The Sugar Quill
Author: Madaline Fabray  Story: The Infinity Gate  Chapter: Prologue
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Prologue

Prologue

Arthur Weasley looked around  in horror as the three black-robed, white-masked figures approached him threateningly. It was evening, he was five minutes away from the Ministry of Magic office, and right now he was cursing himself for taking this shortcut to his Apparition spot alone. Recently, the Ministry workers had taken to leaving in groups of two or three for protection, especially in this past week after the Aurors had made some key Death Eater arrests. The waning half moon shone down and its light cast haunting shadows in the alleyway, making the situation all the more surreal.

 

“What … what do you want?” Arthur stammered. His thoughts instantly turned to Molly and his young sons Bill and Charlie, and the baby Percy. Would he be killed this night, like so many of his co-workers? Like so many of his neighbors and friends? Would there be a glowing green skull and snake mark announcing his fate?

 

The masked figure in the center laughed coldly. “You should have known, Weasley, that there would be retribution for the arrest of Nepherius Tood. You will pay for that, blood traitor…”

 

Arthur felt powerless as the central masked figure grabbed him by the arm and the group Disapparated. He felt the ground beneath his feet shift and the buildings and lights around him swirl chaotically. When everything came into focus again, Arthur found himself before a small, cottage. Through a large picture window, he could see a woman seated in a rocking chair, cradling an infant swaddled in a pink blanket. Soon a man entered the room and gave the woman a peck on the cheek before taking a seat at a small desk. The man turned on a small black lamp on his desk, and Arthur could almost hear the rustle of papers on the desk as the man sorted through them and occasionally made a mark on a sheet with a green and gold ballpoint pen.

 

Desk lamp. Ballpoint pen. These were Muggles, Arthur realized in surprise – and a growing feeling of dread.

 

“No,” Arthur whispered as he realized what the robed figures wanted him to do. He turned to them and stuck out his chin defiantly. “Kill me now, if you wish, because I won’t do it!”

 

“Kill you?” the dark robe figure who spoke earlier said with amusement. The other two masked figures gave a low, guttural laugh. “Oh no! That would be merciful!” He raised his wand and pointed it at Arthur, who started to shake despite his best efforts to keep his remain calm. “What makes you think that we would give you a choice in the matter? Never forget, we are stronger than you and always will be. Those not afraid to use power will always rule over those who fail to seize the advantage.”

 

“No, don’t…” Arthur said, pleading.

 

The black-robed wizard merely gave another cold laugh and murmured “Imperio!”

 

Arthur found himself walking into the Muggles’ house, his wand raised … he saw the terror in their eyes as he burst in through the front door, destroying the sanctity of their home. He heard them cry for mercy as he raised his wand…

 

…And Arthur Weasley woke up with a horrified shout.

 

“Dear?” Molly Weasley gripped his arm, and she gave him a concerned look. “Are you all right? Arthur?”

 

“I…I’m fine,” Arthur said. “I just…I just had a bad dream, that’s all. A very bad dream.”

 

“It must have been,” Molly clucked. “You're still shaking all over! Do you want to tell me what it was about?”

 

“No!” Arthur said quickly. Then more softly. “No, it’s…it’s already beginning to fade from my memory.”

 

“Well, try to go back to sleep then,” Molly murmured sleepily. “Our plane to Egypt leaves at 7, and we have to be up in a couple of hours. All right?”

 

“All right, dear,” Arthur said, and he gave Molly a small smile before lying back down and closing his eyes.

 

But he didn’t go back to sleep, couldn’t go back to sleep. The dream was still vivid in his mind, despite what he had told Molly. But he couldn’t tell her, could never tell her what he had dreamed.

 

For it wasn’t so much a nightmare as a memory.

 

End of Prologue

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