Chapter 57 - The Mole

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∞ 57 ∞

THE MOLE


The more Lucius thought about Valentina's apparently un-Mugglish eccentricities, the fact that she had somehow gotten past the protective enchantments that day and the odd coincidence of her just happening to have the particular colour of yellow paint he needed (as well as the familiar way she had greeted him when they met) the more the oddities nagged at him. He was hopeful that he was just being paranoid, but he had become unsettled – worrying that she might be a mole sent to distract him, or affect him in some other way to his detriment. For example, he had seen her in the house holding a Peacock butterfly twice (apparently comforting it, or giving it advice about something or other)! He looked up every potion containing or concerning the butterfly: Inachis Io, using its Latin name and just as he had thought, the majority of them dealt with transfiguration. AHH-HAAH! He could smell the burnt cauldron a mile away!

He ordered several books on Muggles from the library, with the intention of unequivocally catching her out as a Ministry spy, or confirming her Muggleness and setting his mind at rest. There were several dangerous –and probably illegal– suggestions on ways of exposing Muggles in a couple medieval manuscripts. (With his record, Lucius was surprised the library sent them!) He found just what he needed in a 13th century, Scottish manuscript on peaceful Wizard-Muggle coexistence:

 (With his record, Lucius was surprised the library sent them!) He found just what he needed in a 13th century, Scottish manuscript on peaceful Wizard-Muggle coexistence:

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Lucius arrived at the cottage. He was certain she wasn't awake yet, but used his cloak, to avoid spooking any of the animals.

"Where to put it," he muttered to himself, taking a little balsawood box from his pocket. In it, was a small, green frog looking up at him uneasily. He smiled devilishly and placed it under Valentina's water bucket. The frog was rather small though and the book did say "some Muggles" – and she was rather a strange girl. He went back to the lake just to be sure, smiling to himself wickedly all the way.

When Valentina came outside a couple hours later Lucius was waiting (and complaining to himself about 'how bloody late she woke up'). He had to hide completely behind the rubble, because he was sure the girl could see him the way she sometimes looked over quickly, squinting suspiciously right in his direction when he was certain he was suitably camouflaged with his cape. He heard her letting the geese out and talking to them as usual, calling the goats and moving buckets around. He waited. He heard water coming from the tap. He smirked to himself. Any moment now. Annny moment... But then suddenly he was gripped with worry. The girl rubbed her chest an awful lot. What if he killed her with fright?! Just as he grabbed the aspen wood wand to hide his nasty prank, he heard her chirpy little voice, sounding quite jubilant...

Valentina had moved the bucket to find the little frog, plus a small toad and also a slightly fatter toad (the best he could find so quickly for the time of year). Far from being terrified, as Lucius had expected, her reaction sounded reminiscent of his goddaughter's response to the pair of rare mountain Vårkanin he had taken her for the equinox the previous year: "Liiittle frogs. Come heeere," she cooed and picked one of the slimy, green things up. "You can't stay under my bucket, you'll get hurt. Isn't it still too cold for you?" She put him and the two others in her bucket and left to find a place for them to hide.



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