Disclaimer: The song Rinse is copyright Vanessa Carlton, Harry Potter characters are copyright JK Rowling, and all other characters are the intellectual property of various people involved in the Hogwarts Heirs RPG on YahooGroups. William Mallory belongs to Kori, Sven Reilly belongs to Jess, and Myriah and Adeline Colombe belong to me.

Rinse, by SpiritedRinoa

She'd do anything to sparkle in his eyes
She would suffer, she would fight, and compromise
She's been wishin' on the stars that shine so bright
For answers to the questions that will haunt her tonight

Myrddin was perched on her bed with a message secure in his beak. Adeline didn't even need to open it to know what the message said, and she didn't need to look at it to know whom it was from. It was a letter from Them, saying that it was time. Time to decide, time to fight. It was time to choose whether she would follow in the footsteps of her family, or try to resist, as Draco planned to do. She read through the note, which served to sign and seal her fate. They knew that Draco planned on resisting; the Dark Lord would show him no mercy. If he didn't follow them, if he resisted, they would kill him. She closed her eyes as the note fell from her hand onto the bed. But if she agreed to follow…if she took her place as the Heir of Slytherin, maybe she could keep him from harm. He couldn't know, of course, that she agreed to it…he wouldn't forgive her for following them, would he? She climbed into bed and pulled the covers over her, her mind full of questions.

She must rinse this all away
She can't hold him this way

"How'd you sleep?" Draco asked. In reply, she shoved the note into his hand. He looked up to her, curious, but understanding. He opened it and read, merely nodding and handing it back. "I'll probably be getting one too then."

"What are you going to tell them?" Adeline asked, chewing her lip anxiously. "You're going to resist, aren't you?" She didn't need to ask, she already knew his answer.

"I know that it won't be easy, but yes," he nodded. She felt her stomach sink, although she had expected that answer. "I refuse to be like my father." He met her eyes. "What are you going to do?"

"I don't know," she gave a sad smile. "I'm not as strong as you are, I don't think that I'd last very long under anything that they could possibly do to me."

She must rinse this all away
She can't love him this way

"What's gotten into you lately? And don't tell me that it was that note from Them, because that wouldn't make you look so happy and smug." She crossed her arms and looked at him, waiting for an explanation.

He frowned slightly, hesitating, only to be met with a prodding look from Adeline. "Ginny Weasley's gotten to me lately…we had detention together, and well…" He looked up, giving her a significant glance.

"You've…got to be KIDDING!" she exploded. "After all the times that you've railed on the Weasleys, Draco?! You! Of all people! The Little Weasel!? How hypocritical of you," she continued in a calmer tone. "You should have come out with us last night, you missed a good time. Well, I'll see you later Draco. Good night." She flashed him a smile before leaving the Great Hall.

How she'd be soothed, how she'd be saved if he could see
She needs to be held in his arms to be free

"Sometimes I wonder if either of you know anything about anything," Adeline remarked shortly, looking from William to Draco. "I don't know who's worse sometimes, you or William." Tired with the conversation, Draco left the common room. Why was she always the one chasing after him? "Draco! Stop already! You're always doing that!" she called, rushing to catch up to him. "You always do that! You never yell back, you never even bother to try to even figure out what makes me so mad! You just always storm off when it gets like this!" She bit her lip, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to spill, suppressing the urge to scream and throw something.

"Do you want me to yell? FINE! I'LL YELL!" Draco replied, raising his voice. "I don't like it that I can't help you. I don't like it that I can't tell you exactly what to do to help with whatever's bothering you. I don't want to fight, Addy, I don't want to say something stupid that will stop us from talking for another couple of days. That's why I don't yell! You think I don't care? I lay awake at night wondering how the hell I'm going to get to sleep thinking about you. I can't just not worry about you, you're like my sister," he said, pulling her into an embrace.

Adeline crumpled into his arms and she closed her eyes to block the tears. She refused to cry. Not for this. Not for him. She pulled away sadly, reluctantly. "I'm not your sister," she replied as she turned and left him there. The tears won out in the end, wetting her cheeks as she walked away.

But everything happens for reasons that she will never understand

"Nothing's wrong with me," Adeline protested vehemently.

"Right, and you always break down sobbing in the hallways like that? If that's the case, perhaps we should have you checked into St. Mungo's." Adeline glared at her sister's remark. That wasn't funny. "It's Draco that's bothering you, isn't it?" Myriah continued.

"Sod off…" Adeline snapped. Myriah simply raised an eyebrow, seeing that she had struck a mark. "You're in love with him, aren't you?"

"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BLOODY MIND?! He's like my brother for Gods sake!" She looked at Myriah defiantly, although some part of her told her that it was true. It explained a lot of the jealousy, a lot of the fighting that had been going on lately.

"You can deny it, Adeline, but can you deny that Father's always hoped that there were be more between the Malfoys and Colombes? Father's never cared an ounce for who he hurts to get what he wants, and the Malfoys are incredibly wealthy and an old wizarding family – one of the few that Father finds acceptable."

Adeline closed her eyes, she knew that what Myriah was saying had a truth to it. "Father has no say in what happens or doesn't happen between me and Draco," she protested after a moment of silence.

"He could," Myriah interrupted with a frown. "He doesn't care about whether or not the spells he uses are legal, what makes you think he'd care if a potion was? I can tell just by the way you've been behaving around Draco, it's not like you. Addy…take this." She pressed several vials into Adeline's hand. "I know that you don't trust me, and quite frankly, I don't care. Bring it to Professor Snape, he'll tell you that it's an antidote to a commonly used love potion. Almost any other love potion would have driven you mad by now. You're lucky that Father's primary concern is your well-being." She held up her hand to prevent Adeline from giving her an 'I-told-you-so.' "I don't mean concern for his daughter, Addy. I mean concern for what would happen to him if anything happened to you. Of course, Father never bothered to stop and think about what a factor like Ginny Weasley might do to you."

'Til she knows the heart of a woman will never be found in the arms of a man

"I told you before, William, you don't know anything about anything," Adeline replied coldly, trying to pull her arm out of William's grasp.

"Bullshit, Adeline. Why don't you just spit it out? For Christ's sake pet, just tell me." His voice softened as he reached up and stroked her face. "Please Adeline, don't push me away."

She looked up to meet his gaze, doing her best to keep her indifferent expression. "You're a fine one to be talking about not pushing people away, Mallory," she hissed, trying not to focus on his soft touch. She closed her eyes, trying to steel her emotions, but it wasn't working. "Fine, I love you, is that what you wanted to hear? My father gave me a love potion to make me fall in love with Draco, and to some extent it worked, but I loved you first…but it doesn't matter, remember? You said so yourself…"

He pulled her into his arms and rested his head on top of hers. "You should know better than anyone else that you can't believe everything I say. We'll get through this, I promise." She felt him grow distant for a moment and wondered what it was that had tugged on his mind so suddenly. As quickly as he had drifted away, he came back, pulling her close and kissing her forehead as he wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes.

She must rinse this all away
She can't hold anybody this way

William walked up to Adeline and wrapped his arms around her from behind. "In this end, none of this matters, or so I've been told."

Adeline leaned against him, feeling so empty, so drained of everything. She cold feel his breath on the back of her neck. She shivered and felt his embrace tighten as though that would be enough to warm her. But the bitter, freezing cold was from the inside. She closed her eyes. "It all matters, it always matters," she whispered, turning around. "If nothing mattered then why do we ever bother with anything?" She buried her face against his chest and closed her eyes. If nothing mattered then why was she so willing to protect Draco at any costs. She considered for a moment, would she do the same for William? She wasn't sure.

"I don't know, Adeline. I don't know." He lifted her face up gently and kissed her, slowly this time, as he wrapped her close. "But let's forget about that for tonight," he whispered as he kissed her neck and pulled her down onto the couch with him.

She must rinse this all away
She can't love him

Her hair clung to her, soaked from standing outside in the rain for…how long had she been out here? She wasn't sure. She sighed and lifted her face, letting the rain fall onto it. She was probably going to come down with a cold for standing out here so long, but the cool rain felt good on her face. What would happen if Draco found out what she had done, if he knew that she was the one behind Ginny's disappearance? She was certain that Draco would hate her for it, hate her for agreeing to work with Them…but what about William? Would he understand? She heard someone say her name and turned. William and Sven Reilly were standing there, William's arm wrapped around the Gryffindor boy's waist. "William…" Adeline acknowledge coldly. She glanced back and forth between William and Sven, trying to make sense of it all. William had said that there was nothing between him and Reilly anymore, hadn't he told her that?

And if she runs away she fears she won't be followed
What could be worse than leaving something behind

"How could you, Addy?" Draco asked angrily, in a tone that she'd never heard him use with her before. "Why Addy?" His face seemed to break apart as though he were going to burst into a million pieces and shatter before her like fragile glass. Ginny Weasley stood next to him, her arm wrapped around Draco, and his wrapped around her protectively.

"Because he promised me things that I couldn't have otherwise. Because if I didn't, none of them would give a second thought about hurting you when you disobeyed them."

He shook his head. "You're just following in your mother's footsteps, Addy. Look how she ended up." He and Ginny began to fade view, eventually disappearing.

"Draco, wait!" But it was too late, he was gone. Adeline startled awake and sat up quickly, her hand flying to her cheek to catch the river of tears that had begun to form. It was just a dream…

And as the depth of oceans slowly become shallow
It's loneliness she finds…
If only he was mine

"Wake up, Ginny," Adeline said cruelly, kicking her through the bars of the cell. Ginny jumped and cried out in pain. "You know, this morning, when I saw the look on his face, I almost considered letting you go. I don't think I've ever seen him react that strongly about anything." She could feel her hatred for Ginny grow. She never had ever seen him react so strongly about anything, not even about her. "Congratulations Ginny, you've made him about as vulnerable and weak as anyone could ever make him."

Recovering from the initial surprise and the pain, Ginny flew towards the bars, grasping them tightly. "Don't you even care about how he feels about all this?! He doesn't want to be involved with them! And yet you'll force him to do it! Adeline! For Draco, stop this!" she cried, her face streaked with dirt and tears. "Adeline…please…he doesn't want to do it…he'd rather die than help them…"

"And you wouldn't care if he did, would you Ginny? You'd rather he die…well he's my best friend! They don't just kill their victims, Ginny, they make sure that they're writhing in pain before they see the flash of green light! Hours of torture until you're beyond wishing that you were dead! Do you want to know what that feels like Ginny?" Adeline cried hysterically, the tears running down her face as she lifted her wand and aimed it at Ginny.

She'd do anything to sparkle in his eye
She would suffer, she would fight, and compromise
She's been wishin' on the stars that shine so bright
For answers to the questions that will haunt her tonight

Draco looked at her sadly, "Not before they've broken her. Not before they've used the unforgivables on her. Not before they've had their fun…" His voice was so distant and faded now, the voice of someone who had lost something incredibly important to them, like someone who's heart was breaking past the point of repair.

She was one of Them now. She didn't have the mark, but she had something even more permanent, even more binding. It coursed through her entire body – and it was tainted, so incredibly tainted that it was impossible to escape it even if she had wanted to. She found herself wondering why it was that Myriah hadn't been poisoned to death by it…how had Myriah managed to get past the role of a Death Eater's child, how had she managed to escape Them? She wondered what it was like to be so dedicated to a cause that you were willing to die for it, as her mother had, as other Death Eaters had, as many Aurors had as well. They had all died on different sides of the same battle, each one dying for what they thought was the right cause. She climbed into bed, a million thoughts and questions going through her head. What was to become of her? Would her fate be her mother's, killed at the hands of an Auror? What about William's warning, would he betray her as he expected himself to? And what about Draco?

She must rinse him
She must rinse him

She thought back to an earlier time, they were about five. It was Christmas, and Draco had just gotten a new child sized broom. He hadn't even ridden it yet, but he held it out to her and told her that she could try it first. Out of all the gifts that she had gotten that year, and as with every year, it had been a lot, this had been what had made that Christmas memorable. She couldn't recall a single gift that she had gotten that year, but she remembered that gesture of affection he had shown her.

She can't rinse him
She can't rinse him

But now there was Ginny. He was always with her, always talking about her…it was always her. Adeline hardly ever got to see him anymore these days, and when she did, he was different. He was always somewhere else, somewhere that she knew she could never follow him.

She can't, she won't, she must rinse him
She can't, she won't, she must rinse him

What about the love potion? Was all this just a product of that? All her feelings towards Draco, all her bitterness towards Ginny? Was she only clinging to William because he just happened to be the most stable thing in her life at the moment? Not that that was saying much. She stood on shaky ground, and everything around her was crumbling and falling away.

She must rinse this all away
She can't hold him this way

And so she turned to the first thing she saw that would give her more stability – accepting her fate as Slytherin's Heir and a descendent of Lord Voldemort. As such, she would have power the likes of which she could only imagine, she would have her family, and whether or not she had him, perhaps she could keep Draco out of harm's way. He was like an extension of herself, and seeing him in pain hurt her beyond belief.

She must rinse this all away
She can't love him this way

Could she protect him against the Dark Lord's wrath? With Ginny Weasley in Death Eater hands, it seemed likely that she had offered him the safest option, for him to do what they wanted, no questions asked. Her eyes slowly closed as the constant questions began to exhaust her.

At any cost, she would protect him.