Oki doki here we are again. I saw the new king kong movie and it was pretty good. The acting was undeniably cheesy in the beginning, I was really surprised at how amateur such an awesome actress like Naomi Watts was in the first hour, but it got a lot better. In the beginning its like you're watching a high school play the acting is so bad, with the exception of Jack Black. Any who, on with the fic.
The Deni Pie
-------------------------------------------P r e t t y T r a c k M a r k s
The bludger missed his face by mere inches this time. Viktor managed to snap his head back at the last second, just in time to see the ball rage past his nose. He couldn't even afford a five second break to sigh in relief at the bare dodge. It seemed the Russians were trying to overcompensate for their out of date brooms and poor equipment by studying up on him and his past matches. He was trying every trick he knew and yet somehow they were able to predict and counter every move he made until all he had left to go on were instinct and intuition. He'd attempted the wronski feint but the opposing seeker never bought it and ended up getting more time to ferret out the snitch while Viktor pulled up and tried to make up for his mistake.
The other team was still a good deal behind them but with the way things were going he'd feel much better if he got to the snitch first. Unfortunately it was easier said than done. Apparently the Russians were becoming a little bitter with their loosing streak. Making a frustrated noise in the back of his throat he rose to the middle of the stadium trying to clear his head and concentrate. Scanning the audience he noticed the opposing team's section was definitely lacking in supporters, evidently their fans were becoming a little bitter with their loosing streak too. On the other side he could see his parents in the top box, his mother linking arms with his father and waving wildly at him, her neck cloaked in a Bulgarian scarf.
His fists clenched his broom impatiently, gritting his teeth in irritation. Where was the damned thing! Just as he was about to make a turn to patrol the other side, his eyes caught a glittering in the direction of his parents. Viktor stopped and squinted, barely able to make out a faint shimmer flashing in the place where his father's head would have been had he been closer. The snitch! He controlled his immediate instinct to dive for it, instead trying his best not to alert the other seeker. Glancing in his direction he saw his error, his opponent had been watching him too carefully and followed his gaze. They made eye contact only once, and could see that they both knew the other had found the discovery.
Viktor instantly lunged forward, raging across the pitch but the opposing seeker was soon attached firmly to his side. The snitch became easier to make out and they both gave furious chase as it zipped about the arena. It seemed the closer they got to it the closer the other man would get to him, until their sides were almost touching. A sudden thrusting shove at his ribs batted his focus away only for a second until he scowled at his opponent. He was trying to knock him off his broom! He wasn't that surprised, it wasn't uncommon, but it was still seen as a cheap shot and he had thought the other team to be above such shoddy tricks.
The driving rams continued at him and now the other seeker was beginning an attempt at elbowing him in the face. What the hell were the damned beaters doing! They were gaining perilously close to the flitting golden ball and Viktor was having all he could stand. Loosening his foot-grip he anticipated the next aggressive shove, and let it knock him halfway off. Keeping a tight grip on the handle, as he fell he looped forward underneath the shaft and into the other seeker delivering a sharp kick, sending him careening off the broom and into the pit below.
Hoisting himself back up he continued his chase. Let the little cheats call foul. He would say it was an accident. He could hear the small visiting audience howl in outrage but decidedly ignored it. He had heard no call for penalty, so as far as the game was concerned he had done nothing wrong. Diving faster he began to make out the snitch's darting pattern. Right! Up! Left! Down! Forward! Right! Up! Just as it was about to make its next turn, Viktor sped up and made a swipe at it.
The milliseconds right before your hand touches the snitch were always the longest, seemingly drawn out forever until you felt that weight bump against your fingers.
He heard the victorious roar of the crowd before he even trapped the fluttering ball in his grasp. Snagging it and crushing it to his palm he drew back with a relieved breath, finally thrusting it in the air for all to see. His own weary panting drowned out the booming voice of the announcer and he vaguely acknowledged his recognition as he lowered himself down with the rest of the team.
The Russians didn't even stay to shake hands of sportsmanship, and instead sent him begrudging glowers as they retreated from the stadium. His own teammates returned the sentiment and gave him encouraging pats on the shoulder while muttering expletives under their breath regarding their opponents' poor attitude. Viktor frowned at Pyotr, one of the beaters, as he went by, wanting to ask him what the hell he had been doing while the opposing seeker had been all but on top of him. Shaking his head he decided to let it go, it wasn't worth it. They had already made new enemies with their brother team; they didn't need to be doing the same amongst each other.
His mother was already racing hurriedly down the steps calling his name as if he wouldn't recognize her. His father wasn't making as much of a scene, rather he walked at a decent pace sending him a congratulatory smile. Eagerly leaping up to grab his face, she brought him down to kiss both cheeks in earnest. Laughing, she let him up but turned his chin this way and that, examining him. "It vould appear your face has finally returned to me undamaged, my loff." She remarked, her eyes sparking mischievously.
Viktor snorted dourly, his face had been through enough as it was.
"I haff heard an expression about this, 'There is a first time for eferything.' " His father chuckled.
The manager came up giving him a merry clap on the back. "You could haff relaxed this game, Viktor. I doubt you vould haff needed to catch the snitch to vin this time."
He spared the short pudgy man a fleeting glance. "They are becoming more aggressif."
His manager gave a deep baritone laugh, placing a meaty hand on his shaking belly. "They haff to be to play vith you!"
Viktor clenched his teeth as he was once again clouted between the shoulder blades, jostling a particularly slow healing wound. "I must go shower now, thank you for coming Maika, Bashta." He said kissing his mother on the cheek and nodding at his father.
Bidding the manager a blunt goodbye he made his way to the locker room. A good number of the team had already apparated home, but there were a few that decided to linger and wash themselves in the arena showers. The other men he passed nodded in brief greeting and he was grateful to get to his locker and change. Tugging off his sweat-laden uniform he shivered when the cold air hit his bare chest.
"I apologize for my poor effort today."
He turned to see Pyotr changing next to him. "It is fine." He said in a clipped tone. It wasn't really fine, he was still a little miffed at the other player but he was sure it would be forgotten by tomorrow. There was no point in getting into a confrontation now.
"Ivon and I vere not gifing the match as much attention as ve should haff been. I belief ve vere playing around perhaps too much because it vos Russia." He confessed somewhat guiltily. "Ve should not haff relied on you to do all the vork."
Viktor glimpsed wearily at the bandage still concealing most of his forearm. Some blood splotches had bleed through and he was glad now that it appeared to be a real injury instead of something to be suspicious of. "Do not brood on it Pyotr, you vill do better next game." He replied undoing his belt.
"I vill." Ivon agreed, slipping down his pants he caught the wrappings on his friend's arm. "Vare did you get that?" He questioned, thick eyebrows drawing together in concern.
"Bashta purchased a new dog. It is not completely broken in I am thinking." He answered casually.
Ivon chuckled reaching into his locker to snatch a hanging towel. "I suppose not. My cousin Alik's dog has given new puppies last veek. If your father is looking for a replacement I could tell him so?" He offered.
Tossing his own towel over his shoulder Viktor consented. "I vill ask him." He said walking off to the showers.
Setting the rag on the nearest bench, he stepped under the heated spray, welcoming the soothing warmth like a friend greatly missed. The water seemed to flow through his ears and wash every burden from his mind. For a moment he just stood there, enjoying the mist's gentle massage. The spew of water weighed down his hair before his large hands slicked it back.
He had begun looking for the soap when his forearm started to throb. It wasn't painful, rather more of a disquieting feeling that had him looking down at it with a disgruntled frown. The small reddish blotches were now growing through the cloth, spreading like a scarlet plague across the white binding. His eyes flickered around the room, no one appeared to be paying him any mind and he took the opportunity to slip out and into one of the toilet stalls.
Anxiously unwinding the gauss he felt his stomach drop at the darkened mark, the snake swiveling excitedly over his skin. He hastily tied it back up and stormed out of the stall and back to his locker, leaving a wet trail of miniature puddles behind him. His clothes stuck irritatingly to his skin as he tried to pull them on over his damp body. His trousers were the hardest and he struggled a bit to yank them up his gangly legs. Barely dressed and still wet he darted behind a shower wall and apparated away.
Straight to the last place he ever wanted to return to. The room was definitely large but no grand hall, it reminded him of a cell-less dungeon. Only this one had the different kind of bars, the ones that followed you even beyond the room, the sort of bars that were inescapable no matter where you ran to. A long forest green carpet divided the floor and ran directly to a high, dark, and intimidating throne-like chair. And in that throne-ish seat sat what he had signed his soul over to.
Looking away he ran his eyes over the small crowd of followers, some he recognized from the hellish initiation, others he couldn't remember.
"Caught you at a bad time, did we?" The voice made the hairs on his arm stand on end and made him feel as though a putrid slug were crawling into his ears.
He watched guardedly as Avery examined his disheveled robes, his eyes trailing amusedly over his still dripping hair. His attention settled on a heavy drop balancing on the very tip of a dark lock at his forehead. The older man smirked and raised an idle hand to the coarse thatch, his inspecting fingers coming to an abrupt halt as Viktor snatched the thick wrist in a blood-stopping grip.
The tall young man held his piercing gaze in a fierce scowl and squeezed the invasive appendage.
Avery held back a wince and glowered. "You would be wise to watch who you lay hands on, boy."
Viktor would not be cowed down and tightened his already painful grasp. "And you vill be loosing yours if you raise them to me again."
Giving him the iciest look he could muster, Avery shook him off and casually righted himself. "Little late for that now isn't it?" He drawled smugly, dismissing the boy's glare and returning to a small group of older men conversing amongst one another.
Before he could begin to contemplate which of the man's barbaric deaths would satisfy him the most, a dry and rasping voice slid across the room, barely echoing off the walls. "My children, the time is almost at hand." Instantly there wasn't a breath to be heard. "It is time for the turn of this war and you will all have your place in it." He grinned, flashing rows of sharp yellow teeth. "Eat, drink, this is only a small taste of the spoils to come."
It was then that he took note of the few tables lined with food and wine. What was this? Some sort of party? Everyone began to speak again, though the noise level never rose above casual tones, as though no one had to talk over another.
"Krum? Viktor Krum?"
He stiffened at his name and glanced over to see an attractive black boy holding a glass of red wine at his side.
"Well, I heard we got a newcomer. Didn't know it was you." He said taking a leisurely sip from the crystal goblet.
Turning back to look over the gathering he expected the young man to take his leave but instead he moved closer and attempted to drag him into conversation. "I heard you were initiated a few days ago." He commented. "Not exactly kittens and sunflowers is it?" He remarked dryly.
"Vot do you vant?" Viktor bit out.
The other boy seemed somewhat taken aback, a change from the usual expression of complete and utter boredom that normally marred his handsome features. "What do you mean 'what do I want'?" He asked indignantly. "Have I asked you for anything?"
"I am not your friend, do not speak to me as one." He retorted.
Quickly the ennui-laden facade returned and the young man ran his coffee colored eyes over him cynically. "Everyone needs friends. Especially in this little club." He chided.
Viktor did not know if the dark boy was trying to intimidate him or inform him, but he was not one that took well to bullying. "I did not join your 'club' to make friends." He said with a threatening frown.
"Then call me an 'acquaintance'." Came the confident reply. "I'm Blaise Zabini." He introduced, offering his hand.
Sparing the ebony appendage a disdainful look, Viktor had to fight the urge to sneer at it.
Blaise caught onto the disgust and retracted the limb. "Right then."
Intent on ignoring the unwanted company, Viktor managed to spot a pair of heads covered in unforgettable platinum hair. So he had been right. He observed a very haughty looking Draco Malfoy standing regally next to his father who was otherwise engaged in what looked like a verbal battle of who could sound the most arrogant and obnoxiously superior.
"Yes you would have met Malfoy, wouldn't you?" it wasn't so much of a question. "I believe you stayed with Slytherin for most of your Hogwarts visit in fourth year, am I right?"
"It vos more Karkaroff's decision than our own." He corrected, albeit a little reluctant to discuss anything with his fellow deatheater.
Blaise chuckled bringing the cup to his curved lips. "Not a bad choice on his part. Gave you lot the best table in the house."
Sighing exasperatedly, Viktor touched the bridge of his nose, a habit he'd picked up from his father. He didn't want to be here, he didn't want to be a part of this or one of them. And he most certainly didn't want to be having a civil conversation with his so called 'brother in arms.'
"Speaking of which, didn't I see you at the Yule Ball with that Granger chit?" He inquired.
Viktor began to wonder if anyone would notice if he strangled the very life out of this little annoyance. He cast the dark boy a warning glower, daring him to further that train of thought.
Zabini obviously took the foreigner's silent treatment as a confirmation and he gave him a weary look, like someone about to tell the diseased they had five months to live. "You did know she was a mud-"
"I knew." Viktor firmly cut him off, leaving no room for chastisement or ridicule.
Now seeing him in a new light, Blaise tossed him a sidelong glance of distaste. "Yes of course." He drawled, unable to mask the condescending derision. Bringing the glass to his lips again he muttered, "Although I suppose we're all allowed our guilty pleasures, now and again." He was careful with his wording, the older boy was a good deal bigger and Blaise was not raised stupid.
Had everyone here mastered the art of camouflaged repulsion? Viktor found it fascinating how people here could twist words of consolation and/or encouragement into something made to demean and belittle. Evidently honesty would have to be the first of his virtues to be cast aside with his new life choice. He wondered when this was all finally over, what kind of person he would be. What would be left of him? Left of who he once was. Slowly, he could feel himself slipping away, feel fading the Viktor too shy to ask an entrancing girl to a dance, the Viktor so enamored he practiced how to talk to the object of his affection, the Viktor that was too proud and brave to ever shame himself with the likes he was now surrounded by.
He glimpsed to the side and let his eyes skim over Zabini's striking form. His face was perfectly symmetrical; his body toned and made to gather attention. He looked attractive and stylish with his air of aloof superiority. Viktor had the dark thought of a fleeting insecurity that Hermione might be taken with such a man. He remembered childhood stories of evil being a grotesque monster, ugly queen, or even a hideous stepmother. And yet, here beside him was a very attractive young man. A young man that would aid in the suffering of millions and help hand the wizarding world over into a tyrannical fist.
It was disturbing that it was nothing more than a hoard of bigoted teenagers that would be the deciding factor in the ultimate downfall of peaceful society.
"I suppose you're nervous."
Viktor rounded his shoulders to pop a kink. "Vhy should I be? It is not my school." He said coldly.
Blaise shrugged and tucked his free hand inside his robe pockets. "Fair enough, though they are people you know."
He didn't have to think hard on the implication and who 'people' was meant to refer to. "Vhy are you here? Vhy are you talking to me?" He snapped.
The other boy twirled his wine in its glass. "Oh, I apologize. Do they not have courteous discussions in Bulgaria?"
Viktor sneered. "I am not here to haff 'courteous discussions'."
"For that matter, why exactly are you here?" He rejoined.
"I am here for my family. I am here to protect them and myself." These words were only the parrotings of what his father had told him. Justifying it with his family sounded a lot better than 'they pleaded with him to do it to save his own sorry hide.' "I am a surfifor, not a racist."
He watched as the other boy's chocolate lips turned up into an amused grin, eyeing him like one would a particularly entertaining child throwing a temper fit. "It does rather make one wonder what the difference is, doesn't it?" He remarked finishing off his drink. "Well then, I'm off. Best get to mingling."
And with that, the lengthy Bulgarian was dismissed like yesterday's Witches Weekly. Viktor looked away as Blaise sauntered off, presumably to find some other outcast to jeer at and talk down to. What in all abominable hell was he doing here? It made him feel like he was swimming in a pool of slime and filth with no way to crawl out.
The next few hours droned on like Chinese water torture. He stayed near the walls, away from the others, staring longingly at exits and waiting for someone, anyone, to take their leave first. So far no one appeared to even give going home a passing thought, as they drank on, grinning to each other like they shared a secret and laughing at jokes that weren't that funny. He wondered if he had stayed long enough that it wouldn't offend the dark lord if he excused himself from the rest of the festivities.
"Sulking in the corner now? How mature."
Viktor's lip curled at the arrogant tone, his fists curling in eagerness to pummel the younger Malfoy. "Vot do you vant?" What was it with deatheaters and their uncanny ability to sniff out the most miserable person in the room?
The platinum haired boy smirked and looked at him like the cat that finally caught the canary. "Saw you all by your lonesome and thought I'd give a shot at cheering you up."
"Vhy don't you run along back to father, little boy?" He growled warningly.
Draco's eyes narrowed at the slight and Viktor could see his lips tighten into a thin line. "Now now, lets not start projecting misguided anger, shall we?" He reprimanded.
His adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed his rising irritation back down to his belly. "I belief my anger is being guided correctly, thank you."
Malfoy sniffed haughtily. "And just what are you going to do? Beat me up?" He chuckled. "What ever would your little mudblood think if she could see you now? Not only becoming a proud deatheater but an aggressive brute as well?"
Viktor turned until his stood toe to toe with the now obliviously shorter boy. He looked down his crooked nose, thick black eyebrows set fiercely over dark eyes making vengeful promises. The muscles in his shoulders stiffened with a fury he worked ardently to keep in check. "You vould do vell to be on your guard tomorrow." His voice was low and as threatening as his posture.
The other young man seemed unaffected and perfectly at ease in the safety of his sea of comrades and peers. "Why thank you for your concern." He leered. "Same to you."
Pivoting on his heel he stormed towards the nearest hall, not caring whether it was an exit or not. He was sure someone had seen his confrontation with Malfoy, if the Dark Lord questioned his leave he would simply blame it on his conflict with the other boy. As soon as he was sure he was clear headed enough to apparate, he headed home feeling drained, worn, and older than his years.
His home didn't feel like his anymore. It felt like just another place, another sequence of rooms with the same four walls and ceilings and floors. He trudged over back to living room slumping into his most comfortable chair. "Efim!" He called weakly.
Instantly the house elf popped to his side. His ears drooped unhappily, already picking up on his master's anxiety.
"Get me a sleeping draught." He droned, throwing his hand over his eyes, willing his temples to stop pulsing.
"Igor brings a letter but he von't let Efim hafes it!" The little elf complained pointing accusingly at the white headed hawk.
Rolling his eyes at the nuisance, Viktor waved Efim away. "I vill get the letter, you get the sleeping draught."
The house elf reluctantly obeyed and disappeared, leaving the weary Bulgarian to rise back to his feet and grumpily trail over to where Igor was preening his feathers, obviously pleased to have the presumptuous elf out of its territory. The bossy bird was always very protective of his packages, never letting anyone near it but the one it was meant for. It stopped poking at his side long enough to watch Viktor untie the string holding the letter to it's leg. "Vicious little thing." He mumbled nudging Igor's breast.
Trekking over to the fireplace for better lighting he unrolled the parchment, icy and fragile from the cold. The raven ink was a stark contrast to the brittle yellow of the paper. Words spelled out in smooth cursive, written delicately and oh so feminine. His eyes ran over each sentence, able to hear her voice with her charming English accent play in his head.
I hope you arrived home safely, but if you're reading this then I suppose that would be a given. I also hope your parents weren't too terribly worried over your absence. Please give them my apologies if they were. I must say you seemed 'out of sorts' , for lack of better term, last I saw you. I won't inquire the reasons behind it. If you had wanted to tell me then I'd like to think you would have.
Viktor, I don't want you to think that I'm only writing you now because of your visit. I do miss our letters, especially receiving yours, and I apologize for my lack of correspondence the past few months. It was in bad taste and I regret it dearly. When it comes to my education, I do tend to put it above most other things, even the ones that are just as important.
I was also wondering, that is if this summer would not be the best time for you for me to visit, if maybe you would like to spend the summer with me at my home. Granted muggle London isn't exactly the most entertaining, magically wise anyway, but I imagine it would be a nice getaway for you to relax from the stress of quidditch and whatnot.
Besides, I mentioned it to my family and they're very eager to meet you. Its fine if you already have plans, I understand, but please write back what you think of the idea.
His mouth was suddenly very dry and his tongue felt heavy. His brain was either numb, or thinking so fast he couldn't comprehend a single thought in all the blur. She was writing him. She wanted him to be with her for the summer. She wanted him to meet her family.
God was a cynical old man that amused himself with sick, malicious, jokes. What this letter would have meant if he were only reading it a year, or even six months ago. How different things could have been. How could he be receiving it now? Reading this when the words no longer mattered. It was like waving a carrot in front of an emaciated rabbit. She didn't want him; she didn't want him to meet her family, to spend time with him. She wanted the Viktor who took her to the Yule Ball, the Viktor who wrote her with hope dripping from the paper, the Viktor who once kissed her like something precious, something fleeting. And that man no longer existed. Now all that was left was this. This tainted thing he'd become.
His muscles were aching and blood trickled down the backs of his thighs. Sweat shone over his forehead, dripping over his brow and into his eyes. The jerking thrusts no longer hurt as much, maybe he was going into shock or maybe the blood was working as a decent lubricant. He wasn't sure how much longer he could take Avery whispering his depraved perversions in his ear. He was finding it harder and harder to loose himself in visions of inflicting every ungodly torture imaginable upon the man's bulking, aged body and struggled to think of something else to take him away from the jeers and crude laughing around him along with the burning spearing behind him.
"You're leaving tomorrow, then."
Viktor closed his eyes, letting the memory of that soft, feminine voice fog his mind. He loved to hear her talk. That instructor-like tone she always had that bespoke her intelligence, yet there was that childish hesitation that presented itself in social situations that made her seem tentative and uncertain of herself.
He nodded, not having anything else to do since everything that needed to be said had already been said. She knew he didn't like Durmstrang, she knew he wanted to stay with her, she knew how he felt. She must've.
"Come now. Its not so bad." Viktor felt the man's chest, softer with age, lean against his strong back as he breathed in his ear.
Gritting his teeth he postured his shoulders, eyes focused on the wall to shut the rest of the world out.
She nodded back with a firm resolution. He didn't want to leave her. Didn't she know that? "If you have the time, I'm sure your school and quidditch schedule must keep you very busy, I would appreciate a letter now and then."
He wanted to laugh at her. Silly little thing. She became more formal when she wanted to avoid getting hurt, making sure to pick and choose her words carefully. Smiling down at her frigid little features, his eyes sparked in adoration and from the way her lips thinned in indignation she must've took him for laughing at her. Fortunately, before she could retaliate, his large hands cupped her cheeks, his palms spanning the width of her face. He brought her up to meet him as he leaned down to press his lips firmly to her own.
Viktor's fingers dug into the stone wall as the older man came with a grunt and a few clumsy jerks. He panted for lost breath, taking his time before he withdrew, his softening cock pulling out in one slick fluid motion, a small gush of blood flooding down in its wake. He could hear Avery chuckling and cringed as he delivered a stinging slap to his ass, smearing the redness in stripes across the pale skin.
"Welcome to the family, boy."
The crinkling of crushed paper woke him from his reverie, and he glanced down at the mangled form of letters and words. His fingers relaxed but the wrinkles in the parchment remained.
A resounding pop behind him signaled the return of his house elf with the medicine he'd forgotten.
"Efim's gots the sleeping draught just like master vanted." The little creature chirped, happy to have another chore accomplished.
He skimmed over the neat handwriting, curving and flowing in that delicate style. 'Dear Viktor,'
"Master?" Efim questioned hesitantly stepping beside the brooding young man, debating on whether or not his master wished to be disturbed.
With jerk of the wrist the delicate letter flew into the fire, doing a dramatic twist before landing amongst the eager flames. Without another word, Viktor took the vile from the weary elf and downed the strong liquid in a single gulp. "Go to bed Efim." He muttered.
If the tiny servant gave a response he didn't hear it, instead he couldn't tear his gaze away from the last piece of withering parchment, an uneven circle of flames turning the edges black. A thin ring of ash glowing around 'Yours, Hermione.'The only sound penetrating the thick mist of silence was the crackling of the fire and his controlled breathing,but allhe could hear wasthat little Malfoy brat. "What ever would your little mudblood think if she could see you now?"
As long as he still lived, he would make sure she never did.
Sorry for the long ass wait, guys. I'm finally in college and the first semester has been murder . But I hoped you enjoyed this chapter and R&R!
The Deni Pie