Chapter 1 : Sweet Escape
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The man slumped forward over his desk, his arms stretched out, fingers reaching for Lacey’s expressionless face. He wasn’t the first to have died at Lacey’s hands, but it had been the first murder in a long time that really rattled her brain awake.
Without the voice telling her to, Lacey reached a cold, trembling hand forward and pushed the corpse back into his chair. An electric shock seemed to zap into her- I know his face.- mind, past the voice- Walk away, Lacey. It doesn’t matter- and a small whimper escaped her throat. “Dad?”
But just as a tear slipped out and her face began to crumple, the voice rang out in the dark places of her mind, just as it always did- I said walk away, Lacey. See what happens when you don’t walk away? And it ordered her to cover her tracks and to leave quickly through the fire, and Lacey obeyed.
Obedience was the way she lived her life now. It was easier to be told what she must do, rather than to figure it out herself. She had been gone- I don’t want to go there- for over a year now- Walk, Lacey. - and had given up fighting the voice. Well, I suppose so.. It was far too strong.
Lacey Wintermen had been a top notch Auror. She had started working for the Ministry of Magic as soon as she received her Auror certificate. She had graduated at the very top of her class and became well-known for being dangerous in the field.
Only her closest friends and most infamous enemies knew the real reason behind the viciousness that overcame her when she confronted the Dark Lord’s followers. Her mother, an innocent, had been killed during a raid of their country home. They had been after her father’s paperwork, since he was a very important Ministry official, and had found her alone in the house.
Lacey had been seventeen at the time, and it was this tragic event that had sparked her desire to become an Auror. She had worked hard to become the best, but her passion was fueled by one thing only- hate.
It was a feeling she had never before experienced in her young life, and it made her weak. Her emotions seemed to stay hidden inside her heart, but, in the heat of the battle, her intense loathing for all that Voldemort stood for would appear in her dark, flashing eyes.
Unlike the Dark Lord and his followers, she did not know how to control this hate. Unlike them, she knew how to love, and this thirst for revenge was uncharacteristic. It was this thirst that made her weak.
Fight, screamed the little voice of her own free will. It occasionally screamed from its little corner of isolation and banishment before the voice of Alecto Carrow silenced it. Sit here, and be quiet. Don’t let anyone see you.. She sat in a chair in the darkness. She wasn’t sure where she was, but the voice in her mind told her to never mind that.
There are noises upstairs. I should see-You will go when you are needed.Maybe I am needed now- she began to rise out of the chair- I should go and see what the-Sit down, dammit, Lacey.
Lacey had been under the Imperius Curse for over a year. She had been taken during a battle on the outskirts of London. Normally, she was excellent at dodging curses, but Lacey had been what they were after. The Death Eaters had planned all along to have a powerful Auror under the Imperius Curse, and Lacey was their best bet.
They had her lie low for awhile, sent her to work as normal, and had her bring back information to them. After that, the murders began. It started with the Potters- not James, of course, but his parents. They were simply too close to Dumbledore to live.
But there was something about- I said to be quiet. That includes your thoughts.- this last man that was terribly- Don’t forget! I can hear you think!- familiar.
A tear leaked out of her eye and fell to the concrete at her feet. “Dad,” she murmured, closing her eyes and listening to the stomping of feet coming from above.
Suddenly, her eyes snapped open. She didn’t know where she was, but her head felt strangely light. She listened for the voice but heard nothing but her own frantic inner-self. Did I shake it off? Am I free?
The release of her inner-self from its seclusion was like the breaking of a dam. A million thoughts came pouring through at once. She saw, in an instant, all the crimes that she had committed in the past year, and she couldn’t breathe.
She snapped to attention, however, when she heard the slamming of feet above her head. “Alecto,” she hissed, balling her hands into fists. She would be weaker without a wand, but she could still manage to do something.
Grabbing a heavy metal pipe from the floor, she looked around for the stairs. “Oi!” she heard a voice mutter. “She’s movin’.”
She looked around for the source of the voice and saw several cells down the corridor. There was a person in each one, and, looking around, Lacey recognized most of their faces. “Good Godric, mates, it’s Wintermen!” cried Edgar Bones, one of Lacey’s old classmates. “If that doesn’t beat all. To think that you were in the league with-“
“I wasn’t,” muttered Lacey, recognizing Frank Longbottom, Sirius Black, and Gideon and Fabian Prewett. She had difficulty getting words out. She hadn’t spoken by herself in so long. “What are you all doing here?”
“Tea party!” said Black, glaring at her through the bars. “If you’re not one of them, get us the hell out, would ya?”
Lacey, glad that she was still fit, raised the metal bar over her head and slammed it against the rusty lock on Black’s door. It swung open with ridiculous ease. She repeated the action until all the prisoners were freed. They scrambled out of their cells with surprising grace, almost like birds escaping from a wire cage.
“Damn it, just get me out of here and give me something to eat,” crowed Black, obviously not perturbed by the fact that he was in enemy territory.
“Can it, Black,” snapped a tiny, furious-looking woman. “We’ve been here four days. That’s hardly enough time to starve.”
“If everyone could please-“
“Wintermen, why are you here in the first place?” asked Bones suspiciously. “You weren’t captured at the raid.”
“I don’t know,” she answered truthfully. “But I think there’s something going on upstairs.”
“’Course there is,” said Black. “Dumbledore will have sent some of the rest of the Order after us.”
“Can it!” repeated the angry witch. “You’ll have someone down here before we can go up.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” muttered Gideon Prewett. “Just follow me.”
The group followed him up the staircase to a beaten looking door. Carefully, he pushed it open a crack. A curse flew near his nose and bounced off the door. “It’s nasty out there,” he whispered to the group. “Ready?”
The door flew open, and the group sprang out. Sure enough, there were other Order Members dueling with the Death Eaters. As soon as her eyes fell upon the black robes and hideous masks, the old rage fired up inside of Lacey’s mind. She grabbed a wand from the nearest fallen Death Eater and set about dueling.
She was clumsy about it, since it was a different wizard’s wand, but that did not make her any less lethal. The second Death Eater she engaged with gave a howl of surprise as she attacked him.
“Wintermen?” screeched a wheezy voice. “The hell are you doing out of your mental cage, Wintermen?” He shot a deadly curse her way, and she jumped out of its path. “Last I heard, you were making worms’ food out of your daddy.”
Lacey gave a scream of anger and shot a Killing Curse at the Death Eater. It caught him in the chest, and he keeled over on the spot. She next turned her attention to a large Death Eater on her right. Lily Evans was already engaged in battle with him, but Lacey’s vengeful spirit was awakened.
Her vision was clouded red, and the images of her father’s stunned face and her mother’s cold hands raced through her brain as she charged towards the Death Eater. She caught him in the back with a painful, skin-tearing curse, and he turned around, shrieking. “You! Thought they had you Imperiused.”
“I escaped,” she hissed, training the borrowed wand on him.
The Death Eater chuckled softly. “Well, all the better,” he sneered. “What a privilege to be able to kill both the Wintermen bitches.”
Lacey almost dropped the wand in surprise. This is him, her brain thought numbly. This is the man who killed my mother. “AVADA KEDAVRA!” she screamed, thrusting herself forward.
The Death Eater was thrown against the wall, forming a large crack up its side, before he slumped to the floor. Lacey, shocked at what had just occurred, stumbled forward and grabbed at the mask, her fingers slipping from sweat. The man’s face was revealed, and Lacey finally gazed upon the face of the man who had taught her how to hate. She felt the feeling ebb away as she realized that she had finally done what had set out to do.
She had avenged her mother’s death.
The room became dark, and Lacey, her mind unable to take anymore, slipped into unconsciousness.
She awoke a week later in St. Mungo’s Hospital with a bouquet of flowers and a card from Sirius Black that read, “Thanks so much for saving our asses” next to her bed. For the first time in many years, she felt light as a feather.
She had finally escaped from the hatred that had sprung from her mother’s murder. She had escaped from the overpowering slavery of the Imperius Curse. And she had managed to reconcile herself with her father’s death, knowing that she had been powerless to stop it.
She knew that her escape from pain was sweet and unbelievably lucky, and she was ready to live her life anew. In fact, she knew already what her first plan of action was. She was going to resign from her post as an Auror. She really didn’t feel like killing anyone else.
And damned if she was going to take orders ever again.
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