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Chapter 9 : Whispering Secrets
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Chapter 9 – Whispering Secrets
He was growing bored with being cooped up in the dusty old manor that his grandparents had given them. His father knew that he preferred the new house they had built on the outskirts of Hogsmeade. It was there he could watch the moon rise over the mountain peaks and he could hear the wolves echo all around him. But here it was silent and dead, as if they were in the middle of a graveyard. The shadows danced and mocked him when he walked outside, as if following him and keeping him under lock and key – bodyguards his father had secured. His father had forbidden him to walk outside now, afraid of what would become of him. But Scorpius was beginning to doubt his father’s sanity as of late. His father hardly came around the house any more, and when he did, he brought his pet, Pansy.
Shaking his head in disgust, Scorpius continued down the darkened corridor, unaware of his surroundings. The light from the torches danced and played playfully all around him. The grime on the windows didn’t block out the glow of the moon as it seemed to during previous nights. The stars were no longer out and were covered by thick, black clouds. Evil was lurking and he could feel it sinking deep into his skin. He thought he would have been used to it by now, considering he was a Malfoy. But he had been the one that wanted to break the traditional Malfoy ties. He wanted to be something different; something his father never had been when he was a boy. Scorpius wanted to be stronger and more liked than the Malfoys previously had been. He was slowly making headway, helping people at school and even sticking up for Rose Weasley. His heart skipped a beat at even the thought of her name.
Scorpius muttered a curse to himself and stuck his hands deep into his pockets. If his father had even caught wind of him having a crush on a Weasley, he would never hear the end of it. But more and more the Weasley girl had been creeping into his mind without thought or provocation. He would find himself smiling at the oddest of times and giggling at the thought of her skipping through the corridors of Hogwarts. But it was those types of thoughts that had to be ignored, at least for the time being. With the path his father had been traveling, Scorpius had no doubts about how long his father would last within the Wizarding World. If they didn’t send him to Azkaban, then his father would be dead in a matter of months for the lies he had been spouting. Many were beginning to wonder if Draco Malfoy had ever been sane to begin with.
The staircase narrowed as he pushed his way through a rotted door at the end of the corridor. As the lights dimmed, Scorpius squinted his eyes to make sure he didn’t lose his footing as he continued his descent. The air smelt damp and moldy, much like his grandparents. It had been quite some time since they had made their weekly visit to check on their manor. Were the old ones slipping or had his father finally convinced them that they didn’t need their help?
Suddenly, Scorpius reached out for anything he could cling to. His legs gave way as his feet slipped on several wet stones that had been shrouded in the darkness. There was nothing to grab a hold of except for the dead air that surrounded him. His head hit the stone floor beneath him – hard, with a crack. It was a flickering light at the end of the corridor that became the last thing he saw before his entire world went black around him.
Her fingertips scraped against the cold stone as she tried to back even further away from the figure lingering in the shadows. She knew her fate, had known it since all of the hell ensuing around her had started. Her insanity had been a mind trick, a game to him to make sure that the only one who knew his secret would never betray it to anyone. There wasn’t a thought left in her mind that was hers any longer. Everything that she saw…heard…it all belonged to him. Neville…her poor Neville didn’t even know that his wife was dead to him now.
Luna quivered in fear as she stared into the darkness that wanted to envelope her. Every time her eyes darted around the room, she found herself staring at the figure in front of her once again. His eyes seemed to glow in the dark, menacing and furious. She had done nothing wrong. She hadn’t betrayed a single thing he had told her. It had been a promise she made. No one knew of the curse…the virus that swept through her veins like a raging snow storm. It made her his puppet. All he needed to do was wave his wand and she would bow to his will without recourse.
“I’ve said nothing. I’ve said nothing!”
Draco’s sneer practically lit up the room, but he remained in the shadows, hidden and away from the light. It was as if the darkness held him there, afraid to let him go.
“You defend yourself before I even ask you a question,” he said silkily. “I haven’t said one word and already you make yourself look guilty. What have you done, Luna?”
She shook her head almost violently. “Nothing! I’ve done nothing. You don’t need to be here. I’m safe here. I’m safe…”
“Nowhere is safe. My power reaches far and wide, more than anyone had ever anticipated. Just the mere whisper of my name sends chills down children’s spines. Wizards cower in fear when they hear I am even a breath near them. The Ministry has no idea how to protect itself. They have no idea of the danger that is in front of them.”
The blood began to pool in the palm of her hand as her hand brushed against a sharp rock on the wall. She dared not cry out in pain. It would only make him stronger – give him more power. A werewolf’s howl echoed in her ears and she closed her eyes tight. She tried not to relive the horrific images she had been seeing in her dreams – the blood and gore. Fenrir was as clear as day with his yellow fangs dripping with fresh blood. The rusty scent made her stomach churn. She tried to think of anything then what was going on, but it didn’t work. Nothing helped her.
“Please,” Luna began to beg, “Just go.”
“Not until I make sure my secret is safe.”
Scorpius heard himself groan before he even opened his eyes. The lingering water that seeped through the floor had soaked into his shirt, making him chilled to the bone. His dislocated shoulder made pain sear through his body unlike anything ever had before. As he pushed himself up with his one good arm, he peered around the darkness. The corridor was unfamiliar to him and he could only assume that it was a secret location that his grandfather had used during the War. Not many would know of the passageway or what lied at the end of the corridor. However, the amber glow that seemed to be inching its way closer to him made him begin to wonder if something was going on that he was unaware of.
“Hello?” His voice echoed all around him, bouncing off of the walls.
Cringing, he gripped his shoulder tightly, not wanting to injure it any more than it already was. It hung limply and painfully along his side. He ignored the chill and his chattering teeth as he continued down the corridor. The light continued to grow brighter although it seemed to reveal nothing but a darkened hallway. It seemed more like a tunnel, burrowed underneath Malfoy Manor. Muggles had named them bomb shelters during their own dark wars. Scorpius recalled that Death Eaters had named them torture chambers. It was a walk of death and Scorpius was unsure if he wanted to be a part of that or not. He imagined it had been almost two decades since the corridor had been used.
Then why did it, suddenly, smell of death?
“Your secret…your secret is safe,” Luna stammered. “I have…I’ve kept my mouth shut thus far. Is my loyalty to the new Dark Lord in question?”
Draco sniffed the air and shook his head, ignoring her statements completely. “Your husband has been here…”
She felt her heart stop beating and her lungs nearly collapse. Sliding down the wall, she imagined Neville at home with their beautiful daughter. Their safety had been guaranteed if she remained silent and oblivious to the world around her. The ‘curse’ didn’t help, the virus that was practically killing her second by second. Neville had been everything to her. It took awhile, after the War, to even realize that they had enjoyed one another’s company. But she had noticed how much he began to watch out for her and longed to be around her again and again. She enjoyed his company. It was only natural for them to be together. She slowly began to let go of her fantasies, the things her father had told her during her childhood. Hermione was one of the first of her former Hogwarts companions that noticed the changes occurring. It made her feel good to be normal and not looked at like someone who was crazy.
Then the dreams began. It was so sudden and overwhelming that she had absolutely no idea what had hit her. They didn’t stop like they normally did. Nothing had ever been so vivid for her or so horrifying. She woke up screaming in the middle of the night, nearly driving Neville to tears as he held onto her – her pajamas soaked with sweat and her body shaking in fear. He feared for her sanity, but all she feared was losing her family. Her family had been the ones there for her through thick and thin, had changed her for the better.
But it was only several weeks later, after the dreams began, that Luna had lost her grip on reality…and her family forever.
“Neville is worried about me. He worries if I’ll be able to go home to him…home to my daughter.” Her eyes widened in fright. “Please tell me you haven’t harmed them.”
“No harm has come to them.”
The breath she had failed to take moments before became a deeper breath than she had intended to take nearly making her choke. She wanted to be wrapped up in Neville’s arms at that moment, safe and warm. He had always found a way to make her content and feel as though she was the center of his world. Now her world felt cold and bleak without him in it. It had been far too long since she had seen him last.
“What do you want from me? Your secret is safe.”
“I want reassurance that my victory is eminent,” Draco said, slowly moving from the shadows.
The walk seemed long and arduous, but yet it was just an abandoned corridor. The light continued to flicker as the golden flame burned bright on the single torch that was lit. Scorpius curled his nose in disgust at the retched smell that surrounded him. He half imagined to hear screams emanating from the rooms that he continued to pass like a Muggle horror movie. The streams of liquid that ran between the rocks was something Scorpius wanted nothing to know about. Some of it was dark and sticky like blood. The other was unidentifiable. Whatever had been going on down in the abandoned tunnel, in what he would consider the depths of Hell, had been recent. As Scorpius began to near the end of the corridor, his mind reeled with thoughts of what was going on behind his back.
What the hell is my father up to?
Suddenly a single shadow was cast between his legs. The figure wasn’t standing straight upright. No. The figure seemed to be positioned with its arms straight out to the sides and his legs spread apart. Scorpius crept closer and the shadow continued to grow. As his head tilted upwards, his eyes went wide with fright and horror.
“You know your victory is almost complete. Almost everyone…”
Out of the shadows Draco began to slide. It was as if the darkness covered him like a blanket, shielding him from the world. But Luna knew why the shadows kept Draco hidden. She knew what terror lied in the night. The whispers of the wind carried her the story every day, telling her what had transpired. The death of Bill Weasley was still fresh in her mind. Fenrir’s guttural growl and Bill’s nightmarish pleas for help still gave her the chills every time she thought about it. She had tried to be strong but she wasn’t sure how much longer she would be able to last.
“That’s right, Luna, almost everyone. Ron was my greatest triumph.”
“No…oh Merlin no.” Ron was the last of the Weasley family, at least of the former generation. The new generation still had hope. “Please tell me you didn’t. It wasn’t necessary. None of it was necessary.”
“Everything is necessary, Luna. You, of all people, know this.”
Luna felt hot tears sting her cheeks. Soon it would be her that the Daily Prophet reported about. Once he was done with her, she would be taken care of.
“When will you tell them?”
A sneer spread over Draco’s lips as he continued, slowly, toward her. “Very soon.”
Scorpius raced toward the chained figure and ignored the stabbing pain that coursed through his body from his dislocated shoulder. The blood that ran thick through the corridor…he could practically taste the rust in the air. He felt it splash onto his pants as he seemed to run forever through an endless abyss.
Why did the corridor seem so long now when it didn’t only moments before?
The figure was naked and exposed. Cuts and bruises littered his body as a soft groan escaped his lips while Scorpius finally fell out of breath before him. Beginning with the bottom chains, Scorpius felt the cold that surrounded him. It was as if he was slowly dying inside by just the sight of the figure before him. What had he done? What the bloody hell had he done? No one could be this sadistic. No one could show no remorse…no feeling. As his hands fumbled with the chains, he pulled his wand and aimed it at them, finding it to be of no use. Whatever spells had been cast, they were done by a master and with evil malice set behind them. The chains that bound the figure’s hands nearly scorched Scorpius’s. He flinched in pain and saw his hands becoming red and raw. The figure’s skin was charred and blackened from the chains – leaving more wound to tend to. Scorpius knew he needed to find a way to get him down, needed to find a way to save him.
“Don’t worry, Father, I will figure this out…you have my word. You’re safe now. You’re safe.”
Luna retreated to the farthest corner of the room, away from the approaching figure. She watched as the moonlight began to illuminate his features in crimson light. A blood red moon…death was coming. Death had already come. Hadn’t there been enough bloodshed without even the heavens pronouncing more to come?
His features were slowly changing. Piece by piece, Luna watched in horror as her nightmares became reality. She had prayed and wished that none of this was real. She had hoped the virus that had poisoned her had made this seem like reality when it truly wasn’t. But no. Her mind didn’t play tricks on her this time. The horror was real. Her heart had been ripped to shreds when she had learned of the secret. She was left soulless and cold, left to rot at St. Mungo’s with no hope of escaping. His sole purpose had been destruction. So far he had succeeded. No one understood his intention or his reason. Only she knew of it all. Only she knew why the deaths were occurring.
“Please…I am begging you to stop this. You are not this person. You’ve never been this person. We were all there beside you. We fought beside you to defeat Voldemort. We saw you kill him to save us all. Please, Harry…come back to us.”
Harry moved fully from the shadows and stood before Luna with a sneer even Draco would cower at. She felt her entire body shake with fear. The Boy-Who-Lived no longer lived at all. He had died so many years ago – his heart cold and dark. She had watched his transformation and denied it was even happening. She denied it all because she had hope. But there was no hope left. All there was…was darkness.
“No turning back now, Luna. Only a few more to go and then I will secure my legacy once again.”
Harry’s eyes practically glowed red as he took another step forward, the polyjuice potion finally done running its course. Her retreat only made him laugh.
“Perhaps its time I told you my grand plan.”
A/N: Alright guys...here it is...my secret of the story. *takes deep breath* Please let me know what you think. Hopefully it wasn't a twist you were expecting. Thank you for reading as always. *hugs*
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