Thank you to my amazing betas! Aleah, Denarii and Mdman1! And to noone297 for all the help with the French portion!
Special thanks to Scarlet, guest, CW1991, superscarface83, guest, Naruhina1519, infinateconstellations, anand891996, Malfoy Mouth James- MMJ, noone297,slytherins-chocolates, barby03, Guest, Amyb11, audra626, Lil Miss Sunshine14, Absolutionism and guest for the reviews!
PLEASE READ! So I will be doing an Ask me Anything on reddit on 12/17 through the weekend! I would love to have some friendly voices in the forum and to answer any of your guy's questions! If any of you are interested, which I am hoping you are, it will be on the 17th and to ask me questions just go to Reddit and go to HPfanfiction. They will post the forum and label it Author AMA :D There will be four other fanfiction authors as well :)
www .reddit r/HPfanfiction/
Sorry I separated out the link, if I didn't the site wouldn't let it show.
"I can't believe you would let her leave," Tonks murmured disdainfully. The healer could feel her eyes burning a hole in the back of her head, but she did her best to ignore it.
"Exactly what is it you would want me to do? Hold her 'ostage?"
"Maybe! You should have made her stay!" Tonks cried out, slamming her fist down into the table. Durand ignored the woman shouting at her and continued to pack her things. "You should have made her talk! Figured out what happened, and who did this to her. Don't you care? She was raped! She was obviously—"
"I am not able to discuss my patient wif you." Durand yanked her bag up and turned towards the door, but the giant was now standing before it. "Let me pass."
The man before flushed, but didn't move. "Won't you sit for a cup of tea. Been a late night," he added gruffly.
"It has been," Durand stated icily. "And I would like to go home."
The giant of a man before her sniffed and swallowed, unsettling the woman with such a display of emotion before tearfully asking her to reconsider. "We jus' care," he wept, taking out a dirty handkerchief and blowing his nose. "Never in all my years saw anything that made me sick like tha' did. She's all alone and-and we want to help. Please, please sit down and help us. We want to help her."
"Let her go, Hagrid. She wouldn't help anyways. She doesn't care."
"Zat is not true!" Durand snapped, whirling around and glaring at the other woman across the room. "How dare you!"
"If you care so much than help us! Help us find out who did this!"
"And what is it you fink I can do?" the healer exclaimed, throwing down her bags unceremoniously in a heap on the floor. "What? If she says nofing happened zen I cannot do anyfing!"
"You saw her markings, you saw—"
"I cannot say anyfing about what I saw! She has rights! I have a code of etics! I am not allowed to talk about anyfing I saw wizout her consent!"
"She's a minor! You could tell—"
"Her brozer," Durrand finished. "You fink zat would be wise? Ze boy is a child 'imself."
"You could tell her mother," Tonks bit out.
"No, I couldn't."
"You don't understand zis family. I could not go to her mozer," Durand said darkly. "Graces needs to feel safe and she has made her choice on this matter. I will not force zis decision on her."
"She's scared. She is only making this choice because she's scared," Tonks argued.
"I know Graces. I've known her for her whole life," the healer said gently. "Fear is not ze reason. Zere is more. Much more."
Durand took a deep breathe along with everyone else in the room before sitting down warily. "She will not say what happened. She insists it was ze festrals. She refused a pelvic exam. She said zere was no need," the older woman repeated, her nose wrinkling.
"We should tell the headmaster or—"
"If we do, we risk her maintaining her story and not asking for help when she needs it." Durand sighed. "Zis is not just about patient confidentiality. If we betray her she will never go to us for help again. Never. Not to mention ze psychological impact. No. It's better to maintain her privacy and watch her. Be zere for her if she needs us." She looked around at the people in the room. "Well, if she needs me."
"I should never have given her that key," Hagrid blubbered, sitting in a chair near her. "She loved the thestrals so much though, and I never thought anything like this would happen. And she looked so-so worn for wear this year. It can't be easy losing your father like that. I remember losing mine. She was so happy when I let her keep the key to the barn. Never saw any of that lot smile so genuinely."
"It was terapeutic."
"Wha?" Hagrid looked up from the nasty piece of cloth he was holding.
"Terapeutic. Ferapeutic," the healer stressed, when she realized the people around her still were not in understanding. "Calming."
"Therapeutic," Tonks deadpanned.
"Oui. Zat is what I said. Verapeutic," the healer repeated, sure she said it correctly.
She flushed slightly and looked down at her nails. "It's good you let her be with zem… Zis year hasn't been easy for her."
She thought about all that Graces had lost in such a short amount of time. Everything she had seen her and her brother go through. She remembered treating them for simple things. Broken bones, fevers. That time now seemed so long ago. They were such different people now. Strong and broken, no longer carefree. No longer happy.
She closed her eyes and tried to rid herself of her memories.
"I-I saw her with the Montague boy earlier today," Hagrid revealed quietly. "He-he seemed to be pressing her. Tried to kiss her a few times, but she pushed him away. Do you think—"
"Graham Montague would never do zis."
"How do you know that?" Tonks demanded. "He—"
"I know ze Montague family. Graham would never. He was practically raised by his sisters. He would never do such a thing. Not ever."
"You can't know that."
"It doesn't matter. She insists nofing happened."
"I could still question him."
"What good would zat do? Without her testimony our hands are tied."
"You know what this could do to her," Tonks pressed, leaning over the table. "This will eat her up. It will slowly destroy her. And she isn't too old for it to not turn dangerous. Her magic could—"
"You don't fink I am finking about that? I am. But it changes nofing. Zis is her choice. Why are you doing zis? Interrogating me like I'm to blame? I cannot do anyfing."
"That's exactly why I'm interrogating you! You need to convince her to talk! You examined her for all of five minutes before—"
"I examined and healed her for an 'our! You don't fink I pressed; that I asked?"
"You weren't forceful. I know you weren't. You—"
"Because I want my patient to be comfortable!"
"Because you want to keep your job," Tonks countered in disgust. "You enjoy only having to work a few days out of the year while getting a salary triple what the average healer makes. Don't pretend you care about that girl. You want to hold your job, and you know if Graces felt you betrayed her you would be sacked and actually have to work like the rest of us."
"I am paid to keep secrets," Durand said darkly, her voice letting the auror know how dangerously close she was to losing her patience. "It does not mean I don't care. Nor does it mean my work is easy. I have zis job because I am ze best. Being ze best is not easy and I work very 'ard. And I work 'ard because I care! Not every healer can do what I can do. And so you realize ze fact zat I am sitting here discussing zis wif you at all shows I care! Zey could fire me for zis!"
"Well if you're already going to hell, do it in style and tell me something!"
"What could I possibly tell you?" Durand demanded. "Her injuries all coincide with her story! Zey were all from ze festrals!"
"The bruising on her neck."
"She insists she did zat, covering her neck in case of injury. She said she must have gripped it too hard."
"The blood in her hair!"
"She claims it was ze festrals' blood. And some were indeed injured."
"The torn clothes."
"From ze trampling."
"There had to have been something."
"Even if zere was what good would it do?! She refuses—"
"Then talk to her!"
"We are not getting anywhere." The healer stood abruptly and went to where she dropped her things. "Ze same fing again and again. We are... how do you say, going round in a circle. I can't do zis any longer. She is my patient and I—" she emphasized "—will treat her."
"She could become dangerous living with this, she—"
"So you have said," Durand reminded, turning around in exhaustion. "Saying ze same fings over and over is not going to change anyfing. You want to talk until you feel better about what has happened, but nofing could ever make zis better. Could ever make any of us feel better about our situation. We must honor her wishes. No matter our disagreements. She is ze patient, zis 'appened to her. I will keep an eye on her. I will counsel her frough zis as much as I can, but I will not force her to do anyfing. If and when she wants justice she can seek it. Until zen, au revoir."
"You do what you want! We're going to the Headmaster!"
The healer stopped on the steps and closed her eyes before turning and facing the other two.
"I beg you not to. She is old enough to leave. We cannot force her to still attend school. And she will leave. She is not going to walk around zese halls as ze witch zat was raped in ze barn. You go to the Headmaster now, when she's not ready, when she's ashamed, you will destroy her life."
*** July, 1992***
Graces sat farther back in the leather chair as her father walked into his his office. She wasn't supposed to be in here. This was her father's area, but with age came privilege. And, though she wasn't technically allowed to just come into his office and take his things, he hadn't become upset the last few times she had taken the odd book here and there.
He raised an eyebrow at her as though trying to decide if he was to punish her for being there at all or if he was going to let her be.
"If you're going to do something you shouldn't be doing, Graces, at least do it with confidence."
"What are you reading?"
She shrugged and played idly with the leather binding. "Just a book that looked interesting."
Her father stared at her for a moment before he finished removing his cloak. She watched as he ever so carefully placed it on his desk's chair before walking over to her and taking the spell book out of her hands to read.
His gray eyes stared at the gold lettering before slowly looking back to her matching gray.
"Is there a reason you are looking at this book?"
Graces shrugged and tried to mimic her mother's poise. "It looked interesting."
"Did it?" Lucius asked, walking around his desk and sitting down. Still holding the book lazily in his hand. "I don't know if I want my twelve year old daughter reading about blood magic."
Graces sucked on her tooth and looked away.
"I wasn't doing anything. I was just reading about it," Graces said petulantly.
"Graces Bellatrix Malfoy, you better adjust your tone with me lest you want me to come over and adjust it myself."
She flushed and shook her head before murmuring an apology.
"That's better," Lucius sighed, sitting back in his chair and staring at her. "Do you understand what you're reading?"
Graces scowled at the question. Of course she understood what she was reading. She wasn't an idiot. She knew English.
Her father chuckled. "Such a child," he murmured, a little too happily.
She wanted to argue that she was not a child, but bit her tongue. Her father would warn her once, not twice.
"Tell me what you read," Lucius demanded, an amused smile on his aristocratic face.
Graces took a moment to think. The last thing she wanted was to sound foolish in front of her father.
"I read about a spell that allows one to transfer their magic to another. Another spell that allows you to make an enemy forever feel your own pain. I read about—"
"What did all these spells have in common?" her father interrupted.
Graces opened her mouth to say blood, but then stopped. That was a little too obvious. She must be missing something.
"Go on," her father encouraged. "I don't expect you to actually know."
Her cheeks flushed before she said blood.
Lucius nodded and Graces could tell he was fighting the urge to grin. "Come here, Graces."
Graces stared at her father warily. "Am I in trouble?"
"If you were would it change whether or not you came to me?" Lucius challenged.
Graces wondered if she was about to be punished as she walked over to where her father sat regally. He stared at her for a long time, examining her.
"Maybe not so much a child anymore," he said quietly, gently brushing her hair away from her face. "But not a grown witch either."
She flushed at her father's words, now very conscious of her slowly budding body.
"The thing that all those potions and spells have in common is intimacy, Graces. Very real and profound intimacy. It requires feeling to make them work, sacrifice on your own part—sacrifice in either your magic or your flesh—and in the end, if it grants you what you desire, a lasting connection to the person you used the magic on."
He tilted her chin so she was meeting his eyes. "And there is always, always a great chance that it won't work. That the magic will not obey. If that happens, Graces, it will hurt you. It can kill you. Do you understand? Magic like this is wild. It doesn't answer to anyone. It can choose to obey you or not."
"If I'm a very powerful witch would it obey?"
Lucius' eyes narrowed. "If it likes you it will obey. Or if so desires to do so at the time."
Lucius watched the wheels turning in his daughter's mind and a small prick of worry dwelled up in him.
"Graces." Graces could hear her father's worry, before looking up and seeing it in his face. "You must never use this magic. Not ever. Do you understand?"
"But what if—"
"You have wealth, power and status. You will never be in a situation where you will need to sacrifice yourself. If someone dares to hurt you I will take care of it. Do you understand me?"
"I'm not worried about that," Graces laughed, as though the idea of anyone daring to hurt her was foolish. "I just wanted to read it."
Lucius leaned back and brought a finger to his lips in thought, before sending a house elf for Narcissa. Graces stood waiting for her mother, unsure of what was about to transpire. When her mother entered she looked over at Graces standing behind the desk with her father for a brief moment before waiting for her husband to tell her what was going on.
"How do you feel about your daughter reading about blood magic and other dark arts?"
It wasn't asked in a menacing way, and after a few moments she realized her father was asking permission.
Narcissa raised her chin in thought before holding her hand out for Graces to come to her.
"Is there a reason you are asking this?" she asked gently.
"She has expressed an interest."
Her mother looked down at her, in the same manner her father had looked at her, with realization that she was not so young and innocent as they had wished.
Narcissa swallowed some emotion. "Her mind should never be deprived of knowledge when it's ready for it." She nodded, as though she were trying to convince herself of this fact. "But I don't want her practicing it."
"I am in agreement with that," Lucius nodded.
"Nor do I want her studying it alone." Narcissa stipulated.
"Of course not."
Her mother nodded and stood there as though there was more to be said, but she wasn't sure what.
"You will teach them then," Lucius decided, holding out the book for Graces to take, while still holding his wife's gaze.
"Not you?" Graces asked, surprised that her father wouldn't want to teach her.
"Your mother always had better marks than I did… And she has a control which I lack."
"Are you doubting my capabilities?" Narcissa asked, her voice carrying a warning.
"No," Graces said quickly. "I just—I just never saw you use dark magic."
"Have you seen your father use it?" Narcissa's eyes darted to her husband in a way that let him know his daughter's answer would decide his fate.
"No," Graces realized. "I haven't." She stood there for a moment pondering this, before looking at her father. "But I-I sense it on him. Like the objects in the house I'm not to touch."
The harshness in her mother's face relaxed. "We will discuss that as well in our lessons," she said quietly, now guiding her away from her father.
"Graces." Graces turned in the doorway at her father's call. "You listen to your mother. She is far wiser than me."
The cauldron sat ominously before her. Mocking her. Her fears, her weaknesses. She looked about the dark dungeon classroom and closed her eyes, willing even a shadow of who she was before the war to come back. She wanted her old confidence. Her ability to laugh at those who wished her to fall. She yearned for that old feeling of invincibility.
She didn't want this feeling of helplessness weighing her down any longer. She tightened her eyes and prayed for anger. Rage, bloodlust. Nott had cornered her, violated her and she was not going to be his victim any longer, his cornered mouse to play with as he pleased.
She was going to not bury him, but force him to live submissive. If he took her down to the gates of hell, she would drag him through the doors with her. And even should he not and she be dragged by others, she would still take him along. He would be punished along with her for the rest of his miserable existence. Any pain she felt he would feel.
She stood from the ground, an old leather book clutched close to her chest. Blood magic—her father always warned—is dangerous because of how intimate it was. You give more of yourself in these spells and you are forced to sacrifice to allow it to work. It's not controllable, it's wild. It sees and decides all, knowing no master.
This spell would decide. She could do all of the brewing correctly, and say all incantations perfectly and it could choose to not work. Choose to turn against her.
She ran her hands through the blood soaked part of her hair. Blood magic was forbidden for good reasons. She once again considered her decision. Was it worth the possible cost? She stared at the dried blood. He hadn't succeeded and yet something inside her was screaming as if he had.
Slowly, she picked up the dagger on the table, silently praying to the gods she had always looked to for vengeance and strength. The blade was so sharp it cut through her hair like a spider web. She didn't even feel a tug of resistance.
It was the first time since she was old enough to remember that she couldn't feel the weight of her hair on her back. She searched up and discovered the ends barely past her chin and a slight panic went through her belly.
It's just hair she reminded herself angrily. Only hair. She chopped off the rest off with much more confidence making sure every bloody strand landed in the empty pot.
She looked up at her reflection in an old stowed away mirror. Her bruised cheek, cut lip and bloodied collarbone were all healed. And now all that remained was a mixture of her and Nott's dried blood on her. She didn't recognize the girl staring back at her and she was glad for it.
That person across from her was going to change her world. She lit the fire under the cauldron and breathed in the scent of burning hair and blood. She worked fervently through the night, adding in her ingredients with such precision she didn't even feel as though it were here hands working. She gave herself over to the dark magic dancing around her. It fed her anger, her pain and drowned her in bloodlust.
Nott would pay and the pain she would go through to bring that pain would be worth it. She laughed as she imagined him pleading for his life to end, knowing she would grant him that mercy. She wondered if he would take his own life. She hoped he would. After a month or two she would go to that funeral and smile brightly down at him before he was lowered in the ground forever.
She was so enthralled with her fantasy she didn't even flinch as she cut her left palm to bleed into the almost finished potion. She took a step back as the brew finished, waiting on baited breath for the color to change from red to black. It didn't take long, it turned after a few moments. She trembled as she filled a small vial. It had worked. It was there.
All she needed to do now was take it and see if it worked. She brought it to her lips but stopped. Stopped as though an invisible hand was holding her back. And suddenly the vengeance she wanted all night, she didn't want any longer. All she wanted now was Neville.
She corked the vial and put it down on the table, stepping away and covering her mouth. The magic that had been dancing around her stilled and she was now saddled with harsh reality. She looked at the vial in front of her. It would give her no comfort, no joy, just fuel this hurt and anger inside of her. But Neville could.
She pocketed the vial and practically ran to their room only to discover Neville was not there.
Also on another note, if you guys message me through the fanfiction app on your phone I won't get it. I don't have the app. Someone told me about this, so if you've messaged me using that app and I didn't answer it's because I didn't get the message. I'm not able to get that app since I don't have an android phone. If you message me on the regular site I will get it though :D