Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, J.K Rowling owns it ALL. (Although I wish I owned it.)
A/N: Here we are at Chapter Nine. Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you enjoy the chapter. I edited this chapter myself, so I apologize for misused words, terrible grammar, and typos. Clarification: I don't know much about where wizards go when they die - so I made up my own little version. This chapter explains it. :) This is merely fiction that I made up in my head, I don't mean to offend you or your beliefs. If you don't like this story, please don't leave unkind reviews. Thank you very much for your kind reviews if you've left any, they make me so happy! :) ALSO: Make sure you read the author's note at the end of this chapter for some explaining.
Warnings: Lots of drama, angst in this chapter, and it's grotesque at a few parts. Slight OOC. Sorry guys but with the way I designed the underworld, it simply could not be avoided. :) Also there is some language in this chapter, if you don't like language please just ignore it or don't read this. And please don't hate me for this chapter, I tried writing it as well as I could.
Changes I've made during the rewriting process:
In Draco's dream in Chapter Seven, Scorpius does not resemble Harry.
Esther will be adopted; there will be no Mpreg. (Sorry! I just didn't know how to write that very well. Esther is still an unborn spirit in the underworld.)
Minor grammatical corrections.
Narcissa's reaction to Draco coming out is gentler.
I deleted the Pensive scene from Chapter Three.
If I missed mentioning any changes, let me know.
Chapter Nine: The Underworld
"Come on, Harry! We're going to be late, and Esther won't like that." Draco urged. Seconds later, Harry emerged from the bathroom. His hair was styled neatly, and he smelled of cherries. Draco smiled. "You look great. Now let's go."
"Thanks." Harry smiled, taking Draco's outstretched hand.
"She's probably waiting in the library." Draco said. The two guys arrived at the library, and they were greeted by an overly-excited Esther.
"You're late." Esther stepped forward with open arms to hug Harry, but he stepped out of her way. Esther looked confused. "Euhm, what's your problem?" She cocked her head to the side.
"Um...well I guess I've never been hugged by a ghost before." Harry replied.
With a hurt expression, Esther screeched. "I am not a ghost! Why does everybody who I meet in this awful realm say that? I'm a spirit!"
Harry blinked, surprised by the fiery temper of the 'spirit'. "Um...sorry?"
"Nevermind, we've got to get going." Esther huffed. 'Living humans can be so dreadful sometimes,' she thought.
"Will there be people that have passed from this world?" Draco asked.
"Maybe, depends on what circle we fall through. Oh gosh, I hope we don't fall through the seventh-circle. That would be quite hard on you." Esther shuddered.
Draco nodded, on the outside, he looked calm, but on the inside, he was excited. "What are these circles you speak of?"
"There are seven circles of the underworld, what circle you fall through depends on what kind of life you lived. The first circle is paradise, while the seventh circle is eternal torture. Only unborn children like myself can jump around amongst the circles. Since I'm bringing you with me, you'll be able to jump around within the circles, but only when you're with me. The circles go from worst to best. Like I mentioned, the seventh circle is eternal torturing. The sixth is the circle of utter terror, and you cannot feel love in that circle but you have time to rest from the torturing. The fifth circle is the circle of starvation, you live normally, but you're always hungry and thirsty. The fourth circle is the circle of paranoia, - you live a normal life but you always feel completely paranoid. The third circle is just like this world, it has it's pros and cons. In the second circle, you're rich. You have anything you ever wanted, and you always feel loved. The first circle is paradise. You can't feel pain, you have everything you want, and money does not exist. You can only remember the good and happy things that happened to you and other people, and your magic is extremely powerful in the first circle. You do not have any physical or mental flaws. The first circle is where all of the unborn children live until they're born, but once they're born, they don't remember a thing about the underworld. Do you understand?"
Draco nodded. "Yes. Enough chatter, let's go."
Esther snapped her fingers and murmured 'Scapha mortuorum, venis ad me.' and a large boat appeared, floating in mid-air. "Well? What are you waiting for, an invitation from the Minster of magic? Get in!" She urged. Draco helped Harry into the boat. "This is going to make you really dizzy, so brace yourself. Deduc me ad inferos!" The boat flipped so the tip of it was facing the floor. A large, gaping, black hole appeared in the floor. "Here we go..." Esther warned. The boat plunged into the black hole, and everyone but Esther was screaming as loud as they could. Before anybody knew what was happening, the boat had disappeared and they were falling through thin air towards the lush ground.
"Where are we, Esther?"
"Mmm...looks like we landed in the first circle. We got lucky. Landing in the seventh circle is anything but fun." Esther replied, distracted by a butterfly that had landed on her nose.
Esther smiled. "Let's go to the third circle...I think there's someone you should see."
"Who?" Harry asked curiously.
"I want to go get your curse removed, Harry." Draco said, annoyed. "We don't have time to go meet people."
"We have four hours, three minutes, and two seconds. We need to get moving. Grab a piece of my hair." Esther commanded. Draco and Harry hung on to a piece of her long, curly locks.
"This is weird...why do we have to hold on to your hair?" Harry asked. Before Esther replied to Harry, the world around them began to twist and turn. 'Tres circulli!" Esther yelled. The world around them was now a small neighborhood. Harry spotted his godfather leaning against the side of a house talking to another man that looked about the same age.
"Sirius!" He cried, running towards his godfather. His godfather laughed, and wrapped Harry in a warm hug.
"Prongslet! I've missed you. You haven't been in your suite lately, I haven't been able to talk to you through your painting of me." Sirius shook his head. "How have you been?"
Draco ran up to Harry and grabbed his hand. He said nothing when he realized who Harry was talking to. This was indeed very awkward.
Sirius glared at Draco. "What are you doing here? Don't you have something better to do than torture my poor godson? Go count your money or something. I'll rip you to pieces if you touch Harry!"
"I'll explain." Harry sighed, how many people would he have to explain their situation to? "So...Sirius. Remember the last time we talked?"
"Yes. Quite a few months ago, four and half to be exact."
Harry cringed, he already felt bad enough for not talking to Sirius lately. "Eh – yes. Remember what we talked about?" Harry glanced at the man who Sirius had been talking to, he looked familiar but he couldn't remember exactly who it was. He figured it was another person who had died in the war.
"You told me about Draco abusing you and other things." Sirius raised an eyebrow, and then resumed glaring at Draco. "I'll kill him if you want me to."
"No, no. That's not necessary Sirius. I'll explain-"
"Told you he was a murderer back in third year." Draco murmured. Harry shot him a warning look.
"Draco, stop." Harry whispered, elbowing him in the ribs.
"I'll teach you to insult a Marauder ever again!" Sirius threatened, drawing his wand and stepping towards Draco
Harry shook his head and stepped in between the two wizards, who were both ready to fight each other.
"Stop it! Merlin, Draco and Sirius – I care about you both and I don't want you two to fight. Draco, stop making your smart-ass comments. And Sirius, just listen to what I'm trying to tell you!"
Sirius snarled at Draco and gave a deep, mock bow.
"Euhm, so. Sirius...Draco..." Harry paused, unsure of what he and Draco were. Ex-fiancees? Lovers? Was Draco his ex-boyfriend? Ex? Was Draco even his ex? Harry looked to Draco for help, and Draco grabbed Harry's hand so Sirius could see what they were - and what they were, was obvious.
"Harry and I are in love." Draco finished, grinning at Sirius' baffled expression. Sirius raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.
After a few moments, the silence was getting uncomfortable, Harry could almost taste the tension in the air between Draco and his godfather. "Well? Aren't you going to say something?" Harry asked, breaking the silence. Sirius looked uncomfortable, but his eyes never left the boys' entwined fingers. After another minute of staring, Sirius narrowed his eyes at Draco.
Sighing, Sirius replied. "I'm confused. You were just telling me about Malfoy's disgusting behavior, and now he claims that you're in love. Care to explain?"
"Well, euhm. I'll try to make this short and make sense." Harry fidgeted with his shirt while explaining how he and Draco had gotten together, and their struggle with Lucius. Finally, he came around to the part about Draco killing his father to save Harry. "So, you see, Draco has changed." Harry finished.
"I've changed...somewhat. Only for Harry." Draco had his hand on his wand - he didn't trust Sirius.
"The only respect I have for you is that you killed that bastard that you call father." Sirius snorted.
"I don't call him 'father' anymore. You're a low-life swine. I'm wasting my time talking to you." Draco turned away from an angry Sirius, and pulled Harry towards him. "We don't have unlimited time. We need to get to Lucius before time runs out. I don't know why we're wasting our precious time talking to him."
"What do you mean by 'get to Lucius'?! You're not trying to free him; are you?!" Sirius grabbed Harry's arm, and Harry turned around to face his godfather. "Because I can't let you do that."
"What? No, no. Sirius, we're going to see him because we need to get a curse lifted-"
"I'd never set that man free if my life depended on it." Draco narrowed his eyes at Sirius, tightening his grip on Harry's hand. Harry tried squirming out of Draco's grip, - it was beginning to hurt. "How much time do we have left Esther?" Draco said through gritted teeth.
"Three hours, twenty-three minutes, and fifty-six seconds." She replied, "You need to be back at Hogwarts before anybody wakes."
"What curse? Did Malfoy curse you?" Sirius asked, glaring at the blonde.
"There's no time to explain, we have to go!" Draco urged, not wanting to 'waste' any more time talking to Sirius.
"He's right, we have to go. Do you have any idea what circle Lucius landed in?" Esther asked Sirius, who was not looking like a happy camper right then. When Sirius folded his arms across his chest, and stubbornly refused to say anything until Harry told him who cursed him, Esther gave him a threatening look.
Sirius scoffed. "Fine. We all felt him pass through our circle. It's rumored that he landed in the sixth or seventh circle.
"Thank you. Come on, we're leaving." Esther turned around so Draco and Harry could grab onto her hair.
"But I want to stay with Sirius for a bit longer!" Harry protested.
"We have to move on, sorry Harry. We need to get that blasted curse removed. I didn't come down here to argue with your awful godfather." Draco sneered at Sirius.
"Harry, as much as I hate to admit it, Esther and Malfoy are right. Go." Before Harry could reply to Sirius, Esther had already given the command to go to the seventh circle.
"Septimum circuli!" Their surroundings melted into a dry desert with rough sand.
"This doesn't look like an eternal torturing chamber." Draco remarked.
"You're right, it doesn't. It's much worse." Esther replied solemnly, looking around for Lucius. All around them was a sandy desert, and a dark purple sky.
"Is there anything or anyone here?" Harry asked. He couldn't see a living thing for miles.
"Shh. I think I heard someone." Draco whispered. The group stood motionless, the only thing to be heard was Harry's haggard breathing.
A bony hand emerged from the sand, writhing about. The long fingers on the hand wrapped around Draco's ankle, knocking him over and pulling him down to the sand.
"What the hell?" Draco said, a disgusted look forming on his face. He tried kicking at the hand, but it would not let go. It kept pulling him down into the sand, deeper and deeper. It was only a matter of seconds before he was waist deep in the sand. He looked over to Harry, who was also struggling to get out of the sand, bony hands clawing at them and pulling them under.
"These hands will pull you into small rooms. In these rooms, you will face your worst fears. Do not, and I repeat, do not, react to them! You have to stay calm, and ignore your fears! If you give in to your fears, you will be trapped in a maze of fears forever. If you do as I say and ignore your nightmares and fears, you will only have to suffer through three rooms! There's no use in struggling, this is the only way to find Lucius. Am I clear?" Esther explained.
Draco nodded and looked over to Harry who had now stopped struggling. He wanted to reach out and assure him that everything would be fine, but he was buried up to his neck in sand and Harry and Esther were too.
It was only a matter of seconds before Draco was dropped into a room that was black as pitch. "Harry? Harry are you in here? Esther? Anybody?" Draco called. No answer. He blinked a few times, but his eyes still didn't adjust to the pitch black. He felt a wall behind him, and he ran his hands over it looking for a door. The less time he had to spend in a room, the better. He didn't feel a door or any kind of opening, and he began to fear that he wouldn't be able to get out – ever. "Is anybody here?!" He began to breathe rapidly. What if nobody was going to come for him?
"That's right, Draco. You're alone." A deep voice taunted. Draco jumped a foot, and hugged his arms over his chest. Draco felt like he couldn't retort, and felt a dreadful feeling welling up from his chest. 'Harry is coming. Harry will come to save me.' Draco consoled himself, hoping to make the feeling go away.
"He won't come for you. Did you really think he loved you? Ha! He's using you to get this curse off of him. Once the curse is gone, he'll leave you. You're alone. You always will be. How could anybody love you? You even told your own mother that you loathe her. What makes you think anybody loves you at all?" The voice invaded Draco's thoughts. Whatever this voice was, it had very valid points. Draco hung his head, trying not to lash out and give the voice what it wanted. "That's right Draco, I can hear your thoughts. I know everything. Let me show you evidence of how alone you really are." The voice stopped. Draco closed his eyes, he didn't want to see any evidence. Despite his closed eyelids, a vision began to play in Draco's mind. It showed Harry lifting a small child up to his shoulders, and Ginny Weasley next to him with her arm around his waist. Harry was smiling and laughing, - looking happy as ever. The vision faded away and Draco was engulfed by darkness once more. "That's what Harry's life could be like if you weren't with him. This will happen, and you will be alone. You are alone, just give up now!" The voice laughed harshly. Draco knelt to the ground and pressed his hands to his ears. "Lies, all lies. Harry loves me and only me." Draco whispered to himself. Just as Draco was about to give up and beg the voice to leave his head, a white door appeared, signaling that he had conquered his fear. Draco got up and ran towards the door, opening it as fast as he could, entering the next room before even thinking what would be inside of it.
Harry took in the surroundings of the room, as far as he could tell, he was at the Ministry. A few guards walked up to his and grabbed his arms. Harry realized that he was in chains, and he didn't have his wand with him. He was led in front of a judge.
"Harry James Potter, you have been found guilty of murder." Harry gasped, he had never murdered anybody. He had killed, but only in defense. He could never murder anybody. "The jury has decided that your punishment will be receiving the Dementor's Kiss." Harry blinked, this wasn't his worst fear. For a second, Harry felt like he could stand this room. Suddenly, a young man covered in a dark cloak rose from the crowd. The man let down his cloak, revealing bright blonde hair. "Draco?" Harry said. Draco looked at Harry solemnly.
"I'll take the Dementor's Kiss for Harry James Potter," Draco's voice echoed across the walls of the chamber, repeating the words to Harry.
The judge smirked, obviously amused by Draco's offer. "And why would you want to do this, Mister Malfoy?"
"I have my reasons to believe that Mister Potter is innocent. However, I respect your decision and the court's decision to find him guilty and punish him. I need to do this, your honor," Draco replied, ending with a slight bow of his head.
"Draco, no! You stay out of this!" Harry yelled, but he was shut up by the guards that were restraining him.
The judge sat upon his chair and thought for a second, mulling over his options. After a few moments, he spoke up. "All right. Now, I normally wouldn't let this happen, but I think that is an excellent idea. It would pain Mister Potter much more to see his lover take the Kiss for him than to receive it himself. We all know how much Mister Potter likes it when people sacrifice themselves for him." Harry trembled. 'That's not true, I don't like it!' He thought. Draco nodded, and was led away by a few guards. Harry wanted to yell to Draco, or grab his wand and maim the guards that were leading his lover away from him, but he couldn't. Not if he wanted to get out of this room.
"Unless, maybe this isn't a 'room', Harry." A deep, cold voice said. "This is real life, Potter." The voice poisoned Harry's ears. 'It is? No! No, they can't take Draco. He can't take the Kiss for me! I won't let him!' Harry thought again. The guards pushed Harry through another door, where Draco was waiting in the middle of the room for the Dementor to come out. Draco nodded to him.
"Stop being an idiot, Draco!" Harry struggled to get free from the guards, but he could not. "This is supposed to be my punishment! Come here! I'm not going to let you do this!" Harry yelled. The guards shoved Harry into a glass room off to the side so he could watch. "Idiots! Take me out of here. I demand to see Draco!" The guards did nothing. Harry could see the shadowy figure of the Dementor nearing Draco.
"Your wand is on the belt of that guard. You could get it if you tried, I'm on your side." The voice whispered in Harry's ear. Harry looked over to the guard's belt, his wand was indeed there. 'Do not, and I repeat, do not react to your fears!' Esther's voice repeated in his mind, somewhat bringing him to reality. Harry resisted the urge to grab his wand and save Draco. Harry saw the Dementor pull back it's hood, - it was inches away from Draco's face. The Dementor clamped it's jaws around Draco's mouth, sucking his soul away. Harry wanted to cry out, but he remembered Esther's instructions and did not.
The Dementor finished sucking Draco's soul away, and he laid on the ground. His chest rose and fell, reassuring Harry that Draco was still alive.
"Look what you've done. Your lover is nothing more than a shell because you're selfish and allow innocent people to sacrifice themselves for you. Just like you did during the war!" The voice boomed over all other noise.
"That's not true." Harry said, standing his ground. He had gotten this far, and he wasn't going to give up now, although he wanted to. A white door appeared, and Harry sprinted for it. He wanted to get out of this wretched place as soon as possible.
When Draco exited the room and walked into a desert once again, and saw Esther standing and waiting patently. When she saw him, she smiled.
"I see you've managed to make it through one room. How did it go?"
"That's one of the most awful things I've experienced. How many rooms do we have to go through?"
"Three." Esther replied.
"Where's Harry?!" Draco looked around frantically, noticing that his lover wasn't with them.
"He might still be in the room, or, he may have given into his fear and the maze has eaten him." Esther said eerily calm. Draco raised an eyebrow.
"How long until he conquers his fear?"
"What makes you so sure he'll conquer his fear?" Esther crossed her arms over her chest.
"Harry's brave, I know he can. What was your fear? If you don't mind me asking."
"Nothing, I walked through an empty room and opened the door on the other side. You see, since I haven't been born into your world yet, I have no fears." Esther replied, kicking at the beige sand underneath her bare feet. Suddenly, Harry rose from underneath the sand Esther had been kicking at.
Harry spat out the foul-tasting sand that had gotten is his mouth. He looked up and realized Draco was standing near him, he jumped to his feet and kissed his lover.
"Draco! You fucking idiot, don't ever do that!" Harry tightened his grip on his confused lover, who stroked Harry's hair. Esther smiled, she liked to see that her future adoptive parents were in love.
"What are you talking about? I didn't do anything." Draco withdrew from their hug. Harry thought for a second before replying.
"Wait...oh. I'm sorry I just thought...I don't know what I was thinking actually." Harry struggled to realize that they were in the underworld – not the Ministry of Magic.
"Papa had a very realistic room. He's just happy to see you." Esther chimed in, translating Harry's behavior.
Draco smiled. "I'm happy to see you too. We have to make it through two more rooms." Harry grabbed Draco's hand and squeezed it.
"Two? That's a lot. I don't know if I can get through two more rooms." Harry admitted.
"I know you can get through them. It's either this or dying. I promise that our love is stronger than any of the fears in those rooms. Trust me. I'd give my life for you." Draco looked into Harry's green eyes, which widened when he heard the last sentence.
"No, don't say that! I don't want you to give your life for me. I don't want anybody to!" Skeletal hands reached through the sand and grabbed at their ankles once again. Harry looked at Draco, mortified that he would risk himself or do something stupid. "Don't do anything stupid, Malfoy." Harry scowled before being completely engulfed by the sand.
After Harry had been dropped into his room, Draco and Esther were still slightly above the sand.
"What exactly happened in the room he was dropped into?" Draco asked Esther, having a feeling that she knew.
"I'll tell you when you come back from your next room. Good luck." Esther nodded to him before he got swallowed up.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~(Draco's second room of fear.)
Draco was dropped into a cemetery, but not just any cemetery – the cemetery in which Tom Riddle's grave was. A group of young wizards wearing black cloaks were all gathered around an empty grave. Draco walked closer to hear what was going on. One of the cloaked people turned around, and Draco recognized the face of Hermione Granger. Next to her was the weasel and the weasellete, both cradling new born twins, Draco guessed that they were the weasel and Granger's spawns. Albus Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Hagrid were crowded around the empty grave with bowed heads.
"What's going on?" Draco asked. All heads turned to him, and Draco was startled to see that all of their eyes glowed green. All of the cloaked wizards and witches pointed to the headstone which read 'In memory of Harry James Potter, savior of the wizarding world.' Draco gasped. They all pointed to him, chanting 'You're the reason he's dead. You're a murderer.' Over and over again. Draco backed away, throwing his hands in front of him ready to protest.
"Where's Harry? Why is the grave empty?" Draco hid behind a larger headstone. The group of cloaked wizards pointed to a black coffin sitting next to the grave, ready for it to be lowered into the wet ground. They pointed to the coffin, then back to Draco.
"What? No! Harry's not dead..he..he can't be!" Draco protested. The group kept chanting, and they pushed him over to the coffin. They opened the lid, to reveal a stone-cold, very much dead Harry. Draco gasped, kneeling next to the coffin. He stroked Harry's face, begging him to wake up. But Harry laid there unmoving with his arms crossed over his chest. "Harry...no." Draco let a few tears slip from his eyes.
"You let your father curse him. You failed to save young Harry." Dumbledore accused Draco, who was weeping next to Harry's coffin. "Now you must suffer."
"Anguis mortem ardentiaque. Anguis mortem ardentiaque. Anguis mortem ardentiaque." The group chanted, raising their wands and pointing them at Draco. Draco saw a white door appear on the back of a tall headstone, but Dumbledore held his arm firmly. He struggled to break free, but Dumbledore didn't loosen his grip. Draco kicked at him, but it didn't help – it just made Dumbledore even angrier and he dug his fingernails into Draco's arm. Draco cried out in pain. He felt hot blood seep out of his arm, but Dumbledore didn't care if he was hurting him or not. He dragged Draco over to the empty grave, and pointed to the coffin, and then to the grave.
"You..you want me to-" Draco was cut off when the weasel pushed him into the grave, laughing mechanically. The others followed in suit of the weasel's laughter. Draco felt dirt being piled on top of him, and he began to panic. He stood up, barely tall enough to reach the ground and try to scramble out of the grave before the others buried him alive. Whenever Draco got a grip on the slippery wet ground above him, somebody stomped on his hand so he couldn't climb out. Draco sat down in the grave, his breathing increased. 'No...can't...panic...' "Help!" Draco cried as a last resort.
"Help will always be given to those who ask nicely." A sweet, deep voice said, startling Draco. A pale hand reached down into the grave and Draco accepted it gladly. The young man proved to be stronger than he looked and he was able to pull Draco out of the deep grave. The green eyed monsters hissed, but backed away from the young man when he murmured some words. He turned to Draco, and extended his hand. Draco shook his hand, and was perplexed by the young man's face. It was like staring into a mirror, only the young man had brown eyes, higher cheekbones, and a shorter nose.
"Scorpius Malfoy, at your services." The young man grinned.
"So..whoa. You're another...?" Draco trailed off, unsure of what to call his savior.
"Unborn spirit. Yeah. But not for long."
Draco raised an eyebrow at that, but glanced back nervously to the cloaked villains who had tried to murder him. "I just want to leave." Scorpius nodded, and they made their way over to the white glowing door.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ (Harry's second room of fear.)
Harry walked down a winding hallway of Hogwarts, it appeared abandoned. At least that's what Harry thought until he entered the Great Hall. He heard a woman's scream, and looked over to the large shattered window to see a woman's figure standing near it. Thick hot blood seeped down the walls, and all around Harry were mangled bodies. He recognized some of the bodies and cringed, but kept walking towards the woman. The woman held a hostage in her arms, and the hostage was struggling to get free.
"We don't have to drag this out if you don't want to." The woman hissed at Harry, holding the hostage in place over the window ledge. Harry walked faster. He outstretched his hand towards the hostage.
'Wait a minute...that's Draco.' Harry furrowed his brow in confusion.
"I decide whether he lives or dies!" The woman hissed with a maniacal glare, confirming that she was insane. "He's a mistake." The woman pushed Draco out the window, and then she vanished.
"Draco!" Harry cried, reaching for his falling lover. He was too late, and he saw Draco fall to his death. Harry knelt next to the window weeping. The bodies in the room climbed towards him. Some of the bodies mocked him, and some reached for him and snarled.
"Leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone!" Harry cried. Where was his wand when he needed it?
A husky voice called out from amongst the crowd. "You're weak, father." A tall, burly teenage rose from the crowd. "But I will help you." The teen shoved the bodies aside, striding through thick puddles of blood. The teen picked up Harry, and carried him through the white glowing door.
Draco was spat out into a desert once again, he looked around for Esther and found her sitting on a rock trying to untangle her mess of hair on top of her head.
"Dad. Glad to see you made it through another room." She tensed when she saw Scorpius. Scorpius narrowed his eyes at Esther, and it was clear that the two people were not fond of each-other. "Hello, Scorpius." Esther pursed her lips.
"Stop being so fake, Esther-poof. They're bound to find out what a pain you really are sooner than later." Scorpius scoffed.
Esther rolled her eyes. "Well you can't expect them to believe your 'I'm-so-nice' act. Because it's fake as hell and you suck at acting."
"Hey now, what's this all about? You two ought to be nicer to each-other. You're siblings, correct?" Draco hoped that they were, he didn't plan on having children with anyone but Harry. - If that could even be possible.
"More or less." Esther turned her back towards Scorpius.
"She's just jealous of me." Scorpius snorted, turning away from Esther as well. A sputtering Harry rose from the sand along with another bulky person.
"Rudy!" Scorpius and Esther both turned to greet the over-sized teen.
"Scorp, Esther-poof!" The boy hugged both of his siblings with his crushing weight. Draco helped Harry up from the sand.
"Another unborn spirit?" Draco studied the teenager, "What's your name?"
"Rudgar Potter. Everyone calls me Rudy though." Rudy smiled and embraced Draco in a crushing hug as well. He looked over to Harry who was now in deep conversation with Scorpius. "These are my siblings, Esther-poof and Scorp as I call them. They treat me nicely." Rudy beamed. Rudy's appearance reminded Draco much of an American lumberjack. He had a husky build, dark brown hair, dark eyes, and a deep voice.
"That's nice to know." Draco smiled back, but turned his attention to Esther and Scorpius. "How much time do we have?"
"One hour, thirty-two minutes, and nine seconds." Esther replied. The skeletal hands gripped their ankles once more, deciding that the group had had enough chatting time.
Harry looked to Draco, who gripped his hand lovingly and silently told him that everything was going to be all right.
"Hold hands with everyone." Esther suddenly ordered. Soon the group was either linking arms or holding hands. "Good. If we all stay together, we can lead you through your next rooms and block out your fears. Let's make this fast." Esther commanded before everybody was pulled underneath the beige sand.
Esther had been right about the unborn spirits being able to block out Harry and Draco's fears. They were dropped into drab, empty rooms. Fears flew at them in the forms of birds, but Rudy was able to smack the birds away before they could reach Harry or Draco. If the birds reached Harry or Draco, they would drop into another room and have to face their worst fears – alone. They finally reached large door that glowed white, and they all scrambled through it. They were led into what seemed like a large throne room.
"Euhm, where are we?" Harry asked. His voice echoed against the marble walls.
"The throne room of the great one. He is the ruler of the seventh and sixth circles." Esther dared to whisper.
"Ah, it is the smart lady. Come find me so I can have a look at your pretty face." The voice echoed.
Harry and Draco exchanged questioning looks, while Rudy and Scorpius snickered at their sister. Esther scowled and motioned for the group to follow her. Esther led them to the throne, and she knelt before it. Draco and Harry stood awkwardly, unsure of what to do. However, a slight nudge from Scorpius told them that they were supposed to kneel too. A giant thing with it's face covered with a thick black cloak stepped forward, and stopped in front of Esther. He cupped her face with his hands, and his dirty, overly long fingernails ghosted over her face.
"Such a pretty, pretty girl." The thing chuckled. "Like a porcelain doll."
Draco scowled, deciding he didn't like this 'thing'.
"Oh and young Malfoy. How could I forget you? Yes, yes it was fun torturing you in those rooms of mine. You'd make a fine sacrifice. My pets would find you quite delectable." It mused. The great one walked over to Harry, curling it's fingers around the staff it held."You have something you want to ask, yes?"
Harry nodded. "We would like to see Lucius Malfoy." Harry bowed deeper to try to win the thing's favor.
"Ah. Yes, you have a quarrel with him. I'm sorry, but that cannot be done. I need a blood sacrifice." The thing's glowing green eyes shifted to Draco, and it's tongue flickered out like a snake's tongue does. "Or – the hand of young Esther in marriage would do nicely."
"We didn't bring one." Harry stopped bowing and crossed his arms over his chest. "And you can't have Esther, she isn't a dead spirit – she's an unborn spirit.
"Well, you see Mister Potter, I could have her death arranged quite easily – if she agrees to it. I'm used to stubborn brats like you who think they can just waltz into the underworld and demand something."
Scorpius snickered and elbowed his sister, while Rudy reassured her that their Papa would never agree to something like that.
"I can give you the blood you want." Draco spoke up, "But only if you tell me what it's for."
"To feed my pets, of course." The thing cackled at the mortified expression of Harry and Draco.
"Yeah, sorry Dray, but I can't let you do that." Harry pursed his lips. No way in hell was he going to let Draco give any blood for him.
"Right this way, young Malfoy." The thing cackled once more and led Draco away with his staff.
Harry was about to go after Draco, but Esther caught him by the arm. "Let him go. He wants to do this. He hasn't suffered through all those rooms for nothing." Harry pouted, but didn't protest any further.
A few minutes later, Draco emerged from a small side room. He looked a tad paler, but other than that he looked normal. Draco walked up to Harry and sat beside him.
"Whoa...I feel...dizzy." Draco muttered before fainting.
"Draco, are you all right?!" Harry knelt next to Draco, who was now unconscious. "What exactly are your pets?! What did they do to Draco?"
The thing shifted in annoyance. "Vampires. They didn't inject venom into him, he'll be fine. Stop your unnecessary fussing. It annoys me."
"You have your blood sacrifice, great one. May we see Lucius Malfoy?" Esther inclined her head.
The thing shrunk down to Esther's size, and wrapped his skeletal arm around her waist. "Of course. Let me walk with you." Esther tensed when she heard that, but hastily agreed to letting the great one walk with her. Only in fear that if she refused, the great one would get angry and order all of their deaths instantly.
Scorpius snickered again and whispered to Draco, (who had just now regained consciousness) "Isn't it fascinating that The Lord of the Magical Dead has a huge crush on Esther?"
Draco shook his head and pursed his lips. "I think it's creepy. He's not going to make her stay here, is he? Is it even a 'he'?" Scorpius ignored Draco's worried comments, and they kept walking.
After ten or fifteen minutes of walking, they reached what looked like a large bank vault.
"Here we are. Lucius Malfoy's eternal torturing room. Have fun." The great one hissed, stole one last lustful glance at Esther, and disappeared.
"This vault is where Lucius has to reside for the rest of eternity. His fears torture him, and his worst memories of his life are replayed to him. However, we will not be able to see his fears or memories. All we will see is a grey room. He may try to attack you, but don't let that vex you. He can't touch us." Esther explained, ignoring Scorpius' side comments about 'the great one' being in love with her.
"How do you know so much about the underworld?" Draco asked curiously. It was a bit odd that she knew so much, considering she told them that she resides in the first circle until she is born.
"That's because she spends all her time down here with the great one." Scorpius chuckled. Esther flushed.
"I do not spend my time with the great one! I spend my time researching wizard souls and finding out things about them! I find it interesting. Fuck you Scorpius." Esther opened the vault, and stormed inside.
"She just has a bad temper, don't mind her." Scorpius raked his white-blonde hair with his fingers and arrogantly strode inside the vault.
Rudy shrugged and motioned for Harry and Draco to follow him and enter the vault.
When Draco entered the vault, he found his father huddled in the corner of the room with his knees hugged up to his chest.
Draco clenched his fists. Never had he felt the feeling of rage inside of him that he felt at this moment. He smiled gaily when his father whimpered and begged Esther to help him. She refused to help him, and stood with her arms crossed.
When Lucius saw Harry, he let out a maniacal laugh. "The curse worked! You're dead now. You came to join me in this hell-hole. Oh, this is great. This is rich."
Draco stepped forward. "He's not dead! In fact, we're hear to save him! Now get up and remove Harry's curse, or else!"
"Or else what? I'm already in hell!" Lucius cackled, but sobered immediately. "Make it stop! Make it go away!" Lucius hissed, and backed away from the group. He clamped his hands over his ears.
Draco looked to Esther for an explanation of what Lucius meant, but she shrugged. "Make what go away?"
"The voice! Can't you hear it?! It haunts me. It follows me. It wants me!" Lucius curled into a ball and begged once more for 'the voice' to leave him alone.
"We don't care. Now get up and remove this curse this instant!" Draco felt hopeless, he had nothing to threaten his father with.
"We could try...making a deal with him. I have an idea." Esther suggested. "We could offer to convince the great one to move him to the sixth circle. If that's all right with you, dad."
Draco scowled, he wanted his father to stay in the seventh circle and be tortured for eternity, but he didn't have a choice. "I dislike the idea, but it's the only choice we have."
Harry hugged Draco. "I know how much you loathe your father. You don't have to save me."
"Do you really think I'm such a git that I would keep my father in the seventh circle and let you die? I've told you before, I'm not a heartless monster." Draco embraced his lover.
"No. I know you're not a heartless monster." Harry said, pulling away from their embrace and taking Draco's hand in his own.
"Let's leave. I need to negotiate with the great one and that may take quite awhile. We only have fifty-two minutes left." Esther opened the vault and walked out and the others followed.
"Lazrid! Where are you?" Esther yelled.
"Who's Lazrid?" Harry asked.
"That's the great one's first name." Esther replied.
"Oh you'd know." Scorpius teased, causing Esther to glare at Scorpius. The group then entered the throne room.
"Back already? I didn't think Lucius would give in that easily," the great one chuckled.
"We have a favor to ask of you." Harry said while bowing.
"We would like to make a request for Lucius to be transferred to the sixth circle." Esther finished, bowing as well.
Lazrid laughed, making the room shake. "Why? Only if you give me something that I want in return."
"What do you want? I don't have much more blood to give!" Draco protested, rubbing the spot where the vampires had bitten him.
"I don't want any more of your blood. I want Esther."
Esther's blood ran cold. "Um..."
Draco stepped in front of Esther, as if he was going to protect her from something. "You can't have Esther."
"If Esther promises to spend her afterlife with me once she dies, I'll transfer Lucius to the sixth circle. That is the only way I will even consider."
"Fine. I promise."
"Esther...no!" Harry stepped forward.
"You stay out of this. I'm going to do this whether you like it or not." Esther stepped forward, and Lazrid tapped her on the head with his staff.
"She's mine now. I've left my mark on you, so you must fulfill your promise. Go to the sixth circle and await Lucius." Lazrid smiled a mischievous smile.
Esther bowed quickly. "Thank you." She motioned for for Draco and Harry to grab onto her ringlets.
"Sextus circulli!" The circle twisted into a stark white room. The room was so quiet, that Harry and Draco could hear their own blood rushing through their veins.
"What is this place?" Harry asked, gripping Draco's hand.
"This is the sixth circle. It's not much better than the seventh circle. There's Lucius." Esther pointed to a man leaning against a wall, looking above him and pawing at something imaginary. "This room will torture him just as much as the last room, but he'll have an hour of a break every twenty-four hours. That's the only difference." Esther explained. They walked over to Lucius, but stopped once they were five feet away from him.
"Take this curse off of Harry now! Or we'll have you transported back to the seventh circle!" Draco demanded.
Lucius sneered and mumbled something inaudible.
"I said lift the curse now!" Draco was getting impatient. He kicked at his father, trying to get him to respond.
"Foolish boy." Lucius spat. He murmured something else and his eyes glowed green, just as they had when he had cursed Harry. "It's done."
Harry looked at him surprised. "What that's it?" Lucius shrugged. Draco looked to Esther, who gave him a nod.
"Papa is no longer cursed; he is cured. We should leave now." Esther said, twirling a piece of hair between her fingers.
"No...no! You tricked me! The voice...I can still hear it. It tortures me! Please, take me with you!" Lucius begged on his knees.
Draco scowled at his pitiful father. "We've fulfilled our half of the deal and you've surprisingly kept your word on yours. Now we're going to leave. Without you. Have a nice time in hell."
"But!" Lucius began to protest, but he was distracted by the voice that was torturing him.
"Go!" Draco raised his voice. He was getting impatient now. Lucius hissed and backed away like a beaten dog. Draco pointed to the black door on the other side of the room. "Go NOW." Lucius glared and walked over to the black door, opening it and allowing darkness to swallow him.
"Where did he go?" Harry asked, bewildered.
"To his torturing chamber." Esther replied.
"I thought this was his torturing chamber?"
"No. His torturing chamber is much worse. Now come, we have exactly ten minutes and eleven seconds left before somebody notices you're gone." Harry nodded.
"Can you take us back to Hogwarts?"
"Yes." Esther closed her eyes, and mumbled something. The room that they were in faded away, and blackness enveloped them. "You won't remember anything except for the fact that Harry is no longer cursed." Harry heard Esther whisper to Draco.
A/N: Okay, yes, I know. It was a bad chapter! I'm sorry. I know it's a bit much to process. Do you like Scorpius and Rudgar? I'm trying so hard to make this a good story, and it's my first ever story besides writing small one-shots on a different website. So please have mercy on me when you review. Now...let me explain some things. Rudy and Scorpius are Esther's half-brothers. This will make more sense to you when I upload the next few chapters. The rooms of fear are illusions created by Lazrid or 'the great one'. Also, I just decided it would be fun to make Lazrid have a crush on Esther. * lol * If you didn't understand how that works, I'll explain it. Esther made a promise to be with Lazrid in the underworld after she is born into the living realm and lives and then dies. So pretty much Esther will be the queen of the underworld after death. It just seems like something that would fit her character, you know? * lol * :) I'm in the midst of writing Chapter Ten right now, it will explain more about why Draco has to marry Astoria. PLEASE don't correct me on what happens to wizards after they die. I researched it and there just wasn't enough information about it to write a whole chapter where they're in the underworld. One last thing...I'm not from the UK so my British dialogue is probably incorrect, sorry 'bout that. :)