The Sugar Quill
Author: The Morning Starr (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Sins of the Fathers  Chapter: Chapter 1: Fortified
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Sins of the Fathers [working title]

Sins of the Fathers

by The Morning Starr

 

Author’s Notes: “The Sorting of Scorpius Malfoy” should be read before this.  It was written as a one-shot, but I grew so fond of the little Malfoy that I just had to write about his first year, and this story builds and relies on the events in “Sorting.”  I hope you all enjoy reading about the Malfoys as much as I enjoy writing about them.  J

 

Thanks to Ara Kane, as always, for being the best Beta Reader a girl could ask for.  And many thanks to Anne, Lizzie and everyone else who asked for more Scorpius, Al, and Rose.  You’ve got ‘em now.

 

Chapter 1: Fortified

 

 

            Draco Malfoy stopped dead in his tracks.  He’d been about to open the front door of Le Château, but a nagging thought stayed his hand and he took a cautious step backwards.  A nervous glance over his shoulder revealed that his wife was not watching him.  Sighing with relief, he took his boots off and placed them next to his wife’s.  He knew that if he tracked mud through the foyer one more time, Lucette would make him clean up the mess himself.  The spells to do it were simple enough, but Draco found it degrading to perform them when there was a house-elf around for such things.  Instead, he stood on the front porch in his dark green socks, feeling both foolish and thankful he’d remembered.

 

            He glanced once more over the grounds of Le Château.  On any other night, he would be waiting for his son to finish picking whatever plant Lucette had sent him for.  There were so many that had to be picked in early moonlight that Draco had lost count.  Scorpius, with his eagerness to learn everything about everything, jumped at the chance to retrieve any plant or potion ingredient, and Draco would wait patiently on the porch for him so that Scorpius wouldn’t be outside alone in the dark.

 

            Now Scorpius was at Hogwarts, and Draco didn’t need to wait for him.  He had been out in what he called his “Potions Shack” much later than usual, to make up for the time he lost by going into London to see his son off.  Draco and Lucette had planned on lunching in Diagon Alley afterwards, but seeing so many familiar faces at King’s Cross had made Draco uneasy, and he suggested they take advantage of the quiet at home instead.  She had agreed, of course, but whether it was because she was as much of a workaholic as he was or because she could sense he was uncomfortable, he didn’t know and didn’t care.  Either way, he loved her for it.

 

            According to his watch, it was time for bed, but he was determined to wait for his son’s owl.  Draco had been sorely tempted to send Scorpius to Beauxbatons, where he would know the faculty and even some of the students, but Scorpius had wanted so badly to go to Hogwarts like his father that Draco didn’t have the heart to say no.  In truth, however, Draco was worried for him.  The name Malfoy no longer carried with it fear and respect, but rather scorn and mockery.  Because of his own father, the Malfoys spent two years being ridiculed by the Death Eaters and many more after that being ridiculed by all of wizarding Britain.  Even when Harry Potter had made public the fact that Draco’s mother had lied to the Dark Lord and saved Potter’s life, Lucius Malfoy’s many misdeeds overshadowed all of that.  His father went to Azkaban, albeit with a much shorter sentence than any other convicted Death Eater. Malfoy Manor was then raided by the Ministry and stripped of almost anything of value, and the Malfoy fortune dwindled as most of it went to compensate both the Muggle-borns who had been wrongly imprisoned and to the families of those who had died in the fight against the Dark Lord.  That was what the wizarding community remembered when they heard the name Malfoy, and now that Scorpius was at school, Draco could no longer shield him from the truth.

 

            Hoot. Hoo-oot.

 

            The owl brought Draco back to the present.  Finally his son’s letter had arrived.  But the owl wasn’t Havelock, and the letter, Draco saw once he’d paid the bird, was not from Scorpius.  It was addressed to “Mr. Draco Malfoy, Le Château,” and on the back it said in capital letters, “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL.”

 

            This was unsurprising.  He often had potion orders to cure various maladies that people didn’t want others to know about.  It was probably another order for Wolfsbane Potion—the phase of the moon was about right for brewing.  Before he opened the order, however, the hooting of a second owl stopped him.

 

            Havelock landed skillfully on Draco’s shoulder, dropping an envelope with Scorpius’ familiar scrawl into his hand.  He would bring Havelock in to rest for the night and send him back with a reply in the morning.

 

            Lucette’s voice called out from the kitchen when he opened the front door.  “I thought I head an owl,” she said in what Draco called her “teacher voice” and found so endearing.  “Is it from Scorpius?”

 

            Draco pocketed the unopened potions order.  “Yes,” he answered, “Havelock just arrived.”  The owl left his shoulder for a more comfortable resting spot, and Draco made his way to the kitchen. Lucette was already dressed for bed, her long blonde hair plaited.

 

            She took Scorpius’s letter, opened it, and read aloud,

 

            Dear Father and Maman,

 

            I’ve had the best day.  I’m in Slytherin, just like you, Father, and so is Blair Zabini.  I promise I won’t let her get me into trouble.  I also made two friends on the train.  They were sorted into another House, but hopefully we’ll still be able to spend some time together.  My Housemates seem all right.  Blair has already asked me to help her in Potions.  I love you both and miss you already. 

 

            Love, Scorpius 

 

            PS-Did Father know Harry Potter when he was at school?

 

            Lucette raised her eyebrows and Draco felt knew his cheeks were pink.  “You never told him?”

 

            Despite his best efforts to remain poised, he felt himself shrinking under her stare.  “It was complicated.  I didn’t need my own son thinking Potter was even more of a hero because he’d defeated the Dark Lord and saved his own father’s life.  Besides, Potter owed me.  Mother did save his life, too, after all.”

 

            Lucette rolled her eyes dramatically.  “Fine.  I’ll leave you to go on hating him in peace, then.”  She betrayed her amusement by kissing him quickly on his forehead.

 

            “I wonder who these two ‘friends on the train’ are,” Draco said as he summoned a glass of pumpkin juice.  “I do hope they’re from decent families.”

 

            Lucette caught his glass in midair and rounded on him.  “Draco Malfoy, don’t you dare start with that.”  She spoke slowly, danger in every controlled syllable.  “If you truly want our son to be unburdened by the mistakes your parents made, then you simply cannot think that way.”

 

            “I meant that I hope their families aren’t involved with Dark magic,” he said quietly.

 

            “That’s not what you meant, and you know it.”

 

            “I know.  I’m sorry.  Old habits.”

 

            “Indeed.”  She handed Draco his glass of pumpkin juice and cleaned up the small amount that had spilled.  “But you promised me we would raise him differently, and I expect you to keep that promise.”

 

            She left Draco in the kitchen.  He pushed away his pumpkin juice; he was no longer in the mood for it.  Lucette was right, of course, but she also wouldn’t be the one who would have to listen to his father lecture him about his lack of parenting skills if Scorpius’s new friends turned out to be Muggle-borns.

 

            Muggle-borns, he thought.  She’s even changed the way I talk about them.  Lucette had refused to marry him until he stopped using the term “Mudblood.”  Lucius had looked at him strangely the first time he’d heard this new vocabulary word from Draco, but despite his father’s disapproval, he had not used the word “Mudblood” in the last fifteen years.  At least not aloud, anyway.

 

            Still, it was one thing to stop with the outright persecution and another thing entirely to welcome one into the house for supper, wasn’t it?  Just because Draco was no longer rooting for a Basilisk to kill them didn’t mean that he had to approve of his son befriending them.  But Draco had promised, and he knew better than to break a promise to his wife.

 

            Conjuring a quill and parchment he wrote,

 

            Dear Scorpius,

 

            We are happy to hear that you arrived safely.  Congratulations on making Slytherin.  You’ll find it’s the best House by far.  Be sure to tell Blair that if she gets you into trouble, you won’t help her with Potions.

 

            I did know Harry Potter at school.  He and I were in the same year and we both played Seeker for our respective House teams.  Why do you ask?

 

            Your maman and I are eager to hear more about your new friends.  Give Professor Slughorn my regards.  I am certain he will be impressed with your aptitude for Potions.

 

            We love and miss you.

 

                                                            Love,

                                                            Maman and Father

 

 

            There, he thought.  By saying they were “eager to hear more about” his new friends, Draco did not reveal even a hint of prejudice.  Even his wife would be challenged to find fault with it.  He left the letter on the counter so that Lucette could send it with Havelock in the morning.  She would no doubt be up at dawn, as certain plants must be picked before the sun has fully risen.

 

            When he finally went to bed, the “highly confidential” potion order was the last thing on his mind.

 

~*~*~

 

            Scorpius slept in on the first day of classes, and yet he was still the first in his dormitory to rise.  He was accustomed to waking at dawn with his maman in order to collect dew or pick certain plants.  Sometimes this schedule would necessitate a mid-afternoon nap, because he also enjoyed picking the “early moonlight” plants, and that didn’t leave him enough hours to sleep at night.  Perhaps now that he was at Hogwarts, his sleep schedule would normalize some, but he suspected that he would probably always be the first one up in the mornings.

 

            He opened the bed curtain quietly, trying not to wake the other boys.  They all seemed all right—not at all like Zephaniah Smith, anyway—from what he could tell at supper the night before.  He’d met Samir Shah from London, whose father worked for Gringotts; Zanzibar and Xerxes Baddock, identical twins who argued about most things; and Dylan Keller, a quiet boy with large teeth.  Scorpius would have liked to talk to them more, but Blair Zabini was busy chattering away about her family’s holiday in New Zealand.

 

            After trying to dress without making a sound, Scorpius made his way to the Great Hall, certain that he would be the first one there.  He probably would have been, too, if he hadn’t made several wrong turns on the way.  By the time he finally got there, a few older students were already eating and two professors sat at the high table.  One had a kind, plump face and the other—if Scorpius wasn’t seeing things—had two small horns sticking out of his head.

 

            At the Slytherin table were two students, both with blonde hair.  They waved in Scorpius’s direction, and once he’d realized there was no one behind him and that they must have meant him, he sat down beside the younger one somewhat apprehensively.

 

            The boy beside him offered his hand. “Alexander Lynch,” he said with a mouthful of sausage.  “And this is my sister Adeline.  We’re on the Slytherin House team.”

 

            Scorpius recognized the name.  “Lynch, as in Aidan?”

 

            “That’s the one,” said Adeline.  Quidditch runs in the family, you might say.”

 

            “There’s six of us at Hogwarts now, our brother A.J. finished last year and went off to play for the Cannons,” Alexander explained.

 

            “We’re all on our House teams too, ‘cept Arielle and Artemesia, of course.  They’re just  first-years.  Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.”  Adeline looked at Scorpius’s empty plate.  “Aren’t you hungry?”

 

            “I’m not one for big breakfasts,” Scorpius said.  He grabbed a piece of toast to give him something to do.

 

            “We called you over here because we recognized your name last night at the Sorting,” said Alexander.

 

            Scorpius gulped.  Would this be another Zephaniah-like encounter?  He wasn’t sure he could take the constant criticism of his family.

 

            His worries were needless, however, because Adeline then asked, “Your father played Seeker, yeah?  For Slytherin?  Do you play as well?”

 

            He nodded.  He certainly hadn’t been expecting this line of questioning.

 

            “You’ve the build, anyway,” said Adeline.  “I’m Seeker for the team now, but this is my last year, and we could use a reserve, someone to train up a bit.  You’ll have to try out with the whole team, of course, but if you’re any good, you shouldn’t have a problem.”

 

            Scorpius was dumbfounded and had a bit of trouble finding his voice.  He opted to nod again instead, aware of the fact that it did nothing to translate his enthusiasm.

 

            “Great.  Well, we’re off to get in a few laps before classes.  We’ll let you know when trials start.”

 

            They hustled out of the Great Hall, Scorpius’s gaze never leaving them.  He stared at the entrance long after they’d gone, trying to sort out whether their conversation had actually just occurred or whether he was still asleep in his bed, dreaming.  He only snapped out of it when two more familiar faces showed up in the doorway.  His face broke into a smile as Al and Rose made their way towards him.

 

            “My, you must have been up early,” said Rose.  “We’re supposed to eat with our Houses, otherwise we’d sit with you, but seeing as this is the first day and all, we should probably get to know our Housemates.  In fact, there’s Arielle, she’s in my dormitory, but I didn’t meet her properly last night in all the excitement.  If you’ll excuse me…”

 

            She hurried over to the Gryffindor table, and Al and Scorpius exchanged an amused look, each stifling a laugh.

 

            “By excitement, she means that she went straight to reading last night,” Al said.  “She didn’t know which lesson we’d have first today, so she went with an old favorite, Hogwarts: A History.”

 

            The Great Hall was nearly full by now, and the mail had begun swooping in.  Scorpius could see Havelock among the crowd of owls, and soon there was a letter in his hand.  Al also had a letter as well as a copy of The Quibbler.  Scorpius looked at Al quizzically, but Al only shrugged.  “My mum got me hooked on it.”

 

            As Al joined the Gryffindors to eat his breakfast and read through his mail, Scorpius read his father’s letter.  So he had known Al’s dad at Hogwarts.  They’d both played Seeker against each other.  There was no hint of a need to avoid anyone in particular (although he’d be sure to ask his father about the Smiths at some point), so Scorpius sensed it was all right to tell his parents that Al and Rose were the friends he’d met on the train.  He’d also tell them about the Lynch family and how they invited him to Quidditch trials.

 

            “Mr. Malfoy.”

 

            The voice belonged to an old and very round man.  He looked pleasant enough, although perhaps a bit tired.  This was Professor Slughorn, Scorpius’s Head of House and Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts.  Professor Slughorn handed him his timetable and moved on to Samir, who was now sitting next to him.

 

            Double Potions would take up the whole morning, along with History of Magic in the afternoon.  He looked up and caught Al’s eye; he’d just received his timetable from the plump professor who had been at the high table when Scorpius first arrived.  Al mouthed the word, “Potions,” to Scorpius, who nodded rapidly in reply, pointing to his own timetable.  So he had Potions with the Gryffindors.  He liked that.

 

            Blair Zabini bounced into the Great Hall with only minutes left before the first bell would ring.  She collected her timetable, eyed it briefly, and then crammed it into the pocket of her robes.  Scorpius,” she said, her bottom lip protruding unnaturally, “please don’t let me fail Potions.  If I do, mum won’t take me to Italy this summer.”

 

            Scorpius rolled his eyes at her.  Sometimes Blair could be ridiculous.  He passed along his father’s warning and she pretended to be hurt by the insinuation that she would ever get Scorpius into trouble.  She scarfed down some bacon just before the bell rang and then pulled Scorpius by his robes and practically dragged him out of the Great Hall towards the dungeons.

 

~*~*~

 

            There were two cauldrons bubbling at the front of the classroom when they arrived.  The Slytherins and Gryffindors filed in, with the Slytherins making their way towards the front of the classroom, no doubt to try to impress their Head of House.  Scorpius took a seat next to Al; Blair promptly sat down on his other side.  Rose was sitting with Arielle Lynch, who didn’t seem pleased with this arrangement.

 

            On the board behind the cauldrons was a list of ingredients for a simple Fortifying Solution, most commonly used on old broomsticks or cauldrons the owner was hesitant to throw out.  The liquid in both of the cauldrons was watery and pale yellow, which Scorpius knew meant the porcupine quills had not yet been added.

 

            Once they’d all taken their seats, Professor Slughorn waddled in.  He was smiling at them, but moving a little slowly, and Scorpius found himself wondering just how old his Head of House was.  He knew that his father had studied with Slughorn during his last two years at Hogwarts and that he’d continued to study with him privately after his seventh year, so if he had been a Phoenix, he’d certainly be closer to burning than to hatching.

 

            “Welcome, first-years,” said Professor Slughorn. His voice did not sound quite as tired as he looked.  “If you’ll be kind enough to take out your scales and books, then.”  The class did as they were told.  “Precision is the best friend of a witch or wizard.  Flick your wand in the wrong direction and instead of setting the table, you’ve jinxed your younger brother.  Pronounce a word wrong and set something on fire.  But in no other field is precision more important than in potion-making.  Allow me to demonstrate.”

 

            As Slughorn took his place next to the two bubbling cauldrons, all eyes were on him.  “In these two cauldrons is a simple Fortifying Solution.  I have prepared it step by step but have purposely omitted the final ingredient, porcupine quills.  The formula calls for sixteen quill tips.  Just the tips;  they should be no longer than half an inch each.  Watch what happens when I correctly add the final ingredient.”  He picked up an envelope full of pre-cut quill tips and sprinkled them into the solution.  As Scorpius expected, it went from pale yellow to rich mahogany.  Slughorn promptly removed it from the fire to cool.

 

            “Once it cools, it can be used to add life to common household objects that appear to be at the end of theirs.  But, what if I miscount my quills?  Or, more likely, what if I cut the tips too long?”  He sprinkled a second quill-filled envelope into the other cauldron.  At first nothing happened, but then the pale yellow turned to bright yellow and began to rise slowly to the brim of the cauldron and flow down the sides at an increasingly faster rate until Slughorn waved his wand, causing the cauldron and its contents to vanish.

 

            “Had any of you decided to drink a bit of that, by the way, you would have found yourselves with some inconveniently spiky hair.”  A few girls in the back row giggled.  “So if you’ll turn to page four in your textbook, you’ll find the detailed instructions on how to make your own Fortifying Solution.  Good luck.”

 

            The classroom was now alive with the sound of pages turning, scales clinking, and students murmuring while they chopped, scraped, poured, and measured.  Scorpius was in his element.  His father had often sent him to brew this very solution for his maman to use in the greenhouses.  She went through an inordinate amount of pots for planting, so she tried to prolong their use as much as possible, and a regular clay pot painted with Fortifying Solution was much more economical than the special resizable pots she’d used at Beauxbatons.

 

            Al was adding two drops of dittany to his cauldron.  It fizzed slightly, and Scorpius assured him this was normal when he saw the concerned expression on his friend’s face.  Rose was already on the third instruction from the look of her solution, but now she was distracted by Arielle’s cauldron, which housed a sulfurous black goop.

 

            “She added the dittany too soon,” Scorpius whispered to Al, who was plugging his nose.  Blair, despite her panic about Potions, was also doing just fine.

 

            They continued to work uneventfully until Timothy O’Roarke  melted his cauldron.  Slughorn was able to quickly contain the hazard, but Timothy was to write nine inches about the importance of precision for homework.

 

            By the end of the lesson, about half of the class had managed to mess up the solution at some step or another, and their homework was to identify at which step they went wrong and explain the effect.  Those whose cauldrons were now filled with the mahogany liquid each took a small vial to Slughorn, who with a small paintbrush spread the solution on a wooden plank.  He then placed the planks side by side and stepped away from them.

 

            “Congratulations to those of you who successfully brewed your Fortifying Solution.  You have each earned two points for your Houses.”  This announcement was met with excited murmurs, as it was the first time any of them had earned points.  “Now we shall test the strength of your solution, and thus how precisely you prepared it.”  He jabbed his wand sharply towards the planks.  Many of them exploded outright, with a few splintering here and there, and one with a severe crack straight down the middle.  Two appeared not to have been altered at all, and Slughorn held those two up for the class to inspect.

 

            “Ah, Miss Weasley, excellent.  Only two small, structurally insignificant cracks.  Ten points to Gryffindor.”  Rose beamed.  “And Mr. Malfoy.  Well, I must say, I’m impressed.  Not a scratch on it.  Your father taught you well, I see.  Twenty points to Slytherin.”  Slughorn was smiling brightly, back and forth between Scorpius and Rose.  “I’ll admit, I’m not at all surprised by either of you.  Not surprised at all.”  Scorpius suppressed a smile.

 

            Soon the first years were packing up to head back to the Great Hall for lunch.  Blair and Al were both going on excitedly about the fact that their planks had merely splintered some.  Rose was surprisingly quiet, her cheeks pink underneath her freckles.

 

            “I’m sure it’s only because you caught me before I was able to stir it clockwise,” Blair was saying as they filed into the Great Hall.  “If you hadn’t, my cauldron probably would have melted like O’Roarke’s.”

 

            “It wouldn’t have,” Scorpius assured her.  “But it would have exp…OOF!”

 

            Scorpius was on the floor, his textbook knocked from his arms and sliding across the hallway.  He looked up to see a lanky Ravenclaw boy on the floor across from him.  He’d obviously just bowled right into him.  The boy looked older, with thick horn-rimmed glasses and more spots than Rose had freckles.  Al reached down and helped Scorpius up while Rose offered her hand to the Ravenclaw.

 

            “I’m sorry,” Scorpius said, “I should have been watching where I was going.”  He dusted off his hand and offered it the boy, feeling a bit more confident than usual after a great Potions lesson.  “I’m Scorpius Malfoy.”

 

            The boy stood on his own, refusing Rose’s help.  He stared at Scorpius a moment and then turned and scurried out of the Great Hall without a word.

 

            “Don’t mind him,” Artemesia Lynch said after she and Arielle dodged the Ravenclaw boy themselves.  “He’s in my House.  Seventh-year.  Not sure about his name.  Annabelle says he keeps to himself mostly.  Really bright, just quiet.  Reads a lot.”  She and her sister went back to their conversation about Quidditch standings and continued on into the Great Hall.

 

            Scorpius stooped to pick up his textbook, which kept moving just out of his reach every time he made to grab it.  After several unsuccessful attempts to retrieve it, he realized that Blair was giggling. 

 

            “What did you do to it?” he asked her.

 

            “I jinxed it.”  Her giggles turned into laughter.  “I’m sorry, Scorp, but I just couldn’t help myself.”  She winked at him and then removed the jinx.  “Come on, let’s get some food.”  And she yanked him by his arm and led him to the Slytherin table, Al and Rose left giggling in the doorway.

 

            “Do you honestly think,” Scorpius began as they sat down, “that I’m going to help you with Potions when you insist on pushing me around like that?”

 

            “Of course,” Blair said sweetly, passing him the pumpkin juice.  “Admit it, Scorpius, you can’t resist my girlish charms.”

 

            He rolled his eyes, causing her to giggle again.  If by charms, you mean annoyance, he thought.  But Scorpius had known Blair long enough to admit that she was right.  While he would never describe her as “charming,” it was his inability to resist her endless bright ideas that often got him into trouble while Blair always seemed to get away with everything.  He’d just have to be more vigilant at school.

 

            And he’d also have to remember to keep an eye on his belongings.  He wasn’t going to sit back and let her jinx his stuff again.

 

~*~*~

 

            It had been a long and exciting day, and Scorpius wasn’t sure where to begin when he started writing to his parents from the privacy of his four-poster.

 

            Dear Maman and Father,

 

            Today was incredible!  I earned 22 points for Slytherin in Potions, and Professor Slughorn said he wasn’t at all surprised.  I must be almost as good as you were, Father.  It was just a simple Fortifying Solution, though.  I helped Blair just a little.  She almost stirred the wrong way, but other than that she did it all on her own.

 

            Also, the Slytherin Quidditch Captain has invited me to trials.  She plays Seeker, but she wants a reserve.  All because she knew that Father had played.  All those drills at Le Chateau should pay off, hopefully.  I knew you had played Seeker, Father, but I didn’t realize you’d played opposite Harry Potter.  The reason I asked about him is because I’ve made friends with his son, Albus.  He knows loads about Quidditch.  His mum played for the Harpies!  His cousin, Rose Weasley, is also very nice, but she talks a lot just like Blair does.  Only Rose talks about schoolwork and things and Blair talks about celebrities, but you know how the Zabinis are.  Rose earned points for her solution today too, but not as many as me.

 

            History of Magic is as boring as you’d said it would be, but Rose expects it to be “most enlightening.”  I bet she changes her mind after she’s sat through it, though.  I have Herbology first thing tomorrow.  I’ll be sure to write and tell you all about the greenhouses, maman (but I’m certain they’re not as well-kept as yours).

 

            Lots of Love from Scorpius

 

            PS- What do you know about the Smiths?  It’s probably a common name, but there’s a boy here who isn’t very nice, and I was wondering if you knew anything about his family.

 

            Scorpius had purposely left out the details when he said the Zephaniah wasn’t nice.  He didn’t want his parents to worry, especially since he hadn’t had any run-ins with him since the one on the train.  Perhaps Zephaniah would forget about Scorpius and concentrate his meanness elsewhere.

 

            Yawning, he folded the letter and tucked it under his pillow.  He’d send it with Havelock first thing in the morning.  For now, he’d get some sleep.

 

~*~*~

 

Author’s Notes: Thanks to everyone who so kindly reviewed “The Sorting of Scorpius Malfoy.” Each any everyone of them meant a great deal to me, especially since it’s been years since I’ve written any fic.  Your encouraging words were invaluable.

           

//
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