Author's Notes: Thank you to my Beta Adele, who is a really cool person and was quick to beta this chapter. Thanks babe!
Warnings: Violence, Language, Supernatural themes, Necromancy, Non-con, Drug use, Angst, Cross-generation, Incest, Horror, Romance, Drama, Mystery.
Chapter Three – Recruit
They’ll find it in each other
She loves her, she loves him
Will she recover?
Something ends, to begin
This was how things were.
Pansy Parkinson would tell anyone who listened that she had been in love with Draco Malfoy since she was eleven. She had her own little ‘gang’ of three other Slytherin girls, and made sure that she was the ‘leader’ amongst them, especially when Sigma Avery would subtly challenge her power. She was young and happy and confident.
But things between friends always changed, especially when living with them most of each year. Time in boarding schools went a little faster than everywhere else.
She would never admit it, but she loved Sigma Avery and Artemis Moon very much. She did not love Millicent Bulstrode all that much though; she was like a neutral tag-along, Pansy thought.
Then it was forth year and Pansy’s dreams came true. Draco asked her out.
She started talking to Millicent a bit more because Millicent had somehow, without Pansy really noticing, become good friends with Crabbe and Goyle, and Crabbe and Goyle were Draco’s best friends. Before she knew it, she had been ignoring Sigma and Artemis for her boyfriend, but it never mattered at the time, because she was in love. She ignored the fact that Artemis was impossibly shy and only ever talked in front of Sigma and Pansy (their friendship was that strong), and after Pansy seemed to abandon her friends, Artemis got horribly depressed.
She had her Draco. It was all okay.
Things started shifting strangely in their fifth year. Draco knew things the others did not. Things about Sirius Black, about the Dark Lord, about Harry Potter, and he would not tell anyone anything. Pansy stuck close to his side but Crabbe and Goyle were not so loyal to him anymore. The two large boys moved on and stuck to Millicent instead, and Millicent left Pansy’s gang, while Draco became friends with the Wonder Duo Theodore Nott and Blaise Zabini.
Suddenly Sigma and Artemis did not want to be friends with Pansy anymore.
Just as suddenly, Zabini said something to Draco and Nott that made them hate him with a passion.
Pansy and Draco had lost most of their friends, but they had each other. They were in love, and it was okay. Pansy became friends with two Gryffindors and a Ravenclaw, and Draco was friends with Nott.
But then something crashed, and burned, and simmered in ugliness, choking Draco and making him ache. Blood splattered during the night and Pansy screamed for him.
Sometime during their sixth year, Lucius Malfoy was murdered.
Draco seemed to waver; his eyes were often blurred and distant, and he bled on bathroom tiles. He and Pansy no long made love. Instead, Draco fucked her. He was violent, and he found pleasure in pain, and good pain in his own pleasure.
Pansy would tell herself, it’s just the way things are, now Mr. Malfoy is dead. Draco needed time alone; do not ask where he has been. Do not ask him why he smells like girls’ perfume sometimes. Do not ask him why he grabs and hurts and hits and bites harshly. It will all go away soon, and you can live happily ever after.
And Sigma could be as mean and nasty as she liked. It never hurt Pansy. Never. No.
Now Draco was sitting on the cold boys’ toilet floor and Pansy was sitting there with him and trying to clean him up.
“He loved me,” Draco babbled. “He loved me and I never did enough… If I had done more, maybe he wouldn’t have left. Maybe he will come back, if I try…”
“Of course he loved you,” said Pansy soothingly as she tied a toilet paper square transfigured to rope around his inner elbow to stop the blood from flowing so freely. “He did all those nice things for you: bought the whole Quidditch team brooms, tried to get that horrible Halfblood fired…” She grabbed more toilet paper and attempted to soak up the mess. “No father would do all those things if he didn’t love his son.”
Draco was pale, cold and trembling. “Then why did he leave me?”
Pansy felt her eyes water. “He never left, Draco. Not really.” She stopped, exhausted and leaned her head against his. “You have to stop hurting yourself like this, Draco.” She held his hand, intertwining her fingers with his. “Please.”
He did not say anything. Moments later, Nott found them, and he and Pansy got Draco to bed.
Hours later, Hermione let out a loud, frustrated noise. “Where the Hell is Ginny?”
Some Gryffindors and Ravenclaws were sparring on the cold grounds of Hogwarts. Ron threw the signal and he and Terry stopped. “I don’t bloody know, Hermione,” Ron panted.
“Well I’m sick of looking for her. If she wants Potions tutoring she has to at least show up!”
Ron threw up his hands in defeat. “I know,” he said, “she’s just been sad lately.” Then he frowned, remembering something. “You know, she’s been hanging around Bill a lot, especially after,” he looked at her seriously, “after, you know, Charlie –“
“Yes,” said Hermione quickly. “Yes, of course. Just tell her, if you see her, that she can’t keep running away.”
Around the time that Hermione walked back into the Hogwarts castle, Pansy entered the Gryffindor Study Room.
“You’re late,” snapped Padma as Pansy approached the table exclusively reserved by Girls Aloud members. It was a private group, set up by the four members just for fun at first, but eventually Padma had made things a little too serious for Pansy’s liking. “That’s another point against you. If you’re not careful we might vote you out.”
“Oh, settle down,” murmured Pansy as she sat in the chair next to Lavender. Pansy and Parvati exchanged glances and they both suppressed the urge to roll their eyes.
“I’m President,” continued Padma, “and what I say goes.”
“Mmm. Let’s just get on with it, shall we?”
Padma, annoyed, shifted in her seat next to her twin, as Lavender spoke up. “As you know, my favourite portrait to talk to is Maurice the Amazing on the bottom floor. He always has the best gossip.”
“Alright, Lav, hurry it along.” Padma was only being bossy to make sure she still held her power within the four.
“Apparently Anthony Goldstein is shagging Seamus and Blaise Zabini!” Lavender and Pavarti giggled and grabbed each others hands across the table.
“Do they know?” asked Padma seriously.
“No,” said Pansy quietly. “Zabini wouldn’t allow something like that to go on.”
Padma broke out into a triumphant smirk. “Then that means we have some fabulous bribing material.”
Suddenly Lavender looked frightened. “Oh no! You can’t do that to Seamus!”
“Well, if Goldstein co-operates, we won’t have to.”
The rest of the meeting went much the same way, comparing research and notes, discussing conversations had with people, gathering gossip and finding use for it, speaking of latest fashions, interesting curses and moves for the Combat Tournament held every Friday night, hair styles, make-up, and how to manipulate these female expertise for gain. Afterwards, the four friends walked around the school and the grounds, checking out the best hiding places, spying places, and if they came across anyone, they would take them in with their eyes and talk in whispers about what they were wearing, how their hair was and past gossip affiliated with that person.
Their routine ended early, when Lavender complained of feeling sick.
Thursday had Potions first which even Hermione did not appreciate having first thing in the morning. She sat, as usual, between Harry and Ron, their large muscled arms and clumsy elbows always pushed into her sides, making her feel small and slight, but protected. In the world in which they lived, she suspected that was why they were always on either side of her: to protect her from those other boys who leered at girls and dragged them into empty darkness where they could be found hours later, plundered and abused but with no case against the wizards who rendered them tainted. She would even see Snape glancing down the open blouse of student, and Hermione would shudder, then Harry and Ron would push closer, and they would swear silently that they would never let each other go.
Some time during the lesson, Malfoy asked permission to leave because he had to do something urgent. Snape granted him leave, of course, and he hurried out. Hermione glanced at Parkinson, Malfoy’s girlfriend, who sat with Lavender and Parvati, but Parkinson did not seem to notice. Perhaps Malfoy often left class early and maybe Parkinson did not care. Gazing at the Slytherin now, Hermione mused that her hair was soft; strands were thick and healthy and dark blonde, cascading down and over her shoulder blades as she bent over her cauldron. Parvati said something, then, and when Parkinson turned to whisper something back, Hermione saw her profile; sharp and hard features, strong cheek bones and a slightly upturned nose. Parkinson said something again, whispering close to Parvati’s ear, and Hermione thought she saw Parkinson’s lips graze the other girl’s lobe, and Hermione clenched her teeth as she found herself not understanding whatever it was she was suddenly feeling. Hermione did not like not understanding things.
She looked away and did not look back for the rest of the lesson.
Hermione did notice, however, when Parkinson skipped the next class.
Ron yawned loudly as Hagrid stood in front of the class and talked of ice fairies and their strange disappearance during summertime and they breed in the winter season, their dancing often mistaken for small snow storms. The small filaments on their wings can be scraped and contained, added mainly in potions used for forced hallucinations, associated with the cold and snow, within the ice element. Hermione wrote class notes in her notebook furiously. High level frozen-fire spell when brewing potions within the ice element. There was a small commotion as the back of the assembled students where the Slytherins stood.
Hermione looked up to scowl at the small interference, even though Hagrid had not noticed. Malfoy had run across the grass to the class, his face flushed, hair mused and sweaty and his robes uncharacteristically disarranged.
Malfoy and sex; it was an everyday occurrence.
And Parkinson was nowhere to be seen.
He had just done things with her only a few minutes ago, so what?
Hermione fiddled with the pages of her notebook as she waited for the churning of raw disgust in her stomach to dissipate.
Ice fairies, Hermione. Adults are approximately seven centimeters tall, or a normal hand span –
- and each wing is the same length as their bodies, about an inch or two in width, precise formula: WS divided by 6.4 –
Hermione abruptly turned her face towards Harry’s just as Hagrid bent over a couple of large wooden crates. Sensing her movement, Harry inclined his head towards her lips.
“I’m going,” she whispered in his ear.
“What?” he exclaimed, but she was already walking up the grassy hill.
Pansy had been with Anthony Goldstein and Blaise Zabini when they saw Malfoy leave an empty classroom sweaty and flustered. The three were still frozen with mild shock, standing in the middle of the dark corridor, when five minutes later a small blonde girl came out of the same classroom with half her clothes bundled in her arms. She ran away and disappeared out of sight.
“Bugger,” said Zabini with a snicker as Pansy spat on the stone floor.
“The things you find out when you skip class,” agreed Anthony. Pansy narrowed her eyes at nothing. Anthony was her friend, and she never hung around Zabini without the Ravenclaw there, but Anthony could be such a goody-goody sometimes.
“Are you going to cry?” Zabini murmured, smirking. He was enjoying this way too much.
“Of course not,” she snapped, and she was surprised to find that she was not lying about it, either. “Let’s just go to the bloody Commons, already.”
They walked through the corridors lazily, and Pansy felt herself drift off a bit, thinking about nothing, looking at nothing, feeling nothing, and not even noticing when Anthony and Zabini started holding hands.
“Blood traitor,” said Zabini and the door to the Slytherin Common Room slid open.
They walked into the green, silver and dark-yet-warm room. All of a sudden, as one, they froze for the second time in the last half hour.
Granger lifted her chin defiantly as she sat on a soft, leather couch. For all her confidence, the way she clutched tightly to her book bag did not go unnoticed.
“Granger,” murmured Pansy bitingly, “nice to see you like to haunt places you’re not wanted. How very Gryffindor of you.” Pansy and Granger narrowed their eyes at each other. “Or did you just get lost on your way to the library?”
“We’ll just um…” mumbled Anthony with a swallow, and then Pansy realized he was nervous for some reason. “We’ll just go over here, shall we?” he croaked as he tugged on Zabini’s hand. They sat down on a couch near the fire.
Granger’s attention was on Anthony, and that annoyed Pansy. Then something occurred to her that made her all the more angry. “Draco isn’t here,” she snapped harshly.
Granger tensed and she turned to look at Pansy in horror. “What?” she gasped. “You – you think I’m here to –“ Her eyes widened when Pansy gave her a look. “That’s hideous! No, I’m – I’m here to see you!”
Pansy raised her eyebrows. Right… “What do you want, Book Worm?” This should be good.
The Gryffindor stood up and squared her shoulders again. “I saw you that night,” she said loudly.
Pansy glanced at Anthony and Zabini. They were staring. She sighed. “Would you like to talk somewhere else?” she said obviously enough for the two boys to hear so that maybe they would bugger off on their own.
There was a shifting of weight as Granger glanced around, suddenly awkward. “Um, where? Your room, maybe?”
Pansy laughed and flicked a golden strand of hair out of her face. She felt in control of Granger suddenly, and it was rather good. “You know, I rather not,” she drawled. “Don’t know what you’re like.”
“We’ll go for a walk around the grounds, shall we?”
“No,” said Granger. “There’s something you have that I want to see.”
Mirthfully, “Oh, really?”
“The book you were chanting from.”
Pansy’s smile snapped off.
“I’m not stupid,” continued Granger, suddenly angry. “Go get it, and then we can go for this walk.”
Pansy stared for a moment. Then she said quietly, “How did you –“
“I just do.”
“It might not have been me.”
There was triumph in Granger’s eyes. “It was. Now,” she murmured deliberately, almost seductively, “go get that book, and then we can go for a walk.”
Ten minutes later and the two girls were walking across the lawn together, not talking, and not looking at each other. The grass was bright, lush and soggy with recent rain. The wind was chilly as if a cold breath was trying to blow Pansy’s growing nervousness away. Care of Magical Creatures was only just ending, so they steered clear of the class and headed instead in the direction of the Quidditch pitch.
Pansy had gone and retrieved the book from under her bed, then charmed it to a small size so it fit nicely in her palm and pocket. When she had come back down to the Common Room, Hermione had been talking to Anthony and Zabini, though the conversation looked far from amicable. Pansy made a note to ask about that later.
She turned to the girl next to her, who was walking fast and purposefully, her chin stuck high in the air.
“I’m only going to do this if you do something for me.”
Granger looked unsurprised. “Oh?”
“It’s about Draco.”
The Gryffindor still would not look at her. “Isn’t it always?”
Blinking, Pansy was slightly thrown by her bitterness. Were you expecting anything different?
They were coming to a shadowed collection of trees behind the Hufflepuff changing rooms when Pansy said with some reluctance, “He’s cheating on me.”
This got Granger’s attention, and she whipped around to stare at Pansy in surprise. They stopped, and just looked at each other.
Granger got over her shock quickly, and then she squinted at Pansy, apparently trying to look for something in her expression. “And what do you want from me?” Granger asked, still with that strange look on her face.
Pansy shrugged, suddenly feeling a pang of sorrow, followed by defeat. “Find information, evidence, anything. Make plans, scheme, something that I can get back at him with.” They continued to look at each other; Granger had such a soft, light and kind face, and her hair looked healthy and curly, the kind of hair Pansy thought she could curl her fingers through and feel the thick strands in her fists. “I want the death to end too, you know.”
The girl with the beautiful hair must have felt pity then, because her expression softened and she reached out to touch Pansy, but thinking better of it dropped her hand and sighed.
“Alright,” she said quietly, “deal.”
They walked again and entered the small cluster of thick trees; Pansy taking delight in the cool shadows. They sat down next to each other on a large root, and Pansy took out the book and charmed it back to its original size. Immediately it was out of her hands, and she was stunned by Granger’s sudden grab for it.
The book was large, heavy, very old and nameless. It was yellowed, ripped and worn with age, and some of the text was hard to read due to fading. Pansy watched Granger flick through it, completely absorbed, as Pansy stretched her own legs out, pushing her robes away to rub them. There was peace in the small wood, afternoon sun shone through in beams, birds sang and the chatter of far away students could be heard.
“This is…” Granger looked up. “Um, it’s very extensive. Have you read all of it?”
“Yes,” Pansy snapped, but her heart was not really in it. “Several times, in fact.”
Granger’s lips parted in awe. “Several times? But it must have taken you a while. I mean – it should take a normal person –“
“No,” said Pansy, “I just borrowed it for some light reading at first, and I finished it in about three days, before reading it a few more times after I realized it could be really useful.”
Granger was still gaping, and she looked a bit dazzled. “Light reading…?” she murmured.
Pansy raised an eyebrow. She cleared her throat and abruptly changed the subject. “So what do you want with it, anyway?”
The other girl blinked out of her stare and pressed her lips together. “There’s that boy… the boy you killed…” She looked away. “He came to me.”
“What?” Now it was Pansy’s turn to stare, but it was far from awe. She shook slightly, as fear crept up on her slowly, and she gripped the rough root beneath them. “What do you mean? He can’t do that, he’s dead!”
“He might be a ghost,” said Granger, but the girl did not look very convinced by her own suggestion.
“Or the spell could have worked… though that’s pretty impossible.”
Suddenly Granger looked angry and fierce. “Then why did you do it?”
“Draco,” Pansy reassured, “Draco wants to… Though resurrection is impossible, you can still sort of… do it.”
Granger frowned. “What do you mean?”
Pansy ignored her question. “What did you do with the body?”
Now Granger looked frightened. “What?” she gasped.
Pansy stood up and over her. “The body. We couldn’t risk going back there, and you were last there, so did you do something with the body?”
“Well, no,” said Granger as she, too, stood and dusted herself off. “I was kind of in shock, to be perfectly honest.”
“Then he might be alive.”
Granger gripped Pansy’s arm suddenly, desperately. “What do we do?”
Pansy hesitated. She had not wanted to get any more involved than she was. “Um, I don’t know,” she mumbled honestly.
Then they were quiet, staring at each other again.
After a moment, Pansy said, a little shakily, “You have the book, it might help you.” And then suddenly could not stand looking in Granger’s large, sad brown eyes anymore, so she turned to leave before saying over her shoulder, “Meet me with the group tomorrow night; I’m going to need the book back from you.”
Hermione was determined to go through her classes without wandering concentration, and when they were over she was still thinking about Parkinson and her strange situation. Hermione could not imagine having a boyfriend who cheated and lied all the time. How could Parkinson stay with him?
She was gathering some work books in her room to take down to the Commons when something out the window caught her eye. When she did look, she gasped and the books fell to the floor.
Standing on the lawn down below, was the boy.
He seemed like a cut-out from a black and white movie against the dark green of the grass and distant trees; all different shades of shadow, and his distinctly large eyes were staring right at her, meaningfully.
There was no mistake – it was him.
Hermione jumped slightly when he moved. He turned, and walked away, and not like a ghost floating either – more stiffly and jerking, as if he did not know the correct use of his limbs.
Before she knew what she was doing, was running down the stairs, through the Common Room, through the portrait hole and down many corridors and stairs until she was outside, facing the place where he had just stood minutes ago. She was breathing in the cold air heavily, and she looked around frantically, until her eyes found something solid in the distance.
There was someone sitting, huddled, near the edge of the forest.
She built up some courage from inside and approached. When she was near enough to identify the person, she gave a small cry and ran towards him.
Kneeling down next to him, she put a comforting arm around Harry’s shoulders. She could not see his face. “Are you alright Harry? What are you doing out here in the cold?”
His tone was a strange monotone; nothing like Hermione had ever heard from him before. “Lavender… Beautiful Lavender.”
“…So warm and tight…”
Hermione suddenly felt very uncomfortable.
“…Small in my arms… Have you seen her Hermione? Tasted her?”
Hermione blushed and swallowed. “Um, Harry…”
“She’s gone,” he whispered. Then he turned to her very slowly, though his hair still covered his eyes, and Hermione felt fear and the cold of the almost-night seeping through her robes to touch her, violate her. “Sirius is gone, but, he came back to me.” He smiled slowly. “He’s back, Hermione, he’s back.” He turned away again and pointed in the direction of the woods.
There was small movement there, and after a few seconds, Hermione realized it was a large black dog, moving spasmodically towards them.
- TBC -
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