Dark Heart Silhouette
Pairings: Draco Malfoy/Ginny Weasley, Draco Malfoy/Astoria Greengrass
Word Count: ~28,000
Genre(s): AU, Angst, Dark, Drama, Romance
Canon: AU/Not Canon
Summary: In a world where Voldemort won the Second War, Draco finds himself in the fortuitous position of being one of the Dark Lord's favored. The love of two women will drive him to question who he is and what he has become, but it is betrayal that will set in motion the beginning of the end.
Author's Notes: I have taken the liberty of making Daphne and Astoria cousins instead of sisters, and Michael Corner is Astoria's half-brother through marriage. Also, endless thanks go to Sam!fiery_flamingo, Liz!amazonmink, V!goddessvicky & Kate!mugglechump for their beta prowess. I couldn't have done it without y'all!
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is JKR's sandbox, not mine.
1998 - 2001
The Dark Mark was a rancid green stain in the night sky and Ginny knew she should be afraid, but it was anger that sluiced through her veins. "Mum, let me go," she growled.
"You weren't supposed to come, Ginny. It's not safe." Molly's voice was firm as always, but her brown eyes were worried as she, too, watched the battle from the cover of the forest.
"There's nowhere else that I should-" Whatever she was going to say was lost to time as her breathe caught, muscles already tensing to go. "No. Nonononono."
Molly wrapped her arms around Ginny, tears blurring her vision as she watched Harry go down, watched her youngest son fall moments later at his side. It wasn't the way of things. Parents weren't supposed to watch their children die. "No dear," she said, choked. "It's too late."
"It's not," Ginny cried, though she sagged against Molly's arms around her. "It's not. We can still do something, we can still save someone. We have to do something, Mama. Fred and Ron and..." A sob escaped her, tears blurring her vision and the image of the dark haired boy she loved lying motionless on the ground next to her brother.
"Come now," Molly managed to say though her throat was tight with grief as she pulled Ginny away. "Come."
The curse had been meant for Rosier. Draco watched in rising horror, almost in slow motion, as the green killing light ricocheted off the deflection ward toward a mane of shining blond.
Her body dropped like there were no bones to hold her up.
It was painless. Draco knew his mother hadn't suffered, but as he skidded to her side and crouched down, the only thing that made any sense was the dark tide rising within him. Narcissa's eyes were sightless, the light of the curses flying all around them mirrored in staring blankness.
Something inside of him snapped, broke, and the black rage that filled him was a balm to the doubt, the pain, the failure that had plagued him and his family, the disgrace. Teeth bared, Draco's knuckles were white with the grip he had on his wand as he began to rise. Before fully standing, he had felled two.
There was nothing after that but the blackness, the red overlaying his vision, the pain threatening to sunder him, and death. A life for a life. Twenty lives. He would destroy them all.
There was nothing to see out her window but darkness. All the same, Astoria was curled on the bench, staring into the night. Every muscle wanted movement and everything in her wanted to do something.
There was nothing to do but wait, however, nothing to do but wait and see if she would ever again lay eyes on her brother - alive.
"Foolishness, Michael," she hissed to the empty room. "Dumbledore's Army was foolishness.." Her breath caught on the last and Astoria frowned, refused to let herself cry.
"You know there was nothing else I could do, Rors," came a soft voice. Michael shut the door silently behind him.
A cry slipped her as she scrambled off the bench and stumbled across the room towards him. "You're hurt," she said at his wince when he caught her. She glared up at him through her tears.
A tired laugh escaped him and he hugged her tighter still before setting her away from him, and it was only then that Astoria noticed the pack he had slung over one shoulder. "Where are you going? What happened? Mother and Father haven't returned from the Ministry yet..."
It was then that Michael's lips thinned and weariness seemed to make his shoulders curve ever so slightly. "I have to go, Rors. It's over, and they'll be looking for me, for all of us that survived. You'll be safe though. Greengrass is a name that will keep you safe."
With a rising horror, Astoria realized that it was over. Truly over - or only just beginning. "I'm coming with you," she said, moving away to grab her wand, to find a bag.
Michael grabbed her wrist, pulled her back. His eyes were haunted, and even through the dirt and soot banking his features, Astoria could see the fear in him at such a thing. "No. You're staying here. Don't leave this place. Mother and Father did not choose as I did and you are here, blameless. You'll be safe."
He gathered her into his arms then, the embrace crushing, and his voice was nothing more than an urgent whisper. "As long as you're here, you'll be safe. I love you."
Michael pressed a kiss to her hair, released her and was gone through the door before Astoria could do anything. She ran after him, but when she burst into the hall, he was nowhere to be seen. "Michael!"
She ran down the corridor, skidded down to the manor's entryway, but he was gone. "Michael! Don't leave me," she said to the empty atrium, her cry echoing.
"Come, young Malfoy."
If there was anything left in him, Draco might have been frightened. He should have been frightened. The only thing he felt, however, was hollow. Empty. His mother was gone and the blood of those he'd slain to avenge her still coated his hands, was spattered on his face.
"My lord?" His voice sounded dull and lifeless, even to himself.
"You have made the name Malfoy great this night. In my name, our enemies fell to your feet."
Mercury eyes truly focused then. Part of Draco - the wild, untamed Black in him - wanted to rail that it had all been for his mother, for his family, that no half-breed would ever command such loyalty. The tiny part his father's lineage claimed of him, however, stayed his tongue. It was not wise to voice dissension on the eve of a new regime.
"Come here. Stand beside your aunt."
So Draco did. He stood at the Dark Lord's right hand and barely stayed the impulse to fell one more. It was a pity Lord Voldemort was impossible to slay.
"Mum. Come back to me," she whispered, not for the first or last time. Ginny swallowed and pressed her cheek to the hand she held. Molly's skin was soft, but her fingers were limp in Ginny's grasp. "I need you. You're all I have left." Her voice broke. "They're all gone. It's just you and me now."
Ginny's gaze traveled hungrily over her mother's too-still features. "Wake up. Please."
There was no reply. There was only the drip of the potions, the soft 'tap tap' of the nurse's shoes down the hall as she made her rounds in the long-term care unit.
Anger welled in Ginny and she closed her eyes to guard against the tears threatening and she pressed her forehead to her mother's hand. "You'll wake up someday, Mummy, and when you do, it'll be different here. I promise."
She raised her head then, whiskey gaze finding the window. There were no stars in the sky this night, no moon. It was as if even nature itself bowed to the reign of darkness upon them.
"I promise," she whispered fiercely, gaze darting to her mother's serene face. "I'll make it right. I'll kill him myself."
The 'tap tap' was closer now and Ginny's head whipped around.
When the nurse stepped through the door, a tiny frown knit her brow. "Well, that wasn't nice, now was it, Molly," she chattered pleasantly as she moved through the room. "Someone left your window open."
"It was good of you to take tea with me, cousin," Daphne said coolly. The words were polite, but Astoria was not fooled; there was no love lost between them, nor had the friction between their fathers ever helped matters.
"It was good of you to invite me," Astoria said demurely though her dark eyes betrayed the spark of heated dislike and burned even brighter when Daphne noticed. The older girl seemed to take pleasure in this and her lips curled ever so slightly into a smirk. "I should wonder though, cousin mine, what the occasion is?"
"You wound me," Daphne said, the smirk tinting her eyes now. "You truly think I need occasion to desire your company?"
"Do forgive me," Astoria demurred before she took a delicate sip of the steaming tea in hand. Her mind buzzed with what her cousin might be up to, however. She had heard her Papa and Mother speak in hushed tones of her uncle Devon and Daphne and how they entertained those of Voldemort's regime at the Greengrass estate. Her cousin had never desired the pleasure of her company which only meant she was up to something.
A purposeful step and the hush of people about them at the Blue Owl drew her attention, however, and Astoria turned in her seat to see Daphne's father striding towards them. "Uncle?"
"Astoria, Daphne, come with me." His tone brooked no argument, but Astoria wouldn't have posed one. Something was wrong and if her loathsome uncle was the one to deliver the news, then so be it. She followed him out of the dining hall, Daphne behind her, until they were in the quiet of the atrium.
It was then Devon turned. A muscle in his jaw tensed and his eyes went to Daphne's. Astoria turned between the two and their shared glance only served to make the alarm in her ring all the louder. "Uncle? What is it? What is wrong?"
"Astoria, I'm sorry." He took her hand and she had to fight not to snatch it back.
"I'm sorry, but your parents are dead. My brother - he is gone."
"What? What... they were at the manor..." She pulled her hand back as shock sluiced through her. "...Nothing can get into the manor. The wards...?"
"They were infiltrated somehow. They were slain, presumably by the rogues still hunted."
"What!? No, no that's not possible," she said, dark eyes darting between Daphne and Devon. She felt weightless. She should feel pain, sadness, but the shock of the news padded her just this moment. "It's not possible," she insisted.
"No?" Devon countered, eyes sharp on her. "Why is that, niece?"
She couldn't say that it was because Michael - their son - was one of the so-called rogues. To share what she knew to be true, however, was to put both herself and her brother upon the pyre.
It was then the gravity of the situation hit her, that her parents were gone, and tears blurred her vision. "It's just... the wards... they can't be penetrated," she said, voice breaking.
Astoria felt the energy of the room shift and turned to see one of the noblewomen pass by towards the lady's lounge. It was then she felt a firm hand on her arm and moments later she was enveloped. "There, there," Devon said. "We'll find who did it. Don't worry, niece. I shall watch over you."
She struggled not to recoil from his touch and as his words washed over her, it was then Astoria truly cried.
Astoria's heels clipped against the marble floors of the Greengrass estate, anger evident in every quick step. Another echoed behind her, but Astoria paid Daphne no mind as she bee-lined for her uncle's den.
Manners were ignored as she pushed through the heavy door without knocking. "You must change their epitaph."
Devon turned slowly from his perusal of the grounds through the arched window. Anger burned in his gaze and the hard set of his mouth. "I will do no such thing, nor will I accept such insolence from you, niece."
"You have to change it," Astoria said, voice low and serious. She knew challenging her uncle was anything but wise, but she had to say something. What he had done to her parent's graves was inconceivable. "They were the proud and loving parents to a daughter and a son."
If Devon's features could harden any further, they did in that moment. "You will apologize now for your lack of decorum as a true lady of this household immediately, or I shall be forced to discipline you."
Astoria clipped further into the room, walked all the way up to him and tipped her head back to glare at the hateful man who she called family. "It must be changed. Michael must be added. I demand a forward of my inheritance. I will make the changes myself."
Devon's anger was expected, but the blow that had her grasping for a hold at the edge of his desk was a surprise. She would have spat on his shoes if not for the black spots swimming in her vision and the effort it was taking to stay conscious.
"You will change nothing. Everything is as it should be, and you, niece, will learn the manners my brother apparently neglected to teach you."
Astoria lifted her gaze as he moved by. Her knuckles turned white as her grip tightened when she saw Daphne's lips curl into a smirk before she, too, disappeared from the doorway after her father.
The wind whipped her hair across her face, but Hermione paid it no mind. Her gaze was fixed on the shore, the lights looking like stars themselves as the ship moved further away from the country of her birth.
They hadn't wanted her to go. In truth, Hermione hadn't wanted to leave them either. There were so few of the Order and Dumbledore's Army left, and they had to stay together. It was truly their only chance for survival.
But that's all it was. Survival. They weren't winning. It was only a matter of time until they were all found and killed, and Hermione was tired of watching her friends die.
This far-fetched hunt for a myth was their only hope. They said it was only a legend, but Dumbledore wouldn't have entrusted her with the book of so-called fables if the answer, their last resort, was not somewhere within it's pages.
It might be a hunt for fool's gold, but she had to try. It's what Harry would have done.
Jaw clenching as she fought off the tears threatening, Hermione turned her back on England, hitched her bag on her shoulder and secured Harry's cloak about her.
"Bellatrix tells me you finished off the last of the traitors in the dungeons, young Malfoy," Voldemort said as he paced about the fair man at the center of the hooded gathering.
Draco could feel the press of all their eyes on him, weighing, but it was only the Dark Lord's that mattered. "Yes, my lord."
"She tells me you have been merciless in your use of the Killing Curse."
Only because such was a mercy after what they suffered at the hands of his aunt and those of her ilk. What he said was, "Yes, my lord."
"Very good, young Malfoy," Voldemort all but purred. "I had my doubts when you failed to rid us of Dumbledore. You have come into your strength and your resolve, have you not?"
He had no idea. Draco resolved to live, however that could be managed in this new world. "It is as you say."
A please smile curled his serpentine lips. "You may kneel."
Draco did and wondered at himself - kneeling before a half-breed. The only thing that kept him moving forward was that his mother would have wanted him to keep going. Not like this though. Never like this.
"My will is yours," Voldemort intoned, wand passing from one shoulder to the other, binding.
"Your will be done, my lord," Draco said in return. Such a display before all the Death Eaters was an honor and yet the words were vile and bitter tasting as they passed across his lips, coated his tongue.
What were a few bitter words in exchange for life? For survival, for prominence in this new order? Narcissa would have looked on him in disapproval and Draco bowed his head further. "Your will be done," he repeated, jaw clenching.