Dorcas frowned as she apparated into the alleyway just down the street from her parents’ home. She wasn’t looking forward to what she was about to have to do.
She was on her way to beg her mother to leave her childhood home, the place where some of her last memories of Amber lived. Due to her mother’s aversion to magic, she wouldn’t let Dorcas put the charms necessary to make the house safe on it. It was a miracle the Death Eaters hadn’t shown up on the doorstep already.
Dorcas was Death Eater enemy number one at the moment.
To make matters worse, she was certain this conversation was going to go even worse due to her mother’s newfound distrust of her and complete faith in the Ministry. Dorcas never thought she would see the day when her mother would completely rely on the Ministry of Magic to keep her safe. Especially when this was currently the one thing they were most incompetent at.
Mrs. Meadowes was taking everything that the Ministry said as if it was indisputable fact. It was making her unbearable for Dorcas to be around, especially because their current position was that Amber’s death was accidental. They couldn’t very well admit that a Death Eater attack led to the death of a child. The public’s view of the Ministry as in control was paramount.
It made Dorcas’ blood boil.
Her mother’s turning to the Ministry was actually what finally prompted Dorcas to do the inevitable and visit with her mother to make her see the light. Now that their address was in Ministry files, the elder Meadowes were in immeasurable danger. There was no telling who already had their hands on this information.
Dorcas knocked on the door hesitantly, the only thing propelling her forward was the knowledge that she wouldn’t survive losing her parents in addition to her sister.
Mrs. Meadowes opened the door a crack, and shock flew across her face.
“Dorcas.” She murmured, as if unsure that her eyes weren’t actually playing tricks on her. “Come on in.”
Dorcas stepped cautiously across the threshold and into the house, not sure how exactly she was going to broach this topic with her mother.
“Mum, we need to talk.” Dorcas stated carefully, and Mrs. Meadowes’ eyes narrowed at the cryptic first sentence. Dorcas wasn’t quite sure what would be a good way to say this, so just decided to come right out and say it. Even if it wasn’t the best way it was the quickest.
“You and Dad need to leave London.” Dorcas informed her, and Mrs. Meadowes gasped in disbelief. “It’s not safe here anymore. The Death Eaters are running rampant and you’re a target because of me.”
“Dorcas I don’t understand what you mean!” Mrs. Meadowes said, her voice clearly indicating that she was upset. “I don’t see why we have to leave London! I have lived in this house most of my life, and so haven’t you!”
“That doesn’t matter Mum.” Dorcas replied simply, trying to keep the coolness out of her voice. It wasn’t her mum’s fault that she didn’t understand. She had always had a naïve view of the world. “London isn’t safe anymore, especially not for us. As much as you must hate it, and I understand, you’re a target because of me.”
“Surely all of London isn’t in danger.” Her mother insisted, and Dorcas barely managed to keep from pulling her own hair out. “If all of London was in danger, the Ministry would be doing something about it! Dorcas, it’s their job to do something about it! Plus, you wouldn’t let anything happen to us. You will keep us safe.”
Dorcas couldn’t believe that that sentence had actually just come out of her mother’s mouth. Didn’t she realize that Dorcas hadn’t kept Amber safe? Had the Ministry brainwashed her so much that she couldn’t see the truth right in front of her? Couldn’t she see that Dorcas was having a hard enough time protecting herself, never mind other people?
Unable to believe that she was that naïve, Dorcas looked at her mother for the first time since she had arrived at the house, horrified. She had kidded herself into believing that she could come here, her parents would come quietly, and she wouldn’t have to look at her mother.
That was easily the worst part of this entire encounter. This was the first time since Amber’s funeral that she had actually seen her mother. She had received letters, yes, but most of them had gone unread, and even if she had opened them, she didn’t have to face her while she did it.
The honey blonde curls tumbled around her face and down her shoulders, and her round face had the same clear complexion as Amber. She had always looked remarkably like her youngest daughter. Dorcas bit the insides of her cheeks until she tasted blood, and still barely managed to keep herself from letting her tears spill over.
“Mom, we’ve been over this before.” Dorcas replied, finally managing to break eye contact and regain at least some of her infamous composure. “What happened to her wasn’t an accident, no matter what the Ministry told you. I was there. I would know.”
Dorcas couldn’t even bring herself to say her
“Well, I’m sorry Dorcas, but I’m not convinced.” Mrs. Meadowes said haughtily. “You have been a right mess lately, and I’m not entirely sure that you are thinking clearly. You’ve always been a suspicious child, and after Amber’s accident I think you just needed someone to blame. You haven’t exactly been stable ever since the incident.”
“I haven’t been stable since the incident.” Dorcas repeated, incredulous. “Am I supposed to be? Am I supposed to be stable after watching the only
thing that actually mattered to me murdered and I couldn’t save her? I’m sorry I don’t get up every morning with a chipper smile on my face and pep in my step Mum, but it’s ridiculous if you expect me to. I obviously don’t live in the world you do, where you can pretend your youngest child just never existed.”
The hurt flashed through her mother’s eyes, and Dorcas waited for the pang of guilt she was certain was going to run through her for hurting her mother’s feelings. Nothing came.
“You don’t know the pain that I live in.” Mrs. Meadowes responded quietly, tears pouring down her cheeks. “I hope you never understand the pain of losing your child.”
“I honestly can’t believe you even just said that.” Dorcas replied, her tone cold. “If anyone knows the pain you live in Mother, it’s me. Amber was never really yours. She was my everything. From the day she was born, anyone would tell you that little girl was mine.
“She was not yours!” Mrs. Meadowes yelled angrily. Dorcas couldn’t help but feel envious of her mother. She could obviously still feel. “She may have loved you more Dorcas. You’re right, anyone could see that. But that doesn’t make my love for her any less real. And it certainly doesn’t make her yours.
I miss her just as much as you do Dor. I just obviously handle my grief better than you, because I am not coming up with crazy conspiracy theories for what happened to my youngest daughter.”
Dorcas pushed hard off the wall and crossed the room fast, infuriated. She was honestly so angry she couldn’t be certain what she was going to do, and thought it best to put as much distance as possible between herself and her mother. Her slight shoulders shook as she struggled to contain the rage bubbling inside of her. She was determined to make her mother see the light about Amber’s death and the Ministry of Magic.
Striding across the room with a determined look on her face, Dorcas came to a halt inches away from her mother. Reaching down, she lifted her jumper and pointed to her abdomen.
Mrs. Meadowes’ eyes became transfixed on the long, pink, puckered scar that stretched all the way across Dorcas’ slim body. The barely healed gash covered the entire surface of her torso, disappearing up into Dorcas’ bra and downwards into her trousers. She couldn’t contain the gasp that slipped from her lips.
“Am I delusional Mum?” Dorcas demanded, but her mother couldn’t pull her eyes away from the scar. “Did I give myself this scar Mum? Where do you think the Ministry
would say this came from? I’ll tell you where it came from. It came from a Death Eater who tried to kill me.”
“This is nothing new Mum. They all want to kill me. And I am fine with this. But you need to recognize the truth, you need to see that by staying in this house all you are doing is making it easier for them to destroy me. They didn’t hesitate from using Amber, and they won’t hesitate before using you.”
Mrs. Meadowes nodded mutely, still unable to tear her eyes away from the scar. It was fresh. It was deep. And it was obviously caused by Dark Magic.
“Don’t help them destroy me Mum.”
Snapping back to reality, Mrs. Meadowes looked her daughter in the eye as she let her fingers trail carefully along the line of the scar.
“I believe you.”
“Thank you.” Dorcas whispered. Her mother had only said 3 simple words, but the relief that flooded out of Dorcas was practically palpable. “I’m going to avenge her you know. The people who did this are going to pay. I’ve already taken down 4 of their people.”
“But Dorcas, aren’t you angering them?” Mrs. Meadowes asked worriedly. “From everything you’ve told me, they seem like dangerous people.”
“They are dangerous Mum, but I don’t care. I don’t care how much it pisses them off either. I will not stop until every single one of them are dead.”
“But what if they kill you
!” Mrs. Meadowes demanded, and Dorcas merely shrugged her shoulders. “You’re making them angry, as if your number one goal is for them to kill you. You’re only one person Dorcas, it is nearly impossible that you kill them all!”
“I know.” Dorcas had reached the point of simple answers. She didn’t want to worry her mother, but she wasn’t going to lie to her either. Sooner or later, she would know that Dorcas was playing with fire.
“So basically you’re going to try to kill them all, and they’re going to try to kill you.” Dorcas’ mother was shaking at this point. “You do realize that if you fail you are going to end up dead right? That you are probably going to fail? That you are going to end up dead?”
Dorcas barely even thought about the repercussions her response was going to have. She merely smiled ruefully at the woman in front of her.
“Would that be so tragic?”
It might be a little strange, but Dorcas loved the dark.
So many people hated the dark because you never knew what was going on around you. To Dorcas, that was the absolute best part of it all. She loved sitting in the dark, because if she didn’t have to worry about what was going on around her, she had more time to think.
She was currently sitting in an unfamiliar house, trying to come up with a strategy for how to get her revenge. It was more difficult than it sounded. None of the plans that she came up with seemed to be proper retribution for the suffering that the Death Eaters had caused.
Dorcas put her head in her hands and took some deep breaths. Sometimes, the grief she felt was still overwhelming. She thought about Amber every moment of every day, she just couldn’t help it. Her sister’s death was something that she would never recover from.
She hadn’t spoken to a single other human being in over a week, and she wasn’t even lonely. She could feel herself sliding slowly into the dark recesses of her own mind, but she wasn’t able to stop. And she wasn’t sure she wanted to.
At moments like this, Dorcas found it worked best if she focused her thoughts and reminded herself of what exactly she had to avenge. Moving quietly across the room, she approached the small suitcase that contained every personal belonging she had.
She flipped the lid open and muttered “Lumos” under her breath so she could see properly.
And just like always, she gasped when the pain hit her.
Decorating the top of her suitcase was what could essentially be considered a shrine to Amber. Pictures covered every bit of it, both muggle and wizarding.
Tears welling in her eyes, Dorcas gently grabbed the picture of her holding Amber in the hospital. The baby was just so small and fast asleep. A small tuft of blonde curls decorated the top of her head, and Dorcas was running her fingers through it. She couldn’t help but wish that this photograph was a wizarding one, but it wasn’t. She would have given anything to see the gentle rise and fall of Amber’s chest.
Carefully placing that photo back in its place, Dorcas pulled down the wizarding picture of Amber on her first day of school. She was beaming and waving at the camera, and every once in a while she would blow a kiss. This was easily Dorcas’ most treasured picture, and it was easy to tell. The edges were starting to fade and fray, and every once in a while the image would stutter.
This was what Dorcas was fighting for. Her sister had to be avenged, and she had to be the only one involved in doing it. Nobody else was going to get hurt in this.
She frowned at the photograph in her hand. She would do anything to turn back the time, to never take Amber to that lunch, to kill the first Death Eater before he had the chance to call in reinforcements.
To take the curse that was meant for her.
Dorcas knew that this wasn’t a possibility, but that didn’t mean that she had to like it. Every morning that she woke up promised only a new day of torture, a day of pain. She only knew how to do one thing.
She was going to make the people who did this to her sister live in the same hell she did.
Dorcas edged carefully around the perimeter of the forest, knowing that she couldn’t get too close. If anyone knew she was here, her plan would be ruined before it even really started. That would be unacceptable.
Lestrange Manor stood in front of her, the massive building cold but dignified. It was beautiful in a terrifying sort of way. Dorcas couldn’t help but think that it suited its mistress perfectly.
Shaking her head angrily, she couldn’t believe that this was the best plan she had been able to come up with. One challenge of destroying the life of someone who cares about nothing and no one is finding something to take away from them.
So there Dorcas stood, determined to burn Lestrange Manor right down to the ground. She could only hope that Bellatrix was inside, but knew it was unlikely. She also knew that it was unlikely that this house held any sentimental significance to Bellatrix.
What she was entirely confident of though, was that if nothing else, it would positively enrage Bellatrix that Dorcas had the nerve to destroy something of hers.
So, standing just outside the Lestrange property so as to not draw any attention to herself, Dorcas cast the anti-apparition wards that she had been practicing for days, ever since she came up with this plan.
The hard part had been putting in her own special loophole that allowed house elves to apparate off the property unaccompanied. Dorcas may be looking to destroy everything associated with Voldemort, but she wasn’t into killing innocents.
She couldn’t care less, however, how much Death Eater blood was spilled.
With her wards now in place, Dorcas prepared to do exactly what she came here to do. She stepped onto the property surrounding the manor, confident that with her wards, even if her presence was detected, at this point no one would be interrupting her until her job was done.
She aimed her wand carefully at a window directly in the middle of the manor and cast a charm so strong that when that window shattered into a million pieces, so didn’t all of the others within 10 feet of it. She smiled to herself.
It took only a moment for a freezing cold breeze to blow across the property. Dorcas’ grin grew. As the wind blew through the open window, it unintentionally blew a curtain directly into Dorcas’ line of sight.
With accuracy Mad Eye would be proud of and nobody in the Ministry but him could mirror, Dorcas set the curtain on fire. Satisfaction flooded her with her success, and she gained in confidence.
Dorcas stalked around the entire property, lighting anything she could see on fire. She felt a rush every time something new went up in flames, each step she took taking Lestrange Manor one bit closer to the point of no return.
Within minutes, there was nothing left for Dorcas to ignite, The entire building was burning rather rapidly to the ground.
The flames licking up the side of the building were so strong Dorcas could feel the heat even from her position at the edge of the property. It was oddly satisfying to her, watching something that belonged to Death Eaters slowly being destroyed.
They may have destroyed her whole world in a few seconds, but she planned on savoring doing the same to theirs.
Dorcas knew that she had to leave soon. Her anti-apparition wards may have prevented anybody showing up while she was still igniting the entire house, but it wouldn’t keep them away much longer. By now someone would have had almost enough time to apparate just outside the wards and get to the property on foot.
And as much as she would love the opportunity to take down another Death Eater, she was relatively confident there wouldn’t just be one. And she couldn’t let them catch her yet, her work wasn’t finished.
With one final glimpse at the burning building, Dorcas reached deep into the pocket of her robes and pulled out a scrap of parchment. Carefully, she placed it on the ground. Almost having forgotten, Dorcas reached into the pocket of her robes once more and pulled out a heavy silver dagger. She placed it carefully on top of the parchment, weighing it down so it wouldn’t blow away. She wanted Bellatrix to find the letter.
Unable to resist the temptation, Dorcas bent over and picked the letter up to read it one last time. Even as she read the words, she knew she wouldn’t have had to read it again to remember what it said. The words were burned into the back of her head.
I know how much you like to leave letters behind, and I wouldn’t want you to think I wasn’t receiving them. I got your messages just as I’m sure you’re going to get mine.
I do believe this dagger used to be yours. Didn’t the Ministry confiscate it on a Dark Magic raid a few months back? They took all the curses off of it (ruining all the fun), but I still thought you might like it back. Now you can practice your muggle fighting a bit more.
It’s a real tragedy what happened to your manor. I just happened to be walking by when I saw the flames, and wanted to be certain I left my condolences. We should all just be grateful you weren’t inside, no?
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon Bella. I’m certain we have much to talk about.
With a smirk, Dorcas placed the letter back on the ground, the silver dagger again taking its place right on top of it.
Quickly, certain that she now had absolutely no time before the arrival of some very angry Death Eaters, Dorcas grabbed her wand and focused on the house she was hiding in now.
The scream of rage that filled her ears just before she disappeared would be her lullaby that evening.
So, I think that this story is killing me. I’ve been having so much difficulty with it lately, but I fought my way through to finish this chapter. The closer we get to the end (and we’re getting CLOSE) the harder it is.
Please leave me a review and tell me what you think!