Summary: "I am a Hufflepuff. I am hardworking. I am loyal. I am also awaiting trial for the murder of eight Aurors, five students and one Albus Dumbledore."

Twisted Loyalty

I am a Hufflepuff. I am hardworking. I am loyal. I am also awaiting trial for the murder of eight Aurors, five students and one Albus Dumbledore.

From my holding cell, I can see the accusing glares from the Aurors. They hate me. After all, I did kill their compatriots. Yet they cannot stop their curiosity. I am a novelty to them. A Hufflepuff who turned. As if a quarter of British witches and wizards somehow had an innate capacity for only goodness.

Every day a group of new people come and ask questions. Sometimes they feign kindness and understanding, but mostly they stop just short of physical torture. Mostly. There are scars on my body. None too visible scars, but they are still there.

They expect me to be pleased and happy that I haven't merely been thrown into Azkaban. I am supposed to feel grateful that I am getting the privilege of a trial. Some privilege it's going to be with the saviour of the wizarding world presiding. It's because of him that human guards guard me. Harry Potter. The Boy Who Lived. The Bright Shining Light of the Wizarding World who most unfortunately is terrified of Dementors. It was he who removed them from Ministry holding cells and forced them to remain at Azkaban.

But Dementors wouldn't stare like these human guards do. They would merely leave me to my memories. Leave me in relative peace.

All those questions. They haunt me more than a Dementor's coldness ever would.

Why did you turn?

Do they really want to know? Or are they merely wondering at the novelty of a Hufflepuff in Azkaban.

It is obvious to me now that my trial will be nothing. A show put on for the unsuspecting public. For the squeamish of the wizarding world who can still remember the strong cruelty of Crouch Senior. After all, with Harry Potter supervising, what could go wrong? Merely a fair trial for a Hufflepuff.

Ironic, isn't it?

When did it all begin?

Do they want me to put a date on it? The precise day, hour and second?

What should I say? The date I was born? The date I began Hogwarts? The date I received the note? The date I joined the Death Eaters? Or merely the date I killed.

The first date is easy. I was born on the 15th of March 1981. But I do not think it began there.

After all, my parents were kindly folk to the eyes of the wizarding public. A Gryffindor and a Ravenclaw.

Funny, isn't it? That I could come from a hybrid Gryffindor-Ravenclaw family. Has been for several hundred years.

Until me. The sole Hufflepuff among the brave and smart.

They were so disappointed.

Mother had been coaching me from birth to be in her house. Read, she used to urge, read and the world will be yours! Well, I tried. I really did! I was always an obedient child and I read everything mother put in my hands. But it obviously wasn't enough.

Father was angry that I was a girl. He didn't think that I could be a Gryffindor. Too shy, he used to say, too quiet. Yet, I tried to please him also. I went out hunting for game. I tried the curses from the books that mother gave me on the house elves. But that obviously wasn't enough either.

The second date is also easy. After all, that was the day Harry Potter came to Hogwarts.

Never mind that about a hundred of us other first years were also there because the saviour of the wizarding world was finally among us!

I remember my first glimpse of that famous face at the station. Funny how the mind works. I must have seen him hundreds of times since, but my mind still flicks back to that first instance. Those famous green eyes. Terrified. Then somebody moved in front of me.

I didn't see him again on the train, but then I didn't really care. I can still recall the excited chatter. Harry Potter is on this train! Did you see him? Did you talk to him? Wow! A real hero! I was just as excited as the rest of them. We even forgot the customary chatter about our families and the upcoming sorting. After all, a hero was in our midst.

At the sorting, I saw him again. This time, properly. Tottering towards the stool, hands shaking. I remember the tension in the hall as he put the hat on. Everybody hoped that he would be in their house. When the hat finally yelled Gryffindor, it was almost a relief. The house of his parents. Typical.

It was about then that I began to be scared. What house would I be in? My mother was a Ravenclaw, my father a Gryffindor. I didn't want to disappoint either.

The words the hat told me still echo in my head. Or perhaps that's just the sound of my heart in this bare cell.

"I remember your mother, a fine Ravenclaw. And, ah! your father was a brave Gryffindor. I see: you do not wish to disappoint either. I'm afraid, however, that neither Gryffindor nor Ravenclaw is suitable for you. As for Slytherin, they couldn't accept you, though you are pure of blood. You are very hardworking though, and have commendable loyalty. It will have to be HUFFLEPUFF!"

I have to admit my heart sank at those words. I had heard about Hufflepuffs and indeed my mother herself had described them as a 'house of duffers'. But there was nothing to do, so I removed the hat and went to sit with my new house.

The first letter from my parents was not as bad as I had envisaged. It was actually quite kindly, though full of the condescension one uses to a very young or very stupid child.

Perhaps it all began there? My terrible, unforeseen descent into darkness. I'm not sure, but I do know that it was at that moment I began to build up my defences. My fortress, I used to call it. It was then I put up the first brick. The first of many.

Soon I realised that Hogwarts shared the views of my parents. Even my own housemates could be seen to belittle themselves, both in and out of the view of others. I was a rarity. A Hufflepuff with house pride. A Hufflepuff who refused to be beaten.

Of course, it was quite useless. One person cannot win the house cup and I soon gave up trying.

At that time, I was quite alone. But I really didn't care, for mother had cultivated in me a true love for books and I devoured the library. The only other person in the entire school who read as avidly as I was Hermione Granger. A Gryffindor. In the first few months, I met her several times in the library. Perhaps we might have become friends had it not been for that troll incident. After that, she seemed stuck to Harry Potter and Ron Weasley.

Still, I didn't really mind, though, in hindsight, it was probably then the first layer of my fortress was finished. Square slabs of concrete. Thick. Protective.

My first year was ultimately uneventful. Of course, rumours abounded of the doings of the 'Trio' of Gryffindors but their doings were none of my business. Or so I thought in those days.

I can remember being curiously glad as I walked into the green and silver covered Great Hall at the end of my first year. Somehow I had gotten it in my head that if Hufflepuff couldn't win the House Cup, then neither of my parents' houses deserved it either. Unfortunately, that wish was to go unfulfilled. With almost as much disgust as the Slytherins, I watched Dumbledore replace the green and silver with red and gold.

The glee of the Gryffindors was expected, but what I didn't anticipate was the happiness of both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. It was as if the House Cup was merely a competition between two houses - one of which was hated unequivocally.

I probably would have lost any respect I had for my own housemates had I not heard a boy next to me, also a first year, whisper something to his friend: "Why do they deserve points for foolhardiness?"

A smile had curled my lips at these words but when I turned to look at the speaker, he gestured for me to be silent. I was curious, and planned to ask him about it on the train. As it transpired, I didn't need to wait that long. As soon as the feast was over, he came over to me and practically dragged me out of the Great Hall.

"What was that for?" I was infuriated.

I still remember the almost amused look in his eyes as he regarded me coolly. "You'll do."

"Do for what?"

"Do you know why we clapped?"


"Use your brain! We aren't as stupid as the other houses think!" The rage that was emendating from him was palpable. "Look at what happens to the Slytherins when they cross the Gryffindors. We don't need Gryffindor House as our enemy. There is a power in our invisibility. You can use it."

I still recall my confusion, yet those words would echo in my head for years to come. There is a power in our invisibility. I became more than that Macmillan ever imagined would transpire because of his words. The power in his words had lost its edge to him because of the generations of Hufflepuffs behind him. All that resulted now for him was safety. Safety from the Gryffindors. Safety from the Slytherins.

However, it was I who thought of using our invisibility for Hufflepuff glory. And there is nothing in Azkaban or the Kiss that can take that away from me.

Yet, still, in those first few years, I had still not cultivated my current burning hatred for the Gryffindors. That particular feeling was not evident until my fourth year. When the saviour of the wizarding world, the boy my parents had raised me to revere, decided to usurp our Diggory of his rightful place as the Hogwarts Champion! It sickened me and it was then that I sought out the Slytherins to help me right the situation.

Contrary to the beliefs of the Gryffindors, the Slytherins were civil people. Well, reasonably civil people. The first time I spoke to Draco Malfoy, he spat at my feet. Unthinkingly, I then pulled out my wand and thrust it into the curve of his throat.

Funnily enough, something close to admiration filled his eyes then. It took a few more tries, but finally I had the grudging respect of Malfoy. Then it was just a small step until we, together, created badges proclaiming the truth of the Hogwarts Champion.

Nobody in Hufflepuff really knew of my association with Malfoy and they probably wouldn't have understood anyway. We weren't the group of idiots most seemed to think we were, but there was a certain listlessness in some parts of Hufflepuff. Not with Macmillan or his group, they were from Hufflepuff families and wanted to uphold the last vestiges of house honour, but rather from some of the newer Hufflepuffs. The ones who had come from Gryffindor and Ravenclaw families. Much like my own. They sided with the Gryffindors in everything. You could have probably called them honorary Gryffindors. It disgusted me, but there was nothing I could have done just then.

I learned much by being with the Slytherins. Their respect wasn't easily won, especially since I was an outsider, however, with difficulty, I earned it. Bit by bit. I realised their admiration of intelligence and slowly they came to realise that I had it. Black and white coalesced for me in that year and they have never separated since. My vaulting ambition surprised them and slowly led to mutual trust.

Still, it came as a surprise when at the end of my sixth year I received a message from what I immediately realised as Malfoy's eagle owl. I knew, of course, to open it in the Great Hall would be tantamount to a death sentence for myself so I schooled myself in patience and opened it in the privacy of my dormitory.

The message changed my life.

I say this quite unabashedly. It gave me a purpose where previously there was none. My mother was still encouraging me to be as Ravenclaw as possible, hence, she expected me to top all the classes and my father, well, he didn't write much. I wasn't a boy, so wanting me to become an Auror would have strained his belief system too much and there was nothing else he held as a noteworthy profession. Of course, there was always the Gryffindor female 'profession' of being a housewife. A skill perfected by the Weasley women.

A shudder still runs through me as I imagine what my life would have been like if the message hadn't been sent. I would probably have spent my seventh year worrying about my NEWTs. I might have done well, but there is always the element of chance. Who knows? And what would have been the point of doing well when my life would have had no direction?

Anyway, I wasn't that good a Hufflepuff. I wouldn't have worked nearly hard enough.

I still puzzle over the Sorting Hat's words though. Always I was a better Slytherin than Hufflepuff and both houses accepted me equally. But perhaps I wouldn't have received that letter had I been a Slytherin. It had only selective recipients.

The glow that enveloped me as I read the message will stay with me always. Always. For the first time in my life, I felt needed. I felt that it didn't matter that I didn't get the top grades, or that I wasn't born a boy, because there was someone out there willing to accept me for who I was. For myself.

That feeling itself was enough for me to sacrifice myself for. The cause was secondary to me in the beginning.

Don't get me wrong. I was, and will be until the day I die, a devoted supporter, but it was the purpose in my life, the feeling I belonged, the need for me being there - it was those feelings that pushed me to join. He was patient with me and slowly through His teachings I learned to believe in the cause.

The day I received my mark was the day of my graduation.

I remember my mother running up to me and grabbing my hand in a parody of a happy relationship. Her smile was distant. I hadn't done as well as she had hoped and expected. I hadn't done the family proud. But of course, I couldn't be blamed. After all, it was obviously not my fault that I was both a Hufflepuff and a girl.

It was then I almost gave myself away. I almost wrenched my arm away from hers. The words were on my lips. Don't take the hand of a Death Eater lightly, Mother! Yet, I controlled myself.

With a smile that would have done Him proud, I greeted my family. Yes, I loved them for their support over the years. I was really sorry that I had been so distant, but the NEWTs were on my mind. And I was disappointed over my scores, but, of course, I didn't blame them! After all, I should have studied harder.

They were completely and utterly fooled.

In fact, neither of the two had any inkling of my true calling until it was too late. Far too late.

I suppose I can't blame them for not knowing. I had been a far too open child. My face used to be a book, able to be read at an instant. But years of indifference had allowed me to secure my fortress. Yet, it wasn't a cold fortress. That would have been far too obvious. I still confided in my parents, knowing that they told their friends everything, and also knowing that all confidences were false. They never suspected a thing.

Their deaths were on my specific orders. They knew too much about me, about my childhood, about my weaknesses. And Lucius Malfoy was happy to acquiesce to my wishes. He was always a sadistic bastard. Always will be one. He's too slippery and too careful to be caught.

Suddenly I notice that there is somebody else sitting next to me in the cell. It's funny how I don't know when or how she got there. A woman. Frizzy brown hair. Big brown eyes. Obviously a reporter. Her quill is poised.

"Why did you kill them?"

I look at her incredulously. Curiously enough, she looks quite familiar. I dig in my memory and come up with a name. Hermione Granger. The one girl at Hogwarts I could have become friends with.

"I could have become friends with you. Did you know that?" The words are out before I can stop them.

She looks surprised. "But I'm muggle-born!"

"Could have. Past tense." But I am already distracted. "Why do they let you in here? Aren't they afraid I might kill you?"

"That's the least of their worries," said Granger shortly. "We still remember what you did to Albus."

So do I. It was one of the most pleasurable days of my life. To watch the warm trail of blood run down his face as I bled him. The coppery smell of his blood is still with me. The feel of it through my fingers, pulsing, live.

"He deserved it."

"Is that why you," she pauses, "killed him? Because he 'deserved it'?"


"Then why did you kill him? And the others."

With some effort, I focus my eyes on her. She is perched on the edge of the stool, eager face, and bright eyes. I sneer. "Which answer do you want?"

She is confused. "The truth."

"That's all you Gryffindors want, isn't it? The truth. Well, guess what, my dear, there is no truth! You think that I am a fanatic. The Hufflepuff who turned. The Hufflepuff who wanted to be a Slytherin. The evil Hufflepuff."

"Well aren't you?"

I laugh and am gratified to see a flitting look of fear. "I believed in the cause, yes. And I still do."

"So that is why you killed them? For the cause?"

"My, my, my dear, you want it to be all black and white, don't you? Simple. Clear-cut."

She decides to change tact. "When exactly did you decide to turn against our side?"

"Exactly?" I mock. "You want an exact day, hour and second?"

"Not exactly," she hedges.

"There's that word again. Exactly. You want to put me into a little box. Well, welcome to the real world, Granger! I'm a real person. You can't classify me like you classify your books."

"Just answer my question."

"I am under no obligation to answer your questions, but I will provide you with a quote. 'The road to darkness is a journey, not a light switch.' I believe it was a product of Muggle authors."

"You know about Muggle things?"

"I like being knowledgeable."

I can see that she is frustrated. My answers do not satisfy her. I am glad. I do not wish to be classified by Hermione Granger. I have seen her publications in well-known wizarding journals. Her innate desire to understand things shines through. Unfortunately for her, I am human, not a thing and therefore, cannot be understood. Perhaps she will simply (like so many others) come to the conclusion that I am insane.

When I look up again, I notice that she has gone. It does not affect me in the least. I am quite comfortable in this cell. There is no longer any real desire to escape. I have served my Master well and know that I will be remembered as such.

But what He does not know is why I did all this. He thinks that it is for the cause and partly, he would be correct. But mostly, I have suffered trials and tribulations for the glory of my house. For Hufflepuff house.

After all, I am the Hufflepuff who turned. It is my title and I am proud of it. Some call this twisted loyalty and perhaps they are right.

But what I know is that at last I have brought glory to Hufflepuff.

Author Notes: As you can see, I have taken a novel interpretation of Hufflepuff House. This fic was really inspired by Ennia who forever champions the cause of Hufflepuffs. It was she who first put the idea of a Hufflepuff Death Eater in my mind.