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Sinners by ciararose

Format: Novella
Chapters: 18
Word Count: 39,570
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance, Angst
Characters: Draco, Pansy
Pairings: Draco/Pansy

First Published: 11/12/2006
Last Chapter: 01/21/2008
Last Updated: 01/30/2011

Summary:

Gorgeous banner by silv3r_ic3 @TDA





3 years have passed since Graduation, and the war continues. The line between good and evil has become blurred and wearied. In a battle that has changed each participant in a different way, can there be a beautiful side to evil? No matter how tainted or regretful, can love exist among the cruelest of Dark followers? Through love, grief, joy, fear, and death, this is not the story of the saint. This is the story of the sinners.


Chapter 12: Chapter Twelve - Misunderstanding







A grave mistake.

Oh, what a mistake she had made.


Mistakes weren’t easily forgiven among the Dark Lord’s ranks. Betrayal was even less openly received. Pansy Parkinson had committed her crimes.

The sight of the wands trained on her had offered no explanation, only confusion to a deep degree. But now she understood how she was being repaid for her pasts. For every action there is a reaction. For every curse, for every breath, for every vow and scream and sob and laugh and smirk and moment of weakness, of wanting, there was an equal and opposite denial. The time for atonement had run out. For Pansy Parkinson waited a hell equal to that which she had loaned out.

She had tried to live in the future, but the past had lived within her. Now the present had taken her future away from her. There was nowhere else. There were four walls, one window, one door, endless days, and one death for her.

She had never felt immortal, she told Draco one summer day, under a vaulting blue sky, under a promising sun. No, but she had spent her days as though she were. Only the night felt true: you could live through it as though the sun would never rise, but rise it did, casting light on all your imperfections. But now Pansy lived in a darkness that promised no light at the end.

And how ironic that it was really all a misunderstanding.





Flashback








“Pansy Parkinson. I’m afraid you’ve made a grave mistake.”

All of them had their wands trained on her, and a flicker of uncertainty seemed to pass through Blaise’s eyes at seeing her. Was it because of the hopeless position she occupied on the floor? Was it because of the rain on her cheeks, or the way she glanced so briefly at the broken window? Or was it simply because he was armed, armed against her, a friend, someone on his side who had saved his life once, and been saved by him?

Instinctively, she reached for her wand, automatically stretching out her hand in response to the primal reaction that gripped her: fear. Somewhere she knew that reality was shifting, but primarily she felt only disoriented.

That was when she discovered her wand, not with her fingers, but with her eyes, clutched tightly in the pudgy hand of Antonin Dolohov. Even as she saw it, the group seemed to move as one, into the room, toward her with ruthlessness in their motions. Pansy didn’t know what to do, there was no movement left in her. She glanced out the window again, thinking of the vast empty spaces that it held the key to. The fog was drifting silently into the room, swirling and trailing, and the only thought that occurred to her was this: she had no defender, no ally. She was alone.

Their hands touched her arm, and she scrambled to her feet, backing away, denying this present that was unreal and deceptive. She shook her head. She closed her eyes. There was nowhere to go. She backed into the window, knowing it was no escape. The fog encircled her, whispered good-bye in her ear.

She couldn’t hear her own screams as they encircled her, couldn’t hear their responding yells, she knew only that she was lifted off her feet, and for a moment the world was deaf in its uncertainty, but then the sound caught up. She struggled, bit, and kicked, she yelled. One elbow found its mark in her captors nose, she was dropped but she landed on her feet, and she was running, but more had joined in the chase, and she was surrounded on all sides by what she had been only a few hours ago: mysterious, menacing, cloaked in darkness. And perhaps the darkness had confused her, because suddenly there was nothing to see: she was limp, unresisting, she knew no more.





When next he appeared, Draco could sense only a vast amount of movement churning around him before opening his eyes. But the current surrounding him was made of people, rushing, chattering, and when he did open his eyes he saw that he was correct in his judgments: they had arrived at the Ministry of Magic.

The Atrium as he had seen it before seemed busier, less gleaming, more harassed, the products of three hard years of destruction and fear. Before he could assess more, however, the Wizard who still gripped his arm in a vise pushed him forward.

“Try to run, you’ll have more wands on you than gnomes in a meadow,” the wizard grunted, but Draco could have assumed that himself. If there had been any place to escape, it had been outside the decrepit building he had just left.

He was shunted along, and it took only a moment before a path began to clear in the crowd. Whispers could be heard fleeting from one person the next, whispers of his name, of his crimes. Within a minute he was the center of attention in the Atrium, the focus of a hundred burning, accusing eyes. Draco ignored them.

He was pushed into a lift that was cleared ahead of him by another wizard in Auror robes. Glancing to his left and right he saw that he was now being escorted by no less than six or seven Aurors, no doubt they had been present at the exchange of money but hidden, to prevent him escaping if he had tried. The lift held them all easily and it was a moment of almost peaceful quiet as it shuddered downward, into the very depths of the Ministry.

Draco was glad as they approached their destination; he was walking with a pronounced and painful limp. Looking down he saw, quite out of reach but still visible in the pocket of an Auror to his left, a familiar wand. His wand. It infuriated him to see it possessed so casually by another, but there was no hope of reaching it. He was propelled forward by the group around him, through a door, into a corridor that was gleaming white and a stark contrast to the filthy gloom of his last habitat. He realized, looking into various rooms as they passed open doors, that it was an infirmary of some kind. He was forcefully turned into a door on his left and made to sit down in a stiff but very clean chair. He didn’t question his location; he didn’t much care.

A uniformed man stepped into the room and spoke in low tones to the Auror who stood near the door. Draco strained to hear but caught only a few words…

“Filthy and bloodthirsty as usual, not that this one deserves any better…”


The newcomer approached Draco, who didn’t turn his gaze from the door.

“Let him see the ankle, you,” sneered one of the Aurors.

Draco obliged and endured several minutes of inspection before the man let him alone. He left the room and returned with a woman in matching robes, who held her wand out. Draco hadn’t even had time to contemplate his odds of obtaining it when he felt his arms bound behind the chair.

The woman tapped his ankle several times, murmuring under her breath. In a minute, Draco felt a warm and peaceful sensation surrounding it; it was healed. He suppressed a sigh of relief and lowered his gaze from the door, inadvertently meeting the woman’s eyes before him. They captured his interest; she looked at him not with hatred but with pity, and though normally it would have infuriated him, he couldn’t seem to care. Her eyes were brown, so lacking in their shallow observations, so opposite from tempest blue.

Although Draco would have appreciated a little relief from the other injuries he had sustained (not least of all the aching cut in his arm) the Aurors unbound his arms and pushed him to his feet. He was led back down the starkly white corridor and into another door, where he found a hallway that was equally clean but not nearly as bright. The walls and floor were grey, a uniform, dull color. Along one side were rooms with single doors and small windows, along the other were what appeared to be offices. It was into one of these that Draco was forcibly directed, and he saw that it, though clearly a cell, was the polar opposite of the conditions he had just left. A thin bed sat in a corner; the walls were unblemished and smooth. Through the window in the door he could see a stretch of an enchanted window in the office opposite. The sky had fallen.

Draco sat on the bed. Nothing left to wait for.





Flashback







The ball was pretentious and presumptuous and cheerful in its falsehood. But that was familiar, reassuring, all was right with the world as long as they pretended it was. They skated on ice so thin one could clearly see the turbulent waters beneath, but somehow it did not crack, would never crack.

And speaking of ice, there he was, sauntering in the door, frozen and perfect. He was deceptive, chilled, he was hers and not. He was not approaching her, infuriating her, tempting her, and just as she almost surrendered and came to his side, he turned, his victory evident in his smirk. She tossed a dark curl out of her eyes, he was coming to her now, his best clothing pristine as always, his own façade seamless.

He easily parted the group with which she had been standing. Pansy studiously ignored him, ignored the fact that she was always aware, of his breath behind her and the way he shifted his weight and the slow, careful fall of words from his lips. Millicent Bulstrode gave her a sly look, her eyebrows raised. Millicent was a sharp one; she saw immediately through Pansy’s carefully orchestrated stiffness. Others thought her slow; they were mistaken. Millicent Bulstrode was a watcher.

Now the music was rising, tempting, and groups of two were dotting the middle of the room, revolving, perfect, like the wind-up figures in a music box. Pansy was tense, sure that when he touched her she would be rent in two, but no, it merely gave her a curious contracting sensation, as though she were twisting. His hand on her elbow; her lungs were empty, angry.

“Dance with me,” he commanded, ordered and coaxed and suggested. She shook her head, turned away, twisting.

“I don’t want to.”

“Yes, you do,” he said, and she was convicted, convinced. Damnit, Draco. Let me say no.

He steered and she followed, perfect, a rhythm they had shared since they were eight, since he had refused to look her in the eye and she had doggedly stared at the floor. They would be awkward, they would be angry, they would be artificial and still, somehow, this fit. This combination, this pattern, perfect, as they would never be.

And then the figure, the hateful striding form. A man in black, approaching, alarming. He came to them as he had never done before, came to Draco. Here was the man they knew brought with him change. Here was the man who brought upon others the news of death, of destruction, and never before had he seemed so menacing as now, when his destination was theirs.
“Malfoy,” he said in a low voice. Draco was frozen, Pansy was stepping away, willing herself not to hear, and she didn’t, because his words were whispered, into Draco’s impassive but still face. Death had reached them, had touched them with fingers cold and scarring.

Draco turned away.

Pansy was frozen, watching as did others, seeing the man in black and Draco’s footsteps and knowing the truth but not feeling the icy mist that was fog to Pansy. The man in black was gone. Draco had walked away, and Pansy knew nothing but to follow.

Wandering, retreating and fearing and unthinking, she followed, her footsteps growing lonelier as she walked further into the labyrinthine garden. The sky was dark and bathing the world in blue. The moon was just rising.

And here, sitting but looking no more innocent than a stilled snake, was Draco, his eyes fixed. Pansy wished he was innocent; but knew that if he was, she couldn’t want him as she did. He was tainted. His shadows were more intoxicating than his lights.

She didn’t speak, because she had nothing to say, no words to share. Her dark blue dress rustled softly as she sat beside him, and her bare, pale shoulders shivered slightly.

“My mother,” he said in a low voice, and she remained very still, because she had known, known from the moment the man in black had turned his footsteps toward them.

She knew what he was thinking, what was pounding itself into reality with every beat of his heart, because she too had thought it, when her family had been lost. The world was huge, dark, teeming, a thousand times more threatening when you had no defender. It was so easy to feel abandoned.

“Not alone,” she said softly, and though he was stiff, his skin was warm when she ran a finger across his neck. He tried so hard not to look lost. He reached, his lips meeting hers, confirming them. He seemed determined to prove she was real. She invited, he pursued, their bare skin met.

Not alone.






Draco fled sleep. His eyes were open in time to see the procession; another like his, several Aurors and a man between them. Draco looked closer. The man was recognizable not by name but by position; another follower, another servant. The Aurors paused almost directly outside the cell, turning to consult with someone in the office opposite. The man looked around curiously, and Draco approached the door.

The man spotted him and gave a dirty, nervous giggle.

“They got you too, eh?” he said, his eyes darting from left to right. Draco raised an eyebrow.

“News?” he asked, in a cold drawl. No time for idle talking; surely the man would be moved any second, and Draco wanted information. Maybe there would be an escape.

The man glanced around again, making sure the Aurors were well engrossed in their conversation. He leaned forward, but still, Draco had to strain to make out his words.

“Battle,” the man said, with another nervous giggle. “The 16th, right here.”

Draco had no interest in battle unless it could free him, and by then he would surely be sleeping among the nameless outside Azkaban, forever a prisoner of the sound of the grey sea. But the thought that he had not been informed, he, the son of Lucius Malfoy… that woke suspicion in him.

The man was still speaking, quickly now. “Couple got caught a few days ago. Don’t know more’n that. Oh, and a traitor.”

From the look on Draco’s face, the man must have known he was curious, because he elaborated.

“Don’t know what happened, really. All I know is one moment all’s quiet, next moment everyone from the sixth floor up can hear the screaming.”

The Aurors were moving toward the man again, finishing their conversation with the worker of the office.

“Shame, too,” the man said with a leer. “Didn’t see much of her face, but they carried her right past me. Pretty thing, too. ‘Cept for that scar.”

He illustrated, marking a thin line from the bottom of his rib cage to just below his hipbone. Draco was frozen.






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