Rester en sécurité, pour moi
War in some societies was believed to be a necessary evil. But most of the wizarding world had never suspected that a war would break out between muggles themselves. It had been expected for one to eventually erupt between those of magic and non-magic. But War World I had taken many by surprise. As was natural, there were those for the war and those against it. Thousands ran in fear, while others stepped up to defend their country, homes, and family.
Theseus had been one of the men to step up when it came to the war. Even though it had been forbidden for those of magical blood to intervene, he couldn't help himself. Even his younger brother had been deployed to the Eastern Front, to help with a certain breed of dragons. The news that Newt was going to aid in the war had shocked his brother, really, he didn't think the young magizoologist was capable of such. There had been an odd sense of pride coursing through Theseus in that moment. Especially since the operation involving Ukrainian Ironbellies was a minor ministry side operation.
"You joined the Ministry Family, finally!" It had been an inside joke. One he got a small chuckle from, his brother, not so much. If only they could go back to those times. The thought alone was enough to bring a small upwards curve to the left corner of his mouth. How long had it been since he had seen his family? How many dead bodies had he passed by in the weeks since he had gotten to his destination? Theseus couldn't keep track.
By now, all of the bodies he had seen were starting to blur together. Some had belonged to comrades. Several belonged to enemies he had taken out with his own wand. Even still, there were those that had belonged to muggles he had tried to protect; yet failed in doing so. That was another thing. Theseus wasn't here just to attack wizards that marched on the opposing side. He was also here to put his own life on the line, to protect muggles, to give them a place to hide. His unit had a base and the doors to that base had been opened to no maj's. It gave them a place to hide, within the long twisting corridors of what appeared to be a normal looking house, in a rather cozy looking neighborhood.
Perhaps it was an unusual stance on the world, but, Theseus didn't hate muggles. He was actually rather accepting of them. The reality of it all was that he seemed to carry a different aura to himself when he wasn't alone. A workaholic, all about the ministry, no time for play, and surely no breaking the rules. But, if one could get him alone; he'd relax, calm down, perhaps even open up a bit. They'd learn that he wasn't everything people spoke of him as being. After all, to even get into the war, he had to break a few rules.
His involvement in the war had opened many doors for him. But right now, he wasn't focused on any of those doors. Right now, he was focused on another thing as hemoglobin coursed from between his paling fingers. The sound of labored breathing filled the otherwise war polluted air. The smile that had curved upon pale lips had slipped, as reality snapped back into his line of vision. Memories crashed and crumbled as violent tremors radiated beneath his fingertips. Theseus had been in the middle of applying pressure to a wound, trying to get the blood to stop, but his mind had slipped. It had slipped so much to the point that he was now leaning against a wall; his chest heaving from heavy exhales. Moments prior, Theseus had been struck by a bullet to his lower right side. Pain was now searing through his body, but he hadn't a moment to spare and had used apparition to vanish from the scene; landing back in the house where he had been hiding for weeks now.
Upon appearing in the living room, little time had been wasted before the shriek of a child was heard as toys hit the wooden floor between them. "Vous êtes blessé!" His accent was thick, French no doubt.
Fortunately, Theseus could understand French. "It isn't a major injury," he'd reply to the boy, before sitting down on a chair in the small living space. But his words didn't seem to reassure the no-maj who ran off screaming for his mother. Theseus would've stopped him, but he hadn't the strength to do much moving. Instead, he took to popping open the buttons of his vest, peeling the material back just enough. Not a major injury. That may as well have been a lie. He could feel the bullet launched within his body. Every movement the wizard made, made it feel as if the bullet was burying itself deeper within the muscles.
"Où est -il?" Another voice was soon heard as Theseus managed to shake the vest loose; though retaining his button down shirt. Both articles of clothing had become tainted in his blood. Shame. He had just bought that vest not long ago.
"En ici, madam." For once, Theseus had replied in their native tongue, guiding her to where he was. His own French had a thick accent to it. He wasn't foreign to it. In fact, his accent was thick enough that it could be possible he was raised to speak in such a tongue every now and then. But that wasn't something that had ever truly come up between himself and the small family he was watching over now.
Again, doors of his base had been opened to no-maj's on the run. The mother and son he had let in this time had fallen victim to the war. The boys' father and older siblings had been killed. To Theseus' understanding, the elder siblings had involved a sister and brother. One had been killed at gun point, the other had fallen to spells. Exactly which spells, he was unsure, he could only guess, but didn't want the details. The conversation had been rather short. Simple.
"Why are you here, fighting in this war? What could a wizard hope to gain by fighting our wars for us?" It had been the mothers' question.
"Nothing. I’m not here to gain anything."
"Then why do it?" The boy had asked. "Aren't you afraid of dying? Marrok and Louise died, not long ago...." His tone had dropped.
"Victor!" His mother had interjected and snapped, rather quickly.
"Because. I hurt people. It's all I'm good at." It was, after all, his job to take out dark witches and wizards. That meant hurting people. It meant he had to be good at it. So it wasn't exactly a lie. Perhaps, a part of him had also hoped it would keep the family from growing to care too much about him. It had done the opposite over the past few weeks.
That very night, after Victor had been sent to bed, his mother, Camille, had stayed up to tend to Theseus' wounds. The bullet had been removed, his abdomen had been stitched up, and pain medicine had been applied. For a few hours the wizard had been able to rest. But an unusual sound had caught his attention; whispers from the hall outside his door.
"Camille?" No answer had been given to the male speaking her name. More whispers echoed as tingles trailed up Theseus' back. An alarm going off in his head. Reaching for where his wand had been laid before, he'd tightly clutch the hilt and force himself from the bed; albeit ignoring the pain. "Camille." Again he said her name, but once more there was no answer. Instinct overtook the wizards senses as his wand was raised, aiming for the door, sending it flying back and off of its hinges; into whatever had been on the other side. For a moment, all of the whispers stopped as his wand was lowered. ".." Was he simply paranoid? Perhaps.
Choosing to act on said paranoia, Theseus went about checking the house. For as many rooms as it had, the house was relatively small, everything seemed in order, until he reached the front. It was when he reached the front door, briefly after leaving Victor's room, that he noticed something out of place. The door was slightly ajar. Such hadn't been the case but hours before. No one used the front door. Yet it was now open.
Having a sinking feeling in his gut, Theseus checked back over his shoulder. Victor's room was but a short length down the hall. Had the boy tried to go outside? Camille had once scolded him for it. Yet neither had found him attempting such a thing again. He was a smart eight year old; so it seemed. But then, why was the door open?
Attempting to clear his mind, Theseus turned back to the door and moved to close it; the second he did his world began to shift. Being sucked through a portkey was not a very pleasant feeling. It could be worse if it was ones first time. Theseus luckily had been exposed to these devices many times throughout his life. But never before had he been sucked through one that had him land atop a mountain of bodies, a wand centered between his eyes, his own nowhere to be found; seemingly lost during the transportation.
"Aiding in protecting muggles. You should be ashamed of yourself." A voice he had never heard before came from a rather slender looking man, on the opposing end of the wand that was currently aimed at his forehead. "Does the ministry know of your involvement? I was under the impression that ministry wizards involved in the war, could be punished by death. Perhaps you have a death wish then, Mr. Scamander?"
"How do you know my name?" Perhaps it wasn't the question he should be posing, but it was the one that left his being. It was either ask something so mundane, or stand there in perfect silence. Despite the reality that his entire world had just been turned upside down. Overlooking the prospect that he was currently knee deep in a pile of dead bodies on every side of himself; Theseus chose to paint his face in a rather nonchalant light. Perhaps he had chosen such a mundane question in order to keep his internal panic hidden.
"Never mind the answer. How about we get strictly to business? You see. That boy you're protecting isn't entirely a muggle. On the contrary. His father was a wizard, but the whore he chose to marry, well, she was a muggle. Thus, you may wonder why we've brought you here."
A pause was given for the words to sink in. Perhaps they were hoping realization would dawn upon the warrior; which it did. "You’re purposing he's a half bl—", Theseus had only gotten part of his sentence out before he was interrupted with a simple phrase.
"Dirty blood. Quite right."
What was it with some pure bred families and calling those of impurity 'dirty blooded?' He had never really understood. But, he did know what often happened to those considered of mixed blood. "You stated 'we', however, there is only you. So, where are the others?" If the man had stated something plural, he must have allies.
At that, the man had seemed to smile, a wicked gleam to his eyes. "Right. Business. I propose a trade, since you aim to be a war hero. How about we keep it simple, mm? If you want that boy to live, you'll take your own life instead. Think about it. He gets to grow up, start a family, and do everything a person has the right to do. All at the expense of you." There was almost a giddy chuckle as those words left the man's mouth.
Without hesitation on his breath, there was only one word given. "How?" He was asking how to take his own life. It caused that excitement in the other's eyes to flare, to dance like a raging fire. It mirrored the dancing flames within Theseus' own eyes that burned of a soft blue; like his brothers.
"Simple. You want to protect the muggles. You'll die like a muggle!" With that, a box which possessed three daggers would fall at the Scamander's feet. "Drive one through each kidney, and the final dagger through your heart. In that order!" Despite all of the apparent excitement in the unnamed males' actions and words, his tone would suddenly drop. "Or I'll have my men drag the boy here, and kill him in front of your own eyes. Worse yet. I'll make you kill him, for us. That's a fair deal, isn't it?"
Despite those words, Theseus didn't need a fair deal. He had come here to protect muggles, come here to defend those who stood on his side of the line in this war. Involving a child, magical or not, didn't settle well with him. He didn't need to be persuaded to protect Victor. Maybe he had become attached to the boy over the past few weeks; too.
At the end of it all, he had knelt down, opened the box, and eyed the three daggers inside. Each one of the sharp objects glinted up at him under the pale moonlight that rested overhead. For a split second, he finally was able to take in his surroundings. Had the other bodies disposed here died in this very spot? Had they been subjected to the same trade, of sorts? He couldn't think on it. Instead he picked up the first dagger, turned it around in his palm, and then clutched it tightly. One through each kidney, the last through his heart; in that order.
With the dagger clutched tightly, his mind would flicker back to Victor. It would be selfish to let the boy die, simply because he was born of mixed blood. "S'il vous plaît, restez en sécurité." Words left his lips, before he sucked in a harsh breath, after wishing the boy would stay safe, once this action was done. At the end of the inhale, the dagger would be driven through his right kidney. Pride, pride drove him to contain his cries as the blade sliced deep into the skin. Excruciating pain coursing through his body, as his head snapped back, a cry escaping him, despite his efforts to keep it in. Theseus' chest rose and fell as tremors rocked his form, blood dripped down his palm and along his fingers, dripping to the ground as he clutched at the knife, while gasping and trying to gather himself. The second dagger would be driven through the opposite kidney, in much the same fashion, with much the same aftermath, before the wizard screamed out; shaking on the floor. He only had his heart left.
But before he could gather the strength to take up the third dagger and drive it into the pounding organ; a sharp gasp escaped him. His body jolted. Eyes fluttered open as the world he had been experiencing fell away and the walls of his room came into view. Sweet drenched the wizards' body, it streamed down his forehead and trickled over his neck. There was a pounding in his ears; from his heart. But the scene he had been witnessing before was gone. A nightmare, another bloody nightmare from his time during the war.