Author's Note: This is inspired by Chevelle's "The Red." I recommend playing it in the background while you read.
Long black locks puddled beneath her head, gently caressing her porcelain white skin. Cheeks to neck to breasts, there was no color to be found. Her eye remained open, covered by a curtain that only death could pull. Ignoring the witch's shadowed, sunken features, pretending her lips were full and youthful, one could easily see her as a magnificent beauty.
Harry had never seen her this way before. Living, she had been a monster. She had been Satan's whore. She had been a murderer. She had made Harry see red.
The late Bellatrix Lestrange.
She said he was too weak. She said he was too pure. She said the unforgivable: Sirius's name. Then Harry did the unforgivable.
A laugh reached his ears, cold, sharp and burning. Harry didn't look up, but his wand was aimed at the wizard across the room. Lucius Malfoy's grin was quickly transforming into a grimace. He held to his waist, letting the warm, dark liquid spill out and stain his hands as it cooled. The severing spell had been intended to take Lucius's wand arm, but the boy-who-lived had missed in the rush to stop the dark wizard. Lucius did not seem to care that his life was leaking out onto the floor.
"Oh my, Potter," Lucius hissed. "What ever will the ministry do with you? An Unforgivable used by a wizard so recently a legal adult. I will expect that they will have no choice but to give you my old cell in Azkaban."
"Quiet," Harry whispered, unable to stop his voice from trembling. What had he done? It had happened so fast. Her words, her wicked cackle, was still echoing in Harry's ears. But when Harry looked at her body, he couldn't understand how she could have been the one to push him past his limit.
"Poor Bellatrix," Lucius continued. The wizard pulled himself up straighter, wincing at the pain in his abdomen. "She honestly didn't think you had it in you, boy. Don't be fooled. Every wizard, every witch is capable of murder. All it takes is passion, lust for blood. Did you see it, Potter?"
"Why, red, of course." Lucius's smile was feral, glistening eyes dancing over the young wizard. "I saw the red the first time, but eventually all colors disappeared. Death is nothing to me. When my master calls for it, I deliver. But why kill when you can torture, that was always Bellatrix's creed."
"I am not like her!" Harry snapped. Please, don't make the anger come again, Harry silently begged. "I am not like you. Both of you deserve death, if only to free the world from your evil."
"And when did you become judge, jury, and executioner?" Lucius asked. "No, you are not like us at all. Bellatrix and me, the other death eaters, we're but followers. We are servants. No, you are a lord, Potter. You challenge my master because that rage gives you the power you need. You challenge him because you want eyes as red as his. . ."
"Potter, you have a reason to kill," Lucius rambled. "You also have a reason to thank us. We have delivered you your empire."
Harry's eyes shot up, forgetting Bellatrix. "Thank you! For what, giving me Hell on Earth since my birth?"
"Oh, but we did you such a favor, Potter. We gave you a gift—my dear friend Severus." Lucius chuckled. "Tell me, didn't you enjoy seeing his body delivered, so disfigured that even we evil doers had to wrap it in a black sheet? Or were you angry that our lord had been the one to make him scream for death? You wanted Severus Snape for yourself, for what he did to your dear old Headmaster. Let me divulge, Potter—Severus was on your side all along. Dumbledore had made arrangements the night my son lost his family name and became a worm."
"Liar. Snape murdered Dumbledore. He was a lying bastard, just like you."
"What passion you have for that old muggle loving arse. You wouldn't have it without us. Yes, I do think you should thank us, Potter."
"Don't talk about him that way!" Harry screamed. "You are dirt, and he was greatness! I owe you nothing but a curse." He raised his wand.
Draco Malfoy stepped into the room and in front of Harry's wand. "You can't do this! Get out of our bloody manor, Potter!"
"Step out of the way, Draco!" Lucius growled. He reached out for his cane and swung it at his son's legs, striking his knees with a thud.
Draco cried out and stumbled to the ground, clutching his leg. He pulled out his wand, aiming it not at his father, but Harry.
"Put your bloody toy away!" Lucius snapped. "You are not my son, you coward. Look at the man in front of you. One day he'll be your lord. He does what you cannot."
A look of shock passed over Draco's face as he stared up at Harry. He shook his head. "No, he couldn't have. . ." His eyes drifted to the opposite side of the room and found the body. "Aunt Bella. . ." Draco moaned. He crawled to the still form.
"Cry again, boy, and I'll beat your back until skin hangs from my cane," Lucius threatened, pointing the stick at his son. He turned back to Harry wearing an almost courteous face.
"Well, Potter, look what else we have delivered," Lucius said. "You hate him, don't you? Draco all but tortured you and your little friends while you were at Hogwarts. And, if I'm not mistaken, it was he who let the death eaters into the school the night that old fool kicked the bucket. Doesn't the sight of him make you see red?"
Harry didn't reply, but his jaw was set, his eyes narrowed. Yes, he saw red when he looked at Draco. He couldn't lie to himself. He wanted to kill Draco Malfoy.
"Take him, Potter. You've already begun your journey," Lucius cooed. "All you must do is take the next step. Bellatrix lied. You are not weak. You are strong. Use your anger to destroy him, Potter."
Harry could not help himself. His wand began to waver, began to travel. His aim was on Draco, though he kept an eye on Lucius.
"Don't. . ." Draco breathed. "You're not suppose to do this. . .You're the bloody Golden Boy! Father, please don't make him."
"Do not speak to me, coward," Lucius snapped. He turned back to Harry. "Ignore his whines. He is nothing. Give him the pain he deserves. He will not defend himself. He is already broken and ready."
Harry could almost taste the blood from the heart practically beating in his throat. He wanted this. He wanted to see him pay. He wanted them all to pay.
Harry released the curse almost as soon as it left his mouth. Draco lay sprawled on the floor, catching his breath from the short moment of intense pain. How many times had Harry watched his friends fall in pain? How many times had he himself felt his organs shift and his muscles tense after the word Crucio was whispered?
He lowered his wand so that it was pointed toward the ground.
"You're fighting yourself," Lucius shouted. "You know you want it, need it. You need to watch him fall again. You have already gone past the point of returning. You cannot have your silly friends in the Order save you from the council. You are done for unless you embrace it. You can join us!"
Lucius lowered his voice. The grin had returned. "Or we can join you . . . the new Dark Lord."
Harry felt his wand rising once more.
No Unforgivable left his mouth though. Instead ropes shot out, entwining around Lucius Malfoy's writhing form. Harry pocketed his weapon. He didn't need it.
"Your father's going back to prison," Harry said, his voice barely above a whisper.
Draco only stared at him.
"Fool!" Lucius hissed. "You are no better than him!" He spat at his son.
"You should probably leave," Harry said, his eyes drifting to the person in the room he thought he hated the most.
"No," Draco answered. "I'll stay with my father. . . and the body. But you should go. They'll arrest you for this."
"I can't leave," Harry said. "I can't run away. I can't let it build up again."
Harry slid to the floor, hands against his eyes. They were green, a gorgeous, deep green, and he never wanted that to change. Only tears would let them stay that way—only tears could wash away the red.
End Notes: Yes, I know, it was totally choppy and glued together with the tacky abilities of liquid paper, but what did you think? Review and tell me all about it, your neighbors annoying dog, Thanksgiving dinner, and that test you have next week.