you want a revelation
Even if Tatiana couldn’t save her parents or her brother, she could sure as hell avenge them.
It had been a bit weird to step off the Hogwart’s Express and into the platform, ready for her father’s familiar smile and her mother’s enveloping hug, only to not receive either of them. Tatiana glanced side to side curiously, wondering where her parents had gotten off to.
It was a universally accepted truth that her mother cried a lot and her father was tall enough to be seen over a good deal of the crowd, but even so, the young brunette was unable to locate either of them. They’d been there after her first year, but not her second? Who was to pick her up now? Where had they gotten off to?
“They’re probably late,” Daniel rationalized beside her, and she started, not having realized that he was there. His eyes remained on the crowd, however, scanning it for any sign of their missing parents. “Maybe they’re in the back of the crowd somewhere and we just aren’t able to find them?”
But after minutes of searching turned into an hour of searching, the crowd had thinned out until it was merely the two siblings and a passing janitor left on the platform, him sweeping stray ticket stubs into a neat pile on the left side of the station.
Tatiana sighed. “Can we just take a train home? I can’t believe Mama and Daddy forgot that it was the day we come home for Hogwarts.”
“They never forget,” Daniel agreed, and the younger Penvrane got up from where she’d been sitting forlornly on her trunk, Lancelot’s cage on her lap as her arms surrounded it.
After trying to figure out the Muggle train system (it was the silver coin, Daniel had insisted, but Tatiana resolutely believed that in Muggle terms, it was the bronze one they needed), the two siblings proceeded home to Wales, exhausted and hungry.
“I do hope that they at least remembered to bake a cake,” the thirteen year old said wistfully as she stepped forward, pushing open the gate and stepping down the path.
Almost immediately, she knew that something was wrong. Even the way the gate creaked as it swung close had an ominous air to it, a duller tone than usual that whined through the air. The door to the house hung ajar, tilted sideways as if it had been ripped from its hinges. Papers were strewn in the entry hall, blowing out into the garden. As Tatiana approached, she could see that most of them were shredded or scribbled on. Someone had gone to great lengths to make sure this information hadn’t been discovered.
The young witch balked. “Danny?” she called softly to her brother, moving toward him and clutching his arm. He was standing by the entrance of the house, peering in curiously, and she followed suit.
There was no one home.
“I’m getting scared now,” the brunette announced, trying to take deep breaths but finding herself hyperventilating instead as she glanced around in panic. “Where are Mama and Daddy? Why didn’t they pick us up? Why aren’t they home?”
Daniel didn’t answer. He took a step inside and Tatiana followed. She still clutched Lancelot’s cage, but he meowed insistently within it as soon as he recognized the house, and absentmindedly she let him out. He sprung from the cage and followed the siblings, staying close to his owner’s feet as she padded through the house carefully.
“What are we looking for?” Tatiana asked her brother after a moment, her voice barely more than a whisper.
She never heard her answer. As the two hesitantly turned a corner, a masked menace jumped from a closet. Tatiana let out a screech and Daniel instinctively reached out an arm protectively to keep her behind him. The two backed up a few steps before turning on their heels and running back to the outside of the house. Lancelot kept up, meowing as he ran.
Daniel was the faster runner of the two, but he seemed to insist on keeping his younger sister in his sight at all times, and that entailed having her in front of him. She huffed as she sprinted but kept running; through the corridor, down the hall, toward her and her brother’s bedrooms—
And then there came a yelp behind her and she turned her head sharply, feeling her neck muscles wince in protest. A thump followed, and her brother was on the ground, being dragged by the feet by the man in the hood. Daniel yelped, and the brunette followed, grabbing her brother’s hands and pulling him in the opposite direction from the door.
A tug of war ensued for several seconds until the man gave a mighty tug and Daniel’s hands slipped from hers. With a length of rope he’d procured, the man bound together the Ravenclaw’s feet expertly and then turned toward the witch. She wasn’t able to gauge his expression underneath his hood, but she knew what was coming nevertheless and took a step back as the man reached toward her.
Out of seemingly nowhere, however, her cat came to life, kicking and scratching and yowling as Lancelot launched himself at the man. The man tried to shield himself but was unable to and settled for quickly grabbing Daniel by the legs and turning on the spot, apparating away.
“Stop!” Tatiana cried as her brother and their assailant disappeared, but there was no answer. She shakily reached out for her cat and he hopped into her arms. She wrapped her arms around him tightly and continued further into the house, calling for her brother and her parents in every room that she passed.
It was then that she found them – her parents, not her brother. The sight only brought her horror; their cold, lifeless bodies, the crimson liquid that trickled, the message scrawled on the walls in blood, clearly meant to unnerve her: They were worthless.
She bent by the door and cried into Lancelot’s fur. Surprisingly, he stayed still to his owner’s tears, letting her soak them both. She’d lost her parents and her brother in just the space of an hour – and what for?
It was the question that had her sitting back up again. Forcing herself to look away from her dead parents, she turned to the wall instead before running downstairs. The entry way was still covered in papers, but she forced herself to bend and retrieve them.
Most remained cryptic and scribbled out, but there were a few words here and there. Dublin at four, Scorpio, and Cut the source remained notable as she sifted through the papers. There was something hidden here, and she could feel it; if only she could just access it and use it to find the answers.
Suddenly, she remembered a desk in her father’s study. It had always remained locked, but she had never truly understood why. “Some things are meant to be secrets,” her father had told her when she’d asked when she was seven, and she’d giggled and tried to tell him a secret about one of her tea parties. Not until now did she understand its worth.
So she scrambled toward it, pulling out her wand. It was a life or death situation now, she had little choice. “Alohomora.” It didn’t open. Clearly there was more magic here than it appeared.
There was a space for a code – rather primitive and Muggle, but she had to appreciate its simplicity. The brunette paused, her fingers over the keypad. Neither ‘Penvrane’ nor any of her family member’s names opened it. Remembering a word from one of the papers, however, she hesitantly typed in ‘Scorpio’. The vault swung open.
Barely breathing, the young witch reached forward and pulled out a bundle of papers, clipped together. She scanned the topmost one, catching her name and frowning.
Daniel, Tatiana, if you’re reading this, it’s happened. They’ve come for us – and if you’re still reading this, then we’re dead. We’re sorry that we couldn’t tell you the truth earlier, but it had to be this way in order to keep you two out of it.
We work for the Ministry – not just with Beings or Muggles like you believed, but in a secret division that the public is unaware of. We work to keep magic from falling into the wrong hands; dark wizards, beings or beasts that don’t deserve it, and even Muggles. There are many who try to stop us, but they won’t succeed. As long as we have you two.
If we’re dead, it’s up to you two to take over. These pages contain a list of contacts and safehouses that you can depend on, and records of the work we’ve done and intended to continue. You’ll find the training that you need, and soon, you’ll be continuing our work. Don’t let our legacy die with us; continue it and protect the Statute at all costs. If they haven’t come to take you two out already, they will, so prepare yourselves.
Above all, know that we love you.
Her parents’ names were signed at the bottom.
The thirteen year old studied the sheet numbly before flipping through the other pages. Her parents had lied to her and her brother; they were practically spies. And now they were dead, lying upstairs in their bedroom and surrounded by the crimson pools of their own blood.
Tatiana’s throat tightened. Whoever that masked man was, whoever he’d worked for, had opposed what her parents had stood for. He’d broken into her house, slaughtered her parents, and abducted her brother. She couldn’t just sit by and wait for the same to happen to her – if there was one thing that Tatiana was good at doing, it was obeying orders.
A crack sounded from somewhere upstairs, and hazel eyes turned to the door of the study. He had returned for her, and he wasn’t going to let her cat try to defend her this time. She had no doubt that he’d prepared himself.
Well, so had she.
Steeling her nerves, the witch grabbed her wand and then a knife from the vault, placing the sheaf of papers back in there and shutting it with a snap as she stood and moved toward the door, weapons in hand.
Even if Tatiana couldn’t save her parents or her brother, she could sure as hell avenge them.