Chapter 13 : Violence And Redemption
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Draco had walked with Luna in front of him, out of her cell and into the stone corridor. He had siphoned the grime from her skin, and she looked arguably worse beneath it all. Her skin was papery and grey, there were purple rivets beneath her eyes and her lips were cracked and dry. She had lost a lot of weight too, her skin seemed to hang off her bones in a grim kind of way.
Draco pulled his wand out, and pointed it towards her back, not set on using it but for having it for show.
‘I don’t know what’s going to happen’ he said quietly before they walked up the stairs ‘Block it out, okay. Just... try not to think about it, whatever my father has planned. And- and don’t scream... try not to scream... that’s all he ever wants’ she turned her face so he could see the left side of it, she was smiling very faintly.
‘I know it will cost your life if I were ever to escape Draco... or if you were to help me escape. I wouldn’t ask it of you. I have a feeling this will be the night, the very night, that it all ends’ she said ‘thank you Draco... for not causing more pain’ she looked forwards again and began to walk, Draco was so shocked by her words that she was five steps above him before it registered she was moving at all.
They walked up the stone steps and came out at the parlour. There was a faint orange glow coming from the dining room across the hall and Draco touched Luna ever so lightly with the tip of his wand to guide her.
They entered the fire lit room, there was a table with eight high backed, black leather seats placed around it.
Lucius Malfoy sat at the head of the table at the other end, and around him sat five Death Eaters, all men and all wearing the same delighted looks of lust. Luna whimpered very silently as Draco led her to the seat at the opposite end from Lucius.
He stood up and walked to her, beckoning Draco to take a seat next to her. Lucius pulled the chair out and placed a hand on her shoulder to push her into it, before tucking the chair back into place. He bent down low towards her neck and planted a kiss on the pale skin that seemed to be throbbing with wild heart beats.
He walked back around the table and took a seat, sipping at the blood red wine that filled his crystal goblet.
‘That dress becomes you beautifully my precious’ he hissed, and Luna kept her large eyes to the table top.
‘I see that rather dry sense of humour seems to be diminished my dear... I warned you it would’
The Death Eaters around the table tittered, and stared at her longingly. Although she had become skinny in her imprisonment the dress was tight around her body, the plunging neckline, the deep cut ‘V’ in the back, the short hem and her trembling lips all seemed to have the guests mouths watering.
‘Yes my dear, you look beautiful... but I wonder if your thoughts have changed much since your time here. I wonder now, if you think on the illustrious Mr. Potter as much as you once did, before I filled all of your dreams of course’ the laughter rose again, and Luna kept her eyes on the table, blocking it all out as Draco had said.
‘Well Draco?’ Lucius asked, and Draco jumped. Lucius looked angry at his reaction and pressed on his question more sharply.
‘You are the Occlumens of the table Draco; tell us, does the precious Miss. Lovegood think on her unrequited? Does her mind still get filled with Harry Potter’s smiling face?’
Draco turned to look at Luna, and was shocked to see that she had, at last, raised her eyes to his. She wore a look of hurt realisation on her face. She knew... at long last she knew the truth, the truth of who had brought her here. The identity of the Occlumens Lucius had mentioned on her first night in that cell.
It was Draco; he had brought her here instead of Trelawney. She gulped as tears began to well in her eyes, and then she looked at the table top again, a tear splashing onto the wood.
‘No’ Draco hushed ‘There isn’t much left of Mr. Potter in that pretty little head Father’
Luna kept her eyes on the table for a long time, through the first course of which she didn’t touch a thing, Draco ate very little too. Through the second course, where the surrounding Death Eaters thought it funny to throw bits of food at her. Lucius soon put a stop to this though, he stood from his chair as dessert was brought out, the others dived in to their various sweets but Lucius walked slowly down the table towards Luna. She seems to shrink a little more with every footstep.
He reached the back of her chair, and placed his hands on her trembling shoulders.
‘You are not eating Miss. Lovegood’ he hissed, the Death Eaters laughed, fine whispery laughs. Draco saw Luna’s fingers clench on the table. His teeth began to chatter and he closed his mouth to mask the clattering sound of enamel.
Lucius bent his head over her neck, and whispered oh so sweetly in her ear ‘If you’d rather skip dessert, my precious... I’m sure I can think of other ways to entertain you, and my splendid guests’ Luna closed her eyes tight, the way she always did. Lucius pressed his mouth to her neck, and she groaned as he bit into her skin, leaving two sets of crescent shaped teeth marks that were turning purple.
Lucius grabbed Luna’s shoulder hard, and threw her onto the table top. Plates and goblets and cutlery were sent flying to the floor, making an almighty clash and clatter as they hit the marble tiles.
Draco sat staring frozen at the scene happening but a mere foot from his quivering grey eyes. He saw Luna’s eyes closed as tightly as they would go, saw his father rip at the dress that his mother had worn on that one Christmas function.
He watched the other Death Eaters laugh and slam their fists on the table.
Saw Luna press her lips shut so the scream waiting on her tongue would not bolt out.
‘Scream!!’ his father spat, little flecks of saliva hitting Luna’s closed eyelids and cheeks.
He brought his fist up high, and Draco watched as it fell in slow motion towards Luna’s unseeing face. Saw it descend, inch by inch, until it collided with her cheek, her head was thrown to the left, smashing into the table top, blood spilling between her teeth as she gritted them. Again and again his father’s fists collided with her body, again and again he ripped at the seams of the dress she was wearing.
He flipped her suddenly so her face smashed against the wooded top of the table, her eyes flew open with shock and she spat out a mouthful of blood.
Her eyes fell on Draco, and he stared, frozen in horror back at her as his father laughed coldly and uncontrollably. Her eyes flickered with evident pain but she didn’t blink as she stared at Draco. He wanted to cry out, to push his father away to shout out objection... but her eyes had him transfixed to his seat. The grasp she had over him was overwhelming, suffocating.
Suddenly a white hot burn throbbed on his left forearm and he peeled his sleeve away gasping. It was the Dark Mark, the other Death Eaters winced as well and his father stepped away from Luna and adjusted his outfit.
‘The Dark Lord is coming’ he hissed to them.
‘Draco... take Miss. Lovegood back to her room, and then join us in welcoming back The Dark Lord... I shall deal with her later’ Draco nodded stiffly, Luna gasped and slid from the table top onto the floor as the Death Eaters left the dining room.
Draco stood up on shaking legs, and walked towards her. There was barely nothing left of the dress, and he felt his cheeks burn at the patches of nakedness he could see. She was curled in a trembling ball, blood pouring from her nose and leaking from the corner of her mouth, her right eye was beginning to swell and her bottom lip was split open.
‘It... it was you’ she croaked feebly.
‘I’m sorry Luna’ Draco whispered ‘I- I was supposed to bring the Seer, and you were the closest thing left’ he was not trying to explain himself, on the contrary, he was trying to redeem himself, tell her why she was the one, why Fate turned his ugly head on her, but it made no difference.
Draco placed a hand on her shoulder and jumped at the sudden rattling breath that escaped Luna’s throat, she turned on her back and Draco gaped at the sudden transformation to her eyes.
The pupils that had been already been rather large now took up nearly the entire bright blue iris, and the whites of her eyes had become hazy, as if her were looking at a sky with lots of clouds being pushed with a high wind. Her nails scraped along the marble tiles, making a chilling screech and all of a sudden she spoke with a voice that was deeper and commanding, it seemed to have an echo all of its own.
‘He knows your doubt Draco... he knows your fears, your scandals’ she said in that low, eerie voice ‘He awaits in the day room, wand in hand, ready to strike, he mocks you, teases you and then raises his wand, you lie stone dead on the floor, your father walks in and shrugs “He was a waste My Lord” he says “He was a waste” she gasped and heaved, her eyes still swimming with clouds.
‘You’re the Seer’ Draco whispered, choked, scared and close to laughing. He had brought the Seer back after, all this time she had been within the depths of this Manor and no one had ever known, no one had realised.
Draco had a split second decision to make, Death in the face of courage, or Death in the face of knowledge. For Luna could not be wrong. He chose courage, something he was not necessarily used to.
He scooped Luna up into his arms, holding her close and ran towards the door. He peered out, and saw the parlour was empty. He kicked open the door quietly and walked quickly towards the front door, he grasped the handle, pulled it firmly.
‘Draco?’ a shrill, babyish voice travelled from the stairs. He turned his head, and saw his Aunt Bellatrix in the middle of the steps, her black eyes wide with fury and her lip twitching in anger, she pulled out her wand snappishly and Draco began to run.
‘DRACO!’ He heard her scream.
He needed t get out of the grounds and go beyond the gate, then he could apparate them both to safely. Luna seemed to have lost consciousness. Draco heard the sounds of dogs barking behind him, and knew his Aunt must have released the hounds.
He didn’t dare look behind him as he weaved, in and out of serpentine hedges, and a few well aimed spells, probably from his Aunt shot just past his head. The old, silver gate was in sight, he needed to get out, he needed to clear the grounds.
He heard his father’s shouts behind him in the distance and he took a deep staggering breath as he wrenched open the silver gate and ran out of the scope of the concealments charm.
‘Luna!’ he shouted, trying to shake her as he ran ‘Luna I need your help! Please Luna wake up!’ she opened one bleary blue eye, for the other one had swollen shut.
‘We need to apparate to your headquarters, the Order headquarters now! Please! You need to think of it!’ the dog’s barks were coming closer; he could see the black blurs running on all fours by the gate. He shook her again as her eyes drooped.
‘LUNA!’ he screamed ‘Think of the headquarters, think of the headquarters Luna please!’ he saw the dogs slip through the gate towards him, he saw his Aunt’s white, wild eyes as she raised her wand to curse him.
‘Luna!’ he shouted, and at once her right hand raised towards his face, he watched as a series of letters and words seemed to burn out of her palm, glowing with an odd, orange haze.
Penna Ab Censum
She clasped her hand around the one holding her and he spun on the spot. He watched as a green light erupted from his Aunt’s wand and flew quickly towards him, through him as the both of them descended into a compressed world of darkness.
Another Chapter down, and so how do you like this one? Its very intense, like the last one. Very violent... but that will ease off a bit for a while :) I would love to know what you think? Thank you!
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