Chapter Three

The journey was long and tiring as the bitter night air pulled at their clothes. The stars were their guide as they followed their path across the dark, looming sky. Fields and town flashed below them, looking like a child’s toy as they passed over it. The travellers hardly spoke through the night, they wouldn’t be heard above the winds anyway. Halfway through the Summer night, they landed in a meadow to rest. Buttercups covered the fields around them, making the countryside a gold mine. The grass was up to their knees as the weary travellers tried to find a place to rest. A willow tree covered the southern part of the meadow with a small pond beside it. “Let’s stop over there.” Rosaline gestured to the tree, “It will give us some shelter.” They were exhausted from their long journey and were soon fast asleep. As the morning sun rose over the hillside, Victor sat up suddenly. There was a rustling in the nearby bushes. Someone was watching them. He pulled his wand from his sleeve and held it up at the bushes. “Show yourself!” Nothing moved. Even the wind had stopped shaking the trees and waving the grass. “Expecto.” A yellow ray of light split from the tip of the wand and threw the bush into the air. There was a man cowering in the grass and trying desperately not to be seen. He looked up, his eyes as green as emerald pierced into Victor. There was something about them that scared the wizard. Something was moving under the tree now and a dazed Rosaline looked around the meadow as she woke. “What’s going on?” The men ignored her question and continued staring at each other. “What are you doing on my land?” He had a rough voice which broke in fear at the sight of Victor’s aimed wand. Seeing how scared the man was, Victor lowered his wand, only to be hit by an invisible wall. “Patronum!” The man had sent a stun spell at Victor, who had been thrown back and was lying in the grass. Rosaline ran to his side to help him up, only to be held back by an invisible wall. “Last chance. What are you doing on my land?” The stranger was looking at Rosaline now, who was watching her friend stand up warily. “We’re just passing through and needed some shelter from the winds last night.” She answered the man without looking at him, instead she looked at Victor who was standing beside her. “Who are you if you own this land?” The man turned towards Victor and started walking towards them. “I am Matthew. Matthew Walters.”

“I don’t suppose we’re anywhere near Netherfield , Matthew?” Rosaline eyed the man as she waited for an answer. “Are you joking? You’re in bloody Netherfield! Not very good navigators are you. If you wanted a hand with Navigation I could always help, I used to work in the Royal Navy.” They looked at what was behind the man now and noticed a whole town they hadn’t seen in the night. “Now that I’ve introduced myself, might I ask for your names?” Victor and Rosaline looked at each other as they silently decided what to do. “I’m Victor Blackman and this is Rosaline Grey. We need to find someone, her name’s Claire Delfino. I don’t suppose you know her?”

“Ah, Miss Delfino. Yes I know her, we were neighbours for a short while ‘til she moved. I’ll take you to her.” They followed Matthew in silence through the village until they reached the church. “We’re here.” Matthew had stopped in front of a gravestone. It was overgrown with ivy with some dead flowers laid on in front of the plaque. Rosaline cleared the ivy away to read what was underneath while Victor stared into space. “How couldn’t I have known she was dead? I was her friend and I should have been there for her. We all should of.”

“It’s not your fault Victor.” She patted his shoulder before starting to read the plaque. “Claire Delfino, born 13th September 1979 and died 12th November 2001. Is this her?”

“Yes, it’s Claire. Is there anything else written here?” He ripped more of the ivy of the stone and ran his fingers down the side. “What’s that?” There was a symbol under the dates, a triangle with a circle in the middle. Inside the circle was another triangle that sat neatly in the middle. “It’s her emblem, she had it on her wand and on her papers. I think it was used by all of her family on their front door.” He fingered the emblem and looked around them. “It has to mean something, why else would it have been on the note?” Rosaline whispered to him, “What was her spell? That could have something to do with it.”

“Not really, it erased minds. It can be reversed if they touched something she’s connected to, but who would she have done it to?”

“Why don’t we look at her house, there could be a clue there.” Matthew looked up at the travellers. “I can take you there, although there’s not much left of it. I didn’t want to mention it earlier but she died in a fire.” The only response he received was a nod from Victor, nobody wanted to discuss the death of a friend and young woman.

The End

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