Okay, my first HP fanfic. Be gentle.
Summary; Avalon Manx is certainly something different. Betrayed, battered, and bitchy, she tries-- hard-- to stay (at least) alive in a world where she's just found herself completely and utterly alone. Most people make it difficult for her, and others just seem to make it downright impossible
W I C K E D
T R U T H
I leaned against the musty wall of Riddle Manor, the dwindling glow from the fireplace casting a warm shadow across my caramel skin. Rabastan and Rodolphus Lestrange stood inches from me, Rabastan a little farther than I would have liked him.
It was only the innermost circle tonight; the Malfoys, the Lestranges, the Wilkeses and those who didn't think to bother with family like Vince Nott and Antonin Dolohov.
Bellatrix Black and her sister Narcissa were the only ones of their family to delve so deeply into the dark arts as to join Riddle. Their parents were purebloods, but wanted nothing to do with a war or revolution of any kind. Their smaller cousin, Regulus, often accompanied them on meetings of lesser importance. He was a boy full of aspiration and the will to fulfill them. Why he would wish to waist his dreams in a foolish cause was beyond me.
Everyone here had a purpose, a deep hatred for Muggleborns, or an inhuman enjoyment in watching them die. Everyone here thrived from the power the Dark Lord presented to them.
And my story?
I was bred in the dark arts. There was no 'alternative'.
Rabastan's fingers brushed gently against my own, and I felt the warmth of his body immediately as he moved closer. My eyes shifted their stare from the center of the room, onto his dark, brooding face.
The Lestrange twins were undoubtedly handsome, glorious even. They were both enigmatic and dangerous, their aura that of a dark heart. Dark, perhaps, but in Rabastan's case, there was love as well.
Rodolphus was taller, 6'2'', which was good for Bellatrix who reached heights like five foot seven. I was only 5'2'' but Rabastan still towered over me at 6'. The smaller brother had longer hair, that curled attractively just beneath his ears. Rodolphus' hair was neatly cut short to his scalp. Even with their differences, it was evident that they were brothers, both beautiful, both enshrouded in the shadow of a rising oppressor.
Now, Rabastan intertwined our hands, taking his other arm to snake around my waist. He pressed me flush against him, and I sighed, "Rabastan, not here."
He laughed quietly, pressing his nose into my hair, "where then?" he whispered, "unless you want to stay with me tonight?"
I exhaled slowly and let my head fall to his chest.
My father had died, weeks ago, at the hands of one 'Mad Eye' Moody. Since then, I'd been spending my nights with Evan, my father's god son, and his family. Rabastan, of course, hardly approved. Evan was our age, he would say, what would stop him from taking you away from me?
There was hardly room to argue. Evan and I had a very close relationship. Merlin, we'd been having baths together at the age of two, after all. There was no restraining the surge of jealousy once it corrupted the mind of a Lestrange.
"Okay," I sighed, "just tonight."
I felt him stiffen, and looked up to see his eyes alight, "Finally," he chuckled, "I was beginning to think you didn't want me."
I pressed a small kiss to his full lips, "You're too pretty to pass up," I joked.
The hiss sent a chill through me, my skin immediately reacting to the icy quality the voice of my master held. I jumped away from Rabastan, startled, and the Dark Lord pressed me into the wall, his gruesomely handsome face just inches from mine.
"How fortunate, Lestrange, that you have captured such a fiery beauty," he drawled, his frigid finger tracing my jaw line. In that moment, my eyes met Rabastan's and I saw anger in his stormy, brown irises.
"Isn't it, boy?" Voldemort sniped, locking eyes with my boyfriend.
"Very lucky, my lord," Rabastan bowed his head, answering through clenched teeth. The room was deadly silent as he continued the path down my throat with his deathly white fingers. They stilled at the base of my neck, and he tapped my overly erratic pulse point.
"Yes," he mumbled as he turned away, "lovely."
As Voldemort swept back to the center of the room, Rabastan leaned stonily against the wall. He did not touch me, nor spare me a reassuring glance the remainder of the night.
When the meeting ended, we all filed, like dark phantoms, into the silent night. The Dark Lord held his congregations inside the house of his father in a small Muggle town. He had recently moved our meetings here, as our castle near Bath had been raided by the Order not days before my father died.
I felt as though I should be grieving, or showing some signs of remorse for the old man. But what did I owe him? My mother birthed me into a world shrouded in goodness, and the lighter side of magic. She died at childbirth, hoping I would become an Auror or some kind of beneficiary to the magical community. My father called ridding our world of Muggleborns beneficial.
I stood in the middle of the lawn, watching from a distance as the two Lestrange brothers ambled towards me, and Bella blow a kiss towards Rodolphus. Their father nodded towards both of them, throwing a special wink towards my boyfriend. Rabastan reached me, and I stretched my hand out to grip his shoulder, "What is it?"
"Not here," he mimicked my words from earlier in the night, and my jaw dropped a centimeter, slightly hurt at the scorn.
Rodolphus threw a merry arm about my shoulder, "Hullo, love," he smiled, "spending the night, are we?"
I rolled my eyes, "Not if your brother doesn't care to show a bit of respect," I said loudly, watching as Rabastan's face turned a decimal, his profile visible to me. He tossed his shoulders and stopped, causing Rodolphus to bump into his back.
We were silent a moment before Rabastan cursed into the night, "Bloody blocks," he mumbled, "looks like we're walking." He pointed to the Muggle town that was completely desolate. How early did Muggles go to bed, anyhow?
I shrugged Rodolphus' arm from around my shoulder and jogged to keep up with Rabastan. I slipped my hand into his, which remained slack in my hold, "Rab," I cooed, "what is it?"
He shook his head, and the muscles in his jaw were working against the skin, "Is it," I tossed my head back in the direction of the house, "him?"
"Voldemort," Rabastan spat, "thinks he can have everything, does he? Would he touch you the same way if I made you my wife?" he murmured, "I bet 'e would, that…." He trailed off, muttering obscenities to himself.
"There's nothing you can do," I said acidly, "you love to serve him, don't you?"
"I dunno anymore." He whispered, looking back towards me with confusion swirling in his eyes.
My brow furrowed, but I had no answer to an epiphany of that caliber. Rabastan had always been loyal. This—this was treason.
We arrived at the boys' flat near Knockturn at around two. The Goblinbane, the brothers' favorite pub, had been devoid of people tonight, and Rodolphus had hounded us until we went in. He had the key to the bloody flat anyways.
"Bugger," Rabastan laughed as he stepped on Whisper's tail. His cat was older than time, and fat enough not to fit through the kitty door any more. She whined, scurrying as fast as her chubby legs would carry her, to the other room.
I stumbled into the apartment, not feeling very woozy from the booze, but more blind, from the dark. Rodolphus flicked on the light, and immediately turned it back off.
"Yeah," he muttered, "light is not my mate at the mo."
I giggled, trying to adjust my vision to the darkness. I heard Rodolphus stumbling into his room at the end of the hall, and his shoes landing on the floor as he tiredly kicked them off. There was a creaky sound as he threw himself onto the bed, and then a content sigh.
I could feel Rabastan behind me, and I turned, barely making out his profile in the dark before he captured me into his arms.
"Did you recently acquire night vision, then?" I chuckled. He grunted, and as he lifted me from the floor I threw my legs haphazardly around his waist. We bumped into several walls on the way up the stairs. Rabastan had the loft all to himself, and his room was just a mattress on the floor with a dwindling lamp hanging above it.
As we climbed the staircase, his lips descended softly to my throat and I ran my fingers through his silky, black hair. We both landed, not so softly, on the large mattress. Rabastan hovered over me, his eyes taking in every inch of my face. I wondered, briefly, what he saw that so fascinated him, that could put that look of total awe into his eyes.
"My father spoke with the Dark Lord tonight," he whispered, and the darkness suddenly became thick with tension, "asked him about you."
Elthor Lestrange was the boys' father, and a very influential ministry official. No one knew he was working for the Dark Lord, and Voldemort would have it no other way.
"What about me?" I responded, pulling my arms away from his neck.
"You'll go to Hogwarts with me at the end of the summer," he said sternly, almost as if he knew I'd fight him on it, "no exceptions, Ava."
I pushed him away from me and sat up, sliding until I reached the end of the bed, "I have friends in France, Rab," I murmured, "not in England."
"You have me," he said incredulously, "there's nothing left for you in France but an empty house and the grave of a man that you loathe."
"I'm not changing schools," I spat, turning around to face him, "not in my seventh year, not into a place where that old codger is constantly meddling in the lives of his students! How can you stand to be under Dumbledore's watch all the time, anyhow?"
Evan rose from the bed, giving me a contemptuous look and beginning to unbutton his shirt, "It's not relevant," he whispered, discarding the garment into his hamper. His back faced me, and I could see the fading scars on his tanned skin. It was no secret that Elthor took the belt to all his boys, "you're going. Dark Lord's orders."
"What does he expect me to get out of Hogwarts, hmm?" my tone softened, but my glare remained resolute as Rab came to join me on the bed.
"Can you just," he touched my face, sighing, "just do what it is you're told for once? We can see each other everyday, love. What could be so bad about that?"
I hardly relented, but he saw the weakening in my stance, "I suppose I've got no choice, do I?"
"No," he chuckled, pressing a hot kiss to my neck, "no choice at all. You know how it is."
I smiled as his kisses became more insistent, "Better than most."
Diagon Alley was filled to the brim with happy Witches and Wizards as we entered it on August 31st. Rodolphus was solo today, as Walburga didn't approve of Bella gallivanting around with him when they were not yet married, nor engaged. The Black Matron was certainly old fashioned.
He was eyeing certain Witches who were unfamiliar to me, as was almost everyone here. Hogwarts was a place I'd never even seen, never even heard much of in France. Some of our students went there on some exchange program in my first year, but other than that, we had no ties with the ancient castle.
"D'you have everything you need, Av?" Rab bent low to whisper in my ear and I nodded, turning my head away from him. I tried to disengage my hand from his grip, but he held on tighter than usual. What was he so afraid of here?
I walked with him into a store called Madam Malkins, and watched, with a smile as she pinched and prodded him into submission. He tried on several pairs of robes, taking them all. Black suited him very well. My new robes were stripped of their Beauxbatons' symbol and embroidered with the Hogwarts crest.
Rabastan had informed me of the 'sorting', where I would 'be placed into Slytherin, certainly'. The other houses, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw were not acceptable, and if I were to be put into one of them… well, the consequences would not work out in my favor.
I sat down on the small runway that led from the dressing rooms, right in front of Rab's feet. I saw him looking down at me through the mirror, and in seconds, his eyes met mine in the looking glass.
"I know you're not happy about this," he began, dismissing the old tailor woman with a wave of his hand, "but it's for the best."
"The best for who, exactly?" I asked, tearing my eyes from his face, "you or me?"
"You, of course. All of us. He wants you at Hogwarts for a reason, Avalon, not just for child's play."
I rose from the small podium and turned to look my lover directly in the eye, "Sometimes I feel as if you're more devoted to him than you are to me."
"Sometimes," he growled, "it has to be that way."
I laughed bitterly, stepping back from him, "I'll see you, Rab."
"Ava!" he shouted, stepping out of the robe. I was gone from the store and the small street before he could catch up with me. The back alleys and small streets of Diagon were unfamiliar to me, and I was lost more quickly than I knew. There was a pub called the Leaky Cauldron, and I stepped inside, exhausted, more mentally than physically.
"What can I get for ye, Miss?"
I looked down up from the mahogany bar into the eyes of the bartender. He stared back at me, smiling a toothless smile, "I'll take a butterbeer."
There was a ruckus, and I hear the bell chiming at the entrance. Three boys walked into the dark pub, one of them laden with purchases.
"That oughta teach you to bet more carefully, Wormtail."
The voice was rich and husky, as if it'd been used too much in its lifetime. It belonged to a handsome individual, one whom I recognized. It wasn't that I had ever met Sirius Black, but being fair friends with his cousins, you came to recognize the familiarities. He had the trademark looks. Black hair, attractive visage, and the confidence of a bull. He stood, obviously taller than me, and was appealingly muscular.
One of his companions, a tall and lanky blond, sat down in a booth off towards the back, motioning for his friends to follow. Tiredly, the one carrying all of the days' buys plopped down beside him. He was the opposite of the blond, short and stumpy with mousy brown hair. He looked oddly out of place with the other two.
As the door opened once again, my heart jumped up into my throat. He stood there, with the same excited look I had last seen on him. So naïve. His hair was longer now, and darker. There was something aged to his face, a weather beaten coarseness. His stubble was short, but it made him look so much more a man than the boy I knew.
"James Potter," I laughed, taking a swig of my butterbeer, "aren't you a sight for sore eyes."
His stride stopped, and his dark haired friend peered around him to look at me. I swallowed the rest of my beverage and stood, watching in amusement as James curved, his face a hard mask.
"Avalon," he whispered.
"Oh I love how you say my name, darling," I purred sarcastically, stopping centimeters from him, "it's been too long."
I turned, with a sultry smile to James, to see the enraged eyes of my boyfriend. They were focused on the four boys, darting to each one surreptitiously, "Rab." I greeted stonily, moving to place a kiss on his cheek. His eyes flicked to me, and the fire increased.
"What are you doing here?" he snarled, increasing his grip on my waist, "with," he smiled bitterly at James and the Black blood traitor, "this filth?"
I retracted myself from his side and glared at him, "James and I were friends when we were kids. I'd appreciate if you not call him filth."
He shook his head, that hair of his falling into his eyes, "And the blood traitor? How can you bare to stand in his presence?"
My eyes darted to Sirius and I shrugged, "Doesn't seem so bad to me."
My comment only fueled his anger and I stepped away, back towards the door. Rodolphus entered the pub, grumbling to himself about his 'brother's flighty girl'. When he saw Rab, and then James, he grinned, pulling his wand from his robes, "Ah," he chuckled, "Marauders."
"'ats right," Sirius growled, stepping forward. James's eyes remained on me, and I looked at him apologetically.
"So you're with him, now?" he motioned vaguely to Rabastan.
"Yes, Potter," Rab barked, "she's with me."
James ignored him, stepping closer to me. Rabastan crossed his arms over his chest, and I saw his nostrils flare, "What happened to you?"
I turned from his penetrating stare and blinked back the tears, "I grew up, James."
He bobbed his head, placing his hand on Sirius' shoulder. The blood traitor lowered his wand, sending me a strange glance, and took a few steps back, "I can see that."
"What the hell was that all about?" Rabastan hollered as we 'popped' back in to the apartment. Rodolphus threw himself onto the couch, placing his boot-clad feet up on the coffee table. He smirked at me, and I stuck my tongue out at him.
"C'mon, Rab," Rodolphus whined, "she said they were old mates, not current ones."
"Piss off, Rodolphus," Rabastan bit back, making his brother raise his eyebrows. He shot me a repentant smile, and I shrugged my shoulders, watching him walk toward his room at the end of the hall, and shut his door. At least he would be able to block out our spat.
I steeled myself for Rabastan's berating, only, it never came.
"I wonder if maybe you're too good for all of this," he said suddenly. I looked over to where he was seated on the counter, drinking a glass of water. He let his eyes drift from his hands to me, and I stared at him, perplexed.
"You know," he said quietly, "the Death Eaters and the Dark Arts."
"Love," I whispered, slipping myself between his legs, "why would you say that?"
He caressed my cheek with his thumb, laying a soft kiss on my lips. He shook his head, chuckling to himself, "Forget it," he murmured, "let's go to bed."
The Hogwarts Express was a lot larger than I expected. No, I lie, it was a lot pansier than I expected. I mean, a scarlet steam engine? It's practically pink.
"Like it?" Rab asked, sidling up next to me. Our trunks lay on the ground beside us, and I could tell Rabastan was impatient to get a compartment all to ourselves. I just couldn't stop staring at the pink locomotive.
"Sure," I deadpanned, pulling my black trunk into the narrow hallway of the Express.
Students from all years trampled us until we found a suitable compartment, and Rabastan shoved our trunks overhead.
"Now," he whispered, smiling charmingly at me and settling his arms around my waist, "we have this whole train ride, and a single. What should we do?"
I raised my brows at him, "I'm sure you've already decided that."
He kissed me, our smiles melting together into a passionate dance between lips. Rabastan's kisses always disarmed me, made me putty in his grasp. Now, though, that the giddy part of our relationship was wearing away, his kisses were more fervent, and less gentle. I made a noise of pleasure as he slipped his hand inside my shirt, his fingers digging into the skin at the base of my spine. It was slightly painful, but satisfying. Yes, that would be the Death Eater speaking in me, just there.
"Look, Prongs," a voice from the doorway broke our embrace, and I disengaged my mouth from Rabastan's, pulling my shirt down in the progress, "a free show."
I peeked around my boyfriend to be met with an enthralling pair of granite eyes. They flicked over my face quickly, and recognition dawned inside of them.
"Well if it isn't my new mate," Sirius Black nodded at me, a silent challenge in his eyes. A challenge to what, I wouldn't find out until much later.
"Nice to see you again, James," I whispered, tearing my gaze from the attractive Black to the man who accompanied him. He and my boyfriend were engaged in a staring match. Ah, Men.
"I didn't know you were coming to Hogwarts, Av," James said quietly, not bothering to look in my direction.
"Nor did I, actually," I confessed, "until just recently."
James finally looked won at me, "Well, I'm glad you're here."
"Well, fancy that," Rabastan's sarcastic drawl came from behind me, "so am I. You won't be seeing much of Potter or Black, though, Avalon, as you won't be in their house. Say goodbye Potter, I believe this compartment's ours."
"You don't have to go," I told James desperately, ignoring Rabastan's sigh of protest, "we can talk some."
He gave me a small kiss, just above the apple of my cheek, "Some other time," he murmured, "promise."
He and Black left without another word, their trunks following behind them. Sirius paused at the doorway, turning back around to look at me. Rabastan stepped forward, narrowing his eyes, "I'll be looking forward to seeing you," Black winked at me, and Rabastan stepped again toward him.
"You'll stay away from her if you know what's good for you," he warned, pulling his wand from his robes. I placed a small hand on his arm.
"I guess I don't know what's good for me then."
The castle, at least from what I could see, was not scarlet. Thank Merlin. It was the natural cobblestone, and stood elegantly on a hill overlooking the village of Hogsmeade. As we walked toward the horse drawn carriages, the horses in particular caught my eye.
"Thestrals," I said to Redolphus, "aren't they?"
Bella nodded sadly from beside him, "That they are, darling," her black eyes flicked to me, "who was it?"
"My dad killed his sister when I was ten. Blood-traitor."
She nodded, "I see."
Two arms settled around my waist, lifting me from the ground. I shrieked, and the perpetrator spun me around to face him. Evan Rosier smiled down at me, his eyes crinkling at the edges.
"Evan!" I gushed, throwing my arms about his neck, "I've missed you dreadfully!"
"And I, you." He said into my hair, "are you ready to be sorted?"
He placed his arm around my shoulder, ignoring the scowling face of my lover, and escorted me into a carriage. Evan took a seat in front of me as Rab and Rodolphus piled into the carriage, Bella bringing up the rear.
"I suppose," I said tiredly, covering my yawn with my free hand. My other was encased inside one of Rabastan's.
"You'll love the sky," Rab said to me suddenly, one of his moments of charm bubbling to the surface, "at night, you can see it so clearly here. It's lovely."
"Let's not fight," I whispered, turning my face to be parallel to his, "I hate bickering with you."
"I'm sorry I'm so jealous," he nibbled maddeningly on my ear, "it's just I'm so afraid that everyone wants to take you away."
"I'm not that great."
"You are," he insisted, "you have no idea."
The rest of the ride was spent in silence, me, staring at Rabastan—trying to figure out where he hid so many personalities. He only had one body, after all. They all couldn't fit inside that head of his. The Thestrals led us surprisingly smoothly up the castle, where they deposited us in front of two, large doors.
"Home sweet home," Bella groaned, flicking her black hair over her shoulder, "marvelous."
"Don't be so raw, Bell," Rodolphus grinned, slinging his arm about her waist, "it's only one more year."
"Oh," she threw her hand to her face dramatically, "don't remind me darling."
I let my eyes wander over the students, and they locked again with those enchanting odd-colored eyes of Sirius Black. He smiled at me through the throng, and feeling oddly guilty, I turned away. We entered the castle, and I noticed every single member of the Eaters whisper something into the cloth at their arms. Was there some sort of incantation, something to hide the sinister snake that slithered away on their arm?
I looked down as Rabastan mimicked them, flashing me a genuine smile as he pulled his lips from his wrist. Yes, there was no more mark, but it was hidden beneath the surface, waiting to burst forth. I imagined my heart much the same. I wasn't as horribly corrupted as Bella or Rabastan, but my darkness lingered just underneath the flesh. Because, it was certainly there. I could feel its sweet seduction every moment.
Rab led me to a table at the far end of the 'Great Hall' as he called it. I imagined it to be his House table. Slytherin.
"I'm worried," he spoke very low, and I strained to hear him.
"About?" I murmured, brushing his hair back from his eyes.
"About you. What I said the other night, about you not being cut out for the Dark Arts. The hat will know."
"There's never been a Death Eater in Gryffindor," he said, his eyes flickering about the hall.
I followed his gaze to the front of the room, and found a whole new pair of eyes on me; that of the supposed 'Greatest Wizard of All Time'. Dumbledore was a kindly looking chap, his hair long and silvery, feather light. He smiled genuinely at me, tipping his cup in my direction. I nodded back, watching as he drank.
There was something in the way he looked so deeply into me that made me look away. I could feel power radiating from him in waves. That man, the Headmaster, knew everything there was to know in just that one glance into my soul.
I tuned out the remainder of the feast, and only the sound of my name brought me down from my daydreams. I looked up again, and a stern-looking professor motioned to me with her index finger. Hundreds of eyes turned towards me, all inquisitors. As I walked down the aisle between tables, I felt as if I were on display. The boys at the other tables were looking at me as if I were fresh meat, and the professors, I'm sure, were wondering if I'd be another dimwit taking up space in their classes.
"Miss Manx," Dumbledore brought my hand to his wrinkled lips, and then swept his hand elegantly to the stool. I sat on it, watching as a beaten old hat was place down my hair. It matted the black curls to my face, and then began to whisper to me.
Dark mind, very dark. But so very brilliant.
Just put me in Slytherin… I begged of it, not wanting feel as if I'd betrayed Rabastan, as if I'd betrayed my namesake.
But you could be great in Gryffindor, or Ravenclaw! Think of the possibilities!
There aren't any!
The hat shifted a bit on my head. Slytherin will make you great, but there will be no glory. You will be infamous, not famous. Do you still wish for it?
sometimes it's hard to see the enemy
the left, the right, or the fence of apathy
the sheep or the wolf, it's a thinly veiled disguise
movements are worthless if they're plagued with lies