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Self Preservation by Wistful
Chapter 2 : one
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2

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Heat seemed to beat down on her, her damp obes clung to her rail-thin figure. The soft almost mesmerizing warmth that had awoken her in the early hours of the morning was almost unbearable. The searing heat sharp on her pale skin, not used to anything but the cooling rain of London and the familiar fog.

Still, she was in Egypt. A land of mysteries and golden sands, one with pyramids that scraped the sky. It held knowledge and wisdom, ancient runes and buried treasures. It was truly a dream come true.

Walking in the busy market of the market, she had to admire the women. They moved with a grace even she didn’t possessed, hidden under dark veils and elegance. The heat that tightened Synnove’s throat and skin damp in perspiration seemed faint on the women.

Taking a sigh of relief as a gentle wind ruffled her robes, even it it was a warm wind, Synnove shivered. Even the wind was warm. It hazed her vision, confusing her fleeing senses. With a quick look at the words hanging of the shop, she dove inside. A cool flush of mechanical chill greeted the teenager. The comforts of Muggle air conditioning.

Her fleeting moment of relief vanished the moment her bright eyes rest on the hunched figure of her older brother. His stance was wary, expecting something. Even when they had been innocent grubby children with no care in the world Synnove could read him like a book

When the slightly rumpled letter had flown in a week earlier, her brother’s messy scribble visible in the dull light of the afternoon, she had nearly wept of joy. She hadn’t seen him for a year, not since he joined the Dark Lord.  His wide jaw and curiously darker eyes spun nostalgia riddled with remorse as her stomach plummeted.

If only she could forget the writing dark serpent burned onto his arm. The thought sickened her, refusing to believe it. Maybe he lied. Maybe only the scratch from reaching for cookies when  he was eight was the only thing there. Maybe. But she could only hope.

“Synnove,” His tired voice greeted her, a hint of warmth in his rough voice. His strong arms protected her, keeping her safe from all the nightmares that taunted her and the darkness of reality. His warm embrace was more than she expected from her solitary brother.

“Antonin,” Her weak voice murmured in response, muffled by the fabric of his robes. She tore herself away from his familiar body with aching reluctance, pecking both of his cheeks with the required formality of a pureblood. Finally her gaze met his, and she resisted the urge to gasp.

From her childhood Synnove had always known her older brother’s every movement and thought. Every second they were in sync with each other- at least until graduation. He had always a stray foot in the dark, but he had finally enlisted. It had broken her heart.

What hurt more was knowing she would be next.

Now, looking into his shadowed eyes, studying the glimmers and flashes in those beautiful loved eyes, Synnove wanted nothing more than to cry. She wanted to lean against him, take in his comforting warmth, and press his lips against his eyelids before he fell asleep to tell him tomorrow would be beautiful. His eyes were haunted. She couldn’t even imagine what tortures he had seen and done, or whose life he had taken with his wand.

When they were young, their parents had that look.

Now Antonin did too.

She choked out a hoarse, “What happened, love?” Neither of them needed to specify. Both of them knew. Antonin cradled his weeping sister in his arms, rocking her back and forth, murmuring words into her ears.

She heard the answer. “I don’t know, Synnove, I don’t know.”

Eventually they stood apart, not knowing quite what to say. They smiled softly at each other, and Synnove took her time just to capture this image of her brother forever. As far as she knew, she might never see him again.

Antonin ordered a coffee for himself and lavender tea for her, the kind she always ordered. Taking a soothing sip of the tea and a deep breath to keep her calm, Synnove murmured faintly, “Antonin? What's up?”

He barked out a quiet laugh, beaming at her with a familiar kindness that made her heart ache. “Would sky be considered an acceptable answer?” He whispered back, raising his eyebrows.

“No way in the world,” Synnove replied with a grin, swatting his arm playfully. She ignored him when he stuck his tongue out at her childishly, gulping down some of tea quickly. Resting her chin on her arms, she muttered, “Now tell me what happened for real.”

In her life, Synnove didn’t think she could ever forget the stories her older brother told in that quiet whisper. The pain in his voice, the gruesome words in his tale, the crimes he committed, and his eyes unable to meet her gaze. It was unbearable. When she found no words could escape her throat but a broken sob, Antonin spoke for her.

“I’ll meet you in town.... the herb place,” Antonin finally said, squeezing his sister’s hand comfortingly. Pressing his dry lips to her hand for a moment, he stood up quickly and disappeared into the crowd in moments. Synnove wasn’t sure if it hurt more to see him or to not see him. His voice washed over for a moment, the last words for their meeting.

“He wants you next, Synnove. I’m sorry.”

The silence was numbing. Her heart thumped loudly, struggling to breathe the dusty air. While the sharp nostalgic features of her brother had calmed her, the heat blazed with sudden fierceness, reddening her pale cheeks. The flush of warmth was unbearable. She found herself dizzily tottering to some unknown destination when it was cold.

It was cold. A cool breeze chilled the young girl through her skin and right into her bones. It was an empty coolness, something that ignited the dark in her heart to jolt up. Even before the streets blasted into fire with a chilling cold wind, Synnove’s terrified eyes shot up to the darkening sky. Her stomach writhed and twisted in fear. It was the Dark Mark.

Every breath of energy was quickly pumped into running. The methodical pumping of her legs, to just run far away. Her throat closed up, she couldn’t breathe, but she still ran. A dull pain stung on the curve of her stomach, and Synnove didn’t need to look to know that it was damp with blood.

Shattered glass rained from the sky, cutting her pale fragile skin, marking it with thin red scars. She managed to pull the hood of her cloak up, but the beautiful silk was already tearing. Tears streaked down her grimy face, blurring the pain and the disaster unfolding before her eyes.

Her sinew and flesh and blood was tearing apart, and perhaps her soul and mind too. Her arms and legs writhed in blinding pain, and a high-pitched scream rose into the sky. It was her own. The pain didn’t lapse, the hot excruciating pain was killing her. She tried to choke out the words, tried to save her life if any was left.

The pain paused and an oily voice slunk into her bloodied ear. “What do you say, filthy Muggle?”

Limp on gritty ground, she gasped out in a trembling voice, “D-dolohov.” Her name that was spoken in fear and disbelief, the name shared by her brother who murdered innocents. The name that could save her now.

His voice was astonished, sharp in disbelief. “I’m no Dolohov, woman. Are you magic?”

“I’m a Dolohov,” She pleaded, her voice ragged and hoarse. She held out her hand where a faint silver ring glinted in the glowing light of the fires. “M-my engagement.... ring.” The words weighed her down, each more painful than the last. Synnove could sense a figure kneeling down by her, her face being held by rough hands.

“Synnove Doloho-” The voice broke of, a odd recognition wove in his words. He stood up, leaving her behind, just barely alive. A flood of bitter saltiness hurt in her mouth, her throat. Blood.

Her only thoughts as her mind faded into black was the familiarity of the Death Eater. The haunted dark eyes, the pasty white face....

And if she would ever see her brother again.

It is... pretty short.
I really didn’t want this chapter to be very long really - it is a pretty short memory :3
Next chapter will be longer. *pinky promises*


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