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.”
“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?
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