Pairing: OC/OC, Katie/Marcus, Theo/Millicent
Chapters: 3 of ?
Summary: 19 years later not all was well.
Disclaimer: Not mine. I'm just playing in Joanne's sandbox.
Six months after the end of the war, the MLE’s holding cells in the deepest levels of Ministry still brimmed over with prisoners awaiting their trials and subsequent transportation to Azkaban. With the Wizengamot overworked, there was no telling how long these men and women would be there. And as it was, no one at the Ministry was in a hurry to speed up the formal proceedings. After all, these prisoners were alleged Death Eaters, some marked but most not. Rumours and gossip were enough to keep them locked up, the age-old adages about smoke and fire and better safe than sorry applied here.
In one of the farthest located cells a young man in his early twenties lay on a thin pallet, counting imaginary dragons to help him fall asleep. It didn’t come easy, though. Each time he got a bit drowsy, a sudden thought or image popped up, leaving him wide-awake in worry.
Five months already, five months since they had locked him up in here. During each visit in those five months, his Arguer had promised that it would be the next week that the Aurors would set him free, or that the Wizengamot would have scheduled a hearing. Suffice it to say, neither had happened yet, and the lack of progress made the young man grow more restless and agitated with each passing day. He needed to get out as soon as possible. He needed to find a job, a flat, and ensure everything was in order before her time came. Which, at this point left him with what, two weeks?
He rounded his cheeks and let out a tortured breath. He wished that he had the money to hire a competent Arguer, preferably one who actually believed him when he said that he wasn’t a Death Eater. He needed someone who had the resources and connections to contact the much-hailed Order members that knew him and his girl and persuade them to speak up on his behalf. Unfortunately, he had a Wizengamot appointed one, and he sure didn’t have his best interest at heart.
The rattling at his cell door had the young man on his heels in a matter of seconds and reaching for a wand he no longer possessed. Living in constant fear for more than a year could do that to a person. One of the night guards peeked around the door. The young man narrowed his eyes at him; the smug grin on the guard’s face had raised all his hackles. Guard or not, if the bastard had come for another nightly cursing, he wouldn’t hold back this time, consequences be damned. At least then he’d have a reason to be here.
“What d’you want?” he growled. His balled fists pressed against his thighs; he would fight back, but he wouldn’t start. He wasn’t a complete fool.
The guard remained silent. Instead, his smug grin grew wider as he looked the young man up and down before he threw something in his direction. A wad of paper hit him in the chest, followed by the heavy door closing with a loud bang. The guard’s guffaws as he walked away were hard to ignore.
With trepidation coursing through him, the young man picked up the piece of paper and smoothed it against his thigh. The handwriting was a familiar one. The ink had run in places as if it had rained on it. He didn’t want to unfold, the letter; at this time of night, it couldn’t be good news. It never was. Still, as if someone was guiding his hands, he found himself doing just that. At first, the words danced before his eyes, preventing him from processing the message, so he started anew. Again and again, his eyes darted over the hastily written note, and each new time he found himself wishing that it was someone’s idea of a sick prank. As the words settled in, a thick lump formed in his throat, cutting off the air supply to his hammering heart and paralysed brain.
It took him two steps to reach the steel cell door. He began pounding on it, screaming and pleading for someone to let him out. No one came or listened. When he fell to his knees nearly an hour later, his hands were bloodied and broken and his voice nothing but a hoarse whisper as he kept on pleading for mercy, begging to be let out.
It took the Wizengamot three years to review his case and set him free without as much as an apology. By then, all he had left to grieve was a small unmarked grave at the cemetery in Tinworth.
The only good thing was that she was there, waiting for him to come home.