Fic: The Auction, Charlie/Hermione, Rated R, 1/4
Title: The Auction
Warnings: Slavery, more to follow
AN: This was done in response to inell's auction challenge at booksfreckles.
Looking at the crudely built stage in the front of the park, Charlie couldn't quite make out all of the girls standing there. Some had their hair roughly shaved off, leaving patches of raw skin behind. Other's had short hair, cut haphazardly across the bottom to leave ragged uneven ends. One though, one lone girl, still had a glorious mane of hair. Long, thick, dark brown hair. It came nearly to her waist, and looked as though it might have a bit of curl to it, though it was matted and dirty.
From the distance, however, he couldn't make out any of her features. Rather than waiting, he made his way through the thick crowd to get close enough to see the girls faces clearly. The fact that they were nude did little for him. If anything, it almost made him feel sorry for them. They weren't accepted by the ruling wizard, most because they were muggle born, or mudbloods, but some because of their roles in attempting to defeat Lord Voldemort or their parents parts in the same goal.
As he drew closer, Charlie noticed that at least one of the girls was a pure blood, a girl his youngest brother had gone to school with, Pansy something. She had no hair, and at the closer inspection, he could see her body had taken some brutal hexes recently. Being enslaved wasn't an easy process for most girls, and as new as it was, most of the girls were going to retaliate. Charlie gave the girl one last look before his eyes turned towards the girl who managed to keep her hair intact.
She looked vaguely familiar, but Charlie couldn't immediately place her. He watched her for a few minutes, studied her mannerisms, and how she reacted when the guards prodded her and those around her. She couldn't be more than 19 or 20, he figured, but there was an air of maturity around her that was hard to ignore. While her fellow slaves were shivering and trying to hide their bodies, she stood calmly, not showing her fear, or trying to hide herself.
Finally, Charlie stepped away and made his way to one of the traders to get a scroll detailing information on each of the slaves available, and what their use was. The slaving had started almost two years ago, so Charlie was used to these by now. He was pure blooded, but he was far from the type of pure blood that the ruling wizard looked for. He learned early on to keep his nose clean, but he did all he could to help the souls most in need. Along with his two remaining brothers, Bill and George, Charlie worked underground towards freeing the slaves, and building a large resistance capable of over throwing Lord Voldemort and his guards.
This was the seventh such auction Charlie had come to. His goal was the same each time. Acquire a slave or two, show his loathing for all things with 'dirty blood', and lead the slaves away. Each was kept in a series of safe houses until they could be lead to freedom, usually in America. Between himself and his brothers, the Weasley's had bought a total of 12 slaves, and all but one was safely in America. The last one was caught in transit, and killed before they could save her.
While a majority of the slaves were women, there were also men occasionally available. Today's auction didn't include any, however. Charlie got a hold of a scroll, and looked it over quickly, glancing at the pictures beside each of the numbers. No names were given. That was the first act upon enslaving someone, their names were removed, and they were given a number. If the new owner wished to name the slave, then that was his or her prerogative, but all came to the auctions 'blank' of names.
He skimmed the page quickly. Each number included a picture, age, tasks or skills they were proficient in, height, weight, eye color, hair color, and any discipline problems they might have. Most of the girls had previous owners who tired of them, or died, and they were resold to the slavers for future auctions. Charlie noticed right off that all but two of the slaves being sold were listed as breeding slaves. Lord Voldemort believed that breeding lead to future slaves, born to be slaves, and raised to be obedient.
The two which were not listed were vastly different from one another. The first was an older witch, well past the age of being able to bare children. The other was a virgin. It was the girl he had looked at first, the one with the hair. She was a new slave, caught in the muggle world after having disappeared years back. From what he gathered by listening to those around him, she was supposed to fetch a few hundred galleons. She was listed simply as Girl 58342.
He had a gut feeling that she would end up dead at the hands of one of the more zealous of Lord Voldemort's followers. Charlie had a decision to make. His brothers were around somewhere, he just had to find them, and decide if they could afford to free her, or if they should try for two of the less expensive slaves. Turning away from the stage, Charlie scanned the crowd for the bright red hair which set him and his brothers apart from most of the crowd. It took several minutes before he spotted one, Bill he thought, but couldn't tell from the distance.
Charlie turned towards him, and pushed people out of the way as he made his way towards Bill. As he was walking, he spied George, and called him over to follow. By the time they reached Bill, the bidding had started on the first slave, the older woman who wouldn't go for much. Charlie took only a moment to open the scroll and point out the girl he was there about. Whispering carefully, he told his brothers what he wanted to do.
Between the three of them, they decided to try for the girl. They had enough galleons to hopefully do it, but if one of the so-called 'inner circle' were there, it might prove more difficult. The inner circle referred to Lord Voldemort's closest confidantes, an elite group of supremacist pure blooded witches and wizards. The group had nearly unlimited funds available, and usually got what they wanted. The three agreed to a set amount before hand, then split back up. Charlie made his way back up front. As he got closer, he put his attention back on the girl, number 58342. She had a passably pretty face, and he could see that her body lacked the hexing scars the others had. The only marring on her body were deep black bruises around her neck, her wrists, and her ankles, which he figured were caused from shackles and a collar.
Not all girls needed so much restriction, but then, most of these girls were first enslaved nearly three years ago, a good amount of time before these debacles called auctions were started. The girl in question was slim, bordering on being undernourished, and he took a moment to check her weight and height. She was listed at being 5'6" tall, and weighing just barely 100 pounds even. He frowned at that, and looked back up. By now, he was nearly to the front of the group, with only a handful of people being closer to the stage than he was. Looking straight at her, Charlie silently pleaded for her to turn to face him. She didn't, though. She kept her gaze straight ahead, looking at a vague point well beyond any of the people. For a brief moment, Charlie wished she would look at him, that she would see the compassion in his eyes, the need to shelter her from this, his desire to set her free. But still she stared ahead.
Before too long, she was brought up to the front of the stage, and her credentials were listed. Oddly enough, they even gave her name. Hermione Granger. Upon hearing the name, Charlie recalled the scrawny 14 year old he'd met years before at a Quidditch match. His youngest brother Ron had mentioned briefly that she disappeared in the summer between their 5th and 6th year of school. No one had heard from her since. Oh, she was a grand prize, that was apparent in the frenzied bidding. Charlie held his hand up, and upped the bid to nearly 200 galleons. Before long, the bidding started to stall out at 382 galleons.
The girl trembled slightly, but gave no other indication that she was frightened or nervous. Charlie put his arm up again, and verbally set the bid from 382 to 500 galleons to get rid of most of the competition. It worked well, but still left one other bidder. A royal pain in his arse, really, by the name of Theodore Nott. He himself wasn't in the inner circle, but his father had been before dying in the Great War. The bid quickly escalated, but it topped out just shy of his limit, and Charlie won the girl for the not-so-bargain price of 764 galleons. The auctioneer announced his name as the winner, and the girls eyes opened wider as she finally turned her gaze towards him.
Charlie stopped himself from reassuring her with a smile, and turned his gaze towards the auctioneer, and away from her large eyes. He made his way through the crowd, and found both of his brothers waiting at the payment center. They pooled the coins, and dropped them on the desk before signing the ownership papers. As his signature was burned into the parchment, he felt the fission of magic soar through his body. The magic was done to bind her to him. The only way she could leave him now is if he died, sold her, gave her away, or freed her.
Without waiting for her, he gave instructions to have the girl escorted to his flat, where he would be waiting for her appearance. Almost as an after thought, he turned and requested that she be clothed, so as not to show off to others what was now his. With a smirk firmly on his face, Charlie passed by Theodore Nott, and the three brothers left the park before Apperating back to the flat they kept for appearance sake.