AN: This is the first story I have uploaded in over two years. I am attempting to write in stream of consciousness, so I know that at first it won't make sense, especially when reading from Ginny's point of view, and I purposely ignored grammar and sentence structure rules for my own purposes. As the story goes on, Ginny's parts will become easier to read and make more sense. Also, this story is rated M for a reason. There is violence, blood, and adult themes. If you are not mature enough to read it, then please don't.
Summary: Voldemort and his Death Eaters have won, and the wizarding world is in chaos. Ginny Weasley, prisoner of war, is enslaved to a reluctant Draco Malfoy as a gift for his eighteenth birthday. However, Ginny harbors a dark secret kept silent by a spell that makes her mute. Draco is intent on discovering the secret that could either save or damn the fragmented wizarding world.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. The plot and any other characters not belonging to Harry Potter are my own, and any resemblance to other plots on this website is coincidence. I may use lyrics later on in this story (if I can get away with it without getting in trouble), but these songs are not my own and I will put the name of the song and the author at the beginning or end of the chapter.
And now, onto the story. Enjoy, and please review if you want, flame or praise.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
There was no time here. The hours blended into days, the days into weeks, the weeks into months. She wasn't sure how long she had been here. She had no sunlight to measure the days by. In fact, the only light they ever had was from the candles. And nobody wanted to see that light. That light meant they were coming to take one of them. Sometimes it was her. Sometimes it was someone else. When they came for her, she went quietly. She no longer had the will to scream like the others. Not that she could.
When they came, they took her to a small room. Stone walls, stone floor, stone ceiling. All she saw anymore was stone. She didn't remember the sight of the sun, the smell of the air, the feel of the rain. She only knew stone, cold stone, and pain, sharp, hot pain. They had many ways of inflicting pain. The stone walls and table and floor were covered in torturous devices, some she had experienced, others she was glad she hadn't. If she could even feel glad anymore. She wasn't sure.
They tried to make her talk. They dunked her head in foul tasting water and held it there until her world went black. They whipped her until there was no unmauled skin on her body. They held her hand in a fire, demanding that she speak. They dunked her naked body into freezing cold water. They tried to make her talk, but no matter what they did, she would not speak. She could not speak.
She wanted to. Her silence was not Gryffindor bravery or pride or strength. She tried many times to tell them what they wanted. So she could die. But she could not speak. She tried to scream, but no sound came out. She tried to beg, but her voice was useless.
Eventually they stopped torturing her. They locked her up in her own stone cage. She wasn't sure how long she stayed in that cell, but it felt like a millennium in Hell. Sticky blood coated the walls. The smell of piss reeked from the corner. Screams could be heard all around her. There was no bed or loo, not that she cared for such frivolities anymore. Her clothes had deteriorated to practically nothing. She was fed every so often, stale bread and water. Most of the time she didn't eat it, but when the pain became unbearable, she did. She wished they had stopped feeding her. She wished she could die.
But that was not to be her fate.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
"Well why the hell won't she speak?!" roared Lucius Malfoy. The two men cringed. One was a short man with balding brown hair and a round stomach. The other was tall and built, with dark eyes and matching dark hair and a Hispanic accent. They were new to Voldemort's ranks, and the pawn scum of higher ranking members such as Malfoy himself. He was annoyed that the Dark Lord had put him in charge of such a pathetic crew of motley men, chosen to weed out the few remaining Order members and their whereabouts. Currently they were discussing the youngest Weasley, who had been captured a year and a few months ago, in the hopes that she would have insider information on the Order's hideout. Unfortunately, she was mute, and the Weasley situation was really starting to piss him off by now.
"Sir, we've tried. We've tortured her. We've beaten her. We've done everything short of raping and killing her." Lucius glared at them.
"And why didn't you do that?!" The two men glanced at each other.
"Mister Malfoy, quite honestly…she reeks. She's thin and disgusting and practically dead. She never even protests or puts up a fight when we torture her. And she's not exactly what I would call aesthetically pleasing…"
Lucius sighed in exasperation and ran his thin, white hands through his long hair. "It does not matter. We torture, we rape, we kill. End of story. She is taking up space and has done nothing to help us in our leads. We must find the rest of the order members," he slammed his fist on the table, making the men jump in fear, "or else the Dark Lord will have our heads, do you understand?"
The other man spoke up. "Well, we could just kill her. As you said, she is wasting space, and our men don't even bother to beat her anymore. She obviously can't speak. We've researched her, done tests on her, examined her. We believe she is under a spell of some sort, obviously Old Magic, because we cannot trace the origin."
Lucius muttered under his breath and took a swig of his Firewhisky. He welcomed the burning sensation the sharp, hot liquid left in his throat. He sat back in his leather backed chair, staring around the polished, antique office. The Death Eater ran his hands along the armrest of his chair. "Did you perhaps think…" he said slowly, as if in annoyance, "to make her write? Yes or no questions? Some other form of communication. A Truth Serum, for Merlin's sake!"
The small, balding man nodded his head furiously. "Yes! We tried everything. We attempted to make her write, and she did! She wrote her name, her age, her family member's names, but as soon as we told her to write her secret, to tell us everything she knew about the Order and its members, well…." He stopped, looking thoroughly perturbed.
"Well?" Lucius asked, annoyed. He lifted a perfectly thin, blonde eyebrow.
The taller man cleared his throat. "It exploded…" He too trailed off.
Lucius Malfoy sat up, staring at them in confusion. He rested his elbows on the desk, folded his hands, and settled his chin onto his knuckles, deep in thought. "Exploded?" Malfoy asked, as if seeming unconvinced.
"Burst into fire. The paper, the quill, the ink bottle…her hand. It all caught on fire. She seemed just as confused and frightened as we were. I don't think she honestly knows there is a spell on her. Certain parts of her memory have most likely been erased to prevent her secret from being told. What we do know is she's not speaking anytime soon, and we honestly think the best course of action would be to dispose of her to make room for more suspects."
Lucius shook his head and stared at the top of the table in deep thought. His eyebrows knitted together as the wheels turned in his head. "No, no, that would not be wise. Nobody would go to such lengths to keep her quiet unless she knew something dire, something important. But you're correct, she is wasting space and money and time. The Dark Lord is beginning to get annoyed with our lack of information…" He sighed, pausing in contemplation, and the men knew to stay quiet. A small smirk appeared on his face and malicious intent grew in his eyes. "No, boys…I think I have a better idea."
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Ginny Weasley sat with her back to the wall, her arms folded around her thin body and her head resting between her legs. She sat like this when she wanted to block out the screams and the cries for help. She pretended she could not hear the pleas in the rooms all around her. Ginny was finally dozing to sleep when light invaded her vision. She lifted her head ever so slightly, out of curiosity mainly, and had to hold her hand up against the bright shine of the candle that nearly blinded her. It invaded the darkness she had seen for so long, shone into all corners of the room, revealed the blood and stone she did not want to know was there, and finally showed a tall, familiar looking man before her. The girl squinted and covered her eyes and cowered against the wall, hoping they would just leave, but she knew it wasn't so. Maybe they had finally come to kill her. She could only anticipate that was the reason. Ginny heard the sound of boots stepping up to her and the light shone on her, forcing her to roll into a small ball in self-defense. They had taken away her blanket of darkness and protection and invaded it with their cruel light and perfumy smells. The prisoner felt a foot kick her in the side and she fell over with a small thud.
"Pathetic…Disgusting…Foul. I can see why you didn't want to rape her. If I even had to touch such a thing I would gag."
She cringed, hearing the word 'rape'. No! In all her time here, not once had they done that! Not now, not now. She lost everything, her family, her home, her life, her beauty, her voice, her dignity. At least there was one thing they could leave her with, and that was her virginity. Her virginity, it was all she had left from her life!
"I refuse to touch that thing until it is clean. Take her back to my mansion. Hand her over to Slave Number One and give her these detailed directions." He handed the men a letter. "And boys…do not touch my slaves again without my permission." With that, the familiar man turned on his heel and left, and as she watched him go, Ginny realized who it was. Lucius Malfoy.
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Alexandria sang lightly as she cooked. She loved to sing. She was not well educated, had only spent three years in Hogwarts, she was not mannered or beautiful, but the girl could do one thing perfectly, amazingly, wonderfully, and that was sing. She currently was singing and heating the left over dinner for her and the other slaves. It was quite a large meal, the Malfoys always had extra food, seeing as they insisted on seven course meals daily, and despite the fact that the Malfoys owned over twenty slaves, not including their house elves, she knew it would be enough food to feed them all. That was one advantage of being a slave for the Malfoys; everyone got fed, everyone got a bed. As long as you did your work, you were pretty much left alone. Mistress and Master Malfoy did not have enough time to waste on the slaves, being members of Lord Voldemort's new government and all. The only time the slaves were ever given attention, good or bad, was when the Malfoys had guests over.
Guests! She had almost forgotten! Tomorrow was Mister Malfoy's, that was, Master Malfoy's son, birthday party! The food would be magnificent and the slaves, if they were good, could serve at the party. She loved to serve at parties. Master Malfoy's regular guests often requested her to sing or wait on them and it was so thrilling to sing before such a large crowd. But she had heard from the Top Slave, Miss Maya, that there was going to be a grand surprise at the party tomorrow. Alexandria wondered what it was with excitement.
The thing about Maya was, as soon as you thought of her, she seemed to pop up right behind you. She was a good leader for the slaves. She worked at a steady but efficient pace, controlled with an air of righteous rule, and was respected by all of the slaves. She took care of all of the slaves, down to the youngest or slowest one, whether they were ill or hurt or depressed. Even Lucius Malfoy, known to be cold and indifferent to his slaves, treated her with respect and, in private, called her by her real name and not just her number. Mistress often called on her for company and Mister Malfoy trusted only her with his laundry. All in all, she was the most respected and loved of all the slaves, by the masters as well as the other slaves. She was like a mother to them all.
Well, she had done it again, popped up behind Alexandria without warning, that is. Maya moved with a slow, quiet pace and one didn't notice her until she spoke, her voice commanding yet comforting.
"Alex," she addressed the girl. Somehow Alexandria had come into the Top Slave's graces. She had practically been adopted by the woman. Alex jumped ten feet in the air, or at least, she felt like it. She turned to Maya, nodding and grinning like a fool. "Maya, what's up?!" The other slaves glared at her. None of them had the guts or the right to address Maya so informally and friendly, but the woman only smiled.
"I need you, quickly. Let Jasmine take over the cooking, and make sure she leaves enough for three, we're going to be working late into the night tonight." Alex immediately noticed her small frown and felt the worry and upset resonating off of the older woman. She nodded and handed Jasmine the spoon, running to catch up with Maya, who had already begun walking away at her quick but steady pace.
"Okay, Maya, I saw your face back there. What's so urgent? Did some of Mister Malfoy's presents get lost? Did an owl not show up? Are the decorations or food not ready?" The older woman merely shook her head and continued walking quietly. Alex followed without saying a word, knowing it best to let Maya think and contemplate whatever was on her mind. They wound through the marble halls quietly, their modest shoes clicking on the floors, until Maya stopped, just outside of the slave quarters. Alex looked at her with confusion, lifting an eyebrow.
Maya did not open the door but merely stood there, worrying her bottom lip. Alex knew something was terribly wrong to get the calm woman so worked up.
After five long minutes the woman finally spoke. "There's a new slave…but…this one's different. She's an aftermath of the war, many of us are, but she…she's been through a lot. I can see it in her eyes. The men said Master Malfoy brought her from the torture chambers of Azkaban."
Alex shuddered. Azkaban was no longer where murderers were sent to live out the remainders of their lives. No, Lord Voldemort owned it now and it was the sight of thousands of torturous, cruel deaths. Only Order members and their families were sent there. She felt sorry for the poor woman. To be a victim...the horror stories from Azkaban were sick and frightening and Alex knew she would die in such a place.
"She's a last minute birthday gift for Mister Malfoy. A slave of his own, and most likely his future mistress."
Alexandria's eyes widened. She knew, despite her poor education, that a mistress was just a nice name for a personal whore. Not that she felt all too bad for the girl on that note. Draco Malfoy was beautiful and rich, and any of the slave girls would die to share his bed for just one night. However, it was as if the boy had no libido whatsoever. He showed no interest in his future wife, Miss Parkinson, not that Alex could blame him, she was uglier than a dog and most definitely a whore. His parents and many of the slaves often wondered if he was gay and if it had not been for the Playwizard magazines Alexandria found when cleaning his rooms, she would have believed so too. However, her thoughts were drawn away from the sexy Draco Malfoy and an erotic Playwizard magazine (that she had actually opened and stared at with wide eyes, surprised when she suddenly felt a tightening in her lower abdomen, for she certainly was straight, or so she thought) when Maya spoke again.
"We have to clean her up for the party tomorrow. She looks sick. She's very thin and covered in blood and she smells horrible. I wouldn't have chosen you to help me if I didn't think your stomach could handle it. Besides, she's around your age, and seeing another teenager might calm her down…the poor thing is hysterical." Maya closed her eyes and took a deep breath, as if steadying herself. "Alright now, let's go in. She's been waiting in there for almost ten minutes. I don't want her hurting herself, though I doubt she can stand. Oh…and she doesn't speak, so don't press her to, got it Alex." The older slave looked at her with a pointed expression.
Alexandria saluted and grinned. "I can handle a little blood, and if she doesn't whine or cry, who's complaining?"
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Ginny was confused. Everything was so...so…bright here. The rooms glowed with unnaturally bright candle light that hurt her eyes. The walls were no longer cold red stone. No…they were...warm. Warm to the touch. And they were a light yellow color…Yellow. She remembered that color. The color of the sun, of flowers, of warmth. The floor, it was warm and porous and clean. There were lines running all through it and it changed in color from light to dark browns and back. Wood. Yes. She remembered wood. She hadn't felt wood in so long. And a window. There was a window here. It frightened her to look out of. There was sky and stars and a tree outside of this window. Things she had not seen in so long. She stared at the tree in wonder and it moved, making a light rustling sound, and waved its leafy branches towards her in greeting. She shrank away from it. She did not like these bright things. These moving things. They scared her. All she knew was her stone prison, her windowless cell with one stone door and iron bars. She knew dry, old blood and screams of horror and pain and darkness.
And there was more, so much more. More frightening things. A sink, yes, a sink, and she knew, she knew if she turned the handle that water would come out of the sink and spill along her hands and wash them clean of the layers of dirt and grime and how her body longed for it and how her mind feared it. No. She did not want to see the color of her skin. She did not want to see her body not covered in its protective shell of filth and dirt and blood. Such a thought scared her. To be so exposed, so open to the air.
But her eyes were drawn away from the sink, such a strange word, to above it, a shiny piece of glass. And in the glass a picture, a picture of a room with cheery beige walls and a window and wooden floors. A mirror. Yes, a mirror. It reflected the room and everything in it, but not her. No, she was crouched on the floor in a tight ball where the mirror could not see her and gaze at her with pity and contempt and sickening disgust and show her what she had become. She was not sure which she was more afraid of, seeing what she was now, after so long in her prison, or knowing for a fact, for truth, that she was human, she was alive, that she was not resting peacefully in her grave with her family.
No! She mustn't think of them! Thinking of them, it brought the creature back. The horrid black, ghouly creature with red eyes. The creature, it resided in her, and whenever she thought of her parents, her brothers, the death, the destruction, the war, it clawed its way up from deep down in her chest. It clawed at her lungs and ribs and tried to claw its way out of her belly and eat her alive. And it hurt, it hurt so much. She knew this creature was not a figment of her imagination, no, it was real! She could feel its sharp claws puncturing her lungs, squeezing them tight, pressing the air out, until she could not breathe anymore. She could feel it grab her heart, hold it tight in its claw, and puncture it with sharp nails, making it bleed. The only way to fight down the bile rising in her throat was to block out any images, ignore it, ignore their screams, their pleas for mercy, as she watched helplessly from her hiding place under the floorboards, watch as they closed in on her mother and force her to the ground and…
She began heaving. Nothing came out but air and blood and a little bit of water, but still her body heaved and her stomach churned and she pressed her hands against her ears and began to rock back and forth, puking nothing onto her clothes, because there was nothing, nothing in her to come out, she was empty except for her monster and…
And then the door opened.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
The first thing that hit Alex was the stench. It smelled of blood and puke and piss and so many other things she did not want to imagine. The next thing she noticed was the blood covered corpse on the ground. It was white, so white, under the blood that was, and all of the skin was covered in blood. The hair was thin and limp and caked with blood and dirt. The corpse wore something that resembled a sack. She assumed whatever it wore was once clothes, a dress by the looks of it, though the original shape and color had been lost to time and dirt and blood. It was ripped and torn and worn so thin she could see through it to the ugly, deep, red scars beneath. The corpse had thin arms and legs, thinner than the legs of the kitchen chairs. She could not see the face, for it lay curled in a ball with its back to her, but she was thankful for that. The corpse it looked…
Wait…she saw it move, twitch ever so slightly, and then she noticed it was shuddering and rocking back and forth no more than a few centimeters, as if it had no energy to move more than that. It was not a corpse at all, but an actual live human being. She clamped her hand over her mouth and breathed deeply through it, holding back the stench and calming her stomach. There was no way, no way that…thing was alive. It looked as if it had been six feet under for over a year now. The thought that a human could suffer through so much and still be breathing, if only barely, was astounding and horrifying to her.
She wanted nothing more than to run screaming from the room. The thought of spending another second here with this dead, yet moving, corpse terrified her. But she knew Maya, knew the woman would be disappointed and ashamed of her, especially when a fellow slave was in such need of help. She swallowed deeply and followed Maya into the room. The older slave was already crouched down beside the thing, stroking it, but this only made it shudder and rock more.
"I don't-" she lowered here voice for fear of scaring or breaking it, "think you should touch it-her. She looks frightened…What is her name?"
Maya looked up at her sadly. "They said her name is Ginny. Weasley. The last survivor of the Weasley family." She sighed. "That family did so much to help the Order." Maya shook her head. "No, we must be quiet; we're not allowed to speak of that. She needs to be bathed, but I do not want to frighten her more."
Alex nodded and kneeled next to the girl. Now she knew why Maya had chosen her. Not only was she the closest in age to the thing…girl…she had a calming, warm affect on people. She wasn't sure why. Alexandria was known for being a bubbly, cheerful, hyper and very excitable person, yet people were naturally attracted to that sunlight in her. However…this girl looked as if she had just come out of the depths of Hades. She wondered if too much warmth and sunlight wouldn't scare it. So she calmly leaned over the girl, breathing through her mouth, and stroked her cheek softly, whispering her name.
"Ginny…Ginny…shhhh…We are not going to hurt you. We're your friends. Friends. We're going to take care of you. Shh…" Maya nodded and began to run the bathwater. The girl shuddered at the sound. "It's okay…we're just going to clean you up. We're going to take care of you. Friends. Friends, Ginny. Please trust us. We're friends." The shuddering slowly stopped and the creature went still. If she could not feel the slight pulse through her hand she would have thought it died right there.
Maya lifted the girl up easily, cradling her like a child, her face hidden against her clothes. "Blow out some of the candles. I think she's just going into shock. All of the light and movement and sound are probably scaring her." Alex did as she was told and turned her back politely as Maya removed what little scraps of clothes were left on the corpse and lowered her into the warm water. "You can turn around. God, she's covered in blood. The water is already filthy."
Alex turned and forced her stomach to, once again, calm itself. The thing had its head down, hiding behind its hair, and the bubbly warm water around it was red. She kneeled down beside the bathtub and leaned over to look at its face but Maya put a hand on her shoulder, shaking her head.
"Leave her face alone for now. Just clean." She did as she was told. This was one of the times when she missed her magic, wish she had it back, even if she didn't know very many spells. The stench and filth were horrid and the layers of grime and blood seemed to be never ending. She was excited when she finally found pale, paper-white skin. They filled up and emptied the tub at least five times and scrubbed the girl from head to toe. Ginny slowly began to look more and more human, if not deformed and alien. She was thin, so thin her ribs bulged noticeably, and her head resembled more of a dirty mop than hair atop a skull. She was covered in so many scars from numerous different torturous weapons and some bled freely when Maya had to tear the cloth out of the scabbed-over wounds. It was torture, both physical and emotional, to sit there cleaning such a sad, pitiful, pathetic creature.
It was amazing and frightening at the same time. Cleaning the girl slowly, washing away all of her blood and dirt and exposing her wounds and pale skin underneath was like seeing a Phoenix be reborn from its ashes. The corpse-like girl sat shivering in the tub in the fetal position like a newborn baby being cleaned from its mother's fluids. She felt a sudden affectionate, maternal love and protection for the girl that overwhelmed and surprised her.
Finally, all was clean but the face, and she reached up with a cloth, singing lowly. Her music had calmed the girl, she noticed, and her voice hurt from singing quietly for over an hour, but she ignored the pain as she cleaned the face off slowly, careful not to force it up. Maya said eye-contact would only scare it more and so she let the thing stare down at the water as she cleaned.
"Ginny," she whispered, her voice light, "We're done. You're clean. Come out of the water. We'll dry you off and give you clothes to wear." The child obeyed silently, for which Alexandria was thankful, and leaned on her as Maya dried her body. Ginny seemed too weak to even stand and she shivered violently, despite the warmth and steam in the room, so they dressed her quickly and efficiently in Alex's pajamas.
She could see the girl drifting off to sleep and knew she must be exhausted. She wondered the last time Ginny slept on a bed, the last time she bathed, the last time she ate. Alex was too curious now. She had to know. Had to know what the face looked like. According to the accounts she had heard of the Weasley family, she had never had the privilege of meeting one in person before the family was brutally massacred, they all had red hair, tanned skin, and numerous freckles. Most of the boys were tall and the women short and curvy. However, with the exception of the mop of red hair, the girl looked nothing like the descriptions.
The temptation was overwhelming her. Alexandria reached a hand under the chin and lifted the face up. Ginny did not protest, and she knew, even if she wanted to, the girl was too weak. Alex brought the face up until it looked into her own. Bony cheeks, sunken eyes, dark circles. Thin, torn, chapped lips and a small nose. Alex felt as if she were looking into the face of death, seeing the affect of a year in Hell. The face of a fallen, tortured angel. No. Ginny had not fallen of her own accord. This was the face of…an innocent, broken, dead soul.
Then, the eyes opened. And as Alex stared into the dull, lifeless, unfocused brown eyes, she knew what death, pain, suffering, looked like.