|The Hunter and the Dark Witch
Author: SerpentClara PM
After an exhausting day of Auror training, Harry dreams about his future career... and Bellatrix Lestrange. My attempt at a Harry/Bellatrix fic.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Harry P. & Bellatrix L. - Words: 4,027 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 8 - Published: 09-17-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3158724
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe and its components belong to their creator, J. K. Rowling. No money is made and no copyright or trademark infringement is meant with this work.
Summary: After an exhausting day of Auror training, Harry dreams about his future career ... and Bellatrix Lestrange.
Thank-you to ArieSemir and Melusinahp for their help with this fic.
The Hunter and the Dark Witch
Harry Potter changed into his pyjamas and collapsed on his bed, feeling exhausted. Ron was already snoring on the bed next to him, having fallen asleep the moment his head had touched the pillow.
Harry sighed, looking at the Chudley Cannons poster that covered the sloping ceiling of the room he shared with Ron at The Burrow. When was the last time he had played Quidditch? It felt like he hadn't touched a broom in months. Neither he nor Ron had the energy or the time to go flying for fun. He hoped his flying skills wouldn't suffer from the lack of practice …
Every day from Monday to Saturday, he and Ron arrived home tired to their bones, ever muscle in their bodies screaming for nothing more than a full night of sleep – something they rarely got. They had to research and write ridiculously long assignments every week in addition to practicing offensive spells – usually on each other – every day. Every morning at four o'clock, Harry woke to the sound of the alarm, when all he wanted was to stay in bed and catch up on sleep.
The essays they had to do as trainee Aurors were far more difficult than anything they had done at Hogwarts, even in Snape's class, and Hermione wasn't here to help them find relevant books in the library. During the first week, Harry and Ron had owled her almost daily with pleas for help. All they received in return was a howler berating them for their laziness and explaining that they needed to learn to work on their own.
Harry suspected Hermione didn't want to admit she was no less overloaded with work than they were. When they'd last seen her, she had looked as tired and anxious as during their third year at Hogwarts. Auror training was extremely demanding, but Harry didn't even want to imagine what the Unspeakables' curriculum was like.
Auror training was supposed to build their endurance and discipline. All it had accomplished so far was to make them so stressed they had to remind themselves every day why they had agreed to endure this. Ron had already started grumbling that he would quit one of these days. Harry had told Ron that while hedidn't really want to quit because this was his chance to train to fight Voldemort, he wondered whether he would still be alive by the end of the training. Maybe, he had joked, our instructors are Death Eaters in disguise sent by Voldemort to kill would-be Aurors with sheer exhaustion.
Tracking and Stealth was the nastiest class Harry had ever taken. Lessons consisted exclusively of taking notes, and, damn it, Professor Proudfoot talked so fast that Harry could barely scribble down half of what he said, much less mentally filter the things that might be in the exam from the anecdotes the teacher often lapsed into. Ron couldn't keep up at all, but he had stopped asking for Harry's notes because they were written in such a sloppy handwriting that he could scarcely decipher a word. When the time came to revise for tests, Harry had to stare at every page of his notebook for several minutes before he could understand what he had written down.
They learned the theory in class, and they were supposed to practice on their own afterwards. Spending two hours every afternoon pacing in Percy's old room, practicing making their footsteps silent, was draining. It wasn't their fault that the floor creaked so easily; how in the world were they supposed to learn to walk without making a sound?
Harry understood why Tonks had almost failed this class. He feared he and Ron would fail it. He was looking forward to Concealment and Disguise, though, where he would learn how to escape the identity of Harry Potter for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, they wouldn't have Concealment and Disguise until next year. In the meantime, Harry had to survive things like Tracking and Stealth, and however much he disliked it, he had decided to take his training seriously. It would be stupid to be thrown out now, when he had managed to maintain good marks in his other classes.
When the temptation to quit stalked him, Harry fought it by thinking about what he would be able to do when this was over. Never again would he be helpless in a duel against a Death Eater. Never again would he have to wonder whether he would be lucky enough to get away alive despite knowing twenty times fewer spells than the average Death Eater.
He would be the hunter of Dark wizards, not the hunted. He would finally be able to make sure scum like Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange were locked in Azkaban where they belonged. And next time he would meet Voldemort, his chance of survival would be much better. He had already survived four such encounters without an Auror's repertoire of spells, but he would no longer have to rely on luck.
Harry had been surprised that he and Ron had been accepted at all, even though they hadn't even had the chance to take their NEWTs due to Hogwarts closing after their sixth year. But the Ministry was so desperately in need of more law enforcement personnel that Minister Scrimgeour had personally intervened to remove the prerequisites for Auror training. Now, candidates only needed to pass the background check and the character and aptitude tests.
When Harry had come to the Auror office to hand in his application, they had been so glad to have a candidate who had survived four encounters with Voldemort that they had enrolled him instantly and had offered to do the same for any friend of his. So he'd told Ron, who had by then given up on this career path because his Hogwarts marks had been nowhere near high enough.
Mere months after starting training, Harry had received a letter from the current Head of the Auror Office guaranteeing him a job as soon as he finished his training, saying it would be a great honour for the Auror Office to have Harry Potter working for them. He and Ron had had a good laugh over that one, but when all was said and done, Harry had to admit no other career had ever interested him.
He really wanted to be an Auror. This job would give him the chance to continue doing what he had been doing since his first year, only as a trained and paid professional. Even if in a couple of years – if he survived that long – he might end up looking as disfigured as Mad-Eye Moody...
Though the eye is cool – it'd be terrific to see through walls, and I wouldn't need to wear these anymore, he thought as he removed his spectacles and closed his eyes. Not even Ron's snoring could keep him from succumbing to sleep instantly.
He dreamed that he was running through a forest following a Death Eater who eluded him between the branches. But unlike in the past when he had always been running from them, with the exception of when he had chased Bellatrix into the Atrium after she had killed Sirius, this time he was the one in pursuit.
The sun had set; night had not yet fallen but the moon was out, a slim crescent high up in the darkening sky. Its faint light filtered through the leaves. Harry ran, ducking his head as he slipped between trees, his robes brushing past the bark with a loud rustle. Once, he stumbled on a root protruding from the ground, and twice he almost got his foot stuck in a rabbit hole.
Harry's breathing was shallow and his robes clung to his sweaty back. His hand was damp with perspiration; he held his wand with desperate fingers as he had once held the Golden Snitch. He sent a Stunning Spell ahead, but however carefully it was aimed, it still connected with a tree trunk.
Wheezing, he tried a Trip Jinx instead. He waited for a few seconds during which he thought it had had no more effect than his previous attempt, and contemplated how he could incapacitate the Death Eater. To his surprise and relief, though, his spell made contact. The fleeing silhouette stumbled in its race, but quickly got back to its feet and set off through the trees again. He could imagine it cursing as he streaked through the trees in pursuit.
He followed the tail of the black cloak darting away.
He finally caught up with his quarry in a small clearing. Cornered, the Death Eater whirled around and released a shrill, harsh laugh that made Harry's stomach reel with recognition.
"Little baby Potter is all grown up! How has baby Potter been coping without his darling doggy Godfather?" Bellatrix Lestrange screeched before laughing raucously.
She was no taller than him now. Glaring into her face, Harry shouted, "Stupefy!"
She dodged; the red light impacted a tree, causing it to explode in splinters.
"Baby Potter is trying to become an Auror! Does baby Potter think he can catch the bad Dark witch?"
As soon as Harry opened his mouth to say another spell, she was moving, dancing around trees at a speed that he could barely follow with his eyes. The hem of her cloak was brushing the ground, and Harry hoped she would catch her feet in it.
He aimed his wand and sent nonverbal spells after her; sooner or later one would make contact and slow her down enough for him to cast an incapacitating spell. But the trees acted as unwitting shields, taking his jinxes for her.
Harry had to jump back as a heavy branch broke off above him and crashed to the ground. He was growing frustrated. "Did you know that I can do the Cruciatus Curse just fine now? I bet I can do it as well as your half-blooded Master!" he shouted after her, hoping to distract her.
It worked. She whirled around in fury, dark eyes flashing. "The Dark Lord is a hundred times the wizard you will ever be, Potter, and he will reunite you with my disgrace of a cousin when h—"
Her words turned into a scream when the last syllable of "Crucio!" left Harry's mouth.
Bellatrix fell on the hard earth, her cloak pooling around her as she writhed. Her mouth opened in an uninterrupted scream that was so shrill and agonised that it caused Harry's hair to stand on end.
He had concentrated his entire mind on the incantation while she had been shouting her defence of Voldemort – exactly what he had been hoping to achieve by taunting her. You need to mean them, Potter, she had told him about the Unforgivables, and Harry was sure could mean it, now. You need to really want to cause pain – to enjoy it –
How could Harry not enjoy causing her pain after the pain she had caused him? What he felt for her was a hatred more powerful than anything he had ever felt towards Malfoy, Umbridge, or even Snape. It was a hatred that reminded him of the emotion he had felt through his scar, hatred Voldemort felt often ... The hatred he knew in the dreams where he was Voldemort.
Carefully keeping the tip of his wand pointed at her body, he walked closer to Bellatrix. He stared at her as she rolled from side to side on the overgrown grass, arms and legs flailing, her cloak twisting around her. Her hood had fallen down, revealing long dark hair that, while not as silky as he had seen it at her trial, looked shinier and healthier than it had been at the Department of Mysteries. Her face was still hollow from a decade in Azkaban, and her eyes, even when in pain, retained a haunted, fanatical gleam.
Her robes had been pulled up, revealing long legs as they flailed around, the paleness of the skin standing out against black robes and the dark grass in a contrast so sharp it almost hurt Harry's eyes. He couldn't look away from her shaking body. He gawked, wide-eyed, at the moving curves of her breasts which were visible through her robes.
Harry didn't know how much time had passed before he finally raised his wand, lifting the curse. Bellatrix glared up at him, her eyes filled with loathing. His curse must have been quite strong, because there were streaks of tears on her cheeks. Her face was flushed, making her look less ghostly, giving her emaciated figure a semblance of health.
"So how was it, Bellatrix?" he asked harshly. The ease with which he pronounced her first name startled even him, though this wasn't the first time he'd spoken it. The memory of her always had him shaking with rage, and the mention of her name was enough to ruin his mood and banish all positive emotions from his mind. "Tell me, how was it? Did I mean it this time?"
Her thin mouth curled in a sneering smile. "You've had practice, haven't you, boy? I can see why Snape thinks you could have been a powerful Dark wizard."
"Snape?" Harry said sharply, his face twisting in hate, "You talked to Snape? You know where he is?"
"Wouldn't the wittle baby who thinks he's a big Auror want to know?" she panted. "We Death Eaters look out for each other, Potter, and I won't tell you even if I wouldn't terribly mind it if he was caught by your people. Oh no, I wouldn't mind," she said spitefully. "Perhaps, if he spent a few years in Azkaban, he would be able to understand the rest of us instead of lording it over us that he never got caught and is still the Dark Lord's most trusted servant."
"You sound like you aren't too fond of your Death Eater pal," Harry said sarcastically. "Jealous of him, aren't you? Voldemort favours him more than you. You wish you had killed Dumbledore." She opened her mouth to screech at him for daring to say Voldemort's name, but he forestalled it. "You were offended too, weren't you, when he put Malfoy in charge at the Department of Mysteries?"
"The Dark Lord made a mistake by not giving that mission to me!" Bellatrix said shrilly. "I would – I would have brought him the prophecy in no time! I would have pleased him beyond his expectations, if only he had trusted me! Instead, he trusted my fool of a brother-in-law who wouldn't even let us curse you. How did he think to get the prophecy? By talking you into handing it over?" She burst into harsh, mad laughter.
She didn't stop laughing for almost a minute, and Harry was considering shutting her up with a curse when she spoke again, in a voice harsher than ever.
"He's paying for it now. Cissy thinks it's unfair, but he failed our Lord!" she spat, her eyes bulging. She didn't seem to know who she was talking to anymore. "If the Dark Lord ever gives him the mercy of rescuing him – which he doesn't deserve at all – once he knows Azkaban from the inside, he'll have more respect for others who made the sacrifice of going to Azkaban instead of denying the Dark Lord."
Bellatrix stood up and smoothed her hair with one trembling hand, and Harry saw that she had a wand in the other. "A decent Cruciatus Curse is nothing on what the Dark Lord can do," she said hoarsely, pointing the wand at him, her face thoughtful as though she couldn't decide which curse to use on him. "You still have a long way to go before you can call yourself a powerful Dark wizard, boy."
"I don't need to be a Dark wizard to be powerful, Bellatrix. I bet that's something Voldemort never understood." Grinning somewhat guiltily, he aimed his wand at her again.
The hatred came at a moment's notice, almost on command. It was hatred that demanded that he act, that he do something drastic. He knew this emotion was beyond what his classmates felt, beyond even what he had felt in the Atrium after Bellatrix had killed Sirius. But she had been right that day – all he had needed was some practice. "Crucio!"
She collapsed back down and released another piercing scream that made Harry's ears hurt. He knew the spell would stay as long as he chose to hold it, and he watched fixedly while she trashed in agony. Her screams didn't stop, getting louder at first, then growing hoarse and interrupted by sobs.
Harry's eyes lingered with satisfaction on the tears streaming across her hollow cheeks. He turned his wand away, leaving her gasping on the ground as she struggled to unwind strands of her long hair from around her neck.
She clutched her bony hands to her chest and blinked her heavily lidded eyes at him. He could see the rise and fall of her breasts under her robes as she tried to catch her breath.
"Not just righteous anger now, is it?" said Harry. He, too, was breathing heavily. "Am I still a little boy who can't muster enough hate to cast your favourite spell?"
"Potter, you –" she gasped furiously, "You dare –! Twice! I'll – I'll have you – only my Master has the right – I'll show you –"
He stared at her thin lips as they moved. They were red from screaming, and Harry remembered how her mouth had looked when it had been wide open in a scream. He moved to look closer …
She fell silent, staring up at him from beneath long, black eyelashes, like prey hypnotised by a snake. I'm the snake, thought Harry. I can even speak like one.
He lowered his head so that it was level with hers as she struggled to get up on hands and knees. Her mouth was slightly open, and it glistened as it moved silently with her every breath. He was so close now that he could feel her ragged breathing on his face, and he tilted his head even lower, drawn in by these mad dark eyes –
"Harry? Harry, it's time to get up, mate."
He opened his eyes blearily, seeing instead of the dark forest a small, cluttered room plastered with orange posters. He had to stop himself from asking where Bellatrix had gone. The image of her face was still vivid in his mind.
"Harry, mate, you need to get up. We've got class in half an hour!"
What a weird dream, Harry thought, feeling the bedside table for his spectacles. He had been about to kiss Bellatrix Lestrange when Ron had woken him!
He looked over at Ron, who was placing his Chudley Cannons bedspread over his bed. Harry made to do the same with his quilt, in case Mrs Weasley decided to check the room, when his hand came in contact with a sticky substance on the still warm sheets. He froze, heat rising in his face.
Bloody hell, it had been – it had been one of those dreams. A wet dream!
He had had those at Hogwarts. Cho had been the most frequent subject of these dreams. He tended to have them often, almost every night starting after the Quidditch match against Ravenclaw in his fourth year, and when he looked at Cho, the images would rush back into his mind vividly enough to make him blush and stutter whenever he set eyes on her.
He still had the occasional one about Cho, but the scenarios had become darker. He no longer even liked her, and in his dreams, he punished her for embarrassing him at Madam Puddifoot's and for jeopardising the DA through her lousy choice of friends. In sixth year, he had also dreamt a few times about kissing Ginny, Dean's body lying hexed bloody in the background. Upon waking up, he had felt revolted by the violent images that his mind managed to conjure even when without the help of his connection with Voldemort. He had never told anyone about these dreams, not even Ron.
Harry glanced warily over at Ron, who was pulling his robes over his head. He snatched his wand from the bedside table and tried to make it appear as though he was checking something under his pillow. "Scourgify," he said as softly as he could. To his relief, the mess vanished from his bed, as did his horror at the possibility of Mrs Weasley finding … that on his bed next time she changed the sheets.
Cho and Ginny had been his girlfriends, and they were very pretty girls. But why was he having this sort of dream about Bellatrix?
Maybe he had a thing for witches with long, shiny black hair? Romilda Vane must have been an exception, because he had never found her attractive. Even though Ginny's red mane was like a flame that drew his eyes to it, he didn't find it as sensual-looking as Cho's or Parvati's dark tresses.
But Bellatrix? Before Azkaban, her beauty had been truly striking. No wonder people feared her so much: her beauty had matched the blackness of her heart. He thought every day about how much he wanted to see her captured. Every time he unfolded the Daily Prophet in the morning, he had to squash the hope of seeing her picture in the arrests section. It was normal that his training-weary mind warped these thoughts into something else in his dreams, wasn't it?
She was the Death Eater he had thought about when he had decided to sign up for Auror training, envisioning his future as a wizard who would find and imprison people like her. The anger she elicited in him was more intense than anything Snape had ever managed. After seeing what she had done to Neville's parents and after watching her kill Sirius and laugh as she taunted him about whether he had loved him … He had had a hard time keeping himself from murdering her at the Ministry.
"Bad dream?" Ron's voice broke into his thoughts.
Harry fidgeted. "Yeah," he said. He was sure that his face was bright red. "Yeah, a nightmare."
Ron looked worried. "Was it your scar again, mate?"
"No, not this time," Harry replied, hurrying into the shower. He got his shirt and trousers off and in record time he was standing under the magical spray nozzle, which he tapped with his wand, saying clearly, "Cold."
Harry closed his eyes, feeling the freezing water sliding down his skin. He saw those dark eyes again, their gleam of madness drowned out by pain... The way they had stayed fixed on him, with some strange emotion, as he had learned close to her … "Bellatrix," he spoke the name to himself, savouring the bitter taste it left in his mouth.
"Are you done, Harry?" Ron yelled from the other side of the door.
"I'll be out in a minute!" Harry shouted back, turning off the water and brushing himself quickly with the towel.
One thing was certain, he thought as he put on his training robes. The first thing I'll do as Auror will be ask to be put in charge of the hunt for Bellatrix Lestrange.