Chapter 1 : Explosions and Light
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fantastic ci by bittersweetflames@tda
Dorcas popped a fat bubble of the Droobles gum she was chewing, reclining on her couch. With a pondering frown, she contemplated how it had come down to this.
All her life, she had tried to be a good person. Sure, when she was in her schooldays, turning the Slytherin table into a rambunctious gigantic rhino (she was practicing Transfiguration, for Merlin's sake, though Professor McGonagall didn’t see it that way), treating first-years as personal servants (Good character building! And anyways, seniority’s a witch), and vanishing Lucius Malfoy’s hair (because let's face it- the less of his slimy gitness, the better) seemed like reasonable pastimes.
But still, she had turned over a new leaf once she left Hogwarts! She had gotten mature. After all, Remus Lupin, epitome of maturity, said so himself. Though Sirius Black also said that she was still gullible…
But still. She had fought for what she what she believed in at the end. Against her parents’ wishes of her laying low, she immediately joined the Order of the Phoenix after graduation. She hadn’t regretted any of it. The explosions, the deaths, the grief, the terror- it was all worth it, all worth the feeling of righteousness, from the surging blood through her veins to the tip of her wand. All worth it.
She would miss it.
And in the end, Dorcas mused, it would be like this. No hope, no family, no one to remember her. In the end, all she would be was a printed name on the list of deaths in the Prophet. No legacy, and the only ones who would mourn her would be Lily and James Potter, Sirius Black, Peter Pettigrew, and maybe, just maybe, she hoped, Remus Lupin. And when they moved on, when they had other casualties- she would be forgotten.
Now, Dorcas was usually a very cheerful person. It was her nature to be an optimist, to look at a glass half-full. She was, goddamn it, the sodding epitome of hope.
Though, knowing that tonight is the night you die in the hands of He-Whom-Must-Not-Be-Named can put a damper on even Celestina Warbeck’s spirit.
But Dorcas had a plan. A bloody amazing plan. A plan that would end with her being killed, yes, being tortured, but being remembered.
Because if Dorcas sodding Meadowes had to go out, she would leave with not just a pop, not a measly spark, but damn explosions and a shower of light.
The resigned girl heard an blast sourcing from the front of her cozy cottage. The time had come. Silently, she swallowed her gum (it's not like it would kill her- or, at least, not before the Death Eaters did) and she reached for her wand, a cedar with unicorn hair staunch twelve inch, that was sitting on the coffee table. Fingering the faded original designs and little notches and scratches it had gained over the years, she wished it a silent thank-you, as it had never let her down. The wand buzzed in reply, sending rasps of warmth throughout her body. It was her last hour, and her brightest. Her wand would do its best to make sure of that. She let out a shuddering sigh, only to gain control immediately. This was not the time to mourn. Composing herself, she fixed a bright smile on her face.
There would never be a time to mourn for her own life.
A few seconds later, random crony and Death Eater she recognized as Severus Snape strode into the room, followed by the Dark Lord himself. She stood up and gave them a sardonic wave of her fingers.
“Wotcher! I was just waiting for you, come inside! Though, I s’pose you let yourself in…” Lord Voldemort, the Death Eater and Snape exchanged a look, the cruel smirks on their faces fading into confusion.
“Severus?” Voldemort asked in a rather high voice, gesturing lazily with his wand hand at Dorcas. She noted that the wand was a dark ebony, with a tiny Dark Mark carved into it. More importantly, it was positively thrumming with power, sending pheromone-like tendrils into the air, filling it with grief and despair.
Dorcas resisted the urge to stick her tongue out at it. She laughed in the face of intimidation. No one could scare her, as she was a force to be reckoned with.
“She is always like this, my Lord,” Snape affirmed, shooting Dorcas a rather nasty glare. She blew a childish raspberry back at him. She and Severus were in the same year at school, though in enemy houses, and he had learned through classes that she had always lacked self-preservation and awareness.
"Well, then," Voldemort turned back to the calmly standing girl with a faint trace of laughter on her lips, "You do know who I am, don't you?" Dorcas shrugged sarcastically.
"I dunno, a poor bloke in desperate need of a legitimate nose? You must be ever so jealous of Pinocchio.” Death Eater Guy gasped.
Voldemort hissed in shock and fury, raising his wand hand to fire a spell. Dorcas ducked, quidditch reflexes coming in handy, and a window absorbed the curse, promptly shattering.
"Now look what you did!" Dorcas admonished, waddling a finger at the dumbstruck Dark Lord. "Trust me, I'll be sending you a bill!"
Voldemort shook his head, as in pity. "Oh, Dorcas."
"Oh, Tommy," the girl mimicked. If Voldemort was fazed, he didn't show it. Snape stood besides him, wand drawn and face blank.
"So much spirit, so much talent. Your blood is pure. And much, much too young to die."
"So, you won't kill me?" Dorcas already knew the answer, but couldn’t help but a feel a mutinous spark of hope rising in her.
"If you do yourself the pleasure of joining the ranks of the greatest wizard of all time, no I do not wish for your life to end, Dorcas."
"But I already have joined the ranks of said wizard." Noticing Voldemort's perplexed countenance, she added, "Albus Dumbledore."
Voldemort roared in anger, flashing a hazy black curse at Dorcas. She had no time to duck, and a thousand needles pierced her skin, edged with white-hot fire, and her bones were stretching to their limits and then shattering those limits, every blood vessel in her body was bursting, releasing something acidic that scorched her tender flesh and melted her skull, and oh, it hurt, and there was someone screaming, and then she realized it was her. Sadistic voices were laughing in the background, savoring her pain.
Just as fast as the crucifying agony came, it disappeared. Dorcas stumbled back onto her feet- though she didn’t remember falling to the ground. Feeling something wet, she blotted her mouth with her sweater sleeve- examining it, she realized it was blood.
“How’d you like that?” The Death Eater jeered. Dorcas rolled her eyes, though it wasn’t her best.
“Just sodding peachy, smart arse,” The Death Eater shot a spell at her, but was immediately deflected- not by Dorcas, but the Dark Lord.
“Silence, Avery! I did not bring you here for your nonexistent wit!” The Death Eater hastily bowed, subdued. Dorcas smirked.
“Ooh, did the big, bad Death Eater get a time-out? Poor baby.” Avery growled, and Voldemort sent a lazy silencio his way. He turned to Dorcas.
“You know, Dorcas, if you had accepted my proposal, I wouldn’t have tortured you. If you hadn’t called that old stuttering fool Dumbledore,” he spat out the name as though it were acid on his tongue, “I would’ve killed you quickly. Now,” he raised his wand. “You’ve insulted my ability as a sorcerer, a warlock, a wizard,” He smiled, no happiness being conveyed, but rather absolute fury, “for that, I’m afraid you’ll have to pay. Crucio!”
Dorcas dodged and ducked weaving through the curses as though like water, with an effortless grace that came from practice and experience. She knew the attacks were too powerful for her Shield, so when there was a slot of time for her return spell, she didn’t bother with 'Protego', instead sending a few harried hexes that the Dark Lord blocked with lazy ease.
Yet Dorcas found herself smiling, laughing, almost. Avery and the Dark Lord looked baffled, almost mad. Snape just crossed his arms and stood to the side nonchalantly, a little smile flickering on his face. Dorcas paid him no mind. This was what she lived for; fighting for her life, adrenaline streaming through her veins, her brain buzzing with pure energy. She would miss it.
She would definitely miss it.
“Ha! Take that! And that! And- dammit.” Snape had snuck behind her and pinned her hand behind her back, pinning his wand to her head and the tip of her wand to her back, digging into the tough flesh next to her spine. Dorcas twisted her head to glare at Snape. “Merlin, I always knew you hated me, but I didn’t think you abhorred me. You snakes need a bit more love in your lives.” The words sounded strong, but their was a faint tremor of alarm and nervousness under riding in the tone. She hoped no one noticed. Snape smirked, but his eyes were sad. He mouthed, 'terms,' and prodded the hand Dorcas was using to hold her wand. The young witch smiled; she knew bright Severus would figure it out.
“Dorcas Meadowes,” Voldemort intoned, commanding her attention. “Say good-bye to your sanity.”
“Wait!” Dorcas shrugged against Snape, who held her fast. She tried to control her breathing, which had grown frantic. You knew this was coming, you blistering pansy. You will end it on your own terms. “will you remember me?” Voldemort laughed mirthlessly.
“Yes, I shall, Dorcas Meadowes. You want to be remembered; I can understand that, and I will help preserve you. But only as the weak girl who doubted my magic, and fell at my hand.” Dorcas smiled, almost a little triumphant of her own genius.
“Ah, see, that’s where you’re wrong, Tom. You see, guess who's holding the wand that can so easily end my life?”
“Me, of course.”
“Wrong again! It’s you, yes, but also Avery, Snape, and..me.” Voldemort’s eyes widened, and Dorcas grinned, waggling her fingers. “Bye Tommy!”
“No!” Voldemort screamed. Dorcas muttered one last spell in a trembling voice, so faint only Snape could hear her. Avada Kedavra. Severus let go of her, and she and felt her feet slip out from under her body, all energy draining away until she just wanted to sleep, her vision fading to black. Dorcas noted with satisfaction that there was no pain. The only reason, it seemed, that people screamed at the end, was because they had something-- or more importantly, someone-- to lose.
Dorcas dribbled out her last words in a distant voice. “Don’t forget the window bill…” The last sound to ever reach her ears pierced her foggy mind, a scream of pure anger from the Dark Lord. A rush of pure joy for her.
Dorcas eyes finally closed, as years of innocence, love, happiness, worry, sadness, unadulterated life slipped away. There was nothing left.
But she would be remembered, not the one who trod lightly, but the one who stomped soundly and solidly, the one who beat Lord Voldemort by doing something that he couldn’t do for her; dying on her own terms.
Victory had never tasted sweeter.
A/N: So...watcha think? This is my first fanfic ever so...it sure would be great to give me some constructive criticism, as I plan on writing more in the future! Thanks for reading!
November 2014: I’m thinking of making a prequel to this one-shot? Please tell me if I should or shouldn’t— in a review!
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