‹ Prequel: Set Fire to Rain
Status: Complete

Safe and Sound

Ministry Mayhem

The torture kept up for most of the day. My ears were adjusted to the screams, my heart indifferent to the pleading and the cries. It was a sick thing, for one’s body to be so used to the sounds of torture, but after years of practice, it was natural.

Time after time, I inflicted pain on others, shocking and impressing the people watching me. It was unnatural for someone of my age to have such a knack for dark arts and practices, but then again, I was not quite natural.

Licking my lips, I prepared for the next person to be brought in. A woman was brought in and placed in the chair, her eyes frightened and her hands trembling with fear. I sat quietly in a chair, her eyes falling on me, not knowing who I was, or that I was about to be her worst nightmare.

Another woman also walked in, and I recognized her as Mafalda Hopkirk. She didn’t know who I was, but as she examined the room, her eyes fell on me, widening slightly, realization flooding across her face. Turning her head quickly, she hid the expression, but not before my eyes narrowed.

My mind reeled, wondering how the woman knew me. Leaning forward in my chair, I watched her slightly, but she focused her eyes ahead, her face holding some sort of nervousness as she relaxed behind a stack of parchment. There was no need for her to be afraid… unless.

Leaning back carefully, I tried not to pay her any mind, knowing that this was not Mafalda at all- it was Hermione under the disguise of polyjuice potion. My heart picked up several paces, realizing that they were doing something in the Ministry of Magic. My teeth clamped and I tried not to panic. What in the bloody hell were they doing?

After a few minutes of silence, the door opens once more, my eyes watching as Rancorn, one of our own working at the ministry, pulled a man in with him by the sleeve. I examined the two, seeing the way Rancorn’s eyes narrowed as he shoved the man forward.

“Reg…” the woman in the chair called, turning. Relief flood across her face, and I named the man to be her husband, Reg. She reached out to him, but he looked confused, reluctant. And then his eyes fell on me, stilling him completely.

Rancorn stopped in his tracks as well, his eyes falling on me. My breath stopped in my chest, knowing that Harry and Ron had just walked into the room, though I wasn’t quite sure who was which. I kept my posture relaxed, paying them no mind; the way they were staring at me was going to get them killed.

“Mary Elizabeth Cattermole?” Umbridge asked, breaking the silence in the room and drawing the attention of everyone. “Mother to Maisie, Ellie and Alfred? Wife to Reginald?”

The woman, Mary, nodded, her eyes filled with fear as she glanced to her husband, who wasn’t quite her husband. Whatever boy was present in his form, gave her a confident nod, soothing her. “Yes.”

“Your wand was taken from you upon your arrival at the Ministry today,” Umbride continued, eyeing the woman in the chair with distaste. This is how all interviews went. “Is this that wand?” The woman nodded, when Umbridge revealed her wand between her fingers. “Would you please tell the court from which witch or wizard you took this wand?”

“I didn’t take it!” she pleaded, water filling her eyes. “I got it in Diagon Alley, at Ollivander’s, when I was eleven. It chose me.”

Umbridge sneered, leaning her large weight forward. “No, no, I don’t think so, Mrs. Cattermole. Wands only choose witches. And you are no witch.”

“But I am!” Mary cried, turning in her chair to face her husband. My nails dug into the arms of the chair slightly, hoping that I would not have to torture this woman in front of my brother, to show him what I truly am, to show him that I was a monstrosity. “Tell them, Reg! Tell them what I am!”

Reginald went to open his mouth for a reply, but paused, seeing Rancorn step forward, a peculiar expression on his face. My heart skipped a beat and blood roared in my ears, blocking out everything that came out of his mouth as I stood rapidly from my chair, just as Rancorn- whose face was turning back into Harry’s- raised his wand, yelling, “Stupify!”

Red light shot through the room and all hell broke lose as Ron, disguised still, cursed Yaxley, throwing him back completely. I was shocked, seeing as Ron had been working on his defense skills. But what shocked me more was when Harry leapt forward, ripping the necklace Umbridge was wearing from her neck.

For a brief moment he turned his head towards me, our green eyes connecting. My heart was so happy to see him alive and well for the most part. My worry for him subsided slightly, seeing that he was clearly up to something beneficial.

The eye contact was over as quickly as it had begun, my hand raising my wand at Harry, flinging a curse that he easily blocked. He knew that it had to be this way, and he knew that he had to defend himself against me, though I truly wished him no harm.

The room froze over, as Harry ran, deflecting my curses. Dementors swooped in from the ceiling, going after Umbridge, Yaxley and myself. They also chase Harry as he ran, but I was no longer worried about him, knowing he could perform a patronus.

Pointing my wand at the oncoming slew of dementors, picturing in my minds eye my family, whole and untouched by darkness. “Expecto patronum!”

From the tip of my wand, sliver light exploded, pure and wonderful in color, taking form of an ethereal dragon, the beast spreading it’s wings and bellowing, hitting the dementors full force, keeping the dark creatures at bay.

Umbridge remained on the floor, unmoving, and I did not care at all. Walking over to Yaxley, I yanked him up by his arm, cursing at him as I held on to the charm, not wanting to have my soul touched by the damned things.

“Move!” I screeched at him, shoving him forward. “Unless you want me to practice my skills on you, get after him!”

Yaxley took off down the hall and I followed him, only letting go of my patronus as I went through the door, leaving Umbridge to live or die by them. She was no longer my concern anymore. My concern was only on finding Draco and getting the hell out of the Ministry. It had grown far to dangerous there.

The entire place was a massive disaster, as I ran into the lobby. Papers were flying everywhere, people were screaming, and the snatchers were running over people, shoving people and screaming curses. I ducked as a curse flew past my head, swerving to move around a cowering man.

My eyes scanned the mass of moving bodies. I was desperately looking for him, just a snatch of his blonde hair or a flash of his blue eyes. Just when I thought I was never going to finding him in the wave of panicking, bumbling idiots, I saw his face in the crowd. Holding onto its image, I shoved my way towards him, not caring that I was knocking people over.

When he shoved someone aside, standing in front of me, I threw myself into him, feeling his muscles relax as he embraced me, burying his face in my hair. He squeezed me tight to him and I felt his beating heart my cheek as I placed it on his chest.

“Are you okay?” he demanded, stumbling slightly as someone ran into him. He pulled me away from him, holding my gently by the arms, examining my face. “What happened?”

“I’m fine,” I said quickly, pulling him along with me. “I’ll explain later. Right now I need to make sure they know what side I’m on.”

When the crowd began to die down after Harry escaped their grasp, I shoved people away, moving to climb atop the sculpture in the middle of the ministry, pointing my wand to my throat to cast out my voice.

ENOUGH!” I screamed. Everyone that had been moving froze, their eyes turning fearfully to me as I stood to my full height, putting on a gaze of hate and total anger. I knew that my mask of evil had been pulled over by the way people moved away from me. “Snatchers, scour the streets now. If any of you are found to have had anything to do with Undesirable Number One’s escape or aided him in infiltrating the Ministry, you will be held equally responsible, and punished as so. Now get back to work before I have all of you sacked.”

It still amazed me, how the command in my words could cause people to move so quickly. It had been a long time since I had demanded the attention of a room in such a way, using my power and fear over them to make them do what I wanted.

Stepping down from the statue, I continued to keep my scathing glare on my face as I moved through the people who were following my orders. By some unspoken agreement, it had been decided that I was to be listened to. People believed I was the right hand man of the Dark Lord. And so I had been once.

Draco followed me silently, but his gaze heavy with threat as he looked at those around us. He was echoing my behavior, and I was so very thankful to be in love with someone who was so smart, who understood how the game of power and alliances worked. Draco knew how to play the part just as well as I did, even if not all of it was playing on his part.

My cloak snapped behind me with the speed I was walking at, approaching Yaxley as he growled an order to a death eater I didn’t know. He turned around to face me, his face going red with anger. “You let him escape!”

Without warning, my hand cracked across his face so hard that he stumbled a few paces. The sound of the smack had resounded on the tile, causing the people around us to stop moving, shocked that I had struck him. “I save your life, you ungrateful bastard. It isn’t my fault you let them apparate. Accuse me of treachery again, and you’ll wish you had never met me.”

A five-finger print was swelling on his now purple face, his veins practically exploding with rage. “The Dark Lord will not-“

“Do not speak for him!” I bellowed, startling even Draco. “You nor I know what the Dark Lord will do at today’s events, but one thing is certain- the boy was practically placed in your hands, and you let him slip through like sand. He make think twice about leaving you in charge.”

“I swear, Potter, I will have your head.”

It wasn’t I who responded this time, but rather Draco. I watched as Draco strode forward on his long legs, his hand striking out and fisting Yaxley’s shirt in his fist, raising the smaller man straight of his feet, making him flinch. “Threaten her again, and I’ll kill you. I may not be in the Dark Lord’s graces, but you certainly won’t be after this.”

Draco dropped Yaxley on the ground, leaving the man sputtering and cursing in a fit. Turning to face me, Draco gave a jerk of his head, telling me to leave. I scowled to hide my smirk, enjoying watching the powerful, threatening Draco that I knew. Though I loved the delicate side of him, it was nice to be reminded that the boy I loved would do anything for me.

Our love was to the core.
♠ ♠ ♠
The next three chapters are insane. Just so you know.