Chapter beta: the wonderful Dani
Chapter translator: Aivy & Sophie
Pity that he only had to use a Reparo. In the Muggle world he would have to buy new glasses; it would have served him right! Why did he always threw his glassware at me?
In an unconscious gesture I reached for my injured ear. Ow, it really hurt, though not as much as Lucius’ barbaric bite had. Why did Snape have to start things like that, too? … At least it wasn’t bleeding.
I was trapped between three snakes. It was a situation that made me want to tear every hair on my head out, but I wouldn’t be able to help it. Meanwhile, I had pulled my hood deep into my face. Just as well all of the professors, and even Filch, steered clear of the dungeons and left the supervision completely to Snape. Therefore I had more or less freedom to do whatever I wanted and didn’t have to worry until I reached the common room.
I checked that the hood was fitting well and entered, downright rushing in, curious how it would go down. I didn’t come here that often that I could afford to be totally unconcerned.
With a Snape worthy grandeur, I swept into the room. As it was only half past ten, I landed another fulminant performance. I had said it already, Draco was rubbing off on me. Dramaqueen. Didn’t Ginny say something of the likes earlier today?
I noticed that many looked bewildered upon my appearance, shying away fearfully. A quick glance through the room didn’t yield a glimpse of white-blonde, instead I spotted a dark-skinned beau raising swiftly from his seat at the fireplace and stepping up to me with his arms wide open. I could see and hear some of them object at Blaise’s reaction to me, asking themselves what it was about. Immediately, the whispering started.
“Does he know her, too, now?”
“Who is that girl? I’m dying of curiosity!”
“The way she acts…!”
“Horrible, as if she owed the House!”
“When will Draco have enough of her?”
These spiteful comments and more of the like wafted through the crowded room.
“Abraxina! It’s lovely to see you! I missed you!” The monumental charmer greeted me with sweet-talk. Blaise was very charming; when he wanted to, he could wrap every girl around his finger.
“Blaise, you flatterer!” I replied, letting him hug me, though I flinched back slightly when he applied too much pressure. All under the watchful eyes of the snakes, who couldn’t get their heads around the fact that Blaise knew me too and seemed to be close to me. It was a lot of fun to shock them so deeply and I smiled brightly, well hidden under the black cloth of my hood.
“What’s up, most beautiful? Are you in pain?” His face darkened under his worried gaze. “Draco told me about yesterday and… where you… where you have been until recently! Was he the one to… Did he hurt you?” I waved his suspicions aside. In reaction, he took my hand gingerly and pulled me towards the couch. “Pansy, get lost!” He chased her away just as kindly as Draco had done the other day.
“Please, sit down,” he requested, which I did carefully. Now that the training was over and the adrenaline was disappearing, my body began to rebel. I wasn’t really injured, but my muscles were aching nonetheless and I was bruised all over. “Do you want some whiskey?” he asked attentively and I nodded affirmatively.
“Blaise, as you mentioned yesterday: How did Draco knew where to go?” I enquired quietly but highly interested.
“A small, truly adorable, silver squirrel came here and whispered something to Draco. Afterwards, he left at a tearing pace!” Upon Blaise’s description I burst into honest laughter when I pictured how George overcame his inhibitions in his worry over me and sent his Patronus to Draco. Blaise was chuckling as well.
“Hi!” Nott found the heart to address me. He was a more reserved boy with an hare-like appearance and light-brown hair. I got a hold of myself so I could answer him.
“Hello, Nott!” I replied politely. “Thank you, Blaise, your just too precious.” A second later, a glass was handed to me. It was astounding that the Slytherin stocked up on booze by default; we didn’t have that in Gryffindor. I savoured the first sip. “I really appreciate that you are tending to me, but tell me, where is he?”
“No idea! He said you would come by and that he would be back by then. Where he’s gone to? I haven't got a clue! You know him better than anybody else; he is just too stubborn!” he declared with annoyance, shrugging his shoulders. I jumped out of my chair and started pacing resolutely in front of the fireplace despite all the pain, taking another gulp of the invigorating drink that burned so deliciously. Meanwhile, I wasn’t able to tune out the hum created by the snakes’ conversations. They were nervous because I was here and Draco wasn’t.
“Blaise, don’t talk about Draco like that!” I told him off and to my satisfaction he ducked his head. At the same time, the common room fell silent as nobody wanted to miss anything. I had just snubbed Draco’s representative in Slytherin and reprimanded him and everybody was dying to see his reaction.
“I’m sorry, but…” he started.
“You’re worried? For how long has he been gone?” I wanted to know the details.
“Since dinner…!” Blaise answered, slightly intimidated, looking at me apologetically with his big, dark eyes.
“What!?” I flew into a rage. That was hours ago! I could venture a guess where he had gone; it was the only explanation as he hadn’t been at Snape’s. The conclusion wasn’t at all to my liking, thus I shot my glass Snape-like into the fireplace where it shattered into thousands of shards, making some people jump and many students felt affronted by my fit according to their comments:
“Who does she think she is?”
“Draco isn’t here, she should better take care!”
“How dare she act out like that?”
“Did you hear how she spoke to Blaise?”
The whispers came clearly audible from all around the room.
“How dare you! You can’t make such a fuss here!” Only Parkison dared to screech loudly. Slowly, very slowly I turned around and faced her when Blaise immediately jumped in front of her, leveling a glare at her. He grabbed the raven-haired girl and shaked her roughly.
“Don’t listen to her. You can do whatever you want! Pansy, bugger off and shut your gob!” He hissed dangerously. I shrugged my shoulders and turned away in a show of indifference.
“Keep the little girl away from me, I’m in a lousy mood!” I spoke disdainfully about Parkison without dignifying her with so much as a glance. Thereupon, she crossed her arms in front of her chest aggressively in a huff, glaring at me venomously. I, once more, ignored her childish behaviour in favour of asking Blaise: “But now tell, do you have a guess where he might be?”
“No, of course not, he doesn’t tell me anything. I know, I…” Blaise broke off in the middle of his grumpy tirade.
In this moment, the blonde I was searching for stepped through the wall with a proud and autocratic bearing like a king gracing his subjects with his presence, and everybody looked at him. Some might have thought I was jealous and that had been why I had lost my composure and shattered the glass. From what I could gather from the whispering earlier, they thought I assumed he was with another girl here at Hogwarts. Guys, come off it! No way I would think that. Furthermore, I knew that he hadn’t been with a girl…
“Abraxina!” He beamed at me. “Did he release you so early from his clutches?”
“Why did you go to Lucius?” I hissed at him, enraged. His face froze into a mask. A lot of people gasped in surprise. It meant that Draco had left the school grounds and that I hadn’t been agitated because of a girl. But thanks to the secret passage I had shown him, coming and going as one pleases was really a piece of cake.
“I always knew that you were clever, my darling!” he praised in typical Malfoy fashion in a patronizing manner. Something must have happened for him to speak so blasé to me, and he, too, ignored everyone around us.
“Was it because of me?” I voiced my concerns.
“Among other topics. You are highly sought after!” he answered cooly and with little enthusiasm. Meanwhile, the snakes tried to make themselves invisible.
“Haha,” I laughed dryly.
“She’s injured,” Blaise announced helpfully. I turned to him and would have sent him a deathly glare if my face hadn’t been concealed. Telltale!
Immediately, Draco’s behaviour changed on the spot. He quickly closed the distance between us and gently clasped my upper arms.
“Was it very bad? Did he treat you too roughly?” Though he spoke his questions softly, he was still clearly audible in the large and very quiet room.
“Let’s go to your room!” I asked, wanting to leave the gawking masses behind me. Like Snape, I loved to merge with the shadows. A Malfoy, however, didn’t! They were different, they loved an audience, they needed the attention.
“Forget them. They won’t tell, they wouldn’t dare! … But please, tell me. What happened otherwise?” he pressed me for information.
Please, when doesn’t something ever happen? Name one single example where something went normal when it comes to me… But well, nothing bad. Although I’m aching all over… Sore muscles, bruises and a split lip. Otherwise I’m okay… He had to take some punches, too!” I couldn’t bite back to mention.
“That doesn’t sound too bad. But what happened for you to appear so cantankerous? I know you too well to let it pass!”
“Do Slytherins always have to bite? Is that a disease?” I snapped, wishing for another drink, and wrenched myself away from his hold.
“I’ve not bitten you yet!” he chuckled; he seemed to find it all hilarious once again.
“Draco, you already filled the cup to the brim today. Even though you might not have bitten me, you’ve done something much worse!” I hissed. He rolled his eyes when I alluded to his mark. The snakes surrounding us tried to catch and soak in every single detail of our conversation, whilst their eyes scurred hectically between the two of us.
“I know what you need and I promise you, afterwards, nothing that happened today will matter to you anymore…” That sounded very suggestive, but I didn’t think I would be down for sex today, if that was what he tried to insinuate.
“What, you have a Time Turner?” I remarked sweetly.
“No, only you had one. Don’t get all worked up, that’s what he probably wanted to achieve,” he dismissed my brilliant mood with a wave of his elegant hand.
“He threw another glass at me,” I now said with frustration.
“Now I can confirm that nobody accomplishes to let him loose it as much as you. What did you say to him this time?” Draco groaned sufferingly.
“I… nothing special. I repeatedly said it: everybody go mad around me! There is possibly nothing I can change about that in this life. But now tell me , why did you visit Lucius?” I could deflect just as well as he could and determinedly diverted attention from Snape and me.
“Oh, lots. He’s a pain in the neck, because of you… amongst others!” He looked snobbishly at his nails.
“Can we go to your room now? I’m in pain, I want my potions and to go to sleep,” I stated impatiently.
“Has she been in this great mood the whole time?” Draco asked Blaise in a whisper.
“No, only after she concluded that you were with your father.” Blaise twitched in discomfort.
“What are you all gawking at? Go to bed!” He yelled at his house mates just as enervated as I had done with the lions the other day. Just then, Blaise whispered nervously into Draco’s ear and the longer he talked, the more Draco’s eyes darkened.
“Pansy, STOP immediately! And look at me when I talk to you. What are you thinking to mess with Abraxina? Didn’t I say she can do everything? She stands far above you! Above you all!” He exuded a frosty calm that was so much more intimidating than any words that he could have shouted. Every snake had stopped and were watching Pansy’s personal quandary with interest while still keeping their distance. It was always overwhelming to see the houses intensive teamwork and solidarity, I thought smugly. Draco stood in front of her like a vengeful god, looking at her fiercely.
“I, Draco… I mean, it’s enough that you bring your whores here, we accept that you bring your little sluts from other houses! But she has to behave!” she defended herself petulantly. Tactical error, dear Parkinson, to call me a whore. And peng, he exploded:
“How dare you call a member of my family a whore!” Draco sounded very scary and dangerous. He looked as if he wanted nothing more than to wring Parkinson’s neck, a vein pulsing visibly on his temple. I had never before seen him so furious. Well, when family was concerned the guy did tend to lose his cool! And he had added me to his family very deliberately. Just as Snape, he managed to manifest his fury in a visible aura that would pulse around him, an impressive and very rare feat.
Parkinson outright ducked her head when the adamantine expression in his grey eyes hit her. She realised she had gone too far.
“Draco calm down, I don’t give a damn!” I claimed indifferently, observing the Slytherins remaining in their spots and watching their leader having a first class rage fit.
“Oh no, forget it! I want you to show her what happens when she doesn’t know and accepts her place! When she tries to mess with my family! But you also have to accept to whom you belong to and act like it!” He focused his anger on me as well. Oh, Lucius must have aggravated him, I thought resignedly.
“What do you demand?” I asked him, raising my eyebrow. But hey, a furious Snape was enough, I didn’t need Draco to get mad at me too.
“You’ve never performed the Cruciatus on a human, only animals, right?” His grin was downright diabolic and his facial expression made me unsure for a moment whether he was serious or not.
“You know that,” I answered with emphasized nonchalance, hoping to conceal my disapproval about the way this went down. Everybody looked at Draco with horror, even Blaise was staring at him, apparently surprised about my confession, and Parkinson gaped at us with disbelief on her anxious face.
“Draco, please, please… I haven’t done anything!” she wailed, throwing herself at Draco’s feet to my blatant bafflement, pleading and begging in a show of submission. “I didn’t mean it like that … Please, forgive me…” Wow, how pathetic was she? However, the fear showed freely in her whole demeanour.
“Do it, darling. It’s time for you to learn!” he ordered and kicked Parkinson contemptuously, which made her howl. He really asked me to do something very dark, very indecent and absolutely forbidden.
I swallowed. I hadn’t expected this demand. Of course, I had practiced the curse, but I had never planned to actually use it. After a glance around I realised with astonishment that nobody looked shocked about the order, only the offender, that was about to be prosecuted ,was deeply affected, apart from that the amount of emotions displayed was vanishingly low.
Think of me as crazy, but I knew that I had no choice, I had to do it! The Slytherins would never accept and approve of me otherwise and I had to earn their respect in order to be free from challenges and this was how they worked, the snakes. Weren’t they sweet and nice little beasties?
And on the other side, my cold-blooded side came to light again. I really wanted to know how this ministry-banned curse worked and how I would feel when I cast it; hence I pulled out my beautiful white wand playfully slowly, going along with Draco’s order without discussion.
The Slytherins, who had been about to leave, had stopped in shock when Pansy had been convicted and were watching the three of us as if we were from another planet, but without interfering, and I wondered if that had happened before ? But with house leaders like Bellatrix, Lucius and even the Lord, I could hardly imagine anything else.
“Draco… You can’t be serious?!” Blaise dared to interject, pointing at me flabbergasted. “An Unforgivable, from her… in school!” It seemed to affect him more that I would be the one to cast an Unforgivable in school, and less that somebody was going to do it at all. I found it very interesting and revealing .
“Blaise…” Draco growled warningly and the addressed young man reconsidered briskly whether he wanted to continue to argue for the convicted and hence fell silent. I looked down at Pansy who was still lying shivering in front of Draco. In fact, I couldn’t care less for her and would prefer to ignore her, but Draco was right.
I needed the prestige and respect and I wouldn’t gain it any other way here in the serpents’ nest. That’s why I overcame any reluctance and aversion I still harboured, aimed my wand and recalled all the anger I felt for Snape, Draco, Lucius and Ginny - ah, Dumbledore, too, came to mind - to help me. I focussed all those strong, negative feelings on my target, bathing in the surge of rage that bubbled up inside me, and shouted fervently:
“Crucio!” The beam burst mercilessly from the top of my wand and hit the girl who was already on the floor, making her cry out in agony. She convulsed, jerking up, only to collapse like a puppet and then suddenly she began to shriek, writhing in unbelievable pain in her torment.
She twisted her limbs on the hard stone floor of the dungeons and screamed her mind to the heavens. It was a bloodcurdling sight; it shocked me that I was causing her so much pain, the sight made me feel very insecure. Her arms and legs connected again and again with the solid, unyielding floor without control, it looked like her body was plagued with epileptic seizures. Her agony seemed abysmal. Her face was an ugly, contorted visage with drool dripping from her mouth! Blood joined it soon, she must have bitten her tongue.
Her cries resonated from the high ceilings of the dungeon, reverberating in our ears. Nothing else could be heard but Parkinson's distressed, frantical screams. Though the curse had only been active for a few seconds, the effects were substantial.
Did it bring me sadistic joy to see Pansy going through this torment before me? No, I had pulled my face into a shocked and disapproving grimace under my hood. I think, that’s why my spell wasn’t as strong and intense as it could be. However, the others, including Blaise, looked at me totally horrified, aghast that I would do it, that I could do it; although I was sure that I couldn’t compare to people that were experienced with this particular curse and I figured Pansy wasn’t the best test subject to determine the strength of my curse.
After no more than a minute I lifted the spell, effectively ending the torture.
“Why did you stop already?” Draco asked coldly, who had observed everything emotionlessly with his arms crossed and a distanced expression.
“Because it is enough. She didn’t do anything to me. Besides, this girl isn’t used to pain, just look at her!” I pointed at the picture of misery at out feet, whimpering, whining and crying heartbreakingly.
“Should I feel pity for her? Then she should have thought in advance with whom she was messing!” he hissed nastily with narrowed eyes, essentially without any sympathy.
“Pity? Rather not! But one has to know when to end!” I didn’t budge in my decision to end Parkinson’s torture.
“Never mind, if you insist! … Take care of that!” He pointed contemptuously at Pansy, as if she was trash, addressing nobody in particular. “Come,” he took my arm and led me to his room past the crowd of frightened Slytherins. I was somewhat besides myself. What would the Slytherins think if they knew who was hidden by that hood and had done the scandalous deed?
Wasn’t it great what I was able to learn? I guess soon I’d have broken all taboos. I had tortured a poor, defenseless girl; I believe I myself was in a slight state of shock as my head felt like it was filled with cotton wool.
What did I become after performing such deed? A monster! When had I become a person that always paid the price, without ifs and buts?
What did those men make out of me? Nothing good! Draco taught me to quash the last bit of humanity I had still left, to become an ice block like him. Earlier this year he had told me that he had practised torturing for years and now he let me partake in the lessons he had learnt.
I believe, I didn’t even want to know what happened with Lucius to make Draco so bad-tempered that he requested something like that of me. I had only given in so quickly and done what he wanted because I had known he would have been relentless in his demand and insisted that I would go through with it. He would have enforced his will, even if he had to get rough with me. Had I refused regardless, he would have used the torture curse on Pansy himself eventually and his spell probably couldn’t be compared to my own. From this point of view she had come off well, I tried to silence my conscience with little success.
My cooperation had to happen willingly; a refusal wouldn’t have got me the standing with the snakes that I had gained now. That way I tried to justify the advantages I had gotten through this renewed crossing of lines.
When Draco’s door shut behind us, I shed my cloak, absent-minded, went straight to his bed and sank down on top of it. This evening had held once again a lot of surprises and imponderabilities and now I was exhausted, not only physically but mentally as well. The training hadn’t been easy on me and the curse had required a lot of power, strength and no small amount of concentration.
“Was it very bad?” Draco’s concerned voice reached me. “Please forgive my harsh demeanour, but when Pansy utters such words in front of me, I can’t accept and tolerate that. You know that and are clever enough to be aware that you are only safe here when I’m not present as long as they know what you can do, what you are capable of and how far you are willing to go! That’s how we are, things like that happen here occasionally…” He explained himself with unfamiliar urgency, pacing agitatedly in front of his small fireplace.
“That was hardly the first Cruciatus inside these walls. And yes, before you ask, I as well have shown one Slytherin or the other that I rule them. Unfortunately, it is necessary from time to time… Although you were the first outsider who tortured a Slytherin with this curse, therefore the shocked expressions!” He chuckled now. “I think they will talk their heads off speculating who you may be. The rumour mill will work overtime!”
“Draco, I feel so evil. Poor Pansy…” I admitted tiredly. He stepped up to me, looking into my face, and caressed it gently. I gave him a crooked smile with my split lip. It hurt. “Do I look bad?”
“Who is actually good? Don’t worry about her, she is a nasty bitch. She would have treated you to the same kindness without a second thought. Never underestimate Pansy, she is a scheming, mean girl!” he reassured me while casting a spell and in the next second I was naked on his bed.
“Draco, what are you thinking? Drop it!” I wasn’t in the mood for amorous adventures in the least and wanted to cover myself, but he stopped me.
“You are thinking only the worst of me, aren’t you?” He examined my battered body that was a masterwork of different colours. When I looked down at it, it hurt even more. “Severus has done a good job.”
I watched Draco bending down to fetch a jar from his night stand. Then, he sat down on the mattress next to me. I looked up, finding a sad smile on his face.
“What’s that? It smells potent!” I said, sniffing in the direction of the open jar while I watched him take out a great portion of bright-green salve with his hands.
“I am going to rub your whole body with it and you will love me for doing so! The moment I saw the commercial for this product I ordered it for you. I’ve got it for a week now and can’t wait to use it!” He put his hands onto my swollen, hot and colorfully shimmering skin and spread the ointment with soft and rhythmic movements before he started massaging it into my skin. “It’s a healing salve that eliminates bruises, a brand new invention! And it works amazingly! Look!” He had rubbed it into my hands, upper arms and forearms and - lo and behold - the unsightly discolourations started to fade.
“Wow, that’s wonderful. Thanks for thinking of me!” I was genuinely delighted. That would help! He continued, applying the salve to my whole body. I could feel the pleasant and healing properties taking effect.
He spread the salve over his hand again and rubbed it carefully into my face. I was feeling the tingling sensation of healing, when he paused.
“What’s that?” he asked, touching my injured ear.
“What do you think it is?” I groaned exasperated when he rubbed the salve into the bite.
“He bit you there. Not nice!” He grinned at me. “However, with him it doesn’t mean… anything, besides making his bad mood visible,” he said reassuringly. “Now you can’t see a thing. That’s magic! Turn around!” I did sluggishly what he wanted before he continued to treat my sore muscles and irritated skin.
“What did your father want from you?” I mumbled into the pillow.
“Oh, he had some spare time as it is going well for the Lord. Fudge is playing into his hands with his ‘don’t see’ strategy. He had some questions, for example whether you would stay at Hogwarts over Easter…” He concentrated on kneading my thighs, making me moan in pleasure.
“Ohhh… that feels so good! Is that so? I believe I just got an idea how I might keep Lucius busy for a while!” Exactly; if he got too much free time, because people didn’t want to acknowledge the Dark Lord’s activities, I could cause a little disturbance in the population and I already knew how.
“Draco, I need your help. If you don’t bitch about it, assist me, and play nice, I’ll forgive you for fucking me during the Prefects meeting and forcing me to do that to Pansy earlier!” I made him an offer of conciliation, groaning again when his skilled fingers found a muscle which was particularly cramped.
“Well, firstly, That was only my finger and I think you were satisfied. It was your own fault, you let Potter and Weasel get much too close to you! And secondly, that with Pansy: Where did I force you? You did it immediately, without protest,” he tried to act the innocent.
“Firstly, my dear, that was no favour that you granted me, you wanted to annoy and humiliate me! Secondly, if I had refused to do it, you would have forced me to!”
“Oh well, why argue with you when you are right?” He slapped my ass cheekily. “Done.”
“Okay, what else do I have to do for you to like me again?” he asked, good-humoured. I turned around to be faced with a mischievous grin.
“Tomorrow, I have to go to Hogsmeade with Harry. I’ll only sit in the Three Broomsticks, nothing more, but I have to go!” I admitted reluctantly, watching his lips thinning the longer I spoke. But then he spelled himself naked as well and beckoned me to move closer.
“You know how dangerous that would be; you promised not to leave the castle! After tonight I can confirm that Father is serious about you!” He pulled me firmly against his side and I laid my head against his chest, extremely tired.
“Draco, I know that. Do you think I would ask if I wasn’t aware how dangerous it is?” I whispered quietly against his naked chest.
“Is it important?”
“Yes, if it succeeds it will keep Lucius out of my hair for a bit!”
“If it makes you happy… I’ll organise your safety and inform the Twins with the Galleon that I’ll await them in the secret passage after breakfast to arrange your surveillance!” He breathed a kiss on my brow.
“Good, do that! Thank you, Draco.” I craned my head so that he could kiss me properly and he was so gentle, very different from Snape’s painful kiss.
Slowly, he broke away and determinedly breathed another good-night kiss on my brow.
“Sleep well,” he said softly. I snuggled closer to him and, as tired as I was, I fell asleep quickly.