A/N: After watching DH pt. 1, I kind of sort of fell in love with the character of Scabior, and I really just HAD to write this. It's possible that this will extend beyond this one-shot into something much longer, so if you like this, please let me know. I would love the feedback! Anyway. I hope you all enjoy this little snippet from one of my favorite little bits of the movie.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, and I'm not making any money off of this. I just like to borrow the characters now and again and have a bit of fun. :)
It was bloody cold in the forest tonight, and he was of half a mind to call off the search - at least for now. Surely no one would be stupid enough to come running half-cocked through the frozen woods at this hour.
Surely someone as high and mighty as Harry Potter himself would have him all manner of safe houses, and probably a secret-keeper or two at that. The key here, he figured, was not tracking him through the ruddy forest like some kind of animal; no, it was figuring out where the boy might be hiding. Who he might be hiding with.
He was about to signal his men that it was time to move onward - hopefully to warmer and more hospitable climes - when something gave him pause.
Here, just here, there was a funny sort of ripple in the air, almost like the pulse of magic. But it couldn't be. There was no one about, they'd searched this entire area high and low, and there'd been not a sign of anyone or anything. Unless the forest animals had suddenly learned how to do magic - it was impossible.
So then - what?
The others had continued on, and he made no move to stop them, nor did he follow them. Something was here. It was mad, but he'd swear that what he was feeling … well, he'd swear there was another person here … just here … mere metres away. He nearly raised his hand, nearly reached out to touch whatever - whoever - was there.
But it was just … air. Just an empty, cold wood, and he was acting like quite a nutter at this moment.
An icy breeze rustled through the darkened trees, stirring about fallen leaves and making him shiver in spite of himself. It brought with it the scent of frozen earth, the decay of the nearby fallen trees, and - something sweeter. Flowers, maybe.
He walked slowly back to the spot where the air had felt different, and he took a long, deep breath.
Oh, yeah. Definitely flowers. Sweet little things, the kind you'd find growing outside a tiny little cottage in the countryside, all warmed up by the sunshine, making everything smell clean and new again. The image was enough to warm him, just a bit, before he remembered that it was October, and there were no bleeding flowers now.
A person then. A woman person. A witch. Hiding behind some very strong magics. Magic he had neither the time, patience, nor inclination to try and subvert right now, much as the idea of meeting this little burst of springtime might appeal to him right now. He could do with some warmth …
It was no matter. He knew her now, knew her scent, knew that she must be very naive - for sophisticated, worldly women, in his experience, they never smelled of springtime flowers - but also clever. Clever enough to set up wards such as these, nearly imperturbable by the highly trained likes of himself and Greyback.
He'd quite like to know this witch, whoever she was. She seemed a fascinating sort. Very little fascinated him any more; honestly, very little even piqued his interest at all.
But tonight - tonight would not be the night. He inhaled deeply one last time, letting her scent fill him again. He wouldn't soon forget it - no. He'd remember it, he'd seek it out, until the day came when he would find her again. Because he would find her again, and when he did, she wouldn't hide from him.
He would know her. He would claim this bit of springtime for himself.
She stood perfectly still, afraid to move - afraid even to breathe - as the Snatcher walked ever nearer to where she stood.
He didn't see her, and for that, she was glad - the wards were working. But something had caught his attention, and after only a moment, she realized what it must have been.
Her perfume. That blasted perfume that she was only wearing now because it had been a gift from Ron at Christmas two years back, and she'd wanted him to notice her, wearing it. Of course, daft git that he was, didn't notice such things, and she'd been foolish to think that he might.
But the Snatcher - he had noticed, and he was drawing closer to her, a look of bemusement on his face.
She swallowed thickly … he was only centimetres from her now, so close that had she wanted to, she could have reached out to touch him. She wouldn't, but he was there, and it was almost impossible to think that he didn't see her at all.
She never took her eyes off of him, afraid that if she looked away, any manner of terrible things might happen. She didn't want to admit that there was something in his dark, dark eyes that made her wonder. Those were eyes, she was sure, that had seen much torture and pain - he had probably inflicted much of it himself.
But they didn't look malicious now. They looked weary. And, strangely enough, almost … wistful. As though he were imagining things he could never have. Maybe he was.
She watched him closely. He had the same dark sort of handsome good looks that Sirius Black had possessed … though this man, this Snatcher, he possessed the sort of haughty superiority usually only found among the most elite of the pureblood. Of course, he would be, wouldn't he, working as he did, for Voldemort.
She couldn't help but to think that in another time, another place, another lifetime, she might have found him quite pleasing to look upon.
She had lifted her arm halfway before she realized what she was doing, and quickly dropped it back to her side. For a moment there, she had forgotten herself, all she'd seen was sadness. Part of her wanted to ask him why, why was he doing any of this at all?
But the moment was gone now, and there was a glint in the steely eyes of the Snatcher. No more sad longing there, just a determination that chilled her more than the cold wind out here did. Something had changed within him, just now, she could tell. Whatever it was he'd been thinking of so despondently, it was gone. And now … well, now he just seemed … predatory.
She was once again glad for the wards, glad he couldn't see her, glad that he had no idea who she was.
She swallowed, trying to avoid looking at him, when only moments ago, she'd been unable to look anywhere else. She heard him inhale deeply, and she forced herself not to shudder … he was breathing her, after all. Something told her he'd not soon forget her.
She nearly jumped when he reached out, for she thought perhaps it had all been a game, perhaps he had seen her all along. Perhaps he'd been watching her stare at him, pondering what lead a person to a life such as the one he had chosen for himself.
But his hand merely hovered in the air between them, and she watched her ward ripple and move ever so slightly beneath his touch. She held her breath, her eyes never leaving his hand, for one mad moment, she wondered what might happen if she reached out and took it in her own. She didn't have time to ponder on what would possess her to even consider such a thing, for he dropped his hand then, and stuffed both hands in his pockets, shivering against another icy wind.
"Be seeing you soon, gorgeous," he said in a low voice, a voice that both terrified and intrigued her, and he looked right where she was standing, before he turned and walked away.
It wasn't until she heard Ron calling her name, nearly ten minutes later, that she realized that she hadn't moved from that spot. Blinking and shaking her head, as though to clear the fog in her mind, she turned and made her way back to the tent.