Beyond the Veil -- COMPLETE

BY : LaBibliographe
Category: Harry Potter > Het - Male/Female > Lucius/Hermione
Dragon prints: 60584
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.

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Begun 1-31-08


My faithful promise to my readers -


This story will post in chapters, but it is completed already. You will NOT be left with half a story. So leave your worries at the door, come on in and enjoy this lengthy tale of Lucius and Hermione as they come to terms with their upended world and each other.

One IMPORTANT note: This story contains a mystery. If you want to enjoy the mystery, it is best if you do NOT read the reviews newer than the dates on each chapter. There may be spoilers in them.

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Chapter One

The Veil


A scream rent the air of the lower hall in the bowels of the Ministry. Lucius Malfoy wasn’t sure where it had come from but it was female. Why was anyone else here? The Ministry had been evacuated days ago. A second scream reverberated through the murky halls and Lucius found a direction. He silently eased along the side of the hall, the lower part of his cane tucked away in the special slit pocket in his overcoat, his wand ready in his hand, unwilling to use a ‘lumos’ which might give away his position to them.

He heard the baying then and his blood froze in his veins. If the female had encountered those monsters, then she was history. Lucius sped up, his stealthy approach no longer an option. Those vicious, genetically manipulated hellhounds could find his scent and track him before he had a chance to do much more than say his prayers. He continued in the direction of the screams, castigating himself for a fool, but unable to leave another of his kind to their mercies.

The baying was coming closer, but he judged he still had a few moments if he could just find the author of those screams. Lucius cautiously opened the door of the Department of Mysteries and silently crept down the hall to the main chamber, feeling horribly exposed in the cavernous walkway. He could hear her now, panting and telling someone or something to stay away from her. He sneered, Unlikely, my dear, he thought as his eyes became used to the gloom of the chamber. It was so very large it took him precious seconds to locate her.

She was standing on the raised center area of the chamber pointing her wand at two of the demented Muggle creatures who had laid waste to the magic community, killing as many as they could find, quickly dispatching each magical person as they discovered them. Men, women, children, babies – all were as nothing to these mindless minions of the “New Wave”, a witless, violent flood of Muggles who had been reprogrammed to hate and fear anything different from themselves. They had been aimed at the magic world and let loose before anyone knew a threat existed.

The wizarding world had crumbled quickly; they’d been caught off guard. The magic community hadn’t seen the slow, creeping build-up of the hordes until they had become a raging tide who acted like sheep to their master, a powerful unknown with the charisma of a megalomaniac Rasputin and the brain of an Einstein who had first brainwashed, then unleashed his pitifully deranged and horrifically refocused followers on an unsuspecting magical world. For some unknown reason the Master was rabidly against anyone magical and had brought his several innate talents to bear against them.

The magic world had thought it would always be safe from any and all dangers from Muggles with the safeguards it already had in place and had blithely gone about its business feeling protected, but the magic world was wrong. The Master of the “New Wave” had invented a handheld device that identified anyone with magic, simultaneously nullifying their magical abilities and disrupting their muscle control, leaving them at the mercy – of which there was none – of his programmed ‘sheep’. Each victim was then either summarily dispatched or left for the Master to torture for information.

The magic world had soon seen that they had no defense against the programmed Muggle ‘sheep’ who were basically mindless, except for one imperative – kill magic folk. The acknowledged genius megalomaniac controlled the minds of his Muggle ‘sheep’ utterly, turning them into killing machines against the only group unaffected by his mind-control - the magic people.

The rest of the Muggle world had no idea of the genocide being practiced as for the most part, the magic community wasn’t visible to them, and the first to be ‘recruited’ for mind control were the Muggle parents and spouses of the magic folk. This guaranteed that those Muggles who might have alerted the larger world were themselves swept into killing their own loved ones.

Lucius crept up quietly behind the two ‘sheep’ who were trying to get within range of the female to neutralize her as they so sanitarily put it. It just meant death, but perhaps their mastered minds couldn’t quite accept their actions if that bald word was used. Lucius didn’t know and didn’t care; it was way too late for semantics. Luckily for the cornered witch, the handheld device needed to be within twenty feet to work adequately and she was keeping them from climbing up to the dais and closing on her by snapping brief bursts of energy at their feet with her wand. Unfortunately, that was her only advantage besides keeping her back somewhat protected by the bulk of the Veil, which stood silent sentinel behind her.

It was obvious to Lucius that she didn’t have the ability to kill them – it just wasn’t in her. Lucius couldn’t understand such a pacifist mindset when the alternative was one’s own death. But why the hell didn’t she just apparate?

Fortunately the sheeps’ device was directional, so Lucius’ presence behind them wasn’t detected and he had no similar reticence about killing the two mindless Muggles. He aimed his wand at them as they fortuitously stood very closely together to peer down at the single device held by one of them. “Avada Kedavra!” The curse caught the two of them squarely in the backs and they dropped like stones to the floor, dead.

Lucius ran up the steep grade to the female who was shaking like a windblown leaf, hardly cognizant of his presence. She was staring down at the two motionless bodies in shock. Lucius knew she hadn’t had the nerve to kill them herself and now he had to deal with her suffering from the aftereffects of seeing humans die right in front of her. This just wasn’t his day – or week.

He was about to grab her and apparate her away to a darker, more protected place if he could find one against that damned device, when he stilled, hearing the rough, low growls from too close by. Sweat broke out on his forehead and he cursed. The hellhounds were near – too near. He looked up and saw four of the massive canines bound through the door he’d left open and sniff the air, catching his scent. Unholy howls erupted from their barrel chests as the three-headed horrors homed in on his trail and began advancing. The abnormally enhanced hunters, another of the twisted creations of the New Wave Master, crept forward, identifying their prey.

Lucius thought it ironic that the Master had co-opted one of the magic world’s own vicious creatures for use against them. The magic folk had found to their dismay that music now had no soporific effect on these mutations, leaving everyone vulnerable to the monsters. The only thing the Master had done for all the victims was make the hellhounds somewhat smaller, but that proved even worse, because now their size didn’t preclude them from entering human-sized dwellings. Terror struck the heart of anyone unlucky enough to go toe to toe with these three-headed mastiffs on steroids.

Lucius grabbed the female’s hand and immediately attempted to apparate. Nothing happened. He tried again and again nothing happened “Shite!” the blond wizard cursed. No wonder the witch hadn’t saved herself. Lucius glanced sorrowfully at his companion in the gloom of the gigantic chamber, while trying to keep all the hellhounds in sight, “I’m sorry, my dear, I tried to save you and I led those beasts straight to us.” Lucius looked around desperately, trying to find another exit but he knew this place very well. He was trapped with her.

The dark wizard enfolded the shivering little female in his arms as the dogs split up and circled their quarry at the bottom of the grade, adjusting so every avenue was cut off. Lucius looked behind him at their only choice – the ominous, whispering Veil, standing in the center of the dais, its tattered curtain waving slightly in a nonexistent breeze. The Veil of Death.

A slow, low-pitched, rumbling noise began reverberating through the room; it was so low that Hermione and Lucius felt more than heard it through the soles of their shoes. It distracted the dogs and made them hesitate for precious seconds as Lucius grasped the little witch more firmly in his arms.

“My dear, I’m afraid we’ve only two choices now - the dogs or the Veil behind us. Those hellhounds have poison fangs and their bite will give you hours of excruciating pain before you die. They’re trained to inject you with their poison and leave you to die. The Master likes magic folk to die horribly. I think it must be the Veil for us. Come along.”

Lucius began backing her toward the curtain, but the female had other ideas, “No! I don’t want to go there!” She struggled against Lucius’ hold, but he tightened his arms around her, hampered a bit by his wand, which he was still holding at the ready. “Nice doggies,” she crooned to the dark, vicious dogs that had now set up a low, continuous growling which came at them from all four sides.

Lucius could almost have laughed at the young woman’s pitiful attempt to cozen the brutes to mind her. The one eye he could see through her tangled mop of hair was so dilated it was almost black; Lucius decided she was probably in shock; whether from his Unforgivable frying those two Muggle sheep or from some other source, she was obviously not thinking too well right now, alternately sobbing and cozening the ferocious monsters closing in on them to ‘stay’.

The blond wizard made his decision and picked up the small, shivering witch, dragging her toward the Veil and was nearly knocked off his feet for his pains by her sudden lurch against his body as she tried to evade him. He resettled her over his shoulder and made for the Veil, the dogs only ten feet away now and closing fast. The rumbling beneath their feet grew stronger and the dogs hesitated for a vital couple of seconds more.

“I’m sorry for us both, but this death is easier than letting the dogs get us,” and with that Lucius plunged them through the tattered, gauzy firmament of the curtain, hearing the growls rushing at them just as he cleared the arch.

Silence.

Darkness.

Then a flowing feeling that gently tossed Lucius into an airy spiral where he didn’t know up from down, forward from backward.

Lucius had thought to die instantly so he was greatly surprised by his continuing to breathe quite comfortably and be awake and aware. There was nothing to be aware of, he couldn’t see or hear anything at all, but he was conscious, he knew that from the stranglehold his companion had on his neck; when he tried to readjust his feminine burden, she clutched at him so fiercely that he let her stay hung over his shoulder with her arm slowing cutting off his air, her wand heedlessly poking him in the side.

Brief flashes of light began, some close by, some at a distance, illuminating them for a second or two as they fell and then were gone. Faster and faster the flashes occurred until they coalesced into a bright, sparkling light that shimmered and moved, almost blinding them in its brilliance. And still they fell. Was it seconds, minutes, hours? Without warning the glittering light shut off and their freefall was over.

Lucius and his female strangler were pitched onto a grassy knoll. At least Lucius thought it was grass. It felt like grass and smelled like it. It seemed to be night and a thousand stars swung through the heavens above him, adorning the night sky with a celestial array of pinpoint lights along with a sliver of moon, which lit their surroundings to a ghostly imitation of daylight.

Lucius gently eased his fellow traveler to the grass and they sat there together, beyond words for the moment, still reacting to their close call and the acute misery of the past few weeks of horror they both had suffered. Were they safe or was it only a reprieve before more Muggle sheep found them? Where were they? Lucius hadn’t a clue and for the moment didn’t much care. There was no place safe to go anymore.

The central gathering places for the Magic communities had been targeted and great inroads of annihilation had happened before anyone knew the danger was there. Lucius wasn’t sure that it had started with their country, but he’d heard nothing from outside England about this scourge coming to them from outside their island. He had heard that the blight on the magic folk was slowly spreading to other countries.

As the terror had spread, Muggleborns had been slain by their own Muggle parents because no unmagic human was immune to the call of the Master’s silent device exhorting them to kill all wizards and witches. It was as though the Muggle populace had no will of its own; Muggle parents of Muggleborn or Halfblood children turned on their own magical family members without compunction; Muggle spouses killed magic mates.

Oddly, the only people in the magic world not so hounded were the Squibs. They neither responded to the programming device, nor were they detected by the mindless Muggle ‘sheep’ as magical. The thought was that they had so little magic, it didn’t register on the sheep’s devices, but was enough to keep their minds free of the programming. But other than the Squibs no one in the magic world had a chance against a threat that they couldn’t identify and couldn’t see or hear. The devastation was total.

The blond wizard absently patted his overcoat to make sure his cane was still there after his tumbling act. He replaced his wand in the top of the cane to keep the precious item safe in the protected special inner long pocket of his coat, then he crumpled abruptly, stretching out full length onto the grass, exhausted from his recent days of struggle and evasive activities against the sheep. Lucius merely looked up mutely at the witch, his mind fighting dispiritedly to tell him – what? Something about her was familiar, but he couldn’t place her and he was too tired right then to care. The dark was acting as both shelter and concealment for them, but it also kept him from seeing his new companion very well.

The little witch saw her rescuer’s apparent collapse and anxiously scooted up against his side to ask, “Are you okay?” She snuggled in under his arm, pulling it around her and putting her hand on his chest to make sure he was still breathing. His abrupt drop onto the grassy surface had frightened her out of her debilitating shock, which was easing in any case because her imminent, life-threatening danger had passed – she hoped. Now she was more frightened for her companion whom she clung to like a baby monkey to its mother. She didn’t want to be left alone in who-knew-where if he died. Did one of the hounds manage to bite him before he got them through the Veil? He didn’t appear to be in pain. She clutched her tall, blond lifesaver even more closely, unconsciously trying to imbue him with her own life force.

Lucius allowed her to share his warmth as he let his brain empty of everything for the moment. He knew he would somehow have to take up the reins of living again, but he put it off to just lie there semi-comatose in the dark, cool night of the knoll, wherever they were.


tbc...

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Reviews cheerfully accepted. The link is just below. Much appreciated!

LaBib

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