The words are mine, the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.Summary: Illyria's trip to England is interrupted by unexpected, wand-waving interference.
A:tS post-series. HP shortly post-"Half Blood Prince".Notes:
The inside of my brain is a scary place. Written in answer to twistedshorts #26, "Blue"; also, for a TtH Fic-For-All pairing. Later renamed so as not to conflict with another fic.
Illyria stared up into the sky above the British manor house with a small, perplexed wrinkle between her brows. She had come to the land of Wesley's birth at Angel's request, to bring what remained of his library to the offices of the new Watchers' Council-- a task she had accomplished that morning, wearing the form of the shell, Fred-- and to deliver his remains to the dwelling of his incompetent parent. She had not anticipated encountering interference.
A sickly green symbol hung above the dwelling, shaped like a skull with a serpent protruding from its open mouth. She did not recognize it from her own memories, nor the shell's, nor from Wesley's books; it smelt of dark magics, like the sorcerer Vail whom she had crushed for killing her guide, but the taint of the demonic was absent here. She could not guess at its significance, though it seemed likely to be a puny attempt to induce fear in susceptible mortals.
Several cloaked forms emerged from the entrance of the house, diverting her attention; each wore a white mask and carried a thin stick in one hand. The shortest of them was shaking, slightly; the tallest, a lean being with dark hair that escaped in lank strands around his mask, was hissing at him, one hand clamped on his companion's shoulder. Both stank of anger and despair. The other three smelt of much lustier emotions. None of them smelt anything like Wesley-- and none of them smelt of blood.
"Halt," she said, loudly, determined to discover their purpose here. "What have you done with the father of Wesley?"
The five masked men all flinched as they noticed her; the three in front immediately pointed their sticks at her and made nonsense noises with their mouths, while the other two hung back. She had previously judged the sticks to be mere affectation instead of weaponry, as they were clearly too narrow to be stakes of the sort Wesley had carried, but they seemed to have a purpose after all: three jets of light, two red and one green, leapt from the sticks and splashed into her form. She staggered a little, alarmed at the resulting ebb in her power, however minor, and shifted instinctively into her natural blue-veined form.
"Metamorphmagus!" one of the attackers gasped; Illyria ignored him and leapt into motion, ignoring further jets of magical light as she made her displeasure known with fists and feet. Some few moments later, the three attackers lay broken and groaning on the ground, their sticks in splinters around them. She paid them no further heed, cocking her head as she studied the two who remained. They had edged quickly away from the doorway, and were now standing some distance from both Illyria and the house, each clasping one hand on an object that resembled a misshapen shoe.
"Cousin Tonks, I presume," the shorter of the pair sneered at her, watching her warily through the holes in his mask. "Some Auror you are, arriving too late and fighting like a Muggle-- though I suppose I should make allowances for your being a half-blood." His hood had slipped from his head in the slight breeze, revealing a pale blond mane; though his tone was arrogant, his voice wavered and he reeked of fear. False bravado was not an invention of mammals; she had been dealing with self-important, worthless beings since before the first of his kind had lifted themselves from the muck.
"I am Illyria," she declared, brushing his nonsensical declaration aside, and repeated her earlier question. "What have you done with the father of Wesley?"
"Who's..." the man-- boy perhaps, from the timbre of his speech-- began to reply, but halted as the other barked an unintelligible word of command.
The man and boy both blurred, then disappeared from her presence. Illyria scowled at their escape, then stepped over the maimed bodies of her remaining adversaries and strode into the house.
It was the work of a moment to find Roger Wyndham-Price; he lay sprawled in a chair in a room surrounded by books, many of which she recognized at a glance from her short time with his son. He smelt of Wesley, to a sufficient degree that the family link was confirmed; he also smelt of the same dark magics that animated the crude display in the sky and emanated from the attacker's sticks. His mouth was frozen open in a display of emotion; his eyes bulged in their sockets, the same shade as Wesley's and equally glassy in death, and the unpleasant reek of released bodily functions clung to him.
Illyria wrinkled her nose in disgust, then set the urn containing Wesley's ashes down on the nearest table and marched back out of the house. Her work here was done.