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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 16: Chapter Sixteen - Restless and Running






The castle had never seemed so vast as it did now. Draco could see nothing through the windows into the dark, and his footsteps echoed a warning each time he turned a corner. He took every shortcut he knew of, freezing each time he thought he heard a voice.


The darkness of the corridors without torches or moonlight was thick; the stone illuminated only by the faint glow of rain outside.


It was in this darkness that Draco made his way to the cave from which he had come, unable to light his wand because of the weight that occupied his arms. He put Pansy down with some difficulty in a boat and slipped in beside her. The sharp sting of rain on her face did not wake her; the cold matched only by her skin.


As he circled the lake, Draco began to hear the faint sounds that he had left behind, but quieter this time, drowned by the storm. He ignored them and moved in the opposite direction, faster now, adrenalin in his veins.


He was almost to the gate when he was seen.


A figure seemed to appear in the mist out of nowhere, creeping in the shadows in much the same manner as Draco himself. Draco froze, breathing hard, beside a tree. There was nothing he could do without his wand. He dropped into a crouch with agonizing slowness, his muscles protesting, and deposited Pansy on the ground before drawing his wand. As he stood once more, the movement seemed to catch the figure’s eye, and their head snapped toward the tree, their wand flashing.


Draco ducked the spell and responded swiftly, forcing the man to dive aside before resuming his sprint toward the tree. Midway there, the man’s gaze shifted toward the limp figure among the roots, and he slowed, confused. The man’s distraction was long enough for Draco.


“Avada Kedavra!”

 





Flashback

 





Pansy ran.


She glanced over her shoulder and around a corner as she sped through the streets of Hogsmeade, avoiding any sign of light. The battle hadn’t lasted very long, but the number of fighters that had arrived to oppose them had surprised them. Every resident of Hogsmeade, rather than cower in his or her houses, seemed to have run outside in support of the Ministry, and the Death Eaters had suffered losses before they took their revenge. The fighting was dying out now, and Hogsmeade was almost silent but for the pockets of activity- every villager that could have had fled with the Aurors.



She was breathing hard against a stitch in her side, but other than that and a sharp cut across her cheek she was relatively unscathed. She kept her wand out and kept running, finally coming to a halt at a four-way crossing and turning in a full circle indecisively.



“Pans!”



She heard her name hissed softly behind her and turned around, but the darkness made it impossible to see further into the gap between two buildings. A moment later she saw a glow appear and grow larger as a cloaked figure limped into view.


“Draco,” she breathed, moving toward him and into the shadow of the shop next door. “Where were you?”


“I got caught up on the road with a couple of Aurors. What happened to you?”


Her hand traced the cut. “He almost missed me,” she said, shrugging dismissively.


“What-“ he started to ask, but fell silent as they heard footsteps approaching fast. Pansy heard a whisper and the light from Draco’s wand went out, plunging them into darkness. She felt an arm around her waist pulling her backward into the space between the buildings until she was pressed tightly against both the wall and Draco. She felt his back stiffen as a wand light turned around the corner, faintly illuminating four or five figures in Ministry robes. Pansy’s hand crept toward her wand, but before she could do anything more they had gone. She breathed a sigh, feeling her heartbeat mingle with his.


"Should we follow?"

"No," he replied. "Someone will take care of it."


Pansy slipped out of the tight space and he followed. She led the way through the shadows, toward the road that led back to the castle. All was quiet now, the frenzy of a few hours past forgotten except for the telltale silence in the abandoned houses.


The castle was aglow despite the late hour. Pansy and Draco, no strangers to nighttime, crossed the midnight grounds quietly. Her eyes followed the moon behind the clouds, remembering how much darker it always seemed to be when she was alone.


The castle doors opened without a creak, and they passed others, some limping, others simply looking harassed as they hurried through the hallways. Pansy led the way to her room.


Draco sat on the bed and examined his leg thoughtfully while Pansy took a heavy book from a shelf in the corner. She sat beside him and checked the index before rifling through to the spell she needed. Wand in hand and aimed toward the deep gash in Draco’s knee, she recited the words on the page and watched it heal.


“Better?”


 She handed him the book and allowed him to treat the cut across her cheek, leaving ivory skin unblemished. She went to the closet to change, kicking off her shoes as she went, and grabbing the first nightdress she found. Within seconds she was back, bare feet cold on the stones. She climbed back onto the bed and huddled against the pillows, watching Draco flipping through the book of healing spells. She traced a scar on his shoulder with her finger, shame rising in her cheeks, that even now she could feel the familiar, half-desperate restlessness stretching in her skin. She was nineteen years old, and so overwhelmed.


Her fingers must have trembled, because Draco turned his head to look at her, his gaze burning and perfect, his eyes blazing, and suddenly she knew he wasn’t reading at all.


She laid her hand flat against the side of his neck, urging him closer. They were young, too young to be tired and afraid and ashamed and guilty, but it was there, mingled with every intensity of being nineteen and independent and hopeful and determined. It seemed impossible that having avoided and teased and wanted for so long that they were still left here, living this life so separate from everything they had ever known and yet so intertwined with everything they had ever learned. Their perch here was desperate and impermanent, but still, they held on.

 

Pansy kissed him fiercely, melting to the insistent pressure he returned and falling backward, her lungs filled and veins pulsing with the warm smell of his breath. It was this, she knew, that promised her everything if she could just survive, this promise uncaring of oaths and eternity and permanence. Her shadows were not forever, could not last, because she had brought light with her into the darkness and could taste it now, in skin on skin, in sighs and breaths and demands, in turbulent silver lightning burns and the icy sting of boiling blue thunder.

 





London was freezing, but the rain had stopped and seemed to gather in mist that seeped along allies, forewarnings of the darkness that crept the streets. Draco had stopped beneath a dilapidated overhang, the cold seeping easily into him without a cloak. He sat beside a still unmoving Pansy, hands restless, sure that any moment the Ministry would swoop down upon him, or else that the yet unfulfilled vow would steal his life away in payment. The outlines of a destination had formed in his mind, but he was distracted and restless, his eyes jumping between the street and Pansy’s pale face. It was a few minutes before he noticed her stirring, her head drifting deliriously. Her eyes opened to the sky, slowly, and she used a hand to push herself shakily upright. Draco watched her, his hands growing numb where he gripped the railing of the stairway beside him. Her eyes swept the street, and then snapped towards him when he sat upright.


“Draco?”


Her voice was soft, uncertain. He watched her through shaded eyes as she moved back toward the wall.


“What did you do, Pans?”


She stilled, her eyes faintly luminescent in the gloom.


“What do you mean?”


He didn’t answer, only continued to watch, grey eyes fixed on her but still somehow looking through.


“They thought I told the Ministry.”


“What did you do?” he repeated, his tone flat.


“I tried to find you,” she whispered shakily. “Someone saw me. They thought I betrayed them- because they knew, Draco, somehow… the Ministry knew everything.”


She twitched, startled, as he stood with fluid speed. He strode a few steps in either direction, peering through the darkness.


“Why would you do that, Pansy? Why would you let them see you? Did you think you were going to spring me from the Ministry, Pansy, did you think you could just stroll up to any official and ask where I was?”


She was beginning to tremble, whether from anger or cold, he didn’t know.


“No, Draco,” the venom in her voice evident even when weak. “I thought I was going to find out what the hell happened to you!”


“I can take care of myself,” he spat at her.



“Evidently not.”


A growl escaped him, he turned and his fist collided hard with the wall in frustration. “You don’t understand,” he snarled at her, curled in a shivering ball on the ground, her back against the wall.


“I get it, I was stupid, alright, but what was I supposed to do?” she bit back at him.


“You were stupid, alright? It was my fault! I screwed up, I got caught, and this"- he gestured to her, weak and hurt and shivering- "is my fault!”


“Draco, you didn’t even-“


“I told them. I told them everything. That’s why they thought you betrayed them- it was me.”


He turned his back on her, his hands and teeth clenched in fury and guilt and sickness, at the panic he had felt seeing her so still and pale on the floor of that freezing room in the castle.

 

“I don’t care, Draco. They thought I spoke to the Ministry anyway- someone saw me.”


“Because of me.”


“I would still be there if it weren’t for you.”


The thought seemed to startle him and he looked around once more, as though expecting to see hooded figures creeping up the alley.


“We have to go,” he said tensely, striding back to her and offering a hand that she took, snatching his wand up as she went. He didn’t ask if she could walk; he knew she would be offended. She stumbled slightly and he tightened his grip on her hand, dropping it as though burned when she hissed in pain.

 

“What is it?” he asked edgily.


“Its nothing,” she replied carefully, trying to walk ahead, but he caught her hand again, gingerly this time, and pulled her into the light of a lamppost nearby, rolling up her sleeve. He stared in revulsion at her arm, covered in half-healed cuts, one extending across the back of her hand. She jerked her hand away, swaying at the motion unsteadied her. Draco leaned heavily against the lamppost; his eyes closed and jaw tight. She took his hand again and tugged on it, prompting him into taking the lead once more.


“Where are we going?” she asked after a few minutes had passed; she was starting to shiver violently despite the layers she wore.


“I have a vague idea,” he responded shortly, quickening his pace. They continued to walk, in silence, for a ways before coming to a halt. Pansy had begun to shake more fiercely, her feet unsteady.


Draco caught her before she hit the ground.


Swearing, he picked her up once more and looked around, reading the street signs beneath the lampposts. He took a breath, spun once, and disappeared.



 

The apartment was well maintained in a clean, middle class neighborhood. Doorbells were rarely used at three o’clock in the morning; Draco rang twice before anyone answered. The door swung open to reveal a clean-cut, young man, who stared in surprise at the visitors and the strange scene they presented.


“Draco Malfoy?”



“Adrien Pucey? You work for the Ministry?”


“Well… in a manner of speaking… you know the circumstances.” The man winked at Draco, who did know the circumstances indeed. The man worked for the Dark Lord in a number of useful informative ways- never marked because of the risk of discovery by his colleagues.

 

“You’ll need to let us in.”

 



 

In case anyone is interested, Chapter One HAS been rewritten. Please let me know what you think of the new version :]



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