|In Shadows Part 1 (Horace, Cassiopeia)
||[Nov. 21st, 2011|11:25 pm]
Title: In Shadows
Characters/Parings: Orion, Regulus, Filch, Severus, Evan, Avery , Draco, Antonin, Borgin, Horace Slughorn, Cassiopeia Black, Lucius, Andre Rosier, Theodore Mulciber
Summary: The shadows hide some of the most significant (though they may not always be identified as such in that instant) moments in our lives.
Notes: This is a cycle. That is, these are ficlets/drabbles that are unrelated to each other aside from having a common theme, in this case, dark potions and/or places. These ficlets were originally written as entries for darkarts_ldws. This is a cumulative header, each part will be posted with its own title, word count, rating and warnings.
Title: How To Save a Life
Word Count: 500
Notes: Cassiopeia and Marius are canonical Blacks as per JKR's Black Family Tree.
Being a half-blood himself, Horace had never cared to consider what happened to squibs born to Pureblood families. That is why Cassiopeia’s early morning visit a few days before the new Hogwarts term – Horace’s seventh year – was such a nasty shock.
Cassiopeia was a fellow Slytherin two years below him. She was bright and in high social standing due to her family, so Horace began tutoring her in Potions the year before. Not because she needed tutoring but because Horace enjoyed the younger girl’s gratitude and unspoken adoration. It was empowering knowing that he had such influence on a Black.
Cassiopeia flood in in the early morning, waking Horace from a deep and pleasant sleep. He met her in the living room, disheveled and baffled by her appearance. Usually prim and collected, Cassie looked a complete mess. Her cheeks were flushed, skirts rumpled and hair cascading in wild waves. “I need your help,” she blurted out as soon as they sat down.
“With what, Cassie? Really, it’s so early and—“
“They’re going to kill Marius.”
Horace’s mouth fell slack, then shut, then opened again. “Who’s going to kill your brother?”
She looked at him like he was insane. “My parents. Marius is a squib, Horace. I was too young to remember but Pollux said that Father had wanted to do it quietly when Marius was five. You usually know by five and that young…before he’s seven…no one has to know the dishonor. But Mother begged to wait until Hogwarts. Just in case. Of course now that the letter hasn’t come, everyone knows. They must kill him at Samhain. There’s a ritual.”
It was Horace’s turn to stare at her like she was insane. In the pale morning light, the girl looked pallid with the blush on her cheeks glowing crimson. “Isn’t that sort of thing illegal?” Horace choked out.
“They’ll find a way to cover it up. Half the Ministry still looks the other way since it’s tradition.”
Horace rubbed a large hand over his forehead. Sweat had begun to collect there. “But what can I do?”
Her eyes shown brightly, feverishly. “The Draught of Living Death. I know you can brew it right, Sluggy, you’re the best at Potions.”
“I-I-I…I can’t…” He was starting to panic. “Besides, how will that help you?”
“I have found a muggle family who will adopt him. Don’t ask how. After the funeral, you and I will sneak back to the cemetery and get Marius out. We’ll give him the antidote and I’ll take him to the rendezvoused with the muggles.”
“So you want me to brew the antidote too? All this in a matter of days. Cassie, I can’t! What if—“
“They’re going to kill my brother, Horace!” She reached over and grabbed his hands. “If you do this, I will be forever indebted to you. There’s no one else I can ask.”
Horace waivered, looked at her, looked at their hands… “For Merlin’s sake! …Alright, I’ll…try. I’ll do it.”