then minion.” He said cheerfully, ruffling Lily’s long straight red hair.


 

Lily glared at him, but smiled gratefully and summoned quill and parchment just in time as they entered the examination room. Guffy and Ryan looked up questioningly at Scorpius and he nodded. In one smooth moment Guffy and Ryan rose and left the room, Scorpius and Lily taking their seats.


 

Warrington shifted nervously, looking between Lily and Scorpius with nervous dark eyes.


 

“Scorpius good to see you.” He said hesitantly, attempting joviality and failing. Sweat broke out on his forehead. “I went to school with your father you know. We participated in… extracurricular activities together.”


 

Scorpius face hardened. He knew Warrington had been in Slytherin one year above of his father, and the extracurricular activities he referred to was the inquisitorial Squad that had existed at Hogwarts in his sixth year. It was not something that Scorpius father had ever spoken of with pride. Rather it had been one of the many things that Draco had never mentioned to his son out of shame and that Scorpius had only learned of from history books, the bullying of other children at Hogwarts and from Harry Potter who was the only person he had ever truly trusted to give him true accounts of what had happened in the war that Draco had lived through.


 

Scorpius also knew that Warrington had joined the deatheathers straight out of school and particular specialised in muggle raids. He knew Warrington had the blood of children on his hands. And he knew he was a quenwood addict. He took a moment to breathe evenly and remind himself that he was sat here to actually try to keep this man alive.


 

“Mr. Warrington, you are hereby under arrest for the use and abuse of the illegal drug quenwood.” Scorpius said calming and quietly, his voice like ice.


 

Lily glanced sideways at Scorpius and suppressed a shiver. She rarely heard Scorpius put the ice in his voice or put on his mask of ice. She knew he had it. Had seen it as a permanent fixture on his father Draco Malfoy. Knew he had learned it from his father. But she rarely saw Scorpius use it. And when he did it typically spelled trouble. So Lily automatically stiffened and clutched her wand in her pocket when she heard the ice in Scorpius’ voice.


 

“Excuse me? Quenwood?” Warrington attempted to ask in a confused voice, his eyes shifting uneasily around the room, not settling on anything for more than a few seconds and never on their faces.


 

Scorpius looked at Warrington. Scorpius also knew that Warrington had been a part of the band of snatchers that had taken Hermione Granger-Weasley, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley to Malfoy Manor which had resulted in the torturing of Hermione Granger that still haunted his fathers dreams. Of course that was another thing that Scorpius had not learned from his father.


 

“Quenwood Mr. Warrington. The drug that is in your bloodstream. The reason you refused tea this morning.” Scorpius said icily.


 

“I… I don’t like tea.” Warrington replied weakly.


 

Scorpius reminded himself once again that his goal here was to save this mans life. Though he had to admit for the first time since he’d begun this investigation he began to wonder if perhaps not all those that had been murdered in this theatrical serial murder didn’t deserve what they got.


 

And then he reminded himself that there were more people than he could count that would argue the same for his father and grandparents and his godmother Pansy and that Warrington just like his own father had been little more than a child when he’d decided to join the deatheaters. And worse than a child, he had been a teenage boy, and Scorpius, having been a teenage boy, knew that few boys that age make sensible choices under peer pressure. And so Scorpius pulled himself together and reminded himself that he wanted Warrington alive and the only crime he was currently on trail for was an illegal addiction to quenwood.


 

“Mr. Warrington, we believe that you are a potential victim in a recent series of murders.” Scorpius said levelly.


 

Lily watched the ice leave Scorpius face and heard it evaporate from his voice and relaxed, releasing her wand and focusing on her transcript.


 

“They murdered Fitz Rosier, didn’t they?” Warrington asked quietly.


 

“Yes.”


 

“I… I was the one that introduced him to quenwood.” Warrington whispered, his eyes taking on a haunted look. “It… it got rid of the nightmares. It got rid of the screams.”


 

Scorpius remained silent, watching Warrington carefully.


 

“And Michael Maynard. He introduced me to the quenwood. He wasn’t a bad sort you know. Not a good one, not by miles, but not bad. He knew… he knew I still had nightmares.” Warrington continued, looking at his hands in his lap which he wrung nervously. He looked up at Scorpius. “And now… now they’re going to get me next aren’t they?”


 

“That is what we are attempting to prevent Mr. Warrington.” Scorpius said calmly, folding his hands in front of him on the desk. “Any information you can provide about other quenwood users and your quenwood supplier would be extremely helpful.”


 

Warrington nodded miserably.


 

***


 

Lucy had convinced her cousin Fred to look after her shop for the day while she worked in the auror department. Of course he had been surprised at this development and had asked whether the auror department was aware of her ‘grey’ dealings. Lucy had smugly waved her potions and potion ingredient licenses under his nose and informed him that she was quite legal thank you very much. He had raised his eyebrow at her and looked pointedly at the crystal balls lined smartly on the shelf over the counter.


 

“You got a license to import them from Romania?” He asked innocently and she’d smacked him on the back of the head and told him to shush up or Malfoy would confiscate them too.


 

He had grinned and promised not to do anything stupid while she was gone. To be honest Fred was the only cousin that Lucy felt she could trust to actually know what was legal and what was not in her shop and to not sell something illegal to a legal costumer, and to generally be sensible with her merchandise.


 

The point was that she was spending the morning at the auror department looking at the spanner dropped with the murder at The Leaky Cauldron. Because it bothered her. It bothered her extremely that this was the one object which had not been acquired at her shop. All the others had. Except for the spanner. It looked like a plain normal spanner. Nothing odd about it whatsoever. Just a muggle spanner. So she demanded to not just see the photo of the object, but to analyse the actual object and Milly had given it to her with a grin reminding Lucy that this was against protocol and therefore totally off the record.


 

And that was when Lucy realised what was wrong with the spanner. She realised what it was made out of. Goblin silver. She sure never had before encountered a muggle spanner made out of goblin silver.


 

She leaned back in her chair with a groan and tugged at her red curls with a scowl.


 

Because it sure wasn’t legal for her to sell goblin silver. Under the 1999 revision to laws all goblin silver could only be sold by goblins or those with a licence from the goblin community. And Lucy was pretty sure that this spanner was probably created from the melted down remains of a wreaked goblin silver helmet she had sold a year ago without such permission from the goblin community. It took a great deal to wreak armour made from goblin silver, but this particular helmet had apparently been wreaked by an enraged sphinx who’s kittens had been hunted down and sold by the wizard whom the helmet had belonged to.


 

It also meant that she was going to have to admit to Scorpius that she had illegally traded in goblin silver. Lucy sighed. Well, she might just have to pay the fine for this one.


 

***


 

Scorpius arranged with Warrington that he was on protective probation. Duffy and Ryan would be secretly shadowing him. Warrington understood. He was serving a dual function. One as a source to root out the trade of quenwood from Diagon Alley. Second to not put off the murderer’s scent.


 

He was bait. And Warrington had nodded in understanding and given them the names of two other dormer deatheaters who were quenwood addicts. He knew of no more. And he insisted that he himself had only ever received quenwood through Michael Maynard, and he had supplied the quenwood for Fitz Rosier. He himself had never heard of Gwyn or Clue. Since Maynard’s death he had gained quenwood from one of Maynard’s friends, Wilkes.


 

Still Scorpius felt pretty successful. And Lily was ecstatic to discover that Finnegan was on assignment and therefore wouldn’t be bothering her for the next three days while he was in Portsmouth.


 

Scorpius entered his office to find Milly to give the report on Warrington’s interview. Milly wasn’t there, but be was surprised to find Lucy Weasley curled up in his office chair, looking like someone had kicked her puppy.


 

“What’s up with you Weasley?” He asked, dropping the report on Milly’s desk. He wasn’t fussed about finding Lucy in his office. Albus had probably let her in knowing that all sensitive and restricted documents were hexed so only auror staff could read the without consent.


 

“You can’t call me Weasley. There are too many of us.” She replied grumpily.


 

“Fine. Lucy. What’s wrong?” He asked, lounging in Milly’s chair.


 

“The spanner. Its goblin silver. I think it might me melted down from a wrecked helmet I sold.”


 

Scorpius looked at her mulling over what she told him.


 

“I’m assuming you don’t have goblin consent to sell goblin silver.” He said, amusement lacing his voice.


 

Lucy scowled.


 

“I asked the goblins, and they refused me on the ridiculous basis that I’m female. I think they’re just taking it out on me that aunt Hermione, Uncle Ron and Harry helped their dragon escape. Goblins hold a grudge like no one else.” She replied grumpily, slumping further into Scorpius chair.


 

“You know Lucy, you’re really something else.” Scorpius said and Lucy couldn’t help but wonder if he sounded almost fond of her.


 

“I should hope so.” She muttered, glaring at the carpets that were still stood in the corner of Scorpius’ office.


 

“I’ll send you the bill for the fine. Now out of the chair. Don’t you have a black market shop to look after?” Scorpius said, shooing her out of his chair.


 

“I sell legal stuff!” Lucy insisted, rolling her eyes as she made her way out of the door.


 

***


 

Lucy arrived back at her shop to find two scowling goblins on her doorstep.


 

“We’re here to re-evaluate the premises of your shop for the selling of goblin precious metals.” One of them ground out irritably, threateningly waving a heavy stack of papers at her.


 

By the end of the day Lucy was staring gobsmacked out of her door at the retreating backs of the two goblins, holding in her hand the consent forms to sell objects made of goblin precious metal as long as she followed correct procedure to register all sold goblin artefacts with the goblin council. She also held the hefty fine delivered by owl from the auror department. And despite the large sum she naturally forgave him because she was sure he had also somehow sent the goblins.



Lucy couldn't help but laugh. Laugh slightly hysterically. He seriously was trying to turn her legal. Who knew that meeting Scorpius Malfoy would result in so much paperwork? 


Chapter 13: The Things one Finds in Knockturn Alley.
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“Didn’t anyone tell you that good boys shouldn’t go down Knockturn Alley?” Albus asked with a grin when Scorpius reported to medical with a dislocated shoulder and a variety of cuts and bruises.


 

Scorpius scowled. “I was undercover following Warrington when he went to visit his supplier of quenwood.” He muttered irritably as he gingerly lowered himself onto the chair in Albus’ office.


 

“You? Undercover? Who got that stupid idea? You stand out a mile away with your white hair and pale face. Everything about you screams Malfoy.” Albus said with an amused snort. “Brace yourself, its going to hurt.” He said taking hold of Scorpius’ shoulder.


 

“It already hurts… Oh damn Merlin that hurt!” Scorpius exclaimed loudly, groaning in pain.


 

Albus rolled his eyes. “I apologise. I should have said it’s going to hurt more than it already does.”


 

Scorpius glared at him, still groaning. Albus didn’t notice his glare, already rummaging through cupboards while humming something cheerful and pulling out a variety of potions. Scorpius was certain that he recognised whatever Albus was humming as one of those inane Celestine Warbeck songs that Molly Weasley Senior always listened to while baking.


 

“So are you going to tell me what happened?” Albus asked as he began to apply bruise salve to Scorpius’ face.


 

Scorpius scowled, feeling terribly much like a child being reprimanded by his grandmother.


 

“I got in a fight.” He grumbled, torn between being annoyed at feeling like a child and laughing at the whole scenario.


 

“In Knockturn Alley I presume.” Albus prompted.


 

“I thought it was my job to interrogate people.” Scorpius whined.


 

There was a knock on the door and Eliza poked her head around the door, her red hair pulled up in a ponytail.


 

“Eliza darling, have you come to save me from Albus’ cross-examination?” Scorpius asked with a grin.


 

Eliza grinned back at him. “No, just heard you got your face beat up in Knockturn Alley and decided to come take a look.” She replied wryly.


 

“How rude.” Scorpius said, wincing as Albus jabbed at a cut with some or other salve. “Sure you don’t want to take over? I find Albus’ bedside manner lacking.”


 

“Oh I’m sure. I recall you being a whiny patient.” Eliza quipped.


 

“Merlin, maybe I prefer Albus after all.” Scorpius said, wincing again when Albus jabbed at a particularly deep cut with his salve. “Then again maybe not. Maybe the auror department needs new healers.”


 

Eliza shrugged. “We’ve been your best friends since you were eleven. You would miss us.”


 

“Maybe I just need new best friends; Merlin knows how I’ve put up with you for so long.”


 

“You could recruit Tori from forensics. I’m sure she’d love to patch you up.” Albus replied with a grin.


 

Eliza snorted loudly. “Except there is a reason why she works with dead people. Plus then Hollens would demand Albus in exchange, and Albus would have to leave the auror department because he really hates dead bodies, and then we would both miss him.”


 

Scorpius grinned at her and waggled his eyebrows, clearly implying that she would miss Albus more than he would and she rolled her eyes at him. With a wave she was out of the office and Scorpius’ grin turned into a grimace of pain.


 

“Why haven’t you just snogged her yet?” Scorpius said, trying not to groan as he moved his shoulder.


 

Albus scowled at him. “Because we’re just friends.” He stated firmly. “Now tell me what happened in Knockturn Alley.”


 

“I was shadowing Warrington. Luckily I had Ryan with me because some idiot recognised me as a Malfoy and decided to punch me in the face because apparently it was my grandfathers fault that his grandfather died during the war, and apparently everyone seems to think that it’s my sin to atone for. Luckily Ryan kept out of it and stuck with Warrington.” Scorpius grumbled gritting his teeth.


 

“Looks like he did a bit more than just punch you in the face.” Albus said lightly passing Scorpius a potion which Scorpius gulped down with a grimace.


 

“Well apparently there are a lot of people in Knockturn Alley who have a bone to pick with my grandfather.” Scorpius muttered with a scowl.


 

Albus didn’t say anything. He knew that Scorpius’ grandfather was the only real sore point Scorpius had. Scorpius took most things, including insults, all in his stride. Even comments about his father and Voldemort he brushed off easily. But somehow his grandfather had always been a sore issue. Albus remembered clearly the times Scorpius had returned from Azkaban after seeing his grandfather. How he could be silent and brooding for days afterwards.


 

They both looked in as another knock sounded at the door and Guffy burst in like a whirlwind, a wide grin on her petite heart-shaped face.


 

“Ryan arrested this Gwyn girl. The one who threatened Lucy Weasley at her shop. Merlin you should see her, she’s all fake blonde hair and boobs and swaying hips! No wonder she’s got people like Warrington eating the quenwood out of her hand. I bet half of the quenwood addicts are sleeping with her on the side.” Guffy announced, her dark eyes sparkling.


 

Scorpius got up, taking notice that the pain had receded, probably due to the last potion Albus had given him. He gulped down another potion that Albus passed him before Albus shooed him out of the door. Scorpius shuddered. That last potion had tasted absolutely foul.


 

***


 

Lucy was not happy. Scorpius had decided that Lucy was not in a safe position in regards to his murder case as until now all the weapons had come from her shop and she had witnessed several of the murder scenes by now. So he had assigned her a body guard.


 

It probably wouldn’t have been so bad, except he had purposefully assigned her a bodyguard that was not part of the Potter-Granger-Weasley brood. And he had assigned Geoffrey Hooper to the job. Which wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. Lucy was aware that Geoffrey Hooper was rather good at what he did, and a very reliable auror.


 

However Rose had once set up Geoffrey and Lucy up on a blind date, and it had not gone well. This had been when everyone had only just begun to discover how awful Rose really was at matchmaking, and that no one in their right mind should ever, ever, ever go on a date set up by Rose Granger-Weasley. If Rose tried to set you up with someone, it was a sure-fire sign that you weren’t compatible with that person.


 

Geoffrey and Lucy had indeed found they were not compatible and had spent most of their date in silence once they had discovered that Lucy didn’t know enough to sustain a conversation about quidditch or the illegal business of thestral racing which were Geoffrey’s main areas of knowledge, and that Geoffrey had absolutely no interest in history of magic, antiques or potions which were Lucy’s main area of knowledge.


 

Now that he was her bodyguard they found that they still had absolutely nothing to talk about, except for the fact that Lucy mentioned in passing that Rose’s ex-fiancé had been involved in illegal thestral racing, Geoffrey had nodded and mentioned that he had been the one to arrest and fine him for it, and that was the end of that awkward conversation.


 

He had found himself an awkward perch sitting on a stool in the corner behind the counter, looking at everyone that came in with curiosity. Lucy was polishing a box full of miniature silver spoons, attempting to ignore the hulking auror sitting beside her, which she was pretty sure was bad for business from either alley. She wondered if she could perhaps convince Malfoy to let her cousin Hugo be her bodyguard instead. Except she couldn’t quite shake the thought that Scorpius had specifically picked someone not related to her because she was one of the suspects in this case.


 

***


 

Guffy was practically skipping down the corridor beside Scorpius. It was understandable; she and Ryan had been working on the quenwood issue for months without any visible progress, so this breakthrough was extremely welcome on their part.


 

She led Scorpius to one of the examination rooms and they both went in, the door locking behind them. Scorpius let his eyes examine Gwyn as he and Guffy sat themselves down at the table across from her.


 

He already had a pretty good idea of what she looked like from Lucy Weasley’s statement, but Gwyn was somehow different in real life. Perhaps because she truly was Lucy Weasley’s antithesis in every way. Tall and willowy, legs that seemed to go on forever which she showed off with heels and a short skirt. Long straight blonde hair pinned to the side, calculating, bright blue eyes. A well-endowed chest as Guffy had said.


 

But most of all Gwyn was different in real life because Scorpius recognised her. And he knew that Gwyn recognised him in return because she had stiffened perceptibly when he had walked in after Guffy.


 

“We’ve met before.” Scorpius said breezily, leaning forward, folding his hands on the table and plastering a cold smile on his face.


 

Guffy looked sideways at Scorpius in surprise, glancing between him and Gwyn.


 

“Indeed Mr. Malfoy. What a pleasure to meet you again.” Gwyn replied smoothly, smiling pleasantly thought her eyes and posture indicated that this was as far from a pleasant situation as she could possibly imagine.


 

“I believe it was at my grandmother’s garden party last summer.” Scorpius said, looking steadily at Gwyn. Gwyn steadily met his eyes, but he could see the uneasiness in them.


 

“Yes. She is a lovely woman.” Gwyn said gracefully.


 

“I’m surprised you think so, I recall her being rather rude about your dress.” Scorpius said, smirking openly.


 

Gwyn inclined her head. “Well perhaps the neckline was a tad low for the company.”


 

Scorpius recalled the neckline as positively plunging and showing a great deal more skin than anyone ever had at his grandmother’s garden parties.


 

“I also recall that you were introduced as Evangelina Brenwood, not Gwyn. I also recall that no one could quite work out who you were related to, though you were there under the patronage of the Rosier family. I believe it was generally understood that your mother was a friend of Medora Rosier.”


 

Gwyn remained silent.


 

“You are currently under arrest for your involvement in the trade of quenwood. A drug currently popular among rich purebloods which I witnessed you mingling with last summer. I hope you weren’t dealing with quenwood at my grandmother’s garden party. Though perhaps you were just making contacts.” Scorpius said quietly, studying Gwyn’s face. “What do you know about the murder of Fitz Rosier?”


 

If Scorpius hadn’t been watching her face so closely he believed he might have missed the way her face twisted with fear.


 

“He deserved to die.”


 

She said it coldly, clinically, firmly, as though she were stating a simple fact, and there was no hesitation as she steadily held his gaze and said it. And yet Scorpius didn’t think she really believed it. She said it as though it were rehearsed. A fact that had been told to her many times.


 

“Why?” Guffy asked.


 

“He killed muggles and muggleborns. People who murder deserve to die, don’t they?” Gwyn held Scorpius’ eyes with her own, her voice suddenly hesitant and uncertain, and he could see the fear in her eyes.


 

“Did you kill Fitz Rosier?” Guffy asked brusquely.


 

“I didn’t say that. I just deal in quenwood.” She said this firmly.


 

Scorpius ran a hand through his hair with a sigh. He could feel that this was going to be a long, long day. And he couldn’t ignore the very real fear in Gwyn’s eyes which he could tell was not fear of the aurors or Azkaban.


 

“Guffy tell Lily to send Eliza down with a cup of tea and some verisitium.” Scorpius said quietly.


 

As Guffy got up to go to the door and call for Lily Gwyn leapt out of her chair. Scorpius matched her, moving to stand in front of the door, assuming she planned to attempt to escape. Instead Gwyn reached into her cleavage and pulled out a knife.


 

She slid the knife in between her own ribs.



Scorpius reached her before she had even properly hit the floor. He could hear his voice as if from far away instructing Guffy to get Eliza Rivers here now. He pulled the knife out and threw it across the room, already pinching the wound together with his hands, trying to stem the flow of blood. Merlin help him, he refused to have a suicide on his watch. Why couldn’t anything about this case just been nice and simple and straightforward? 


Chapter 14: Tired Hearts.
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“Would anyone care to tell me why in the name of Merlin no one searched her for weapons?” Scorpius asked.


 

His said it quietly, bordering on a whisper. But everyone could hear the steely threat in his voice. Lily almost felt like cowering even though his wrath was not turned on her, but rather on the two aurors that stood in front of her reception desk, hanging their heads like naughty school boys. Henry Branstone and Ed Falk. Scorpius towered over them like a vengeful angel, looking for all the world as though he was about to strike them dead with a lightning bolt or something equally fanciful. Lily reflected that it really was a pity that she and Scorpius had only ever regarded each other as siblings as he really was frightfully attractive.


 

“We did sir, it’s just,” Henry began, clearing his throat uncomfortably. “Well we didn’t think sir, to check there. And we had confiscated her wand sir.” Henry’s face was a rather unflattering shade of mottled red.


 

“Don’t you think that is why she put it there and why you had all the more reason to check there?” Scorpius rebuffed sharply. “Its not like I’m asking you to stick you’re hand down woman’s cleavage, there is a spell for this for Merlin’s sake! All I ask it that you take the security of the freaking auror department seriously and do the spell to everyone who is taking in. She was a murder suspect, surely you should have followed protocol and searched her everywhere!”


 

Scorpius ran his hands through his hair, frustrated, a deep sign torn from his lips. He regarded the two aurors steadily, his eyes calculating, causing Geoffrey and Henry to shift uncomfortably under his gaze.


 

“This will be reported to your superior, Graham Prictard. He will deal with disciplinary actions. For now you will both be taken off security detail. Dismissed.” Scorpius said.


 

Lily couldn’t help but notice that he sounded tired more than angry. Both aurors scampered off, eager to be out of the firing line. Without a word from Scorpius, Lily sent off a brief report to Graham Pritchard informing him of the events and the two aurors names, and sent of a memo to request Hugo and Alistair to fill in temporarily the security detail until the next shift.


 

Lily knew they would grumble about the overtime it would lead to, but they owed her since she had covered for them the last time they had arrived at the auror department late, hung over, and not quite themselves. Plus she could always threaten to tell aunt Hermione about the times she had caught them smoking muggle cigarettes in the shed behind the Burrow.


 

Scorpius sank into the chair next to Lily’s.


 

“Is she all right?” Lily asked quietly as she started sorting through the post in her inbox that had accumulated throughout the day, efficiently sending off letters and reports to their recipients.


 

“Gwyn? She’ll live. Messed up her stomach. Narrowly missed her liver. Plus it helps that Eliza really is the best when it comes to trauma wounds. Even St. Mungo’s best would be hard-pressed to supply better.” Scorpius said quietly. “Apparently she did it so as not to implicate this ‘Clue’ person. As it is she’s succeeded for now. With all the other potions in her system we won’t be able to ply her with verisitium for the next three months. Its supposedly awfully violate when mixed with the majority of medical potions. In fact Eliza scolded me for threatening her with verisitium before checking if she was already on any potions.” He said, grimacing.


 

Lily glanced sideways at him, her lips twisting into a smile. “I can’t possibly imagine Eliza scolding you.  Eliza doesn’t scold people.”


 

Scorpius pulled a face. “Of course she didn’t scold me. Eliza doesn’t scold anyone. She gently reminded me that verisitium should be treated with respect an began to list all the awful things that can happen if mixed with a wide variety of potions, all in that soft gentle tone of voice she has which implies she’s not upset, she’s just reminding you, and that she recommended that I might add it to standard protocol to do a blood test to check for the presence of other potions in the blood stream before considering the use of verisitium.” Scorpius grumbled.


 

“At least it was Eliza.” Lily replied with a smile.


 

Scorpius shook his head. “I’d almost rather it had been Albus, he’d have shouted at me for all of two minutes, scowled at me, grumbled that he should pour a mixture of verisitium and other potions down my throat to teach me a lesson and that would have been the end of that. With Eliza I feel like I disappointed her and I know she’s going to check with Harry that it gets added to standard protocol. If she’s feeling particularly zealous she’ll recommend that a read one of her medical books on the effects of mixing verisitium and other potions and check up once a week on whether or not I’ve read it. No way, I’d prefer Albus any day.”


 

Lily tried valiantly not to laugh at the horror in Scorpius’ expression.


 

“I feel like every time I make some progress on this case, something awful happens Lils.” Scorpius said tiredly, idly fiddling with a quill on the table, frowning pensively.


 

“It’s fine Scorpius.” Lily placated, patting him on the knee. “You specialise in murders. You’ll figure it out.”


 

***


 

To be honest Lucy was surprised that she had received clearance to visit Gwyn. Gwyn was in a medical holding cell down the hall from Eliza and Albus’ offices.


 

“To be honest I’m hoping you can get her to talk about… well anything useful really.” Milly said as she escorted Lucy to the room. “Everything in the room is naturally recorded, and Geoffrey and I will be keeping an eye on you. Not that I think she’ll have the strength to do anything. She’s pretty drugged up on potions.”


 

Milly went through the procedure of unlocking the room with her wand. Lucy had naturally had to hand her wand to the auror security earlier – her cousin Hugo who was apparently standing in extra security shifts. He’d grinned widely at Geoffrey Hooper who had stood uncomfortably behind Lucy, and had winked exaggeratedly at her, having her the story of the failed date his sister had set her up on.


 

Lucy was certain Lily must have blackmailed Hugo and Alistair into the extra security shifts. Lily was the family blackmailer. A title she took a sincere pride in. Lucy honestly felt the sorting hat must have made a mistake in putting Albus in Slytherin and Lily in Gryffindor. Lucy didn’t know how she did it, but somehow Lily was always there to witness when her cousins did something wrong and did not hesitate to occasionally use it to coerce them into doing things her way.


 

The door swung open and Lucy stepped in, jumping slightly as the door loudly shut behind her with a metallic clang. She looked at the door in curiosity, intrigued by the runes embedded in the metal at the top of the door. Perhaps if she had time to study them she could imitate them on her shop. Then again, considering this was a holding cell in the auror department it probably wasn’t as simple as the runes that were visible. In fact now she looked at them, she was sure that there were certain runes around the edges that she knew were only used for hiding deeper runes, so if she wanted to actually know the magic behind it she would have to unpick them layer by layer, and sadly the aurors would notice if she started doing that and then she would definitely never visit someone being held by the auror department ever again.


 

“I thought you had come to see me, but I guess you might have a closer relationship with the door.”


 

Lucy turned around and directed her attention to Gwyn. She studied her carefully. Gwyn’s voice had a sleepy quality to it, slurring her s’s and e’s. A side affect of the potions she supposed. She was wearing an unflattering loose white tunic. Naturally as this was Gwyn she magically succeeded in looking effortlessly stylish in it. Someone, Eliza Lucy supposed, had taken her long blonde hair, swept it away from her face and braided it. Eliza always had the habit of braiding the hair of her patients if it was long enough insisting that it was all round more practical.


 

“Why are you here Gwyn?” Lucy asked quietly, seating herself on a chair at the foot of the bed.


 

Gwyn looked at her funny. “I got arrested.”


 

“No I mean here, in a hospital bed after having stabbed yourself. I never took you for the suicidal sort.” Lucy elucidated.


 

“I don’t think there is any such thing as a suicidal sort.” Gwyn mused. “It’s a cause and event thing. Like war. Soldiers aren’t necessarily the killing sort.”


 

They sat in silence for a moment before Gwyn broke it.


 

“I always thought we were rather similar you and I Lucy. Both a bit on the grey side. I mean, quenwood isn’t that bad really.”


 

Lucy scowled. “I don’t believe in the dealing of illegal drugs.” She hoped that Gwyn wasn’t loopy enough to elucidate of Lucy’s grey dealings while aurors watched and listened.


 

“I know. It’s a pity I suppose. I think we could have been friends you and I.” Gwyn said quietly, looking genuinely bereft.


 

Lucy watched Gwyn quietly as Gwyn fiddled with the hem of the blanket wrapped around her.


 

“And what about Clue?” Lucy asked quietly, locking her eyes with Gwyn’s.


 

“Oh I think you’d like Clue really Lucy. She’s not the killing sort. It’s like war.” Gwyn said, her eyes slightly unfocused, staring at a spot behind Lucy’s head.


 

“We’re not at war Gwyn.”


 

Gwyn’s eyes refocused, settlings on Lucy. “But Lucy, surely you understand. We, so many people, we lost so much in the war.”


 

Lucy looked at Gwyn calculatingly. “What did Clue lose in the war Gwyn?” She asked.


 

“Her heart.” Gwyn replied with a mournful expression.


 

“Her heart?” Lucy pressed.


 

Gwyn shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes.


 

“What did you lose Gwyn?” Lucy tried, but Gwyn turned around and looked at the wall, her lips pressed thinly together.


 

“Why does she use objects from my shop?” Lucy tried again.


 

Regardless of her questions and attempts to further engage Gwyn in conversation, Gwyn remained mute, eyes focused on the wall. Until finally Milly opened the door and Lucy said goodbye to Gwyn.


 

“I’m sorry I couldn’t get anything more useful out of her.” Lucy said quietly accepting her wand back once the door had been securely shut.


 

Milly shrugged, smiling a lopsided half-smile. “You never know. It might be useful later. It’s all rather cryptic and dramatic though. The whole business. I’m going to make sure Pritchard gives both Scorpius us a holiday once we’ve got it solved. At least you and Scorpius have this wedding to go to next week.”


 

Lucy looked up startled. She had rather forgotten all about the Rosier girl’s wedding, the fact that she was Scorpius Malfoy’s date and the plum dress that she had shoved into the back of her closet. She had been rather caught up in the whole murder case after all, cataloguing all her past sold stock, wondering if each one was a potential future murder weapon, and seething about the fact that Malfoy had given her Geoffrey of all people as her bodyguard. It seemed mildly ridiculously to be honest to be going to a wedding in the middle of it all. The wedding of the daughter of one of the murder victims no less.


 

“Yes I suppose we do.” She said faintly, her eyes thoughtful, her face carefully composed and blank.


 

“You got a dress for it?” Milly asked conversationally.


 

“Yes. I bought it on the day of the murder at the Leaky Cauldron.” Lucy said calmly.


 

Milly grinned at her conspiratorially and leaned in as though she were sharing a secret, ignoring Geoffrey who was following them awkwardly at a short distance.


 

“Is it purple? Lily says Scorpius loves you in purple and Lily’s always right about these things.” Milly asked in a hushed whisper.



Lucy couldn’t help rolling her eyes. Maybe she should turn up in a completely different dress. Something not purple. It was really quite ridiculous to turn up in a purple dress just because Scorpius seemed to have some odd infatuation with her in purple. Perhaps she should try to find something orange and see what he made of that. 


Chapter 15: Timely Reminders and Clean Teacups.
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Scorpius raised his eyebrow when he saw Lucy standing outside his office, with Geoffrey standing behind her. Lucy’s face was carefully composed into a calm, pleasant smile. She stood proudly erect, not too stiffly, but still with perfect posture. She was wearing a stylish navy knee-length robe. She looked the picture of calm, pleasant composure and company. However her large brown eyes were on fire and Scorpius knew he was in trouble.


 

 


 

Scorpius couldn’t help but once again compare her to his grandmother Narcissa. If it wasn’t for the trademark Weasley red hair and the fact that she was a bit on the short side, Lucy really would pass for a Malfoy. For a brief moment he tried to imagine her without the shock of riotous red curls and imagine her with pin-straight blonde hair. He quickly shook the image out of his head. A blonde Lucy was unthinkable. And a blonde Lucy wouldn’t look half so good in lilac.


 

 


 

Geoffrey meanwhile looked distinctly uncomfortable. He kept shifting from one foot to the other, crossing and uncrossing his arms and glancing sideways at Lucy with an expression of exasperation and confusion.


 

Scorpius wondered if Lucy drove Geoffrey insane the same way she drove him insane.


 

“Lucy. A pleasure as always. What can I do for you today?” Scorpius asked with a smirk and a wink.


 

He smirk broadened when he noticed the wink cause her careful composure to decline into a frown. The temptation was far too great to wink at her again but he held it back as he opened his office door and held it open for her with a flourish.


 

“I need to speak to you. Alone.” Lucy replied stiffly.


 

Scorpius raised an eyebrow at Geoffrey who rolled his eyes and glanced uncomfortably at Lucy who was studiously ignoring Geoffrey and looking at Scorpius expectantly.


 

“Well I’m sure Geoffrey would love a break. I’ll send you a memo.” Scorpius and Geoffrey grinned. Scorpius didn’t miss the look of relief that flooded his face.


 

Lucy entered his office and Scorpius slid in behind her closing the door. He smirked as Lucy made herself comfortable on his chair, glaring with narrowed eyes at the row of dirty tea cups lined up along his desk from his late night work the evening before.


 

“What in Merlin’s name have you put Geoffrey through?” Scorpius asked in amusement as he turned on the kettle on Milly’s desk, noting that she was out and had left a note on her desk informing him that she was with Guffy going through their past cases of Qwenwood.


 

“Well you see it’s all my cousins fault.” Lucy replied primly, waving her wand at each of his teacups in turn with a rigorous cleaning spell which had them foaming with soap.


 

Scorpius rolled his eyes. The Potter-Granger-Weasley’s were always referring to one of their cousins as such as though they only had one or two not more than a dozen. “Which one?”


 

“Rose. She’s one of your best friends; you know what she’s like. Well she set us up on a date. I think she had some misguided idea that dating someone in law enforcement would be a good influence on me.” Lucy said, glaring at her carpets that were still occupying the corner of the office.


 

Scorpius barked a laugh. Rose and matchmaking was the stuff of legends. He had resisted all her attempts to match him up with her various cousins up till now. She had been particularly insistent on matching him up with Lily or Roxy. Albus had been very against it. And both Lily and Roxy had laughed heartily at Rose’s attempts.


 

“I see.” Scorpius said, picking up the kettle as it whistled and taking two of the now clean teacups off his desk and making tea for himself and Lucy while Lucy in an orderly manner arranged the other teacups in two neat stacks next to the kettle. “Milk or sugar?” He asked.


 

Lucy looked up at him. “Milk, no sugar. So you see that him being my ‘bodyguard’ is quite intolerable for the both of us?”


 

“It’s not like I have a wealth of aurors to pull from. Plus I can’t assign you any of your cousins, they’d let you get away with murder the lot of them. Is that seriously what you wanted to talk to me alone about?” Scorpius asked, passing her a teacup and settling himself against his desk.


 

“No. I wanted to ask about the wedding.” Lucy said, sipping her tea with a grace that recalled his mother and grandmother’s tea parties. He wondered what they would think of Lucy Weasley.


 

It took Scorpius a moment to think of what she meant by wedding, her looking at him expectantly with a shrewd gleam in her eyes that he was sure meant that she knew he had forgotten. When he finally remembered what wedding she meant he groaned. And he realised that his mother and grandmother would indeed be meeting Lucy Weasley at the wedding. As his date.


 

“Rosier and Selwyn’s wedding.” He mumbled.


 

“Yes. The wedding that may I remind you is occurring the day after tomorrow.” Lucy replied putting down her teacup.


 

“It is really?” Scorpius asked vaguely as he started rifling through the stacks of paper on his desk. He was sure he had stuffed the wedding invite in here somewhere.


 

Lucy held it out, shoving it under his nose and he scowled at it. How she had found it in all the mess on his desk he had no clue. She was right either way. Naturally. The day after tomorrow.


 

“Are you picking me up or are we meeting somewhere?” Lucy asked.


 

Scorpius looked at her thoughtfully. “My mother would be tempted to disown me if I didn’t pick you up.” He grumbled.


 

Lucy rolled her eyes at him. “As if she has to know. You're busy with the case, I could meet you here and drop off my ‘bodyguard’. No way am I bringing him to any wedding.”


 

Scorpius hesitated. “It would be more practical that way.”


 

“Excellent. I will see you then.” Lucy said, rising gracefully.


 

“You think you can live with Geoffrey hovering around until then?” Scorpius asked with a grin.


 

Lucy scowled at him. “I suppose. It’s very bad for my business I must inform you. And I’ll be expecting my carpets returned when we get back from the wedding.”


 

Scorpius shot off a memo to Geoffrey to let him know he could pick up Lucy again. “Don’t worry. You’ll have your illegal carpets back.”


 

Lucy smiled and Scorpius strangely enough felt that it was a significant improvement in their relationship that she hadn’t denied the fact that the carpets were illegal this time.


 

Scorpius opened the door to let Lucy out and as soon as she went out Milly slid in.


 

“Milly, my favourite auror partner, such a pleasure!” Scorpius announced with a grin, closing the door behind her.


 

Milly rolled her eyes. “I’m your only auror partner you ninny.”


 

“Well aren’t we lucky then that I like working with you or our lives would be intolerable.”


 

Milly grinned widely. “Nah, I’d just request a transfer and then you’d be stuffed because no one else wants to work with you.”


 

“Not true, everyone adores me.” Scorpius announced with a smirk.


 

They ignored the elephant in the room that was the fact it that had not always been true. Milly had initially become Scorpius’ partner because she was the only one who decided not to be prejudiced against his family name and judge him based solely on his results from auror training. Since then they had stuck together like glue and Scorpius always remembered the fact that it had been Milly who had smiled at him, offered her hand and told him she was excited to be his partner on the day that he had finished his auror training. Most everyone else had had several different partners since then but Scorpius and Milly had stuck together and become the best at what they did. Perhaps now everyone adored Scorpius, but it hadn’t always been that way.


 

“What was Lucy here for?” Milly asked, moving to the kettle to make herself a cup of tea. “Merlin, you actually cleaned all the teacups? I’m impressed.”


 

“As if. Lucy cleaned them.” Scorpius replied, tacking the wedding invite to the board over his desk in order to hopefully help him remember it. He would have to ask his mother if she had organised his dressrobes.


 

“Lucy came in order to clean your teacups?” Milly asked with a grin, rooting through the tin of teabags for her particular favourite, mint and lemon.


 

“No. Side-effect. She came to complain about Geoffrey and remind me about the wedding.”


 

“Complain about Geoffrey? What did he do, he’s a decent auror. I can’t imagine him neglecting his duty.” Milly asked in surprise.


 

Scorpius shook his head. “No, not so much what he did, rather my choice in assigning him. Rose Granger-Weasley once set them up on a blind date.”


 

An expression of horror slid onto Milly’s face. “I see.” She said faintly.


 

She herself had fallen prey to Rose’s blind date attempts when Rose had set her up with first Hugo, then Hugo’s friend Alistair. Both had been disasters. As an apology Rose had then set Milly up on a blind date with one of fiancé’s friend who turned out to in fact be part of a smuggling ring and the date had ended with Milly arresting her date. She had never again agreed to any of Rose Granger-Weasley’s matchmaking schemes.


 

“I suppose it’s a good thing that Rose is in Sweden right now so she doesn’t know about what’s going on between you and Lucy. I’m sure Rose could even ruin a perfectly good match with her skills.” Milly mused, pouring hot water into her teacup and humming happily as she sniffed her tea.


 

Scorpius grimaced. “There is nothing going on between Lucy and I.”


 

“You’re a terrible liar Scorpius.” Milly replied, settling herself into her chair with her teacup. “Anyway, Guffy and I have gone through all our stuff on qwenwood. Several of their past cases can now securely be linked to this Gwyn, if that’s her real name. The problem is that it is pretty clear that she is not the main supplier, but rather the middle man. From some of the past cases, we believe it is an upper-class pureblood who is in fact growing the quenwood here in England. We assume this ‘Clue’ person. The question is who ‘Clue’ is and how we find out. Which is naturally proving difficult.”


 

Scorpius slumped into her chair. “Someone who doesn’t like deatheaters.” He mumbled thoughtfully.


 

Milly rolled her eyes. “That really narrows it down.” She quipped sarcastically. “Not many people would admit to liking them these days.”


 

“Okay, a qwenwood dealer who sells qwenwood to pureblood deatheaters for a couple of years and than spontaneously decides to off a load of them. Not good for business you would think.” Scorpius said running his hands through his hair.


 

Never had he longed quite so much for a nice little boring domestic murder in a fit of jealously scenario.


 

“Not so spontaneously.” Milly reminded him. “These murders are well-planned, the dramatics, the flair and the weapons. Whoever it is must not like Lucy Weasley.”


 

Scorpius stiffened. “Not Lucy Weasley.” He muttered under his breathe?


 

“What?” Milly asked, but Scorpius was already out of his chair, pacing back in forth of his chair.


 

“Not Lucy Weasley. The targets are deatheaters, these are old grudges, grudges from the war before the lot of us were born. Someone with a grudge against Percy Weasley!” Scorpius ranted, gesturing wildly with his hands.


 

Milly looked at him confused. “Percy Weasley? The Ministers secretary?”


 

“Yes, Percy Weasley! It’s kind of shushed up and swept under the carpet but he worked for the ministry during the war. Got swept up in it all, like so many other teenagers.” Scorpius explained. It went unsaid that they both knew that Scorpius’ father was included in the term ‘other teenagers’.


 

“Must be a pretty intense grudge on Percy Weasley.” Milly murmured into her teacup.


 

“It’s a long shot, no proof, but it would at least somewhat explain this madness with all the objects from Lucy’s shop.” Scorpius sighed, flopping back into his chair.


 

As soon as he hit the seat he was up again and striding to the door. “I’m going to go ask Harry for Percy’s file.” He announced waving at Milly who waved back with a tired smile.


 

Scorpius strode confidently to Harry’s office. Surely here there must be some clue. Surely he couldn’t continue like this grasping at straws and finding only dead ends and circular evidence. Somewhere there had to be the evidence that would lead to ‘Clue’ and the murderer and the end of this qwenwood business.


Chapter 16: The Story of Percy Ignatius Weasley.
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Scorpius ran a hand tiredly through his hair, shuffling through the papers in front of him. He wished he had been able to convince Lily to help him sort through all of Percy Weasley’s file. Lily had a gift for spotting patterns that he had never been able to emulate. However Lily had declined informing him that she had no desire whatsoever to go snooping through her uncles was file.


 

“I don’t want to think differently of him.” She had said quietly with a mildly sad expression on her face. “It’s different than if it was Uncle George or Uncle Bill’s file. But Uncle Percy, we all know that whatever he did during the war wasn’t anything he was proud of. We all know he’s spent the rest of his life attempting to make up for it.”


 

Harry Potter had reacted much the same when he had given the file to Scorpius.


 

“I only want to know anything that relates directly to the case. Anything else is Percy’s own business.” He had said with solemn eyes.


 

Scorpius had nodded quietly and retreated to his office with the file alone. He wondered if Lucy cared what was in her father’s file or if she like the Potter’s felt that her father had atoned for whatever sins he had committed during the war and that it was his business.


 

Scorpius himself had looked at all his family’s files years ago when he had first gained access to the ministry criminal records and war files. He had taken a day off and booked out a private meeting room and read through every one. His mothers had been blessedly empty, only a passing mention in her war file that she and her sister had been sent to stay with their cousin in France during the last two years of the war. His father’s records and files had been less disturbing than he had expected, having expected the worst. His grandfather’s files had been traumatic and he hadn’t gone to Azkaban to visit him that year, informing his father that he was entirely unable to get any time off work. They had both known it was a lie but they had let it slide that year.


 

Percy Ignatius Weasley’s war file was… difficult. It almost seemed as if every act contradicted itself. He had been promoted to Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic by Cornelius Fudge. Records between Cornelius Fudge and others among the ministry suggested that he had done so in the hopes of using Percy to spy on Albus Dumbedore and the Order of the Phoenix. At the height of the war Percy had reported directly to Doleres Umbridge, the senior undersecretary to the Minister of Magic. When she was reassigned as head of the Muggle-Born Registration Committee Percy had taken over many of her former duties as senior undersecretary. Over the next year Percy Weasley had led an awkward balancing act between pretending loyalty to the ministry and subtly assisting the Order of the Phoenix.


 

His records demonstrated that Percy Weasley had had a hand in editing several family trees to imply several muggleborns had wizarding relatives, many of which had been given obscure fake connections to the Weasley family which Doleres Umbridge had been unable to disprove. He had also been involved in the destruction of several ministry documents relating to the possible whereabouts and movements of Harry Potter and several key members of the Order of the Phoenix.


 

Naturally there were also war crimes on the list. Most disturbing was his role in the death of Ted Tonks and eleven others after revealing the whereabouts of three of the Order’s safe-houses. In is trail Percy had insisted that he had believed these safe-houses to be out of use, a belief confirmed by members of the Order who reported that when Percy had joined the ministry the safe-houses had indeed been out of use and ad only been reused due to the high demand for safe-houses. Percy had revealed the locations in order to cement his position within the ministry at a point where rumours had suggested that Minister Thicknesse was uncertain of his loyalty and had found him easily disposable.


 

Percy had been in infrequent contact with the Order through Aberforth Dumbledore and it was through Aberforth that Percy knew of the battle of Hogwarts and came, fighting on the side of the Order. During the battle Percy was personally responsible for the deaths of three deatheaters, Agustus Rookwood, Pius Thicknesse and Abigail Gibbon.


 

Following the war Percy’s knowledge of ministry employees was key in determining who aligned with the deatheaters because of threats or were under the imperius curse, and who truly sympathised with the deatheaters cause.


 

Scorpius stared at the list of twelve people that had died in the safe-houses. He wondered if he could get Lily to look into who the living relatives of these people were without linking it to Percy Weasley. He copied the list and sent it to Wesley, their other secretary, instead.


 

Putting the file to one side Scorpius sighed. He wondered if Lucy knew anything about her father’s experiences of the war or if like Draco Malfoy it was never to be mentioned in their home or among polite circles. Wondered if anyone had ever sneered at her for her father’s involvement in the war or if that was reserved for the children of confirmed deatheaters such as himself.


 

His conclusion was that he really did spend too much time wondering about Lucy Holly Weasley.


 

***


 

Lucy had assigned Geoffrey the task of watering her plants. This had two main benefits. One she didn’t have to do it. Two, the both of them could breathe a sigh of relief for ten minutes without one another’s company and Lucy could make herself a cup of tea while he listened to the quidditch results on the radio.


 

It was Molly’s day off and Lucy had convinced her to come spend the day with her. Despite the fact that Lucy genuinely did enjoy spending time with Molly, she had the ulterior motive of getting Molly to remove some runic curses from a chess set she had bought in. Molly had grumbled good-naturedly about it, but gotten stuck in.


 

“Mack Perry asked me out on a date.” Molly announced airily.


 

Lucy snorted loudly looking up from the finances she was working on. “Surely not.”


 

“I said yes.” Molly replied with a grin.


 

“Why in the name of Merlin would you do such a thing?” Lucy asked with a laugh.


 

“Because he’s a perfectly decent boy who is my age, has nice hair, works as a cursebreaker so we have plenty to talk about. He’s nice.” Molly summarised.


 

“He’s too nice.” Lucy insisted.


 

“Oh is that why you have a thing for Scorpius?”


 

“I do not have a thing for Malfoy.” Lucy said.


 

“I’m your older sister, don’t bother lying to me. I always know best.” Molly replied with a grin.


 

Lucy scowled at her and continued with the neat organisation of her finances. She would have to bear in mind that fine she had had to pay for the goblin silver incident for next month’s purchases.


 

“Plus I don’t mind them too nice.” Molly continued.


 

“You and Mack together would be a disaster. You would both be far too nice to each other and never get anything done.”


 

Molly rolled her eyes at Lucy. “You’re exaggerating. Care to tell me yet why you have an assigned bodyguard from the auror department?”


 

“I like his company?” Lucy attempted.


 

Molly looked at her and they both burst out laughing. It was clear to anyone with eyes that Geoffrey and Lucy did not particularly enjoy one another’s company.


 

“You know I thought Rose was an idiot for setting you up with an auror, but maybe she just had the wrong auror for you.” Molly said as she finally triumphantly lifted the last curse off the chess set, watching the last rune glimmer and go dull.


 

“He got me licenses for my plants and to sell goblin silver.” Lucy said quietly.


 

Molly raised an eyebrow. “So now you just need him to get you licenses for the crystal balls, the carpets, the cursed brooches…”


 

“Shush, auror upstairs, remember? Plus I don’t need a license to sell cursed brooches. The brooches are perfectly legal.”


 

“Thank Merlin something in your shop is. Can I buy one?” Molly asked leaning over the counter and looking at Lucy’s display of brooches.


 

“Who are you planning on cursing?” Lucy aske curiously. Cursing anyone was rather out of character for her placid sweet older sister whose only real fault was a tendency to sarcasm which typically went over peoples head anyway because they always expected her to be flawlessly pleasant. She found it amusing just how often Molly’s round-about insults went over her cousin’s heads just because they didn’t expect Molly to say anything even remotely unkind.


 

Molly smiled. “No one, I just think they’re pretty and I want a nice one for my cloak. I can remove the curses myself.”


 

“The blue one belonged to an Egyptian cursebreaker from the 1700’s and has a load of funky curses. I can’t quite figure them all out, but you should have fun with it.” Lucy said absentmindedly as she picked up her competed finances and placed them back in their binder under the counter.


 

Molly was studying it cautiously as Geoffrey came downstairs and settled himself on the chair behind the counter that he had claimed as his own.


 

Personally Lucy believed that this whole business of her dating aurors was ridiculous. Aurors made life boring. Or maybe that was just Geoffrey. Uncle Harry, Uncle Ron and Hugo were hardly boring. And she supposed her brother Arthur wasn’t a lost cause.


 

She yelped as a loud crash sounded behind her. Whirling around she caught Geoffrey looking at her sheepishly a mess of glass at his feet, swirling purple fumes rising gradually from the spilled liquid on the floor.


 

“For the love of Merlin, hold your breath Geoffrey!” Lucy yelped, whipping out her wand and hastily cleaning up the mess.


 

The liquid was a lost cause but her immediate worry was Geoffrey who’s sheepish smile was sliding into a lopsided goofy grin.


 

“What that potion legal?” Molly asked cautiously, watching Geoffrey as though he were a particularly interesting specimen under a microscope.


 

Lucy glared at her. “Yes. It was only half-done though and at the middle stages the fumes can tend to make people a bit loopy and well…”


 

Geoffrey dropped and Molly quickly caught him with a cushioning charm.


 

“… Makes them sleepy.” Lucy finished, scowling at Geoffrey’s limp form.


 

Clearly having aurors around wasn’t quite as boring as it was supposed to be. The bell over the entrance from Knockturn Alley rang loudly and Lucy looked up to see a short witch peering at her behind thick-rimmed glasses.


 

“Um, while he’s out, could I purchase one of your Romanian crystal balls?” She asked timidly.


 

Lucy smiled brightly. “Most certainly he should be out for about fifteen minutes, which would you like?” She knew his presence had been bad for business!


 

Molly shook her head as the short witch happily left the shop clutching a paper bag with her crystal ball.


 

“It’s a good thing that dad always warns you before visiting your shop.” Molly mused with a smile.


 

Lucy smiled softly back. Molly’s career as a cursebreaker had always been a sore point with their father who had expected Molly to rise within the ministry. Percy only saw Lucy’s career as marginally better because at least it was a ‘business’. And then of course because when he visited her shop was the poster girl of respectability.


 

Lucy glanced down at Geoffrey. “Perhaps I should call Albus. He’s an auror healer after all.”


 

“What in Merlin’s name have you done to Geoffrey?”


 

Lucy looked up in surprise. Scorpius was standing in the doorway, his wand directed at the bell which he had succeeded in freezing before it had warned her.


 

“He smashed a half-finished potion.” Molly said with a pleasant smile at Scorpius.


 

“Was it legal?” Scorpius asked.


 

Lucy resisted the urge to stomp like a toddler with a tantrum. “Yes it was.” She replied frostily.


 

Scorpius sent off a quick owl to Albus to request his presence in Lucy’s shop before turning to Lucy and Molly.


 

“I actually have a few questions. For both of you. Can you close up the shop?”


 

Lucy nodded, not bothering to say out loud her grumblings about this whole case being absolute murder on her business. She turned the signs to ‘closed’ on both doors and activated the alarms, keying them in to let in Albus.


 

“Tea?” Molly asked cheerfully and Scorpius shot her a grateful smile.


 

“What do you know of your father’s involvement in the war?” Scorpius asked carefully.


 

Both Lucy and Molly stiffened, eyes darting to one another.


 

“Not much.” Molly replied softly. “We never talked about the war at home. And nobody talks about the war in front of dad at The Burrow. We know he worked in the ministry. We know that he was in the battle at Hogwarts fighting on the side of the Order. That’s all we know.” She turned around handing him a cup of tea.


 

Scorpius noted that both Molly and Lucy had the same neatness and tidiness. They orbited around each other with a practised ease, soft smiles and witty words.


 

“I see.” He said quietly. Lucy regarded him steadily. He sipped his tea and cleared his throat.


 

“I have a vague theory that whoever is using the objects from Lucy’s shop for these murders is doing it as a subtle revenge on your father.” He mused thoughtfully.


 

He caught the sharp glance that Molly shot Lucy and stiffened. Ah. He had merely assumed that Lucy had told Molly about all of this because they were sisters and Albus and Lily knew. He supposed that at least it was good to know that all the auror departments business wasn’t known by the whole Potter-Granger-Weasley clan.


 

“Have you informed our father?” Molly asked quietly.


 

“No. There is as of yet no direct threat to him or any of you. It’s like an obscure side-plot to the main line of the case. I thought I would raise it in case either of you thought of anything relevant.” Scorpius said.


 

Molly laughed softly. “No. Everyone is very careful to never discuss our father’s involvement in the war in front of us. It’s as though he wasn’t there at all.”


 

Scorpius nodded and drank the rest of his tea as Albus arrived, looking out of the window thoughtfully until Albus tapped him on the shoulder.


 

“Wesley said to let you know he put his research for you on your desk.” Albus said with a grin.



Scorpius nodded and winking at Lucy, who glared at him, headed back to the auror department to try to pull together the awkward and distracting leads he had on this investigation.


Chapter 17: Files and an Overdose of Tea.
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Scorpius thought he was going to die. Of an overdose of tea. His grandmother had cordially invited him over for tea, and there really was no denying Narcissa Malfoy. Partly because he had to admit he had always adored and admired his grandmother. But mostly because she could be terribly intimidating. It had been his grandmother who had ensured he had attended Hogwarts when his father had considered sending him to Durmstrang. It had been her that had taken him to get his first wand at Ollivanders. And it had been her who had wholeheartedly supported his career in the auror department.


 

However tea with his grandmother when she was quizzing him about his date to Rosier and Selwyn’s wedding was torture. After two cups of tea she had wrung it out of him that it was a Weasley girl, and after two more cups of tea she had discovered that it was Percy Weasley’s youngest daughter. Scorpius was wondering if she had put verisitium in the tea as he had not intended to divulge either fact. But Narcissa had always been able to draw information out of him no matter how unwillingly.


 

It could also have been that he was awfully distracted. In his head he was turning over again and again the list of names that Wesley had placed on his desk of the living relatives of the twelve people whose deaths Percy Weasley had inadvertently caused. Wesley had narrowed it down to only close relatives, nothing beyond grandparents or first cousins. At it was the list was plenty long enough.


 

Ted Tonks: wife Andromeda Tonks, grandson Teddy Lupin, Sister-in-law Narcissa Malfoy.


 

Scorpius hadn’t even thought about Ted Tonks as being related to himself. It made him think about the woman sitting in front of him.


 

“Grandmother, did you know Ted Tonks?”


 

Narcissa raised an eyebrow, her face a carefully collected mask that made him think of Lucy.


 

“We went to the same school.” She said evenly.


 

“But did you know him?”


 

“I knew of him. He was head boy. I was several years younger you know.”


 

“Did you go to their wedding?”


 

Narcissa regarded Scorpius calmly.


 

“No. No one did. They eloped. There wasn’t a single person they knew or loved at their wedding. Except the other and that was enough for them. Andromeda was a very firm believer in love.”


 

She poured him another cup of tea and Scorpius sipped it slowly, having had quite enough tea already.


 

“Did you love Lucius?” He finally asked quietly, not quite daring to meet his grandmother’s eyes as he asked.


 

The silence hung heavy over them for a long moment. Broken only by the sound of porcelain against porcelain as Narcissa placed her teacup on its saucer.


 

“He was engaged to Andromeda you know.” She finally said softly and Scorpius looked up at her in surprise. She was staring at the roses that lined the flowerbeds, a faraway look in her eyes. “That was when she eloped. And my parents had promised the Malfoy’s a daughter. Bella was already married. And so there was me.” She looked at Scorpius with a soft sad smile.


 

“I never forgave her for that. Funnily enough I don’t think she ever forgave me for it either. In her eyes I had cast my lot in with the deatheaters and placed my heart with them instead of with her. At the time it never crossed my mind that I could have gone to her. I suppose we both played our parts in the war. And we played them well.” She reached over and placed a hand on Scorpius’ knee. “At least we both got wonderful grandson’s in our lot.”


 

She poured herself another cup of tea. “Now Scorpius, you really must tell me more about Lucy Weasley. And I must invite her over for tea.”


 

Scorpius went back to mulling over the list in his head while sipping tea and absentmindedly feeding his grandmother information about Lucy.


 

Yellin Fitz: No living relatives.


 

Abigail Fitz: No living relatives.


 

Jonathan Fitz: No living relatives.


 

An entire little family unit, wiped out by deatheathers. And no one left to mourn them.


 

Andrew Seacole: Unknown. Believed to be a fake name, real name unknown.


 

Scorpius filed it away to look into further if necessary. There were many who had taken fake names under the war in an attempt to protect themselves or other relatives. Apparently hadn’t worked for Andrew.


 

Lee Jordan: Mother Elizabeth Jordan, Father Robert Jordan, Aunt Mary Price, Cousin Emelia Price, Cousin August Price.


 

A boy who had been younger than Scorpius was now. Parents had moved to Jamaica after the war where his mother’s family, the Price’s lived.


 

Helen Steers: Brother John Steers (muggle), Sister-in-law Amelia Steers (muggle), Niece Helen Steers (muggle), Niece Melanie Steers (muggle).


 

Abram Steers: Brother John Steers (muggle), Sister-in-law Amelia Steers (muggle), Niece Helen Steers (muggle), Niece Melanie Steers (muggle).


 

Muggle-born brother and sister who’s only living relative was their muggle brother who now lived in Spain with his wife and two daughters.


 

Lawrence Hamlyn: Sister, Medora Rosier, Niece Circe Rosier, Niece Desiree Rosier.


 

The Rosier’s. That had made Scorpius pause. He had been unaware that Mrs Rosier had had a brother that had died in the war. He made a note in his mind to look into her family history.


 

“Scorpius I am under the distinct impression that your thoughts are elsewhere.” Narcissa’s voice came accusingly, breaking through his thoughts.


 

“My sincerest apologise grandmother.” Scorpius replied with a smirk putting down his teacup and hoping she wouldn’t feel the need to refill it once more.


 

Narcissa sniffed, eyeing the teacup thoughtfully as though deciding whether or not her grandson had had enough tea yet.


 

“You’re about as sincere as a dragon apologising for breathing fire.” She replied sharply, her words softened by her smile.


 

“What do you know about Medora Rosier?” Scorpius asked.


 

“I almost feel as though the auror department should be paying me consultancy fee’s.”


 

“But I’m asking merely as your adoring grandson.”


 

“You’re a liar, I thought I had taught you better. Medora married Fitz during the war, both of them straight out of Hogwarts. Far too young in my opinion. He sent her to France to keep her out of the hands of the Muggle-Born Registration Committee. There were rumours that her mother had muggle origins. The rumours were never confirmed and are not spoken of in polite company. Many purebloods sent relatives to the continent during the war you know. Like your mother and her sister. I wish we could have sent Draco, but… well Lucius wouldn’t hear of it. And I suppose it would have disrupted his education.”


 

Neither of them mentioned that Draco’s education had been plenty disrupted at Hogwarts and his education would probably have benefitted a great deal from being disrupted in such a manner.


 

“She had a brother?” Scorpius asked.


 

Narcissa nodded jerkily. “Yes. Lawrence. Much older than her. Twelve years older I believe. From her mothers first marriage. Very bright. Became an unspeakable I believe. I understand he had a particular interest in wand lore and during the war The Dark Lord had an interest in anyone with knowledge of wand lore. Medora at one point wanted to become an unspeakable also. Had a particular interest in the usage and control of fire. But her father didn’t support the idea and married her off instead.”


 

Scorpius nodded thoughtfully, hyper-aware that she avoided the subject that she only knew so because Ollivander the Wandmaker had occupied her dungeon because of Voldemort’s interest in wand lore. One of the many things his family had never mentioned. One of the things that Harry had patiently explained to him.


 

“Lawrence died in the war.” Scorpius said quietly.


 

“Yes. Many people did.” She whispered, picking up the teapot.


 

She filled his teacup and Scorpius stifled a groan.


 

“Now, cheerful things Scorpius. Remember the wedding tomorrow. Your mother has had your dress-robes sent to your office at the auror department.” She reminded him firmly.


 

***


 

“Lily I need a specific case file. Deatheater attack of Order Safe-houses in Wales on the March 22nd 1998.” Scorpius said, leaning against her desk.


 

Lily quickly and efficiently flicked through the archives behind her and handed him the file with a smile.


 

“You’ll get this case sorted out soon enough Scorpius. You’re scowling like Albus in the morgue.” She said touching his hand gently.


 

Scorpius attempted to turn his scowl into a grin and managed a grimace.


 

“Thanks LilyPea.” He said ruffling her hair, her batting away his hand, before walking towards his office, flicking through the file.


 

There it was. The list of twelve names that had been floating around his head all of yesterday. And there was the list of deatheaters who had been involved in the raid. Fitz Rosier, Walden Macnair, Michael Maynard and Siegfred Warrington. Four of the six victims. Scorpius cursed loudly.


 

“You should watch your language.”


 

Scorpius looked up almost bumping into Lucy who was standing outside his office. He smiled at her. She was wearing purple. A soft, warm plum purple that somehow succeeded in making his heart do funny things. And heels. Really tall heels. Lucy in heels made his head spin.


 

“You look beautiful.” He said softly.


 

Lucy looked up at him, startled. Then narrowed her eyes threateningly at him. “What’s the catch?”


 

“There isn’t one, damn, can’t I compliment you without there being a catch?” He asked, holding his hands up in surrender.


 

“I don’t know, can you?”


 

“No catch. Promise.”


 

She looked him up and down. “You do remember we are attending a wedding today?” She asked calmly, her eyebrow raised.


 

Scorpius cursed loudly again, flung open his office door and ushered her in.


 

“When do we need to be there?” He asked distractedly, dropping the file onto his desk and writing a quick memo to Milly that he needed her urgently, the memo whizzing off along the ceiling to find her.


 

“In two hours. I figured I’d get here early in case you had forgotten.” She said, settling herself in his chair as though she owned it.


 

“Thank Merlin, I could kiss you right now Lucy Weasley.” He announced, hastily flicking through his files, attempting to find the file with the interviews he had conducted with the Rosier’s. Surely there must have been something he had missed. It all kept coming back to the Rosier’s. He completely missed the way that Lucy stiffened when he mentioned kissing her.


 

“Maybe you should.” Lucy muttered to herself, quietly enough that he couldn’t hear. “What are you looking for?” She asked instead at a normal volume, noting how flustered he appeared.


 

“A folder titled ‘Interviews Case 67.’” He said absentmindedly.


 

Quietly Lucy flicked through the stack to her left and slid out the red folder, handing it to him with a raised eyebrow. Scorpius couldn’t help smirking at her and genuinely thinking about kissing her. He would have if he didn’t think she would slap him for it.


 

Milly barrelled into the office, clutching the memo he had sent her. He pointed at the folder he had dropped on her desk, flicking through the interview folder to find the interviews with the Rosier’s, scanning through what they had said.


 

Circe Rosier: “You should ask mother. She knows plants. Adores her roses.”


 

Medora Rosier: “It is a drug. My husband indulged in it…. 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 shut the folder with a frustrated sigh, peeling off his robe so he wore only his shirt and trousers, finding the package of dress robes his mother had picked out under his desk and shrugging them on. Medora Rosier knew what Quenwood was. Circe had said she had a particular interest in plants. But there was nothing to suggest that Medora Rosier in fact dealt in Quenwood. Albus had tested her and both girls and all of them came up negative for quenwood. She had said her friend had told her about it. Perhaps Siegfred Warrington’s wife, he understood that the two were friends, he had seen them together enough at his grandmother’s tea parties, and Siegfred Warrington had been Fitz’s supplier of Quenwood. Not enough evidence, not enough information, it was all so frustrating with this case. Not enough of anything. And now he had to go to this wedding.


 

Scorpius fidgeted in his dress robes. Lucy grinned at him and adjusted the left lapel.


 

“It’ll be fine.” She said softly and Scorpius couldn’t help but compare her voice to the soft warm plum of her dress. “I’ll wait with Lily until your ready.” She said and exited the office. Scorpius looked after her with a grin. His grandmother was going to love that girl.


 

Milly cleared her throat and Scorpius turned to her a smirk. “There is a link between this deatheater attack, four of the victims and the Rosier family.” He announced.


 

“And what exactly do you think that might mean?” Milly asked.


 

“I think Medora Rosier might know who Clue is.”


 

Milly barked a laugh. “And you’re on your way to her daughters wedding.”


 

Scorpius scowled. “Yeah not ideal. Can you attempt to quiz Gwyn?”


 

Milly nodded making notes in her case book, glancing at the Cluedo game set out between their desks.


 

“Is Siegfred Warrington going to be at the wedding?” She asked, tracing the outline of the study on the Cluedo board.


 

Scorpius grabbed a memo scrawling the question on it and sending it to Ryan. “We’ll hopefully know in a moment.”


 

They waited, Milly quietly shifting around the characters on the board. Mrs. Peacock in the ballroom with the dagger. Professor Plum in the kitchen with the candlestick. Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the rope. Mrs. White in the Library with the revolver. Reverend Green in the dining room with the spanner. Carefully she held Colonel Mustard and the lead pipe in her hand, studying the board in front of her with a frown.


 

A memo from Ryan came back and Milly opened it quickly, read it and passed it to Scorpius with a frown.


 

“He’s walking the bride down the freaking aisle because he’s her Godfather. Duffy is shadowing him.” She said briskly.


 

Scorpius scanned the memo before tossing it on his desk.


 

“Well at least no one is going to be able to force tea down his throat. Standing in as the father of the bride he’ll be surrounded all day. I vote we assign Ryan to shadow him at the wedding as well thought. Maybe Geoffrey for good measure, they can both go in with invisibility cloaks.”


 

Milly grinned. “It’ll probably be a frightfully boring wedding and we’ll be fretting all for nothing.”


 

Scorpius grinned back at her. In his opinion all weddings were boring. Especially the traditional pureblood weddings like this one.



He picked up Colonel Mustard and pocketed him in his dress robes. For good luck. And because he didn’t believe in coincidences. 


Chapter 18: Weddings and Grandmothers
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Lucy didn’t think of herself as inexperienced in the wedding department. She remembered with startling clarity the first wedding she had ever attended, the wedding of her uncle Charlie. She had been ten and it had all been terribly exciting, wearing a fancy dress and all, being a flower-girl and feeling very big, informing all her cousins that after the summer she would be attending Hogwarts with them all.


 

Than there had been Teddy and Vicky’s wedding which had been a massive affair. And Dominique’s wedding which had purposefully been family only. And then Hugo’s wedding which had been somewhere in the middle size-wise. And she had attended both Kelsey Switch and Emily Cattermole’s weddings, both of whom had been her dorm-mates at Hogwarts.


 

None of the weddings she had attended had been quite as grand and dramatic as this one. She concluded that the Rosier’s must like a bit of dramatic flair. It was held in what Scorpius informed her was the grand hall of the Rosier manor. He also informed her that half its grandeur was an illusion created by the mirrors lining either side of the room. The place was draped in large floral arrangements that made Lucy was to sneeze just for dramatic effect. She restrained herself out of politeness. 


 

And possibly also because she thought Narcissa, Astoria and Draco Malfoy who were sat poised on Scorpius other side might not approve of dramatic sneezing at weddings.


 

Scorpius was obviously distracted and kept turning over something small in his hands. Without thinking, Lucy grabbed his hand and opened it. In the palm of his hand lay one of the pieces of the Cluedo game from his office. Colonel Mustard.


 

Lucy looked up at him and raised an eyebrow. Scorpius shrugged, smirked and pocketed the little figure. He then laced his hand with Lucy’s and her eyebrow rose even higher. His smirk if deepened and he shrugged again, turning to face forward.


 

Lucy decided that holding Scorpius’ hand felt nice, even if slightly odd, and that she would refrain from analysing it further. For now. She might have to talk about it with Lily or Molly later. Or decide to pretend it never happened.


 

Right now she was far more curious about why on earth Scorpius had brought along Colonel Mustard. Maybe that was why he was holding to hand. Trying to distract her. Well it just wouldn’t work. Lucy Holly Weasley wasn’t as easily distracted as all that.


 

The wedding march began playing and Lucy sighed quietly, deciding that prodding Scorpius for details in the middle of a wedding was perhaps not entirely appropriate.


 

Desiree Rosier descended down the aisle on the arm of Siegfried Warrington. Lucy noted that Scorpius quietly took the figure of Colonel Mustard back out of his pocket, couching it his other hand, almost though through some obscure voodoo trick he could keep Warrington safe and whole. His eyes were focused on Warrington.


 

Lucy studied Scorpius’ profile out of the corner of her eye. His jar was tensed. His eyes focused. She noticed his eyes looked tired. With his pale complexion the skin around his eyes looked faintly bruised, dark and purple. She realised this case must have meant several nights for both him and Milly. 


 

Instinctively she squeezed his hand and he turned his eyes to look at her, raising one eyebrow and flashing her his trademark Malfoy smirk. Even his smirk looked tired though and Lucy simply smiled softly at him.


 

Lucy turned her head to face the front and pretended to be listening to the marriage ceremony. Weren’t they all the same anyway? Promising eternal love, fidelity, loyalty, promises, promises, promises. Lucy wondered if she could ever make such promises. She smiled softly as she thought of her mother and father. They had made such promises to one another and despite whatever faults either of them had they had been faultlessly loyal. Loyal to each other, loyal to their children, loyal to their family. She knew it hadn’t always been so with her father and his family and that was why that loyalty meant all the more to him.


 

Lucy could imagine herself promising complete loyalty to someone.


 

She felt the prickling of someones stare and glanced at Scorpius, but he was again in his own thoughts, eyes staring blankly ahead with a small frown, fiddling with the clued piece in his pocket.


 

Glancing past Scorpius her gaze connected with the gaze of Narcissa Malfoy’s gray eyes. Narcissa raised a finely sculpted eyebrow at her and Lucy widened her eyes innocently before once more facing the front.


 

The ceremony finished, Desiree gliding down the aisle on the arm of Florentius Selwyn. Everyone filed into the banquet hall, Scorpius’ hand still laced with Lucy’s. Before she knew it Narcissa Malfoy was already standing at her elbow, handing her a tall flute of champagne.


 

“Miss Weasley, what a pleasure. It’s been a while.” Narcissa purred.


 

Scorpius narrowed his eyes at his grandmother attempting to figure out what on earth she was up to.


 

“Scorpius, you’re mother wanted to introduce you to one of your fathers colleagues. I ensure you I can entertain Miss Weasley for the moment. Have you received anything recently of interest in your stock Miss Weasley?” Narcissa continued smiling at the both of them.


 

Scorpius regarded the both of them carefully. His grandmother had clearly dismissed him. Clearly had ulterior motives with ‘entertaining’ Lucy. He knew ‘entertaining’ was his grandmothers not-so-secret code for cross-examining. If it had been any other girl he would have been terrified to leave them at his grandmothers mercy. But Lucy was different. He studied her face carefully and she beamed a smile at him before turning her attention to his grandmother, matching her elegance and composure easily. The smile looked practically feral.


 

“Mrs. Malfoy, such a pleasure. I recently acquired an exquisite example of Romano-British sculpture that I’m sure you would like. It is an early example of the Latin influence on magic in Britain, it is inscribed with both Ogham and Latin script. Perhaps you would like to come in and see it, I’m having trouble with tracking down some of its past owners and I understand from some of my other customers that you are somewhat of an expert on the area.” Lucy replied.


 

Scorpius stood rooted to the spot regarding them both warily. In tandem they both turned to him looking at him expectantly.


 

“Your mother Scorpius.” Lucy reminded him.


 

Scorpius shook himself out of his stupor and smirked. He reached over and brushed his lips across Lucy’s mouth softly before pulling his hand out of hers and loping gracefully over to where his mother and father stood. He glanced back and her and was satisfied to see Lucy’s mouth wide open as she gaped after him. He winked and her mouth snapped shut, her eyes narrowing at him. Oh how he loved when he could make her lose her composure.


 

Lucy carefully composed her face and turned back to Narcissa as if nothing out of sorts had occurred. She forced her face into a mask of a cold calm facade as Narcissa watched her carefully with calculating eyes.


 

“What are you doing with my grandson?” Narcissa asked firmly.


 

Lucy sipped her champagne carefully asking herself the same thing, stalling to formulate an answer.


 

“Attempting to reacquire my carpets which he has apprehended.” Lucy replied calmly.


 

“Scorpius has your carpets?” Narcissa frowned.


 

Lucy nodded sharply. Narcissa herself had sold those carpets to her.


 

“They have made themselves quite comfortable in a corner of his office. However he has ensured me their safe return should I attend this wedding as his date.”


 

Narcissa looked at her shrewdly.


 

“Miss Lucy Weasley, I can assure you that my grandson would not typically bend the rules for anyone. Including returning illegal carpets.” She smirked leaning in closer. “And he doesn’t kiss just any girl in front of his poor frail grandmother either. I believe its quite clear where my grandson stands. If I were you Miss Weasley I would figure out where exactly you stand.”


 

Lucy regarded Narcissa Malfoy coldly. “Mrs Malfoy, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Your grandson had no interest in me apart from my connection with his current case in the auror department, my specialism in antiques and an apparent pleasure in attempting to fluster me.”


 

Lucy wasn’t quite sure if she believed her explanation herself but it was the only explanation that made sense to her.


 

Narcissa laughed. “Oh I can see he flusters you dear. He flusters you a great deal. And I believe you’ve succeeded in flustering him too.”


 

***


 

Scorpius had hurried his mothers introduction to one of his fathers colleagues. A college who he discovered had an eligible single daughter who worked with the French Ministry of Magic. He had hastily shook him and his mother off and hidden in the shadows by one of the windows.


 

He grimaced as he watched Seigfreid Warrington. He wasn’t feeling good about all this somehow. He pulled the figure of Colonel Mustard out of his pocket again, studying it with a frown.


 

“You okay Scorpius?”


 

Scorpius looked up with a hollow smile at Circe as she slid into the seat next to his.


 

“Yeah. How’s Desiree? Happy?” He asked.


 

Circe nodded enthusiastically. “Yes. I’m just glad the weddings finally here to be honest. Its been hard lately without father and well, you know.”¨


 

Scorpius nodded thoughtfully.


 

“Taken up playing Cluedo?” Circe said, indicating the figure of Colonel Mustard in his hand.


 

Scorpius stared at her with eyes wide in surprise.


 

“What did you say?”


 

“Colonel Mustard. It’s a Cluedo piece. It’s a muggle game.”


 

“I know it’s a muggle game. How do you know?”


 

Circe shrugged self-consciously. “Mother always loved playing Cluedo with us when we were little. Her mother was muggleborn you see. Mother said her grandfather taught her brother and her to play and she played it with her brother when she was little. She always said they should make a wizarding version of it. Who taught you?”


 

“My auror partner, she’s muggleborn. Milly Brandon, she was a Gryffindor in the year above us.” Scorpius said faintly, his brain feeling like it was running a mile a minute.


 

He stiffened as someone touched his elbow and turned to see Lucy watching him warily with those large brown doe eyes that made his heart do funny stupid things.


 

“Lucy, nice to see you.” Circe said politely.


 

“Same. Its a lovely wedding. I love your dress.” Lucy replied politely, though her eyes were focused on Scorpius.


 

“Thank you. I believe we’re forming a greeting line, see you in a bit.” Circe said with a smile and a wave, making her way over to her mother and sister.


 

“You alright?” Lucy asked quietly.


 

“Let me introduce you to Mrs. Rosier.” Scorpius said, taking Lucy’s arm.


 

Lucy noted how he stepped neatly around the question as he pulled her across the floor to the greeting line.


 

“Mrs. Rosier, may I introduce Lucy Weasley.” Scorpius announced with a smile.


 

Lucy smiled softly at Medora Rosier and reached out to shake her hand. Her smile froze. 


 

Medora Rosier had nondescript pale, almost translucent, white hands. Well kept trimmed nails, soft palms, no calluses. Like the shapeless figure who had attacked her shop. Like the shapeless figure who had dumped the body in the Leaky Cauldron.


 

Mechanically she heard her voice thank Medora Rosier for allowing her to attend the wedding, commenting on how lovely the colour scheme was and how beautiful the flowers were, asking where she had ordered the flowers from. She always wanted to laugh at how natural, innocent and bubbly she sounded. 


 

Subtly she regarded Medora Rosier carefully. She was an average sized woman of medium height. dark brown hair pulled back in a french twist, going white at the roots. A plain face. Distinctive due to a pair of fierce dark eyes. The kind that draw men in and make girls feel threatened. Lucy decided that Medora Rosier really would have been rather plain, if it wasn’t for those eyes, well-tailored robes and good poise.


 

Soon enough Lucy and Scorpius had moved on and Mrs. Rosier was regally greeting other guests as they arrived.


 

Lucy grabbed Scorpius’ arm and pulled him to the side behind one of the large floral arrangements that she had enthusiastically praised to Mrs. Rosier. Not only pretty and well-made, but very practical for clandestine secret conversations. Always a bonus.


 

“What?” Scorpius asked.


 

“It’s Medora Rosier!” Lucy hissed.


 

“Yes, I thought I had introduced you properly…” He asked, his eyebrows drawing together in confusion.


 

“No, I mean its her! It was her hands! She was the one who burned my shop, who asked me about quenwood, who dumped the bodies! She’s ‘Clue’ the one Gwyn works for!” Lucy whispered frantically.


 

Scorpius closed his eyes and sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.


 

“I know.” He mumbled.


 

“You know?! And you didn’t think to freaking tell me! Before dragging me to her freaking daughters freaking wedding!” Lucy hissed, her brown eyes flashing dangerously.


 

Scorpius looked around to ensure they weren’t attracting attention. “Well I don’t know. I think so. Circe recognised the Cluedo piece I was playing with and told me Medora grew up playing the game. But theres not enough evidence damn it. And all you can recognise her on is her hands, its just not enough. I’ve assigned Geoffrey to tail her under an invisibility cloak.”


 

“I thought I told you I didn’t need Geoffrey here as my bodyguard.” Lucy huffed.


 

“He wasn’t here as your bodyguard, I assigned him and Guffy as extra protection for Siegfred Warrington.”


 

“You don’t think she’ll do anything now, at her own daughters wedding!” Lucy whispered.


 

“Well I didn’t think she’d kill her husband either did I now?”


 

“So what do we do?” Lucy hissed, hands on her hips, a stance that Scorpius found terribly distracting especially with her in those heels. Lucy should wear heels every day he decided.



“We watch and wait. And maybe. Maybe someone will show their hand just enough for me to do something about it.” He replied. 


Chapter 19: Weddings are terribly boring
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Scorpius was on edge, despite the fact that he kept telling himself that it was unlikely that anything would happen at Medora’s daughters wedding of all places. In his head he kept running through action plans. He would have to pull in Medora to be cross-examined again. Investigate the relationship between her and Gwyn. Compare her magical signature to that in Lucy’s shop.  Try to find some damned evidence somewhere.

Lucy seemed on high alert. Not that she showed it. She seemed to glide through on those ridiculous high heels with a bored smile on her face. But he could see it in those big brown eyes of hers. The way they scanned her surroundings. The way they darted every now and again to watch Medora Rosier warily.

Scorpius vowed to himself that as soon as this ridiculous wedding was over he was certain he could get it all done in 24 hours if he and Milly pulled another all-nighter. Maybe if he called in Extra aurors on the investigation just to churn through the data. He pondered if it was worth it to have Albus analyse the corpses again or whether it would only upset his friends sensibilities. He though about if…

Except then Seigfried Warrington’s face twisted in horror in the middle of his glass of champagne. He turned on the spot and caught Scorpius’ eye before collapsing on the floor to a chorus of terrified screams from the witches around him.

No all-nighter then Scorpius figured. He would get this whole deal wrapped up tonight if it killed him.

“Find my grandmother and stay with her.” Scorpius told Lucy firmly, already moving hastily towards Warrington, shoving people out of the way, drawing his wand, his patronus flowing smoothly from it before taking a message to Albus and Milly. Around Warrington both Ryan and Geoffrey had whipped off their invisibility cloaks and were securing the premises.

Lucy huffed, glaring at the back of Scorpius’ head. Find his grandmother and stay with her indeed. As if. Just as Scorpius had been watching Warrington intently all evening, Lucy had taken to watching Medora. And Narcissa was a potential allay in that regard. Because at the moment that Warrington collapsed Narcissa Malfoy was in the process of congratulating Medora Rosier on the marriage of her daughter. Clearly Scorpius in his hurry to keep Warrington alive if possible had missed this fact. Lucy had not.

Lucy strode with purpose in the opposite direction of Scorpius, towards Narcissa Malfoy and Medora Rosier.

“Medora, I’m certain my grandson has introduced miss Lucy Weasley to you.” Narcissa said as Lucy came up to her elbow.

“Indeed.” Medora replied with practised disinterest.

“Mrs Rosier here has a particular fondness for my antiques.” Lucy said sweetly.

Both Medora and Narcissa turned calculating eyes on Lucy and she smiled at them innocently. And Lucy was hardly blind to how both witches clutched their wands in the skirt side pockets of their robes.

“She was in my shop the other day, all afire for them.” Lucy said, her voice light, her smiled charmingly draped across her face like armour. 

Her eyes however were fire.

Narcissa’s attention and wand hand shifted subtly to Medora.

“I do not seem to recall this visit. Perhaps yo mistake me for someone else.” Medora replied sharply.

“You recall the antique Roman knife I gave you and darling Fitz as an anniversary gift though, don’t you Medora dear? That was from Lucy’s shop. She sells the most delightful things.” Narcissa inserted.

“Indeed. The knife that was found stabbed in my husband.” Medora snapped at Narcissa.

Medora looked flushed, those dark eyes of hers darting uncomfortably around the room until they settled on Lucy.

“Medora dear…” Narcissa said softly, putting her hand on Medora’s arm, which Medora shrugged off roughly.

Lucy noted that Medora Rosier was shaking. Practically vibrating, as though she was buzzed with far to much energy.

“Mrs. Rosier…” Lucy said firmly, holding Medora’s gaze.

“Shut up. Shut up! What are you even doing at my daughters wedding? You with your pureblood superior bloodline and your father who should be dead. Not sitting in some comfortable position in the ministry.” Medora hissed. “And you sitting there like a little golden girl, lording it over everyone. He’s a murderer. A murderer like the rest of them. Like my children godfathers, like the husbands of my friends. Like my husband. I’m surrounded by murderers.”

Medora’s eyes were fierce. Fierce dark eyes, maddened. Her hands shaking, slopping the wine from her champagne glass.

Narcissa snatched the wine from her hand. and sniffed it, swirled the glass and dipped her finger in licking the tip.

 She met Lucy’s eyes and mouthed ‘quenwood’.

Lucy whirled around to find Albus. Albus who was busy tending to Seigfried Warrington, trying to keep him alive. She slid her haze to Scorpius who was stood beside him. As though feeling her gaze his eyes moved to meet hers. And widened in horror.

Lucy’s drew her eyebrows together in confusion as Scorpius whipped his wand out and began to run towards her. Until she felt the heat behind her. She turned around, sliding her wand into her hand and twisting her body into an automatic defensive pose, taught by the intensive drilling of overprotective auror uncles. It was harder to do it in high heels and she cursed herself for wearing them.

 

Medora Rosier’s hands had burst into flames. A smile stretched across her face. Those fierce dark eyes illuminated by the flames made them look eerily vampiric. And in her line of work, Lucy had met several vampires to compare her with.

“Murderers.” Medora said quietly. “All of them are murderers. Didn’t you know sweet little miss Weasley? All these lies we tell. I never told my girls that there father was a murderer. I bet your mother never told you your father was a murderer. But thats what they are. And it was time I got rid of the murderers in my girls lives. Fight fire with fire.”

“I am not a murderer.” Lucy said quietly.

“Thats why your still alive little miss Weasley.” Medora said, the flames in her hands quenched, hands still shaking. “But I’m one. They made me a murderer. They murdered Lawrence. Dear sweet Lawrence who played Cluedo with me.You are surrounded by murderers.”

Medora collapsed to the floor convulsing. Scorpius was at Lucy’s side, wand held out uselessly, for a moment before he started barking orders at Milly who had arrived with backup aurors and was heading weddings guests and the weeping pair of Rosier sisters into another room. Lucy kneeled at Medora’s side, attempting to cast the few healing spells Albus had taught her. Quickly Eliza was by her side and Lucy gratefully handed Medora over to her expert hands.

Eliza however looked up at Lucy, Narcissa and Scorpius with a miserable look on her face as she pulled up Medora’s sleeves.

“Quenwood overdose and tea.” she said quietly.

Medora’s blood veins were dark, standing out against her place skin as though they were about to burst out.

“All I can do is end her suffering by inducing a coma. Do you want to attempt to get a statement first? Might not hold up in court though I should mention since she is in the process of dying and high on illegal drugs.”

Scorpius glanced at Lucy while cleared her throat.

“I think her ramblings in front of myself and Narcissa will be enough.” She said softly. Scorpius noted that her eyes looked troubled.

Well Scorpius supposed it had all been sorted out within twenty-four hours as he had desired. But it didn’t feel like much of a victory as Medora Rosier died at his feet while Albus was shoving a bezeor stone down Seigfried’s throat on the other side of the room in a last ditch attempt at saving his life after he had been served champagne laced with poison. Especially because he knew it was all down to the suffering of a war that he had never been a part of.

As Scorpius’ eyes met those of his grandmothers he wondered how many generations would suffer because of that war. And as Harry Potter himself turned up at the scene of crime he was filled with gratitude that at least this man had ended the war its self.

***

Lucy was still wearing the purple dress and the high heels the next morning, curled like a cat in Scorpius’ chair in his office. He and Milly had indeed ended up pulling an all-nighter. An all-nighter of paperwork and statements and putting the pieces together as best they could in order to formulate a proper auror report. Once she had given her own statement Lucy had curled up in his chair and refused to budge.

Scorpius smiled softly at her, having just returned from the morgue where Tori had been sorting out Medora Rosier’s body. Albus was at St Mungo’s with Siegfried Warrington who was still unconscious and it was uncertain if he would make the night. 

Than Scorpius noted that Lucy was flicking through one of the auror files on his desk. Her fathers war file.

“Reading confidential auror files is illegal you know.” He said softly.

Lucy shrugged. “Its a war file, all war files are public knowledge as per the post-war legal document section 5.6.”

“At least you know the laws. I was beginning to wonder.”

Lucy grinned, though it turned into more of a grimace. “You have to know them to break them.” She said with an attempt at humour that fell flatly into the heavy air between them.

They looked at each other quietly.

“They would never tell me. What he did during the war. No one would. I asked uncle Harry once. I figured he was the post likely not to sugarcoat it for me. But he told be it was my fathers business to tell me and that was far enough. I never read it before because it almost seemed like a betrayal. A betrayal of the man that I know he has worked hard to become now.” Lucy said quietly. She laughed. A pretty laugh, not bitter or sad and Scorpius raised an eyebrow at her in surprise.

Lucy dumped the file back onto his desk. “I should have read it years ago. Quite frankly its a relief knowing what he did. With the way everyone tiptoed around it I had imagined it would be way worse. I’ll have to tell Molly she should read it. Or maybe I’ll just give her the canned version.” She looked at Scorpius with those large brown cow eyes he adored. “I was afraid it was going to be so much worse. This. This I can forgive. I was afraid he had done things I couldn’t forgive.”

Scorpius nodded. “I though the same about my fathers file. Compared to my imagination it wasn’t that bad. My imagination was pretty good.”

Lucy stood up, unfolding herself elegantly from the chair.

“At the wedding. You kissed me.” She accused, her eyes narrowed at him.

Scorpius grinned, glad for the subject change. “Oh you noticed?”

“Why?” Lucy demanded.

“Because you look freaking amazing in purple.” Scorpius blurted out without meaning to.

“Ah. so if I was wearing blue?” Lucy asked, tilting her head to one side quizzically a wry smile playing at the corners of her mouth.

“If you wear blue my fear that you slap me will win. But I couldn’t resist the purple.”

Lucy smirked and it was such a Malfoy smirk that he couldn’t stop the thought from flashing across his mind that this woman was going to be his regardless of any fears he might have.

“Just snog me already Scorpius, I’ve had a busy day.” Lucy said.

He didn’t have to be told twice. He was exhausted, pretty sure he was only still standing due to a string of pick-me-up potions that he was going to have to detox from later and getting to the bottom of this case hadn’t been nearly satisfying enough, but it hardly mattered because he was holding freaking Lucy Holly Weasley in his arms she was soft and warm and felt like home and was wearing such a dazzling shade of purple and he was sinking his pale shaking long fingers into that shock of wild red hair that he just adored and he was snogging her like his life depended on if.

They broke away from each other, their breaths loud and quick, attempting to inhale enough oxygen to replenish their starved lungs.

“My grandmother wants me to bring you for tea.” Scorpius whispered as he pressed his face into the crook of her neck.

“Tell her I don’t want tea, I want some of her elvish wine. I’m snogging her grandson after all.” Lucy replied and he could feel her smile against his skin.


Chapter 20: Elvish Wine and Ghosts
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Scorpius was frowning at Lucy and Narcissa as they chatted happily with one another. He had introduced Lucy to his family as his girlfriend. Officially. After he had asked her of course. And she had said yes. In fact she was the only girlfriend that he had ever bothered to take home, which his father had acknowledge with a raised eyebrow and a smirk and had caused his mother to burst into tears and blubber on about how big he was getting.

However though his parents were very happy for him, they didn’t quite seem to know what to make of Lucy Weasley. His father was always stiff around her, as though the mere sight of the Weasley red hair and freckles reminded him too much of a war that he had tried so very hard to forget. 

His mother and Lucy on the few occasions they had met seemed to be entirely at a loss as to what to talk about and tended to resort to awkward smalltalk about the weather and roses. On occasion his mother had attempted to discuss how the weather that year had brought cloaks back in fashion and Lucy had attempted to discuss how roses could be used as a potions ingredient in several violate illegal but highly useful potions. However these attempts to develop more in-depth conversations had quickly failed and they had retreated once more to simply commenting on whether it had been sunny or cloudy recently and asking if one anothers gardens were thriving.

Lucy Weasley and Narcissa Malfoy were a different story entirely. In fact Scorpius wondered on occasion if the two had somehow cosmically been separated from birth.

He also had no idea how he had ended up drinking plain old earl grey tea while both of the women were holding wineglasses with his grandmothers most expensive elvish wine.

It was 2pm in the afternoon. He felt dead on his feet having been called into the auror department at 4am that morning to assist in taking witness statements from a triple homocide in Glasgow that had involved a quartet of jealous witches that had decided to exact vengeance on each other. It had been exhausting getting a clearly drunk off her face Scottish witch to talk somewhat sense in an accent that he could actually understand enough to write down what she was saying.

Plus he and Milly had only just wrapped up the whole Gwyn thing the week before. It had taken an age to trace down the real identity of Gwyn that Medora Rosier had been using to sell her quenwood to purebloods. Gwyn it turned out was in fact called Lacey Roberts, a halfblood half french witch to whom Medora Rosier was in fact godmother. She had been deported back to the care of the French Ministry of Magic. It had required a lot of apparating back and forth between London and Normandy and Scorpius always found long-distance apparating more exhausting than he felt it had the right to be.

He was exhausted and truly felt he needed a day off.

When Lucy had suggested they cancel tea with his grandmother though he had been adamant they go anyway. His grandmother could forgive the dark bags under his eyes and his inattention to what she was saying and Lucy was more than capable of carrying on a conversation with his grandmother without his input.

“Scorpius!”

Or so he thought. Scorpius looked up, startled from his thoughts by his grandmother saying his name sharply.

“Grandmother dearest?” He replied, running a hand roughly through his hair in an attempt to dash the drowsiness from his mind.

“Lucy informs me you have yet to return her carpets.”

Ah. The carpets. Lucy was grinning smugly at him. Scorpius glared back at her.

“Well maybe Lucy shouldn’t be selling illegal merchandise when she’s dating an auror.” Scorpius replied with a smirk.

“As opposed to selling illegal merchandise when her uncles, cousin and brother are aurors? What makes you so special?” Narcissa replied evenly and Scorpius looked at her, opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish.

Lucy snorted inelegantly into her glass of elvish wine.

“Plus you made an exchange Scorpius darling. Date for carpets. It is straightforward good business sense to keep up your end of the exchange.” Narcissa added sipping her wine.

“Well I suppose its a good thing I put them back this morning then.” Scorpius smirked smugly feeling terribly tempted to stick his tongue out at Lucy.

Lucy looked startled. “How in Merlins name did you get past my wards?” She asked suspiciously.

“Your wards like me dear.”

“Unlikely story.” Lucy replied, beginning to look mildly threatening.

“Albus. Albus is keyed into your wards. He let me in.” Scorpius admitted, sipping his own tea and making a face. Why was it again that he didn’t have a glass of wine?

“Excellent, well dear, now that that is settled I understand you would like me to assist with sourcing the origins of a pair of medieval chess sets of yours?” Narcissa said, turning to Lucy, her eyes gleaming excitedly.

Once again Scorpius tuned out of their conversation grinning over his teacup at his girlfriend and his grandmother.

He was formulating a plan to obtain some of his grandmother elvish wine for himself when a patronus appeared beside him. Milly’s ginormous flemish rabbit. Merlin he hated that rabbit.

“Need you at the auror department urgently.”

Scorpius sighed, putting down his teacup and meeting the curious gazes of Lucy and Narcissa.

“My duty calls.” He declared grandly, rising gracefully from his seat and stalking over to Narcissa’s side where he gently placed a kiss on her cheek.

Then he smirked at Lucy. Leaning down he pressed his lips to hers, snaking a hand around the back of her neck to hold her in place, his fingers snagging in her curls. He pulled away grinning as he noted how dilated her eyes were. “Don’t miss me too much.”

Lucy grinned back. “Albus told me to tell you that if he has to look at dead bodies for the next month you’re not touching me with a ten-foot-pole for a fortnight.”

“You going to go through with that threat?”

“That would depend on if my carpets really are back in my shop. And whether you confiscate anything from me over the next month. I was considering a trip to northern Italy in the near future for business purposes. It would be hard to touch me while I’m all the way over in Italy.” She replied sweetly, patting his cheek patronisingly.

Scorpius rolled his eyes, ignoring Narcissa who launched into informing Lucy who she should visit in Italy and from whom to source the best antiques. He supposed he could avoid using Albus in the morgue for a month. Though he had noticed that Hollens had stopped complaining too loudly about Albus’ occasional presence in the morgue. Though he did still regularly give Scorpius death glares.

As Scorpius apparated to the Ministry of Magic, wondering if it really was such a good idea to leave his girlfriend and grandmother alone together to plot world domination, he couldn’t help but think that Lucy Weasley really was the most amazing thing. Even if she lived in a grey area and he was an auror. Harry Potter had yet to turn her in after all.

He wondered if she would make good on her threat to go to Northern Italy without him for a fortnight when she realised that he had returned the carpets but filched the skull from her back room that contained a ghost of a medieval potions master. The skull rather intrigued him and it seemed like a fascinating idea to have a medieval potions master ghost to chat to in his office when Milly was out and about. 

Then again, the skull and accompanying ghost might actually be what Milly’s patronus had been about. He had forgotten to warn her about the addition to their office.

Milly glared at him as he stalked confidently into their office. The ghost, Dermot, looked at him sheepishly, perched awkwardly on his desk beside his skull.

“Milly, I see you’ve met Dermot.” Scorpius announced grandly, flashing her a smirk.

“Indeed. Care to tell me why exactly Dermot and his skull has set up residence in our office.”

“Well, I stole him off Lucy It was Albus’ idea…”

Milly held up a hand, stopping him in his tracks. “If he’s staying, you have to fill out the paperwork. All supernatural beings housed in the ministry must be registered. And when he bugs me you can put him in Albus’ healer office, since you say it is his idea and all.”She said, shoving a load of paperwork at Scorpius with a grin. “Don’t contact me till after the weekend, I plan to sleep through all of it.”

Scorpius waved the paperwork at the ghost on his desk. “What say ye Dermot?” He asked gallantly.

“It seems exciting. Certainly more exciting than the last attic I inhabited.”

Scorpius picked up a quill on his desk. “Well then, you can keep me company while my girlfriends in Italy on business.”

Just as he finished up the paperwork the door to his office opened. Lucy stalked in looking murderous.

“Scorpius.” She said, her voice a deep warning, her big brown cow eyes flashing.

Scorpius grinned. She was wearing lilac. His favourite colour on her. And the most amazing black high heels. And the stubborn flash in her eyes really was one of his most favourite things. And how was she going to stop him visiting her in Italy anyway?


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