***NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR AS OF 2023***
I am aware that by nature of my published work and the media that entails, many curious readers who are unfamiliar with fanfiction or fandom may encounter this work. A strong note of caution:
The Auction was written for a niche, adult audience in a fandom whose members are well aware of dark and triggering material, and are able to protect their mental health accordingly by way of a comprehensive tagging system.
Please do not read this work if you are uncomfortable with themes of violence, human trafficking, slavery, misogyny, sexual assault, homophobia, and bigotry within the context of a cruel and dystopian authoritarian government. This fiction takes these subjects seriously, and you will find historic references throughout—but ultimately, The Auction at its heart is a love story and coming of age story told through the eyes of a teenager whose worldview is slowly shattered before it can be pieced back together.
Please do not continue if at any point the subject matter makes you uncomfortable.
THE AUCTION is a dark, Voldemort Wins AU, with moments of non-con and violence. I will do my best to include content warnings for chapters that have specific concerns. This is the third story in the Rights and Wrongs series. While I think The Auction can be read independently, I would not recommend it.
This is my first multichapter story with Betas! Though they are more like Alphas to this lonely little omega. :) Huge thanks to SaintDionysus and raven_maiden. Much love to NikitaJobson who made the art for this fic months ago out of the kindness of her talented heart. Follow her on Tumblr.
And lastly, thank you to those who have been following me for years now, begging for an Auction fic. It's because of you that this exists.
(Excerpts taken from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)
Harry Potter is dead. He was killed as he ran away, trying to save himself while you lay down your lives for him. We bring you his body as proof that your hero is gone.
The battle is won. You have lost half of your fighters. My Death Eaters outnumber you, and the Boy Who Lived is finished. There must be no more war. Anyone who continues to resist, man, woman or child, will be slaughtered, as will every member of their family. Come out of the castle now, kneel before me, and you shall be spared. Your parents and children, your brothers and sisters will live and be forgiven, and you will join me in the new world we shall build together.
Hermione fell to her knees.
Harry Potter is dead.
She was cold. There was blood on her face, stiffening her skin. She didn't remember if it was hers. There was dirt beneath her nails and bile in her throat.
She heard Ron speaking to her, some nonsense. Something about continuing to fight.
If Harry was dead…
She'd had nightmares about this moment for the past seven years. About what she would have to do next. She'd run through the chain of command. First McGonagall. When McGonagall fell, then Kingsley. Then Remus. But behind them all, she and Ron would need to be the new faces of the revolution.
Your hero is gone.
She staggered to her feet. Ron helped her up.
She shouldn't have kissed him. She shouldn't have pretended there was normalcy in her life. The world was ending.
McGonagall screamed. Hermione turned toward the entrance to the castle, and saw Hagrid carrying a body.
He looked so small, his hair still sticking out in all directions.
She felt a yell from her own lips as Ginny ran forward, screaming his name.
She watched Ginny's face, wondering at the feeling of seeing your love lying dead before you. And her eyes turned to the faces of the approaching Death Eaters, searching…
A blond head moved quickly amongst them. Hermione's heart pounded, following the figure. The blond slid through the ranks, until finally breaking away and heading to a side entry. It was Narcissa Malfoy. Hermione looked around and found all eyes on Hagrid laying Harry's body down at Voldemort's feet.
No one saw the willowy woman dart away through the castle. No one but Hermione.
She turned. Ron held onto Ginny, tears streaming down his face. McGonagall stood tall, wand at the ready. The remaining Weasleys were behind her. Kingsley's eyes roved over the Death Eaters, counting, it seemed.
If Narcissa Malfoy was planning something, she needed to be followed. Hermione couldn't let her get away.
Voldemort was still gloating, preaching to his gathered crowd. She slipped to her left behind several students, creeping toward the stone wall. One last look at Harry's body. She looked to Ron and Ginny, preparing to fight.
Just as she was about to make a break for it down the hall, Neville ran forward. Voldemort stunned him backward with a bang.
All attention on Neville, and Hermione made her escape.
She tucked herself back into the crowd, tracking the silky blonde hair as it swayed through the Death Eaters to the side door. Hermione watched the door close behind Narcissa.
Screaming from behind her. She hated that she could identify the sound of Neville's crying. Her own memories wrapping around the familiar rhythm of Bellatrix's cackle.
Hermione slipped into the empty Entrance Hall, and looked into the void of white sheets in the Great Hall. Madame Pomfrey looked up at her, the only living soul amongst the bodies.
"What's happening out there, Granger?" Her voice shook.
"Harry is dead." She heard her voice leave her lips.
"I believe we are about to fight," she continued. She watched as the mediwitch's lips shivered.
Hermione blinked. And turned around, walking in the direction Narcissa Malfoy had slipped inside.
It must be shock. She let her mind turn this over—Harry was dead, and she was chasing Narcissa Malfoy around the empty castle.
Hermione turned down an empty corridor, rubble pushed into the corners. She'd never seen the castle this ghostly.
Voices down a side hall. Hermione pressed herself against the wall, cold stones against her back, and peeked around the corner.
Two blond heads.
She snapped back, her skull hitting the wall behind her in her haste to hide. She pulled her eyes tight and listened through the pounding in her head.
"...time to go. We'll meet your father... to France with ..." Narcissa's quick whispering floated short phrases to her.
"I'm not leaving." Draco's voice was strong.
A soft warmth intruded Hermione's panic as she realized that Narcissa Malfoy had no master plan. She was simply risking her life to look for her son.
"Where are you going?"
"You didn't see her in the courtyard?"
"I was looking for you." Heavy footfalls. "Did you hear me?" Narcissa asked. "Potter is dead."
"Yes, I heard you." Draco's voice was closer. He was coming her way. Hermione darted back the way she came, finding a small broom closet to duck into.
She couldn't hear much more of what the Malfoys said over the sound of her heartbeat. Draco's quick legs carried him past her door, Narcissa right on his heels. Hermione peeked out of the closet, watching him walk away.
Things were about to get exponentially more difficult. She would have to return to the Entrance Hall now. She would have to take stock of who had survived while she'd run after the Malfoys, pretending it was for the cause. She would have to comfort Ginny and Ron, and attempt to let them comfort her – that is, if she could find them.
What if she'd missed it? Missed it all. What if she returned to the Entrance Hall and the bodies of her friends lay there, waiting for her to join them.
Maybe she didn't return. She could meet up with the students who had been forced from the school before all of this began. Try to get as much information as possible, and if they were all that was left, she would have to organize them. And if, miraculously, some of her friends survived what was happening, they'd meet somewhere in the middle.
She stared down the hallway Draco Malfoy had disappeared, heading back toward the courtyard probably, looking for whoever had made him disobey not only his mother, but also his Dark Lord. She pressed her lips together.
He'd spared her at Malfoy Manor, spared all three of them. Of course he'd recognized them. Just as she could pick him out of a crowd of hundreds, she knew he could do the same. She had her hair and her "snotty" posture.
She knew the length of his strides. How stunned she'd been in fifth year when he had grown, almost as tall as Snape. It was like memorizing him again.
She knew the shade of his blond, of course. A beacon in darkness, but after seeing him with his parents, at the Quidditch World Cup and a handful of other times, she could choose his colors from between the three of them. He'd gotten the exact shade of blond from Narcissa, but the quality of Lucius's.
The quirk of his eyebrow, just before he delivered a fatal, witty blow was written across her veins. The slant of his lips before he smirked haunted a dark corner of her mind. The lifeless quality in his eyes, only recently developed, was sketched into her subconscious. Like he didn't have a soul. At least not one she was allowed to see.
And then only a handful of smiles. True smiles. Opening packages from his mother at the breakfast table. A truly divine Quidditch play. Something Blaise Zabini whispered into his ear during Potions class. She felt like it had been years since she'd seen one of those.
For her own sake, she hoped that he and his family would run to France. If she found his boxy shoulders beneath Death Eater robes, casting curses against her and her army, she wasn't sure if she would be able to—
And her final thought, before crumpling to the familiar stones of her old school, was that she should have known caring for him would end here. Distracted, disarmed, and destroyed.
A/N: Updates on Sundays.
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