‹ Prequel: Set Fire to Rain
Status: Complete

Safe and Sound

No Such Thing

The wrenching pull of apparating and the already sick feeling in my stomach was too much when I landed. I stumbled against the brick wall, holding myself up by my trembling arms and heaved right there in the ally, emptying the contents of my stomach. The bile burned my throat and the tears burned my eyes.

I shoved away from the wall, quickly retrieving my broom and taking off on it, hoping that the cool air slapping my face would help me breathe. It didn’t. Even as I shot towards the manor, drying my eyes and tears with the wind, I couldn’t find a way to feel better. It was like I was permanently ill.

Being the good guy was easily the hardest job in the world. I could easily see why everyone usually chose to play the evil role, to shy away from the light. Saving lives and trying to do good in the world wasn’t exactly the easiest thing, and it constantly left you struggling to make choices and left you feeling nothing but grief if you failed. Having no emotion and choosing the path of the dark was so much easier.

Ever since deciding to walk in the path of the light, I had become increasingly worse mentally. I felt like my mind was frayed, falling apart at the seams, and that Harry and Draco were both fighting for the right to fix me, to sew me back together. I was like a washed up rag doll, a mere shadow of the powerful witch that I used to be.

My feet touched the ground just outside of the gates leading to the manor. I walked swiftly in the dark, moving through the black ironwork as the swung open for me. The yard was empty and silent, the beautiful, white peacocks moving silently through the foliage, looking at me with bright, intelligent eyes.

Inside the cold home, all was silent. I paused as I set my broom in the closet, looking around. Bellatrix was nowhere to be seen. The same went for Lucius. I didn’t bother looking for Voldemort; he didn’t ever wander about the house. He preferred to stay down in his dark quarters, lurking about in his madness and hatred.

It was near dawn in the home when I walked into my bedroom. The sky outside was fading from the pitch black to a dull, dark grey. I stood in the middle of my room on the carpet, looking at my bed with distaste. The large king sized mattress looked comfortable enough, all made and elegant with it’s dark satin sheets and decorative pillows. Looking at it made me tired, but I knew that it would hold no comfort for me. I would not be able to sleep.

I don’t know how long I stood there, glaring at the mattress. My anger was misplaced on the inanimate object, but I couldn’t turn my scathing gaze elsewhere. After what seemed like hours, I moved to the bathroom, stripping down and turning on the shower to scalding hot. Maybe if I stood in the water long enough with the temperature as hot as it could go, I would melt.

The thought made my lips twitch in amusement, thinking of the old muggle story Narcissa had read to Draco and I once. In the muggle world, they thought witches were twisted ugly creatures with green faces, hooked noses and moles. There had been one story, where a girl named Dorothy threw a bucket of water on an old wicked witch, and she melted. If only muggles knew the true story behind killing witches.

The shower helped abate the sick feeling in my stomach, and the heat was a distraction for a little while. I stood there for over an hour in the hot water, letting it run down my back and neck, loosening all the muscles in my body that had been tensed for so long, that had been coiled to attack. My forehead was pressed against the stone wall, eyes closed. My fingers were pruning, I could feel it. And then I heard a noise.

It was soft a soft bump, that sounded like it came from under my bathroom. I quickly turned the faucet off and jumped out of the shower, grabbing my wand and drying myself magically. I slipped into sweats and a tank top, leaving my room and moving down the staircase silent as a ghost.

Pausing at the bottom of the staircase, I strained my ears for further noise. The sound of footsteps against a carpet sounded from the library. Although I didn’t sense immediate danger, I slid my wand out of my pocket, gripping it tightly next to my side as I pushed the door to the library open.

A boy stood with their back to me in front of the fireplace, dusting off their shirt and jeans. I cleared my throat and they whirled around to face me. I didn’t hide m shock as Blaise flashed a smile at me, his white teeth forming a perfect line. i returned the smile, even though I was unsure of why he was here.

“Hello!” he cheered happily, walking to me and embracing me in a hug. Blaise had been a presence that I missed having around frequently. He was a good friend, and unwavering in loyalty. “Sorry if I gave you a fright,” he apologized quickly. “That bloody rug tripped me on the way out of the fire place.”

I glanced at the golden rug with distaste. The edge of it was curled up to reveal the underside, confirming Blaise’s story. “I never liked it much,” I admitted, gesturing for him to follow me out of the library. “It doesn’t really match the rest of the house. But it’s Narcissa’s great grandmothers or such.” I paused by the kitchen. “Would you like anything to eat or drink?”

Blaise laughed but without humor. “You can skip the pleasantries with me, Reagan. I know you want to know why I’m here.”

I shrugged, watching him with a curious eye as he made his way into the living room. He sat down on a leather couch, making himself comfortable as I sat across from him on the loveseat, murmuring to a house elf to bring us tea. The elf nodded and scurried off, leaving Blaise and I alone.

After a few long moments of silence, Blaise finally decided that I wasn’t going to speak first. I did want to know why he was here, but I didn’t want to seem like I was worried or scared. Unannounced visits weren’t particularly my favorite, and Blaise knew this better than anyone.

“Are you returning to school this year?” he asked, not looking at me. Instead, he focused his eyes on the elf as he scurried in, carrying the tea set with steaming cups of tea before leaving us. I didn’t say thank you to the elf, for doing so would raise suspicion in Blaise. We may be friends, but I wasn’t sure about this visit.

I picked up my tea, blowing on the top to cool it. “You know I’m not.”

He nodded, sipping his. “I felt better asking than to simply assume. I don’t suppose you want to reveal why?”

I shrugged at him. “Draco and I, we have things to do. You know what type of things.”

“The world is changing rapidly…” His voice trailed off as he looked out the window. It was now early morning, but the sun had not risen today. At least, it wasn’t visible through the purple clouds, swirling with lightning and thunder coming our way. “People are dying and disappearing. Kids are dropping out of Hogwarts, families are fleeing left and right.”

When he didn’t continue, I said, “And where do you find yourself in all of this,” I spread out my hands. “Where are you going to stand?”

He hesitated, which was answer enough: he was scared. “With my family and with my friends.” He allowed moments of silence to pass as he sipped his tea. I knew it was but an excuse to think about how he was going to phrase whatever he wanted to say. “I came here because I want to know where you stand, Reagan. You have always been unpredictable, though unwavering in your loyalty. I know your allegiance to Draco; it is the only allegiance you truly have.”

I felt my features contort in anger. Blaise was truly an idiot, and I cast my eyes around, fearful. This was not the place to state such things, I should have smacked him. “My allegiance is to the Dark Lord,” I said firmly, glaring at Blaise. He shifted uncomfortably under my gaze. I guess I still had the ability to intimidate others. “The world he dreams of isn’t so bad, is it? A world clean and purged of non-magic atrocities. It is a pretty thing to think about.”

I of course, did not believe in any of this. But you would never know that by the longing in my voice, by the craving that I made in my tone. A bubble of guilt settled in my heart as I told these lies to Blaise, but I knew that it had to be done. If he would stand with the death eaters, then he was my enemy and I could not trust him. No matter how much I loved him, he was not on my side, and I could not let him intervene with my plans and my wants.

In this life, there were no such things as friends.
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