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Self Preservation by Wistful
Chapter 1 : Prologue
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7


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It was fake.

Soft mute colors that told lies, that said everything would be okay. They didn’t have the blacks and whites of the startling contrast of reality. They didn’t have the red to show the blood that would be spilled.

Because they didn’t know how much it really counted.

It was the year 1978 and it was war.

She was a child playing dress up, robes of soft white and fake smiles. Nodding along with what others said and healing. Healing was the only part that was real. Even with the false laughs and cold smiles, the healing was real.

People who came in on the brink of death had been seen taking their leave a ghost of a smile on the curve of their lips. They were doing what they could.

Even as she stood in the corridor, still amongst the chaos, she knew she was the one who wore the most white. The one who told the most lies. It was her with her intriguing smile and her unbelievable talent in healing.

But, she told herself, it was all for family. She had to do it. So her some day children would live to see the next day. So her brother could really see the truth. They had to be free.

Truth was, it wasn’t only family. She was doing this out of self-preservation.

It was fake.

It was just as fake as it had been back when she was younger. As a witch, she looked almost the same. Identical beauty and grace. The same glossy lips curved into an inviting smile, same taunting eyes.

Except for the frown wrinkles, the look that battle gives you.  The eyes that seen too many horrors, the invisible scars that stay with you forever.

Even those here who judged her, even they had the look. Their eyes had seen too much, their ears had heard too many lies and their hearts hurt with too many false hopes.

They were all battle-hardened.

“Ms. Dolohov,” A stately voice ordered, prominent above the soft murmuring of wizards and witches who judged her with their eyes and not their senses.

This was just an act. So with the same stately grace and confidence she had as a pureblood lady, she walked to the chair escorted by Aurors like a criminal. It was a play and this was her role.


“Ms. Dolohov.”

In a single second, her heart  was thumping and the blood rushed to her ear. A wild panic frenzy rode in her precise movements, her eyes snapping toward the speaker in disguised shock and fear. Even in her worst nightmare she acted.

It was queer how the slightly twisted look and the twisted sneer on the face was what assured her that she was still safe. She lowered her guard just long enough to smile briefly at the other woman. It was not a smile of trust but of companionship and relief.

She wouldn’t trust Bellatrix Black with a lock of her hair.

“Bellatrix,” greeted Synnove with a quiet tut of disapproval, “Its quite risky for you to be here. Could you not send someone else in your place? I know many wish to do a service for you, even without a... payment.”

Bellatrix had rose up the ranks in her own twisted way. Not like Synnove had with subtle charm and ability but with murmured words you wouldn’t say aloud. With arts darker than she had ever attempted.

“Synnove," the older woman embraced her with clasped arms before moving back with the same doubtless ease despite the chances of being found. Bellatrix had the stance of a predator. "Gift from the sun, but for us a gift to the dark."

She bit her lips, not quite sure where Bellatrix had heard that. Oh, Antonin. He must have mentioned it. Her little brother. Every day she wished Antonin hadn’t taken the Dark Mark.

Bellatrix lowered her voice. “I am aware of the risks, Synnove, darling. But I wouldn’t trust on anyone else to check up on you, love. Even if I knew it would be done satisfactorily. But it is true it would be wiser of me to stay and handle the raids instead.” No doubt. “But I have  a rather important matter with you to handle.”

She nodded briskly, slipping inside one of the older rooms. The door quietly closed behind them without a sound. It was unlikely anyone would hear them here. After all, it was just as unlikely Bellatrix would get to the point. The Death Eater was sly and prefered to slip in information coated with sugar rather than simply say it.

“How is your progress here?” Bellatrix inquired, her dark eyes probing her’s. Although the woman was disguised somewhat with charmed hair and bright colored robes, Synnove didn’t find her any less threatening.

“Fine,” She replied almost vaguely, “I always make an effort to prioritize anything but the Aurors and you already know that our master’s ranks to get treated here, under identities I forge for them.” It was almost too easy.

“With your charisma no doubt,” Bellatrix smirked.

Synnove frowned. It was true.

“Good” She purred with satisfaction. “Now, now, I would like you to prioritize a little something for me. To make sure that your Healers are a little distracted, will you, love? After all, we mean to pay a little visit later in the afternoon.”

“Did you or did you not,” The woman was shorter than her with dark brown curls like her. She was the war heroine Hermione Granger. “Be the reason of seventy-nine deaths in the first raid on St. Mungo in the first war?”

Eyes that could see everything. Watching her.

“I would not say the sole reason,” Her voice was still clear and feminine, still melodic. “But yes, I suppose I was part of the reason if barely.”

With a shaky smile, Synnove nodded. “Of course.”

The weight of her reply shook her. Already the guilt taunted her, deaths shadowed her thoughts. Her words held lives. The sky was somewhat dark. It would get darker still.

---

A desperate tension seized her movements, a constant worry. Her lips that had assured a child that it would be okay, would hurt and kill. But she would stay alive.

Even as she held her wand to her mouth, she regretted it. Even as her words tainted the hospital with sweet promises and gentle lullabies. “All Healers please report to the meeting room unless of obvious circumstances. Trainees please take over for a moment. Thank you.”

It was just that sentence. That sentence that had caused the able and sure Healers to the backroom. Leaving only the trainees and patients to remain. With everyone looking at her for reason. When lightning lit up the room. When their was shouting and screaming. And they realized the room was lock. And she acted.

She acted like she had no idea what was going on.

Then it all went wrong.

“Yet,” Hermione Granger read on, pursing her lips as she studied the papers, “You were seen before healing at the end of the raid. Still healing wounds.”

Her throat was dry. “I still wanted to save lives.”


Someone opened the door.

---

She was a Healer.

Her duty was to heal.

Except she healed for the dark. What she healed caused pain. It was the midst of battle. She was fighting too. Her wand shot spells at her ranks. Those who carried a mark on their arm. It was no coincidence she missed.

Every time she missed, it meant they still stood.

Synnove was a Healer at St. Mungo.

She had saved lives.

She had lost lives.

Synnove was no gift from the sun.

She was a gift to the darkness.

A real smile.

A sad smile but a real one.

Did Synnove ever actually smile and laugh?

Yes, she smiled. But never laughed.

“Ms. Synnove Dolohov,” Hermione Granger, sad with her sad real smile, “Tests confirm your state of mind isn’t quite right. If you accept this, no further charges will be pressed.”

She gulped.

“Well,” It pained her. “I hadn’t been feeling quite well recently.” Lies.

It was all for self-preservation

She was reliving nightmares.

The first time she had heard of the Dark Lord.

The brand being marked on her clear skin.

The child she had fought for a year to save killed by a curse.

The cry of her own son as he died in battle.

She was Synnove Dolohov.

Her name meant ‘gift from the sun.’

She was back in St. Mungo. Insane, they say. They all say.

These are basically a collection of memories of Synnove Dolohov.
Please, please, review :)

 


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