Where Are They Now?
“Is this your normal business reading material?” Severus picked up the Hogwarts yearbook that was still sitting on Giles’ desk from the night before.
“Actually I try to keep that locked away as far as possible. It accidentally got mixed in with the references on gribles, and somehow the girls found it.” Giles said, looking up from his day planner. While Anya’s idea of a holiday sale was tempting, he wasn’t sure when to plan it to attract both Solstice and Christmas shoppers, and Anya’s suggestion of a ‘midnight madness’ sounded a bit too much like tempting fate.
“They go through your things often?” Severus flipped open the
“Of course. They’re practically Slytherins.” Giles rolled his eyes.
“I doubt that very much.” Severus flipped the page open to their class photo. He stared at the picture for several minutes. Even caught in the mischievous act of egging the transfigured snake on, the boys looked so innocent… or maybe young would be a better term. “This must have been before Evan made yearbook staff. I doubt Lucius would have let Evan get away with letting such an awful picture into the book.”
“Actually that was Evan’s first year, when he forgot to post the notices in the commons. If I remember correctly, Lucius didn’t exactly let him off easy.”
“Oh yes, that’s right.” Severus sighed, trying to ignore the twinge of pain in his back. He was too young to feel this old.
“Whatever happened to Rosier? Did he finally get that post at the Prophet he kept bragging about?”
“Oh dear, I’m sorry.” Giles frowned. Evan had never been his best friend, but he had always found the boy amusing.
“I’m not. He was killed by aurors on a fools errand for the Dark Lord. Anyone dumb enough to be caught out in Diagon Alley like that, had it coming to him. He would have been better off ignoring politics and sticking to his photography.”
“I see. I take it that means he never paid off that running bet he had with Rabbie?”
“No, but then it wouldn’t matter, would it?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, Rastaban was arrested shortly after Rosier’s death. He got a life sentence at Azkaban. I don’t suppose you have much use for five galleons once you’re in solitary confinement.”
“I think of all the arrests following the Potter incident, that was the one that shook Gran the most. He was a Lestrange, after all.”
“True, I had forgotten you two were related.”
“Distantly.” Severus flipped the page, and seeing the Gryffindors, flipped the page right back. “Before you get too choked up, you should probably know that Rastaban got out of Azkaban.”
“I didn’t realize the wizarding world ever granted parole.”
“They don’t. There was a problem with the dementors’ loyalty and several prisoners escaped in the ensuing melee last year.”
“Ah.” Giles wondered just what Severus thought of such a break out. Did the deatheaters consider him a traitor or just lucky for avoiding the same fate? “Is it possible that it's Rastaban following you? He always did have an adventuresome streak. I could see him thinking a trip to the Hellmouth would be a lovely assignment.”
“The last I saw of Rastaban, he was a blubbering mess barely capable of forming a complete thought. While no doubt the Dark Lord would love to dump him off in this lovely town, I doubt the dementors left enough of ol’ Rabbie in his head to handle a long-distance apparation.”
“Oh. That’s unfortunate, I suppose.”
“He was a tried criminal.” Severus answered coldly.
“And, there but for the grace of god, go I.” Giles muttered. “What about Damon, Rookie, Lucius? Are they all damned as well?”
“I suppose it depends on your definition of damned.” Severus pushed up his left sleeve over his cast so just the hint of the dark mark peeked out. “Am I damned?”
“Well, when you put it that way.” Giles blushed. He had his own marks to hide.
“Yes they all took the mark; no they are not all dead. The last I heard, Argentius had a miserable desk job in the Ministry, although given his father’s recent indiscretions, that may soon change. Lucius has been in and out of court a dozen times, and able to buy his way out every time. As for Travers, your guess is as good as mine.”
“He vanished several years ago; I haven’t seen him, but then I haven’t heard anything indicating he’s died. He might still be working for the Dark Lord, but not in the wizarding world. I half thought he finally swallowed his pride and joined the Watcher’s Council.”
“Ah, I don’t think that was ever a possibility.” Giles tried to answer tactfully.
“Let’s just say, despite current appearances, the Council actually has some standards.”
“Interesting.” Snape muttered.
“If there was a Death Eater that would both know how to find you in the muggle world and not be under surveillance by the Ministry, it would be Travers. Quentin would be just the sort of git to sell you out to his cousin without a second thought. I don’t think anyone’s even considered Travers in years.”
“Well that’s lovely news.” Giles sighed. “He always did have a cynical sense of humor.”
“The last I saw of him, he had lost the sense of humor.”
“I don’t suppose you did a lot of laughing at those rituals of yours.”
“I don’t doubt your post-Hogwarts hijinks were far more amusing than mine.”He took one last glance at the picture. “Well there you have it, every single one of us dead, in prison, or on the run.” He lazily flipped through a few pages, not paying attention to the wizarding photographs. “What a disaster.”
“So much for our twentieth reunion.”
“Oi, what’s that?”
“What’s what?” Lucius leaned over Evan’s seat to look out the train window.
“On the platform,” Evan pointed out.
“Well I suppose we can’t be too surprised to see Rupert with that Gryffindor tart. I’ve given up any hope for him.”
“I wouldn’t give up hope on him yet, Lucius, but I think Rosier was more intrigued by whom that Gryffindor has toting her trunk.” Damon pointed out.
Lucius blinked his eyes twice before finally remarking. “It is a sad day for Slytherin when Severus Snape carries the bag of a lowly mudblood.”
“Maybe they’re not Evan’s bags?” Rastaban asked hopefully from his perch by the door.
“We should be so lucky.” Lucius caught Severus’ eye and the raven haired boy rolled his eyes and shoved the two trunks he was balancing towards the baggage elf. “From that scowl, I’m guessing at least one of those trunks wasn’t his.”
“You’ve got to hand it to Sev, no one scowls quite as well as he does. I’d put a picture of it in the yearbook if I didn’t fear it would break my camera.” The boys laughed at Evan’s joke while watching the step-brothers follow Lily Evans into the train.
“Yeah, he’s got such a sour face, I bet he could even get Olaf the Laugher to cringe.” Rookie joked, but didn’t get the same reception Evan had.
“Olaf the Laugher? What is that supposed to mean? You’re just making that up.” Rastaban grumbled.
“Swear to Merlin, I am not, and I’ve got the chocolate frog card to prove it.” Before Rookie could start shuffling through his trading cards, the door to the cabin opened. The rest of the Slytherins stared at the two boys standing in the doorway.
“Please, continue your conversation. After all, I have it on good authority that it’s twice as amusing to mock someone to their face than behind their backs; you get to see that lovely awkward mottling to their complexion.” Severus commented as he unhooked his winter cloak.
“Actually we had moved past mocking you, and were commenting on Rookie’s chocolate frog card collection, but since you brought it up…” Lucius shifted to make a seat for Severus next to him while Rupert took a seat between Rastaban and Damon.
“What were you doing escorting Lily Evans to the train?” Rosier asked.
“It would hardly be gentlemanly not to.” Rupert answered.
“Oh yes, we all know you’re quite the gentleman. The question was directed at Severus.”
“Rupert’s right. It was the only option considering she stayed the holidays at the Manor.” Severus could tell by the gleam in Lucius’ eye that the rumor of their holiday guest had not made its way around Hogwarts yet.
“Really? You let a mudblood Gryffindor enter your house? Whatever for?”
“For favors, what do you think?”
“Favors, eh?” Rastaban’s leer made Severus blush.
“I’m not sure I’d take a mudblood for favors- too unclean.” Lucius watched Rupert for his famous temper but instead got a reaction from Severus.
“I meant other people would owe us favors if we took her in. However, if you must be lewd, then I’ll have to state that I’d rather sully myself with a mudblood that looked like Lily Evans than some of the pureblood witches we have around here.”
“If you’re referring to our dear Pruney, I’d second that!” Evan joked.
“I can’t believe you’d say that, Sev. She lost both her parents; she’s in no position to be favoring anyone right now. The fact that you would even think that, is deeply disturbing.” Rupert chided his brother.
“I didn’t mean now. I just meant, hypothetically speaking, from just an objectively critical view, Lily Evans is an attractive witch compared to some other witches in our class.”
“I’d do her… hypothetically speaking.” Rosier agreed.
“You’d do your own owl if you though no one would find out, Rosier.” Damon shot back.
“You’re telling me, if Lily Evans was a Slytherin pureblood, you wouldn’t find her attractive?” Evan turned the question back on Travers.
“Of course I’d find her attractive.” Damon agreed. “But, the point is, she’s not pureblood or Slytherin. The idea that you two would voluntarily be seen around her is just wrong.”
“It is, is it?” Rupert asked carefully. Lucius smiled as he sensed the coming argument. His housemates were just so predictable.
“Yes it is, and there’s not good reason for you to be spending any time around her. Rupert, you’re perfectly capable of doing better. You even had an acceptable Yule date this year.”
“You mean your cousin, the fourth year?”
“She’s not hideous and she’s got good pedigree.”
“She’s still a little girl! Her dress robes were fairy floss pink! She wants to be a princess when she grows up. Her idea of conversation is ranking the band member of Magicicada from cutest to studliest. She hasn’t even sat her OWLs yet. What on earth makes her better than Lily Evans?”
“At least she’s not a mudblood!” The whole cabin went silent at Damon’s retort.
“Yet another thing I have in common with Lily then.” Rupert muttered quietly.
“Don’t be like that.” Rosier frowned at his fighting housemates.
“Be like what? Honest? You, my friends, have been calling me mudblood since I started here. Would it be so bad for me to associate with the others?”
“Yes, it would.” Severus answered. “Lily said it herself. You were never raised as a muggleborn, and it’s beneath you to act like it.”
“She said that?” Lucius couldn’t help but be amused by the conversation. Narcissa would undoubtedly be jealous of all the new rumors confirmed while she insisted on staying with her girl friends.
“What does she know? I’ve seen your house. It’s lovely, but not meant for wizards. You don’t even have a house elf.” Damon scoffed.
“Hey! There are plenty of wizards who don’t own house elves.” Argentius chimed in. Of course, everyone knew that with the Rockwood family it was because they couldn’t afford an elf. The same couldn’t be said for the Giles.
“When have you been to the Manor?” Rupert frowned. Sure he would know if one of his school friends had been by Westbury.
“This past summer while you were in Greece. My father was invited and brought me along.” Damon replied, eyeing Lucius nervously.
“Really? Do you intend to take after the family business then?” Rupert was surprised by the idea that another Hogwarts student might be involved in Council business, but it was a welcomed surprise. Perhaps he wouldn’t be the only newbie at the Watcher’s college who hadn’t been to Sherborne.
“I doubt my family plans to stay in the business.”
“And just what business is your family in after all, Travers?” Lucius’ interest was peaked. In all these years he had never inquired into Damon’s upbringing; an oversight on his part.
“Antiques.” Damon snapped. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pay a visit to the loo.” Damon practically stomped out of the cabin and down the hall of the train.
“I had no idea he was tetchy about his family.” Rookie muttered. “It’s not like antiques is something to be ashamed of.”
“He used antiques as a euphemism.” Lucius answered.
“I’m not sure.” Lucius’ eyes met Rupert’s across the aisle. Rupert knew, but wasn’t about to volunteer information to Malfoy if it could be used as leverage later.
“I think I need to stretch my legs a bit. If you’ll excuse me?” Rupert followed Damon down the hall. “Hey, Damon. Hold your horses. We need to talk.” Rupert grabbed Damon’s sleeve.
“I’m not sure we have anything to talk about. You’re a Council man; I’m not. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Damon whispered angrily.
“Hey, I never said I was a Council man. You’re only assuming I am because my father is.”
“Rupert, who are you trying to fool? Your father is the most important man on the Council right now. The chance of you not being a watcher is less than the chance of me moving to Finland and taking up moose herding.”
“Well, I never knew you had a thing for moose, but if it makes you happy…”
“It doesn’t, that’s the point.” Damon sighed. “Look there are things going on that you don’t understand; things you’ll never understand.”
“Try me.” Damon and Rupert stared each other down waiting for the first to blink. “I’ve known you since you were eleven, Travers. If there’s anybody who would understand, it would be me.”
“Alright then.” Damon looked both ways to make sure the coast was clear then pulled Rupert into the boy’s loo and locked the door behind them. “The reason I’m not going to be a Watcher is not because I don’t want to, but rather I can’t. I failed.”
“Failed what?” Rupert said from the uncomfortably close quarters of the single stall.
“The qualifying exam, you git. To get accepted into the Watchers’ college I needed to qualify before my sixteenth birthday. My father assured me that Hogwarts would prepare me as well as any muggle school, but we wouldn’t really know until the qualifying exam. That’s why I was at your house.”
“That’s ridiculous. I’ve never even heard of quals for the Council and I’ll be seventeen in June.”
“You really thought all those assignments Quentin owled were just for fun? Muddy, for a watcher, you’re very unobservant. You were being tested the entire time. All Uncle Wilford could talk about at the family Yule was how well you did on the exams, thanks to Quentin.”
“No thanks to Quentin is more like it.”
“Either way, it did not make the holiday go well to hear your name bandied around as the next messiah.”
“What are you talking about? I doubt Quentin thinks of me as anywhere near the next messiah.”
“Surely your father has told you.”
“Told me what?”
“The Council was once a branch of the Ministry of Magic. When it became clear that non-traditional means would be necessary to preserve the slayer line, the Council broke off, but with the understanding that there would always be a wizard at the head. Yes, its mainly muggles and squibs in the field, but there’s always a wizard in change, and traditionally the wizard has been a Travers.”
“My father’s not a wizard.”
“No, and he would never been given the position if it weren’t for his rather convenient marriage into the Lestrange-Snape family. It was a dangerous precedent to start, but my family felt it was an acceptable risk until I would be of age to take over. Little did my father know Wilford would try to position Quentin for my rightful place. Are you sure your father hasn't explained at least some of this to you?”
“My father prefers not to talk about Council politics to me.”
“Well then, let me lay it out for you. With me out of the running, you’re the last chance the wizarding wold has of keeping the Council, and without the wizarding world, the slayer line will undoubtedly fail. Thanks to Wilford and the other idiots on the judging board, the world is doomed.”
“Now you’re just being ridiculous.”
“If you don’t believe me, owl your father. You’re the last hope the wizarding world has for the Council.”
“Oh, I don’t doubt that there aren’t many wizards on the board. I just doubt it really matters if a muggle or a wizard is in charge. In the end, doesn’t it all come down to the girl chosen?”
“The slayer line is too valuable a magic to let it fall into the hands of muggles. If you aren’t interested in preserving the wizarding world’s hold on the Council, there is one other wizard who is.”
“And who is that?”
“Lord Voldemort. If you don’t do something about it, he will. He’s already approached my father about it. It’s just a matter of time.” Damon answered ominously. He flipped open the lock and stumbled out of the loo. Rupert followed him out, tripping right into Sirius Black.
“Well, well, what have we here? Funny, I always expected it from Giles, but you Travers? I never took you for the boytoy type.”
“Bugger off, it’s not like that at all!” Travers’ face was turning bright red. He had often made such off color innuendos, but he’d never been the accused of such proclivities before, especially by a group of obnoxious Gryffindors.
“Oh really?” James Potter jumped into the fray. “Would that mean that Rupert is your boytoy then? That really would be more logical if you think about it Padfoot.”
“You’ve got a point Prongs.” Sirius grinned at the outrage on Damon’s face.
Seeing his friend’s distress, Rupert decided the best defense was a good offense. “You’ve been thinkin’ a lot about me there, Potter?” While Rupert had been the butt of such jokes since the third year choir incident, he was amused to see Potter sputtering at the innuendo. “Why Potter, quite the blushing bride there, aren’t you? Why I know just the thing for that.” Rupert leaned in to Potter and from where Sirius and Damon were standing it looked as though he was about to kiss James on the cheek, but instead Giles whispered a fun little curse he had learned from some of the workmen on the dig last summer.
“What did you do?” Potter sputtered, feeling the blood drain from his face despite his attempt to blush.
“Nothing your boyfriend can’t help you with. The loo’s all yours, gentlemen. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you’re through.” Rupert said with a smirk as he turned and headed back to the Slytherin car.
“I can’t believe you kissed him. You really aren’t all there.” Damon muttered.
“I didn’t kiss him! I just had to get close enough to curse him.” Rupert answered smugly.
“You can’t use your wand on the train! They can track it, and then you get called into Dumbledore’s office, and it’s really not worth the punishment.” Rupert raised his brow. “Don’t ask.”
“I didn’t use a wand.”
“Well then what was the curse? He didn’t look any different.”
“I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t notice then.” It was Damon’s turn to look skeptical. “Let’s just say, he’s going to have some trouble keeping his wand in his pants for the next several hours.”
“Wow, that’s really… evil.” Damon grinned ferally.
“Thanks. It’s a wonder what kind of spells you can pick up from muggle magicions if you know what to ask.”
“I don’t think I want to ask.”
“Fine by me. So is everything alright between us?”
“Yeah, just whatever you do, no talking to Malfoy. Got it?”
“I wouldn’t dream of it.”
A/N: I really hadn't planned on posting more until I managed to finish writing the whole thing, but its been a slow day, and I feel bad about not posting anything for a long time. Hope it amuses.