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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.

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