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Chapter 17 : Darkness
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Her hand was shaking, I mildly noted, as she disarmed me. It was not fear or anger. It seemed to be excitement, but by the incredibly happy look on her face, perhaps ecstasy.
Whatever it was, it was sickening.
“Where are all your loyal little friends? Not comin’ to save the day?” Alecto tried to taunt, throwing aside my wand.
I followed the movement thoughtfully. It was as though it was meant be thrown, with the way it gracefully arched through the air, but the clattering snapped the illusion away in an instant.
“I hope not,” I told her. Her lip curled and she looked rather deranged.
She was very weak; I had seen Daily Prophet pictures in the file Harry had on her, and she was much more defined and strong in her movements in those. In here, her indecisiveness was clear for she moved with little intensity or positivity. Her wildly bedraggled hair lankly hung to her shoulders, balding patches all over her head. The skin on her cheeks were taut and withering, as though sinking away into a corpse.
“Why not? Do you love them?” she laughed.
“Of course I do. It’s not something you’d understand, not even with your brother. I’m sure they are looking, but I don’t want them to find me.”
“I do,” she grinned. “They’re next.”
“I don’t agree with you.”
“Yeah? Why’s that?”
“My friends are... well protected, to say the least. I highly doubt they’ll find you without an accomplished Auror at their side.”
She raised an eyebrow. “I can take on Aurors. I kill them all the time.”
“You kill all manner of people. I’m sure who they are makes no difference to you.”
She seemed to relax at that. “Well, duh, you little shit. I killed your dear, dear parents.”
Surprise wasn’t a key emotion to me. I knew whoever I faced would be the person who had done it.
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Why’s that, then, Mudblood?”
“Both my parents were of magic, actually.”
Alecto glared at me. “You’re still a damn-“
“And the insult isn’t damaging, you know. Blood status isn’t something bothered about any more. No one cares,” I told her.
I like to think it was a mixture of both, but it was either brave or stupid to antagonise the one with a wand.
I continued. “To answer your earlier question, I’m sorry because I pity you.”
“You pity me? I’m about to kill you!”
“It’s a shame. I like to believe, in spite of everything, that people are good at heart, but I see Voldemort did well with you.”
There was a bang; I was thrown off my feet and slammed against a wall by her curse. I crashed to the floor, and was winded. As I caught my breath I struggled back to my feet, touching my head.
Blood was running down my cheek and smudged on my fingers.
I no longer cared, though. It didn’t matter, because she threatened my family to get me there and I was a sacrificial lamb.
I didn’t mind being that lamb. I just wanted it to be over with.
“Do not say the Dark Lord’s name!” she shrieked, suddenly clenching her fists and glaring at me severely.
I smiled vaguely. I couldn’t feel the pain of my cheek yet. “I’m not afraid of him. He’s dead and gone. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself, after all.”
Dumbledore’s wisdom was invaluable.
“Don’t you dare,” she hissed.
I snorted. “Like you said, I’m about to die. Why should it matter?”
Then there was fire. It was fire in my veins, nothing else, and I was screaming and writhing. I wanted it gone, I wanted it ended, just put the flames out. Every muscle in my body was contracting, striking out and fighting this cloud of agony. I screamed and cried and hurt; everything hurt so endlessly.
It only stopped for me to hear her speak.
“You do what I say, got it?” she rasped maliciously, smirking.
“I think you might want to keep trying to enforce that, bitch,” I snarled.
I was losing a grasp on it.
It was slipping away from me like cupped water.
I could barely see their faces anymore; they were fading too.
It, what was left, no longer could support itself.
I felt as though I was collapsing into me.
The terrifying screams I had heard were dying, as though part of a dream.
Perhaps a nightmare.
The screams had stopped. I musingly wondered if I had gone.
My muscles instantly obeyed; the voice was so compelling and soft.
Pray tell, why? I cheekily grinned to myself.
I don’t like you, I decided. You’re not nice.
Do what I say. Walk to the door.
No. You know what? I’m not going to.
My legs were walking; how odd.
“I don’t have control,” I said ponderingly out loud.
Go, idiot girl!
My name is Eliana, I thought. Not idiot. I’m Ellie... that’s what Lily calls me.
Lily. She has red hair, doesn’t she? Red hair and colourful clothes.
She doesn’t like black.
I’m sinking in black.
She wouldn’t like that.
My legs. Hmm. Have to change it.
I looked for the light. It was difficult through the smoke of my mind, but I saw it. The closer I stepped, I realised, the more it hurt. The way I’d had pins and needles, my feeling was returning, and I felt my muscles buckling as I did.
Walk to the door.
But my legs hurt. I’m not going there.
I pushed forwards, and I could feel the shaking beginning. My whole body was twitching, the pins and needles were actually overstretched muscles, and I saw the jagged floor rise to meet me. I greeted it calmly, running a finger over it until it bled. I concentrated on that minor pain, on feeling that hurt, because I needed it to make sense of the world.
Go to the door, dammit!
“Imperio!” I heard someone say desperately.
The curse that was illegal. Harry had cast it on a goblin once. And me. I did too.
Alecto. She was here, wasn’t she?
Oh. She was the voice.
In my head? I objected. Out of my head, now!
“No,” I croaked. “You’ll have to kill me. I won’t.”
I was sure lambs weren’t tortured before their death.
“How do you resist?” she screamed, and I felt a hand grab my tie and drag me upwards, but I couldn’t support myself at all. The tie cut into my neck.
I forced a pointed cough through my searing lungs. “Your breath stinks, I hope you know.”
My head cracked against the stone as she dropped me. I kept my eyes closed and drifted back into the darkness as she began to kick my stomach.
It was becoming easier to drift away, I noticed, but harder to pull back. I decided to endure the pain as I fought to move my lips to speak, but I didn’t bother opening my eyes.
“I repeat; kill me,” I told her. I sounded quite weak.
“I will kill you, the spawn of the liar. But before that, you will destroy all of your friends and Harry Potter!” she screeched.
Bloody hell, I wasn’t even the main part of her master plan? I groaned internally. To tell the truth, I felt a little insulted.
“You won’t. He was born brilliant at combating the Dark Arts, and even if he wasn’t he’s managed to fool us all, including Dumbledore, the greatest wizard ever to live. Quite an accomplishment.”
“The Dark Lord-“
“Was killed by a seventeen year old deflecting one of his own curses back at him. Dumbledore pre-arranged his death with an ally of his. The guy was incomparable.”
Where do these ridiculous comments come from?
Oh yeah, Lily. Hanging out with Lily for far too long.
When I die I can blame her.
“He will live again!” she shrieked.
“Do yourself a favour and get over him. He’s dead. End of story. Done. Fabulous.”
If she didn’t torture me to death I would be lucky as hell.
I felt a shriek leave my lips as a she hit me with the Unforgiveable curse; Crucio.
It hurt and I was swimming in black and darkness, it hurt and I hurt-
“Hello, Ellie,” said a calm voice.
The screaming stopped.
Oh, that’s me. Isn’t it?
“Erm, hi,” I muttered back. My head still hurt.
“You!” Alecto spat.
“Yup,” the voice said brightly. I felt as though I should know the voice, so I forced my eyes unstuck, and found myself looking at an open door and a figure in it. He had dark hair, quite scruffy, the kind I’d like to run my fingers through, and light brown eyes. His height was much more than Alecto, and he was holding his wand loosely at his side.
“Oh, I’m not Harry Potter,” he grinned. “Just a lookalike. It’s like a game of spot the difference in my house!”
Potter. His was a Potter. Like Lily.
Lily Luna Potter.
Hmm. She likes her name.
“Albus Severus,” she crooned, “how sweet a name it is!”
He shook his head. “Oh, Carrow dear. You never did play that as a child, did you? Wrong brother!”
A cool, confident blonde strode behind the boy. She walked with her hands on her hips, wand in hand, and head up high.
Another person I should know, I frowned. Someone else...
I looked her, and thought of an angel.
“Oh, we found them,” she smiled. “Wonderful. Alright, Ellie?”
She knew me, at least. I nodded.
“And you are?” snarled Alecto Carrow.
“Dom Weasley,” she said, tossing her hair over her shoulder impressively. “And you are?”
“A murdering psychopath,” he suggested.
James. That was his name, James Sirius Potter! Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
My brother. Sort of. I think.
“Blood traitors,” snapped Carrow.
“Get out,” I told him. They all ignored me. “Get out, please.”
Dominique smirked. “Ravenclaws are smart, kid. We know what fights we can win.”
“And Gryffindors are blind idiots,” James added in helpfully, pointing his wand at Carrow. I jumped and twitched at the sudden flash of colours, of bursting lights and curses and hexes.
I cried for help as blood spattered across the wall, and I knew it wasn’t my own.
“PLEASE!” I yelled. “HELP US!”
I saw Dom through the haze, face screwed up in concentration and defiance. James was slumped against the wall behind her, covered in red.
The boy that entered next was so completely the same as James, I knew he had to be the brother he mentioned. Without a moment’s hesitation, he slashed his wand through the air, and Dom didn’t flinch at his sudden presence.
For some reason, I knew what his lips tasted of and what his skin felt like under my fingers and what his smile looked like.
Who was he?
A redhead and a blonde darted in, and helped too. I could feel the increasing desperation radiating off Carrow.
Something was digging into my thigh, and it was irritating me. I went to brush it away, but the familiar tune of wood on stone met my ears and I grabbed at it.
It was my wand.
I took an unsteady breath, and didn’t feel as though I could even lift it to cast anything.
Another redhead burst into the mix, her much clearer than the rest.
It was my Lily.
I had my wand and my Lily.
Turning gently, I rolled onto my back, and stared at the ceiling.
“Expecto Patronum,” I whispered.
A pale silver gossamer shot out, but it faded.
I had my wand and my Lily.
I closed my eyes. I knew the theory, I could do this.
“I have Lily, and my wand, and hope,” I told myself. I just need to concentrate. “Expecto... Patronum.”
A white something burst from my wand, but it had vanished through a wall before I could distinguish what it was.
Help us. Room of Requirement. Help us.
A body slammed into the door.
Dom’s still fighting, and the brother. The blonde and the redhead too, but Lily... where is Lily?
I need Lily.
I studied the group, but she didn’t appear.
In the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of red.
She was the body against the door.
I yelled something, but too quickly my world disappeared in a swarming haze of black.
A/N So, erm... yeah.
She knew she was losing her mind (a lot like Frank and Alice Longbottom) but it was difficult her not to, because she was in so much pain. In this case losing her mind was simply a case of giving up (because of Lily’s ring, the protection one mentioned in Chapter 9), but Lily herself, who had been there before the trauma of losing her parents, was something that stuck with her and wouldn’t let her go. Trust me, I didn’t really know what this chapter was until I read it, and it’s basically word spew because it came out in about two hours. I didn’t really write it- Ellie did.
This is for BBWotter, George4evaxxx, my lovely Becca, Katie, dmhg, hph:), Tessa.S and Pheonix_Feather69. You kept me posting when I didn't believe it was worth it.
One more chapter.
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