Chapter 68 - A Bloody Accident

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∞ 68 ∞


Lucius was in his bathroom washing the blood from his face and arms. There must have been a bit of glass or rock stuck in his own wound, because it was still bleeding and stinging. Raj came in to wash up and Lucius covered his injured hand in a fluffy, white towel. In a flat tone, Raj said he would send the paperwork over in the evening and that he would of course keep out as many details as possible. He was still in shock over the bizarre event. Lucius thanked Raj and apologised for his rudeness while Valentina was still in danger. Raj shrugged it off and washed his arms and face, looking mildly uneasy from the small amount of the stranger's blood that had gotten on him. He looked like he had wanted to say something that he was struggling to hold in since he had finished saving Valentina and it finally came out after he finished cleansing his hands and then eyed a small smear of blood on his tunic.

"You know those of us who love you, are relieved those testimonies in your support came out and that you aren't a total homicidal, blood supremacist,'death-head' after all (I have to be honest, you had me worried for a while there Frater) but... ... ... have you gone absolutely out of your mind?! Frater! You know the firestorm you'd have brought down on your head (on this entire household AND the extended one) if that girl had died here," Raj said, trying to sound sympathetic, but unable to hide his perturbation. "I love you Wizard, but... some of us aren't swimming in it as you are. Anuk, I have little ones at home. If I hadn't been able to save her... and..."

"Raj... I am--I'm sorry I involved you – truly. There was no time to think... I was desperate. Forgive me. Forgive me."

Raj nodded that he accepted the apology and reached for the towel Lucius had, but Lucius wouldn't give it to him, making a gesture to get his own. Raj looked quizzical, but got his own towel.

Raj relented "No, I am – I am honoured you summoned me. And it's not just the Ministry. I am just... I'm worried for you. I didn't get a chance to say that night on the balcony, but: I am GLAD you're back. More than you know. Missed you. And you know I'll still hold wands out for you any day, no matter Frater. I just want you alive – that's all. You know... I worry." Raj said ending his strong burst of sentimentality with a little shrug and embracing Lucius tightly. Lucius tried to hug him back properly, but he was concerned about his hand buried in the towel so the hug seemed fairly awkward from his side, making Raj suspicious. Lucius tried to act as if all were fine, but noting the strong look of suspicion on Raj's face, finally pulled the towel away to reveal the deep, jagged cut on the fat of his palm. Even in the soft candlelight Raj could see that the wound was fresh and still open. He stood again wide eyed, staring at the wound and then back at Lucius. A droplet of blood seeped out of the gash and rolled down Lucius's palm. Raj gawped at him.

Lucius breathed in deeply as if he were going to say something profound and then as he exhaled, stated plainly: "...I fell."

"w--WHEN??" Raj gasped.

Lucius looked back at the wound pretending not to hear the question. "I think there is still a piece of glass in it – or perhaps a bit of rock. That is why it keeps opening... It is probably not as bad as it looks. A few drops of Dittany and it should be fine. It hurts like a firestorm though," he winced, holding the wound up to a candle and inspecting it further.

"Did you – DO ALL OF THIS? Was it on purpose?! Is this why she's here – bleeding out in your room?!" Raj spluttered.

"Of course not!! IT WAS A BLOODY ACCIDENT (quite literally)," Lucius added with a mutter. "It was all an accident... What was I supposed to do let her bleed to death?!"

"Frater! YOU - HAVE - TWO - HANDS." Raj was flabbergasted. It seemed as though he couldn't think of what else he wanted to say, or perhaps had so much to say that he didn't know what to say first, so he said nothing and walked out of the bathroom. Raj went back into the bedroom and returned with a thin, brown vial and the magical drawing tweezers he had used on the thorn in Valentina's vein. He placed them on a chest of drawers in the dressing room which adjoined bathroom and bedroom.

"She must be very important," said Raj ominously, staring at Lucius's palm and then briefly into his eyes. "Please (PLEASE) be careful... Love you," he added with his eyes now angled in the opposite direction, away from his oldest friend, as if he could not bear to look at him any longer. Straightening up, he gestured vacantly to the brown vial and looked like he was going to say something else, but instead he held up his hands involuntarily in frustration, shaking his head confusedly. He collected his medical bag in silence, looked back solemnly for a brief moment and Disapparated.

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