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Chapter 10 : Worse Than Heartache
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And hide me with a dead man in his shroud -
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble -
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love."
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, 4.1
“The perfection of the mobilicorpus spell is crucial for your success in the Charms N.E.W.T. We shall practice this spell further today with a partner, and I shall come around to check your progress.”
Michelle nudged Kiana in the ribs when Professor Flitwick sauntered by, the tiny wizard eyeing Kiana with disapproval at her apparent day-dreaming.
“What does this spell do, Miss Karn?”
“Moves a body, Professor,” Kiana replied lazily.
Flitwick nodded but continued to study her with a furrowed brow. “You and Miss Simonson seem to have practiced together enough. Today you shall work with another partner…hm, Mr. Potter?”
Harry jerked in his seat as if awoken from a stupor.
“You shall work with Miss Karn during class today. Perhaps then she won’t be tempted to fool around with other spells.”
Normally, Kiana would have blushed at such an accusation, for it was only too true that she and Michelle had spent several Charms classes trying out jinxes not suited for a sixth-year class. But that day she wouldn’t care if every teacher in the school reprimanded her. She had her mind fixed on Harry, determined to finish him off sooner than later. The longer he was alive, the more assault her body had to undergo from pure panic.
Kiana had not spoken to Harry since their time together in the Room of Requirement, but it was obvious from the way his gaze never left her that he was concerned. He sensed something about her that troubled him, but that made no difference to her. She wasn’t stupid enough to try and kill him in class, but it would be only too easy to weaken him.
“Now that you all have found partners, you may begin!” Flitwick seated himself at the front of the class, folding his arms as he watched each group of students carefully. He had been teaching Charms long enough to know that no class was free from injuries or mishaps.
Kiana said a silent prayer for all to go well that day. Despite her determination and calmness, a warning was going off in her brain. She had tried to push it aside all day, telling herself it was nothing more than a harmless nuisance. But as she faced Potter at the far end of the classroom, the fear came back, suffocating her mind like a tight blanket.
Something was bound to go wrong.
“Go easy on me, Karn; my reaction times are not as superior as yours. Your spells may hit remarkably well.” Harry’s hasty attempt at humor unnerved her. He was not going to make this easy.
Kiana pursed her lips and silently raised her wand, causing surprise to flicker across Harry’s face. But he copied her regardless, clearing his face of any hint of a smile.
In order for her plan to succeed, Kiana knew she couldn’t start off suspiciously. “Mobilicorpus!”
Harry flicked her spell away as if it were an irritating fly. “You can do better than that, Karn,” he teased, beginning to circle her. “Where’s your stealth?”
Harry raised his eyebrows once paring the attack. “When did you learn that?” His voice was soft, but Kiana heard the anxiety engrained in his words.
“All you can do is par, Potter?” She was sneering, and the small, weak part of her mind cried out at her to stop. But she smothered the voice easily. This was her moment to show all those pathetic Death Eaters what she was capable of.
Kiana knew she had lost the element of surprise when fear shone on Harry’s face like a beacon. Raising her wand in preparation for her attack, she let the rage rise up within her before crying…
Both spells blasted from their owner’s wands with such force that they met in the middle and exploded upon contact. The energy from the blast lifted both Kiana and Harry off their feet and threw them helplessly against the opposite walls of the classroom.
Cries resonated through the room as the remaining students realized what had occurred. Even Professor Flitwick was speechless as all stared, wide-eyed, at the pair of duelers.
Kiana returned to her feet first. She pushed fallen strands of hair angrily from her face and glared at any student who dared meet her eye. Red sparks flew from her wand as she realized how much work had to be done to undo what had just occurred. How had her spell missed? It had been perfectly calculated!
Ignoring the pleading look Harry passed her, she bolted from the classroom. She didn’t know where she was going, but all that mattered was getting out of Hogwarts before…
“Kiana! Kiana, stop!”
Hissing angrily through her teeth, she ignored the cries of the boy pursuing her. She yearned to toss a curse at him behind her back, but how would that accomplish anything?
Harry apparently had the same yearning, but he acted on his.
The shock of his attack was not as strong in Kiana as her rage at being defeated by the boy. Falling heavily to the ground, her legs stuck together as if super-glued, she glared up at Harry with deep revulsion as he rushed to her side. His face was pale and his eyes wide with unnamable fear, but Kiana felt nothing at the sight. She no longer cared what he thought of her. He would be dead soon, anyway.
Good thing the corridor was vacant.
Harry undid his jinx with a flick of his wand, but before she could react, he used a silent spell to push her up against the wall, binding her to the bricks. He leaned up against her, pushing his wand into her chest. But none of this was a threat; this Kiana saw in his eyes. Harry was merely acting upon his good conscience, doing what he thought was right. He clearly hated every moment of it.
“You will tell me this instant what has happened to you, or we’re going straight to Dumbledore.”
Kiana’s barriers should have been smashed at his compelling, though overwhelmingly concerned, voice, but the power of her Dark Mark was too strong. Voldemort’s voice inside her head was too clear. She would show no weakness.
She stared hard into his eyes, keeping her face as blank as Snape’s. “I will tell you nothing,” she hissed. She pushed vigorously against his wand’s force, which released her body from the wall a few inches. Only seconds more and she would be free…
Harry grabbed her left wrist hastily, intending to pull her back. But his action caused Kiana to release a powerful scream, and he instantly dropped her arm.
The pain crippled her, prohibiting her from attempting escape. She leaned against the wall, squeezing her eyes shut until the burning in her arm ceased. She had not noticed that her Dark Mark had flashed a bright green under her bandage.
But Harry had. The image of the skull and snake burned into his mind, and he thought of nothing else as he severed Kiana’s bandage with his wand and held her wrist up to the light.
Every emotion and thought that kept Kiana steady died the instant Harry grabbed her wrist. Her world crumbled beneath her, tossing her down into the all-encompassing darkness. She became as lifeless as the night before when Voldemort had claimed her.
What surprised her was how intensely she experienced Harry’s pain. She felt the agony portrayed on his face as clearly as she felt the wrath of Voldemort. For the Dark Lord knew now; he knew of her ultimate failure.
It was all over now.
Time passed in endless seconds, slowly destroying her until she thought she could no longer hold herself up. Harry stared at her Dark Mark with the same expression he would hold if he were seeing his loved ones tortured. Kiana thought he had died, too, until a shadow passed over his face and his eyes hardened. He did not meet her gaze as he grabbed her other arm and dragged her into the deserted classroom across from them.
Without hesitating, Harry threw her forcefully into the room, sending her reeling into the nearest row of desks. She bruised her hip knocking into a pointed side, but she hardly noticed as Harry towered above her. She suddenly realized how drastically her role would change – from murderer to victim. Harry would kill her before she could even try and kill him.
Kiana’s wand flew from her pocket into Harry’s waiting hand. She had forgotten she had been armed.
“Explain yourself!” the boy cried. With his eyes widened and his hand shaking as he directed his wand at her heart, he appeared as mad as Bellatrix.
Kiana forgot how to speak as she lay at his feet, staring up helplessly at the boy she loved.
“You fool, you choose now to be speechless?!” Harry roared. “How can you not defend yourself when I have the power to hand you over to Azkaban? Anyone who sports Voldemort’s sign deserves an instant life sentence, and I don’t make exceptions for anyone, even you!”
His words appeared believable, but Kiana saw that he had trouble convincing himself of his own threats. His eyes still held that same incredulity and gloom. He was in shock; this was unbearably obvious.
Something in Kiana’s heart burst, repelling Voldemort’s influence for a single moment. She had to say something or she’d die from being looked upon with revulsion by her lover.
“Harry, this is not what it seems to be. I never wanted…”
He laughed cruelly, sending a chill down her arms. “Not what it seems? I’m not blind to the truth! Do you think I’ve never seen the Dark Mark before, Karn? Do you think I’ve never stood in a Death Eater’s presence? I was there when Voldemort was reborn! I helped him come back to this world with my own blood. I could have easily saved myself by proclaiming my undying devotion to the Dark Lord, but I am not as weak as you!”
His words pierced her heart, and she clutched her chest as her body gasped for breath. “I can explain, Harry! I will explain everything if you’ll let me. Don’t speak things you’ll later regret.”
“I gave you the chance to speak long ago, but you held your tongue.” His voice had weakened, but the condemnation still poisoned his words. He was trying hard not to cry, and, like her, had learned that anger was a good friend when trying to repel grief. “I will not listen to you now, for nothing you say can take away the filthy mark on your arm. Those things do not magically appear in one’s sleep. They are only given to those who are willing to bear it.”
Kiana wept, releasing the burning tears in her eyes. If you only knew, Harry. If you only knew!
“I can only believe now that you tried to win my favor because you wanted to hand me over to Voldemort. Why else would you have wasted all those hours with me, making me believe that you cared for me as much as I cared for you? What a fool I was to believe your lies! I hate myself for becoming snared in your wicked net. I gave a part of myself to you, Kiana! And what do you do with it? You throw it back in my face. Well, I am not going to let you bewitch me any longer. This is the end.”
He acted without paying heed to her words. With his wand, he unlinked the silver bracelet around her wrist and flew it into his open pocket. The tears were finally visible in his eyes as he backed away toward the door, keeping his wand pointed at her.
“I’m going for Dumbledore,” he said, his voice no louder than a whisper. “There is no point in trying to escape; I have bewitched the locks and you are wandless. Good-bye, Kiana. I hope one day you will look back on all this and realize the depth of your mistakes.”
He slammed the door the moment she rose to follow him. The click of the lock after his departure was as deadly to her as the pulling of a trigger. He did not know it, but his actions had delivered death to her on a silver platter.
And she would die a death worse than his parents’, for instead of entering another world of peace and love, she would have her soul possessed by the devil and watch helplessly as her own wand delivered death to those she loved.
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