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The Last Keepers Of The Light by bellatrixlestrange123
Chapter 12 : Chapter Twelve
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 1


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Cualacino. The Italian word for the mark left on a table by a cold glass.

I wondered if it were possible to put that word in the context of a person because that is exactly the way that I felt.

The initial numbing terror had passed and now only the last surviving dregs of fear remained. Along with the blood of the wolf relics that I had dropped moments before.

The blood was warm and it heated the fear inside me like a dream.

I had cast a spell on Nikolas and myself that rendered us both invisible and then let my entire trust fall in him as I let him lead me through the cavern with his grip on my wrist. I lagged behind him with baited breath, listening intently for the any other sounds. My fingers curled subconsciously around my inexperienced wand; I had decided that I was not entirely ready to use the dagger which was still hidden up my sleeve. It’s sharp point digging into the dermis of my wrist.

The soles of my shoes were not near enough as hard as the sharp foreshores under my feet and I found myself tripping. Sometimes stumbling on the back of Nikolas’ feet or letting my own heels get caught in the grooves of the floor.  It was uncomfortably warm, too, cramped as I was between the narrow walls of the cavern.

I tried to make myself feel better by thinking about just how bad this situation could get if Nikolas were to let go of my hand. It was completely black and my eyes refused to adjust to the darkness. The blackness was vivid, if such a thing actually existed. The feeling of curbed confinement and not being able to see the person my life felt like it depended on made my skin burn with sheer panic. A panic that tightened around my throat the more I thought of it and in the fullness of time, threatened to choke me. The little air there was refused to enter my lungs and I felt like oxygen was clinging to the walls of my throat on its way down, not willing to do its job. A complete hitch in the way breathing was supposed to work.

And then just like that, my wrist fell cold from where Nikolas’ hand had previously been and I felt myself come to a stop. I whirled around in fright only to realise that he could not see me; I was invisible. It took all the composure I had in me not to drop my wand and myself and huddle my knees in a corner. I looked down at my body, or rather, what had been my body. Now, I had somehow turned into a human chameleon. Blending perfectly into the walls of the cavern.

I sighed. The time had come for me to face my dragon.

I so badly wanted to remain veiled and find the exit of this cavern and keep running till I was far enough to just walk. But, in spite of my burning desire, I flicked my wand over my head and suddenly felt my own presence more firmly than I had before.

“Imogen!” Hissed a voice.

“Nikolas?”

“I’m behind you”

The voice sounded like it belonged to Nikolas and I wasn’t in a position to doubt it. So I turned around and cast an almost aimless spell in the direction I thought Nikolas was in. Almost at once, I was met with his powder blue gaze.

“Why did you do that?” My voice came out like it was hanging on from a cliff of panic and about to fall into tears. I hated it, “I thought something happened to you!”

“I’m sorry,” He said, “But we’re here, see”

“What? I don’t see anything?”

Nikolas sighed before grabbing me lightly by the shoulders and turning me around, “Look, straight ahead of you. See those steps?”

I blinked, trying to let my eyes adjust to the blackness. I sighed; it wasn’t working, “Nikolas, I really don’t see anything”

He sighed, “Look harder”

“You’re mental – “I stopped; I saw it. The darkness slowly gave way till I was able to make out the silhouette of an arch, a doorway.

I turned round to see that the bits of Nikolas’ face that I was able to distinguish looked smug.

“Ladies first,” He grinned, but ended up leading the way anyway, probably knowing that I would end up tripping on the steps and in all likelihood, breaking my neck.

“How can you even be sure we’re going the right way?” I said as I followed after him.

“I know these crypts like the back of my hand,” He said, walking through the archway into yet another even smaller tunnel than the one we had been in before, “Few things you need to know about the dragon too, they might help anyway”

“Go on,” I said, following him up the steps.

“The locals call it Tribus,” He said, “It’s Latin for three – in this case, three tongues.  the curator at the sister dragon reserve in Italy, the one that normally supplies the dragons to wizard tournaments like the one you had at your school, he said that Tribus never sleeps, never rests and never lowers its vigilance,”

I was quiet, waiting for him to continue.

“There’s something else too,” Nikolas picked up his pace when he saw that the tunnel was ending. I followed after him, spotting the faint light in the distance, “Tribus isn’t just powerful Imogen, It’s said to be witty and cunning”

“Cunning? You mean it has a mind of its own?”

“Something like that – watch out for that drop”

I dodged the crevice in the ground just in time, watching a surge of water rush below the cavity. Alive, hungry and monstrous.

“The witch Morgan Le Fay was said to have passed through this mountain on her way to the isle of apples in Avalon. Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote of how she stumbled across an injured, younger version of Tribus. She nursed the dragon back to health with her dark powers. Sure enough, Tribus recovered and in doing so, became more powerful than he ever had been before. Sired only to Morgan and no one else,”

I sighed, “And you expect us to defeat Tribus? Despite knowing this?”

Nikolas shrugged, “I believe you have a strong heart and when it comes to Tribus, that is the most powerful weapon you need to posses,”

I immediately thought of Arian, “And what about the others? Do they know this?”

“I suspect Marla told them,” Nikolas grinned, “If not then they’re in for a surprise”

“It’s not funny!” I said though I could not help but let a small laugh escape, “So what happened to Tribus after she left?”

“Morgan promised Tribus that she would return and in her absence she told the dragon that she would allow it to charm as many people as possible. Tribus was told to look into its victim’s hearts and seek out their deepest desires. It would then lure them in with the promise of fulfilling the one thing they wanted most”

“Then what happened?” I asked, my heart beating fast as the ending to the tunnel approached.

Nikolas chuckled, “I think you can imagine what happened next”

“I’m guessing Morgan never came back did she?”

He gave me a look from the corner of his eyes, “No, unfortunately for us, she never did”

I did not know how to reply to that so as a result, we walked in silence after that. Watching the darkness of the tunnel as if there were shapes being cut out of the shadows and watching our every move. It felt as though we had been walking for a lifetime. But the blood on my hands was not yet dry so I knew that it had not been that long at all.

The silence between Nikolas and I and the sudden hush of the cavern was sharp, as If I ran my fingers around the edges of it, I would surely draw blood.

This was the first time, in a long time, that I had felt comfortable being silent in someone else’s company. Before now, I craved sound. To make up for the four months that I spent with hardly any human company. But now, with things being what they were, I enjoyed the quiet as I had other things churning loudly in my mind. Like how to avoid being bewitched and devoured.

And it was being lost in these thoughts that I didn’t even notice we had reached the end until Nikolas and I stumbled out from the end of the tunnel into a much wider space. It was dark but not nearly as black as the previous tunnels had been; five small torches burnt dejectedly around the circular room. In the centre of the room stood four people and my heart flew around my chest at the sight of them.

“Nikolas!” Kaya almost jumped when she caught sight of her brother, “Where were you?!”

Nikolas hung his head slightly, “I hate to admit it, but – lost”

I snapped my head in his direction, “I thought you said you knew where you were going?”

Nikolas grinned and wiggled his eyebrows, “I say a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean their true. Plus, you would never have been able to keep it together if you knew,”

I wanted to be angry but instead, I just rolled my eyes. Not missing the mistrustful look Marla cast my way as I walked past her. My feet squelching into the damp soil.

“What do we do now?” I took a seat on a loose boulder sticking up from the ground and greeted the feeling of pressure letting loose from my spine with a virtual embrace.

“I know it’s such a stock phrase,” Nikolas said, “But we need to split up, go after the Dragon alone”

Arian blinked at him, “Why?”

Nikolas shrugged, “We’ll cover more ground,”

“I hate to be a wet blanket,” Draco spoke up from the wall which he was leaning against a few meters away, “But that, Nikolas, were some very famous last words,”

Maya sighed before turning around, “So what do you say we do?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” Draco pushed himself from the wall and straightened up and I found myself admiring how tall he really was. Taller than Nikolas was. I watched as a single muscle jumped in his jaw which was illuminated in the dim light. He looked like he had just discovered false virtue and was having great fun with it, “I suggest that we all attract Tribus, just so we know that the dragon really is coming, after that we split up in pairs, trust me – There’s nothing one person can do that two people can’t do better”

“Or is that you just being a coward?” Marla challenged, her body language radiating dislike.

“Oh don’t worry,” Draco snapped, “I can face a dragon just fine, but I wonder who he’ll kill first, the wizard or the girl who just has a liking to sniffing out objects, which in our case, is sort of useless,”

Marla looked livid. Her face contorting in an all consuming anger. Her hands were closed into fists, daring him to repeat his words once more, “You son of a-

“I agree with Draco,”

Every single head turned to look at me, all of their eyes showing surprise. All except Kaya whose face wore a smile. Even Draco’s features were a source of amazement.

After a few more seconds of being the fountainhead of everyone’s looks, I felt it necessary to justify my words, “As Draco said, there is no way that we will ever be able to face a dragon alone and if Tribus really is able to lure us in with the desires of our hearts, then we need someone there to help pull us out,”

“I second Imogen,” Kaya little voice spoke up from next to Nikolas, “I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but we are a team are we not?”

Marla was silent, her stubbornness getting in the way of her words. Nikolas however, gave in, “Right you are,” He said as his usual grin worked its way back on his face, “Dibs on Marla”

Marla laughed and the lighter atmosphere seemed to make Kaya so cheerful I feared that she may explode. I really did wonder where all her merriness came from, “Bagsy Arian!”

I watched in mirth as Arian’s face turned slightly red and he let loose a smirk that looked like it belonged more to Draco Malfoy than him.

I looked up to see Draco leaning back against the wall with amusement on his face.

I frowned and mouthed a quick ‘what?’ in his direction; I knew it would be impossible for my dry throat to emit a voice loud enough to be heard over the others.

Draco shrugged and shook his head, casting his grey eyes over the rest of the group instead, “Shall we go?”

Nikolas pulled out the horn which he had tucked away in his pocked, “Imogen, you have the dagger?”

I nodded, pulling the blade out from under my sleeve and felt its cool steel against the palm of my hand.

Nikolas inclined his head, “Good, Kaya, Locket?”

Kaya pulled the verdant pendant from her neck and swung it in her fingers, “Got it,”

“Great,” He clapped his hands together, speaking to no one in particular, “Here’s the plan: Kaya and Arian, If you happen to be unlucky enough to come across Tribus, then Kaya needs to attach the amulet onto any part of the dragon, anyway that she can, Arian just remember one thing, you need to be strong. Nothing Tribus says will ever be true and it certainly won’t end pleasantly,” Nikolas turned to Draco and I, “If Marla and I happen to face Tribus, I’ll have to blow my horn and hope I can scream loud enough for Kaya, if it comes down to you two, then I guess all you have to do is work your magic – Imogen, do use that dagger,”

I grinned, the sudden surge of adrenaline to obvious to ignore, “try stopping me”

“Oh and one more thing,” Everyone turned to look towards Nikolas, “Try not get in the way of Tribus’ fire breathing, I suspect he does that little party trick often and if you do happen to drag your feet into the fire, make sure to check how many fingers you have left afterwards..” Nikolas trailed off, earning himself worried glances from everyone.

“Wouldn’t we just, you know, die?” Arian questioned.

“Well, yes captain obvious” Nikolas replied, straight-faced, “That is also a risk.”

“That doesn’t sound too good,” Arian agreed.

Draco exhaled, “Well yes, it sounds like the opposite of good.”

“Is it just fingers?” Arian added, “Because I don’t think I want to lose my fingers.”

Draco nodded, “Or any other body part.”

Nikolas shrugged, “That’s only if things get extreme, but I’m sure we don’t have to worry about losing body parts – or lives...right everyone, get your weapons ready, tell your limbs you love them and lets go find Tribus.”

Everyone drew their respectable weapons at his words, Arian holding the goblin made sword tight in his hand.

I turned to find Draco staring at me with a look that he I hadn’t seen from him before. It was beyond the usual arrogance and self-adulation that was normally present in his eyes. It was something else too – Understanding? Appreciation? Whatever it was, it gave me enough strength to turn on my heel and walk off to the doorway cut into the wall behind me. The dagger burning in my hand.

 

 

 








Part of me is made of glass. A very fragile part that thrives on being polished and reminded of who I really am. If not, then those parts of me collect dust. Sitting on a shelf for years not fulfilling the reason I was made.

But this is the reason that I was made. And that’s not to be miserably dramatic. The stones really were probably the only reason for my birth. My mother had said herself that she never imagined herself to have children. She hadn’t said it to upset me, I knew that. She was just being honest. It had gotten out when we had been in a heated argument about something that didn’t really matter. I don’t even remember what it was. She had said that my grandmother had gotten impatient and kept reminding her why having an ‘heir’ was a duty of a protector. And so I was born but I guessed that was why I never had a brother or sister.

“I’m sorry.”

Draco’s voice pulled me out of my thoughts, “What?”

“I said I’m sorry.”

“Why?”

He sighed, “Don’t think you can make me say it again – I’m sorry about this, your involvement, this duty you feel like you have.”

“I do have this duty,” I said, “don’t have to be sorry about someone’s fate.”

Draco frowned, “Do you honestly believe in that?”

“In fate?”

“Yes, is there really such a thing?”

I didn’t really know how to reply to that so I stayed silent but when the sound of stones under our feet got too much, I tried to salvage an answer, “If you’re talking about the actual fates, like the three witches? Then no. It would be kind of sad to believe that my life is really in the hands of three old women. And I don’t believe in the whole ‘everybody has a purpose’ nonsense either, yes I am here to protect the stones, but that can’t be all I am here for, can it?”

Draco was silent for a while, “So you don’t believe in fate?”

I sighed, “No, because I would like to believe that I am free to make my own decisions in life, and have those decisions be true and spontaneous; otherwise what am I without my free will...Why do you ask?”

He narrowed his eyes, “Why would you be surprised that I would ask such a thing?”

I shrugged, swinging the dagger in my hands, feeling far more comfortable, “Come on, when do you ever ask questions?”

“When I need an answer?”

“Very funny, what’s the real reason?”

Draco sighed, “I’ve been thinking about my father, I wanted to ask you something – about him”

I frowned, I had never been in the position to have a heart to heart with Draco Malfoy and I found the conversation all the more uncomfortable, “erm OK”

He looked annoyed, “I’m not asking you to turn into Trelawney and read me my future – for Merlin’s sake, just listen will you.”

I sighed, “Fine, go on,”

“I wanted to ask did my father, did he ever – visit you? You know, when you were in the cellars?”

I narrowed my eyes and looked at him, “What?”

There was a gawky silence between us. I squinted at Draco and he kept staring at me as he walked, expecting an answer. After a few moments, he finally caught on, “What? No! Not like that! – What I meant was, did he – did he ever come and personally ask about the stones? Was there a chance that maybe he was looking for them by himself?”

I thought about it, trying to remember if there really had been a time where Lucius Malfoy had decided to pay me a visit to personally ask about the stones. My memories of my time at the manor appeared hazy and I couldn’t recall.

I shook my head, “I don’t think so.”

Draco looked disappointed and I knew why. If my mother was under the curse of a woman like Liana, I would go to unimaginable lengths to save her too. I realized that sometimes I forgot why Draco was here. To save his mother.

 “I’m sorry too,” I knew it was a stupid thing to do. Yet I did it anyway; the action was almost second nature. I placed the dagger in my other hand and reached up to brush my fingers against Draco’s arm, holding his shoulder for a split second before letting my hand drop. Draco flinched under my touch like I had touched him with burning metal.

He stopped walking and his eyes looked angry for a second. Something burning in them that I didn’t quite recognise, “You don’t have to pity me.”

“It wasn’t pity-

“Let’s just go,” His voice was abrupt and he started walking again, faster than he had been doing before.

I stood still for a moment longer before walking after him. I could feel anger rising up in me. Partly from humiliation and the other from the fact that he just had to go and throw my care in my own face.

“What’s wrong with you?” I said, stumbling after him.

I expected him to keep walking. But he didn’t. Instead, he stopped and turned around and I had to halt just in time so I would not go crashing into him, “Me? What’s wrong with you?”

“I – What’s wrong with me? What have I done?” I said, not knowing what he was referring too.

Draco shook his head, a clear-cut snarl on his face, “you don’t get it do you? Those people? They’re all against you, but you refuse to see it, you are blind,” he spat, his face so close to mine that I could make out all the little scars that were scattered around his left eye like a constellation.

“You’re wrong,” I whispered, “Those people do nothing but care. They offered us into their home when they could have easily turned us away – they tolerate you-

I was cut off by his laugh that echoed off the walls of the cave that were already worn out from the elements, “tolerate me? Is that all I am? Something to build immunity against?”

“I didn’t mean that-

“Sure you didn’t” He backed away then, running a hand through his hair, “Marla – she’s not like the others, she’s-

“Enough,” I said, backing away from him slightly, “I understand that you two may not get on, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to go around accusing her of all kinds”

“Take that stupid blind fold off of your eyes” He spat, “One day, she’ll break her word, I promise you”

And that’s when I felt it. Raw anger pounding behind my eyes for reasons I could not explain. A part of me knew that I was losing my sense of proportion and I had no idea why. I could almost hear a voice telling me that this was right. That the feeling of my blood boiling from inside was soon going to feel euphoric. It was a distant gnawing at the corner of my conscious.

 Kill him.

I didn’t bother to hide my disgust, “I don’t even feel sorry for doing this – stupefy“

A jet of red light erupted from my wand and flew towards Draco but he merely brushed it aside with his hand as though we were swatting a fly. I was about to open my mouth to send something stronger his way but in less than two strides he had closed the distance between us and before I could even register another spell in my hand, he had plucked the wand from my hand.

“Don’t be so stupid,” He breathed in my ear, holding my arms behind my back, “Do you want to get us both killed?”

“No,” I said through gritted teeth, “Just you”

I remembered the dagger and I almost laughed from the power that ran up from the tip of my fingers, through my veins, up my arms and into the very core of my heart. I could feel Draco’s own heart beating against my shoulder blade and this new part of me, this voice, made me hate the feeling of it. His breathing in my ear. It had to stop.

But my arms were twisted behind my back.

Kill him.

“D – Draco” I choked out, “you’re hurting me.”

I felt him sigh against my neck, “I’ll only let go if you promise not attract a dragon to our doorstep by casting random spells and trying to kill me,”

“F-fine,” I said, breathing heavily.

“Promise?” He tightened his grip on my arms as he tried out his new black mailing technique.

Kill him.

I tried to suppress the cry of pain from his grip, “P-promise”

Almost at once, my arms fell loose of his grip and I rubbed my elbows, trying to get the blood flowing back into my fingers. I turned towards him, twiddling the dagger in my hand, “Can I have my wand back?”

“No” He smirked and twirled it around in his fingers.

“Why not?” The anger bubbled inside me again. Incessant. And a part of me did try to fight it, but I couldn’t.

Kill him.

“Because I don’t trust you” He shrugged, walking off.

“Draco?” I stepped in front of him, blocking his way. I could feel my external temperature rising and I swallowed with difficulty, “I’m sorry,” I brushed the scars next to his eye with my thumb and he closed his eyes for a moment at my touch. His eyelashes tickling my skin. I stared at him for a moment longer and the steam inside me raged on.

Kill him.

I pulled myself up so that I was standing on my tip-toes and traced the outline of his lips with the tip of my thumbs. Pulling him closer till my lips were inches from his.

“Imogen-

And that’s when I took my chance. I drew the dagger from where I had temporarily stored it in my pocket and held the handle of it tightly in the grove of my palm.

It felt as though my mind had everything but the presence of sanity and nothing really made sense.

I raised my lips till they were right next his next. The pulse of his carotid artery against my jaw. The feel of the dagger and the voice in my head were one.

Draco’s hot breath against my neck made me realise that life really was sacred and the power from knowing that in an instant I would be able to take it away, felt native. And my last thought before I drove the dagger right into his skin was that if killing was so natural, then why did people receive years of training to learn how?

Draco’s cry of pain tore through the blackness and back again to the point where it began. The sound was angry and filled with betrayal and then there was hatred with every coming breath.

The blade had sunk into his flesh like it had come home. All at once, I felt the anger lift and in its place, I was met with Draco’s weight. I looked down, horrified. In my own senses at last. I had missed his heart; he had moved. He must have known was I was about to do. Instead, the knife now lay perfectly embedded into his upper arm.

I stumbled back. Nausea rose up in me. Bubbling up, relentless. I took a deep breath, pushing, willing it down.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, “Draco – I – I’m so sorry,”

A fight was going on inside of me. A fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil. He is anger, sorrow, guilt, resentment, lies, hate, spite, pride. The other wolf is good. He is hope, joy, light, truth, compassion, free.

I knew that the wolf that would win would be the wolf that I would feed.

I had to go.

I looked through my hair too see Draco leaning over. The dagger now lay at his feet. He was putting pressure on the wound on his arm, trying to stop the blood that now caked the sleeve of his shirt.

I let out a whimper when I saw his eyes. They were almost black except for the tiniest speck of red that outlined his iris’.

“i’m sorry,” I whispered with difficulty,

“Go,” He growled, looking up at me through hooded eyes. His lips turned down into a hateful snarl.

“But I-

“GO!” he roared with a terrible fury in his face.

I did not need telling thrice. I kept stumbling backwards till I could no longer make out Draco’s shape and as the blackness enveloped the evidence of what I had done. I found myself becoming a part of the darkness myself. Before I knew it, I was running. Stumbling through the caverns with my feet catching in the foreshores and crevices.

I kept telling myself that it was a mistake, but the cruel thing was that it felt anything but. I kept running, desperately trying to find an exit, or some light, or another person. Something that would help me justify what I had just done.  I ran till the burn of lactic acid, until I could no longer surrender myself to the miraculous beat of my feet on the ground. I came to a stop after a few moments, keeling over and letting my breathe come heavy. And I stood still after that, waiting for the voice, hell, damnation to rain down on me.

And then I felt it and I knew that I was not alone.

I stood there quite. Stilled my breathing, not moving a muscle. After a few seconds, I noticed that the silence itself has an empty ringing tone of its own.  I remember someone telling me once, that there is never, ever, ever a completely quite place on earth.

And then slowly. I start to hear the voice again. It sounds like a murmur to start with and it’s repeating the same thing over and over again. Something I can’t quite make out. I turned around on the spot slowly and then frantically, feeling the memories of my time in Malfoy Manor play out before me. It comes to me that this voice, it must be close. For a voice never truly exists without a body.

Morior.

“W-who’s there?” I choked out as the darkness of the cave became almost palpable. It flew towards me from all sides till it mingled with my skin.

Morior.

There was a fieriness descending on my leg and I brushed it away with the back of my hand, stumbling backwards from where I stood.  It felt like someone was kneeling against my leg, steaming the skin with a breath, hot as the blasts that dried old seas.

I was about to reach for my wand when I felt something hard slam against the side of my body. And then there was the pain. Incredible pain as I felt myself being lifted into the air and ploughed into the opposite wall of the cavern. Shards of glass raining down on my skull and torso. Never in my entire life had I ever experienced such intense agony, crushing every nerve in my body. I wanted to escape from the indescribable torture in which I found myself.

I lay perfectly still, trying not to breathe. Every time that I would inhale even slightly, pain would stab through my side as my broken ribs expanded and contracted.

I could still here voices. There were more anguished than the other voice had been. There were loud sounds too, and colours but they all seemed to merge as one in front of my eyes and form hundreds of different things that contorted and blended in my vision.

I could tell there were people. Lots of people. Four of five maybe; the footsteps that thundered around me were too heavy and to desperate to belong to just one person.

I could feel myself drifting off but every time I would try to escape into my sweet release, someone would call my name. A pair of sturdy hands squeezing my shoulders.

“I – can’t – my ribs,” I gasped.

I slowly lifted my head off of the floor and opened my eyes. I couldn’t see much apart from the person leaning over me. It was Draco.

“Draco, what happened?” I managed to gasp as I struggled for air.

“You went mental, obviously,” he hissed, “Hold still,”

“No Draco, their broken, you’ll only make her worse.” Said another voice that sounded distantly familiar.

I opened my eyes to see that someone else was blocking my view also. I was also still in the cave; the tiny shard of rock hanging above my head told me so.

“Why’s it so hot in here?” I gasped.

Nikolas laughed nervously, “No reason.”

Draco gave him a look, “Keep Tribus away, I’ll have to use magic,”

A wave of terror crashed over me and I let out a whimper, “No – No Draco don’t it hurts,”

“So does my arm,” he hissed, “Hold still,”

I lay my head back down and Draco swore under his breath as he lifted my head under his wounded arm. I felt a warm hand travel down my side. His fingers pressed into my ribs and I couldn’t control the cry of pain.

I clenched my jaw together as my bones contorted and joined back together. Creating a frenzy of pain that made me feel like I would never breathe properly again. It took every ounce of composure I had left not to cry out in agony from the pressure that built up inside my chest cavity.

And then, just like that, the pain started to subside. Slowly but surely till nearly all of it had left. I lay there for a few more minutes, panting. Draco’s blood drying in my air.

“Try not to cough,” He said, “or sneeze for that matter – they’re not properly healed.”

I groaned, feeling the throbbing sensation in my sides, “Thank you, I-

“Would you just be quite?” he snapped but I was sure that if it weren’t for the fact that I had just stuck a six inch dagger into his arm, he may even have laughed.

I slowly pulled myself into a sitting position and leaned against the wall of the cavern. I took in my surroundings. We were back at the entrance of the cave. From what I could see, dusk descended down onto the valley in all its caramel, fiery glory.

“Where is everyone?”

Draco grinned, the smile lighting up his eyes, “Deciding on the best way to dispose fifty feet worth of dragon carcass”
 
 
 


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