Heir of Voldemort
Heir Of Voldemort - Chapter OneThe Need
Notes: I thought I better add notes in here to inform any unsuspecting readers that this is a quazi-crossover, but more HP-centric and fairly dark. It begins shortly before Harry Potter is born and continues right through until a year after book seven is set to finish - 1980-1999, so whatever spoilers they are, they are all seven books and first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by implication.
DISCLAIMER: Harry & Co. belong to JKR. The other side belongs to JW. My imagination that glues these things together belongs to me. As far as I know. I earn nothing, I own nothing and I generally should be doing more productive things than messing up other people's worlds for my own amusement, but oy! Its fun!
Lucius Malfoy followed the long, thin white finger of his powerful Master with his pale, grey eyes, mentally raising an eyebrow. Although he knew he would regret the words, he said them nonetheless. "Master, she is...unsuitable."
"And your reason for saying this?"
"She does not support our causes."
Voldemort's gleaming eyes turned to his masked aide with enough disapproval to make the pale-faced man flinch back. "Still, she will suffice." He looked back to the groups of prisoners huddled together, halfway up the dungeon.
He and his Death Eaters were gathered in the dungeons of Malfoy's manor, the walls dark and dry stone, stained with generations worth of muggle blood. Flickering torches balanced in brackets along the walls, casting eerie, dancing shadows across the walls.
And across the young witches who were being held, unarmed and bound, before him.
Most of them were sobbing, some sinking to their knees, unable to hold themselves upright any longer. All of them were in the age range between eighteen and thirty, he noted with quiet approval, perfect breeding age.
The one he would have selected, one he had often spotted in Dumbledore's protection, was notably absent and apparently married, carrying her first brat. True, she had been a muggle-born, but such power and beauty in one form.
A sneer curved his lip upwards.
It made no difference now.
He would take the consort and she would provide him with an heir strong enough to resurrect him, should anything happen to him, or even take his place, lest he - he laughed as he thought it - be defeated.
His scarlet eyes fixed on the young Witch he had singled out.
She was the only one of the group who was not weeping. Considering she had been captured by Death Eaters and knew her fate was liable to be one of torment and death, she seemed to be taking it remarkably well.
Petite in height, probably around five feet tall, she was slender, but not too thin, with enough gentle curves to make it clear that she was all woman.
Dark gold hair hung lankly around her face, slightly wavy. Her features, though streaked with dirt and bruised from the struggle she had no doubt put up, were striking, dark brown eyes visible, staring straight ahead of her.
With high cheekbones, a straight nose and full lips, her face was one of those unforgettable ones. She held her head up proudly, determined not to show her fear, despite the fact that her slim hands were shaking furiously.
"Bring her forward." Voldemort's voice was quiet, but it was still audible over the frantic wailing of the other young witches. A terrified silence fell as Lucius moved forward, his oily-looking black cloak rippling around him, a grim-looking black mask obscuring his face.
Grabbing the young witch's upper arm, he felt her wince and grinned cruelly, yanking her towards his Master. She had been the main trouble- maker of all the group that had been captured, fighting bare-handed, when her wand had been snatched.
Her robes torn, flashes of creamy, blood-streaked skin exposed between the rips, she was savagely thrown to her knees in front of the Dark Lord who sat proudly on his elaborately, snake-engraved throne.
"She is a pretty one, wouldn't you say, Lucius?" Voldemort murmured, regarding her.
The witch's eyes darted sideways to the masked man at her side, then away quickly, but Voldemort did not miss the small motion. So she was trying to learn who his Death Eaters were, hmm? Intriguing.
"Good looks don't mean she'll provide you with an heir, Master."
Voldemort smiled slightly. A ripple of unease went around the room. "And yet, look at the one you coupled with, my dear Lucius." He said quietly. "Beauty is there, but it is only skin deep when it comes to power. Look at me, for example." Malfoy swallowed hard, forcing himself to look at the snake-like face of Voldemort. "Would you think I was powerless, because I am not...physically attractive? Remember, if you will, that I know when power is present and will choose accordingly."
"I understand your point, Master." Malfoy hurriedly acquiesced. Murmurs of agreement came from the other Death Eaters lining the dungeon-like room. "But this one... she caused trouble when we captured her."
Malfoy tried to find some other reasoning, but his Master had risen to his feet, stepping down from the small dais, upon which, his throne sat. The young witch went rigid, her hands balling in fists as Voldemort circled her.
Withdrawing his wand from his swirling black robes, the dark wizard touched it to the witch's tattered garb and muttered a spell. The seams split and the fabric slithered down her body to puddle on the stone floor, a rush of cold air on her bare skin making her gasp.
Several of the Death Eaters laughed aloud as the young witch crouched down, trying to conceal her nakedness from them with scraps of material, shivering from the cold of the dark walls and cells around them.
"Silence." Voldemort breathed, turning his fierce eyes upon them. "Leave us."
Hurriedly gathering up the remainder of the now-hysterical young witches, the Death Eaters dragged them kicking and screaming frantically out of the dungeon, to a fate that could only be as bad as, if not worse than that of the golden haired young woman who had captured the Dark Lord's interest.
Huddled on her knees among the fragments of her robes like a wild animal in it's nest, the witch raised dark eyes to him, her arms folded over her chest and pressing against her knees, her long hair shadowing her features.
"What do you want with me?" She rasped, her throat dry from thirst and fear.
"Want, my dear?" He came closer to her, squatting to look her in the eyes. "I want you."
She stared at him. "Kill me." Her voice was low, no fear there.
"I beg your pardon." He seemed amused.
"Kill me. Have done with it." She spat in his face. "I won't be yours."
Voldemort's brow rose. "Spirited, yet suicidal." A thin fingertip wiped the saliva from his cheek carelessly. "An interesting combination, pretty one." He examined the substance on his fingertip with casual interest. "You have yet to hear my terms."
"Yes," He stood up, offering her a hand. She stared bitterly at it and he shrugged, returning to sit on his throne. "This is the rather fascinating and irritating fact about witches, you see. A witch cannot conceive a child, unless she joins in a union of her own will. A witch can not be forcibly impregnated."
"In that case," Her voice was raw with anger. "You're out of luck. I'm not letting you touch me."
The flickering flames caused dark silhouettes to flit across the Dark Lord's emotionless, stoic face. Slowly, his lips started to rise and the witch recoiled, his visage looking positively demonic in origin. "I think you might, pretty one." He whispered, barely audible over the crackle of the torches.
"Even if you cast the imperio curse on me..." Her voice was shaking as much as her body was, her face white. "That wouldn't be free will."
"As I said, pretty one, there are terms."
"Nothing could make me take you to my bed."
"Not even the lives of your family?" There was a cruel edge of amusement in his voice.
If it were possible, the witch's already white face paled even more, a shaking hand coming to her mouth. "Oh God..." Tears had filled the dark brown eyes, but it had no effect on the Dark Lord, who merely shrugged.
"It is up to you, entirely, pretty one." His voice was low, persuasive. "You could be selfish and let yourself be raped and killed by my Death Eaters, before I wipe out your family." Leaning forward, he lifted her chin with the tip of his finger. "Or you could guarantee their safety, by joining into a union with me. It is your choice."
"That's no choice." Her voice was choked, tears running down her cheeks as she stared at him, eyes full of loathing.
A small smile raised his lips. "I know, pretty one." He said quietly. "But, at the moment, its the only one you have."
"I hate you."
"I did not choose you to love me." He said quietly. "I chose you to be the mother of my Heir, nothing more."
"You will spare my family?"
He smiled again, revealing his teeth this time. "I have no interest in them, pretty one." He said, making a gesture with her wand. Immediately, the young witch was forced to her feet. "I am interested in only you." He unfurled his other hand and beckoned her, drawing on invisible cords his spell had bound her with.
The look of self-loathing on her face was impressive, he noted absently, as she neared him and stood before him. "What do I do?" She asked sullenly.
Voldemort stood, reminding her that he was taller and more powerful than she, looming over her. "You will be my consort." He whispered, his voice more like a hiss than a human voice. He raised a hand, brushing her hair back over her right shoulder, his fingers skimming her neck. A shudder passed through her and the hand locked about her throat. "You will be my consort," He repeated in a low, cautioning tone. "And you will enjoy it."
The witch nodded, staring at him fearfully, forcing back a wave of revulsion at his serpentine features. One hairless brow rose and she hastily raised a false, painful smile. Voldemort nodded, his grip on her throat loosened and his hand lingering on her shoulder.
"That wasn't so hard, was it?" He lifted her chin, smiling. Her eyes widened in horror when a forked tongue emerged between his teeth, flickering briefly over his white lips. "Now," He said, fully aware of her increasing terror and shock. "You will fulfil your duties."
Trying not to look like she wanted to vomit, the shivering witch let him draw her pale face close and trembled as his mouth met hers. Like a poisonous snake's, his skin was dry, cool, smooth and felt horrible against her skin.
But she didn't fight.
There was too much at stake.
As one long-fingered, spider-like hand touched her bare skin, she felt like weeping.
As his hand circled her wrist and led her towards an antechamber, she forced herself to think of the family she was saving.
As his mouth and body savaged hers in the deceptively beautiful surroundings of his chambers, she stored all the hate for him and all the love she had ever retained for her family at the back of her heart and mind.
In the quiet darkness of the room, she pulled the rich, soft and warm blankets – so unlike the Dark Lord – around her abused body, weeping with shame as he withdrew from her now-prison and left her curled in the luxurious surroundings, alone.
"But that's impossible!"
Voices outside of the beautiful room that had become her shelter and cell stirred the blonde-haired witch.
For nearly a year and a half, Cassandra Bones had been given the... affectionate nickname of Voldemort's whore, something that had come into full fruition seven months previously when she discovered – to her horror – that she was carrying the Heir of Slytherin and Lord Voldemort.
That, though, had brought a small mercy. No longer was she leered at or taunted by Death Eaters in the Dark Lord's absence. There was even talk that Voldemort intended to wed her, to make the child legitimate.
Not the it would make much difference.
As a sign of his protection and ownership, though, the Dark Mark had been placed on her left shoulder by her Dark Master as she had slept. The agony of it had woken her and left her weeping for hours from the pain.
Sitting up amid the blankets, she laid a protective hand over her swollen belly, listening for the voices that seemed to be strangely frenzied. The dungeon outside of the room seemed to be bustling with activity.
"Went to the Potters..."
Voices faded in and out of range.
Sliding out of the bed and pulling a robe down from hooks on the bedposts, she wrapped it around her body and made her way to the doorway, looking out into the dungeon. The Death Eaters looked like they were in a state of panic.
"What's going on?" She demanded, immediately getting the attention of everyone in the room.
"My Lady," Hearing Malfoy calling her that almost made her want to laugh out loud, before kicking him in the teeth. "The Dark Lord went to find the Potters..." She remembered the Potters, tried to conceal her panic. They had been the likable and friendly Head Boy and Head Girl in the same year as her, at Hogwarts. "Pettigrew provided information, but...something happened there...our Master is gone."
"Gone?" She took an unsteady step back. "What do you mean gone?"
"The Potters are dead, but their son...the curse...it didn't work..." Malfoy looked around frantically. "My Lady, I would suggest that you depart as soon as you can. Find somewhere safe, somewhere to raise out Master's Heir. When he's ready..."
Cassandra nodded grimly. It was clear that Lord Voldemort had not told them of the 'terms' upon which he had been able to utilise her body. Apparently they assumed that it had been a mutual joining, with the promises of power that he gave to all his followers.
"I have friends who are students of the dark arts." She replied. "I will find sanctuary with one of them until the time is right."
Yes, she had been raised to know that lying was bad, but she had also been raised to know that handing over the darkest Wizard's son to his murderous supporters would never be a good thing for her or the baby.
Her family would know what to do.
"Malfoy," Forcing that note of imperial arrogance that her abuser had used so well into her voice, she met his cold grey eyes. "You will have to provide me with funding to utilise muggle transport. It will look less suspicious."
"Of course, my Lady."
Honestly, Cassandra thought with disgust, he would bend down and lick my shoes if I said the word. What a change it was from the first day, when he had dragged her in and thrown her to the floor.
Returning to her chambers, she knelt down and pulled a trunk from under the bed, loosening the catch with her shaking fingers. It sprang open, revealing a collection of robes and a few pieces of muggle clothing that had belonged the the Dark Lord.
She plunged her hands into the trunk, searching out something she could wear as she made her escape. A loose pair of dark trousers were the first thing she found, rapidly followed by a luxurious black silk shirt.
While Voldemort's clothing all had that same serpentine feel to it, she didn't truly care, as long as she got away and back to her family safely. Discarding her robes, she pulled the trousers on over her legs, the fabric rippling sickeningly against her skin.
They were far too long for her, Voldemort a good head taller than she was and – despite his snake-like features – larger in build. He had been powerfully built, with a violent strength that had terrified her.
Tying the cord from one of the bathrobes around her waist, she pulled it tight against her belly and felt the baby within her kick with protest. A weak laugh escaped her as she loosened it, then sat to roll the hems of the trouser legs up enough to let her walk freely.
Pushing her hair back, she retrieved the black shirt and pulled it over her head, letting it slither down her body. The material was cool against her skin and she hastily fastened the buttons with quaking fingers.
"My Lady?" Whipping around, her flaxen hair fell across her pale face and she quickly raised a hand to brush it back.
He nodded. "I got some muggle money for you, my Lady." He bowed, as she made her way around the room to find a pair of shoes that she could wear. "Also," She cast a curious look in his direction. "We found your wand."
"Oh?" A surge of hope ran through her. If she had her wand, it would make her escape so much easier. The masked Malfoy approached, going on one knee. Opening his hands, she recognised the long, slim wand that lay there. "Thank you, Malfoy." She murmured, taking it from his gloved hands.
With a gesture, she conjured a pair of shoes, to test that she could – still – use the thing. It would have been entirely useless if she had found that, in the year of her imprisonment, her magical abilities had parted from her.
"Will you be all right on your own, my Lady?" Malfoy eyed her dubiously. "If you wish, we could provide you with an escort..."
"And don't you think that would look rather suspicious to other Wizards who are looking for Death Eaters, Malfoy?" She remarked quietly, as she pulled her shoes on and laced them up quickly. "A whole group of Wizards surrounding a lone witch?"
He nodded quickly. "I see your point, my Lady." He proffered a small, red velvet purse trimmed with gold to her. "Here's some muggle money. It should take you to safety."
"Very good." She murmured, taking the purse and snatching one of Voldemort's black cloaks from the hooks. "Perhaps you could call me one of those ridiculous Muggle methods of transportation...a...a tuxi? I will need one so I can go to the station."
"Yes, my Lady." Bowing deeply, Malfoy cast one last look at the swell of her belly. "Thank you, my Lady."
He departed and Cassandra sank wearily down on the end of her bed. It was over. Soon, she would be out of here and she would be safe. Her family would take care of her and the baby keep them safe.
Descending from the train, the young Witch made her way towards the taxi rank, tired from the long journey and looking forward to seeing her parents and little brother again. Rain was pelting down from the gravel-grey sky, a light wind tossing her hair around her face.
A row of gleaming black cabs awaited her and she selected the foremost one, sliding exhaustedly into the back seat. Giving him directions, she leaned back against the seat and closed her eyes.
The...farewell from the Death Eaters had been a horrible experience to go through and she wished she could purge it from her mind. The sight of them opening deep wounds in their hands and laying the bloodied palms against her belly...
A wave of nausea passed over her against the memory.
A Death Eater's blood vow of loyalty had been cast on her and the child she carried. It meant that, no matter what happened, no Death Eater could lay a finger on her or the child, which she was grateful for.
Even if the child turned out to be a powerless squib - which she knew was unlikely - they could not harm it, because the blood vow was the only statement of honour that the Death Eaters acknowledged.
She had forced herself to sit through the ritual as bloody hand after bloody hand touched her, reverently, awe-filled eyes glittering at her behind the masks. Now, she knew, they respected her and feared her as much as the Dark Lord.
Only one had seemed dubious about bestowing his loyalty to the child. Most of them had whispered a vow to her, as they touched her, but this one merely stared at her for a long moment, black eyes gleaming behind the mask.
She had met those dark, mysterious eyes as his thin hand had brushed over her belly. Part of her wanted to demand to know who he was, the expression in those eyes familiar, the chill of skin equally so.
Then, to her astonishment, he leaned forward as the others had and breathed – a silky rasp – in her ear. "Keep him safe. Hide. Do not let yourself be found."
The jolt of the cab stirred her from her reverie and she looked around, spotting the familiar house that they had halted outside of. A broad smile crossed her face and she quickly handed the driver some money, before scrambling out of the cab and running towards the front door.
Touching the lock with the tip of her wind, she whispered, "Alohomora." The door clicked open, but she had to shoulder it to open it widely enough to get in. "Mum! Dad!" Looking around the Hall, everything was exactly how she remembered it. "I'm home!"
No reply came.
Cassandra frowned slightly.
Maybe they were on holiday or something. Celebrating the downfall of Voldemort no doubt.
Squeezing around the jammed door, she looked down to see what had blocked it and was confused by the heap of muggle mail lying there. True, her father had liked to keep up with muggle news, but surely they didn't deliver twenty every week.
Kneeling as quickly as she could, she examined the dates of those newspapers in the piles that was already reaching halfway up the door. One - yellowed with age - from the bottom of the pile was from the previous year.
A surge of horror rippled through her.
Grabbing another, then another, the dates all told her the same thing. No one had checked the mail for over a year and a half, when these letters had been delivered.
Tears of confusion and fury were pouring down her face when a headline leapt out at her from one of the rolled up papers.
"Tragic family killed in gas-leak"
Her hands shaking, she opened out the paper, smoothing it out on the floor. A motionless muggle picture of her parents and brother smiled up at her from the yellowed page directly beneath the grim headline.
Forcing her tears back, she started to read, her anger and despair rising with every word.
Barely days after her capture, apparently – according to the muggles – a gas leak had killed her whole family, some kind of strange, green emissions lingering over their house for several hours after they had died.
On the third page of the paper, there was a picture of the cloud of green and a comment from a member of the public, who had seen it, and remarked that it looked strangely like a skull with a snake protruding from the mouth.
The Dark Mark.
How could she mistake it for anything else, after what she had been forced to live through?
Struggling through the large piles of newspapers, she realised that they must have kept sending the newspapers until the paid subscriptions for them had run out, the most recent paper a year old. Trust daddy to pay for a year in advance.
She found the past editions of The Daily Prophet from the same date, not wanting to believe it was true. The headline was nearly identical to the muggle paper, the picture of her smiling, happy family visible there.
"While Donald and Helen Bones and their young son, Patrick (10), were all found at the home they shared, its is believed that the missing daughter, Cassandra Bones (19) – formerly of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – may have turned to the dark side, joining Lord Voldemort." She read aloud, her voice breaking. "She has not been seen for several months and rumours surrounding her disappearance all suggest that she would have been more than capable of joining the dark side."
The article went on to describe her fiery temper and her tendencies to strike out at anyone who did not do exactly as she wanted. She saw Rita Skeeter's name at the top of the column, letting the paper slip from her fingers.
Her family were dead.
He had killed them, despite all he had said.
He had murdered them all, barely days after he had promised her their lives.
"You bastard..." She whispered, burying her face in her hands. "You lying bastard..."
The windows and mirror of the bathroom were covered with steamy condensation as the young witch climbed out of the pale blue bath. She had lain there in the warm water for hours, her hair drifting around her like pond weed.
The first half an hour had been spent scrubbing at her body, trying to remove every visible and invisible stain that lingered there. Especially on the rounded swell of her belly, the blood-stains still lingering from the Death Eaters pact.
Her skin raw and crimson, she had given up on the permanent stains, lying back in the bubble-infested water and wondering if it would be easier just to sink beneath the surface and let death take her, to join her family.
She had decided against it, though.
For one, she still had someone she had to see. He could help.
The young witch wrapped a towel around her body and approached the mirror over the sink, reaching up to smear away the condensation with a wrinkled palm.
Staring at herself in the mirror, Cassandra barely recognised her own features. She had lost weight since she had been captured, her face gaunt and pale. Her eyes were haunted and bloodshot, dark circles ringing them.
Her flaxen hair was damp around her shoulders, longer than it had been for a long time.
The Dark Lord had liked it that way, often forcing her to kneel at his throne so he could pet her like some kind of dumb animal. She shuddered, recalling the sensation of his spidery fingers weaving through her hair.
A large, gleaming pair of scissors lay on the ledge beneath the mirror and she hesitantly picked them up. One shaking hand lifted a long strand of her hair, drawing it between the blades of the scissors.
Six inches of golden hair dropped to the tiled floor silently.
Another handful of her thick, beautiful hair fell.
Tears welled in her eyes as she recalled her mother brushing and braiding her hair, when she was younger. Her hands were shaking as she continued to hack long strands off, violent sobs racking her body as the damp curls fluttered down her body.
Finally, the scissors clattered into the sink and she stared at her reflection again. Cropped close to her skull, what remained of her once- glorious hair stood in little tufts, messy and ugly to look at.
Exactly how she felt.
Brushing her fingers through her short mane, loose tufts fell around her, scattering on the floor at her feet.
Tears continued to roll down her cheeks as she turned away from the mirror and made her way out of the bathroom, to her old familiar bedroom, where she could find sanctuary, at least for a little while.
"I wondered when you would show up here."
Sitting on her bed against the wall, wearing her old T-shirt and navy tracksuit bottoms, her favourite old teddy bear hugged against her chest, Cassandra's crimson-rimmed brown eyes rose to the figure standing at her bedroom door.
A hysterical sob of relief escaped her and she flew across the room to him, grabbing the wizard in a tight hug.
"Hey now," Almost knocked off his feet, he held her gently. "Easy, Cass."
"They're dead, Ethan. They're all dead." She whispered tearfully, clinging to him tightly. "He-he-he promised he wouldn't kill them...he promised..." She felt a rough hand stroke her hair. "A-and they're blaming m-me...they think I-I killed them..."
The sandy-haired, twenty-three year old Wizard gently scooped her up and carried her across the room to sit down on her dusty bed, not relinquishing his hold on her. "Are you going to tell me what happen, then, Cassie?" He asked carefully.
"Death Eaters..." She whispered brokenly, staring up at him. He nodded grimly. "They t-t-took me to him...h-he wanted an heir, Ethan...gave me a-a- a choice...h-him and my f-family's lives... o-or death..."
She took his hand shakily and lowered it onto her belly. "He m-made me, Ethan...I didn't have a choice..." The pity and anger in her long-time friend's face made her lower her head, shame filling her. "He m-made me his whore..."
"No, Cass. You were brave. incredibly brave. You did something even I wouldn't have been able to do." He gathered her against his chest, hugging her tightly. "You did what you thought would save your family."
"I was stupid...s-so stupid."
"But you're free now, eh?"
"I-I'll never be free, Ethan." She bowed her head and pushed her shirt down her shoulder, revealing the Dark Mark on her pale skin. She heard her friend's hiss of anger and blinked fiercely, tears stinging in her eyes. "I belong to him now."
She was quickly drawn back into a tender, comforting embrace, her friend rocking her as she wept and murmuring reassuringly to her.
Ethan Rayne had been four years above her at Hogwarts and he had been the trouble-maker who had taken her under his wing, when one-too-many Slytherins decided she was fair game to pick on, because so was small and delicate looking.
Both in Hufflepuff, he had helped her with her spells, teaching her charms and tricks none of the teachers had, to help her defend herself against the bullies of Slytherin, who were getting too big for their boots.
A strange friendship had grown between the pair and even when he had been exiled from the main part of the Wizarding world for playing with dark powers, she had remained in contact with him, frequently sending him owls to tell him to behave himself.
He had replied just as frequently, saying that he was simply having far too much fun to listen to a single word she was saying. He had never messed with dark powers like true Dark wizards, but toyed with the underworld just enough to get him expelled from their world.
Even so, he had always turned up when he needed her. Somehow, he knew where she would be, when something happened, although she could understand why he couldn't find her during her imprisonment.
"Is it definitely his?" He finally asked, his voice strained.
"No one else w-was allowed to touch me." She nodded miserably. "Th-that's why he marked me...they're loyal t-to me now." She lifted the hem of her shirt, revealing the lingering marks of bloody handprints that hadn't washed off, no matter how hard she scrubbed at them.
Ethan stared at the stains in horror. "The blood vow?" He asked, his voice shaking with anger.
"All of them did it." She replied softly. "One of them...he told me I had to get away... to hide...I-I think he th-thinks the dark Lord...Voldemort...he'll come back..." She touched her stomach hesitantly. "I-I don't want him taking this child."
The Wizard nodded. "You could go to the Ministry..."
"No!" Both of them started at the vehemence in her voice. "I can't...you know what they're like. I-I would be seen as the whore of the Dark Lord...they would throw me in Azkhaban without even giving me a trial, because they all know that no witch can be forced to fall pregnant." A shudder ran through her. "I had to join with him of my own choice...I did...they won't believe anything I say...especially with the rumours...and the mark."
Ethan nodded slowly, scratching his head. "I think there is a way we can hide you, Cass." He said quietly. "But it would mean that you would have to trust me with your life and the life of the squirt you're carrying."
"You know I do, Ethan."
A small smile crossed his face. "In that case..." He looked around, making sure there was no one anywhere near them, which was rather pointless really. "Have you ever heard of the Fidelius charm?"
"I-I think so."
"Its a very difficult and complex spell to do..." He murmured, continuing to gently stroke the short tufts of her hair as he spoke, her head resting against his chest. "It involves the magical concealment of a secret inside a single, living soul." He turned her face to hers. "I would do that spell for you, if you trusted me. No one would ever find you."
She stared at him, her fingers rising to touch the mark on her slim shoulder. "But the dark mark, Ethan..." She shook her head. "Nothing can prevent Voldemort from knowing where his marked ones are."
"There is somewhere you could go..." Rising, Ethan crossed the room to her bookshelf and searched out a large Magical Dictionary. Sitting back down beside her, he opened the dusty volume and flicked through the pages. "Here."
"A Hellmouth?" She raised a brow at him. "Is that as bad as it sounds?"
"More than likely." He grinned faintly. "The thing is, its a centre of mystical convergence. Its a source of huge and uncontrollable power, so even if you felt your dark mark, there would be so much power near and around you that he couldn't pinpoint you and with the Fidelius charm, he wouldn't even recognise you if you passed him in the street."
"Are you sure it would work?"
The Wizard nodded. "It'll be a challenge for me and a lot of work for both of us," He said, a grim look on his face. "But I think we could pull it off and – if the worst comes to the worst – we could always resort to Polyjuice potion."
Ethan flashed her a broad smile. "I thought you'd say that."
"When would we do it?"
"As soon as you drop the sprog, I think it would be a good time to start." She nodded in agreement, letting her friend hold her and rock her gently. For the first time since her escape, she found herself relaxing enough to fall asleep in Ethan's protective arms.
Touching his cheek shakily, she weakly whispered. "You wont leave me?"
"No chance, Shrimpy." He murmured, kissing the top of her head. She smiled tiredly at the childhood nickname, closing her eyes as he drew the dusty blanket around both of them. "You just rest, okay?"
"Why can't we..."
Ethan stifled her words with his fingertips, shaking his head. "Luv, we can't risk it. You can use the muggle devices as much as you like, but the fire, owls, anything like that... it could be tracked and I don't want to lose you."
"I want to keep in touch with you, Ethan." Looking up at the tall Wizard who had helped her through the last two months of Hell, tears filled Cassandra's eyes. "What will I do if I need help? If they find me?" She looked down at the baby cradled in her arms. "If they find us?"
Smiling wearily, Ethan gently stroked her cheek. "You'll be fine, Cass." He promised. Brown eyes gazed up at him warily. "I'll drop out and visit you when I can, but there's no guarantee that it'll be very often."
"Just as long as you let me know you're alive." She wagged a finger up at them. "If you get yourself killed, I'm going to be very cross."
"Nothing to worry about there, luv." He said, lowering his hand to touch the baby's face. "Old Voldie is gone and you have nothing to worry about." His smile was genuine. "I intend to keep it that way."
"But what if...?" A muffled sob escaped her and she embraced him with her free arm. "Ethan, I already lost my whole family and I'm the mother of Voldemort's only child... I don't want to get you killed as well."
Ethan sighed, his breath ruffling her cropped, dyed brown hair. "Cass, I'm big and ugly enough to look after myself, you know." He kissed her gently on the forehead. "He's never going to learn anything from me, because he's never even going to know I exist. The Fidelius malarky is only the icing on the very big and attractive cake." His smile reassured her somewhat. "I have enough keeping me safe as it is."
"You and your dark protectors?" She tried to laugh, but it trailed off, tears trickling down the hollows of her pale cheeks. "Just don't do anything stupid, please, Ethan." She reached up to touch his face. "Who would I have to left to love if you were gone?"
His eyes met hers, then he looked down at the baby. "You always have Alexander."
She nodded, looking down at the child that he had helped her to deliver. To their astonishment, he had been a perfectly normal baby, born with a thicket of nearly black hair and ears that stuck out just like Cassandra's father's had.
Alexander LaVelle – Cassandra already regretted letting Ethan name him – looked nothing like his evil father, no traces of any of the hideous, snake- like features that had made Voldemort so physically repulsive.
Now, he was fast asleep in the blankets in his diminutive mother's arms. He slept a lot, which was a small blessing, only waking to eat, have his nappy changed and then going back to sleep almost instantly.
A voice rang out over the speakers. "Passengers for flight 362 to Los Angeles via New York, make your way to gate 21 for boarding."
"That's us." Cassandra reluctantly noted, looking up at the speaker, as if it had betrayed her in some way. "Walk with me?"
His arm around her shoulder protectively, he wished he didn’t have to send her so far away, wishing he could keep her closer, in his care, but with the eternal threat of the Death Eaters in Britain, he knew he had to get her as far away as possible.
There seemed to be a veritable flood of people boarding the flight, so Ethan held Cassandra back briefly, to prevent her being crushed in the rush to get into the plane.
She stood by his side, looking more like a lost little girl than ever. Wearing some of her equally small mother's clothing, she had taken anything she could find of comfort and stuffed it into a case for travelling.
Ethan had acquired false paperwork, including a realistic looking passport that stated that she was Cassie LaVelle, a twenty-two year old, which was only a two years of exaggeration. She had also been provided with a green card, no doubt as legal as the passport was.
"You'll take care?" She looked up at him again.
"Don't I always?"
She embraced him once more, tears spilling hotly down her face. "That didn't answer the question, Ethan." She whispered raspingly, staring him in the eyes. "I still love you... never forget that."
Pulling him down to her level, she kissed him on both cheeks then his lips gently, before turning and running through the gate, leaving him staring after her in confusion.
At the end of the boarding tunnel, Cassandra glanced back, wishing she could stay. The hostess lead her to her seat, offering her a special strap for her sleeping infant, which Cassandra reluctantly accepted.
Seated by a window, she looked out at the terminus, where she could see the lanky form of Ethan standing by the immense windows, staring at the plane. Touching her fingertips to her lips, she touched the kiss to the glass.
"Goodbye for now, Ethan." She whispered. "We'll see you in Sunnydale."