‹ Prequel: Set Fire to Rain
Status: Complete

Safe and Sound

Order of the Phoenix

Weariness. That was all I could feel as we followed Neville Longbottom through a cold, dark cave-tunnel. That was the best way I could describe our passage, walking in the back. Weariness not because I was afraid of people, but because I was afraid of the way they would react to me.

A lot of the people in Hogwarts had known who and what I was. They knew that I was a torturer, one who practiced in hatred and followed the Dark Lord. They didn’t know that I had renounced my claim to all that, and that I was avidly trying to help my brother.

They would never know what I had given up.

Every step of the way I could still feel the guilt. It was always there, like the tide, rolling in and touching my heart before pulling away and coming back again the way the tide does on the shore. Sometimes it was unbearable, like at night when I lay down to sleep. But most of the time it was a silent burden.

Finally we came to the end of the passage and Neville pushed a door open, gold light pooling. I raised my hand, shielding my pupils that could not dilate that quickly to the sudden light being thrust forth.

When Harry stepped through, cheers and shouts of delight beat down on my ears. Harry hopped down, followed by Ron and then Hermione, who I was standing behind. As I stepped forward, I hesitated, wondering if they would see me.

Before I even moved, they did. The room came to an unbreakable silence as everyone stared at me, fear, horror and anger written on many faces that did and did not mean anything to me. Tilting my chin up slightly, much to the satisfaction of my other half, I stepped down.

“What is she doing here?” a voice that I did not know asked. “She’s a trai-"

“I’m here to help you,” I snapped suddenly, my voice holding more anger than I had meant it too. I was trying to reign back on the roiling anger within me for the sake of being somewhat trusted, but irritation was winning out. “Call me a traitor again, and I’m going to wish I was on the other side so I could-"

“She’s helped us in more ways than most of you can,” Harry interrupted darkly. He looked back at me and I at him, a moment passing between us. We understood that we were to have one another in this. We would support one another. “She is to be left alone and it’s to be understood she’s on our side.”

Everyone in the room seemed extremely tense, but life carried on. I hung in the back, watching but saying nothing, and letting my mind wander. Harry was discussing things with what used to be their small army, and I watched.

The way my brother spoke was something that was hard to miss. It wasn’t that he was commanding, or that he had this big voice. It was the way in which he phrased things, the way that he was confident without knowing if he should be. Everyone hung on his every word. They trusted him.

Harry and I seemed to control in two completely different ways. He controlled and lead through surety and promising people that he would never leave them hanging. It would be his downfall, not being able to make sacrifices. I had always said so, and I still thought so.

Myself? I had always controlled people through fear and power. People knew that I did not bluff- the threats I made I was very capable of, and I was very quick to act violently. Harry’s leadership skills were far more honorable than my own.

Ours work better, the voice grumbled in my head. I rolled my eyes, leaning on the wall. So she had not left me. Of course I haven’t. I am you. Idiot.

No reply came from me as a voice came over the school, causing everyone to be still. It called for all students to head to the great hall, causing everyone to begin glancing at one another. So Snape knew Harry had been spotted, and he was scared. Good.

“What are we going to do?” Ron asked, looking at Harry, as everyone else was. “Do we hide?”

Before Harry could answer, I pushed myself off the wall. I was tired of hiding- especially me. I was tired of keeping quiet and letting others get used to me. “No,” I answered, walking to stand next to Harry. He was looking at me with something near pride in his eyes. “We fight. Tonight, here, now. You all put on your robes and you will go down to the great hall. Who has an extra robe for Harry?”

Many hands went up. “Good,” Hermione piped up. I gave her a thankful glance. “He will dress in them, disguise himself as one of you. And we will follow behind when the order gets here.”

Still no one moved. “Alright,” Harry agreed. “Let’s do it.”

Everyone moved then. Harry was the one in command here, not I and not Hermione. A flurry of motion and voices surrounded me as everyone set off to do their job. And I stood amid all of it, alone and unsure of what to do. I was not a part of the order, and I was not a part of the DA. I was me.

We are alone, the other half of me said. Her voice was surprisingly neutral, not bitter and not patronizing. She said it like it was a fact that she too, was dealing with. We always have been. We have never really been a Malfoy, and we were never really a death eater, not with as much as they doubt us.

I refuse to see it that way.

Then where do we belong?

That was easy enough for me to answer. With Draco.

Yes, and look at what you’ve done to that. She was angry now, I could both feel it and hear it. It was like feeling emotions that were both mine and not mine, and hearing my voice in the distance, far off on a mountain. You’ve ruined that, and he will die because of you.

The room was almost empty, and I was almost left alone. But there was a single person looking at me, waiting for me. It was the most unlikeliest of people to wait for me. It was Ginny Weasley, her green eyes looking at me expectantly, as I stood there.

Ginny said nothing. The quiet of the large room was weighing down on us, and yet some how I understood she was waiting for me to join her and the order. Somehow, the girl who was in love with my brother trusted me, and she was waiting for me to join her side.

Though my inner demon was growling at me and shouting nasty things about the girl, I stepped forward. One foot in front of the other, I walked to Ginny and then beside her, leaving the room of requirement to go into the hall.

As we walked alone, nothing was said. We understood that we did not want to say things to each other. I trusted her and she trusted me. Because at the end of the day, the only thing we had in common was something that was very important to us: Harry.

“He loves you,” Ginny commented suddenly, making me cut my eyes in her direction. She was looking at me from the corner of her eye as we switched hallways, careful not to be seen by anyone. “Harry? He loves you.”

“He loves you too.”

She nodded, knowing. I liked that about her. She had no doubt that Harry loved her, and she was brave. She was braver and stronger than most people gave her credit for, because for all this time she knew that the boy she loved was out there somewhere, and she could not reach him. “I know.”

That was the end of the conversation. It was just our way to acknowledge that we both knew we were important to Harry, that we both mattered. And that meant we had to protect one another as well, because we were each an important element in his life.

Rounding the final corner, we met the order. I had no idea what corner of the castle we were in, for I had followed Ginny. But it was dark, cold and silent, like the death that was surely to take many of us.

Order of the Phoenix. Something I had heard about but never seen, not truly in full. It was made of wizards and witches that were of no particular talent save for their undying loyalty and their drive to chase the darkness from the world.

Nothing about the way they looked made them have a powerful aura. It was the look in their eyes and the way in which they held themselves that had a resounding mark, that was lasting. Their eyes were like steel, jaws set like stone and chin held high like cliff tops.

It was enough to make me look at them all, each single person. They were all so different but they were all the same, and my heart beat irregularly because I wondered if I could fit into that. There was no way they looked at me and saw the same steely need to fight for the better.

“Reagan,” Remus Lupin greeted, causing everyone to stir and then look at me. I stopped, as Ginny left my side to stand next to her brothers. All eyes were on me, as I stood, unsure of what to do. “Welcome to the Order of the Phoenix. We’re proud to have another Potter on our side. Your parents would be proud.”

I nodded my head once, relief blooming in my chest. “I would like to think so.”

“Two Potter siblings,” Kingsley Shacklebolt muttered, nodding his head. “The odds our in our favor. We fight for that name. Now let us go, and may the twins fulfill the prophecy.”
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