Within a second Alexis was back in her uncle’s living room. She was safe. All the pain and exhaustion she had fought against finally caught up to her and she slumped to the ground. At once Kaylee ran over and caught the falling teenager in her arms. She gave Alexis a tight hug and the teenager could feel the wet check press against her own.
“I’m so glad they found you!” Kaylee said with relief in her voice. “We’ve all been so worried, frightened,” she held Alexis at arms reach. “How could you leave like that!” The expression on Kaylee’s face changed. Anger spread over it, a new look that Alexis had never seen on the upbeat woman. “After those attacks, and Crowe telling you to stay put. You left! We would never have known what happened if it wasn’t for that note.”
“Note?” Alexis asked. Her body wanted to go to sleep, but there were so many questions left unanswered. She needed to know. “How-“
“You need to rest.” Jason said from the doorframe. His face was just as firm as always. His eyes darted around, and he held his wand in his hand.
“I am safe here… right?” Alexis asked, her fears resurfacing.
“Perfectly safe.” Kaylee assured as she helped Alexis to the sofa. “Dear go, look at yourself, you’ve got blood all over you, and are those burn marks?” Alexis was about to answer when Jason cleared his throat. “Take it easy and don’t worry about asking questions. Crowe knows more of what’s going on than we do.” Kaylee added as she took out her own wand and muttered a few spells under her breath. Alexis watched in wonder as her physical wounds healed.
“I want to know.” Alexis said after a moment’s pause. “What’s going on, how did Crowe know where I was?”
“Alexis you’re worn out, let me make you a potion to help you sleep.” Kaylee said stepping aside to the kitchen.
“No, please. Tell me.”
“Like Kaylee said, Crowe’s been keeping us in the dark on a few things too. We know he’s been working with the Aura’s for some time now on undercover work trying to flesh out the Liberators – members and leaders. It picked up after you arrived. He almost seemed obsessed trying to find evidence he needed…”
“Jason, enough. She’s barely staying awake as it is. Alexis, drink this.” Kaylee said placing a glass full of a dark amber coloured liquid. “I’ll help you sleep and take away the pain. Crowe will fill you in when you wake up, I promise.”
With the two siblings staring down at her, Alexis felt she had no other choice. Her mind still wanted to know, but her body was fighting hard against it. Sleep sounded like the better option. Alexis took the glass and drank the potion, falling asleep the second her head touched the pillow.
Alexis woke up on her bed in her attic bedroom. Cadfan flapped his wings from the rafters above her and flew down to land on her uncle’s shoulders. He sat next to her bed, his eyes gazed into the distance as if he was in some far off memory. Alexis stirred and sat up in bed, causing her uncle’s silver eyes to come back to life and stare right at her.
“You’re awake.” He commented dryly.
“How long have I been out?” Alexis asked, fearing another week had gone by.
“Just a day, Kaylee potion making is impressive. She could have worked at St. Mungo’s if she had the resources.” Crowe said with a sigh. “Maybe one day.”
The two stared at each other for a moment, then at the floor. A long silence filled the room. This was the time to ask questions, Alexis told herself. Yet now when her uncle was right there in front of her, she didn’t know what to ask.
“The Aura’s have raided the Rune Manor.” Crowe started. “They’ve arrested several Liberators.”
“No.” Crowe said with a stiff voice.
“Is he coming after me?” Alexis asked, a fearful expression on her face. Was she safe here anymore? Would she be safe anywhere?
“I doubt it. He was always after the Manor, the gold would help but the Manor he was trying to make into headquarters of the Liberators. With their location now known to the authorities, it would be useless to reclaim it.”
“Still doesn’t mean he won’t come after me.” Alexis said in a dark tone. Crowe’s eyes shot her way.
“What happened between you two.”
“He wanted the Manor, like you said.” Alexis started. “But it sounded like things were getting more personal… he confessed to killing my parents.” A pause pressed between them. Crowe looked down at the floor. “He then got very agitated when all of his previous attempts to kill me failed. He didn’t like I was more powerful than him. It sounded like he was jealous.”
“Yeah, that’s Draper.” Crowe said with a venom tone. “I should have reconnected with Wesley earlier, at least tried to find him – and you. Maybe I could have…”
“Nothing you would have done would have prevented my name from appearing on the Will.” Alexis said. “But Professor Draper, would he come back for me?”
“I don’t know. Right now he’s running and hiding from the Aura’s. He may be captured before too long. But… I see what you mean about his jealous streak, he has always been that way. Arrogant, selfish, high-handed. He treated anyone from a muggle background with contempt. A real jerk. I’m sure the surprise of you receiving the legacy was too much to bear. He’s never been that rash before… as you noticed he prefers letting others do the hard work and take the credit for himself.”
“So, what am I to do now?” Alexis asked.
“Live your life.” Crowe answered simply. “I’m not going to let Leon get his grimy hands on you. You’re safe here, and at Hogwarts.”
“Living cooped up in a cage isn’t any way of living.”
“Alexis, how did you escape from the Rune Manor?” Crowe asked. There was a sparkle in his eye, he was toying with her about something. “You didn’t have a wand when I found you.”
“I… well I…”
“Your magic is stronger than his. He realized that after you escaped. He’s not stupid, he won’t try to come after you knowing what you are capable of. Alexis, I don’t want to lock you up, I didn’t meant to before. From my undercover work to discover the Liberator’s goals, I knew the Dragon’s Scroll was a target, and Leon was a part of it. With the Rune Manor his only wish in life and you standing in his way I knew he’d do anything to change the Will to his name. I was trying to protect you – maybe the wrong way, but I won’t make that mistake again.”
“I know.” Alexis sighed. She was such an idiot. “I didn’t make things easy for you.”
“You had already been through one traumatic event, now this. I didn’t expect it to be easy. Now that you know everything, I hope you are smart enough to keep yourself safe from here on out.”
Alexis gave her uncle a weak smile and nodded her head.
“Good. We are a team now.” Crowe said with a nod of his head and a grin on his face. “The Aura’s will be around this afternoon to get your statement. When you feel up to it, I can take you back to Hogwarts.”
“And you’ll be there this time?”
“Yes, I promise to take you in person.” With that, Crowe stood and bowed to Alexis before taking his leaf down the staircase.