It had been two days since Dorcas had returned from the Tonks house, and she still hadn’t come down from the adrenaline rush from the events that happened there. Every time she stopped for even a moment she saw the body of the dead Death Eater.
And every time, a sense of calm washed over her.
Before his death, she had lived every moment in agony, knowing the man who started the chain of events that killed her sister walked the streets, living his life. But now he was gone, and she was one step closer to achieving her goal. This was progress.
And though his death didn’t relieve Dorcas of the agony, it helped. It worked more like a painkiller, numbing her, taking the edge off. It helped her forget.
She was still staying with the Tonks family, working as their protector. She had no job, no life of her own. Her parents were long gone, tucked away safely in the United States, spending the rest of their lives in a small New England town.
So Dorcas waited and she protected. And she formulated plans.
Because while she may have been personally responsible for the end of 14 Death Eaters (she was careful to keep count), whether by death or imprisonment, one was still out there, lurking in the shadows.
The entire Death Eater regime would have to crumble before Dorcas’ work was over. And the next to fall would
be Bellatrix Lestrange.
Dorcas just couldn’t get her out of her mind. Every time she closed her eyes, her imagination fought competing images. In one side of her brain was the ever present image of her sister, bright and smiling. She couldn’t breathe without thinking of Amber. The dead child dominated her heart and soul.
And juxtaposed with that, laughing maniacally, was Bellatrix.
Lately, it seemed to have gotten worse. Every noise she heard, every sight she saw she related to the psychopathic killer. Sometimes she thought she heard her laughing, the maniacal cackle that so often rang in the ears of her victims.
With increasing frequency, Dorcas had thought she saw her. More than once, she wouldn’t realize in time that her imagination was playing tricks on her and Andromeda would find herself unsuspectingly at the end of Dorcas’ wand, a fatal curse on her lips.
This was why Dorcas found herself to be relieved to be out of the Tonks household for a few hours. She needed an escape from the kind woman who looked so much like the one who Dorcas would like nothing more than to see dead at her feet. Especially considering that when she was thinking rationally, she was extremely fond of the Tonks family, Dora especially.
Only a few people were milling about headquarters, and there were even fewer of them that Dorcas recognized. Marlene McKinnon and Lily Evans were chatting in the corner, their voices low and expressions panicked. Marlene glanced up and saw Dorcas looking at her curiously and immediately looked downward, the panic in her features seeming to intensify.
Confused, Dorcas looked around the room a bit more and couldn’t help but to notice that everyone in there seemed to be looking at her, though they didn’t seem to want her to know.
Just as she turned to confront the short, vaguely familiar man to her right about what exactly
was so interesting about her, the door to headquarters opened once again. Dorcas’ head snapped in that direction.
She almost sighed in relief when she saw the matching tall, broad frames and flaming red hair of the Prewett brothers. She immediately began to walk towards them, grateful for a familiar face in the crowd.
“Meadowes!” Gideon Prewett barked upon seeing her, and Dorcas stepped back at the sound of the familiar voice, surprised by the anger and tone behind it. She had never seen him looking so positively enraged before.
“What?” Dorcas snapped back, unsure as to why the two usually friendly people were speaking angrily to each other. She didn’t know why Gideon was upset with her, but she didn’t appreciate his tone.
“What the hell has gotten into you?” He growled, lowering his voice upon the realization that most of the Order had fixed their eyes on him with his arrival.
“What has gotten into me? What’s gotten into you
?” Dorcas demanded angrily. “I walk over to greet you, and you come marching in here barking at me about God only knows what. So I don’t think that I’m the one who owes an explanation here.”
“Gid, let’s do this in the kitchen.” Fabian said, grabbing his brother gently by the arm. Gideon pulled his arm away and stormed toward the kitchen, leaving Dorcas and his brother in his wake without a second thought.
Fabian gestured in front of him as if asking Dorcas to come as well, and she followed Gideon immediately. She wanted to get to the bottom of this. Fabian walked just behind her, taking the entire conflict somewhere more private, much to the dismay of the other Order members who seemed to have been preparing themselves for a show.
When Dorcas entered the kitchen, Gideon was standing in the corner, pinching the bridge of his nose, the veins in his neck standing out. He appeared to be trying spectacularly hard to calm himself down.
“Meadowes.” Gideon managed to grit out between his teeth, not even looking up to meet Dorcas’ eyes. “Would you care to explain to me what exactly gave the right to kill, not capture, a rogue Death Eater and leave his corpse in the street to rot?”
So that was what this was all about, Dorcas thought.
“I didn’t know I needed your permission.” She snapped back quickly, and Gideon’s eyes flew upwards again, his control lost. Fabian stepped in between the two angry people. “I killed the man responsible for the death of my sister. Don’t act so surprised.”
“Do you know how many people you have killed or injured because they were ‘responsible
’ for the death of your sister?” Gideon replied sarcastically, and Dorcas felt the rage bubble inside of her. “I’m relatively sure the person who shot the curse died a pretty gruesome death as soon as you saw her lying on the ground.”
“As he should have.” Dorcas said coldly. “He’d killed a child. A child I had warned against harming. Everyone standing in that circle knew the consequences of any action against her. Their mistake was doubting whether or not I would follow through. Now they know not to doubt me again.”
Dorcas couldn’t help but wonder why he couldn’t see why everything she had done over the last few months was completely necessary. Couldn’t he understand that every single person she had destroyed had played a role in destroying Amber?
“That curse was meant for you.” Gideon reminded her, as if Dorcas could ever forget. “No one intended to kill that little girl.”
“Are you kidding me?” Dorcas asked incredulously. “You weren’t there, so I don’t know who you think you are to comment on what happened. But just for the record, Bellatrix arrived on the scene and immediately chastised every Death Eater there for not having killed my sister already. She’d told them that she was the way to get to me. So don’t tell me that Amber wasn’t the target.”
Gideon looked as if he’d been slapped. He’d seen Dorcas when she was angry before, but it never was directed at him. As one of the only people she was friendly with, she had never been so harsh with him before.
“Even still, I know for a fact that you’re sister wouldn’t want you to be who you’ve become, especially not in her name.” Gideon replied softly, as if trying to turn the tide of the conversation, but it was too late, and his words had done more harm than good.
“My sister is DEAD
.” Dorcas screamed, her voice breaking and tears pouring down her face. She hadn’t even realized that she had pinned Gideon to the wall, a significant feat considering how much larger he was than her. She felt Fabian’s hands pull softly at her shoulders, but she wasn’t done. Her eyes met those of a stunned Gideon.
“My sister is dead
.” She repeated again, and the words reverberated through the silence. “Not only is she not here to judge my actions, but I don’t know what gives you the right to. You didn’t know her, and if you thought that her death would be left unavenged, you clearly don’t know me either.”
“I know you want to avenge your sister.” Gideon replied, finally using his considerable strength and pushing Dorcas off of himself. She took a step back but sparks flew from her fingertips, her accidental magic ready to burst at any moment. “And I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve vengeance. All I’m saying is that I don’t think she would want you to throw your whole life away over it. She died for you and you treat that like it’s nothing.”
Without warning Dorcas threw her hand up and a whole wall of the kitchen exploded, sending rubble tumbling to the floor. The Order members in the next room looked at the three unbelievably talented people in the kitchen, horrified.
“She was everything, and without her I am nothing
!” Dorcas screamed, her whole body shaking with sobs. Looking around the room she saw Amber everywhere, smiling sadly at the sister that she loved so much. “She is gone and the people who took her are going to pay for it, no matter what you think! I would give anything for it to be me who died!”
At this point, the things that Dorcas was yelling were indecipherable. Her sobs continued as she crumpled to the floor, shaking, unable to regain control over herself. She rocked back and forth on the floor softly as everyone stared at her, unable to believe what had become of the powerful, fearless witch they had always seen her as.
Suddenly the door opened, and everyone’s attention snapped in that direction. Mad Eye Moody dragged himself through the door, kicking away a piece of rubble that was blocking his way. Immediately Gideon Prewett averted his eyes, embarrassed.
“Everyone leave!” Mad Eye barked, and the Order members stared at him incredulously. “This meeting is rescheduled for tomorrow instead. I said go!”
Scrambling, everyone immediately filed towards the door, preparing themselves to apparate as soon as they were out of the wards. Gideon began to make his way towards the door before Mad Eye grabbed his arm roughly.
“Not you.” Moody said, and for a moment Gideon appeared panicked before steeling himself and heading back towards his brother, who had just finished helping Dorcas to her feet and had his hand on her shoulder.
The small witch was still sobbing uncontrollably but had obviously tried to pull herself together a bit with the arrival of her mentor. She tried to look strong, but all Mad Eye could see were the demons in her eyes.
“Prewett!” Mad Eye yelled angrily, and Gideon instantly knew that he was talking to him. “I told you to let me deal with it. You weren’t even supposed to know about the situation! What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I was just so upset.” Gideon replied, at least having the decency to look ashamed. “I consider her my friend, and I couldn’t believe the person she was letting herself become. She’s broken so many laws and you just keep covering for her. I thought I could get her to snap out of it and see the truth.”
“That wasn’t your place.” Mad Eye replied, glancing again at Dorcas who was still trying in vain to pull herself together. “And technically Meadowes hasn’t broken any laws. Despite what you and she both seem to believe, she never actually quit the Auror department. I went against her wishes and instead of firing her put her on a long term leave of absence. Technically she is well within her rights as an Auror to use the Unforgivables when under attack.”
He turned to Dorcas, who looked at him stunned. She couldn’t believe that he had gone against her wishes and kept her on as a member of the Auror department. It was as if he could foresee the path she was heading down and safeguarded her against herself.
“Meadowes, were you under attack when you killed that Death Eater?” Moody asked her, and she nodded numbly. Gideon looked absolutely furious. “Satisfied Prewett? Meadowes acted in self defense.”
“Mad Eye, you hate the use of the Unforgivables.”Gideon exclaimed. “Any other Auror would have gotten chewed out for the use of it! Why does teacher’s pet get special consideration?”
Moody’s eyes snapped away from looking concernedly at Dorcas to meet those of Gideon Prewett. He walked up to the younger, larger man, getting right in his face.
“If you have a problem with my decisions Prewett, that’s a totally separate issue.” Mad Eye growled, and Gideon backed off a bit.
Fabian looked ready to step in between his brother and his boss at any moment. Even though he didn’t agree with Gideon at the moment, he would die for his brother in a heartbeat. It was why he was able to remain so much more even tempered about Dorcas. Aside from never having had romantic feelings for the witch as his brother did, he wasn’t certain that he would have done any different if he was in her shoes.
“Gid, come on, let’s go.” Fabian murmured quietly in his brother’s ear, and he watched as Gideon seemed to melt into his grip. The war had them tired enough to begin with without causing confrontations between people who cared about each other.
They turned to leave and Mad Eye turned back to Dorcas. He put his hand on her shoulder and she shook him away angrily. Her gaze was back to being steely and she stood strong, having regained her composure.
“Meadowes, we need to have a little chat.” Mad Eye said gruffly but Dorcas refused to meet his eyes. “You can’t keep acting like this Dorcas, it’s not healthy. Not only do Death Eaters you encounter keep dying under suspicious circumstances, but we still haven’t found any leads in the fire at Lestrange manor. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”
“What are you suggesting Mad Eye?” Dorcas snapped, even though she knew very well that she was
the one responsible for all the incidents causing the Auror department so much extra paperwork lately.
“Merely that if you’re going to keep causing trouble like this, the least you could do is do it cleanly so the paperwork doesn’t wind up on my desk.” Mad Eye replied coldly, and Dorcas glared at him. He glared right back.
A movement to her left caused Dorcas to snap her head in that direction, but nothing was there. She rubbed her eyes, certain she was just tired. She hadn’t been sleeping well, Amber now haunting not only her days but her nights as well. Everything had only gotten worse since she began staying with the Tonks’.
“Meadowes, what are you doing?” Mad Eye questioned, and Dorcas sighed.
“Nothing, I’m just tired and my eyes are playing tricks on me.” She answered him, softly, and he nodded, seeming to understand.
“Well, maybe tonight I can stay at the safe house and you can sleep at my place.” Mad Eye offered, and Dorcas hoped the relief didn’t show on her face. As fond as she was of Dora, now that the little girl had seen Amber’s picture, Dorcas would frequently round the corner to see a replica of her sister staring back at her.
Dorcas had already been seeing Amber enough all on her own without her actually being there. It was only making it increasingly more difficult to differentiate the line between what happened in her mind and what happened in reality.
She nodded in response and Mad Eye huffed. He looked around headquarters, completely empty since he had banished everyone out of there. Finally, he looked back at Dorcas, unsure of when their relationship became so awkward. They had used to be as close as either of them would allow themselves to get to another person. Dorcas couldn’t help but be sad about it.
Sometimes it felt like in finding vengeance for her sister, she lost the only pieces she had left of herself. Mad Eye, her parents, being an Auror. To her, it was not only worth it but necessary because Amber’s death couldn’t go unpunished, but she couldn’t help but wonder what her life would be like if it all had never happened.
“Moody, I think that Andromeda is making lasagna for dinner. She told me there would be plenty if I saw you and wanted to invite you over.” Dorcas told him, and Mad Eye barely suppressed a grin. He couldn’t help but think that maybe Meadowes was going back to normal, that she would realize that this wasn’t the way to accomplish her goals, that she could do so much more within the department.
“Sounds good.” Moody replied roughly, trying to appear as if the gesture didn’t matter as much as they both knew it did.
Dorcas pulled her wand from the waistband of her jeans and headed towards the door, preparing herself to apparate back to the safe house. Moody hobbled closely behind her, holding his own wand tightly as well.
They got to the door and Mad Eye turned to double check the wards one last time before leaving. He waved his wand once and the air seemed to spark with magic. He nodded, satisfied.
Suddenly, a silvery mass appeared out of the wall, startling Dorcas. She jumped but Mad Eye grabbed her shoulder, calming her. With a jolt, she realized that in front of her was a Patronus.
“Mad Eye, we need help. There’s been an attack at the Bones’ house.” The animal faded out of sight, and Dorcas noted she hadn’t even noticed whose it was.
Her adrenaline was pumping through her veins as Mad Eye pushed past her and apparated out the doors. Dorcas gripped her wand tightly as she followed behind the infuriated man.
Without pause, they both apparated into the night. There was a battle to get to.
As soon as she regained her balance outside of the Bones’ house, Dorcas’ senses were overloaded. Spells flew everywhere and if she hadn’t seen these faces so many times before, she wouldn’t have known who was on either side.
Mad Eye landed next to her and wobbled momentarily, not used to apparating so suddenly on his bad leg. Dorcas braced him and immediately Sirius Black was at their side, out of breath.
“You got my Patronus.” He stated, though that much should be obvious. “Somehow, they got tipped off there was supposed to be a meeting tonight. They planned on attacking when there was no one around to help. Thank God the meeting got cancelled.”
Sirius looked at Dorcas as he said that last sentence and she turned away, hating how his eyes seemed to go right through her. She stunned a Death Eater she saw about to win his duel and shielded herself and the two men behind her from a jinx she didn’t recognize. She was itching to get into the battle.
Mad Eye disappeared into the crowd and Dorcas went to do the same when she felt someone grab her shoulder. The curse had almost escaped her lips by the time she noticed it was Sirius.
“Hey, sorry, didn’t mean to startle you.” He said, throwing his hands up in surrender before using one of them to push his dark hair out of his face. “I just wanted to thank you for helping out Andy. I wanted to be the one to keep her family safe, but Moody told me I didn’t have the skill set that you do. Plus, I was too emotionally invested. But thank you for saving the only family I have left. I know it must be difficult on you.”
Dorcas nodded, feeling embarrassed for some reason. Sirius looked at her for a moment longer before his eyes caught sight of something that Dorcas didn’t see. Hastily, he shot a shield spell that barely saved a red headed witch from a jet of blue light. Dorcas noted that the witch, Lily Evans, didn’t even know she had been saved. Sirius nodded at Dorcas before running up behind her to protect her.
Dorcas turned and twisted in the crowd, taking out Death Eaters with well timed jinxes or kicks in the shin, helping the Order take the lead. She saw Aurors scattered throughout the crowd including the Prewett brothers. Gideon looked relieved to be able to take his frustration on something, and his opponent seemed to be worse for the wear.
Unsure of where she wanted to join into the battle, Dorcas looked around carefully searching for Bellatrix. Suddenly she heard what sounded like a child crying coming from the outskirts of the battle.
Without pause she headed that way, reminding herself that the Bones family had a few young children within it who easily could have headed into the woods for safety when the battle broke out. She maintained her grip on her wand and whispered “Lumos”.
She heard a rustling in the bushes, now almost completely out of sight of the battle in the jet black night. She tried to focus her eyesight on where the sound came from, but it was difficult. Occasionally a curse would fly through the air, having missed its target, but aside from that even with her wand lit, Dorcas couldn’t see anything.
Without warning, a sharp pain stabbed Dorcas in the head, and she couldn’t see. Spinning around, she tried to curse whoever had attacked her but couldn’t. Whoever it was had cast a Silencio on her. She felt ropes wrap around her wrists and legs and her wand flew out of her hand, despite her best efforts to stop it. She tumbled to the ground, unable to maintain her balance.
Dorcas’ vision cleared and she saw the light from her wand a few feet above where she was lying on the ground. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she was horrified by who was standing over her.
With an evil grin, Bellatrix hoisted Dorcas up, pressing the much smaller witch close to her frame. Dorcas tried to fight her grip but wasn’t strong enough to break away.
Out of the bushes that had been rustling before emerged a male figure that Dorcas recognized as Evan Rosier. His wand was emitting the crying sound that Dorcas heard before, and she cursed her own stupidity.
“Let’s go somewhere more private, shall we?” Bellatrix murmured in Dorcas’ ear, she felt the panic race through her veins in place of the adrenaline she was so used to. She made one last break to get away and tried to scream, but couldn’t break the charm that maintained her silence.
Horrified as she realized that no one saw her leave the battle and it would be who only knows how long until they realized she was missing, Dorcas caught one last glimpse of the spells flying as she spun around and felt the oxygen squeezed out of her lungs,
Bellatrix had apparated them away.
A/N: Hi! Only one more chapter to go now!
I would love any feedback on this chapter! It really encourages me to keep writing! Thanks for reading!