Chapter 5

It was later in the day and the trio and Ginny headed down from the paddock to the Burrow, laughing and chatting about the Quidditch game in which they had tied 90-90. The scene that awaited them was awful. The courtyard was full of clouds of dust that had been kicked up. When it cleared they could see dark rusty spots splattered over the yard. The door was battered and hanging inwards off its hinges. The hall was a mess, tables overturned and wallpaper torn down in ragged strips. Hermione and Ginny gasped - they all felt their hearts sink and an ice cold hand clenched their stomachs. They had thought this was over.

The kitchen was worse. The dinner that Mrs Weasley had been preparing was scattered out of the pots all over the place, the cutlery drawer fallen out onto the floor and its contents thrown about. The cupboards were all flung open and the light was smashed, the fragments of glass on the floor crunching under their feet as they slowly walked into the room. Blood was splashed up the walls, whose they couldn’t tell. Teddy’s chair was flung aside and broken, the baby nowhere to be seen.

In a sudden rush of panic they broke up, running all over the house and searching. Mrs Weasley and Teddy Lupin were nowhere to be found. Percy had been out and his room and the others weren’t damaged. It was with some trepidation that the four met back up in the kitchen and walked into the garden.

Teddy was huddled in a bundle of blue baby blanket in the middle of the lawn. The blanket was stained with blood spots.

“Oh no,” Ginny cried as she ran and scooped up the bundle. She sighed with relief as she felt a pulse. He had been cut all over his face and hands by the broken glass. He had been Stunned and somehow ended up outside.

“Who did this?” Hermione said. “What happened to Mrs Weasley?”

No one answered as they traipsed back inside the house. Hermione pulled out her wand and with a sweeping motion she repaired the upturned kitchen. Ginny settled the baby in his high chair and muttered the spell to wake him. He was pale and was sick on the plastic tray of his high chair as soon as he opened his eyes.

Harry and Ron left the girls to clean up Teddy and went back outside through the buckled back door. Thick droplets of dark blood clung to the grass in random splotches over the garden. Patches of it had been scorched black in twisting lines. It looked like a snake, with a definable head and spots of unmarked green like emerald eyes. From where they were stood, to Harry and Ron the twisting serpent seemed to form a letter B on the ground.

“You don’t think…” Ron mumbled as something occurred to him, then he shook his head. “Nah, it can’t’ve been, you know, Bellatrix…Mum killed her a year ago.”

“Nothing’s impossible, Ron,” Harry replied, staring hard at the B scorched into the grass. His scar, which hadn’t hurt since Voldemort’s downfall, suddenly twinged.

He looked around. There was no sign of a body.

“Ron…” he said slowly, “What if your mum didn’t kill Bellatrix?”

“What?” Ron snorted. “But we saw her, Mum hit her with an Avada Kedavra curse.”

Something slotted into place in Harry’s head. “But, Ron, all the dead Death Eaters were cleared out and buried next to the Shrieking Shack, remember?”

“Oh, yeah…her body wasn’t found.”

“Exactly…looks like she’s come back for some revenge.”

The boys gave the garden one last sweeping glance before they went back inside.

“But, we saw her get hit, right in the chest, by Mum’s curse, and she fell over!” Ron continued their train of thought. “And if she did somehow survive it, which is impossible, Harry, why did she wait a year to come and…and…and get Mum?”

“I don’t know, Ron,” Harry said quietly, turning his back to Ginny and Hermione so they wouldn’t hear.

“But if you’ve forgotten, which I certainly haven’t, there are ways of escaping death.”

“What do you mean?” said Ron before it dawned on him. “You don’t think she made a Horcrux?”

Hermione startled them when they turned around. Ginny was still obliviously mopping up the baby but Hermione had obviously been stood listening behind them.

“I heard everything you said,” Hermione whispered. “And I think you could be right.”

The End

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