Title: Worse than Death
Pairings: Petunia Dursley/Vernon Dursley, Petunia Dursley/Rabastan Lestrange
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 3 500
Warnings/Content Information (Highlight to View): Rape, violence, character death, public sex, other very non-fun stuff.
Summary: The war was hardest on Petunia.
Author's Notes: Written for scarletladyy on hp_beholder (a fest celebrating traditionally unattractive Harry Potter characters) on Livejournal. Please heed the warnings.

Also – this is the first ever Petunia/Rabastan story! Woo. I should get a medal or something…


Petunia didn't know about the war, and that made things all the more difficult.

Or, rather, she knew about the war. Her nephew and his freak friends had made it all too clear to her that there was a war, and that she and Vernon and Dudley were in terrible danger, but she still didn't know what was happening, and she had no way of finding out.

It would almost have been better, she thought as she chopped up carrots and threw them into the pot on the stove, to be a Wizard at times like this. Oh, she hated the idea, hated it to her very core, as she had ever since her sister had been accepted into Hogwarts and she hadn't, but when there was fighting and danger, Petunia liked to know what was happening. Even when there wasn't fighting and danger, she liked to know what was happening - it was in her nature.

She stirred the pot and gazed out the small window over the alleyway. She and Vernon and Dudley had been relocated - much to her disgust - to a small flat over a run-down street in a London slum. It offended every last bit of Petunia's suburban sensibility that she was here, but then, there was no way around it, really. Better safe in a grimy little flat than dead in a suburban house.

The water boiled sluggishly, full of vegetable and meat bits, looking gritty and disgusting. Cookbooks had not been brought along, for the sake of space, and Petunia had to rely on memory to make anything but the simplest of meals.

"Almost done in there?" Vernon called from the sitting room, and Petunia rubbed her forehead.

"No, darling, I'll be sure to tell you when I am," she called back, more than a little peevishly. It did not suit her, all this low-class living.

"Well, hurry up," Vernon told her. "It's past seven."

"I know, I know," she mumbled, looking back at the stove and turning up the heat, stirring faster so the vegetables wouldn't burn.

There was a banging in the stairwell outside, and Petunia jumped, flinching automatically. In a neighbourhood like this, a noise like that could signify anything - murderers or thieves or drug-addled youth looking for a fight. Her heart pounded and she reached for a kitchen knife, waiting in silence, but no more was heard, except for the sounds of the television from the sitting room and the apartment next door.

Her grip on the knife relaxed and she set it back down. Stop worrying, Petunia. It won't help.

Then someone knocked at the door.

"I'll get it," Vernon told Petunia, and she could see him standing up. A little bubble of worry welled in her stomach, but no, if whoever was at the door intended to do anything to harm them, surely they would not have gone to the trouble of knocking politely.

Petunia tapped salt into the soup, listening with an inattentive ear. Her husband's footsteps as he approached the door, the chain sliding back and the lock clicking open, then it swung open, and Vernon said, "May we help you?"

Petunia set down her spoon to listen.

She heard a man's voice. He was saying something, but the words sounded foreign to Petunia's ear - Italian, perhaps? She frowned slightly, starting to turn towards the door, but then there was a massive thud, one that shook the very floorboards, and Petunia screamed.

She rushed out, and could have sworn her heart stopped when she saw her husband - Oh, God, Vernon! - spread-eagled upon the ground, staring up at the ceiling with wide, lightless eyes.

Petunia screamed again, and again and again and she couldn't stop, not until Dudley rushed out of the sitting room as well to see the commotion, and the man in the doorway turned to him.

"Dudley, get-" Petunia started to shriek, but it was too late. The man in the doorway raised his hand, and in it was a...

A wand. Lily had had one. Thad awful boy she had spent so much time with as well. And Harry.

But this man was none of them.

He flicked it almost lazily in Dudley's direction, speaking in the same foreign-sounding tongue he had before, and Petunia felt as though the wind was knocked out of her as Dudley's jaw went slack and he collapsed to the floor.

"Dear me, what a mess," the man in the doorway said calmly. He lowered his hand, tucking the wand into the belt of his long, strange gown or robe or cloak or whatever the hell it was called and then smirked at Petunia. "So rude of me not to introduce myself. Do forgive me. It's Rabastan. Rabastan Lestrange. A pleasure." He stepped easily over the bodies of Petunia's husband and son, and reached out to take her hand, as though intending to kiss it.

Petunia screamed, shaking and stumbling backwards, running for the kitchen and only realising when she got there that she had trapped herself with no way out. No other options available, she reached over and grabbed the kitchen knife again, brandishing it. "Get- out! Away!"

The man - Rabastan Lestrange, he had introduced himself as - had followed her into the kitchen, and now smirked and the knife, looking genuinely amused by it.

"Now really, mademoiselle, you don't expect that to do you any good, do you?"

"I'm warning you, stay away, or-"

"Or? Do tell what you intend to do, I am most curious. Call those Muggle Aurors you have?"

"Just stay away from me!" Petunia wailed. She wanted desperately to cry, but tears would not come, too intense was her fear. "Leave now! You can't just-"

"You are quite wrong about that," Rabastan told her lazily. "There is nothing 'I can't just' do, especially with regards to you, and to..." His lip curled as he looked around. "This place."

Petunia screamed again, and Rabastan laughed. He flicked his wand, and the knife flew from her fingers. Rabastan caught it lazily and slid it into his belt.

"Name," he said, his wand trained on Petunia's forehead.

"P- P- Petunia Dursley," she stammered. What else was there to say? She couldn't lie… she didn't know what to say.

"A pleasure," he said. His voice was so calm and untroubled that it was difficult to believe that he had just broken into her house and threatened her with a wand – it sounded more as though he was introducing himself over tea. "Rabastan Lestrange. And now, Petunia Dursley, if you would kindly stand still so I can kill you quickly and have done with it–"

"No!" she shrieked, panicking. "No! I'm¬– please don't! I swear I haven't done anything–"

"You are a Muggle. That is crime enough."

"My sister was a Witch! Doesn't that mean anything?" she tried desperately, and watched his hand waver a moment.

"A witch? How interesting… so you do know who we are, then…"

"D- Death Eaters," Petunia said, her voice scarcely above a whisper. "You… you work for… You-know-who…" she added, echoing phrases she still remembered Lily saying to Severus in their childhood, hoping desperately that she was saying the right thing. She must have been, because Rabastan lowered his wand.

"So, not just a Muggle, then…" he said thoughtfully. "A Muggle who knows things…"

"Something wrong, Rab?"

Petunia restrained a yelp when another man entered her kitchen. He was taller and heavier set than Rabastan, with dark hair and eyes and a rather heavy jaw, but it was impossible to miss a distinct resemblance between the two.

"She knows about us," Rabastan said, gesturing at Petunia. "She knows about the Death Eaters."

"How can she? She's a Muggle."

"I don't know! She said her sister was a Witch. Could she be a Squib?" Rabastan's voice took on what Petunia thought was a tinge of hope.

"She could be…" the other man said slowly. "Woman. Are you a Squib, or was your sister a Mudblood?"

"I– I don't know what you mean!" Petunia said desperately.

"Were there other Witches and Wizards in your family, or was your sister the only one?" Rabastan asked, raising his wand threateningly once again.

"Wh– what would you do to me if I said there were others?" Petunia whispered.

"We'd let you live," said Rabastan. "Are there?"

"Y- Yes…" Surely, whatever would happen to her if they let her live would be better than death.

"Your family name?" asked the other man, arching one eyebrow.

"E- Potter," she quickly corrected herself.

"Potter…" Rabastan sneered. "Any relation to Harry Potter?"

"He's my nephew… through my brother," said Petunia, fighting to keep her voice from betraying her panic. Could they tell she was lying? Surely they could…

"What shall we do with her, Rab?" the other man asked, looking to Rabastan.

Rabastan looked at Petunia, and his lips twisted into a cruel smile. "Oh, I can think of plenty of things to do with her…"

Petunia opened her mouth to scream, but before she could, Rabastan had slashed his wand through the air, and everything went black. She was vaguely aware of falling, thought she felt herself hit the cold linoleum of her kitchen floor, and then she knew no more.

When Petunia came to, she was vaguely aware of voices, and that her body was bent into a position that was unfamiliar to it. She dared not open her eyes, instead exploring with her other senses.

She was kneeling, her arms tied behind her back. Twisting her wrists just slightly, she was able to determine that ropes had been used, and that she was tied so tightly that there was no getting out. A shiver ran up her spine, and she trembled slightly.

"She's awake."

Rabastan's voice cut through the haze of soft sounds that Petunia was aware of, and her eyes snapped open. Her arms and legs jerked convulsively, trying to pull out of her bindings, but she couldn't move, and panic rose in her throat. She tried to scream, but her mouth had been stuffed with fabric and she could only manage a feeble moan.

There was a high-pitched, feminine giggle, and several lower chuckles, and Petunia glanced desperately around, looking for some escape, though bound and gagged as she was, she would not have had any such chance.

Rabastan stepped into her line of vision and knelt down so he was on eye-level with her, a smirk on his thin, hollowed face. Petunia swallowed hard, not daring to break eye contact.

"You aren't bad looking, for a Squib," he told her, lifting his hand and tracing it along her narrow jaw. Petunia flinched away automatically, but he ignored this and straightened up. "Would anyone else like a go at her?"

Petunia glanced around at the room she was in. It was empty - that is, there was no furniture in it - but all around her, men in long robes were standing. She felt as though she was surrounded by ghosts or demons. It was terrifying like nothing else she had ever experienced.

"No?" Rabastan asked. "Only me? Well, all the better, then..." He leaned down once more and grabbed the back of Petunia's head, shoving her face-first into the floor. Her knees remained on the ground, and she was bent over, hands behind her back, bottom stuck in the air, utterly helpless.

"You see? She is rather pretty, like this..." Rabastan purred. "Then again, everyone is... everyone is pretty when they're bent over for us..."

"Fascinating though it is to listen to you wax poetic about submission," Petunia heard a woman say, "May we get on with this? I never was much for foreplay…"

"You do not appreciate the art, Bellatrix," Rabastan said. "The anticipation is worse than the pain – I should have thought you, of all people, would understand that."

"Fine methods of torture are wasted on her," the woman said. "I do not see why we were all brought here in any case – is there anything at all important about her, or is she simply attractive enough to you, Rabastan, that you wished us all to watch you…"

"You are crude, Bellatrix," he said calmly. "Once again, I would have thought you would understand the best methods by which to break a prisoner."

"But why break her? Why not simply kill her?"

"Because I wish it." Rabastan's voice rose a note. "We all cater to your whims, Bellatrix, however mad they may be – I fail to see any reason why you cannot spare some minutes to enjoy this."

The woman said nothing more, and Petunia began shaking violently. What did they mean by saying that they would break her? And kill her? The memories of her husband and son came back and she trembled with suppressed sobs. They might as well kill her – without her family, what did she have to live for anymore?

Petunia shrieked through her gag when she felt a cold, bony hand upon her thigh. She could not see whose it was, but now she understood. Oh, God, but she understood.

Her skirt was wrenched up, and Petunia cried harder than she ever had in her life when she felt cold air touch her skin. Her whole body heaved with sobbing. She squeezed her eyes tightly shut and bit at the fabric in her mouth.

"Don't be scared…" The sound of Rabastan's voice in Petunia's ear sent fresh shivers down her spine. "This won't hurt… much."

She whimpered softly through the fabric, far too afraid to even try to scream. She couldn't even begin to comprehend what was happening – Petunia's life had always relied on suburban comfort and security, and now all her worst fears about living anywhere but Privet Drive were being confirmed – albeit in the most unlikely way possible.

She felt his cold fingers probing at her, and bile rose in her throat. Her body clenched and writhed away automatically – she tried to push away from him, but bound so tightly that she was nearly immobile, she could do nothing more than twitch and tremble.

"Silly little girl…" Rabastan's voice was almost chiding. "Don't you realise that you're only going to make it worse if you try to fight? When you're all tied up like this, it isn't as though you have a chance of escaping…"

Petunia bit down hard on the cloth in her mouth, squeezing her eyes shut and praying that this was all a horrible nightmare from which she would wake, and she would find herself in bed with Vernon beside her and the sound of Dudley's snoring from the next room.

But no, it wasn't a dream. Petunia – even in her dreams – did not have the twisted imagination to even begin to create this.

Petunia tried to bite back sobbing while he gently stroked her. It was all far too gentle and light, and it sickened her.

"Pretty... sweet girl," he murmured.

Oh, God, the taunting - did he need to make it so much worse than it already was by mocking her? By talking as though she were a child? Petunia shuddered in revulsion. And his hands – so cold and almost clammy but dry at the same time…

She felt the bindings disappear from her ankles and kicked out automatically, but Rabastan grasped her ankle easily and flipped her onto her back. He smirked down at her as she lay spread-eagled with her hands bound beneath her.

"Now, now, pretty… no need for violence…"

If she could have spoken, she would have shrilly and harshly complained about his hypocrisy – how dare he even consider telling her not to be violent when he was – was doing this to her? But then, perhaps he realised, and this was just further mockery…

Petunia squeezed her eyes shut when he made to undo his robes. The woman – was that the one he had called Bellatrix? – was laughing now, and someone said, "Do calm down, it's not so very exciting…

"Oh, but it is…" Rabastan hissed. "Gloriously exciting… Bella understands…"

"Oh, hurry up!" Bellatrix all but screamed. She sounded near hysterical in her eagerness. "I can't stand it! Hurry up and do it, Rab, or I'll–"

She was silenced by Petunia's scream through her gag.

She was being torn open from the inside, or that was how it felt. Rabastan had thrust in violently, and she had not been prepared even in the slightest for the pain. The wad of fabric only half-muffled her, and her shriek was ear-splitting. Had she not had her eyes squeezed so tightly shut she would have seen every person in the room save for Rabastan himself wincing. Rabastan merely let out a small laugh and bucked against her.

Bile rose in Petunia's throat, and she burned all over with shame. Petunia Dursley, the woman who had worked all her life to cultivate a good, respectable image, distance herself from all that was irregular, now being taken like this…

"Stop!" she tried to scream, but it just came out as a muffled "Uhhh!" and Rabastan laughed.

"Trying to speak, pretty? Don't bother…"

Petunia tried to push the gag from her mouth with her tongue, tried to kick him away, tried to get her hands free, tried to do something, but the pain between her legs was immense now, she was in tears and she could do little more than kick uselessly, then squirm, and finally lie still and tearful beneath him.

She felt blood trickle from between her thighs, and Rabastan's nails were clawing at her small breasts, but she dared not shriek in pain again.

It's true what they say about this being a fate worse than death…

It seemed forever before Rabastan finally let out a soft moan, and Petunia felt something hot sting her core. She shuddered violently, but did not try to push him away. Enough of that – it did her no good.

"Get up," Rabastan ordered. Petunia could not even move her legs – how did he expect her to stand? She had never felt so dirty and desecrated and hurt. God, she hurt.

"I said get up!" His fingers knotted in her hair and she was wrenched to a sitting position by it. "Up!"

Petunia was sobbing uncontrollably, but she did her best, struggling to her feet. Her knees shook, and she took deep breaths, trying to calm herself.

"Pathetic…" Rabastan sneered. "But so pretty like this…"

"You've had your pleasure, Rabastan," Bellatrix said sharply. "Get her out of our sight now. She's served her purpose… what else do you want her for?"

"Once again, you fail to appreciate artistry."

"Get rid of her," said Bellatrix, no concern at all in her voice. "If you haven't the stomach to finish her, I'll be more than happy to…"

"I don't intend to finish her," Rabastan told her. "And no one else shall. She's to be my toy now, isn't that right, pretty?"

Petunia gulped back tears and nodded a bit – what else could she do?

"Now come with me, my little pet…" Rabastan purred. His hand wrapped around Petunia's upper arm, and he was dragging her from the large room with leisurely slowness.

She did not fight. There was no point. No torture could possibly exist past what he had already done to her. If he raped her again, it could not hurt her any more. If he killed her the second they were alone, Petunia would welcome it. I could be with my husband and son… and my sister…

"So gloomy, pet…" Rabastan said. She could hear the smirk in his voice. "You look prettier when you're not scowling, you know."

He plucked the fabric from her mouth, and Petunia spat on him immediately. Far from being angry, he gave a small, amused smirk.

"You think you're ever so brave, don't you?"

"Don't!" she hissed. "Don't talk to me! You're– I–"

"I'm sure you've got plenty of lovely insults by which to call me… but do save it, won't you?"

"You're disgusting!"

Rabastan didn't even react. He paused before a large wooden door and turned the handle, pushing Petunia in before him.

"Your quarters, my pretty pet…"

The room was furnished only with a large, four-poster bed – almost sumptuous, though Petunia failed to see why they would waste a nice bed upon her. If they wished to make her stay comfortable, they might have…

Stop! Stop thinking!

Rabastan turned for the door once more, leaving Petunia still bound at the wrists, but when he reached the door, he turned back with a tiny smirk.

"I know you aren't a Squib," he said.

"You…." Petunia felt herself stiffen anew. You're going to kill me then?

"Oh, don't be so afraid – if I wished for you to be dead, believe me, you would not still be alive."

"But… why…"

"Because I wanted you," he smirked. "And I got exactly what I wanted, now, didn't I?"