November 12, 1891
As the candle flickered out and night fell, Albus rested his head on his arms. It was his turn to do vigil for Ariana after another “episode” of hers that morning. It had been two months since the attack and ever since, Ariana’s magic had become...unpredictable. Dangerous, even. This time, it was only a curio cabinet sliced in half, but Albus couldn’t help but imagine a person standing there in its place.
His heavy eyelids drifted shut, despite the fact that he was nervous to be alone in a room with Ariana. He hoped that she’d used up her store of magical energy for a while. HIs parents speculated that she was traumatized to release magic in the ways that a normal child would, so instead she bottled it up. The problem was she could not control when it was released. Albus wondered bitterly why his parents weren’t more worried for the family’s safety. Shouldn’t Ariana be sent away for help? Who could tell if tomorrow she’d lose control and slice through someone instead of a piece of furniture.
Albus’s worries were overcome by exhaustion. He had spent all day doing the chores that his mother had neglected in favor of doting on Ariana. Albus had tried to get Aberforth to help, but when that boy wanted to disappear, he did. Albus’s eyes closed and he was out.
“Albus,” a stiff voice said some time later, shaking him awake. “Albus, get up.”
Albus sat up and rubbed his eyes, trying to focus. It was deep night now, the pitch black oozing through the windows and seeping into the room. “Why?”
“We are going,” Percival said with a hard glint in his eye. “I cannot watch your sister like this for any longer without doing something about it.”
That got Albus’s attention. “Where are we going? Should I wake Aberforth?”
His father looked down at him. “Aberforth is too young. You... you are old enough.”
Percival turned and strode from the room. Albus scrambled up, grabbing his wand and cloak and hurrying after his father. “But where are we going?”
“To find the muggles who attacked her.”
Albus’s stomach twisted. “But... Why do I have to come?”
His father stopped in his tracks and turned to him. “Eventually, you will be the head of this family. It will be your job to protect them, Albus. Protect them at all costs. You have to know what that entails. A lesson, you can call it.”
Albus knew all about his father’s lessons. He trailed out the door after him feeling anything but excited. They walked for what seemed like an eternity, down over the hill and then through the muggle community. They might have looked conspicuous if it had been light out, but in the dark, they blended right in.
“There,” Percival said, pointing. “Three brothers. They live there. Ages thirteen, fourteen and sixteen. They are the ones who attacked her.”
“How do you know?”
In the moonlight, Albus’s father’s face had a threatening profile. His jaw was set in a stern line and his eyes glinted with hard anger. In short, he was not to be messed around with. Albus almost felt bad for the muggles. He had no idea what his father would do - he’d never seen him like this.
“I’ve done my research,” Percival muttered. “Come.”
“Are we going to break in?” Albus asked nervously.
“Yes,” he replied. “You simply watch all of this. I do not want you to get in trouble. If anyone asks, you were not here at all, understand? Answer no questions about this night.”
Albus’s palms were beginning to sweat. “Why? What are you going to do?”
His father didn’t answer. Instead, he stepped up to the side window of a low brick house. He lit his wand and revealed three sleeping figures inside. Albus’s throat clenched. Percival unlocked the window with a spell and pushed it open silently. He looked back at Albus. “Stay here.”
That wasn’t a hard command to follow. Percival slipped into the room, wand still glowing enough to see by. Albus watched as he moved to the door, locked it, and cast a silencing charm around the room.
He felt sick.
Percival shot a large, floating ball of light up to the ceiling, to hang there and illuminate the room. With a clap, he woke up all three groggy boys. Albus couldn’t hear what was being said, since he was outside of the charm, but it was obvious that the boys were scared out of their wits. It seemed like Percival was refreshing their memories of the night they’d attacked his daughter.
Percival took a step forward. The boys scrambled out of bed and took a step back. Albus’s father smiled in cruel amusement. He fired a spell.
And that’s when the silent screaming started.
Albus was horrified. “Stop!” he shouted. Percival didn’t respond. Albus realized that with the silencing charm, his father couldn’t hear him. All shouting served to do was wake the neighbors.
But Albus couldn’t watch this. He turned and ran from the house, sprinting as fast as he could through the streets back towards home. His cloak whipped around his legs and he tripped, faceplanting onto the cobblestone street. It didn’t matter. Albus got up, ignoring the scrapes and dirt and kept on running.
Right then, he vowed never to be like his father. He vowed not to let anyone, not even his family, change who he was deep inside. He was going to follow himself, and only himself. He would protect his family, but that wasn’t the way to go about it. Albus would sooner die than cause that kind of hurt upon anybody.
He didn’t slow until he reached his front door.
PERCIVAL DUMBLEDORE ARRESTED FOR ATTACK ON THREE YOUNG MUGGLES
By Harriet Gracenet
Yesterday, on November 12th, Percival Dumbledore was caught by aurors while torturing three young muggle boys. Their muggle neighbors were apparently woken by some noise outside and alerted muggle police. Aurors arrived on scene almost immediately, and the boys are expected to recover fully. Dumbledore, on the other hand, faces some serious charges of magical felony with the Ministry. It is rumored that he used an unforgivable curse on the muggles. The trial will be held in two weeks time, and he shall be sentenced at that point. It is, as of yet, unclear what motivated such a vicious crime, but authorities are presently looking into it. There is speculation that Dumbledore simply went mad, finally releasing his long held hate of muggles and allowing it to manifest itself in the form of cruel torture. Others think that he finally made a move on pureblood supremacy. Officially, the motive is unknown. Rest assured that if any information should come through, it will appear here as quickly as possible.
Albus flipped the page of the paper.
Wizarding World Gone Mad?
By Bilius Wolfrang
Or is it just Percival Dumbledore? If all wizards acted on their views on pureblood supremacy or lack thereof, we would have quite a situation on our hands. This did not seem to stop Dumbledore from taking out his anger on three defenseless muggles. Chances are the muggles did not even know why they were being so brutally tortured - simply for not having magical powers. Hopefully, the Wizengamot will sort out Dumbledore’s punishment and give him something deserving. Perhaps they should subject him to the same fate that he forced the muggles into. Thoughts? Feel free to write in with any opinions on what exactly they should do to Dumbledore.
There was an article right next to it, taking another side.
A Move in Pureblood Supremacy
By Olga Umbridge
As no other motive has been found for Percival Dumbledore’s recent attack on three muggles, it seems that it must fall on his views on pureblood supremacy. Finally, after all these years of talk, someone has decided to act upon the ideal the muggles are the inferior race. Perhaps Dumbledore went about it in the wrong way - a petition would have been much nicer - but nevertheless, he has managed to bring to light the values that many people harbor, yet are too afraid to speak of. Hopefully, now with the subject in the spotlight, more people will come forward and join the cause. The wizarding community can finally do what they should have done years ago and assert that they are the superior race. Agree? Find a petition in the back of this issue and owl it in for your name to be added to the list.
Albus closed the paper as a knock sounded on the front door. They had come to ask questions. He swallowed hard.
AN: I forgot to point out that if the speech seems a bit stilted, it's because this is set in the late 1800s. I figured they didn't use quite so many contractions then. That's all. If you like this, please favorite to vote for this in Catching Paper!