Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters, much as I may wish to. I am writing this simply for my own enjoyment, and as a response to the WIKTT Second Person Challenge. Character Death warning. This is my second response – my other one is listed on my author's page (no character death in that one!). Reviews are welcome and encouraged!
The Loyal Servant
You couldn't believe your eyes!
Your loyal Death Eaters have brought you a delectable prize. Stepping forward, you favor them with your gaze, pleased at their offering. You have waited long for this day, and victory has been achieved. To the victors, go the spoils, you think triumphantly, watching as your servants throw the figure to the ground where it lies, panting heavily before attempting to struggle to its feet. A boot on its shoulder presses the figure back to the ground. Where it belongs.
Harry Potter lies behind you on the ground, the hilt of that ridiculous sword now slipping from lax fingers. His chest still rises and falls, but it is uneven and you know that the last curse you had cast would do its work in a short time.
Oh, how you wish Potter was aware enough to realize what now lies before you – what prize is now in your grasp. The woman that he had thought safe, protected behind wards Potter himself had erected. Your Death Eaters must have discovered her hideaway, and then they brought her to you. Potter's little friend. His little Mudblood friend. Possibly – his lover? You laugh then, loud and cold. Even your loyal servants shrink from the sound, and you smile in disdainful amusement. They are weak; they are fools – all of them.
The one servant whose loyalty wavered, and then solidified – he stands behind you also, next to the now still form of the Boy-Who-Lived-No-More. He is cunning and brilliant, eminently valuable to your cause… but you knew – you knew all the while – that his loyalties were torn. Between you and that fool Dumbledore. You laugh again, looking at the crumpled figure of the fallen wizard – the man that some proclaimed to be your second greatest threat.
The first greatest threat now lay behind you, his limbs growing cold.
Both are now vanquished. Both grow cold upon the earth, eyes staring blankly in death. Your triumph is complete. You smile, and your witless servants smile back shakily.
You turn your head slightly to view the once-traitor who stands behind you, now as loyal as any that stand in your presence. The black robed man does not meet your gaze - he stares at the prize lying at your feet, his eyes glittering strangely. In hatred? In lust? You shake your head. It matters not.
The death of Dumbledore had sealed his choice. You knew that he had no other option than to give you his complete and utter allegiance. He had stood at the fork in the road for many long years, contemplating the two paths before him with a cool logic that even you had to admire. With the death of Dumbledore, the fork had disappeared and only one path stood before him.
You knew, you knew.
You knew how he had betrayed you. But never enough to give the upper hand to your enemies.
You knew how he had wavered in his loyalties. Sitting on the fence, waiting to see who would be triumphant before playing his hand.
You knew when he had made his decision. When the powerful Headmaster fell upon the earth, the echoes of your final curse still floating in the air – only one path remained.
As the Headmaster fell, you had sensed your faithless servant's arrival… to help or hinder you did not know. With bated breath, you had paused… long enough to see your servant's eyes take in the fallen form of his master. His other master. His dead master. And then he looked up, and you knew.
The decision was made. His fate was sealed.
He was your loyal servant once more. His life was bound to yours. You had no more concerns from that quarter, and you turned your complete attention to the man-child who then actually dared to attack you physically. Seconds after the fall of the once great wizard, the foolish boy screamed in rage and rushed at you with the sword of Gryffindor held high.
As if you would not have wards set about your person to fend off just such an attack. None other than a loyal Death Eater, one who bore your mark, the mark given by your own hand, could come close enough to touch you. You had seen the sword in the boy's hand, and you could sense the enchantments that lay on its long blade – you surmised that it had been charmed to sever you from the physical world for all of time.
If it could touch you.
You smiled coldly in anticipation as he pulled the sword back with all his might, and swung…
…and then fell to the ground, writhing in pain, still clutching the hilt of the sword which had channeled the power of the wards so efficiently into his young body. His screams tore through the air, sounding a beautiful melody in your ears.
The wards had fulfilled their task.
You step closer to the boy and look down at his hand. The sword of Godric Gryffindor. You snarled for a moment, remembering clearly the vision of this blade tearing through bone and sinew, killing your precious basilisk.
Upon closer inspection, you realize that your assumption was correct. The blade was charmed to sever your soul from this world. You would have floated forever, unable to communicate with anyone on this plane… you would have been dead, in truth. A bitter sentence indeed, to float in nothingness for all of eternity with no hope of ever returning to a corporeal existence.
You were impressed. It had been a valiant attempt, a truly inspired idea. You knew it would have worked, had you not ensured the fall of the old man first… you then realized why the aged wizard had fought so desperately to destroy your personal wards. The fool slip of a boy could have vanquished you easily, had he remembered the old man's plan. Instead, his untempered anger had led him to this. Shaking your head, you raised your wand lazily and cast your final curse.
And now you stand, your most loyal servant behind you, your other servants around you. And your newly presented prize before you.
Your prize looks up at you without fear. You step aside slightly so she can see the form of her friend – her love? – lying on the ground behind you. The sob that tears from her throat causes you great pleasure, and you lower your wards long enough to lean down and stroke her brown hair.
"There, there, girl. You will join him, soon enough." You straighten and look down at her. She continues to shake and sob, and you soon become infuriated with the noise. This is your triumph, your victory! You had even tried to comfort her – ungrateful Mudblood bitch! You raise your hand and bring it down hard on the side of her face. Your loyal servants laugh at her pained cry, laugh as the blood drips from her face.
The one that now stands behind you, close… close enough to touch. And in that instant, you realize your folly. A long cold blade is pressed to your back, and a black gloved hand has grabbed your wrist, keeping your wand arm immobile. There is no time, but you have to know.
"Why?" you snarl viciously, twisting your head painfully to look at your treacherous servant.
Cold black eyes – no, burning black eyes look into yours. "The girl."
"What is she to you?" You hiss.
"Everything." And then the cold steel bites through your back and chest, emerging from the front. The pain is all-encompassing. You stagger, and watch vaguely as what you thought was your most loyal servant throws a wand to the woman crouching on the ground before you, and then he steps away just as the words of the most Unforgivable of curses are uttered from the Mudblood's lips: Avada Kedavra.
A green flash, and you see no more. Your spirit struggles to remain, to cling to this physical world. You hear a battle and your spirit cries out as you sense others arrive, as you sense your loyal Death Eaters being defeated. Your control is slipping, your strength of will weakening. You can feel the enchantments from the blade working to sever your connection… your time on this plane is almost at an end. You hear voices, muted – a man's voice saying, Hermione, love! Are you hurt? A woman's voice replying, Oh, Severus! I was so scared for you! But… it worked! Didn't it? A pause, then the man's voice again, Yes… but at what price? At what price?
You do not hear the reply.
You are no more.
~ The End ~
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