The walk of shame was something that I was quite familiar with, but there was something about sneaking into the apartment I lived in with Draco Malfoy that felt just the same to me. Clearly, I wasn’t alone in this thought because Blaise and Theo were up waiting for our imminent return. Theo had that stupid smirk on his face, and he was ready to pounce on us the moment he saw us.
“You thought you could ditch us at the club and get away with it?” He cackled. “I saw you two go into the bathroom together to hookup. You weren’t very discrete.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, “It’s really not what you think, Theo.”
“Let him think what he wants.” Draco smirked proudly, “It’s not going to change his mind anyway.”
“Of course you would say that.” I snapped at him, “If you get people to assume you slept with me it’s like you won a prize. It’s not the same the other way around you know.”
“I can think of a few women who would beg to differ.” He retorted.
“Pugsy doesn’t count.” I rolled my eyes. Draco opened his mouth to respond, but Theo cut him off.
“What is it you two were up to then?” Theo pried, “We’re both dying to know.” He pointed between himself and Zabini.
“Theo is dying to know. I just haven’t gone to bed yet.” Blaise tried to keep up his blasé persona, but I could tell by his eyes that he was just as interested in hearing the explanation as Theo.
I rolled my eyes and huffed in frustration. Draco shrugged, “You might as well show them.”
I frowned at him, but rolled up the sleeve of Hermione’s jacket that I was still wearing. The black skull and snake looked much more menacing under the bright apartment lights. Theo’s confident smirk faded and all the blood drained from his face. Blaise’s face had a similar look of shock, and for once, the duo was rendered speechless.
“Now you know.” I frowned and re-covered my arm. “And to top it all off there was a break-in at Gringotts.”
“Oh shit, my money!” Theo scrambled to his feet. I wasn’t sure what he thought he could do about it even if he had been robbed.
“Your money is fine.” Draco rolled his eyes, “They didn’t take anything.”
“I think Camille had something to do with it.” I said as I thought back to how weird it was outside my old apartment.
“Reeves?” Draco scoffed, “She’s not smart enough. Plus we stood outside your apartment for a while. There wasn’t much going on there. Certainly nothing of note. I don’t think looking out a window is probable cause.”
“Says you.” I glowered at him, “She was arguing with someone. I saw it with my own two eyes.”
“Doesn’t she always argue? Isn’t that kind of her thing?” Blaise asked. “Or am I remembering another Camille Reeves?”
“You lived with her. Wouldn’t you have known if she was up to something before now?” Theo asked. It was apparent that no one else shared my suspicions about the girl. “Maybe you just had too much to drink, Rory.”
“Hardly.” I frowned, “I know how to hold my liquor.”
“You didn’t used to.” Theo smirked at the memory, and Draco let out a quiet laugh in agreement. There might have been a time or two where I got too drunk underage at Hogwarts, but that certainly didn’t apply here and now. My mind was clear.
“That was firewhisky.” I rolled my eyes, “The muggle stuff we were drinking tonight isn’t as potent and you know it.”
“I think you should get some sleep. There’s no need to worry about this any more tonight.” Draco said. “In fact, we should all get to bed. It’s nearly daytime already.”
I wanted to fight him on it, but my eyelids were starting to feel heavy. I trudged past everyone and went to my room, slamming the door loudly on purpose to let them know I was still upset.
I threw myself into my bed and begged for sleep, but it never came. I spent the entire night tossing and turning while my arm burned incessantly. Light crept through my window alerting me that the new day had started, indifferent to the lack of sleep I had gotten.
Accepting defeat that sleep had escaped me for the night, I got out of bed and walked to the kitchen. I nearly jumped when I saw that Draco was sitting there at the kitchen island in the dim morning light. He looked just as exhausted as I felt. The dark circles under his eyes made his skin appear even more pale.
“Want some?” He asked as he held up a cup of tea. He nodded towards the kettle on the stove and I poured myself my own cup and sat across from him. I eyed him warily and he sighed. “I didn’t sleep.” He admitted. “I’m assuming you didn’t either.”
“My arm hurt too much.” I told him as I removed the tea bag from my cup and took a sip. “What about you?”
“Yup.” He said. Silence enveloped us again. We both sat there, sipping our tea and thinking about the night before. “You really think Camille could do something like this?” He wondered.
“Not by herself.” I muttered. “I want to go investigate the apartment. It might give some insight as to what’s going on.”
“You can’t.” Draco said with concern. “Not alone.”
“You come along then.” I shrugged. I wasn’t one to take orders from anyone, certainly not Draco Malfoy. “I’m going regardless.”
Draco groaned, “You’re always getting into something and causing trouble. This is worse than the time in year four that you got entirely too drunk and were convinced you could get into that bloody chamber of secrets that Potter opened when we were twelve. All that got us was a detention and a splitting headache from Moaning Myrtle screaming at us.”
“It’s not worse than that.” I glared at him, “Besides, Camille might actually be up to something. We wouldn’t be causing trouble if we caught her in the act. We would be helping.”
“Oh yeah, brilliant.” Draco drawled, “If we get caught using magic breaking and entering, we can just tell the Ministry that we were helping them investigate and they’ll definitely believe us. Especially with our dark marks blazing on our arms for the entire world to see.”
“Then we just won’t get caught.” I paused, “But wear long sleeves just in case.” I said with a smirk as I stood up. “I’m leaving in five minutes with or without you.”
I ran off to my room to get dressed whilst Draco grumbled to himself. We met back up and Draco still looked less than thrilled. “Great.” I said, almost excited at the prospect of what we might uncover. “Let’s go.”
I walked over to the fireplace and grabbed a handful of floo powder. “Diagon Alley.” I spoke clearly and with conviction as green flames engulfed me. Only a few seconds later I found myself back in my old flat. I stepped out of the fireplace just in time for Draco to arrive and I started looking around intently.
“What exactly are you looking for?” Draco whispered.
“Anything. I dunno. See if you find anything suspicious.” I whispered back. I was certain that the apartment would be empty. Camille was never around in the mornings on Sundays. Where she went off to, I would never know, but I also knew that Aidan hated being alone, so he would likely be tagging alongside her now.
“You might as well get some of your belongings while you’re here.” Draco suggested. “Though why you would want any of this junk, I’m no so sure.” He picked up a decorative box off the coffee table and looked at it with disdain.
“My mum gave me that.” I cried as I snatched it from him and cradled it in my arms. “It was hand carved out of acacia wood from a tree grown to make wands.”
“It looks like she nicked it from a street vendor on the streets of London.” Draco frowned.
“So what if she did steal it?” I scowled, “Stories like that add character. Now would you help me instead of standing there and judging everything?”
“There’s nothing in here that’s suspicious, Aurora.” he groaned in frustration. “Certainly not out in the open.”
I sighed. Draco was right. Camille wouldn’t be that stupid. I walked into my bedroom. It looked practically untouched from when I left abruptly. All of my things were still in the drawers and the wardrobe. It didn’t feel like any of it belonged to me anymore. I didn’t feel any attachment to my things whatsoever. Well, nothing besides this small trinket box that I was taking home with me. I used to store my jewelry in it. It was enchanted so that when jewelry had been put inside it, only I could re-open it again.
I walked back into the living room to meet Draco’s expectant gaze. “Are you ready to go now?” He asked impatiently.
“Not quite.” I replied, still searching every nook and cranny. I was about to abandon my thorough search of the living room and move on to Camille’s bedroom when I could hear voices from the hallway. “Shit!” I hissed. “Get to the fireplace, now!”
“There’s no floo powder!” Draco whispered back anxiously. I should have prepared for this. I should have known they would have been too irresponsible to go out and get more floo powder on their own. Now we were going to pay for that mistake.
“Of course there isn’t.” I snapped. I was beginning to panic. We were running out of time. The voices were getting louder and they were almost outside the apartment. I grabbed Draco and shoved him into Camille’s room.
I threw the two of us into her cramped wardrobe and motioned for him to remain silent. There was barely enough room for the two of us. One false step and we would have toppled out onto the floor. Our chests were rising and falling in sync as we stared at each other through the darkness with our faces mere centimeters apart.
We had just barely made it in time. Just a few seconds later Camille came storming into the room looking for something. “Come on Cam.” I could hear Aidan’s voice from the hall, “We’re already late.”
“It’s in here somewhere.” She said as she continued to tear the room apart. “I need to find it.”
I watched Camille through the crack in the wardrobe. She seemed erratic which was not like her at all. She was almost always cool and collected. I caught a glimpse of her arm and saw the mark was there.
I looked back at Draco and he nodded his head to let me know that he saw it too. It was a bad idea to move because the floor creaked beneath us and Camille definitely noticed.
Camille’s eyes shot up and she stared right at the wardrobe. My breath hitched and my heart began to pound profusely. She began to creep forward with her wand drawn and I was almost certain these would be my last moments. Draco was holding onto me tightly, preparing for the worst. Neither of us could move to withdraw our own wands without further giving ourselves away.
“Camille, let’s go!” Aidan said as he bounded into the room. He put himself between us and the wardrobe and I let out a silent sigh of relief. “We don’t need anything. We’re just going out for tea today. This was a waste of time.”
Camille looked angry, furious even, but she closed her eyes and composed herself. “Fine.” She muttered, “We’re already late anyway. Let’s go.” She stormed out of the room and Aidan quickly followed behind her like a lost puppy. Draco and I stayed in the wardrobe until we were sure that they were gone.
“You idiot you almost blew our cover, Malfoy.” I said as I shoved him out of the wardrobe. He pulled me with him and we stumbled onto Camille’s bed, which cushioned the blow of our fall, “She would have not hesitated to kill us, you know. At the very least she would have used the cruciatus curse to find out what we were up to.”
Draco flipped over so that he was on top of me. Both of his arms were by either side of my head as he straddled me, keeping me trapped beneath his weight. He huffed angrily as he got in my face, “You are the one who almost got us killed by us even being here to begun with, Aurora. Not me.”
“So you admit something weird is going on!” I shouted gleefully as I tried to shove him off of me to no avail. “I knew it!”
“Yeah, somethings weird alright.” He grunted as he got off of me and allowed me to sit up. “She’s got all these old books on necromancy lying about. Those aren’t easy to acquire.” I followed his gaze to a stack of books haphazardly laying on the other side of Camille’s bed. They looked as if they had all been rifled through.
“Necromancy doesn’t work, does it?” I frowned. “Who would she be trying to bring back from the dead?”
“Voldemort was the only one who got close to being successful that I know of.” Draco frowned, “Maybe she wants to raise an undead army of inferi?”
“Now you sound like the ridiculous one.” I snorted. “Come on, let’s get out of here before they come back. We won’t get as lucky the second time around, I can tell you that much.”