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A/N: Is it bad that I cried when I wrote this chapter and the previous one? :( Sorry, you guys. I know some think that what I did to Al was unfair, but let's face it: he was permanently traumatized from the events in The Seer and had been for three years. It was obvious that he would never return to normal, so he knew he would be happier in an afterlife than he would have been living with the guilt of killing Alaric.

I'm so sorry! But it's what was best for his character and for the plot of the story. I hope you guys have faith in me to see where this goes with it. Because believe me, he does come back. James prophecized it. You'll just have to see when and how. :)

Thanks so much to all my faithful readers and reviewers. You are all simply wonderful! :)

James had felt his little brother's heartbeat go out right beneath his very cheek. With his head against Al's shoulder, James had listened closely after Al had spoken his last words. It touched his heart that his brother would remind him of his love one last time before he died. James had savored the sound of his name leaving his brother's lips, and now his name had been Al's last and final word.

Al's heart had beat weakly, and then, when Al had spoken, James had felt that it had taken every ounce of energy left in Al's body to speak to him one last time. He had desired to speak so greatly that it had pushed all remaining life out of him. As Al had said those four final words, his heart had grown weaker and quieter.

Then it beat no more.

James panicked when he felt the sudden hollowness within his brother's chest where his heart had once beaten. He shook, his lips quivering, shaking his head in refusal to believe it. He clung onto his brother, wishing to shake the life back into him.

When his family saw how desperate he was acting, they knew what had happened. They knew that Albus had died. They all turned to one another, and James saw Norah reach for him consolingly with tears in her eyes, but he suddenly and abruptly rose from his chair.

The chair went flying away from him, startling the others around him, but he didn't care. With his tears running freely down his face, he stormed from the room. He felt anger more than anything. More than sorrow, more than pain. He felt the anger of losing his brother, anger at Parker Namken for doing this to him, anger at his father for keeping a secret that could have potentially changed his brother's fate by simply knowing that Parker Namken was alive, anger at an even dead Elias Namken for beginning all of this three years ago, anger at himself for not remembering his vision from three years ago.

When James stormed into the hall of St. Mungo's, he immediately caught the attention of his extended family, who had silently been waiting. When they saw him, they knew as well that Al had passed on. James didn't say a word to any of them. Before they could reach out to him, he ran from them. He fled. Before anyone could ask him, before anyone could console him, before he found that he could no longer contain himself.

He needed to get away. To get away from everyone, from everything. He needed to just be.

He ran down the halls, turning this way and that, until he found one that was empty, and he let his back rest against the wall. He sobbed loudly, clapping a hand over his eyes, the other holding onto his gut in pain.

“No,” moaned James in desperate protest. He turned and beat one of his fists against the wall in pure frustration. “No, no, no, no…”

He cried out his brother's name. He begged for him to come back. Hopelessly, he slid down the wall and held onto himself. He didn’t know how long he stayed in that corner for, clutching onto himself as he cried. He gave a start when he suddenly felt small, gentle hands on his shoulders. He only looked up, his eyes puffy and raw from his tears, to see who the visitor was.

It was Lily.

Her eyes were swimming with tears, and her cheeks glistened from the wetness of them. She slid down to the floor and wrapped her arms around her brother. James held onto her tightly, and he was suddenly grateful for her presence. He had thought he wanted to be alone; he didn’t want anyone’s pity or their comfort, and he didn’t want anyone to try and share their sympathy. All he wanted to do was wallow and mourn for his brother in his loneliness, but as soon as Lily’s arms went around him, he was happy she had come to him.

He held her tighter and cried into her neck. She was his only sibling left now; he felt as if he had to cherish her even more now because of that. Perhaps that was why he was so happy it was she who had come to him. He didn’t want his mother, his father, his cousins, or even Norah. None of them could possibly understand. No one, he realized, except for Lily.

Harry couldn’t recall the exact events of that day after Al had passed. He remembered crying with his family. A lot. And he remembered fighting off the reporters with his family just to get home, but what he remembered the most was leaving Al’s cold and lifeless body on that bed in St. Mungo’s, turning his back on his second child and not bringing him back home. He knew St. Mungo’s would take care of the body, but something about it still seemed strange. The fact that Albus would never come home again.

Harry somehow found himself in the midst of a hot shower that evening after his now two children had gone to bed. He didn’t know how long he stood under the scalding water. He only wanted the steam and heat of the water to wash away all his pain, to burn it off as if it would magically go away. When he felt his back begin to blister, he shut off the water and simply stood there and allowed himself to cry.

He didn’t know how much time had passed before he finally stepped out and wrapped a towel around his waist. He went into his bedroom to get dressed, and that was when he noticed the silence. The lack of cries. Since they had returned home, Ginny’s cries had followed him wherever he went. Now he realized that his bedroom was unusually quiet, and Ginny was nowhere to be found.

Panic washed over him, and he knew that she was most likely all right, but he knew that he had reason to worry now. It seemed that none of his family was safe with Parker and his vendetta against them; they weren’t safe even in their own beds.

He dropped his towel, yanked on a pair of sweat pants, and quickly set out to look for his wife. He heard her cries just a ways down the hall, and he felt his panic leave him. He followed the sound of them, the sobs mixed with the hiccups and attempts of someone so desperate to make the cries stop. He came to a stop outside of the door that led to the room his wife must be in: Al’s room.

With a shaking hand, Harry pushed the door open, and there he saw his wife curled up in a ball on Al’s bed. Harry let out a painful sigh and slid into the bed with her, his arms going around her lovingly and protectively.

“What are you doing in here?” Harry asked her sadly as he nuzzled his nose into the crook of her neck.

Ginny shivered in the warm room, squeezing her eyes shut. “He will never come home again. He will never sleep here again…”

“Shh,” Harry immediately began to soothe her, for her own sake and for his own as well. The words were like daggers in his heart, and while he knew them to be pure statement of facts, they were all too painful to hear at such a time.

Ginny cried as she buried her face into her son’s pillow. “It still smells of him.”

“I–I know,” stuttered Harry, for he could smell him, too. Al’s room and everything in it still smelled perfectly of their son. He rubbed Ginny’s arm reassuringly even as he inhaled deeply.

Ginny worked herself under the covers, burying herself in them, and she said after a moment in a stubborn voice. “I want to sleep here tonight.”

“That’s all right, Gin,” Harry said sweetly. There had been a tone in her voice that suggested Ginny believed Harry would have made her left. Surprised, he kissed her cheek. “I wasn’t going to make you leave.”

“And you’ll stay with me?”

Harry smiled. “Of course. I’m not going anywhere.”

He pulled the covers over their bodies together, and he pulled her closer to his frame and held her tighter. He raised himself up just enough to give her a loving kiss before sinking into Al’s bed, and together they drifted off to sleep in their son’s bed.

Since Harry had found Ginny in their son's bedroom, Al's room had turned into a place of memory and nostalgia for the one who would never come home. James had found his way into Al's room one night after refusing to go home to his own flat. After such a tragedy, he thought being with his family was best rather than going home to an empty flat, especially while Parker Namken was on the loose. He had crawled into Al's bed, and Lily had found herself there shortly thereafter. Together she and James slept in their brother's bed, remembering the nights when had built forts out of sheets with Albus or when all three of them would try to cram into one bed when they were younger.

James remembered when they had done this the night before he had gone to Hogwarts for the first time. Ten years ago now, his younger brother and sister had tugged on his arms, excited for him to attend the school they had learned about their entire lives but desperate for their brother not to leave them behind. Somehow all three of them had ended up in Al's bed, sharing giggles until the early hours of morning.

Al's funeral was held within the next few days. A nearly strange and uncomfortable ambiance was present in all matters related to the funeral in the days leading up to it. It was a touchy subject, as it was to be expected, but they knew it was something that had to be done. The Weasleys, along with any friend or acquaintance the Potters ever had, were as helpful as they could possibly be when someone lost someone so young. Even Harry's Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia came. Dudley came as well, bringing along with him his wife and child. While everyone else asked too many questions and said too much, the Potters hardly spoke to one another unless they turned to one another for solace.

After the funeral, though, James felt as if he and his family entered a state of paralysis. They had so much to do and so much they could be doing, yet they hadn’t done anything. The Auror Office was actively working to find Dominique and using Pansy Namken to their advantage to what legal extent they could, but within the walls of the Potter home, the house was at a complete stand-still in words and actions.

James slept. A lot. And cried. A lot. And if he wasn’t doing one of the two, he was seizing. He had never had such a large amount of seizures in such a close timeframe. Granted, they weren’t all full-scale seizures, but some were. Others would be just times when he would freeze up and have moments when he lost his breath and couldn’t stop twitching.

He wished he could be more useful, but he ultimately knew there was nothing he could do until the Auror Office had the slightest lead. He wanted to step out the front door and look for Dominique himself, but he knew that wouldn’t go well.

As the days passed and he realized that there was truly nothing he could do to help, he understood that the fate of Dominique and his family rested in the hands of the Auror Office and in Parker Namken’s next move. Whenever that may be.

Parker hadn’t been this happy. Not since his years at Hogwarts before all went wrong and before his father died. Albus Potter had been interred into the ground the previous day, and the Daily Prophet’s front page was all about the death of the young wizard and his funeral.

Parker knew he had been successful when he heard that Albus had died, but it had felt so surreal until he saw the story all over the front page. He almost felt as if Albus would come back to life. Just like Harry Potter had years ago, just as James had. Those Potters just seemed as if they couldn’t die, so Parker had doubted the truth of Al’s death for a long while. Then, after Albus had been buried, he knew he had done it. Albus was dead and he wouldn’t be coming back. So the Potters weren’t invincible after all.

So, with his new reason to boast and the day’s Prophet in hand, he had some news to share with their guest upstairs. He made his way to the bedroom Dominique Weasley was locked in.

Her room was silent, as it often was. She had pitched loud and obnoxious fits from inside her room during her first two weeks of imprisonment, but as each day passed, she became significantly quieter until finally she never made a sound.

The shuffling in her room silenced when Parker’s footsteps ceased outside her door. He knocked twice, not expecting any sort of response, so he spoke without delay.

“I had some news I thought I’d share with you,” he said with a smirk. “You’ve had a death in the family.”

He slid the newspaper under the bedroom door. “It seems your dear cousin Albus has passed on.”

He heard rapid shuffling and then the distinctive sound of the newspaper being snatched up and unfolded. The sound of muffled screams and cries quickly followed. Parker heard Dominique crying out her cousin’s name, declaring that it couldn’t be true, and then she began banging at the door. She beat at it wildly, and Parker knew she was punching it and kicking it will all her might.

Knowing he had done his job, he chuckled and walked away with a smirk, Dominque’s desperate shouts never ceasing. He went back downstairs to where the music was playing and his loyal followers and friends were celebrating their most recent success. People were merrily eating and drinking, some even dancing, and when he walked into the room, they raised their glasses to him.

“Ah! The man of the hour!” a voice among the crowd cheered.

Parker recognized that voice, and it had been some time since he heard it. He spun around excitedly, and standing in the middle of the foyer with a glass of champagne raised in toast was Amycus Carrow.

“Uncle Amycus!” beamed Parker, and the Death Eaters in the room parted like the sea for Parker to embrace his uncle. Parker clapped his shoulder happily. “So good to see you!”

“And you, Parker,” said Amycus happily. “What you have accomplished in a matter of weeks—you’ve done more than your father or I ever managed.”

“Thank you, Uncle,” said Parker gratefully.

He was happy to have his uncle back at the house with him. Amycus had disappeared and gone underground after that day at Azkaban just has Parker had. Amycus had been in ranks with Elias from the very beginning, but since Amycus hadn’t been with them that fateful day, he had disappeared before the Aurors could learn of his involvement. He had reunited with Parker in time, and since then, he had spent most of his time executing Parker’s plan behind the scenes. In fact, Amycus has been the one to obtain the basilisk venom from the Chamber of Secrets and to lace the dagger that had stabbed Albus.

Amycus then spoke to the rest of crowd, raising his glass higher as he held a hand to Parker’s back. “A toast! To the man who did what others could not!”

Parker smiled as another Death Eater approached him a with a glass of champagne for him. Jugson pushed it into his hands and added to Amycus’ toast. “I think we all doubted you in the beginning, mate, but we followed you anyway. You freed us and renewed our purpose. We owe you everything, and now you have accomplished what so many before you have tried to do. To Parker!”

The room cheered with him, his name echoing through the halls, and Parker happily raised his glass to them in thanks and drank. The room resumed their celebrations. It was a short while later when Parker was refilling his glass that he noticed the only quiet one in the room. It was Clancy. He had no idea she was even downstairs. She had spent so much time in her room; he was surprised to see that she had come down at all.

He went to sit next to her, and she gave him an empty look. “I don’t understand,” she finally said after Parker gave him an inquisitive look. “What is everyone celebrating?”

Parker only then understood. Clancy hadn’t left the house either, and she certainly hadn’t seen the paper. She had no idea that Albus Potter was dead. He didn’t know if he should tell her either. He wanted to be honest with her, but he knew he would only push her further away by doing so. And that was the last thing he wanted. He wanted to gain her trust; he wanted her to be on his side.

“They are celebrating me. I think I’ve finally gained their loyalty,” said Parker with a smile. “They never needed to follow me. They were freed from Azkaban on accident. It was never a part of my father’s plan. They chose to follow me because I suppose they owe me their freedom, and I think they’ve only ever seen me as a boy. They know now that I’m more than that.”

Clancy turned her head away from him, her black hair shielding her face from Parker. He wished he could see her, though. He wanted to see her expression; he wanted to know what thoughts were passing through her mind.

He reached out for her and brushed her hair away from her face. He tucked it behind her ear and then grabbed her chin with two fingers, pulling her gaze to his.

“I wish you would see that, too,” he whispered to her.

“I do see that, Nol—Parker…” she said. “I loved you, so of course I see that.”

“Loved?” Parker asked with the raise of an eyebrow. He did his best to not let any emotion reach his voice. He didn’t want to appear bothered by it even though the idea of Clancy using the past tense made his heart clench. “Do you not still?”

“I–I don’t know. I don’t know you anymore,” she whispered.

“Then get to know me,” he encouraged her in a gentle voice as the party continued around them. “Stop hiding from me and ignoring me. Talk to me. Get to know me for me. Not Nolan.”

“What you’re doing is wrong,” she said as if it explained everything, and Parker supposed it did.

“Come on,” Parker said. He stood and took her hand, pulling her to her feet. “Let’s go upstairs.”

They slipped out of the room unnoticed, and Parker laced their fingers together. He was pleased that Clancy didn’t pull her hand away. Instead, she held his hand like they used to and he led her up the stairs and through the halls. He took her to his own room instead of hers, and once inside, he shut the door behind them.

“Tell me why you think what I am doing is wrong,” he said.

Why?!” Clancy blurted. “Why do you think? Torturing someone’s family both mentally and physically is wrong. Revenge is wrong. The Potters are good people.”

Parker grunted. “Try to see it as I do. That family killed my father. They have my mother. They aren’t good people. There’s no such thing.”

“Parker…” she moaned in frustration, shaking her head.

Parker wanted to make her see, but he knew that would take time. He reached out for her. His hand went to her neck, and he stroked her skin with his thumb, stepping closer to her.

“What does it matter anyway?” he said. “Nothing’s changed. I’m still the same man you met in that coffee shop. I’m still the same man you fell in love with.”

Clancy closed her eyes and squeezed as if she was trying to escape his words, to escape the very truth she knew in her heart. She wished she could fall away into nothing and not feel this way. She knew what he was doing was wrong, that he was twisted and demented, yet she couldn’t help it. She still loved him. Love didn’t just disappear that easily.

“See?” he whispered, knowing what she was thinking. He stepped closer, only she had nowhere to go and ended up standing with her back against the wall. Parker pressed himself against her, stroking her arm tenderly. “You know that I am.”

Clancy trembled. She didn’t want to listen to him and she didn’t want to believe him. She wanted to convince him and herself that he was wrong. “Stop,” she begged.

“No,” he said in stern refusal. “You’re just lying to yourself by denying me.”

Clancy grunted and then her eyes flew open. He was so close; she could feel the heat radiating from his body, his fingers tickling her skin. She felt her knees give out. She didn’t know why she loved him, but she did and she knew he was right.

Parker seemed to understand the thought that crossed her mind then, for he was suddenly kissing her. Kissing her fiercely and passionately, holding nothing back, and kissing for the first time since she learned the truth. He gripped her hips tightly, and Clancy wrapped her arms around him, unable to refuse his touch and melting against him. She kissed him back just as passionately.

He pulled away to kiss her neck and he moaned in victory. “See,” he breathed hotly into her ear. “You love me. No matter my name. No matter my past. No matter my intentions.”

She nodded against him and pulled his lips back to hers. She wanted to kiss him again, to feel his lips on hers, and when they kissed that time, she almost believed nothing had ever felt more right. She hated herself then as she continued to kiss him, and she thought to herself.

I’m in love with a murderous mad man.

A/N: Edited 9.25 for grammar and accuracy.

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