‹ Prequel: Set Fire to Rain
Status: Complete

Safe and Sound

Cut ties

My mouth was dry. For the first time in my entire life, I felt like I was a warrior. All my life, I had been treated like I was a warrior, trained like I was one. But I had always felt like a weapon, like a tool of war rather than someone fighting in one. I had been a tool of Voldemort, a means of killing and moving parts. Now I was a warrior, I was someone fighting for something instead of someone.

There was something profoundly sad about the grim determination in which we all walked with. We were very quiet, set in the fact that a lot of us were going to die. Glancing around at the Order, I realized that it would bother me if any of them died, even if I had not known them.

Even the other part of me stirred at that, chuckling slightly. You wouldn’t have cared if a death eater died.

My mouth tightened into a line. Exactly.

Death eaters had mostly meant nothing to me. I had threatened to kill how many of my own comrades? How many of them had turned on one another, turning one another in to get in the graces of Voldemort? Being a death eater was about being at the top, sacrificing others and doing whatever it was you could to be the best. Being a death eater was about survival, about living long enough to do something glorifying.

The order was nothing like that. The order was about sacrificing yourself, accepting that there was something bigger than yourself and that it was worth dying for. The order was about saving others. It wasn’t about being a hero, but making heroes, helping them rise.

Voldemort’s following was a hollow image of the order. It was an empty, cold imitation that could never grasp the concept of what it was like to be loyal and to feel passionate towards a means of success.

Everything felt cold. I pulled my coat tighter to me. My wand was still gripped tight in my hand. The castle was dark, the torches cold in the walls. Getting to the double doors of the great hall, I felt a shot of anxiety go through my system, quick and cold. It wasn’t fear but rather it was doubt.

My mind leapt at the fleeting feeling. You worry this won’t work. You worry you can’t save them both- because you can’t. Draco fights on the other side and you let him for dead. You made he decision to end his life.

I made the decision to protect him from another side.

You signed his death sentence.

I refused to succumb to the voice. She was right- that is exactly what I worried about. But like I was trained to do, I flipped the switch off of my emotions, going cold and blank as we walked into the great hall, whispers and shouts bursting through the lines of the students as we walked in, spreading out and ready to fight.

Pushing to the front, I saw my brother looking back. Our eyes met and we nodded simultaneously. He was dressed in someone’s robes, defiant and steady as he turned around.

“How dare you stand where he stood?” Harry asked Snape, who had been staring at me in utter shock. “Tell them how it happened that night! Tell them how you looked him in the eye, a man who trusted you, and killed him!”

You were there too. I looked at the ground, chewing on my lip. I saw him fall in my minds eye, the way that Dumbledore fell backwards over the railing, the tremble in Draco’s hand, the laugh in Bellatrix’s voice. You hand your hand in his murder. Feeling guilty? Don’t forget that this person you are pretending to be, is not really you. You could never be one of them.

Looking back up, I tried to ignore the urge to shed a tear. It seemed that unlike previous times when I could fight without emotion, I could no longer shut them off. Now I had to fight for what I felt: fear, trust in those around me, and love for others. I had to use it, which was a scarier thought than facing any of my former comrades.

Snape stepped forward then, making everyone leap backwards away from the confrontation that was about to ensue. I jerked forward, alarmed. Hermione grabbed my wrist, retraining me. Simultaneously, McGonagall grabbed Harry, pulling him behind her and facing of Snape, who hesitated.

Silence entered the room until surprisingly, McGonagall stepped forward, flourishing her wand, sending flames at Snape over and over again. Each time he countered them, backing up, fear in his eyes. My heart swelled with appreciation for Minerva McGonagall, whom I had never given the time of day. For she drove him off, Snape grabbing his cape and fleeing through the windows, the Carrow’s following suit.

The entire hall broke out in cheers as McGonagall lit it, filling it with heat and warmth. I sprang forward, Hermione letting go of me as I ran to Harry, grabbing him and pulling him into me. I squeezed my eyes shut, my arms holding him tightly as he squeezed me back. “You look good coming in with us,” he whispered.

I smiled at him as I pulled away. “It felt good.”

Harry’s response was cut off by a high-pitched, blood curdling scream. The kind of scream that was brought on by pure terror. I clasped my hands over my ears, the screams bringing back a million memories. I had heard those kind of screams before. I had muted those kind of screams before.

More screams began to echo in the room before a voice entered my conscious, completely unlike the one that I had been hearing. This voice hurt to listen to, like it was cutting through my conscious line of thought and forcing itself in like a wedge being pushed into a crack, widening it until it was perfectly audible, soft as a feather but sharp as a razor blade.

“I know many of you want to fight,” Voldemort cooed through the ears of many. Most students coward, the intake of breaths shaky and unstable. “Some of you might even think to fight is wise, but this is folly. Give me Harry Potter, and you will be rewarded. You have one hour.”

Voldemort’s voice left as distractingly as it came in, leaving my head feel open and exposed, like a cold wind was escaping in through a gap in my mind, chilling me from the inside out. I grit my teeth, grabbing Harry’s robe sleeve as I looked at him.

“What’re you waiting for?” My head snapped to the side as Pansy Parkinson glared. Her black hair was out of sorts, like she had been having trouble sleeping. Ginny grabbed Harry, putting him behind her and glaring. “Someone grab hi!”

Take her. I did not disagree, letting go of Harry’s sleeve and slipping forward, in front of him smoothly. The students around her backed away, Pansy standing there and flaring her overly large nose. Do it.

“Shut your mouth, Parkinson.” She sneered at me and grabbed for her wand. My hand was faster, flourishing as a jet of red shot from my wand the moment I shouted, “Stupify!”

Pansy screamed as the stun caught her in the chest- it hit hardest in the chest- and spun her backwards, crashing into her fellow housemates who did not catch her, but backed up away from her like she carried the plague. Familiar faces looked at me- the girls from my old dormitory, the faces of housemates who had befriended me at my short time at Hogwarts. Blaise stared at me, my heart squeezing.”

“Mr. Filch,” McGonagall called, her voice unsympathetic and commanding. If you would, I would like you please, to lead Miss Parkinson and the rest of Slytherin house from the hall.”

“Exactly where is it I’ll be leading em to, ma’am?”

“The dungeons would do.”

Students erupted in cheers as Filch moved to begin dragging Slytherin house. “Wait!” I shouted, causing several people to look at me in shock. For a moment, I was quiet, my inner mind screaming and asking questions of what I was going. I looked at Blaise. I was doing this for Blaise. “Let those who want to help, help. Not all of Slytherin has people like Miss Parkinson. There are good among them. I know them.”

I looked at Harry. He was ultimately the last say so in everything. He was our leader. A teenage boy, my brother, my twin. Someone that I had some how been born hating but found love through fear for. Harry nodded. “Whoever is willing to help can help. But if you think you’re going to betray us,” he cut his stare across the sea of students. “You’re wrong. Reagan will confirm whether you’re trust worthy or not.”

Movement flooded the great hall. Many Slytherin’s moved towards the dungeon. But even more of them stayed back, forming sort of a line as I stood awkwardly, looking at Harry with wide eyes. He gave me an encouraging nod, saying quietly, “You’ll know who is good by who you didn’t associate with. If you haven’t a clue who they are, then we can use them.”

I nodded once, turning. Quickly, I was embraced by a girl with dark brown curls, freckles and eerily purple eyes. She pulled away from me, her face falling before she cleared her throat and said, “I’m sorry. You might not remember me- on the first day of school last year you fixed my fork after Pansy hexed it.”

I scanned her face. I had no memory of her name. And then it was there, my other half, speaking for the first time in several minutes. Clairee. Clairee Dumont. I forced a smile. “Clairee Dumont. We’d be glad to have you.”

And so I went, going through the ranks of people. But my heart fell lower and lower as I did not see Blaise. He was gone from the great hall. I realized then that I had cut more ties than I thought. That maybe all of my lies had been the final straw with Blaise.

It seemed that my other half-agreed. Because for the first time she murmured, We have lost a lot of people.

I know.
♠ ♠ ♠
I promised I would finish this story. I will not leave you all until it is finished. I promise.