"Can you please recount the events that occurred this morning?" Ogden asked.
"My wife and I were getting ready to depart to the Malfoy wedding," Mr. Wilkes explained, while Mrs. Wilkes clutched their youngest and now only child to her chest.
"Our youngest is still much too young to be present at such formal events and as such, he was to be left in the care of his nanny house elf," Mr. Wilkes continued. "Since Silviu could not attend with us, my wife and I allowed him to leave with his nanny to go and see his friend, Esmond Fawley. The two boys are of the same age and they are rather good friends."
Mr. Wilkes took a deep breath and said, "The house was empty as the house elves had already been sent away earlier on various errands."
Mr. Wilkes grows silent as Mrs. Wilkes wipes another stray tear and speaks in place of her husband. "My husband and I were waiting in the hallway for our son when he pulled out his wand. We thought nothing of it until he petrified us with a full body-bind curse. We were unable to speak nor move and could only helplessly watch as he took a hair from each of us. And then-."
Mrs. Wilkes voice faltered as Mr. Wilkes wrapped an arm around his wife in comfort. Leaning into her husband's hug, she softly whimpers, "And then he turned away and left with our invitation. We lay their stiff and cold on the floor until our house elves returned to prepare lunch. At this point, we immediately sent our house elves to the Malfoy wedding to warn them, but it was much too late.
We then sent word to Percius to have him swiftly see us. We knew that something terrible had occurred and it was best to hear the horrible news from a close family friend. And then-. And then, Percius told us what foul thing our son had done."
Mrs. Wilkes is unable to speak anymore and buries her face into her husband's shoulder. Mr. Wilkes gravely says, "We knew not what our son had planned, Ogden. We'd never have tolerated such foolishness. And though I believe in preserving blood purity to an extent, I am no zealot. The Wilkes family bears the traces of half-blood's and the marriages to foreign wizards and witches, we are certainly not hypocrites to cast the first stone."
Ogden slowly says, "Have you seen or suspected your son of anything strange?"
Mrs. Wilkes shakes her head as Mr. Wilkes face slightly darkens "There is one thing," Mr. Wilkes stiffly said. "He had been in contact with my half-brother, Primus Wilkes."
"And?" Ogden pointedly inquired.
"I do not like to speak ill of family," Mr. Wilkes reluctantly said. "However, my younger half-brother and I do not get along, it is a rather commonly known fact. My younger brother was raised by my rather zealot father and stepmother, whom I have not seen since I took my inheritance and have never more set another foot in my childhood home.
Still I wanted my children to know of their family and as such, I permitted my sons to visit the Wilkes family home for a week during the summer and for a day or two during the winter holidays. My stepmother and father were long gone by then and my still unwed half-brother is the sole resident of the Wilkes ancestral home."
"I saw no harm in it despite our differences," Mr. Wilkes quietly explained. "And if my elder son loved his uncle, I did not terribly mind. For all our differences, Primus is still my younger brother and I cared for him in my own way. But then, something changed in the winter of my son's fifth year."
"What?" Ogden interrupted.
"He was different," Mr. Wilkes slowly expounded. "I can't say how or why, but there was something off about him. Now, my wife simply told me that I was hallucinating that our son was merely changing from a boy to a man. But I knew my son and at times it was though I could see someone else peering out from his gaze.
However, our son quickly returned to normal again, and I put my fears out of mind. And yet there was another strange occurrence the following year. He did not return home for the winter holidays in his 6th year. Once more, I paid it no mind, but I received letters of concern form his friends stating that they had invited him over for the winter break thinking that we were going to the continent and were leaving him behind. But he had declined all their invitations.
Once more I wrote to him but like before our son replied that nothing was wrong and that he merely wanted to study. However, not wanting to argue, I let the incident past. And with everything returning to normal in his seventh year, I was certain everything had returned to normal."
"But what?" Ogden impatiently interjected.
"And then Primus came to see me," Mr. Wilkes said. "You must understand, Ogden, I have rarely even seen my younger half-brother. The last time I saw him was at my wedding and since then not again."
"And why did he come to see you?" Ogden further pried.
"For the strangest of reasons," Mr. Wilkes replied rather perturbed. "Primus declared that he would be going on a journey for some time and wished to turn over the rights of Wilkes manor to me. I refused as it was his heritage and right to have. Instead, I asked, that if he was so concerned that anything should occur to him to leave the manor to one or both of my sons. However, my brother insisted again, and I bluntly refused."
Mr. Wilkes took a breath and paused. "And for the first time in a long time, I was afraid. There was something cold, almost sinister about his gaze. Not even my zealous father had ever inspired such fear in me. It was though something inhuman was studying me deeming worthy to live or not. The blood curling gaze was fleeting, and my brother impossibly returned to normal. The two of us said our goodbyes, and he left. But I still cannot put his gaze out of mind, his gaze reminded me too much of my own son."
Mr. Wilkes raised his gaze from the floor and said, "In those last days, whether my wife and son will admit it or not, S.R. was no longer my son. There was chill about him that had not been there before. Something inhuman, and other times, I'd find my son dazed as if trying to wake up from a nightmare only to fall back under a spell. I'd like to think my son was under some sort of spell, but experience dictates otherwise."
"In that case, do you know where your brother, Primus Wilkes might have gone?" Ogden carefully asked.
"I truly do not know, Ogden," Mr. Wilkes confessed. "But wherever he is, I am certain that you will find him allied to my son and those responsible for the attack. Primus was always a zealot like my father searching for a fervent cause. I even remember with pride that while he was at Hogwarts, he was proud to be a member of some so-called secretive group called, the Knights of Walpurgis with that wanted murderer, Tom Marvolo Riddle, what an utter farce."
Mr. Wilkes sneered in repressed anger. "Nothing more than pompous purebloods attempting to be far more superior than the rest of us." Mr. Wilkes flicker at seeing a rather subtle tale in his friend's posture, his head flicked to the side. A habit that Percius still hadn't broken after all these years whenever he was surprised.