Heinrich Hexenmeister
Thu Aug 9, 2018 13:14

Heinrich had a terrible summer. It opened with the bad news his uncle hadn’t wanted to send by owl, and it never got better. His parents’ trial had concluded late last Spring with a conviction. They had been sentenced to twenty years in prison. Their appeal had been denied.

He and his siblings had gotten to travel to Germany to visit them, but it wasn’t pleasant and Heinrich almost wished he hadn’t gone. It was depressing and made it feel like it was real and this really was his life now. He was the son of convicted killers. As if his last name meaning ‘master of hexes’ hadn’t been bad enough already, he was also the first generation offspring of duly tried and found guilty dark wizards.

Worse, when he pressed Uncle Karl for answers as to why the appeal had been denied and what could be done now to prove their innocence, Uncle Karl just sighed and gave him the trial transcripts.

Reading those over the course of the summer, his hopes had popped. Several times, he wanted to throw them in the fire and deny they existed, that any of what they said was true, but then the need to know the truth overruled the impulse and he kept going.

There was clear proof even Heinrich couldn’t ignore or explain away. They were both practitioners of dark magic. Books with damning margined commentary in both their hands had been found in the basement when the aurors raided, along with evidence of recently performed dark rituals, and Heinrich knew for a fact the basement had always been strictly off limits, and remembered the creepy feeling he got when he approached too close to the door.

The transcripts laid it out plainly. Mom and Dad had been hired to kill people and then did so. Many times. In a variety of ways. Sometimes it was as simple as a poisoning. Sometimes it was worse than that. Their financial records were particularly incriminating. The Hexenmeister account swelled with funds coming in from accounts associated with the enemies of recently assassinated officials from all over Europe, shortly after the deaths. And their ‘consulting business’ that they claimed as their source of employment was pretty clearly just a front for their other activities.

He guessed the persistent rumor that the fairy tale of the old witch who had lured in Hansel and Gretel and tried to eat them (and then been outsmarted by a couple muggle kids) had been based on one of his great-great-something-grandmothers wasn’t his family’s biggest ancestral embarrassment anymore. Well, maybe it was. Cannibalism was just gross, and it took a whole team of aurors to raid their house to defeat Mom and Dad, not a pair of magic-less children. He would give his parents that much credit, even if they were professional assassins, which even sounded almost cool until they turned out to be your parents.

But they were still a whole lot more immediate and much less deniable as family, and maybe not being in Germany right now really was for the best. Merlin know the newspapers there were talking of nothing else but than the capture and conviction of two of Europe’s most prolific assassins this summer. Most of Europe probably was.

He could only hope the news hadn’t reached Sonora. Last year the little school had seemed so deeply buried in the middle of the American desert that it was basically a whole different world than where he came from. That had been a bad thing then. Now he wanted nothing more than that otherworldliness, so far away from everything he’d had to face this summer.

Even the barrage of English was welcome as he rode the wagon back. Too many terrible things had been imparted to him in German lately. English was so foreign and safe from those things he hadn’t wanted to hear or read. And with his Aladren badge in place, nobody ought to give him a second look as he spent the wagon ride and the hours leading to the feast getting a head start on his textbooks (which were still the German versions - he might resent his native tongue right now but if he wanted to pass his classes, English texts were not going to cut it quite yet. His skill in English was leaps and bounds better than it had been this time last year, especially after a summer of using his English practice as an escape from everything else, but he was in no way ready to declare himself fluent yet.)

He did understand nearly everything the Headmaster said in his speech, and he could easily pick out English words from names now, so he was feeling pretty proud of himself for that. He read silently along with the school song, mostly to see if he could keep up with the singers. He could. He couldn’t always translate that fast, but he could match the English lyrics from the paper to what his ears were hearing, so that was pretty sweet. He’d take his little victories where could get them.

When the older student sitting next to him spoke though, his English competency fell immediately into question. He had picked this student to sit beside because he recognized him from class as one who often sat with other people who had less than native fluency in English.

But what on Merlin’s green earth was a ‘Shark’? Some kind of animal, he guessed from context, but he had no idea if it was one he should recognize. “I did not,” he said speaking clearly but with an accent, hoping this was a safe answer. It was at least true that he could not think of any creature that could survive for months without eating.

“What is Shark?” he asked, partly because he was genuinely intrigued that something could do that, and partly because he needed to expand his English vocabulary if sharks were something people randomly brought up in conversation, but mostly he asked because it was a topic that had absolutely nothing to do with recently convicted German dark wizards.

Those were good topics he had deeply missed this summer.

  • The wanderer returnsJehan Callahan, Fri Aug 3 07:47
    Returning to Sonora was, for Jehan, like returning to a dearly-loved but forgotten friend. After his discovery of the bookshop in Muggle New York, sneaking out of his house to spend hours there had... more
    • Sharks — Heinrich Hexenmeister, Thu Aug 9 13:14
      • HaiJehan, Sun Aug 12 11:52
        ”What is Shark?” Well. What a question. There were so many ways one could start to answer that. To begin with, sharks as simple creatures were, actually, fascinating. Jehan had stumbled upon a book... more
        • EnteHeinrich, Thu Sep 6 09:21
          “Danke, thank you,” Heinrich said after Jehan explained what a shark was. The German word always slipped out first when he tried to thank people, but after a year in Sonora, the English followed so... more
Click here to receive daily updates