Face of Death

BY : wildkitsune
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Voldemort/Ginny
Dragon prints: 3831
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Ginny-

I worry my bottom lip between my teeth as I watch the front yard of the house we are all hold up in.  It is an abandon muggle house that those in the rebellion placed wards on weeks ago to keep us undetected by Tom or the Ministry.

The day is bright and sun shines in through the window as I sit on the ledge.  People are constantly coming and going from the house, but we are in a busy enough part of town that it doesn’t seem particularly odd.

It has been a week since my wedding day and I feel more alone than I have in months.  I’m only allowed a few visitors.  Most of the DA sees me as a traitor or at least some powerless girl who got in over her head.  I laugh at that.  In this place I have to choose if I’m weak, dumb, or both.

Harry says he is working on changing their minds about me.  He tells them that he would not be here without me, but it is hard for people to understand things they can’t see.

I’ve thought about trying to escape, go back to Tom and try to regain his trust.  At least with Tom I felt useful and needed by some people.

No one here understands how many people they put in danger by taking me from Tom’s side.  I feel like no one here really understands who I am any more.  Harry tries, but he has so much on his plate leading this rebellion that he doesn’t have a lot of time to help with my mess.

“I brought you a book.”  Hermione says as she walks into the room.  She closes and wards the door behind her before walking over to my seat at the window.  “I thought it would be best to keep your mind busy.”

“When can I have a wand?”  I ask taking the book from her.  I try and keep my voice pleasant so that it doesn’t seem as if I was just thinking of running away.

“It’s hard for us to get our hands on new ones.”  Hermione says putting hers away.

“And unlike you I can’t do anything useful with one.”  I say bitterly as I set the book aside without really looking at it.

“Ginny.”  She says with pity in her voice as she rests a hand on my shoulder.  “It’s only been a week, and You-Know-Who’s forces are still out in mass looking for you.  We can’t risk your safety.”

I look at the hand and then up into my friend’s eyes.  “I know.  I know the only safe place for me in this world right now is this window.  Because even this house is full of people who hate me.  Maybe you all should just let me go?”  I ask not for the first time.  “I’m no good to anyone here.”  I finish turning back to the window.

“He would kill you Ginny.”  She tells me tightly.

“He can’t kill me Hermione.”  I remind her as I rest my head against the cool glass.  “I’m the only one in the world Tom can’t kill.”

“I wish you wouldn’t call him that.”  She says pulling a chair up next to my seat.  It seems I’m not going to be rid of her anytime soon.  “We think he has reignited the Taboo curse on his real name, but calling…”

“Tom is his real name.”  I say watching as Corner walks up to the house freely and without any sign of harm done to him.  I can’t help but think how Tom would torture him for me, while these people let him walk around more freely than I can.

“I know it’s his birth name, but I think if you stop calling him that, than maybe you could start seeing him for what he is.”  She says sounding so very worried for me.

I turn to look at her frowning slightly.  “I know what he is Hermione.”  I tell her with a sigh then turn to give her a smile.  “It isn’t him.  I love Harry.”  I tell her honestly.  Being with Harry has been the only thing really keeping me sane for the last seven days.  “I just think that having me here puts a lot of people in danger.”

She smiles at this as if I’ve taken some worry away from her.  “Well actually we’ve been thinking about that.”  She says a bit more brightly.

“Who do you mean by we exactly?”  I ask as I hate the fact they have been discussing my future behind my back like I am some kind of child.

“Harry, Ron, Neville, and I.”  She says carefully.  “We are the leadership in this cell.”  She adds quickly as I am sure I am showing my displeasure.  “We think that maybe it would be best to get you out of town for a while.  Maybe set you up in some place remote where you will be safe from everyone who wishes to harm you.  It would also mean you wouldn’t be putting anyone else in any danger either.”

“The men sent you in here to tell me about this because they are all too chicken shit to confront me themselves?!”  I ask letting my temper flair.  “Those in the rebellion aren’t the only ones I’m responsible for!”  I scream making her move back.  “No one thought of what would happen to those under my care if you all just dragged me away from my life!”  I tell her getting to my feet.

“You’re not responsible for anything Ginny!  That wasn’t your life!”  Hermione yells back as she puts her hands on her hips.  “He was using you as just another piece in his game to take over the world.  And you were letting him use you!”

“At least there, I was on the board!  Here?  What am I here but Harry Potter’s princess that you want to send away to some remote tower!  I’m not some damsel in distress!”  I yell waving my arms about and wishing I had a wand to curse her with.

When the door opens we both turn to the intruder.  I wonder for a moment how they got passed the wards before I realize it’s Harry come to calm us both down.  Not missing a beat I turn my rage on him.

“You’re not sending me away!”  I tell him moving across the room so I can punch him in the nose.  Harry grimaces and grabs my wrists before I can do any damage.

“Hermione, can you give us some time.”  He says to the other fuming witch in the room before turning to me.

His hold on me is tight enough to hurt, but he is well aware I’m not one who will thank him for being careful with me.  Once his friend is out of the room he puts both hands in one before casting something at the door.

“We could hear you yelling all over the house.”  Harry says darkly as he gives me his full attention.

“I can’t do this any more Harry.”  I tell him looking into his angry green eyes.

“Not everything is about you Ginny.”  He says sounding almost disgusted.  “You’re a distraction here.  No one wants his whore in their hero’s bed.”

Him hitting me would have hurt less than those words.

“So you think I’m a whore too?  Selling myself for things that don’t even matter anymore?”  I ask him in a quiet tone.

“We are going to get your brothers out when we can.  It isn’t possible just now.”  He says as if the only reason I would be upset now is my worry about my brothers.

I am worried for them.  I think about the family I left behind every day, but no one here seems to realize they were not the only ones who counted on me.

“I can’t help here.” I tell him softly, wanting him to understand this wasn’t just about me.

“We’ve talked about this, my lioness, you can’t go back.  But there are ways you can be helpful.  We are making a safe place for you to work Ginny; it isn’t just about keeping you away from him.”

I frown not understanding what I could do that was helpful in some remote location.

“You should see Luna’s article about you.  They are all about Lady Mercy who was taken from their great Lord and how we are the bad guys that stole you from the man you love and the country that needs you....

“Luna is only doing what will keep her safe.  You shouldn’t judge her for the position you forced her into.  After she delivered… You wouldn’t be here without her!”  I tell him outraged he dared to even bring her into this.

“I know what Luna has to do.”  Harry says calmly.  “I’m not saying anything against her.  I’m just saying they’re propping you up as their hero, Ginny.  But you’re mine.”  Harry ends in a possessive tone.

I frown at him trying to tug my wrist free, but he only tightens his hold and I know it is going to leave marks.  “What am I supposed to do about that?”

“I want you to write your thoughts and feelings and show the people what Lady Mercy really cares about.”  He says his eyes shining at his own brilliance.  “If they are going to prop you up let’s give you a voice.”

Luna-

I sit patiently in the Dark Lord’s office as I wait for him to have time for me.  I distract myself from whatever could go wrong today by working on another article about how Ginny was kidnapped out of the arms of the man she loved.  

Blaise laughs every time I tell him I’m not lying.  I know Ginny loves the Dark Lord, just as I know she loves Harry.  It’s funny to think most people think you can only love one person at a time.  From years of watching others go about their lives I can tell that is hardly ever the case.

Keeping my thoughts on Ginny helps with the fear of being alone in his office.  He sent a message the other day that says he would be handling the investigation into Rookwood’s death himself.  He seemed to believe me easily when I told him it was an accident; I have to wonder now what else he wants to know.

I push this thought away knowing it will only serve to get me into trouble if he dives into my mind again as he did at his wedding.

When the door opens I look up from my writing and look directly into the darkness that is the Dark Lord.  I’ve spoke to Harry as Death once since his return and it is so odd seeing how differently the two of them wear the exact same body.

When I spoke with Harry his colors were a jumble of confusion and the pain of returning.  I know it will take time for him to settle into himself, but still even then he had such an open air about him.

The Dark Lord on the other hand stands tall and closed.  There is something appealing about him, but in the way things that aren’t good for you are always appealing.

I notice then that my heart is racing and I look away from him standing up so that he doesn’t think I mean him disrespect.

“Lady Zabini please sit.” He says motioning to the chair I was just using.

“Thank you my Lord.”  I say folding my notebook closed and putting it and my quill back in my purse.

“Tell me, what do you think should be your punishment for killing one of my most trusted Death Eaters?”  He asks in a tone that seems much too friendly for the words that it held.

I let myself look up at him and know that he is studying me in a way that I often study others.  “I don’t think your Death Eaters should be above the law my Lord.  He was attacking me, as you know, and I didn’t mean to kill him.”

“But you rid it from me and those whose responsibility it is to protect you.”  He counters still watching me closely.

“I was led to believe doing so would end in loss of my life in some form or another.”  I told him honestly.  “I was led to believe that you do not protect women from what he was trying to do to me.”  I say looking into his eyes to remind him exactly what he had tried the last time I was in this office.

“Are you not afraid of me Lady Zabini?”  He asks as he leans forward on his desk.  His elbows resting easily on the surface as he braces his chin on his thumbs.

When I look at him I see there is an underlying hurt and anger, but they are deep, hidden maybe even to himself.  On the surface he is only curious.

“Not at the moment my Lord.”  I tell him trying to stay as close to the truth as I can.

He laughs at this, but the sound is wrong, it is not something that comes naturally to him.

“There are very few people in this world that would be willing to make a statement like that and you’re not even a Gryffindor.”  He says with a mocking sneer.  The darkness around him deepens as his expression turns predatory.

“Though I understand you were defending yourself and your virtue…” He says the word with a mocking tone.  One could mistake the inflection to mean he was insulting or didn’t really think he had virtue, but I could see the change in color around him, and it was much more clear that he was mocking the very idea of virtue.

“I wasn’t a virgin at that time.”  I interrupt him having the sudden urge for us to speak clearly to each other.  “I was scared that he would hurt me.  It was as simple as that.”

He watches me for a long moment with his eyes narrow, it was obvious people never interrupted him.

“That being as it may…”  He continues with a more deadly tone.  “I don’t like to be deceived.  Lord Lestrange has been learning this fact over the past week or so.”  He says sitting back in his chair as he inspects me.  “So we are back to the beginning of our conversation, how should I punish you?”

I frown at this as I try to think of what he would see as a fit punishment for keeping the death from him.  “I would assume torture of some kind.”  I settle on nodding in agreement with the thought.

“I have a feeling Lady Zabini that pain is not something that would deter future infractions.”  He says and he is smiling again as we have come to the point in the conversation he has been waiting for.

“You’ve already chosen how you will punish me.”  I tell him as I have the realization.

“You know if I didn’t discover this myself, if you weren’t so connected to my wife, I would have handed this whole matter off to someone from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.  I am your emperor; I don’t usually meddle in these things.”

“If you did that I would be classified as a Non Citizen and the Ministry would try to seize all of my property.”  I told him trying to think of all the ways this could go right or wrong.

“Ah yes the Radcliff inheritance wards.  They would be a problem if we took that route wouldn’t they?  Many of the old family lines are the same.  As long as there is someone alive that can rightfully inherit the estate the Ministry will have problems taking anything.”

“My Lord I can’t help but feel like we aren’t really here because of what happened with Rookwood.  You know I do my best to serve the empire loyally, could you just tell me what you need?”  I ask as I am tired of all this spin around.

“That is not the way this works Lady Zabini.”  He says getting to his feet and walking around the desk.  “If you really must know, you are honestly here for my amusement.  You know I thought about taking my frustration with my wife out directly on you.”  He explains as he leans on the back of my chair.

I turn to look at him and find his face inches from my own.

“The Rookwood matter is just a convenient excuse.  How fast do you think she would come running back if we put a picture of your bruised and beaten body on the front of the Quibbler?”

“I think if she were able to come running back she would already be at your side my Lord.”  I tell him trying not to show my fear at his invasion of my personal space.

“You really believe that propaganda you write about how she is actually in love with her Dark Lord?”  He asks looking at me as if he is deciding exactly how he will devour me.

I ball my fists trying to keep my breathing under control.  I’m about to answer him when there is a knock at the door.  He stands then taking a step back from me before he orders the person in.

Daphne holds herself straight as she carries a tray of tea for two into the room.  She glances at me for only a moment before turning to leave without a word to Voldemort or myself.

When the door closes again he turns and starts to serve the tea as if we are just having some kind of friendly conversation.  He hands me a cup and saucer before sitting on the edge of his desk as he takes a sip of his own.

The way he looks at me now I know I don’t have an option to refuse so I take a sip and hope it isn’t poisoned.  Though poison doesn’t really seem to be his style.

“You haven’t answered my question yet Lady Zabini.”  He says looking at me with polite interest.

“I know for a fact that she loves both you and Harry.”  I tell him and frown as I know I shouldn’t be so clear about the things that I can see in a person.

He tenses at my use of Harry’s name but says nothing until he takes another sip from his cup.  I do the same as I think over how I could recover from the words.

“You seem very sure of yourself Lady Zabini, now why would that be?”

“I really don’t like to be called that.”  I tell him as he’s used the title several times since I entered the room.

He chuckles at this and shakes his head.  “Would you prefer I call you Luna?  Are we on a first name basis already?”

“I don’t really know the etiquette for what we are to each other my Lord.  You are married to one of my best friends, so Luna seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to call me.”

“Than tell me Luna, why are you so very sure that Ginevra is in love with me, how do you know?”  He asks and I can see he is trying to act like this is some big joke to him, but in truth he had a need for her that could very possibly be his version of love.

“Because I can read people as easily as most read books.  She never wanted to, I don’t think.  Her love for you has always been a struggle.  On your wedding day I could see she had finally achieved some acceptance of it.  Then they came and they took her and I really don’t think she wanted to go.”  I tell him wondering for another long moment at how talkative I was suddenly being.  I look down at the tea then back up to him.  “You know veritaserum really has no taste at all, does it?”  I ask as the thought occurs to me.

“No it doesn’t.”  He says watching me thoughtfully.

“I assume this was to see if I had any other secrets I was hiding from you?”  I ask unable to keep my mouth shut.  It is like months of training and fear have evaporated with the tea.

“Do you?”  He asks like he is only mildly interested.

“A few, but they are things only my lovers know.”  I say trying to direct my speech, just a push here and there.  I know I can’t lie directly, but I have to at least try not to reveal everything.

“Is that an offer?”  He asks looking amused.

“I don’t think we have the same sorts of sexual desires my Lord.”  I tell him looking to my knees.  “I don’t like pain nearly as much as you enjoy inflicting it.”

“What would be the best way to actually humiliate you Luna?”  He asks more seriously now.

“I don’t think that is within your power my Lord.  I’ve never been very shy about anything.  I’ve always shown people who I really am.”

“Well that leaves very little fun for me.”  He says sounding regretful.  “Maybe you are correct and I will have to take out my anger the old fashioned way.”  He adds as he draws his wand slowly.  “Have you ever been under the Cruciatus curse?”

“Not directly, my Lord, no.”  I tell him thinking about all the times I had seen it used.

“Have you ever cast it yourself?”  He asks lightly.

“No my Lord.”  I say frowning up at him.

“Well this will be a learning experience for you.”  He says taking me by the arm and pulling me out of the chair.

Daphne-

I’m standing outside the kitchens rolling a tiny clear bottle back and forth between my fingers as I wait for the elves to bring me what I need.  I’m paying more attention to the bottle in my hand than Draco who has been talking at me for at least fifteen minutes straight.  He doesn’t seem to have noticed I’m not listening.

When the wall opens and three elves come out balancing the tea tray I take it from them with a nod and let them return to their work before thrusting it into Draco’s hands.

“Daphne have you been listening to me in the least?”  He asks sounding more annoyed than he has in the week following our Lady’s kidnapping.

“No.”  I tell him as I pick up the teacup with the pink flowers.

Draco sighs shaking his head as I pour a small amount of the clear potion into the cup and swirl it around so it covers the porcelain without being too noticeable.

“Who is this for anyway?”  Draco asks looking down at the tray as I set the cup back in place and pocket the bottle.

“Our Lord didn’t tell me.”  I say taking the tray from him before heading down the hall toward the Chamber of Secrets.

“Are we going to talk now?”  Draco asks keeping pace at my side easily.

I sigh glancing over to the man I think I love and nod once.  “Okay you want to talk?  Here is what we need to talk about.  We are breaking up.  We are going to do it publicly and over something believable.  Even the Dark Lord should think we are on the outs.  I think it should probably be over our Lady…”  I start explaining as I try to be as blunt as I can.

“You don’t have to marry him Daphne.  I can protect you.”  He says a bit more thickly.  “I thought we decided you were not going to attach yourself to someone you couldn’t control?”  There was a tiny hint of pleading in his voice now.

I sigh looking at him with my own frown.  “Draco.  You’re just as vulnerable as I am right now.  We put all our backing in our Lady and until she comes back we need to make the smart move.  I’ll never be able to control Antonin, but when Ginny gets back we will be on a much more equal footing an…”

“Daphne, she isn’t coming back.”  Draco says moving into my way so he can make me look at him.

“It’s only been a week Draco.”  I roll my eyes.  “Our Lady wouldn’t just leave us here.  You should have seen her at the wedding.  She really didn’t want to go with them.”  I tell him moving around him so I could continue my chore.

“There’s been sightings Daphne.”  He presses urgently.

“Of Ginny?”  I stop wondering why he hadn’t told me about this before.

“No.”  He says pursing his lips and taking the tray from me without looking into my eyes.

“What are you talking about Draco?”  I ask as he now leads the way down to the chamber.  He doesn’t say anything else until we get to the Dark Lord’s office.

I knock on the door softly before taking the tray from him.  When the Dark Lord tells me to enter Draco opens the door and I try to stay as calm as possible as I walk over and set the tray on the desk.  I glance to his guest and try not to react as I see Blaise’s little wife in the chair across from the Dark Lord’s desk.

When I’m safely outside again I look to Draco.  “Blaise’s wife is in there.”  I say as we both see Blaise being led down into the main chamber by two masked Death Eaters.

“He told me.”  Draco says under his breath as he takes me by the arm to leads me to an adjacent hall.

“What is going on Draco?”  I ask pulling away from him once we are out of view.

“The Dark Lord uncovered something about Blaise’s wife while he was investigating our Lady’s kidnapping.  They are being questioned about it today, but we don’t think it is going to be a big deal.”

“He was the only one of us not vulnerable!”  I yell before looking around and quiet my voice.  “He was the only one of us that was safe.”  I remind him with a frown.  “We need to… Maybe we can…”  I shake my head and put my hands in my face.  “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“We didn’t want to worry you.”  Draco says before clearing his throat.

“Everything will be better if we can just get our Lady back.”  I tell him dropping my hands.

“She isn’t coming back Daphne.”  He says again in a pained tone.

“Why do you keep saying that?”  I ask frowning up at him.

“Potter has been sighted.  She’s with Potter now.”  He says shaking his head.

“No.”  I shake my own head.  “No, how is that even possible?”

“They brought him back somehow and our Lady helped them do it.”

We both watch each other in silence for a few minutes when we hear voices in the other room.

“Tell me Lord Zabini, have you ever cast the Cruciatus curse?” The Dark Lord asks in an easy tone.

Ginny-

I look into Harry’s green eyes for a long moment waiting for him to explain how his plan will help anything at all.  He looks back at me as if expecting me to tell him how brilliant he is.  Finally he squeezes my wrists with crushing force making me gasp and look away first.

He lightens his hold suddenly them looking down at the red handprints he left on my skin.

“I’m sorry.”  He says sounding a bit confused.

“I’m fine.”  I say putting my arms behind my back.

“I’ve hurt you again.”  He says in a low voice reaching out for me before changing his mind and stepping back.  This isn’t the first time in the last week that Harry has gone far enough to leave a mark.

“You’ve been through a lot.  You’re adjusting.”  I say quickly making excuses.  The truth is that I like when he goes too far.  I’ve been trained to enjoy pain, and that isn’t something that just goes away.  Sometimes I find myself wanting Harry to hurt me and I know it’s wrong.

“It’s just so hard to focus around you Ginny.”  He says at last.  “Every time I see you I remember what I did- what he did to you.  It makes me so angry and it’s all mixed up in my head.  Please understand that I need you to do this thing.  You can’t help anyone here but if we start publishing your words.  If we start showing the people who their ‘Lady Mercy’ really is.  Then maybe it will be safe for you again, and it will strike blows against the status quo.”

“You need distance from me?”  I ask as I realize what this is all about.  I take a step back from him trying not to show how hurt I feel.  The only thing in my life that even resembles happiness and I’m not good for him.

“Ginny, don’t say it like that.  We are going to keep in constant contact.  I’m going to visit you regularly.”  He explains moving towards me.  “I love you.  I’m just worried about what I turn into around you.”  He says taking my hands gently and showing me the red marks that would bruise if we didn’t do anything about them.  “This is not okay.  You are not okay.”  He pleads bringing my wrists up to his lips and kissing them softly.  “You need time to recover, to get away from him.”

“When am I leaving?”  I ask feeling a little numb because I know he’s right.  Maybe space would do us both some good.  How can I look into Harry’s face and not see Tom now?

“Tonight.  I need you to pack up whatever you might need.”  He says slipping arms around me and just holding me close.  After a few minutes of silence he suddenly pulls back.  “That reminds me.  Hermione saved some of your stuff from before.”  He said going to the wardrobe and pulling down a box.  “I think it’s time, you can handle it.”  He adds looking a bit sheepish.

“My stuff?  From the castle?”  I ask wondering what Hermione would have felt I needed.

“Don’t be mad.”  He adds glancing over his shoulder as he sets the box down on the bed.  “We were all just worried you migh…”  He starts but I know at least one thing that must be in that box.

“You lied!”  I yell as he drawls out my wand and holds it out of my reach.

“Ginny we all know you were planning on running back to him.  We felt it would be bad news to give you a wand until we were sure you wanted to stay.”  He explains in a cold tone.  “The question is; am I making a mistake about giving it back now?”

I glare at him and he glares right back.  I know he won’t give it to me if I seem like I would do something against them with it so I force myself to take a deep calming breath before I hold out my hand.

“I’m not going to try and run away.”  I tell him with false calmness.

He relaxes a bit and holds the wand out for me.  The moment I have the familiar weight in my hand once again I whip it around and cast the first hex I can think of.  I watch for a moment as Harry stumbles back in surprise from the bat boogies now flying from his nose before the world disappears in fire.

My very bones seem to melt as the all too familiar pain rocks my body.  A small part of me leaps with excitement as I recognize the pain that only Tom could inflict upon me.  He’s here, he’s come for me!  But before I run away with the primal instinct, words blast so loudly in my head I think my ears start to bleed.

“YOU DARE CURSE ME!”

Luna-

The first thing I see as he pulls me out into the main chamber is Blaise standing in the center of the room with a Death Eater on either side of him.  My mouth goes dry as I wonder what this horrible interview has been leading up to.

“You didn’t think I would forget about your other conspirator now did you?”  The Dark Lord asks as he tosses me into my husband’s arms.

“I was really hoping you would.”  I say still under the effects of the potion.

“Tell me Lord Zabini, have you ever cast the Cruciatus curse?”  He asks him and Blaise looks a bit alarmed between me and the Dark Lord.

“Yes my Lord, a few times.”  He says as he would dare not answer a direct question.

“Well then I’ll have you show your wife exactly how it is done.  Please demonstrate for us.”  He says motioning for Blaise to take out his wand.

“Whatever my Lord wishes, but who should I demonstrate on?”  He asks looking around the room for anything to cast the spell on.  He glances at the guards as if he is considering it.

“The woman in your arms of course.”  Voldemort says as the cruelty shines clearly in his eyes now.

“My Lord please?”  Blaise’s eyes snap to the other man’s.  “She is my wife; she could be carrying my heir.”

“Than you heir will pay for his parent’s mistakes.”  The Dark Lord says taking a step forward.  “Unless you would prefer that I let my loyal Death Eaters enjoying doing it themselves?  I am sure they could have hours of fun with her before she broke.”

My husband’s usually beautiful dark skin looks ashen as he looks between me and Voldemort.  “Do it.”  I tell him taking a step back.  “This is what I deserve.”  I tell him as I think of what happened to Ginny a few months before.  What I set in motion for her.

I’ve never seen his hand shake so much as he was casting the spell.  The word stutters on his lips and he looks at the Dark Lord with fear.  Swallowing hard Blaise looks at me again.  He closes his eyes as he tries to get himself under control.

“Crucio!”  He calls in a much firmer voice and I feel the fires of Hades fill my bones.

There is no describing the white pain that is the Cruciatus curse.  It is like every kind of pain all at once and there is no hope.  It is like you have always been in pain and there is no room to hope for it’s end, there is no room in your mind for anything but the agony you are feeling in that moment.

When the spell is lifted I am shaking on the floor.  My limbs still twitching as the memory of the pain still affects my nerves.

“Very well done Lord Zabini.  One more time to make sure she fully understands her mistake.”  He says coldly.

“C-crucio.”  Blaise cast the spell again and though the pain is great it is not like it was the first time.  I can think this time, not well, but well enough to know that it will end and there is hope.

When he lifts the spell I can hear the Dark Lord tsking over me.  “Now that wasn’t nearly as well done.”  He says sounding regretful.  “I guess I’ll have to finish it myself.”  He adds.

I don’t hear him cast but the effect is like nothing I could have imagined.  The pain is so complete and so perfect I understand how people can lose themselves in it.  I am nothing but agony, as it leaves no scrap left for humanity.  I am living pain and know nothing else.

“What was that?”  Lord Voldemort hisses and that moment of connection is now only shakes and aftermath of the pain that once was so complete.

“I-I don’t… I’m not exactly sure my Lord.”  Blaise sounds even more frightened than he had a few moments ago.

“Has it ever happened before?”  The Dark Lord asks with an accusing tone.

“Y-yes my Lord, twice since I’ve known her.”  My husband says as I start to really come back to the room.

I sit up slowly as my body still aches with the spells that were cast.  I feel the blackness of his colors close as Voldemort crouches down next to me and tucks his knuckle under my chin.  He forces me to look up into his eyes.

“You’re a true seer.”  He says and it is not a question.  “No other could ever speak when I cast that spell upon them.”

“I spoke?”  I ask surprised by this revelation.

He smiles in the cold and cunning way that isn’t really a smile.  It’s a predator eyeing its prey.

“Yes my dear.  You spoke.  Are there more than two prophecies I should know about?”  He asks looking at me and I know he is working his legilimency on me.

“I only know two.  There could have been a third but I was cut off.”  I tell him as my eyes try to find Blaise.

“Tell me child.  Where any of these prophecies about me?”  He asks very calmly.

“They could have been.”  I say not wishing to let on how much I know about his life.

“Tell me.”  He orders still looking at me, but now he lets me look away.

“The first one I had several months ago when Blaise and I first coupled.”  I tell him unashamed.  “The truth is now spoken as innocence is lost.  Red and Green war out of sight.  Before the Lion can step out of darkness.  Three signs will herald the battle.  She will invite the snake into her bed.  Reformed as a man the heir of snakes shall father a child who will never see the day of its birth.  Hidden courage shall form the face the Dark Lord fears.”

“Well that is most definitely about me.”  He states frowning before waving for me to continue.

“The Dark Moon shows the way for the hero to be saved.  What was stolen will be won by the Ancient Snake’s son.  With the first battle over, the war will go on.”  I tell him studying my hands closely as I wonder what the punishment is for prophesying about the Dark Lord.

“It seems to me much from both of these have come to pass.”  He says reaching out and brushing my hair out of my eyes.  “I assume these first two prophecies were not triggered by pain.  You’re husband seemed most surprised as you started to speak.”

“As I said the first was when Blaise and I first had sex.  The second happened as I was having sex with another.”  I explain which makes the Dark Lord chuckle.  “They both happened when I reached a certain amount of pleasure.”

“Ah.  Now it makes since.  It is the act of being able to completely block out everything but one simple feeling that can trigger them.  With sex that feeling is pleasure.  With the cruciatus it’s pain.  But those two are so much closer than most people think.”

“It doesn’t happen every time.”  I say hoping that this means he won’t try and curse me again.

“Unlike lesser scholars of divination I know the fates only speak when the message is worth telling.”  He explains finally standing straight once again. “Now I think I am willing to forgo the rest of your punishment.”  He says as if he is giving me a great gift.

“Thank you my Lord.”  Blaise says quickly kneeling down next to me.

“But what is next for us is the real question.  Can you be trusted to pass on any future prophecies to your Lord?  Or should I keep you here?”  He asks a new smirk lighting his face.  “There is also the matter of keeping an asset such as you safe.  I am in need of a new Mistress, especially while my wife is missing.  And if these words of the future come most often during sex.  It seems like it would make a good fit for your Lord.”

For once Blaise is too stunned to speak.  “That is quite an honor my Lord, but I do not feel comfortable being the Mistress to my best friend’s husband.  She loves you too much, it would hurt her greatly.”  I tell him looking to Blaise with worry.

“Perfect.  All the more reason.”  He says coldly now.

“Please my Lord?”  I beg looking up to him once again.  “I-I fear your bed.”  I tell him honestly.

“Many do.”  He says with an amused expression.  “There have only ever been a few women that were truly excited by the idea of my affection.  And the one you speak of needs to be punished.”

“But my Lord?”  Blaise stands up looking a bit panicked.  “She’s my wife, surely you wouldn’t...”

“I have cuckolded greater men than you boy.”  The Dark Lord chuckles with true dark pleasure.  

“And you are expecting support from my uncle in Venice.”  He says a bit more strongly as he gets to his feet.  “I am your loyal servant my Lord.”  He adds quickly lowering his gaze.  “Let me take my wife home and I will make an unbreakable vow to you that I will report any future prophecies to you as soon as I am able.”

The Dark Lord looks down between the two of us frowning slightly in thought.  “No.”  He says pulling his wand from its hiding place as he starts to circle the two of us.  “Luca Zabini will be giving his support in our push into Italy no matter what I do to your wife.”

“He…”  My husband starts, but goes silent with a cold look from Voldemort.

“You are a shrewd little boy.”  Voldemort says thoughtfully.  “You serve loyally, but you have not taken my mark.  Why is that exactly?”

“I’m not a fighter my Lord.”  Blaise answers with a bowed head.  “But I have served you loyally.”

“Except it seems when it comes to this woman at our feet.”  He says motioning to me.  “Could it be the notorious Blaise Zabini actually loves his wife?”  The Dark Lord says the word love as if it is the lowest weakness one can have.

“Yes my Lord.”  He holds his hand out to help me stand.  “I do love her, and I would do almost anything to protect her.”

“Would you take my mark and join my army?” Voldemort presses with an evil gleam spreading across his face.

“No.”  I say putting myself between the two of them.  I’m tired of being an observer in this conversation.  “My Lord my husband is not a fighter; please don’t force him into that role.”

“Luna, we all must serve our Lord in the best way we can.”  Blaise says standing slowly beside me.

“Yes, you must.”  The Dark Lord says smiling all the more widely.  “And for your wife, that means one thing.”

Blaise’s jaw clenches as he realizes the trap he just dropped us into.  “My uncle…”  He starts again making the Voldemort laugh.

“Is my loyal servant.”  He finishes sounding more than amused.  “But as I am a benevolent leader I will be gentle with your wife when I take her into my bed.”

Daphne-

Draco and I move so we can watch what is going on in the other room out of sight of those within it.  His arms tighten around me as we silently witness Blaise having to curse his own wife.  His whole body shakes as it takes everything he has to cast Cruciatus curse with enough focus to actually make her scream.

“Very well done Lord Zabini.  One more time to make sure she fully understands her mistake.”  The Dark Lord says in a detached way.

“C-crucio.”  Blaise tries to cast again, but we can all see he couldn’t get the same amount of focus as before.

The Lord Voldemort tskes shaking his head. “Now that wasn’t nearly as well done.”  He says sounding mockingly sad.  “I guess I’ll have to finish it myself.  CRUCIO!”

The girl on the floor screams, but this time one can tell she knows nothing but pain.  I turn my face in Draco’s chest.  I don’t want to see her body jerk and writhe on the floor.

Suddenly the screaming stops and I turn only my head to see what’s happened.

Luna starts to speak in a strange voice I’ve never heard before.  “When one love is at his weakest a hidden enemy will finally make his move.”

With wide eyes I look up at Draco and we move as one away from the scene.  Not wanting to be caught eavesdropping on this particular scene we rush into the first unlocked door we find.  When we light our wands we find ourselves in a supply closet.

“It happens with Cruciatus as well?”  I ask Draco who nods silently in thought.  “So he obviously knows; this is only going to get worse for all of us.”

“What do you think it meant?”  Draco asks a bit dazed.

“Is that really the important fact right at this moment?”  I ask punching him in the arm.  “The Dark Lord knows Blaise has been keeping things from him.  How long before he figures out we’re involved?”

“What do you want Daphne?  To make a run for it?”  He asks not unkindly.

“No.”  I say looking around for a moment.  “But we do need to discuss how we are going to publicly break it off.”  I remind him.

“There is no changing your mind is there?”  He asks sounding a little defeated.

“Maybe the Dark Lord is right.”  I say wetting my lips.  “Maybe love is a trap we’ve both fallen into.  I think it would be best if after we convince the world we are nothing we don’t see each other unless we have to.”

I watch as Draco stiffens at my words.

“So you mean you want this to be the last time we are ever alone together?”  He asks moving closer to me.  “You want this to be the last time I have a chance to touch you?”  He adds his hand brushing against my cheek.

“Yes.”  I say stiffly as I try not to fall into his lure.

He leans into me and I can feel his lips centimeters from mine. “There’s a staff meeting tomorrow about upgrading security in the castle.  We’ll do it there.”  He finally says coldly and moves away without actually kissing me goodbye.

I shake there alone in the closet for a moment unsure about this empty feeling I suddenly have inside of me.  I’m alone again, and maybe that is for the best.



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