Title: Phoenix Tears
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters you recognize from the HP books in this story. All I own is the plot. Everything else belongs to JK Rowling.
Warnings: Tormented!Draco and Bitter!Harry. Spoilers from Books. Pregnancy. VERY dark and mature themes.
A/N: Yep, and after about another hundred years, I finally got around to updating this story. I am so, so, so sorry! I'm not purposely prolonging these updates, but at the same time I'd hate to do a horrible job on this story by rushing it all out. No worries please, everyone! I will be finishing this story, I promise you! Slytherin's honor, promise. *innocent smile* Haha no but seriously, I will finish this story. Just be patient with me, I will try to update this as much as I can. :D
Chapter 34 – Blood and Tears
The moment she was awake, Harry immediately sensed that something was very wrong.
Groaning, she tried to squint her eyes open but immediately shut them again when a flash of white light greeted her, blinding her vision. Shaking her head with a groan, she tried to open her eyes again more slowly, giving herself time to adjust to the light and take in everything in her surroundings. For a minute, she couldn't seem to make sense of anything that was happening – and it wasn't until she heard a loud, eerily familiar voice drawling several feet away from her that Harry froze in sheer panic.
"Well, would you look at that mates…? Our little beauty is finally up and about."
No…It couldn't be.
Slowly, Harry drifted her wide green eyes across the room towards the dark, cloaked figure standing in front of her. It took the Gryffindor several more seconds to recognize that scarred, wolf-like face leering down at her with a dangerous glint in his eyes. But then again, she would have recognized that man's face anywhere – she had seen it one too many times in her nightmares.
"Fenrir Greyback." She whispered, her muscles tensing as she gazed upon his sneering face.
Her first instinct was to attack him, but that was when Harry realized that, save for her head, her entire body was immobile and bound onto a long wooden table. Stiffening and glancing around in growing alarm, she noticed that a tall old mirror stood at the very end of the table by her feet, and that written on the mirror's glass surface were strange runes, written in bright red paint.
Blood. Harry realized, and wincing she glanced down again, realizing for the first time why one of her hands was trembling in pain. A large, ugly red gash on her palm stood out vividly against her pale skin and she could only watch, her heart hammering wildly, as her blood oozed onto the table beneath her.
Where…Where am I…What's going on? Harry blinked rapidly and tried to get her bearings straight, her eyes darting from left to right when she noticed that Greyback was not alone. There were more werewolf-looking men with him, all of which were watching her with bright leering eyes that seemed to trail up and down her body.
The minute she noticed this, Harry felt her heartbeat beginning to speed up even more and before she knew it, images of her horrible rape nightmares began to flood her mind. Tensing and shaking her head furiously to try and clear the lucid thoughts away, she tried her best to focus on thinking clearly.
No…Now's not the time to be terrified, Harry…Stay strong…Think…Focus! What do you see? How do you get away from this?
Harry opened her eyes.
She couldn't fully make out the rest of their surroundings, but she knew that they were in a large room illuminated only with a few candles that floated magically near the ceiling. A soft droplet of something silver against her cheek forced Harry to blink again and trail her eyes up, immediately cringing and tearing her gaze away when she saw where the droplet had come from. Directly above her was an antique chandelier – and it would have actually been beautiful had it not been for the fact that speared right in the middle of it was a dismembered unicorn's head – fresh from the kill and dripping blood right onto her form directly underneath it.
Another droplet of the unicorn's blood fell against her cheek, near the corner of her lips, and Harry turned away sharply, feeling her stomach lurch in disgust. "You sick bastards…That's disgusting...How could you." She managed to croak out, eliciting a few laughs and smirks from the group of werewolves that were crowded around her.
Standing in front of her, Greyback chuckled and trailed his eyes up lazily to glance at the chandelier above them. "I actually like it, Potter…It adds a kind of…exotic beauty to this place, don't you think?" Greyback jeered mockingly, chuckling as he began to slowly make his way towards her.
As she listened to his footsteps approaching, Harry desperately wracked her mind for something – anything that could trigger her memory on how she got trapped into this situation in the first place. Fortunately, Greyback provided the answer for her the minute he leaned down to peer at her face.
"But then again, I've always found Malfoy Manor to be a tad bit boring and horribly drab anyway. A little more decoration here and there wouldn't hurt." He drawled, his eyes gleaming as he placed his hands onto the table on either side of her head and peered down at her, his cold eyes glinting maliciously.
Harry tried not to let her reaction show as she stared back numbly at him, her mouth twisted into an angry, taunting sneer. Malfoy Manor…I'm in Malfoy Manor…With Greyback and a group of werewolves…Why? How did I get here? What happened? Her heart pounding in her chest, Harry again tried in vain to remember how she got into this predicament, but all she got was a faint memory.
She remembered that she had been on her way to Hogsmeade, running through one of the Hogwart's underground passages as Draco had instructed her to do. She remembered Draco had looked terrified that night...But she couldn't remember why.
And then she remembered meeting Ron in one of the passageways, and that Ron had looked like he was under a spell.
Harry's eyes suddenly widened in panic.
Ron! Where is he? Is he alright? She began to struggle against her magical bindings but to no avail, and Greyback just continued to sneer down at her – as though he enjoyed watching her struggling with her confusion. Furious, she spat into his face, forcing the sneering werewolf to growl and pull back from her to wipe himself clean.
"Where's Ron? Where's Draco? What have you done with them? Why am I here, what do you want?" Harry screamed, her voice echoing around the room and making the men laugh again.
She ignored their reactions and continued to search the room in growing desperation but to her frustration, she found nothing. Helplessly, Harry flicked her gaze to Greyback again and watched with narrowed eyes as he situated himself into a large armchair near the side of the room and grinned at her.
"Now don't you worry about Malfoy Junior, Potter…He's safe…Safe and happy as can be with Mum and Dad. Isn't that right, boys? Malfoy's just bright and dandy." Greyback's malicious smile widened at the sound of more laughter echoing around the room but Harry just stared at him in confusion, shaking her head in disbelief.
"I…I don't understand…What do you want? Do you want to kill me now, Greyback? Do you think that will accomplish anything for you or your group?" Harry asked him calmly, watching as the werewolf's jaw tightened in annoyance. Before he could say anything, however, she continued and taunted him again.
"You're an escaped convict from Azkaban, Greyback. And it's only a matter of time before the Ministry catches you. Do you really think that killing the boy-who-lived will make things any easier for you? Voldemort is dead…There's no one to help your kind now. Think about it." She warned him, watching as Greyback seemed to hesitate for a few minutes before he decided against it and laughed.
"Well, we can't exactly call you the 'boy-who-lived' anymore now can we, Potter? No, certainly not…Not with that child of yours growing inside you." He threatened back with a smile and that was when Harry froze, suddenly reminded of the fact that she was actually harboring another life inside of her.
Oh god…They know.
"Wha-what did you say?" She asked carefully, her voice shaking slightly with disbelief as she glared up at Greyback's face again. The werewolf's smile just widened, and in the darkness she could make out the sadistic expression in his dark beady eyes.
"Oh don't you play coy with us, Potter." He cackled and stood back up, walking over to where she was bound on the table and using his wand to tap her pregnant stomach with a knowing sneer. "We know all about your little nighttime sin here…" With that, he turned to address his men with a wink. "It seems, boys, that Harry Potter had a lot more fun as a woman…Less than a year and she already has a kid…With a convicted Death Eater no less. I thought you hated us?" He mocked loudly.
Harry was trembling now, unsure of how they had managed to find out everything. With gritted teeth, she shook her head sharply and tried to stall for time. "Draco is nothing like you–" She seethed at him but Greyback burst out into laughter again, his large eyes glowing with amusement.
"Your precious Malfoy Junior is everything like us–"
"Fenrir! Do stop bothering our guest, dearest. It's horribly rude of you!"
At the sound of the voice that had spoken – this one softer and more light-toned that Greyback's raspy baritone – Harry's blood ran cold. She felt the familiar feelings of utmost hatred and revenge consuming her as she glanced up and locked eyes with none other than Bellatrix Lestrange.
The pale woman looked exactly as Harry had remembered her, with wide, crazed black eyes and tangled, black hair that seemed to resemble a spider's web on the top of her head. The smile on her face was eerie, almost as though the woman could not contain her excitement for something and at the familiar sight of it, Harry felt even angrier. She remembered it well – the last time she had seen that expression on Bellatrix' face was in fifth year – the very night she had killed her cousin, Sirius Black.
"Bellatrix Lestrange…" Harry let out in soft, angry hiss, her voice barely audible.
She looked up and stared directly at Bellatrix as she entered the dimly lit room with a cauldron balanced carefully in her arms. As she passed Harry, Bellatrix smiled cheerfully at her, humming along to a lullaby as she deposited the cauldron on the floor near the foot of the table Harry was bound to.
Tensing, Harry watched as Bellatrix stirred the bright red liquid for a few minutes, playfully shooing away a few of the curious werewolves who were trying to peer into the contents of the cauldron. Then, when after a few more stirs the potion seemed to hiss and then dim into a maroon color, Bellatrix smiled in satisfaction and finally turned around to address Harry for the first time.
"Please forgive my manners, Harry dearest…You see I'm just a little excited with our project, you can hardly blame me for not attending to you as I should." She commented idly before she bent down, scooping a fair amount of maroon liquid into an open vial and giving it a few brisk shakes.
"You just made things easier for me, Bellatrix…You spared me the trouble of tracking you down. Now I can just kill you and get it over with. And the Ministry could just charge me with self-defense." Harry growled, her expression twisting into an angry sneer but she winced when one of the nearby werewolves growled at her and slapped her across the cheek.
"Shut up, Potter!" He snarled, but just he was about to raise a hand to hit Harry again, Bellatrix pointed a wand at him and stunned him, looking annoyed as she placed her wand back into her pocket.
"Oh honestly…Such brutes, they are! Can't we all just get along today?" She quipped pointedly.
Still humming, she walked over to where Harry was lying down on the wooden table and patted the other girl's stinging cheek in mock comfort, her smile widening when Harry just winced and tried to evade her touch. "Now don't you worry darling…Hush now…They will not hurt you as long as I am here. I promise you that." Bellatrix told her sweetly.
Unable to do anything else, Harry just glared up hatefully at her, watching as Bellatrix turned away from her again and gestured briefly to Greyback behind her. Nodding, Greyback obliged and trotted over, picking up the cauldron Bellatrix had been using and carrying it to the end of the room.
"What is that? What are you trying to do?" Harry asked quietly, tensing when Bellatrix turned to her again and smiled widely, her dark eyes suddenly gleaming in excitement as she answered.
"Oh it's just the most wonderful thing Harry, you'll see!" She told her, but before Harry could figure out why Bellatrix was uncorking the potion vial in her hand while bending over her, the dark-haired witch had already cackled and chimed out, "Now if you'd just care to open your mouth a bit–"
Harry's eyes widened and she immediately tried to clamp her mouth shut as she turned away.
"OPEN YOUR MOUTH, I SAY!"
Wincing, Harry shut her eyes in horror at the sound of Bellatrix' high pitched shriek and tried to move her head away again but to no avail. Within seconds, Bellatrix had already forced her mouth open with a flick of her wand and suddenly poured the contents of the vial into her open lips. As she felt the hot liquid being poured down her throat, Harry felt the corners of her eyes sting in panic.
I have to get out of here!
Closing her eyes, Harry heard more of the harsh laughter from the watching werewolves around them and she shook her head fiercely to drown the sounds out. Cringing, she tried to gag and spit the contents of the potion Bellatrix had just fed her back out but her efforts were useless and soon enough, she already began to feel dizzy and weak as the potion quickly began to dim her senses.
"Ugh…Wha–what…What the fuck did you just give me…?" Harry tried to cough out, her words coming out slurred as she blinked and tried to clear her vision. Humming cheerfully, Bellatrix refused to answer her. Instead, the dark-haired witch merely chuckled as she bent over a nearby spellbook.
"Lestrange! What did you just give me? I'm going to kill you when I get my hands on you, you insane bitch!" The more Harry noticed that her surroundings were beginning to blur and that her head was beginning to throb painfully, the more her growing desperation become evident in her voice.
Ignoring the hysterical laughs and howls coming from the pack of werewolves that had gathered around them, Harry shut her eyes tightly when the dizziness became too unbearable. Beside her, she heard Bellatrix still humming as she carried on with rearranging a few more potion ingredients and an ancient spellbook that was positioned right at the center of the table. Straining to see her more clearly, Harry opened her eyes and watched as Bellatrix turned to one page of the book.
"You know, I just love the view from this room…Do you see that, Potter?" Bellatrix paid no attention to Harry's pained, grimacing expression as she directed the Gryffindor's gaze over to the nearby window overlooking a beautiful, dimly lit garden outside. "That's my sister's darling little maze garden…Isn't it lovely? Cissa was always the artistic one in the family." Bellatrix mused, shaking her head in amusement before she flicked her eyes over at Harry again and gave her a slight smirk.
"Well…Do you like the gardens too, Potter?"
Unable to answer, Harry grimaced in pain again and closed her eyes as her vision began to swirl into a mixture of hazy colors.
"Why are we even here then? If you're going to kill me, Bellatrix, then do it now–" She cut herself off abruptly and cringed when she felt a sharp, aching contraction somewhere near the pit of her womb.
Fuck! What's happening?
Gasping as another sharp pain shot through her, Harry gritted her teeth and flicked her bloodshot eyes at Bellatrix's sneering face. "What did you just give me? What are you doing to my child?" She screamed, angrily trying to break free from her magical binds. Bellatrix just smiled at her, her dark eyes glowing excitedly.
"I gave you a very special tonic, Potter…" Examining her nails, Bellatrix walked over to where Greyback and the other werewolves were seated and settled herself onto a nearby armchair. "You should consider yourself lucky, few witches today actually have access to such an advanced potion–"
"WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING TO ME, LESTRANGE?" Harry screamed louder at her, causing the older woman to chuckle at the obvious pain she could sense in the dark-haired Gryffindor's voice.
Cackling louder, Bellatrix just watched her with a wide, knowing smile. "The speed of your pregnancy has been advanced tenfold, Potter." She held up the empty potion vial she had in her hand. "This potion will speed up your pregnancy enough so that we don't have to wait for that baby to come out, yes?" Rolling her eyes, Bellatrix pretended to shake her head in dismay. "Oh we all know that pregnancy can be such a drag anyway, this will make things easier for you, Potter." She quipped.
At her words, however, Harry's blurry, pain-filled green eyes had just widened further in horrified disbelief and she nearly choked in her shock. "What? N–no, you cant be serious! That's impossible! I'm not due till a few more months, I can't give birth now–"
"That child should be ready to come out in about another hour or so, Potter…Isn't that exciting? You're going to be a young mother soon! And I'm going to be Aunt Bellatrix!" Bellatrix clapped her hands together and laughed gleefully, her eyes gleaming in amusement at the expression on Harry's face.
"N–no, you're sick! Why do you want this child? Why do you want to hurt the baby–?"
"Oh no, no, no…You misunderstand me, dearest!" Bellatrix' expression immediately sobered as she rushed back over to where Harry was lying on the table and patted her lightly on the head. "I don't want to hurt the baby, I could never want to hurt that precious baby! It isn't in my nature to do so!" Bellatrix cooed at her, ignoring the way Harry's face was now turning red in excruciating pain.
"A–argh…The ch–child…Merlin, i–it hurts! J–just kill me but please spare the child–"
"I want that baby so I can care for him, Potter! You see, Draco hasn't yet told you the full extent of our plans!" Bellatrix added further and at her words, Harry's eyes suddenly shot open.
"D–Draco? Where is he? What have you done with him?" She seethed out, but even before Bellatrix could answer she gasped out in pain again as another contraction shot through her. "I'm warning you –if you so much as hurt a strand of hair on his head, I'm going to kill you, Lestrange–"
She was immediately cut off when Greyback and the other werewolves around her seemed to burst into sniggers and Bellatrix shrieked with laughter, looking at her and giving her a wide, amused sneer. "What have we done with him? Don't you mean what has he done to you?" Greyback shot back as he glanced at Harry again and leered at her, enjoying the confusion on her face.
"What? What do you mean–"
Greyback shook his head at her question and he and Bellatrix shared a smirk. "Harry, Harry, Harry…Dearest, haven't you figured it all out yet?" Bellatrix didn't bother waiting for her response as she reached forward and cupped her clammy cheek. "Why…This whole thing…You being here right now at our mercy…" Bellatrix pretended to pout and shake her head. "This whole thing was Draco's handiwork all along…Didn't you know all that, sweetheart?" She asked in a sweet, saccharine voice.
At her words, Harry forgot about her contractions and stared at her – all the blood immediately draining from her flushed face.
Seeing the broken, crumpled expression on her face, Bellatrix's smile widened gleefully.
"Y–you're lying!" Harry tried to mask the cracking in her voice and shook her head frantically as more and more beads of sweat began forming along her brow. "No, Draco's changed! Draco tried to save me! He would never set me up to something like this, he's not like you!" She stammered, suddenly gasping for breath as her chest began to squeeze painfully – but whether it was because of the actual potion Bellatrix had forced on her or because of something else entirely, Harry wasn't sure.
Still, without knowing why, her eyes began to water and she shook her head again, trying to think straight.
"Where is he? What have you done?" Harry demanded again, her voice trembling.
Bellatrix and Greyback met each other's smirks again and laughed, the former of which turned to one of the watching werewolves near the entrance of the dark room and nodded. "Go fetch me my darling little nephew, will you? Oh and Lucius and Narcissa too…They need to be here." She cooed.
Nodding, the werewolf she had spoken to took off at once, followed by two of his companions. As soon as they were gone, Bellatrix turned to Harry again and reached over to pet the younger woman's mane of tangled, dirt-grimed hair. "A pity…Such a lovely girl you make too, Potter." She mocked but Harry just winced and bit her lip as more contractions continued to plague her.
For those next few minutes, Harry found that she couldn't say anything and only the hammering of her chest warned her that something was very, very wrong– and that she could actually die here.
No…I can't die like this…I have to think of something…before–
Her line of thought broke off entirely as soon as the werewolves Bellatrix had sent out returned, roughly shoving in front of them three grime-speckled, pale blondes who had stumbled onto the cold, marble floor. Wincing and trying hard to squint up at them so she can see their faces, Harry was only able to recognize Draco's bruised, tear-stained face before a contraction plagued her again and she gasped, shutting her eyes to ride out the pain.
"What did you do to her, you bastards? Why is she screaming?"
Harry heard Draco's angry yell and a few violent scuffles. She opened her eyes again just in time to see a few more large, bulky werewolves holding a violently struggling Draco back from lunging at Bellatrix.
"Let him go!" Harry managed to croak out as she forced her eyes back open but Greyback and Bellatrix ignored her and turned to Draco again, watching as one of the werewolves had forced the Malfoy Heir down onto his knees beside his parents and pointed a wand at the back of his head.
"No, Bellatrix! Please don't hurt Draco!" Narcissa cried out tearfully, trying to shoot Bellatrix an imploring look but before the other woman could answer, Lucius Malfoy exploded in furious voice.
"Greyback, get those filthy paws of your dogs off my son! Or I shall make you regret it!" He seethed, only to wince in pain right after when the werewolf behind him had shoved him in retaliation.
"Watch your mouth, Malfoy." Greyback snapped back at him with a cold sneer.
Sighing, Bellatrix took this all in with a perfectly calm expression on her face and shook her head, letting out a dramatic sigh. "All this drama over nothing…Lucius, darling, if you have any more issues, will you let them all out now? The other Death Eaters will start arriving soon for the ceremony and I'm afraid I haven't any more time for you." She drawled in a bored tone of voice.
Harry's panicked green eyes had flicked questioningly over to Draco just as the Malfoy Heir had reacted the same way she had.
"Draco, what is she saying? What ceremony? What's going on? What aren't you telling me?" She asked tensely, noting the way the blonde Slytherin was trying to avoid meeting her eyes.
For a minute, Draco stared back at her, his eyes speaking all myriads of emotions – but all of which just left Harry even more confused. "There will be no ceremony! Aunt Bellatrix, this is crazy! What you're planning to do is insane and it's never going to work! You have to stop this right now–"
"Tell her, Draco."
Bellatrix's voice was as cold as ice as she cut through his desperate pleas and glared silently at him, watching the conflicted emotions running through the young blonde's face. Behind Draco, Lucius and Narcissa were staring at Harry in horror, their eyes fixated on her growing stomach.
Trembling, Draco stared pleadingly at Bellatrix, his eyes already flooding with anguished tears.
"No, I didn't…Please Aunt Bellatrix, I couldn't, I can't–"
"TELL POTTER THE TRUTH, DRACO! TELL POTTER WHY WE HAVE BROUGHT HER HERE!"
In that moment, even without hearing the exact words issued from Draco's lips, Harry felt the cold, sickening realization of what was happening beginning to crash down towards her. She swallowed, already holding back the flow of tears that were flooding into her eyes. Bracing herself, she blinked once and turned to meet Draco's twisted expression again, her heart and her soul slowly shattering into a million pieces when she recognized the defeated look on his handsome face.
No…No…It couldn't be…He couldn't have…
With a calm but soft, shaky whisper, Harry painfully swallowed the dry lump that had formed in her throat again and slowly addressed him just as a single tear rolled down her bloodied cheek.
Slowly, very slowly, Draco turned towards the raspy voice that had spoken and looked up, allowing her to see the look of utmost shame and broken regret that was written all over his face. And at that, Harry's mind completely froze – a single, painful, agonizing second – before the full reality of everything that was happening suddenly began to piece together and she felt herself ripped in half.
Blinking rapidly and her face suddenly turning as white as a sheet, Harry's felt a wave of nausea threatening to rise up from her stomach as she stared at Draco's crying features.
Harry heard her own thoughts, and they sounded desperate even to her as she tried to search Draco's expression for any signs of denial, anger, or even outrage on his part.
But she found none.
"Harry…I…" Draco's hands were trembling as he raised them up and covered his crying face.
Suddenly, Harry felt sick.
"I couldn't do anything…I tried to stop them…I'm so sorry…"
Draco was sobbing as he looked at her; his desperate silver eyes flooded with tears as he fell to his knees and covered his face with trembling, bloodied hands. "I'm sorry, Harry…I–it was me…It was all me, I'm so sorry…Please…I–I didn't mean to…I just…I didn't know what else to do–I didn't–"
"No…" Harry shook her head again, closing her eyes and trying to drown out Draco's cracking voice with her own. "No…NO! No, I don't believe you! Say you didn't do this! You're not the one responsible! Tell me, Draco! You had nothing to do with this!" Harry screamed angrily at him, her voice already trembling with so much pain and betrayal that Draco could barely understand her.
Helplessly, he continued to meet her eyes silently from across the room, knowing that in the few moments that passed between them, Harry would see through him – she would see every single ugly, disgusting thing about him and that once she did, she'd finally know him for the monster he truly was. She would hate him forever, and that tore Draco apart more than anything else.
He almost allowed himself to hope when he thought he saw the confusion and disbelief in Harry's expression – as though she could not believe he could have ever done such a thing to her. However, in those next few moments, it was gone, and the more those beautiful emerald green eyes stared at him with that same betrayed expression, the more Draco felt his heart break.
He saw the unspoken words written clearly in her eyes.
You're a monster, Draco. A death eater. A coward. You'll always be a death eater.
His resolve shattered, and just as he thought that he would have no more tears left to cry, Draco felt his vision beginning to blur once more as he tried to meet her harsh, accusing gaze.
"Harry…" His voice cracked as he tried to stand up and reach for her but the werewolf behind him growled and pointed his wand at him again, causing Draco to wince and fall back to his knees.
"Y–you…" Harry's voice shook as Draco stared her, both teenagers aware of the other pairs of eyes that were watching them across the room and yet, unable to see anything else except each other.
"I…I trusted you–" Harry's voice broke out into a sob but before she could even finish her sentence, Draco managed to choke out a strained, anguished whisper. "Harry, please listen to me–"
"NO! MALFOY, I TRUSTED YOU! YOU LYING, DISGUSTING SNAKE! HOW COULD YOU–"
"Harry! Please, I–I never wanted any of this! I never wanted to hurt you! But…I…I couldn't, I couldn't fight back! You have to believe me, please–" Draco tried to rush towards her again but the sneering werewolf laughed and yanked at his arms, forcing the blonde Slytherin back on his knees.
Harry turned sharply away from him, her form now heaving with so much violent sobs that Draco had to strain to understand what she was actually saying. "You coward…" She whispered, her voice heavy and raspy with her barely restrained sobs. "You…How dare you, Malfoy…How dare you…I should never have trusted you...I should never have thought you were different..."
Draco ignored the way his heart was clenching painfully at all the hatred he heard dripping in her voice.
"I trusted you…" She repeated emptily, her eyes dimming as she tore her gaze away from him and stared numbly at her own reflection in the mirror in front of her. "I trusted you…I defended you against my best friends…Against everyone else…I told them you had changed…And that you were going to be a better person…But…I was wrong…" She spoke softly, suddenly looking weak.
"No, Harry...You weren't wrong...I have changed...Please..." A single tear slipped through Draco's eye and rolled down his cheek as he felt the weight of her harsh words lashing at him – sharp and painful despite the softness with which she had spoken.
"You haven't changed at all, Draco...You're nothing…" Harry lifted her hard green eyes up and stared coldly at him, her lips twisting into an angry, mocking sneer. "You're nothing but a fucking…lying…death eater…" She whispered hatefully at him.
At this, Draco felt his heart contract and he froze – feeling as though he had just been kicked in the gut.
Paling, he tried to ignore the vehemence in Harry's words but still, they reverberated over and over and over again in his mind until Draco felt himself recoil, his eyes clouding over in intense pain.
"I'm not…Please! They had my parents, they forced me to go along or they would kill them!"
"I hope you die and crawl back into the hell you and the rest of your lot came from, Malfoy!" Harry finally hissed, her eyes flashing as she took in his pathetic kneeling form and shook her head.
"P–please don't say that, Harry…You have to believe me…Harry, I…I love you–"
"YOU FUCKING LIAR!" Harry suddenly exploded at him and to everyone's shock; one of the antique vases near the corner of the room had shattered violently at the sudden influx of her emotions.
Draco felt the strength of her magic straining against the binds of the room but still, he spoke again, ignoring the way the wand pointed at his back seemed to be digging painfully into his flesh.
"Harry, you can refuse to believe everything else I've ever said to you these past few weeks but please just believe that! I love–" Draco winced when another vase – this one closer to where he was kneeling – shattered, and he had to duck when a shard came flying dangerously close to his face.
"No! You don't get to say that to me, Malfoy! You don't ever get to say that to me ever again!"
For some reason he couldn't understand, Draco managed to break free of the grip the werewolf had on his arms and he rushed forward towards Harry's form. At this, Bellatrix, Greyback, and even his parents had just watched with mixed reactions but before any of them could say or do anything, Draco was already clasping Harry's hand in his own and trying to speak through his tears.
"Harry, I would have rather died than let them take you–"
"DON'T TOUCH ME, YOU DEATH EATER!" She suddenly screamed then, both in pain and in anger as she recoiled and turned her face away but before Draco had a chance to react, Bellatrix seemed to have finally had enough and she spoke up – breaking through Draco's pained protests.
"Alright, that's enough…" She drawled flatly, her expression a mixture of amusement and boredom as she walked forward and yanked Draco backwards with the scruff of his collar. "I know you two lovebirds have a lot of your ickle problems to sort you but frankly, I haven't got the time nor the stomach to deal with it. Tsktsktsk…" Smirking, she turned and gave Draco a saucy wink.
"You've been a naughty boy have you, Draco? Don't worry, if you're good, perhaps I can give you Potter as a your own personal toy after all this." She added with a laugh, failing to see the way Draco's eyes had hardened murderously.
"I'm going to kill you, you bitch–" He lunged at her, immediately causing the older pureblood to shriek and jump back in shock at the gesture but before Draco could manage to grip her throat, Greyback had rushed over and held Draco back, shoving the young Slytherin back to his knees.
"Oy! No roughhousing, Malfoy! Save it for Potter over here, once everything's done!" Greyback jeered, laughing when he saw the way Draco's eyes had flashed dangerously at his words again.
"Eh, I don't understand why you took your damn time with the freak anyway. If you had asked me, it would have been more fun if you hadn't chickened out from raping her like we planned from the very beginning. Then, we could have avoided all this drama." Greyback pointed out, shaking his head.
At Greyback's words, Draco had paled again and he turned just in time to see Harry's horrified reaction.
Her face had gone white and she froze, turning wide, wounded green eyes to meet his face.
"It was you…It was you, Malfoy…" She whispered, her voice trembling weakly. "Y–you tried to rape me that night…? That was you…? It was all real?" She asked softly, her eyes filling with tears.
Draco was unable to find the voice to answer as he stared at her, his face pale in self-disgust.
"Draco…H–how…How could you do this to me…?" She asked in a soft, barely audible whisper.
Again, Draco realized that he couldn't answer her and that was when all the remaining strength left in Harry had broken down entirely. Without warning, her face crumpled with tears and her body suddenly gave out, falling back listlessly against the table.
Clenching his fists, Draco continued to stare helplessly at her, his face twisted in pained remorse.
"I had no choice." He repeated once more, his voice sounding strained and his nails digging painfully into his palms as he clenched his fists. "They were going to kill my parents unless I turned you into a woman…and got you with my child…I'm…sorry…"
He could speak the words clearly now, Draco knew, because the effects of the Unspeakable vow had been broken the minute Harry herself had realized the truth of everything from Greyback and Bellatrix' words.
Still, Draco found himself suddenly wishing that wasn't the case – because in that instant, he knew more than anything that he would have rather died right then and there rather than endure Harry's look of pain and betrayal at him.
"So it was you…"
Draco looked up and saw that Harry was staring at him with nothing but disgust and contempt in her eyes.
"It was you…Everything was you…" The corner of Harry's lips lifted weakly into an empty, self-mocking smile and she shook her head at her own naiveté. "I should have seen this from the very beginning, I suppose…" She laughed bitterly at herself before turning her head away from his gaze.
"I thought you had changed, Draco…But I guess…Ron was right all along–"
The more Harry looked away from him, the more Draco heard the desperation escalating in his own voice. "I have changed! Please, you have to believe me! I changed because of you! I have–"
Harry smiled coldly at him and turned to look at Bellatrix, giving the older woman a sneer.
"If you're going to kill me, go ahead and do it."
"Harry, listen to me!" Draco pleaded desperately, gritting his teeth as he struggled against the werewolves holding him back again. "I had nightmares! Every goddamn night, you wouldn't believe the nightmares I've had! About you, about my parents, about everything I've ever done!" He ignored the jibes he could hear from Greyback behind him and the way his mother was sobbing at his words.
"And you should know that the only times those nightmares ever went away were those times when I was with you! Merlin, you have to believe me! You were the only thing that kept me alive, it was you! You, Harry! You were the only thing right in my godforsaken life! I would have rather died than ever hurt you, I love you! Please believe me, please!" Draco had to choke out for breath every now and then amidst his crying, but he knew that Harry heard each and every one of his words.
Even as it hurt to see the way Harry had turned her face away from him, Draco forced himself to continue anyway, his throat already sore from all of his crying. "I have loved you the minute you looked at me that night and saw me for who I was…You were the only one who saw me, Harry…saw in me…Merlin, you have to believe that every damn day since then, I have wanted nothing more than to protect you…because I love you…" He whispered, his voice raspy as he implored her to meet his tear-filled eyes.
Harry felt an excruciating ache in her chest at the weight of Draco's words - a strange kind of pain that seemed to burn even more than the Cruciatus curse but still, she couldn't force herself to look at him – if only for the fear of what she might find in his eyes.
More than the physical pain she felt in that moment, she felt angry – and she felt betrayed.
She couldn't look at him now, because whenever she did – the minute she looked into those shining, gray orbs staring back at her, she remembered all of those whispered, achingly passionate promises they had spoken to each other every night since.
And it hurt, because she had believed him then...And she desperately wanted to believe him now.
Who's the fool now, Harry…? She thought mockingly as another tear slipped down her cheek.
Without so much as another glance at Draco's kneeling, shaking form, Harry turned her empty, exhausted face towards Bellatrix's sadistic smirk and asked her softly. "Are you going to kill me now, Lestrange? Please do so already. I'm tired of everything."
The older witch's smirk widened and her eyes glowed brightly in pleasure. "Oh, I would Potter…But I seem to be enjoying this little sideshow between you and my darling little nephew too much… It would be such shame to cut Draco off now." She laughed hysterically and turned to the blonde Slytherin kneeling on the floor. "What about it, Draco? Shall we proceed and kill her already?"
At once, the remorse on Draco's face vanished and he seethed hatefully at Bellatrix's laughing face.
"If you touch her–" Before he could even finish his sentence, Bellatrix had sneered and stepped towards him, slapping the young blonde painfully in anger and inadvertently scraping his pale cheek with her long, sharp fingernails.
"DON'T YOU DARE HURT MY SON, YOU INSANE BITCH! I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF! I PROMISE YOU THAT, LESTRANGE! MARK MY WORDS!" Lucius suddenly exploded, drawing everyone's attention to him and Narcissa again as both Malfoys were now seething red in anger. For her part, Narcissa was crying just as much as Draco was and staring sadly at her son's hunched form.
"Oh Draco…I'm so sorry your father and I put you through all this…This is all our fault...We're so sorry... We love you so much, my darling…" She sobbed weakly, trying to struggle against the werewolves holding her back so she could rush to him.
Draco lifted his head and stared at both of his parents, the ugly, jagged gash on his cheek from Bellatrix' slap already staining his pale skin with blood. "I know…I understand...I love you too, Mother…" He said softly, trying to offer her a tearful, consoling smile but that only seemed to make Narcissa cry even more.
Bellatrix walked over to Narcissa, already raising a wand over her own sister's huddled figure.
"'Cissa, if you don't stop all that bloody crying right now, I'm going to–"
"DON'T YOU DARE LAY A HAND ON HER!" Draco suddenly exploded at her, forcing himself up onto his feet and breaking away from the werewolves holding him back. Without warning, he lunged at her, causing the older pureblood to scream and jump back in horror when Draco attempted to go for her throat once more.
"GREYBACK! GET HIM AWAY FROM ME!" Bellatrix shrieked as she fell backwards behind him, and before Harry knew what was happening, everyone around her was suddenly shouting and cursing loudly.
Looking up, Harry saw that Draco had attempted to attack Bellatrix in anger – only to have Greyback step in front of the dark-haired witch with a growl. Narcissa and Lucius had also reacted instinctively, using the shock of the werewolves holding them back to break free and rush toward Greyback, intending to help Draco fend him off but unfortunately, they were a second too late.
Harry could only watch, blankly and without any trace of an emotional reaction on her face whatsoever, as Lucius had tried to tackle Greyback to the ground. He missed him by several inches, stumbling onto the floor just as Bellatrix had screamed at the other werewolves to fight back. At the same time this was happening, Narcissa had just managed to reach Draco near the center of the room but Draco had pushed her aside and growled as he lunged towards Greyback's taller, bulkier form.
At Narcissa's scream, Greyback whirled around, his eyes widening in shock.
Turning away, Harry heard the sickening 'thud' of Draco's unconscious form falling listlessly onto the cold marble floor before the pain piercing her womb took hold of her entirely – and she blacked out.
The news of Hagrid's death had spread around the school like wild fire that night, along with the horrifying realization that Harry Potter had been kidnapped by a group of seventh year Slytherins – Theodore Nott, Pansy Parkinson, Gregory Goyle, and well-known former Death Eater, Draco Malfoy. This terrified the students enough that none of them got any sleep that night.
As the Head Girl of Hogwarts, Hermione knew that she had a responsibility to try and provide as much guidance and emotional support to the terrified younger years. In fact, her responsibilities were even more evident now since the Hogwarts Head Boy, Draco Malfoy, had turned out to be backstabbing Death Eater scum, but in that moment Hermione was conflicted with herself.
Everyone around the school was frightened, butHermione was overcome with a mixture of emotions. On the one hand, she was beside herself with grief when she had heard about Hagrid's death, but even before she could find the time to cry about the loss of their half-giant friend, the news about Blaise Zabini's serious head injuries and Ron's mysterious disappearance scared her even more.
Hermione was terrified about what had happened to both Ron and Harry that night, and she was furious with herself for ever having ignored Ron's words about Malfoy. In the end, he had been right all along – Draco Malfoy would always be a Death Eater and Hermione should never have trusted him with Harry to begin with.
And now, both Ron and Harry are missing…And it's all my fault…Hermione thought tearfully, trying to keep a firm reign over her emotions as she stood behind furious Ministry officials and Aurors all gathered in the Headmistress' office. Headmistress McGonagall and Professor Andromeda were shouting to some Ministry officials about the next steps to be taken – as well as arguing with the Ministers who claimed they did not want to terrify the Wizarding World with everything that's happened.
"We cannot delay a response to this any longer, Kingsley! One of our teachers, Rubeus Hagrid, has been murdered! Students have gone missing, and one has sustained serious head injuries! Does this not warrant a full investigation by the Ministry?" Andromeda seethed at the Minister of Magic, furious as he shook his head and gestured to one of his Aurors to write his instructions down.
"Send word to the rest of the team. Tell them we're to conduct a raid on the houses of all former Death Eaters tonight in search of Malfoy, Nott and the rest of the missing students. With any luck, Potter and Weasley will be with them and we can take it from there." He ordered briskly, but before his assistant could respond, Andromeda had snapped at him again and drew his attention.
"Draco is my nephew and I know him! He would never have done anything like this! This has something to do with Bellatrix's escape, I'm sure of it! I don't know how or why it's related but I just know that Draco would never do anything like this! I know him! He's–" Andromeda broke off when one of the Aurors behind her suddenly spoke up, holding up an empty flask in his hand.
"Does this look familiar?" He asked sharply, drawing Andromeda and McGonagall's attention to it.
When both women looked at him in confusion, he handed the empty potion flask to Kingsley and explained.
"My men found it stashed in one of the drawers in Draco's dorm room just now…It's an empty vial of the potion used to transform Potter into a woman…We've also found several traces of Potter's fingerprints all over Malfoy's dormitory. We've confirmed it…He's the culprit." He told them, much to Andromeda's dismay as she paled and raised a hand to her heart in pained shock.
"No…No, he couldn't have…Draco, my nephew wouldn't have done such a thing–" She stammered but McGonagall cut her off with a curt voice. "Very well then." She turned to Kingsley and nodded grimly, ignoring Andromeda's choked protests.
"I give you and your men permission to use any means necessary to take Malfoy back in. The important thing right now is for your men to find Potter and Weasley alive and unharmed, is that understood?" She demanded with a stern expression.
Kingsley met her grim expression with a firm, resolute nod. "We will do what we can, Minerva. In the meantime, I want you to keep all students inside the castle and make sure you inform their parents about what's happened. If any of them decide to take their kids back, we cannot stop them. Granger–" He turned to look at Hermione's pale, ghost-like expression several feet away.
Hermione looked up shakily at him, her face still pale with the realization of Malfoy's betrayal.
Kingsley spared her a sympathetic glance but addressed her firmly. "You must remain inside the castle and protect the younger students at all times, is that clear?" He told her but at once, Hermione's eyes flashed angrily and she glared at him, ignoring McGonagall's protests as she snapped back an indignant retort.
"Harry and Ron are my two best friends, Minister! You can't expect me to just sit here and do nothing while their lives are in danger! I would rather die by their side, protecting them than stay here!" She exploded furiously at him, her brown eyes hardening as she met Kingsley's glare. "I have spent the last year helping Harry to defeat Voldemort, and that didn't scare me. What makes you think Malfoy and his band of disgusting Death Eaters will? I'll kill him with my bare hands if he hurt my friends." Hermione added coldly, narrowing her eyes as her fingers tightened around her wand.
Sighing, Kingsley and Andromeda shared a look with each other but McGonagall glanced sympathetically at Hermione, fully understanding how much Harry and Ron meant the world to her. Nodding and letting out a sigh of resignation, the Headmistress turned to address Kingsley again.
"Perhaps you can leave some of your Aurors here to help protect the school? I believe Miss Granger will be unable to fulfill her Head Girl duties as she will be indisposed in the next few hours." She couldn't help but smile when Hermione turned to look at her, giving her a grateful, teary nod.
Shaking his head, Kingsley could do nothing else but sigh in agreement while Andromeda just hung back and sat down weakly against the chair behind her. "Very well, McGonagall. Granger, you'll come with me. We'll head back to the Ministry and try to investigate what happened. We need to track down any leads as to where Malfoy could have taken Potter and what he possibly wants with her–"
"He can't hurt her! She's with his child!" Andromeda suddenly blurted out, causing all Ministry officials in the room to stop and turn to look at her as though she had just declared that Voldemort had returned to life. Paling, Hermione and McGonagall shook their heads and tried to distract Andromeda from saying anything else but the woman was resolute as she met Kingsley's stare again.
"What?" Kingsley paled as he stared dumbly at her, clearly unwilling to believe what she had said.
Andromeda stared back solemnly at him, oblivious to the silence that had fallen over the room as the rest of the Aurors around them had frozen in the middle of what they were doing and watched the scene with slack, open jaws.
Trembling, Hermione spoke up before Andromeda could say anything else, drawing everyone's attention to her instead.
"Harry's with Malfoy's child, Minister…We've known for awhile now about their secret relationship…" She paused and bit her lip. "…We just don't know what else he wants with her and why he did this…But all we know is that we have to protect Harry at all costs…Especially with the child she's carrying." Hermione told them, her voice trembling when she heard gasps around the room.
"I will come with you too…I will try to talk to Draco…I know he wouldn't have done this without a reason…" Andromeda added pleadingly to the Minister but Kingsley just stared speechlessly back at her, still trying to process everything they had told him within the last few minutes in tense silence.
Kingsley stared intently at the surface of the Headmistress' table in thought. After a few more minutes, he turned back questioningly to address Hermione, his eyebrows fused together in confusion. "If Malfoy and his friends truly wanted to kill Harry Potter…He would have done so already…He's had plenty of opportunities to do so. What does he really want with Potter, then?"
Hermione just stared back helplessly at him, her eyes dropping slowly to her feet.
"I don't know, Minister…"
Amidst the tense silence that followed, one of the Head Aurors Kingsley had sent out had suddenly peered his head back into the room and cleared his throat loudly, drawing Kingsley's serious gaze towards him.
Kingsley blinked the confused thoughts away from his eyes and stared at him, nodding for him to speak.
"We found them, Minister."
Hermione and Andromeda froze in anticipation, listening intently to the Auror's next words.
"–they're in Malfoy Manor…They're…locked in…with Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback."
Horrified, Hermione flicked wide, fearful brown eyes back to Kingsley's dark expression and watched as the Minister of Magic cursed and slammed his fist angrily against the Headmistress' table.
"Bloody hell, it'll take a miracle to infiltrate that place without being detected! We need someone who knows the inside! Most of the underground passageways to get inside that blasted manor are sealed with fidelius charms!" He snapped at no one in particular, letting out an exhausted exhale as he looked back at the Auror who had spoken in question.
To his surprise, however, the Auror who had spoken smirked knowingly back at him. He quickly walked out of the room – only to return moments later, accompanied by a tall, familiar man wearing a dark cloak and a grim, determined smirk on his face. At both Kingsley and Andromeda's disbelieving expressions at him, the man who had entered gave them both a slow smirk of affirmation.
"Getting into Malfoy Manor will not be a problem, Kingsley."
Hermione stared, slack-jawed, at the angry, sneering expression on William Kensington's face.
"I know my way around that blasted place like the back of my arm."
With that, Kensington had scoffed and held the back of his left arm up into the light slowly, showing them all the distinct, black markings of the famous Dark Mark glowing eerily against his scarred pale skin.
A/N: Ooh…This was just the build-up chapter. The real fight and confrontations all come crashing down in the next chapter – as well as the arrival of the rest of the remaining Death Eaters. So what do you think guys? Do you think Draco will be able to stop them and save Harry in time? Well, unfortunately, I guess you'll all just have to wait and see! ^_^
Before I forget, I'd just like to give a BIG thank you to everyone who continued to support me and send me messages, reviews, or comments about updating this story! It warms my heart to see that you guys really do want me to finish this and that you enjoy this story as much as I enjoy writing it. No worries, we're nearing the end! I do not intend to abandon this story, I promise! ^_^
Next Chapter: Bellatrix attempts to resurrect Voldemort…Will she succeed? (dun-dun-dun!)
Please be a dear and drop me a little review down there! Till next time, cheers! :D