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Chapter 17 : Chapter Seventeen – Why Does Drama, Danger and Death Follow The Same Crowd, Do They All Wear A Sign That Says ‘Put Me In Moral Peril?’
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This chapter was written through the long hot days, suffered by long torturous headache and the secret wishes of fewer bills to pay. It marked the 50,000 word mark (which makes me extremely happy) and it’s only halfway done. For those who have stuck with the story keep holding on =] your reviews make my day light up like Christmas tree decorations but I’m more happy that you are all enjoying the story as much as I am enjoying writing it!
In a dark dungeon beyond several different complex spells and wards, countless doors and homemade traps lives a man so ragged, dirtied and lost that he could barely remember his own name. The floor is dirty after so many years of neglect, the plain mattress on which he’d spent so many years upon had barely any stuffing left and was riddled with all sorts of bugs. His long hair was more lice than anything else. He remembers not why he is here nor how long he’s been kept in his room but he remembers it being for something important. Once upon a time he remembered having a purpose that filled him with love. All he feels now is emptiness.
He remembers a woman; she appears to him in his dreams sometimes. He calls her his angel and he remembers a beautiful little girl, his treasure. And he remembers an equally gorgeous boy that stands guard over his treasure protecting her always. When he remembers these people it’s as if the cloud around him head lifts a little and he feels less crazy and more at peace with himself. But these moments don’t last for long and once again so soon after they come he is pulled back to a land of confusion and lost souls. His mind and soul have become separate, all notion of magic forgotten, he’s simply become an empty shell of a once glorious man.
He’s been kept here so long he thinks he’s been forgotten, at first he remembered being visited almost every day. He doesn’t remember why he was visited, what the purpose was but he does remember the pain. He started to associate the visits with pain. He’d try to shy away from his visitor or hide himself from view. At first he was visited all the time but then as time went on the visits decreased and decreased until they disappeared all together and left him alone without a single thing to hold onto his sanity with. There was a fine line between torture and comfort. Torture was pretty self explanatory, not something one enjoys but at least the torture came with a constellation prize, and the torturer at least gave him some social comfort.
Evvie looked a Draco in shock, the force of their kiss still lingering on her lips, it tingled all the way down to her toes.
“Do you believe me now?” asked Draco.
She couldn’t deny what she felt in that kiss, perhaps it was time to let go of everything else and take a chance, “Yes” she replied.
Draco smiled, the first real smile to grace his lips in a long while, “Will you go out with me then?”
She nodded, happy to accept his embrace.
He shifted in his sleep, his cocooned embrace doing nothing to starve off the coldness he felt in the room. He wished he had a blanket to call his own but it had long since disintegrated along with most other things. But wait, what is that sound? It comes from up above, it sounds like footsteps from a distant past. Friend or foe, live or die, he cringed away from the noise as words assaulted his mind bringing up memories that made no sense.
Evvie lounged around with her back against Draco and her feet just dipping into the water of the black lake. It was a serene moment for the both of them after months of arguments and short tempered words.
“Why did we wait so long for this?”
“Because we were foolish, no I was foolish”.
“Why? Well because I thought you deserved better, looking at my actions from the war I knew I could never deserve you so I pushed you away” he muttered.
“That’s silly. I chose you Draco, many times over. I could have shouted it from the top of the highest roof and you still wouldn’t have realized”.
“No buts Draco. I want you and you want me. We’re together now so these games need to stop. Why do you think we had all those fights?” he raised his brow quizzically, “Sexual tension” she giggled and soon he felt himself chuckling along as well.
Evvie had a lot on her mind as several people were about to find out N.E.W.T.s didn’t seem that important to her anymore – and honestly she could take them now and pass with flying colours she was that prepared. She hadn’t given up her search for her Father; she hadn’t paused in her search or had any doubts in what she was doing. Pansy had become a Godsend in the search; Fleur had taken a back seat since her pregnancy had continued.
But Pansy wasn’t helping as much as Evvie thought for all intensive purposes she was but Pansy had been a Slytherin for over seven years and she knew how to fool someone. She’d become obsessed with finding her Father and Pansy was worried for her. She was happy to help her friend as long as she had a backup plan to get her out. Evvie wasn’t the only one good at spells, she’d spelled all Evvie’s clothes – for she didn’t know which ones she’d end up using so she couldn’t risk leaving Evvie unprotected – she used a combination of location charms and protection charms.
Pansy had a nasty feeling that Evvie was on to something and that Evvie would disappear in the night. It was a nightmare keeping this secret but Pansy couldn’t risk telling anyone else about Evvie’s plans till she’d gone, even if that meant putting Evvie’s life in danger.
“Evvie what’s wrong?”
“Nothing” muttered a distracted Evvie.
“You aren’t having second thoughts about us are you?” asked Draco letting his vulnerability shine through.
Evvie turned, focusing her attention on Draco, “No” she replied wholeheartedly.
“Then what’s wrong? You seem distant and occupied”.
Evvie sighed, she knew she should tell Draco, tell someone but she couldn’t risk someone putting a halt in her plans. She was almost certain she knew where Marcus’s castle was, there were things she needed to do there that Draco was sure to put a stop to.
“There is just something I need to do”.
“Tell me what it is, perhaps I can help you”.
“No” replied Evvie wishfully, “You’ll try to stop me”.
“Then it’s dangerous” said Draco frowning.
“It might be”.
“Then you’re right I would stop you. I cannot risk your safety when I’ve only just found you”.
“I have to do this. Haven’t you ever done something because your heart and soul depends on it”.
Draco was reluctant to nod but he couldn’t deny that he’d done the same thing.
“I just don’t want to lose you, so if you have to do whatever this is, just please stay safe” he murmured.
The embrace and tender kiss she placed on Draco acted as her only words of comfort.
Evvie managed to do what no other person living or dead has managed. She’d found the location of Marcus’s castle she’d had to apparate from Hogsmead to just outside his apparation fields at the dead of night. She’d come prepared with a series of potions, getaway Portkeys and a selection of three wands secreted away in her invisible arm grip.
The years of the war had been hard on Evvie but she had learnt how to survive in very harsh and dangerous situations, the horcrux hunt had honed her defensive, protective and silent techniques. She walked stealthily with an air of confidence, she looked like a seasoned warrior but within the walls of her heart, the erratic thumping of her heart was telling a different story.
The castle loomed in front of her, its dark and foreboding turrets still casting a shadow under the moonlight. The castles outside seemed relatively unprotected, she only had to stun one person but she assumed the castle itself was protected by wards. Once she breeched those wards, they’d know someone was there and the battle would really begin.
While Evvie made her way to the castle that held that which called her magic. Pansy had just awoken, realizing Evvie had gone. It was now time for the second part of her plan. It involved a complex set of spells and the cooperation of the Hogwarts house elves to wake everyone up and collect others from various places. Pansy dressed in camouflaged battle gear and waited in the Slytherin common room for everyone to gather.
It was quite a sight when they all gathered together. Draco, Blaise, Adrian, Luna, Harry, Lavender, Pansy, Daphne, Neville, Millie, Theo, Marcus, Parents of the students involved, McGonagall, Hagrid, Andromeda Tonks and some other Order members. Madame Pomfrey was on standby at Hogwarts should they need her. Even Pansy was amazed by how many people had gathered to save the Queen of Gorgeousness (even if their Queen didn’t acknowledge her beauty inside or out).
They were coming to her rescue whether she wanted their help or not. Evvie had already breeched the castle’s wards. She tiptoed into the foyer, everything there was as dark and disgusting as the outside suggested. Hark! Here that? The sounds of approaching footsteps, Evvie gripped her want tightly in her hand, its presence calming her nerves, her pinkish eyes blazing brightly.
The sounds were getting louder; they were closing in on her. She would go down fighting. What she wanted was in this castle, she knew it, and she could feel it if only should could find it.
“What do you think will happen after Graduation?”
“What do you mean?”
“Will we still be together?”
“If I have anything to do with it, I’ll never let you go”.
“Do you mean that?”
“You know how Purebloods react to relationships and marriages, we’re in the clear. I don’t ever want to let you go but if you so desire it, I will”.
“I don’t want to lose you. I’m an old fashioned girl. I’m in this for the long haul. What makes you think I’d let go of my Prince Charming after just securing him?”
They met together for an intimate but chase kiss; it spoke of all the moments come to pass and all the others yet to come.
Evvie was surrounded, she’d managed to stun and wipe out several others but this was harder than she thought. She felt like she hadn’t really thought things through, she couldn’t give up now though not when she was so close.
Spells were being thrown every which way; Evvie was running out of places to hide. As she hid behind the nearest stone pillar she wiped the sweat from her brow and heard the unmistakable sounds of apparation pops.
Shit! She thought, were more arriving? There comes a point in one’s life when you question your plans of logic. This was one of those times. Evvie was a bookworm at heart, she had a logical mind. How had she failed so? For one who had suffered so much during the war and learned so much in defense and plans of attack, she’d been incredibly stupid.
“Evvie!” someone yelled.
What the hell? Thought Evvie.
Someone grabbed her from behind pulling her away from the safety of the pillar. She struggled against the arms holding her captive.
“Let go of me!” she screamed.
“I will not you stupid girl” replied her captor.
“Who else would it be?”
“I don’t know, maybe someone trying to kill me! Why are you here?”
“To save you from your own stupidity”.
Evvie glared at him, and then glared at the others who appeared through the smoky dust of the continual fighting.
“It’s only stupidity if you refuse to believe”.
“What the fuck are you playing at?! Didn’t you think how your action would affect others?”
“None of you were supposed to know!”
“And that makes it better?” said Draco as he dodged a badly aimed curse.
Evvie stayed silent, she was angry, for many reasons but Pansy’s betrayal, Draco’s attitude and the pitying glances she was getting from the rest were forefront in her mind, fueling her anger further.
They were all condemning her for something they refused to acknowledge. She’d prove them all wrong, then they’d be begging at her feet for her forgiveness.
“What the hell were you thinking coming here alone?” Blaise asked putting his two cense in.
“Don’t test me Blaise” warned Evvie.
He saw his chance in the battle; she was unprepared arguing with one of her own. His Master would reward him greatly for this treasure if it was killed. Take aim and fire!
“Avada Kadavra!!” he shouted.
“DUCK!” bellowed someone else.
Stone erupted and crumbled all around; people covered themselves to avoid the smoky dust. The green jet of light had exploded in the center of the room and disappeared just as quickly. When the dust and smoke cleared it was a moment before anyone moved.
“Evvie!” Shouted Draco, but she was nowhere to be seen.
Evvie sighed in blissful happiness. Had it really taken so little to make her this happy? When she tried to picture herself without Draco she found she couldn’t do it. He bought out a level of confidence in her that she never had before. She knew she wasn’t beautiful or stunningly pretty like other girls but with Draco she at least felt worth of his attentions.
She was falling hard and fast for Draco. She loved his gentle caresses, his tender kisses and his passionate heart. She was able to say with full mushiness that she could picture a future with him. Alas that future really all depended on the next few months. She had to keep in mind that she may not be around for that envisioned future.
“What are you doing up here?”
“Of how much I want to be kissed”.
“I think that can be arranged” he said cheekily.
The buildings foundation rocked and swayed under the weight of destruction that was taking place inside. Inside his cell the man paced nervously, something inside him heart was calling his old self forth yet he was still as trapped as ever within his own mind. He knew something wasn’t right as the floor below him shook and the ceiling above him trembled. Was this the end of his everlasting solitude or would he become part of the growing rubble?
The walls shook from the force of his footsteps, his shined shoes reeked of fine breeding. The crisp suit fitting like a glove, his hair neatly trimmed and slicked back with ample amounts of grease. The only thing that gave away his perfected pureblood image was the look in his eyes, a combination of anger and pure hatred. He never thought he’d be standing here today, holding fort as his castle tried to crumble around him.
Utterly pathetic, he’d worked so hard to get where he was today. He’d heard whispers on the wind. She was here, the one who stole his heart and kept it captive all these years. One whisper of her name and he was transported right back to Hogwarts and the humiliation of losing her again and again. He should have realized that she was never his. He was foolish with his plans; he should have just killed her and be done with it. He couldn’t do it though; he was unable to kill the one who had caused him so much pain. So by chance he’d done the next best thing and taken her love from her. But what had it cost him? A life unloved, a life full of darkness and shrouded in mystery. Oh but it had been good, all the wondrous things he invented, all the spells, the revels, the torture. It was all worth it.
The wards and doors shook with the force directed at them. Boom, Boom, Boom! They were blasted from their hinges, metal flung every which way as yet another obstacle was brought down. The spells were daunting, sweat dripped heavily from their neck to their shoulders. The concentration involved was damning. Bam! There went another door, Whoosh! Yet another spell was destroyed. Their hearts desire just moments away.
He cowered into the corner, his knees drawn up, and his arms sheltering his head. He didn’t understand what was happening, the noise, the commotion, sending his mind into turmoil and shivers up his spine. The walls vibrated from an invisible force as cracks started to appear in the bricks before him. He curled even further into the corner, his mind and heart playing against each other. One told him to hide the other told him there was nothing to fear. Something was awakening within him; it was strong, dangerous and familiar. It boiled all the way down to his core and sent fire through his veins. Something was calling out to him and it started to bring his magic back.
A final heave hoe, a furrowed brow, rattled hair and dusty clothes and the final door collapsed where it stood, crumbling to a pile of rocks. The dust that scattered was vast and thick. It rose up and consumed all in its path. The man coughed and wheezed from his secluded corner. Once the dust settled he saw a figure standing within the falling dust. It was like looking at an angel from his dreams, familiar yet so new.
He resisted the temptation to cower away from the figure. Something inside him called to this angel, pulling him to his feet and walking him towards her.
“Who are you?” he managed to croak out.
“A friend” she replied.
“I know you don’t I?”
“Yes in a distant memory” she replied.
“You feel safe” he commented.
Memories long since forgotten played out through the minds of unsuspecting victims, a child running wildly through the garden, taking a wheelbarrow ride with friends, catching animals and hiding from parents. A Father playing hide and seek with his children, letting them ride on his shoulders, reading them bedtime stories.
A Father hugging his child and smiling softly when the child fell asleep on his lap, smiling when seeing his children excited and bringing laughter to the house, reminding his young son that he should always be brave and look after the girls. Telling his daughter she was the prettiest girl in his life.
Seeing his angel wife and being reminded of how lucky he was. Seeing the love in her eyes and knowing he was home.
The man sagged against the shoulders holding him up. He’d tried desperately to stand on his own and not burden his savior but his legs were too weak. He could hear the sounds of battle as they neared the front foyer, he didn’t want to sound too optimistic but it sounded as though someone was winning, he hoped it was his angel’s side.
The man in the crisp suit with the shined shoes and the slick hair had arrived too late. As he looked at his destroyed wards and spells and the empty cell before him he felt a ripple of fear. He was still powerful but not how he once was, time had weakened him.
He’d felt fully safe in the knowledge that though his castle had been breached it was near impossible to dismantle the wards and doors he’d placed at the entry to the cell. He shouldn’t have been so arrogant; the situation now was the consequence of his earlier actions.
He was drawn towards the battle sounds. His wand twitched nervously in his hand sending coloured sparks to the floor. Anger pulsed through his veins, all the worst spells he could think of were waiting on the tip of his tongue. He saw the damage to the front foyer and was thankful the battle hadn’t moved further into his castle. He saw the bodies lined up, his own pathetic men had fallen victim to mere children of the light.
Sweat was running from people’s brows, the air smelt of death and pungent smoke. Where was the little cretin? He couldn’t believe his prisoner had already left the castle.
They struggled across the foyer, the dusty smoke acting as an invisible blanket for them to hide under. They spared little attention to the people around them, it wasn’t as important as getting out of there alive. They were so close.
“Halt!” came the voice with a power that could stop traffic.
The voice had little effect on most people but it did much to get into the minds of the angel and the man she was struggling to keep upright. Words were thrown all too fast, words that promised the follow up of pain, torture and death.
He was so close to taking even more from the tormenting angel that stole his heart. Two words and she’d lose even more and then he’d be at peace, two words that’s all it takes, two little words.
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