Chapter 2: Crawling
Sadly I own nothing. BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon and Harry Potter to J.K.Rowling.Timeline:
BtVS is set in the middle of "This year's girl", the 15th episode of the 4th season.
Harry Potter begins approximately in the middle of the 5th book "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix". Chapter 2: Crawling It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone
Easier to run – Linkin Park There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
This lack of self control I fear is never ending
Crawling – Linkin Park
The scenery was nothing Faith expected.
The shack in front of them was worse than the trailers back in Boston. The wooden walls were almost invisible under all the ivy covering them and the whole structure seemed on the verge of crumbling down. The windows were open, but heavy curtains made impossible to see inside.
Outside weeds and shrubs swayed with the wind and glowed with the dew. Tendrils of mist rose from the ground and vanished soon into thin air. It seemed an other world, a phantom ship floating off in the endless sea.
They reached quickly the front door with long strides, Lucius at the front and Faith not far behind. Before knocking twice with his walking stick he addressed the girl with a no nonsense tone. “Stay quiet and let me handle him. It shouldn't take too long.”
A couple of seconds and the door was swiftly opened, a wand in their faces. The owner of said wand had a grim expression and looked at them with distrust while squinting his eyes. The only sign of surprise, when the blond man removed his hood, was a sharp intake of breath, otherwise his exterior remained the same. Neither his voice betrayed his thoughts and feelings. “Malfoy, what a surprise! Excuse me for the poor welcome.” He said lowering his hand and motioning them to come inside.
Lucius went direct to the point “I am here on the behalf of the Dark Lord”
“I imagined so. I am still on His side.” The other stated with conviction.
“Then why did you hide, Gibbon?”
A crooked smile followed the blonde's question and it was met by a wicked grin. “Azkaban was never to my liking.”
“Yes, striped suits don't go well with your skin tone.” The dry sentence made them both chuckle.
Malfoy explained Gibbons Voldemort's return and plans in detail. Faith at this point stopped listening and started looking around while she was gladly ignored.
The house inside was actually quite nice, if a bit too gloomy. The slayer took a random book from a shelf, threw herself on comfy armchair and began looking at the pictures without reading a single word. Soon however she gave up and started pacing the room.
Luckily after a few minutes Lucius gave the last orders to the fellow Death Eater and ended the conversation. “The Dark Lord won't allow mistakes. Especially from someone who forgot Him so easily.” She touched his arm and they disapparated again.
This time they found themselves directly in the middle of a study. Lucius sat down behind the big mahogany desk with his back to a large window which overlooked a well kept garden. Faith perched on the window sill with one dangling to and fro. She closed her eyes and took pleasure in letting the rays of sun warm one side of her face.
A blond man came from the door and stopped abruptly once he noticed them. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?” He exclaimed while pulling out his wand.
“You really think the Dark Lord would forget about you?” Malfoy mocked “That he would not be able to find you just because you changed your name and your lifestyle?” He wasn't fazed at all by the angry demeanor, quite the opposite, he seemed to thrive on it.
Faith murmured to herself “I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse” and started snickering. In doing so she caught their attention, but she ignored them looking at the garden again.
“The Dark Lord doesn't forgive and forget, Thorfinn Rowle. If you know what is good for you, you will listen carefully to what he wants you to do. This is your last chance to prove where your loyalty lies.” And with that Lucius got up, passed Rowle, and headed to the front door with Faith in tow.
They were almost outside when the ex-Death Eater called them back. “Wait! What do I have to do?”
Lucius didn't even turn around. “Stay here and wait for the Dark Lord's orders. He will let you know soon.” And the couple disappeared from Thorfinn's view in the morning light.
They apparated in a narrow street Lucius said was called Knockturn Alley and started walking side by side. With their hoods on, their faces were in the shade so bystanders did not bother them.
The blond stopped in front of Borgin and Burkes, as shown by its sign, and addressed Faith while she stared at the shop window with curiosity. “You will need a present to use for our next appointment. Igor Karkaroff sold his fellow Death Eaters for his freedom and can't be forgiven for what he has done. He will be a reminder of the fate reserved to the betrayers.” His smile could send chills up anyone's spines, but it only added to Faith excitement.
As soon they entered the place they were led by the owner to the back. The wickedness of the artifacts around them felt almost palpable. The air was cold as it filtered from cracks in the walls. Only one side of the room was lit, highlighting an impressive showcase; it contained a lot of different kinds of miniature weapons: from bows to crossbows, from swords to knives, from axes to clubs.
Faith pointed to a knife similar to the one she received from the Mayor and the shopkeeper drew it from the display. After touching it twice with his wand and pronouncing an incantation the knife went back to its real size. The slayer caressed it with care, took it in her hands and sliced the air a couple of times.
Lucius, realizing it was of her liking payed and thanked the owner. Faith on the other hand was lost in her memories and didn't notice a thing. Subconsciously she had put her left hand on her abdomen where her scar was situated. A strong feeling of betrayal and sadness possessed her as her heart clenched.
Buffy's look as she stabbed her vanished as she was shook out of her mood by the jingle above the door of the shop. The dark slayer turned on her companion a gaze full of gratitude; not just for the present but the whole past month. Maybe there was still someone who believed in her. And she would do anything to repay him and Cis.
Since she wasn't looking where she was going Faith collided against a woman with shocking purple hair making her fall down. However the brunette didn't turn and just threw a sorry over her shoulder. After a moment the other woman got up and started saying “Oi! Careful of-” turning around, “where you're going.” she trailed off since she was alone in the middle of the alley. As she went in the other direction she muttered “Blimey! A bludger hurts less...”.
Lucius and Faith appeared in the middle of a forest. It was so thick no light filtered through the leaves and they exploited their surroundings to get near the shack unnoticed.
“It won't be easy. Karkoff is an intelligent man and a skilled wizard. He was the Highmaster of Durmstrang, a wizarding school. We should divide. I'll attack him from the front and you from behind. He won't expect you.” Malfoy explained while they moved soundlessly thanks to the wet soil. It had started raining a short while before and it made them more difficult to spot.
The older man, wand in hand, threw open the door and shouted “Igor I know you are here. Come out and I will make this painless.” giving Faith the chance to break the handle of the back door and come inside without being seen nor heard.
Karkoff came out of his hiding yelling “Expulso” and throwing the curse at Lucius, who deflected it making the cupboard next to him explode. Then he counter-attacked with a “Glacious” transforming the room in a whole block of ice, but his opponent was quick and used an “Incendio” which melt all the ice, filling the shack with steam.
There was no time to stop and think and when Igor was about to throw an “Avada Ked-” at the blond, Faith seized the opportunity and catching him unaware hit him from behind. He fell down out cold, his wand rolling down on the floor.
When he regained consciousness he was bound with a rope to a chair, Lucius standing behind Faith sitting backwards on a chair, her arms leaning on its back, a wicked gleam in her eyes.
As a shudder went trough him her smile seemed to widen, showing the white of her teeth; Malfoy on the other hand stayed stoic, the same blank expression painted on his face.
He tried to give her no satisfaction as she started explaining what was going to happen. “We'll go with the classics, whadd'ya say? Blunt, sharp, hot, cold an' loud. Sounds good,doesn't it?” He understood what she was talking about after she started roughening him up with her fists before starting using her knife.
His blood spilled copiously from several cuts all over his body dripping to the ground and tainting the carpet a red so dark it was almost black. However the eyes of that mad woman were darker than black. Inside them an absolute void, a deafening silence as if a dementor had sucked her soul. There was no way her loud husky laugh could reach them.
After admiring her work for a moment she stepped back and let Lucius take the lead again “It's your turn now. I'll finish later. Is that five by five?”. The following “Cruciatus” made him lose consciousness again after suffering a world of pain.
When Faith returned to her senses she was in her room and the sun had already set. She was seated on her bed with her head between her hands. Her knuckles were split open and her throat felt sore, probably for laughing too much. As she recalled the previous events her eyes started to burn and she closed them to stop the flow of tears that was about to come.
At first she had enjoyed herself. The violence was just an outcome of all her anger and frustrations, but, with every drop of blood spilled, it was as if a more animal side was taking over her. And it desired blood and sufferance. She let that part take control, didn't fight it and welcomed the numbness it left in its wake.
Now she tried to convince herself that he deserved to suffer, deserved to die, squeezing down any doubt before it surfaced; she tried to ignore her Slayer inside screaming it was wrong; she tried to tell herself she did this for Lucius, for Narcissa, for the Mayor even.
However it was all useless: the guilt and the pain for her actions were eating her inside, tearing her apart. She curled in a fetal position and wished for sleep to come soon.