Chapter 1 : Flicker
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Those three words rang in her ears like the clanging bells from the top of a cathedral as she walked down Diagon Alley. There wasn’t anything she knew more than those three words. It invaded her sleep like a foul stench. Reeking. Much like her soul was. The way her lungs seemed caved in and the way her heart beat slower each day, like the dying of a metronome.
She had known it for some time now. Felt the change in the air shift, and suddenly her charmed life didn’t seem so charmed anymore. The Darkness seemed darker, more destructive, like the shadows that resided in Ripper’s London. He was coming.
All she could do was wait.
Or hide. But she couldn’t do that. It wasn’t her, and no matter how far she had fallen she couldn’t – wouldn’t do that.
It might be tonight or the next but it didn't matter now? They always said that a light could only shine for so long before it went out. Hope could only be allowed to beam into the darkness, but in the end like a torch without much fuel the darkness will close in.
So she waited.
She waited and she cried. Cried for the lost things and for the things she would never see. She cried for the lives that would be lost, the lives she couldn’t save. For the broken promises and for the blood that was consequently, on her hands. So many people believed in her. Believed in the light that she gave others. But one cannot truly give light to others; it was simple borrowing, a reflection and once the source began to flicker everyone else’s slowly died too.
They were all going to die.
And she was letting them all down. She knew that, somewhere in the back of her turbulent mind that they were winning because she couldn’t reflect. She wasn’t the sun nor the moon. Not anymore, she would say to herself through her chapped lips.
“Benjy,” she whispered. Her whole body trembled in such a way that it seemed never ending. “Benjy.” She said again. She would say it over and over again, because his face was always there next to the knowledge that he was coming.
She sometimes wondered if he’d be disappointed by her. In the thing she had become. The shell, the disillusion. The shattering as if she had been made out of mere porcelain and had been smashed against the concrete floor. Glass spewed out like the forgotten life that would soon be hers.
“I tried,” she whispered. She looked into the fading darkness of Diagon Alley. She knew she shouldn’t be alone or even out. But she had always been this way, pushing at the borders of life, refusing to be told she couldn’t do something. It was why they fell in love. More importantly, it was why they stayed in love.
This made her feel alive for a moment, as if she could still live the life where she promised she’d fight till the very end. She didn’t realize her end was also his end. She didn’t see how much she loved him. How much she needed him. So now she felt this strange numbness that took over her senses.
It ate at the light she once felt. His death. The woman who’s hair burned like umber in the dying of the light taken down by a mortal, it would be said later with whispered voices in front of fires.
She needed this though. This walk, this dance. She needed it for herself for rememberance of who she had once been. Someone who was actually a force to be reckoned with. Someone who the Death Eaters were scared to meet in shadowy alleyways.So she kept to the shadows, her feet lightly treading upon the cobblestones that were still gleaming from the afternoon’s rain. It had stopped now though, the clouds were held at bay; only a light breeze blew through her hair making it dance around her knobbly shoulders.
She passed a gargoyle that leered at her. It was made by some man long forgotten in history; it was attached to a publishing firm that once might have been a chapel. Its memory preserved forever. It was much like her home, she mused. She filled it with newspaper clippings, statues, and paintings that gapped at her from the corners. She needed them once. The darkness they portrayed helped her think like them. Grotesque perhaps, but it made her eyes keen, sharp.
It was why so many followed her. She knew them, the ones who walked in darkness and killed in shadow as much as she knew her own light.
A light that she couldn’t feel anymore. It abandoned her when they brought his ear to her. She still saw Caradoc, with his sad eyes and tight lips. Benjy’s dead. She’d hear him say it over and over again. Everyone thought she’d be strong enough. The woman who’s eyes glittered like a jewel in the dawn. Hard as a diamond, tough as a pearl.
He was coming.
“Oh Benjy,” she whispered and lifted her shaking hand up into the thick air as if pushing back a veil in front of her face. “My love, where have you gone?” Would he be disgusted? To see this? He loved the vibrancy, the glittering jewel that made Death Eaters cower under a flick of her wand. Hope. He said once that she was hope. Before it all. Before being told he was dead by the Death Eaters, and that he was coming for her. She supposed she should have felt important.
To many she had been. Fierce and loyal. Never bending.
Would anyone remember her that way? Sometimes she could still see how the sun used to glance off her skin and how her hair would fall about her as if it was a living entity in itself. There had been something chilling about her, the chaos she thrived in and the way she understood them. But that vision seemed to be of someone else, anyone else.
Not her. Never her.
She continued to walk, passing no one and her steps softly echoed down the deserted alley. The front page of The Daily Prophet had been blown against a leg of a park bench and the corners were flapping in the wind.
She wondered if she stepped into the beams of light shot down by the lamps that lined the alley whether she would be able to garner that light again. Would she feel it touch her soul, give her the hope she used to have. Fill her like a sponge starving for water. But once he decided to kill someone, they always died. She would never feel the light again.
She had nothing. Nothing to fight for.
A tear fell down her face and it traced a path down her pallid skin, a path that it knew too well for all the tears she cried. The cracks had come too fast, coming at her like a broken glass shattered on the ground. She couldn’t find all the pieces until eventually it seemed fruitless to even try.
“Where are you?” She whispered out again her eyes staring across into the darkness like it suddenly procure him from midair. The air was thick around her like a cloudy mist and it was heavy. So heavy that it made her limbs feel stiff, like she was already dying. Her bones fusing into one.
She was sometimes under the impression that it was neither here nor there, nor night or day. That there was nothing but the way her heart beat slowly and how alone it felt when it wasn’t beating with his. She had lived for him, to hear his voice swirl with her own. There was still so much skin left to press and words to be murmured in the late midnight hours. Vows to be taken. It couldn’t all be over.
“I had love once,” she whispered. Her voice punctured the staccato silence. She liked the sound of it as she continued jumping from one shadow the other. “Please, I did.”
Her hand lifted up in front of her as her feet stopped. Her eyes carried a look in them that seemed like it was looking at the world for the first time. She stood for a moment and then without further objection she moved into the gleaming lamp light. The light was muted by her plain black robes and she glanced straight up into the bulb. Her eyes squinting in its intensity.
“Benjy,” her voice called out but it was louder this time, demanding of the heavens. A light smile spread across her pale lips and she took another shaking step. Her hand shook as she looked beyond the light’s circle.
A figure was there among the rest of the shadows, almost like it grew from the pavement itself. Smokey and wavering in the night air as if it was simply a patch of darkness that grew too deep. Tall with a pale face but his features were caught in shadow. Though she could feel his glittering dark eyes staring at her venomously. She breathed, strangely calm because she knew this was coming.
She took a step out of the lamp’s heavy gleam; it felt wrong somehow, to be standing there when she could no longer be that. Wrong for him to see it touch her skin as if she was still the same person that made others believe they could win. ‘Dorcas!’ she heard. But she wasn’t sure if it was real because it seemed to float to her and remind her of a person she used to know with sandy brown hair. Almost a lifetime ago. It was sweet to her ears, comforting like walking into a building on a cold spring day.
And it couldn’t be.
She lifted her eyes to the figure, and her back arched as she lifted up her arms as if ready for an embrace. Or maybe just ready. She would never give in to his side, to his beliefs anyway. This was perhaps a different kind of giving in. She could not hide; she had never been one to hide. She was going to die. They were all going to die. This was the only way and if she closed her eyes she could see him, him with his childish sandy brown hair and gray eyes waiting for her by the lake like he used to do. It was all that really mattered now. She titled her face up and imagined the green light to be the a field of dreams where Benjy would never leave her.
Note: Hi all! I've been playing around with the idea of writing something on Dorcas for a while and so I started on this. I'm not sure what this is or even if all makes sense but but I hope that it did for someone. Would love to hear your opinion on if she seems like someone Voldemort would kill personally and if I did her a bit of justice.
Beta'd by patronus_charm! And of course, I do not claim any ownership as this is my playing around in a world created by JKR. No copywright infringment intended.