It was after curfew, but Emmett stood alone in the semi-darkness on the Grand Staircase, facing the double oak front doors that served as the entrance to Hogwarts castle. His expression was stoic, and a cigarette hung limply from his lips as he took a long puff. He closed his eyes as he held the smoke in his mouth for a moment, then held the cigarette between his teeth as he parted his lips and puffed out the smoke.
As it trailed out of his mouth and slowly dispersed in the air, Emmett thought about what he was about to do.
He was pretty sure tonight was one of the nights his older sister Melody would grace the castle with her presence, to visit Silas and whatever students she was working on recruiting for the Death Eaters. What she did was no secret to Emmett. It was what had torn them apart, and Emmett had decided he wanted nothing to do with her. She visited him if she could find him on her visits. But Emmett usually made himself scarce.
The last time he'd seen Melody, they'd had a shouting match up in the clock tower - one of Emmett's hideaway spots where he went to think, and sometimes to sleep. Since then he'd tried not to think of his Death Eater sister. But it was hard. She was his sister, after all. His family. His own flesh and blood. Her words had cut through him that day. How could he cut her out, when they used to be so close? Just because she'd joined an organization that Emmett had sworn he'd stay clear of? He had no intention at the moment to join the Death Eaters, but he had a feeling deep in his gut that that wouldn't always be the case.
His main worry was that Melody would get him killed. Or get herself killed. Merlin, that would be horrible. Emmett wouldn't be able to stand it, in all honesty, if his sister wound up dead. Worse would be if he never knew. If her corpse was rotting somewhere and he still thought her to be alive. The thought made a chill shoot through him, and he calmed it with another drag from his cigarette.
He knew his sister loathed his smoking, but he couldn't help it. It was an addiction, and it helped calm him. And for what he was about to do, he needed to be calm.
Emmett needed to talk to his sister. He needed to try to mend their relationship, and for that he needed to apologise. She didn't cut him out, after all. He'd sworn his neutrality the moment she'd chosen to join the Death Eaters. Before that, Emmett had been seriously considering joining the Order of the Phoenix. With his friend Icarus. But now he wasn't so sure he could stay neutral. He would certainly never join the Order. That would mean going up against his sister. But even neutrality was beginning to grow difficult. What if his refusal to also join the Death Eaters ended up harming his sister? He could be punished for it, but so could she. He still didn't want to join them. He enjoyed his neutrality. It felt safe for the time being.
But one thing was for certain: he wanted his sister back. He just hoped he was right, and that tonight was one that she paid the castle a visit.
Recruiting was one of Mel’s favorite activities. It made her feel like an actual, productive member of the Death Eater community instead of just a store clerk. She scrunched her nose at the thought of her ‘title.’ It was such an outrageously useless position and a total waste of her time. Most of her days were spent leaning on the empty counter, daydreaming of running actual missions. Her recruiting nights were the closest she’d get for the time being.
Recruiting nights also meant seeing Silas, one of her favorite wizards on the planet. She’d heard some worrisome rumors that he had a soft spot for a girl who wasn’t her, and tonight, she’d figure out the truth for herself. Just to be on the safe side, she wore her most flattering black dress underneath her pilfered Hogwarts robes and pocketed a shrunken bottle of champagne for good measure.
It was surprisingly easy to sneak into Hogwarts. Just apparate outside of the gates and there was always someone to let her in. Today, there was no one to open the gate, but all it took was the casting of some simple charms to undue the lock. The idiot professors probably didn’t give a second thought to the safety of the school, living in their delusional world where the Death Eaters had ceased to exist. The thought made her smile. She couldn’t wait to see their faces when they figured out the truth.
She pushed open the gate and traipsed up the path, admiring the imposing silhouette of the castle in the darkness. Today, she was going to check in on the new initiates. Make sure no one was having seconds thoughts. Make sure there were no weak links among them.
She let herself in the main castle doors feeling no reason to mess with secrecy. She’d never been stopped before. But tonight, she did stop just ten steps up the staircase. The brightly lit candles made it easy to see that it was her brother there, sitting on the steps, but she couldn’t wrap her mind around it. He’d never willingly made himself available when she came to the castle. Normally, she had to track him down if she wanted to talk to him, though she always played it off like some fortuitous run-in.
The only thing she could think of was that he had wanted to see her, but that didn’t make any sense. Emmett hadn’t wanted to see her since she’d joined the Death Eaters.
She cocked her head to the side and studied his face, trying to gauge what sort of welcome she’d receive. But she couldn’t tell a damn thing from looking at him. He was completely blank with a stupid cigarette hanging out of his mouth. She wanted to smack it off his face. “Well, hello, little brother. Funny running into you here. You here to rat me out of hex me?” her lips curved into a wicked smile.