The Sugar Quill
Author: Arya and BeatriceEagle  Story: A Different Kind of Weasley  Chapter: Chapter 2 -- Curiosity and Capture
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Chapter Two

Disclaimer: We own only Margot, Lierin, micro-microwaves, The Seer’s Folly, and various passing character names. All other people, places, and objects are the property of J.K. Rowling.

Arya’s Note: Arya has given up her right to a note by choosing to be at the movies while notes were being written. I’m sure that, were she here, she would thank Whimsy and make a joke at my expense. -Bea

Bea’s Note: As always, thanks to Whimsy, our fantastic beta. In addition to brit-picking, he tells us when our writing makes no sense, which happens all too often. I’d also like to thank the real-life Kirsten, for her information on lacrosse.

 

Chapter Two

Margot tapped her foot against the leg of the chair and looked at the clock. Uncle Harry had been gone for nearly 20 minutes, and for twenty minutes, she had sat in his cubicle waiting like a good little girl. In her mind, she could almost hear Fred and George yelling at her. If they were in her position, they’d take a quick search around the Auror area and see what sorts of things Aurors kept in their offices. For twenty minutes, Margot had resisted listening to her fathers, but now she was bored. She wanted something to do, and it seemed ridiculous to simply sit and wait. 

A quick search of Lierin Holly's side of the room revealed that most of her books were in foreign languages – some weren't even human languages. The few books that were in English were about palmistry and sewing. She even found one lying under a cold mug of coffee that seemed to be Lierin’s own sketchbook. Margot thumbed through it, impressed at the design of some of the cloaks and dresses within.

Setting down the book, Margot wandered out of the cubicle.  The Auror headquarters was rather empty and desolate at the moment, like when she went back to an empty classroom after class to get a quill she'd dropped.  Margot supposed that most of the Aurors were battling Bellatrix Lestrange.  She almost felt as though she shouldn’t be there, but where was she supposed to go? At the very least, there would be fewer people to tell her to stop nosing about in places she shouldn't.

Giving in to her curiosity, Margot walked in between the cubicles, her eyes carefully watching for anyone who might yell at her. Tonks’s cubicle was nearest Uncle Harry’s, so Margot dipped her head inside and grinned. A small mirror was pinned to the wall, and surrounding it were pictures of various witches. Tonks’s side of the cubicle was quite messy, and Margot wondered how she managed to get in without knocking something over. Her partner, on the other hand, seemed to be almost obsessively clean. Margot imagined they had an interesting relationship.

Moving on, Margot saw that on one of the outer walls of the Auror office, it looked as if names were floating around.  Curious, Margot took a closer look.  The wall itself seemed to be made of black marble, while the names were written in scripted gold lettering. At the top of the wall, perhaps two feet above her head, giant stationary purple letters proclaimed:

The Great Terrors

Auror Memorial

In honor of those willing to die to end the tragedy.

1970-1981

1995-1998

 

Margot stepped closer to read the names.  There was Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody, whom she had heard her uncles and aunts mention a few times.  And she was quite sure that Orrick Paradime was a relative of Verity's -- something like a cousin once removed.  Most of the names, though, were meaningless to her; she hadn't the slightest clue who Mildred Warren or Delphus Crosby were.

 

When she grew tired of tracking the names' progress along the wall, Margot strolled down the corridor, reading the names on cubicles and peeking inside whenever one struck her fancy.  John Dawlish's workspace was filled with pictures of him with various famous witches and wizards – Margot noticed Gwenog Jones and Hyperion Faraday (of the Wimbourne Wasps) at a quick glance.  Miranda Lysander seemed to have an obsession with Muggle lacrosse.  Margot only knew what it was because of patient explanations from Kirsten (Emerson didn't like it and Pepita had never learned the rules).  Various lacrosse posters that had obviously been tampered with, as the players moved, hung from the walls, and lacrosse sticks of all different head-shapes and colors (including some that whistled and two that were standing on their ends, casually tossing a ball between them) overwhelmed the cubicle.  Emily Langford and Merriweather Whitehead, who shared a cubicle, seemed also to share a love of genealogy, and Margot spent quite some time staring at an awe-inspiring collection of family photographs, both wizarding and Muggle, that appeared to date back to the invention of the camera.

 

Fascinating as the Aurors' workspaces were, they weren't endless, and some of them were quite boring.  Soon, Margot was just as bored as she had been before.  She remembered, though, from the time Grandpa had brought her to the Ministry, that the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office was nearby.  He hadn't worked there at the time, but he'd told Margot that he still liked to drop in from time to time for old time's sake.

 

After a few wrong turns, Margot found the dead-end hallway that housed the office.  She knocked politely on the door, and heard scuffling from inside; moments later, a stooped, wizened old wizard opened the door.

 

"And who are you, my dear?" he asked, taking off his glasses and cleaning them on the sleeve of his robes.

 

"Er...Margot Weasley.  My grandpa, Arthur Weasley, brought me here a few years ago.  He used to work here..."

 

"Ahh, Arthur's granddaughter.  Yes, yes, I remember you now.  Justinian Perkins, at your service."  Perkins extended a hand, which Margot shook gingerly; he seemed very fragile.  Now she remembered him more clearly.  The last time she'd been here, Perkins had given her stale ginger snaps.

 

"Well, come in!" said Perkins, backing up slowly to allow Margot room to enter the office.  Sunlight streamed through an artificial window on the wall that hadn't been there during her last visit.  "Sit down!  What can I do for you?"

 

Margot sat down at one of the desks.  "I'm just here with my uncle, visiting for the day, and I thought I might stop by...  I don't know, see what was going on."

 

Perkins smiled hugely.  "Ah, it's always nice to see young people getting interested in Muggle artifacts, it's a very under appreciated field, you know. So under appreciated, in fact, that we only got that window from Magical Maintenance two months ago, and we’ve been requesting one for decades.” He pointed proudly at the window, which took up most of the wall.

 

Margot nodded.  "I noticed!  It's very nice."

 

"Rutherford -- that's my new assistant -- he's out on call, something about a micro-microwave."

 

"A what?"

 

"A microwave is a Muggle cooking device, a bit like a Heating Charm only slower.  Anyway, we've been getting calls about Muggles putting food into cook, starting the machine, and then coming back to find that their food has disappeared. Rutherford did some looking, and it seems that the food’s actually shrinking.  So for lack of a better word, we're calling them micro-microwaves, for now."

 

Margot didn't quite know how to respond, so she merely coughed.  "What have you got in today?"

 

Perkins lit up again, after the somewhat depressing story he'd just told.  "This, well, it's not malicious at all, it's rather ingenious actually, unfortunately it just shatters the Statute of Secrecy...  Where did I put it?  Aha!"  Perkins pulled something from underneath a stack of papers, making the stack topple onto the floor.  Ignoring the mess, he handed what he'd found to Margot.

 

It appeared to be an ordinary rag doll, in a pink dress and ballet slippers.  Margot smiled at the small toy and fingered the satin slippers. An image flashed into her mind from nowhere, of a soft rag doll in a blue dress and an apron, with the most amazing blonde hair...  She remembered how soft the doll’s hair had been, as if she had stroked it many times. But the image faded, leaving Margot almost missing it. She’s had the memory before, when she and Nahid had played dolls, and she never knew why. She'd never had dolls as a kid with Fred and George, preferring instead to play with the endless supply of Pygmy Puffs and fireworks.  It had occurred to her that it might be from before she was adopted, but she pushed the thought out of her mind – anyway, she'd have been too young to remember anything.

 

"Set her on the table and press her stomach," Perkins instructed.

 

Margot did as he said, and to her delight, the doll leaped to life and began dancing what appeared to be real ballet moves.  A famous wizarding ballet, The Seer's Folly, played in small, tinkling notes.  Margot hummed along to the most famous snatches. It had just reached its climactic moment when an alarm sounded outside the room, followed by shouts and clatters

 

Margot rushed to see what was going on, but Perkins stayed behind. “It’s only a prisoner being brought in by the Aurors. Best to stay away.” He was probably right, but Margot couldn’t fight down her curiosity. She ran from the Muggle Artifacts office and arrived at the source of the noise within seconds.  Right in the middle of Auror headquarters, being marched down the central row of cubicles by five Aurors with their wands trained on her, was Bellatrix Lestrange. She was putting up quite a resistance, it seemed. Her eyes and hair were wild as she struggled against the invisible bonds the Aurors had placed on her. Behind the small knot of Aurors restraining Lestrange were a good deal more – Margot didn’t bother to count – all with their wands out and on high alert. Uncle Harry was one of the five closest to Lestrange, and Lierin was somewhere in the crowd behind him.

 

Margot fought the urge to run away.  After all, she told herself, she was off to the side; there was no way Lestrange would see her.  And the curiosity that seemed to come with living with Fred and George was nagging at her again; Margot really wanted to see what would happen.

 

By the time Lestrange was brought near to where Margot stood, she seemed to have calmed down, more interested in calling out insults to those who stood nearby than fighting against her captors. 

 

"You're all ignorant,” she called out to no one in particular.  “You'll know that you were wrong when-”

 

As the Aurors marched her past, Lestrange turned her head and looked straight at Margot.  Margot gasped.  Lestrange's eyes, which had looked merely crazed the last time she and Margot had met, were now filled with hate.  And Margot could tell the hate was directed at her, at Margot.

 

"You!" shouted Lestrange, kicking and flailing once more.  "It's you! You dare to look at me?"

 

Uncle Harry turned urgently to Margot.  "Margot!  Go away, get out of here!"  It was an utterly sensible course of action, one that Margot agreed with whole-heartedly; unfortunately, her feet didn't seem to be working at the moment.

 

"I know who you are!" screamed Lestrange, struggling desperately against whatever invisible bonds were holding her, trying to stay near Margot.  "You stand there, pretending to be so innocent, but you're just as bad, you're worse!  You bastard child, you can't fool me, I know who you are!"

 

"Get her out of here!" shouted Uncle Harry, giving up on his wand and physically pushing Lestrange toward the end of the corridor.  "Get her to an interrogation room, can't you see..."  He trailed off as the other four Aurors pushed Lestrange around the corner and disappeared.  As soon as they were gone, he rushed back to Margot.

 

"Are you all right?" he asked.  "I'm so sorry about that; we can't Apparate or Disapparate in the interrogation rooms, so we normally Apparate into headquarters and take them from there…"  He put a tentative hand on Margot's shoulder.  "Hey.  Are you all right?"

 

That was all it took.  Margot collapsed against him – had she been a crying kind of girl, she would have been sobbing, but as it was, she merely shook as Uncle Harry awkwardly patted her back.

 

Lestrange said she knew who Margot was.  Did she mean she knew who Margot's parents were?  How?  Or had she been talking about something Margot, specifically, had done?  But that couldn't be it, could it?  Margot would have remembered something like that.

 

As Uncle Harry tried desperately to calm her down, Margot could only think of one thing: if Bellatrix Lestrange knew her, what kind of person must she be?

 

//
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