Status: alive :)

Walk Through Hell

No More

And the trouble with the truth is it just won't let me rest; I run and hide but there's always another test; and I know that it won't let me be 'til I've given it my best; the trouble with the truth is it just won't let me rest...

Sweat drenched every inch of Addie's body, soaking her hair, and plastering the loose hanging pieces to her face. Her face was reddened, a telltale sign of her exhaustion and her heart pounded in her chest, each beat becoming more painful than the last. Her legs throbbed the longer she went, and each time she exhaled, a thousand knives pierced her lungs.

The pain, no matter how crippling it was becoming, went ignored; it was a release, allowing her to forget the dreadful start to her sixth year.

Addie's feet pounded on the terrain around the Black Lake as she rounded the lake for the fourth time. As she neared the rock that marked her starting point of her track around the lake, she knew that she had to stop; her legs were beginning to cramp and were on the verge of collapse. She staggered the last few feet to the rock, and leaned her hands on it, trying to stretch her legs, groaning when she felt the tug of the knots in her muscles.

"You're going to give yourself a heart attack if you keep running like that."

Unaware that anyone else had been outside with her, Addie jumped at Draco's words, "No, but I am going to have one if you continue to sneak up on me like that," Draco rolled his eyes slightly and moved closer to Addie as she took a drink from her water bottle, "Merlin, I'm sure I look awful," she said, chuckling.

"You could never look awful," Draco said softly.

Addie felt even more color raise to her already red cheeks, "How charming of you."

The two stood in silence, both unsure of what to say next. In Defense Against the Dark Arts earlier in the day, Draco had acted like nothing had happened between them, but Addie couldn't just ignore that the two of them had resorted to threatening each other with the detrimental information that they knew about each other on the train back to Hogwarts.

After regaining some strength in her legs, Addie walked toward the edge of the lake and sat down, took off her gym shoes and socks, and let the lake's waves wash over her feet. The cool water felt refreshing on her sore feet and she sighed when the water touched them. Draco joined her on the water's edge not long after.

Not wanting to put off what they ultimately had to talk about any longer, Addie spoke, "I, uh...know this is probably not what you want to talk about, but what we said to each other on the train...about certain things that we know about each other...that wasn't right of us."

Draco remained silent, trying to pick his words carefully. The last thing that he wanted to do was upset her, "It was a little shocking to learn what I did."

"I know."

"And to have to hear it from Fiona...I wasn't angry that I didn't hear it from...Him...I was angry that I didn't hear it from you."

Addie sucked on her bottom lip, feeling like she had betrayed him in someway. There was a kind of vulnerability in his voice that told her that he was being completely genuine. It was something that he refused to show to anyone else, and the fact that he would show it to Addie always solidified any doubts that she had about their friendship, "I know," she said quietly, "if it's any consolation, I didn't talk about it with anyone, not until Fiona said anything."

"You didn't talk about it with Potter?"

Another wave rolled over Addie's feet and she shook her head, "I didn't want to talk about it with anyone."

"Of course," he said, throwing a rock into the lake, "if you didn't tell your precious Potter, I certainly couldn't expect you to tell me."

She looked at him seriously, "Can you not do this again, please? I've explained this to you at least a million times. I'm connected to you both and I have been since birth. If you can't accept that, I don't know what to tell you. I'm not going to pick between you."

"I wonder what you would say to him if it was him sitting here with you right now."

"I would tell him the same thing! And I have! Several times!" Addie stood, shoving her feet in her shoes.

"Okay, Addie, okay," Draco said, standing as well, touching her arm softly, "I won't say anything else about it."

Addie's hardened expression softened at his touch, "Can we just forget about this McGregor thing right now? I've already dealt with it enough this week."

"Anything you want."

She smiled weakly, "Thank you. Look, my point in bringing this up is that I want you to know that I would never say anything about this," she said, touching his left arm, "I promise."

"I know," he whispered, "You have to know I wouldn't do that, either. Not to you."

Addie nodded, "Where do we stand with each other, Draco?" she asked. Confused, Draco opened his mouth to speak but couldn't find any words; he thought that they had just settled their differences, "I mean, you say all of these nice things to me, and act like you care about me behind closed doors, but--"

"I do care about you. You're my," he paused for a second and looked deep into Addie's eyes, "best friend. I know that I'm cold to you when other people are around and I'll try to stop."

Addie pursed her lips, "Well, I suppose that will have to do..." she said, gathering her water bottle and heading back toward the castle.

For now, she thought.


The cool, damp air of the Hogwarts dungeons filled Draco's lungs as he entered the Slytherin common room. Intending to head directly to his dormitory, he kept his eyes starting directly ahead, not looking around the common room because he was rather uninterested in who may be sitting in there.

His conversation with Addie had left him a bit flustered; he disliked being sentimental and vulnerable and genuine, and Addie had a way of making him be all of those things at once, and it always made him feel ridiculous. Not that he would trade the time that he spent with Addie for anything; he just had a hard time being affectionate and his current situation with the Dark Lord wasn't helping that.

"Draco," a voice sang from behind him, pulling him out of his thoughts. He had almost made it to the stairs without being noticed, "Draco, I've been waiting for you."

Pansy approached him from a chair in the far corner of the room. The expression she wore on her face told Draco exactly what she wanted.

"I'm not interested, Pansy."

She looked up at him, and for a moment, her dull, brown eyes bugged out in shock before her face softened into an ugly, lustful grin. Biting her lip slightly, she moved herself even closer to him, "Now, don't say that. I thought we could go ring in the new school year..."

In an attempt to get things moving a little more quickly, Pansy ghosted her fingers up Draco's left arm, immediately causing him to wrench himself back, "Don't touch me, you disgusting whore!"

"Draco, I--"

"Beat it, Pansy."

It wasn't Draco who had spoken, but Fiona, who was just stepping off of the girls' dormitory staircase. Being Fiona's devoted lackey, Pansy recognized the determined look on Fiona's face, and retreated, just as her Queen requested.

"Let's pick this thing back up where we left off last year, yeah?" She placed a hand on his chest before turning her around and heading back to the girls' dormitory and had already traveled halfway across the common room before she realized that Draco was not following her, "Are you waiting for a more proper invitation?" she asked, walking back to him, "Because I thought we agreed last year that neither of us cared much for formalities."

"I will tell you the same thing that I told that other whore, I'm not interested," he said, threateningly.

Fiona rolled her eyes, letting out a pig-like growl, "Cut the shit, Draco. I'm not up for your sudden game of hard-to-get."

She ran her hands down his chest and Draco felt his skin crawl, "Get off of me," he said, pushing her back, hard, so that she stumbled backwards.

"What the hell?" she screeched, after regaining her balance, "We did this all the time last year and not once did you act like such a little bitch."

"Things have changed, Fiona," he snapped, irritated.

"Like what, huh?" she asked, angrily, "Your sudden interest in that horrible prude Addie Clayworth? I saw the way you were looking at her on the train and in class today. You have some kind of pitiful fascination with her all of sudden. I suggest that you get over it right away. She is not the kind of person that you want to be seen fraternizing with. Not only is she a Gryffindor, but she's a horrible blood traitor. And I don't care who her father is. If you ask me, he should just get it over with and kill her already."

Draco felt anger bubble in his stomach, travel up his esophagus, and pool in his mouth. His face flushed red, "Shut up," he seethed, "Just shut up."

Fiona nodded, bitterly, "So I'm right. It's all because of her."

"It has nothing to do with her," he snapped, "Can't you just accept the fact that someone doesn't want to sleep with you?"

"I can't accept it from you. Not after how badly you wanted me last year."

"Get the hell over yourself."

"She'll never love you. And she'll never want to be with you. No matter how..." she laughed mockingly, "steamy your little love fest was in Morocco. No matter what kind of bullocks she fed you--"

"Shut up."

"No matter hard you try, to her, you will never measure up to Potter."

He knew she was just trying to agitate him. He knew that. And he knew, the more angry he got, the more he fueled her fire. But he just couldn't help it. Draco Malfoy could never be the bigger person and just walk away. Blame it on pride, blame it on being a Slytherin, or just blame it on himself, but he could never just walk away.

Especially not when someone was throwing his insecurities right into his face.

No matter how many times Addie told him that she didn't care for Potter like that, he just couldn't believe it.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they already had something going on behind closed doors," Fiona continued, "I hope that you're not daft enough to believe that they don't have late nights together up in Gryffindor's common room, after all, that's how we started..."

Draco gagged at the thought that she could be with Potter at that very moment, doing something...

"...and if you don't believe me, just look at the way he looks at her, especially when she isn't looking."

"Just shut up! You don't know anything!"

Fiona smirked, looking satisfied at Draco's frustrated reaction, and turned on her heel to return to her dormitory. After traveling a few feet, she stopped and spoke over her shoulder, "People like her don't belong with people like us. We're too good for them. The world will be much better when all of them are gone."

Draco grabbed her by the shoulder, spun her around, and shook her firmly, "Don't you dare do anything to her," he threatened.

She opened her mouth and barked a sadistic laugh, "I won't have to do anything to her. She'll go off and get herself killed all on her own."


Addie's letter sat on the table before Claire. Claire sat, staring down at it, with her head in her hands. Bits and pieces of the letter buzzed through her mind.

...McGregor...Lucius...Fiona...My anger gets the better of me...Wandless magic...Mind-reading...It's like it's not me doing these things...There's something wrong...

Letting out a frustrated growl, Claire closed her eyes and buried her face deeper into her hands, trying, with great difficulty, to come up with any other explanation than the one she knew was the truth. Ever since Addie had been born, Claire had been hiding from this truth, and now it seemed that she just couldn't come up with a suitable explanation for her daughter, or herself.

When Addie had been younger, it had been so easy to come up with logical explanations about the odd things that Addie did, "Of course, sweetie, it's completely normal for you to cast spells without your wand," but now that Addie was practically a grown woman and almost done with school, she couldn't pass Addie's oddities off as her simply being unpracticed in the magical arts and Claire knew she would have to face the truth.

The truth that she had been hiding from for sixteen years.

"Care to tell me what's troubling you?" Remus asked, placing a hand on Claire's shoulder.

She looked up at him from her seat at the table and put the letter in his hand. As Remus stood, reading the letter, Claire put her head back in her hands and groaned, "I don't know what to do."

"You can't hide this from her any longer," Remus said seriously when he finished reading, "No more of this, Claire." Claire let her head fall to the table with a thud, "I'm serious. You need to tell her. Or I will."

Claire lifted her head and rose from her seat, poking a finger into Remus' chest, "She is my daughter, Remus. You will leave this to me. I will tell her when the time is right."

"God dammit, Claire!" Remus said, slamming his fist on the wooden table, "Don't you get it? If she's in the dark about this, she's vulnerable! And she's in danger! I will not have her get killed because of your foolishness!"

"You think I don't know that? She's been in danger since she was born!" she cried, voice cracking.

"Then why won't you tell her?"

She sat back in her chair, defeated, "I'll tell her when she's home for Christmas."


The fact that the students of Hogwarts had only been to one day of classes didn't stop Hermione from rounding up Addie, Harry, and Ron to get started on the homework that they had already been assigned in their classes. The three sat with Hermione, unhappily, in the back of the common room near the fire in silence. Harry and Ron were pretending to be working on their Divination essays that were not due for another two weeks, and Hermione and Addie were trying, quite unsuccessfully, to do complex calculations for Arithmancy.

Addie's eyes darted from her number chart to her textbook as her quill scratched across her parchment. When she finally got an answer after several minutes of computing, she cursed under her breath in frustration, noting that the answer couldn't possibly be correct.

Hermione, I hate you for making me take this class, Addie thought to herself as she tossed her quill down, giving up on the complicated equations for the night.

"Excuse me," Hermione huffed, "I did not make you take Arithmancy!"

Harry and Ron stopped pretending to be working and looked over at Hermione, "What?" Ron said, confused, "What are you talking about?"

"I was responding to Addie's comment, Ronald."

Ron contorted his face, giving him an even more confused look, "What comment?"

"She just said that she hated that I made her take Arithmancy!"

"No, she didn't, Hermione. She hasn't said anything for at least twenty minutes."

Hermione growled, unsatisfied with the obvious joke that her friends were playing on her, "Oh yeah, real funny. Try to make Hermione look like she's crazy. Ha ha," but upon seeing the look of horror on Addie's face, her anger melted, "What's going on, Addie?"

Addie shifted her eyes to be sure no one was near them, and then, lowering her voice, said, "I...didn't say anything, but...I did think it."

Hermione stared at Addie, mouth agape. Harry was pale faced and Ron dropped his Divination book and parchment on which he was writing his fake essay to the floor. Addie's hands shook.

As if she really needed something else to make her even more abnormal.

"Well," Ron asked nervously, trying to come up with some explanation, "What are the chances that you're both legilimens?"

Not likely.


Harry held Claire and Sirius' letters in his hands, studying them, the next morning at breakfast. Something kept telling him not to forget about them, that they were somehow of great importance. There was something hidden in these letters, some hidden truth only known to Claire and Sirius, and maybe a few more people.

Remus knew for sure, I know that you and Remus want the best possible life for her... but who else knew? And, more importantly, why were they keeping something from Addie? Did this have anything to do with what was currently going on with his best friend?

Something told Harry that it did.

"Hey," Addie said, taking the seat next to him, "What do you have there?"

Harry quickly folded up the letters and shoved them into his pocket, "Uh, nothing. Just uh... a note from Cho. Did you and Hermione figure anything out last night?"

Addie sighed, "That's where she went this morning. Skipped breakfast to go to the library to do some research, I sent Ron to go sit with her in there, figured it would give them a little alone time together. Anyway, the only explanation that we could think of was telepathy."

"Telepathy? Like sending thoughts to someone else's mind?"

She nodded, "It's the only thing we can think of. May as well add that to my list of abnormalities."

A silence fell over the two and Harry tried to work up the nerve to tell her what he knew, but he couldn't help thinking about the reasons not to, that Claire had laid out in the letter, she already has so much to worry about... what if he was wrong about it having something to do with what was going on with her at the moment and it did cause her more stress than she needed?

But he had such a strong feeling that he was right...

"So," Addie raised an eyebrow at Harry, pulling him out of his thoughts, "A note from Cho, eh?"


Draco was in the process of buttering a piece of toast when Fiona slapped him on his arm and pointed toward the Gryffindor table, "I told you. Just look at him."

He looked up to see Addie sitting closely to Potter, and a jealous fire erupted within him. She was speaking to him very enthusiastically and he was smiling at her with a bright, dopey smile, like a child that just discovered his presents on Christmas morning. His face was blushing red and even from a table away, Draco could see the way that his eyes were lit up in a way that a friend's eyes shouldn't be.

The piece of toast Draco had been holding crumbled as he clenched his hand into a fist.