Title: The Rivers Run Red
Author: Bleeding Star Goddess (aka BSG) and can be contacted at Toqkid@aol.com or Satarian@aol.com
Rating: A hard NC-17
Challenge Response: The Scratched Hearts Challenge
Challenge Scenario(s): B) Assassin! Harry
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story shall take place in an Alternate Universe and will contain elements of Asphyxiation, Blood Play, Extremely Questionably Sexual Intercourse, Gore, Cannibalism, Cross-Dressing, Relationships of the Homosexual Nature, Major and Minor Character Death, Abuse, Original Characters, and Domination/Submission situations.
I REPEAT, THIS STORY SHALL CONTAIN VAST AMOUNTS OF GORE AND EVEN CANNIBALISM, THE SCENES IN WHICH THESE EVENTS OCCUR WILL BE DESCRIPTIVE AND GRAPHIC!
Summary: He is deadly, swift, and untraceable. He is also cursed. But when he gets too close to the target can he still do the deed?
The Rivers Run Red continued
Draco peeked out from behind the legs of the monk standing at the gates, gripping onto the fabric of the robes and blinking as more and more monks gathered around them. The sun was rising and the wind had blown away all the storm clouds and yet the pavement was still wet from last night's rain. The golden stones of the ancient brick walls and the morning glories and ivy that covered them still glistened with the dew and raindrops.
"Awbus?" he asked as he gazed down at the crumpled looking doll woman that was lying on the steps of the monastery entrance.
He raised himself on the balls of his bare feet. Staring at her pale and bruised body, her red hair was fanned out around her like a fiery halo and her pale green eyes were left open and staring at nothing, the gleam of life gone from them.
The ancient monk gazed down at him and smiled sadly.
"Draco, what are you doing here, you should be having lessons with Tom."
"Who is… the lady?" he asked as he tip-toed closer.
Albus sighed before he stepped forward and knelt down. He gestured for Draco to follow him and kneel down as well.
"Draco this woman is an innocent soul we could not save."
He tilted his head to the side, his blonde hair falling into his eyes. He heard a soft noise - a whine - and instantly he gently pushed the woman's body aside.
"Draco!" he heard one of the other monks scream but kind Albus stopped him from moving further in protest.
He blinked as he watched the white bundle shift and nudged it with his foot. A soft whine sputtered from the folds and he got on his hands and knees, leaning over the covered bundle.
He pulled back one of the folds and blinked down at the chubby red face. Its eyes were red and tear streaks had dried along the boy's face.
The wise monk smiled, his blue eyes twinkling.
"Help him up Draco, he must be cold, and we can save at least one innocent this morning."
Draco's small arms reached out and took the other four-year-old within them, he struggled to help him, the child probably wasn't used to someone of Draco's demanding personality. The boy smiled and started gurgling; its plump hands grasped Draco's fingers and began to suck on them.
"Eww! Awbus Harry's drooling on me!"
Albus laughed as one of the monks helped him stand.
"And how do you know his name Draco?"
Draco tried to pull his fingers away, but Harry would start tearing up so Draco just pouted but allowed the four-year-old to continue. He glanced up at Albus.
"Oh! He told me his name Awbus! He said it's Harry!"
Albus paused and gazed down at the two young four year-olds, Harry's sparkling green eyes slowly lost the rims of red and Draco continued trying to distract Harry so he could get his hand away. He watched as Draco's steel-gray met Harry's emerald and he shook his head. His smile saddened and he held back a sigh.
He would protect the boys as much as he could before their horrible fate was forced upon them.
"Draco! Harry! Get back here this instant!"
Both boys skidded down the tiled halls, towels and clothes flailing in their hands as they ran naked with peels of giggles abound. Draco gripped Harry's hand as they turned down a smaller, darker corridor and watched Nessa stride with haste down the hall afterwards looking for them.
They both backed up so they would be hidden more in the shadows, a hand over their mouths to quiet their laughter.
Draco jumped when his naked back touched something soft and he spun around. He blushed when he saw Master Albus smiling down at them.
"Bath time is it Draco?" he asked the seven year-old.
Draco blushed and Harry just peered up at Albus from behind Draco.
"Erm… yes sir and --"
"No need to explain my boy," Albus chuckled, "but let's get you into the tub before Nessa punishes you yes?"
Draco nodded and Harry continued to grip his hand.
Albus wrapped their towels around their bodies and took their clothes from them after they folded them.
"You know Draco, Harry, it isn't a very good idea to make Nessa angry."
"But sir she wants us to take a bath!" Draco whined.
Harry remained silent as he clung onto Draco. Ever since the boy had arrived he hadn't spoken a word to anyone but the other boy. But Draco reassured Albus that Harry did indeed talk, quite a bit in fact.
Albus opened the door to the bathing pool, steam spilling out as he opened the door to the small bubble filled tub that had been added just for them.
Draco pouted as he gazed at the water with distaste before he helped Harry into the bathtub and then followed closely after him.
"We're in now Albus."
Albus smiled and ran his hand through Draco's hair and then Harry's.
"So I see, shall I get Nessa and tell her she can end her search now?"
"Awww do you hafta Albus!"
He chuckled before he gently pinched Draco's cheek,
"Now now Draco, it isn't very nice now is it?"
Draco pouted after having rubbed his cheek.
"No sir, it isn't," he mumbled.
"And what is one of the Five Crystal Teachings Draco?"
"To always practice kindness and assistance to those in need and in hardship," he replied as if he had been forced to repeat it a hundred times before.
Albus smiled indulgently.
"Very good Draco," he patted both their heads before he went to the door. "Don't worry, I'll see to it that Nessa doesn't admonish you too hard," Albus winked and then left, leaving the boys alone for a few minutes before Nessa would surely burst in, a lecture on her lips.
Draco turned to Harry and smiled.
"Don't worry Harry, Nessa isn't so bad!" he leaned in close and Harry followed his example, "Its Tom ya gotta look out for. He'll go on for hours if you let him."
Harry grinned before leaning back against the tub wall.
He clenched his fist and took deep breaths to stop the tears. He couldn't let them fall because boys didn't cry! Boys didn't cry! He was too old to cry! He was seven and he wouldn't cry! Not even when the only adult who cared for you, took you in, treated you like one of his own died. Boys did not cry!
He heard the soft shift of cloth and a warm hand gripped his own. He glanced to the side to see Harry gazing at him, his own face screwed up as he attempted to not let tears fall.
The other monks were praying around the unlit pyre, tears in their eyes as they performed the hand gestures, the prayer beads wrapped around their wrist like restraint seals.
Tom- Voldemort he called himself now, was the new high monk and was leading the ceremony. He had shaved his head and had gone through the rituals that were required of taking on the rank, and leading the funeral service of his predecessor would be the last step, and then tomorrow he would name himself as the new high monk.
Draco gripped Harry's hand tighter. Things would never be the same with Albus dead, never!
He couldn't take it anymore! He had to get away!
He ran, still gripping Harry's hand. He pushed past the monks not part of the ritual. He pushed past the hands that tried to stop him and restrain him. Liars! All of them liars! They didn't miss Albus! They couldn't have loved him like he did! They didn't know the pain.
"Rude boys! Get back here!"
Lies lies lies lies lies lies LIES!
He ran and ran; making sure Harry was still with him. They rounded a corner and Draco stopped at a simple, nondescript door, panting for breath.
It was Albus' room.
He opened the door, it was always unlocked, it was always a place he could go at the very end of everything and anything.
He opened the door and allowed the cool wooden floors to root against the arches of his feet. Warm armchairs that were always squishy sat around an empty table that should have been filled with tea and chocolate biscuits. The empty hearth that was always supposed to have a warm welcoming fire sat like a giant's black stained mouth, the grates were sharp teeth waiting for the fire.
It was all so empty and all so very wrong.
The bookcase running across three of the walls was emptied, only small sporadic pieces of paper sat on the dust covering shelves. Another small nondescript wooden door was closed and lead to Albus' bed chamber; where, before Harry had come, Draco would go to Albus when his fear of the choking darkness gripped him too tightly.
He padded over to the door on silent feet, but he sounded like a clotting horse on cobblestone compared to the soft wind that was Harry's movements.
Draco opened it; the small bed with white sheets greeted his sight. It was so hard to picture Albus sleeping in such a bed, to even think of him sleeping, but there sat his bed, smelling of the lemon groves and cedar and soap.
The room was barren except for the bed and an emptied dresser.
His fist clenched so tightly he heard Harry give a small whimper of pain.
Not like this. Albus wasn't supposed to be replaced and forgotten this easily!
Tears slid down his cheek and he clutched Harry close to him as he sobbed into his hair.
"Not fair, not fair, not fair!"
Thin arms and a bruising hand wrapped around his shoulders.
"It's not fair Harry! It isn't! Albus is too great for this!"
Draco fell to his knees, Harry trying to bare his weight and guide them both gently to the ground.
"Why him, Harry! Why Albus!"
Harry closed his eyes and held Draco closer to his chest, rubbing his back in small circles. His own tears were spilling down his cheeks and onto his clothes.
They gripped onto each other, sobbing, because even if big boys didn't cry it was okay, because they were alone together and they could be little kids again just for a little while, just so long as they were together.
Solemn and quiet. Eyes of emerald and eyes of steel watched with bored disinterest as Voldemort lead the daily sermon.
"… the darkness welcome all to her arms…"
They gripped each others hands, black cloth sliding over pale skin. Harry never took off the black gloves, Draco's gift to Harry for his tenth birthday. They watched Voldemort from behind him and atop the dais he always made them sit upon during mass.
"She is the greatest power; she is greater than any light…"
All those surrounding them were new or forgotten faces. Voldemort had killed all those who had supported Albus that had not escaped in time. But not them. He and Harry were too important he had said.
But they didn't care.
Albus was dead, those they had trusted had left or died and neither had the decency to bring them along with them on the journey.
Be good boys, Voldemort had said.
They didn't care.
They didn't speak, not to the pathetic minions of Voldemort, and Voldemort encouraged such behavior, saying that it was alright because they were special, they were above them.
They did not care.
"And forget not what the darkness preaches…"
The five teachings had been altered, distorted, twisted, and the peons under Voldemort's reign allowed it easily, those who had been around under Albus' teachings were nothing but cowards as they bent over backwards to Voldemort's commands. The teachings Voldemort spouted were mockeries of what the true teachings were.
Always practice kindness and assistance to those in need and in hardship.
"Help only yourself to become strong no matter who you must destroy in the process."
Question everything, respect all, have faith in the light.
"Never question those stronger than you! You are but sheep, the strong your shepherd! Respect only the strong!"
Believe in the spirit to triumph.
"You are weak! You are sheep! The strong are your shepherd! I am your shepherd!"
Believe in yourself and your will to guide you and to lead you to the right path.
"Who amongst you dare think you are strong enough? If left alone what shall you do but wander aimlessly! Without purpose you are nothing but I give you purpose! The darkness gives you cause!"
There is always hope for the light, the good, the will of those who believe.
"The light is dead! Remember it is only the darkness that is strong! The light yields to the dark!"
And they didn't care.
Let Voldemort pretend he was important, let the braying sheep follow Voldemort.
Draco gripped Harry's hand that rested on the pew tighter; they would not follow. They were not sheep, they were children of the Five Crystal Teachings, they did not - would not - bend nor break to the twisted corrupted mess Voldemort spewed.
The mass ended and Draco and Harry got up simultaneously, the minions parting for them as they stepped down from the dais. They were Voldemort's precious boys, they weren't to be touched, weren't to be spoken too unless they spoke to you first.
The underlings gazed upon them in awe for Voldemort had often told them that Draco and Harry were gifts from the mighty Darkness, direct descendants from her unholy womb. And to appease those who had come from under Dumbledore's teachings he would claim that Albus had known as well, had tried to taint them with the light.
They allowed it, they allowed it only because they would never be believed if they said otherwise, not with the pull Voldemort had over the wool over their eyes.
"Harry, Draco," soft words like velvet tried to loop them, entrap them, but it always failed.
They stopped in the middle of the aisle and turned as one to gaze upon Voldemort in silence. He grinned down at them as he strode towards them. He reached out a pale sickly hand and Draco's eyes narrowed as he slapped Voldemort's hand away with a growl.
Tom… Voldemort gave a slight nod of his head in apology though his eyes narrowed just the smallest amount.
"Yes, forgive me, but will you boys please join us at the midnight mass? You always miss that one; don't you want to be with us in the hour when you are closest to your mother?"
Draco closed his eyes and Harry tilted his head. It was the same question every time after a morning mass and their answer would always be the same.
Harry would turn on his heel first and then Draco followed. They did not answer because it was a foolish question on Voldemort's part, they would not join because they did not care, and they never would.
"Ah, Dark children…"
Draco didn't even bother to look up from his book and Harry continued to "sleep" with his head rested on Draco's shoulder.
Lucius Malfoy, the only follower of Voldemort's that had some semblance of intelligence (however, he followed Voldemort so not much could be said for what little he had) stood before them, the simple monk robes looking fit for a king with how he wore them.
Ignoring him never caused him to leave for he was a patient man.
"Is there something you want Lucius?" Draco turned a page of the book, Voldemort had removed their ban from the Forbidden Library and so they never left it.
"I have a question for you is all," he appealed, his entire posture one of a man willing to bend but Lucius was not a man to yield, not even to Voldemort and certainly not to two ten-year-old boys no matter what the high monk praised them to be.
Harry shifted, his fingers gripping Draco's in a warning, Lucius was up to something again.
"We may or may not answer Lucius," Draco's voice was soft, a whisper.
"Could you tell me perhaps, why you have not rejoined your mother? Surely such mortal affairs have made you bored by now."
"Tell us why we should answer such a question Lucius?" Draco raised a single brow.
Gray eyes narrowed and met with calm steel.
"Yes us? What of us? What concerns do you have about us?" Harry turned his head on Draco's shoulder, bored and leaving Draco to handle it.
Draco waited; so long as Lucius didn't react they would not ask him to leave. But wait... there, the clench of a fist, Lucius was still a patient fool and they did not speak to fools.
Harry heard it first before he gave a slight jerk of his head as a signal; Draco nodded and then sneered as well.
"Leave us Lucius."
An order and Voldemort had seen to it that their orders were obeyed. Just the slightest clench of Lucius' jaw, so, he was gritting his teeth was he?
Whether or not it bothered Lucius he moved away from them and left the library. He took in a deep breath and then blinked as he came in the direct path of the high monk.
He bowed at the waist in respect.
"Lord Voldemort," he whispered not knowing if the Darklings could hear him.
"Ah Lucius, a run in with Draco again?" he asked with a brow raised in inquiry.
Lucius took in another deep breath.
"Lucius… walk with me…"
Voldemort held his hands behind his back, passing by the library door and glancing in, Draco was still reading and Harry was still "asleep".
"My lord?" he asked as they trekked further and further down the hall and towards the altar rooms.
"It is time to bring out the Darklings' full powers."
"They're full powers, my lord?"
Voldemort nodded his head and opened the door to the biggest altar, the dais was a raised circle in the center of the floor, candleholders were unlit but dried melted wax held them in place as the solidified wax was attached to the floor. The floors and walls were stone and the only light was the daylight that streamed past them from the halls.
Voldemort gazed upon the room with a sick sort of glee, a glaze over his eyes.
"Yes, their powers are equally destructive, but we'll bring out Harry's first, he will be the easier one of the two as he is the younger Darkling."
"When shall it take place my lord?"
Harry yawned silently as he sat up in the bed, he smiled at Draco's sleeping form in the other bed before he slipped out from beneath the cotton sheets and silent feet padded across the wooden floors towards the bathroom down the hall. He closed the door behind him gently so as not to wake Draco from his light slumber. He hurried down the corridor.
Suddenly arms wrapped around his waist and a hand covered his mouth.
He struggled and screamed into the hand, kicking and biting.
"Such a fierce spirit."
Harry glared up at Voldemort, still struggling against the arms that held him.
"Now now Harry, this is for your own good, and don't worry, Draco will join you very soon."
Harry screamed again and bit at the hand around his mouth.
"Can we knock him out my lord?" the unknown voice of a minion sounded behind him.
Voldemort shook his head and then smiled, the look of the crazed and the damned in his eyes.
"No, the Darklings must be conscious for this," he smiled happily as he spoke.
Every step of the way Harry struggled as they forced him down the hall towards the added altars.
"Very soon Harry, you will be so powerful, filled with darkness and once more adjoined with your mother."
Harry's eyes widened in fear and he struggled harder as he was pulled further and further from his room and Draco.
Every step of the way he had fought them, those who held him were bruised and bloody, he had even managed to escape only to be grabbed around the waist and hoisted over another peon's shoulder.
All-the-while Voldemort just kept smiling and chuckling and spouting such nonsense as "Such a fierce spirit, such a fierce fighter…"
They all congregated to the second largest altar room, the raised dais a square instead of a circle but otherwise the exact same as the largest one. It had the same scent of blood and tears that clung to the icy chill in each shadowed stoned corner. The same white-waxed candles were lit and made the room even colder and darker, throwing shadows everywhere.
He was held down to the floor by two men as two others strapped chains and shackles around his ankles, wrist and neck.
He snarled and yelled inarticulate words at Voldemort's smiling face. Around him the twelve other monks did not watch as they had begun to remove their normal dress robes and put on raven black velvet robes instead.
"Let us begin in haste," Voldemort replied as three monks helped him on with the silver headdress and then they gathered around the edge of the dais murmuring and chanting.
Fear passed through Harry's eyes, but only for the briefest of seconds before pain was the foremost in his mind.
Draco turned the corner, his head whirling left and right in search.
"Harry? Harry!" he called out.
A cold chill ran up his spine, Harry had never left his side; he had been with him ever since he had come to the monastery. They had never been separated, never! He had woken up in a cold sweat and looked over to see Harry's bed empty. At first he had thought nothing of it, but he had touched the bed and it was ice-cold.
"Ah, little Darkling…"
Draco spun on his heel and snarled at Lucius.
"Where is he!"
"Your dark brother?"
Draco charged, he lunged at Lucius and knocked him to the ground, his small hands around his throat.
"Where is he Lucius?" he hissed.
A quick look of surprise and fear ran across Lucius' features but he grabbed Draco's wrist tightly and then sneered as he sat up.
"Fore shame Lucius, provoking the elder Darkling."
Lucius nodded as he began to stand, still holding Draco's wrist.
"Forgive me my lord."
Draco growled as he fought out of the grip holding his wrist together. He kicked at him but Lucius just gritted his teeth against the pain and then spun Draco around, his arms wrenched behind him, his back flush against Lucius' body.
Draco yelled as he saw Voldemort.
"Where is Harry!"
"So very much alike, such fierce spirits… But don't worry Draco, you will be with him soon… with him and like him."
"You sick bastard! What did you do to him!"
"Come now Draco, it isn't nice to comment about my parentage. Bring him this way Lucius…"
Draco yelled and bit and fought to escape Lucius' hold on him, even with the pain in his shoulders surmounting.
"Don't worry Draco," Voldemort kept whispering with a grin.
He was being forced towards the altar rooms, the sick additions that Voldemort had added almost instantly after becoming high monk. The door to the largest room, the circle dais, was opened already, the door's opening a twisted mouth sucking him in closer and closer to the stench of blood and tears.
"Let go of me!" he screamed.
"All in good time Draco, all in good time Darkling…"
Lucius shoved him up the stairs of the platform and then once more to the center of the circle. Before Draco could run, hands gripped him and held him. He struggled, wrenching his arms away and yelling and snarling at the faceless, hooded minions that dare to call themselves monks.
Thick metal shackles that were laced with gleaming silver were strapped around his ankles and wrist and neck, immobilizing him to the floor.
He tried to turn his head, to see who was around him but only Voldemort was in his vision as the man loomed over him.
"You know Draco, when I took my reign and had killed all of Dumbledore's underlings, I was going to kill you too," he said softly as he knelt down by Draco's detained frame. "But then I found this in his library," he snapped his fingers and a large thick tome was brought forth, its cover split open to yellowed stiff pages with small forgotten text upon it.
"I had finally understood why Albus would keep children that had no use or intent to join the monastery."
His spider-leg fingers took the tome and flipped a single page back.
"And 'lo," he read, "two spawn of the dark womb, separated before birth and of polar guise shall rise to rule the earth with the darkest mother at their yield. They art the foul beast of children form but with souls surpassing the earth's deigned demise which they shall lead. The general and his serpent*** intertwined shall meet again and never shall they part. But weakened are they stuck with such mortal filth and so on the night of a new moon their powers must once more be summoned."
Draco's eyes widened, no, no Voldemort shouldn't have seen that book, it was the same book that spoke of the mighty cat and snake. This wasn't right! He struggled further.
"I am not blind Draco, I know you have read this book as well, had coveted it, perhaps you will recall this passage? Of all the animals in the entire world, there are but two so deeply entrenched in magic and mystery that the very utterance of their names spark the instant ember of witches and demons in the mind. The ethereal visage of the cat and snake, two distinctly different creatures allied in enigma, elegance, intelligence and immersed in myth. They are beings whom have been praised and disgraced, worshipped and vilified all around the world in all cultures. Their attributes and flaws are vast and chronicled."
"Stop it!" he screamed.
"Yes," Voldemort stood and turned the book back to its original page, " you are right, let us proceed with the ceremony."
"Let me go!"
They gathered around him in a circle, and he saw them start forming hand seals, as prayer beads were wrapped around their wrist like restraints. Endless chanting filled the air and one of the monks lit the ring of kindle surrounding him.
A look of fear crossed past his eyes before all he was aware of was infinite pain and a scream tore from his throat and bled him dry.
His eyes shot open and he sat up, the sound of metal bending and cracking as he rose was but a dull ache in his ears. He gazed down at what must have been his healed wrist that had earlier been rubbed raw done to the bone.
He felt cold, his blood was frozen in his veins and his bones were encased in ice. He needed warmth, he needed to feed. He stood up, the restraints around his ankles shattering and clunking to the stone floor. In his mind was a dull ache, things were fuzzy even though his vision was clearer than it had ever been. But was that true? Was there ever a time when his body had not been as it was? Yes, yes, he knew it had once been weak and feeble but pure and innocent.
He felt lighter, weightless and only the clothes he wore were holding him down to the dais. He opened and closed his hands; his skin itched at the tips of his fingers as if it was new. He twisted his head and heard the satisfying pop and cracks of the bones setting themselves to right.
He needed to find someone, someone who could warm him completely and melt the ice.
He took a step off the dais and glided through the door.
There, he heard it, he heard screaming. It was so close, as if it was happening inside of him. He headed towards the door from whence the screaming came and opened it, the wooden mass silent on its hinges.
There he saw thirteen black robed and hooded figures, murmuring, chanting, as they dared to bring their mortal hands close to the fire.
The fire looked so warm, so fulfilling.
But no, he knew he would find no warmth from the flames, he knew it by instinct. No, but he could tell that the warmth he needed pulsed within their veins, the greatest inferno was in the middle of the fire where rasping and hoarse screams emitted.
"H-H-Harry," he heard and he gasped.
He saw the figures turn in fear but he shoved them aside and then ran through the ring of fire to skid to a halt next to Draco. Strapped and bound to the floor, as he had been, bloody and bruised.
Steel eyes gazed into his and a restrained wrist tried to break free to touch his face.
"Harry," he whispered as Draco's blood pooled beneath them.
He leaned over his Draco and nuzzled the bleeding neck. Blood dripped onto his lips and he quickly licked it away.
Suddenly the fuzziness cleared from his mind, these figures were the monks, he was cold because they had done something to him. And in this fire, that flesh burning fire was Draco, being tortured, turned, changed, cursed like him.
He roared and screamed and yelled. He felt the skin at the tips of his fingers break open as his claws grew and sharpened. He cut his tongue on elongated fangs and the weightlessness turned heavy at his shoulders and soon he heard the sound of clothes ripping and a shower of soul black feathers scattered across the floor. And they clashed against the fire and froze the flames in place.
He brought up his wrist and bit away at the skin, pain never registering as he brought his wrist up to Draco's lips. His blood was taken greedily and then a matching, fiercer roar filled the air and he watched as the creature before him broke through the restraints and kissed him. Poisoned fangs met and clashed as a forked tongue wound around his. Glowing serpentine steel eyes sharpened and narrowed as a clawed hand ran through his hair.
They kissed again and he felt the cold in him melt away and was sure that the inferno that raged within the pale-blonde beast was being quailed. The fire around them died as it was sucked into both their bodies and as one they stood. Once the blonde beast had stood leathery bottle green wings broke through his back and he gripped the clawed hand that was not his own.
Glowing steel eyes locked with illuminated emerald and they gave fanged smiles to those who recoiled in horror around them. A feast was before them, and they were hungry.
Screams, they would be deafened by the screams of those they killed. With the exception of those that had been in the altar rooms their kills had been silent, quite, stealth, but then the other monks found the bodies and the beasts fed off the fear that filled the mortals.
He felt his body fill with warmth similar to the kiss of the creature he had found in the ring of fire but it was always fleeting, always a short ecstasy through his system. But they were not willingly seeking out these fearful mortals who so feebly tried to stop them with empty prayers. They were seeking out the monster that had brought on the beasts. They were seeking the blood of the foul sinful fiend that dared to call himself human, to call himself a monk.
They could smell his blood, black like tar and foul like sulfur. He was near.
As they turned the corner they felt their claws sink through the chests and throats of those that stood in their way, blood bathing them.
They were gods, they were demons, angels, the damned, they were beasts and mutants and they sought the head and heart of their creator.
They kicked down the door to the chapel, the place where the Five Crystal teachings had been spread, the place where Voldemort's dark masses were held at midnight.
Emerald and steel eyes narrowed and they hissed and snarled and roared.
Their creator stood there, on the dais, flipping through the pages of the book that had helped to create them.
They watched the monster turn around and gaze at them with a cold calm fear.
They both roared, eyes clenched shut and claws balled into fists.
They were not Darklings! They had never been Darklings! They were mortal! They had been mortal! But that monster, that unholy fiend had twisted them!
They stretched out their wings and had quickly appeared before him, they're flight could not be followed by his human eyes.
"Now Darklings…" he tried to soothe as he backed up, his hands in front of him.
"No," the steel-gray-eyed one hissed.
They couldn't attack, not yet, not until the first sign of fear, it wouldn't be worth it if they killed him and he still held his pride.
"You did this to us," the steel-gray-eyed one continued, his voice a coarse jagged piece of velvet. Poison slipped over his tongue and he spat it out, the stone floor sizzling as a layer was burned away.
"I made you stronger!" Voldemort growled, his back touching the table that held the candles and the prayer book.
Slowly the beasts started circling the monster. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
"No boys here," steel-gray chuckled, "only beasts, only demons. You killed us."
"I resurrected you into beings that you can be prou--"
The monster stopped as the steel-gray-eyed one commanded. Both beasts rolled their necks, the sick pops and cracks resonating in the empty chapel.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
"Darklings, listen to me --"
"No," they both chuckled though only the gray-eyed one had spoken.
No sign of fear, not yet, not yet, not yet.
There! A small swallow and the smell of urine! They lunged and brought him to the ground, their claws tore into his thin chest and pale skin like a blade through paper and they ripped out his heart and bit into the black beating organ.
They feasted on his foul tasting body, taking his black soul into their own flesh. They ripped pieces off of the bone and bit in. Their fangs shredded and destroyed the flesh.
They had to destroy their creator completely, completely and utterly.
They smashed the bones against the altar or snapped them open and sucked out the marrow. Their feeding was quick, the taste in their mouths rank, but they continued to feast upon the corpse of the greatest sinner of all, high monk Voldemort.
When nothing was left but shattered bones and black blood they danced around his corpse, naked and soaked in the last remains of their creator
He was dead he was dead!
They stood as one, the filth of his soul and the weight of his sins slowing down their bodies, but it didn't matter, they had killed their creator. They walked past the shattered and broken wooden doors of the chapel and into the courtyard.
They separated there, seeking out the last of the minions and the idiots that would meet their fate today.
Steel-gray stalked through the lemon-tree groves, the scent of a human surrounding him and tainting the sharp smell of the fruit.
"Come out come out wherever you are!" he sang as he slinked through the trees.
He heard the sound of a leaf crunch and he spun around and ran in that direction, the racing of a human heart pounding in his ears.
"Come on out little sheep!" he snarled.
He skidded to a halt and an ecstatic pleasure ran down his spine as he saw Lucius Malfoy trying to escape over the monastery walls and away from the slaughter.
He sneered as he leapt far above his head and landed on the top of the brick wall, gazing down at Lucius. He crouched down and waited for the man to turn his head so they would be nose-to-nose and eye-to-eye. The blonde turned his head and his eyes widened when he met the fanged, poison-dripping smile of steel-gray.
"Hello Luciussssss," he hissed before he shoved the man off the wall and heard a satisfying 'crack' as he landed on his back atop the grass.
He swooped down next to the man, landing on his feet and sneered as pale blue eyes gazed into his own.
"Are you lost little sheep, you must be, I killed your shepherd, ate him right up, heart first, flesh second."
A look of disgust and fear ran across those blue eyes.
"What is it you want?" he asked. "Let me live and I'll give you anything!"
Steel-gray tilted his head and smirked.
"Anything? If I wanted your undying servitude you would give it?"
"How about your name, would you give me your name?"
Steel-gray knelt down.
"What about your eyes sheep? Would you give me those? You'd be alive," he whispered, his voice honeyed venom.
Lucius gulped and nodded.
"Could you do that sheep? Give me your name, eyes, and freedom, all for your life?"
"Very well sheep," Draco chuckled.
He ripped out Lucius' eyes, a scream falling deaf on his ears as the human rolled around on the ground clutching his empty sockets. Draco stood and threw the eyes over his shoulder, uncaring for such useless items. He then put a foot atop Lucius' throat and dug in his heel.
"Come now slave, did you think I wouldn’t do it? That it was an empty request?" he 'tsked' and pressed his heel in deeper. "Don't fight," he hissed.
Lucius' body trembled beneath him, both in pain and in fear.
"Your life is mine now sheep, as is your name. You are alive at my whim… and you know what?"
Lucius gulped and shook his head as much as he could.
"You don't know? But can't you guess sheep?"
Lucius shook his head again, the smell of urine permeated the air and fought for dominance against the clean scent of the lemon grove.
Steel-gray leaned over Lucius a little, tilting his head.
"You are alive at my whim my blind hapless little slave… but what good is a blind slave?"
Empty bloody sockets widened and the prone body began to struggle.
But all sound stopped instantly as Draco smashed through Lucius' neck with his foot, coming in contact with the grass beneath the man's head.
He sneered as he wiped his foot on the grass and headed back towards the emerald beast that by now would have returned to the courtyard.
Blood. There was blood everywhere. On his hands, his tongue, his teeth, his toes, his legs. Just... everywhere.
A warm bloodied hand gripped his shoulder and he jumped and spun around, claws ready to kill once again. Emerald met steel and he collapsed into the waiting warm arms.
He was getting so cold.
The corpses had given him warmth, beautiful sating warmth that filled him and shot to the marrow of his bones. But now that warmth was going away. It never lasted long, whether it was one body or a hundred, or in this case, two hundred.
But steel eyes - serpent eyes, the knowing cold eyes of a dragon - they and the body they belonged too, were warm. It was that warmth that survived, lasted, filled.
Those warm, bloody arms - bloodier than his - wrapped around him and held him close, a greater protection than any of the walls could provide.
Claw like fingers, so similar to his own, linked their digits together, not shying away, not afraid of the carnage left behind underneath the nails and trapped in the cracks. Those eyes and hands were unflinching because the hands that belonged to those eyes were covered in just as much blood.
A blood covered face leaned in, those steel eyes closed and hot breath ghosted across his cold bruised shoulder.
"We've killed them."
He didn't know who said the words, his lips were numb, maybe it had been him maybe it had been the holder of the steel-gray eyes.
His hands wrapped around the warm body, just as the warm arms had wrapped around his.
He was scared now. Now what were they to do? Everyone was gone, they had killed them all. The cobblestones of the monastery were swathed with the corpses and blood of the slaughter yet the walls stood proud, surrounding them. The walls thought they were protecting the monastery from the world outside, the threat, the danger. How innocent those walls were, because the massacre came from within.
Dead, all of them dead.
Corpses floated in the ponds, were dismembered in the gardens, in the shrines, the libraries.
But the bloodiest copse of all, the one that he and the steel eyes had killed together, the corpse that they had even feasted on the heart and flesh like wild starving beasts, was the cruelest, was the one who cursed them, the one who made them the monsters.
Lying on the altar, destroyed and tattered, was the great sinner and head monk, Voldemort. He had created the beasts. He had brought on his own death by creating it.
His flesh had been vile, his heart tasted as black and charred as it truly was, but they had rejoiced in his death. They had danced around his corpse and had used his bones for toys and toothpicks.
The steel eyes, with their fire, had grabbed his hand when they had danced, just as they were holding his hands now - unflinching, uncaring, devotedly, assuredly.
Steel-gray eyes, the eyes of a dragon - he now realized - looked into his own emerald. He didn't know what the dragon saw, but he knew what the dragon knew.
Bloodied hands touched his face again, and bloodier lips pressed against his forehead.
"I will protect you."
The words were but a soft whisper, his Dragon's throat was still too sore from all his roaring. He smiled and gazed down at their linked hands. Their hands which were so very much the same, so bloodied, so dangerous, so covered, so guilty of countless sins.
He looked up from those hands, hands perhaps he would later hate and revere. He smiled into the steel-gray eyes that would look at him for comfort, for cold, for reassurance.
"I will protect you," he repeated the words back to his Dragon as he pressed his bloodied lips to the Dragon's forehead.
It was an oath, a promise. Through everything, they would remain true to each other.
He gazed back down at their joined hands and gave a gentle squeeze and felt it returned easily.
It was unspoken, they had to leave, they had to get out. Though they need not have, they both started to run, their limbs pushed to the limit.
As if nature agreed with them and wanted to see them to safety, the clouds opened and sheets and sheets of stinging cold rain hid them from sight.
He closed his eyes and leaned his head against his Dragon's shoulder, the world passing by in a slow sort of haze as the carriage pulled further and further away with an unhurried pace from the death-loomed Finnigan Manor.
Evan was dead, the deed done as they had planned it, prepared it. It had been flawless, without any hitches, any suspicions, Harry had the envelope of the rest of their "charity funds". What were beasts to care of the goings-on of mortal men and their children?
But he remembered the boy's crooked-teeth smile and understanding of a child that he was going to die. He remembered him the way he remembered the woman with the fiery red hair that he had laid about her head like a halo and the two neighbors that had stolen a pig from one another. He remembered Evan like he remembered all of his targets, with curiosity and sadness and with a tinge of regret. This time I'll stop, I won't kill you, you can live and someone else can kill you he would say, the part that had once been pure and innocent trying to rise again. But his wise Dragon would gaze at him with those calm steel eyes and shake his head.
His Dragon would remind him that they can't stop, that the target would indeed die by their hands. They had to kill, they were the beasts, for they were the sinned and the damned and the filth. They had to because their bodies were made of sins, and if they stopped killing, if they stopped taking their targets' sins when they died then they would die.
You can never stop for you are sin, you are death.
Harry was naked against the fabric of the carriage, Draco and he had torn his dress and corset to shreds to allow for their heat and cold to be gained, for the inferno and the blizzard to be lessened and nullified, and for the sins of a young boy named Evan to be shared between them. It was sweet, Evan's sin, simple, his sin was living.
His wounds were already closing, the bruises from where he had been punched and the scratches from where he was clawed already gone, only the dried crusty blood lingered along his skin and caused it to itch.
He opened his eyes again and watched as Draco examined the deep blue tulip-bulb sized jewel in his hand. He would roll it between his fingers and hold it up to the light, the rays of the sun catching it and cascading shades of blue against the inside of the carriage. That too had been another of Evan's sins, theft.
"This is what then?" he finally asked.
Harry closed his eyes, feeling his bones set themselves to rights.
"A last request," he breathed.
Draco blinked and looked down as if he had been slapped, although it was understandable with the words Harry had just uttered.
"Harry, we don't do a target's last request."
They only took their sins, made their souls clean, made them able to be allowed in heaven or to be reincarnated or to meet their gods.
The Angel felt his eyebrow twitch and his fist clench but he continued to rest his head on Draco's shoulder.
"Yes, Draco, I'm aware of that."
"I'll do it without you if I have to."
Draco shook his head, no, no matter how much they hated each other they would not abandon one another, not ever.
"No, now tell me what the bast--"
Draco raised a single brow before nodding his head.
"Okay, what was Evan's last request?"
Harry shifted so he was sitting on Draco's lap, digging his nails into the wrist that held the jewel, blood gathering beneath his nails.
"To give that to his governess," he purred while nibbling on Draco's ear.
The Dragon wrapped one arm around Harry's waist while the other continued to examine the jewel.
"The Hermione woman?"
Harry nodded before he released Draco's arm to trail gentle patterns along the ivory-skinned chest.
"One and the same."
"Tomorrow then," Draco whispered as he set the jewel into a pocket between the door and the carriage seats.
"Tomorrow?" Harry growled.
Draco kissed his way up Harry's neck and jaw.
"Yes, tomorrow, right now I have an Angel in my arms," he purred before he gently pushed Harry against the other seat and caught his lips in a bleeding kiss.
"T-Tomorrow then," Harry gasped.
"Yes, it will be spectacular Angel, our first and last request from any of our victims."
Of all the animals in the entire world, there are but two so deeply entrenched in magic and mystery that the very utterance of their names spark the instant ember of witches and demons in the mind. The ethereal visage of the cat and snake, two distinctly different creatures allied in enigma, elegance, intelligence and immersed in myth. They are beings whom have been praised and disgraced, worshipped and vilified all around the world in all cultures. Their attributes and flaws are vast and chronicled.
Harry and Draco shot up from their seats when the carriage jerked and the horses whinnied in fear. The scent of dirt and grime and blood of men permeated their nostrils. The sound of a pistol going off and shouts rang through their ears and echoed against the sides of their skulls. They rushed out of the carriage, uncaring of their nudity, they were not men and modesty was not important.
They had taken only a few steps along the dirt road before they stopped in stunned and horror-filled regret.
Nessa and Charles had fallen to the ground, blood pulling around and beneath their bodies and staining the golden dirt of the road a deep brown almost black. They're prayer beads were out, Nessa had drawn her dagger Charles his gun… They had fought; the scent of other's death, the warmth of a human life fading was pulsing nearby, but that didn't matter because Nessa and Charles were still dead.
The bandits that had brought on the death of the only people that they cared for and likewise that had cared for Draco and Harry had gathered around them. Were sneering at them but Harry and Draco only felt the inferno and the blizzard rise within them in willingness to their masters' whims.
"Ne-Nessa?" Harry called out the same time Draco called out Charles name.
They couldn't be dead, not strong harp-voiced Nessa, not gentle knowing Charles. They were supposed to be like Albus, they were mortal but would live forever.
The roots from the earth finally released the hold on their feet and they ran over to them and knelt beside them, checking their pulses but it was useless, a gunshot right through each of their skulls. No, no they couldn't be dead, they were like Albus!
They heard the click of guns and the unsheathing of swords.
"Now gentleman, while we're sure you don’t have any money or valuables on your person," this gained a roaring laugh from the twelve or so bandits around them, "I'm sure you have something in your carriage."
"You killed them," Draco whispered as he stroked Charles strong jaw with one hand while the other ran through Nessa's hair. Charles head rested in his lap, Nessa's rested in Harry's.
"Come now gentlemen, they were only servants," the leader 'tsked', unimpressed and ill-wary of the danger he brought himself and his men closer too.
The inferno was rising, the blizzard was growing.
"Why did you kill them?" Draco's voice was low, a purr, velvet and silk, causing the thieves to take a small step back.
"They fought and we -- We don't have to explain ourselves to you! Gold and gems now!"
As one Draco and Harry bent down and kissed Charles and Nessa's bloody foreheads, taking their sins and promising they would avenge them and send them to Albus.
The inferno dried the tears before they could fall; the blizzard froze them in place. They could not shed any tears for there would be no Nessa or Charles who would find bloodied and beaten and broken murderers and welcome them and sing them a lullaby even though they were men. There was no hot chocolate prepared for them and complete understanding at what they had been turned into, understanding and acceptance. There would be no harp-voice to whisper "It's not your fault" while strong and gentle and knowing arms held them as they screamed out in tears and rage.
There would be no one to roll their eyes when they answered the knock at their chamber door naked, nor sure hands that bandaged the deeper wounds after the both of them were welcome into the black abyss. Because those people were dead.
And their murderers were laughing.
As one Draco and Harry stood with the corpses in their arms, gently placing the bodies of their keepers in their carriage so that they would not be soiled by the blood they were about to spill.
The blizzard and inferno rose and encased them.
Bones were frozen over, marrow was melted.
Feathery wings as black as the soul, leathery wings as green as greed broke through skin and splattered blood across the earth.
The cat with her independence, her eyes, her nimble feet, her knowledge, and her soft alluring purrs as her claws and fangs tighten into her prey’s throat.
Skin receded along the hands and the chest as ice enclosed along the bones that sharpened and lengthened, bottle green scales arose around the eyes and neck and trailed down the length of the spin.
Black waves of hair shifted, turned, molded around the skeletal body like a cloak with the black beating frost covered heart showing proudly through the ribs, vertebrae rose up and long spikes grew out, razor sharp, leathal, starting from the top of the skull all the way to the small of the back.
The snake and his cleverness, his fangs, his hypnotic dance, and with his honeyed words that sweeten his venom as he ensnares his next victim onto his dinner plate.
The tips of the finger-bones lengthened, the ice following it and sheathing them, talons replaced hands and pitch black ram horns broke through above ears and through pale hair to curl around the head.
Emerald eyes glowed, steel-gray eyes turned serpentine.
They would line Nessa's and Charles' pockets with so much gold as that they would sink Charon's boat.
So, it is with the greatest and utmost care of Mother Nature to see that the two beings’ cannot tolerate each other and that they are unable and wholly unwilling to procreate with one another. For were these two beings - as magical and dangerous as they are - were to have a child, that child would be, and in fact could be, nothing less than the nexus of all magic in the universe.
They were the beasts.
But man, Mother Nature’s greatest folly, has always tampered with her most magnificent work. And it is this foolishness of man, to take the elegant cat and the clever snake, and combine their most deadly and magical traits.
1) He looked up at me and smiled, running his fan along my jaw = Oh just you wait to see what's going to happen if you continue
2) "My husband and I are very busy with all of our charity work boy," Harry whispered from behind his fan = Either pick up on what we're saying or we throw you out
3) Harry 'hmmed' and tapped his temple with his fan = Perhaps this is a trap?
4) "No need to go into particulars Lord Finnigan, we're just trying to figure out how much you need to put in for this charity!" my Harry giggled, fanning himself and signaling to me exactly what he thought of Finnigan = Finnigan is an idiot
5) Harry turned his head towards the window and fanned himself again = We'll do the job
6) I opened my fan and gave a slight chuckle. The hunger returned to his eyes and the meeting was set = I need you your heat and soon
7) "Madame Wind teacher, would you care to dance with me?"
I opened up my fan and started to fan myself = The mission is going well
* He'll lay the coins on her eyes for Charon so she can get across the river Styx = Charon, in Greek mythology, is the one who takes the dead across the river Styx, but you have to pay him to get across or you'll remain waiting on the other side of the shore for eternity or until someone gives you the money to get across
** Aeolos brood = Also Greek mythology, Aeolos, depending on the myth, was a demi-god and lord/keeper of the North winds which was the harshest and strongest wind of all
*** The general and his serpent = Harry's name means General of an Army and Draco's name means Serpent