"Good night's work," says Yaxley, collapsing into a chair.

Lucius feels a momentary disgust with such filth in his chair, before he reminds himself that he has no authority now, no say in the matter. The Dark Lord is using his house as his base, has been using it for several months now, yet Lucius still has not completely adjusted to having his fellow Death Eaters wandering around his home. Especially when they are as uncouth as Yaxley happens to be. But it does not matter what he thinks, for he is only a mindless servant who pleases his lord, a servant who has no authority whatsoever, not since he lost his wand . . . oh, but it is all part of serving his master, in fact he should be thankful for such an opportunity . . .

"Good night's work?" Dolohov snarls at Yaxley, taking Lucius back to the present. "You let some of them get away!"

"We got two, didn't we?" Yaxley retorts.

"Prisoners?" says Lucius in a bored voice, glancing around. "And where are they? Down with the others?"

"Nah, not prisoners – murdered them straight off. Other ones fled before we could get to them."

"And who did you manage to kill?"

"That Cresswell who's been avoiding us for ages," says Yaxley with a satisfied glint in his eyes, "and another – the Mudblood Tonks."

Tonks. His insides stir at the name, but aloud he says, "Good. That's – good."

Yaxley nods and gets to his feet again, Dolohov following. "Still have to get those other Mudbloods though – and them goblins. Greyback's a-looking too, but knowing him he'll screw the whole damn thing up."

"Yes," Lucius agrees quietly. The other two men disappear out of the house, leaving him alone. He tries to ignore the rotations his stomach is turning inside him, Tonks; tries to ignore the pain-splitting thoughts in his head, Tonks; tries to ignore the fact that his heart – or what is left of it, at least – is tearing itself in agony, Tonks . . .


He does not normally think of her anymore, but lately she has been invading his thoughts more frequently. Her husband is dead. She must feel horrible. No, horrible probably doesn't even begin to cover it; she is probably miserably wretched with grief.

But what do you care? he thinks to himself. What do you care, Malfoy? Ted Tonks was just another Mudblood.

But Tonks had been her Mudblood.

Exactly. He was hers. She chose him over you. So why should you be feeling anything for his murder?

Because he has never wanted to hurt her. That is why. And even though he has not directly caused her this pain, he is still associated with it, bound to share the guilt by this Mark on his arm.

Deaths are a strange thing. Lucius Malfoy has been involved in many of them. He does not think too hard on them anymore, has learned to feel nothing as he slashes down his victims, because they are nothing, because he is nothing, and that is all there was to it.

But with Tonks dead . . . suddenly he finds it harder to keep his icy indifference towards murder.

All I ever did was hurt her . . .