rachelleneveu: ("Some days the body count will)
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Title: Runs in the Family
Pairing: Justin Finch-Fletchley/Pansy Parkinson
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1000
Summary: “You waited two weeks to bring it in. How do I know this isn’t meant to throw us off your father’s trail?”
Author's Notes: 3/13. Title from Amanda Palmer. At some point I’ll need to do a big “what I’ve been up to” post, seeing as it's been....what, almost a whole year since? In the meantime, there’s this. :o)

“…and remember the struggles of the blood – it is the nature of those of lesser standing to want to destroy what is not theirs, what they can never have. Fifteen generations of pure blood flows through your veins. Never forget, my darling girl: you are the daughter of a noble house.”

Auror Savage stops reading and Pansy shifts uncomfortably in her hard-backed chair, folding her hands neatly in her lap. The Auror Office is crowded, narrow cubicles laid out like honeycomb across the bustling floor. Savage's workspace is tucked into the corner farthest from the false windows, dim but not dark, crowded with filing cabinets and press clippings tacked to the walls. A cluttered desk half-buried under paperwork separates them, and he sets down the letter with a disinterested look.

“Charming,” he says, and Pansy closes her eyes. “Anything else?”

She blinks. “I don’t… what more do you want? I – I turned in the letter! He mentions hiding near Innsbruck! Isn’t that enough?”

“You waited two weeks to bring it in. How do I know this isn’t meant to throw us off your father’s trail?”

Savage is so sure of his words, so serious, and the thought of it almost makes Pansy laugh: her father’s been on the run since May, and her mother left for France three days after Hogwarts, scooping up Pansy’s younger brother and all the gold she could carry before sweeping off to Montmartre for the duration, leaving Pansy behind. This is the first she’s heard from either of her parents. She’s had to survive on her own.

“I was torn,” she tells him honestly, “It’s…he’s my father. I didn’t know what to do.”

Savage eyes her suspiciously over the rim of his bifocals and Pansy straightens her shoulders, looks him dead in the eyes. “I’ll look into it,” he tells her with a sigh, and when she rises to leave, adds, “Don’t get your hopes up on leniency because of this. Remember, Miss Parkinson: he’s wanted for a reason.”

The Auror Office is a mess to navigate, and in her effort to leave she sidesteps files and people and what she thinks might be an enchanted ottoman running circles in the walkway in her effort to make it to the main door. At one point she makes a sharp turn, hoping to avoid a group of Hit Wizards avoiding their paperwork and playing ‘bounce-the-butterbeer-cap’ off one of the many “Wanted” posters, only to collide, head-first, into the hard chest of one of the Advocates heading down the opposite way.

“Pansy? Oh, Jesus, I’m so sorry –” a familiar voice says somewhere above her, and she cringes inwardly from her place on the floor. Of course it would be Justin she ran into today. And of course she’d hit him hard enough to fall flat on her arse. Justin holds out his hand to help her to her feet and she accepts it grudgingly, dusting herself off. She nearly keels back over when she realizes who is standing next to him.

A little older, a little greyer, Amaryllis Montgomery looks almost the same as she did the last time Pansy saw her, back when she was still Amaryllis Parkinson and her father was throwing everything she'd once owned into a bonfire. She'd managed to salvage part of the photograph from her commencement ceremony, taken at the luncheon the Inn held in honor of all the freshly-graduated Advocates; Pansy kept it hidden in her bedside drawer for years.

“Madam Montgomery, this is my friend –” Justin starts, and Amaryllis shakes her head.

“I know who she is.” Her voice is terse, clipped. “Hello, Pansy.”

“Auntie…I mean, it’s good to see you, Madam. I…I was sorry to hear about your son,” Pansy says, and despite Amaryllis’s distrustful look, she means it – werewolf attacks are nasty affairs; at his age, Ben Montgomery would have been lucky to survive it. Maybe it’s luckier for his family that he didn’t.

“Thank you.” Amaryllis nods stiffly, then turns to Justin. “I’ll see you next week. Bring the case files we talked about and I’ll help you get started.”

Justin thanks her and shakes her hand, and Amaryllis Montgomery leaves without another word to anyone, disappearing into a nearby office and shutting the door. Pansy breathes in relief; she isn’t sure what else she’d expected.

The Auror block is connected to the Department of Magical Law by a long hallway, leading to the elevator’s vestibule and eventually, the exit to the main Atrium. The walk has never seemed longer than it does right now. Justin falls into step beside her, waiting with her for the next elevator when they finally get to the hallway’s end.

“I didn’t know you two knew each other.”

“I told you – my aunt’s an Advocate.”

He gives her a strange, sideways look. “She’s never mentioned –”

“She left when I was five. I haven’t seen her since.”

“So this was –”

“The first time, yes,” she interrupts impatiently, jabbing her thumb against the call button. “Mum used to keep tabs on her, so she’d have something to cover for at luncheons –not everyone had delightful little stories about secret torture chambers under the library. Some of us had blood-traitor aunties with hero complexes just ripe for gossip.”

She hits the button again and he grips her by the wrist to stop her.

“My aunt, she…she had these records, you know? Stupid, plate-sized things – Muggle music.” She sniffs, staring down at the floor, the shiny tips of her shoes. She can feel Justin’s eyes on her and can’t bring herself to look at him, not while the weight of the whole day is collapsing on her. “Paul Simon. She…she used to play them when she studied, and Papa would always complain about the noise. But I liked them, so she’d turn the music down, but not completely off.”

The elevator comes and his hand slides from her wrist. She steps on and doesn’t look up until the doors close.

Date: 2013-06-16 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cloelockless2.livejournal.com
I was just taking a break from an old movie adaptation of The Sun Also Rises so your dialogues sounded a bit like Hollywood American of the 50s in my head, and all of a sudden Pansy was dressed like Ava Gardner... Anyway, I like that relationship you are exploring with these two characters. The end of this ficlet is nice; I'm not as enthusiastic about that part than the first two, but I still love your writing (and what you do with the prompts, and the titles you find). Cheers!


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