Lucius snatched the envelope from the ground and tore it open. What he found inside was a white piece of parchment with a year and a name scribbled in the centre. For anyone else, the parchment would not make any sense, but for Lucius, he became certain the letter was for him. The way the i slanted so oddly between the alphabets reminded him of how the Dark Lord signed his last letter; your friend.
That revelation sent shivers down Lucius’ spine. He now knew he was being watched, and whoever had access to his room was someone close. At that moment, Lucius contemplated on informing his father about the letter. The Dark Lord would not trust him if he found Lucius reporting to his father like a clueless puppy. So, Lucius decided to rip the letter up and dispose of it in the fireplace.
The next day, Lucius requested to study old case files revolving around the education in their wizarding community. Nobody stood against his request and he spent the whole morning in a small, stuffy room, searching for what the Dark Lord had asked for. When Lucius finally found it, he did not hesitate to see why it was important.
Inside the dusty brown file was a single sheet of paper and a picture. The report stated of a boy Lucius did not recognize selling forbidden potions and dangerous magical artifacts. Most of his possessions were confiscated, but there was reason to believe the boy had a source. The Dark Lord probably wanted to find that source.
Taking the file along with a few others, Lucius had to come up with a way to sneak it back to his room. But since the clock struck lunch hour, Lucius left the stack of files on his desk before meeting up with Tanya. As Tanya babbled away about all the new things she had learned, Lucius tuned out and began concocting a plan. It was a good thing he wore his biggest cloak that day.
By the time lunch was over, Lucius returned to his desk hoping to study the case further. But when he flipped through the stack of case files on his desk, the one he was looking for was no longer there. In a brief state of panic Lucius quickly spread the files out, and it was then that he saw another envelope.
Immediately, Lucius opened the envelope and found four numbers written on the letter. It was also signed with a slanted i and Lucius could not help but take long looks at the other people in his department. Clearly the Dark Lord had more than one inside man, and Lucius was now one of them. He was not sure if he should feel safer knowing he was not alone or if he should worry about being watched. Those conflicting thoughts became an uneasiness that stayed with him till the end of the day.
The following morning, Lucius clocked into his department just in time to be told that Mr Barrow, the head of department, would be leaving for an important meeting. He was also just in time for the joke his colleagues cracked about Mr Barrow being a fan of muggle contraptions, locking important files in a cabinet with muggle locks. At that moment, the gears in Lucius’ head aligned to the answer he was looking for.
The numbers written on the letter was probably a code to unlocking the cabinet. And though Lucius did not know what he should be looking for, he skipped lunch that day and left his desk only when his department cleared out. When no one was around to question his actions, Lucius hurried to Mr Barrow’s office and quickly slipped in. Once inside, he searched the room for a cabinet.
Mr Barrow’s office was large but it was narrow because of all the books he had. There were books on the shelves and books stacked up on the floor. There were even books on the armchairs facing the fireplace. It took a while for Lucius to find the brown cabinet that camouflaged among the brown hardcovers, but he found it nevertheless.
The cabinet was at a corner of the room and it had a single door with a number lock. Having memorized the numbers, Lucius quickly rolled one number after another and once the last one clicked into place, the lock was free. Now that that obstacle was out of the way, Lucius had another one to tackle. The moment he pulled the cabinet door open, he saw deep rows of stacked files. Swallowing hard, Lucius assumed he was to look for the same boy that sold dangerous artifacts. Without giving it much thought, he decided to act in the most unwise manner possible; he shouted ‘accio’ for the file.
Immediately, files flew out of the cabinet as the one he had requested hit him in the face. Yes, it was a brilliant idea for a poltergeist like Peeves but a foolish move for a Malfoy. Just as Lucius was about to scold himself for making such a stupid decision, he heard heavy footsteps walking up to Mr Barrow’s office. Stuffing the file under the back of his vest, Lucius shuffled up and down not knowing what to do. At that moment he only had two choices, it was either he stand his ground or he hide.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should hide or stand his ground!)