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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 13: Chapter Thirteen - Traitors













When we are young, we are promised opportunity. Make your choice, child, go forward. We can never go back.

 

The future is given to you, the past withheld. There is no changing what you have already done. Pansy never learned regret.

 

Now, however, the past was catching up, consuming, delivering her the rewards she had sown. She had no future; her present lay at the end of a wand.

 

“You could be dead now,” the silken voice informed her, laden with mockery and rage. “Perhaps, when you beg to die, you will find I am merciful.”

 

His eyes, so gleaming and scarlet, burned her, smoking and drawing her gaze.

 

“I don’t take kindly to betrayal, Miss Parkinson. How careless of you. Did you think the Ministry would save you? Did you think they cared?”

 

No, she wanted to say, but she couldn’t speak. I’m not the traitor you’re looking for.

 

“How lucky for me that one of my faithful Death Eaters saw you meeting with your Auror friend.”

 

If only she had trusted, found the source of that instinct that told her she was not alone. If only she had listened.

 

“Death will come easy for you. Tell me what they know.”

 

“I don’t know,” she whispered, her voice hoarse and throat raw, echoing the screams that had reverberated here earlier.

 

“That is unfortunate.”

 

He raised his wand. The promised death did not come with it.

 

She had no future. She retreated instead into the past.

 





Frozen.

The sounds of the other prisoner’s footsteps no longer reached his ears. Draco could hear nothing for a moment, until the noise seemed to burst forth, deafening, confusing, his own heartbeat growing steadily louder and drowning in the noise of far-off voices, of footsteps in the hall and above, of water dripping somewhere nearby.

“Pretty thing, too. ‘Cept for that scar.”

 

The scar that had grown underneath his trembling hands, the scar that had saved her life the night he thought that she had surely died, her skin pale and blue in the candlelight.

“Almost.”

“Always.”

The room seemed smaller, the walls closer and the air thinner. Draco’s feet were moving before he knew it, but this time he wasn’t saving her, only sitting where there was nothing he could do. He had no questions, only a bright and resilient denial. Pansy, with her tempest blue eyes always storming, her voice that had spoken so many different truths and lies. Pansy who had denied him and trapped him and amused and coaxed and tempted. Pansy who always seemed to shiver with breathlessness when he kissed her. The one he had always meant to keep away and had failed to. Hadn’t he himself promised her this, given her this? It had been his wand that marked her.

 

He had, in the end, been destruction’s driver, as he had always promised he would be. Somehow her insistence that it didn’t matter had leaked into him, but now the certainty returned in full force. The poison that surely lingered in him had spread.

 

And it was now that he was glad, not for the first time, that it was so hard to sting him. He wouldn’t feel it, the reality that would tell him she was beyond his reach. He refused. But this vacant space allowed for another, more treacherous emotion to bloom. Hope would kill him, but it would not now allow him to perish. What if she was still alive?

For a moment, instinct denied him the option he was considering. Surely, it would be madness, suicide. But he was dying already.




Flashback




The nighttime was a dangerous place to live. For one thing, it offered both truth and concealment in equal amounts. Night lived by its own, darker, rules.

 

Pansy felt a faint quickening of the pulse. She was experiencing that familiar late-night nervousness, the inexplicable but not entirely unpleasant flutter of anxiety that came along with the disorientation of waking in the dark. The honest heartbeat that gave no reason for fear other than the truth that something was always waiting, that gave no reason for anticipation other than the truth that someone was always watching.

 

Next came the warm spread of pleasure in her blood, because she had, unusually, woken before him, so that he lay still beside her rather than waiting in the patch of moonlight created by her window. His skin seemed to radiate faintly, but wasn’t nearly as cold as it looked and instead created feverish trails where they touched. His silver hair was tousled with sleep and his eyes, though tightly shut, looked restless. She sat up, disengaging dark curls from his arms but allowing her legs to remain tangled with his, and the movement woke him easily, though his eyes remained shut. She leaned forward and spoke quietly to his ear, allowing her lips to catch his skin gently.

 

“Something’s happening,” she whispered, informing him what he must have already known from finding her awake. His eyes opened and flutters gripped her stomach again, seeing the silver not clouded by sleep. She fought to keep her breathing even as his hand lightly circled the smooth bone of her hip and continued upward across her ribs, following the faint line of injury etched there.

 

“Not here,” he said in reply, his lips at her jawbone. She sighed in delight, but the noise was interrupted by her breath catching as her arm began to pulse and burn. He stiffened, and she knew he felt it too. She started to shift, moving closer to the edge of the bed, but his arm entrapped her, and a familiar, half-amused, and half desperately rebellious look came into his eyes. His lips found hers, barely touching before greedily claiming her. It was a game they played; too see how long they could ignore the burn in favor of another.

 





It was the spark that often smoldered in him, one that wouldn’t burn itself out. Hope would consume him, if it was false. But he couldn’t destroy it, couldn’t drown the hope and turn instead to acceptance. Accepting his own fate was one matter, allowing hers, and all of the weakness that it would drown him in, was unthinkable. Her fate was tangled in his, because in her death he would find his own. She had kept him alive too many times, denied him too often, and allowed him more than she should.





How strange, the abilities our minds withhold. How much more powerful than magic is the misted world of our own perception? Tell me a lie, we command ourselves, and the lie soothes us. I am not here, this is not happening, it’s all a dream, wake me when its over.

 

So it was that Pansy felt death, knew she should surely die, knew that something within her was breaking itself, and still saw only the rain that blurred the window of her vision. Rain that could course tears of deception over her skin, so that the voice that should tear her in two was instead luring, coaxing her away, sweet and silver-toned.

Ready or not, here I come…
 
The curse never became any less excruciating, never dulled. In fact, the pain seemed to grow, as each time it was administered promised hours of ache afterward. Her skin would bleed where it had scraped in protest across the stone.

 
Tell me a lie.




Flashback




The Masquerade Ball had been a tradition for years. Originally, it was a secret, a rebellion by the children of the wealthiest Wizarding families, a way to break the cardinal rule of aristocracy: be aware of who you are.

 

By the time Pansy prepared to attend it, it had evolved into an annual gathering, with only one rule: masks stay on until the end.

 

So it was that the carefully embroidered, pearl-adorned mask was enchanted onto Pansy’s face that night, emerald green against her pale skin. It was this ball, this particular celebration that was her favorite. It was a festival of mystery, of falsehood, of imaginings. It was the only celebration of darkness.

 

Pansy’s gown, tight to the waist, where it flared into a full, elegant skirt, whispered softly as she walked alone down a long stone hall lit only with torches. From the end came strains of music, of promising tones. The doors opened before she reached them, and she entered the ballroom.

 

The room was large and consumed by rustling shadows. The torches flickered on the wall, casting the identity of everyone near into further doubt where it threw patterns on their features.

 

It was two hours of catching only glimpses before he came to her, quiet and prowling. Four others had danced with her, never noticing the fact that her eyes behind her mask did not rest on their faces.

 

“You were always good at keeping secrets, Pansy,” his voice reminded her from behind. She made herself to turn slowly, to leave her eyes where they were until her movement forced them to shift.

 

“Evidently, not good enough,” she said.

 

“If it were anyone but me,” he answered, with a low chuckle. “But I’ve always seen through you.”

 

“Why don’t I get the same privilege?” she asked, feeling recklessly freed by the darkness.

 

“I have a better mask than you do,” he replied, taking her hand to lead her to dance.

 

“Too bad it doesn’t come off at midnight,” she whispered resentfully, not quite loud enough for him to hear.

 





It was possibly the worst idea he had ever had. Generally, he tended to dismiss plans that would almost certainly lead to his painful and slow death, but he embraced this one, clinging to it as a dying man clings to the hand offered to him, as though to climb back out of Hell.

 

“You! Come here,” Draco shouted hoarsely through the bars on the door. The guard he addressed turned sharply, giving him a hasty appraisal before choosing to ignore the command. Draco growled in impatient, partially panicked frustration and kicked the door hard, rattling its hinges.

“Let me talk to an official, Damnit, or I swear I will blast through this door.”

The guard looked amused until he met the younger man’s eyes. They were wild, boiling with some emotion that Draco clenched his jaw to contain. The guard approached cautiously.

 

“What do you want?”

 

“I want to see the Minister.”

 

The guard snorted. “You’ll talk to the Minister whenever he chooses to talk to you, filth.”

 

He turned to walk away, stopping when he heard the young man’s snarl of fury. Alarmed, he turned back to the door, his wand in hand, before an Auror stepped from a nearby office.

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“He says he wants to see the Minister.”

 

The Auror turned a suspicious eye on Draco. “What do you want with the Minister?”

 

“I want to give him what he wants. I’ll tell him everything.”







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