Title: An Eye for an Eye
Rating: R, for violence and reference to torture and character death
Disclaimer: The Harry Potter universe and all its recognizeable characters, settings, etc., belong to JK Rowling and her publishers, not to me. I own nothing, I'm making no profits, please don't sue.
Author’s Notes: Sequel to "Mirror", comes before "Quickening". Unbeta’d, so all mistakes are solely mine. I have to thank houses for inspiring this, by inspiring "Quickening", which was a response to her first-line meme. I think I’m getting addicted to this AU . . it’s very dark and nasty, but full of so many possibilites. We may visit Viktor and Hermione next – or possibly Tonks.
***An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
The words were stuck in Draco’s head; bouncing around in there and echoing. Professor McGonagall had said them, to Weasley, in their sixth year. Obviously they hadn’t made as much of an impression on the Weasel as they had on Draco.
Not that he’d ever considered the phrase again before this moment, or taken it to heart in any way. He didn’t know why the words were repeating themselves to him now, over and over and over in many different voices and perhaps in many different languages, though he couldn’t be sure. The unrelenting nonsensical babble ran like a treacherous current just below the surface of his thoughts; an underground tributary, leading to a great vast ocean of insanity, and the ground above was thin.
He suspected, though, that the phrase would not leave him because of the reference to blindness.
A tiny portion of his mind – a portion that was off cowering in a corner, shaking and jabbing at anything that came near – reminded him that the saying referred to metaphorical blindness. Injustice, chaos, anarchy.
Most of him, though, just liked the idea of the whole world blind. Ginny always told him he was pathetically self-involved, and perhaps she was right, because it seemed to him that he’d made some great discovery, come to an understanding that really should have been shared with him before – that the loss of sight was the loss of the whole world. Everything disappeared. To say that *he* was blind, that his eyes alone did not function, was a woefully inadequate summary of the situation. Surely the entire world could not leave him without being in some way changed itself. An eye for an eye . .
They hadn’t come in hours, and the conjunctiva curse wasn’t wearing off like it ought to have; he distracted himself from worrying over that by trying to figure out if the constant screaming he heard now was real, or only existent in the now-dark world of his mind. That led him to pondering whether the rest of the world in fact still existed, for him – whether he really ought to bother with it anymore. . . makes the whole world blind, whole world, whole world . .
He’d reached the conclusion that Azkaban wasn’t going to be so bad after all, because the dementors would exist out there while he existed forever in here, in the dark, where he could very easily hide – they’re blind, after all, you know
– when a sudden bright light intruded.
He screamed, and scrabbled backward. The realization came that, while his vision was still blurred and imperfect, he was not truly blind but had merely been transferred to a lightless cell while still too cursed to know the difference. In the same instant he became aware of two more things – first, he hurt, everywhere. Secondly, the screaming outside was real – hearing his own hoarse voice somehow clarified that.
The light illuminated a figure, coming towards him out of the gloom – at first indistinct and surreal, but soon gathering a clarity that seemed at odds with state of his vision mere seconds before.
It was his mother, and half her face was gone.
She moved with a jerking twitch; she’d been fighting off an impedimenta curse when they caught her – she was trying to run, slow and awkward, as if through water. The entire scene had slowed, blurred – one minute there had been panic, terror, certainty of doom, the thrill of adrenaline in his blood and the pounding of his heart in his ears and a weightlessness in his gut, screaming run, run!
Then there had been a shout, and it had all gone, vanished into blank numbness with the left side of his mother’s face. She fell gracelessly. There had been very little blood.
Then they were on him, and the whole world went blind.
He pressed himself flat against the back of his cell, trying to scream, but producing only a hoarse wailing. His mother’s shade was coming for him – coming to drag him down into that cold dark sea, the ground was giving way and they would both fall – she was coming to drag him down, where he belonged, down in the dark and the cold because he’d frozen, he’d frozen and he’d let them kill his mother –
She was saying something, and the words weren’t recriminations. The light went out, and she was gone, and in the dark he heard.
"Finite incantatem – finite incantatem, damn it, it wasn’t supposed to affect him – you promised, you son of a bitch, finite incantatem-!"
"Ginny?" Draco rasped, disbelieving.
"L-lumos," she stuttered, and the light reappeared. She was blurred, just a wash of hair like fire and skin like cream, and he sagged in relief, because it meant she was real. Mother wasn’t real. Wasn’t here, to drag me away . . to blame me . . I froze, I froze and they killed her . .
"Oh God, what did they-" something hot and wet hit his face, and he flinched, blinking up at her. Soft fingers brushed his cheeks, his hair, and there was pain but it was irrelevant. He hadn’t seen her move. The image of her, a few feet away, illuminated in the light of her wand like an indistinct sort of angel, had frozen in his brain. She was much less clear, now, so close; all he could see was the brush of her hair across his face.
"They’re all going to hell for this," she was muttering, her lips brushing his. "They’re all going to burn in hell for this, every last one of them, it wasn’t supposed to be this way, this isn’t what Harry died for, and Dumbledore and Bill and Charlie and oh God, Draco, I’m so sorry .. I’m so sorry about your mother, I’m so sorry, so sorry . . we should have told her, you were right, I was stupid, she should have known about the baby, I’m so sorry-"
"Ginny," he whispered again, dazed. His hands sought out the smoothness of her hair. It caught in tiny cuts and pulled like blades, but he didn’t care – it was soft beneath his fingertips. She drew in a great sighing breath.
"The – the distraction ought to last a few more hours," she said, and her voice caught, hitched. Something clicked in his brain – the screaming outside, and her appearance here, like an avenging angel. What did you do, what did you do, what did you do the whole world is blind –
"Plenty of time for us to get out. We’re going to Fred and George in America. I thought – I thought you’d like that better than Viktor and Hermione in Bulgaria, at least we wouldn’t have to learn a new language. And Angelina’s pregnant again, so – so the baby will have someone to grow up with. A family. I thought – was I right? If you’d rather go to Bulgaria they’d take us, I’m sure they’d take us-"
"Ginny," he repeated. Gin-gin, what did you do –
"Was I right?" she demanded, voice hitching. He curled his screaming painful hands into her hair, found the shell of her ear, traced it, pulled her down. Her knees bumped his, her tears ran hot and salty acidic down his face, but her lips were soft, so very soft against his where it was cracked and split open.
"I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I love you so much, I’m so sorry," she muttered in a frantic, tender litany against his abused mouth.
"You came," he murmured.
"Yes," she whispered back. "Of course I did, of course I came."
"The whole world went blind," he confided in her, and she sucked in two high, rasping gulps of air that were almost screams, before she buried her face in his neck. Thin arms went around him with unnatural strength, crushing bruised and broken ribs, but he couldn’t care. He managed to order one arm to go around her, to find her hair down her back and tangle in it, clutching.
"It’ll be okay," he whispered thickly, next to her ear, lips buried in her hair. Her wand had gone out, and everything was dark again. Everything is blind.
"Don’t cry, don’t cry Gin-gin, don’t cry -" What did you do, what did you do for me?