Hello, readers! This is Book 6 in my Wood Series, so if you're a first-time reader stumbling into this, I would suggest going back to at least Book 3 - Surviving Hogwarts - to understand what's going on and who everyone is. Though, this does end up including a lot of information surrounding Iris Evans-Wood, so you might actually need to go back to Book 1 - Saving Iris.
Synopsis: What Dominique Weasley originally thought was overblown family drama, has turned into a serious risk. Now she is set with the task of looking into her aunt Iris Evan-Woods' murky past in order to find out why her cousins Daisy and Jamie are now developing more of her abilities. The greatest fear is knowing that something is coming, but not what or when.
Set shortly after Playing with Fire ends, this one takes place concurrently with Where There's a Will, There's a Way. It mostly revolves around Dominique, though Iris, Daisy and Jamie also play a large role. Dominique is determined to save her family from another war; Daisy and Jamie are struggling to control their new gifts while fearing what could happen if they don't; and Iris must not only face her past but now share things with her family that she had kept hidden and tried to forget for years. All while fearing for her children.
I hope you enjoy!
Day of Recognition
Dominique strode down the hallway, her head held high and a confident grin on her face.
Today was the day.
Her boss Mr. Grifford was going to announce which one on the team would be sent to the aurors for special assignment. She had been passed over so many times - despite having the highest number of resolved cases in the whole department - but she felt like this time was her time. Molly had wished her luck as they split ways at the lifts and called out that she'd have the champagne ready when she got back from work that day.
This would be her day.
"What's got into you?" Toby asked as he caught with Dominique. She grinned at him as he fell in stride.
"I can just feel it… he's going to choose me this time," she said. Toby chuckled.
"He'd be mad not to," Toby said. "Think you could pull some strings and get me over there with you?" Dominique laughed. The two had been assigned together for the past several months. Of all her cousins' friends, she liked him the best. He seemed the most reasonable of the lot. And never took part in the triplets annoying pranks either at school or in the years after. With his quiet and calm demeanor, she always wondered how it was he got sorted into Gryffindor. At least with her and Molly they could blame it on their family.
"I'll see what I can do," she said, winking. The two walked into the office and moved towards their desks. As usual, they were the first ones there. Dominique set about to organizing the reports she planned to turn in as soon as Mr. Grifford showed up.
"Morning all," a slightly pudgy man with graying hair said as he sleepily strolled in and walked over to his desk.
"Another long night, Whitehall?" Dominique asked, looking over at him as he collapsed into his chair.
"Yea… had a few calls come in and just as I got home to sleep, the baby started wailing something fierce," he said. "Thank Merlin I'm not on call again tonight."
"Who is?" Toby asked.
"Warlow, I think," he said, pulling the day's issue of The Daily Prophet out and opening it on his desk. Dominique snorted.
"Good. I hope he has so many calls he can't sleep," she said. Whitehall chuckled.
"You've had it in for him ever since you started with the team," the older man said, glancing over at her.
"Yea, why is that?" Toby asked, looking over at her. Being a relatively new member of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, he had been introduced to the animosity between Dominique and Warlow, but never heard the full story.
"He keeps getting all the special assignments," she grumbled.
"Didn't he trick you into writing all his reports for awhile as well?" Whitehall asked.
"Yes," Dom said, her blue eyes turning cold. Almost as though he sensed their discussion, the man in question sauntered into the office, looking smug as usual. He was tall and stocky, boasting on Dom's first day that he had once been captain of his house quidditch team, causing her to roll her eyes. He had been attempting to hit on her before he realized who she was. Dominique Weasley - related to famed quidditch player and coach Oliver Wood and cousin to his three sons who were already making waves in the League at that time, especially Jamie. Then he tried to get on her good side to score free tickets.
Once he had realized he didn't stand a chance with her and she found him utterly annoying, a rivalry had sprung up.
"Morning Weasley, Davies, Whitehall," he said as he slowly made his way to his desk next to Dom's. "Caught a fun party last night at your cousin's flat. Missed you." Dominique rolled her eyes. He knew full and well that she had broken up with Cunningham a few months ago and wouldn't be at any of the parties this summer. Or at least until the awkwardness wore off. There was no telling how long that would last.
Truth be told, she hadn't wanted to break up with him. Not really. Paul had been sweet, kind and one of the better boyfriends she had had. She had cared for him deeply, but with the veil of secrecy now surrounding her family - specifically her cousins - she just couldn't handle the lying. It was easier to break things off and keep him in the dark that way than continue on with the relationship and be forced to tell him half-truths. She already saw how much of a strain it put on Daisy and John. Even Kelly and Lucy fought over it from time to time. Though she supposed at some point they would all have to be told.
Once they figured out whatever it was, if there was something. She was of the mind that her family was jumping to conclusions and making a big deal over nothing.
Sighing, she shook her head. There would always be some sort of drama in her family. That she would never escape. Even her usually calm and collected younger brother had volunteered to do some investigating in Paris, while her normally sensible Aunt Hermione seemed constantly on edge.
"Knowing the triplets, I'm sure it was," she muttered, continuing with organizing her files.
"Oh, it was the little one - Daisy - that provided the entertainment," he said. "Had a bit of a drinking competition with the Puddlemere chaser." Dominique rolled her eyes.
"They tend to do that from time to time," she said, glancing up at Toby, who smiled slightly. He had somehow managed to keep quiet about his friendship with her cousin, which Dom envied. She wished she didn't have such a recognizable name that everyone immediately connected to one or more of her famous family members. Warlow chuckled as he set to work on his own reports, finally leaving Dominique in peace.
The rest of the department began to file into the room and before long, it was full with all of them waiting on bated breath for their boss to arrive. They all knew that he'd make the announcement today.
Suddenly an overweight, slightly balding man with muddy brown hair swooped into the office.
"Morning, Mr. Gifford," everyone said, following him. He walked into his office with a nod and set about to putting his briefcase down. He then walked back out and stood, looking around.
"Alright then, best to get it over with," he said. Everyone stared at him, holding their breath. "Weasley, you're to report to the aurors office immediately. They specially requested you." Dom's face lit up as she grinned.
"Yes, Mr. Grifford," she said with a nod as she turned and grabbed her purse and wand. She grinned at Toby.
"See you later," she said, barely containing her excitement as she walked out. She ventured a glance back at Warlow, who looked beyond put out that he didn't get to go.
"I knew this was my day," she said to herself as she quickly walked down the corridor to the lifts, baring able to keep from running.
Dominique strode purposely down the corridor to the auror department, a smirk on her face. She nearly ran out of giddiness, but kept her excitement in check. She was supposed to check in with the auror team to get briefed on the assignment.
Stopping in front of the door, she looked at it and took a deep breath, squaring her shoulders. This was it. She opened the door and stepped into the department. The room was abuzz with movement and noise. It was large - large enough to fit several groupings of desks into teams. Along one wall there were a series of offices with large windows where the various team heads worked. A large corner office housed the head of the auror department. Dominique knew that her uncle once held the position, but he now had a large office down the hallway where he ran the entire Magical Law Enforcement Office.
Dominique smiled to herself and walked through the room over to the department head's office. Most of the aurors were busy and paid her no mind. She glanced over and saw her brother-in-law wasn't in his office. Probably off investigating something. She knocked on the door and straightened her robes.
"Come in," a voice called from within. Dominique pushed the door open and stepped into the office.
"Dominique Weasley from the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad," she said. A man in his mid to late 30s looked up from the desk, taking in the petite woman. He had dark, curly hair and brooding, dark eyes.
"Right, I'm Walter Pace, head of the auror department," he said. He waved his wand, sending a parchment airplane out of the office. "I've just sent for the head of the team you'll be working with." Dominique nodded as he returned to the document in front of him. He glanced up at her. "You were specifically requested, Ms. Weasley. So I hope you are up to task." Dominique could feel her cheeks turn slightly red.
"I assure you, I'll do my best," she said confidently.
Suddenly the door flew open. Dominique turned and fought the desire to groan.
"Dom! Good! You made it! I was worried Grifford was gonna refuse to send you. Would have been about the 10th time I've requested you that he's refused," Teddy said as he shut the door behind him, his hair the usual shade of outlandish blue.
"Lupin, this better not be favoritism," Pace said, looking up at the two.
"Of course not, Mr. Pace," he said with a grin. "Dominique here has just the skill set we need for this case." Pace nodded and motioned them out. "Follow me, Dom."
Dominique followed him out and down the line of offices to his own. He whistled before stepping in, his sister-in-law following him. As soon as the door shut behind them, Dominique huffed and stomped over to the chair in front of Teddy's desk, collapsing into with a glare as she dropped her purse on the floor next to her.
"Really, Teddy? Merlin, of all the teams to be working with, it had to be yours," she said with a groan.
"Come on, you're not excited to be working with family?" he asked, grinning.
"I should have known it was you when Grifford said I had been specifically requested," she said with a sigh. "What is it you need me to do?"
The door to his office opened and Dominique looked over as Chris Abbott walked in, causing her to roll her eyes again. The tall blonde had been best friends with her annoying cousins at Hogwarts - often joining in on their pranks and trouble when he wasn't fawning over her other cousin Daisy Wood. He now was reinstated as Jamie's best friend and had been assigned to Teddy's team last summer.
And even though years had passed since they graduated, he still annoyed the hell out of her.
"That's a lovely way to say hi, Weasley," he said, smirking. Dominique swore the man lived to antagonize her.
"Teddy, get on with it. What is it I'm supposed to be doing now that I'm here?" she said, turning her view back to Teddy.
"Well, officially we're looking into a string of burglary cases involving muggle establishments," Teddy started. Dominique groaned again.
"You brought me over here to investigate whatever it is that's going on with Jamie and Daisy, didn't you," she said, rolling her eyes.
"Come on, Dom, this is serious," Teddy said.
"No, it's not. They started getting more of Aunt Iris' gifts and now you think some sort of disaster is on the way. There's no correlation," she said, shaking her head. She glanced over at Chris, who seemed to have a serious look on his face. "And I take it since we're speaking so openly, Abbott here has been filled in on the latest family drama?"
Teddy and Chris shared a look, with Teddy nodded. Chris waved his wand, muttering something under his breath.
"Dom, I'm going to show you something that not everyone in the family has been privy to. Maybe it will change your mind," Teddy said, walking over to a cabinet and opening it. Dom sat up in her chair, noticing the pensieve in it.
"Blimey, what's this?" she said.
"Would you stop whining and just come look?" Teddy said, starting to lose his patience. She pushed out of the chair with a sigh and walked over as he selected a bottle and began extracting the memory and putting it into the bowl. "Aunt Iris gave this to me. Since she can't be here all the time to project the memory."
"Fine, but it won't change my mind," she said. Teddy just stared at her, seeming as though he was resisting the urge to roll his eyes or smack her in the back of the head.
"Just look at it," he said.
Dominique leaned over the pensieve and took a deep breath before submerging her face in the liquid. She felt like she was falling, tumbling through the air. A sense of panic filled her chest but as soon as it started, she was on her feet in a dark chamber. She looked around, barely able to make out where she was, it was so dark. It seemed large - very large. And there were seemingly hundreds of tall shelves with glass balls of varying sizes that stretched for what looked like miles in every direction. Dominique gasped quietly.
She was in the Hall of Prophecy.
Very few ever got to see this place outside of those who worked in the Department of Mysteries. Dominique drank it all in, knowing this was probably the closest she'd ever get to seeing it.
A quiet shuffling from her right drew her attention. Dominique turned and saw a young girl, she looked like she was no more than maybe 13 or 14, with short, curly red hair. Her face was smudged with what could have been dirt or bruises - Dom couldn't tell in the low light - while her hair looked as though it hadn't been washed in months. Her green eyes seemed full of fear as she crept down the aisle where Dom stood, looking around as though she expected someone to jump out at any moment. Her movements were jerky and tight. One hand held a sort of glowing orb, while the other was out to her side, as though she were at the ready should someone or something attack.
Dom's eyes widened as she realized who she was staring at. It was Aunt Iris.
Dom watched as the young teen crept passed her and then fell behind in step behind her, watching as Iris' head quickly moved from one side to the other, trying to keep all directions in her sight. There was a soft whisper from somewhere and Iris stopped, straightening up from the slight crouch she had been in, tilting her head to one side as though she were listening.
Dom noted her worn, dirty clothing. An ugly red stripe seemed to creep up from under the collar of her shirt, making its way up her neck. It looked painful. There was the soft whisper again, but this time Dominique could hear what it was saying.
Teen Iris turned her head to the right and started down an aisle, looking around at the shelves. Dominique followed closely behind her.
It was louder this time, as though they were getting closer. Iris began walking faster as the whispering kept coming more and more often, louder and louder.
Suddenly the young girl stopped and looked to her left. She turned and faced the shelf, searching. Seeing her up close, the light from the orb bouncing off her face, Dominique could see that the smudges were a mixture of healing bruises and dirt. She stared in shock, not sure how she felt seeing her aunt in this way.
Young Iris left the orb suspended in the air as she fixated on one shelf and reached through the glass, deep onto the shelf. A small look of triumph came over her face as she seemed to have found whatever it was she was looking for. She pulled her arms out and looked down at a small glass ball in her hands. It was so encrusted with dirt and dust that there was no soft glow visible from within like the others around them.
Iris frowned as she started to wipe away at the grime with her sleeve. Dominique stepped closer, wanting to see what was in the object just as much as young Iris. Finally she had cleared a large enough spot that a swirling blue and green light emitted from it. An old, weathered face appeared. Dominique couldn't make out if it was a man or a woman, but guessed from the lack of facial hair that it must have been a woman. Her eyes were clouded, as though she were blind.
"They are coming. They are here. They were here before," the woman said. "The descendents of Athena will rise again. They will bear her mark. They possess the power to protect… but also to destroy… They will come when they are needed… Beware of those who will seek to use you for evil… for they will seek you…"
Young Iris' face went rigid in fear as her hands started to shake.
"The power to destroy?" she whispered. "Can you tell me more?" she asked, a bit more loudly, not understanding that the orb contained a prophecy and couldn't answer questions. "Please… I need to know more."
The old woman repeated the prophecy.
"I heard that," Iris said, getting frantic. "I need you to tell me more!" Tears started streaking down her cheeks. She looked around the room quickly and then back down at the orb. Suddenly, she went stiff as she seemed to come to some sort of conclusion. Her mouth dropped open as she looked up, blinking slowly. "Oh, god," she murmured. She looked back down at the orb and then quickly threw it to the ground - the orb smashing into dust as it made contact with the stone floor. Iris took a step back and looked at the shards as she wiped her cheeks.
A few shouts came from behind Dominique. Both turned to look towards them. When Dominique turned to look back at her aunt, she had already taken off at a run down the aisle in the other direction. She then suddenly vanished. Smoke filled the room as Dominique felt herself being pulled back out of the memory.
Once back in the warm, bright office, Dominique took a step back. She looked at Teddy and then walked over and sat back down.
"So that's what happened," she murmured. She looked up at her brother-in-law. "That's the prophecy. In full?" He nodded.
"You see… It does mean something. And we need to find out what before it's too late," he said.
"But… we don't even know that much about Aunt Iris," Dominique said. "Shouldn't we be looking into this prophecy and whatever she is?" Teddy started to grin as he looked over at Chris.
"See? I told you we needed her. It's going to go much faster with her helping," he said. Dominique looked over at Chris, who was studying her, his face betraying nothing.
"I told you that I had a handle on it," he said, looking back at Teddy. "I am a trained auror. She's been on the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad for the last four years." Dominique shot up out of her chair and stepped towards the auror.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" she asked, challenging him. "You think I'm not good enough to help out with this investigation? Well I've got news for you, I am good at what I do. And I know I can be better at this than you."
"Is that so?" Chris said, stepping close to her.
"Children, please!" Teddy called out. They both stopped glaring at each other long enough to look at him. "We're all on the same team here. And we all need to work together if we're going to figure this out." He walked over behind his desk and started tapping a few pieces of parchment with his wand.
"Dominique, I'm now giving you access to the archives underneath the Ministry and the Department of Mysteries. I don't think you'll need to go there, but depending on what comes up, you may need it," he said. Dominique's face lit up. "But don't go in there unless you need to. The Unspeakables get a bit cranky when anyone that's not them pops in. Molly is working with us as well. In fact, I think she's already down there. We report directly to Harry once a week or whenever we find something of value. And we regularly hand deliver reports to Hermione."
Dominique suddenly remembered her promise to Toby. She wasn't sure if Teddy would go for bringing one more person into the family secret, but it seemed they could use as many hands as they could on this. If memory served her correctly, the archives were a massive labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that could take years to fully navigate on one's own.
"Might I make a suggestion?" she asked. Teddy looked up at her, a quizzical expression on his face. "It seems like this could be a mammoth task - one too big for just us. You should bring Toby on to help."
"No way," Chris said immediately. "You said that this needed to be kept to the strictest level of confidentiality. We can't go around bringing in half the Ministry on it."
"Please, Abbott. He's Daisy's best friend. If he doesn't already know, he will soon," Dominique, rolling her eyes. "Besides, he's been around the family longer than you." She looked over to Teddy, who seemed to be thinking it over.
"I think you might be right, Dom. We do need as many hands and eyes working on this as we can. Makes sense to bring Toby it. I'll send for him immediately," he said, sitting as his desk.
"So what's my orders?" Dom asked, crossing her arms in front of her. Teddy looking up.
"Oh, right… Well… I suppose for now, just go join Molly in the archives. We need to find anything we can related to that prophecy or Iris," he said.
"So… searching for any sort of mention of others like Aunt Iris?" Dominique asked. Teddy nodded. "And is there anything I'm suppose to say if someone asks what I'm doing?"
"No one will bother you. Molly and I fabricate weekly reports to send to Pace. It's enough to keep him satisfied without actually solving the case. And if he even gets suspicious, we've got Harry to step in and throw him off. Though… depending on whatever happens, he'll be filled in fully at some point," Teddy said.
Dominique nodded and grabbed her purse from the floor.
"Then I'll be off. Send Toby down once he gets here and you've filled him in," she said over her shoulder as she started walking towards the door.
"What do you need me to do?" she heard Chris asked.
"Go down with Dom," Teddy said.
"Really? Shouldn't I be out… doing something?" he asked, sounding as though he were whining.
"Yes, sir," he said resignedly. Dominique smiled to herself as she heard him start to follow her. The two left Teddy's office and started to make their way out of the department and towards the lifts.
"I'm not too thrilled to be working with you either," she said, glancing at him.
"And why not?" Chris asked, seeming a bit peeved.
"I do remember a rather disastrous potions project from our fifth year. Let's try to avoid something like that again, yea?" she said.
"Fine by me," Chris replied. "You stay out of my way and I'll stay out of yours." They reached the lifts and Chris held the grating open for her. "Ladies first," he said sarcastically. Dominique smirked at him as she walked passed. After he had joined her and the doors shut, he pressed a button at the very bottom of the panel.
"You ever been down in the archives?" he asked. Dominique shook her head no. "Then you're in for something."
So, somehow in the last few days, I've managed to plot out and outline all 25 chapters of the book. Before I did the outline, I had the first four or five chapters written (for the most part) and either all or part of the last three chapters. Yesterday I made a deal with myself that I could start posting chapters once I wrote up to chapter ten. And then I finished that this morning and plan to do some more writing tonight. Granted, I've got a lot of work in the real world when I go back in to the office tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up this pace. But at least I've got a good head start.
And for now, I can start posting somewhat regularly and fans don't have to wait forever for this installment. I swear every time I say it's going to take me a week or more to write, I end up finishing it in a day or two. Go figure. ^_^
Anyway, I hope you enjoy! Thanks for reading, following and reviewing!