“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.
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