Chapter 60: The Idea
An anagram . . . that was what Wisenburg had said. It was something he heard, but even rumors were a good start.
Erela had gone to the headmistress after finding Haxel and got some pictures of the dead students. She and Wisenburg were the only people who knew the truth behind the death of the students and knew that one of them had escaped, so there was really no serious case on the matter back when they were teenagers. Everyone had been told it was all an accident. The caskets were closed to hide the fact that two of the bodies had turned to dust and only the families of the deceased knew. They were probably told they practiced using a dangerous jinx and resulted in their demise.
She wasn't sure, she was numb that time and time passed too fast for her to hear what went around the school.
The headmistress lied about the students' deaths to keep the reputation that Hogwarts was safe. Parents were already skeptical as it was when Wisenburg attended the school; it would ruin the school if news got out that students were killing each other.
Erela studied the pictures of the students she had gotten from the headmistress, trying to remember clearly which ones she had killed. Stacee's photo was pinned on her memory wall beside her pictures of her and Markus. The metamorphmagus boy had his usual awkward smile, glancing down to the ground for a couple seconds then looking back up again. Erela actually wished she had spent more time with Stacee when he was alive . . .
And yet, even though they weren't nearly as close as he was with Laila or Wisenburg, she couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking when he threw himself in front of the killing curse. Was it just instinct? Because he was closer to her in distance? Or because she was his best friend's girlfriend?
Erela shook her head and went back to looking at the students' faces. She lightly flicked the girl's picture away, remembering she was one of the two she got. Then it was just the two boys in front of her. One of them, the werewolf had heard used an anagram and registered back into the real world. If that were the case, then having pictures of him would be useless if he redid his face with polyjuice potion to hide from Erela or Wisenburg.
They were the only ones whom knew he had killed their friend . . . he must know that one of them, if not both of them, were out to get him.
"Ela . . . Ela."
"Hm?" Erela looked up to Markus staring at her. "Sorry, spacing out a little."
"I can see," he raised his brows at her and looked at the pictures she had been staring at. "Still thinking on the event, huh?"
"Yeah . . ." she nodded. Erela still couldn't bring herself to tell him what happened. Sure, it wasn't her fault, from what the werewolf had told her. But she still accepted that it was. Not only that, if she shared that she was there when the killings happened, Markus would become overly concerned for her emotions, especially since she was forcing open wounds. "I knew him," Erela pointed to Stacee's picture. "He was a good guy."
"A metamorphmagus?" Markus asked when he got close enough to look at the picture.
"Yeah . . . yeah, I kind of remember seeing him around back in school. He was in your house?" Erela nodded. "You had pretty interesting friends back in school," he chuckled.
She pursed her lips and ran her fingers through her pixie short hair as she got off her chair. "You have no idea," she muttered.
"So, what do you think was the cause of the deaths?" Markus asked. "Did the headmistress ever explain what it was?"
Erela paused and the event flashed before her eyes. The chase from the Shrieking Shack, running through the trees with Wisenburg and Stacee while the cultists were throwing all their jinxes and curses at them, the desperation to Disapparate away from the trouble when they couldn't due to the anti-Apparation charm around the campus, Erela's charm to kill the two students, the green light, and Stacee . . .
Her eyes became dim and lifeless just thinking of the memory. She shook her head and pursed her lips in response. "Can we drop it . . .? I'm still not comfortable—"
"Oh, no. I'm sorry. I shouldn't pry," Markus stammered and moved out of her way for her to exit her cubicle.
"Thank you, love," Erela weakly smiled, stood up on her toes, and pecked him on the lips.
"It's your turn to cook tonight by the way," he pointed out.
"What do you feel like?"
"Surprise me," Markus smiled.
"Oh Christ! Just marry already!" someone in the office called in mock annoyance.
Erela rolled her eyes and Markus laughed before he took her hand and the two Disapparated out of the office. They both reappeared in their flat when Erela took long strides into the kitchen and waved her wand around for everything to cook itself. "Was work boring for you?" she asked.
"It's alright," he shrugged as he came into the kitchen and watched her work her magic. "Kind of wish we would get sent out to do something. I signed up for the action as well. Not just paperwork."
"Too bad," Erela chuckled. "Paperwork is always involved no matter what."
"I know," he rolled his eyes at her and took a step back when one of their bowls came flying at him. "It's just been a while since we did any field work."
Erela had an idea for a while. It was mad though, but she just couldn't sit back and do nothing since she got a little lead. The idea had been swimming in her head for a couple days and she knew for a fact that it wouldn't go away unless she took action to silence the pestering thought. "I was actually assigned an investigation on what happened at Hogwarts a couple years ago. The head thinks I can figure it out myself," Erela said.
Markus raised his brows at her. "Mr. Potter thinks you can do it? By yourself?"
The pixie cut Auror raised a brow at her fiancé. "You don't think I can do it?"
"No no no," he shook his head. "No, I don't mean it like that. It's just . . . well, the case is kind of dead. The headmistress didn't talk and none of the students knew what happened. Mr. Potter thinks there's more to the case that the school wasn't telling the Ministry?"
"Yes," she nodded. "He thinks there's more. And since I was a student at the time, he thinks it's fitting for me to go in."
"But, by yourself . . ."
Erela shrugged at him. "Maybe he's taking off my "training wheels"," she started with a smirk.
Markus lips curled into a smile and raised his arms in front of him to her. "My button is growing up," he teased.
"I'm your button now?" Erela laughed and walked into his arms.
"I'm still working on your pet name," he muttered and kissed her forehead.
She lightly smiled and hugged him back. He mustn't know . . . she would have to be fast on finding the killer before everyone realized she had lied. Once the office found out, they would all become suspicious and question her. Paranoia wasn't at its highest since Voldemort, but any shady behavior was a red light.