Chapter 3 : Chapter Three
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I want to be an Auror when i’m older, I say older but I guess what I mean is in a few years. I’m 18, fresh out of Hogwarts, I have my whole life ahead of me right? Wrong. All those hopes and dreams and hours of being crammed in stuffy classroom pouring over A history of magic and all those cold winter nights I had spent perched up and huddled on a windowsill in the library with Achievements In Charming open in my hands, Advanced Rune Translations in my lap and Enchanted Encounters plus many many more lying at my feet. All those essay’s and homeworks and late nights and early morning. All the countless times of mumbling the Slytherin Password over and over again and having to put up with The Hogwarts Song every. Single. Year. All those quidditch matches and broken quills and letters home.
And for what?
To be trapped in a dingy cell somewhere deep in a home of someone I would have probably once called a friend? Was this what the Malfoy’s called Hospitality?
What a waste of owls and parchments and time.
Voldemort was dead but even in death he seemed more alive than ever. Because evil never really dies does it? Before Voldemort we had Grindlewald and now we have Yaxley. A dumb old tyrant with a squashed up face and a thirst for other people’s power. Yaxley did not posses even half the wit to even be considered evil. Nor did he posses a full set of teeth. His wand was his power and a few words and spells were his weapons.
Yaxley was nothing yet at the same time he was so important. He was a murderer, my parent’s murderer and I was his prisoner. So far, he was winning.
A part of me wanted to accept this as my reality now. Or at least live with it. Not to accept it. But to live with it. But I couldn’t, to think of this as a way of life would surely be admitting defeat and I was not about to give up or give in.
I think I’ve made up my mind now. When I’m ‘older’ I want to be a writer. A real Writer. I want to write about real things. Like the pain and torture I have experienced. I don’t want to sugar coat things that pretend writers such as Rita Skeeter do. I want to be brutally honest with a cut throat mentality. I want to write about the Cruciatus curse and how it’s pain knocks you from your senses. I want to talk about how long shackle wounds take to heal or what death Smells like. Like meat gone bad. People in books are always noble and righteous. But people in real life, their not like that are they? There are certainly no happy endings for every damsel in distress. I will be a writer who doesn’t make everything sugary because life isn’t that way. Writers are liars. Every single one of them.
I must have dozed off because the next thing I felt was a pair of strong hands shaking me. I opened my eyes to find that I was staring into my lap with my knees still drawn up to my chest. I looked up to find my self staring into a pair of washed out grey eyes.
“Malfoy” I breathed, My voice came out strangled and confused yet still slightly hopeful.
And then I remembered the stranger and his bright red eyes and his mocking voice and twisted laugh as I had squirmed in pain at his feet. This couldn’t be Malfoy. Not truly. It must be the stranger. It must be. He must be posing so that maybe I would fall fool to his trap and spill all my secrets.
He must be.
And then I remembered that his hands were still grasping my shoulders and his gaze bore into mine, as if he was trying to read my thoughts already. I was still staring at him too. For a second I felt empty, like I had no energy and then the memories of the stranger came to mind and I felt as though I had suddenly jumped back to life. I felt myself shudder and dig my bare feet into the ground as I tried to shrug him off. When his grip did not loosen I found my self thrashing against him, Trying to kick him but in one swift movement he had grabbed my ankles with one hand and pinned them to the floor. However, his other hand had let go of me and instead he held it up next to his face, As if admitting defeat.
“Calm down!” He barked and it would have came across as malicious if it wasn’t for the fact that by now he had completely let go of me and was now sitting with his hands to himself, giving me a look of pity.
I just stared at him and when I finally found my voice all I could do was muster a pathetic, “Leave me alone”
Malfoy sighed, “And what good would that do me, Honestly Blanc, I would have thought that you would have melted at the sight of a familiar face”
“I don’t trust you”
“Of course you don’t” He sat back, racking a hand through his hair, “But you’re going to have to”
I frowned, “How do I- How Do I know that you’re not-
“Lying?” He smirked, “You don’t”
“The-the man, the person, he came here, w-who, how do I know that you’re not..”
I was making absolutely no sense. My words came out jumbled and random. I didn’t even realize I was crying until I tasted the salt of my tears as they ran into my mouth. I was a mess. Maybe I had finally cracked? Why was this happening to me? Why? At that time I seemed to forget all about the promise I had made my mother. The promise to always protect and keep my families secret. I know it is a bad thing to break a promise, but I think now that it is a worse thing to let a promise break you. And then I looked at Malfoy who was looking at me with such impatience and I drew my legs away from him back into my chest. My arms instinctively came round my legs, As if they would protect me from any more harm. Malfoy remained silent, Probably waiting for me to calm down. I must have looked pathetic and I think that was the first time where I didn’t care about how venerable I looked. I was so sure that this wasn’t even Malfoy. It was the stranger, I was sure. He was waiting for me to totally crumble before pouncing on me again. I finally stopped looking at my lap and focused my eyes on the ‘person’ before me instead. He didn’t look like the Malfoy I knew. Not at all. He looked more worn out now than he had whilst he was being made to choose sides in front of Voldemort himself. His hair was longer and where it would previously be immaculately jelled into a hairstyle that looked so unmoving and stiff it resembled something that belonged on a statue, was now unruly and falling into his eyes. His eyes themselves looked like they had no life behind them. They were just faint grey orbs. No emotion, Just tired grey eyes. Malfoy’s skin was paler too and the veins around his neck were almost popping out to the surface. His lips were scaled from what looked like nervous and stressed biting. This was most definitely not the Malfoy I knew.
It was a while before he spoke, His voice sounding as tired as he looked, “He’s called the Shadow Figure”
“Oh” Words fail me sometimes.
“He only comes when Yaxley asks him too” Malfoy answered my question as if he has read my mind, “And right now, Yaxley...he’s busy”
“Oh” You didn’t need many words to understand what he meant.
For the next few minutes the only thing exchanged between us was silence. I fumbled with my fingers and looked at my lap.
“Why are you here Malfoy?”
It took a while for him to answer. He was sitting directly across from me now, kneeling so he was still relatively taller than I was. “I came to ask you a question”
“Well, what is it?” I was calmer now.
Draco’s eyes darted around the room for a second, “Not now, not here”
I huffed, “Well then why on earth did you come?”
“To tell you that I’m taking you to your previous cell, It will be safer to talk there”
“Wait a second, Yaxley allowed this?”
“No” Malfoy shrugged.
“Then what on earth are you playing at Malfoy?!” I was starting to get angry. Was he just here to lead me to my death?
“I will answer all of your questions later, right now, we need to get you to your old cell before Yaxley gets free again and decides to send your little friend-“ Malfoy signalled to the spot where the shadow figure had materialised from the ground, “To grind some more information out of your again”
It made sense I guess.
Malfoy, stood up, dusting off his cloak and looking around him in partial disgust before extending a hand towards me which I reluctantly took and stood up, My tanned skin making his hand look even paler.
My legs seemed to scream under me as I supported my own weight properly for the first time in days. It felt as though me knees would give way any second.
“But what happens when I arrive in my usual cell and the shadow figure arrives and finds out I’m not here?”
Malfoy smirked at me and I instantly felt at unease, “Oh we’ll be long gone by then”
“Gone? Gone where?” What was he doing? Why did it seem like he seemed to have a game plan all mastered out in his head without telling me anything? And why was I so blindly trusting him?
“I told you Blanc, All will be revealed when we get back to your cell”
“And how exactly are we getting there?” I challenged him again, putting my hands on my hips and trying to ignore the sickening click of my joints.
I was testing his patience, the way he furrowed his eyebrows told me so, “Apparating, I’m sure you’ve heard of it”
“I’m not an invalid” I snapped, “I just didn’t think anyone would be able to apparate in and out of here”
He raised an eyebrow, “How exactly do you think I got in here? The doors don’t exactly have door knobs that allow me to stroll in at my leisure you know. Plus, Yaxley’s too thick to place anti apparating charms on the cells and he can’t afford it either. Such strong charms will surely attract attention from the ministry”
And all the death and kidnapping and dark spells and torture don’t? I didn’t say anything though, Instead I obediently took Malfoy’s hand that he held out to me. I was ‘too weak’ to apparate by myself.
“I trust you not to get splinched?” Malfoy asked, his tone slightly mocking.
“Fair enough” He murmured.
And then I felt Malfoy’s arm twist away and re-doubled my grip. The next thing I knew, everything went black and I felt like I was being compressed from all directions. It felt as though there were metal bands tightening around my chest and my eyeballs were being forced to the back of my skull. And then the feeling ended and everything seemed to expand. I felt my feet hit solid ground and this time my legs really did give way. I found myself kneeling on the stone floor, breathing heavily, trying to gather escaped oxygen back into my lungs.
I heard someone chuckling and I looked up to see Malfoy standing over me, looking amused. “The three D’s Blanc, Destination, Determination and Deliberation, Honestly, Didn’t you pay any attention during N.E.W.T training?”
I huffed but managed to pull myself to his feet, ignoring his taunts. Looking around, I was indeed back in my old cell and as sickening as it was, I felt strangely at home.
“We don’t have much time” Malfoy sounded hurried and from his cloak pocket he withdrew a small vial full of clear liquid, “It’s a calming draught, it will give you enough strength to be able to use legilimancy on me, to see that I am indeed telling the truth, consider it an honour”
I took the vial from him, holding it in front of me and turning it around slowly to examine it.
“Damn it Blanc just take it! We don’t have all day!”
“But how do i-“
“It isn’t bloody poison just drink it!”
I eyed him suspiciously for a second before pulling the cork off the vial and downing the liquid. Almost instantly I felt a slow pleasant sensation fall over me. I felt every nerve ending my body almost fall asleep, yet I felt as awake as ever. The thoughts that had previously been running laps in my mind seem to calm down to the point where I could easily pluck an idea from my head and think it through properly. I felt calm. Of course, that was the whole point.
“Right, now I’ll open up my mind entirely-
“Don’t bother” I shrugged at him, “I don’t have much to lose anyway, if you’re lying, well, then, you’re lying. And if you’re not then it’s my lucky day”
Malfoy sighed, “Well then I guess I should probably answer your ques-
“what is it?” I twisted my head around the room but saw nothing.
“Their coming” He hissed and as if on que a shout came from outside the cell. He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. Once again the bone crushing feeling of apparition took over me. The last thing I saw before everything went black was the familiar angry looking face of Yaxley burst into the room and behind him, a blur of red hair.
This time, I landed on what seemed to be wet grass and when I opened my eyes, I saw that it was. Also, this time, I had managed to land on both my feet. I was swaying but never the less, standing up. Maybe I should start taking that calming drought as a daily supplement. It really does work wonders.
I saw movement from the corner of my eye to find Malfoy dusting off his cloak. Again. Muttering something about grass and mud and the countryside. It was pitch black by now, very late at night or early in the morning. We appeared to be standing in the middle of a very lone field. Why?
“I think it’s time I got answers Malfoy”
“Yes, right after we get to the-
“No!” I stomped my foot like a little child, trying to ignore the pain that shot up my ankle, “No no no, I have followed and trusted you blindly so far with so much as an explanation so I think that I deserve to be informed and told everything before I faller you further into what could potentially be death”
It only hit me of how stupid I had been. Malfoy was a deatheater, he was the enemy and I had followed him blindly like a lamb for slaughter. What was I doing? Since when had I became so foolish?
“I told you, you can read my mind” He replied calmly.
“I-I don’t have the strength” I could feel the calming draught wearing off slowly, after my latest outburst I felt more anxious than calm.
“Which is why we need to carry on” Malfoy turned on his heel and raised his wand, He murmured a spell under his breath that I didn’t quite catch and in an instant I felt as though a veil had been lifted from my eyes. A mist, that I hadn’t seen before, seemed to separate and clear up before us. Revealing a large black structure that it had previously been concealing. The first thing I saw were the tall heavy iron gates, the bars twisted in a way that seemed to make them look mightier than they were. On either side of the gates were two tall hedges that seemed to run around the perimeter of the house, Acting like two high walls.
“It’s a muggle Manor” Draco said, lowering his wand.
I didn’t reply
“The previous occupants died, of old age” He added. “The house got repossessed by the muggle bank but it’s practically abandoned, with it being so remote, We will be just fine here, as long as don’t attract attention”
I watched him stroll up to the manor gates. He walked with such confidence that it scared me. What was wrong with him? Had he really just went against his family and his beliefs and rescued me? No. Not rescue. I couldn’t think like this. There had to be an ulterior motive. People didn’t just do nice thing for people because they wake up feeling like a good Samaritan. This was Draco Malfoy and he would never turn his back on family unless there was something in it for him. And I had a fairly good idea that this might just have something to do with what Yaxley liked to call ‘The Holy Grail’. I had not missed the greed in Malfoy’s eyes when Yaxley had talked about it.
He had just reached the gates when he realized that I was not following him. Malfoy turned round with a very impatient look on his face.
“Blanc, what exactly are you waiting for? To be carried or have you by any chance lost your ability to walk?
I crossed my arms, “I want to go home, not here, home”
“What home?!” He snapped, suddenly rounding on me, “You mean the home you were brought from? Well Imogen You have no home. You have no family and right now I am the only person that can ensure your survival so believe me when I say, you do not want to piss me off”
I glared at him, arms still crossed. His words stung. Like a dagger to the heart.
I had no Family.
I had no home.
I was alone.
Reluctantly, I withdrew the heel I had been digging in the grass from the ground, walking towards him, “Whatever this is Malfoy” I hissed at him as I passed, “You better make sure you leave no detail out”
The Manor was just as dark inside as it the night was outside. I could barely make out half a meter in front of me as we stepped through the front door. The floor of the manor felt like ice under my bare feet and I wiggled my toes to avoid touching it for too long.
“Lumos” Malfoy whispered, he had already cast a spell to check for any other humans and had found none so I found myself smirking slightly at the fact he was whispering. Not so tough in the dark are we now Malfoy.
The bright light from his wand seemed to illuminate not just the hallway, but both rooms leading off it, the staircase in front of us and the large corridor next to it as well as the landing upstairs. Everything engulfed in eerie blue light.
“Make yourself useful and find some matches will you”
I looked at him from the corner of my eyes, “You are a wizard you know, incase you’d forgotten, just do a spell and fix the light bulbs”
“Too much magic attracts attention, especially in an area that is supposed to be muggle property”
“It’s a simple repairo charm” I murmured as I trudged off towards what I hoped was the kitchen. Leaving Malfoy in the hallway to murmur something under his breath.
The kitchen was at the very back of the house, completely opposite to the front door. The kitchen looked as though it had been left completely unplanned. A kettle still stood on the stove and as I went over to it I saw that it was still full of water. The cabinets seemed to be made out of a very deep brown and a large breakfast table stood in the middle, with one lone place mat strewn over the back of a chair. Keys still hung on a hook next to the light switch near the door and a teaspoon lay next to the breadbin. The house gave the feeling that the owners had just gone on a holiday and would be back any moment and the only signs of abandonment were the dust covered surfaces.
Where was I supposed to find matches and candles here?
I pulled open the cabinets under the sink to find them full with old muggle newspapers. I made a mental note to remember where they were incase the fireplaces didn’t have wood and it got cold. I must have hunted through every shelf, drawer and cabinet in the kitchen. Nothing.
“Found them” I jumped at the sound of Malfoy entering the kitchen, In his hands were a box of matches and two candles. “I only found two but they will have to do for tonight”
I nodded. Taking a candle and the matchbox from his hand, heading over to the table, eager to take a seat.
I took a wooden match in-between my fingers and ran it across the zig-zag grill until the tip of the match caught fire. I tossed the match box to Malfoy who was leaning against the kitchen counter. He caught it with one hand and I tried to work out how on earth he seemed to calm.
“Are you going to tell me now?”
He looked up when I spoke, “Yes I was”
“Well,” I raised my eyebrows, “What on earth’s going on?”
He set his now lit candle aside and the room was in darkness apart from the faint glow coming from the two flames.
“I want what you want and trust me, it really is that simple, No matter what strange theories you’ve had time to invent in your head, I don’t have any ulterior motives. I just do not want such a spineless and witless fool such as Yaxley to come to any power, what so ever” Malfoy spoke Yaxley’s name with such hatred it made me shudder slightly.
“But why not?” I frowned, “Your family has an allegiance to him, and He lives in your home for Merlin’s sake! Every day He tortures innocent people in your home! Surely you must agree with it and what he does!”
“It’s not my decision what goes in my home Blanc, It is my fathers and even my father doesn’t approve of it. After Voldomort’s death, we, as a family, vowed never to be treated like servants in our own home ever again-
“Let me finish” He held up his hand, “My mother is under a curse. It is something way stronger than an imperius curse. It’s not even dark magic Blanc; it’s so powerful that it ventures into black magic. Liana, that woman, she is not just another one of Yaxley’s pets, she’s dangerous, She has control over my mother and it’s for my mother’s sake that my father agrees to Yaxley’s every demand”
He must have been able to tell I wanted to say something because he stopped to let me speak, “But, If liana is so powerful, why is she working for someone as weak and mindless as Yaxley?”
“That’s where you come in, Yaxley knows that the only way he can ever come to power is by the gift of immortality. He won’t try horcroxes, Voldemort already went down that road and Yaxley is aware of the consequences. Instead, he wants a nice clean cut way of getting what he wants and He has promised Liana that as long as she helps him, she will get to share the gift of immortality with him, the Object that you hide, It has the gift of immortality. That much he knows, and that is why he wants it”
I nodded, “You’re right to call Yaxley stupid; granting Liana the gift of immortality alongside himself is the height of stupidity. She is cleverer and more powerful than he is; she will swat him away like he’s a house fly”
“Yes but you see, Liana has a weakness”
“Yes, of the moon”
So Liana was a werewolf. And then it hit me, “But werewolves can’t be immortal”
“Exactly. If Liana does become immortal in human form, she will always be able to die whilst she is in her wolf form and Yaxley knows this”
I grimaced, putting my head in my hands. This was too much information to swallow in one night. But I had asked for it.
“And what about you” I asked, Looking at him through my fingers, “Where do you stand? I hope you know it isn’t exactly easy for me to trust you”
He was looking straight at me, his sharp eyes bore into my skull, His face blank, “I know”
“Why did you do it do it Draco” My words came out in a horse whisper. “Why did you do it? How could you watch your friends and the people you had grown up simple die around you? Did you feel any remorse? At all?”
A look flashed across his face, “Don’t talk to me about remorse!” He snapped, straightening up, his breathing quickened before slowing down again and he slumped himself back against the counter. “Voldemort didn’t think I could do it, Kill Dumbledore, He wanted to punish my father and chose to do it by giving his only son an impossible task that would have most certainly been a suicide mission. He wanted me to fail, He wanted another death eater to kill Dumbledore, and he knew I couldn’t do it. He asked me so he could punish my father for being an utterly useless death eater”
Malfoy stopped for breath, his fists were clenched and his face was just raw anger. The light from the candle flickering across his tense features.
He continued, “He wanted to punish my father as much as he could for his failure to secure the prophecy. He took my father’s wand, took over his house and treated him like something he had stepped in. Voldemort knew that the best punishment was through a special kind of torture which was knowing that his son had been given an important task that he was sure to fail at. Voldemort wanted his Death Eaters to kill Dumbledore and wanted my capture secured in order for my punishment to be held out. I had a reason for everything I did, even if it is not a big enough reason in your eyes”
There was piercing silence between us for a good few minutes before I finally decided to speak.
“Thank you” I murmured, looking everywhere but at him, careful to avoid his angry gaze, “For telling me, I-erm, Should probably find a room, sleep”
He gave a slight nod of his head and I quickly got up, reaching for my candle and leaving the kitchen. Not wanting to stay there with him a moment longer. Draco Malfoy gave me a lot of feelings and none of them were the good kind.
It wasn’t hard to navigate myself to an empty bedroom, even in just candle light. I quickly climbed the stairs and found myself a bedroom across the landing. I pushed the door open and hurried inside. I put the candle down on a table by the door just as the sight of a four poster bed made me dizzy with greed and I made a little dive for it, every part of my body screaming in gratitude as I sank down into the soft bedding. I pulled back the quilt and climbed in between the covers, sinking back into the pillows. It was only then that I realized how tired I actually was and the Past four months of hard stone floor nights suddenly hit me all at once and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was pulled into the most dreamless sleep of my life.
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