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Our fears do make us Traitors

Chapter Text

PART II

 

Prologue

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Our fears do make us Traitors

 


“He had none:
His flight was madness: when our actions do not,
Our fears do make us traitors.”
– William Shakespeare “Macbeth”

 

 

 

 

 


There is a lullaby, a song, they sang.


From legends, they say, there are four.

 

 


There was the Creator, a God, they sang.

 

From legends, they say, he’s given them,

 

beauty

 

soul,

 

and

 

power.

 

 


There is a lullaby, a song, they sang.


From legends, they say, there are four.

 

 

 


There is Pestilence, a Plague, they sang.

 

From legends old, they say, he is the First and the Last.

 

He is the Conqueror, the Oldest, they sang.

 

 

 


There is Famine, a Starvation, they sang.

 

From legends old, they say, he Gives and Takes all.

 

He is the Fairest, the Emperor, they sang.

 

 

 


There is War, a Strife, they sang.

 

From legends old, they say, he Controls and Ends.

 

He is the Youngest, Famine’s feather, they sang.

 

 

 


There is Death, a Darkness, they sang.

 

From legends old, they say, he Chooses and Decides

 

He is the Seer, Pestilence’s feather, they sang.

 

 

 

 

There is a lullaby, a song, they sang.


From legends, they say, there are two.

 

 

 


There was the Creator, a God, they sang.

 

From legends, they say, he’s foretold,

 

The Conqueror

 

and

 

The Emperor

 

are

 

infinite.

 

 

 


There is a chance, a meeting, they sang.


From legends, they say, there are His favorites.

 

 

 

There is a lullaby, a song, they sang.


From legends, they say, there are four.

 

 

They say they had several lives and will have more.

 

 

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Prophecy of Pestilence and Famine by Samuel Krum.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 2



Who Opened The Gate



will be



Banished

 

to



the



pit




5 years later






Sometimes Draco still remembered how the piano used to make him feel.

 

He could still hear the sounds of the keys as he was pressing them gently or harshly. Could still feel the melodies, the lullabies, the songs he enjoyed to play.

 

He would imagine how his mother would’ve played on it. Tried to visualize it as his father told him from time to time.

 

Draco could still remember when he took off the gloves

 

and tried to touch it

 

with his bare hands.

 

He could still see how it crumbled. How it vanished like if it hadn’t been there at all.

 

Draco could still feel the shattered parts in his hands. The broken instrument that changed into dust.

 

He tried to imagine something else too, sometimes. Dreaming of it, sometimes.

 

What would happen if he could touch it? Would he enjoy it? It must be another feeling when a person actually can feel the keys.

 

Feelings. Touches. Warmth. Love. Happiness.

 

Draco used to dream of those. When he was little. He could remember his thoughts when he was ten years old. He tried to imagine them. A long time ago.

 

He could still hear the sounds of the keys as he was pressing them gently or harshly. Could still feel the melodies, the lullabies, the songs he enjoyed to play.

 

And he remembered

 

every

 

damaged

 

and

 

wrecked

 

piano.

 

Vividly.

 

Sometimes Draco still remembered how the piano used to make him feel,

 

when

 

he

 

wrecks

 

and

 

damages

 

a

 

person’s

 

insides.

 

When he feels the blood on his black veined hands, hears their hearts as they stop–

 

In those moments,

 

He could still hear the sounds of the keys as he was pressing them gently or harshly. Could still feel the melodies, the lullabies, the songs he enjoyed to play.

 

Sometimes Draco still remembered how the piano used to make him

 

feel.




 

––––––––––––––––––––

 



‘...those who escaped from that pit...’

 

He was looking at a sky blue-eyed man with dark hair, he was unrecognizable–

 

‘...nothing much bothers them after that, Pestilence...’

 

Harry saw birds. On the sky. Circling like vultures.

 

But they were not vultures.

 

Harry saw

 

hummingbirds.

 

Thousands of black ones and green ones and blue ones but only one

 

white.

 

Harry turned around.

 

He was looking at a sky blue-eyed man with dark hair, he was unrecognizable–

 

‘I’ve found something for you,’ he said and Harry saw a card.

 

It was a man with closed eyes and a peaceful expression, wearing a crown on his head.

 

Harry was looking at the card.

 

The man was holding a rope, choking someone with it, hanging them, as they were smiling.

 

‘What?’ Harry asked when he saw the man again.

 

‘You need to find it,’ he whispered with a grin and Harry looked up, seeing the little, quiet, hummingbirds.

 

‘Why?’ Harry asked and saw birds. On the sky. Circling like vultures.

 

But they were not vultures.

 

Harry saw

 

hummingbirds.

 

Thousands of black ones and green ones and blue ones

 

but

 

only

 

one

 

white.

 

‘Because when you find it, you will figure it out.’

 

He woke up screaming.



 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry turned into his Animagus form the moment he stepped into the forest of Durmstrang.

 

He felt his spine bend, his claws appear, his black fur grew out and when he was done he started running.

 

His paws and claws touched the ground, the mud and threw it and sank in it. Harry felt the ground – he ruled it.

 

He stopped then.

 

His ear twitched.

 

The marvelous and graceful panther looked at the elegant wolf.

 

Deyan.

 

Harry didn’t move – he stood like a rock and just stared at Deyan with his green eyes, with pupils that closed down into mere slits. Like a predator waiting for his prey.

 

The deep brown furred wolf bowed his head with respect.

 

Harry then bowed his.

 

Deyan always came with him for a run but Harry never knew what his deal was. After their battle, Deyan followed him everywhere like a lost child and wanted to be his friend.

 

Harry then accepted him. He and Viktor were driving him nuts, but he accepted it. Them.

 

Deyan raised up his head and Harry was looking into the red wolf eyes. It was like blood.

 

The wolf looked at the panther’s neck, came closer and touched it with his nose apologetically.

 

I’m sorry.

 

Harry let him and then gently shoved his head into Deyan’s neck, feeling the warmth of his fur.

 

Apology accepted. It’s okay now.

 

Harry healed there. But it scarred horribly. Deyan always apologized when they were in their Animagus forms because when Harry was a panther, the scar lines were more visible.

 

The black panther then started to walk out of the woods, feeling and hearing, as the beastly wolf followed his steps, like a shadow.




 

––––––––––––––––––––

 



“I’ve heard Gerard got out of prison,” Toni said in Bulgarian next to Viktor who looked at his classmate with a surprise. They were sitting at the grand table, eating dinner. It was a loud buzzing sound because of the students’ talking.

 

Harry sat on the head chair. Viktor – his second in command – sat at his right. Deyan – his third in command – sat at his left. They wore blood–red uniforms. Deyan was eating a big, bloody steak while Viktor was eating Goulash soup.

 

“Again? How does he do that? This is the fourth time he does that,” Viktor said in his language as well and Harry looked at him. He changed the most.

 

Viktor’s dark hair touched his shoulders and his brown eyes turned kind after all these years. The other eighteen-year-olds respected him and his fame because of Quidditch. But they also feared him.

 

He wasn't Harry’s second in command for nothing. He did also have the best knowledge in Dark Arts and history.

 

And Deyan.

 

People talked about Deyan, whose eyes turned into red after some years. The seventeen-year-old was Harry’s guard and his loyal, vicious, beast. And the only Animagus besides Harry in the school.

 

“Irina said that he has befriended with someone who has gotten him out. It was a big fire,” Harry listened to Toni. “He is one lucky bastard. He’s going back to school.”

 

Viktor grunted with agreement.

 

“Who was it?” Harry asked in Bulgarian with his serene, earnest voice. Toni blinked at him, looking at him and then looking elsewhere, a flush crept up his face.

 

Harry saw how Deyan flashed his eyes at Toni, who cleared his throat when he noticed that.

 

“No one knows, Lord Pestilence, ” he admitted in English, respecting Harry’s mother tongue. Then started to talk to another boy who was sitting next to Toni.

 

Harry heard Viktor snicker and when he looked at him, the older boy almost fell off his chair. Deyan was looking at his second in command with an unimpressed expression.

 

“Silence!” Karkaroff shouted and Harry lifted an eyebrow. The old man stood up in front of the podium and when silence fell, he began again.

 

“The Headmaster of Hogwarts sent us an invitation,” Karkaroff smiled like a vulture, looking at everyone. Harry remembered his dream and his eyes darkened for a minute. “Albus Dumbledore wants to unite the Wizarding schools all over the world because the time has officially come. A massive war is coming and we need soldiers who can lead our armies.”

 

Harry saw and sensed that everyone froze. Deyan’s blood red eyes widened as he looked at Viktor.

 

“Oh,” Karkaroff sounded pleased. “Some of you have already figured it out, I see. Hogwarts, Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, Castelobruxo, Ilvermony, Koldovstoretz, Mahoutokoro and Uagadou will have to choose their most vicious and powerful students for the Triwizard Tournament, where the winners will be the High Generals during the upcoming war,” Karkaroff eyes found Harry’s with a smile of a winner. “The number one gets to be the High Generals’ Commander. The number one will get the highest rank, the Kaiser,” Karkaroff looked into Harry’s old eyes and spoke quietly:

 

“I believe the other champions will need to pray to Mephisto. The Creator has given them over, indeed. For we have his Horseman, am I right, Mr. Potter?”

 

Everyone head turned to Harry.

 

Who

 

heard

 

the purring

 

in

 

his

 

ear

 

like

 

throbbing

 

drums.

 

And when hundred voice whispered ‘Lord Pestilence’

 

Harry nodded

 

and felt

 

as his invisible golden crown

 

started to

 

crush him.




 

––––––––––––––––––––

 




“This Triwizard Tournament will be different,” Blaise said to Draco whose fingers were twitching constantly. “Eight schools? High Generals? Kaiser? With four tasks? Are you fucking kidding me? I couldn't believe what the Headmaster was saying,” the sixteen-year-old boy said with widened eyes.

 

Draco was nipping his leather gloves, wanting to stop the twitching. His nerves have been mad since the cave.

 

Because he still hasn't found them. Not the locket, neither the Diadem.

 

And he searched the whole globe for them.

 

He couldn't feel their Horcrux magic at all and he started to run out of time.

 

Draco leaned back in his chair and touched his forehead with narrowed eyes.

 

Draco’s stomach clenched and he touched it.

 

He

 

had

 

been

 

starving

 

for

 

a

 

very

 

long

 

time.

 

Draco bit his bottom lip and ran his hand through his hair.

 

“They said winners! Winners! Exactly how many of them will survive the tasks?” Blaise was touching his face with worry. “They say our champion will be Cedric Diggory? I haven’t even seen the guy fight before, we are so dead! Rumors say that Mahoutokoro students are unbeatable in the air. People say Uagadou students are able to cast wandless magic. Koldovstoretz students are known for their creative torture methods and do not even mention Durmstrang – we are so fucked up!”

 

“Blaise, you’re worse than Lestrange when she has a torture free day.”

 

Draco raised up his palm from his forehead and looked at Theo. His hair was shorter – he cut it off because he wanted his fiery eyes to be seen more clearly.

 

Blaise smiled at him and stood up, walking towards him. Draco couldn't believe how tall Theo was. Blaise – who was taller than average – was not as tall as Draco. But Draco was not as tall as Theo. He bet there will be no one who would be taller than Theo between all sixteen years olds ever.

 

“You’ve been out for a week or two. Where have you been?” Blaise’s smiled turned know–it–all. “Finally found a right girl? Like a not–one–night–stand–girl? Staying–girl? After Meerin? And Coranne? Giselle?”

 

Draco rolled his eyes – will Blaise ever give up? This mess starting to get out of hand. He can’t make Theo to give up his lifestyle.

 

Theo glared at Blaise. “Don’t push it, Blaise. I’m not in the mood. I’ve just gotten back from Bulgaria.”

 

Draco raised an eyebrow, “Why were you there?”

 

Theo looked into Draco’s eyes and smiled widely. He walked towards the table and sat in front of Draco. With a flicker of his wrist, he grew fire in the fireplace.

 

“I freed Cousin Gerard from prison.”

 

Draco and Blaise looked at the other and said almost simultaneously:

 

“Why was he in prison?” asked Blaise.

 

“You don’t have a cousin,” said Draco.

 

Theo waved his hand at them and looked at the fireplace. “He owes me one, that’s the only thing that matters,” he furrowed his brows. “Although, I’m pretty sure he’ll get back there after a year,” he squinted. “Or a couple of months – well that’s going to be a problem he owes me ten thousand–”

 

“Theo, where do you have money from?!” Blaise exclaimed but Theo just waved at him, still looking at the fireplace, lost in his thoughts.

 

Blaise looked at Draco in distress. “Where does he have money from?” Blaise got paler when Draco shrugged and shook his head. Then, he froze.

 

He sensed Theo’s fiery eyes on him.

 

Draco turned to look at him and paled.

 

Theo was pissed off.

 

“Blaise,” Theo said quietly with burning, quiet flames in his eyes. “Could you fetch me some lemon cake and pasta? I got hungry...” Draco’s stomach clenched and he saw Theo’s eyes narrow with rage. “... on the way back.”

 

Blaise smile died down as he looked at Draco who nodded almost unnoticeably. Blaise bowed his head and then walked out of the room, leaving Draco with Theo.

 

They listened how the woods cracked in the fireplace, enjoying the warmth.

 

“You still haven’t done it.”

 

Draco held Theo’s gaze. “I haven’t,” he swallowed.

 

Theo was studying him with his fiery eyes and Draco felt the hair stand up on his neck. “It will only get worse.”

 

Draco’s fingers twitched. He craved for it. He craved.

 

I

 

am

 

disgusting.

 

Draco , It will only get worse !”

 

“I know!” He yelled and his throat burnt up. He looked at his black, leather gloves. “I know,” he said quietly.

 

Theo’s fire faded a bit and he sighed out loud. Draco knew that his friend was looking at him – not blinking at all.

 

Draco craved for it. Craved.

 

He started tapping his foot and touched his face, closing his eyes. Trying to steady his breathing.

 

“If you continue this fasting, eventually, you will–”

 

“I don’t have enough balance for that, Theo, I don’t,” he whispered and he Theo wanted to touch his shoulder but stopped.

 

Draco also knew that Theo hated that he had to stop.

 

“You will die otherwise,” Theo’s grave voice brought Draco back. “You will–”

 

“You don’t understand,” Draco whispered furiously. “You don’t get it, I won’t die, you’re not my kind, you don’t get it, you’re not–”

 

“Draco–”

 

“You think I don’t know what will happen if I continue doing this?” Draco laughed lowly, bitterly and Theo flinched. “Whether a feast or become a sin like gluttony, I will eat myself if I don’t do it.”

 

He sensed that Theo

 

froze

 

in horror.

 

“Then why don’t you?” Theo said calmly after minutes and Draco opened his grey eyes. After his fifteenth birthday, some little golden, glowing patches started to appear in his irises. He knew what that meant.

 

His magic will have to finish his body. As Famine. As his card.

 

That was why

 

his power

 

needed to grow out

 

faster.

 

That was why

 

he

 

was

 

hungry.

 

That was why–

 

“I can’t do it yet,” he said. “I have to finish the Dark Lord’s plan,” Draco looked at Theo whose eyes darkened.

 

And then Draco whispered with a cruel smile:

 

“You and the others still need me sane, after all.”





 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 




“You vill be the Kaiser, Harry,” Viktor said and moved with a black bishop.

 

Harry nodded from the table, at the other side of the room, while staring at Deyan who was sitting in front of him and was peeling an orange very carefully.

 

“I know,” he said and leaned on the table with chin on his two fists. He sensed that Deyan looked at him, sensing his distress. “I would like a challenge though, sometimes.”

 

Deyan smiled, continuing the peeling but Viktor snorted.

 

“Egoist,” Viktor said in Bulgarian with a little laugh and Harry grinned. He played with his ring on his pointing finger. If he caressing it at the right angle, a mini blade will stick out that can cut his index finger.

 

“Harry?”

 

Harry stopped playing with the ring and looked at Viktor. The older boy was holding a white king piece in his hand.

 

“How is your power?” He asked. “Your magic has to finish your body soon.”

 

Harry closed his eyes and felt the purr. The real tar and venom in his body. It had been the same.

 

“Still nothing,” he said, his voice getting quieter when he remembered the blue-eyed man’s words.

 

‘...Because when you find it, you will figure it out...’

 

Figured it out what? Finding what? Why? How? Where? Who was that man?

 

Harry shook his head gently, trying to get away from the dream, suddenly remembering something else.

 

“Why were you laughing at me during dinner?” Harry asked Viktor who grinned and looked at Deyan.

 

Deyan half–smiled and started to eat the orange. He looked at Harry and offered some of it. Harry took two little one.

 

“Thanks,” he said and Deyan bowed his head. Harry dropped one in his mouth and then looked at Viktor who was still smiling. It took him some years to smile like that.

 

“Harry, you see around sometimes?” Viktor asked and Harry furrowed his brows and then gave out a sound of enlightenment.

 

“You mean look around? Yeah, a lot of people do that, why?” Harry asked calmly and Viktor’s shoulders began to shake as he was starting to laugh again. The famous Quidditch player looked at Deyan, begging for help, who half–smiled and looked at Harry.

 

“A lot of people are staring at you, My Lord,” Deyan said in Bulgarian and dropped another little fruit int his mouth. He began to chew it slowly. “Boys and girls, but they are too afraid to actually make a move.”

 

Harry furrowed his brows, still not understanding. “Yes, a lot of people stare at me,” he changed to Bulgarian. “Afraid of me, because they can feel my–”

 

Viktor laughed again, touching his mouth to muffle some of it. Harry lifted an eyebrow in surprise.

 

“That is true. But I think they are more afraid of Deyan,” he said in his native language, snickering.

 

Deyan nodded with a dead serious face and then dropped another little fruit in his mouth. “No one can touch My Lord,” Viktor laughed louder. “They are not worthy.”

 

“Who is?” Viktor changed back to English and snorted and laughed at the same time and Harry couldn’t replace the scene anywhere.

 

“I haven’t met them yet, so I don’t know,” Deyan answered in Bulgarian with the same seriousness and Harry could practically hear as Viktor laughed harder and almost fell off his chair.

 

“What does this mean? Girls and boys? Staring? What do you mean staring but not making...a...”

 

Harry

 

turned

 

to

 

crimson.

 

Viktor seeing that, laughed so hard his voice cracked and Harry saw as Deyan looked down at him – at the floor, where Viktor currently was – and shook his head. Then looked back at Harry.

 

Who was still red. So red.

 

“I haven’t noticed,” he said and touched his face lightly, trying to cover some of the blush. He’s never thought about these things. Why would he? No one would touch him – let alone love him.

 

They would feel that thing.

 

Where he contained everything

 

he

 

has

 

eaten.

 

He was Pestilence after all.

 

They fear him by only looking into his eyes.

 

There was no chance for this kind of thing. But he didn’t need it.

 

He only needed to kill

 

Voldemort

 

and

 

Famine.

 

“Do not worry, My Lord,” said Deyan and Harry translated the language in his mind to his own. “If you do not want them to talk to you, touch you, even look at you,” Deyan’s blood–red eyes glowed, “One word and they won’t.”




 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 



Draco held the newspaper with shaking hands and looked down at it with widened eyes.

 

How was he this lucky?

 

‘Weasley Family go on Holiday...’ said the headline but that wasn't what caught his eyes.

 

The picture

 

did.

 

‘Peter Pettigrew you say, Draco? He’s dead,’ said his father. ‘A coward, useless man if you’re asking me with his right missing index finger...’

 

Missing.

 

Right.

 

Index.

 

Finger.

 

Missing–

 

Draco saw that rat in one of the Weasleys’s hand. He saw that

 

rat.

 

He will get Pettigrew – he needed to get him. If he couldn’t get all the Horcruxes on time, he had to get Pettigrew. He will be needed for the resurrection of the Dark Lord.

 

Draco has to get him. His head started to explode with his rushing thoughts.

 

The rat was with the Weasleys. Where were most of the Weasleys? At Hogwarts, where you can take your pet with you –– he couldn’t make Blaise steal it, he needed to get it himself –– he needed to go to Hogwarts –– but how when the whole world thinks that Draco Malfoy is dead?

 

Draco straightened his spine and–

 

The Triwizard Tournament.

 

If he – if he goes to a school where is far away from here with his father and his father could say that he wanted to hide him after the war – the school would take him in, because no one has ever seen Famine’s real face or hair.

 

But which school? Which one? When–

 

Pansy went to Beauxbatons. She could cover for him – she will cover for him.

 

And when the time comes, he will go to Hogwarts.

 

And

 

get

 

that

 

rat.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––



 

“Famine made the move,” War said while looking at Dumbledore. The old wizard was looking out of the window.

 

“What about Sirius?” Dumbledore asked, still looking at the clouds.

 

“Found Remus Lupin, just in time,” War said and cracked his shoulder.

 

“Everyone on their place, as you’ve said. You know what to do,” Dumbledore said, seeing the raindrops. It was like a black storm.

 

Soon,

 

There will be nothing but rain.

 

War nodded and then said in a cold voice:

 

“You know what to do.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 3



Soon



There will be nothing



but



rain.






 

They say, Famine and Pestilence were born from the same storm.

 

Black storm with lightning that brought shadows and nightfall upon the world.



Legends say,

Famine tore apart the sky and gave the sun to Pestilence.

Because his love for the other was more powerful than any existing creature on Earth.



Legends say,

Pestilence caught the clouds and stole the rain just to give it to Famine.

Because his love for the other was more powerful than any existing creature on Earth.

 

Pestilence loved the sun. The gold, burning star. He loved the humans and gifted them with it.

 

They told me a story.

About how the world shone with light. They say it hadn’t been that warm ever since.



Legends say,

Famine loved the rain. The cold water like blood. He loved the humans and gifted them with it.



They told me a story.

About how the world darkened with rain and cold. They say it hadn’t been that cold ever since.



But then, one day,

 

The humans wanted the sun more. The warmth – the beauty, the golden light.

 

So Famine, who was known by his greed,

 

stole

 

the

 

sun.



Thousands of Legends say how Famine is the fairest of them all.

 

They say, it is because the sun touched his eyes and burnt it with gold. Touched his hair and burnt it with white.



They say,

Pestilence was roaring with rage



He hid the sun from Famine. His pride brought chaos upon the world. Cold and rain ruled the sky and the land.

 

That was the day that sealed everything.

 

Some people say the legends are true and they made a phrase.

A phrase that a lot of people knew and used but only a few still understood the meaning behind it.

 

The phrase was made from the legend of Pestilence’s pride and Famine’s greed whom were born from the same storm.

 

It means big change or fatal decision:

 

Soon

 

There will be nothing but rain.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Beginning of Famine and Pestilence’s downfall, Chapter XII, Paragraph III, by Samuel Krum.



 

–––––––––––––––––––––



 

It was early September when Sirius got the newspaper and wanted to go and end him. Remus wanted him to stop – begged him to think it through but Sirius didn’t listen. He put on his coat and then opened his door – only seeing red, only wanting to avenge James and Lily, this goal was in his mind – that was what ached in his heart, begged to his soul.

 

But when he opened the door, someone was already there.

 

Sirius saw his black eyes and froze on spot. The boy looked like a fifteen–year–old with his baggy clothes and half–closed eyes. Sirius felt like he was supposed to remember him from somewhere. As if like he had seen this face before. But from where? On who?

 

His black eyes.

 

Sirius blood was pumping in his ears and wanted to look away but couldn’t. He looked like a–

 

A fiend.

 

The young boy looked up – soaking wet from the rain outside, which fell like hundreds of little dropping feathers.

 

The boy looked up at him and a lightning struck outside, making everything white for a single moment, shaking the world.

 

The youth smiled bitterly and bowed, taking something out of his pocket. The rain fell on the long jewelry and Sirius saw the locket when another lightning struck through the sky.

 

The boy caressed the locket and then said with black eyes like an abyss, like blood, like violence, like

 

war.

 

“I will tell you a story,” he said, voice rang like an anthem. “Listen carefully, because you have a lot of work to do and we have no time before he figures it out.”



 

––––––––––––––––––

 



Theo knew what hell looked like, he was pretty sure of this.

 

When his father hit him, when his mother hit him, when his father tried to kill him with Fiendfyre, when it got into his skin, when Theo burnt him like wood, when he saw his mother, as she chanted while peeling her face,‘ Asmodeus, Asmodeus, Asmodeus’ and when he burnt her up too, along with their house.

 

So yeah, he knew what hell looked like, he was pretty sure. But not just in this way.

 

Theo couldn’t forget the name Asmodeus. Couldn’t forget his mother’s crazy expression. Couldn't forget how the fire was him and he was fire.

 

Theo thought about it everyday, trying to slow down his thought process – throwing jokes, teasing Blaise and Draco – mostly Blaise because Draco couldn’t get any of his jokes at all –, having his business with his cousins, having sex with useless girls because none of them would love him anyway and he would end up burning one if he wasn’t careful and he did not want that at all. So he tried to think about something else but he has always ended up here. Again and again.

 

Who was Asmodeus? What is that? Where has he heard that name before?

 

Asmodeus, Asmodeus, Asmodeus–

 

“Why do you stare so intensely at your cake, Theo?”

 

Theo blinked and looked up at Draco. He was always caught off guard. Every. Goddamn. Time.

 

After Draco’s fifteenth birthday, his friend began to change quickly. Golden, glowing patches started to appear in Draco’s grey eyes and his hair was whiter and messier – especially over his brow where he began to ran through his fingers. Not to mention how he moved and walked around. Graceful, elegant, powerful movements.

 

He was hundred percent sure, that if Draco would’ve been born as a girl, Theo would be in a very deep shit. Not just him though, every man on this earth who loves girls.

 

The luckiest thing that has ever happened in his goddamn life, was Draco being born as a boy.

 

Theo looked up at the ceiling and smiled widely, grateful as fuck. “Thanks to God, for making me heterosexual,” he saluted.

 

“What?” Draco was as confused as ever, making Theo wave his hand and look back at him.

 

“Nothing, nothing, just talking to myself here, to be honest. Being grateful and all,” Theo said and leaned back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest. Draco also seemed -

 

sick.

 

Theo knew he wasn’t eating. He could understand why he wasn’t eating. It was one thing to burn. But the thing that Draco needed to do was… more inhuman than anything.

 

Theo’s back tensed and he narrowed his amber fiery eyes at the other boy.

 

“If you keep starving yourself  Draco, I can easily beat you up,” Theo said calmly but he felt the anger beating in his pulse.

 

Draco sighed loudly and slowly rubbed his neck, looking thoughtful. Theo respected him for that because even though Draco really had no emotions, he tried. He really tried. At least for him and Blaise.

 

“Theo, not to be rude or anything but one touch from me and you are–”

 

“Humans are burn easily, ya know.”

 

Draco sighed again and closed his eyes in defeat, knowing perfectly clearly that Theo would never hurt him. “Yeah, they can.”

 

Theo smiled but he was terrified to the core. He didn’t want to see a day where he’d be stronger than Draco.

 

That would’ve been meant his friend had given up.

 

“I’m not going to tell you again. You know what to do–”

 

Draco groaned, burying his face in his hands. “I know!”

 

“Then do it, for fuck’s sake,” Theo whispered and stilled then, waiting for Draco. But he knew he won’t make progress like this-this wasn’t his decision at all.

 

So, Theo sighed and let that frustration out a bit. Sometimes he really wanted to hit Draco. He was completely sure the feeling was mutual.

 

“Is going to Beauxbatons really a good idea?” Theo asked with a frown, looking at his lemon cake. I should finish that. He already grabbed the fork. “I can’t go with you there, I’m banned from everywhere,” he took a little out of the sweet delight. “Not to mention the high price that is hanging over my head.”

 

“There’s only one way to find out if it’s a good idea,” Draco answered, staring out of the window. Then, looking back at Theo, he narrowed his eyes. “I can take care of myself.”

 

Theo merely glanced up and then back at his cake.

 

“If you continue doing this, you won’t be able to.”

 

Draco’s eyes flashed with a quiet anger and Theo raised his hands up in defense.

 

“Just sayin’ you know,” Theo said, beginning to finish his lemon cake. After some silence, Draco spoke up in a whisper:

 

“You wouldn’t be able to go, even if I would let you,” he said. “You need to do something else for me. Quickly. Before it begins.”

 

Theo didn’t imagine the suspicion at all in Draco’s voice.

 

“What’s wrong?” Theo asked putting down his fork.

 

Draco’s hands wandered to his chest. His soul and Theo froze like ice.

 

One of the Horsemen?

 

“I think one of my kind has started something,” Draco said quietly and looked at Theo with severe eyes. Theo felt the blood turn to glass in his veins.

 

“You need to hide the Horcruxes as soon as possible.”



 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry was looking at a sky blue eyed man with dark hair, he was unrecognizable–

 

“I know something you don’t,” he said and Harry saw a card.

 

It was a man with closed eyes and a peaceful expression, wearing a crown on his head.

 

Harry was looking at the card.

 

The man was holding a rope, choking someone with it, hanging them, as they were smiling.

 

‘What?’ Harry asked when he saw the man again.

 

The scene changed around them.

 

Harry saw white roses all around the field. The sky was also white and Harry knelt down and touched some of the flowers, admiring them. His eyes followed the petals as the wind danced them through the air.

 

“A long time ago, you’d’ve touched Heaven,” whispered the man with a sad smile and Harry froze. A lot of petals fell from the white roses – all at once.

 

Then he saw something.

 

A memory.

 

Of him.

 

Someone’s hands – catching clouds, begging to be up there.

 

His hands.

 

Harry saw that someone pushed him down. He was falling.

 

“None of us could do that but you and the rest of us never wanted to,” said the man. “For a very good reason, I might add. But you did it anyway, you wanted to be the only one. You always wanted to be the only one.”

 

Harry looked up at him and the white roses started to wither and yellow.

 

“Why?”

 

Harry was looking at a sky blue eyed man with dark hair, he was unrecognizable–

 

“You see, because you touched Heaven,” he whispered kneeling down, looking at Harry. “You were sent to the pit. Because of you, all of us were sent there.”

 

Harry felt the white petals rot in his hands, turn dry like paper.

 

“What pit?” He asked and the man took out the petals of his hands and touched it – gave them life, recolored them with white along with a little smile.

 

“A pit where the seals were being held, a pit that is ruled by darkness and silence,” he whispered, letting the petals fall down on the withered white roses.

 

“Were? Seals?” Harry asked and noticed that the flowers were starting to disappear.

 

The sky blue eyed man nodded and looked at the mud, that was starting to appear above them.

 

“Four seals had been broken already,” he glanced up and Harry saw a card.  It was a man with closed eyes and a peaceful expression, wearing a crown on his head. Harry was looking at the card. The man was holding a rope, choking someone with it, hanging them, as they were smiling.

 

“Pestilence,” he held up one finger.“War,” another one. “Famine,” another one. “Death,” the last finger. “The fifth, sixth and seventh are not broken yet.”

 

Harry was in mud. Disgusting, dirt, filth and flies were circling everywhere like a Plague.

 

“This is what’s happening every time,” the man whispered. “The seals are broken and the end of the world begins. Every time when we’re reincarnating.”

 

Harry was drowning in the mud. He felt it everywhere, it got into his eyes but he did not feel it. It was if nothing was happening to him in that moment, he looked at the sky blue eyed man with absolute calmness.

 

“Why? Why does this happen every time, like a cycle?” He whispered and an ancient being in his body smiled with black blood in his mouth.

 

The man looked at him with grim eyes.

 

“We don’t know. The only one who knows is you.”

 

Harry’s eyes widened and the mud was only pulling him down and down–

 

“Why?” He was dying, he was dying, he was–

 

“Because you are the one who breaks them.”

 

Harry woke up with a heart wrenching scream, only to sense that the ancient being in him, grinned with rage and madness, whispering his name again and again and again and again–

 

Harry covered his ears.



 

––––––––––––––––––––––



 

“We know for a fact zat you are Famine, dear,” Madame Olympe Maxime said with a voice like venom and marchpane.

 

Draco froze.

 

His father next to him, could not even move.

 

Draco gripped the arms of his chair and narrowed his eyes at the Headmistress of Beauxbatons. He was not–

 

“What are you–”

 

“A young boy ‘as visited us, described you perfectly and said you will be ‘ere in a couple of days,” the tall woman smiled and leaned forward. “I couldn't believe ‘im at all, but zen, ‘ere we are. It is most interesting.”

 

Young boy?

 

Draco blinked and blinked, couldn't believe her, couldn’t believe anything at all–

 

“Don’t panic sweet’eart,” the tall woman said to him and then looked at Lucius. “We’re going to take ‘im in – not saying a word to anuzzer person at all, keeping ze story zat you ‘ave made up, keeping ze secret to ourselves – but wit’ only one condition.”

 

Lucius gripped his cane and raised his head. “What condition?”

 

She tilted her head, her hair brushed the base of her neck. Draco felt he had walked into a trap.

 

Someone wanted this, wanted me to be here–

 

That boy knew what he was doing – he must have persuaded the Madam, controlled her to agree with this– control.

 

Someone knows how I think, someone is controlling me, knows what I–

 

Draco’s eyes widened. He remembered how his soul twisted the other day.

 

“...There is War, a Strife...he Controls and Ends...”

 

He narrowed his eyes, feeling a quiet rage grow upon him.

 

War.

 

Who was supposed to be on his side.

 

“The boy said ‘e needs to attend as our champion for ze Triwizard Tournament,” said the woman and flicked her wrist. ‘E said zat ‘e will do it because ‘e want some’ing zat much. ‘E also said zat zere is no any ozer way. ”

 

Draco narrowed his eyes, hearing his heart beat in his throat–

 

War got me.

 

He got me good.

 

“He is right. Very well then,” Draco said and looked up at her. He needed that rat, he needed Pettigrew, he needed to bring back the Dark Lord–

 

He could win it.

 

There will be no one as powerful as him.

 

He can win it and then rise with Voldemort.

 

After all,

 

War

 

was

 

on

 

his

 

side.

 

“I will be your champion.”



 

–––––––––––––––––––––



 

“You look distressed.”

 

Albus didn’t look at his brother just hummed slowly. He rubbed his fingers, feeling the old skin of his. Old. He smiled with tired eyes and finally glanced at Aberforth.

 

“The world is dark and light is precious,” he said and hummed again. He felt Aberforth’s eyes on him.

 

“You’re thinking about Pestilence again, aren’t you?” Aberforth stated. It was not a question and Albus sighed.

 

“You are the only one who sees through me,” he said with a smile and nodded. “I just feel the silence before the storm. A big silence.”

 

Aberforth studied him with his blue eyes and then nodded. “A big storm, eh?” His brother shook his head. “War knows what he’s doing, Albus.”

 

Albus nodded and touched his warm cup of tea. “That is why I’m in–”

 

“Distress?” Aberforth smiled and stared at Albus’s phoenix, Fawkes. The red, golden creature looked at the clouds through the window. Albus knew why. He was sure everybody knew why.

 

“Only a matter of days until they meet.”

 

Albus Dumbledore’s eyes turned hopeful and grim all at once. He raised his cup and a lightning struck the sky.

 

Dies Irae , Aberforth,” Albus said in a low tone. “For soon, there will be nothing but rain.”



 

–––––––––––––––

 

 

War was looking at the map and smiled as he moved the Queen forward to France.

He then looked at Bulgaria, where the King stood with his might.

 

He put together the palm of his hands and leaned back in his chair. Looking at the Queen and the King, making invisible movements as if he was sharpening a sword.

 

Dies Irae ,” he whispered.



 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Legends say,

 

After the sun being hidden, Pestilence wanted to tear down the stars, the wings of the angels,

 

He touched Heaven and was pushed down to captivity.

 

They say,

 

Pestilence was in the dark, in the silence, for thousands of years with Famine in that pit, for they were the only seals that existed yet, the only Horsemen at that time.

 

Songs had been written of their suffering,

 

How they killed each other over and over again because of their rage for the other – because they couldn’t bear to hear the other’s cry and scream and because they were not able to kill themselves.

 

They say,

 

Pestilence turned mad because of the pain.

 

They say,

 

he had killed Famine so many times in his blood red wrath that an enraged grin froze on his face.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Beginning of Famine and Pestilence’s downfall, Chapter XIII, Paragraph I, by Samuel Krum.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4



The Fairest

 

of

 

them

 

all





 

Legends say,

 

Famine’s beauty started millions of wars and rebellions.



They say,

 

white roses bloomed in his hands, gold feathers glowed in his eyes and his skin was made from winter itself.



Legends say,

 

People worshipped him, fought for his hand, his love – slaughtered thousands of men for him.

 

But

 

There is an old rhyme,

which calms the ears of old and young,

for Famine

belonged to no man,

but one.

Pestilence,

who

ruled

them

all



– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Famine, Chapter I, Paragraph II, by Samuel Krum.



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

Everybody was staring at him after he walked into the hall, after the madam said his name after he was asked to sit somewhere. His deep blue cloak swept the grey carpet as he was walking down the circular stairs. The natural, white light, that is infiltrated through the big, stained–glass windows, shone on Draco’s white hair and on his elegant white shirt underneath his dark blue velvet. His eyes were half-lidded, concentrating not to fall because he couldn’t see his left side.

 

When he stopped, at the end of the stairs, he was waiting. Waited for the shouts to come, because this – to them – seemed unfair. Why would a champion be a new person? A new student they knew nothing about?

 

That’s what Draco thought.

 

And yes, the shouting suddenly started all the same,

 

But not because of the thing he had been expecting.

 

Almost everybody stood up from their table, waving their hands at Draco.

 

“You can sit here!”

 

“Please, come here!”

 

“You can sit next to me!”

 

Draco didn’t know where he should turn at all because the voices kept coming and coming and in the end he was starting to walk out, not sitting anywhere, but then he heard a voice pierce the noise.

 

“Come here.”

 

Draco knew that voice.

 

“...I’ve never seen a monster like you...”

 

Pansy.

 

But why would this thing appear in front of him? Not another thing but this?

 

But before Draco knew, he was walking towards the girl, sitting down next to her. The boys and girls around them were looking at Draco – his eyes, his hair, his face, his neck–

 

Draco’s glared at them and they slightly looked away. He knew he was... attractive but this was too much. His fingers beneath his black gloves were fidgeting enough already.

They started asking questions – where were you? How did you come here? Why did come here? And so on and so on and Draco answered with lies to all of them. He knew Pansy was looking at him the whole time.

 

He knew, that the two of them needed to talk.



 

–––––––––––––––––

 



Harry was in the dark, completely naked and skin bare and there was nothing around him but black blood.

 

The warm liquid touched his skin – painted him and he felt the nausea choke his throat.

 

Then, he looked forward,

 

seeing

 

himself.

 

But that him didn’t look like him. He was older, quieter, and naked as well.

 

Then he turned around and Harry froze at that grin. The eyes – those old eyes. He wanted to hide, he wanted to hide, he wanted to hide–

 

“Hello,” Harry whimpered because of that voice – it was nothing like him, nothing like him, nothing like–

 

“You will be quite the sight in a couple of years, Harry. Like royalty,” he appeared behind him – he couldn’t even see the older him get behind him. “After all, I started to change your appearance a bit already – you have my eyes, you know,” his older self kissed his neck and Harry

 

could

 

not

 

move.

 

Harry felt the disgust, the poison and he wanted to be dead–

 

His older self held him from behind, hands grazing over his stomach, then up across his chest until it got to his throat, painting the parts with black blood.

 

Harry’s own blood turned to ice.

 

“I’m your card, Harry. Only yours. I’m Pestilence,” he whispered seductively and Harry felt chills. “When you accept me, we’ll be unstoppable,” he pressed a kiss to Harry’s cheek. He had never felt more vulnerable in his whole life.

 

This thing was something else.

 

It was

 

corrupted,

 

ancient,

 

unclean.

 

“Accept?” Harry’s voice was monotone, dead.

 

His older self caressed his neck and pulled Harry’s flesh closer to his. He laughed cruelly in his ears and Harry wanted to run, it was enough, it was–

 

“You see, my darling, pain feeds me,” his breath touched Harry’s skin. “And you have plenty of it already. You are the most fitting host that I have ever been in – but it won’t matter, when they pull you over the edge, you will call me. And I won’t hesitate.”

 

Harry wanted to get out of his older self’s reach, wanted to fight back, but before he could do anything, Pestilence pressed his fingers on his throat, right by his veins. Lightly, only to make him stop.

 

“Go on, darling,” Pestilence whispered, leaning closer to Harry, touching him everywhere. “Bare your teeth at me. I’ll pull them out. One. by. one.”

 

Harry was shivering as he closed his eyes, wanting to be over, wanting the whole thing to be over–

 

“I will never use you,” Harry whispered with tears, with quivering voice, while Pestilence kissed his back, his shoulders from behind. “I will never accept you wholly. I won’t kill the other Horsemen – only Famine and only because he’s with Voldemort... otherwise I would not – I am done with your mad cycle–”

 

“Don’t talk so much, darling,” Pestilence caressed his back, leaving one hand on his throat. “It’s useless, talking never affected me. Besides, when you taste my real power – not the little of it that I’ve given you,” he kissed Harry’s ear. “You will never want to let me go. You will be me. And when you start to remember... well... let’s just say we are not so different, Harry.”

 

Harry’s breathing stopped when his older self kissed his shoulders again and then gripped his throat tighter, Harry coughed and choked.

 

“Do not mention Famine again,” he whispered and loosened his hold, kissing Harry’s neck.

 

Harry felt Pestilence’s voice tremble.

 

“Why do you hate him so much?” Harry asked and his older self stopped. Harry thought he was going to let go of him, but then he leaned forward and said close to his face:

 

“You’re making me bored, darling,” he whispered and Harry took a deep breath, the disgust hit him so hard he was afraid he’d fall down. “But, I admit, you are full of surprises.”

 

Harry felt his older self’s grin on his neck but he didn’t understand anything at all.

 

“You are insane,” Harry whispered and Pestilence laughed.

 

“You will be too, darling,” he pressed a little kiss on Harry’s back. “Although, now, maybe everything will be different. Who knows? Maybe this time, you will only be half–mad when we will be one. After all, this is the first time something like this has happened.”

 

Harry felt disgust and filth and–

 

“What? What happened?”

 

His older self caressed his neck the last time and looked ahead, staring at something Harry didn’t see.

 

“Don’t worry about it, darling,,” he whispered with a smile in his voice – Harry imagined that wrathful grin as Pestilence continued, touching his forehead.

 

“Call me when you need me, Harry. I will always be in the back of your head,” he licked his neck and laughed cruelly as Harry cried and cried and–

 

“And we’ll show the others what it’s like to feel Heaven on our fingertips.”

 

Harry’s scream was deafening and broken as he woke up and felt the tears as they were rolling down on his cheek and when he looked down, remembering everything from his dream–

 

He emptied his stomach.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 



Theo wanted to choke Lestrange.

 

He was already tearing at his hair. Well, not technically but he really wanted to. The woman wouldn’t shut up. Theo still couldn’t believe why – of all people – why Lestrange? Why did Theo need to hide the Horcruxes with her?

 

Damn Draco.

 

Damn you idiot, paranoid bastard.

 

When they walked for an hour in the woods, with constant speaking on her end, Theo had enough. He turned around and looked down at Lestrange – grateful of his height.

 

“If you give out another sound out of your mouth, I swear to the Lord above, I will use your bones as firewood, Lestrange.”

 

The woman laughed at him and Theo. wanted. to. see. her. hair. in. flames.

 

He shut down his eyes and took a deep breath – trying to lock out the woman’s laugh.

 

Imagine cakes, Theo. Imagine lemon cakes and chocolate cookies, everything is going to be alright. Cakes, yes, good cakes, big cakes –

 

“You are so adorable,” he heard Lestrange’s voice, making fun of him and his eyes twitched. He opened them and looked down at her.

 

He imagined her in fire.

Ah, yes. What a good sight.

 

Theo smiled tightly and turned around, walking forward. He had a job to do.

 

“Maybe someday,” he whispered to himself and he heard his mother’s voice again. He heard it as the fire warmed his neck and fingers.

 

Asmodeus,

 

Asmodeus

 

Asmodeus.



 

–––––––––––––––––––

 



“This is a very risky plan.”

 

Draco raised his eyebrows and looked at the sixteen–year–old girl. Pansy hasn’t changed much – she’s got more bitter, maybe, but that was it.

 

Draco shrugged and leaned on the wall behind him, closing his eyes. “There’s nothing else to do. The Locket and the Diadem still haven’t been found,” he furrowed his brows, maybe he should look around for the Diadem. That was in Hogwarts, somewhere, according to the given memory. If he could find it, Pettigrew and one, new Horcrux would be in his possession.

 

“And you intend to win?” Draco heard Pansy’s voice. “Most of them really want it too, Draco.”

 

Draco half–opened his eyes. What should he say to this? He didn’t care, really not. Why would they want to win it anyway? For the money? For good positions? To be Kaiser?

 

In the end, there will be Voldemort and the rest of the Horsemen anyway.

 

Would they be able to kill a Horsemen?

 

Absolutely not.

 

“I think War wants me to compete seriously,” Draco said, closing his eyes again, caressing his gloves. “Maybe even win it, I don’t know.”

 

“Why?” Pansy asked.

 

Draco gathered his thoughts and then spoke up quietly, carefully, “War can see the consequences of people’s actions. When there are civil wars, rebellions, wars, coups, he is unbeatable. He can do whatever he wants to do. Let’s say he wants someone to kill that someone – he makes sure they will meet at some point. Let’s say he wants to make him or her a rebel – he makes sure she or he becomes one. He’s weaving everyone’s thread,” Draco shook his head and his forehead tightened. “But he’s on my side. He knows what he’s doing, I have to trust him.”

 

Pansy was silent for a couple of minutes. Then, Draco heard her move.

 

“How can you win it without using your powers then?” She asked. “They will recognize it the moment you use it and then kill you–”

 

Draco opened his eyes and glared at her. “I can’t be killed.”

 

Pansy’s eyes shone with a grim light. “I very well know that. But you don’t think that this is too easy for you? But have you seen the other Horsemen at all nowadays? No. What would be the point of killing the other champions? Would War do these things for nothing?”

 

Draco felt his hands shake. “What are you getting at?” His voice was calm.

 

Pansy licked her lips and ran a hand through her short hair, her brown eyes sharp.

 

“Think about it? Doesn’t seem weird? You got that newspaper right now . There’s a Triwizard Tournament right now . The rat is there right now . It’s just – it seems too lucky.”

 

Draco felt trapped again.

 

Why hadn’t he thought about it? His eyes widened and his heart stopped. It makes a lot of sense!

 

“It’s all because of War,” Draco said and Pansy nodded with also widened eyes. “But why? Why is he helping me so much? Isn’t this too much? I mean, doing all of this just because–”

 

Draco stopped.

 

Triwizard Tournament.

 

He needs to go there. Because of the rat, because of the Horcrux.

 

A lot of people go there too –– Draco can’t use his powers unless he wants to be caught. If they try to get him, he would kill all of them. Why would he want to take this risk? To make him vulnerable or to make him kill everyone? Why Draco was needed in the competition?

 

“...War can see the consequences of people’s actions...”

 

He froze.

 

So what is the consequences of him being in the tournament? Besides the two outcomes, killing everyone or–

 

I will meet them.

 

But why would he need to meet the other champions? It’s already useless. If Draco can’t attack back – can’t use his power but the others can then what was the–

 

His eyes widened.

 

The others can use it. For themselves, for me, for–

 

The others can–

 

“...Let’s say he wants someone to kill that someone – he makes sure they will meet at some point...”

 

“...Have you seen the other Horsemen at all nowadays...?”

 

Draco was petrified.

 

A Horseman will be there.

 

“...There is a chance, a meeting, they sang... From legends, they say, there are His favourites...”

 

He could not move. He is going to meet Pestilence.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 5



Dies Irae




Two little crows,

Sitting on a carcass

 

One named Greed

and

One named Pride

 

Come closer!

Come closer!

 

They’re eating. They’re eating.



Two little crows,

Flying up to Heaven

 

One named Greed

and

One named Pride

 

Come closer!

Come closer!

 

They’re eating. They’re eating.



Two little crows,

Bleeding from their feathers

 

One named Greed

and

One named Pride

 

Come closer!

Come closer!

 

They’re falling. They’re falling.



Two little crows,

Are being eaten alive

 

One named Greed

and

One named Pride.

 

Come closer!

Come closer!

 

They’re dying. They’re dying.



But, oh

They paid

 

But, oh

They paid

 

On the Day of Wrath,

They paid



Two little Horsemen,

going to rise above

 

One named Pestilence

and

One named Famine,

 

They’re rising. They’re rising.



But, oh,

They paid

 

But, oh,

They paid

 

On the Day of Wrath,

They paid

 

Those two little crows,

They paid



One named Greed

and

One named Pride



But, oh,

They paid

 

But, oh,

They paid

 

On the Day of Wrath,

They paid

 

Those two little crows,

They paid



Two little crows,

Sitting on a carcass

 

One named Pestilence

and

One named Famine

 

Come closer!

Come closer!

 

They’re eating and eating.



But, oh,

You see

 

But, oh,

You see

 

One day,

those two will be free



But, oh,

You see

 

But, oh,

You see

 

They’ll pay,

Those two little crows



They’ll pay.

They’ll pay.

 

On the Day of Wrath,

They pay.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Song of Punishment, Epilogue, by Samuel Krum.



 

––––––––––––––––––––-



 

Draco remembered the first time he touched Pestilence’s card.

 

The man on the card had his hands raised to the sky – covered in black blood – as he held a golden string. A golden veil hugged his body and he had an enraged grin on his face.

 

Draco remembered that when he saw two deep, emerald green eyes, he was captivated.

 

He remembered having dreams. Strange dreams. About those eyes. It was always full of hatred. Disgust. Pain. A lot of pain.

 

Cruel, painful, old, emerald green eyes.

 

He remembered that his father couldn’t look at the card. He remembered that Theo couldn’t touch it and then he slept for three months straight. The pure fear had exhausted him.

 

Draco heard a lot of songs and read a lot of stories about Pestilence. Each story gave him new names.

 

The Conqueror from The Prophecy. The Oldest from The Creation. The First and The Last from The Apocalypse. A Royalty with no Crown from the Tales of Sins. The One Who Touched Heaven from The Beginning of Famine and Pestilence’s Downfall and more and more from the rare book by Samuel Krum.

 

But there was one tale in particular that made Draco believe that much more must lie under the surface of these cruel songs and tales.

 

The tale called The Ensnarer of Birds .

 

Draco remembered reading it when he was eleven years old. He could hear the unsaid sentences, flowing in his mind, filling in blank spaces.

 

He thought there was something bitter, something dark behind Pestilence and The Creator. An anger that was way beyond far from anything that he had seen. Pestilence felt closer and felt vast.

 

Draco promised himself on that day, he won’t kill Pestilence. If Pestilence attacks him, he will defend himself, but if it isn’t necessary, then Draco won’t attack him.

 

Not until he finds out why he was so captivated in those old, broken, vicious eyes.

 

Not until Pestilence gives him the answers that he very well deserved.

 

Not until he can understand him.



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

Harry was lying among white roses when he opened his eyes, blinking from the glare of big clouds and white light.

 

Their smells caressed his nose and a light wind touched his black hair. Some of the roses touched his arms, his ears, and neck.

 

He slowly sat up and looked down at the flowers. There were thousands of them. Harry gently touched one, stroked the soft petals, enjoying the silence and the sound of the little breeze.

 

“You met him, didn’t you?”

 

Harry looked up and saw the sky blue eyed man with dark hair. He kneeled carefully in front of him with a sad smile, touching some of the white roses as well.

 

Harry knew who he was talking about, and he nodded, still touching the petals.

 

The sky blue eyed man sighed and looked up at the clouds. Harry felt calm around this man, peaceful even.

 

“He knows I’m here,” he said, making Harry flinch. “He lets me to talk to you. He’s watching me and you both.”

 

Harry’s throat clenched and he looked elsewhere. He picked out one white rose and brought it to his nose, smelling it, touching it’s petals almost compulsively.

 

“Interesting,” the man said with a little smile, looking down at the flowers. “These are Famine’s flowers.”

 

Harry froze and almost dropped the white rose. The winds caught some of the petals and threw them in the air.

 

“Famine’s?” Harry asked quietly.

 

The sky blue eyed man nodded and picked one, looking at it with nostalgia.

 

“Every Horsemen has one but I think Famine’s are the most beautiful. The mystical rose of Heaven, War used to say,” he smiled. “The representation of hope, love, marriage and new beginnings,” the man said, his eyes turning sad. Broken. “The last meaning is a bit cruel, if you ask me. You always kill him last.”

 

Harry’s hands tightened around the white rose and he felt the thorns pierce his skin. The wind howled and then died.

 

“Why does Pestilence hate him so much?” He whispered and the roses started to bloom, all at once.

 

The man looked at the rose in his hands blossoming.

 

“Pestilence can’t let go of his past lives, Harry. That’s all he can see,” he stopped for a minute, closing his eyes and Harry saw the wind catch more petals. “He’s very old and unpredictable, there is no one who could get into his head. But,” the man opened his eyes as the wind ruffled his dark hair. “He has one weakness.”

 

“What is it?” Harry asked.

 

The man’s eyes softened, “Famine.”

 

He picked up another white rose, “He hates him and in the end, he always kills him.”

 

Harry furrowed his brows, confused. “why–”

 

“Because he’s the only one he would die for. Famine is the only one he loves.”

 

Harry’s rose bloomed more and more. The petals were loose and large. His breathing caught in his throat and something purred in his ear.

 

The sky blue eyed man sighed.“He told me once – he thought I would forget it.”

 

Harry swallowed, looking at the roses. “Why does he kill Famine if he would die for him?”

 

The sky blue eyed man smelled the flowers with a quiet smile and said:

 

“The Conqueror and The Emperor are infinite, Harry. They are inevitable.”

 

Harry didn’t understand. He knew that the man wouldn’t tell him more. He sat among the white roses. Feeling the calm, the peace.

 

But he knew that this would be his last peaceful dream.




 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

“We’re welcoming the champions with a masquerade ball like you’ve advised. Durmstrang will be the first to arrive. Harry, to be exact. ”

 

War smiled and made dancing gestures with his wrists. Dumbledore stared at him, waiting for him to answer.

 

“The ball is needed, sir,” the boy sang “You’ll see why.”

 

Dumbledore closed his eyes, then looked at his phoenix. The magnificent creature was wide–awake, looking out of the window. Waiting for the storm to come.

 

“I can’t wait to see them.”

 

Dumbledore looked back at the boy with severe eyes. “You’re of Famine’s feather. Why would you be interested in Pestilence?”

 

War hummed and looked down at the map where every chess piece stood.

 

“You see sir, a lot of stories say that War is the smartest,” he whispered looking at the King. “But that’s a big lie. Pestilence is smarter than all of us.”

 

Dumbledore watched as War took the King and moved it to Hogwarts.

 

“Not even I can get into his head or see the consequences of his actions,” he cracked his neck and looked at the Queen. “His mind is too old, sir. He has many many options and possibilities and I’d turn insane if I stared at them for too long,” War smiled. “He always surprises me. Well, he’s the only one who can.”

 

Dumbledore watched as War moved the Queen to Hogwarts too and saw Fawkes look at the map.

 

“I wonder,” War whispered to himself, leaning back in his chair. “What will be his next move?”



 

–––––––––––––

 



Hogwarts hadn’t changed since the last time Harry had seen it and he could hear the music from outside. Tchaikovsky. Sleeping Beauty Waltz.

 

Dumbledore remembered then. Remembered that Tchaikovsky was in his favorites.

 

Harry felt anger rising up in his veins and he bit his bottom lip.

 

The golden lamps were glowing in the night, not bothering to be tamed by the wind.

 

Deyan stepped out of the Durmstrang Chariot and put the deep green furred cloak on Harry’s shoulder. Then Viktor stepped out of the chariot, holding Harry’s black fox mask in his hands. Harry looked at the grinning fox mask.

 

Viktor said that the black fox resembled Pestilence. He said it was based on a story but he didn’t say anything else. He just gave it to Harry.

 

Harry sometimes wondered how much Viktor knew about this and how much he told him.

He would have a talk with him later.

 

Then, Viktor and Deyan put on their blood red cloaks and their masks. Deyan’s was a wolf mask while Viktor’s was an owl. They looked up at Hogwarts with stern eyes.

 

Igor Karkaroff stepped out of the chariot wearing a black cloak. He turned to Harry with a sharp smile and Harry, without further ado, put up his fox mask.

 

He heard that the other Durmstrang Chariots had arrived with the other students. They stepped out and when Harry started walking,

 

they followed him.



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

When he stepped into the spacious ballroom everything fell in silence and every Hogwarts student looked at him. The choir began to hum the anthem of Durmstrang. It began low with only male voices and then Harry heard the slow drums.

 

That was when he started walking and the drums began to match with his footsteps. Deyan and Viktor marched next to him with bowed heads. Harry felt that the rest of the students of Durmstrang had fired up a torch and hummed with the song.

 

Harry knew he looked young but he was tall. He was as tall as Deyan and Viktor and when the anthem died down Harry stopped in front of Albus Dumbledore.

 

Those blue eyes were still calculating, still looking into Harry’s soul. He didn’t move at all. Didn’t stretch out his hand and didn’t bow his head.

 

Then Karkaroff stepped up in front of Harry and hugged Dumbledore with a strained smile on his face. Harry didn’t listen to their conversation, just looked around, seeing a lot of people were whispering around him. He sensed the fear. Probably because of his grinning mask but he sensed it.

 

He could always sense fear.

 

He knew that only after midnight would they take off the masks so Harry wanted to move elsewhere but then Dumbledore touched his arm.

 

“I’m happy you’re here, Harry,” he whispered quietly, just so that only Harry could hear him.

 

Harry nodded but he was slowly starting to shake with rage. He walked away with Viktor and Deyan and he instantly felt a lot of eyes stinging his back. And then–

 

Tchaikovsky began.

 

Harry stopped.

 

Again. Sleeping Beauty Waltz.

 

And Harry

 

had

 

enough.

 

How dare Dumbledore act like this? Does he think that Harry is still a child? Is he trying to do favors for him? Just so that Harry would be happier?

 

This is fucked up.

 

Harry remembered playing it. Remembered Professor McGonagall banning him from playing. Because she was scared. Of him, of–

 

Pestilence.

 

He heard the purring and flinched.

 

“I can’t do this,” he said to Viktor and then turned around to walk out of the ballroom. Viktor stopped him, catching his arm but Harry didn’t look back at him.

 

“You’re not yourself since last week,” Viktor asked in Bulgarian. “What’s wrong with you?”

 

Harry felt someone’s breath ghosting over his neck and purring in his mind when they–

 

“...when they pull you over the edge, you will call me. And I won’t hesitate...”

 

Harry’s blood ran cold.

 

He closed his eyes and yanked his hand out of Viktor’s hold and walked out of the room, never looking back. Not even when he sensed the eyes. Not even when he sensed the fear. Not even when he heard the whispers.

 

Not even when he heard the low purr in his mind.

 

He didn’t control his legs but he knew where he was headed. When he got into the room, he took off his mask. The memory made his eyes narrow with sorrow and grief.

 

He remembered as if it was yesterday. He played–

 

“...Majestically...”



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

Draco could smell Pestilence the moment he stepped into Hogwarts.

 

He. was. blinding.

 

The smell of blood and rain and a flower that Draco wasn’t certain if he’d seen but he was sure that he smelled it somewhere a long time ago. Sweet flower. Draco thought it was red. Red like blood.

 

Pansy looked at him with wide eyes. “Is he here?!” She panicked, looking around behind her vulture mask.

 

Draco nodded with dazed eyes.

 

“He is in the building,” he said and then froze, suddenly coming out of his numbness.

 

Pestilence was in the same building as Draco.

 

And before he knew,

 

he started to follow the scent.

 

“Where do you think you’re going?!” yelled Pansy. “We need to go in the ballroom and make a fucking scene!”

 

“Then make a scene without me! I’ve more important things to do,” shouted back Draco, still walking ahead. “They’ll know the champion is me.”

 

“How in the hell would they know, smartass?” Pansy shouted again.

 

Draco was almost at the end of the hallway and he did not answer but he heard Pansy and the others going into the ballroom. That was when he heard it.

 

The piano. Chills ran down his spine and he felt an ancient being in his body hum.

 

Draco took off his white hummingbird mask and walked into the room.



 

––––––––––––––––



 

Harry pressed down the lowest key on the old piano of his and began.

 

It echoed in his mind and in the room like a resonance.

 

His mother’s ballade.

 

He remembered his black and red bloody hands. He remembered how he cut off Nevena’s head in the First Game of Durmstrang like it was nothing.

 

His fingers danced around the low keys and this time, he played the first part slowly. Slower than before. It began to calm him, the music matched with his breathing. He leaned back with closed eyes and took a deep breath, feeling the keys on his fingertips–

 

He opened his eyes.

 

“...And we’ll show the others what it’s like to feel Heaven on our fingertips...”

 

Harry suddenly pounded the low ones with a faster phase. Then, taking a deep breath, he slowed down. He was jumping back to high notes to low notes. It got louder and louder and louder–

 

He touched them gently. Slower again. His heart slowed down with it and he let himself have a smile. A gentle smile.

 

He saw her red hair.

 

He touched it with little hands and those emerald green eyes looked down at him and she smiled. Harry played it happily and smiled because the memory was for him – her smile was for him and him alone. Harry’s playing changed into cheerful, into something beautiful, joyful. Dancing his fingers through the keys he played it louder and louder, feeling as the key sounds made him like if he was floating, absolutely weightless. Harry pressed the keys harder, demanding for louder sounds, more stronger echoes–

 

But it started to slow down. Because she was dead.

 

He made a broken sound.

 

Harry will never see her, will never talk to her, will never touch her hair–

 

I want more smiles – I want more –

 

More. More. More.

 

He played faster, begging it not to end. He danced through the higher keys and then the lower keys. Like a storm, like the coldest rain–

 

Then stopped for a minute.

 

Then began again, slowly.

 

He pounded them with wrath, with so much sorrow, ice cold rage  – so bitterly, because it was no use, it was no use, it was no use, it was no use, it was no use–

 

He ended everything with a low note, that echoed through his spine. His hands were shaking.

 

That was when he sensed him. Smelled him.

 

An ancient being purred in his mind.

 

White roses. The sun. Feathers of a bird.

 

Famine.

 

Harry, with his uncontrollable beating heart, turned around and looked at him.

 

And he was frozen.




 

––––––––––––––––––




Draco stood there, petrified, when Pestilence looked at him.

 

Harry Potter. Same age as me.

 

Pestilence.

 

Draco swallowed.

 

He knew that this was Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23.

 

But he’s never heard playing this way before. Sorrowful, joyful and then full of despair. The style changed frequently – wildly.

 

A masterpiece played majestically. And to think that it was Pestilence.

 

Draco’s heart skipped a beat.

 

For a moment, none of them moved. Then Pestilence was in front of him, stretching out his hand in front of his face, he was going to strike–

 

Draco’s eyes widened and he tore off one of his gloves and grabbed Pestilence’s wrist.

 

Both of them froze and Draco was sure felt fear and started to shake. Fear.

 

Not just in Pestilence. In him.

 

Because

 

Draco was touching him and he was still alive.

 

Pestilence

 

did

 

not

 

crumble.

 

And Draco was terrified.



–––––––––––––––––



Harry tried to boil Famine’s blood but the other boy was still standing. The only thought in his mind was to kill Famine – then there will only be Voldemort left but,

 

His magic didn’t work on Famine

 

at all.

 

An ancient being in his body purred and purred, louder and louder, begging to be closer–

 

Harry’s wide eyes locked into Famine’s. He saw glowing, golden patches in his right grey eye. On the left, a horrible, white scar shone in the moonlight. His left eye was blind – the fractured iris started to shift to gold. Famine’s white hair looked soft and feathery. Harry’s never seen a beauty like this before. Famine was beyond everything.

 

He

 

was  

 

enthralling.

 

“I can’t use my powers on you,” Harry whispered but still didn’t move. Famine’s grip remained solid but shaking around his wrist. Harry felt his scent – white roses and power – so much power – and he had to close his eyes.  

 

Hell, what is this?

 

It was like home.



–––––––––––––––––




Pestilence was so close to him that Draco saw every line on his face. He looked graceful and handsome. A sharp jawline, his black, messy hair, his almond-shaped startlingly green eyes.

 

Old eyes, he realized when Pestilence opened his eyes again. How Draco loved those eyes.

 

“Neither can I,” Draco said and Pestilence furrowed his brows. An ancient being in Draco begged to be closer, hug Pestilence and kiss him.

 

“What can you do?” Pestilence asked and looked down at their hands. They’d lowered them at some point, but hadn’t let go. Draco saw Pestilence’s eyes land on his black-veined hands.

 

“I can wither and damage anyone’s organs with one touch,” Draco said and Pestilence scent was all over the place, rain and blood and red flowers and so much power – Draco’s never felt this much power from anyone–

 

Pestilence twisted his hand to grab Draco’s and placed it on his left cheek – Draco’s black hands were striking on Pestilence’s pale skin. He looked into Draco’s eyes, intensity burning in them. He was looking and looking with half-lidded eyes.

 

“Seems like it’s not working,” Pestilence whispered, still looking at Draco, still touching Draco’s hand, covering it with his own. Draco’s face flushed and he broke the eye contact. He remembered dreaming about faceless strangers. Who would touch him lovingly – who could touch him at all. They were silly dreams because he knew no one could ever touch him.

 

But now,

 

there was one person,

 

who could.

 

Who was Voldemort’s nemesis.

 

And Draco felt an emotion awoke in him – a real one – heart clenching with black, freezing cold. His stomach felt like it was being gutted. It was his, but more of Famine’s – the ancient monster’s. He didn’t know how and didn’t know that it was possible but he felt

 

lonely.

 

Because,

 

There was only one person who could touch him,

 

And Draco was destined to kill him.




–––––––––––––––––




Harry saw Famine’s eyes sadden and felt Pestilence shrink inside of him. At first, he didn’t understand why. But then he felt something – sensed something, like he always did. Pestilence had been hoping that he wouldn’t have to kill Famine. But he had to. Because Harry had to.

 

Because,

 

There was one person who was in the same shoes as Harry. Who Harry couldn’t hurt.

 

Who was Voldemort’s soldier – someone who would protect his lord till his dying breath. Who wouldn’t let Harry to kill Voldemort.

 

He remembered the sky blue eyed man words.

 

“... The Conqueror and The Emperor are infinite, Harry. They are inevitable...”

 

They will always kill the other.

 

And so,

 

in this life,

 

again,

 

Harry – Pestilence – was destined to kill Famine

 

again.

 

Harry took a few uneven breaths, and they both were still.

 

––––––––––––––––––––




Theo wanted to touch the door handle of Grimmauld Place – because it was where he and Lestrange wanted to hide the Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup, because the house was abandoned.

 

But the moment he was halfway there – the door opened.

 

Theo froze and he saw Lestrange stiffen defensively next to him.

 

Sirius Black.

 

He was looking at both of them and then Theo noticed the hand holding open the door, holding–

 

Theo’s eyes widened.

 

Salazar Slytherin’s Locket.

 

“It was about time,” Black said to him with a strained smile. “He said you’d be here around this time,’ his eyes turned cold and dark when he looked at Lestrange.

 

He opened the door wider.

 

“Come in,” Black said to them with grim eyes. “We have a lot to talk about.”




–––––––––––––––––––



War was looking at the map with a lazy smile.

 

He moved the White Rook to Grimmauld Place, next to the Black Pawn. He leaned back in his chair and looked at the King and Queen – sitting next to each other. Then saw the White Rook and the Black Pawn start to interact.

 

War was staring at the White Rook.

 

“Asmodeus,” he whispered and put together the palm of his hands.

 

So,

 

Let the Game begin.

 



––––––––––––––––––––––



 

 

Legends say,

 

After Pestilence touched Heaven, his blood turned to black.

He was filled with sins, infections, and viruses.

 

They say,

 

He wanted to collect beautiful things to make himself feel better. He was rapacious.

 

They say,

 

He deplumed every beautiful bird he could see, touch and feel. His hands were shining with red blood and feathers. His rage and his pride grew and grew

 

and

 

They say,

 

when the bells rang,

And the streets glowed with gold,

the Plague grew and grew

when

Pestilence

rised

And looked down,

He said to the Creator:

 

You make them pray. Those people. They have wings too.

 

You give them wings.

 

You tell them everything is going to be fine.

 

but

 

You never tell them that they can fly all they want.

 

They can fly to you for eternity.

 

I

 

will

 

never

 

die.

 

And

 

I will not stop

 

until I tear every single feather down from their wings.



Legends say,

 

This was Pestilence’s revenge.

He unfeathered every flying beauty because he couldn’t comprehend how the Creator could’ve made him this vile.

 

Legends say,

 

This was his counterblow for locking him and Famine into that pit.

 

They say,

 

Pestilence kept those horrid, featherless birds in silver cages.

 

They say,

 

Pestilence weaved a golden string from their feathers.

The string was life itself.

 

He held it in his hands with an enraged grin on his face.

 

They say,

 

People could still hear the birds’ songs. The painful cries and lullabies.

 

They say,

 

People could still hear the silver cages creak.



Legends say,

 

When Pestilence tugs the golden string,

 

He will come for a hunt again.



They say,

 

When Pestilence tugs the golden string,

 

He will collect those remaining feathers.



They say,

 

When Pestilence tugs the golden string,

 

He will collect the last one he’s never been able to catch.



They say,

 

A snake will rise

 

And Pestilence

 

will

 

tug

 

the

 

golden

 

string.



– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Tales of Pestilence: Ensnarer of Birds, Chapter XIIII by Samuel Krum.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 6



Let the Game



begin





There are legends

 

that sang,

 

War was upraised from the sand of Earth,

 

Deep down, from the rocks, from the mud and the green grass



There are legends

 

that sang,

 

War dived into the deepest ocean – painted by the blood of innocents and Famine’s golden sun,

 

It touched his hair with blood and gold, marking him as Famine’s feather, the one who would be in his side



They say,

 

War marched like wind,

 

Bones grew beneath his feet as his eyes turned to black because of the blessed Earth



Legends say,

 

War’s black eyes saw a sword, a sword no one else could see,

 

A golden sword built from Famine’s sun



Legends say,

 

when the world bleeds,

 

War will hold the globe in his right hand,

 

He will sharpen his sword of justice

 

And

 

let

 

the

 

Game

 

begin.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, War: Famine’s feather, Chapter I, Paragraph II, by Samuel Krum.



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

“So, you’re saying that War said, we will need to go to an auction, buy an old picture of Grindelwald, talk to Mundungus Fletcher – who will hold the auction, give him the Locket and then give the old picture to Gregorovitch? The wandmaker?”

 

Black nodded earnestly. They sat in the dining room, all of them at the table.

 

“Exactly,” he said.

 

Theo

 

started

 

laughing.

 

This was madness.

 

He laughed so hard that even Lestrange looked at him funny. This made him laugh harder, almost collapsing into his seat. A crazy looking at another crazy.

 

“Do you seriously think,” Theo gasped when he could speak again. “That I’d let you do that? You know what that is, you said it yourself. My boss will kill me if I let you do this.”

 

Black narrowed his eyes and looked at Theo, taking a deep breath and adjusting in his seat.

 

“There’s a big storm coming, kid,” he said lowly. “If a Horsemen says that the Locket will need to be there, then it will be there. We need to do this. No one else can.”

 

Theo sent him an amused smile but a cold glance. He leaned closer to Sirius Black and looked at him with fiery eyes.

 

“Hmm?” Theo hummed. “Why would you trust a Horseman?”

 

Black didn’t look away. “One got me out of Azkaban.”

 

Chills ran down on Theo’s spine and his eyes widened in surprise.

 

Draco.

 

“Not all of them are destructive,” Black’s smile was frail. “ I don’t know who he was – I could recognize him being a Horseman because of his magic. I only know that he was just a kid but... I owe him a life debt. I trust him, so War doesn’t need to be an exception.”

 

Theo lifted up an eyebrow, slowly leaning back in his chair.

 

“Not every Horsemen is the same, you know. What did War say to you?” Theo asked because he was not stupid. There was more that Black hasn’t told them. “Why do you want to do this in the first place?”

 

He narrowed his eyes, and they darkened further, “I have my reasons. I trust him and I know that we need to do this. All of us,” he glanced at Lestrange. “Otherwise I wouldn’t even talk to nor allow her to breathe. Isn’t that right, cousin?”

 

Lestrange was unusually quiet the whole time, Theo noticed her posture tighten the moment they stepped into the house.

 

The hatred in her eyes whenever she glanced at Black... Right now, Theo could’ve cut the tension with a scissor–

 

“You should’ve died instead of him.”

 

Theo froze. He’s never heard Lestrange this sane – this conscientious. He saw Sirius flinch and Theo was as confused as ever. What did he miss? Who were they talking about?

 

“Maybe,” Black whispered, clenching his fists on the table. “But I am the one who’s here.”

 

Lestrange’s eyes burned and her lips turned down in a frown. “He was worth ten thousand times more than you.”

 

Sirius looked down and pressed his lips into a thin line. Theo looked at Lestrange’s shaking hand. Shaking. Because of anger?

 

Or because of pain?

 

“He’s not here anymore,” Black said making Lestrange flinch. He sighed and stood up from his chair. “You two, think about this for a while. I’m going to the garden,” he said and then walked out of the room.

 

The silence was more frightening than anything. Theo pursed his lips when he looked at Lestrange. So quiet.

 

As quiet as this old house.

 

“Who were you two talking about?” he asked flatly and Lestrange didn’t look at him. She was completely stiff, so sane, so calm, so normal–

 

“His younger brother,” she said, like a bare breeze. “Regulus.”

 

Theo blinked in surprise, straightening his spine.

 

“He died?” he whispered and Lestrange nodded. Theo looked around in the dining room, trying to look for a picture, or a sign, that a young brother lived here once. He didn’t find anything.

 

He turned his head to Lestrange’s direction. “How did he die?”

 

Lestrange’s hand were still shaking and Theo didn’t move, his breath was soft.

 

“No one knows,” she said and then turned away from him. Theo furrowed his brows and then looked down at his hands. He felt lost.

 

But then, he prayed when he felt lost.

 

He used to wonder if there was a reason for these things to happen. For taking the Locket here, for meeting Sirius Black, for him being broken out by Draco.

 

So he prayed, because there was nothing else to do.

 

He used to wonder if God really heard him pray in those churches. Theo was now hundred percent sure he did. He believed in God with all of this heart. Not the one in the stories from the Bible. The one he wanted to imagine. The one who guided people with help, with love, with hope.

 

Hope is a very strong thing and Theo needed it every day to live on.

 

So, Theo looked out of the window, at the dark sky, hearing the rain. He leaned forward, put his palms together and bowed his head. He knew Lestrange was looking at him, but he said it anyway:

 

“To hear your voice,” he whispered. “Help me understand. Show me that you are in control of all things. Tell me if I need to do as War says. Show me.”

 

At first, the silence was loud.

 

But then,

 

in that moment,

 

a lightning struck.

 

And Theo knew it must have been a coincidence. But he believed in Him.

 

And when he looked at the Locket,

 

his eyes shone like fires of gold.



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

War thought prayers were the strongest during a battle, an attack, a conflict or during a war itself.

 

He never heard them, never understood what the point of them was because he saw those men’s path to the very end. That’s why he couldn’t understand Theodore Nott.

 

He was thinking that, while he was looking at the White Rook. War knew that he would pray. He knew but still...

 

To believe in something so unseeable, so untouchable. He couldn’t comprehend it. Maybe because he could never believe in anything. Why would he have faith when he knows what’s going to happen? No one would, it was worthless.

 

But to believe...

 

It was something that he couldn’t take away from anyone during anything.

 

He respected them – the humans. Even when he broke their souls with the murders, those long fightings. He respected those who would not bend or break. Who could keep their souls whole and in one piece. He sighed and closed his eyes.

 

The truth is, every Horsemen could remember their first two or three lives – but only Pestilence could remember all of them.

 

War remembered what Death said to him a long time ago. He couldn’t forget – it still haunted him.

 

“We will never die. We will always come back.”

 

“So?”

 

“Maybe we have a reason to be here. Maybe, we need to learn.”

 

“What?”

 

“They are all going to die, at some point. But they are still laughing, still trying to enjoy every minute of their life, they look at the sky and wish, they pray, they sing, walk and ran and dance and enjoy the light of the lamps when it’s too dark. They read and dream and talk and live, knowing that they will die. We will never die. But then, we’ve never lived either.”

 

He didn’t get it at first. And he doubted he understood now. But it made his heart clench. He didn’t know how or why. But maybe Death was right. Maybe they were here for a reason. Not just to bring the end of the world.

 

Maybe this life was different. Maybe they did need to learn something.

 

When War opened his eyes to look at the map, he felt the silence strangely comforting. He felt Death there, calming him. He knew he wasn’t but he felt like he was.

 

Maybe no one ever really dies. Their presence follows those who miss them.

 

He looked at The King and The Queen. It’s up to them.

 

It’s up to them if this life will be different.

 

But War knew, if Pestilence tugs the golden string – and all of them will feel if he does, then War will sharpen his sword.

 

And the end

 

will

 

begin.




 

–––––––––––––––––




“Well hello, Mr. Potter. It’s a lovely surprise.”

 

Harry choked on his drink when he heard Snape’s bored voice next to him. How could he move so quietly?

 

He had been looking at Famine, who was at the other side of the ballroom with the other Beauxbaton students, talking with a vulture masked girl. A lot of people were dancing a waltz that Harry, this time, didn’t know.

 

“Haven’t thought you’d of missed me, Professor,” said Harry, looking at his almost empty glass.

 

He could practically hear Snape’s disgust. The man clicked his tongue.

 

“Time and growing old haven’t done good for you. Your personality is atrocious,” Snape said.

 

Harry looked at him – they were near the same height now. “Like I’m that old and that rude.”

 

Snape sighed and closed his eyes – almost pinched his nose even.

 

“Well, I suppose you could be worse,” he said opening his eyes and looking at him.

 

Harry turned his head and narrowed his eyes at the dancing people. “Knock on wood.”

 

Snape gave out a half smile and then followed Harry’s gaze, turning serious.

 

“May I ask, why are you staring at the Beauxbatons’ Champion? I can see your eyes behind this mask, Mr. Potter.”

 

Harry looked down at his hands. He could still feel Famine’s skin, his scent was on him. He walked out of the room a couple of minutes after the encounter. He didn’t know what to do.

 

“He’s Famine,” Harry said and did not felt guilty because–

 

Snape didn’t even wince and Harry guessed it. He wasn’t even surprised.

 

“You knew,” Harry stated, it was not a question. The music echoed louder with the cellos and violins.

 

Snape nodded. “Since last month. It was a big surprise that it was Draco...” Harry’s heart stopped. The name. Famine’s name. His world shrunk, for just a moment. “...who I thought to be dead. My godson,” he stopped for a minute. “You’re not angry.”

 

Harry blinked and sighed tiredly, rubbing his neck. “I suspected. You and Dumbledore know much more than I,” he massaged his temple with his thumbs. “What I don’t get, if both of you know who he is, then why is no one attacking him?”

 

“Why?” Snape sounded curious. “Do you want him to get attacked?”

 

Harry didn’t. That was the tricky part. Pestilence ravaged in him at the thought and Harry didn’t like it either.

 

Well,

 

‘Didn’t like it’ meaning he would tear someone who so much as laid a finger on Famine.

 

In the end, he only shrugged, trying to steady his breathing.

 

“I mean,” he said not looking at Snape. “He’s too pretty for wounds and scars.”

 

Snape smiled smugly. Harry never wanted to see that expression on him again.

 

“No one will harm him. The Headmaster is not stupid,” Snape said quietly. “You’d massacre everyone in a blink of the eye.”

 

Harry stilled but he wasn’t surprised by the statement. He was surprised Snape was as calm as a man can ever be.

 

“Then how can he fight? During the Tournament?” Harry furrowed his brows. “If someone sees his magic–”

 

“He won’t need to use it,” Snape said and Harry just got more confused. What was going on?

 

He opened his mouth and wanted to ask  Snape meant by that when–

 

“Marry me, Angelina!” A voice shouted so loudly that everything stopped.

 

The dancing stopped – the music stopped, the talking stopped–

 

Harry’s forehead furrowed. He saw a brown haired man at the end of the room, the whispers started to–

 

Harry’s face scrunched when he took in the sight of–

 

He saw Deyan and Viktor running to the scene with full force. Harry ran his fingers through his hair in disbelief. Why him? He groaned in pain, why today?

 

Snape just got more confused, looking at him, then at the kneeling Durmstrang boy in front of Angelina Johnson.

 

“Who in the name is–”

 

“Marry me!” Gerard yelled again and Harry touched his mask in defeat. “Angelina, I still love you, marry me!”

 

Harry – still not moving his hand away – looked out between two fingers, seeing Deyan and Viktor’s dumbfounded expressions.

 

Angelina looked down at the kneeling Gerard and then said:

 

“No.”

 

The crowd gave out a loud sigh of surprise and the man who played on the organ pressed down a low note.

 

Gerard looked destroyed. “Why no? Because I’ve just gotten back from prison?” he asked weakly and Angelina, with earnest eyes said:

 

“I’m in love with another.”

 

The organ gave out a low note again. Deyan and Viktor looked more and more astounded in every moment.

 

Gerard stood up, fiercely. “Who is this man?” he demanded, looking around. Harry hoped he was not here. Please don’t be here. He really hoped–

 

“He,” a low note, “Is,” a low note and Angelina looked at the man with anger. The musician raised his hands up from the instrument and tried to look innocent. She sighed and looked back at Gerard.

 

“George Weasley.”

 

Snape’s eye twitched and Harry covered his eyes again. This was not happening–

 

Gerard groaned, almost shouted.

 

“I’ll kill him if I–”

 

“What are you doing with my future wife?” said – the man who must be George – apparently. He walked towards the scene and Harry was shaking his head. This is a disaster.

 

The organ played the first few notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Harry looked desperately at Deyan and Viktor – waving his hand at them to do something, take out Gerard for–

 

“Come here, you ginger–punk,” Gerard rolled up his sleeves to his elbows. Deyan and Viktor ran forward and held him back. “Or my dear Cousin Theo help me, I’ll pour cement in your ears!”

 

Who in the hell was Cousin Theo?

 

Harry started to gesture to Deyan and Viktor when–

 

“You idiot!” Irina shouted from the Durmstrang tables. Every head turned to her. “You’ll go back to prison!”

 

“Yeah! That would be the fifth time,” Toni shouted next to her and Harry had enough.

 

“Gerard!” He said. He didn’t shout but he was heard and every Durmstrang student paled. Gerard flinched and stared at Harry as he started to walk towards him. Deyan and Viktor bowed their heads, trying to bite down their smiles.

 

Harry’s black, grinning fox mask made Gerard shiver.

 

“Don’t make the guests uncomfortable,” Harry said calmly. “Deyan and Viktor will escort you out,” Harry nodded at them and the two walked out with a heartbroken Gerard.

 

When Harry sighed, turning around, he noticed that everyone was looking at him and the silence was getting a bit too much.

 

Harry looked up at the orchestra and tilted his head, an idea came into his mind. It was time for the Durmstrang’s students to dance. He waved his hand at them.

 

“I want to hear Johannes Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No. 5 !” He shouted, walking back to Snape who stood there, still confused. “Come on!”

 

They started to play it and then all went to hell.



 

––––––––––––––––



 

Draco saw that almost every Durmstrang student stood up and started to dance to the fast phased, joyful music. After some minute, other people joined too, completely forgetting the earlier scene. Draco was still blown away.

 

“This was mind blowing,” Blaise said next to him with widened eyes. “Theo really has a cousin! The world is so small.”

 

Draco placed one hand across his face. He was surrounded by children.

 

Pansy frowned at him. “You are still surprised by that ? What about Pestilence?” She whispered, looking at the Durmstrang champion who was talking to Severus. Draco didn’t know that they knew each other.

 

Blaise followed Pansy’s gaze. For a couple of minutes, he didn’t say anything, but then–

 

“I don’t want to offend you, Draco,” he started, completely calm. “But he is terrifying.”

 

Draco looked at him. His tall figure – Pestilence was taller even than Theo. There was raw elegance as he walked – not in a gentle way like Draco but more in a way a predator would move.

 

“He looks fine as hell,” Pansy whispered and leaned on the table with chin on her two fists.

 

Draco felt like if he swallowed a burning hot iron. He still wanted to remain calm but he couldn’t help but send her an angry glare. Pansy had a smug look on her face when he noticed it.

 

“Jealous?” She teased him and then leaned back in her chair. “Don’t worry, he’s not my typ–” She sneezed loudly like a storm making Blaise recoil in his seat.

 

“Bless you!” He said with still scared eyes.

 

Pansy wiped her nose with a tissue and then looked at Blaise with annoyance.

 

“Why did you bless me?” She asked, looking pretty angry. “Maybe I want to go to hell, did you ever think of that?”

 

Blaise looked as lost as when Theo told him that he needed to go to church.

 

Draco didn’t even know what to say about the scene. In the end, he didn’t have to.

 

He heard the door open and the music died down. The other schools have arrived. Draco knew he and Pestilence missed Beauxbatons – obviously – and Ilvermorny and Hogwarts so that meant–

 

The next one in line was,

 

Uagadou.

 



–––––––––––––––––



 

The anthem of Uagadou began with strong, raw male voices and loud, fast phased drums – percussion like storms and didn’t falter or slowed down at all.

 

One lion and one lioness were walking into the ballroom. Their sharp fangs appeared when they opened their mouth. They were followed by the remaining twenty students who wore black robes, like night across their skin – it blended in. Their necks and their fingers were painted in gold. They clapped with their hands as they walked in, looking at the two predators in front.

 

The lion roared and the lioness joined – their deep growls echoed through the walls.

 

Then they turned into their human forms and with inhuman speed and grace, put on their masks – a lion and a lioness.

 

The woman had long, black dreadlocks and a golden crown. Her eyes were white – no irises, not anything. Her neck was painted with gold, striking on her cool dark skin. She wore black capes and robes just as the other students.

 

The man had short, dark hair and his neck was painted with gold as well. His eyes were also white – no irises, not anything. Maybe they were twins.

 

The music died down and both of the champions stopped in front of Dumbledore. The Headmaster of Uagadou stepped forward and hugged Dumbledore who hugged him back with a big smile. Then, he sat next to the Headmaster of Ilvermorny.

 

The Uagadou students walked to their tables and sat down. The whispers were starting to begin again but then–

 

Castelobruxo arrived.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Drums started and berimbaus peeled and old female voices started to hum when–

 

Harry couldn’t believe in his eyes.

 

The champion walked in front of a small Occamy who was completely tamed. He remembered hearing that Castelobruxo was known for their Magizoology – but he would’ve never thought that it could be evolved into... this.

 

She didn’t wear a mask – though paint was on her face. Black and red patterns, it matched her brown eyes and skin. She wore green robes – like the rest of the students who was walking behind her – and her short, dark hair was messier than Harry’s.

 

She caressed the birdy animal then let it fly around her and that was more effective than anything else that she could’ve done.

 

She stopped in front of Dumbledore and smiled at him when the music stopped. She let him pet the Occamy and then started to walk away with the other students to their tables. The Headmaster of Castelobruxo patted on Dumbledore’s back and then sat next to the Headmaster of Uagadou.

 

Then he heard the loud drums again and the low hums. A russian song echoed through and they walked forward.

 

Koldovstoretz.



 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

They marched like soldiers and their furred cloaks were all black as though it was formal military attire. The champion walked in front, like a proud might.

 

His blonde – brownish hair was slicked back and he wore a stag mask. Its antler was majestic. Only his sharp eyes could be seen.

 

When the choir stopped, the boy stopped and saluted in front of Dumbledore who nodded back. The Headmistress of Koldovstoretz gave a little smile to Dumbledore and then sat down next to Karkaroff.

 

The Koldovstoretz students started to go to their tables but then Harry saw the smiling champion with his friends stop a bit. It vanished in a blink of an eye but Harry saw.

 

The Koldovstoretz champion had noticed Famine.

 

They all sat down and then Harry heard the little bells–

 

Mahoutokoro.

 

 

–––––––––––

 

 

 

The anthem of Mahoutokoro began and it was so different that Harry froze on spot. Harps began to echo, like peace itself. Flutes ran through the gentle sounds and then the champion stepped forward.

 

She was tall and pale, wearing a Kimono – Furisode, Harry noticed the length. It was dark green with a cascade of yellow, red, white and lavender flowers across it. She walked steadily and stiffly, looking ahead with stoic eyes behind her Kitsune mask.

 

Across her long, dark hair, flowers were scattered around. She looked around, little bells rang when she turned her head.

 

Then the drums started and the choir – the sopranos began.

 

She pulled out fans – little, sharp knives in them, and they glowed above the chandelier. She whirled them in one hand and then in both hands at the same time, then threw them both into the air, opening them – she took a spin – her bells rang – when the choir sang louder, she raised her hands into the air stopping the fans with wandless magic.

 

The drums stopped in that moment and then the flutes sang with the choir.

 

She controlled the fans in the air and grew flowers from them. Roses, sunflowers, daisies and cherry blossoms. They were falling and falling–

 

The bells rang like the anthem, she brought down the fans in front of her eyes and stopped like the music, the drums, the choir.

 

That was when the other Mahoutokoro students came in, ten of them – everyone wore gold kimono. Honor students. Those were the only ones who could go here to watch the Tournament. They bowed deeply in front of the teachers, Headmasters, and Headmistresses.

 

Harry was blinded by their sights. They looked so professional and practiced. Even when Dumbledore was talking to the Headmistress. Dumbledore bowed in front of her and she bowed as well. She walked and sat down next to Madame Olympe Maxime – the Headmistress of Beauxbatons.

 

The champion and Mahoutokoro students walked to their tables, and sat down. The classical music had begun again. Harry saw that everyone started to talk with the other – literally everyone in the room.

 

Harry noticed that Snape went to Dumbledore and started to talk with him and the other guests – mostly Karkaroff. Harry furrowed his brows. Ah, how could he forget.

 

They have the same tattoo.

 

Harry saw a white rose on the ground – that the elves haven’t cleaned away yet. He picked it up and smelled it.

 

Just like Famine.

 

Harry froze and held the flower close to him. He had a crazy idea.

 

But before he could move, he saw Deyan and Viktor walking towards him, back from escorting Gerard out. They looked calm so Harry was calm.

 

“Remind me to never get married,” Viktor said when he arrived next to him and drank a glass of firewhisky with one sweeping movement. Then he gave one for Harry who accepted it greatly.

 

Deyan was eating a muffin with a grumpy expression. “Remind me to never be a relationship consultant.”

 

Harry smiled, shaking his head. “You two are weird.”

 

Deyan and Viktor looked at the other.

 

“Try being in a room for half an hour with Gerard,” they said simultaneously and then looked startled because they said it the same time.

 

Harry sighed and looked ahead and–

 

his

 

blood

 

ran

 

cold.

 

He felt Pestilence pause in him, calm and cold. Calculating. Harry’s eyes twitched.

 

His friends followed his gaze–

 

Harry broke the glass he was holding into pieces.

 

Deyan and Viktor looked at him with shock. Harry’s hands were covered in black blood but when he started to heal he felt that Viktor had tried to wipe his hand clean.

 

That revolting Russian champion was escorting

 

Famine

 

to

 

dance.



––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco’s whole body screamed ‘ No .’ Especially Famine who flinched inside him every time this man reached toward him. But if he rejects him that would mean Draco would have an enemy already and he didn’t want any of that before the Tournament.

 

Just don’t touch my face – where is my skin showing, just don’t touch my skin, don’t touch me at all.

 

So Gavril, the Koldovstoretz champion, touched his waist – Draco felt disgusted and swallowed the urge to pull away – and started the dance when Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake Waltz began.

 

A lot of people were looking at Draco. Even most of those who danced with their partners around them.

 

I wonder if he’s looking at me.

 

Gavril looked at Draco with sharp eyes and Draco looked back. The Russian champion was older than him. Seventeen or eighteen, maybe.

 

“You are the prettiest thing in here,” the other champion said and Draco’s eyes narrowed at the word ‘thing’.

 

“There are other pretty people here,” Draco said because he could, because he wanted to quarrel with him – wanted Gavril to let go of him.

 

Gavril sent him a sharp smile behind his stag mask and he leaned closer to Draco. “You are the only one I want to touch.”

 

Touch me and you wither.

 

But Draco couldn’t say it out loud and couldn’t kill him either. So when Gavril reached to feel his neck, Draco slowly tried to pull back and back and–

 

“May I cut in?”

 

Draco recognized his voice. Gentle, low but hoarse.

 

Furious.

 

Gavril stopped and turned to look at Pestilence. His black fox, grinning mask made Gavril startle a bit. Draco looked into Pestilence’s old eyes and felt Famine pull him – to be there, in his arms–

 

“I don’t think you can,” said Gavril with cold eyes. Clearly a threat.

 

Draco froze and looked away. He didn’t want Pestilence to know he was stressed about what would happen if he let this champion continue but he couldn't⎼

 

“Oh, I can and I definitely will.”



 

–––––––––––––––



 

Harry hadn’t felt this much bloodlust since he beheaded Nevena in the First Game. It was half him and half Pestilence.

 

I wonder how this man would look without a head.

 

Pestilence purred.

 

The Russian champion looked at him with a half smile – he thought Harry was joking. He grinned exactly like Harry’s fox mask.

 

He should know,

 

I’m terrible at jokes.

 

“I heard that if a fox feels a terrific amount of wrath,” Harry whispered calmly, not taking his eyes off the Koldovstoretz champion. “He can take down a stag.”

 

The other champion didn’t wince at all but Harry heard him

 

gulp

 

loudly.

 

“Just one dance,” Harry said sweetly, looking at Famine, already stretching out a hand for him. “I don’t bite.”

 

Famine took his hand and Harry escorted him far away. His heart was throbbing in his chest. The other people waltzed – didn’t care or didn’t think much of the scene.

 

“Slow down.”

 

Harry heard Famine’s whisper and turned around to face him. They were on the other side of the ballroom now. He took out the white rose from his cloak’s pocket and gave it to Famine who looked at it with surprise.

 

Harry felt much calmer when he took it.

 

“Thank you,” he said and smelled it. Harry smiled.

 

“It’s your flower,” he whispered. “It belongs to you.”

 

Famine’s grey – nearly golden eye slid into Harry’s and he didn’t look away.

 

When Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Waltz Finale and Apotheosis started, Harry stepped closer to Famine and touched his waist gently, hesitantly, pulling him closer and Pestilence’s purr never stopped. Famine was so close their noses almost touched – Harry could feel Famine’s uneven breaths. His gaze never left Harry’s, his grey, almost golden eye.

 

Then Famine raised his gloved hands and put his arms around his neck, still holding the rose. Harry smelled the white rose and the sun, the feathers of a bird.

 

They started to dance, slowly, completely not following the waltz, just enjoying the music. It felt bittersweet. Because Harry just knew he wouldn’t be able to do this more than once. But Harry enjoyed this too.

 

Not just Pestilence.

 

“Draco,” Harry whispered, trying out the name and saw as Famine froze like ice. Harry’s touch on his waist hardened. Maybe he shouldn’t have said it. “I don’t want to hurt you but if you stay on Voldemort’s side I’ll have to kill you when the Tournament’s over.”

 

Harry’s voice didn’t quiver but his hands,

 

his hand were shaking like a cold winter.



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

Draco’s world was spinning and he felt so many things that he’d never felt before that he thought he would explode. It was muddled, he didn’t know where to begin or where to look for the separate emotions but he didn’t like it. He felt out of his own control.

 

He was calm and collected and fearless before Pestilence got into the picture.

 

Now, Draco’s heart ached and beat so loud and hard he couldn’t even think. Not to mention when he heard his real name–

 

This was getting dangerous for him and that must not happen. But he couldn’t lie to Pestilence. Famine would shatter if he’d lie to Pestilence.

 

“I don’t want to hurt you either,” Draco whispered and didn’t look away from those old eyes. “But I won’t change sides and I’ll kill you if you try to kill him or me.”

 

Pestilence didn’t look surprised, his eyes just turned dark, cold and Draco felt Famine wince in him.

 

“Then only one of us gets out of alive at the end of the Tournament,” Pestilence whispered and closed his eyes, head bowing.

 

Draco pulled back his arm from Harry’s shoulder, touched his face gently and felt Pestilence lean into the touch.

 

“I don’t know about you, Harry,” Pestilence’s eyes widened. “But Famine misses Pestilence very much.”

 

Harry half opened his eyes and gave Draco a little smile. It felt sacred somehow. He turned his head and pressed a kiss on Draco’s palm.

 

Draco felt

 

Famine

 

purr.

 

“Pestilence misses Famine very much too, Draco.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 7



Every wish

 

has

 

a

 

Price





Once,

There was a black, grinning fox who lived in the depths of The Forest of Gold.

He was called The Wish Maker,

for no one else knew his real name.

Rumors told of a human, trapped within his body for hundreds of years,

Who screamed inside the fox.



Once,

A young, beautiful Prince came into the forest. His father had told him:

“The King of the East wishes us to break the curse of The Wish Maker, for he fears the fox will devour his country. Off you go to break it!”

 

Therefore, the beautiful Prince came to the Forest of Gold and met with a Hare. He asked:

“Oh Hare, Oh Hare, where can I find the black, grinning fox?”

The Hare looked at him, frightened and said:

“Oh Prince, Oh Prince, don’t sit down to spin, otherwise you will end up like me!”

And ran away.

 

The Prince was confused but continued all the same. He then met with a Wolf. The Prince smiled and asked:

“Oh Wolf, Oh Wolf, where can I find the black, grinning fox?”

The Wolf started to shiver and then said:

“Oh Prince, Oh Prince, don’t sit down to spin, otherwise you will end up like me!”

And ran away.

 

The Prince was still confused but continued down his path. He then came upon a tortoise. The Prince asked:

“Oh Tortoise, Oh Tortoise, where can I find the black, grinning fox?”

The Tortoise started to hid in its shell and said:

“Oh Prince, Oh Prince, don’t sit down to spin, otherwise you will end up like me!”

And ran away.



The Prince walked until he saw a spinning wheel in the middle of the forest, around seven golden trees.

The black, grinning fox came out from behind the tallest tree and said:

“Good evening, My Prince,” the fox said. “Why are you wandering in my forest?”

 

The Prince looked startled but said:

“I am here to break your curse.”

 

The black, grinning fox looked at him and said:

“There is a blue Hummingbird on one of these trees. If you can get some feather from it, and spin it, I shall fulfill one wish of yours.”

 

The Prince shook his head.

“I don’t want a wish,” he said. “I want to break your curse. That is what I want.”

 

The fox laughed and his green eyes burned with blood.

“For that, you must find out my name as you spin.”

 

The Prince remembered the warnings of the Hare, the Wolf, and the Tortoise. But he needed to do this.

The fox said, still smiling:

“I will give you three days’ time, if by then you find out my name and spin all the feathers of the blue hummingbird, then shall you break my curse.”



The Prince did as he said.

He searched for the blue Hummingbird and when he found it, he asked:

“Oh, Hummingbird, Oh Hummingbird, can you give me some feathers from your wings?”

 

The blue Hummingbird fluttered its wings and said:

 

“Will you bear the consequences?”

 

The Prince did not know what it meant but he nodded. The blue Hummingbird gave him its feathers and then went back to sleep.

 

The prince seated himself in front of the wheel and began to turn whilst thinking of a name that could be The Wish Maker’s – but then noticed he couldn’t spin the feathers at all!

 

“You must spin a white hair of yours in it,” said the black fox.

 

The Prince dropped one in there and started to spin and by morning he had spun all the feathers into glittering gold.

 

The black, grinning fox came back, raised the gold and grew trees out of them.

Then he asked:

“What is my name?”

 

The Prince said all the names he knew but the fox shook his head every time. He said:

“That is not my name.”

 

The Prince did as he told once more.

He got more feathers, he dropped more hairbreadth, again began to turn the wheel, and by morning he had spun all the feathers into glittering gold.

 

The black, grinning fox came back, grew big gold trees from it and then he asked:

“What is my name?”

 

The Prince said all the names he could think of but the fox shook his head.

“That is not my name.”

 

The Prince got more feathers and now without adding his hair, he could turn the wheel and spin.

But he spun,

and spun,

and spun,

 

Not realizing that his feet started to change into the legs of a bird.

Not realizing that his nose started to change into a beak of a bird.

Not realizing that his arms by the morning, after he had spun all the feathers into glittering gold, was starting to change into wings of a bird.

He turned into a White Hummingbird.



The fox came and grinned down at the bird. He asked:

“What is my name, my Prince?”

 

The bird didn’t know.

 

The fox turned into a striking man with a black furred cloak on his back.

He folded his palms around the little bird, took him into his hands and said:

“You wanted to broke the curse, so I fulfilled your request,” and when he caressed the White Hummingbird gently, he said with eyes old like time:

 

“I am

The Wish Maker.”



– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Tales of Pestilence: The Wish Maker, Chapter XX by Samuel Krum.




 

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Theo walked into the garden and looked at Black, who was sitting at the terrace, below the rooftop, eyes closed. He heard the little raindrops as they hit the ground, the green grass, the leaves of the trees, the roof itself. The rain was softer now than it’d been before.

 

He sat next to Black on the bench and leaned back, closing his eyes as well. He only saw pitch black. He only heard the rain. It echoed through the house, through the garden, through the night sky.

 

Theo felt peace in his soul.

 

“Do you believe in anything, Black?” he asked, not opening his eyes.

 

The silence matched the rain for a couple of minutes.

 

“I believe in choices. Your own choices – my own choices that I make,” he said with an earnest voice. “That’s the only thing there is.”

 

Theo smiled lightly and hummed. He wanted to stretch out his hand to catch some of the raindrops.

 

“If you look at that way,” he said and shrugged. “Most of our choices define ourselves and everyone else around us.”

 

Black took a deep breath and then blew it out. It sounded like a whisper.

 

“What was your choice that defined you, kid?” Black asked and Theo smiled, still closing his eyes, enjoying the rain.

 

Even the sky cries sometimes.

 

“I promised to myself not to hesitate,” he whispered and half opened his eyes. It burned like fire from heaven. “You know, sometimes it’s now or never.”

 

Black opened his eyes and furrowed his brows in concentration. And in pain.

 

Theo looked up to the stars and narrowed his eyes, trying to search for the one burning brightest.  “We look up at the same stars,” he whispered, an idea struck in his head. “And see such different things.”

 

He looked back at the adult man and saw such a sorrow that Theo had to look away–

 

‘You always want to fix broken things,’ said Blaise to him few years ago.

 

‘Do not!’ Theo shouted, shaking his head.

 

Blaise laughed, ‘Do too!’ he said with warm eyes. ‘You have this look on your face that I could never put anywhere.’

 

‘I don’t have a look, what look?’ he asked with suspicion and Blaise smiled at him while he said:

 

‘An eyes of a hero.’

 

The rain began to stop.

 

Theo clenched his fists and breathed deeply.

 

Theo didn’t know how long he had been sitting here but Black was still here next to him, that much he knew.

 

Everything has a reason. Everyone has a reason. To happen, to be, to exist.

 

Theo flicked his wrist and lightened up some flames from his fingertips. He looked at them with calmness, almost hypnotized. The orange color shone on his face and his arms, like glowing light.

 

“Sometimes we see similar things, don’t we?”

 

Theo smiled gently at Black’s words and closed his palms – vanishing the fire, sending up smoke through his fingers.

 

“Who knows,” Theo whispered and looked up at the sky. He imagined how many people were looking at them right now.

 

He felt something swell up in his chest and said, thinking about Blaise’s words:

 

“Maybe we turn to stars when all of this is over.”



 

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Pansy has never believed in God.

 

In fact, she has never believed in anything that might’ve been mighty or some kind of a superior person.

 

Pansy has never believed in God, because she was sure he didn’t exist. There was no way, because only clouds were above their heads and only earth was beneath their feet. Nothing else, nothing more.

 

Fate and destiny was just a lie. Every action that’s happening around you or with you, it’s your doing – not anyone else’s, she honestly believed that.

 

After all, it was one decision to take the right rather than the left.

 

After all, the rain was something that was a natural effect.

 

After all, the sun was a star.

 

After all, the wind was something that was unseen by everyone.

 

After all, everyone will die in the end. So no,

 

Pansy has never believed in God.

 

She has never been in Churches. She has never prayed. She has never read the Bible. She has never wished nor asked nor begged because she knew that the whole of it would’ve been empty. Because no one would’ve answered to her or done something.

 

Pansy Parkinson has never believed in God and nor she ever will.

 

But she believed in monsters. She saw two already. Pansy Parkinson believed in monsters. And she knew that they were not in Hell.

 

They walked here, on Earth. But if there was no God and monsters walked on Earth, then who will save them when all of this is over?

 

 

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Harry could still see the startled faces, could still hear the astounded whispers when he closed the door behind him and turned around to face the other champions. They looked like they were going to faint.

 

They walked into this room after midnight. After they took off the masks. And now everybody knew. Harry Potter is a Durmstrang Champion. Harry Potter lives. Harry Potter will save us all.

 

Harry’s gaze glided at Draco, who looked bored and was sitting down on a comfortable looking armchair.

 

Then a door opened and Dumbledore walked in with the other Headmasters and Headmistresses. They all looked strict and their severe eyes glowed in the dark room. Harry saw everyone straighten their spine. Everyone looked eager and determined but him and Draco.

 

Dumbledore smiled at everyone and patiently looked into everyone’s eyes and then started to speak:

 

“There will be four tasks,” he said in a grim voice. “Each will show us what you all are made of and not every one of them will have audience. In other words, some of them, only the judges – us – will see. No one needs to die but,” Dumbledore’s eyes darkened and narrowed. “Killing the other champions isn’t forbidden.”

 

Harry felt his insides freeze. He sensed fear. Not in himself or in Draco. Nor in the Japanese girl. But not in the others.

 

Harry’s eyes widened for a moment.

 

The others haven’t killed yet.

 

Dumbledore gave out a calm smile. “It is rather monstrous but everyone can die during a war,” he looked at the champions. “All of you need to get used to that, sooner than later. Also, the first task is called ‘Mirrors of Souls’. It takes place at tomorrow’s evening, in the forest and it will not have an audience,” Dumbledore looked at the other adults. “We will explain the rest of the details tomorrow. Every champion will be assigned someone, here at Hogwarts, who will guide you everywhere and help you with everything you need. They waiting behind the door, to show all of you the quarters where you’ll be sleeping. Everyone will be in the same area as their school. Now, any questions?”

 

No one moved nor said a word.

 

Dumbledore nodded and smiled at them kindly. Harry noticed something else in his eyes and he felt chills.

 

“Then, I wish good luck for everyone and never forget, my children, a war is coming. But,” Dumbledore whispered with a grim voice. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

 

Harry didn’t notice how the others reacted. He was looking only at Draco. He and Harry both thought the same thing.

 

When the war is here, no light and no winners will remain at all.

 

Because only four Horsemen will stand tall.



 

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Draco walked out of the room when every other champion and Headmaster and Headmistress went to their dorms. He felt his fingers fidget while he was walking back with Blaise, who asked him plenty of questions but Draco only gave him silence.

 

The minute he stepped out of the room, leaving Harry there because Dumbledore wanted to talk with him, Draco’s head became clear, as if cold water had been poured on his head.

 

He touched Pestilence – he touched Harry! He danced with Pestilence – Harry gave him white roses!

 

He was sweet with him and caring and didn’t lay a finger on him and protected him and–

 

Draco forgot all about Pettigrew. He forgot the reasons why he was here in the first place. He needed to get away from Harry. His head and mind had to be clear, all the time and he tried to close Famine’s lonely whimper out of his mind. He couldn’t let Harry become a distraction.

 

Because in the end

 

One of us has to die.

 

And Draco will always choose the Dark Lord. Who gave him his powers, who gave him his rank, who gave him everything. Draco owes him. He will repay it.

 

He is the Prince.

 

He is Famine.

 

He will be the one who will stand at the end with victory. Because Harry will try to kill the Dark Lord and Draco will protect him and this time, he was not sure who would die.

 

“Blaise,” Draco turned his head to his friend’s direction, trying to vanish the image of Harry’s lifeless body out of his mind. “You need to find me a rat.”



 

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“You need to protect him. He cannot use his magic. It is much too noticeable, and they will know that he is Voldemorts’s. I will pair you with him in every task possible.”

 

Harry’s eyes widened in shock because he wanted to be ready for whatever Dumbledore wanted to say, but he hadn’t been ready for this.

 

“Dr – Famine?” Harry asked out of disbelief. “But I need to kill him. He will protect Voldemort when he comes back and–”

 

“Harry,” Dumbledore whispered and leaned forward, his blue, wise eyes burnt into Harry’s old. “If you want to kill Voldemort, you need to trust me with this.”

 

Harry narrowed his eyes, an unfamiliar glint appeared in his emerald eyes.

 

“So what are you trying to say?” He asked calmly, voice like bitter ice. “I need to protect him because he can’t use his magic but after all of this is over, I need to kill him?

 

Dumbledore’s eyes narrowed with patience and sorrow. Harry’s hands recoiled. It felt like Draco’s white rose was still in his hand and its thorns still pierced his fingers and palm.

 

“I can’t tell you a lot of things, Harry, and you need to accept that,” Harry’s eyes darkened and Dumbledore looked away with eyes, full of torment. “But I can say a few hints. Listen carefully, whatever happens after this, never forget that you are unique. Never forget that this life is unique.”

 

Harry raised an eyebrow, looking confused. Then, Dumbledore looked back and Harry felt torn open. As if he was a book and Dumbledore was reading him fluently.

 

“And most importantly,” Dumbledore said quietly and Harry saw Fawkes look at him with eyes of fire. “Never forget that Pestilence can only look back. Not forward.”



 

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Kurosawa Karin couldn’t be fooled by an old man.

 

The black haired eighteen year old girl held her chin high while she was walking down the corridors. She held her Kitsune mask in her right hand and walked calmly in her flowery furisode, following Daphne Greengrass who was guiding her to her corridors. Headmistress Yamasaki Sakiko was walking next to her, but had to look up in order to meet the Mahoutokoro champion’s eyes.

 

“What do you think, Kurosawa–sama?” The Headmistress asked in Japanese, her voice rang like a bell but held a quiet storm.

 

Karin looked ahead, her stern eyes wore unearthly rage. She felt her ancestors blood in her veins.

 

“I will be the winner, Sensei,” she answered and looked down at her Kitsune mask. Snow, wind, and blood appeared in front of her and all she could see was red flowers, his favorite red flowers.

 

When she heard the rain outside and lightning through the clouds, Karin thought to herself, “ I will win.”

 

No matter how many arms she would have to tear off.

 

I will win.

 

Her eyes glowed purple and felt the magic in her fingertips. She saw snow, wind, blood and his favorite red flowers.

 

Dear brother,

 

I will win for you.



 

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Eliza Vilar was humming her country’s song. Mother Brazil was something else and she missed the sun on her skin. Headmaster Arsenio Esteves was walking in front of her, following Neville Longbottom, who was guiding them to her corridors.

 

Her Occamy was flying circles above her head. Eliza looked up at him and smiled.

 

“You sense their eager, don’t you, Cain?” Eliza smiled and ran a hand through her short hair. Her eyes glowed like a kaleidoscope, green and blue and brown, colors blending into each other.

 

Eliza walked steadily, sometimes caressed the feathers of Cain. She knew this will be bloody. But she only hummed the song.

 

Esta é a ditosa Pátria minha amada, ” Eliza sang quietly, flickering her wrist. Cain ruffled his wings and purred. She noticed the beautiful man, the white haired one. Eliza remembered what her mother said:

 

“...Who holds beauty, shall whisper one thing and everyone will jump to fight till death...”

 

Esta é a ditosa Pátria minha amada, ” Eliza sang quietly, flickering her wrist. No one will get in her way. She will win it. For her country. For herself.

 

I won’t be a slave to jump to a command and fight until I have no breath to take.

 

Esta é a ditosa Pátria minha amada, ” the Castelobruxo champion sang quietly, flickering her wrist. She imagined the trumpets, the drums like the anthem.

 

Cain will rip off their heads.

 

Eliza smiled and whispered, like a bitter lullaby, now in English:

 

“This is my beloved fortunate motherland.”

 

 

 

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Gavril Kozlov walked like a soldier and there was no peace that could hold back his bloodlust towards the Durmstrang champion.

 

He held his stag mask in his left hand and Headmistress Praskovya Krupin walked like a lieutenant in front of him. The Koldovstoretz champion stood tall and looked ahead but in his eyes, he saw a black fox and a grinning mask.

 

He will get the trophy – before the Durmstrang champion ever could. He will be the Kaiser. The Tsar. And next to his throne, a white haired, golden eyed Tsarina will sit.

 

And Gavril gave out a sharp smile, feeling calmer, because a fox can be as mischievous as possible.

 

But the king of the forest will always be the stag.

 

 

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Charlton Moore was walking next to Ginny Weasley, who was talking relentlessly but the Ilvermorny champion didn’t listen a word. He was thinking about the tasks.

 

There was something weird about all of this that he couldn’t put his finger on.

 

Charlton’s grandma always said ‘If your guts tells ya something’s wrong, it’s usually true.’ But what was wrong, exactly?

 

Charlton looked at his wrists, covered with burn scars. He felt the smoke in the air – that kind of smoke that he hadn’t felt in a long time.

 

Something was definitely wrong. The others seemed too blind to actually notice it but Charlton was not an idiot.

 

He knows when he smells Fiendfyre. He could tell even by touch.

 

And on that Beauxbatons champion, he definitely smelled fire.

 

 

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Chinasa and Kesta Botha walked next to each other. The two Uagadou champions walked elegantly, following Zacharias Smith. Their Headmaster, Imani Adebayo, walked behind them, looking sharply the corridors, memorizing every inch of the castle.

 

Chinasa looked into her twin brother’s white eyes and saw similar emotions. Her brother had noticed as well. The Durmstrang champion.

 

Kesta looked at his twin sister and felt their magic brush the other’s palm. They had a feeling. And when they intertwined their fingers, they knew.

 

The Durmstrang champion was blessed.

 

Chinasa and Kesta hadn’t seen a blessed one for a long time. It was true then. It was true what the regents had told. The long dead God was changing hosts.

 

Babalú–Ayé was back.

 

The twins felt their dead magic come alive. They noticed at the party too. It will happen again.

 

Pestilence will start the cycle again.

 

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

 

I heard,

 

After Pestilence broke the first seal, he touched the Gate of the Sky

And escaped.

 

They say,

The Creator freed Famine and commanded him to return Pestilence to the pit.

 

Legends say,

The Creator made War as Famine’s brother, his Feather.

To give Famine help.



But Pestilence seemed invisible.



Legends say,

Pestilence touched Heaven once more and caught the wings of an Angel.

He dragged him down and gave it to Famine as a courting Gift.



They say,

when the rain ran out,

And fire consumed the Earth,

Famine pitied the scatter winged thing,

and bathed him in the Sun.



I heard from someone that they only dared to whisper his name.

The Lord of the Pit, they whisper.

 

The one who was made of Famine’s Sun and the fire of Earth, they whisper.

The one who is Famine’s warrior, they whisper.



Legends say,

He had amber eyes and beautiful face, because he was an Angel before.

But he had horns of an ox and legs of a rooster.



They say,

He wore the crown as the King of Demons and Sin, he represented Lust.



I heard,

That people who fall to Asmodeus' ways will be sentenced to an eternity in Hell.



– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Asmodeus: King of Demons, Chapter I, Paragraph I, by Samuel Krum and Mykew Gregorovitch.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 8



How does



your Garden



grow?






Kurosawa Karin picked up a black stone – carved from slate – from a bowl, gripping it between her index and middle fingers, middle finger on top, and placed it directly on the desired intersection on the Go board that lay on the floor.

 

She then picked up a white stone – carved from translucent white shells and placed it next to another intersection, starting to build a chain.

 

She felt the dawn sun’s light on her face, as it shone through her window, into her chamber. Karin closed her eyes and leaned back, enjoying the warm glow against the cold air brushing by her cheek. Karin loved the night more but–

 

Taka.

 

Karin breathed deeply, like she was catching her soul before it could escape from her lungs.

 

Taka loved the sun.

 

“Taka! You like the sun so much, you must be the descendant of Amaterasu!” The six year old Karin said with glowing eyes of wonder in their parent’s chamber.

 

Karin remembered how much gold was used to build that one room. Half of all Japan’s gold, it seemed.

 

Taka smiled gently at her and took her hand. “Then you could be the descendant of Tsukuyomi. The sun can’t live without the moon, after all.”

 

Karin’s smile died down and she shuddered. “But Amaterasu and her brother, Tsukuyomi, got into a fight and...” Karin’s eyes turned watery. “I don’t want to fight with you, Taka!”

 

Her brother narrowed his eyes and looked at Karin like if she was stupid.

 

“We would never fight,” he said with a frown. “We will stay together. Forever and ever.”

 

The wind caught Karin’s hair and when she opened her purple eyes and looked down at the Go board, she noticed that it was full of with black stones.

 

Black.

 

Like a dark, starry sky with the moon. Without the sun.

 

Alone.

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

“WHAT?!”

 

Sirius Black almost dropped his coffee out into the garden. He looked at Theo with shock, who was sitting in front of him at the outdoor table.

 

“Wh– what?”

 

Theo read the letter again. And again, clutching it with disbelief.

 

“NO WEDDING?!” Theo shouted, leaning closer to the letter. “Are you kidding me, Gerard? You pathetic little – hell no,” Theo shook his head and pulled out a Howler from his pocket.

 

Black looked at him with surprise and opened his mouth to–

 

“Why do you keep Howlers in your–”

 

“I’m done, ya hear me!” Theo shouted into the letter and a quill appeared which began to write his words down furiously. “Pull yourself together! I won’t free you out from prison again if you stay like this – this heartbroken rubbish. And we both know you’re gonna get back there. Better do something about this because Cousin Peter will be pissed! You promised me a fucking wedding, Gerard! A fucking wedding – I know where you live, you dipshit!” A vein popped out in his neck. “Don’t make me call Maria! She’s gonna gut you out and I sure as hell won’t be a shield!”

 

Theo waved his hand with a sharp movement and an owl came out of nowhere, got the red howler, and flew off to deliver it.

 

Black’s jaw could’ve scratched the grass but Theo was only holding his head, shaking it with a pained expression.

 

Blaise, and Draco, then Lestrange, now Gerard–

 

“I am surrounded by idiots,” Theo’s voice was grim. So grim. He had enough. He leaned back in his chair. “I need a holiday. Like, right now. I can’t take this anymore, I didn’t sign up for this shit – I haven’t even got a salary–”

 

“I’m not sure I want to ask,” Black said and Theo didn’t even blink at him.

 

“Let’s just say that,” Theo answered sweetly, “Croatia looks great at the moment, smells great at the moment, but I’m not there at the moment and that’s not as much of greatness at the moment.”

 

Black tilted his head and looked at Theo with curiosity.

 

“Are you sure you’re a Nott?” Black asked. “I met your parents a long time ago but you’re not like your father or mother – you don’t resemble them at all.”

 

Theo saw burning flesh, smelled rotting skin and the cracking wood of the house. He remembered his mother’s words before he burned her skin down to paste with his hands.

 

Asmodeus, Asmodeus, Asmodeus–

 

“I burnt them all, Black.”

 

Black darted his eyes down and Theo looked at his face, refusing to look away, to feel guilty because there was no use for guilt. “My personality was only my doing, through years of learning and analyzing. ”

 

“I’ve heard rumors but I thought it was all made up,” Black said, looking at the grass. “To think Fiendfyre could slide into someone’s skin–”

 

“To think Horsemen exist and can reincarnate,” Theo spoke up and flicked his wrist. Black looked at him again. “Not everything is probable, but nothing is impossible. Learn that, Black, and you’ll never be surprised.”

 

Black gave him the smile of a trickster. “I’m not so sure about that,” he said and looked away from Theo. “There are many things that could make one surprised.”

 

Theo furrowed his brows then followed Black’s gaze and felt the hair on his hands stand up.

 

The man standing there had a pale face and light brown hair, with a little bit grey. He wore shabby and patched clothes.

 

But Theo knew his instincts were good. He knew, because Draco always said Theo could smell creatures from miles away.

 

Black smile grew wider and when Theo could actually process what was coming towards him, Black shouted with joy:

 

“Remus!”

 

 

 

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Harry was in the dark and something warm and sticky covered his feet until his ankles. It was cold, wind brushed his skin and he felt it and when he stepped forward–

 

Blood.

 

He stood in black blood.

 

Harry gulped loudly and shivered. He brought his other leg next to his left, feeling as the liquid thing swam through his toes.

 

He froze when he heard a beautiful voice.

 

He slowly looked forward, to the voice’s direction. He saw his older self’s back, wearing a golden veil, sitting in front of a wheel, constantly turning it, spinning one long golden string from feathers.

 

Pestilence.

 

Harry swallowed again and started walking towards him. He heard the squeaking of the wheel as Pestilence spun and spun and spun–

 

 

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

 

 

Pestilence sang quietly, slowly, spinning the golden string and Harry felt his hands shake. He saw Pestilence cut his nails and throw it into the bucket of feathers.

 

 

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row

 

 

Harry’s breath was tight in his chest. Pestilence kept working, the wheel clattering merrily, matching with the song. His older self’s voice was sweet and joyful. Pestilence just spun and spun–

 

 

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

 

 

The wheel just clattered and clattered, Harry felt the blood circling around his feet. Pestilence spun the glittering gold string and Harry felt his throat choke him–

 

 

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row

 

 

A hand caught his ankle and pulled him down, choking him in the black blood. Harry struggled to reach the surface – begged to breathe some air but the blood went into his mouth, his eyes, it filled up his head, his lungs, his–

 

 

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

 

 

When he got to the surface, someone caressed his cheek and took his face into his hands, like a lover. Harry was looking into two old, emerald eyes. Cruel, bitter, with a mad glint. Pestilence leaned forward with an enraged smile, brushed his lips close to his ears and sang:

 

How does your garden grow?

 

 

Harry woke up with a sharp intake of breath and when he touched his head and calmed his shaking body down, as he felt the disgusting taste on his tongue, he realized what Pestilence asked.

 

He ran to the bathroom and vomited.

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

Draco didn’t see him at dinner. He hadn’t seen him at all, all day. Not even Viktor Krum or the other one with the shaved head, who looked like a serial killer, if Draco wanted to be honest.

 

He sighed and nipped his leather gloves.

 

There you go again, looking for him everywhere.

 

Even though Draco swore he wouldn’t talk to him again. Well, he supposed, it would be better this way–

 

“Hello, honey.”

 

Draco looked up to see Gavril’s eyes on him. Brown eyes.

 

Not green.

 

Draco tried very hard to hide his disappointment. He stood up from his bench and turned around to walk away.

 

“Goodbye,” Draco said and then wanted to leave but Gavril caught his arm. He winced a little and looked back at the Koldovstoretz champion, with narrowed eyes and the beginnings of a sneer.

 

Gavril let go of his elegant coat immediately. “Sorry,” he said, blushing furiously. “It’s just, I wanted to talk to–”

 

“Does this man trouble you, Beauxbatons?”

 

Draco turned to look at three Gryffindors who stopped in the hallway. He didn’t know any of them but they looked pretty angry.

 

“We saw him catch your arm! How dare he!” said one of them furiously and Draco didn’t know that if anger made his face red or if he was simply blushing.

 

Draco looked at them in the eye and they were all in awe.

 

“It’s okay,” Draco said nicely, trying to be patient.

 

The Gryffindors nodded – looking proud and calm – then they glanced at Gavril who stood there in pure shock.

 

“We won’t say a word this time but be glad the Durmstrang champion wasn’t here, fella,” said the tallest with a dark voice and now it was Draco’s turn to be surprised.

 

“What do you mean?” He and Gavril asked the same time, Draco sounding defensive and Gavril offended.

 

They looked at the each other, then the shortest said with an uncertain voice:

 

“Well, you two are a couple, right? Or at least you were,” he was looking at Draco. “It’s just – your dance yesterday, it was hard to not notice, it was–”

 

“Really beautiful,” finished the blushing one. The tall and the short one hit him on the shoulder.

 

“Shut up Seamus! That’s really inappropriate!”

 

“Like you two didn’t also think that!”

 

Draco could only blink. Gavril looked too shocked to even say anything. A few people in the halls stopped to listen to their conversation–

 

“It’s a shame, really,” said the red faced one – Seamus. He stared at Draco with glowing eyes. “But well, you’re in good hands, Beauxbatons. He’s Harry Potter, the one who killed You-Know-Who! He’s probably very powerful.”

 

The tallest started nodding, touching his chin.

 

“Yes, yes,” he said thoughtfully with closed eyes. “He is also friends with Viktor Krum, so there’s that.”

 

“Of course you’d only think about that, Oliver,” said the shortest. “Have you got your sign yet?

 

Oliver narrowed his eyes at him. “Shut up.”

 

Draco blinked one then two then–

 

“Well anyway,” said Oliver looking at Gavril before turning around. “Good luck to you ,” he smirked and walked away with the other two. “You’ll need it.”

 

Suddenly every student around them started to walk again, continuing their roads. They still looked at their direction but–

 

“Is this true? Are you his?” Gavril asked and Draco turned to look at him. Gavril’s eyes were sharp on Draco’s gold.

 

And they were not green.

 

“No,” Draco said and turned around, remembering Harry’s terrifying old eyes. Remembering how every tale ended.

 

He looked down at his hands.

 

Remembered his gentle kiss on Draco’s palm, his hand that usually destroyed everything that it could touch and before he could stop himself–

 

“No,” he continued in a bitter voice. “But you should avoid touching me if you want to keep your hands, because Harry is not as calm and patient as me.”

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

“Harry, tell me what’s wrong!”

 

Harry didn’t look back, he only walked forward and forward, towards the dark and looming forest, darker in the night, trying to get Viktor’s voice out of his head–

 

“Harry for Merlin’s sake, stop–”

 

Harry stopped and looked back at him. Viktor stopped too and looked at him with wide eyes, Deyan stopped too, behind Viktor.

 

“I’m fine,” Harry said through his teeth.

 

Viktor shook his head. “I don’t believe you. You locked yourself away today, didn’t you? And now you’re angry? You know what that means?” the shadows fell only his face and Deyan’s red eyes shone in the dark.

 

Harry felt a bitter taste on his tongue and then gave out a half smile. “I. know.”

 

“Harry–”

 

“Is there something you want to tell me about Pestilence, Viktor ?”

 

Viktor froze and Deyan actually flinched. Harry’s mouth opened in a smile–

 

Ah,

 

Both of them know it.

 

“Then we’re done here,” he said with burning fire and turned around, walking into the forest and when he stepped into the trees–

 

He felt the ground vanish beneath him.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

Harry was looking at a door with the sign ‘Mirrors of Souls’ and read the little printed instructions.

 

There is a man who has the memories of a soldier who is on our enemy’s side and he thinks he is captured by us. You need to get some information out of him – any kind of information about the ‘enemy.’ Everything is allowed and nothing is forbidden and use all the time you need.

 

Harry opened the door and felt his anger throb in his veins. Viktor and Deyan and even Dumbledore won’t tell him anything and Pestilence–

 

He calmly shut it closed behind him and walked towards the man, who was shackled to the wall. A collar was on his neck, a long chain connected to it–

 

“Tell me what you know about the enemy,” Harry said quietly, calmly, but the anger was starting to crawl into his head, he heard someone panting close to his ears – felt as if saliva was dropping on his shoulders, on his neck–

 

The man spat at him and smiled with bloody teeth. “I will tell you nothing.”

 

The man spat at him and

 

Harry felt

 

something

 

snap

 

in

 

him.

 

He felt a sharp intake of breath – his – and he was in front of the man, catching the chain, rolling it around his neck, choking him.

 

“I don’t have time for games,” Harry whispered through gritted teeth while looking down into the man’s mad eyes as he struggled to get more air, struggled to be free of the chain. “Tell me!”

 

The man – even if Harry had let him – hadn’t said a word and Harry started choking him even more with the chain, the sharp links starting to leave indents on his skin.

 

“Tell me!” Harry whispered harshly into his ear because he wanted someone else to feel how disgusting it felt – how someone else would feel, violated after something like this–

 

He weakened his hold a bit. The man coughed and swallowed, cracked his throat and caught his breath.

 

“They’re at the Ministry!” he said in a dry voice. Hoarse. “That’s the only thing I know.”

 

And Harry felt fear. He knew the man hadn’t lied. And now he wasn’t simulating. This wasn’t in his script.

 

The man was terrified. But Harry never looked away from him.

 

You don’t know what fear is.

 

Harry remembered how Pestilence whispered to his ears, caressed him, lurked in his mind, in his body, all the time–

 

“I will show you what fear is like,” Harry whispered and rolled the chain around the man’s neck – not caring when the man started kicking –  until there was nothing left to roll. Then, after waiting a moment – let him feel some of it – with a quick movement, he snapped the man’s neck with it and let it fall down.

 

When the silence became too loud, Harry heard the voice, close to his ears, like a sweet song and realization of what he did, hit him. He touched his face and covered his ears–

 

He only heard the sweet, joyful voice as it sang the song.

 

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

 

Harry let out a horrible gagging sound from the back of his throat and threw up next to the corpse, choking on his saliva.

 

How does your garden grow?

 

He vomited and coughed and curled up in a ball, and the song echoed through his mind. Again and again and again and again and–

 

Because what Pestilence meant–

 

Mary, Mary quite contrary,

 

The increasing flowers in Harry’s garden–

 

How does your garden grow?

 

He felt the world spin around him, his head was splitting open and his skin had vanished and laid him out bare. It wasn’t flowers he was growing it was

 

Corpses.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 9



Mirrors



of



Souls





 

 

“Why are you competing, Charlton?” Ginny Weasley asked, “Why do you want to win?”

 

Charlton Moore stopped elbowing on the table and leaned back in his chair.

 

Ginny Weasley was an interesting person. Apparently, she had multiple brothers and was the only girl in the family besides his mother. Also, only one of her brother was sorted in Slytherin, despite how all of the other Weasleys were in Gryffindor. What was his name... Ren? Mor? Ray?–

 

“Charlton, answer me! I’m so excited about the whole thing and you just – you’re always yawning and stuff, like a retired old man who’s only waiting for his grandchildren to arrive, ” Ginny looked at him pointedly, “Are you doing it for the money or what?”

 

Charlton sighed tiredly and rubbed his burnt hands together. The skin always felt weird, wrinkled but sometimes smooth and very sensitive and darker than his white skin. Normal burn scars wouldn’t feel so sensitive after so many years.

 

But these scars were here because of Fiendfyre.

 

“Money ain’t got no soul,” Charlton said, quoting his grandmother, looking up at Ginny, “Money ain’t got no heart.”

 

Ginny looked surprised, “I’m sure a lot of them compete because of that though.”

 

Charlton shrugged lazily – cracking his shoulders – and looked at Ginny with brown eyes of wisdom.

 

“I’m competing because I thought it would be fun,” he said, “Because I’m the best at Ilvermorny.”

 

Ginny squinted her eyes at him, “Thought it would be fun? You don’t think that anymore?”

 

Charlton’s eyes darted down and became clear. Like a depth of a lake, still shining above the sun.

 

“Something’s off about the whole thing,” he said and rubbed his eyes, “It’s right under my nose but I can’t see it.”

 

Ginny leaned closer with wide eyes,“It’s like a feeling when your gut tells you something’s wrong?”

 

Charlton chuckled lightly, seeing Ginny’s young eyes, sparkling like that, “Yeah, it kind of is.”

 

The redhead turned serious more of a sudden.

 

“Then it must be true. My brothers – Fred and George – have this feeling. It always saves them from dangerous events, like explosions and stuff,” Ginny shook her head with a little smile, “I mean, you only need to look at the other champions to see that this will be nothing like the other Triwizard Tournaments.”

 

Charlton leaned on the table and looked interested, “What do you mean?”

 

Ginny bit her bottom lip, looked around, and then leaned closer to whisper:

 

“I talked with Luna, she’s my friend,” she whispered, “She’s the Koldovstoretz champion’s guider. You know, that tall, scary looking guy?”

 

Charlton didn't think Gavril was that scary. If he wanted to think about scary, the first champion that would pop up in his mind would be that Durmstrang champion. He was the only young champion besides Beauxbatons and himself, but the boy’s eyes looked like nightmares.

 

Charlton shuddered.

 

“Yeah, Gavril, I know,” he said, nodding.

 

Ginny looked at him weirdly, “Luna said he only wants to win to get the Beauxbatons champion.”

 

Charlton’s eyes widened and he couldn’t even breathe for a moment. He remembered their dance – no one could’ve missed that dance.

 

The Koldovstoretz champion is the biggest idiot in the whole world.

 

“He is going to be the first one who dies,” Charlton said earnestly, “He’ll deserve it if he’s that blind and careless.”

 

Ginny looked at him, tilting her head, looking utterly confused.

 

“Why’s that?”

 

Charlton gaped at her, lost for words.

 

“You’re that blind too? Really, redhead?”

 

“What?!”

 

“I’m so disappointed.”

 

“Tell me!”

 

“I’m too tired to tell you. You’re not dumb, you’ll figure it out eventually.”

 

“You’re really grumpy, you know that?”

 

“I haven’t eaten my grandma’s cooking for days, how would you feel?”



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

When the werewolf told them the plan, their discussion began as Theo thought it would.

 

Like this;

 

“You two are insane,” shouted Lestrange at Theo and Black. The werewolf was sitting at the end of the table, looking amused.

 

“You call us insane?!” Theo shouted back. “Look into the mirror!”

 

Lestrange sent a wrathful glance at Theo who looked down at her and smiled smugly.

 

“Black is messed up and you’re as insane as me,” said Lestrange, her face starting to grow red with anger. Black coughed to muffle his laughter.

 

Theo only kept smiling like a lunatic, “That’s debatable.”

 

When Lestrange was starting to huff, Theo raised an eyebrow and readied his hand, in case a good burning was needed.

 

“Cool down, the both of you,” the werewolf said and Lestrange became angrier. She turned at him with an ugly frown.

 

“Why should I listen to a–”

 

“Shut up, Lestrange!” warned Theo.

 

“Don’t finish that sentence!” growled Black at the same time.

 

Theo and Black looked at each other with a surprise. Black was more surprised. Even the werewolf looked surprised.

 

“Why did you...” trailed off Black.

 

Theo’s eyes were innocent like a child’s. “Werewolves are awesome – oh, by the way,” Theo looked back at the werewolf. “I want to see if your fur can burn, could you please give me some, sometime?”

 

All three looked at him scared, disgusted and weird but Lestrange looked the most terrified. She was the one in this room who knew him the most.

 

“Why do you need to know that?” she asked and Theo looked at her, raising his eyebrows.

 

“Mind your business,” he looked at her warily, closed his eyes and sighed tiredly, “My God, I really need a holiday.”

 

Lestrange got more confused, “Who?”

 

Theo groaned and touched his face with disappointment. Surrounded by idiots. “That’s what I’m talking about.”

 

“Maybe we should concentrate on the plan,” advised the werewolf and Black started nodding. Lestrange looked like a lunatic like she always did. She looked at Theo and squinted her eyes at him.

 

“Why did I get that idea that you thought something rude about me?” her voice has risen up by the end of the sentence but Theo only whistled.

 

“No idea,” he said and whistled more, “Maybe because I only think rude things about you.”

 

Lestrange said a very interesting word and Theo really wanted to see her hair in flames.

 

The kitchen almost blew up on that day.

 

Almost.



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

Charlton read the instruction on the door and then looked down at the door handle. The first task is basically torture, then. His shoulders felt heavy.

 

Awesome , he thought bitterly.

 

His brown eyes never left the door handle. His burnt hands seemed almost rotten on that handle.

 

Here we go.

 

He opened the door and walked in.



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

Kurosawa Karin looked down at the pathetic looking man, shackled to the wall, with her purple glowing eyes and as she caught his throat, she grew out her black claws and almost pierced the skin.

 

This is too easy.

 

“You will tell me everything,” she leaned closer and her purple eyes turned to mere slits, looking deep blue, “You don’t want to see my tricks.”

 

And when the man opened his mouth and told everything,

 

Karin

 

cut

 

off

 

his

 

eyes

 

and

 

ears.

 

She said with voice cold as frost, as she was growing back her claws:

 

“With this body, your leader will no longer need you. Rest, soldier! You've done well.”



 

––––––––––––––––



 

Gavril Kozlov tortured him for hours and hours, cutting off his limbs, his fingers, his arms until he broke and told everything and when he did–

 

Gavril bowed his head and saluted, then walked out of the door, leaving the crippled man there and vanished.



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

I can’t even touch this man, let alone hurt him.

 

His gloves would soak through because of the blood if he would start beating him and then he could’ve kill even with those gloves. No, he can’t touch his man at all.

 

Draco stopped to think while looking at the man shackled to the wall. He knew that he was being watched by the judges. If they see his magic, his whole plan of getting Pettigrew and the whole ‘Macbeth’ plan itself, would be ruined.

 

But with only talking, how could he possibly get inform–

 

Draco’s golden grey eyes widened as the last week’s events appeared in front of him. He looked down at himself.

 

Only with talking.

 

Draco half closed his eyes. He noticed the man hadn’t looked up since he came in here, so he stepped forward and said kindly:

 

“Look at me, brave soldier,” he made sure his breath ghosted on the prisoner’s face.

 

The man looked up and locked his eyes into Draco’s ethereal gold one. His left, fractured blind eyes turned wholly golden while his right had only gold patches in his iris.

 

The soldier couldn’t breathe for a couple of minutes. Then, with wide eyes, he whispered with a broken voice:

 

“You’re the Caladrius.”

 

Draco tilted his head to an angle where he knew the moonlight came through the window and it shone on his golden left eye, on his white hair.

 

“Who’s that?” Draco asked in a sweet voice, that could’ve soothed every human being on earth.

 

The man couldn’t look away from Draco’s beauty.

 

“My mother used to tell me stories,” the man whispered and Draco never left his eyes, he captured the man in the palm of his hand. “About the white bird with golden eyes. If it looks into the face of a sick person, the person will live. If it looks away, the person will die.”

 

Draco did not look away.

 

“They say, after that, the bird will fly into the sun where the disease will be burnt to its core and destroyed,” he continued with blown pupils. “You’re like Caladrius. Beautiful, white and golden.”

 

Draco fluttered his white eyelashes and gave a heartwarming smile to the soldier.

 

“You seem to know a lot about myths. Tell me, what do you know about the enemy then?”

 

The man told him everything and when he was done, Draco turned away and he swore he could see the prisoner break in front of him like shattered glass of a mirror.

 

But Draco felt nothing for him. He only thought, maybe he really was Caladrius.

 

Maybe if he’d looked away from a sick person, they really would die. Not on the outside, like an actual death or scars and wounds, no. But–

 

“...From legends old, they say, he Gives and Takes all...”

 

On the inside, like their souls,

 

maybe.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

When Draco came out of the room, he vanished at the door, and then after one or two blinks, he noticed that was lying on the ground. When he could catch his breath he realized,

 

It was all just an illusion.

 

He slowly stood up, rubbed his neck and looked around. The other champions lied on the ground, unconscious, in the big elegant room. Every champion was sleeping except him and–

 

Draco’s eyes widened as he noticed him sitting on an armchair, at the end of the room.

 

Harry.

 

Maybe Draco muttered his name – he didn’t know – because Harry looked up at him immediately after he noticed him.

 

His green eyes fixated on Draco’s golden and grey and before he realized it, Draco was stepping forward to him and Harry stood up and started walking to his direction.

 

They both froze, midway, at the same time.

 

Draco’s hands twitched. You idiot. He touched his other arm and pressed his fingers down on his coat, pressuring his skin.

 

Your head needs to be clear! You need to focus on more important–

 

“Draco,” Harry whispered, continuing his walk. Draco stood his ground and refused to melt by the gentle voice when Harry said his name. “I wa–can we talk?”

 

Say no, say no, say no, say no–

 

Draco swallowed, looking away from him. “I think not,” he started weakly. “I don’t want to–”

 

Harry reached toward his gloved hand and touched some of his fingers and Draco stopped and looked back at Harry who looked–

 

“I know we will kill each other at some point,” Harry whispered and gazed at his golden eyes and Draco stared back, “And we shouldn’t talk or make contact at all – what I’m doing is definitely my worst idea yet, but you are the only one I can trust,” Harry pulled back his hand.

 

Draco couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

 

“You’re an idiot,” He whispered as he narrowed his eyes. “I could kill you in your sleep.” His words felt brittle even to him.

 

Harry raised an eyebrow and folded his arms across his chest. Draco noticed bags under his eyes.

 

“Like you’re trying so hard to murder me. You would’ve done that already if you’re that much of a hard worker.”

 

Draco also noticed how tired he looked. He also talked slower than before, he didn’t seem to be focused – just like Theo.

 

“I have no reason to do it yet,” that wasn’t a lie, “But you’re not trying so hard either.” Draco gritted his teeth.

 

Harry’s eyes turned cold and Draco felt the ancient Famine peek up with interest.

 

“Draco, I’m serious,” Harry said quietly. “ We need to talk .”

 

An old being started to growl inside of him.

 

Draco felt fire coming up in his throat and he leaned closer to Harry – his red, sweet flower scent hit Draco as hard as a brick and Harry didn’t take a step back.

 

“You can’t command me to do anything,” Draco whispered and he felt Harry’s breath graze his neck, “Talk to someone else.”

 

The old, emerald eyes held his gaze and refused to surrender. Harry leaned forward, until their noses almost touched.

 

“I can’t talk to anyone else,” Harry whispered back, his voice painted with quiet fury, “Right now, I only have you.”

 

Draco smiled, wanting to laugh because of the irony. Harry only trusted him.

 

And we’re going to kill each other.

 

“Have you heard the rumors?” Draco asked, changing the subject. Harry saw through him but leaned back nonetheless.

 

“What rumors?” he asked, playing along.

 

Draco shrugged and looked down at his shoes. “Apparently the whole school thinks that we are a couple – or that we were one,” Harry didn’t say anything so Draco continued, “Because of our dance at the ball,” still quiet, Draco started to become irritated. “No one’s brave enough to talk to me or touch me–”

 

“Good,” Harry said in a grave voice, “If someone touches you, I’ll snap their neck.”

 

Draco froze.

 

He looked up at Harry whose eyes darkened like night and venom. Famine purred and Draco forced himself to blink, to do something because–

 

No one has ever felt this protective of him. This...

 

Not even Blaise and not even Theo. This voice was promising something else to Draco’s oppressors, or possible suitors or someone who would even dare to try touching him.

 

Harry’s voice promised violent, ugly–

 

As violent and ugly as the things you will need to do?

 

Draco bit his bottom lip and closed his eyes for a minute, trying to close off his hunger, close off Theo’s voice out of his head.

 

“I hadn’t thought of you as the jealous type,” Draco whispered, blinking slowly.

 

Harry merely looked at him but Draco saw him wince a bit.

 

“Blame Pestilence,” Harry mouthed back and Draco felt Famine purr inside of him, “Meet me at my room,” Harry said then turned around and walked out of the room and Draco really didn’t want to think about how he began to miss his powerful aura next to him, his scent of blood and red flowers.



 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––



 

Albus looked at Aberforth who was watching the Pensieve memories with eager eyes in his office, after he talked over the first task ‘Mirrors of Souls’ with the other judges.

 

“But if Pestilence only came in fourth, who was first?” Aberforth wondered loudly.

 

“The first one is Famine,” said Dumbledore and Aberforth nodded, touching his chin.

 

“Draco Malfoy,” his brother said and Albus nodded. “Because he was the second one to wake up? Or because he’s gotten the information without even hurting the prisoner? Clever fella, by the way.”

 

“Very clever, indeed,” Dumbledore gave out a smile, “And both.”

 

Aberforth nodded, took a sip of his tea and said, “Fascinating.”

 

Dumbledore’s smile grew wider,“The Ilvermorny champion is more fascinating, I assure you.”

 

Aberforth squinted his eyes, waved his hand at the Pensieve and looked into it, watching Charlton Moore’s simulation. The fifteen year old boy didn’t touch the prisoner.

 

After a couple of seconds, and more and more Aberforth’s eyes widened with shock and Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, clasping his hands together.

 

“He,” Aberforth’s voice was full of with pure shock, “He... Albus...he...”

 

Dumbledore saw as Fawkes’s gaze was burning a hole into the storming sky.

 

“He befriended with the enemy and made him change sides?!”



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

“And we’ve got happiness here in our hearts!” Pastor Winston said loudly, in front of the choir.

 

“We do!” yelled a woman enthusiastically in the back.

 

“That’s for sure!” said a big man who sat in front of Theo who clapped with a big smile and nodded at everyone. The church was full like every Sunday when Theo went. The colorful, stained glass shone on everyone’s face as the sun brought its way through.

 

Pastor Winston clapped his hands together and gave out a heartwarming smile. He carried a strong voice and a powerful aura that made everyone beam out energy.

 

“It doesn't matter where you from. It doesn’t matter what you look like, what you wear,” Pastor Winston’s eyes glowed, “There is love in everybody’s soul and God is with us all!”

 

Claps and whistles blew up in the room.

 

“He sure is!”

 

“God is good!”

 

Theo laughed with joy, his face lightened up. The old woman who sat next to him was crying in joy.

 

“Even those who are lost,” Pastor Winston gestured widely, “God is with you! God never leaves you!”

 

“No, God never leaves!” shouted an old man at the other side.

 

“Never!” yelled the granny next to Theo who handed a tissue to her. She smiled at him.

 

“Thank you, son,” she said with a lovely voice that made Theo’s smile deepen. She wiped her eyes.

 

“Now I've been told the other day that Pastor Bernard at the end of the street,” Pastor Winston flicked his wrist and enunciated wildly, “Does not appreciate our community because he doesn’t have as many people in his church as I have in mine.”

 

Yells and boos filled up the room and some of the people even stood up, seeming pissed off. Theo looked around, amused.

 

“He need to go!” Theo flinched when the granny next to him yelled and gestured wildly.

 

“Tha’ is hate!” shouted a woman in the back.

 

“The devil just taking over!” a man threw up his hands in defeat in front of Theo.

 

Pastor Winston tried to calm his crowd down a bit. “Now, now, Pastor Bernard has hate in his heart but I offer him a prayer. I hope he’ll come to peace and have joyful days with sunshine and blue skies, Amen!”

 

A lot of people’s eyes got watery and Theo’s heart warmed up at the kind prayer.

 

“Amen!” shouted granny – along with a lot of people – next to Theo who almost jumped out of his skin.

 

“Even those who are lost!” yelled a lot of people at the back.

 

Another chorus of “Amens!” fluttered around the congregation.

 

“Praise the Lord!” the big man with a smile in his voice started to clap his hands in front of Theo.

 

Pastor Winston turned around and waved a hand. The choir stood up in their purple robes. On their black skin, the sun shone with gold and red, blue, pink colors of the stained glass. Theo’s breath caught in his throat for a moment.

 

The granny next to Theo stood up with everyone else in the church. Theo followed her and started clapping as the piano started.

 

Then the choir began and their voice echoed through the church. When the refrain came, their voice got louder and everyone started dancing, clapping louder and singing along with the choir.

 

Theo found himself clapping along the way and tapping his foot. His soul danced with it and his fiery eyes burnt with happiness and peace that he only found here. And when they stopped, Theo even blew a whistle.

 

He didn’t fail to notice how the granny next to him thanked again after they walked out of the church. She knew him now.

 

It was official.

 

The plan began.



 

–––––––––––––––––––––



 

War saw as the White Rook began the plan. He interacted with the Black Pawn. So then,

 

War looked at the map, touched the Black Knight and caressed it with his fingers. He put it down next to the King.

 

War smiled at it. His favorite.

 

It’s time for you.



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

With wind and Gold

 

I

 

will

 

fly.

 

And kill as I look away.

 

They will shatter

 

like

 

Mirrors.

 

I will Give and Take All.

 

Give me the sky and I shall

 

rule

 

Like an Emperor.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Famine: The Emperor, Prologue, by Samuel Krum.

 

 

 



Chapter Text

 

Chapter 10

 

 

Pair

 

of

 

Scales

 




Once,

In a Kingdom far away from Heaven’s light,

A young, beautiful Prince lived in a Mansion made of black feathers and furs

He was born in a family blessed with the touch of miracles

Legends said they could do anything they wished

 

When his father grew old, he asked one last thing before his death:

 

“My son, my life,” he pleaded, “You must keep this Mansion alive with your power. For that, you need to kill as many animals as you can and take their feathers and furs to maintain our house.”

 

And with that said, he let out his last breath

 

The beautiful Prince didn’t get his Crown made of the Sun’s gold until he started flaying animals’ furs and feathers

 

As years went by

everyone knew him as the Emperor

The Cruel Beauty who destroyed hundreds of animals

The One who had black veined hands for all the sins he had done with them

 

Once,

The Emperor went on his hunt for furs

And he found a Black Fox, lying in the forest, broken, bleeding, and in pain

 

The Emperor leered down at him and raised his knife to strike–

 

When the Black Fox opened his green eyes The Emperor stopped in awe and dropped the knife with quivering hands

 

The animal was as magnificent as the rain and night itself

 

The Emperor touched it’s fur with his black veined hands and healed it with his blessed hands

He took the animal to his Mansion made of Furs and Feather

 

As years went by,

There was nobody who hadn't heard of The Emperor

 

The One who had black veined hands for all the sins he had done with them

The Cruel Beauty who destroyed hundreds of animals

The One whose Crown was made of the Sun

The One who sat on his big Throne made of feathers and furs with a Black Grinning Fox on his lap.

 

The Emperor caressed the Fox’s fur, burying his hands in it,

and as years and centuries went by,

The Emperor’s grin grew as wide as the Black Grinning Fox’s.

 

Even now,

There are people, who can still hear The Emperor’s laugh

As he began to flay the skin from humans’ bones.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Tales of Famine: The One who had black veined hands, Chapter XX by Samuel Krum.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 




“Astoria still won’t come?!” Pansy almost shrieked.

 

Daphne looked around the library with bored eyes, seeing no one looking in their direction and then looked down at her fingernails.

 

“I have been saying,” she started slowly, articulating every word to calm Pansy down, “That she’s staying with Aunt Chantal a little bit more.”

 

Pansy gritted her teeth and narrowed her eyes, “I’m suffering with a headache because of all of you.”

 

Daphne twirled a blonde hairbreadth around her finger and leaned back in her chair. A big book was in front of her, red like her lipstick, “She has to stay, the auction will start soon and she has to help.”

 

Pansy massaged her temples with closed eyes. Her head felt like thunder full of lightning.

 

“I want to retire so bad, but I can’t.”

 

Daphne clicked her tongue, “Are you even listening to me? Pansy?”

 

Pansy cracked her fingers and then her neck. Sighing out of relief, she opened her eyes and looked at Daphne’s blue ones and smiled almost hysterically.

 

“Yes, I am listening. The only problem is, Daphne,” Pansy said her name in a lower voice, “That very, very soon a blood bath will begin and Astoria is nowhere to be found.”

 

Daphne sneered at her, “Like I said, she can’t come here yet. End of this discussion.”

 

Pansy’s eye twitched and she pouted, “Why is this auction so important anyway?”

 

Daphne raised her eyebrows and shrugged. A lot of students walked by. She stopped before she answered again.

 

“How should I know?” she said, “Aunt Chantal is obsessed with it,” Daphne pointed at her temple and shook her head, “Kinda crazy, if you know what I mean. She’s working with Mundungus Fletcher.”

 

Pansy’s eyes widened, “That man can’t be trusted.”

 

Daphne nodded, “You tell me,” and leaned closer, elbowing on the table where they sat, “The whole thing is a gigantic mess, that’s why she needs to help with it.”

 

Pansy furrowed her brows and looked away. So she needed to wait more, she could do that. Pansy sighed.

 

I guess I just miss my friend.

 

“Don’t worry,” Daphne said quietly, it made Pansy looked at her, “After the auction she’ll be here.”

 

Pansy gave out a half smile but her eyes remained impassive and she looked extremely tired.

 

“She better be,” Pansy said softly and then heard footsteps. Daphne looked above her head and Pansy turned around to see,

 

Blaise Zabini.

 

Pansy groaned, “What is it now?” She swore she heard as Daphne mutter,‘you’re on edge as always.’

 

His uniform almost didn’t look like clothes at all it was so ruffled and Pansy could see his green necktie looming over his left shoulder.

 

Blaise looked like he ran a marathon.

 

“I know which one has the rat.”

 

Pansy felt her heart stop as he stood up from her chair so quickly it actually fell down. Daphne looked at them, completely astounded.

 

“Wh– what?!” Pansy stuttered, “Which one?”

 

Blaise eyes were as wide as Pansy’s,“Ronald Weasley.”

 

Pansy almost sighed out of relief but when she noticed that Blaise hadn’t calmed down, she asked:

 

“But that’s good, isn’t it?” Pansy laughed nervously because Blaise was still petrified, “I mean, he is the second youngest, I mean – what’s wrong?”

 

Blaise took a sit next to Daphne and buried his face into his hands. Pansy looked at Daphne’s face who was completely frozen.

 

Pansy looked at them alternately, “What’s with this look?” she asked and nudged Blaise on the shoulder, “Hey, what’s wrong with Ronald Weasley?”

 

“He’s the Slytherin’s King.”

 

Daphne’s words made Pansy froze as she looked at her, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 

It wasn’t Daphne who answered her question but Blaise:

 

“It means that his minions are everywhere.”

 

Pansy looked at him, waiting but Blaise didn’t continue, “And? You are a Metamorphmagus, Blaise! For Merlin’s sake, you just need to pretend you’re one of his minions.”

 

Blaise looked up and locked his brown eyes into Pansy’s. They held the others’ gaze and Pansy knew before Blaise opened his mouth–

 

“I’ll need your help.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––



 

Theo needed to follow that granny from the church everywhere. As it turned out, the granny always woke up at nine – never earlier, never later – went to the famous market down the street, bought some fruits and marmalades. Then, she visited her best friend, the other granny, Maggie. They talked at least for four hours a day. After the meeting, granny walked back to her house that looked as big as a castle. She cooked a hella lot – Theo could tell by the smells. She also must’ve cooked well – Theo could also tell by the smells.

 

Granny did this from Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, she went to Theo’s church. She did the same thing over and over, so when Theo got back at Grimmauld Place, sat down at the table and demanded hot tea, Black didn’t look surprised.

 

“How went the stalking?” he asked, looking absolutely amused.

 

Theo narrowed his eyes at him and charmingly said:

 

“I’ve had fun with watching a granny, thank you very much,” he pointedly stared at him,“While all of you were doing nothing.”

 

Black put down the hot tea in front of him and Theo grabbed the mug immediately, leaning closer and smelling the sweet fruits.

 

“You know we’re not doing nothing,” said Black.

 

Theo closed his eyes, starting to relax. “I am well aware but it sounded better that way,” he took a sip out of it and smiled, savoring the taste. “Exactly how long do I need to watch granny?”

 

Black looked out of the window, seeing ravens, “Not for long. Remus says Mundungus will meet her soon.”

 

Theo looked at him, recognition appeared on his face, “Then, that means–”

 

Black looked back at him with severe eyes.

 

“We will know the exact moment when the auction will begin.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

“Why did Harry became sick after he killed that man?” Dumbledore asked with cold eyes. Albus waited this long already, it was time for hearing this. He could cover in front of the judges, that was one thing.

 

But Dumbledore knew there was much more beyond the surface.

 

War closed his eyes and smiled lightly. He then leaned back in his chair and looked down at the tea in front of him.

 

Theodore Nott was drinking the exact same tea far far away. War was hit by the feeling of nostalgia for some reason.

 

Some things never change.

 

“It must’ve been his Horseman, his card,” War answered, looking up at Albus who almost flinched at the black eyes, “You see, sir, we need our hosts to accept us in order to be in full control, to use our whole powers. We don’t stop until we are accepted,” War looked down at his body. “My host was extremely agreeable so I didn’t need to... force him to accept me. Sometimes, I even let him be in control. He knows I’m here and what I’m doing, after all.”

 

Dumbledore touched his chin and furrowed his brows, “So, are you saying that–”

 

“Pestilence has not taken his host over fully yet,” War blinked, thinking further. He chuckled, shaking his head, “I bet he’s having fun with the wheels within his head.”

 

“What do you mean?” Albus asked and War touched his forehead.

 

“Quite literally, as a matter of speaking,” he knocked on his forehead a couple of times, “He wants Harry to surrender, to give up. He wants to break him. Break his will, so that he can be in control.”

 

Albus looked thoughtful, “Not his body, I assume.”

 

War shook his head, “No, never the body,” he pointed at himself, “That’s what keeps us healthy. We are very protective of our hosts, but the mind, sir, is a whole different thing,” War’s voice became melodious, “The mind is the thing that he breaks because if he takes control over it he can always rebuild it.”

 

War saw as Albus’s hand started to quiver a bit, “Does that mean–”

 

“That if Harry doesn’t remain strong, he will lose his sanity? Absolutely. Death, Famine and I are sane – well, Famine sometimes has his moments but,” War shrugged and then looked down at the tea. He enjoyed the little silence, “You know, sir, that’s the thing with Pestilence. Even though he’s mad to the core, he has brilliant mind underneath it all,” War looked up with his black eyes, dark as the abyss, and Albus, for the first time since he met the young boy, noticed the fear in his eyes–

 

“We’ve lived so many lives but in the end,” War’s voice became bitter. “He is the one who always wins.”



 

–––––––––––––––––––

 



This is the most idiotic idea in the whole world.

 

And that comes from a man who has met and talked to Theodore Nott. Well, playing along was even more idiotic, realized Draco as he walked down the halls, following Harry’s scent.

 

It was night by now, nobody walked in the halls but Draco. The only thing he heard was his own footsteps. Why was he going along with this anyway? Why wasn’t he sleeping in his bed? Like every other normal person?

 

Because you find him attractive, that’s why.

 

He hated how his inner voice was as smart as he was. That was one way to put it. Harry was magnificent and alluring in every aspect. Of course, Draco didn’t know him as a person, he only figured one or two thing out by himself but even a blind man would have noticed how Harry walked into a room – how he held himself, how he looked around or at someone. Even a blind man could’ve told how much magic hung around him. And his eyes and jaw and hair–

 

Draco noticed that Famine purred the whole time and he had to nip his leather gloves.

 

That’s why this is dangerous. He can’t focus. That’s why he is dangerous. That’s why–

 

Harry’s scent stopped in front of a door. Draco walked towards it but before he could’ve touched the handle, the door opened and

 

Draco met emerald, old eyes.

 

Famine just purred and purred and–

 

Harry’s eyes were half lidded as he stretched out his hand to gently pull him into the room by his forearm. He pulled Draco close to himself, but they did not touch.

 

“Sorry,” Harry whispered and reached forward to close the door behind Draco, who darted his eyes down immediately, trying to calm down his heart, “I just felt you here.”

 

Draco furrowed his brows, still trying to steady his breathing, because Harry was still so close to him, “Felt?”

 

Harry closed it and then leaned back but didn’t take a step back. Draco knew, Harry wasn’t going to say anything more if he won’t look at him, so Draco did, and–

 

He was so close.

 

“I sensed your scent,” Harry whispered, looking dizzy all of a sudden, “White roses, the sun and feathers of a bird.”

 

Draco’s breath hitched in his throat and he felt even Famine freeze inside of him.

 

Harry blinked slowly, gave a little smile and then stepped back, letting Draco look around.



 

–––––––––––––––––––

 



It was hard to actually talk to Draco because he was so damn pretty.

 

Whenever Harry wanted to begin a new topic, Draco would tilt his head in a different angle, or just dart down his eyes or blink and Harry was convinced that there was no prettier person than him. They talked about the task – Harry left out the part where Pestilence appeared in his mind – and they talked about how they felt about Hogwarts. Draco liked it as far as Harry could tell, but he looked more focused on something else. Harry didn’t know what, though. He changed the subject and began with the thing he wanted to know in the first place.

 

“Do you dream sometimes of Famine?” Harry asked quietly, feeling a bit uncomfortable.

 

Draco’s eyes widened and Harry had to look away because whenever he did that the grey and golden in his eyes glowed and made a circle, like a kaleidoscope.

 

“I haven’t dreamed of him– but wait,” Draco said and then furrowed his brows, “That means... Pestilence’s card hasn’t finished you yet?”



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

Draco couldn’t believe it. Harry wasn’t Pestilence fully? What did that mean?

 

Draco’s head was spinning with questions and answers and then–

 

Does that mean he will become even more powerful? Famine purred and the color drained out of Draco’s face.

 

Exactly how powerful will Harry be?



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

Harry suspected that this had to do with something with the cards but he wasn’t sure about that until Draco confirmed it. It’s not like he’s anywhere ahead with this information. It’s not like he won’t dream of him again. Harry knew he would.

 

But again, he sighed and smiled calmly, this was still nice. Someone who would actually answer some of his questions.

 

“Thanks, Draco,” Harry said then asked hesitantly, “Has your card finished you?”

 

Draco winced and Harry felt Pestilence stop inside of him, cold, calculating. In these times, he gave Harry the creeps.

 

Not just in these times.

 

“It hasn’t yet,” Draco sounded calm but as he was nipping his leather gloves, he looked exactly the opposite, “But I don’t have dreams like that.”

 

Harry raised an eyebrow, giving out a graceful smile, “What kind of dreams do you have then?”

 

Draco looked at him wide eyed and Harry saw his neck and cheek turn light red. He chuckled and followed Draco as he stood up. They walked over the door and Harry, before he could’ve touched the handle, Draco turned around to face him and said:

 

“Thank you for the distraction,” he said quietly, “It was nice.”

 

The candles reflected on Draco’s grey golden eyes and Harry turned crimson.

 

“Thank you for actually coming,” Harry said and then pursed his lips, “I know how many reasons you had to refuse. It was nice,” Harry’s voice got quieter, “To talk to someone who actually listened to me and answered honestly for once.”

 

Draco winced and then touched the handle, but before he turned it and walked out, he said, still looking into Harry’s eyes:

 

“Blood, red flowers and rain,” he whispered with softened eyes. Harry furrowed his brows, confused. Then Draco said quietly, “Your scent,” opened the door and walked out and then closed it, leaving Harry there, only hearing his heart beat inside of his ribcage. And for once,

 

It felt almost louder than Pestilence’s purr.

 

 

 

 




Chapter Text

Chapter 11

 

 

I ate my Past,

 

 

and It has been burning me

 

 

ever

 

 

Since

 

 





Theo had woken up at eight at night on that day.

 

He left his room because he had felt that he needed to wake up. He remembered that his legs and hands were freezing, and how his little feet touched the wooden floor. His thin pajamas didn’t even cover his ankles.

 

As the six year old Theo was walking downstairs, he heard shouting. Big shouts and yells. He rubbed his eyes and looked into the kitchen.

 

Christos Nott was a strict looking man, similar to Theo in some ways. Theo remembered the times when his father had looked at him with smiles and joy. There were times when he looked at Theo with something else other than fury. He said once that Theo had been made from the word εὔνοιᾰ ’, which meant beautiful thinking, a well mind. He said that Theo had been a gift from the Heavens.

 

But, one day before his fifth birthday, everything changed. Theo still didn’t know what.

 

Christos Nott had begun to look at his son with distant eyes, and soon began to turn into a mad man. Sometimes he hit Theo, sometimes he called him names, useless, sometimes he didn’t even say a word to him. Those were the happiest days in Theo’s life. He would only hear silence, nothing else. He would be left alone in his room for a couple of days.

 

His mother was no better. Arabella was a woman who had been distant since Theo was born. She never looked at him, never wanted to be in the same room as him, but sometimes, on special occasions, she would go to Theo and hit him so hard that he’d fall down on the floor. He didn’t know why.

 

Theo grown tired of asking why. Grown tired of asking what he had done to deserve this. But now, after looking back, he knew he wasn’t at fault here.

 

He looked into the kitchen and saw as his parents yelled with rage. Not even the cracking of the fire could quiet them down. But he knew this would end. They will stop soon. So Theo turned around, yawned and started to go back to his room but–

 

The floor creaked. The shouts went quiet.

 

And Theo shut down his eyes and his stomach sank into a deep poison.

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

Theo winced by the harsh voice and looked back slowly. He met his father’s mad gaze. He never blinked when he looked at Theo.

 

His eyes were almost as dark as the hallways he was in right now.

 

“I was going back,” Theo said quietly, afraid that he would be hit, but he knew he would be. He just didn’t know when.

 

But then Christos walked towards him and gripped his arm so hard that Theo froze. It hurt, it hurt it hurt–

 

Theo felt tears burn his eyes – he was used to it but it still hurt.

 

“You are not allowed to be here,” his father spat at him and Theo shut down his eyes with pain. “I don’t want to look at you, what did I say?!”

 

He was so much taller than Theo and he loomed over him with those eyes full of hatred–

 

“You said that I’m a disgrace,” Theo quoted.

 

He struck him viciously across the face. Light flashed across Theo’s vision, he almost collapsed but his father still held his arm with endless strength.

 

“What are you saying, Theodore?” Theo winced by the eerily calm voice, “Have I given the permission to speak?”

 

Theo was shivering. He shook his head. He heard his father taking a deep breath.

 

“Then why did I hear your voice?” his father said through his teeth, “Even your voice makes me sick .”

 

Theo was careful not to give out any whimper because he knew it would be so much worse. Christos pulled Theo closer to himself with a harsh movement.

 

“Look at me, you failure!” Theo was shaking, it was too far. Theo pushed him too far with this– “I said look at me!”

 

Theo did as he was told and he froze by the terrifying eyes and that was when he realized that this time, he might not make it out of alive.

 

Theo felt the tears as his vision began to blur.

 

I will die.

 

“You are worthless, I don’t gain anything from keeping you. I’ve had enough,” his father’s voice was a whisper, “Constantly seeing you, breathing the same air as you, disgusting. It’s enough,” and with that Christos looked at the fireplace, next to them.

 

And Theo knew.

 

I’m going to die.

 

And his mother didn't move. Not when his father dragged him towards the fireplace, not when Theo struggled to break from his strong hold, not when Theo felt the heat coming closer and closer and closer–

 

Not when his father held his head down, close to the flames and Theo started screaming.

 

And Theo swore, that in his last moments, he heard his father’s laugh, full of joy. He had never heard him laugh before.

 

I will die, hearing him laugh at me.

 

Something snapped in him and the fire

 

died down in the fireplace.

 

The fire was moving under his skin, into his face, his shoulders, his eyes, and Theo felt like

 

he

 

had

 

been

 

reborn.

 

He pushed back from the fireplace, smoke poured out in front of him. As he breathed, ashes came out of his mouth, as he turned around and opened his eyes, fire of gold and red, circled in them the light of thousands of embers.

 

He looked up at his father, who wore fear where his hatred had been.

 

Theo had found joy as he was staring at Christos.

 

Do you feel that terror?

 

Theo raised his hand at his father, open palmed. At his father, who had a smile froze on his face, who had a laugh die in his throat.

 

It is mine.

 

He let out the wrathful fire that had mixed with his own magic and let it consume his father. Theo waited for the guilt to come, waited for the panic rush onto him, the fear.

 

He waited as he smelled the burnt, rotten skin.

 

He waited as he saw him turn to ashes.

 

He waited as he turned to his mother, who looked at him with frightened eyes, full of terror. How good it felt to see that terror, to know that it wasn’t Theo’s, it was hers.

 

He waited when he heard her pray, peeling her face and say ‘Asmodeus, Asmodeus, Asmodeus’ , and he burnt her like nothing, and he saw her turn to ashes.

 

Theo waited as he began to burn down the house he suffered in, as he began to feel the woods as they disintegrated.

 

He waited and waited and waited,

 

But it didn’t come.



 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 



Pansy lived her whole life believing that only reason for her existence was Famine.

 

That was what she heard from everybody since she was born. Her mother and her father didn’t show much care for her, they talked to her, they were kind to her, but she knew they never really cared. She was a weapon for Famine, after all. A weapon for the upcoming war, nothing more, nothing less.

 

Pansy knew how to kill someone in less than a minute by the age of six. It was not a surprise, but was still admirable – said so many adults that she couldn’t even count.

 

Pansy had trained and learned and read because it was her duty, because it was what she had to do. She remembered how she believed that she would be a hero’s bodyguard. A savior’s. She hoped.

 

When she saw Draco in action, when they freed Theodore Nott from prison, she knew the moment she saw him, as he was letting out his power,

 

It was all a lie. Her whole life up to this point had been the biggest lie in the world.

 

He was a monster. And monsters are only capable of doing one thing and one thing only:

 

Destroying.

 

Pansy would never serve someone who wouldn’t at least build something better from the ash he had previously burned up.

 

And she knew, Draco hasn’t been able to do things like this. He only saw his Lord and the Death Eaters. He doesn't think about the big picture and when he does he sees the wrong picture and Pansy will be no hand of a monster.

 

After she had gone to Beauxbatons, she knew that she needed to learn a lot of things. She needed to learn how to trust, how to relax, how to socialize, how to act like a teenager. But she was as lost as a traveler in the sky who had never seen clouds before.

 

That was when she met Astoria.

 

Pansy remembered as if it was yesterday, how she was sitting out in the rose garden of Beauxbatons. Pansy was staring at the roses, wanted to be somewhere quiet, away from all the whispers about her. She had been all alone.

 

She would see Astoria from time to time in the garden. That’s where she wrote her homework. Pansy never said a word to her, she wasn’t sure what to do or say in situations like that.

 

Luckily, she didn’t have to. Little Astoria came to her and started talking.

 

“Do you like roses?” she asked and Pansy found her adorable.

 

“They’re pretty,” Pansy said and she saw as Astoria picked a blue one off of the bushes. She looked down at it and then gave it to Pansy.

 

She took it and then looked at the little one with a little smile, “For me?” Pansy asked. She had never got beautiful gifts like that. She had always gotten things that would help her training.

 

Astoria nodded and with a shy smile, she said, “You looked like you needed one.”

 

With that, she clutched the rose with all her might. She was blinded by Astoria’s kindness. Pansy felt her heart warm up for the first time in her life.

 

She was grateful and she wanted to show it to Astoria every day.

 

Pansy wanted her to be her friend.



 

–––––––––––––––––––––



 

Draco sometimes imagined how his mother had looked in the rain. Or in the sun, the wind.

 

He knew what she had looked like. He knew according to Auntie, he looked exactly as her. Even his personality, his mind was hers. Only his calmness and coldness had been inherited from Lucius.

 

Draco sometimes imagined how she used to talk or walk or even sit. He didn’t feel anything at those times. He even tried, but it has never happened.

 

Sometimes Draco imagined how she would’ve played on the piano. He imagined her favorite songs and melodies, how her fingers would’ve touched the keys.

 

Sometimes he thought that was the real reason why he hadn’t played in a long time.



 

––––––––––––––––––––––––



 

Harry was chained to a chair when he opened his eyes, surrounded by pure light, and red flowers were all around him. He didn’t recognize them, they looked like as if they didn’t have petals, just something that looked like webs and–

 

“Hello, my darling.”

 

Harry flinched when he heard Pestilence’s voice behind his chair. It was low but fair at the same time. Harry pressed his lips together and closed his eyes – he didn’t want to look at whatever was coming.

 

“Harry, Harry,” Pestilence sang, caressing his shoulder lovingly and Harry winced again, feeling the disgust wash over him, “I missed you. It is a very heavy feeling, don’t you think?”

 

Who knows? Maybe if Harry won’t look at him, won’t answer him, he might go away and leave him alone.

 

Pestilence leaned closer to him – Harry felt Pestilence’s breath close to his cheek and ear, could actually feel his older self’s lips on his neck and Harry’s breathing began to change rapidly–

 

“You miss your mum, don’t you, my darling?”

 

Harry was petrified.

 

Pestilence voice wasn’t cruel. It was kind. So kind that Harry thought someone else had said it. Pestilence began petting Harry’s hair and Harry had never been so afraid in his entire life.

 

“I would miss her too. She looked brave and kind,” Pestilence whispered lovingly and Harry couldn’t even breathe, “You didn’t deserve those people.”

 

The field full of red flowers disappeared and Harry was back at the Dursley’s house as he felt his heartbeat quicken with pure fear, as his eyes widened in terror.

 

No.

 

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no–

 

“Look at them,” Pestilence voice was full of light and love. He caressed Harry’s hair and neck with gentle hands, as if Harry had been made of porcelain. “You didn’t deserve this. Them.”

 

Harry saw memories. Of every one of his birthdays when he had been alone. When he had never got anything. When he had never received anything. He saw as the Dursleys’ looked down at him with disgust and hate or even just passing over him as though he wasn’t there. Like as if Harry had been a painting in the house that others would look at for a couple of seconds and then continue what they were doing.

 

Harry saw as he was sitting in the garden, on the green grass,  pulling out a couple of hauls, enjoying as the little breeze caressed his hair. Just like Pestilence caressed him now. They had made him do all the chores, shouted at him, demanded things he could have never done properly because it had to be an adult’s job to do, not a kid’s.

 

Looking at his younger self, seeing him like this, having nobody to talk to...

 

It really made Harry realize how lonely exactly he had been.

 

“They were cruel with you, my darling,” Pestilence soothed him, caressing Harry’s messy hair, forehead, and cheek, “All those shouting, all those demands, all those loneliness, the constant fear that someday it might be worse because who knows.”

 

Harry closed his eyes in pain because he felt that fear even now. Sometimes. If someone would raise their hand up to a certain height, if someone would look indifferently at him, every time he would notice a cupboard, every time he stayed in a dark for a long time, with no light, with no sound at all.

 

Pestilence caressed his face, in a way, like if he was playing on the harp, giving out gentle, heavenly sounds.

 

It made Harry calm.

 

Completely calm for the first time in his life. The fear in him vanished – like if it hadn’t been there at all. So that was how everyone else felt around him.

 

Living without fear.

 

It was if Harry breathed for the first time.

 

“You didn’t deserve it, my darling,” Pestilence whispered gently, “No child deserves this treatment.”

 

Tears sting his eyes. He saw a couple of red flowers grow out from the ground around them and he felt Pestilence lean closer to his ears and whisper:

 

“You didn’t like it. You hated it, every second of it,” Pestilence said with coldness, “You wanted them dead.”

 

No.

 

Harry wanted to say that but couldn’t. He noticed how many red flowers bloomed around his chair, like blood from a person’s wound and scars,

 

“You wanted them to suffer.”

 

No.

 

The word couldn’t go out of his mouth. He could only look at the red flowers–

 

“You wanted them to feel that fear. You wanted them to be the ones who were afraid.”

 

No.

 

He didn’t open his mouth to say it.

 

“You wanted them to feel alone.”

 

No.

 

“You wanted to be the one who was looking down at them.”

 

And this time, when Harry wanted to say: No,

 

he knew

 

It would be a lie.

 

As the flowers bloomed around them, touching Harry’s ankles, feeling Pestilence grin at his ears, Harry heard him say:

 

“I know how happy you are when you’re fighting, my darling,” Pestilence whispered lovingly and Harry felt chills and something else for the first time, “You don’t like it when the others are the ones who strike. But when you are the one who strikes,” Pestilence grinned, his breath grazed Harry’s ear, “Well... that... feels–”

 

“Invaluable.”

 

Harry woke up with a sharp intake of breath and heat drops rolled down on his back. When he calmed down, he looked at his quivering hands and legs and curled up in a ball, burying his face into his hands, trying to muffle the silent cry.

 

Because it wasn’t Pestilence who had said the last words in the dream.

 

As Harry heard another red flower blossom in his mind, he opened his eyes and looked into the dark.

 

It was him.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

The auction would start tonight.

 

Theo was walking around in Grimmauld Place’s garden. The leaves of the trees began to change into the colors of autumn. Orange and red and brown leaves.

 

Like the colors of Theo’s eyes.

 

He kicked a medium sized rock and stared as it dropped into the fishpond. Theo felt the wind catch his coat and he heard footsteps.

 

“You always walk alone.”

 

Theo looked at the werewolf. He walked to Theo, continuing his road. Some leaves fell down in front of them.

 

Theo looked up at the stormy sky. He heard their footsteps, as they stepped on the grass.

 

“There’s no one else I can walk with,” Theo said quietly, his breath mixed with the wind.

 

The werewolf hummed and Theo saw him in the corner of his eye.

 

“You look so lonely sometimes,” the werewolf said and Theo felt his heart clench with something. He lowered his gaze and looked at the leaves in the grass instead. He could feel the werewolf’s gaze at him.

 

“I have friends,” Theo said and shrugged. “They’re just not here.”

 

The werewolf nodded and smiled lightly. He looked like he was remembering about something.

 

“Do you have friends besides Black?” Theo asked, interested. He turned his head to the werewolf’s direction.

 

The man didn’t look at Theo. His eyes saddened, his hair looked more grey than light brown nowadays. Theo didn’t miss the condition of his clothes. He knew how hard it was for werewolves to live in the wizarding world. The whole thing was just a big shit. The creatures didn’t deserve to be treated this way. Not all of them – not the ones who were normal, not by this extent.

 

God made all his children equally.

 

Theo hated The Dark Lord. What was wrong with muggleborn children? Or half bloods? Nothing at all.

 

Theo followed only one person. Only one.

 

And that wasn’t The Dark Lord.

 

“Are you ready for tonight?” the werewolf said and Theo nodded. It was time to finish the whole case.



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

When Harry opened his door he saw an unfamiliar face.

 

The boy was older than him, seventeen or eighteen years old. The dark hair highlighted his grey eyes. He was almost as tall as Harry.

 

He had Hufflepuff necktie and uniform.

 

Harry raised an eyebrow, closed his door behind him and then stepped out of the hallways.

 

“What can I do for you?” Harry asked and saw the Hufflepuff smile and stretch out his hand. Harry took it and shook it.

 

“My name is Cedric Diggory,” the boy said and recognition appeared on Harry’s face. The Hogwarts champion.

 

“Harry Potter,” Harry introduced himself despite knowing that everybody already knew him.

 

Cedric smiled and then he rubbed his neck, feeling uncomfortable. Harry looked at him questionably.

 

“I know you have no reasons to help me,” Cedric said quietly and Harry blinked, absolutely surprised. “But, I really suck at torturing and stuff and I saw that you came up fourth–”

 

“Fourth?” Harry asked, even more surprised. “They exposed the ‘Mirrors of Souls’ tasks’ rankings?”

 

And he came up fourth. No wonder, he killed the prisoner. That was an atrociously wrong move from him. It is not the worst place but not the best, but he could understand the reason behind it. But then,

 

Who had won?

 

Draco probably.

 

When Pestilence purred, Harry almost winced.

 

It must have been him.

 

Draco is the only one who is equally as strong as Harry. Also, yesterday, when they talked about the tasks, he was impressed by Draco's performance.

 

He is also the smarter between the two of us. Harry couldn’t even try to deny it.

 

“Draco won, didn’t he?” Harry asked and when he saw Cedric’s expression, he knew he was right.

 

Cedric opened his mouth and then closed it, then did it again and repeated until he finally said:

 

“Do you two know each other?” he asked. “Are you together or something?”

 

Harry merely looked at him and then started walking down the halls, Cedric followed immediately.

 

“Why would you think that?” Harry inquired. A lot of students looked at them, whispering furiously and Harry rolled his eyes.

 

“Well, you aren’t angry about him winning,” Cedric said, not caring about the whispers at all. “And there’s the rumor, wandering around about you two being together.”

 

Harry sighed tiredly and tilted his head a little bit to the left, cracking it loudly. Cedric flinched at the sound.

 

“What did you want to ask about again?” Harry looked at him and Cedric became all shy again. Hufflepuffs. Harry didn’t know what to do with them.

 

“So, I became the last one,” Harry looked at him in the corner of his eyes, “And whatever you might think, I don’t want to lose,” Cedric rubbed his neck again. “Can you please teach me how to...”

 

Harry stopped in his track and looked at Cedric, wide eyed. “Torture someone?”.

 

Cedric hushed him and looked around, but everyone had been looking at them since they had started walking.

 

“And fighting, martial arts or something because I can only imagine what the next tasks will be. I know that there are no reasons for you to help me, but please just think about it,” Cedric pleaded. Pleaded.

 

Harry stood there, so confused. “Why me? Why no one else?”

 

Cedric raised his brows. “Have you seen the others? Karin looks like she could gut me out, Charlton looks bored, I don’t even think he can fight. Eliza can’t either, she has her animal to kill, the twins only talk with each other.”

 

Harry waited but Cedric didn’t continue, “And Draco?”

 

Cedric chuckled and shook his head. Harry blinked. Hufflepuffs can only make him surprised, apparently.

 

“You’re kidding, right?” he looked at Harry with disbelief. “If someone comes near him you will rip off their heads.”

 

Harry opened his mouth to deny it but,

 

He realized he couldn’t.

 

“There’s still Kozlov,” Harry said with venom and Cedric smiled at him, noticing how he changed the subject.

 

“Gavril is not very clever Harry,” Cedric said, looking like he wanted to say more but then stopped himself. “And that leaves you.”

 

Would he train him? What would he gain from it?

 

An ally.

 

Harry smiled sharply. Cedric paled a little and smiled anxiously.

 

“I like you, Hufflepuff,” Harry said and stretched out his hand. Cedric looked down at it, surprised – he probably hadn’t thought he would go this far – and shook it.

 

Cedric smiled again and said, “Thank you. I don’t know how I’m going to repay it, but I will.”

 

Harry smiled again, hearing another red flower blossom in his mind.



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

Karin was raging inside. She was sitting on a chair in her room after seeing the rankings of the first task.

 

Third.

 

Only third.

 

She will never win with being only third. No, that won’t do at all

 

Karin closed her eyes and took a deep breath, she pulled up her legs and hugged her knees, leaning her head on it.

 

She has to win.

 

I will win.

 

For her beloved Taka.

 

Karin opened her purple eyes and took another deep breath, her brother made her heart clench with sorrow.

 

She has to climb up to take the rank as the first one. Karin will do anything.

 

Anything.



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

“Charlton, I knew there was something in you!” Ginny patted him hard on the shoulder and Charlton almost coughed. Honestly, this girl.

 

His guider was everywhere. 

 

“You said it very rudely,” Charlton massaged his shoulder, trying to sooth the pain.

 

“Did not!” Ginny yelled and Luna closed her eyes in defeat next to her.

 

Charlton sighed out loud and looked at the parchment again that was in the great halls. He was second. Without even touching the prisoner.

 

How?

 

Seriously, how? This kept getting more and more suspicious. How did the judges give the scores? There was something very wrong with this.

 

He was surprised because the Durmstrang champion came in fourth and Karin came in third. How many surprises Charlton’s heart can take until the tournament’s over?

 

And the first place. He wasn't surprised. The Beauxbatons champion looked to be the most intelligent along with Karin. He also looked the most calm out of them. Well, Karin looked mostly passive and Charlton was calm too, but because he was too lazy to feel anxious about anything.

 

Draco Malfoy was a whole new level of calm.

 

Charlton was worried for a reason, though. Not everyone thought of the Durmstrang champion as a threat.

 

How could they not notice his eyes?

 

He knew how much attention Draco Malfoy will get. Be careful, everyone.

 

That Durmstrang champion will give them a blood rain if they try to do anything to the Beauxbatons.

 

 

–––––––––––––––

 

 

Chinasa and Kesta knew they were sixth and it was no surprise. They are not doing it because of the first place.

 

Chinasa gazed at her brother who looked back at her. Time for the second task.



 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Eliza smiled when she saw that she was fifth. She ruffled her hair and walked back to her dorm, humming an old song.

 

Time for the second task.

 

She will be higher. She will not follow orders. She will stand tall and high.

 

It’s only a matter of time.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Gavril wanted to explode. How dare that punk come in fourth? Just what was that Durmstrang champion thinking? Who does he think he is?

 

He will crush him to dust.

 

He was the one who will have the beauty.

 

Gavril smiled like bloodlust incarnate.



 

––––––––––––––––



 

Aberforth was nodding, holding the parchment in his hand. Albus waited for him patiently.

 

“The Uagadou twins champions were sixth because they turned into their animagus forms, and they threatened him that way, am I right?” His brother asked and Albus nodded. Aberforth scanned the words more. “The Castelobruxo champion was only fifth because she used her animal to torture the prisoner,” Albus nodded but Aberforth continued all the same. “The Koldovstorez champion was seventh because it took a long time. The Mahoutokoro champion was third because she hurt the prisoner but was quicker than the rest. Harry was fourth because he killed the prisoner,” Albus nodded again, impressed by his brother guesses. They were all right. “The Ilvermorny champion was second because he didn't touch the prisoner but it took him longer than the Beauxbatons, Draco, who was the first.”

 

Albus nodded and clapped his hands. Aberforth bowed his head, smiling, putting away the list.

 

“I thought it would be worse,” Aberforth said and took a sip out of his tea. “I mean the first task.”

 

Albus looked at his own cup of tea. “We had to make the first one about torture. They will torture a lot during the war.”

 

Aberforth’s eyes darkened and he swallowed. Albus looked at him with wisdom and severeness and said:

 

“We will announce the second task tomorrow. It will be held next week.”



 

––––––––––––––––



 

Pansy had no idea why she was helping with this. She had no idea.

 

That’s what was on her mind as she was walking towards Zacharias Smith, who was sitting on a bench out in the Quidditch Pitch, watching as the people there practiced. Pansy walked towards the tall, blond boy and gave him her best smile.

 

“Hello, Zach,” Pansy said, fluttering her lashes. “How are you?”

 

Zacharias looked at her like Pansy was out of her mind. Which she was. She tried not to look at Blaise who stood far away and gave her a thumb up.

 

Damn you Zabini and your lame plans too!

 

“I’m okay,” Zacharias said, still confused. “And you?”

 

Pansy smiled at him again and stepped closer a bit. “Me too, thanks for asking.”

 

She will kill Blaise for making her do this.

 

And when Zacharias accepted their date, Pansy swore she saw Blaise burst out laughing.



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

When Theo stepped into the room, he was hit by the sweet and calm sound of a cello. It made him go way inside, it made all the people go into the room and stay.

 

Theo saw the cellist.

 

A girl with brown hair and with her closed eyes she played the sound of peace itself.



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

When night came Harry couldn’t close his eyes and sleep. The terror, the ugliness, the disgusting whispers of Pestilence kept him awake. Before he realized, he went to his old piano.

 

He sat down on the stool, the moonlight surrounded him and when he wanted to touch one white key he froze.

 

White roses.

 

Harry looked up and stared at Draco’s grey golden eyes.



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

Draco stared at emerald, old eyes and it took his breath away. As Harry’s mysterious red flowers scent.

 

“I sensed you here and I...” Draco whispered and didn’t know how to continue and saw that Harry was too frozen to say anything back. When Draco blinked, Harry got out from his haze.

 

Harry stretched out his hand and said gently, “You can come closer, you know.”

 

Draco knew that he shouldn’t do this. He really shouldn’t. But he enjoyed talking to him, being near him and he sensed that something was very wrong with him – troubled him – so he walked closer to him, slipped his hand into Harry’s and let himself be pulled down on the stool.

 

Harry's hand didn’t let go of his. He held it and Draco froze when Harry slowly, very gently, pulled off both of his gloves. Draco’s black veined hands shone under the blue moonlight, and Harry touched his hands, his skin. He touched the palm of his hands, the fingers, his knuckles, and fingertips, like adoration, like salvation.

 

Chills ran down on Draco’s spine.

 

And Harry didn’t say congratulations, because he won the first task. He didn’t say anything about Draco's health, like Theo did. He didn’t look at him like if he only wanted to sleep with him like most of the boys and girls here at Hogwarts. He didn’t look at Draco like he wanted to own him like Gavril or think of him as a savior. He didn’t think that Draco was weak or someone who was less than anyone.

 

Harry only held his hands – his naked, black veined hands that could wither anything – and it was no need for any talk. Because Draco had a suspicion that Harry knew that he didn’t hate him.

 

And when Draco noticed the tears in Harry’s eyes he felt his heart stop. Draco’s eyes widened and panic rushed over him.

 

Harry brought Draco’s hands to his lips and pressed kisses on both of his palms and Draco forgot to breathe. Harry’s tears ran down from his face and Draco felt them on his hands. Harry’s shoulders were shaking in silence and he looked so lost, so in pain and–

 

Draco felt his heart sank when Harry pressed a kiss on both of his wrists and then the back of his hands.

 

Draco let him, and looked at him with half closed eyes, full of torment. Because he knew that there was something very wrong with him. Because he knew he will have to kill him and he already liked Harry and – someday he will be the one who will make him cry.

 

And because, on that day, while he will do it, maybe

 

Draco will cry too.



 

––––––––––––––––––––––



 

The Conqueror and The Emperor are infinite. They are inevitable.”

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Epilogue II, by Samuel Krum, heard from someone far, far away

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 12

 

He has

 

Awakened

 

in

 

Me




 

I was there,

when Pestilence rose from the black blood of tar,

People prayed for forgiveness because of what they had seen, and I knew why

 

A gruesome being had been reborn that day



I saw,

As he emerged from it’s corruption,

As he spat it out, down at the ground,

The grass withered, the mud and the dust crumbled to ashes



I was there,

When he had started walking and with every step he took, he made us silent

 

And then,

I saw Famine.



The white, golden Famine, as he went to stop him



They say,

Famine was Pestilence’s everything.



But I heard that scream, that vicious, broken, lonely scream,

as Pestilence ripped

Famine

to

Pieces.



I heard that scream,

And they say,

 

It

was

not

Famine’s



And they say monsters cannot have hearts.

 

– a ripped page from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, by Samuel Krum.



 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

War hissed when he touched the Queen and the King pieces on the map and Dumbledore looked at him in confusion.

 

“What’s wrong?” his eyes were wide but War furrowed his brows in confusion. He touched the Queen piece again and stared at it.

 

This was too fast.

 

And dangerously interesting.

 

“They are already like each other,” War whispered and turned the Queen piece toward the morning light. The morning’s bright light came through the window, striking every piece of dust to burn like little embers, “It’s time for plan B.”

 

Dumbledore was shaking but his voice was calm despite every tense line in his body telling otherwise, “Already?”

 

War nodded, putting the piece back to next to it’s King, “It’s not a surprise.”

 

Dumbledore blinked, “Why?”

 

War flicked his wrist and began to explain, “They were made from the same elements. Storm, rain, and sun. Of course they are attracted to the other,” War looked away for a moment, his eyes darkened, “But that’s not what caught me off guard.”

 

“What did then?” Dumbledore asked, still calmly.

 

“This has been the first time that they had started to feel affection towards the other before their cards have actually finished them.”

 

War was staring at the two chess pieces. King and Queen. Harry and Draco. Pestilence and Famine. Harry already had the color of Pestilence’s eyes. Draco already had Famine’s hair. Even before they started to changed their host’s appearances. Their cards hadn’t taken over them either but–

 

Pestilence started something with the boy. War knew this. He knew this one hundred percent.

 

War smiled and Dumbledore flinched while he began to feel his own amusement and fear. He remembered Death’s words.

 

Different life indeed.

 

“You need to begin the second task on today’s evening, sir,” War whispered, “Seems like the consequences began to happen much more quickly than I had predicted.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry didn’t need this in the morning, or at any other time at all. To begin with, he hadn’t slept at all, he cried in front of Draco and then woke up to this?

 

He didn’t need this. He had enough problems already.

 

“Don’t follow me, Viktor!” Harry shouted back at him but Viktor didn't listen to him and started shouting after him.

 

“Listen to me!” Viktor ran behind him. A lot of students jumped out of the way of the two of them,“Stop!”

 

Harry ran with such a force it seemed a joke that Viktor could keep up with him.

 

“If you want to talk about that , then I will gladly stop,” Harry yelled back but still didn’t stop at all, “Otherwise, do not come near me!”

 

“Harry?!” someone shouted and Harry noticed the boy immediately.

 

Cedric.

 

Harry stopped running, turned around and gripped Cedric’s shoulder, who looked so lost and confused.

 

“What are you–”

 

Harry looked at Viktor with a grin as he started to walk the other direction with Cedric, “I am a desperately busy man, sorry to disappoint you.”

 

Viktor narrowed his eyes at him, stopping too and panting, “I can’t tell you yet but–”

 

Harry felt something cold curl upon inside his chest. He heard another wildflower blossom in his mind.

 

“Then I suggest you to not come closer,” he whispered, his eyes cold and old. Some of the bystanders flinched violently.

 

Viktor didn’t look scared. Harry could never terrify him. But his eyes held guilt.

 

Good.

 

Harry wanted to crack a smile–

 

He deserves it.

 

wanted to grin–

 

Let him get eaten by it.

 

Harry almost smiled down at him, enjoying that Viktor felt guilt–

 

What?

 

He blinked and froze by the feeling as if a cloud had vanished in front of his eyes.

 

Why did I think that?

 

Harry blinked again, paling white as the wall. He’s my friend– why did I think that?

 

Vernon Dursley’s gaze appeared in front of him. Full of arrogance, never wore the feeling of guilt.

 

Not when it came to Harry.

 

“Let’s go, Cedric,” Harry said quietly, not looking back at Viktor, instead looking at the floor. Cedric was staring at him thoughtfully, “We need to forge you into a soldier, after all–”

 

“Harry.”

 

Harry looked back at Viktor who looked guiltier than ever. He said with a dark voice,

 

“Your eyes look different.”

 

But he didn't continue. So, Harry blinked and started to walk away with Cedric, to the other direction.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“You are so beautiful,” the Beauxbatons boy said to Draco with a flushed face. He had trapped Draco as he’d been walking through the hallways, blocking his path.

 

Draco blinked lazily and said, “Thank you.”

 

The boy didn’t move a centimeter, just turned red even more and took a step closer to Draco, who almost took one back. He missed Theo so much, he would’ve shooed everyone away from Draco. He frowned, he should really write a letter to him already.

 

The boy in front of Draco turned more crimson and Draco wondered if he was attractive even during the time when he was frowning.

 

He probably was , judging by this boy’s reactions.

 

“Do you want something else? Or...” Draco waited and the boy began to stutter, but before he could’ve said anything, another voice spoke up near to Draco:

 

“Do you really think he would touch someone like you?”

 

Draco looked at his left and saw a Slytherin boy in his Quidditch robes complete with gloves, seventeen or eighteen years old. He had brown hair and he was tall–

 

Not taller than Harry.

 

The Slytherin boy walked closer to them and leered down at the Beauxbatons boy, “Look at yourself,” he said with a disgusting smile, “How could he touch you?

 

Draco wanted to strike. He hated people like these the most. Picking on the weak because they’re too much a coward to pick on someone on their level.

 

Well,

 

Draco narrowed his grey golden eyes and clenched his jaw.

 

Now I show them how to pick on the weak.

 

“Why?” Draco’s voice was calm, gentle, lovely. All heads turned to him, all attention was on him, “Do you think I would rather touch you ?” Draco gave out an enticing smile, “ Me ? Touching you ?” Draco’s eyes glowed with animosity as he tilted his head again, “How disgusting.”

 

The Slytherin boy never vanished his irritating smile, as he leaned closer to Draco, shoving away the Beauxbatons boy with his shoulders.

 

“Why not?” asked the Slytherin boy. His eyes looked like mud and it felt filthy, “We’d make a lovely pair, baby.”

 

Draco almost growled.

 

“How naive,” Draco said softly but his eyes darkened as he imagined how he’d rip out his lungs. “Try to find someone who is on your level.”

 

The Slytherin boy didn’t back off, he just leaned closer. The boy’s eyes were clouded with lust and Draco almost flinched from it.

 

“Is it true?” he asked Draco, “Are you the Durmstrang champion’s little whore?”

 

Draco stopped, cold and calm.

 

Even his breathing stopped for a moment. He felt Famine inside his chest, begging to be freed, to claw out the boy in front of him– to see his organs as they fell out and withered and–

 

“It’s not fair that he gets all the fun with you,” he continued, not noticing Draco’s rage, “Maybe I’ll talk to him, I’m sure he would give you to me for a couple of hours,” he inhaled close to Draco and then raised his hand to touch his face, “I’m thinking about it right now – when I fuck you–”

 

“Warrington!”

 

The Slytherin flinched, looked away from Draco, at someone whom Draco couldn’t see because he only saw red–

 

“Do not make me go there. That’s enough,” the voice was strong and quiet.

 

The Slytherin sighed and caressed Draco’s face, he felt the leather of the Quidditch gloves, his stomach twisted and he–

 

“We’re not done yet, baby,” Warrington said like a promise, “I will have you.”

 

Draco knew he couldn’t kill him. Not yet. Even if his mind was crumbling with wrath, even if Famine was begging to wither him, Draco knew he mustn’t.

 

So instead,

 

Draco raised his head and spat at his face.

 

He heard laughs and never looked away when Warrington wiped his face with disgust and Draco said:

 

“Cherish my saliva,” his voice was cold and his eyes glowed, “Because you won’t get anything else from me.”

 

Warrington smirked, still touching his face, “You little bitch,” he said through his teeth and then struck Draco across the face, and as light flashed before his vision he felt blood.

 

His blood.

 

Warrington’s gloves.

 

“Get him out of here!” Draco heard a commanding voice as he touched his left cheek. He then looked at his gloves – red blood was on his fingertips. Warrington and his squad vanished like if they hadn’t been there at all. Draco saw a hand and then looked up to see ginger hair.

 

And blue eyes.

 

“I’m so sorry, champion,” the boy said. He looked to be around the age of Draco.,“I look away and this is what happens, I’m truly sorry.”

 

Draco looked at the hand and then at the red hair again. He then accepted it and stood up. The ginger boy hissed at Draco’s wounds.

 

“Hermione! Quickly!” The boy shouted, looking behind Draco’s shoulder who turned around.

 

The girl had bushy brown hair and wore the Gryffindor’s uniform. She held something in her hand and then Draco looked back at the ginger haired boy.

 

He was a Slytherin.

 

“Put this on your cheek,” Hermione said gently to Draco who nodded and did as he was told. Whatever it was, it did soothe the pain. The girl looked at the ginger haired boy, “Warrington has a brain of a fish, Ron. I’ve told you.”

 

The boy – Ron – sighed and touched his face, “I’m going to talk some sense into him.”

 

Hermione laughed and pointed at Draco’s cheek. The bruising didn’t vanish.

 

“He’s a dead man,” she said grimly. “And you know it too.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“You need to hurt them. You need to have the want to kill, Cedric,” Harry said while looking at the boy in front of him. Cedric held his wand in his hands and pointed it at the doll in front of him in the abandoned classroom Cedric took them to, “Otherwise nothing will happen.”

 

Cedric cracked a smile and shook his head, “It’s easy for you to say. I haven’t killed anyone.”

 

Harry waited but the Hufflepuff didn’t continue. “Yet,” Harry said, “You haven’t killed anyone yet. But you will. Otherwise, you will be killed.”

 

Cedric’s eyes twitched and he clenched the wand in his hand, “Maybe this tournament will destroy all of us.”

 

It will.

 

Harry pressed his lips into a thin line and looked at the side of Cedric’s face. He was older than him but he looked so young. Innocent. Soon, that will be gone.

 

As the war will do with everyone. Everyone will turn into a monster–

 

But not you, Harry.

 

Harry straightened his spine when he heard Pestilence’s whisper in his ears.

 

Harry, Harry, Harry–

 

He felt Pestilence’s breath graze his neck–

 

You are already a monster. Wanting to see your friend clouded by the burden of guilt? Wanting to strike down on others? Looking down at others?

 

Harry flinched and scratched his neck, wanting to claw out the monster

 

You will only turn worse, my darling.

 

He was starting to peel his skin off with his nails–

 

But maybe–

 

Harry felt blood on his neck, but he just peeled and peeled–

 

That is what you really crave for.

 

He wanted to smile–

 

“Harry!” Cedric shouted, bringing Harry back from his daze. He blinked, seeing Cedric in front of him with wide eyes full of shock. He then looked down and saw his hands covered in black blood.

 

Cedric took a sharp breath, “Is your blood... black?”

 

Thinking fast, Harry gave a wavering smile, “No, of course, the lighting...”

 

Harry’s neck started to stitch itself back together and Cedric took a step back with shaking hands. Harry felt panic rush over him.

 

“Cedric, I can explain–”

 

The door opened with a bang and both of them looked over.

 

The boy was around Harry’s age, had blond hair and brown eyes. He was almost as tall as Cedric.

 

“I was looking for you everywhere!” The boy shouted at Cedric who almost recoiled, “You won’t believe what I have just...” he trailed off when he saw Harry, “seen.”

 

Cedric couldn’t say anything and Harry was completely petrified for a second but then he waved at the boy and said:

 

“Hi.”

 

The boy slightly waved back, “I’m Neville Longbottom,” and then looked at Cedric with a little smile, “You’re actually training?”

 

Cedric looked away and mumbled, “I’m just trying to stay alive.”

 

Neville’s eyes turned sad for a moment and then slowly, he looked back at Harry who was still touching his neck, feeling that it already healed.

 

“It’s good that I’ve found you two,” he said, looking uncomfortable, “Especially you, Durmstrang champion.”

 

Harry furrowed his brows, “Why?”

 

Neville looked at Cedric and then back at Harry, “Something has happened. It’s about the Beauxbatons champion.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“He will kill him,” Pansy said.

 

Draco merely looked at her from across the table at the Great Hall. Everybody was staring at Draco’s bruise. Some even gave him their foods and drinks and medicines, but Draco shakingly turned all of it down. Next to Pansy, Blaise looked like he was going to be sick. She looked at him, noticing how he looked and she almost recoiled in her chair.

 

“What the hell is your problem?” but Blaise paled more. He looked like he needed serious help.

 

“Imagine what Harry will do to Warrington,” Blaise whispered, “Poor lad, he won’t have a limb left.”

 

Pansy hit him on the back and Blaise almost fell on the table. Next to him, a Ravenclaw spat out his drink.

 

“Pull yourself together!” Pansy shouted to him. The Ravenclaw next to them started coughing violently, “How old are you? Five?!”

 

Blaise was in shock, “I don’t want to see something that bloody.”

 

Pansy gave out a frustrated sigh and then looked back at Draco. She narrowed his eyes.

 

“You shouldn't have spit at him,” she said and then pointed at Blaise, still looking at Draco, “See what you did? He’s hopeless, look at him!”

 

Draco’s rolled this eyes casually but his rage was stretching inside his chest, “What should I have done then?” his voice was ice cold, “Stand there and do nothing? Allow him to touch me so freely?”

 

Pansy’s eyes softened and she leaned back for a moment, “No, of course not,” she said, now quiet, “It’s just–”

 

“I know, Pansy,” Draco sighed and felt the overwhelming weight on his shoulders, “It’s just, I can’t protect myself so easily in here.”

 

Pansy pressed her lips together and Draco, for the first time, noticed something else in her expression. She looked at him differently, it was unreadable but Draco noticed it.

 

Pansy opened her mouth, wanting to say something but then a storm of voices and whispers began and everyone looked up.

 

A tall person was walking towards Draco, with strong, quick steps that screamed wrath, his face wore cold like second skin.

 

He always took Draco’s breath away.

 

Harry.

 

Who didn’t look at anyone but him, and when he arrived at his side, he gently stretched out his hand for Draco’s, who slipped his into Harry’s and stood up, facing him.

 

A sudden shame filled Draco, realizing how weak he looked in front of Harry. He turned his face away, not wanting to look at Harry–

 

Harry grabbed his chin, stopping the movement of his head. He gently turned Draco’s face to look into his eyes.

 

And Draco was petrified because of what he had found there.

 

Suddenly everything fell silent and Draco noticed fear in himself.

 

Harry’s eyes are different.

 

His green, old eyes burnt with venom. It had never looked like this before.

 

Draco actually felt Famine stop in him, surprised. Harry gently moved his hand across Draco’s face – his fingertips were touching his chin and nose – and very carefully, felt the bruise on Draco’s left cheek. Draco couldn’t help but wince a bit, making Harry lift his hand up a little from the wound.

 

Only their breathing could be heard in the Great Hall.

 

Harry’s eyes burnt and burnt as he brushed his thumb across Draco’s other cheek, so carefully, so calmly, so gently and it was so different from Warrington, so different from anyone else.

His hands were made to touch me.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

This was the second time when Harry actually wanted to kill someone. Not because he had to, not because he otherwise would be killed.

 

No.

 

Harry stared at Draco’s bruised cheek and the wrath in him just grew and grew, because someone touched something that was his. Someone touched him. Someone hurt Draco, someone hurt him who has only been kind to Harry, who was there yesterday when he broke down, whose hands Harry had kissed, who hugged his neck while they danced–

 

Harry wanted to see that son of a bitch’s body parts all over the hall.

 

Staining the walls.

 

“It has been a long time since I beheaded somebody,” Harry said with a low voice, but he knew everyone heard him, “I wonder how quickly I’d manage this time.”

 

Draco looked into his eyes, a pair of glowing golds and grey. “You can’t kill him now,” he breathed back, “You know that.”

 

Harry furrowed his brows in pain as he started to reach towards Draco’s bruised cheek. Draco, seeing this, had turned his head to Harry’s approaching hand before it could touch his bruise, and kissed Harry’s fingers.

 

Harry’s heart fluttered.

 

He’s saying it doesn’t matter.

 

But it did matter.

 

“He hurt you, ” Harry’s voice was shaking with quiet rage, “And I was nowhere.”

 

Draco pressed another kiss on Harry’s palm, “I said now,” Draco whispered, “I didn’t say never.”

 

Harry’s eyes glowed with cruelty and he pulled Draco closer, because he could, because he wanted to show everyone that Draco let him . He hugged Harry’s torso with one arm and Harry held Draco’s face in his hands – his fingers brushed his white hair – he leaned closer and pressed a gentle kiss on the bruise.

 

The anger in him, hadn’t vanished at all. He looked around the hall and found Warrington. He knew it was him.

 

As Harry caught his frightened eyes, he imagined ripping his arms and limbs with his bare hands. He would choke him with his own bowels, ahh, he would made him drink his own blood and then made him choke on that too.

 

Harry almost grinned but then he felt another red flower blossom in his mind, and he heard Pestilence whisper;

 

Look at us, my darling.

 

We are looking down at them already.

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 13

 

If the Heavens ever spoke



They say,

Famine was touched by the Sun

 

They say,

He was touched by its glory and light and warmth

 

They say,

He was the mystical rose of Heaven

 

They say,

When everything was at its last,

When everything turned dark and grim,

He pulled down the stars from the sky,

He made sunrise and sunset, made the people wonder about beauty

 

They say,

 

His skin was made of the stars

 

And his voice rung like the heavens itself spoke

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Famine: The Sun, Chapter V, Paragraph II, by Samuel Krum.



 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

 



War never forgot how Death looked and he never will.

 

He missed him, even though he didn’t understand why now. Why now, indeed? He was sure they were friendly in every other life. He and Death always got along well, despite being the feather of each other’s enemy. War was always calm when he was around.

 

But–

 

He narrowed his eyes.

 

I can never forget what he said to me on that day.

 

It had been the last day of their third life. Before that, not Famine, nor him could remember. Only Pestilence could. It had been a rainy day. Pestilence had been in the body of royalty and he tried to attack Famine’s host. On that morning, Death visited War. He looked worn out and tired and gave War a sad smile as he always did.

 

Death looked far away when he said, airly but heavy:

 

I know what he’s looking for.

 

War had stilled with apprehension. But what was he searching for exactly? What was he looking for?

 

War sighed tiredly. One thing was sure. He has been killing Famine over and over, so that means–

 

He hadn’t found it yet.

 

War couldn’t decide if that was a good thing or not. He only looked out of the window and gave out a sad smile as always. To Death.

 

Wherever you are, my brother. I hope we meet again.



 

––––––––––––––––

 



Theo knew he shouldn’t be sitting here when he was in the middle of a plan and there was an auction and he should be at the bidding but–

 

He could only look at the beautiful girl in front of him playing cello and Theo felt calm and restful. It sang through the air with love and care. He couldn’t help but smile. When the girl finished, Theo clapped and walked towards her. Her smile looked younger than herself but she must’ve been around Theo’s age.

 

“You play beautifully,” Theo started with a smile that couldn’t vanish. The girl’s eyes brightened up.

 

“Thank you,” she let out a deep breath, holding the bow in her hand, “I practiced this piece too many times than I would like to admit.”

 

Theo waved a hand, “I have a friend. He used to play on the piano and he practiced all day. But that’s okay,” Theo shrugged lazily, “If someone loves something that much, I can understand why they would practice a lot.”

 

The girl furrowed her brows, weakening her smile a bit.

 

“Used to play?” she asked, “Why did they stop? I can’t imagine myself without the cello. I wouldn’t be able to stop. Not even if I wanted to.”

 

Maybe Draco hadn’t wanted to either.

 

Theo’s eyes saddened. He remembered Draco’s terror, every time he had crumbled a piano. He didn't want to play it with gloves on, so he stopped.

 

He stopped smiling after that too.

 

“I guess he was afraid,” Theo whispered. The girl froze for a minute, her brown eyes were as big as a fawn’s.

 

“Of what?” she asked.

 

Theo gave out a sad smile and said, “Of getting back something human,” Theo’s heart clenched.

 

Draco just held himself back, because he knew if he were to get back emotions–

 

He would shatter.

 

But Theo hoped that someday, Draco would finally allow himself to care. To have emotions. Because Theo knew what was in him.

 

There were people talking, whispering, bidding but Theo could only feel silence for a minute when–

 

“He’s lucky to have you, then,” the girl tried with a sweet smile, “You seem like a good friend. I’ve been here all day and no one has clapped for me or talked to me at all. You watched my performance and even told me I played good,” she smiled deeply, “Kind hearts like yours are hard to find.”

 

Theo felt his heart stop.

 

‘...You are worthless, I don’t gain anything from keeping you. I’ve had enough...’

 

He remembered every hit, every look, every word. He remembered how he loved Draco because he was his only friend, because he was his only comfort in this dark, lonely world and Draco never let out his emotions, so Theo never really knew how much he meant to Draco – or if Draco even needed him and – and he never received any kind of kindness– and he wanted to pull out Draco from his shell, but he wasn’t enough and–

 

Theo took a deep breath as his sorrow ran through him, trying to prevent his tears when the girl put away her bow and cello and stepped closer to him.

 

A tear rolled down on Theo’s cheek and he smiled a little. It didn’t reach his eyes at all, “It’s just– I don’t even know why,” he took another deep breath.

 

But he knew why.

 

‘You always want to fix broken things,’ said Blaise to him few years ago.

 

He did. Because he knew how it felt to be alone. To be truly alone.

 

‘Do not!’ Theo shouted, shaking his head.

 

Blaise laughed, ‘Do too!’ he said with warm eyes. ‘You have this look on your face that I can never put anywhere.’

 

Theo looked down at the girl’s gentle hand and then raised his head a bit, to look down into her brown eyes.

 

He froze. His heart made a beat.

 

‘I don’t have a look, what look?’ he asked with suspicion and Blaise smiled at him while he said:

 

He saw kindness. A true kindness for the first time in his life. He saw–

 

‘An eyes of a hero.’

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“The second task will be held now, due to difficult circumstances and we apologize for that,” Dumbledore said in the Great Hall, “I want every student to go the Quidditch Pitch now. We already had prepared the battlefield. The second task is called ‘Blood for Blood’. One against one and then two against two,” he stopped for a minute and then said, “the first pair is Beauxbatons against Castelobruxo,” Dumbledore looked at Draco and gave him a warm smile. “I wish luck for both of you.”

 

Everyone was frozen on spot for a moment.

 

Then, the Headmasters and Headmistress started to walk out with the students. Harry was still cupping his face and Pansy and Blaise were petrified.

 

Draco looked back up at Harry, who furrowed his brows.

 

“What?” Draco whispered but Harry wasn’t looking at him. Following his gaze, Draco noticed that he was looking at the Hogwarts champion.

 

“They haven’t even given us time,” Harry said and nodded at the Hogwarts champion. He waved Cedric over, “Some of us doesn’t need to train but there are others...” Harry trailed off.

 

Draco’s hand found Harry’s, “You mean they’re doing it on purpose. They quickened it.”

 

Harry nodded and pressed a kiss on the top of Draco’s head, “But why? What happened that made them act?”

 

Draco felt Harry’s adoration, his scent was all over him, so he kissed Harry’s hand and before he could respond, the Hogwarts champion appeared in front of them, looking at Harry with distress, “I’m going to die, we couldn’t even practice – there’s no way–”

 

“Then don’t lose,” Harry said through his teeth, leaning closer to Cedric but still holding Draco tightly, “You hear me? Don’t get killed, Cedric.”

 

Cedric snorted and then wiped the sweat from his forehead, “Well, what amazing advice this is. Don’t get killed, you say?” Cedric looked like he was going into shock,  “Whoa... very good. Very easy to accomplish. Just wow.”

 

Harry squinted his eyes at him. “Are you being sarcastic, because if you are, I can’t tell.”

 

“He is,” Draco said.

 

Cedric looked at Draco with surprise, “You’re not very perceptive, Harry.”

 

Harry was still squinting, “I’m not very good at socializing,” Cedric still looked very much in shock, but then Harry spoke up again, “Just, don’t die.”

 

Cedric swallowed, nodded and then turned back to walk out to the Quidditch Pitch. Draco looked around and noticed that only four of them stayed in the Great Hall. Everyone else had already left the building and gone to the battlefield.

 

“So, you’re Pestilence, huh?”

 

Harry went rigid and Draco saw his eyes – Draco couldn’t get used to his new eyes – flicker to Pansy. He half closed them, “And you are?”

 

Draco heard Blaise gulp loudly but Pansy didn’t break under Harry’s gaze. When Pansy opened her mouth to answer, Draco was faster.

 

“They work for me,” Draco felt Harry’s unease. It was partly because of Warrington, he was sure, but there was something else too. Something Draco couldn't put his finger on, “Don’t worry about them telling, they won’t, there’s no use.”

 

Harry kept looking at Pansy, “I don’t worry about these things. The whole of Durmstrang knows that I’m Pestilence.”

 

Draco felt the two of them turn, petrified.

 

“And they still fight for you?” Pansy asked quietly, “They still respect you?”

 

And when Harry, with his poisonous new eyes, looked down at Pansy, Draco felt Famine wince. And now he knew why Harry’s eyes were different. He knew because Harry would never look at someone like this. And when Harry said, “They respect me because I show them mercy.”

 

Draco knew,

 

Pestilence’s card had started changing Harry.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––



 

“Four thousand pounds! Going once...twice...,” Mundungus hit with the little hammer, “Sold to Mrs. Chantal!”

 

People clapped but Theo only could frown as granny looked ostentatiously at the old man who she outbid and said, “After you retire Jerry. Maybe then, you can win something that will finally matter in your life.”

 

“Well, shit!” Theo said out loud. Everyone turned back to look at him – even granny – who the moment she saw him, furrowed her brows and then put on her glasses.

 

She frowned, “Aren’t you the kiddo who goes into my church?”

 

Theo waved and grinned at her, “Praise the Lord, ma’am,” Sirius, next to him, gave him a look, “Pretty day, isn’t it?”

 

Granny pointed at the vase with shaking hands – exactly how old was she? “Did you see what I’ve won, son? Now, that’s what’s pretty–”

 

“The next item is a photograph,” Mundungus announced loudly and everyone turned ahead, “An old one, I might add. With one of the Darkest Wizards on it, Grindelwald. Starting with five hundred pounds.”

 

Sirius raised his hand–

 

“Five hundred pounds!” shouted someone from the back.

 

Sirius raised his hand and cut the tennis match short before it could begin, “One thousand pounds!” he shouted. No one dared to bet further.

 

“One thousand pounds! Going once... twice...” Mundungus hit with the hammer, “Sold to...” he looked at Sirius questionably.

 

“My grandpa Wilson!” Theo shouted back at him.

 

Mundungus grinned, “To grandpa Wilson!” Mundungus rubbed his neck, “What a year to be young.”

 

After every item had its owner, Sirius had gone to collect the picture and give the Locket to Mundungus. Theo started to walk away, wait for Sirius outside but someone caught his arm.

 

Theo looked back and saw the granny.

 

“I want to speak with you for a minute, young man,” she said and patted the bench next to her. Theo sat down and listened, “I saw you talking with my niece, there,” she pointed at the place where the girl Theo had talked a couple of hours ago, “Isn’t she pretty?”

 

Theo found himself nodding and looked back at granny, “She is, ma’am.”

 

Granny’s smile turned gentle and she held her beautiful vase in her hands, “She’s an empath, son.”

 

Theo turned cold.

 

Everything fell quiet around him.

 

“I think you know what that means,” granny continued.

 

Theo looked at granny, frightened. But the old woman wore determination as a beautiful dress.

 

“I’m a good Legillimens, son,” she said quietly, her voice sounded raspy, “I know you’ve been following me, I know you’re here with Sirius Black. I know who you work for. You should learn to shield your mind,” she stopped and Theo almost began to– “But I also know that you have tried to treat people with kindness no matter what. That’s why I’m wanting to ask you,” granny grabbed Theo’s hands, shaking but strong;

 

“Don’t let him win.”

 

Theo’s breathing stopped. Her eyes showed power. The power of caring .

 

“Don’t let him destroy this world, these innocent people. Don’t let him take away my niece – or anyone’s families, friends and loved ones,” she leaned closer, “You hear me, Theodore Nott? Don’t let him win.”

 

They were not in church. There were other people here. But Theo felt like granny only saw him and Theo only saw her and that in this moment,

 

God was watching them both.



 

––––––––––––––––––



 

Pansy looked up and saw the sky and thought, There will be rain.

 

The Quidditch Pitch was filled with roars and claps and whistles and the fights hadn’t even begun.

 

“I’m full of anxiety,” Blaise shouted to Pansy, who furrowed her brows.

 

“For Draco?” she shouted back.

 

Blaise shook his head, “I have a bad feeling about all of this. There will be blood. So much blood.”

 

And then a voice announced the first fight, echoing through the pitches.

 

Beauxbatons and Castelobruxo. Draco Malfoy and Eliza Vilar.

 

And Pansy felt chills running down her spine when one lightning bolt struck above the sky.



 

–––––––––––––––––



 

Eliza walked slowly to the Beauxbatons direction, Cain was sliding around her – her Occamy was feeling the rush of excitement in her already. The Beauxbatons wore a cold expression – his beauty was glowing, he looked ethereal, entirely unhuman. His golden iris was bright despite the white scar across it.

 

Eliza’s smile turned cold. She remembered her mother’s words.

 

“...Who holds beauty, shall whisper one thing and everyone will jump to fight till death...”

 

Not her.

 

She stopped, mimicking the Beauxbatons champion’s still stance and heard the silence scream. Cain was hissing and grew as tall as Eliza, spreading his blue wings. Eliza propped her legs and leaned forward. Beauxbatons touched his gloves – didn't pull it off, just felt it between his fingers –, Eliza analyzed him, trying not to get distracted by his appearance.

 

The sky turned grey–

 

Not me.

 

Shadows fell on the ground–

 

Not me. I won’t be captive.

 

And lightning struck, whitening the world and when Eliza heard the shout for them to begin, she raised her hand to the white haired boy and screamed;

 

“GO, CAIN!”

 

Cain smiled with full of teeth and flew to the Beauxbatons with power, letting out a loud shriek. The crowd went wild. Shouts and screams – lightning struck again – Eliza stepped a bit to the left–

 

The Beauxbatons stepped to the right – gracious move, his shoulders were restful, Eliza had never seen someone move so lightly – Cain followed the Beauxbatons’s gaze and when the sky roared like a vicious beast, silence fell on everyone, Eliza heard the white beauty hiss.

 

Cain stopped completely. The crowd did not say a word. Eliza felt her chest explode with despair because–

 

He was a Parselmouth.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco knew the moment he remembered that Occamies can understand Parseltongue that he would win. He just needed it to get closer to him.

 

He looked into the animal’s eyes – blue and purple – and as another lightning struck, Draco knew it glowed up his golden eyes, making him celestial.

 

I don’t mean harm to you or your friend, Draco tried to hiss gently, carefully, “You can feel my sunlight, can’t you? Draco spoke with care, “You know who is in me.

 

The Occamy bowed its head in front of Draco, “ You are ancient, little one,” Draco almost winced when he heard the Occamy’s harsh voice, “ Older than everyone here put together. I won’t harm you if you don’t harm my daughter, ” the Occamy looked at the Castelobruxo’s direction.

 

Draco looked at the bird with half lidded eyes and bowed in front of it, touching his chest where his heart lied and said, “I mean no harm,” he raised his head up to look into Eliza’s wide eyes.

 

Another lightning shone down on his white skin, glowing up his one left golden eye and his right grey one with its patches of sun, wind danced through his white hair and Draco heard the crowd gasp with wonder.

 

 

––––––––––––––

 

 

“He looks like a...” Blaise whispered with awe and Pansy was covering her mouth in shock. She looked around, seeing everyone’s face as they wore shock, terror, admiration, lust–

 

Draco managed to control the whole crowd without lifting a finger.

 

Pansy’s lips started to quiver with fear.

 

Legends say, Famine’s beauty started millions of wars and rebellions.

 

She stared as the lightning ignited Draco with glow. He didn’t look like human at all.

 

They say, white roses bloomed in his hands, gold feathers glowed in his eyes and his skin was made from winter itself.

 

Pansy saw him walk to Eliza with elegance and calmness, shoulders down, neck long, narrowing his eyes – it almost reminded Pansy of a Queen.

 

Legends say, people worshipped him, fought for his hand, his love – slaughtered thousands of men for him.

 

And Pansy thought, how–

 

How can a monster be this beautiful?

 

Draco looked like–

 

“Royalty,” Pansy whispered.



 

–––––––––––––––––––



 

“...Who holds beauty, shall whisper one thing and everyone will jump to fight till death...”

 

And Eliza couldn’t do anything.

 

She lost the moment her Occamy stopped fighting. She lost – just like that, just that easy. She couldn’t even blame the Beauxbatons. She couldn’t hold grudge against him – there was no way–

 

She had failed her country. She had failed her people. She had failed her mother.

 

She didn’t know that the tears were coming until she felt one rolling down on her cheek. She failed – because this had been one of the most important task. Fighting. Strength. Power.

 

She won’t be Kaiser now. There was no way.

 

The Beauxbatons stopped in front of her and looked down at her calmly, he looked majestic. Eliza felt powerless in front of him – ugly even, a weakling who will die when the war will hit, who will be nothing when hope disappears–

 

“Hold your chin high.”

 

Eliza winced as she looked up into the Beauxbatons’s eyes. There, she saw something. Something else. He looked at her like he wanted her to be more than this.

 

Eliza felt like she was burning.

 

“You lost once. Does that have to mean giving up?” Beauxbatons said to her, “Power doesn’t evolve from what you can do. It evolves with overcoming.”

 

Eliza’s breath caught in her throat and felt raindrops on her face, on her neck and nose. It hit the ground, making the silence go away – vanishing it completely.

 

“Your only limit is you,” he whispered, “So hold your chin high and bite back your loss. Wear it and look at it when the time comes, to get strength from it – to push yourself to your limit. Where you can win.”

 

Eliza heard her heartbeat with something warm– “Why are you saying this to me? Why are you helping me?”

 

The Beauxbatons’s hands flinched, but he didn’t look away. The rain soaked his hair, his white eyelashes were glowing with water drops. The dark grey clouds bore down on them like shadows but the rain felt cold and comforting.

 

“You remind me of a friend,” he said quietly - his voice changed. “I don’t want to see sad souls in front of me anymore.”

 

Eliza’s breath hitched on her throat because this Beauxbatons not only looked beautiful, but what was in him... inside... felt... like...

 

Maybe that was what mattered.

 

Maybe that was why someone would fight till death. For someone who was beautiful on the inside . For someone who would inspire others. For someone who would help a sad soul.

 

She felt like she was glowing.

 

Eliza couldn’t help but smile. A true deep smile. Her sadness went away, she wore her loss, held her chin high and looked at him. He stared at her with satisfaction and she thought, for these kinds of people, she would fight till death.

 

“You have a kind heart,” she whispered but no. No, it was much more than that, he was...

 

Eliza’s smile grew into something grateful and her eyes held respect.

 

You’re like a savior.



 

Chapter Text

Chapter 14

 

Red Flowers

 

of

 

Day and Night

 

 

 

One day, a long time ago,

the Goddess of the Sun was born.

 

Her name was Amaterasu.

 

People bowed to her, cherished her, and called her:

The One who makes the Heavens shine.

 

 

One day, a long time ago,

The God of the Moon was born.

 

His name was Tsukuyomi.

 

People bowed to him, prayed for him, and called him:

The Ruler of the Night.

 

Tsukuyomi and Amaterasu were brother and sister.

After climbing the celestial ladder,

They lived in Heaven for many centuries and loved each other so much

they decided to bind their immortal lives together.

 

One day,

Uke Mochi, the Goddess of Harvest invited Amaterasu to her Feast.

 

Amaterasu couldn’t come, so she asked her brother to represent her at the Feast.

 

Tsukuyomi went to the Feast and was horrified at what he saw.

 

As Uke Mochi showed her talent,

She turned to the Ocean and spat out fish.

Then, she turned to the Forest and spat out bloody flesh.

Then, she turned to the Rice Paddy and coughed up a bowl of rice.

 

Tsukuyomi was disgusted by how the Goddess made the food.

About how she used her mighty power.

 

For the food wasn’t made with honor and decency,

Tsukuyomi killed Uke Mochi.

 

Soon,

Amaterasu learned what happened.

Her wrath shook the stars in the sky.

She refused to ever look at Tsukuyomi again, making him leave to the other half of the sky.

 

The Japanese Mythology says,

This was the reason the Day and Night are never together.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Hidden Chapters; Are there possible mythology connections with the Horsemen mythology? – Personal notes by Samuel Krum.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

“We will continue War’s plan,” said Sirius in the kitchen. Remus nodded and Bellatrix grunted next to Theo, who wasn’t listening at all, “In a couple of hours, we’re going to visit Gregorovitch. He knows we’re coming, so be ready.”

 

Theo looked at Lestrange. He didn't know why, only now has Theo come to realize...

 

Why would she go along with this situation? Maybe because Theo would burn her otherwise? Maybe that was it, but–

 

“...Don’t let him win...”

 

Lestrange was loyal to The Dark Lord. No one else. Besides, there was this another topic that was some kind of taboo in his house.

 

Sirius’s deceased brother.

 

There was a history behind that man and no one talked about him. Not Sirius, not the werewolf and certainly not Lestrange. There wasn’t anything in this house that could’ve been evidence that this man existed, yet his presence was overwhelming in every sense.

 

Was he the reason why Lestrange was doing this? Playing along?

 

“...Don’t let him win...”

 

But he will come back. Theo’s lips started to quiver and he bit his bottom lip.

 

The Dark Lord will come back and Draco will be his right hand. Even though, Draco could easily win, even though Draco could beat him, could kill him–

 

He won’t.

 

Theo pressed his lip into a thin line. He won’t.

 

Because Draco was The Dark Lord’s Horcrux. Even if the other Horcruxes are destroyed, there is still Draco. If he dies, and Draco will be still alive then he will come back.

 

Theo’s lips quivered again.

 

Draco has to die.

 

But it was in his eyes, Theo furrowed his brows. The Horcrux was in his left eye – maybe if they would cut it out then...

 

What then? The whole thing won’t happen at all. Draco was loyal to The Dark Lord, he didn’t want to feel emotions and his father and Lestrange were his family – and all of them were on The Dark Lord’s side. Besides, Draco would never hurt any of the Horcruxes because they were his Lord’s.

 

Why was he so loyal to him? He killed his mother–

 

Draco didn’t feel emotions. That’s why.

 

If he would feel them, he wouldn’t be at his side. But right now, there’s nowhere else he could go. Nowhere else he could join. It wouldn’t be wise to join elsewhere in the first place. Draco already had his past. He’s already carved a reputation.

 

Famine.

 

Not to mention there were other Horsemen too. What will happen if they appear in front of Draco? What will happen then?

 

Will all of them just watch as the world burns?

 

“...Don’t let him win...”

 

As innocent people cough up blood, shiver in cold and then die just like everyone else around them?

 

“...Don’t let him win...”

 

Was this the only way? Was there really no other option?

 

“...Don’t let him win...”

 

And Theo will just let it happen? Will he do nothing? Nothing at all? Will he just stand there and–

 

“...Kind hearts like yours are hard to find...”

 

Theo clenched his firsts and looked up at the ceiling.

 

“...It’s okay to be a monster...”

 

Theo closed his eyes and felt peace. He put his palms together.

 

“...Maybe we turn to stars when all of this is over...”

 

He took a deep breath and touched his head to his palms.

 

“...You have this look on your face...”

 

“Dear Lord,” Theo whispered. “Give me strength and your forgiveness, for I will sin.”

 

Sorry, Draco.

 

I can’t let him win.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War was holding the White Rook in his hand and slightly caressed it. The storm was roaring outside, the lightning was getting brighter and louder and more vicious each time. The crowd’s screams and claps were echoing but War only held the White Rook in his hand.

 

Asmodeus. Theodore.

 

War smiled and put the White Rook next to the Queen. Draco.

 

“You always have a good soul, Asmodeus,” whispered War. “You always help him.”

 

War then looked at the Black Knight, which one was next to the King. Next to Harry. He was looking at it with a nostalgic smile.

 

“It’s your turn,” he said. “Sathanus.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton couldn’t believe what he was seeing when he heard a voice announce that the winner needed to go back to the waiting room, where all the other champions were at the moment. He was staring at Eliza’s defeated yet calm face. The whole crowd was under the Beauxbatons’s spell, looking lustful, charmed and completely in awe.

 

Something wasn’t right about this.

 

Charlton was looking as the Beauxbatons arrived to the others. Everyone looked impressed, even the twins. Cedric and Gavril.

 

But Mahoutokoro and Durmstrang. Charlton saw their eyes. Those two were the most dangerous here, he knew that very well. Karin and Harry.

 

Something wasn’t right. Charlton narrowed his eyes and rubbed his hands. Something wasn’t right about the Beauxbatons.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Karin knew that the Beauxbatons wasn’t merciful but she didn’t expect that his skill, his brutality reached up to this point.

 

He made that girl his pawn. His ally. Without doing anything, just saying a couple of words.

 

What a monster.

 

She was listening to the Castelobruxo champion’s grateful words, realizing that the whole crowd was blind to his performance. Karin looked around. Even a couple of the champions were amazed and blind because of it. Except the Durmstrang champion, but Karin wasn’t surprised, that boy wasn't a moron.

 

Karin squinted her eyes at the Ilvermorny champion. But that one. Him. He looked interesting.

 

He wasn’t fooled.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco saw the champions’ approving expressions and he felt Famine smile within him. That was insanely easy.

 

And he hadn’t been found out.

 

Draco’s eyes found Harry’s and he started to walk towards him–

 

A blonde–brownish hair appeared in front of him and Draco was suddenly looking into sharp eyes. He narrowed his and almost took a step back.

 

Gavril.

 

“This was amazing, Draco!” Gavril exclaimed and Draco pressed his lips into a thin line, surpassing his annoyance, “You did so well, so amazing and beautiful,” Draco winced when he realized that Gavril was stretching out his hand to caress his face–

 

He stopped.

 

Draco looked at his next, his eyes widened.

 

Harry had caught Gavril’s wrist . His eyes were mere slits, narrowing with poison. Draco noticed that Gavril’s legs had started to shake but he tried to hide it, with a little success. Harry loomed over him and squeezed Gavril’s wrist. Gavril gritted his teeth at him but Harry never looked away.

 

“I’ve had enough already,” Harry said calmly and a lot of champions winced, “You and Warrington and other fuckers, touching something that isn’t yours–”

 

Gavril snorted, trying to pull back his hand, “What makes you think that he belongs to you?”

 

Everyone held their breath. Harry’s posture turned straightened. His poisonous stare burnt but he didn’t move or give out a sound.

 

There was something terrifying about his silence.

 

This was something new. Something eerie.

 

Draco gently, hesitantly, touched Harry’s torso, “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, Harry.”

 

Harry didn’t even acknowledge him. He let go of Gavril’s wrist and stepped closer to the older boy, until they were face to face. Gavril bared his teeth at Harry and–

 

Harry tilted his head, cracking it.

 

Draco straightened his spine as his blood turned cold. Famine purred low in him, delightfully. He almost took a step back.

 

“Bare your teeth at me,” Harry whispered, his voice sung like a melody, different. Gavril paled and recoiled, his face darkened in terror, “I’ll pull them out. One. by. one.”

 

This was not Harry.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

We should kill him, my darling–

 

Why?

 

We should tear him, Harry. Pestilence stroked Harry’s stomach with heated adoration–

 

Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry–

 

Why?

 

Harry felt Pestilence caressing his neck, whispering into his ears, threading fingers through his hair. It felt like he was in Harry and he was outside of Harry as well, like if he wasn’t in him wholly–

 

Let me out, Harry. You want to kill him, don’t you?

 

Harry almost smiled–

 

We could kill him, we could tear, we could gut him, we could, we could, we could–

 

Harry touched his head and shook it, trying to soothe the pain. “Shut up,” he whispered, he touched his neck–

 

You should let me, Harry. Let me be in control, my darling–

 

Harry peeled his neck, peeling his skin off with his nails–

 

Let me out and you shall never feel pain again. You will be powerful, Harry. Let me out. You’re already a monster, we just need to make you better–

 

Harry tore his neck–

 

You know you want to, my darling.

 

“Harry!”

 

His old, venom eyes flickered to Draco’s immediately. He looked – Harry’s hands twitched as he got out of his trance.

 

Worried.

 

A shout ripped the silence apart, an announcement that rang like a choir. The next pair.

 

“Durmstrang and Mahoutokoro. Harry Potter and Kurosawa Karin.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Viktor stared as Deyan snapped his little Durmstrang flag. Everyone else started to explode with everything – someone even started to play drums. Toni and Irina next to them were proudly singing their anthem.

 

“He gets the most dangerous one?” Deyan whispered to Viktor in Bulgarian, “At this rate, in his condition–”

 

“I know,” Viktor said in a dark tone. Deyan’s red eyes flickered to his. The storm’s rain was falling heavily, turning the dirt to mud down at the arena.

 

“Maybe we should tell him,” Deyan said dropping his flag, “You need to tell him at some point anyways.”

 

Viktor clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. He promised, he–

 

“I can’t,” he said, “Not yet. Not until...”

 

“Not until...?” Deyan asked when Viktor trailed off.

 

Viktor looked down ahead and felt the cold rain, the cold wind – the chill as it traveled through his bones.

 

Soon,

 

There will be nothing but rain.

 

“Not until he remembers at least one of his lives.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pansy stared at Blaise who was holding his head in shock.

 

“What the hell is your problem?” Pansy snapped and Blaise grabbed the edge of his seat.

 

“I’ll get a bloody heart attack, that is what my problem is,” Blaise yelled back. “The two most scary people, are you kidding me? How in the hell am I going to survive this whole–”

 

“Hi guys.”

 

Both Pansy and Blaise jumped so high, they almost fell off. Pansy looked back, touching her chest with wide eyes, staring at–

 

Daphne.

 

Pansy hit her shoulder, “What were you thinking?” Pansy hit her shoulder again but Daphne didn’t even wince, “You can’t do that!”

 

“Hell no!” Blaise paled and then touched his face, completely horrified, “I should go to church.”

 

Pansy stopped, turned back along with Daphne, “To where ?!”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Ron looked down at Warrington’s delightful face. Next to him, Hermione nodded and then spoke up;

 

“Why are you so happy, Warrington?” she asked and he didn’t turn around to answer.

 

“The Mahoutokoro champion could kill him. She can, they say,” Warrington said calmly and Ron could easily imagine his smug face, “Who knows? Maybe this is my lucky day.”

 

Ron’s friends watched with unease and looked at Ron, waiting for his response.

 

“You’re dancing on thin ice,” Ron spoke with coldness and strength, “I’ve already put you on watch, what else will I need to do to help you not to get yourself killed?”

 

Hermione looked at the boy’s back with narrowed eyes. Warrington waited for a moment before he answered.

 

“I can take care of myself,” Warrington said, still smug as ever. Fucking asshole.

 

Ron looked at Hermione and then nodded. He turned around and gestured to Zach. The boy leaned closer and Ron whispered to his ear, “You’re dating Parkinson, aren’t you?” Zach nodded, “Tell her that Ronald Weasley says the Beauxbatons champion needs to be at the Durmstrang champion’s side,” Ron stopped for a moment, his blue eyes darkened before he continued, “I don’t want a rape to happen. Not if I can prevent it. Now go,” he shooed him away.

 

Goyle leaned closer, cracked his knuckles and whispered, “We could beat him up, chief. With my bro, Crabbe”

 

Ron waved his hand and shook his head, “Not yet.”

 

Goyle nodded, “Got it.”

 

As Ron turned back, he noticed Hermione looking at him with a grim expression.

 

“Are you worried?” Hermione asked. Ron touched her hand and brought it to his lips, pressing a kiss there. “Maybe you should talk to–”

 

Ron gave her a gentle smile. “I’m okay, princess,” he turned to the arena, seeing the Mahoutokoro champion walk in, “I will. Just not now.”

 

“Later?” Hermione asked and Ron hugged her, pressing a kiss on her hair.

 

“Later,” he promised. He will go.

 

I have to.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Wait a minute,” Ginny looked down, hearing the two names. “Durmstrang? Charlton told me something about that guy.”

 

Oliver came out of nowhere and asked, “Who is Charlton?”

 

Ginny gaped at him, “What do you me– Charlton Moore as in the Ilvermorny champion? I’m his guide? You know?”

 

Oliver frowned, looking as lost as ever. Dean patted him on the shoulder and shook his head with embarrassment.

 

“Don’t listen to him, Gin,” he said and looked at the Durmstrang crowd. “He only sees Viktor Krum in front of himself. He needs that sign as bad as his life insurance.”

 

Oliver clicked his tongue, looking confused, “What is life insurance?” Dean and Seamus started to snicker and Ginny rolled her eyes.

 

“Gavril hates him,” Luna looked at Ginny, “He’s always angry of him.”

 

Ginny furrowed her brows, remembering Charlton’s words. What did he tell her?

 

“... You’re not dumb, you’ll figure it out eventually...”

 

“The Koldovstoretz champion?” Seamus – again came out of nowhere, Ginny looked around, where were they all coming from?

 

Luna nodded, “Yes. I'm his guider.”

 

Seamus, Dean, and Oliver shared a look with each other. Ginny gasped, she knew that look.

 

“What do you know?” she asked.

 

Seamus pursed his lips. “Not much,” he shrugged, “But the Koldovstoretz has his a thing for the Beauxbatons.”

 

Dean snorted, still holding Oliver’s shoulder, “Who doesn’t?”

 

Seamus flushed but shook his head, “That’s not the point,” he nodded at the Durmstrang crowd, “The point is that the Beauxbatons champion is Potter’s.”

 

Ginny’s eyes grew comically wide. “Is this true?”

 

“It is,” said Neville, also coming out of nowhere.

 

“What the actual fuck?!” Ginny shouted when she turned to him, “Where are you people came from?”

 

Neville raised his brows and then pointed behind him, “The stairs?” Luna sighed out of relief and Dean looked excited.

 

“Get to the point,” said Ginny, massaging her forehead. The storm was getting out of hand.

 

Neville looked down, seeing the Mahoutokoro champion.

 

“I searched for Cedric and found him with the Durmstrang champion. They were training. I told Harry when Warrington hit the Beauxbatons. He looked... vicious,” Neville bit his bottom lip and stared at Kurosawa’s Karin cold eyes. They glowed, even from up here, Neville could see the purple in her eyes.

 

“I think this will be interesting to watch.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry knew it was his time to start walking towards his opponent. His head was a mess. He could feel and hear the rain and the lightning but it felt muffled.

 

Pestilence’s breathed above his neck, dripped saliva down his back, he could feel that perfectly clearly.

 

“Harry,” Draco’s voice was hesitant yet strong. It was the echo in Harry’s disastrous mind. He turned around, his green gaze slid into Draco’s golden grey. Harry bent down to rest his cheek against Draco’s. His lips brushed Famine’s ear.

 

“He’s in me, Draco,” Harry whispered with shaking voice. He was scared, he was so fucking scared, “I don’t know what will happen.”

 

Draco couldn’t breathe.

 

“After the fight is over, meet me at our room,” Harry whispered, “We need to talk.”

 

Draco couldn’t breathe. The piano room.

 

Harry leaned back and turned to the door that led to his opponent. Kurosawa Karin.

 

As Pestilence breathed behind him, Harry began to walk forward and when he felt he mud underneath his feet, he remembered his promise.

 

He remembered his mother. Her smile and voice – as she hummed her ballade. Chopin.

 

Harry knew, a couple of years ago that he will need to kill.

 

To torture, to break, to tear, to

 

win.

 

As another wild, red flower blossomed in his mind, he whispered to himself,

 

“I will not be afraid.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Karin’s black hair danced in the wind, like a wave in the darkest sea. Her purple eyes barely contained her old wrath – that she had chained in herself throughout the long years. She straightened her spine, and breathed through her nose, the cold and the rain started to soak into her skin, into her hair. The mud sank when she stepped on it in her boots.

 

She looked up at her crowd, Mahoutokoro. They all bowed for her, even Sensei.

 

Then, Karin heard him. She looked ahead.

 

The boy was younger than her but it didn’t show in his steps, in how he held himself. He walked like a predator, calmly yet hesitantly.

 

Carefully.

 

A lightning bolt struck, the white violated everyone’s eyes except Karin’s. She could see perfectly fine.

 

My ancestors' blood is running in me.

 

His emerald green eyes glowed in the dark. His black hair was already wet, for the rain only fell and fell, and the wind only howled and howled.

 

Just like when Taka died.

 

Karin pressed her lips into a thin line and pushed her sorrow away. She looked down at her pinky, remembering the times when she and Taka made a promise. The Durmstrang champion stopped in front of her. The mud will slide, she has to be careful of that. Finally, she raised her head and looked into his old eyes.

 

There was something familiar in him. Something fox-like. Something old.

 

Where have I seen these eyes before? Where? When?

 

Another lightning bolt struck from the grey, dark clouds and Karin started to grow out her black claws. The Durmstrang champion narrowed his eyes at them.

 

“You’re a Kitsune,” he said quietly. His voice felt like a melody – a devastating, eerie one. He noticed that she had black not white claws, “A Nogitsune.”

 

Karin smiled and sharpened her claws, “An old one,” she whispered darkly, “A very old one.”

 

The Durmstrang champion touched his neck and Karin noticed he was fighting off a grin.

 

“BEGIN!”

 

Karin – with an impulsive, lightning-quick movement – cut off his right wrist.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry couldn’t comprehend what was happening in front of him it happened so fast. But when it did, when it got to him–

 

He screamed. Until his throat bled. He tried to breathe but it seemed completely useless, he saw his black blood mix in with the mud, as he lost his balance and fell on his knees and the crowd went silent to insane in but a few seconds. He spat out black blood.

 

Then, he began to heal.

 

He raised his other wrist to boil up Karin’s blood–

 

and

 

Karin

 

cut

 

it

 

off.

 

Harry grunted in pain, lost his balance again and fell into the mud – it went into his eyes, his nose, his mouth – he raised his head and spat it out. The applause howled with the wind.

 

“We can do this all day,” Karin said and scraped off Harry’s black blood from her claws. Her purple eyes bore into Harry’s. The grim, endless blood and loneliness – it resembled Karin so much.

 

Harry groaned when he felt both of his wrists had healed. His hands were gnarled messes of flesh and bone.

 

If he tried to boil her blood up again – she would cut his wrists off again. And Harry could only use his hands to use his boiling power. He could turn into a panther – he slowly stood up. But that would be a horrible idea – Karin had claws and hers were much longer than Harry’s.

 

Then? An old habit?

 

Harry stretched his legs and let out a deep breath. Karin raised her claws and leaned forward. The rain felt cold on his face, lightning tore the sky and Harry bolted – he was behind Karin, he touched her head and wanted to–

 

Karin whirled to face him,

 

slicing

 

up

 

his

 

face.

 

Harry only saw black when he fell to the ground. Mud mixed with his black blood, his face burnt with pain, he whimpered, covering it–

 

He gasped when the crowd screamed.

 

Terror struck his body just as another lightning whitening the sky and burning through the rain.

 

It

 

did

 

not

 

heal.

 

Karin hummed in curiosity and loomed over Harry. Harry – between the black patches of his blood – saw her purple eyes, fox-like and cold, merciless.

 

Wrathful.

 

The rain cooled his wounds down on his face but it still stung like hell – Harry gasped, his blood, his black precious blood– he tried to heal, tried to heal it, the whole of it, one half of it–

 

Harry heard two sounds. Like a blade, darting through the air and violent shrieks. The crowd.

 

His

 

shoulders

 

started

 

to

 

bleed.

 

Then the pain hit Harry and he cried out and tried to look at his arms – he was shaking, he felt cold, he–

 

His eyes widened.

 

Karin

 

had

 

cut

 

off

 

his

 

arms

 

Harry tried to breathe, he was gritting his teeth– no it wasn’t working, he couldn’t heal, why? What was this– his blood, he was losing so much blood, everything felt blurry, dizzy, his head felt so heavy, he looked at his side–

 

He saw his flesh – his bones – from his shoulder blades, sticking out–

 

Harry’s shaking body was overwhelming – he vomited. He couldn’t move, couldn’t rose–

 

“Nothing personal per se,” he heard Karin’s voice, but he was already drifting away, “But I intend to win. You are strong but not that strong. That doesn't mean you won’t be trouble in the future,” Karin stroked his back with her claws, “You’re better off dead.”

 

And

 

pierced

 

her

 

claws

 

into

 

his

 

back.

 

Harry’s scream pierced through the cheers of the crowd.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

You need to win, my darling.

 

Pestilence.

 

You want to kill Voldemort, don’t you? Kill the one who killed your mother.

 

Harry heard her scream. Her ballade was destroyed with her piercing scream.

 

You want to avenge your parents, don’t you? You don’t want to be humiliated. No.

 

Harry saw wild, red flowers blossom around him. His mind started to fill up with–

 

You remember Vernon? Petunia? Dudley? They treated you like dirt. They treated you like a rat, an inhuman thing that deserved to die. You were a child. You deserved love, you deserved hugs and care.

 

Yes, I did.

 

The red flowers bloomed – looking like spiders–

 

Remembered Dumbledore, Harry? McGonagall? Professor Snape? They were afraid of what you can do. They used you. They call you savior but they won’t tell you anything. They call you their salvation, but no one helps you.

 

Everybody used you.

 

They did.

 

The flowers bloomed and bloomed, painting Harry’s mind with red–

 

You’re like me Harry – Pestilence’s voice were furious. They made us like this– they created us this way. And when we start to make decisions of our own – they cast us away.

 

They did.

 

Harry could smell the red flowers, it grew inside him like violence–

 

They pulled us over the edge this time. They think they could hurt us. You are tired of being hurt, my darling, I can feel it. Just like me.

 

He was.

 

The flowers were so big, it caressed Harry’s hair, clinked to his ears–

 

What do you want, my darling? I offer you a deal, let me out, just for this fight and then I’ll go away – for a while. For just this once.  Let me out. Let me out and no one will dare to hurt you. I’ll protect you–

 

I want more than protection.

 

His voice was colder than Pestilence’s and he felt the ancient monster freeze in him.

 

What do–

 

Harry opened his eyes, seeing flowers, suddenly recognizing every one of them. The flowers of Afterlife.

 

Red Spider Lilies.

 

He saw Pestilence. He touched Pestilence’s neck, closed his hold and brought him closer, until they were nose to nose. Pestilence caught Harry’s neck but Harry’s eyes held something far crueler. The ancient monster flinched and Harry

 

felt

 

himself

 

crack

 

a

 

grin.

 

Harry was tired of being the one pushed down. The one being hurt. The one who needed to suffer. The one who didn’t get any kind of love. The one whose parents died, the one who had felt alone since he was born, the one who was weak, nothing, and very scared.

 

No.

 

No.

NO.

 

I am done with this.

 

Pestilence grinned at him and asked, “What do you want, my darling?”

 

Harry’s grin grew, and grew, the Red Spider Lilies were in his hair, inside of his body–

Harry felt the anger blossom in him with the flowers and pride blooming out of the sprout.

 

“...You will have to move the world...”

 

“I want to be feared.”

 

Pestilence tore a red flower out and

 

Harry

 

woke

 

up.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Karin’s blood froze in her and hair stood up on her neck–

 

Go back, go back, go back, go back, go back–

 

Karin jumped off and backed away. The crowd went silent, not knowing what was going on but Karin felt it–

 

Corruption. Something filthy. Ancient.

 

Older than her.

 

The sky struck – at least three lightning bolts roared, rain fell like black blood–

 

Karin’s purple eyes widened and she took a step back. The wounds on his face started to heal, as if nothing had been there – his shoulder blades –

 

Karin couldn’t breathe when she saw his arms growing back. Bones, then muscle then flesh then skin–

 

The Durmstrang cracked his neck as another lightning struck. Karin felt shivers run down on her spine.

 

Then, he stood up. It was as if he rose up from tar.

 

His arms were covered in mud, as was his hair and the side of his face and–

 

Karin felt nauseous.

 

His old eyes burnt with venom. The Durmstrang champion tilted his head, cracking it again, and then gave out an enraged grin. He raised his hand and waved at Karin, signing her to come at him.

 

Karin didn’t dare move.

 

The boy’s grin showed his teeth, “Do you want to play?”

 

Karin

 

blood

 

turned

 

to

 

ice.

 

His voice was different. It was sweet and joyful– disturbing. An entirely different person was standing in front of her.

 

Silence devoured them as Karin looked–

 

“Where are you looking, my darling?”

 

Karin heard the voice

 

behind

 

her.

 

He breathed onto her ear – Karin whirled around and–

 

Nothing. He wasn’t–

 

“Mary, Mary,” he sang beautifully behind her, “Quite contrary.”

 

Karin adjusted her stance, already turning around, raising her claws to strike–

 

She stopped. He stared at her, raising both of his hands, the grin was there, manic. Black blood was on the half of his face, flowing down into his teeth, his grinning mouth, leaking down on his neck– a lightning bolt struck, making–

 

“How does your garden grow?” His voice echoed and its resonance vibrated down Karin’s spine.

 

The crowd inhaled and winced and–

 

His eyes narrowed, dark green, venom, and poison.

 

Like a fox.

 

He flickered his wrist and Karin

 

felt

 

her

 

claws

 

point

 

at

 

her

 

stomach.

 

“With silver bells, and cockle shells,” he raised his other arm, like a conductor. The rain poured down on his black blood covered face.

 

A Grinning Maestro.

 

And as another lightning struck, glowing up his body silhouette, his left hand moved the invisible rod downward, and he pointed at Karin with his right hand.

 

“And pretty maids all in a row.”

 

It’s like he’s saying that–

 

It’s my time to play.

 

He waved with his left and

 

Karin

 

stabbed

 

herself

 

in

 

the

 

stomach.

 

Her scream ate the silence like gluttony. She choked up blood – her claws were still through her, she couldn’t breathe – she whimpered, falling to her knees, her blood dribbled of her mouth, deep red, into the mud, on her pale skin, on her clawed hands–

 

“Goosey Goosey Gander,” the boy sang as Karin looked ahead. He adjusted the tempo with his left hand, waving the invisible rod. He smiled, but his eyes held anger–

 

“Whither shall I wander?” He sang into the silence, even the storm quieted down, “Upstairs,” he raised the invisible rod, Karin sliced up with her claws and screamed, “And downstairs,” the Durmstrang champion lowered the rod, making Karin tear her hand down to her stomach. Her screams were wet as she coughed up more and more blood.  

 

No

 

one

 

could

 

make

 

a

 

sound.

 

“And in my lady’s chamber,” his singing soaked in the rain as he began to walk towards Karin, “There I met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers,” he was in front of her, “So I took him by his leg,” he started to boil up Karin’s blood in her legs, the pain made her blind as she fell down, the claws were still in her – couldn’t pull it out, “And threw him down the stairs.”

 

Karin will die.

 

She will die, she will die, she will die, she will die–

 

She only noticed now her tears, running down on her cheek, ruthlessly painful and bitter.

 

She closed her eyes. She lost to a monster.

 

And she

 

only

 

saw

 

her

 

brother.

 

I’m sorry. Karin felt her world shatter, “I’m sorry, Taka,” she whispered.

 

Then,

 

the

 

pain

 

stopped.

 

She pulled out the claws of her stomach, gasping for air, drinking the wind–

 

And the boy was crouching down to look into her eyes and Karin remembered. Her remained blood froze – her lips parted and she began to shake.

 

His eyes looked exactly like her–

 

“Karin?”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry saw memories and it washed Pestilence’s madness away like nothing. Him being a child – him being Japanese. A long time ago. He lived in a palace with his sister. They were born as twins. They both were Nogitsune.

 

Black Foxes. Tricksters.

 

Harry’s name was–

 

Kurosawa Takahiro.

 

It was his...

 

… sixth life?

 

But then Pestilence killed Famine and the other Horsemen and then went to sleep – he played his own death. And he left...

 

He left Karin alone.

 

Harry held out his pinky – as he always did with his sister in that life. Karin saw it and began to cry – her face torn with pain and grief–

 

She circled her own pinky around his and Harry asked, very gently, “What’s my flower, Karin?”

 

Only Karin knew. No one else had known. The older girl let out a deep breath and said,

 

“Red Spider Lilies.”

 

Harry’s breath hitched on his throat.

 

He met someone who had been in his sixth life. Harry flinched as he felt Pestilence grin in him, on the inside. The cold swept through him as he realized...

 

Pestilence purposely hadn’t healed him.

 

So he could take over Harry – so that Harry would realize Karin had been his sister. He made Harry remember.

 

The more life I remember,

 

The more is the chance that he can take over.

 

The voice shouted Harry’s victory, but Harry knew he had lost. He had been a closed door to Pestilence but now, Harry gave him the key.

 

As the storm quieted down, as the crowd fell to silence, as Harry saw Karin close her purple eyes but holding his hand strongly, Harry dropped a couple of black blood drops into her wound, healing her, the world went dark, stars came up the sky and it rained and rained and rained.

 

And Harry knew, the sun had vanished for good.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

They say,

Asmodeus, Famine’s warrior, King of Demons,

believed in The Creator.

Even when he had reborn as the King of Demons from Famine’s Sun, he prayed.

 

They say,

The world colored the sky with fire, while he and War searched for Pestilence.

 

As Centuries went by,

As fire was the only thing that could be seen,

Pestilence

made

himself

a

Demon.

 

Legends say,

Pestilence made her from his black Rain.

From his cold, black blood and the Gold of Heaven’s Gate

that he had stole when he had been dragging Asmodeus down.

 

I heard she had many names for no one knew which was real.

Pestilence’s warrior, they whisper.

The One who was made of Pestilence’s Rain and the Gate of Heaven.

The Destroyer, they whisper.

Heyley, they sang.

Belial, they murmur.

Sathanus, they say.

 

Legends say,

No one knew how she looked like for everyone saw her differently

 

They whisper,

She had horns of a Stag, wings of an Eagle, legs of an Ox.

 

They whisper,

She had cloven hooves, tail and horns of an Ox.

 

They whisper,

She was a Red Dragon. Flying with rage, ruling everyone below.

 

They whisper,

She was a black furred Fox with nine Tails.

 

Legends say,

As Sin, she was Wrath.

 

She was a beast,

deceiving those who dwelled on Earth

who had the wound of a sword

and has come to life.

 

And I remember,

Hearing Sathanus say unto Pestilence,

 

‘I will make them come and bow down at your feet.’

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Sathanus: Queen of Demons, Chapter I, Paragraph I, by Samuel Krum and Mykew Gregorovitch.

 

 

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 15

 

The Bells of Winter

 

 

I saw something.

 

I saw The Snake.

 

It is everywhere.

 

I started to hear the Bells again. They are loud today.

 

They are terribly loud.

 

They want me to do something.

 

I must tell him. I must tell him what’s coming.

 

Before it’s too late.

 

– Personal Note by Samuel Krum.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo was petrified when he saw the face of Mykew Gregorovitch. The man looked like he had just swallowed a hot, burning iron. It was quiet in the wandmaker’s shop. It was late night, so no one walked by the streets but Theo felt the silence differently. Sirius and the werewolf were looking at him and the wandmaker, but before anyone could do anything, Gregorovitch’s shaking hands found Theo’s shoulder and with wide eyes, he whispered, “Asmodeus.”

 

And everything stopped in that moment. Theo could smell the burnt skin and flesh through his nose as if it was happening right now. He couldn’t breathe.

 

“What?” he asked, his voice was barely a whisper, “Where did you hear this?”

 

Gregorovitch had a childish wonder in his eyes and a little smile on his face. He didn't let go of Theo, his grip held power. Theo felt sick.

 

“So it’s true,” the old man said, looking slightly away from Theo, focusing into the distance, as if looking at someone who wasn’t there,“Everything he said was true.”

 

Theo felt his blood froze.

 

“What’s true?” Sirius asked, taking a step forward, the werewolf followed him immediately, “What are you talking about?”

 

Gregorovitch still wasn’t looking at any of them. His eyes burnt the stars through the window. His hold loosened and Theo took a step back. Gregorovitch turned to look at Sirius. His eyes flickered to the photo the man was holding in his hands.

 

Sirius looked down at it, then hesitantly gave it to the man. Theo came out from his shock when he saw Gregorovitch’s wrinkled hand touching the photo. His eyes cleared like the sky full of clouds after rain. He smiled deeply, caressing the photo. But he did not touch Grindelwald – he caressed the book Grindelwald was holding. Theo hadn’t seen the photo very clearly, so when he leaned closer he could read the–

 

His eyes widened. Time stood still. The title of the book was–

 

“The Book of the Horsemen,” said Gregorovitch, “Written by my dear friend, Samuel Krum.”

 

Theo felt as if he would fall but he was standing still. He covered his mouth and remembered what Sirius said to him a long time ago.

 

“...War said, we need to bring the old picture to Gregorovitch...”

 

But why? Why was he so important–

 

Theo froze. He remembered, about all the times Draco had told him how much he loved the book of Samuel Krum’s. The mystery behind the man, the author of the Horsemen mythology whose death still hasn’t been discovered. He remembered Draco saying that some of his chapters were written with–

 

“You helped him write it,” Theo whispered, his hands had fallen down at his sides. His memories were getting clearer and clearer, Draco’s voice rang louder and louder in his ears– “You wrote some of the chapters with him.”

 

Theo could only see Gregorovitch’s eyes that were grey and filled up with pain. The old man’s wrinkled hand stopped caressing the picture. Theo saw his mother in front of him, as she was peeling her face while chanting–

 

“Who is Asmodeus?” Theo asked. Gregorovitch’s eyes found his. While Theo’s burnt, the old man’s shone.

 

“He’s the warrior of Famine,” Gregorovitch said, “King of Demons. Lust.”

 

Theo’s head was spinning, the names rang in his head, “King of– are there more?”

 

Gregorovitch eyes wore that wonder again, “Besides you? There are three. Wrath, the Queen of Demons, warrior of Pestilence. And Gluttony, the Prince and the Princess of Demons, they are the ones who are holding the knowledge of one past life.”

 

Theo’s head was spinning and spinning and–

 

“These are just titles and nonsense,” he whispered weakly, “They don’t mean anything–”

 

“Samuel believed that these four demons will – in some form – be there at the Horsemen sides in every life,” Gregorovitch said, “It’s not like what reincarnation is. No. These four people will be destined to meet.”

 

Theo didn't want to believe it. Theo didn’t want to–

 

Warrior of Famine.

 

He remembered as her mother peeled her face, chanting, “Asmodeus, Asmodeus, Asmodeus...”

 

“How could he had known?” Theo asked, more calmly. “How did he die? How does no one know about the Horsemen?”

 

Gregorovitch’s grey eyes held mist and sorrow, “I don’t know. He just vanished one day. I helped him write the book, he looked happy and had fun, and that’s what mattered to me.” his eyes darkened as he looked at the picture again, clenching it in his hand, “I’m still looking for his copy of the book, the one that had the title painted with gold. He must have left me a message. But his book vanished. It was rumored to be with Grindelwald and this picture proves it. It gives me some lead,” he sighed and folded out the picture, adjusting it, looking guilty he had clenched it, “I won’t rest until I find it.”

 

Theo furrowed his brows, wanting to speak up–

 

“War said if we give the picture to you,” Sirius said next to him, making Theo jump. He forgot they were there, “You will tell us something that will help us in the future.”

 

Gregorovitch smiled – like he found the whole situation the most ridiculous thing to happen on earth, “War visited me as well, gentlemen,” he whispered, keeping his voice low and all of them looked petrified. He sent a look to Sirius, “Rest assured, I know what to say,” he slowly turned to Theo, “If you want to start the chain you need to find out about R. A. B.”

 

Theo’s eyes widened in recognition. The false locket that he and Draco found.

 

Death.

 

“Also,” Gregorovitch looked at the picture and raised his hand, “War says, look for his brother’s wand, Asmodeus.”

 

And with a raised hand, he waved them away. All of them apparated to the street of Grimmauld Place. As Theo and the others went into the house, into the hall, as Theo saw Lestrange he couldn’t think – he touched his head and started to think.

 

Starting the chain.

 

The chain of not letting The Dark Lord win? He needs to find out about–

 

“R. A. B. ?” Theo heard Sirius' voice ring throughout the room. Theo looked back at him and found Sirius’s burning eyes of hatred, “What’s my brother had to do with all of this?”

 

It was like the world fell silent and the rain was the only thing that remained loud.

 

And when Theo spoke up again his voice was cold, “Your brother?”

 

Sirius nodded, his face grim, “My brother. Regulus Arcturus Black.”

 

Theo’s breath hitched on his throat.

 

R. A. B.

 

He touched his head with disbelief. He realized why Gregorovitch smiled and gave a look to Sirius. It suddenly made sense. Everything.

 

That was why I needed to cooperate with them. That was why War needed me here. To meet them, to meet granny, to meet Gregorovitch–

 

And it was in front of his nose and Theo bursts out laughing. He just laughed. Because the only thing– the only thing he had found missing was–

 

Regulus Arcturus Black.

 

Sirius Black’s brother.

 

Theo straightened and reclined his head, letting out a deep breath and a sigh. His smile died.

 

Wait a minute.

 

Sirius had the real Locket. Where did he get that? From War. He still hadn’t told Theo why he did the whole plan in the first place. He just said that he trusted War.

 

Theo’s fiery eyes bore into Sirius’s. His brother was dead. No one seemed to know how he died – but then why–

 

Theo’s eyes glowed like embers. He saw Sirius froze.

 

“You knew he was a Horseman, didn’t you?” Theo stated but a warning bled into his voice, “You knew he was Death.”

 

He saw as they froze and paled. The werewolf looked at Sirius with a worried expression, Lestrange looked horrified and Sirius wore a furious storm like a cloak on his shoulders.

 

He was in front of Theo in the blink of an eye and grabbed him by his collar, pulling him close. Theo saw his anger through his eyes.

 

“That has to be what killed him,” Sirius said, gritting his teeth, “That idiotic boy– he never would’ve died–”

 

“His Horsemen took control over him,” Theo said quietly, “He would’ve tried to protect his host as much as possible. If he died, he must’ve had a very good reason and it wasn’t Death’s fault.”

 

Theo thought this would calm Sirius down – it turned out to be quite the contrary, as Theo had seen Sirius’s face darken more.

 

“War told me this. That if I’d do this plan, his death will be justified,” Sirius breathed, but he still didn’t let go of Theo’s collar, “That he hadn’t died for nothing and I would know in the future what happened to him. I will know soon enough.”

 

Know soon enough?

 

It was Theo’s turn to freeze, “Does that mean Death has another host? Has he reincarnated?”

 

There must be. If War told Sirius he would know soon enough. No one could’ve known about this other than Death itself.

 

But if there’s a new Death then that means–

 

Theo’s blood turned to ice.

 

Regulus’s last letter appeared in front of him like a vision, crystal clear. It began with–

 

“... To Pestilence (the old one)...”

 

Did that mean–

 

Was there a new Pestilence?

 

The old one must’ve died after Regulus. Or shortly before. Theo didn’t know when but he was hundred percent sure that the old Pestilence died around the time that Death died. So that meant–

 

There were a new Pestilence and Death.

 

But if Regulus had been the old one – the one who already died.

 

Who had been the old Pestilence?

 

“You lied to me.”

 

Both Theo and Sirius looked at Lestrange wrathful face as she pointed the wand at Sirius. The werewolf pulled out his wand and pointed at Lestrange. The woman looked more deranged than Theo had ever seen her.

 

Sirius let go of Theo’s collar and turned to face Lestrange. Her lips were trembling with anger and sadness.

 

“You told me you didn’t know,” Lestrange said quietly, her voice shaking, “And no one else had known about it either so I believed you, I believed you even though I wanted to gut you. I wanted you to suffer. I wanted to carve the words ‘he died, he died, he died’ into you so you’d know how much it hurt,” her voice rose into hysteria, “You knew I loved him – you knew he was the only person who loved me, you knew we saw each other like siblings! You know how we were and yet–,”

 

Lestrange shut up then. Her silence was suffocating. Her hands made the wand twitch, “Who’s the monster now, cousin?

 

Before she could do anything, Theo was in front of Sirius and raised his hand, blasting flames out of his fingertips, dancing them, letting them consume his whole hand. His fiery eyes glowed and Lestrange gave out a psychotic smile.

 

“What are you doing little Theodore?” Lestrange's voice felt like an off–keyed song. It hurt Theo’s ears, “Do you want to burn me?”

 

Theo’s eyes narrowed but Lestrange’s smile grew wider, “You do. Don’t you care about his feelings, Theodore? He’ll break if you kill me.”

 

Draco.

 

Theo found his anger within his flames and it almost bursted out before he reigned it back, “You can’t fool me, Lestrange. Do you think I buy your performance? You give no shits about him, he just doesn’t notice it because he doesn’t feel emotions .”

 

Lestrange’s mouth curled up, “But I’m his family. He would break. What are you to him? Just a friend. You really think he would miss you ?”

 

Theo was hit by every word and he tried not to let it show. But when Lestrange’s eyes glowed with delight Theo knew he had been caught. Lestrange could smell these things, he swore.

 

Theo’s flames turned auburn, glowing around his fingers, “Who would you choose? Him or The Dark Lord?” Lestrange blinked, surprised, “Choose now.”

 

Theo’s pupils burnt with such a cruel light he saw the werewolf and Sirius winced. The two had backed away to the edge of the room, leaning away and trying to blend in with the upholstery. Theo just wanted to burn her alive – he wanted to hear her scream as he smelled her burning skin–

 

Theo’s fire twirled around his neck, crawled into his ears, climbed up and circled his head. He leaned closer to her. His eyes glowed, embers scattered around in his amber iris.

 

“I’m not going to kill you now,” Theo whispered, low, “Because you’re important to him. But the moment he has a feeling, the minute he sees you as the rotten animal you are, I will paint the sky with your skin and your burning hair,” Theo gave out a lazy smile, remembering the words he had said to her, “I’m already counting down the days.”

 

Lestrange was petrified where she stood. He looked back at Sirius, who was just as still, body bound with tension, watching Theo with rapt attention.

 

“I’m heading out,” he said and quieted down his flames, “I don’t care what all of you are going to do,” he did care. “I’m sick of being the only level headed person here,” what is he saying? “I’ll come back when I’m calmer,” He was calm.

 

Theo closed his hands, vanishing his flames, and letting his skin breathe it in. Then he walked out. Lestrange’s words were echoing in his head as he felt the cold wind on his cheek, as it went through his hair and he realized why he was upset.

 

I feel lonely.

 

Theo felt tears and he pressed his lips together.

 

In every sense.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

After Harry had brought the sleeping Karin in the infirmary, and walked into his old piano room, he felt truly exhausted. But when he opened the door and saw Draco, his heart skipped a bit and he felt like he was alive.

 

Harry didn’t even care. Didn’t want to think about it as he rushed to Draco, never looking away from him. He didn’t know which one of them was there earlier, but he knew Draco wrapped himself around Harry’s waist and Harry put his arms around Draco’s neck and they were in each other’s arms.

 

Harry felt like he could breathe again and when he felt Draco’s heartbeat his face flushed with warmth.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco felt Harry bury his nose into his hair, breathing and it made him dizzy. Draco’s hands had finally stopped shaking. He wanted to kill Karin for hurting Harry. He had sunken his nails into his skin, drawing out blood to restrain himself from going out the battlefield and finishing it himself.

 

It would’ve thrown out his cover, but he would’ve done it. Just like that. For Harry.

 

This frightened him.

 

Harry leaned back and Draco looked up into his old, emerald green eyes. It was still his new eyes, but it was more gentle.

 

More Harry.

 

Harry smiled at him and Draco was at peace. He was okay. He won. He could breathe because Harry was okay and–

 

His heart clenched.

 

This frightened me to the core.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry told everything to Draco. Everything. His dreams of Pestilence, his pain, the realization of his past lives – of his sixth life. And Draco listened, the two of them leaning on the wall, Harry facing forward and Draco facing him.

 

When he finished there was silence. Draco’s beautiful eyes shone – he looked thoughtful, processing every information Harry had handed out to him.

 

After listening to the rain and wind, Harry spoke up quietly, hesitantly–

 

“Please, don’t turn this against me in the future, Draco,” his voice was gentle.

 

Draco’s eyes met with his but Harry didn’t stop.

 

“Kill me quickly if it comes to that,” Harry said, his voice quivered. “But don’t use Pestilence and his lives against me. Please, promise me.”

 

Harry offered his pinky and Draco looked down at it and felt as if he had been hit by a brick. This wasn’t fair. Harry was kind and caring towards him, he was a kid just like Draco and–

 

Draco’s eyes flickered to Harry’s hair and hands. Most of the black and red blood and mud got cleaned but Harry’s hands were still covered in some.

 

Harry – as it seemed – come to realize that as well and tried to pull back his hands but Draco touched Harry’s hand, gently stopping him. He remembered how Harry kissed his hands. He remembered how he did it with adoration even though he knew Draco could wither anything with them. It didn’t matter that it wouldn’t work on Harry, there was still that thought that it could do much damage. But Harry didn’t care.

 

He didn't care because he had a good heart. Harry, who saved a girl that tried to kill him because it had been his sister in another life. Harry, who trained with Cedric so he could stand a chance. Harry, the one who danced with him and touched his face gently and kissed his bruise on his cheek and gave him a white rose–

 

Draco closed his eyes, gently brought Harry’s black dried blood covered hands and pressed a light kiss on it. His stomach felt weird and he could feel his face heat up with something he didn’t know. After he lowered their hands, he opened his eyes to look at Harry.

 

He was staring at Draco exactly the way he did when they first met.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

They talked more after that. Enjoying each other’s company. Learning what the other liked. They didn’t talk about important things, they talked as if they were two strangers that had just met and wanted to know each other more. They enjoyed the each other’s voice – Harry even laughed up a couple of times and Draco couldn’t get tired of seeing him being happy. There was something in the air none of them could identify. And then, Draco spoke up;

 

“I used to play the piano,” he said quietly, looking down at his hands, wringing them.

 

“Why did you stop?” Harry asked, hesitantly but curious all the same.

 

Draco, for the first time in his life, wanted to answer.

 

“I crumbled them. A lot of them,” Draco felt his throat burn, “I couldn’t feel the keys because it disintegrated the moment I’d touched them. With the gloves on, I didn’t want to play anymore. It wasn’t the same,” he looked down at the leather things. “I hated my hands.”

 

Sometimes

 

I still do.

 

It was a couple of minutes until Harry answered, but when he did, he said, “What’s your favorite song?”

 

Draco didn’t have to think about. That was the thing he missed the most. Not hearing that one song.

 

The sheet that he’d found in one of his mother’s old rooms, buried under now meaningless papers in dusty drawers.

 

Chopin Etude Op. 25 No. 11, Winter Wind, ” Draco whispered, the song had been forgotten in his mind, he couldn’t even remember how it sounded anymore.

 

Harry wasn’t surprised. He looked at Draco with half closed eyes, softly.

 

“Anger, sorrow and beauty,” Harry smiled at him while standing up. He walked to the piano and sat down on the stool, “Just like you.”

 

Draco froze when Harry took a deep breath and pressed down the first key.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry began to play and as he touched the first key, he felt the raw grimness through his hand. The low, slow, hesitant but firm notes echoed through the room, the rain hit the window, almost blending in with Harry’s breathing.

 

Then, he started the stair of keys, full of misery, cold and loneliness. It wasn’t himself he felt inside the keys or the notes as he played. He felt Draco.

 

He poured Draco’s loneliness into the piece, he poured in Draco’s eyes, how it shadowed, his calmness, his coldness. The keys – high ones and low ones harmonized together as Harry painted Draco’s winter white skin on them – the snow of his grey eyes and the gold of his beauty.

 

It felt inevitable. It felt like him.

 

When Harry used the stair of keys with the low notes, he knew it will echo, so when it came to the end, Harry straightened his spine and pounded them with power, magnificence, painting Draco as a nobility.

 

He ended it like that and it rang like resonance.

 

He remembered then. What happened a couple of years ago as he looked down at his hands. When he had played on the piano with bloody hands. He was completely alone. But now, he hadn’t been playing for himself.

 

No.

 

He had played for Draco.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

As Draco felt Harry’s Etude slip into him, he inhaled sharply and felt his eyes tear up.

 

I missed this so much.

 

He was aching for this, he couldn’t even imagine how much he had been in pain–

 

As Draco felt a tear roll down on his cheek, and his heart hurt and bled like a fresh wound, he closed his eyes and covered his face. Heaviness weighed upon him and he realized, after so many years he–

 

I’ve gotten back one emotion.

 

And sadness felt just as brutal as Draco remembered it be.

 

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 16

 

 

In Nature is a Tyranny

 

 

 

 

Theo had walked for hours and hours in the darkness with no destination. The streets of London were empty, so he turned and apparated away.

 

To forests, watching the stars, enjoying the wind and the quiet. Seeing how the lights shone on the grass and the leaves of trees.

 

Then, he apparated to an empty theater. Sitting on one of the seats, leaning back, staring at the ceiling. Imagining someone’s face – a ballerina, an actor, a poet – after they had finished their performance the audience gave them claps, whistles, smiles, and flowers.

 

Then, he walked through a muggle parking lot. Some cars were still there but most of it was empty. The tall lamps planted around it lightened up when the sun set. The bells rang up, filling up the streets with sound.

 

Then, he apparated to New York. He sat on a rooftop until two in the morning, hearing the cars’ screeches, their engines. Admiring the light of the skyscrapers and the traffic, every little square window, every little glowing light that could be seen. Theo shut down his eyes and listened and felt them.

 

Then, he apparated to Paris. He sat in a restaurant and through the window, he saw the Eiffel Tower. The golden glowing patches were bright and Theo’s eyes mirrored their gleam. He imagined the dozens of proposals that had happened and will happen here, in front of the beautiful tower. He stayed there until two thirty.

 

Then, he apparated to New Orleans. He clasped his hands behind his back and started walking down the cobblestone streets. The musicians didn’t sleep at all, and party-goers spilled out of bars. Theo listened to their music, the trumpets, and horns, giving money to the muggles. They tipped their hats, thanking him.

 

Then, he apparated to San Francisco. He sat down on the cliffs overlooking the Golden Gate bridge, looking down at the cars as they rushed. The bridge’s lights felt unearthly next to the shine of the city across it. Theo hung down one of his legs and the wind blew his elegant pants near straight across. He was still in his suit – the one that he had been in at the auction. He sat there, gripped the cliff face to not fall off, looking down, until three.

 

Then, he apparated to an airport and sat in one of the empty gates, as if he was waiting for his plane to arrive. Or to leave, he wasn’t sure exactly how planes worked. He watched the people as they ran to catch their flight, as they rested, as they boarded. After a couple of minutes, Theo went to the restrooms, hide in one of the stalls and apparated again.

 

He was at an art museum, looking at canvases. Theo walked in and out until he had finished with every room. He then circled around again. He’d seen colors and shapes and each of them were made of someone’s dreams, ideals, beliefs, emotions, and ideas. Theo looked down at his shoes, closing his eyes, taking a deep breath and turned on his heels, apparating to his last destination.

 

Theo arrived, feeling the soft ground beneath his feet and turned around, looking up at the building. Stamford, Connecticut. His favorite.

 

The Fish Church.

 

Theo apparated into the church and his breath hitched on his throat. Golden candles shown behind the enormous stained glass windows, glowing them blue, red, purple and green. Theo looked at the stained glass with awe. He walked until he reached the middle of the room, then he sat down right, down at one of the long, light wood benches. Theo could imagine the choir in his head, could hear the ‘Kyrie Eleison’ in his mind. He didn’t close his eyes, he just stared at the colors of the glass, the glow of the candles and the lamps. Sometimes his eyes flickered to the organ, imaging the instrument’s singing along the choir.

 

Theo didn’t know how long sat there, he only knew it must’ve been around four or five in the morning when he–

 

“I didn’t think someone would be here at this hour. Especially someone this young.”

 

Theo flinched when he heard a low, friendly voice speaking up next to him. He looked to his left and saw a man. He had short grey, curly hair – highlighting his dark skin – wearing glasses and a long, light brown coat. Theo noticed wrinkles on his forehead, around his dark, warm eyes.

 

He smiled at Theo with kindness and said, “Usually, I am the only one who’s here at this hour,” he pulled a key out of his pocket, showing it to Theo, “The priest is my dear friend. He knows how much I need to – well, being here when no one else is – so he gave me a key,” his smile showed his yellow teeth, “Very kind hearted, don’t you think?” he put the key back to his pocket, patting it, then looked up to the stained glass, furrowing his brows as if something had just popped into his mind, “He still owes me two donuts though.”

 

Theo couldn't even say anything back, he just gaped like a fish. The man stole a look and burst out laughing, seeing Theo’s face. He looked at Theo with curiosity.

 

“What is a young man like you doing in here, at four o’clock in the morning?” The man’s eyes flickered to the door’s direction, “How did you even get in?”

 

Theo closed his mouth and gulped, but before he could’ve answered, the old man raised patted his shoulder gently, stopping Theo, “You don’t owe a stranger an explanation, young man. Hasn’t your mama told you this?” he said – not noticing Theo’s flinch. He stretched out his hand. “My name is Micah Harel. What is yours?”

 

Theo shook his hand – kind grip, very welcoming – and said, “My name is Theodore Nott.”

 

The old man – Mr. Harel – gave Theo a smile, letting go of his hand, leaning back. Theo searched for any bad sign, some kind of a grim expression on his face, but he didn’t find any.

 

Theo sat there, enjoying the silence, looking at the organ when–

 

“Why are you here, Theodore?” Mr. Harel asked, his voice solemn and Theo gave out a sigh, “People come here for a reason. Especially at this hour.”

 

“I’m here for a reason, Mr. Harel, believe me,” Theo said, “I’m looking for answers. What to do.”

 

Mr. Harel adjusted himself to face Theo more fully, “What’s on your mind?”

 

Theo looked up at the high vaulted ceiling and swallowed, blinked a couple of times, trying to control the anger, the sadness and the loneliness in him, that seemed as vast as the places he had visited tonight.

 

“I’ll tell you something, Mr. Harel but you can’t tell it to anyone,” Theo turned his head to look at him. Mr. Harel was staring at him with a nostalgic smile. Theo felt something from him – calmness and peace. His eyes, had a kind of glove, as if he, this old man, have seen everything and haven’t forgotten it.

 

Nor he never will.

 

“I promise,” he said and winked, making Theo crack a little smile. He then took a deep breath and looked at the organ again.

 

“I’ve been thinking, how everything is made by people. You know, we build things and make things, like art. And we dance – entertain people to make them feel better. We make works from the deepest part of our souls and hearts and then show it to everyone else because we want to help them, we want them to feel the same thing, because we’re curious about how they liked it, because we want them to notice something, we want them to make a difference,” Theo stopped for a moment, “But what if all of that, was destroyed?”

 

All he got was silence but Theo didn’t stop–

 

“All of this, the cities, the people, life itself, will be destroyed,” Theo took a deep breath,“And I – and someone else could stop it but there are others who would love to destroy it. So I came here to get an answer, what should I do but I don’t know– I’m–” Theo started blinking much more rapidly when he noticed his eyes started to burn, “Not enough for this and–”

 

“It is not your job to do everything.”

 

Theo turned his head to Mr. Harel. The man wasn’t looking at him, leaned back onto the bench, looking at the stained glass. His eyes shone and Theo’s shoulders fell, relaxing as he came to realize how tense and anxious he really had been up to this point.

 

“How can you expect one person to save the world?” Mr. Harel asked, shaking his head with a little smile, “Nobody is that strong, young man.”

 

Theo blinked, “Then what should I do?” he frowned, feeling the anger, “Just watch it? As it happens or–”

 

“No,” he laughed and turned halfway to Theo’s direction. He shook his head, his smile wide,“I never said that.”

 

Theo’s eyes widened and looked at Mr. Harel questionably, “Then what?” The man turned away and leaned forward, elbowing on his knees, clasping his hands together, thinking.

 

“There were countless battles in our history,” he said. “People were created with light and hope,” his voice beat the silence like no other person’s voice. “There is something about humankind,” he smiles again. “They won’t stop until they defeat their demons. That’s just how–”

 

“How God made them,” Theo breathed out and nodded. Mr. Harel looked at him with a little surprised smile.

 

“Precisely,” he said and then leaned back, furrowing his brows, “Someone always tries to destroy something beautiful. It’s no one’s fault but it makes you wonder if there’s something tyrannical in the human nature. Or if just that in nature there’s a tyranny,” he scoffed, laughing, wiping his glasses then putting them back on, “Who knows?”

 

Theo looked at him. The stained glass colors shone on Mr. Harel’s silhouette, and Theo thought–

 

I am looking at someone who believes.

 

“Why do you come here?” Theo asked him, suddenly thinking, “People come here for a reason.”

 

Mr. Harel smiled and looked at Theo, his eyes glowing with something else, “I’ll tell you something Theodore, but you can’t tell it to anyone, because only one person knows this. What I’m about to say – I'll only say it because I don’t want to lie to you and because you told me the truth as well,” he stopped and then Theo saw the stained glass in the reflection of his glasses, “And because you seem to be a good fella.”

 

Theo’s heart filled up with warmth and he nodded, “ I promise.”

 

Mr. Harel turned to face him, he put up his knee on the bench, Theo scooted over to give him space and then leaned closer. Mr. Harel’s eyes saddened and his smile weakened when he finally answered Theo’s question.

 

“I don’t have much time left.”

 

And Theo’s smile died.

 

“I come here for peace,” the old man continued, his voice cracking, “Most of the time, I just don’t want to see my wife worry.”

 

It felt like something had hit his chest, “Is there anything we can do?” he asked quietly.

 

Mr. Harel sent a glance to him with a little smile, “I’m old, buddy. But I don’t have regrets. I’ve lived a great life. I’m happy,” he looked down at his watch, “I’m afraid you should go, people will come here soon–”

 

Theo bit his lip and stood up, stretching his hand out to Mr. Harel. The man looked at him with surprise and then accepted it – Theo put his other hand on the old man’s, he could feel his wrinkles.

 

“I’ll visit you soon, Mr. Harel,” Theo said and shook his hand, “Thank you for everything. Until we meet again, please be strong!” Theo nodded – as if he was satisfied with what he had said and started walking, “I’ll bring flowers to your wife as well, I promise!”

 

The light had started to rise and the stained glass glowed across Theo’s footsteps and when he had almost reached the door, he heard Mr. Harel’s voice;

 

“Follow your soul,” he shouted to Theo. He could feel the happiness in the man’s voice, “It knows the way.”

 

And Theo, with a smile, opened the door and walked out of the church, standing below the light of the sun.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco remembered when he had first asked about his mother. His father had been furious – he didn’t say a word to him for a week. He remembered how he had tried to find things that were from his mother, something that was made by her or used by her. But it was useless. The Manor didn’t contain anything like that.

 

Until one night. Until he had found the sheet music.

 

His mother sheets. He practiced on the piano – he wanted to learn it so bad, that when he finally did, he played all his mother’s favorite pieces.

 

And then he showed it to his father.

 

Lucius let him play the whole song but when Draco had ended it, he just walked out of the room with an unreadable expression.

 

As years passed, he cared less and less for Draco.

 

And he soon came to realize–

 

There wasn’t anything for him. Anywhere. At all.

 

He had been suffocated with this – with this breathtaking pain at that time and he had desperately attached himself to the instrument – he even tried to play it with his hands, without the gloves on, thinking maybe that way, he could feel something that wasn’t so painful, wasn't so heavy.

 

But the minute Draco touched one key, it crumbled down. Every each of them.

 

Maybe that was when Draco numbed himself. Maybe that was when he turned the emotions off. Maybe that was when he had finally become stronger, letting go of this useless emotion.

 

But now,

 

I can feel it how devastating this was.

 

Again.

 

“Draco?”

 

Draco’s shoulders were shaking as he felt the new feeling crushing down on him like a sea where he couldn’t see or hear anything and he was constantly falling deeper and deeper–

 

“Draco,” he felt someone’s hands on his head. Gentle hands, “Draco, look at me.”

 

It felt like the air had suddenly disappeared and it wouldn’t ever come back again–

 

He felt hands on his own ones, pulling them away from his face and Draco was blinded by light and green .

 

Harry.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry had never seen Draco like this before and he had never felt so scared. Draco’s torn expression, his teary eyes made Harry’s chest ache and he needed to take a deep breath because Draco looked so wounded and vulnerable and he was crying and–

 

Harry’s eyes widened when he had noticed Draco’s faltering little breathing because–

 

He’s having a panic attack.

 

“Draco,” Harry kneeled down in front of him and reached out to hold Draco’s face in his hands, lifting it up, making Draco look into his eyes, “Draco, focus on me, okay? Just me, focus on my voice.”

 

Harry could see a little nod but Draco’s breathing started to get much louder and uneven and–

 

“Draco, slow down your breathing, it’s okay–”

 

It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work–

 

Harry’s vision turned blurry, his own breathing started to become rapid, he narrowed his eyes, trying to calm down–

 

I need to calm him and myself too but how–

 

He sat down, leaning on the wall, pulling Draco close to him. He touched his face, leaning closer, brushing his lips near Draco’s ear, breathing, “Listen to mine, Draco,” he whispered and tried to breathe from the stomach, trying to steady it, slowing it down, “Breathe with me.”

 

Draco couldn’t. His breathing didn’t match with Harry’s, who started to calm down a bit already for holding Draco so close–

 

“Breathe with me,” Harry whispered into his ears. He reached his hand around and rested it on Draco’s stomach, forcing it in time with his own breaths. He felt Draco slowly mimic him, trying hard, “That’s it, keep going. Through your stomach, just slowly, that’s it, you’re doing fine.”

 

After a couple of minutes, when the both of them calmed down, Harry pulled back, looking into his golden grey tearful eyes, still holding Draco’s face in his hands, his fingers touching the white of his hair–

 

It hurts.

 

It hurts me.

 

Harry’s own eyes had grown teary, he furrowed his brows–

 

Seeing him like this.

 

Draco cupped his face, leaning closer, pressing their foreheads together, their noses touched. Harry’s breathing hitched on his throat, they’ve never been this close and Draco felt soft and his hair touched Harry’s forehead and he was warm–

 

“I don’t like it when you’re sad. That night too in this room, when you kissed my hands and cried,” Draco murmured but Harry felt the pain anyway, “You hurt me when you’re sad.”

 

Harry’s eyes went wide as the agony clouded his features. He pressed a kiss to Draco’s cheek, to his temple, felt Draco nuzzle to his neck. Harry’s cheek heated up and his stomach did a flip.

 

“You’re also hurting me,” Harry whispered, his voice quivered. Draco’s eyes found his and then he turned to rest his cheek on Harry’s hand. But then Harry brushed his bruised cheek with his thumb, drawing out black blood out of his own wound, dropping a couple of blood drops into Draco’s bruise, healing it instantly.

 

Draco’s breathing faltered but he drifted into sleep on Harry’s chest. He started to caress Draco’s back and could only think about one thing;

 

After or before he kills Voldemort, he will need to kill Draco.

 

And when he kills Draco, he was sure, one part of himself will

 

die as well.

 

And he didn’t dare to think about why.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Are you sure that this is a good idea?”

 

War looked at Dumbledore while he slowly turned to watch the rain through the window. He started to whistle the nursery rhyme Pestilence had sung during the fight with Sathanus.

 

“It is, sir,” he started, humming what he could remember of the song, “We only needed Famine against Eliza and Pestilence against Sathanus,” he stopped for a moment and then began the other nursery rhymes, “It is not necessary to be more one-against-one fights. It’s time for the two-against-two battles. Tomorrow. You know who’s our pairs, don’t you, sir?”

 

Dumbledore gave a little nod and then leaned closer to War, “In that fight... that was Pestilence.”

 

War hummed the song, nodding his head along the nursery rhyme, “It was indeed. Now you could see why he’s one of the strongest between us. He has the ability to control someone’s body if that someone is bleeding. Can also boil someone’s blood up if he is the one who’s bleeding. And can also heal anyone with his black blood,” he furrowed his brows, “I don’t know why he sang the ‘Goosey Goosey Gander’, but I know why he sang ‘Mary Mary’. He hasn't changed that much from what I can remember.”

 

Dumbledore narrowed his eyes, looking thoughtful. One lightning bolt struck across the sky.

 

“Are you saying he didn’t go mad during the fight? That he purposely sang those songs?” his voice was shaking, War could hear that.

 

He smiled bitterly, “He was conscious, sir. Do you remember what I said, sir? He is mad, but he has a brilliant mind underneath it all. He’s smarter than all of us put together and he very well knows what he’s doing,” War darted down his eyes, suddenly feeling cold, “I think you should tell Harry about the plan we’ve talked about. We need to start plan B.”

 

Dumbledore’s hands started shaking and he smoothed his robes, “I agree,” he stopped and War began to hum again. The rain blended in with the eerie song and then Dumbledore asked;

 

“Why did he sing the ‘Mary’ nursery rhyme?” he asked and War stopped humming.

 

In the utter silence, the rain fell heavily and War answered, looking dead in the eye of the blue one, glowing with wisdom and grief.

 

“You know about the origin of this nursery rhyme, don’t you sir?” his black eyes were a bottomless pit, “It’s about Mary, Queen of Scots, the First of England. Otherwise known as Bloody Mary. The nursery rhyme mentions the garden but it actually means a graveyard. So, when the song goes ‘how does your garden grow’, it is actually referring to–”

 

Dumbledore whispered, “Corpses.”

 

War’s eyes looked hollow, “Silver bells and cockle shells were nicknamed for two of her favorite torture devices,” Dumbledore’s eyes widened but War’s voice rang crystal clear, “The last line in the song is about her guillotine, which she nicknamed ‘The Maiden.’”

 

Dumbledore looked into his black eyes, lost of words, “Are you saying... you can’t mean that–”

 

“Even though I only remember very few, I still remember his third life. That was the first time he had been a woman,” War continued, his voice low, “She was quite the violent one.”

 

Dumbledore’s expression showed recognition and War started to hum the nursery rhyme. Lightning tore the sky when the song matched his whisper as he said,

 

“Long live the Queen.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry was sitting on the piano stool, looking at Draco who was sleeping leaning on the wall when Cedric walked into the room.

 

His grey eyes found Harry’s green ones, “I’ve been looking for you everywhere...,” he trailed off when he had noticed Draco’s sleeping form. Then, he looked back at Harry with a gobsmacked expression, “Dare I need to ask?”

 

Harry gave him a look, “You can but I won’t answer.”

 

Cedric’s eyes narrowed but he shrugged and continued, “Well anyway, I just wanted to say that after your match – which was spine chilling, Harry,” Cedric paled, looking horrified, “There weren’t any more individual battles. Dumbledore said we will continue tomorrow with duo battles.”

 

Now it was Harry’s turn to be confused, “Why?”

 

Cedric shrugged again, looking rather relieved, “I don’t know, but this turn is very good for me. Everybody went to their sleeping dorms already, ” he then gasped, making Harry’s eyes widen, “I almost forgot, Dumbledore told me he was looking for you. He should be waiting for you in his office.”

 

Harry snorted and then stood up from the piano stool, “Okay. Can I ask you to keep an eye on him while I’m gone?” he glanced down at Draco and then looked back at Cedric who nodded, “I know you wouldn’t try anything to do with him.”

 

Cedric’s eyes turned grim, “Never,” he looked at Draco and then back at Harry, “I’ll watch him until you come back.”

 

Harry nodded, patting Cedric’s shoulder, already walking towards the door when he heard–

 

“You look tired,” Harry turned around to look at Cedric’s worried expression, “You should sleep too.”

 

Harry gave out a harsh smile, “I can’t sleep,” he swallowed, “I think I’ll never be able to sleep again.”

 

Shadows fell on Cedric’s eyes, he was lightened up with moonlight, coming through the window. Harry wanted to turn around but before he actually did, he hesitantly spoke up,

 

“About my black blood,” he started, “Cedric, I can explain–”

 

“It’s better if I know nothing about that,” he waved a hand at Harry, smiling, “Seriously, it’s okay – I mean it’s not okay, it’s weird, but as long as you know what you’re doing, then it’s fine.”

 

Harry stood there, lost for words. He wanted to turn around, walk away, but he stopped again.

 

“Really?” he lifted an eyebrow up, looking utterly confused at Cedric. The Hufflepuff laughed a little, shaking his head.

 

“Yeah,” he said nervously and then nodded at the door, “But go now! You’re making the Headmaster wait.”

 

Harry smiled a little, turned away, and walked out of the room.

 

 

––––––––––––––

 

 

“Zach!” Pansy made herself smile, strained, “What did you want to talk about?”

 

Zach looked very nervous in Pansy’s room. Pansy almost felt sorry for using him for Blaise’s plan. Well, she was sure he will find a suitable girl for himself in the future. A girl he deserves.

 

“I just wanted to say that Ron has a message for you.”

 

Pansy paled.

 

Did he know about their plans? Oh my god, this could ruin everyth–

 

“He says that the Beauxbatons champion needs to be at the Durmstrang champion’s side,” Pansy’s eyes widened and Zach continued, “Warrington doesn’t want to stop, Pansy. He is the most disgusting person I've ever encountered.”

 

Pansy nodded, “Yeah. But don’t worry, Harry will get him eventually.”

 

Zach paled, “He’s scary.”

 

You don’t even know the half of it.

 

Pansy hummed with agreement and then looked at the corner of the room.

 

“I’m sorry Zach,” she looked back at him. Zack looked very confused, “I’m really really sorry.”

 

And then, Blaise stepped out of the shadows and hit Zach on the head, and the boy was knocked out cold..

 

Pansy was staring at Blaise as he changed his appearance into Zach’s and there was no Blaise anymore. Pansy was looking at Zachariah Smith.

 

She sat down and explained how Zach walks.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“I won’t ask you if you’re okay because I know you are not,” Dumbledore said to Harry. Harry leaned back in his chair and lifted an eyebrow up.

 

“And I won’t ask questions because I know you won’t tell me anything,” he narrowed his eyes.

 

Dumbledore sighed out loud and then closed his eyes, “I wish there was another way,” he opened his eyes, “but we only have one path and Harry, trust me when I say, it’s not going to be easy. Do you remember what I’ve told you?”

 

“...You need to win...”

 

And Harry could still hear his mother’s ballade.

 

I can hear her screaming.

 

Harry’s old, venom eyes burnt as he folded his arms across his chest, “What do you want me to do?” his eyes flickered to the map on the desk.

 

There were chess pieces on them.

 

“Harry,” he looked back into Dumbledore’s blue eyes, “Do you know what a Horcrux is?”

 

 

–––––––––––––––

 

 

Voldemort is basically immortal.

 

Harry thought of this while he was walking down the corridors. His head was spinning with the enormous amount of information Dumbledore had handed out to him.

 

He has six Horcruxes at the moment.

 

His Diary.

 

Marvolo Gaunt’s Ring.

 

Salazar Slytherin’s Locket.

 

Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup.

 

Rowena Ravenclaw’s Diadem.

 

And–

 

Harry touched a doorknob and walked in a room, closing the door behind him, leaning on it, his eyes widened as he touched his face with horror.

 

Draco.

 

Harry covered his mouth. More specifically, Draco’s left eye.

 

Voldemort will be immortal when he comes back because of Draco.

 

If Harry destroys every each Horcrux, but doesn’t kill Draco then Voldemort could still live hundreds of years because the Horsemen’ lives are long enough and–

 

If Harry doesn’t kill Draco then he can’t kill Voldemort either. He closed his eyes, concentrating.

 

It’s in his eye.

 

Harry could take it out... maybe if he takes it out then Draco won’t be a Horcrux, maybe if he takes it out he won’t need to kill Draco–

 

I need to kill him no matter what.

 

Because Draco would never let anything to happen to The Dark Lord. If Harry wants to kill Voldemort, he’ll need to get through Draco first.

 

I could still just carve it out his eye–

 

But then Draco would hate him. I can’t imagine how much worse that would be.

 

Harry let his hands fall down to his sides and felt the heaviness weigh upon him.

 

Draco probably knows about all of this.

 

But he didn't tell about anything to Harry.

 

He gave out a low, cruel chuckle. Why would he?

 

We are enemies.

 

He probably keeps a lot of secrets. He doesn’t want Harry to succeed, otherwise, he would’ve told him about the Horcruxes by now.

 

Harry pressed his lips into a thin line.

 

Doesn’t he feel the caring that is between the two of us? Doesn’t he feel the gentleness? That we feel towards each other?

 

Because Harry couldn’t imagine doing things like that with anybody else. Not now nor in the future.

 

I’ve never let my guard down. I’ve never spoken to someone the way I do with him.

 

Does Draco not feel the same?

 

And Harry finally realized what has been on in his mind lately, he realized every word he and Draco have exchanged, every little kiss and hugs and his horror and terror crushed down on him like falling rocks.

 

I don’t want to kill him.

 

Harry touched his face, his eyes widened.

 

I don’t want to kill him.

 

I don’t want to hurt him.

 

“No, no, no, no, no, no,” Harry whispered with fear, “That’s bad, that is so fucking bad–”

 

A little light caught his eye, forcing him to blink. Harry looked around the room – an unused classroom, desks, and chairs were piled against the walls – and then turned to the light’s direction.

 

His eyes widened.

 

A mirror.

 

Harry began to walk closer until he was in front of the big beautiful thing. High as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. There was an inscription carved around the top;

 

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

 

Confused for a second, Harry tried reading it backward.

 

I show not your face but your heart’s desire.

 

He then moved nearer the mirror, looking into it, seeing no reflection but then–

 

He felt the blood drain out of his face as he slowly touched the mirror. He felt his eyes burn, he bit his bottom lip, trying to hold back his–

 

“Mom?” he whispered.

 

The beautiful woman smiled at him and Harry wanted to hug her so bad. Her dark red hair – it was the same as it looked like in his dreams. Her green eyes – the shape was the same as his. Even the color.

 

My eyes look like my mom’s.

 

Not like Pestilence’s.

 

Harry collapsed to his knees, close to the mirror, still touching the glass, wanting to hug his mom, wanting to talk to her even though he knew he will never be able to do that–

 

“I miss you so much,” Harry whispered, looking into her eyes, seeing as she turned sad. Harry was fighting back his tears,“Don’t be sad, please, don’t be sad, I’m happy that I have your ballade, it’s more than nothing...” Harry’s voice died down on his throat, leaving a bitter taste–

 

No.

 

It won’t ever be enough.

 

He turned away and curled up in himself. The cold suddenly surrounded his whole being and Harry felt Pestilence shiver inside of him with fright because deep down, something Harry thought he always had in him, something far darker than Pestilence itself,

 

moved.

 

Harry felt tears rolling down on his cheek as he looked up into his mother’s crying eyes, his own ones wore that coldness with his blossoming pride and cruelty and suddenly

 

The mirror changed.

 

It was him in the future. An older version of himself – he was covered in vibrant red blood. His face was painted with the crimson color. An enraged grin started to grow in the corner of his mouth and Harry saw himself holding a head.

 

He was holding that immortal s head.

 

Voldemort.

 

Older Harry’s little smile never vanished in the mirror, as he looked down at his kill, as he began to see the people, who were terrified, putting their palms together, bowing their heads, praying for a savior.

 

And Harry remembered what he had told to Pestilence when the ancient monster tore a red flower in his mind.

 

“... I want to be feared...”

 

And looking into the older Harry’s eyes, as the vision vanished, he saw himself in the mirror.

 

And he realized, that the enraged, psychotic smile of his older version in the vision,

 

looked the same

 

that he wore

 

now.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

When Draco woke up he saw Pansy and Blaise looking very excited. He rubbed his eyes and then slowly stood up, looking bewildered.

 

“What’s going on? Pansy? Blaise?” he turned around, his eyes found Cedric Diggory’s. Draco touched his face, feeling his bruise. Or precisely–

 

The smooth skin where the bruise had been.

 

He then remembered. The hugging, the warmth, the little kisses he had given to him–

 

“Where is Harry?” Draco asked and Cedric answered.

 

“He’ll come back, don’t worry,” the older boy had a little smile and then he started to walk out of the room. “Then I’ll give the custody over him to you guys. Bye!”

 

He closed the door and Blaise looked at it with an unreadable expression. He turned back to Draco, pointing at the door, “Who was this again?”

 

Pansy hit him on the shoulder and Blaise gave out a loud cry, “Cedric. But that doesn't matter,” Pansy looked at him, looking triumphant, “We have the rat.”

 

Draco’s heart stopped.

 

“Really?” He asked looking at Blaise. He nodded and then pulled out the rat out of his pocket. Draco’s eyes widened, “It wasn’t hard to get it. The Slytherin King was nowhere and I looked like Zachariah, so I could go everywhere.”

 

Draco looked at the rat with fascination, “Good job, Blaise,” he then added, “And Pansy too, thank you.”

 

He leaned closer to the rat, his eyes glowed with gold and grey, his white hair shone, “Turn back into human.”

 

The rat stopped moving. Blaise put him down and stepped backwards, Pansy followed him immediately.

 

Draco watched, interested, as the rat turned into a human. A short man, grubby skin, watery eyes, mousy brown hair, almost bald. Draco sneered at his appearance.

 

He looked at Draco as if he was in shock, “Am I dead?” he mumbled in a squeaky voice, “I must be dead,” he couldn't look away from Draco.

 

Draco rolled his eyes, “You are very much alive, believe me,” Draco’s eyes flickered to Pettigrew’s right missing index finger.

 

He is indeed Peter Pettigrew.

 

The man looked confused but Draco didn’t give him a chance to speak or to escape.

 

“I don’t know how or why, but you are essential for bringing The Dark Lord back,” Draco said and Pettigrew’s eyes glowed up with recognition, “But I think you know what to do.”

 

Pettigrew nodded and hesitantly, looked at Draco. He could tell he was giving the creeps to this man.

 

“Who are you?” Pettigrew asked, his thin voice was even more hesitant than his posture, “Why did you tell me this?”

 

Draco smiled, “Let’s just say that I’m a very important person for the upcoming war,” he paused, “Look for my Aunt. Bellatrix Lestrange, she’s in The Manor with my father, Lucius Malfoy,” Pettigrew paled, his blood completely drained out of his face, “Hurry up, Peter Pettigrew. The sooner is better. I’ll meet you at The Manor if everything’s going according to plan.”

 

The man nodded and then bowed in front of Draco. He wanted to change into a rat again but then Draco heard a voice–

 

“Why did you think you died?”

 

Pansy.

 

Pettigrew looked at her and then his gaze flickered back to Draco, “For a moment I thought I saw...,” his voice died down, “Nevermind,” he changed back into his animal form and rushed out of one of the holes in the wall.

 

The rain fell as if someone was pouring it from a bucket and Draco could feel that today a new era has begun.

 

 

––––––––––––––

 

 

“Zach, I’m telling you, when you tried to leave you hit your head on the door.”

 

Zacharias looked at Pansy, and she had never seen a person confused like that. Pansy and he were standing at the door. Blaise was trying to muffle his laughter, standing in one of the corner of Pansy’s room.

 

“If you say so,” Zach shrugged and then started to walk away, still looking rather pale. Pansy closed the door and then turned to look at Blaise who finally let out his laughter and it rang through the room like nothing else and Pansy tried to be angry but when she had seen Blaise’s hair change color because of the happiness,

 

Pansy burst out laughing too.

 

 

–––––––––––––––

 

 

When Harry came back, Draco was already waiting for him. Harry tried not to think about his own feelings he had accepted today, tried not to look at his left blind eye, tried not to think about how Draco was keeping secrets from him.

 

Some of them, still unknown.

 

But then, Harry was keeping secrets too.

 

While he told Draco about the duos battles that would happen, the rain stopped and the sun came up, painting the clouds all grey, Harry had one and only one thought in his tainted, sick mind,

 

Voldemort’s head as he held it between his hands. And that grin , as he was smiling down at the monster’s dead eyes.

 

And he had to fight back the grin that was threatening its way to curl up his mouth.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

I must quiet down the bells.

 

I need to tell him what to do, otherwise we will lose.

 

I don’t remember what I had written yesterday.

I don’t remember what I’ve talked about Gregorovitch the other day.

 

The

 

Bells

 

are

 

loud today

 

too.

 

I can hear them ringing.

 

They feel

 

majestic.

 

– Personal Note by Samuel Krum.



Chapter Text

Chapter 17

 

 

When

 

 War Begins,

 

I Will Hear

 

the Bells of Death

 

 

 

 

I heard,

Death rose from Pestilence’s shadows.

 

They say,

He was the only one who wasn’t created by God.

 

There are songs about how,

He was the first who walked on Earth with his feet.

And when he raised his head

silence has born.



People whisper,

When a human stared into his gaze for too long,

Even the strongest, bravest and the most vicious man

was ripped apart from inside out.

 

I heard,

He was the only one who didn’t fear Pestilence.

 

I heard,

Angels bent their knees whenever he appeared

And Bells rang up above echoing through the world.



Legends say,

As several lives went by,

as Pestilence became mad,

as Famine lost all hope,

as War lost over and over again

Death

stood

tall

Without a trace of fright.

 

He wore his Crown made of gold,

With eyes blue and cold,

Grew something  of his bones,

 

and

 

ruined

 

the

 

world

 

without mercy.

 

– From the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Death; Pestilence’s feather, Chapter I, Paragraph II, by Samuel Krum.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War still remembered when he first saw Death. It was during the times when he and Asmodeus were searching for Pestilence and protecting Famine. One night, after midnight, he and Asmodeus wanted to cross a bridge and for one, blinking moment, War saw him pass by.

 

He still remembered when he first saw Death.

 

He still remembered because how could he forget how his legs shook. How could he forget how he thought that was his last moment – the only time when he had forgotten his immortality.

 

Even when War was in Pestilence’s presence, even though he had felt fear, it was nothing compared to what he felt around Death.

 

He still remembered the first thought that he had after. That thought when he felt him , as the cold hugged Death while he passed by, as he saw the flash of blue eyes, as he felt the darkness swallow him whole.

 

He still remembered when he first saw Death.

 

He could never forget the first thought that appeared in his mind.

 

Ah,

 

So that is how you look like when you have nothing to fear.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry still remembered the day when he realized for the first time that there was something in him. Up until that point, he had no idea how messed up he really was.

 

The time when he was seven, a new product – some kind of a cookie or a muffin – exploded in popularity. Harry saw it in every commercial in the television. Of course, Dudley knew about it too and of course he had begged for it until Vernon and Petunia finally bought it – three boxes of them. Dudley ate at least three every hour.

 

Harry only wanted one piece. Only one. Maybe even a bite. He didn’t wish for something impossible.

 

But they didn’t give him. Not even one.

 

“Who do you think you are in this house?” Petunia said with a frown, disgust clouding her eyes, “You really think so I’d let you eat Dudley’s cookies?”

 

It was no surprise really. Harry always got minimal amount of food. He didn’t know what he had been hoping for. Eventually,

 

he decided he would steal one.

 

That night, after everyone fell asleep, Harry got out of his cupboard and walked towards the kitchen, tiptoeing, already seeing the cookies. He reached over to grab a little one when he heard a voice so low, so hoarse and cold, he almost flinched.

 

What do you think would happen if they were the ones who can’t eat anything without permission.

 

His whole body froze and his eyes widened.

 

How funny that would be.

 

He knew the voice came from inside of him – he knew it was in his mind. Looking back now, it could’ve been Pestilence.

 

But Harry knew Pestilence’s voice. He knew his behavior.

 

And that voice didn’t come from him.

 

No.

 

That voice came from inside – from the place where he locked every feelings of his. Maybe that hole wasn’t Pestilence.

 

Maybe that hole has always been him.

 

It was no surprise why the ancient creature had been terrified of him for a single moment in front of that mirror.

 

After all,

 

Harry hadn’t felt safe in his own head ever since that moment.

 

That day something inside of him started to go wrong. Day by day, slowly but surely, everything got twisted and he didn’t know why.

 

He used to be soft. He used to be kind and caring, touching things as if they were light like feathers.

 

What had gone wrong?

 

Harry touched his head with one hand and closed his eyes, his heart swelled up with fear–

 

What had gone wrong? What had gone wrong? What had gone wrong? What had gone wrong? What had gone wrong? What had gone wrong–

 

Maybe Pestilence was the one who kept Harry in check.

 

Not the other way around.

 

“Harry?” He looked up to see Draco’s eyes, fully on him. They were sharp and intelligent.

 

With full of lies.

 

“You’ve been quiet,” Draco reached over the table to lay his hand on Harry’s, “Is everything alright?” Only Pansy looked at them at the breakfast table, sitting next to Draco.

 

I wonder how he’ll react when I tear apart his lord.

 

Harry almost gave out a sharp, cruel grin. Not noticing Pestilence’s flinch – not noticing the malice holding him captive, slowly biting and chewing

 

every

 

piece

 

of

 

him.

 

Will you touch my hand even then, Draco?

 

“I’m fine,” he lied, biting his lips, holding back the grin while pulling back his hand. Seeing Draco’s hurt expression he could feel his heart clench and his blood rush, “Everything’s alright.”

 

Harry caught how Draco narrowed his golden grey eyes – he knew Harry was lying. And Harry wanted to feel happiness – he wanted to feel joy because he hurt Draco.

 

But he noticed he couldn't.

 

And that was why all of this would turn into a massacre.

 

Because Draco will never choose Harry over Voldemort. Draco will never chose him .

 

But Harry–

 

Will never choose Draco over Voldemort either.

 

He stood up from the table and then started to walk away, not glancing at Draco, or into his left eye at all. He didn’t know where he was heading, but when a voice whispered in his mind Harry closed his eyes and listened.

 

There’s something under my skin.

 

Harry could hear mother scream.

 

Something furious, that will continue to grow until I die.

 

Harry could hear his younger self’s muffled crying in the dark with no hope of getting comfort.

 

Something overwhelming, something

 

so

 

much

 

more.

 

Harry remembered Dumbledore’s words after he had told him about his hole in his soul.

 

“That must be the place where you contain everything after your magic ate it,” The Headmaster hummed. “Yes, it seems even if it’s your own feelings,” his eyes turned gentle. “Don’t do that Harry, it’s okay to be scared, sad or happy. That’s what makes us human.”

 

Harry’s eyes glowed. “Maybe I don’t want to feel it.”

 

Dumbledore smiled at him kindly.

 

“If you don’t feel them at the moment, you’ll feel them later,” he said, “You know this too.”

 

And Harry did know. He could feel it now.

 

So this is how it feels to be in control.

 

This is how it feels to be

 

powerful.

 

Harry noticed a little smile on his face but something was wrong with it. It was too forced, too angry, too raw.

 

Then, he could feel Pestilence’s terror.

 

And Harry–

 

I can always sense fear.

 

Grinned.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“What was that?” Blaise asked turning back from Harry’s direction. Draco still felt the echo of new emotion in his ribcage, pouring down on him when Harry had pulled back his hand.

 

He felt as if something important between them had just shattered.

 

“I think Harry finally started to think,” Pansy said with an unreadable expression. Her lips were pressed together in a thin line, “What a pity. When Harry’s around you don’t flinch, did you know that?”

 

“...You’re also hurting me...”

 

Draco froze as the memory of yesterday crushed down on him, “What?” he asked, touching his cheek where his bruise had been.

 

Pansy furrowed her brows, “Surely you noticed?” She put a broccoli in her mouth, chewing it, “When me or Blaise or anyone else is around you, you go stiff like this,” she pulled up her shoulders, “and whenever we’re near, you flinch a little. But when Harry’s around, you seem–”

 

“Peaceful.”

 

Draco’s eyes found Blaise’s and suddenly it was very hard to breathe because–

 

When was the first time Blaise had ever–

 

He looks at me the same way Theo does.

 

Draco felt something hit his chest–

 

“...I want you to know that it’s okay to be a monster.”

 

Draco opened his eyes, “Why?” he looked up, seeing Theo’s eyes and he felt petrified.

 

It was that look in them again. That look Draco could never put anywhere.

 

“Because,” Theo said with the most severe tone Draco’s ever heard of him, “you might need to hear it one day and I want you to remember that someone said it’s okay to be one.”

 

In that moment, something happened.

 

“You look like a person who feels safe.”

 

Draco closed his eyes because the amount of pain he had was unnoticeable until now and because he knew now what Theo meant by that and because he knew

what Blaise meant by that. He felt his sadness like an endless sea, a monster with fangs and if he won’t be careful,

 

it

 

will

 

swallow

 

him

 

in

 

whole.

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pansy heard her heart stop when she looked at Draco’s tormented eyes. Looking back now, maybe that was the first time she’s seen a spark of humanity.

 

Looking back now, maybe that was the first time she felt an ember of hope, burning in the ash which she had been waiting for.

 

And she dared to think, with all her heart,

 

From a little ember, may burst a flame high as the sky.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

“It’s a shame you need to go,” the werewolf said and smiled a little, “You’ve started to grow on me.”

 

Theo leaned on the doorway, waiting for Lestrange, “The mission is completed. There’s no reason for me to stay,” he shrugged, “I miss my boss, maybe I’ll write a letter when I get back.”

 

“Your boss seems interesting, I sure want to meet him someday,” The werewolf’s smile saddened and after a couple of minutes he asked, “Do you remember when you asked me if I have any friends besides Sirius?”

 

“Yes,” Theo nodded, looking focused and the older man looked away for a moment.

 

“I had.”

 

Theo’s blood ran cold and everything froze in that moment. The cold wind clattered the windows behind him, making him startle.

 

“All I want to say, is that you’re on a very dangerous side, Theo,” he said gravely, and looking into his eyes, Theo felt chills ran down his spine, “I want you to promise something to me.”

 

He grabbed Theo’s shoulder tightly and said, “When the war comes, don’t go out to the battlefield.”

 

Theo felt cold all over. It was as if every warmth – every drop of life had vanished in him in that one moment. “Why?” he asked quietly.

 

“Because you’re just a kid,” the werewolf’s voice trembled, “and if we will meet there, I can’t look away.”

 

Theo felt true terror in that moment. And he did know why.

 

The war is nearer than ever.

 

And Theo can’t

 

let him

 

win.

 

“Then promise me something too, Remus,” the werewolf flinched when he heard his name from Theo’s mouth. “One day, I’ll come back here and I’ll need help with something that could change the outcome of this war, because believe me, I don’t want to see the world end,” Theo’s voice became quiet and low, and his voice felt fragile even to him, “Promise me, on that day when I come back, you’ll help me.”

 

Remus stared at him as if he had grown three heads at least. He opened his mouth but before he could answer, Lestrange walked past him and gave him a purposeful look. Remus let go of him when Sirius arrived. He stretched out his hand and Theo accepted it.

 

“I owe you a big one after what you did for me,” Sirius said.

 

Before he could’ve continued, Theo said loudly, for Lestrange to hear, “You can make up for it if you protect the Helga’s Cup. Give it to no one but me,” but then he leaned closer, still gripping his hand, and whispered, “And when the time comes, I’ll come back and destroy it.”

 

Theo felt Sirius freeze. He let go, turning his back, started to walk towards Lestrange, until he heard–

 

“Be careful.”

 

Remus.

 

Realization glowed in Theo’s eyes.

 

He’s saying, ‘I promise.’

 

“You too,” Theo whispered back to him.

 

I promise.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Death was watching even though he couldn’t move. He was watching with silence, calmly, as if he was painted by it, as if he was made by them within.

 

He still remembered when he met War.

 

He still remembered when he met the mighty Horseman that bore terror, holding a golden sword above the globe with black eyes. Like the Earth.

 

It was so much more different than his brother, so much more different than Pestilence who lost all his humanity towards everyone but himself and Famine.

 

War was someone who could understand him. He and War were a pair – like two siblings with no blood relation.

 

After all,

 

Death did wear the eye of the sky.

 

Death still remembered the first time he met War.

 

He could never forget the first thought that appeared in his mind.

 

Ah,

 

So that is how you look like when you have nothing to lose.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

I can hear the Bells ringing.

 

I can hear them through the screams and shrieks.

 

I can hear the Bells ringing.

 

What a Mighty sound.

 

They

 

feel

 

majestic.

 

– Personal Note by Samuel Krum.

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 18

 

 

Who Could Ever Learn to Love

 

a

 

Beast?

 

 

 

 

I hear the Bells.

But not always.

 

 

Sometimes,

 

I hear Angels.

I hear the sound of their harp, the soft touch of their wings.

 

I hear Angels.

But not always.

 

Sometimes,

 

I hear something else.

 

Sometimes,

I believe,

even if no one else does,

 

That I hear

 

The

 

Monsters.

 

 

And They

 

are

 

always

 

smiling.

 

 

I can hear the Bells ringing.

But not always.

 

Sometimes,

 

I

 

Hear

 

The Music

 

of

 

those

 

Beasts.

 

And Not

 

even the Bells

 

can quiet

 

it

 

down.

 

– Personal Note by Samuel Krum.

 

––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo could feel his skin burning in the worst ways as possible the moment he saw Peter Pettigrew at the Mansion talking with Lestrange and Lucius about their plan for bringing back The Dark Lord. Everything that had been on his mind fell on him with such a full force that his knees almost gave him away. He only realized now, as he was listening to their conversation, as he was listening to that sick plan that Draco succeeded and hadn’t changed his mind at all about this whole damn thing.

 

They need Harry Potter.

 

Theo tried to wear a calm expression on his face, hiding all his panic that was circling around his mind like an eternal hurricane. Sweat rolled down on his back, he hid his trembling hands under the table where they were sitting because he had never been so scared in his life.

 

They will bring him back, and for that, they need Harry Potter.

 

The Boy Who Lived.

 

The only person who once destroyed The Dark Lord. The only one who can do it again if–

 

If Draco won’t.

 

Theo closed his eyes and tried to control his shivering.

 

Harry Potter was the world’s last chance. He seemed to be the only one who might make a difference. And now, seeing as how Draco won’t change, no matter how much he wanted him to–

 

Harry Potter was Theo’s last chance.

 

And I

 

Theo opened his eyes, embers glowed in them like sparks.

 

can’t

 

let

 

him

 

win.

 

He stood up from his chair with a loud creak but before he could move even an inch, Theo heard Lestrange’s dark voice. And it cut every noise in the distance like a bloodthirsty animal.

 

“If we can’t get Potter, The Dark Lord will punish his first in command. No matter the reason for the failure of the plan.”

 

Theo’s flame in his body turned to embers in ash at that moment.

 

Draco.

 

His heartbeat went into his throat, throbbing, and he felt out of breath when he looked at Lestrange’s grim eyes. The message in them were crystal clear, unmistakable.

 

If we do anything against the ‘Macbeth’ plan, Voldemort will hold Draco responsible. No matter what.

 

Theo’s blood ran cold and he dug his nails into his palms, desperately trying to trick the fear in himself but he knew he couldn’t.

 

His whole being was shaking now.

 

“If you will excuse me,” he said with a quivering voice and carefully walked out of the room and when he closed the door behind himself, in the hall, Theo took a deep breath, choked his scream back and punched the wall so hard, ash came out of his hand.

 

Like a crumbling world.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War looked out of the window in his room, welcoming November with joy. He knew it would snow soon – he saw it in one of his visions. Winter was coming with cold wind and frost.

 

War looked up to the grey clouds, admiring them with narrowed black eyes.

 

“Ring–around the rosie,” War sang quietly sharpening his sword, “A pocket full of posies,” he could feel how Pestilence hovered above his spinning wheel–

 

“Ashes, ashes,” War felt Pestilence almost touch the string that he waved from his feathers–

 

“...When Pestilence tugs the golden string, he will come for a hunt again...”

 

“We all fall,” the ancient monster was spinning the string of life with a grin, War could feel it. But he just sharpened his invisible sword with severe eyes, cold.

 

If Pestilence tugs the golden string,

 

the end

 

will

 

begin.

 

War closed his eyes as he listened to the screams of agony in the near future. He could feel the peace in him dwell.

 

“Down.”

 

––––––––––––––––

 

Aberforth Dumbledore knew what kind of day today was.

 

He used to think how much better it’d be if he knew nothing about this nonsense. He could wake up without anxiety, without any kind of stress. He could walk around with a light heart, with such a naivety which everybody would be envious of.

 

But that was a dream.

 

And dreams are toxic for a person who lives in reality. Especially if one is constantly reminded by it.

 

Aberforth remembered when Albus introduced him to War. Aberforth himself, didn’t expect anything big of that little boy. Especially not immortality.

 

Especially not a Horseman.

 

How long has it been since Aberforth heard of the Horsemen? He didn’t remember. Not that he wanted to.

 

Every era, every century, those four were in disasters. Fatal.

 

Aberforth used to think how much better it’d be if he knew nothing about this. Nothing about the Horsemen, nothing about his brother’s plan, nothing about how all of this will end.

 

But he knew what kind of day it was today.

 

“What’s wrong, Aberforth?” Albus asked him, worry glowed in his blue eyes. Aberforth always felt whenever their eyes met that he was looking into a mirror.

 

Not for long.

 

Aberforth’s eyes grew tired as he lowered his gaze, hiding from his brother.

 

“No, you must remain strong,” he heard Albus quietly say, “One of us have to–”

 

“This bloody war has to, Albus,” he breathed, looking back at him again, “I can already see what that Horsemen told us. Every little dot connects to the other, just as he said – just the way he said – and if things are going the way they are, then you...” Aberforth shut his eyes, taking a deep breath.

 

When Albus didn’t answer, he opened his eyes, seeing him looking out of the window. He noticed how Fawkes was looking at his owner now. He always looked through the window.

 

But now he was looking at Albus.

 

“To Pestilence and Famine, Aberforth,” Albus raised his tea, “The ones who will save us all.”

 

Aberforth didn’t raise his tea. He knew it would taste bitter.

 

Bitter

 

and

 

cold.

 

“To Pestilence and Famine, Albus,” Aberforth said gravely and looked into Fawkes eyes. The bird didn't have a single glint of life in them. The bird felt it too.

 

Winter has arrived.

 

So Aberforth wished and said as a promise,

 

“The ones who will deliver us all.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

After Madam Pomfrey left Harry alone with Karin – because there was no one else here – he couldn’t take his eyes off the older girl. Even when Karin was resting, she never once seemed defenseless or weak. As if the fight never worn her out.  

 

He started to wonder if Karin could be kind. When she touched his hand – when they made a pinky promise – she was surprisingly hesitant, not even forceful.

 

Was Karin like this in his previous life as well?

 

Harry shut his eyes, feeling anger swell up in him.

 

If you had a family like her, why did you leave her?

 

But Pestilence didn’t answer him, making Harry even more agitated than before. He sighed, wiping his eyes and face with a quiet whine.

 

He stopped when he noticed the piano in the corner of the room. Harry’s fingers twitched. He looked back at Karin, still unconscious. After all, that fight was still overwhelming.

 

Then, he looked back at the piano and before he could think about anything else his legs started moving.

 

He sat down on the stool and straightened his back. He let his mind drift away, to think about a piece he thought Karin would enjoy. He owed this little for her. Harry wanted to apologize, even if Taka wasn’t entirely him, even if Taka was already dead. Because he knew what it felt like to be alone. Because he knew how desperately he yearned for someone who would be his family. Because he remembered every time he wanted a hug but never got one.

 

Draco was the only one who hugged me.

 

And he will kill Harry if he isn't careful.

 

It felt like something pierced him.

 

If he won’t ever feel something warm again, then at least he could give something back to Karin.

 

Harry just wanted to give a little piece back of her family – even if she was asleep.

 

So he took a deep breath, looked down, and with clean hands, he touched the first four notes of the Swan Lake Waltz.

 

He was climbing stairs, back and forth, the melody rang through him like golden candles above a dancing hall. Harry trusted his hands, closing his eyes, he imagined waltzing until midnight, dressing like royalty. The lower notes were always echoed along with the higher ones, making an endless circle which left a little smile on his face.

 

He couldn’t help but think about Draco.

 

Couldn’t help but think about their dance on the first night they met. Not along with this waltz but the other Tchaikovsky one. Harry’s playing remained light and soft – it was like Draco took a circle around the piano so that Harry could catch a peek at him, at his white hair, at his golden grey eyes. And he noticed that he didn’t mind that Draco was in his play. Somehow he felt Draco will always be in the back of his mind whenever he would play the piano.

 

As he touched the playful notes, he imagined Draco’s smile – when Harry first kissed his palm. His mind drifted elsewhere then, he found his way back to the ball. Candles glowed in the dark, Harry imagined crowns and masks, the movement of the dresses. The waltz came to an end, leaving Harry quiet and breathless.

 

But the soft smile was still there.

 

“That was lovely.”

 

Harry flinched a little and looked back at Karin who smiled at him warmly. Harry slowly approached her and sat down beside the bed. Karin’s purple eyes found his green ones and she smiled again.

 

“How can you be...?” she trailed off, furrowing her eyebrows but Harry raised his hand, gently stopping her.

 

“I will explain, but later,” he said, “You should rest.”

 

He expected Karin to argue but she only gave a small nod and then relaxed back into her pillow. She didn't take her eyes off Harry, though.

 

“You can’t be Taka, can you?” she whispered and Harry didn’t want to lie.

 

He shook his head, “I’m not him anymore. But I was him at some point.”

 

Karin didn’t seem surprised. She only looked down at Harry’s hands, narrowing her eyes in concentration.

 

“I figured,” she murmured. “Taka never knew how to play the piano.”

 

Harry froze. Did that mean–

 

Pestilence can’t play the piano.

 

This made him smile. A real smile. Even if nothing else, the only thing that made him peaceful, belonged to only him and him alone.

 

Karin looked up again but didn’t say anything. After a couple of seconds, Harry’s curiosity took control over him and he spoke before he could control his mouth.

 

“If someone is important to you, and you hurt that person, do you think there’ll be any piece of humanity left in you?”

 

Karin paled – even more than she already was – and Harry stiffened.

 

“You asked me that once before,” Karin whispered and Harry couldn’t move, “Taka asked me that before he...”

 

Harry swallowed, “And what was your answer?”

 

Karin’s eyes saddened, “I think it doesn’t matter anymore,” she said, lowering her gaze, “You went to kill them, and on that day, you died as well.”

 

Harry’s eyes widened. Does that mean Pestilence dies the day he kills Famine?

 

Why? He could wait, there’s no need for–

 

“...If you kill someone important...”

 

“...He hates Famine and in the end, he always kills him...”

 

“...Famine is his weakness...”

 

Do Pestilence hurt when he kills Famine?

 

Harry furrowed his brows.

 

Then why do you kill him again and again?

 

But Pestilence didn’t answer. He was quiet in Harry.

 

I’ve never heard him this quiet before.

 

Harry looked into Karin’s purple eyes again. The girl stared at him with curiosity and before Harry could open his mouth, Karin said gently, “If you burn out the stars, won’t you only see darkness when you look up?”

 

Harry could hear his heart

 

stop.

 

Karin’s eyes looked like the universe, with the knowledge of thousands of people. And Harry suddenly felt Pestilence’s pain pierce through his chest.

 

“That was my answer,” Karin said. Silence filled the room and Harry couldn’t look away.

 

“Why did I not listen to you?” he whispered and looked away, begging for something, for someone to give him answers for every question. He felt Karin’s hand grasp his. Even though she was older, her hand was smaller than Harry’s. The feeling of her palm seemed nostalgic. Harry felt heavy.

 

Karin caressed his hand with her thumb, doing slow circles.

 

“Maybe you’ve never seen stars,” she said, looking at Harry, “Maybe you hoped that one day you would.”

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

“I don’t know what to do, Mr. Harel,” Theo said. Micah Harel had just put the bouquet of sunflowers Theo brought in a vase. He then raised his hand, stopping Theo for a moment, went into the house, got back with a chocolate bar. He started to break it into little pieces.

 

Theo raised an eyebrow but Mr. Harel only laughed at him.

 

“Don’t you think chocolate is the cure for every bad thing in the world?” He asked, sitting down, dropping one into his mouth with a big smile on his face.

 

“I’m voting for cakes. Lemon cakes,” he said, eyeing the chocolate pieces. He then picked one and ate it, chewing it, feeling how the strawberry filling melted in his mouth. Theo snapped his fingers and said, “Mr. Harel, you have brilliant ideas, did you know that?”

 

The old man laughed and picked another one again, “Now, I do.”

 

After Theo ate ten of them, Mr. Harel finally started to speak, enjoying the little wind.

 

“Why don’t you save that boy?” he asked, gesturing, “You know, that special one you think is in trouble.”

 

Harry Potter.

 

Theo swallowed the chocolate and then cracked his throat, “That’s the catch, Mr. Harel. If I save him, then my best friend will get hurt. And like I said, I can’t get help from anyone else. Not even the police, don’t ask questions, please.”

 

“I know, I know. Kids these days, talking about overreacting, my Jesus,” he sighed and then elbowed on the table, looking thoughtful. “Why don’t you save both?”

 

Theo’s eyes went round, “How in the world can I possibly do that?” he started to gesture wildly, Mr. Harel following every movement of his hands. “There are enemies everywhere – I’m living in their house! There’s no end in this – it’s like I’m in a circle with a constant target on my back–”

 

“Why don’t you save him after he got captured?”

 

“–with no possible,” Theo froze. He almost dropped the chocolate in his hand, “Mr. Harel? What did you just say?”

 

Mr. Harel smiled, “I said, why don’t yo–”

 

“Save him after he got captured!” Theo stood up from his chair, touching his chin with a big triumphant grin.

 

Then his smile died.

 

“But wait a minute,” he said furrowing his brows, “They want to–”

 

Kill him.

 

But Theo couldn’t say that out loud in front of Mr. Harel.

 

“They want to hurt him really, really bad,” Theo stated, “What if he can’t escape on his own?”

 

Mr. Harel ate a chocolate cube. “So you need to save him before he gets hurt,” he said, concentrating, “What if you let him go to the enemy, and then cause a distraction and get him and your best friend out?”

 

Theo narrowed his eyes and sat down. For that, he will need to make a portkey and cause a big distraction. Everything needs to be done super quickly. But where can he have them transpor–”

 

Theo gasped.

 

To Albus Dumbledore.

 

They would be perfectly safe there–

 

Would Draco be too?

 

No.

 

His mind grew embers out of his ash.

 

Theo needed to make two portkeys. One for Harry Potter – the one which would transport him to Albus Dumbledore, where the only chance of the wizarding world would be safe.

 

One for Draco – the one which he would be perfectly safe from the hand of Voldemort. Where it was hundred percent the safety–

 

“...I promise...”

 

It felt

 

as

 

if

 

sulphur

 

filled

 

his

 

lungs.

 

Remus owes him.

 

And Sirius owes Draco a life debt for breaking him out of Azkaban.

 

To Remus and Sirius it is.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Do you have a headache again?” Hermione asked and Ron tried to close off the buzzing in his mind.

 

“I always have a headache,” he said in a low voice, touching his forehead, pressing it, “But this weather is no help at all.”

 

Hermione didn’t answer so Ron turned to her, only for her to press a kiss on his temple. Ron smiled immediately. They were down at the Quidditch Pitch. Like yesterday, everyone was excited, roaring and singing.

 

The Slytherins were passive though. They were waiting for the beginning of the dual fights.

 

“Do you want medicine, boss?” Crabbe asked and Ron gently waved him off.

 

“Not now, maybe later,” he said, winking at Hermione, “Someone kissed it, so I feel so much better now.”

 

Hermione looked pleased, “You’re welcome,” she then saw something that made her frown. Ron tilted his head in confusion, but then followed her gaze.

 

He froze.

 

Warrington.

 

He laughed with his squad and then began to walk away. Ron waved a hand at Crabbe, who was at his side in that very moment.

 

“Follow that little shit,” Ron said and he heard Hermione’s snort of agreement, “And make sure he won’t lay a finger on the Beauxbatons.”

 

Crabbe nodded, cracking his knuckles, “Can I bring Goyle with me too, boss? If he doesn’t tag alone he’ll lose the string, if you know what I mean.”

 

Ron looked at him and blinked, “Actually, I don't, but go ahead I guess.”

 

“Got you,” Crabbe said and then started to move to the direction of the stairs, “Goyle! Come here! No, to the left!”

 

Ron sighed out loud and closed his eyes.

 

“Not my left, you moron! Your left! You know what? Just follow me – bruh, that’s not even close – where are you goin–”

 

CRASH.

 

Hermione burst out laughing and Ron was afraid to turn around to see the incident.

 

“For Merlin’s sake, Goyle, show me where’s lef– oh my fucki – THAT’S BACKWARDS!”

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Draco was heading towards the room where he should be waiting for his name to be called for the dual battles. Everybody was at the Quidditch Pitch already. Hogwarts was empty and silent.

 

It made Draco uneasy but his steps didn’t falter. Not even for a moment. When he turned to the left, going further in the corridor, almost reaching his door, he–

 

“Hey, babe,”

 

The blood froze in Draco’s veins. He took a deep breath and quickened his steps, trying to reach the door–

 

Warrington’s disgusting eyes were in front of Draco and he felt his stomach drop. He wouldn’t let Draco go into the room.

 

Don’t show it, don’t show it–

 

“Get out of my way,” Draco threatened him through teeth but Warrington only smiled, like an animal, hungry for blood, hungry for more.

 

He took a step towards Draco, who calmly took a step back. Warrington clicked his tongue and narrowed his eyes down at Draco, who could only see red, only see violence.

 

“Have you forgotten already? I will have you,” Warrington whispered, reaching out to touch Draco’s neck. As if he wanted to choke him – as if he’d very much enjoy that.

 

Draco wanted to spit at him again but he replaced it with a sneer, “Bold of you to be in my sight. Aren’t you afraid of being ripped apart?”

 

Warrington stopped his hand and smiled like a shark, “By who?” he smirked, leaning closer, “ Your man?

 

Draco’s smile was much more frightening, “You think Harry is bad?” he whispered with glowing gold eyes, “I am so much worse.”

 

Warrington’s eyes shone with lust, “Then show me,” he almost reached out to touch Draco’s neck–

 

Someone caught Warrington’s arm and with a horrifying sound–

 

twisted it.

 

Draco flinched when he heard the bones crack and looked at his left, seeing–

 

Speaking of the devil.

 

Warrington screamed with agony and fell onto his knees, reaching around to his broken arm. Harry stepped in front of him with dominance, like a predator looking down at his prey, and with raw strength, he caught Warrington’s throat, making him look up into his old eyes.

 

“I will chop off your favorite thing, you fucker,” Harry held his body calm and steady, and Draco caught the cruel glint in his eyes, “And then have you eat it.”

 

Warrington laughed, painful, making Harry let go of his throat, and then said with a smug smile.

 

“And I thought you’d at least consider giving him to me for a few hours.”

 

Draco went rigid, looking at Harry who fell silent. This was what made Draco shiver. Because Harry was unpredictable. Sometimes he just snapped and nobody knew what he’d do.

 

Sometimes he went so calm that even Draco felt a little bit uneasy himself.

 

And Harry didn’t do anything.

 

He was just staring at Warrington. He didn’t move and didn’t say anything. He didn't blink, he only stared.

 

There was something terrifying in his silence.

 

And Draco saw Warrington pale when Harry kneeled down in front of him and smiled.

 

Draco’s blood ran cold.

 

“I did not quite catch that, sorry,” Harry whispered, “Could you please say it again, this time louder?”

 

His voice was low and melodious. Warrington looked weary and nauseous.

 

“I–I don’t–”

 

Harry’s eyes.

 

It was like a vulture. Waiting for the dying prey to stop walking so that it could eat the whole of it raw.

 

Then

 

Harry’s smile

 

widened

 

into something that was made of

 

blood.

 

“Crawl somewhere else. Don’t disturb Draco,” Harry’s voice changed. It went low and grim and Warrington couldn’t move and neither could Draco, “He’s out of your league,” he stood up and walked in front of Draco.

 

“So what? Do you think you aren’t?”

 

Harry was in front of Draco, so he could see how Harry’s eyes softened a bit when he looked into his eyes.

 

“Draco is his own person. He decides what he wants,” Harry turned around to look at Warrington, making Draco’s eyes flick to the movement of his neck, the curve, “Now go before I change my mind and tear off so many limbs, the only option your parents will have is cremation.”

 

Before anything could’ve been said, two tall and big Slytherin boy rushed in, nodded at both Draco and Harry, and grabbed Warrington by the shoulders.

 

Draco lifted an eyebrow and noticed how Harry widened his eyes.

 

“What? Goyle?” Warrington’s eyes widened, “Crabbe? What are you–”

 

The one who looked a bit smarter said, “You’re screwed,” he nodded again when they started to pull him away, through the hall, where they came from.

 

Harry narrowed his eyes at the cold sight of them and opened his mouth but Draco beat him to it.

 

“Why did you lie to me?” Draco asked quietly and for whatever was the reason, he found himself the target of Harry’s cold eyes. But Draco didn’t falter, didn’t shrink, not this time.

 

“Why do you lie to me all the time then?” Harry pierced him and Draco closed his eyes, half-lidded.

 

So that was it. Draco remembered Pansy’s words at the breakfast table.

 

“... Harry finally started to think...”

 

“Did you really think I’d spell my plan out for you?” Draco asked, leaning closer, like a beast and for once, he saw Harry flinch in front of him.

 

Draco’s eyes glowed. He didn’t lie to Warrington.

 

I

 

am

 

so

 

much

 

worse.

 

But Harry didn’t falter, didn’t shrink . Because neither of them were preys, neither of them were soft and delicate.

 

Both of them were relentless monsters.

 

And then, Harry leaned closer and Draco could feel his breath ghost over his face.

 

His heart rose up to his throat.

 

“Did you really think I’d spell mine out for you?” Harry murmured, his gaze locked onto Draco’s. Then his eyes fell down to Draco’s lips, making Draco’s heart quicken. Suddenly, all Draco could hear was Harry’s breathing and his loud thumping heart. He could feel Harry’s red flowers and his power blended into with Draco’s.

 

Harry closed his eyes and leaned forward to rest his forehead against Draco’s, their noses touched and Draco turned relaxed, as if he felt completely safe, as if he finally was–

 

Peaceful.

 

Draco’s heart stopped.

 

It was as if he–

 

Trusted him.

 

He remembered every time Harry kissed his hands, whenever he surprised Draco with everything he had done, when he gave him flowers, when they danced, when they talked, when Harry played for him on the piano, whenever Harry defended him or protected him and Draco realized–

 

I feel happy when he’s around.

 

Draco blinked, astounded. It made him feel light, it made him feel dizzy, it felt like if he’d been elevated–

 

Joy.

 

Draco closed his eyes and buried himself into this heavenly thing, letting himself to be comforted by it like wings covering him above.

 

Joy

 

Another emotion.

 

“Is this what you’re feeling when I’m around, Harry?” Draco whispered, gently opening his eyes, raising up his head to catch Harry’s gaze.

 

He’s already looking at me.

 

With green eyes, and black messy hair and sharp jawline that reminded Draco about how it was one thing that he himself was beautiful but Harry–

 

Harry looked like an ancient God carved by power and the soul of music.

 

Why didn’t Draco notice how gentle Harry is with him? No one stood next to him, no one helped him but Harry - because he was the strongest so he never got any helping hand but he felt safe around Harry - he was soft with him. Harry, who was terrifying, Harry who was powerful, Harry who kissed his deadly hands, Harry who never harmed him, never used him, never looked down on him, no one made him feel this–

 

Important.

 

No one made him feel this–

 

Tender.

 

This–

 

Kind.

 

Harry’s hand closed over his, guiding their joined hands to his throat, making Draco go still, “I feel this. I feel like you can kill me anytime,” he whispered, “Every time you’re around, I feel like I can walk into a trap. I feel like you wouldn’t even bat an eye during your kill,” Harry took a deep breath and Draco could feel it through his fingertips. It made him dizzy, it did things with his stomach.

 

“It makes me wonder what would happen if we didn’t have to kill each other, it makes me wonder what would happen if you’d given in – what would happen if you’d trusted me, what would happen if you were at my side, because what do you think I’ll be after I kill you and Voldemort, Draco?” Draco could feel Harry’s heart in his throat through his fingers, it felt like it rushed in Draco’s hand, blending in with his own heartbeat. It felt like Draco was his home , “My goal will end, the cycle will end, and what then? We find each other again in another life where I need to kill you again ?”

 

It was if like–

 

And then he figured it out.

 

And Draco couldn’t breathe.

 

He closed his eyes, the pain washing over him, turned his head, not wanting to look at Harry, because–

 

Harry pulled him close, hugging him, burying his nose into Draco’s white hair. And he felt safe again, but the realization gained weight and it all came down to him and he felt tears burn his eyes because how could he kill Harry now that he–

 

“Think about it, Draco,” Harry continued, “What do you think will happen? What do you think will happen when the war starts and I can go all out to the battlefield?”

 

A nightmare appeared in front of Draco. Scattering heads, limbs, and arms and he had to close his eyes– because it didn’t matter anymore, because he understood, because he–

 

Harry’s voice got low, “I will care even less than now.”

 

Draco raised his head and his lips accidentally brushed Harry’s neck for a moment. They both saw the other stop, their breathing falter. And Draco moved closer slowly, Harry felt his teeth grazing on his throat as if he was about to tear it with them–

 

Draco pressed a soft kiss on the hollow of his throat and felt Harry’s shivering skin below his lips.

 

“Harry,” he said his name with feeling – the new feeling he just had– “I think you’ve just set me free.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

They say

Pestilence kept those horrid, featherless birds in silver cages.

 

They whisper,

There was one he kept in a shining golden one.

 

Legends say,

The White Hummingbird can only set his wings free,

If he realizes he is the only one Pestilence loves and admires.

 

But I say,

The White Hummingbird can only soar,

when he realizes that Pestilence is the only one who can give him back the reasons to fly.

 

– “My last note on the day I’m going to die” by Samuel Krum.



 

Chapter Text

Chapter 19

 

The

 

Devourer

 

 

 

 

Astoria Greengrass closed her eyes and listened to the choir, next to Aunt Chantal. She couldn’t see, only feel the colors of stained glass painting the whole building, radiating through the choir of the gospel.

 

Unearthly.

 

Astoria felt everything deeper, higher, than everyone else. Her magic in her veins, running through her blood, blended into her muscles under her skin, sliding with emotions as whole and as various as stained glass windows in churches.

 

An empath, people whispered around her.

 

A choir sings in her head, people said about her.

 

Astoria’s magic hummed in her, caressing her soul. Whenever she played the cello, she heightened the sound of her magic and her emotions, matching the song she’d been made with the bow with her hand.

 

Daphne was the only one who could counterweight her when the feelings, the emotions were too overwhelming, too hard to bare anymore.

 

The only one who can calm down the choir in my head.

 

“What’s wrong, Toria?” she heard Aunt Chantal’s voice. Astoria opened her eyes and looked at her with a reassuring smile.

 

“Nothing,” she whispered close to her, faintly blocking the sound of the gospel, “I miss Daphne.” And Pansy.

 

She looked down, hearing a soft sound of a lower voice, suddenly feeling–

 

Aunt Chantal snorted – making Astoria grin – and adjusted her hat, “Daphne never visits me.”

 

“That’s because you always make her clean your mansion,” Astoria answered.

 

Aunt Chantal waved her hand.

 

“She needs to visit me, otherwise I can’t brag about her to Maggie,” she made a sound of disagreement, shaking her head, “That women always talks about Jeremiah – what a great healer, Chantal – with a beautiful wife, Chantal – I swear to my Lord Jesus,” Aunt Chantal crossed herself, looking red with anger, “When Daphne gets married, there’ll be horses with carriages, an opera singer, white peacocks, and if God helps me then Harry god–given Potter as well–”

 

“Wait– how– Aunt!” Astoria stuttered, her eyes widening, “Why do you want to invite Harry Po–”

 

Aunt Chantal looked at her as if Astoria was out of her mind. “Don’t ask stupid questions, Toria,” then she stopped for a moment, eyes saddening. Astoria blinked at her, waiting for the bomb she knew was coming. “What do you think about that young man who praised your playing.”

 

Astoria didn’t have to think at all to answer. “A lot of pain. It had been a long time when I’ve felt such a sorrow in someone.”

 

Aunt Chantal nodded lightly and then, when the next song begin, she asked,

 

“What about his heart?”

 

Astoria touched her wrist, pressing down her finger, feeling her pulse, hearing the grand choir in her head.

 

I can still remember his heartbeat.

 

“A strong will,” Astoria whispered, “to be kind, to be aware of others, to help others,” she closed her eyes, letting her arms fall down to her sides. “A selfless heart.”

 

Aunt Chantal was quiet when the gospel soared with joy, the stained glass glowed up their silhouettes, when Astoria felt a cold wind scar her cheek.

 

But after a couple of hours, when the bells rang up, Aunt Chantal looked ahead and said,

 

“I believe in him.”

 

And although Astoria didn’t understand what her Aunt meant by that, she could feel her emotions behind the words. Astoria heard it like little bells, quiet horns with a touch of piano.

 

And then the harps started and Astoria narrowed her eyes with swelling chest.

 

It feels like a prayer to Heaven.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

I think you’ve just set me free.

 

Harry couldn’t look away from Draco. Couldn’t look away from his glowing golden and grey eyes, from his white hair and pale skin–

 

I think you’ve just set me free.

 

Harry couldn’t stop the shivering of his skin, couldn’t shrug off the sensation of Draco’s lips being pressed on his throat – feeling the exact moment when Draco kissed his pulse.

 

I think you’ve just set me free

 

And Draco stayed there, close enough for Harry to feel his breathing tickle his throat – his nose occasionally bumping into his chin–

 

I think you’ve just set me free.

 

Harry’s heart was beating rapidly fast – that fast that he thought there wasn’t nor ever be any kind of fight that could get him this excited, that could give him this rush of life.

 

Harry’s eyes widened when he felt a gentle brush over his heart.

 

Draco fills me with warmth.

 

“What are you doing?” Harry whispered softly to Draco, turning his head so that his lips rested against Draco’s temple.

 

Draco buried his head into the crook of Harry’s neck and gently touched Harry’s upper arm, making Harry touch the side of his face, pulling him closer. And then Draco said something, so hesitant and quiet, Harry almost couldn’t hear,

 

“I don’t think I can hurt you anymore.”

 

Harry felt the movement of his lips touching his bare skin and suddenly couldn’t breathe. His eyes went round, full of panic, full of something else, something gentle–

 

Hope.

 

“Draco, look at me,” Harry leaned back but Draco didn’t look at him, “Look at me,” Harry said softly and this time, Draco actually did.

 

There was something raw in his eyes that Harry hadn’t noticed that he’s been missing. Until now, Draco’s eyes were kind of–

 

Dull.

 

But now, as Harry stared into them, he noticed he was seeing something different. He saw–

 

Life.

 

Something–

 

Breathtaking.

 

Something he noticed in himself after–

 

“Do you remember the day we met?” Harry asked and saw Draco staring at him but Harry didn’t stop. He doubted he’d ever stop when it came to Draco. “When I wanted to kill you? All I could think of that if I’m done with you then that would mean there’ll be only Voldemort left but then you caught my hand and,” Harry’s words came out breathless, “and all I’ve been doing this past years is to train everything that I could – to be able to defeat him one day and you – you were in front of him and before that I’d never thought about anything else other than to just to train, to just listen to others – but then you came and you caught my hand and Draco,” Harry felt his his soul burst out with something that made him alive , “Your eyes stole all my words away,” He couldn’t stop, “I started to look for you everywhere and you actually listened to me – what I said, what I thought about things and you danced with me and hugged me and I don’t think I ever–”

 

Draco’s voice ran through him like an anthem. It felt like a light breeze caught on his throat.

 

I think you’ve just set me free.

 

“Before you appeared in front of me,” Harry’s heart was beating too loud, “I don’t think I ever had anything that would spark my interest, that could’ve made me look forward to tomorrow, but on the day we met, I think you set me free too.”

 

And then Harry opened his eyes, and–

 

Draco was staring at him the same way he did when Harry first kissed his palm during their dance.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

I think you’d set me free too

 

Harry’s voice echoed in his mind with the harmony within his heart because Draco knew Harry had started to pull him out of his numbness, but he had never thought that he saved Harry from his own.

 

I think you’d set me free too.

 

Draco felt his neck and ears go bright red, feeling joy and something new, something hopeful, something kind and the gentlest thing he had ever–

 

I don’t want to kill him.

 

Draco closed his eyes, noticing all the emotions circling in him like flying birds, as if he had caught a feather from their tornado, reaching up and then touched a piece of–

 

freedom.

 

He had been so empty up until this point. How had he lived like this? How could he not notice how much he was missing out?

 

It was if like I could only see rain.

 

But now–

 

I

 

can

 

see

 

the

 

sun.

 

Draco imagined his chains, falling down from his body, setting him free. He imagined an opened door in his cage, where he could finally fly away and soar.

 

His heart was too loud when he felt the warmth in his body, flowing in him, it felt so raw it could’ve been gold.

 

Harry gave happiness back to me.

 

Draco was afraid of opening his eyes, afraid of being devoured by the monster Harry had inside because now that he won’t – couldn’t – kill Harry, he was completely at his mercy–

 

“I would never hurt you.”

 

Harry whispered close to his ears, pressing a kiss on his temple. Draco gave out a little smile.

 

He pulled off my chains.

 

Draco half opened his eyes and involuntarily turned his head towards him, suddenly feeling how his lips brushed Harry’s jaw.

 

His stomach did a flip.

 

Their eyes met, and before Draco could’ve gathered his courage, they heard an announcement rang through Hogwarts. It came from the Quidditch Pitch.

 

Durmstrang and Beauxbatons against Uagadou. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy against Chinasa and Kesta Botha.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

Neville whistled, looking down at the pitch, making Ginny raise an eyebrow next to him.

 

“What?” she asked but before Neville could’ve answered, Luna spoke up.

 

“This will be a nasty fight,” Luna answered, looking serious despite holding at least twenty little flags.

 

Ginny looked confused but Neville only started nodding, “This will be a nightmare. If my grandma taught me well.”

 

“Why?” She looked at Luna and Neville with a concerned expression. The two kids looked at each other and then back at Ginny.

 

“Your grandma was right, Neville. I’ve heard it from Gavril,” Luna whispered making Ginny lean closer, “when Uagadou fights, they never do it in their–”

 

“Human form,” Neville pressed his lips together.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“Whew, I’m so glad I didn’t get them,” Cedric said with a little smile. The other champion looked at him weirdly in the waiting room.

 

“You’re even more hopeless than I am,” Charlton spoke up with narrowed eyes. Cedric looked down at the younger boy. He looked like he hadn't slept in days.

 

Another unhealthy person I am surrounded by.

 

“Are you trying to say you’re not happy because you didn’t get the twins?” Cedric asked, completely confused and suspicious at the same time.

 

“Ha?” Charlton turned to him as if he couldn’t believe to his own ears, “I am completely satisfied.” He turned away for a moment, looking thoughtful. Cedric paled, Charlton looked even younger from this angle.

 

Harry’s words echoed in his head.

 

“...You haven’t killed anyone yet, but you will...”

 

And then he remembered his own words.

 

Maybe this tournament will destroy all of us.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Karin heard the announcement, it hurt her ears in ways she never thought it would. She looked out of the window, looking ahead, seeing the Quidditch Pitch. She saw the black clouds, and the big crowd.

 

What a view.

 

Her eyes flicked to the piano and her mind was filled with music and waltz. She turned back and narrowed her eyes.

 

Be careful.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

It will rain.

 

Viktor was staring at the clouds.

 

November is starting off cold.

 

“I think he remembers one of his lives,” Viktor said quietly, still looking at the clouds.

 

Deyan froze next to him, his red eyes found Viktor’s. “You know this because of–”

 

“Yes,” Viktor answered, looking back at the sky. He felt like his bones were melting away. “He said it would be this day but I’ve never thought...” He trailed off, biting his lips.

 

The screams of the crowd went wild, but Viktor didn’t look down at the arena. He looked up.

 

November is starting off cold.

 

And he knew,

 

what kind of day it was today.

 

And then,

 

Viktor reached out and felt a single raindrop touch his fingertip.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

There was something thrilling about going into a battle with Draco.

 

Harry stepped into the mud alongside him and could already feel the rain falling. It was freezing and the wind carved harshly around his face and entangled his hair even more.

 

He stole a glance at Draco, seeing his stringy white hair and his glowing golden grey eye. Harry saw the raindrops on his white eyelashes. He swallowed.

 

Then looked ahead and found Kesta’s white eyes – as white as his sisters – were on his.

 

He looked less sinister that his sister, but there was something to him that Harry–

 

Lightning struck and Harry saw Kesta’s gold painting melt on his forehead and neck due to the rain and–

 

His eyes widened.

 

For a moment–

 

He reminded Harry to a greek god.

 

Apollo.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

There was something thrilling about going into a battle with Harry.

 

Draco stepped into the mud alongside him and the sky roared and all he could feel was the water coming down, splashing against the ground and dirtying his boots. Draco looked at Harry, seeing him completely unfazed by the upcoming storm. His hair was starting to get wet, the raindrops were falling down off his nose.

 

His eyes.

 

Draco couldn’t breathe for a moment.

 

He was looking ahead and Draco followed the direction of his sight.

 

Kesta and Chinasa.

 

Draco narrowed his golden eyes.

 

The Twins.

 

Chinasa stopped in front of him and stared at Draco’s golden grey eye. Her face wore grace as if it was a veil. Her black dreadlocks rested at her back–

 

Lightning glowed up the sky and Chinasa’s dark skin shone – Draco saw how her gold painted neck was slowly melting down.

 

His eyes widened.

 

For a moment–

 

She reminded Draco to a greek goddess.

 

Artemis.

 

“BEGIN!”

 

Before Draco could’ve done anything, all he saw was shrinking bodies, growing claws and fur and–

 

A lion and a lioness were in front of him, waiting calmly, only staring at him and Harry. Their eyes were piercing, just as a predator’s eyes would be.

 

They want to fight this way.

 

Draco only stared back, like a beast.

 

So be it.

 

He leaned in and let himself to be swallowed by his animagus form, already feeling his human skin disappear, already feeling his senses grow more infinite–

 

And he transformed.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Harry had never thought he would see something this beautiful in his whole life. The animal were as majestic as he thought – his fur looked soft, his golden grey eyes glowed.

 

A snow leopard.

 

Harry smiled and bent his spine with a loud crack, grew out his claws and fur and then transformed.

 

––––––––––––––––––-

 

Draco was staring at a black panther – a gorgeous one. They were the same height but the panther were steadier than he was. He caught the emerald green eyes.

 

Harry.

 

He and Draco was staring each other, completely in silence, not caring about the raging storm or the lion and lioness.

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

Pansy was mesmerized. She could tell the whole crowd was too.

 

She remembered Blaise telling her that Draco had an animagus form but she had never thought that–

 

It’s like they have been waiting for the other.

 

The crowd went silent and then–

 

The lioness jumped towards the snow leopard with her fangs out, dangerously shutting it around Draco’s throat–

 

The crowd screamed and Pansy shrieked.

 

The panther got in front of the snow leopard in time and took

 

the

 

blow.

 

“BLOODY HELL?!” Blaise shouted into Pansy’s ear along with the wild yelling people.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Draco gave out a growl that made everyone shiver with fright and scratched Chinasa’s chap, pushing her back. He started at her with bloodthirst. The lioness was bleeding but didn’t give out any sound that could’ve meant she would attack again and Kesta didn’t even move. He only stared curiously back at Draco.

 

Draco turned to Harry, who was already bleeding. Harry growled a little and then started to breathe heavily, Draco almost gave out a whine, already coming closer to him but–

 

The crowd screamed.

 

Kesta

 

started

 

to

 

run

 

towards

 

Harry.

 

And Draco only saw

 

red.

 

I will protect him.

 

And it blinded him with

 

something

 

magnificent.

 

He bolted. He felt the mud on his paws, his claws threw it around, his fur was wet, he felt lightnings above the sky and even though they were on the ground, he thought–

 

I

 

will

 

drag

 

you

 

down.

 

And Draco sank his fangs into Kesta’s neck, sensing the fur, the meat and the muscle beneath it, licking it with his tongue.

 

And

 

swallowed

 

down

 

the

 

blood.

 

He stopped and felt how it went down to his body.

 

Ah

 

Draco purred.

 

Ah,

 

I

 

have

 

been

 

starving

 

for

 

a

 

very

 

long

 

time.

 

He remembered Theo’s words.

 

“...You still haven’t done it...”

 

Now.

 

Draco purred again and bit deeper, feeling meat everywhere in his mouth–

 

Now he had done it.

 

and

 

He just wanted to eat.

 

Eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and eat and eat–

 

How could he not do this earlier?

 

When he first figured it out why he couldn’t eat normal food he missed it – he wanted to eat those cakes Theo was eating, he wanted to eat those soups Blaise was eating, but now that he had finally done what Theo had been begging him to do–

 

Draco

 

just

 

couldn’t

 

stop.

 

He felt Kesta trying to get away from him but Draco didn’t let him, he held him down with his mouth, chewing his neck, eating some of the meat–

 

One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich.

 

Draco stopped, pulled out his fangs, straightened back up and froze.

 

This voice – a cold, elegant yet pretty one – who–

 

Don’t you think, Draco?

 

He couldn’t move. This voice, in his mind, after he ate the first bite of a human flesh–

 

Famine.

 

Draco felt something soft caress his insides.

 

You woke

 

me

 

up,

 

Draco Malfoy.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

I’ve heard,

 

Famine could wither anything by touch of his black veined hands.

 

They whisper,

 

People came to him by free will because of his beauty

 

Only to found themselves

 

trapped

 

in an

 

eternity of Hell.

 

 

Rumor has it,

 

When he had been a bird,

 

Even in Pestilence’s cage,

 

He sang with a voice of an angel and said,

 

“No cage can ensnare me.”

 

“I

 

will

 

swallow

 

you

 

whole”

 

And I think,

 

It takes grace to remain this beautiful when you’re a monster.

 

I think,

 

Famine has never been sane.

 

Because I know,

 

He ate men

 

like

 

air.

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Devourer, Chapter XX  by Samuel Krum.



Chapter Text

Chapter 20

 

Blood for Blood

 

for

 

The Death of Today

 

 

 

 

 

 

They say,

 

many years ago,

 

When Famine was hunting Pestilence

 

King Asmodeus met Queen Sathanus.

 

They say,

 

They  met in a field of sunflowers, below the fire colored sky at night, surrounded by fireflies.

 

I heard,

 

How Asmodeus could feel Heaven inside of her wings and before he could’ve started a fight,

 

he

 

was

 

frozen.

 

 

They say,

 

Sathanus knew Asmodeus was as powerful as her and before she could’ve done anything,

 

she

 

was

 

frozen.

 

 

Up until this day,

 

I still don’t know

 

Who knelt down before the other.

 

But I know,

 

Asmodeus was mesmerized with Sathanus.

 

I know,

 

Sathanus was touched by Asmodeus’s grace.

 

Centuries went by and they had yet to met again.

 

 

My curiosity drives me insane thinking about how

 

Two Demon Generals,

 

Famine’s warrior and Pestilence’s warrior,

 

Found peace by only the other.

 

Centuries went by and they had yet to met again.

 

My curiosity blooms out of its shell just thinking about how,

 

The King of Demons

 

and

 

The Queen of Demons

 

couldn’t look away.

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The Story of Sathanus and Asmodeus: The Meeting of Two Gods by Samuel Krum and Mykew Gregorovitch.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton remembered the night when he changed for the better. Funny to think that was the night when he got his scars on his palms and hands. Funny to think when someone is on the verge of death their whole life flashes in front of their eyes and funny to think Charlton’s last thought was,

 

I’d never done anything worthy.

 

He gave up with tears in his eyes, choking on his despair, dying in pain, accepting that he’d never make it out alive.

 

Funny to think that when he heard another child scream in the house that was burning up with Fiendfyre, he opened his eyes and thought–

 

I

 

can’t

 

die

 

yet.

 

He remembered feeling the smoke in his lungs, he remembered how he stumbled his way through the burning parts of the house, just to find the little boy underneath a pile of wood –smoldering as the flames slowly consumed him. He remembered how he pulled him out, sacrificing his own hands without a second thought, barely saving the child but saving him nevertheless.

 

That night where it colored the sky with fire.

 

That night Charlton got permanent scars that made him not to forget.

 

That night he saved a life.

 

Charlton understood that violence won’t make anybody powerful.

 

He swore that he won’t let himself die until he was satisfied with the worth of his own life. He could still remember what his Grandma told him after the accident.

 

“Blessed are those who believe without seeing, Charlton. But who sees the fault in their own life, then desperately trying to make stardust out of it... now those could hold up the world with their own arms, barely feeling any pain.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War knew it – he could feel it, in his blood, in his sword when Draco started to eat

 

Famine

 

has

 

awakened.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

The moment Draco started to eat Kesta, Harry came out of his shock, felt change in the air and then heard

 

Pestilence

 

laugh.

 

It hurt Harry’s ears – it was too joyful and too sharp–

 

Harry, darling, let me out for a sec.

 

Harry’s eyes widened hearing the delighted voice and he inhaled sharply. Draco just ate and ate – the snow leopard’s mouth and fur was covered in blood and meat–

 

Come on, darling, one sec.

 

Harry went still and gave out a quiet growl. He noticed Chinasa was watching him carefully.

 

If it’s more than one second you’ll suffer.

 

Pestilence chuckled into Harry’s ear, agreeing the terms and then felt

 

Pestilence

 

tear

 

a

 

flower.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco froze when he felt an unknown monster slip through his skin, turning back, looking at the panther.

 

But Harry looked different – the way this animal held himself–

 

I feel different.

 

Draco felt the softness through his stomach and felt so much lighter than he knew–

 

Famine.

 

Famine was out.

 

 

–––––––––––––

 

 

Pestilence was looking at Famine. He knew.

 

I know.

 

He knew it because it always starts with the eating.

 

My rose.

 

Pestilence used Harry’s panther form, leaning down, showing respect.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Famine was looking at Pestilence. He knew.

 

I know.

 

He used Draco’s snow leopard form and bowed his head too and then felt the black panther’s nose through his neck, how he buried his head into the snow leopard’s fur. Famine nuzzled into his.

 

He purred.

 

My everything.

 

Famine felt sorrow through his spine when he shrunk back, as he let Draco out again and because he didn’t want to see Pestilence ever again.

 

This may be the last time that he and I could talk.

 

The next time he’ll meet Pestilence–

 

Will probably be the time when I had decided to kill him.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

No.

 

Pestilence started to quiver.

 

No.

 

Pestilence leaned back when he sensed Draco again.

 

No.

 

He stepped back, feeling unsteady, weak and lonely, so lonely again – again –

 

This

 

will

 

never

 

end.

 

He wavered.

 

Come back.

 

Pestilence saw red.

 

I need to break skulls. I need to tear spines – I want to see blood – I need to see blood–

 

Harry pulled him back into the hole before Pestilence could’ve grasp control over him but he felt Pestilence grab his soul halfway to shrinking back – wanting to escape, starting to crawl back, starting to climb up–

 

I will always be–

 

Harry feared of that voice – that low, insane voice – he felt a grasp close to his throat, felt how Pestilence scratched his soul–

 

– in the back of your mind.

 

And let Harry’s soul go, the sharp nails left ugly scars, Pestilence walking back to his cell, quietly, like a raging beast in a cage.

 

Harry’s breath quickened and impiteous–

 

Huh?

 

He closed his eyes, still feeling the grasp but he knew it wasn’t there anymore. He sensed how Pestilence sat down at his seat, weaving his golden string–

 

I can’t move my legs.

 

He started to tremble – losing his concentration, sensing that he was beginning to turn back human–

 

I can’t move.

 

Harry could feel and imagine Pestilence’s touches and breathing in his ears – he fell to his knees and touched his head, the song filled his mind with his voice–

 

This has never happened before – why am I–

 

Harry couldn’t breathe.

 

Why am I terrified?

 

Pestilence cut his nails – covered in blood –, and dropped them into the bucket of golden feathers.

 

Harry felt him grin.

 

I’ve had enough.

 

Harry felt the red flowers grow out from his mouth – he choked up and caught his own throat, desperately trying to keep the flowers inside. Harry saw him sew the string of–

 

Life.

 

His eyes widened as he saw his flowers bloom. Those Red Spider Lilies. The rain fell on his face and Harry looked up to the sky, gripping his throat. Then, he heard Pestilence breath out those words. Those few words that could’ve made Harry hide and crawl.

 

What

 

a

 

place

 

to

 

be

 

born.

 

Harry understood.

 

He started to fight back. The flowers bloomed and bloomed and Pestilence only sewed, turning the wheel, smiling and then Harry felt him lean towards his left ear, and the ancient monster whispered into it the secret;

 

I’ve never wanted to pray, but today I think I can hear it.

 

Harry saw one last flower that hasn't bloomed–

 

I think I can hear it. I swear, Harry–

 

and heard Pestilence last words;

 

You have the music of a God.

 

The flower bloomed and then Pestilence

 

started to

 

sing.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

War couldn’t move from his seat.

 

The whole crowd was silent, only the rain could be heard, even the lightning quieted down above the sky.

 

“... I know what he’s looking for...”

 

Death’s words echoed in his mind while War felt Pestilence weaving string made from bird feathers. He could see Pestilence spin the wheel and could hear his wrathful singing.

 

 

Goosey Goosey Gander,

 

Whither shall I wander?

 

 

War could feel how the wheel clattered–

 

 

Upstairs and Downstairs,

 

And in my lady’s chamber,

 

 

War felt Pestilence’s hand graze over the golden string. War called it the String of Life. Every life when the Apocalypse has happened.

 

 

There I met an old man,

 

Who wouldn’t say his prayers,

 

 

War couldn’t move, he was frozen by–

 

 

So I took him by his leg,

 

And threw him down the stairs.

 

 

Snip.

 

War paled. He touched his head and felt terror struck him – utter fear like a bottomless pit–

 

“... I know what he’s looking for...”

 

Pestilence didn’t tug the golden string.

 

He had

 

cut

 

it.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

When Draco came back he saw Harry on his knees, touching his head in agony with closed eyes, curled up – he immediately turned back into his human form but the minute his boot touched the ground Harry

 

fainted.

 

And Draco suddenly forgot all about his problems – he forgot his mouth covered in blood, he forgot Kesta’s unconscious body behind him, he forgot that Chinasa was looking at him, because all he could see was–

 

Harry.

 

And when a voice rang in the battlefield Draco couldn't hear it at first. He rushed to Harry’s side, touching his face, trying to find wounds, checking his pulse, sensing it, feeling relief when–

 

Draco froze.

 

The wound earlier around Harry’s throat... it’s gone.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Chinasa turned back into her human form and then looked down at his barely breathing body. The wounds around her jaw. She touched it, feeling the soft skin. Chinasa gave out a smirk.

 

What do you say, Kesta?

 

Chinasa looked at the Beauxbatons champion. He was breathtaking.

 

“IT’S A TIE!” The voice rang through the Quidditch Pitch and Chinasa raised her eyebrows. She felt completely calm.

 

We’ve never intended to win anyway.

 

Chinasa turned to look at the fainted Pestilence. Then at the majestic Famine.

 

What a sight.

 

Chinasa smirk grew.

 

It’s a pity you’re missing out this, Kesta.

 

Chinasa felt her white eyes glow and then started to head towards Famine.

 

After all, we’ve been waiting for this moment since centuries.

 

Famine noticed her the moment she started to walk and Chinasa couldn’t sweep the excitement from her ego.

 

How powerful.

 

Chinasa stopped in front of Draco Malfoy. In front of the most powerful Horsemen and then

 

kneeled

 

down.

 

And said with the power of a goddess:

 

“Let me introduce myself, Your Highness,” Chinasa whispered just so that only she and Famine could hear it, bowing down her head, showing deep respect. “Me and my brother are called Beelzebub, otherwise known as Gluttony. We are the Prince and the Princess of Demons.”

 

Chinasa looked up into his golden grey eyes and breathed out like an oath:

 

“Kesta is Sathanus’s warrior. I am Asmodeus’s. We wanted to see if you two were really the ones we were thinking of so we tested your powers and feelings in this battle,” Chinasa bowed her head again. “I apologize deeply for my violence and please forgive my brother too. We will serve you and him until the cycle is done and the next one begins.”

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

Draco felt like he would burst from pressure.

 

Beelzebub.

 

Draco know who Beelzebub was. He read Samuel Krum’s book, he knew everything that could have been known about the Horsemen mythology. But–

 

It’s completely another thing to see this in person.

 

Beelzebub was the only one who could remember one of the lives from the Apocalypse. Not even the Queen nor King could.

 

I know she’s not lying.

 

He was staring into Chinasa’s white eyes, still holding Harry in his arms. Her gaze didn’t waver, didn’t even acknowledge Harry.

 

She’s terrified of him.

 

Draco’s eye twitched when he looked down at Harry’s face. He gently brushed his thumb over his cheek and jaw. When Chinasa tried to bite Draco’s throat – he could’ve been severely injured from that. At that time he was weaker than now – he sensed it, he hadn’t had much time left. Not eating humans would eventually have made him eat himself.

 

“...Whether a feast or becoming sin, I will eat myself if I don’t do it...”

 

He remembered Theo’s horrified expression when Draco had said this. He was still supportive towards him. He cared for him that’s why Theo were pushing him to do it. To just eat . Draco would’ve never done it if it weren’t for saving Harry.

 

But then, If Chinasa would’ve actually bit Draco on the throat then he most likely would be dead. But then again, results are results, even at the end of the day. If it weren’t for Harry, who took the blow, then–

 

He saved me.

 

“We need to talk,” Draco said to Chinasa. “I’ll have to take Harry to the infirmary first.”

 

Even though I know he will eventually heal himself from whatever that has caused him to lose consciousness.

 

Chinasa looked over Kesta, “Let me attend you. Although Kesta can heal himself, it takes a lot of time and effort,” she went over to lift her brother’s body as if Kesta was made from light feathers. “He should have a comfortable bed at least,” she smiled.

 

Draco didn’t trust her. But he could feel another being in himself now, and that ancient monster–

 

did trust her.

 

So Draco nodded and then started walking out, holding Harry’s body, while Chinasa followed him carrying Kesta’s body.

 

Draco couldn’t help but give out an amused, dark smile.

 

What a sight, we are.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pansy couldn’t find words. She was afraid that she must have lost all her knowledge of English vocabulary. The rain fell, the storm quieted down, the grey clouds shone with purple and even though Pansy didn’t believe in hope or God or anything that was really made of light she came to realize–

 

Pansy came to realize what felt so weird about the whole thing.

 

Harry and Draco didn’t protect themselves.

 

She paled.

 

They were protecting each other.

 

And suddenly, that little ember, in the ash, which Pansy was staring at with such an intensity, started to–

 

glow.

 

And she dared. Pansy dared.

 

If monsters save other monsters then when the time comes–

 

Maybe God will step out of a light and help them.

 

She remembered Blaise’s words.

 

“... I should really go to Church...”

 

And Pansy, could really fancy a talk with Theodore Nott.

 

Koldovstorezt and Hogwarts against Ilvermorny and Castelobruxo. Gavril Kozlov and Cedric Diggory against Charlton Moore and Eliza Vilar.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Eliza?” Hermione asked Ron with widened eyes. “Hasn’t she lost? She can’t play part in this task, can she?”

 

Ron furrowed his brows and stared down, seeing the four new people there at the battlefield. He looked really thoughtful.

 

“I have no idea but,” Ron started to look around, slightly alarmed, “do you know where the hell Crabbe and Goyle are?”

 

“I know where they are, boss!” Said a Slytherin, completely startling Ron. He whirled around to look at the shy man. “I saw them beating the shit out of Warrington.”

 

Ron frowned and Hermione burst out laughing. “Where?”

 

The shy looking man said, “In one of the corridors,” he blushed. “If you ask me, boss, that bastard deserves it. Thinking he could have that beauty – what a joke!”

 

 

“I give up,” Ron threw up his hands in defeat and both Hermione and the shy looking man chuckled. “It’s his funeral, not mine.”

 

Ron remembered the look of that monster. The vicious, insane, Durmstrang champion. Even if no one else had noticed yet.

 

If you want to stare into the gaze of that beast, Warrington,

 

then,

 

Don’t be surprised when that beast stares back and starts to grin.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Eliza Vilar?” Seamus asked, looking confused. “Is she allowed to play?”

 

Dean shrugged and looked up to see the concentration on Oliver’s face. “What do you think?”

 

Oliver didn’t say anything till three more minutes but then he opened his mouth and answered,

 

“When she had fought with Draco, the judges seemed to be passive,” Oliver said. “Maybe they thought their fight wasn’t fair. I mean, Draco being a parselmouth and all... he won the match, of course, but Eliza is not that useless when she faces an enemy who can’t speak parseltongue. Especially not with an Occamy by her side, I mean, really. If this would have been Quidditch, I’d done the same thing.”

 

Dean gaped and Seamus gasped and clapped his hands.

 

“Now I understand why that might be it,” Dean started nodding. “So they wanted to give her another chance. Because I know for a fact that she can’t fight against Draco again – because that fight had already happened.”

 

Seamus hummed in agreement. “Yes, yes,” he was nodding along with Dean, “Now it’s starting to get interesting.”

 

Oliver snorted, “Hell yeah. After Harry’s and Draco’s fight against the twins, I thought that was the excitement for the rest of the day. Talking about eating out of the other champion, ” Oliver made a disgusted noise.

 

Dean frowned, looking down, seeing the opponents walk to face each other.

 

“Here’s the excitement. Turns out you were wrong, Wood.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Cedric had never been so terrified in his whole life. The moment he stepped into the battlefield – even the air changed which surrounded him. It felt silly, thinking like this, but he couldn’t explain this feeling in any other way.

 

“...Don’t get killed...”

 

Harry’s words stuck in his mind, like a warning, an echo. With his power and will and insanity, of course, he’d think that it’s easy not to get killed but for Cedric, it seemed a bloody difficult job.

 

We couldn’t even practice anything serious yet – they hadn’t given me time.

 

If Cedric could have more time to practice, to find a tactic, something, anything that could help him at least to survive this tournament – because he had given up winning it a long time ago – then he wouldn’t be this terrified at the moment.

 

Cedric looked at Gavril who was walking next to him. The Russian champion looked like he was in for a fight. He didn’t talk with Cedric at all. Maybe he doesn’t think much about him. Or maybe Gavril really does only wants to get Draco – like Neville and Luna said. Which was the biggest joke in the universe. But then,

 

Everyone who can actually fight must somewhat enjoy violence.

 

Maybe something will happen.

 

Cedric looked up at the sky, trying to loosen up his nerves, trying to slow down the rush of his blood.

 

At least Harry seems to enjoy it.

 

But that was Harry. Even though Cedric liked the younger boy, he could tell–

 

Harry is on the edge of insanity.

 

And this wasn’t a joke.

 

What if he totally snaps one day?

 

Cedric stopped facing the other opponents.

 

I just hope there’ll be one person who can stop him.

 

Cedric gazed up, catching Eliza’s eyes. Her Occamy was next to her – already the same size as his owner. Eliza seemed determined – but who wouldn’t be. Especially after getting another chance to prove oneself.

 

Cedric then looked at next to Eliza, seeing Charlton looking as passive and bored as possible.

 

Wonder what he’s going to do.

 

Cedric couldn’t remember if he had ever seen Charlton fight. He was sure no one has either. But there was something in him Cedric couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He felt different than the rest of them.

 

Cedric looked up again – dark grey cloud and cold wind. As he was standing on the mud, feeling more than hundreds’ eyes on himself he couldn't help but think,

 

Will I be able to kill, when the time comes?

 

He could hear Harry’s voice in his mind, ringing like a warning, an echo.

 

“... You need to have the want to kill them. Otherwise, nothing will happen...”

 

“BEGIN!”

 

And Cedric clenched his teeth, pulling out his wand.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton knew Gavril would attack Eliza first. He could noticed shining in an eye before of an action.

 

So when the girl swung sideways – catching Gavril’s arm in the process, making her Occamy strangle his legs – Gavril caught Eliza’s wrist with his free hand and twisted it, making her cry out.

 

Charlton’s eyes narrowed and he bolted, pulling out his wand. He evaded the spell which was thrown at him by Diggory. Charlton just ran .

 

I needed that animal to let go of Gavril so that he can–

 

The Occamy let go of Gavril, already thinking of the same thing – the Russian looked up seeing Charlton almost reaching out to – Gavril gave out a cruel smirk and then stepped on the Occamy’s tail.

 

The animal gave out a loud shriek and flipped its tail – pushing accidentally Gavril and Eliza too on the floor – the tail was coming towards Charlton’s knees –

 

Charlton threw himself back, flipping over, evading it successfully and when he could again feel the ground below his feet again, he could hear

 

the

 

crowd

 

go

 

nuts.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“OH MERLIN!” Ginny shouted into Luna’s ears so loud the girl had to wince. “DID YOU SEE WHAT MY BOY DID?! LUNA, DID YOU SEE?!”

 

Luna looked over seeing Oliver, Seamus, and Dean gaping like a dead fish, dumbstruck by Charlton Moore.

 

And then,

 

Everyone started to freak out.

 

“I HAPPENED TO SEE SNAPE’S FACE AND GUYS, HE LOOKED ALMOST AMUSED!”

 

“BLOODY HELL–”

 

“IT HAPPENED SO FAST–”

 

“DOES THAT CHARLES KNOWS HOW TO PLAY QUIDDITCH? I NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW–”

 

“WHO THE FUCK IS CHARLES?”

 

“I’M SO PROUD OF MY BOY

 

“GINNY, I DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAD A CHILD–”

 

“WHO IS THE FATHER?”

 

“THE BETTER QUESTION IS WHO TELLS RON–”

 

“EVERYBODY CALM THE FUCK DOWN!”

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

It happened less than three minutes and Cedric was frozen by seeing it. The crowd’s screaming was painful to his ears but the thing that made him really froze was the face of Charlton Moore. The fifteen year old boy who looked like he has never felt fear. Cedric saw the rain pour on his face, soaking wet clothes, opened mouth as he was breathing in. He charged because he wanted to keep his partner safe.

 

“... You need to have the want to kill them. Otherwise, nothing will happen...”

 

How?

 

“... You need to have the want to kill them. Otherwise, nothing will happen...”

 

How could he?

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Eliza felt Gavril move and she kicked his ankles, making him fell back to the ground.

 

“Cain! Defense!” She shouted and the Occamy flew to stand in front of her while she pulled up herself from the ground. Mud covered her whole, painting her skin darker than already was but she tried to hold her chin high.

 

“... Your only limit is you...”

 

Eliza spat out the mud and then straightened up her spine. She glanced at Charlton who looked back. She pointed at the Hogwarts champion, not even turning her head to the direction of where he was.  

 

That one is yours.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Cedric knew what was coming the moment he saw the signal and he clenched his teeth, leaning back on his ankle, starting to get ready when Charlton nodded back at Eliza.

 

Cedric felt his sweat rolling along the rain everywhere on his body – feeling the heat as if he was having a fever.

 

“... You need to have the want to kill them. Otherwise, nothing will happen...”

 

He gripped the wand and looked ahead, giving out a long breath and then saw

 

Charlton

 

running

 

towards

 

him.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton lied when he told Ginny he only wanted to participate because he thought it’d be fun.

 

His Grandma always wanted him to be cautious.

 

So when he finally saw Diggory do something, Charlton reacted in a way he never thought he would.

 

Stupefy!” Diggory shouted and Charlton flicked away the spell with his wand without saying the counter curse. Charlton didn’t stop running – he’ll surely catch up, he could see the aiming of his wand–

 

“Petrificus Totalus!” Diggory began to walk to the left direction while throwing the spell but Charlton blocked it by doing a tumble to the left and then balancing himself, then graciously landing the ground.

 

He was almost face to face of Cedric Diggory.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“... Your only limit is you...”

 

Eliza was still amazed by the Beauxbatons champion words. She couldn’t get it out of her head.

 

“... Your only limit is you...”

 

She knew what to do.

 

Eliza caressed Cain’s feathers and then gently pushed him out of her way. Gavril wanted to stand up again but Eliza saw her chance and then sat on his back, drawing out her knife from her pocket, holding it close to the base of his neck.

 

She felt Gavril’s breathing stop for a minute.

 

“I know who you are, Kozlov,” Eliza whispered so only he could hear it what she had to say. “I know where you came from and I don’t know why the others didn’t want to do some research about you, but it might be the biggest mistake they had ever made.”

 

Gavril froze. Eliza held the knife in her hand stronger, pushing to the skin of the Russian champion, seeing blood. Eliza leaned closer to his ears. Gavril tensed up.

 

“If these people find out who your family is, they’ll kill you on sight,” Eliza whispered. “But honestly, it’d better for the world if you die. If every one of the members of your family dies, the world would be a much better and a safer place,” Eliza stopped, enjoying such a disgusting being laying in the hand of hers. “You can’t be called a human being. The things you do and the things you and your family speaks of-of how all of you are spoken about it – makes me sick,” Eliza started to cut the neck slowly, “maybe that’s why you turned out to be such a soulless person. You expect us to fight for a person like yourself? Expect us to follow you in a war, obeying orders from a shit like you? Don’t be a joke. I figured it out you only want to win this whole thing because of the Beauxbatons champion,” Eliza smiled, deciding to give the final blow.

 

“But that won’t ever happen, Gavril. I mean, ” Eliza pulled back the knife, ready for the stab. “Who would ever want to be close to someone like you?”

 

Eliza moved her hands down, ready for destruction when she lost control over the balance of the world. It all happened in a minute and when Eliza opened her eyes again she was

 

underneath

 

Gavril Kozlov.

 

With a knife pointing at her forehead.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––-

 

Charlton noticed the moment Eliza was down. He set down his foot and looked back above his shoulder – seeing Gavril holding a knife to her forehead, watching his mouth move, seeing the Occamy remaining in silent. Charlton focused on Gavril’s calm hands and his narrowed eyes–

 

He’ll kill her.

 

Charlton blinked and turned back to Diggory who was looking at the scene as well. He was clenching the wand in his hand and pressed his lips into a thin line. Charlton then knew.

 

Cedric Diggory has never killed, and if it doesn’t necessarily, he never will.

 

The rain was falling down onto his skin, the dark clouds grew enormous, clouding the light but  Charlton knew his eyes never darkened for he constantly saw the fire that shaped him alive.

 

Violence gives birth to more violence. Peace won’t ever come from the hands of good hearts.

 

Charlton saw the glint of the knife as Gavril pulled up his hands to stab back into Eliza’s skull.

 

Peace will come when we realize that acting makes things visible.

 

Charlton turned away from Diggory and–

 

“... Blessed are those who believe without seeing, Charlton...”

 

Ran.

 

I will make

 

them

 

see.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Gavril looked into the kaleidoscope of Eliza’s eyes, who went sharp as she focused on the knife above her head.

 

Gavril heard the wrathful shriek of the Occamy so he raised up his other hand and whispered:

 

“If you move, I’ll kill her.”

 

The Occamy froze and remained, not moving. Gavril let his hand drift towards the knife – holding it with both of his hands now. Gavril saw Eliza’s face as the rain dropped on it and as the mud blended into her short brown hair.

 

“... I know who you are, Kozlov...”

 

Gavril wanted to squish her skull and when the knife touched slightly Eliza’s forehead – he notice the girl’s fear as she winced.

 

“You know nothing about me,” Gavril whispered in a low voice. Threatening. “ Nothing.”

 

He wanted to strike.

 

“No one knows me. No one.”

 

He suddenly felt the cold rain hit the wound on the base of his neck – the sting feeling from the wound lessened as the raindrops touched it. They rolled down from the sides of the knife to Eliza’s forehead and then rolled over to her green, blue, brown eyes and paled cheek.

 

Eliza didn’t close her eyes. She didn’t look away, didn’t even blink, she was only staring. As if she was seeing something Gavril couldn’t.

 

“... The world will know your name, Gavril Kozlov...”

 

His eyes narrowed and all of his anger burst out like birds from his chest. Ready to kill, he gripped the knife with all of his strength and pressed dow–

 

“Your eyes seem sad.”

 

And

 

Gavril

 

froze.

 

Those few words. Only a few words and the knife stopped in his hands, barely bruising Eliza’s forehead, nearly drawing out blood.

 

Gavril couldn’t move as the rain started to wash the blood from Eliza’s face, from the knife he was still clenching in his hands.

 

And then, before he could’ve done everything, he felt pain struck his head and he fell down to the ground.

 

He could still see the colors in the widened eyes of Eliza Vilar.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton hissed and cursed, touching his knuckles after the punch that knocked Gavril out.

 

For Cedric, it happened in a blink of an eye.

 

“HOLY SHIT!”

 

Charlton groaned at him and then caressed his bruised hand. “I can’t believe how it hurts !” He hissed again.

 

“THE WINNERS ARE CASTELOBRUXO AND ILVERMORNY! ELIZA VILAR AND CHARLTON MOORE! THE SECOND TASK NOW IS FINISHED!”

 

At least I haven’t died. Mission accomplished, Harry.

 

Cedric smiled because of the thought and then looked over to see Eliza, still lying down in the mud, letting the rain fall on her. She had a surprised, scared and breathless expression on her face. Her Occamy was looking at her with worry.

 

Cedric then looked at the knife that fell down next to her to the mud and then he glanced over to see Gavril, lying unconscious.

 

People roared and screamed with the might of their lungs but Eliza Vilar seemed lost the moment the commentary said she has won.

 

After the dual battles were over, Cedric, Charlton, and Eliza began to walk back to the waiting room.

 

Then it went dark. And it rained, and it rained,

 

and rained,

 

and

 

rained.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

Draco still held Harry’s hand when Madam Pomfrey asked him to leave him alone. He then gave a glare to the woman and gently let go of Harry’s hand. He saw Kesta’s wound already healing the other bed – next to Harry’s –, disturbingly noticing that he didn’t feel a single regret in himself.

 

“... One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the rich...”

 

Draco furrowed his brows and touched his collarbone. He could feel Famine everywhere inside of him – but not fully.

 

He’s just awake. He’s not him yet.

 

Famine was waiting.

 

For some reason, this really made Draco uncomfortable.

 

When he left the infirmary, shutting the door behind him, he saw Chinasa looking at him. The older girl gave out a smile similar to a demon.

 

“It’s time to talk, isn’t it, Your Highness?”

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

War stormed in Dumbledore’s office with panic one his expression, grabbing the chess piece, raising it towards one of the chandelier’s candles.

 

The King.

 

War was staring at it so intensely, he could’ve burned a hole through it.

 

“What are you doing?” Dumbledore stormed in after him. “What’s wrong?”

 

War’s hands were shaking like leaves in the cold November – he could feel the snow in his bones. He held the chess piece, almost breaking it.

 

“That psychopath,” War whispered furiously, still holding the black piece.

 

The King.

 

“What has happened?” Albus Dumbledore asked again and War felt panic and fear climb into his skull, filling it with something that could make him lose easily his usually calm mind.

 

“He didn't tug the golden string, he cut it,” War whispered quietly, still wrathful. “He has never cut it before.”

 

“... I know what he’s looking for...”

 

War gave out a strained, furious smile.

 

“That mad, old fox.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Viktor saw Harry lying awake in his bed in the infirmary. The older boy adjusted his bag and then looked around seeing that Madam Pomfrey wasn’t here and every other patient were deep asleep or either in a coma or lying unconscious in their bed.

 

“Hi, Harry,” Viktor said, sitting next to his bed on a little chair.

 

Harry blinked hazily and then touched his head, trying to revive himself. “Hi,” he said. “What are you doing here?”

 

Viktor stared at Harry and then with a swift movement he took the big book out of his bag. The title was painted with gold.

 

Book of the Horsemen by Samuel Krum.

 

“My Grandfather gave me the task to give this to you when the time comes,” Viktor said gravely and then looked into Harry’s eyes. “He told me to only give it to you after you’ve remembered at least one of your lives.”

 

Harry furrowed his brows, “Why only then?”

 

Viktor was quiet and only stared. He stared and stared, without doing any movements, remaining silent and still.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

“That monster,” War said through his teeth, clenching the black chess piece.

 

The King.

 

“How could I be so stupid?” War whispered touching his forehead. “It was all in front of my nose.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“Because he’d known that by the end of today you’d reborn,” Viktor said.

 

For a moment, nothing happened. The dark blue through the windows highlighted the room, the rain was the only thing that could be heard.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

“That insane bastard,” War held the chess piece. “I’ve never been in control. He’s been holding me in his palm all this time.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

For a moment, nothing happened and Viktor only stared at Harry. He stared and stared, without doing any movements, remaining silent and still, and said:

 

“You can show yourself,” Viktor whispered. “You can’t fool the grandson of a Prophet, Pestilence.”

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“That psychopath.”

 

The King.

 

War narrowed his eyes in his fury.

 

“He got me. He got me for good.”

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

And then

 

Harry dropped his act

 

and

 

began

 

to

 

grin.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Be aware of The Old Fox,

 

They said.

 

When you notice it, it’ll be too late

 

Be aware of The Old Fox,

 

They said.

 

When he starts to grin

 

it

 

will

 

be

 

too

 

late.

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, Tales of Pestilence: The Old Fox, Hidden Chapter by Samuel Krum.

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 21

 

The Snake

 

 

 

Sometimes I find myself questioning if God is really up there.

 

Sometimes I catch myself looking up to the sky, trying to grasp His hand, wanting to feel the power of selflessness, of honesty and joy.

 

Sometimes I find myself questioning if God is really up there.

 

Sometimes I catch myself looking at people, walking down the streets, knowing nothing about them, about their lives, their destiny, and can’t help but think that our lives can change at any given moment.

 

We could go out of our house and take a walk and so many situations can go in so many possible ways.

 

Was it our doing? Is it possible to control our fate?

 

Or is there more?

 

Is there someone?

 

I wonder

 

Does He do it?

 

 

Sometimes I find myself questioning if God is really up there.

 

But then one day,

I met

Pestilence.

 

There was so much hatred, so much violence, so much

Void

in his heart.

 

And I couldn’t help but see something more.

I wonder if that was the first time.

 

I saw that gruesome monster,

looked into his soul,

and noticed something.

 

Something more.

 

Maybe that was the first time when I started to believe in the Creator.

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The First and The Last, Chapter III, handwritten in the margins, by Samuel Krum.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

March of 1926

 

 

 

Merope Riddle looked out of her window and clenched the love potion in her hand, seeing how the daffodils bloomed below the sunlight. Blue, yellow and red flowers shone like hundreds of little dots in her garden. Her dark hair embraced her shoulders, highlighting her pale skin as the sun marked her through the window.

 

She looked down to her lap, staring at the love potion.

 

Little birds flew by the window, signing a happy, joyful tone, blocking the sun for a moment, sending shadows at the surface of the vial of potion.

 

Merope’s eyes then dropped to her belly. She blinked gently and then glanced at the love potion again.

 

I’m tired of living in this lie.

 

She sighed and then looked out of the window again, trying to enjoy the view of trees and hills, glowing by the sunlight.

 

How peaceful.

 

“Maybe he’ll love me. Maybe he’ll love us,” she whispered, gazed down at her belly, caressing it lightly.

 

Ah,

 

I’m lying again.

 

Merope’s eyes saddened and her eyes unintentionally did go to the love potion again.

 

He’d never love me. He’d never love us.

 

Merope stared at the garden. Roses, daffodils and tulips waving in the air as the wind caressed them. Birds’ happy singing and chirping could be heard all over the house.

 

How peaceful.

 

And Merope Riddle broke

 

the

 

vial.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“What do you mean you don’t believe me?!” Samuel Krum yelled from the other side of the table, almost dropping everything down from the table. “What in the world–”

 

Mykew Gregorovitch waved his hand at Samuel and frowned, “There’s no way that goofy, old man Frank wouldn’t marry Bernice.”

 

Samuel snorted and sent a pointed look at his best friend, “Says you!”

 

“Frank isn’t even that old, Gregorovitch!” spoke up Garrick next to Samuel and Mykew. Samuel smiled victoriously and pointed at Garrick.

 

“What did I just say?” Samuel asked angrily, still smiling, and Mykew narrowed his eyes at Garrick Ollivander. “What did I just sa–”

 

“Don’t stick your nose into this, Ollivander,” Mykew said and flashed a handsome smile. “Or as the muggles say, mind your potatoes.”

 

Samuel rolled his eyes and then took a sip out of his whiskey.

 

Here we go again.

 

Garrick smiled back, just as handsomely. “Look who’s trying to be someone important. Don’t you know, Gregorovitch, that is rude to butt in a conversation while grown ups are talking?”

 

Mykew narrowed his eyes again. “Just because I’m seventeen, doesn’t mean you two can act like adults.”

 

Samuel snorted again and Garrick’s smile deepened, “Says who?”

 

Mykew smiled back, “Me, that’s who–”

 

“Can you two stop fighting for a second and try to concentrate, please?” Samuel closed his eyes and started to massage his forehead.

 

“What’s the matter, Krum? Don’t tell me you want to marry Bernice?”

 

With a loud sound, Samuel put down his glass of whiskey, “Nonsense!”

 

Someone spat out his drink and a lot of other people flinched by the sudden sound nearby at their tables.

 

“Then what’s eating you?” Garrick asked as if nothing happened, taking a bite out of his pancakes. “I’m pretty sure Bernice wouldn’t mind the wedding with him at all.”

 

Mykew chuckled and lightened up his cigarette, playing his part as a muggle, don’t use his wand. “I can’t believe that gold digger got a hold on Frank,” he dropped the match to the table with a loud thud. “I believed in that guy.”

 

Samuel frowned and then ran his fingers over his hair. The music transpired from the restaurant where they were sitting. Duke Ellington, the muggle singer, knew how to make music, at least Samuel could tell this much by the great trumpets. The little round table where they were sitting was full of pancakes, cereals, bacon and eggs, orange juices, tea and coffee. Hills and trees glowed in the sun's’ light.

 

Yet I’m having a headache.

 

“You don’t need to worry about him, Mykew,” Samuel said and then looked down at the glass of whiskey in front of him. The brown liquor glowed gold. “He sees another woman.”

 

Garrick looked horrified and Mykew’s eyes widened as he blew out a big cloud of smoke.

 

“You saw something again, didn’t you? That’s how you know he’s cheating,” Mykew asked quietly and then pressed his cigarette into the ashtray. When Samuel didn’t answer nor deny the statement, Mykew sent a cheeky smile towards Garrick. “I told you he was a Seer–”

 

“He’s not a Seer–”

 

“– but you never believed me, ha!” Mykew smiled and touched his chin, looking thoughtful and smug. “Where’s my money, Ollivander?”

 

Unfortunately, Samuel had a strong hint about what he was. It was always in his mind, circling in his thoughts. So Garrick was right, he wasn't exactly a Seer – although, Samuel would never tell them the truth. Mostly, because his visions didn’t make sense sometimes.

 

Like now recently, he started seeing hands – strong, violent hands, grasping towards the sky.

 

He saw this everyday and,

 

still doesn't know what it could mean.

 

Garrick copied Mykew’s smile, “In your pocket.”

 

Samuel flinched back to reality and responded immediately, “I swear I can’t go anywhere with you two,” he emptied his glass with a quick movement.

 

“I strongly agree,” Mykew gave a firm nod with closed eyes, raising his whiskey as well. “You should find new friends.”

 

Samuel raised his eyebrows at him, so clearly not amused.

 

“How fine words–”

 

“Arghh, Garrick.” Samuel grimaced, looking over his direction. “Not you too!”

 

“– for a sap like you,” finished Garrick and gave a victorious smile to Mykew. And then winked at Samuel.

 

Before Mykew could’ve opened his mouth, Samuel beat him to it.

 

“You people are missing the point.”

 

Mykew emptied his whisky and Garrick continued eating his pancakes, looking over to Samuel.

 

“Which is?”

 

Samuel gestured, making the point, “Which is he’s dating but his wedding will be on the next Thursday. With another woman.”

 

“Now I feel much better for not getting an invitation,” Mykew said, staring at his empty glass without blinking. Making Garrick chuckle, who then grabbed his coffee.

 

“You shouldn't worry about this, Sam. It’s their life, not yours.”

 

Samuel dropped his gaze. “Well, yes, but,” he shrugged. “I still know about it, you know. That makes a difference–”

 

Mykew put down his glass with such a force that is to be reckoned with and shouted:

 

“Nonsense!”

 

Someone started to cough violently and Samuel could even hear a loud crash – as if someone fell down on the floor.

 

“It doesn’t make a difference, you hear me?” Mykew said with determination. “You’re a Seer, you can’t help it when you see these kinds of things–”

 

“I’m pretty sure he’s not a Seer–”

 

“– so just forget about it and relax,” Mykew gave a look. “You already have wrinkles. If it gets worse, how would me and Ollivander find you a wife?”

 

Samuel wiped his eyes, trying not to yawn.

 

“Very funny,” he said, dead serious. “Really, I’m impressed.”

 

“That was unheard of, Gregorovitch,” Samuel heard Garrick say. “You know he already has a wife.”

 

“I was just trying to make things better.”

 

“And you failed as usual.”

 

“Will one of you accompany me to Little Hangleton?” Samuel changed the topic before the bickering could’ve continued.

 

Garrick took a sip out of his coffee and then tilted his head towards him, curiously. “Still want to visit the Bryce family?”

 

Samuel smiled a little. “I wrote a little fairy tale for the little Frank. Huh,” he furrowed his brows, “weird saying his name and not thinking about the other Frank. Well, anyway,” Samuel shook his head as if he wanted to forget the other Frank. “I want to give it to him. I really hope he’ll like it.”

 

Mykew started to laugh. “Please, as if anything that you write can be rubbish.’

 

Samuel leaned back in his chair, looking smug. “Yes, as if I hadn’t won one of the most important awards in the history of authors in the wizarding world.”

 

Garrick looked at Samuel and then at Gregorovitch, then started shaking his head with a disturbed look.

 

“It’s such a wrong decision to put you two in a room together for more than a few minutes.”

 

Samuel and Mykew turned to look at Garrick and then said simultaneously;

 

“Tell me about it.”

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“What do you mean strange things began to happen?” Samuel asked Roy while staring at little Frank, who was reading the book Samuel gave him.

 

Roy looked at his son, seeing how he wasn’t paying attention, and then looked back at Samuel and Mykew again at the table in the kitchen where they were sitting.

 

“Have you two heard about the Gaunt family?” he asked very quietly. It frightened Samuel to hear this man so full of heart speak so quietly. “They live here too.”

 

Samuel sent a sideway glance at Mykew who nodded.

 

“We’ve heard about them,” Samuel answered, looking curious. “Why?”

 

Roy looked uncomfortable as he fidgeted in his seat. He lowered his gaze and leaned closer to the both of them and whispered, shaking as a leaf;

 

“The squire’s son ran off with the tramp’s daughter, Merope.”

 

Mykew furrowed his brows and Samuel only looked confused. “So what? That’s a good thing, isn’t it? At least Marvolo Gaunt is sure his daughter won’t have any trouble in the future in a sense of living.”

 

“Wait a minute,” Mykew held up a finger, looking at Roy with intense eyes. “I think I’ve heard something about this,” he narrowed his eyes, looking thoughtful. “Didn’t she marry a muggle a couple of months ago or so?”

 

Samuel’s eyes widened and when he noticed Roy’s sigh and closed eyes, it widened and widened more.

 

“What? A Gaunt? Marrying a muggle?”

 

Roy elbowed on the table, keeping his voice quiet as if he was afraid that even the walls had ears.

 

“It would’ve surprised me if at least one of you haven’t heard about the thing. Every pure wizard family is talking about this – never minding the fact that it’s been a year since then,” he started tapping, like the clock on the wall. “I heard when Marvolo found out there was a big fight. To be honest, I’m happy Merope got out of that household, even if it with a muggle.”

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

Samuel couldn’t shut out the clock from his mind. “But why?”

 

Mykew’s eyes saddened and Roy nodded at him before he started to explain in hushed tones.

 

“Both of her father and her brother, Morfin, abused her physically and mentally too,” Samuel flinched but Roy didn’t stop. “They made her restrain her magic. It went to the point to where she couldn’t perform magic.”

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

“No,” Samuel whispered, looking terrified.

 

Mykew pressed his lips into a thin line before he said, “I once saw her when I’ve visited them because of a job. I’ve never seen a more defeated person in my whole life.”

 

Roy dropped his gaze, stopping the movement with his hands, silencing the whole room. It seemed as if even the clock had stopped ticking. “Nobody could’ve helped her. That house is a nightmare. You set your foot in it, you play with the chance you might never come back again.”

 

Mykew shook his head with a grim look, “Does anybody know where she is now?”

 

Roy looked up, still leaning close. “Nobody knows. But I think that’s better for everyone,” he dared to look out of the window, looking at the shack. “Things have quieted down but I don’t know for how long. Still,” he looked back and paled as white as the wall. “Whenever I look at that house, I feel like I’m being watched.”

 

Samuel felt chills ran down his spine.

 

“You should move, pal,” Mykew said in a serious tone. He was not even joking. “The earlier the better.”

 

Roy nodded at him and then started tapping again.

 

“But why did you say strange things are happening?” Samuel asked quietly, afraid that the little Frank in the living room might hear.

 

Samuel heard again. The tapping blended into with the clock.

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

“Too many things are happening right now,” Roy whispered. “This whole thing with the Gaunt family, a lot of people are starting to notice that some cogs began to turn in this machine of a world,” his eyes glowed with grimness. “I’ve heard Grindelwald’s army is only growing bigger and bigger.”

 

Samuel and Mykew flinched but Roy didn't notice, he kept talking.

 

“They say his mark is all around Europe. “For the Greater Good” they say. He and his army hide behind fancy words while killing innocent people and for what? For burning witches and wizards. Violence against violence has never been a good combination.”

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

Mykew narrowed his eyes. “But we haven’t heard of Grindelwald since a long time. Nobody has seen him nowadays.”

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

When Roy smiled bitterly, it made all the hair on Samuel’s neck stand up. He whispered;

 

“Change is in the air, Gentlemen.”

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

9 December of 1926

 

 

 

“Don’t you think Mykew’s been acting weird?” Samuel asked Garrick, who sent a glare towards him.

 

“He’s always acting weird,” Garrick said and then gestured to the bartender that he wanted to pay his tab, “I don’t know why you only now just noticed.”

 

Samuel rolled his eyes and gave a pointed look to his friend. The bar was full of people, some of them danced, played poker or talked with their friends, having a drink or two. The light jazz music tickled Samuel’s ears, the melodious piano, trumpets, trombones, saxophones, drums and string bass.  The woman who was singing had the loveliest voice, it filled the room with soul and happiness.

 

Garrick paid for his drink and then put back his hat on his head. Samuel didn’t leave him alone though.

 

“Weirder than usual, then,” he continued but only got a disapproval look from his friend. “He almost never at his house – he sometimes doesn’t even show up for our meeting and whenever I ask him he always has an excuse which is always something even weirder.”

 

Garrick clicked his tongue and then shrugged. He leaned forward to Samuel and then started to put on his coat.

 

“Maybe he found love,” he announced. It made Samuel frown.

 

“Mykew Gregorovitch?” He doubted. “Finding love? Searching for love?” He raised his eyebrows. “There’s no way he’d leave his wands or his store even for a minute for a woman,” he stopped for a minute, thinking. “Or for a man.”

 

Garrick sighed and then shrugged again. “You never know,” he said and then turned away. “I wouldn’t be too worried if I were you – eventually he’ll spill it out,” he smiled at Samuel reassuringly. “See you later, Sam,” and then started to walk out of the bar.

 

Samuel followed him with his eyes until he couldn’t see him anymore. Then, he glanced towards to look out of a window, seeing snow dancing in the wind below the light of the streets, coloring the night sky with little white dots.

 

Samuel’s gaze lowered to his left, seeing a newspaper on top of one of the chairs.

 

 

Gellert Grindelwald attacks a group of Aurors in Chateau in Europe on the 5th of December...

 

 

The headlines changed, morphing into the next day’s newspaper.

 

 

Thunderbird to create a rain laced with Swooping Evil venom to obliviate the citizens of New York. Yesterday, the man known as Newton Scamander...

 

 

“I believe I have a hint according to what’s wrong with your friend, my darling.”

 

Samuel froze and then whipped his head back around.

 

A man in his early twenties wearing a black tail coat with satin striped pants. He had a white vest, bowtie, and a dress shirt with cufflinks. His blond hair was slicked back, the pale skin glowed below the lamps of the bar. But not the formal dress caught Samuel off guard. No.

 

His green eyes did.

 

Samuel wanted to hide. Hide and run . To somewhere safe, somewhere far away from this guy. Who only smiled at him sweetly.

 

That made Samuel go even more rigid.

 

“You may call me Glenn,” his voice rang like a melody. “But I’m not the important one here,” he leaned closer to Samuel who leaned back, further away from him. “I know your name is Samuel Krum and I know what you are.”

 

Samuel furrowed his brows. “Wha – what am I?” He started to stutter. “What are you talking about?”

 

The man grinned. To the other people it might’ve seemed a friendly, flirty, handsome smile but to Samuel, it seemed more of an enraged one. He felt his blood drop and the cold sink in.

 

“Don’t lie to me, my darling,” the man whispered in a tuneful voice. “I have quite a temper.”

 

Samuel gulped, suddenly noticing how badly he was sweating all over the place. His eyes went towards his coat nearby his seat. If he could grab it quickly, then he’d be out in a minute – he could run, he could do this–

 

“Try to do something funny and I quit being so nice.”

 

Samuel gulped again and then took a long, quivering breath. He tried to calm down his terrified heart and then looked into the eyes of this monster.

 

He flinched.

 

He remembered seeing an old painting in a friend’s mansion. It was of a great fox, who looked up to stare at the stars. The painting showed the eyes of the beast. Samuel remembered what he had thought of it as if it were yesterday.

 

That animal wasn’t staring at the sky.

 

Samuel couldn’t look away.

 

That vicious monster was only waiting for the opportunity to tear down Heaven.

 

This man’s eyes looked exactly like that old painting and Samuel had no doubt. A strange thought occurred to him so fast he couldn’t even blink.

 

A flash of vision.

 

Samuel’s eyes went round as he gave out a quiet gasp, seeing hands catch clouds–

 

A man who touched Heaven.

 

“Then tell me,” Samuel whispered, remembering his earlier words. Remembering that he’s been having visions about this man for months now. “If you tell me what’s wrong with Mykew then I’ll tell you what I am.”

 

The man’s grin never faded away as he said:

 

“Let’s go back to my mansion.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

“So you’re saying that I’m seeing things that has happened, is happening right now and which has yet to happen?” Samuel almost dropped his fourth glass of whiskey in the living room of Pestilence. “I knew I was a Prophet but I thought I was only seeing prophecies, maybe visions like other Seers.”

 

After hearing the whole story of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Samuel tried not to drink too much for the purpose of remaining sober – but tried to process the new information too which has changed his whole world forever – and that couldn’t be done without some firewhiskey.

 

The Horseman raised an eyebrow at him and then said, “You’re a Prophet, not some moron who has magical crystal balls,” his voice was stern. “Your kind has always been present. Most of the time when the Apocalypse began, one of the Prophet – if there was one – had to write down the scenarios into a book. They won’t stop until they write the whole damn thing.”

 

Samuel furrowed his brows, confused, “If they had to write it down, why haven’t I seen any of those books before? Why am I only now hearing about this madness?”

 

Pestilence smiled a little – a dangerous smile.

 

“Think, Samuel, think,” the man tapped his temple. “What would happen if all the other wizards know of my kind? Oh, right,” Pestilence snapped his fingers, smiling like a lunatic. “They’d start getting ideas and we don’t want that.”

 

Samuel opened his mouth then closed it, blinking. Then opened it again.

 

“So what, did you just burn it all?” He asked with the tone of disbelief.

 

Pestilence flashed a bigger smile, his cruel eyes glowed. “And I will gladly burn yours too,” he whispered. “So better start writing that blasphemy, because I know your hands’ itching is as bad as it is.”

 

Samuel sat down at one of the sofas and then scratched his head with a big sigh. “I’ve been working on something privately, but I thought those were only my imagination. My tales, if you want to say it that way.”

 

Pestilence sat in front of Samuel, on the other sofa. The fire’s light caught their hairs from the fireplace, empowering the room with the color of light and red and gold.

 

“It’s your words and your way of seeing our past,” he said solemnly. “Those things are only yours,” he flashed a grin, looking smug. “But I’ll burn it anyway, so, who cares,” he started to laugh, leaning back on the sofa.

 

Samuel gave an unamused stare. “Why are you here anyway? I mean,” Samuel closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. “Besides the fact that you want to collect my book and then burn it up when I’m done with it,” he opened his eyes again, focusing on the Horseman in front of him. “Don’t you have to be dead by now? To reincarnate?”

 

Pestilence stretched out his arms, leaning them at the top of the sofa, he crossed over his ankle over his opposite knee, looking as comfortable and as egoist as one can be.

 

Samuel couldn’t help to be amused.

 

“I’m still living my previous life,” he said with a smile similar to a fox.

 

Samuel knew what it meant and noticed his hands began to shake a bit. He tried to cover it, almost successfully.

 

“So you’ve already killed War, Death and Famine.”

 

Pestilence’s eyes winced of hearing the name of Famine. Samuel was holding his breath.

 

“Yes,” the man answered in a low tone, looking down at his wrist. “I’m only waiting for you, then I’m going to kill myself to start a new cycle,” Pestilence glared at him. “Better hurry to finish that book by those visions of yours, Samuel. My patience is infinite but even a calm man stands up from the table after he had ate too much.”

 

Samuel shivered. Even though curiosity was a powerful, dangerous thing, Samuel wanted to ask why.

 

He wanted to ask why he killed all of them, why he killed them at all, why he wanted to start the cycle – why he started the cycle again and again and again. But he knew Pestilence wouldn’t answer. Why would he?

 

I’m only a Prophet. Not a God.

 

Samuel raised his head. “So what’s wrong with Mykew? My friend?” Samuel asked curiously. “You said you had a hint.”

 

Pestilence smiled, showing his teeth. “I always have a hint, my darling,” he purred. “Your friend is searching for something. And to my surprise,” the Horseman looked amused. “He’s going to actually be able to find it.”

 

Samuel frowned. “Searching? Searching for what?”

 

Pestilence moved up and down his forefinger as if he was conducting an orchestra.

 

“He’s searching for The Elder Wand.”

 

Samuel’s blood ran cold. “Elder Wand?” He asked in utter disbelief. “ The Elder Wand? From the ‘The Tale of the Three Brothers’? By Beedle the Bard?” He touched his head in shock. “But the Deathly Hollows can’t be existing things. There are no such things–”

 

“As there are no such things as me,” Pestilence grinned handsomely. “Am I right?”

 

Samuel paled and looked at his shaking hands. It made sense. Mykew wouldn’t leave his wand store for love.

 

But for a wand.

 

Especially this wand.

 

Samuel picked up his whiskey with shaking hands, almost pouring out his drink. He tried to calm himself.

 

My whole world is bleeding out of lies.

 

Samuel took a sip out of his glass.

 

So this is how it feels to have open eyes.

 

Samuel frowned, swallowing the burning liquid. “But why do you say that he’ll be able to find it?”

 

Pestilence smiled lightly, “It is my feather’s wand, after all,” looking at his forefinger, waving it like a conductor, humming a song Samuel recognized. His wife, Elis, loved this musician.

 

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint–Saëns.

 

“I say this because he’s been close enough to get it out of the place where I hid it the last time.”

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

25 December of 1926

 

 

“Please, I need the gold badly,” Merope Gaunt begged, holding out the locket to Caractacus Burke. “It really is Salazar Slytherin’s.”

 

Caractacus looked at the locket again, frowning. “I hear things like that all the time, ‘This was Merlin’s, his favorite teapot’, and tell you what, Missy?” Caractacus leaned closer to Merope, “It never is Merlin’s favorite teapot.”

 

Merope felt tears sting her eyes, he held out the locket again with determination.

 

“But this one really is Salazar’s,” she begged. “Please, look at it. See it with a spell, I need money.”

 

Caractacus looked down at her ragged clothes and to her belly.

 

She’s going to have a baby soon.

 

Caractacus sighed and furrowed his brows.

 

I need to cut out my heart.

 

“Very well then,” Caractacus said, holding out his palm. “I take a look.”

 

Merope bit her lips as she gave Caractacus the locket. The man murmured a couple of spells and after the third one, Merope saw his eyes glow with recognition.

 

He sees it too now.

 

Caractacus’s smile grow big as if he saw the end of the world and very much liked the sight of it.

 

“I think we might,” Caractacus Burke said, smiling sharply at Merope, “discuss this bargain, Missy.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

Samuel inhaled sharply as he focused on the page in front of him. The typewriter stopped its sound as he’d lifted his hands up.

 

What did I write?

 

Samuel looked down, reading the new chapter’s title with tired eyes.

 

Tales of Pestilence: Ensnarer of Birds.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

“According to you, everything I write is actually true, isn’t it?” Samuel asked with excitement.

 

Pestilence sighed out loud and then gestured towards the author. “Yes, it is.”

 

A big smile broke out of Samuel and his eyes glowed with inspiration. “So you’ve really created Sathanus out of your rain and with a piece of Heaven’s gate?”

 

Pestilence gave out a little smile as he stared at one of his paintings in his mansion, hanging the wall.

 

Samuel recognized the painting immediately.

 

Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.

 

“Did you see how I built her?” Pestilence asked and Samuel nodded, still amazed by the breathtaking images. “It took a great effort making her – I painted her wings myself. I created her to be a Queen,” Pestilence looked down at his wrists. His face darkened with coldness. “I wanted to make her pretty.”

 

Samuel noticed his change of tone and he almost took a step back.

 

It’s the first time I see him show real emotion.

 

It sparked something in Samuel, so he gathered his courage and asked;

 

“Why did you make her pretty?”

 

Pestilence turned back to stare at the painting, eyes glowing with something Samuel didn’t know.

 

“Even a monster deserves to be beautiful.”

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

“What do you think about Asmodeus?” Samuel asked with a quill in his hand, taking notes, focusing intensely at the Horseman in front of him.

 

Pestilence gave out a smug smile and shrugged nonchalantly, “I suppose you saw how it happened. It was a courting gift to my rose. He created Asmodeus. But I’ve never seen him after his transformation in our first life.”

 

Samuel nodded, seeing how his quill started to draw on his notes. Samuel let it work and turned back to Pestilence.

 

“Can you influence which body and when you’re going to be reincarnated?”

 

Pestilence tilted his head with a sudden movement, like a wild animal.

 

“No,” he answered calmly, green eyes glowing. “But every vessel of mine have been very interesting, so far.”

 

Samuel gulped and then noticed the quill’s scratching has stopped. He didn’t want to look at the drawing.

 

“One last question and I leave you alone,” Samuel said but Pestilence didn’t even blink.

 

Like a vulture.

 

“Why do you always kill Famine?”

 

Pestilence didn’t move and Samuel was afraid to continue breathing. Samuel saw the snow through the enormous window, caught the lamps’ light and heard a clock struck midnight somewhere when Pestilence hauntingly said, “The Conqueror and the Emperor are infinite, Samuel Krum. They are inevitable.”

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

“Mykew, are you an idiot?” Samuel yelled, “It’s one thing that you’ve found the wand but if you keep talking about it then–”

 

Gregorovitch raised his eyebrows and sent a wrathful look to Samuel.

 

“You’re just jealous that I’ve found it,” he shouted back, making Samuel take a step back.

 

The author’s eyes widened in disgust. “Jealous? Me? Of what? I literally have no reason to be jealous of you–”

 

Mykew gave out a nasty laugh, taunting him, “Oh, but you are. I have it and you don’t. That must be aggravating.”

 

Samuel furrowed his brows. “It is not,” he sighed. A tired, frustrated sigh. “Why are you this way? You’ve never acted like this–” and then Samuel understood. His eyes went round. Of course.

 

“...It is my feather’s wand, after all...”

 

“That cursed wand is getting into your head – you need to get rid of it as soon as possible–”

 

Mykew scoffed and looked at him as if he was out of his mind.

 

“Like I’m going to get rid of it,” he laughed again, shaking his head. The sound hurt Samuel’s ears. “You know, I thought you’d be happy for me. I have the Elder Wand, for Merlin’s sake... but it turns out you’re just only thinking of yourself,” he waved a hand at him and started to go out of the house.

 

And

 

Samuel

 

let him.

 

Even when he felt the sorrow choke his throat.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“I don’t know why he’s doing this. He has never been like that,” Samuel picked up his cup of tea and held it in between his hands, trying to warm up himself in front of the fireplace.

 

Pestilence looked at him with half lidded eyes. “My feather’s wand,” he said. “It can devour the hardiest minds, even.”

 

Samuel felt the tea’s fume start to burn his chin but he didn’t move the cup away.

 

“Death was made from your shadows,” Samuel stated, remembering his vision which frightened him to the core the first time he saw it. “He’s the only one who wasn’t created by God.”

 

Pestilence’s eye twitched and Samuel focused on him. Pestilence looked at his wrist again.

 

The author furrowed his brows.

 

What made you to be like this?

 

Curiosity was always his weakness.

 

I guess that will be the downfall of writers.

 

“Death is most powerful between the four of us,” Pestilence admitted, standing up and walking towards his window, showing his back to Samuel. “War and he are brothers, in a way.”

 

Samuel took a sip out of his tea, ignoring how it burnt his tongue. “Interesting.”

 

Pestilence looked back over his shoulder, looking at Samuel. He heard him whisper;

 

“You humans are the ones who are interesting.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

Samuel hasn’t seen Mykew since their last quarrel so he tried to write and let his mind wander. He was on his way to ask some more questions to Pestilence when he reached the mansion’s door and heard it through the opened windows.

 

Piano.

 

It was light and fast. As if the pianist was trying to reconstruct the light between the notes.

 

No one lives here but him.

 

Samuel looked up at the window and after taking a couple of seconds to enjoy the music, he turned back and walked back to his house. The melody echoed in his mind until he went asleep and began to dream.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“Why didn’t you tell me you played the piano?” Samuel asked on his next visit.

 

Pestilence didn’t ask how he knew. Maybe he knew he was in front of the house yesterday. Maybe he knew.

 

But if he knew, then why–

 

Did he decide to continue playing?

 

“Glenn does,” he pointed at his vessel. “I don’t.”

 

This made Samuel even more curious. He remembered when Pestilence hummed Danse Macabre a couple of days ago.

 

“Do you like music?” Samuel asked, waiting for the answer as the silence filled the whole mansion out. In these times, Samuel noticed how big this place was and how quiet it could become if there was no talking to fill it out.

 

Pestilence closed his eyes and answered quietly, “I don’t know,” a small smile touched his mouth. “There’s just something into it.”

 

Samuel couldn’t breathe for a minute because he only saw that smile and heard that music and silently wondered if monsters have hearts too.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

It was raining when he heard knocking on the door. Samuel got up from his seat, leaving the typewriter to rest, stretched his arms and wiped the tiredness out of his eyes before he reached towards the door and opened it with a quiet movement, not wanting to wake up Elis in the other room.

 

Seeing who it was, he froze and let go of the doorknob.

 

Mykew looked like he was at the edge of his death. His clothes were rumpled, he had bags underneath his eyes and he wore the most hopeless expression Samuel had ever seen on him.. Every drop of anger that had been in Samuel, immediately disappeared, fear and worry replacing it.

 

Samuel stood aside, giving room for Mykew who only stumbled into his best friend and hugged him with the worth of his life. And when Samuel heard Mykew Gregorovitch cry, he felt tears sting his eyes as well.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

“I’ve started seeing things that weren’t there, when I’ve began experimenting to try and duplicate its powers,” Mykew whispered, clenching his mug of hot tea. “I’ve become paranoid. I’ve never let that wand get out of my sight – and even though I have it right now, I swear to Merlin, Sam,” he stared into the Prophet’s eyes, “I still feel like, at any minute, it can be taken. And the terrifying part is that I do want it to be gone, because it’s too much for me to bear,” his voice quivered. “But I rather die than to give it to anyone else,” he choked back a sob and touched his forehead in agony. “I feel like I’m descending into madness.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“If it can cause insanity, you say?” Pestilence looked back at Samuel. “Madness is layered, Samuel. You have to be more specific.”

 

Samuel gave out a frustrated sigh. “He just seemed broken – someone who only wants to die.”

 

Pestilence hummed lowly, looking thoughtful. “It’s Death’s, Samuel. He did make this wand to gain more souls throughout the years. Maybe you should distract him with something. Maybe it won’t last long,” The silence held on too long for comfort. “But maybe, maybe it can lead to suicide.”

 

Samuel was poured down with harsh cruelty, biting back his bitterness, he couldn’t help but say, “I wish you wouldn’t be so honest with me.”

 

And he almost didn’t hear when Pestilence answered,

 

“I wish I hadn’t grown tired of lying.”

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

Samuel began to distract Mykew, having him read his book – telling him a lie; that it’s only fairy tales that he has been working on for a long time now –, and eventually persuaded him to help write some of the chapters with him. For Mykew had taken liking of Asmodeus and Sathanus, and Beelzebub, Samuel decided that they should work on those together.

 

Mykew seemed happy, to have the opportunity to put his mind into something again. Sometimes he even took the book with him home, so that he could just work on it constantly. Because Samuel saw his best friend’s smile, his also began to find his way back and he didn’t mind anything at all when it come down to be a big softie for Mykew. The distress in him, however, has never stopped.

 

Maybe it was because Christmas was coming.

 

Maybe it was because he didn’t know how Pestilence going to react when he finds out Mykew knew the mythology.

 

Maybe it was because he couldn’t get the voice of Roy out of his head.

 

“...Change is in the air, Gentlemen...”

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

31 December of 1926, Wool’s Orphanage, London

 

 

The pain – the unbreakable thought couldn’t leave her mind even as she screamed, as she swore that she could feel as her insides were being torn apart. Mrs. Cole tried to outshout Merope – shouting to push , and breathe , and just a little more – and Merope had to, even though she was on the verge of agony, even though her voice started to vanish by how desperately she was hurting, she had to .

 

After one more push – Merope felt her lungs took an overwhelming breath. Everything hurt and sleep started to take over her, the pure bliss that tried to vanish her pain, her hunger and desperate need that everything needs to be stopped so that silence can be the only thing that’s left.

 

But her magic peaked saying,

 

Not

 

yet.

 

She was too worn down to even look at her baby. Her little baby. Merope felt tears roll down her cheek as the torment began to scratch her heart-

 

“I hope he looks like his papa,” she said with choking breaths to Mrs. Cole. “His name is Tom, for his father, Marvolo, for mine, and the surname is Riddle.”

 

And Merope felt that her magic could take more – she could live on, she could continue if she would try hard enough.

 

But she could still hear her family’s taunting words, the look on Tom’s face after the love potion wore off, the beatings and the words that stuck into her skin, that hurt her magic, the hunger and the life without love.

 

It’s too much.

 

Merope’s tears were pouring, as if pain was finally being released of her body and found the way out of its cage, as she let go of the magic she’d held so tightly down–

 

I want to hold him.

 

Merope tried to grasp her magic, reign it back so that she could hold her little baby, but she couldn’t find the way back to it–

 

I want to hold him.

 

Merope felt her beating heart go wild as panic consumed every bit of her body–

 

I’m sorry.

 

Merope cried and felt the last beat of her heart die out into silence.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

Samuel woke up with a scream, sitting up in his bed, clutching the sheets as hard as he could, sensing sweat roll on his back. His loud breaths filled the room and he felt a gentle, feminine hand on his chest.

 

Elis.

 

“Sam, are you okay? Is everything all right?” She asked and Samuel turned to look at her. Her black hair curled sleepily on her shoulder and her blue eyes glowed like a light sea.

 

“It’s okay,” Samuel breathed and grasped gently his wife’s hand, caressing it. “It’s better now.”

 

Elis smiled a little and leaned back to the bed. “Come here,” she whispered and Samuel’s heart melted with warmth. He lied back and let Elis hug his waist. Samuel buried his head into her neck and pressed a little kiss on it.

 

As Elis began to drift back to sleep, Samuel opened his eyes and noticed how the snow was falling outside the window. The author could still hear the woman’s scream in his dreams. And when she died, Samuel swore,

 

He could hear bells ringing.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

1927

 

“Mykew!” Samuel shouted, shaking Gregorovitch. He’d found him, lying on the floor in his workshop, unconscious. He clumsily checked his friend’s pulse. “Oh no, this is bad – this is so bad–”

 

“Why do you panic so much? Your worry is unfounded,” Pestilence asked next to him, looking at Mykew with disinterest. “It’s obvious that he’s alive. He just has been shot with a Stunning Spell, that’s why he couldn’t answer your floo call an hour ago. You brought me here for nothing.”

 

Samuel sensed the panic only grew inside of him, suffocating his breathing. “You don’t understand, he–”

 

Had the book for this week.

 

And it was nowhere to be found – they had an arrangement, that Mykew would put it in a secret place that only they knew of – but it was empty. Samuel was only shaking his best friend harder – silently begging so that he’d wake up when all of a sudden–

 

Mykew took a big breath and with widened eyes, he immediately grabbed the collar of Samuel’s coat. He as if terror ate out of his lungs. He looked

 

alive.

 

“He took it, Sam! It’s his now!” Mykew whispered with a rush. “I don’t know who he was, I couldn’t see – I couldn’t stop him – he took my wand and then attacked me with it,” Samuel’s eyes went round. “He stole the book – I don’t know how he found it, I’ve never told anyone–”

 

“Book?” Pestilence tensed behind him, making Samuel close his eyes in defeat. “Samuel?! The Book? The unfinished book?!”

 

Samuel flinched. “That book,”

 

Pestilence growled and then turned around to walk out of the room. Samuel looked after surprise. Mykew was blinking hard and looked dazed, as if he couldn’t see well.

 

“Who was that?” he asked curiously but Samuel hadn’t even heard.

 

“Where are you going?!”

 

“You’re so lucky that I can sense where the fucking wand is, Krum!”

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

Pestilence apparated to where he sensed the strange aura of the wand, and found himself on a dark street in London, as empty as it could be. The snow was falling cold on his shoulders when he noticed a movement in the corner of his eyes. Pestilence turned around and found himself face to face with the thief.

 

Gellert Grindelwald.

 

He had the same blond hair that his vessel – Glenn – had. His eyes wore the color blue. Pestilence could taste how much charisma he wore underneath that insane mind.

 

“I was waiting for you,” Grindelwald whispered, his breaths showed through the cold air. “I stole the book because I knew if I’d only stolen the wand, you wouldn't have come after me. Pardon my rudeness,” he slightly bowed his head.

 

His voice sounded haunting to Pestilence’s ears, frozen still.

 

“I wanted to see something of your mythology,” he whispered, already giving back the book to Pestilence who took it back without question. “I wanted to be sure if it’s real, what I’ve seen in my dreams.”

 

Pestilence blinked, repressing his surprise. “Dreams?”

 

Grindelwald smiled, it vanished any of the beauty off his face. “I’m blessed by Vablatsky, Horseman,” he whispered.

 

Pestilence smiled back, cruelty scrawled on it.

 

A Seer.

 

“But I won’t tell that you exist,” Grindelwald said. “I have enough problems now as it is,” his eyes glittered with amusement. “And you will too.”

 

Pestilence only raised his eyebrows. “Excuse me?”

 

Grindelwald took a step forward and whispered.

 

“One day, an even darker wizard than me will rise,” he whispered, his eyes glowing with madness. “There’ll be a person who’ll peel the skin off this world to have us see it bare. I’m on the edge of my seat already,”

 

And with a swift turn on his heel, he apparated before Pestilence, the biggest monster of all,

 

who

 

was

 

frozen

 

on

 

sight.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

“An even darker wizard than him?” Samuel looked at Pestilence in disbelief. “Is that even possible?”

 

Pestilence sat in silence, at his mansion, looking at the Michelangelo’s painting.

 

“Well, you have me, for instance,” Pestilence replied, “But I’m not exactly a wizard. And he clearly wasn’t referring to me,” the Horseman furrowed his brows. “He looked too amused. He said he was already on the edge of his seat.”

 

Samuel felt the cold rush up from his spine to his neck. He heard the bells ringing into his ear, echoing through his chest with the screaming of a woman.

 

––––––––––––––––

 

February of 1927

 

 

Pestilence was reading the newspaper on the table, while he was sitting at the restaurant, enjoying the cool wind.

 

 

Gellert Grindelwald, captured by Newt Scamander and the MACUSA earlier this year, made a dramatic escape...

 

 

“Have you heard what really happened?” Pestilence heard the voice from the other table next to his.

 

“What?” Asked the other man sitting next to the earlier owner of the voice.

 

“I’ve heard from my mate, who’s an Auror on the case,” he whispered but Pestilence still could hear him. “According to him, Grindelwald massacred the whole place – the guards and some of the prisoners as well. But the thing is, that while he escaped, he was constantly shouting something over the screams of the ones he was killing.”

 

“Really? Shouting what?”

 

He waited for a minute and then answered, “You’re all blind but soon enough you shall see.”

 

And Pestilence felt his long dead heart awake, and then stop.

 

––––––––––––––––

 

1938

 

“You won’t believe what kind of a wand I sold today,” Garrick said through sips of his tea. Samuel only laughed.

 

“You say this to me every time you sell one,” he shook his head with a smile.

 

But Garrick wasn’t smiling. “No, I’m serious right now,” he said. “A little boy came up to me – first year of Hogwarts, you see. He looked polite and stood calmly as I was trying to find him the best wand, but when I actually did… I remember every wand I’ve sold but believe me when I say, this one was strange.  It was made from yew with a phoenix feather core–”

 

Samuel heard bells

 

ringing,

 

and ringing,

 

and ringing,

 

Until he felt his ears start bleeding, and then he heard the voice of Roy.

 

“...Change is in the air, Gentlemen...”

 

Tick.

 

Tap.

 

––––––––––––––

 

Samuel started hearing the ring of the bells everyday. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening. Sometimes he heard angels – the harps matched well with the bells – it constantly rang in his ears, never quieted down. He didn’t remember what he talked about with Mykew the other day. He didn’t remember if he was eating or drinking anything at all nowadays. He only heard bells and wrote his book as fast as ever. He began to forget things – that his wife was pregnant, his name, how to tie a shoe. He wanted to tell Pestilence – warn him what was about to come but sometimes–

 

Sometimes he forgot what was his book about.

 

Sometimes he only saw a snake. A black serpent covered with wrath.

 

Sometimes he even forgot the bells because all he could see was the fangs of an unshakable corruption.

 

–––––––––––––––

 

1945

 

On the day when he started to see the snake, everything turned worse. Samuel said he was seeing monsters – the music of the Devil. Pestilence saw Samuel have episodes – where he’d only rage and tear and destroy and scream and shout – but then there were moments when he went so quiet even he felt worried. In his quiet times, Pestilence sometimes played piano for him, to calm him a little, but it never helped. Samuel only heard bells and whenever the snake got into his mind,

 

The pit of his sanity,

 

fell

 

lower

 

and

 

Lower.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

“I want you to kill me.”

 

Pestilence went rigid the moment he heard Samuel, his voice unfamiliar. He turned to face him, and Samuel caught Pestilence’s eyes. For a weird reason, it seemed the clearest gaze he’d had in the couple of years.

 

“What are you talking about?” Pestilence said, trying to hide his desperation. “You’ll have a kid soon, why would I kill you?”

 

Samuel closed his eyes.

 

“I’ve gotten tired.”

 

He stood up from his couch and began to walk toward Samuel.

 

“What are you saying, Krum?” Pestilence asked with force, fearing to hear that lonely voice again. “If you die now, you won’t see your child–”

 

“The book is finished,” Samuel said. “I’ve already written my last will, Elis has more than enough money, Mykew is better now and Garrick has a great shop.”

 

Pestilence couldn’t believe how–

 

“But what about you?” he said through his teeth, already standing in front of the sitting Samuel Krum.

 

“I can’t live with this mind anymore,” Samuel whispered, his voice was lifeless. Pestilence never wanted to hear that voice again. “I can’t if this means constant pain, I can’t.”

 

The Horseman’s mind felt it was beginning to burn up–

 

Samuel grabbed Pestilence’s hands.

 

“I know you wouldn’t cause me pain.”

 

Pestilence winced and heard his voice say;

 

“You don’t have to die–

 

“But I want to.”

 

Not again.

 

Pestilence felt Samuel’s grasp tighten, shaking with fright and determination and pain.

 

Not again.

 

“Please,” Samuel whispered and guided Pestilence’s hand towards his throat. He closed his eyes. “Bring me peace.”

 

Pestilence stopped breathing.

 

“...Your punishment will serve you till your doom...”

 

Pestilence took a deep, quivering breath–

 

“Bring me peace–”

 

“...You’ll never be able to look away from it...”

 

Samuel started to cry, “Bring me peace–”

 

“...It will leave a mark...”

 

Pestilence got a hold of Samuel Krum’s throat–

 

Samuel caught the collarbone of his shirt and brought Pestilence closer. The ancient monster’s eyes widened as he was staring into the eyes of a completely different person than before. Samuel’s eyes were wide – as insanity, as terror, as an eye of a person who could finally see–

 

“You need to kill the snake,” Samuel whispered, his voice was as powerful as it had been on the papers his pen had touched. “Kill the thing that will peel the skin off this world to have us see it bare.”

 

Pestilence’s hold weakened by surprise but then the Prophet closed the gap and started choking himself with the monster’s hand.

 

“Samuel!” Pestilence shouted, trying to pull away, but the author didn’t stop.

 

“Kill the snake, my friend,” he breathed out, as his last wish. “Kill the real monster.”

 

And using the strength of a Horseman, Samuel Krum made a quick movement with the wrist of Pestilence, and broke his own neck.

 

Pestilence could still hear the sound of the break. As a loud creak, it screamed through the mansion.

 

His hands stayed on the throat of the author for hours. Because Pestilence knew if he’d move even an inch he’d start to burn up the whole place.

 

He had a haunting thought

 

I don’t care anymore.

 

It was like if he was floating–

 

I don’t want to see anything left of this place.

 

His mind became blurry the minute he started to throw things into the fireplace. And when he touched a piece of wood and threw it on the floor length curtains and the piano. He didn’t say a word while he put the dead body of the Prophet on his back and grabbed the book with his free hand. He silently walked out of the burning mansion, coloring the sky with red and orange, hearing the sounds of cracks of the wood.

 

It was exactly the same when Samuel had snapped his neck.

 

After Pestilence got out of the fire territory, and buried the dead body in front a beautiful blossoming tree, he opened the glowing golden titled book, the ‘Book of the Horsemen’ for the last time and found a note with an exceptional handwriting;

 

I knew you wouldn’t have the heart to burn mine.

 

And for many centuries, Pestilence pressed his lips together and held back the sorrow which was threatening to rip him open.

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

31 July of 1980, Nurmengard

 

 

Grindelwald wiped up his smile with glowing eyes and noticed the change. It was night and only the marching of the Aurors could be heard as they were walking up and down through the halls, guarding the most dangerous beasts the world has ever had to offer.

 

Grindelwald was counting the days. This was the day of the new beginning.

 

A new era.

 

He was only staring and staring but Grindelwald didn’t pay attention. No. He imagined fireworks and cheers and all he could do is

 

smile.

 

“You’re all blind but soon enough you shall see,” he whispered and the Auror close to his cell, stopped and looked at him.

 

I wonder if they figured it out.

 

Grindelwald looked back at him and noticed how his shoulders began to shake. The Aurors rallied in front of his cell and only stared at Grindelwald who has been quiet ever since he had been captured in 1945.

 

He imagined fireworks and cheers, people lifting up their drinks.

 

You’re all blind but soon enough you shall see.

 

And he burst out laughing and he noticed that he couldn’t stop, not when his ribs started to hurt, not when he started to feel his tears coming out, not when the echo of his laugh came back to him like a scream of a lunatic.

 

I’m on the edge of my seat already.

 

The prisoners were up all night, hearing Gellert Grindelwald’s laugh, voice harsh,

 

like a lullaby.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

I felt something different from Pestilence.

 

Sometimes I find myself wondering if God is really up there.

 

And while I was listening to him, I couldn’t help but think,

 

Pestilence

 

caught

 

some

 

of

 

The Lord’s

 

Wisdom.

 

And that

 

They were coming out of him like

 

Light.

 

Blinding me with

 

Faith.

 

– from the ‘Book of the Horsemen’, The First and The Last, Chapter III, handwritten in the margins, by Samuel Krum.



 

Chapter Text

Chapter 22

 

When I hear The Devil

 

All The Bells

 

Will

 

Ring

 

 




The first time my eyes opened was when I caught a glimpse

 

of

 

That.

 

I didn’t know – I still don’t know what I saw that day.

 

I watched him

 

grow

 

out of it’s

 

shell.

 

It was made from bones

 

and

 

other people’s voices,

 

Like a choir in a Church.

 

I remember,

 

It suffocated in deep miseries.

 

It wanted to defy

 

Others.

 

It wanted to feel other’s

 

suffering.

 

I’ve only seen what I’ve seen.

 

A thing

 

that wanted to

 

win.

 

Maybe that was when my mind had began to crumble.

 

Because I’ve seen something  that made

 

me

 

forget,

 

even for only one moment,

 

that

 

God

 

exists.

 

– The Devil

by Samuel Krum.

 

This page won’t ever make it into my book.

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––

 



Astoria Greengrass found hard to believe in anything.

 

She was walking down in the streets of London, late night, enjoying the light choir in her head. It’d been quieter these days. As if she had pushed a button to lower the volume down – but Astoria knew that no such buttons existed. Why would they?

 

Empaths couldn’t turn off their magic.

 

She took a turn to the left and then adjusted her scarf around her neck and her long, brown hair. People said it was going to snow soon but Astoria found it hard to believe in anything. Well, sure, she knew there was a God out there, and she was also hundred percent sure that Aunt Chantal hasn’t found her fourth cog that she had lost from her mind since she knew how to bid.

 

But even then, Astoria still had the knowledge of emotions, just as much as an Auror had the knowledge of hand to hand combat.

 

So yes, Astoria Greengrass found it hard to believe in anything.

 

People were lying constantly in her face – in other people’s faces without so much even batting an eye. Whenever Astoria heard a lie, the choir in her head quieted down and sent shivers down her forearms, as if her skin were strings, and the emotions were the bow.

 

So, of course, she had noticed that people were lying more and more everyday in these days. She furrowed her brows and took a long breath.

 

Maybe they feel, deep down, that something’s not right. That something big is about to happen, very, very soon.

 

How could she blame them? She felt it too. But then again, Astoria felt everything more deeply than anyone else.

 

Maybe that’s why my kind is so rare.

 

A lot of empaths have committed suicide because they couldn’t take it much longer. Or maybe, because their counterweight had died.

 

Daphne.

 

Astoria felt the blood in her veins boil and then ran out to an endless abyss.

 

I can’t even imagine what would become of me if Daphne died.

 

Pictures appeared in front of Astoria – her deepest nightmares. Daphne’s broken spine and bones and ribs – blood on her face – heart out of her chest – purple skin colour, choking on air – knife in her back–

 

Astoria bumped into a body, immediately catching the other person’s arm for balance.

 

Astoria’s eyes widened–

 

The choir sang like storms above the clouds – she withdrew her hand as if she had been burned, cutting down the choir.

 

The Wheel of Fortune.

 

“Pardon me, young lady,” an adult man said. He took off his hat and bowed a little, showing respect and apology to Astoria, truly thinking so. “My coordination skills are not as sharp as they used to be.”

 

Astoria couldn’t move, she didn’t even blink – she could only feel as every inch of her began to shake.

 

This man has a child that writes for the Lord.

 

Astoria nodded weakly and then stared at the man as he continued his path. She stared and stared, still feeling the shivers, still feeling that all of the hair on her neck was standing up. She stared and stared.

 

Until the man has lost his way in the crowd. Until she stopped shaking.



–––––––––––––––––––––



Theo has finally realized that every Death Eater fears him. Literally. There were no exceptions.

 

They flinched whenever he raised his hand to scratch his head or chin. They winced whenever he raised his voice. They tried to avoid eye contact, they tried no to talk to him or about him. They lowered their heads whenever they saw him walking the Manor’s corridors. When Lestrange or Lucious wasn’t around they waited for him to sit down before they did. Speaking of Lucius, maybe he did have one exception.

 

Theo wasn’t sure.

 

Draco’s father’s expression always changed whenever Theo walked into a room. Theo liked to call that look ‘trying to find a rope to hang Theo up to the nearest beam without anybody interrupting’ look and Lucius sure as hell didn’t seem to give that dream up.

 

It was fucking hilarious.

 

Sometimes, when Theo was terrifyingly bored – like now –, he tried to scare them on purpose. Like now, with Elemer;

 

“What do you think of  my hair?” Theo asked with a slight smirk.

 

“It’s... very nice, sir,” he said, his voice shaking.

 

Theo had to bite down his tongue to prevent himself from laughing out loud.

 

“Do you think a girl would date me, Elemer?” Theo asked with a serious voice and a grim expression.

 

All the blood vanished from Elemer’s face less than a second. “I think anybody would be honoured to... have your company, sir,” Theo thought he heard his voice quiver.

 

Theo’s smile widened. “I have a grand plan, Elemer,” he whispered and saw Elemer wince, “You see, I want to court Alecto–” Elemer’s eyes almost fell out of their place and Theo almost burst out laughing. “– what do you think? We would be perfect, don’t you agree?”

 

Elemer looked like as if he wanted to puke. “Sir, why are you–”

 

“What are you two talking about?”

 

Elemer straightened his back and shut up immediately. Theo smoothly turned back and looked down at Lestrange with a smile that could’ve frightened the bravest man alive.

 

“You ruined my fun,” Theo told her and then looked back over his shoulder at Elemer. “Leave us alone,” his amber eyes glowed. Elemer gulped loudly and turned white as the wall as he sprinted out of the room. Theo turned back to look at Lestrange.

 

Theo knew he always looked more confident than he actually felt. Of course he knew. He wanted to be that way. He also knew that as much as he was trying to tell himself, he wasn’t hundred percent sure about anything he did. Maybe that was why he began to look a little bit differently at Lestrange in this past two days.

 

Theo remembered when he first met her. He still didn’t want to admit himself to this day, but he was scared of her. She was just so much taller than he was at that time – looked more mature despite being completely bonkers in the head. And Draco seemed to adore her.

 

It did seem like that to his younger self – but deep down he had been thinking that it maybe wasn’t love. Maybe it was just deep care. Because Theo never knew love – not about love for a family at least. So he never really knew what Lestrange meant for Draco.

 

I still don’t.

 

But sometimes, Theo noticed some stuff that Lestrange surely didn’t want him to notice. How she looks at Draco sometimes – how she says something to him or smiles that confuses Theo to his core. Or recently, when Lestrange mentioned that The Dark Lord will punish Draco if things don’t go according to plan – or how she didn’t even bat an eye when he had been speaking to Remus.

 

If Draco cared for Lestrange, that was one thing. But if–

 

Theo tilted his head and when he realized there was no other person here beside him and Lestrange, he tried to imagine her smile – a full of heart smile and before he knew he opened his mouth:

 

“I’d kill for Draco, Lestrange,” Theo whispered, his heart beating loudly in his chest. “I’d even burn out the stars if he’d say it hurts him to look at them.”

 

Lestrange’s eyes widened a bit and Theo saw something circle in them deep down so he didn’t stop, he’d never stop–

 

“You know why? You know why I’m so devoted to him? And only to him and no one else?” Theo felt his voice rise. “Because I don’t fear anything – I don’t care if all of you will torture me, beat the shit out of me or even try to kill me. The fear of death had vanished the moment my father pulled my head into his fireplace,” he slowly approached Lestrange and leaned closer to let her see his chaotic promise. “But if anyone of you, even so, lays a finger on Draco, I swear to my God that is above of us all,” his voice dropped low, “I’m going to make you people beg for the stake.”

 

Theo saw Lestrange, for the first time in his life, looking speechless. Her eyes widened and widened and he finally caught a glimpse of what he had been looking for.

 

Empathy.

 

“You moron! Why would you go this far?” Lestrange breathed out – as if she finally had tasted air from a long time of not breathing. “You just told me that you–”

 

“Because he’s my everything,” Theo answered still not moving, hands shaking. “And if he dies, I’m going to drag down the whole world with me.”

 

Maybe Lestrange was just as surprised as Theo was, but in that moment it didn’t matter because–

 

She was still in front of him.

 

“And I’ve only gone this far because I know you won’t do anything. I wasn’t sure before but now I am,” Theo narrowed his eyes. “I’m looking at the proof right now.”

 

Lestrange actually looked paler. She tried to hide her vulnerability but Theo was too familiar with that feeling too, therefore, he can’t not unsee it. “Which is?” She asked.

 

Theo lowered his eyes, catching her gaze.

 

“Which is that under all of your hatred, despise and stone cold heart, you are not able to hide from me.”

 

Theo noticed fear in Lestrange, as she recognized what he had meant.

 

You can’t hide that you love Draco, Lestrange.

 

“You won’t run to scream treason,” Theo said through his teeth showing his blind anger. “You won’t do anything to me,” he blinked, the fire in his eyes circled, “because you know, that at the end of the day Draco will still have me on his side and you want to keep him safe.”

 

Lestrange raised her head and didn’t look away from Theo’s amber eyes.

 

“Why would I think that? Draco is stronger than you,” she whispered and Theo gave out a terrifying snarl.

 

“He has to touch in order to kill. I don’t,” his voice had a weight of a warrior. “That’s why you’d think he’s in good hands with me.”

 

Lestrange expression changed drastically in less than a second.

 

Her hand reached out to hold Theo’s wrist and he let it because her grip was getting stronger and stronger and it screamed.

 

“I knew you’ve been watching me. I hoped you’d eventually figure me out,” Lestrange whispered and Theo pulled her closer just to make sure she understands.

 

He remembered the pain as the fire crawled into his eyes and sneaked up in his skin, burning his muscles, nestling in his heart–

 

“I’ve seen Hell,” Theo’s voice echoed. “No one hides from me.”



––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Eliza was still breathless.

 

She was sitting on her bed, in her room, petting her cat–sized Occamy. Cain’s blue feathers slid through her fingers, caressing her skin but that was the least thing Eliza wanted to think about right now.

 

“... No one knows me. No one...”

 

Gavril’s wide opened eyes appeared in front of Eliza. His hair swam in rain and mud covered his face with blood.

 

“... Your eyes seem sad...”

 

Eliza didn’t know why that was the thing she had noticed first on the verge of dying. She saw through his anger and saw the eyes of his soul. She noticed his pain, his anguish.

 

“... I know who you are, Kozlov...”

 

She pulled Cain’s feathers as if she were afraid to fall down into the sequence of the early fight.

 

But in reality–

 

I have no idea who he is.



––––––––––––––––––––––



Gavril couldn’t seem to block the eyes of Eliza Vilar out of his head.

 

He buried his face into hands and simply couldn’t seem to stop shaking. He almost killed her – he almost did it out of anger and shame and–

 

“... I know who you are, Kozlov...”

 

His breathing turned heavy, shallow, as if his lungs couldn’t bear it anymore–

 

“... No one knows me. No one...”

 

He imagined Eliza’s eyes that glowed like kaleidoscopes, her hair that fell down to her face, curled under her chin as the rain painted it black, knife in her hands–

 

“... Your eyes seem sad...”

 

Gavril felt his blood ran cold.

 

Maybe Eliza doesn’t know who he really is. Maybe she really only knows about his family. Gavril doesn’t even know why her words affected him so much–

 

“... Your eyes seem sad...”

 

He just couldn’t seem to breathe.

 

“... The world will know your name, Gavril Kozlov...,” said her mother. “... You will make a natural born leader and soldier for Mrs. Lestrange when we’re done with you...”

 

His hands began to shake.

 

“... Your eyes seem sad...”

 

Gavril shut his eyes, trying to cut the words of his mother out of his head and tried to focus on the voice of a girl, who might be the only one who has seen through his mask.



––––––––––––––––––––––

 

“I think Theo knew about it.”

 

Pansy pulled up her knees and laid her head on them, trying to relax on Blaise’s quiet voice. The rain fell outside the window, knocking on the windows. Pansy pulled the covers on herself on her bed and turned to look at his sleepover buddy. Blaise was looking out the window.

 

Pansy’s eyes softened a bit.

 

“Theo knew about what?” Pansy asked as if she had no idea what Blaise was talking about.

 

“About Draco being a cannibal,” he said with severe voice. Pansy has never heard that tone from Blaise. It made her body stiffen. “You know, it makes a lot of sense. I’ve never seen Draco eat anything. Literally nothing in my whole life – well, up until this point,” he narrowed his eyes, still not looking elsewhere. “And he always looked sick or weak. No wonder. He’s been fasting for awhile now.”

 

Pansy hummed lowly but she wasn’t looking out the window.

 

She was looking at Blaise and then she saw him open his mouth and ask;

 

“Do you think this changes things?”

 

Pansy raised her brows, “You knew what he’s capable of. Why would–”

 

“No. I’m not talking about that – I don’t care about that,” He shook his head and then finally turned to look down at her. “I meant, that Draco wasn’t protecting himself. He was protecting Harry and vice versa.”

 

Pansy’s eyes widened – even her breathing stopped for a moment.

 

“Have you noticed too?” She asked back.

 

Blaise’s shrugged. “It was hard not to,” his gaze were fixated on her. “Do you think it changes things?” He frowned. “It should.”

 

Pansy’s silence felt comfortable with the uncertainty of Blaise.

 

It fitted.

 

“Would you like it, if it does change things?” Pansy spoke and then Blaise looked back again, his expression had changed and it reminded Pansy to Theodore Nott.

 

As if the eyes of that boy had just been in front of her.

 

“I’ve never stood behind The Dark Lord, Pansy,” he confessed. “I want Draco to destroy him.”

 

And Pansy felt her heart skip a beat.

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––



Chinasa was a pure born warrior.

 

She never took useless breaths, she never moved – not even an inch – if it wasn’t needed, her eyes always seemed to search something in the room – and when she had found it – she then began to search for something else. Her posture was perfect, even when as they were sitting in the great hall. Draco watched her eat – every bite chewed carefully.

 

“If you’re Asmodeus’s warrior,” Draco asked. “Then do you know who The King of Demons is?”

 

Chinasa’s white eyes turned mischievous. “I don’t need to help you with that, Your Highness,” she said. “You’re clever enough to figure it out when the time comes anyway.”

 

Draco narrowed his golden eyes and then changed his question.

 

“I know that Samuel Krum wrote that the Beelzebub twins were born of the imagination of Sathanus and Asmodeus,” he said. “Who is your mother? The Queen?”

 

Chinasa smiled. “Sathanus is Karin,” she answered. “But she doesn’t know that yet.”

 

Draco stopped breathing. His back straightened and he suddenly couldn’t put words together.

 

“How old are you?” He asked, trying to hide his curiosity.

 

Chinasa remained silent for a couple of minutes and then said:

 

“Old,” she told him. “Older than Karin but not older than Pestilence or you.”

 

Draco raised a brow and began to think.

 

Beelzebub was known for their memories – the only ones who knew of one life from the Apocalypse. Chinasa doesn’t have normal eyes – just as Kesta doesn’t have either. Karin has purple eyes – but that is only a trait of a Nogitsune. Draco and Harry have different eyes – because they are ancient.

 

Chinasa and Kesta remember one life, doesn’t have normal eyes – no pupils, all white –, she says they are old – older than Karin. Different eye – ancient monsters – Remembers one life –

 

Draco’s eyes widened.

 

“How can you two remember one life when you’ve died once?” Draco breathed out but he already knew the answer, because he knew that the demon generals couldn’t reincarnate, they were only destined to meet and–

 

Chinasa gave out a sad, wise smile.

 

“Because we never died before and we never will.”

 

And Draco took a deep breath quietly, feeling his hands shake and then he heard the voice of Famine–

 

I want you to meet your first demon, flesh and blood, Draco.

 

Draco remembered when he thought before the fight that Chinasa

 

felt

 

like

 

a

 

Goddess.

 

Her face wore grace as if it was a veil. Her black dreadlock rested at her back. Lightning glowed up the sky and Chinasa’s dark skin shone – Draco saw how her gold painted neck was slowly melting down.

 

Draco only stared.

 

Because she was.



–––––––––––––––––––––

 

“What do you mean?” Albus Dumbledore asked and then saw War slowly put down the King chess piece.

 

And then the boy said, in a voice that made Albus’s eyes narrow in concentration and in fear–

 

“He’s never cut it before – but now he had cut the String of Life,” War muttered. “That means this will be the last Apocalypse.”

 

Albus froze and he knew he probably won’t move again.

 

“Does,” he began with shaking voice, “does that mean–”

 

War looked back at him over his shoulder and Albus saw those black eyes, deep with fury and abyss.

 

“It means no more cycles,” he whispered out of wrath. “No more reincarnations.”

 

War looked at the chess piece – The King and then opened his mouth;

 

“We’re in the endgame now.”



–––––––––––––––––––––



Pestilence raised Harry’s hand and looked at it as if it was his own, smiling widely. He lifted his fingers up and down, touching them with his other hand.

 

Elegant hands, his dark veins inked his arms like a painting.

 

It’s a hand of a Pianist.

 

Suddenly, Pestilence remembered his other two vessels. Glenn and Celeste – his two other bodies that could play the piano besides Harry.

 

I’ve missed having these kinds of hands.

 

“How did you know it was me?” Pestilence asked, out of breath and heard Viktor answer;

 

“It’s written in the book that on this day, you’ll be reborn. Also,” Viktor sounded thoughtful, “Harry would’ve never started to just casually talk to me after our fight. He wouldn’t ever do that, unless I apologize.”

 

Pestilence changed his smile into something cold and violent.

 

How cruel.

 

“Probably not,” he whispered and then touched his face, enjoying the touch of skin on his palms.

 

“How long have you been in fully control?” Samuel’s grandchild asked him and Pestilence started to clench his hands – then opened his palms again, moving his bones, his muscles.

 

“Over him?” Pestilence whispered still grinning, still not quite looking at Viktor. “I’ve taken control over Harry’s body during this battle. Although,” he continued, “I could’ve slipped into his mind whenever I wanted to – he and I are not so different after all.”

 

Pestilence finally turned his head to look at Viktor Krum and fought back his flinch.

 

The young boy sat next to him, holding the golden titled book that Pestilence still remembered. How could he forget?

 

Pestilence’s eyes drifted up to look at Viktor’s hair colour. He felt a sharp pain in his chest.

 

He has Samuel’s hair colour.

 

“You’re lying – you’re playing with words,” Viktor’s cold eyes didn’t leave Pestilence’s. “You said ‘Harry’s body’, not Harry. Does that mean, you’re not in control?”

 

Pestilence felt a smile curl up his mouth. “You Krums have always been so clever,” he tilted his head. “What a tough luck that one of you found me again.”

 

Viktor narrowed his eyes but remained silent all the same. Patiently waiting for Pestilence to answer.

 

“What did your grandfather ask you to do in his book?” He asked instead.

 

Viktor pressed his lips into a thin line. “To help you kill The Snake.”

 

Pestilence tried to ignore the sharp pain that stung his lungs and then began to continue.

 

“Don’t you find it interesting?” Pestilence asked, a slight, mad grin took over him. “Didn’t you ever wonder about why he decided to give the book to you? Why didn’t he give it to someone else?”

 

Viktor’s eyes twitched – it made Pestilence smile bigger.

 

“A better question is why would you need to be the one who can help me? What do you need to help me with in the first place?”

 

Viktor grew more and more confused.

 

“Think about it,” Pestilence spoke again. “One of the most powerful dark wizard on this earth had vanished – yet, you need to help me kill one of the most powerful monsters on this earth.”

 

Pestilence stared and looked as Viktor finally opened his eyes and began to see.

 

Pestilence’s smile vanished completely. He couldn’t blame Viktor.

 

It was hard to recognize The Devil, when the only thing you saw was his wings.

 

That was why the whole Wizarding world were blind.

 

That’s why Grindelwald has been laughing since centuries in his cell – because no one has figured out what had been in front of their noses.

 

No ,” Viktor whispered, his voice felt like needles–

 

And then Pestilence spoke, quietly, feeling the fear that he felt when he saw what was that monster’s deepest desire in front of a mirror.

 

“I’ve never been a saint, Viktor, and I’ve never met someone who was quite like Harry,” he tried to control his voice. “I will never be able to take control over him,” Pestilence felt shivers and disgust, remembering the times he had spent it in the boy’s head. How was he able to think that way? How was he able to have those kinds of thoughts?

 

Those disgusting, gruesome thoughts that he had pushed down even deeper, just to not hear them constantly.

 

“He figured me out once – he will do it again. Until then, I’ve put him in a cage,” Pestilence whispered. “Run far away, Viktor, and never look back,” he said.

 

“Why? How?”

 

He sounded so broken .

 

Viktor’s eyes were filled with fear and Pestilence couldn’t shake off the vilest thought that Harry has ever had.

 

“...It won’t ever be enough...”

 

“One day Harry will find a way out,” Pestilence whispered. “And that will only happen if he lets out all of his locked feelings that he has been swallowing since he was a child.”

 

“...It won’t ever be enough...”

 

Viktor stopped breathing and Pestilence heard the rain. He was glad he didn't hear bells.

 

I’ll hear them when he gets out.

 

Pestilence hummed, trying to breathe slowly, calming himself down.

 

He then admitted the thing that he had been sensing since he had reincarnated;

 

“You would think I’ve forgotten fear by now.”



–––––––––––––––––––––––

 



There is something under my skin.

 

Something Furious.

 

It will continue to

 

Grow

 

until I die.

 

Something overwhelming.

 

Something

 

So

 

Much

 

More

 

I want to be

 

Feared.

 

For

 

It won’t ever be enough

 

– Harry James Potter.

 

The Snake.

 

The Devil.

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 23

 

 

 

The Merchant and The Little Boy

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a Time

 

A boy was walking through a street filled with mud and blood.

 

I heard,

 

His footsteps echoed like screams.

 

 

 

Once,

 

A Merchant got lost and decided to stay in a little village.

 

He ate and slept in the house of the nearest landlord.

 

 

The Merchant noticed how happy, how gleeful everybody were in the village. So he asked the landlord about it.

 

The landlord answered, with eyes burnt with fear:

 

“You hear this until the bells start ringing. The bells downtown at the church.”

 

The Merchant was confused.

 

“What happens after the bells start ringing?”

 

The landlord leaned closer and whispered:

 

 

“He will walk free.”

 

 

– The Merchant and the Little Boy, One Side Of The Story from ‘Stories of The Devil’:

I saw Him and he saw Me by Samuel Krum.

 

 

Personal Note:

 

I want to erase my mind from seeing that thing. I want to forget how he looks like.

I want to forget that in the future, a child will born who is thought to be the savior.

 

I

 

want

 

to

 

vanish

 

The sight

 

as

 

the people

 

See the thing I saw.

 

The Boy Who Lived

 

Harry James Potter

 

Harry Potter

 

Harry

 

The Savior

 

The Devil

 

This story will never make it into my book.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Does Harry scare you?”

 

Viktor’s voice felt deafening to Pestilence. It was similar to his old friend’s. It felt like a forgotten piece of music that was turned to dust by time.

 

If he isn’t careful, he’s going to choke on it.

 

Pestilence had more respect for Samuel than to lie to his grandson. He looked at Viktor with half closed eyes, concentrating, remembering Harry’s thoughts.

 

“Stupid a man who doesn't fear of a person who is self conscious,” he raised an eyebrow. “Be in his head for a second and you’ll know.”

 

Viktor could only gape. “I’ve never seen him being that violent.”

 

Pestilence stayed quiet, trying to vanish the shivers out of the corner of his soul. “It’s not about being violent. It’s about letting emotions to be felt – Harry locked them away for a long time and anger was the only thing that raised him to be who he is now.”

 

Viktor looked uncomfortable. “I knew about this problem. But then that would mean he’s self conscious about it – as in he knows that locking his feelings away is bad. If he knew this, then he could’ve let it out at anytime.”

 

Pestilence sighed and touched Harry’s face.

 

“He is self conscious, he just doesn’t care about letting it out,” Pestilence shut his eyes. “Harry had a terrible childhood and he doesn’t want any reminders. Those memories made him think in a very... dangerous way.”

 

Pestilence heard Viktor fidget in his seat. “He’s never told me about his childhood.”

 

Pestilence opened his eyes. “He’s never told anyone,” the ancient monster had a chilling thought. “Harry has one aspect of him that I’ve never had throughout my many lives and I’ll never understand it either.”

 

Viktort narrowed his eyes. “What does he have?”

 

Pestilence felt the fear inside of him grow like Harry’s piano melodies. Growing louder and louder, until the only thing he would hear were his own scream.

 

“Conviction due to grief,” he answered. “One day Harry will get out of the cage – I have no doubt. For that, he needs to let out his thoughts, he needs to take control. If he takes control, then that means–”

 

Viktor’s eyes widened. “He’s stronger than you.”

 

Pestilence slightly nodded and then turned closer to Viktor. The boy was still in shock when he continued,

 

“And he’s still only a child, Viktor,” Pestilence whispered, afraid someone might hear. Viktor’s eyes widened.

 

“Think about it, what will happen to him when he’s going to become an adult?” Pestilence saw Viktor froze. But he wasn’t done, he needed to make Viktor understand–

 

“He won’t change,” he said through his teeth. “Harry lost something of his humanity on the day he killed Voldemort and he will never get it back.”

 

Viktor studied him with loud silence and then finally asked what Pestilence has been waiting for this entire time.

 

Viktor figured it out.

 

“How are you going to kill him?” Viktor asked, suspicious, scared. “The only thing what’s left of options is suicide.”

 

Pestilence throat clenched. He heard the sound of someone’s tapping inside of his mind, deep down.

 

Tapping on iron. Knocking on the bars.

 

Harry.

 

“He won’t let it,” Pestilence swallowed, sensing Harry’s presence. “The moment I do something reckless like that – it could weaken me for a moment and Harry could use that moment to take control.”

 

Viktor pressed his lips together, going pale, white as the wall. “So then what’s the brilliant plan?” He whispered. “Hold him in cage? Until you can? And then what? What happens when he gets out?”

 

Pestilence looked away, down at his hands. He was shaking.

 

It’s been awhile since someone could scare me this much.

 

“There will be no more reincarnations. When he gets out, I will die,” Pestilence said in a severe voice. “Harry will be the first to kill me.”

 

For a couple of seconds, Viktor didn’t say anything. But then–

 

“Are you afraid of dying? Knowing it’s really the end?”

 

Pestilence raised his head and with glowing eyes, he whispered:

 

“There are worse things than death,” he stared at Viktor. “Ask Harry, he knows that too well.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Astoria was sitting on a bench in the town centre. A violinist played in a little pavilion close to her. She was eating donuts, looking at little pigeons. An old lady was feeding them with breadcrumbs.

 

The people’s emotion sent light choirs into her mind.

 

“Why don’t you stay with me for a little longer?” Asked Aunt Chantal, arriving back to Astoria with six shopping bags in her hands.

 

The girl smiled and helped her aunt, taking three bags. “I miss Daphne,” she said. “And Pansy.”

 

Aunt Chantal clicked her tongue. “That girl has never been to a church.”

 

Astoria laughed and when they started heading home, she couldn’t stop herself.

 

“I’m sure she will go to one. When the time comes,” she said, smiling. “Pansy is a curious lady.”

 

Aunt Chantal gave out a sharp, looking quite fond. “That’s her only luck,” she turned her head towards Astoria. “Give her a hug for me.”

 

Astoria smiled but then she felt someone brush her arm, passing by.

 

The choir

 

screamed

 

in

 

her

 

mind.

 

She whirled around only to see the adult she had met yesterday. Same color hair as that adult, same suitcase.

 

The Wheel of Fortune.

 

The adult seemed like he was in a rush. Always in a rush.

 

“What’s wrong, Toria?” Aunt Chantal turned to her. Astoria took a deep breath and quieted down the choir.

 

“That man has a child,” she pointed with her chin towards his direction. “Who writes for the Lord.”

 

Aunt Chantal frowned, following Astoria’s signal with her eyes.

 

“A Prophet?” She muttered. “This soon?”

 

Astoria hummed. “Weird, huh?”

 

“You should find out who he is,” Aunt Chantal said. “A Prophet would do miracles in that young man’s side.”

 

“Theodore?” Astoria asked and Aunt Chantal nodded. She looked back towards the man – who had vanished.

 

“I’ll stay for one more day,” Astoria said. “Seems like the man always have to pass by this way anyway.”

 

Aunt Chantal nodded and then cracked her back with a quick movement. Astoria flinched because of the sound, looking absolutely horrified.

 

“You do that,” the old woman said. “I’ll make lemon pies.”

 

Astoria smiled as they began to walk again. “Deal.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

Theo was not having it.

 

“Are you out of your freaking mind?” He shouted right into the face of Lucius Malfoy, not regretting any of his words, hitting the table with his hand.

 

Lucius leaned back into his chair, perplexed.

 

“I swear Lucius, I don’t care how much Draco looks up to you, saying how clever you are – this is the dumbest plan I’ve ever heard of and that’s rich coming from me and we both know that–”

 

The door opened with a loud creak. Theo turned to see Pettigrew.

 

And he was

 

so

 

not

 

having it.

 

He stood up from his seat – the chair fell down on the ground.

 

“And here’s the other idiot,” he pointed at Pettigrew with annoyance. The man recoiled, looking as confused as Blaise when Theo told him he should go to church. “What the fuck?” Theo pointed at himself. “Care to explain why you people want me to straight up waltz into Hogwarts to turn that fucking Goblet into a motherfucking goddamn Portkey? Because I’m young and I can blend in, is that it?”

 

Lucius couldn’t move he was so bewildered. Pettigrew turned to Draco’s father with widened eyes, full of surprise, then back at Theo, who was sure on his money, that he looked like a maniac.

 

The door opened again with a loud creak. Theo turned his head.

 

And saw

 

Lestrange.

 

And Theo was not fucking

 

having

 

 

“Well, look at that,” Theo did a quick movement with his wrist, like an entertainer on a stage, looking around the room. “The world’s most idiotic people in one room. I should take a picture. It’s rare to see things like these nowadays.”

 

Lestrange was the first to react and Theo bet she wanted to say something egoistic and rude and threatening but

 

he

 

wasn’t having it.

 

Theo straightened his back and raised his hand, embers radiating through his fingertips. He said with a low voice,

 

“I’m the one talking now.”

 

Lestrange – for once in her life – did what Theo told. Before Theo could smile in satisfaction, he turned to look at Lucius.

 

He still looked petrified and Theo almost burst out laughing.

 

“Lucius,” he started, like a mother scolding a child. “Of all the things I’ve thought you had, stupidity was not one of them,” Theo was shaking his head, looking disappointed. “Is this some kind of a punishment? Because I’ve been blowing up the peacocks?” Theo was still shaking his head. “You know the drill, it’s peacocks or humans, there’s no in between.”

 

Pettigrew touched his chest, looking quite offended. Lucius only looked confused and Lestrange was biting her lips, mouth curling up – was she trying not to laugh?

 

“You know that every Auror in this dumb world are searching for me–”

 

The door opened with a loud creak. Theo looked towards it only to see Elemer looking scared for his life.

 

He was holding a lemon cake – because Theo had ordered it an hour ago.

 

Theo was not having it.

 

“Not now, Elemer!” He waved a hand at him. Elemer nodded and rushed out of the room, closing the door.

 

“But sure!” Theo continued as if nothing had happened. “Let Theo walk into the most advanced trap mankind has ever created,” Theo tapped his temple. “Sure, nothing dangerous can happen. I mean, I could only run into Albus fucking Dumbledore. Or Blaise or Pansy. Or Harry god–given Potter. Or Draco!” Theo’s eyes widened. “Do you have an idea how pissed off Draco will be?” Theo sighed, touching his forehead. “But I’ll do it anyway – cause orders are orders, right Lucius?” Theo shook his head. “I’ll turn it into a Portkey which transfers them to the graveyard and then I get the hell out,” Theo adjusted his coat and then began to walk out of the room. “And now, if you excuse me, I need to eat my lemon cake because I was rudely interrupted.” He closed the door behind him with a loud noise.

 

And

 

then

 

he

 

grinned.

 

If they think I don’t want to do this mission at all – then they don’t need to be suspicious.

 

How fool.

 

If a traitor is in front of you, of course he will do anything to accomplish his plan.

 

Theo took a deep breath and shut his eyes.

 

I’ll make the Portkey in a way that is beneficial. So at first, it’ll make them appear in the graveyard. And then for the second use, Draco will be transported to Sirius and Remus and Harry will be back to Hogwarts.

 

But how are they going to touch it at the same time? Better question, how could Theo make both of them touch it?

 

He grinned again.

 

Seems like I need to have a conversation with the boss.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

War’s thoughts were circling in his mind like a storm that could not bend by the will of lightning. He had to think, he had to think, he had to think – because he was tricked and now he can’t

 

get

 

out.

 

Then he saw a string in front of eyes – when he stretched out his hand it vanished.

 

His eyes went round with shock,

 

“Theodore.”

 

Albus Dumbledore turned his head and almost recoiled. “Are you sure?”

 

War’s heart accelerated. “Yes, he’s coming to make a portkey out of the Goblet. I need to make sure he gets in safely,” he shut down his eyes and saw the other strings. Red, gold, silver, green, purple – everyone was at their place and yet–

 

“This is too soon,” he heard Albus Dumbledore’s voice.

 

War hands were shaking – the plan was starting to fall apart and he didn't know why.

 

You did something, you old fox, didn’t you?

 

War touched his chin.

 

You lucky I can’t see your future. You lucky my hands

 

can’t

 

reach

 

you.

 

“Sir,” War began, his voice changed. “We will start and end the Third Task tonight. And then we begin the fourth which is the last, tomorrow.”

 

Silence.

 

“Some of them won’t make it if we don’t give them more time for the third task. They are too unstable right now,” the old man’s voice didn’t shake War.

 

After all,

 

He has seen mankind

 

trip over

 

and

 

broke.

 

Red, gold, silver, green, purple, orange strings – everyone were at their place.

 

“Then they’ll go insane,” War whispered and opened his eyes. It glowed like an endless abyss. “If we don’t end the third task today then Parkinson and Zabini can’t talk with Theodore – if they can’t talk to him then the plan fails,” he blinked slowly. “We can’t have Asmodeus meet Karin. Not yet. Send there a teacher, have them stand in front of her door.”

 

War blinked again and vanished all the strings. The only thing that remained in his eyesight was the chess board.

 

King and Queen.

 

“Put the potion into the champion’s cups. We need to change their personality. See who’s going to stay sane after the night,” he muttered. “Let the ‘Crimson Eye’ begin.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

It was way past midnight when Theo arrived close to the gates of Hogwarts. He was getting the creeps because as terrifying as it sounds, he thought people were not paying attention at him all.

 

As if he was invisible.

 

And then he saw him and Theo just couldn’t believe his luck.

 

Cousin Gerard.

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Gavril opened his eyes and found himself standing in front of a mirror, his mom standing behind him, caressing his face, his nape, his neck, her fingers were tainted with blood, glowing gold–

 

He blinked again and found himself standing in front of a mirror – now he looked like an eight year old. His brown–golden hair was blinding as the light shone on it through the windows.

 

He blinked.

 

And

 

saw his

 

mother.

 

Slava Kozlov.

 

She ran a gentle hand through his hair. “My little baby,” she purred, her grey eyes blinded him and then she pulled him into a hug. “My little precious.”

 

He blinked again and saw the head of a dead child between his hands. The golden–brown hair spread through his arms, curled up to his fingers. The child’s eyes were on him, glowing brown, smiling.

 

He blinked and his mom was standing behind him, caressing his face. “My little baby,” she purred and pulled him into a hug. She

 

wiped

 

the

 

blood

 

on

 

Gavril’s

 

face.

 

“My little precious.”

 

Gavril blinked and saw soldiers bowing down to him, salute him. Everyone one of them had a scar close to their mouth. He looked down.

 

He

 

was

 

holding

 

their

 

tongues

 

in his hands.

 

He blinked and his mom was standing behind him, caressing his face. “My little baby,” she purred and cleaned the knife using Gavril’s jumper.

 

“My little precious.”

 

Gavril blinked and saw

 

Eliza.

 

She laid a hand against his cheek and whispered with glowing, colorful eyes,

 

“Your eyes seem sad.”

 

Gavril blinked again, noticing how much taller he was now. He was holding a gun against the forehead of his eight year old self. The child was looking down with a shy smile, and Gavril’s mother was standing behind the child, caressing his face, smiling.

 

“My little baby,” she purred and then raised her head to stare at the older Gavril’s eyes. Gavril couldn’t breathe.

 

The woman showed her teeth and

 

grinned.

 

“My little precious.”

 

And Gavril woke up and then ran to vomit.

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Eliza was walking through a field full of golden sunflowers. She was holding a blue Occamy’s feather – it was as long as her forearm.

 

Her feet touched the earth and sunk in it – it felt like as if she were walking on clouds. She raised her hands and brought down the sun – it didn't burn her.

 

She was falling.

 

The ground opened and she was

 

falling.

 

She dropped the feather and the sun – her hair flew over her face, sinking its waves into her eyes–

 

The wind grew cold and she felt her skin grow into porcelain and rigid – she couldn't move her muscles, couldn’t feel her bones, as if she hadn't had any to begin with–

 

Someone

 

was

 

taking

 

her

 

apart.

 

Eliza noticed blood coming out of her lungs – like hundreds of sunflowers –, flesh turning inside out by the light of the sun, breaking every bone – arms were touching her, peeling off her skin, pulling her teeth out and cutting her fingers–

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones, Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones, Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones, Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones, Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones, Limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

limbs by limbs, skin by skin, bones by bones,

 

limbs by limbs, skin by skin,

 

bones by bones,

 

limbs by limbs,

 

skin by skin,

 

bones by bones,

 

limbs by limbs,

 

skin by skin,

 

bones by bones,

 

and

 

she

 

screamed.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Cedric was looking at a Demon.

 

Her horns were majestic like antlers made by the goddesses he had read about. Her blue hair fallen into her eyes and her mask shone in the dark ballroom he was standing in.

 

Cedric narrowed his eyes to see through the darkness.

 

A mask of a monster.

 

She came closer – her long dress followed her movement and held her hand out to Cedric.

 

Who noticed her claws that were painted with blood and her skin which was made of scales.

 

Cedric

 

took

 

her

 

hand

 

And they began to dance.

 

A sharp violin hit Cedric’s ear and he knew immediately. It was fast and grim yet cheerful, full of life.

 

This was the Devil’s song.

 

Cedric felt charmed – he thought this darkness, this vicious monster was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.

 

The Demon wore ballet shoes – her feet were covered in feathers. Feathers of a black swan. Her hands were on his shoulders and Cedric’s hands were on her waist. They danced – spinning around like birds during their first flight.

 

The violin sped up – it was so loud that was the only thing Cedric could hear.

 

She leaned close to him and kissed his forehead and then with a quick movement pulled his heart out of his chest.

 

She held it – the beating heart. It moved in her hands, beating out blood and showing throbbing veins.

 

Cedric felt something vanish from his soul.

 

The Demon bowed to him and pressed a kiss on the heart. And Cedric still thought

 

she

 

was

 

mesmerizing.

 

She grinned at him and they danced. Until they couldn't keep up with the rhythm, until Cedric’s feet started to feel numb, until he noticed he

 

was

 

grinning.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War was smiling as he raised Cedric’s Bishop from the board.

 

“You lost, Cedric.”

 

He turned his head to look at the other two Rooks. Eliza and Gavril. Gavril remained sane more or less because Eliza’s voice could snap him out of it.

 

But Eliza...

 

War’s smile turned thoughtful.

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton’s whole body was on fire.

 

He

 

was

 

walking

 

in

 

a

 

house

 

filled

 

with

 

fire.

 

The weight of his legs were trying to drag him down as he raised them to take a step. It hurt him more and more with every step he took. He could sense and smell his burning skin – could feel how it vanished and how the muscles took its place and then bones and nothing–

 

But Charlton didn’t stop, he would never stop – he only walked as the house began to rot away, fell apart piece by piece.

 

When Charlton couldn’t move anymore – when his legs stuck under a brick he cut

 

it

 

off.

 

And

 

began

 

to

 

crawl.

 

He woke up with a start.

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

War couldn't breathe. His hands were shaking. He had never witnessed something like this before.

 

Charlton Moore.

 

The embodiment of sanity.

 

Power incarnate.

 

Did not break during the Crimson Eye potion – which shows the truth of someone’s sanity and soul in order to change their personality.

 

And Charlton

 

didn’t even

 

wince.

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco was looking at himself. It was him but he looked older.

 

He was standing on a field which was full of Red Spider Lilies.

 

Draco’s favorite flower.

 

His older self had golden eyes and high cheekbones, white hair and eyelashes. Tall and lean – blessed with grace and looked like an ancient painting that someone hid so well, people still couldn’t find it to this day.

 

Draco knew he looked stunning. But Famine – the way he’s going to look like when he becomes an adult–

 

Now this was someone who could torture souls by merely looking at them.

 

“We finally meet,” his voice was deeper, elegant and unique. “Draco.”

 

And only then Draco had finally noticed.

 

He almost recoiled.

 

This

 

was

 

Famine.

 

Famine walked closer and touched his hands and Draco couldn’t look away. This person looked mature and breathtaking and–

 

No wonder why Harry looks at me in a way as if I was the whole world.

 

Famine pressed his forehead to Draco’s and whispered.

 

“You’re so much like me it terrifies me in ways you can’t even comprehend,” his white hair blended into Draco’s soft locks. “You need to be strong and careful. I don’t want you to get hurt,” their golden eyes met. Famine slowly raised his hand to touch Draco’s scar, close to his blind eye.

 

The touch reminded him of his mother.

 

Draco leaned into it and smiled – a vulnerable, soft smile.

 

Comfort. Safety.

 

That was all he had been asking for and now, for a brief minute, he got it.

 

“Don’t ever let them look down on you,” Famine’s gentle voice caressed his ears. His hand moved to Draco’s cheek. “Don’t ever let them make you believe you are not enough by yourself.”

 

Draco didn’t know why he began to cry.

 

Maybe it was because this warmth felt like his mother. Maybe it was because Famine felt like someone who could be him.

 

Maybe it was because Draco has never had something like this before.

 

“He made me stronger,” Draco whispered back as Famine wiped his tears off. “Without him I would have died – or worse, I would’ve been weak, a no one–”

 

Famine’s smile was like the quiet piano that Harry played for him when it began to snow.

 

“The Horcrux hasn’t made you strong and Voldemort never gave my powers to you,” Famine whispered, his eyes looking serious. “You were born with it. You don’t owe him, Draco. You never did.”

 

The whole world shook beneath his legs and all the Red Spider Lilies

 

began

 

to

 

bloom.

 

And Draco opened his eyes.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pestilence was looking at the cage, deep inside of his mind. The cage was enormous and the bars looked like as if they were hundreds years old. Copper and gold and silver and iron shone like blood.

 

Pestilence heard Harry’s piano echoing through the cage.

 

He

 

walked

 

closer

 

to

 

the

 

bars.

 

And saw Harry playing on the piano.

 

The piano was covered in white roses. Their petals were falling down, covering the floor.

 

It looked like the clouds of Heaven.

 

His back was straight as a line – the tempo of the song was perfect. The shadow of a fifteen year old child reflected on the walls and the cell, like terror made out of a monster.

 

Harry was playing his mother’s lullaby and then Draco’s Winter Etude. He was frantically changing the tones and the pieces, minute by minute, terrifyingly similar to a person who was on the edge of insanity.

 

Pestilence sighed and

 

Harry

 

stopped

 

playing.

 

He saw him turn his head back, above the shoulder, his eyes glowing green–

 

And Harry only stared.

 

Quietly, not moving, not blinking–

 

It was the sanest expression someone could ever have.

 

Pestilence let out a deep breath and saw it in the air for everything has grown cold. But Pestilence didn’t see Harry shiver.

 

The boy only stared.

 

And then raised his hand to touch his throat and began to peel the skin off it slowly, drawing out black blood.

 

If that blood ever turns to red it means he has won.

 

Harry’s eyes narrowed down to mere slits and Pestilence couldn’t move. Even though he was in cage, Pestilence felt the only one being captive.

 

And then Harry spoke.

 

Quietly, calmly, like malice, as his black blood stained his fingertips.

 

“My thoughts will drag me down to meet my old self. I hope what you did to me

 

haunts

 

you.”

 

And Pestilence

 

couldn’t

 

stop

 

shaking

 

after he had woken up.



 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Once upon a Time

 

A boy was walking through a street filled with mud and blood.

 

I heard,

 

His footsteps echoed like screams.



Stories whisper about Him.

 

I know.

 

 

They say,

 

He was a child.

 

 

They think,

 

People found Him with broken limbs and scattered soul.

 

 

The Merchant heard when the bells began to ring.

 

But the people’s smile didn’t vanish.

 

In fact,

 

It grew bigger.

 

Only The Merchant remained sane after the end of the day.

 

And

 

After he had walked so many miles to get to the Church,

 

he

 

stopped in front of a Little Boy.

 

His eyes were green. His hair was black.

 

 

And He

 

didn’t

 

smile.

 

His eyes held something not even a monster could’ve.

 

The Merchant kneeled down before Him and asked:

 

“Why are they all happy when all you do is destroy?”

 

The boy dropped his gaze and kneeled down in front of The Merchant.

 

The child touched the old Merchant’s face, leaned closer and answered with a cold voice, close to his ears:

 

“Because I’ll protect them from all the things I’ve seen.”

 

 

– The Merchant and the Little Boy, Another Side Of The Story:

I saw Him and he saw Me by Samuel Krum.

 

 

The Boy Who Lived

 

Harry James Potter

 

Harry Potter

 

Harry

 

The Savior

 

The Devil

 

This story will never make it into my book.

 

PS: I’ve never seen someone who was capable of doing this level of monstrosity.

 

 

 

 



Chapter Text

Chapter 24


 

 

The One Sinner 





 

 

 

The Devil has a name,

 

I heard.



He has a beautiful name,

 

I heard.





 He has the eyes of an ancient curse,

 

I heard.



His hair is tainted with violence, painted with a color that has nothing,

 

I heard.


The Devil can only be born once,

 

I heard.


Famine can devour mankind, torture souls and touch with care.

 

Pestilence can rise the earth and rule over it as a God.

 

War can drive people to insanity and stay as the last one standing.

 

Death can make demons cower and crawl with a mere look.


Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.



Because there’s a song,

 

Which tells an old tale.



Famine can devour mankind, torture souls and touch with care.

 

Pestilence can rise the earth and rule over it as a God.

 

War can drive people to insanity and stay as the last one standing.

 

Death can make demons cower and crawl with a mere look.


Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.


Because The Devil doesn’t have horns,

 

Doesn’t have wings,

 

Doesn’t have black tainted hands.



Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.


Because The Devil doesn’t have golden eyes,

 

Doesn’t have claws,

 

Doesn’t have reincarnation for he only lives once.



Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.



Because there’s a song,

 

Which tells an old tale.



“The moment you see him, you want to pray, you want to run, you want to hide.

 

Old, Young,

 

Wise, Fool,

 

All of them wish to pray

for

 

something 

 

new.”


Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.



Because the song had a hidden meaning,

 

So they say.


“The moment you see him, you want to pray, you want to run, you want to hide.”


But The Devil doesn’t have horns,

 

Doesn’t have wings,

 

Doesn’t have black tainted hands.

 

Doesn’t have golden eyes,

 

Doesn’t have claws,

 

Doesn’t have reincarnation for he only lives once.


So when he sees you pray, he only says this,

 

“If you have so much humanity – enough to pray, then why hadn’t you ever thought about praying for the one sinner that needed the most?”



Such a pity,

 

Such an unfair game.


Because The Devil was only a boy,


So they say.


– The One Sinner from ‘Stories of The Devil’ by Samuel Krum.



 

Personal Note:

 

There’s something spine chilling, something terrifying, something that scares me to my core,


About Harry.


He is someone who can pass by as you walk,

 

Someone who can sit next to you,

 

Someone who can talk to you anytime, anywhere.


Because he looks like you and me.


There’s something spine chilling,

 

Something terrifying,

 

Something that scares me to my core,


About how The Devil 

 

is

 

only

 

 a 

 

human.


This story will never make it into my book.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––


 

 

The moment Pestilence woke up, he noticed Draco looking at him, sitting besides his bed.

 

Pestilence winced.

 

This is too cruel.

 

Draco looked so much like Famine it pained him too much. With his golden, grey eyes and white hair – their personalities as well, most of the time. 

 

But this wasn’t Famine. This wasn’t his rose. 

 

This was Draco.

 

And apparently, Draco also noticed that he wasn’t Harry either.

 

“You’re not him,” Draco spoke, his golden, grey eyes were glowing. They were almost full gold by now.

 

Famine’s card is going to finish you soon, Draco. How breathtaking you’ll be then?

 

Pestilence gave him a little smile. “You’re clever, Draco,” he said. “More clever than Harry,” his smile changed into something raw . “Not clever enough for me.”

 

Draco didn’t even wince. Just like that Pestilence’s respect jumped towards him from nothing to everything. 

 

Just like that.

 

Because Famine never stood his ground so well. 

 

Pestilence stared at the beauty in front of him, speechless.

 

You’re something else, Draco.

 

“What did you do to him?” Draco asked calmly. Pestilence could see his hands shaking – whether if it was from rage or fear, he did not know.

 

And Pestilence realized there was no use in lying.

 

I’m going to die either way.

 

There were no more cards to play, no more plans to pull out of his sleeves. He won every single time, in every each of his lives because there was no one who was better or stronger than him. 

 

No one.

 

But then Harry was born. 

 

Pestilence now understood why Grindelwald turned insane – not because of his beliefs, not because of his dreams.

 

But because Harry woke up in this world and no one realized it.

 

“I put him in a cage,” Pestilence started. “But don’t worry, you’ll see him soon enough.”

 

He felt the fear eat him alive – he had never felt it before, not with this intensity, not how definitive it sounded.

 

He won’t get out of this.  

 

He felt Harry knock with his knuckles on the bars – the sound echoed through his mind and Pestilence could feel the terror swallow him whole.

 

Harry knocked on the bars again, again and again, creating a rhythm. 

 

“Why did you put him in a cage?” Draco asked.

 

Pestilence tried to vanish the sound of Harry’s knocking, creating a terrifying melody. He tried to concentrate on Draco – on Draco’s voice , instead.

 

“Have you ever thought about Harry’s state of mind, Draco?” Pestilence asked but Draco didn’t move nor say anything, so he continued in a quiet voice, “You and I both know, that Harry doesn’t have a healthy mind – you and I both know, that I’m not the one who turned him insane. I just pulled a couple of strings there and there, in order to make him submit so that I can take over. I only worked with what was already there.”

 

Draco narrowed his eyes – the moonlight caught his glow. He looked like hundreds of bright stars in the night sky. 

 

Pestilence, for a moment, forgot how to breathe.

 

“No one has a whole healthy mind in this game, Pestilence,” Draco said patiently. “I eat human meat, yet I’m not captive in a cage.”

 

Clever.

 

Pestilence’s eyes were haunted as he echoed Grindelwald’s words from a long time ago. “ ‘There’ll be a person who’ll peel the skin off this world to have us see it bare.’ Grindelwald told me this in one of my previous lives, Draco. Grindelwald . Up to this day, he’s still laughing in his cell at Nurmengard, because no one realized what it meant if a kid would kill a dark wizard.”

 

Draco

 

froze.

 

But Pestilence did not stop. “You really think Voldemort can kill Harry?” he asked quietly, trying to make Draco understand how fatal this was, how real this was. “I cut the golden string – I cut it so that this would be the last Apocalypse –, because I knew I would die in this life the moment Harry destroyed me.”

 

“Destroyed you?” Draco asked, he was trembling. “What do you mean destroyed you?”

 

Pestilence was staring at him, his gaze steel and winter.

 

There’s no use for lying.

 

He’s going to be dead very soon anyway.

 

“I reincarnated in Voldemort when his reign began. It was the first time when I was reincarnated as an adult.”

 

Draco couldn’t move. He couldn’t do anything. 

 

Pestilence narrowed his eyes. “Somehow I felt that Harry was going to be born close to that year – that the Snake was going to be born, from Samuel’s book. So I wanted to take over Voldemort’s body, but it was hard, for he didn’t have a whole soul.” 

 

“By the time I could take over, one of his Death Eater – Regulus Black, who was my feather, Death –, told me that he figured it out why I reincarnated, what I was searching for. His host also found out about Voldemort’s Horcruxes – the first thing he did was that he stole the locket and left a fake one at its place.” 

 

“My host, Voldemort, somehow figured it out how to control me– and when he mastered that ability, he made me kill Regulus,” he stopped for a moment and asked, “Do you know what happens to a Horseman if they kill another Horseman, Draco?”

 

Draco was shaking as he touched his face in terror, in disgust. Pestilence nodded.

 

“They will get their powers – because when a Horseman dies, their power will glide into the nearest powerful being in the room. Therefore, in Voldemort, in other words, in me,” Pestilence leaned closer and Draco’s golden, grey powerful eyes found his. 

 

“I figured, in order to kill Harry I will need all the other Horsemen gifts, powers. So I killed War, too, who happened to be another Death Eater, Mulciber. I wanted to prepare for the big day – the day I could finally kill the Snake and let Samuel finally have his peace –, but you know, I couldn’t get Regulus’s letter out of my head,” his expression turned grim and Draco leaned closer, strongly focusing, remembering every word that Pestilence was about to say.

 

“His letter – he had written down what his host wanted to say, but he also wrote things only I could understand. You see, Death has these hunches, Draco. It’s as if he can see the future. He said I would die because of a boy who would steal my power. I knew it had to be Harry, because he was connected to Voldemort – to my host –, due to a Prophecy,” Pestilence closed his eyes and felt the terror again, remembering back on what happened that day. 

 

His voice wore violence like a second skin, as he whispered, 

 

“Voldemort was smarter than me, Draco.”

 

Draco’s breath hitched in his throat as he continued to stare at Pestilence, with shaking hands.

 

Draco was scared.

 

“On that day, before he left to kill the person who was destined to destroy him, he went for Narcissa because he wanted to get a new Famine, for the new generation. Do you understand this, Draco?” Pestilence’s venomous eyes found his golden, grey ones. “Voldemort knew he wouldn’t get Famine’s power, because you were the nearest powerful being in the room, not him.”

 

Draco took a sharp breath. He didn’t care about that, he only cared about one thing, as he heard his racing heart.

 

 “My mom was Famine?”

 

Pestilence’s eyes turned into sorrow as he said, “She did not know, Draco. Famine never wanted to take over her and I didn’t do anything because I wanted Harry to be gone as soon as possible,” his eyes darkened. “I couldn’t even save her because Voldemort could control me. He wanted to kill her, he wanted more power, more chance of staying alive–”

 

“But why?” Draco’s voice was shaking, he sounded desperate. “Why would he–”

 

“Because he wanted protection for the time he’d be back.” Pestilence’s voice was haunting. “Because he is scared of Harry, Draco. They all are.” 

 

Draco stared at him with round eyes, surprise and interest.

 

Pestilence heard Harry’s low piano resonate inside of his soul.

 

It was terrifying.

 

“You know why they’re scared?” Pestilence whispered. “Why our kind is scared of him? Because in our mythology, the Devil should not exist. He doesn’t have stories, he doesn’t have a card which was painted by a Prophet, he isn’t in the books, he doesn’t have unique features because the Devil should not exist, just as how the Snake should not exist.”

 

“The Prophets named him, the Prophets created him because they were the only ones who could see him in their visions – whenever I burned a Prophet’s book, by the time they finished it, they were already insane because they couldn’t take what they had seen.”

 

Samuel’s insanity still haunts me.

 

The cogs in Draco’s head began to work, because he said after a couple of seconds filled with silence, “That night, how could Harry have killed a Horsemen? How could he have killed Voldemort – how could he have killed you?”

 

Pestilence’s hands were shaking as he touched his head, trying not to remember back what happened that night, because it was too much.

 

I have to tell.

 

Because of Draco.

 

He owed him at least this much, because he let his old host kill his mother.

 

“Samuel kept repeating this in his book, in his own copy,” Pestilence said quietly. “He always wrote this in the margins, ‘ The Devil learns – he can steal .”

 

Draco’s heart stopped. 

 

“Harry can learn anything,” his eyes went round as if he was remembering something, something from a long time ago. “The moment he saw Voldemort’s killing curse he–”

 

Pestilence nodded. “Learned it, stole the technique and flipped it over. His magic ate Voldemort’s organs, damaged the body and the magic itself,” his eyes darkened as he recalled the memory. “I’ve never knew fear in my whole life, Draco. But in that moment, all I could think of, that this was the end.”

 

Draco flinched .

 

“I knew Voldemort would come back because of the Horcruxes and you wouldn’t die, but me? I had no idea what would happen to me. Harry was the nearest powerful being in the room, so I reincarnated in him. War and Death’s power vanished, as if I had never even killed them in the first place. You see now?” Pestilence looked into Draco’s eyes. “I knew I would die in this life the moment Harry destroyed me, because he will do the same thing again – the moment he gets out of the cage –, and then I’ll be dead permanently.”

 

Draco winced at that but Pestilence needed him to understand. 

 

“Voldemort can’t kill Harry,” he whispered, fearing they were being listened to. A clock ticking was the only thing in the dark room, as the moonlight shone through the window. “But he can outsmart him. That’s why we need you. You’re the only one who can help him win this game, you’re the only one who could hold him back if things get out of hand–”

 

Draco looked at him with intelligent eyes but he had so much tension inside, he only said this through his teeth, “I can’t kill Voldemort–”

 

“No, you can’t,” Pestilence agreed. “But you can protect Harry, while he kills him.”

 

Draco flinched, he didn’t seem to be expecting this. But Pestilence knew this for a while – the moment when Harry kept protecting Draco, and vice versa during one of the tasks, Pestilence knew.

 

This was destined.

 

Not by Famine or him.

 

But by Draco and Harry.

 

“You told me Regulus figured it out why you reincarnated, what you were searching for,” Draco spoke after what it seemed like an hour. “What was your reason?”

 

Pestilence knew he was going to die. 

 

So he bared his soul and heart for Draco to see. 

 

“I killed them in every one of my lives because I wanted to have one where I didn’t need to,” he couldn’t hide himself now. “The Creator put a curse on me, because I touched Heaven – which meant that in every single life, I was destined to kill my rose,” his voice turned peaceful as he closed his eyes. “This is the first where I don’t need to kill. It’s as if Harry’s pure existence destroyed the curse – destroyed the Creator,” he chuckled, a weird thought appeared in his mind. “How fitting.”

 

Draco went quiet. “Is that why you decided that this would be the last Apocalypse? No more reincarnations at all?”

 

It felt like as if Pestilence had been sinning in all his life, just to end up here to confess to Draco. Somehow, it made sense. Draco wasn’t like Famine – he wasn’t soft, he wasn’t kind. 

 

Draco was a monster who looked like an angel.

 

No wonder, Harry loves you.

 

“I decided because I don’t want more lives,” Pestilence confessed as if he was in a church, as if he was washing all the dirt, all the sin away from his hands. “I don’t want to kill him again, after I found a life where I didn’t need to–”

 

He felt gentle hands touch his face, his hair. It felt like home, and freedom, and peace.

 

Pestilence noticed the change – this wasn't Draco anymore. 

 

Famine pressed his forehead against his. His white hair shone against his black as he whispered, “I’m afraid we won’t get a happy ending, my everything.”

 

Pestilence looked into his golden eyes – the love he felt was endless. For him, for his rose, always. No matter if they were woman and a woman, man and a man, or man and a woman. 

 

The love he felt was endless. For him, for his rose,

 

  always .

 

“But they will and that’s what matters,” Pestilence whispered back and Famine smiled. “I’m scared of Harry, but he deserves happiness. After what happened to him in his childhood, he deserves love and affection.”

 

“Draco needs Harry,” Famine said, still smiling. “He makes him feel safe and protected. He makes him feel free.”

 

Pestilence showed his sharp grin. “They remind me of someone we know.”

 

Famine caressed his hair, while Pestilence touched his neck in the most gentle way as possible. “We’ll meet again when Draco dies,” Famine whispered softly. “Wherever you’ll end up, that’s where I’ll be.”

 

Pestilence, for the first time, regretted not having enough life to show how much he loved Famine.

 

“I wish I could kiss you,” Pestilence breathed close to Famine’s lips. “But Draco doesn’t deserve to lose his first kiss.”

 

“You already like my host, don’t you?” Famine’s eyes weakened. “I wish we would have time to explore your heart, to explore this side of you.”

 

Pestilence kissed Famine’s cheek, “I wish we would have time, too,” he said. “Protect Draco and look out for Harry. He acts nothing like me but he’s as much of an old fox as I am, if not more, my rose.”

 

Famine pressed a kiss on Pestilence’s forehead. “I promise,” he smiled, he was breathtakingly beautiful. “I’m just sorry you won’t see.”

 

Pestilence frowned, confused. “Won’t see what?”

 

And Famine said, like a glorious armored angel, looking down at a sinner,

 

“You won’t see when Draco and Harry will embrace themselves and kill that beast.”


 

––––––––––––––––––––



 

“The Devil learns – he can steal.”


The Red Fox from ‘Stories of The Devil’ by Samuel Krum.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 25

 

 

 

 

 

Rebirth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the day of Harry’s awakening

 

Snow will fall

 

and

 

Four will reborn.

 

 

 

But then,

 

Two will die

 

and

 

Three will fall.

 

 

And in the end

 

only

 

one

 

will

 

lose.

 

 

On the day when Harry wakes up

 

The world will know

 

true

 

terror.

 

 

 

Samuel Krum’s last sentence in this book to his grandson, Viktor Krum.

 

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

 

Harry was a little child in the cage. No more than four, no less than seven. No more than five, no less than ten. 

 

He didn’t know.

 

The little boy didn’t reach the piano stool – he had to hop on it and then remeasure it, so that he could easily sit on it. He wore a long T–shirt, it reached down to his ankles. His pants were filled with holes and was barefoot. 

 

He could feel the cold concrete below his skin – sometimes he found broken glass and bruised his feet, his red blood was painting his steps all the way, as he paced the room up and down.

 

His steps were slow because he was starving and had no strength or power to do anything. He didn’t sleep because there was so much light coming out everywhere. 

 

He wasn’t used to sleep in a place like that.

 

He didn’t need too much time to figure it out.

 

Harry changed into what happened to him during his childhood. 

 

Sometimes he thought he saw other little kids like him, who were giving him hugs and soft caress on the head. Maybe a kiss on the cheek. 

 

Sometimes he saw adults, who were giving him hugs and soft caress on the head. Maybe a kiss on the cheek.

 

Most of the times, they talked to him in a gentle voice, like bird feathers touching skin. Sometimes they only cuddled with him, sometimes they whispered they will get him out of that house, they will adopt him, they will make sure he feels safe.

 

Harry, after a while, killed them all.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Albus knew he would die today.

 

This was his last day on earth.

 

His brother, Aberforth, didn’t want to meet him today. He said all his goodbyes, farewells, thank yous and wrathful words already, in the past couple of months. 

 

Albus was only stroking his bird, Fawkes gave out a little pleasing sound, but Albus noticed he was crying – for something, for anything that would make the situation better. However, Albus knew there was no coming back. 

 

There’s no point in coming back or changing anything.

 

He deserved his death. He deserved it. 

 

I only feel sorry for those, who will think I don’t.

 

Albus looked out of the window and saw the snow starting to fall down. How weirdly fitting.

 

As if even the sky knew, what the world would end up after this day.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

I want Draco to destroy him.

 

Pansy was shaking as she leaned close to Blaise and strongly grabbed his shoulders with dark eyes, glowing with fear. “Do you know what you’re talking about right now? What you just said right now?”

 

Blaise narrowed his eyes, not fearing of anything. “I do,” he whispered. “I know, and I also know, that you think the same.”

 

Pansy

 

froze.

 

And then felt herself

 

bloom

 

with hope.

 

“He could kill him, couldn't he?” Pansy started quickly, explaining. “He is as smart as he is, he must be, Draco is the cleverest person I’ve ever met–”

 

Blaise didn’t even hesitate to answer. “Draco can do anything if he really puts his mind into it.”

 

Pansy’s trembling fingers on Blaise’s shoulders were stopped happening out of fear. It was happening because of excitement. “Theo would kill for Draco, he wouldn’t let anyone hurt him, not even–”

 

“No, he would never,” Blaise shook his head lightly. “Draco is his everything.”

 

Pansy leaned closer, hoping and hoping endlessly, dreaming about a future which she felt she could hold in the palm of her hands. “But then what about Harry? He won’t attack Draco, that’s for sure. That’s why you told me this in the first place.”

 

Blaise seemed thoughtful for a minute. Pansy saw all the green and brown, glow as little sparks in his eyes. 

 

Her heart fluttered. 

 

“Harry is in our side,” he spoke with a deep voice. “I noticed how he looks at Draco. Harry would kill himself before he laid a finger on him.”

 

Pansy couldn’t believe what was happening at this moment. It was as if the ground was shaking, as if the the sky was shattering and falling apart.

 

It was as if she could believe.

 

In anything.

 

Because with these chances – with these options, with these people, at the right place, at the right time–

 

Because with these odds, they might–

 

They just might–

 

And Blaise was the one who said it first, not her. 

 

Maybe because he felt like Pansy. Maybe because he had been waiting for this moment as well. 

 

Or maybe because Blaise knew Pansy needed a little push

 

to

 

fall

 

from

 

the

 

edge.

 

“Pansy,” Blaise whispered as if he was too afraid for anyone to hear. He grabbed her shoulders, mirroring her. “We can create something better.”

 

And then the door burst open

 

and

 

Theodore Nott

 

walked

 

in.

 

Like victory itself. 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo almost halted in his steps as he saw Parkinson and Blaise so cosy. He turned around, closed the door behind him and when he started to turn back, he felt a strong body–

 

Blaise was hugging him.

 

Theo, without even a second thought, hugged him back just as strongly. It almost felt like home. But that was fine, that was normal.

 

I only feel home with Draco.

 

And then suddenly, Blaise started to think.

 

He pulled back from the hug and frowned at Theo. The frown was replaced by a sheer amount of surprise and horror.

 

Theo almost laughed in his face.

 

“What are you doing here?” Blaise said through his teeth, clearly upset. He was looking behind Theo, as if he expected someone to kick down the door and take Theo back to jail. “Nevermind – how could you even be here?  Scratch that, how could you even step your foot in here–”

 

“It’s actually a really funny story, you see my cousin, Gerard showed me the way–”

 

“– I’m actually horrified right now, how in the hell did you manage to outsmart Albus Dumbledore–”

 

“It’s really weird, you see, because I literally just walked through the building and no one stopped me–”

 

“– you have any idea what Draco will do to me, the moment he sees you here, oh dear Morgana, I am so dead–”

 

Theo’s eyes widened. “Blaise,” he said, almost angryly. “You almost made me forget what I wanted to do, you useless bastard–”

 

Blaise wasn't having it. “Theo, you fucking asshole–”

 

“Boys.”

 

Both of them stopped and looked at Parkinson, who was standing close to them with the calmest face Theo had ever seen.

 

Ah, great.

 

Another creepy woman in his life. Just what he needed, thank God.

 

“Theodore, why are you here?” Parkinson asked with intelligent eyes. She was tall for a girl. Theo for a little minute there, was amused.

 

I can’t tell them exactly why I’m here.

 

Lestrange would smite the shit out of him.

 

So he blinked and said, “Something big is about to happen tomorrow during the last task. Let’s just say I’m washing my hands of it and nobody can blame me without an attorney present–”

 

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Theo,” Blaise looked like he might cry or choke him. Or both. “What the fuck did you do this time?” 

 

Theo raised his hands in defense. “I had permission this time.”

 

“Like hell you did.”

 

Theo, like a reflex, shouted back, “Like hell I didn’t!”

 

“Boys,” Parkinson said again, calmly. Theo saw a vein pop close to her neck, though. “Focus.”

 

Both Blaise and Theo straightened their back, listening like well mannered kids. Parkinson seemed satisfied with this, because she continued, “You’re only here because you’re allowed to be here. You’ve got orders from Lucius,” Parkinson narrowed her eyes, her lips pressed into a thin line. “What do you need? I’ll bring it here.”

 

Theo, looking at her for a minute, saw a general. It was so bright and mighty, he knew it wasn’t just an imagination.

 

“Draco,” he breathed. “I want to talk Draco.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

“Why are you so sad sometimes?” The demon asked Cedric, caressing his hair. She was touching his face, his eyes with gentle fingers, not using her claws at all. Her blue hair hugged her cheek as she leaned forward to look down at Cedric, who was lying his head on her lap. Her soft dress felt comfortable below his chin.

 

Cedric couldn’t look away from her, he was mesmerized.

 

The song of the waltz echoed in the ballroom, which was painted by the blue light of the moon. The demon’s antlers were as majestic as her mask, covering her face.

 

“I’m sad because I’m weak,” Cedric confessed to the beautiful demon. “I could be killed in any minute.”

 

The demon gave him a gentle smile. As if being weak sounded adorable. “Oh, really? Then why don’t you just get stronger?”

 

“I can’t.” Cedric looked away for a moment and sighed. “I’m not like...” he trailed off.

 

“Like... who?” echoed the demon.

 

Cedric closed his eyes, defeated. “Like Harry,” he admitted. “He’s strong. He can save anyone, he’s never scared of anything,” he swallowed. “He told me you need to mean it when you kill. Then, and only then, works.”

 

And Cedric would never mean it.

 

He furrowed his brows.

 

Wouldn’t I?

 

It was silence for a while, even the music quieted down and then fell dead, vanishing into nothing.

 

As if there really was nothing, for a minute.

 

“That’s what keeps you back? Killing someone?” The demon asked with genuine interest and curiosity.

 

Cedric didn’t have a heart. The demon was holding it in her hands, petting it as if it were an animal.

 

So he said,

 

“What’s the purpose of killing if you’re not doing it for someone.”

 

Cedric couldn’t see, but the Demon started to

 

grin.

 

She leaned down to whisper into his ear. Her voice was melodious and deep, yet clear and calm:

 

“What if you kill for Harry?” She purred. “Make him proud.”

 

And

 

Cedric

 

grinned.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

Eliza opened her eyes and got back to reality after her limbs were torn apart, minute by minute, over and over again.

 

She felt a soft thing close to her hands, palms. Cain was there, cat–sized, and nuzzled his head into her palm. Eliza caressed him and closed her eyes, trying to calm her beating heart.

 

They gave us Crimson Eye potion.

 

A potion which can alter someone’s personality, if they lose.

 

Eliza brought her knees up to her chest and laid her head on them. Her short, curly hair got into her eyes, as she closed them – the eyelashes stroked her skin.

 

Did I win, so I’m still me?

 

The clock started ticking in the background.

 

Or did I lose, and a new me took the previous one’s place?

 

And

 

someone

 

knocked

 

on

 

her

 

door.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Cedric?” Neville’s eyes went round as he stared at the lying boy in the infirmary. “Are you okay? The potion must have worn off by now.”

 

Cedric’s grey eyes snapped to Neville’s. There was something animalistic in his movement – he was completely still, only his eyes were moving, looking around the room, as if he was measuring how much danger he was really in, in that moment. 

 

Neville froze on his place, and then took a step back, bringing his arms to his chest. He didn’t know why, but the first thing which popped into his mind, looking at Cedric, was;

 

Who are you?

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Chinasa was holding her twin’s hand, helping his healing by giving magic of her own, too. Her white eyes stayed on Kesta who was still out because of his injury. Chinasa’s dreadlocks reached the floor, her dark skin glowed gold below the candle lights.

 

“You two are demons.”

 

Chinasa got back from her concentration and turned towards the voice. She saw Sathanus, the Queen, The Mother of Demons, Asmodeus’s love and soul. 

 

She was sitting up in her bed close to the corner, the other side of the infirmary. Karin’s black hair looked like silk, and her purple, glowing eyes felt like a storm with lightning and hurricane.

 

Chinasa supposed, in this life, they had to be allies for Draco and Harry cared about the other deeply.

 

This life is different.

 

Chinasa bowed her head, showing respect and peace. “And you are a trickster,” she said. “A Nogitsune.”

 

Karin didn’t notice any ill intentions, so she bowed her head with respect as well.

 

Chinasa Botha smiled.

 

Different life, indeed.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Gavril had no idea why he walked here, why he thought this might make him feel better. Eliza Vilar only understood him once, and only once. Why would she understand him now? Why was this so important to him anyway? Why did this have to matter?

 

After the tournament, Gavril was ordered to be Lady Lestrange’s second in command in The Dark Lord’s upcoming war and battles. Gavril was raised to be a soldier – even if he wouldn’t win the tournament, he was still needed there. It was a family tradition to be a significant supporter of Dark Lords. 

 

Mother would skin him alive if he–

 

The door opened and Gavril found himself facing the other champion. Her eyes glowed like a kaleidoscope, hundreds or thousands of light, green, blue, brown, even grey, circling around like stars on the night sky up in the mountains.

 

Gavril suddenly couldn’t breathe.

 

And then Eliza was still looking at him and he almost turned around because this was a bad idea, a horrible, terrible idea, really–

 

“Gavril?” Eliza asked quietly, her voice was torture, it was torture for Gavril because it was gentle, and calm, and no one had ever talked to him this way–

 

He looked away from her concerned eyes, and stared down at his shoes, conscious about everything, every single thing around him–

 

Say something!

 

Gavril tried. 

 

“I–”

 

“Come in.”

 

Gavril looked up again and saw Eliza walk back to her bed, sitting down on it. He silently followed her, closing the door behind him, sitting on the bed next to her.

 

He noticed her Occamy calmly watching them from the pillows, his blue eyes were wary, yet he didn’t attempt to move.

 

Maybe he doesn’t feel any ill intention from me. Doesn’t feel malice at all.

 

Gavril didn’t know where to put that information. It was silent for a couple of minutes, only the clock’s ticking could be heard.

 

Tick.

 

Tock. 

 

But then, Eliza began to speak.

 

“They gave us Crimson Eye potion,” her voice was so small and vulnerable, Gavril had the sudden urge to protect her from all the bad things in the world.

 

He mentally hit himself, frowning. “They did,” he swallowed and slowly turned back, his sharp eyes stayed on her. “Are you okay?” 

 

What a useless, miserable question. 

 

Of course she wasn’t.

 

Eliza looked back at him, there was no anger in her eyes, no disgust, no cold, nothing. 

 

Just pure fear. 

 

“I’m not sure whether I’m myself anymore or not.”

 

And Gavril, without looking away, without paying attention to his aching chest, said in the exact same tone,

 

“Neither am I.”

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton was staring at Ginny, while he was drinking his fifth cup of coffee.

 

“Whoa, Charlton you might wanna slow down,” Ginny said with widened eyes in the common room, eating candy. There was dark, only a single candle was lit on the coffee table in front of them, where they kneeled. “The final task is going to be tomorrow, you wouldn’t want to be tired, or too hyperactive, right?”

 

Charlton paid no mind, he looked out of the window and raised his eyebrow when he noticed it was snowing. 

 

This early in November?

 

And then he murmured, “They shouldn’t have given us Crimson Eye potion. That’s too much, that’s too out of line. Something is not right.”

 

A clock was ticking in the room. An old, rusty one.

 

Tick.

 

Tock.

 

Almost like a music box, with a ballerina.

 

When Charlton looked back to her, for he didn’t get a reaction, Ginny didn’t even bat an eye, she just kept staring out of the window. 

 

And then she said in a quiet voice, “My brother always said, snow didn’t let the dead lie in peace.”

 

Charlton 

 

felt

 

chills.

 

“What did he mean?” He asked hesitantly, paying attention, still holding his cup of coffee.

 

Ginny answered, without looking away from the window, “Whenever snow touches the earth, everyone who died once, comes back.”

 

Charlton lost all the warmth from his body, going perfectly still. “They reborn, you mean?”

 

Ginny frowned, her bright brown eyes shone golden, as the light from the candle caught their glow. “Some do, in a way,” she said quietly. “But I think he meant by something else.”

 

“What do you think he meant by?” Charlton asked, just now noticing how he was leaning closer, elbowing on the coffee table. He slowly put down his steaming cup of coffee.

 

Ginny looked back at him, their eyes met and for a couple of minutes neither of them spoke.

 

Tick.

 

Tock.

 

And the snow was falling, as if there was a deity out there pouring it from a bucket. It fell heavily when Ginny said,

 

“I think he meant that some will reborn new,” her hair was red like the flames which made Charlton reborn. 

 

Reborn new.

 

As in personality, as in soul.

 

Like I did.

 

Did it snow then?

 

Maybe.

 

Charlton didn’t remember. Not anymore.

 

“Which one of your brothers told you this?” He was intrigued, they rarely talked about Ginny’s family, let alone her brothers.

 

Ginny blinked slowly, getting tired. Looking at her, Charlton felt tired himself, he could already feel his eyelids getting heavy.

 

He almost fell asleep, hearing a ticking old, rusty clock, and watching the cold, white snow falling.

 

But then Ginny answered, her voice was quiet in the room but clear like a lullaby,

 

Almost like a music box, with a ballerina.

 

“Ron.”

 

And Charlton dozed off.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

“So tell me what in Merlin’s name did you do while we were trying to keep Draco alive?” Blaise asked with a smug smile, while they were waiting for Parkinson to come back with Draco.

 

Lestrange will throw me out of the fucking window, if I say something to you, Zabini. 

 

But then Theo eventually would have a reason to hit her.

 

You’re allies now, Theo. Don’t be stupid.

Theo snorted instead. “Oh please,” he said. “Draco can protect himself, even though he’s paranoid as fuck, bless him.”

 

“Sometimes you talk about religion,” Blaise narrowed his eyes. “Other times you just have a foul mouth.”

 

“Look who’s talking, how’s your mom?”

 

Blaise wasn’t even angry. “She got a new husband.”

 

Theo pretended to be surprised. “Oh my lord,” he exaggerated. “Is this the fifth? Sixth husband?”

 

Blaise murmured. “Seventh.”

 

Theo formed a silent ‘o’ with his mouth, “My, my what happened to the previous one?”

 

“Vanished, who knows.”

 

“You’re giving me awfully short answers.”

 

“And you exactly know why.”

 

“You’re enjoying this way too much.”

 

“Now look who’s talking–”

 

The door opened and Theo stood from the bed and forgot everything which was in his mind. 

 

Draco, from the outside, looked the same. The same white hair, the same eyes, golden greys. The same height and posture but–

 

He never looked so human.

 

Theo felt his chest explode, and breathing became hard or impossible to do, and Draco always looked and acted like a machine, someone who didn’t feel anything towards anyone, who didn’t care about anything or anyone–

 

Theo pressed his lips together and his vision turned blurry, he blinked and then turned his head away in embarrassment. He angrily wiped his eyes, because why would he cry over something so little and–

 

He heard footsteps approaching, but before he could’ve turned around, someone hugged him. Someone who was smaller. Theo noticed white hair in the corner of his eye. He couldn’t believe it.

 

Draco was hugging him.

 

Draco, who did not dare to touch anyone.

 

He

 

was

 

hugging

 

him.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco knew he could easily destroy Theo, so he was careful to only touch him where there were clothes, even if he wore leather gloves, anything could happen. 

 

I just wanted to hug him, just once–

 

Theo then slowly, hugged him back by pulling him closer, “I missed you,” he said to Draco, so that only he could hear. Which wasn’t as important for both Blaise and Parkinson left the room, to leave them alone.

 

My best friend.

 

Draco felt his heart fill up with something which was similar to what he felt towards Harry, yet something else. It wasn’t as gentle, not quite. It wasn’t as exotic, as strong. 

 

But it was almost the same.

 

Harry owned his heart, soul, and body. Draco knew he owned them, it was all his. Harry made him feel safe and protected, powerful and independent. He could have easily broken Draco in half, only with his hands, but he didn’t hurt him and never will.

 

He was Harry’s in all the things that mattered.

 

But Theo, his best friend, his brother, was the one who owned everything else. There were memories, jokes and fears Draco would never tell anyone, not even Harry. 

 

And Theo knew all of those, because he was there. 

 

And I never showed Theo how much I cared.

 

Draco nuzzled into his shoulders, into the long coat he wore.

 

I care, Theo.

 

He really did.

 

Theo let him go but before he could go far, Draco intertwined their fingers. He didn’t feel Theo’s skin, he never would. He only felt his own gloves.

 

Draco brought his other hand, covering the top of his own, still holding Theo, and asked, “Did you hide the Horcruxes?” 

 

Theo stood there, petrified in shock. But then he gathered himself, as it seemed.

 

“In a way,” he said mysteriously. “I hid the–”

 

“No!” Draco cut him off with a sharp voice. He looked down at their hands, and brushed Theo’s with his thumb. “Don’t tell me, it’s better if I don’t know where they are.”

 

Theo froze, Draco could feel. He tilted his head to look at the taller boy. Theo looked confused, yet terrified. His fiery eyes were circling with orange and red, like embers and flames of damnation. 

 

“We have to kill him,” Draco said quietly, trying to make Theo understand. “You have to destroy all the Horcruxes. When he comes back, he might feel me, he might know what I think, what I know, what I want to accomplish, I don’t know it could be anything,” Theo got more and more scared with every each word Draco let out of his mouth. “You need to learn how to shield your mind, I don’t know how but you have to try Theo, and don’t let Auntie give him his Horcruxes, I will need time to–”

 

“Draco,” Theo gripped Draco’s hand with strength and pure fear. “He will come back tomorrow, during the last task.”

 

And

 

Draco’s

 

heart

 

stopped.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo had two news. One good and one bad.

 

The good; 

 

Draco realized who’s side he had been on, therefore, there might be a chance to kill that bastard.

 

The bad;

 

Lestrange didn’t know what he planned during the ceremony of bringing Voldemort back. However, Theo knew that Lestrange would only help him, if that meant he can get Draco out of that hellhole. 

 

Draco can’t kill him tomorrow. 

 

Not when Voldemort was at his peak, not when Draco still had a Horcrux in him, in his eye. Not when he could get hurt or even worse–

 

Theo sighed and closed his eyes. 

 

He was in such a deep shit.

 

“The Cup is a portkey,” Draco breathed and Theo opened his eyes in surprise. He shouldn’t have been, though. 

 

Draco is the cleverest person I know.

 

“Yes,” Theo nodded.

 

Theo could see the cogs moving and working in the mind of Draco, just like a machine. “That’s why you’re here,” he continued thinking out loud, not looking at Theo. “You had to make it a portkey, but why would he need me, when I could get there on my own? Maybe because that wouldn’t be fast enough, why would he need me so badly to be there when he– no that’s not it, I’m not the one he–”

 

Draco’s eyes widened

 

in

 

fear.

 

And Theo felt the terror in himself because–

 

When was the last time Draco had ever been scared?

 

“He needs Harry,” Draco’s golden grey eyes found his. Theo blinked, thrown off by the way Draco said Potter’s name. “But why would he need Harry?”

 

He calls him Harry.

 

Have these two talked?

 

“He needs the blood of the enemy. Who else would that be?” Theo said, helping out Draco. “Pettigrew is making a potion to give him a body – well, Lestrange said ‘create a body’ but I have no idea what’s the difference –, and that’s one of the ingredients.”

 

Draco didn’t even blink, he only said, “I will not let him touch that portkey.”

 

Theo never saw Draco like this. This reckless, this suicidal, this 

 

stupid.

 

“If something isn’t going according to the plan,” Theo said through his teeth. “If they can’t get Potter, then that means Voldemort’s second in command was responsible for that failure, the second highest in the rank, and you will be punished,” Theo’s voice got cold. “I won’t let them hurt you, I will kill myself before I let anything happen to you,” his eyes glowed bright with fire. “If they need Potter, they will get it, but honestly Draco, did you really think I didn’t have a plan?”

 

Draco’s breathtaking eyes were on him, waiting, speechless. “Can you save him?”

 

And Theo grinned, like the kings of demons when he said, like a promise from the deepest pit of hell,

 

“I can save both of you, just touch the Cup at the same time.”

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

“Why do you think he’s here?” Blaise asked standing outside of the room where Draco and Theo were. 

 

Pansy’s eyes were cold and tactful, dark even, as she said, “It’s probably time.”

 

Blaise raised an eyebrow. “Time?”

 

She only looked up. “Time for him to come back.”

 

And neither of them looked away from the other, not even for a moment.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

An adult male, red fox was walking around in Harry’s cell, quietly and slowly, never looking down, he kept staring at Harry.

 

His fur was as red as the fire, when the sun shone on him above – as he crawled through the large green grass–, its color changed into an orange, almost golden color.

 

The fox eyes were green.

 

He walked close to Harry, with his slender legs, holding so much grace and power, Harry forgot how to breathe.

 

The fox twitched one of his ears and sat down in front of Harry.

 

Then, and only then Harry noticed. 

 

There were several bear traps hidden through the green grass. Yet, the red fox never looked down, where to put his legs, where to move and when.

 

Harry looked back to the animal.

 

The fox looked like he was grinning.

 

Harry stretched out a hand, not looking away from the clever monster. The fox nuzzled into his hand without hesitation. Harry felt the soft fur on his skin, on his palm. He gently caressed the animal, sinking his fingers into his deep coat. The fox came closer and ended up lying on his lap.

 

Harry kept petting him, even when the monster was purring.

 

Harry kept petting him, even when other foxes appeared, trying to do the same thing the one who was on his lap did. 

 

Harry kept petting him, even when all the other foxes fell into the trap and whined, and screamed, writhing in agony, their bones breaking echoed in the cell.

 

Harry kept petting him, even when the monster was only staring at his nest, comrades. Not moving to help. As if the fox was saying,

 

You are on your own, when it matters the most.  

 

Harry kept petting him, even when the monster was purring.

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pestilence could feel Harry adapt, develop, and accept. 

 

He was going to break free sooner than he thought.

 

“What a monster you are,” Pestilence whispered into the nothingness, imagining he was talking to the Devil himself. 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

The day of the last task

 

A couple of second before it begins

 

At the Quidditch Pitch

 

 

The countdown begins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Knowing all of this,” Viktor began talking to Deyan. No one in the crowd from Durmstrang were looking at them, or were paying attention to them. “You still want to support and be there for Harry, all the way through?”

 

Deyan’s red eyes were blood itself. “Till the day I die, I do,” he answered from the bottom of his heart. “He showed me mercy, back in during the First Games. You know how much it will tell who you are, if you give mercy?” he said through his teeth. “I almost ripped out his throat, Viktor. Who could forgive that?”

 

Viktor sighed and then turned back to the grey, cloudy sky. The snow was falling on his shoulders, on his face, the cold welcomed his skin, vanishing the warmth.

 

On the day of Harry’s awakening

 

Snow will fall.

 

His grandfather wrote that.

 

And indeed, it came true.

 

Probably all the other things will come true, too.

 

And then, just like that, Viktor knew he would never have the heart, nor the gut to kill Harry. He was his friend.

 

And suddenly, he remembered.

 

“We need a leader, yes,” Viktor spoke, echoing his words from long time ago. “But we need a killer more.”

 

Deyan just patted Viktor’s shoulders, completely agreeing with this answer. Viktor couldn’t help but smile and think, looking up to the sky,

 

I’m sorry grandpa. I really do.

 

But there were worse things in the world, there were worse things than Harry.

 

Pestilence’s voice echoed in his mind.

 

There are worse things than death, ask Harry, he knows that too well.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Gavril’s cloak was long, deep golden fur of a king. He straightened his spine, his red and deep blue formal military attire stood out the most. His blonde–brownish hair was tangled due to the cold wind, which for a moment, felt like home for someone like Gavril Kozlov. He could feel the crunching of the snow, whenever he moved his feet, even by a little.

 

His heart ached, he tried not thinking about it.

 

He missed Russia. He missed Moscow. He missed his motherland.

 

But he didn't miss home.

 

Not really.

 

Was that really home? His home?

 

“You’re looking bored,” Eliza appeared next to him, in a winter uniform and green gloves of Castelobruxo. Her short, dark hair curled all over her red ears, because of the cold, and Gavril wanted to gently put them back to their place.

 

He slowly walked closer to her. “I’m sorry you lost,” he found himself saying. They were in front of the labyrinth, waiting for it to begin with the other champions who made it.

 

Koldovstoretz, Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Ilvermorny.

 

Eliza’s colorful eyes never left his. “It’s fine. Surprisingly, I’m not really worried about that,” she got quiet for some reason. Then she said, “Do you think, you’ll win?”

 

Gavril looked back at the Beauxbatons champion, and then let his eyes slid towards the Durmstrang champion. He had no idea why hadn't he noticed that up until now, but those two were monster, through and through.

 

Especially Potter.

 

Gavril still remembered when the younger boy almost killed him before the second task. 

 

Why was it so important to you to have Draco?

 

Gavril looked over to the boy. Draco was beautiful, he looked more and more beautiful day by day. 

 

But that was all he felt in connection with the boy.

 

Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Somehow, it all didn’t matter anymore. They were going to go to a war, Gavril especially. 

 

That potion must have killed something inside me.

 

No, not really, he supposed.

 

It just showed who you are.

 

“I will die eventually, whether I win or not,” Gavril looked back to Eliza. “You know what my family’s tradition is, Vilar.”

 

Eliza’s eyes lost their glow, as she walked even closer to Gavril and gently touched his hand, intertwining their fingers.

 

And Gavril felt warmth. 

 

It was innovative, striking, because all he had ever known was ice.

 

All he had ever known was

 

rigid.

 

“You could run,” Eliza whispered, just for the two of them to hear. “You could–”

 

“And for how long?” He asked because he had to and because he couldn’t afford to hope. He was still holding Eliza’s hand. “At least that way I’ll live longer. I’m afraid to die, you know that.”

 

She has to.

 

Eliza saw right through him during the second task, during that pouring rain, on that inevitable day.

 

Her hold got stronger, she almost broke Gavril’s hand. “You can’t die, you hear me,” she said quietly to him. “You have to promise me,” her voice felt too powerful to Gavril, and it wasn’t even loud. “Promise me.”

 

Gavril wanted to let her go, but couldn’t move. “Why is this so important to you? Do you know what you’re asking, you’re asking the impossible–”

 

“I thought you were brave under all the facade you put up to hide. Guess even I can be blind, guess I saw something wrong on that day, ” Eliza let Gavril go. The snow was a bright contrast on her dark hair, her skin was like an oil painting which was yet to be done and still looked perfect. 

 

She turned away. 

 

And Gavril only then realized that he was cold again.

 

He caught her forearm but Eliza didn't turn back to look at him. Just only when Gavril finally said, “I promise,” he didn't let her go. “If you do the same.”

 

Their eyes met.

 

As if two deers, a stag and a doe, locked eyes in a green, quiet, never ending forest, surrounded by traps and hunters with knives, and pistols.

 

Neither of them moved. Only when Eliza finally said, “I promise.”

 

And Gavril swore he could hear all the guns fire, and feel each bullet grazing his flesh.

 

Looking at Eliza, she must have felt it, too.

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Charlton wore Ilvermorny’s insignia on his chest, his deep red furred cloak almost hid it, but he didn’t mind.

 

This feels less and less about schools and Triwizard Tournament, and more and more about ‘something bad is going on, but we have no idea how to fix it, so we’re just avoiding the issue until the very very end’.

 

It bothered him so much, it bothered Charlton so much that he had no idea what was going on, he couldn’t even speak, out of pure frustration and anger.

 

He looked up to the screaming, cheering crowd, trying to search for Ginny. He couldn’t get what she said about her brother last night, out of his head.

 

I really wish grandma would be here.

 

That woman was old as time, but she was one of the most dangerous and terrifying Auror in America. 

 

It’s a gut feeling, I’m telling you Charlton. Trust your gut.

 

Charlton gave out a tired sigh and then looked down at hands, seeing his burnt scars marked by fiendfyre. 

 

Should I win?

 

Charlton frowned.

 

Would that matter?

 

Anymore?

 

At this point?

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

“If one of us finds the Cup, he has to wait for the other to find it, too?” Pestilence asked Draco again. 

 

Draco adjusted his white furred cloak, it almost blended it with his hair. Just like the snow, surrounding him, falling on him, his white eyelashes.

 

He looked like a real life, breathing angel.

 

“We have to touch it at the same time,” Draco said, his eyes looked almost full gold by now. “Do you trust me?”

 

“I do,” Pestilence didn’t even hesitate. “So no one else can touch it?”

 

Draco’s eyes widened. “No,” he pressed. “Just us and only at the same time.”

 

Pestilence hummed. “Well then be careful of others, pretty,” he said. “We’re not the only clever here.”

 

Pestilence meant Charlton. For some reason, that boy could tell something was too out of place.

 

But Draco merely looked at him when he said, “We both know, we’ll be there first anyway.”

 

Famine never teamed up with him, not like this, not ever.

 

Pestilence blushed.

 

He swore an oath to Famine. He was his only one, his rose, his eternal love and that won’t ever change.

 

But hell, did he like Draco.

 

Draco noticed his pink tainted cheek. “Are you serious?” he said, clearly not amused. “You too?”

 

Pestilence looked away, still crimson. “You don’t know – you don’t understand how attractive you are.”

 

“My looks–”

 

“I’m not talking about looks, I’m talking about wit, and charisma, and determination.”

 

Draco didn’t even bat an eye. “I’m only attracted to Harry, no offense,” he said.

 

But Pestilence was still worried and he had to make Draco understand.

 

“After I die and the war begins you really think everyone will play nice? Do you think Harry will play nice? You could get someone who looks out for you, someone who is kind and pure,” Pestilence gave him a sharp grin. “But then again, an angel really choses the devil, huh?”

 

Draco leaned closer to him, his eyes’ pupils narrowed to mere slits, his voice got quiet and low as he whispered, “Even if he’s the biggest monster on earth, I feel the safest with him. He would never harm me,” Draco then continued, “Harry doesn’t have to be delicate or nice, I already have someone else who is kind and pure and will always play nice. That person is my friend and friendship can be as powerful as anything else.”

 

Pestilence accepted that answer and calmed down. “I wouldn’t know,” he admitted with honesty. 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin! Let’s see who will be the Kaiser!

 

The crowd went wild, little flags and money was thrown around, even scarfs and hats, too.

 

Draco turned around and the stood next to Pestilence. Everyone got to their place and began to get ready. 

 

“And for the record,” Pestilence heard Draco say through the screaming crowd, through the snow and cold wind. “I’m far from an angel.”

 

Pestilence grinned.

 

Oh, you’re a monster, too, dear Draco.

 

But you know when to stop.

 

Harry

 

won’t.

 

And the whistle rang like an anthem.

 

And all of them 

 

ran 

 

into the labyrinth.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pestilence took less than three minutes to figure the labyrinth out. He saw the glowing Cup and sat down, waiting for Draco.

 

Five minutes passed, maybe six when Draco got there. The snow fell everywhere except on the Cup, it created  a circle around the object.

 

Draco walked close to it and stretched out his arm. Pestilence stood up and followed his movement.

 

They reached for the Cup at the same time.

 

And

 

the

 

world

 

took

 

itself

 

apart.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Draco saw a graveyard. The black outline of a church was visible beyond a large yew tree to their right. A hill rose above their left.

 

“What now?” He heard Pestilence.

 

Draco knew he could trust Theo. Harry won’t be harmed, everything will be alright.

 

“Follow me and pretend you’re Harry. Better make a good performance,” Draco whispered to him, and started going closer to, who he assumed to be, Pettigrew. Draco saw him push a rather large cauldron to the foot of a grave. There must have been water in it, Draco could hear it slopping around. Pettigrew pointed his wand at the bottom of the cauldron, making mighty flames beneath it. Draco noticed a snake slither around the large grass. He didn’t pay no mind, not to Draco, at least.

 

Draco looked around and saw Theo, standing next to Auntie Bellatrix. They finally noticed Draco, and of course, Harry.

 

But then, this wasn’t really Harry.

 

The liquid seemed to heat very fast, the surface began to set fiery sparks – it might have been encrusted with diamonds –, as if it were on fire, steam was thickening. 

 

“Ropes, Theo, now,” Auntie ordered. Theo gave her a look, and then walked close to Pestilence and tied him from neck to ankles to a headstone – Pestilence acted as if he was struggling, just like Harry would, but Draco knew the Horseman trusted him enough to know everything would be fine. Theo put something in his mouth in order to prevent him talking or screaming.

 

Not that Pestilence or Harry would ever do that.

 

But they didn’t know who Harry was. Or Pestilence.

 

“My darling,” Auntie appeared next to him and hugged him, giving him a kiss on his hands, on his black leather gloves. “I’ve missed you so much, good job bringing that useless boy here.”

 

Draco realized had no idea how he felt about Auntie Bellatrix. Still, he couldn’t shake off the familiarity feeling of her, so he carefully hugged her back. “I’ve missed you, too, Auntie.”

 

“Bella, concentrate, wouldn’t you?” Lucius warned her. Auntie said something vulgar to Lucius and walked back to where she was, talking to Theo, who was listening to her quite severely.

 

They were all dressed in black.

 

Only Draco was the only, stunning white.

 

“Draco,” Lucius nodded, not did nothing else. It was like a hit, even like a gutting. It hurt Draco, when it never did before. “I hope you know how important this is, I expect you to not disappoint me. I believe I made myself clear.”

 

Draco nodded, acting as if it was his second skin. “Yes, father.” 

 

Lucius nodded again and then turned around to several owls, continuing to write a couple of letters. Theo’s eyes locked onto Draco’s. 

 

What’s next?

 

Draco asked with his eyes. 

 

Stay put.

 

Theo answered.

 

Draco looked at Pestilence but the Horseman’s eyes were fixated on the cauldron.

 

And then Pettigrew began to talk.

 

Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!

 

The surface of the grave at Pestilence’s feet cracked. A fine trickle of dust rose into the air and fell softly into the cauldron. It sent sparks in all direction and turned poisonous blue.

 

Pettigrew was whimpering, he pulled a long, thin, shining silver dagger from the inside of his cloak. “Flesh of the servant – willingly given, you will revive your master. 

 

He stretched out his right hand, and gripped the dagger with his other and swung it upwards.

 

Draco didn’t even flinch as he saw the limb fall down to the ground, however, he did wince because of Pettigrew’s piercing scream, filled with pain. He dropped it into the cauldron, and it turned burning, crimson red.

 

Pettigrew was moaning in agony, suffering while he made his way to Pestilence.

 

Draco

 

almost

 

moved.

 

Stay put.

 

He tried to control himself and make himself calm again.

 

Blood of the enemy... forcibly taken... you will... resurrect your foe.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

“I know what you’re planning to do,” Lestrange whispered into Theo’s ear. 

 

Theo

 

felt

 

so

 

much

 

terror.

 

His eyes widened and he looked at her, showing his fear for the first time in his life to someone else. 

 

Lestrange only said, “You can’t do it before he comes back, you need to do it after,” she said. “Lucius will kill you, there aren’t any distractions that can save you–”

 

“Do you think I care, if I die?” Theo asked in a low voice.

 

Lestrange turned livid, her eyes like poison and venom. “I care if you die, because then who will protect my little Draco, dear Theodore?”

 

Theo felt shivers run down his spine. He felt cold and terrified. 

 

“I will do it after,” Theo said and thought about how he would never be peaceful again. He heard all the voices, whispering to him, all humanity saying–

 

Prevent this, he can’t come back, stop this.

 

But Draco saved Theo in so many ways since they were children and Theo had only one friend who knew all the ugliness and didn’t turn away–

 

And there was no way

 

he

 

would

 

let

 

him

 

die.

 

He looked at Draco.

 

What’s next?

 

Draco asked with his eyes. 

 

Stay put.

 

Theo answered and tried to stop the fear tainting his mind.

 

He couldn’t.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pettigrew moved the dagger to the crook of Pestilence’s right arm and his–

 

Pestilence

 

started

 

shaking.

 

His eyes widened, he couldn’t believe, he–

 

His blood was red.

 

Not

 

black.

 

Harry began to destroy the bars of his cell and he didn’t even notice. His eyes met Draco’s–

 

Draco was looking at him, with a perfect mask, but Pestilence could see his golden grey eyes scream.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pettigrew fumbled in his pocket for a glass of vial and held it to Pestilence’s cut, so that the a dribble of blood fell into it.

 

He staggered back to the cauldron with the blood and poured it inside. The liquid turned into a blinding white. Then, Pettigrew pulled out a locket from his cloak.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo

 

was

 

petrified. 

 

The locket – this was the locket they gave to Mundungus Fletcher during the bidding with Sirius.

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Pettigrew dropped the locket into the cauldron and then moved away, cradling the bleeding stump of  his arm. The cauldron was simmering, sending its diamond sparks, it turned all else velvety blackness. A white steam billowed thickly, and then a black smoke and Draco

 

saw

 

a

 

skeleton.

 

It was curled up in the air – the muscles, the skin grew out and the body grew and grew, taller and healthier. The smoke created a robe to hug the creatures body when he landed on the ground with a graceful movement–

 

But it wasn’t a creature,

 

and Draco was petrified.

 

The man could have been twenty years old or more. His pale skin was the healthiest Draco had ever seen someone have, short, black hair grew out of his skull, and then he opened his eyes.

 

They were dark, but if a person would be close enough, they would see blue and red, circling in the irises.

 

And Famine crawled back in Draco and he suddenly understood. 

 

Voldemort came back and he was reincarnated as Death.

 

As someone who was not created by the creator. He was a Horseman.

 

Auntie and Lucius dropped to their knees, Theo reluctantly following them, but Draco stood his ground. 

 

Famine was too afraid to move.

 

Voldemort began examining his own body and then drew out his wand. He pointed it at Pettigrew and thrown him against the headstone where Pestilence was tied.

 

“My lord...” Pettigrew choked, “my Lord you promised... you did promise all those years ago...”

 

The tall man moved his sharp eyes to the servant. “Your arm.”

 

“Oh Master... thank you, Master–”

 

But before Pettigrew could move, as if Voldemort knew what he would do, he said, “Your other arm.”

 

“Master... please....please.

 

Voldemort looked at his mark on his servant’s skin, as he extended his other arm. “It’s back,” he said softly, his voice low. “They will have noticed it.... and now we shall know... we shall see.”

 

He then moved his cold, venomous gaze towards Pestilence and said, quietly, like a ghost. “Your feather recognizes you, Pestilence,” he said and gripped his jaw. “We meet at last, you’ve found an interesting host.”

 

But Pestilence looked like as if he was dead. His eyes were still open, but nothing else happened.

 

Voldemort didn’t look away, his dark eyes never looked away. “Interesting,” he said slowly, and then pointed at Lucius without turning away. “Get him from the grave and hold him down with Bella.”

 

Lucius and Auntie moved, Draco looked at Theo with a completely unfazed mask and expression. He saw Theo move his eyes towards where the Cup was.

 

Touch it again.

 

Draco closed his eyes.

 

Okay.

 

When he opened them again, Voldemort was standing right in front of him.

 

Draco’s

 

blood

 

ran

 

cold.

 

He was taller than Draco, older and his eyes were animalistic. Draco could feel Death – feel the power and Famine began to shrink.

 

Voldemort leaned closer and brought a hand up to touch his face. 

 

And Draco

 

lost

 

his control.

 

He can touch me.

 

He was powerless against him.

 

Draco was disgusted, repulsed and wanted to get away but he was too scared, too paralyzed to move and so was Famine.

 

He stroked a thumb over the skin in front of Draco’s ear and then he looked into Draco’s eyes.

 

One eye.

 

His Horcrux.

 

“My Draco,” he whispered. “Time has been gracious to you, as I can see.”

 

Draco couldn’t say anything. 

 

He is touching me.

 

He is touching me.

 

He

 

is

 

touching

 

me.

 

He began to tear up as he felt Famine scream, it echoed in his ears. Voldemort wiped away his tears, and whispered with a handsome smile, “I can manipulate my Horseman. I learned how,” he purred. “And he thinks you switched sides, beautiful.”

 

Draco’s mind went blank for a minute.

 

Pull yourself together, come on, you have to do something–

 

But Famine screamed, and screamed, touching his head, curling up inside–

 

He is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me, he is touching me–

 

“No,” Draco said politely. “I didn’t, my Lord. I’m faithful to you, and you alone.”

 

Voldemort just leaned closer, his nose brushed Draco’s, as he said, “Well then you can do this for me, surely,” he leaned back and stepped away. “Lucius, give me a whip.”

 

Draco’s stomach dropped.

 

He saw Theo completely pale, obviously terrified. Next to him, Auntie was cracking her fingers, she was only doing this when she was anxious. Lucius, without a word, created a whip from a pencil, and gave it too Voldemort.

 

That was the moment when Draco finally realized how much of a monster his father really way.

 

Voldemort, without another word, gave the whip to Draco. 

 

He took it. 

 

“Bella,” Voldemort said quietly. “Turn the boy around and undress him up the waist.”

 

And

 

Draco 

 

froze.

 

Auntie Bellatrix did, and Draco could see Harry’s back, pure and unscarred. 

 

Pure

 

and

 

unscarred.

 

“Whip him until I stop you, until I think you’ve proven me wrong,” his dark eyes looked like hell itself. “Go on, beautiful. I have a lot to do today.”

 

Draco held the whip in his hand so strongly, it could have disintegrated. It was a pity that he wore gloves. 

 

The first time he felt it was unfortunate to wear them.

 

Draco looked up to Theo, trying to gather strength, and he could see Theo’s wrathful eyes, as he took a step forward. 

 

Voldemort stopped him.

 

He gently touched his chin and turned Draco’s head down. “You have to watch him as you do it, beautiful,” he said, deadly like a snake. “Otherwise it wouldn’t be a clean work, now, would it?”

 

Draco had never been so terrified in his whole life.

 

You can’t kill Voldemort. 

 

Pestilence said yesterday.

 

You can’t kill Voldemort. 

 

And Draco really couldn’t.

 

He 

 

had 

 

never 

 

been 

 

so 

 

weak.

 

Harry.

 

Draco closed his eyes and took a deep breath, as if he was concentrating to make a good hit, but in reality he was praying to whoever was up there, asking forgiveness, asking for something because–

 

Harry, this will never go away.

 

If Draco won’t do it, then he dies. 

 

He couldn’t die.

 

He has to help Harry to defeat him, he has to make sure Theo won’t die, he has to make sure Famine will get out safely–

 

You’re just scared to die, admit it already.

 

Draco swallowed down his guilt, his fear, raised the whip and struck.

 

He couldn’t hear the air breaking sound of the movement, or the sound of cutting Harry’s flesh. 

 

But he thought he could hear Theo vomit.

 

Forgive me.

 

Maybe because Theo realized that right now, none of us can help the other. Or maybe because he finally saw Draco’s monster.

 

Forgive me.

 

He raised the whip again, and struck. It moved Harry’s body, it made it bleed, but he still didn’t wake up and Famine was screaming inside, tearing Draco’s lungs apart.

 

Forgive me.

 

Draco was fighting back his tears, he tried to let his cold expression stay on his face, and he succeeded.

 

Forgive me.

 

Draco had no idea how many time he struck Harry, when Voldemort said it was enough. Harry’s back was scarlet red, tainted and painted, gushing with blood from the and deep cuts. Draco gave the whip back to Auntie and then straightened his spine, looking back at Voldemort. 

 

He was smiling. “Flawless work,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it better.”

 

This almost made Draco throw up – he could feel the bile coming up his throat. He swallowed, again. His eyes met Theo’s, who had clenched fists.

 

His eyes screamed, go.

 

And then Draco shook his head.

 

Not without him.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

“It’s been a long time, Harry.”

 

Harry didn’t turn his head towards the voice, he was looking down. It was bright in his cell, so bright and sunny that flowers started to grow out. Harry recognized Fire lilies, recognized their orange and red glow. 

 

Rhododendrons were planted around the piano, curling up the piano stool with their large petals, light shade of purple and white. There were hundreds of Amaryllis, purple and white with crimson veins. 

 

Begonia crawled close to the bars, red, and light shade of rose, and white. Monk’s Hood caressed his bare feet, covered in blood. Purple and light blue, painting his pale skin.

 

He recognized Verbena, the five petals which were thousands of shades of blue and purple, growing from the ground, hugging his knees. 

 

Harry finally looked up, and saw the man with blue eyes like the sky, and dark hair. He was the one who he had seen when he had been on the field of Famine’s white roses, in one of his peaceful dreams.

 

Harry remembered him.

 

He was looking at a sky–blue eyed man with dark hair, he was unrecognizable–

 

‘I’ve found something for you,’ he said and Harry saw a card. 

 

It was a man with closed eyes and a peaceful expression, wearing a crown on his head.

 

Harry was looking at the card.

 

The man was holding a rope, choking someone with it, hanging them, as they were smiling. 

 

‘What?’ Harry asked when he saw the man again. 

 

‘You need to find it,’ he whispered with a grin.

 

‘Why?’ Harry asked.

 

‘Because when you find it, you will figure it out.’

 

The man looked down at child Harry, hovering above him. Harry leaned his head on his knees and stared into his eyes. It reminded him of how Vernon looked at him, how much power he had over someone so little, someone so defenseless.

 

Harry looked away first.

 

He saw the man walk around his cell slowly in the corner of his eyes. He started touching all the flowers, all the different types of colored flowers, on the ceiling, on the walls, on the piano and the piano stool.

 

“Pride, nobility, purity, passion, love, happiness, healing,” he counted pointing at different kinds of flowers for each meaning and word. “This is nothing like you, Harry.”

 

Six year old Harry just slowly blinked and felt the tiredness, the ache in his chest overwhelm him.

 

Because this wasn’t him.

 

These were put here to antagonize and show Harry who he could have been.

 

“Who are you?” Harry asked instead, his voice felt just as small as he was, so he just curled up more, leaning against one of the piano’s legs. “How can you be here in my mind?”

 

The man crunched down in front of Harry, who flinched having an adult this close. He didn’t even look dare to look into his eyes. “I’m the Fifth Seal,” he said in a calm voice. “This is the first time I exist,” he stopped for a minute and then said, “I’m your Seal, Harry.”

 

Harry finally looked at him, his dead green eyes found his lively blue ones. 

 

“My Seal?” he asked, hardly understanding.

 

The man nodded. “When you break free, I have to make the bells ring, and then you can walk free,” he said. “I’m The Devil’s Seal.”

 

Harry’s eyes slightly twitched. “The Devil?” he pressed his lips into a thin line. “What a title,” he drawled.

 

Harry’s Seal hesitantly took the little child’s face into his hands, brushed the dark mop of hair out of his forehead, and whispered, “You’re not a magical being, you’re not in books, you’re not painted on cards by Prophets,” he pressed his forehead against Harry’s. “You are human who is capable of using magic.”

 

“Only a wizard then,” Harry offered then.

 

“No. Not just only a wizard,” The Fifth Seal shook his head and gave Harry a wide grin, filled with slyness and joy. “You can steal, Harry. Anything, you can steal anything at all.”

 

Harry’s eyes went round. “Steal what?”

 

“Someone’s magic.”

 

“Someone’s abilities.”

 

 “Someone’s skills.”

 

“Someone’s charisma.”

 

“Someone’s manners.”

 

All the flowers withered away.

 

Everything fell silent when Harry stood up from the ground, with his broken bare foot, holding an alive, breathing fox in his arms, close to his chest.

 

Pestilence appeared in front of him and finally looked down at child Harry.

 

Harry looked up to the adult and then looked away, for he was scared he would get hit. His eyes teared up, he just kept petting the sleeping fox in his arms. Every time when he put too much pressure on one of his legs, he winced with pain.

 

Pestilence crouched down in front of him and he was crying. He was probably feeling all the emotion Harry experienced in his life, all of the things he had locked down, deep inside. 

 

Pestilence couldn’t stop crying, he hugged Harry and whispered, “I’m sorry, forgive me,” he screamed. “Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me, forgive me–

 

Harry gently put his red fox down, and then brought a hand up to touch Pestilence’s face. He stroked a thumb over the skin in front of his ear. 

 

“I forgive you,” child Harry whispered in a broken voice, he saw his fox sat down behind Pestilence.

 

Pestilence was staring at him, silently, and smiled.

 

And then Harry slowly put his hands around Pestilence’s throat

 

and

 

snapped

 

his

 

neck.

 

The fox jumped on the corpse and tore off the head from the body.

 

Harry then started to grow taller, more muscular, broad and elegant. He was still looking at Pestilence’s corpse. 

 

He didn’t say anything, just stared.

 

Harry heard his mother’s lullaby from the back of his mind, a lower version of it, as he stepped on the corpse and walked towards the bars.

 

He pressed one finger on one of the bears and pressed, a bit pushed, too.

 

It

 

all

 

went

 

down.

 

He swore he could hear bells ringing.

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––

 

 

Harry opened his eyes.

He inhaled through his nose and when he exhaled–

 

I exist.

 

It’s as if he finally was in his own skin.

 

He never felt this sane.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Theo was looking into the eyes of Harry Potter and he was terrified.

 

This boy had been whipped violently, cut disturbingly, and he did not even flinch because of the pain when he regained consciousness.

 

Theo, without even realizing what he was doing, moved his eyes towards the Cup. He saw Potter following his gaze. 

 

“Somebody woke up,” Voldemort turned back sharply with something in his hand.

 

He looked back to Theo.

 

Theo winced.

 

Potter didn’t smile, but when it came to his eyes, he looked like he was laughing.

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

Many things happened all of once.

 

Potter, with one single movement, broke Lestrange’s whole arm and Lucius wrist, got out of the ropes, flipped over, got to his feet and pulled Draco with him, running towards the Cup.

 

But why? He could have killed Voldemort right here and–

 

Oh.

 

Theo finally realized.

 

Oh.

 

He wanted Draco out of here.

 

Theo then noticed, Voldemort move. 

 

He called his fire and bolted towards their direction – he could feel Lestrange and Lucius starting to regain back their calm as well. Before they could’ve touched the Cup, Voldemort touched Draco, and Theo

 

saw

 

a

 

dark

 

tar 

 

 

magic.

 

Draco fell down to the ground, curl up and then faint. Potter only saw it happen when Draco was already on the ground,  it was too late, his hands, his fingers already–

 

The portkey activated and then it vanished.

 

Harry was gone.

 

And Theo

 

fell

 

to

 

his

 

knees

 

and watched

 

as his world

 

turned

 

to 

 

hell.

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

When Harry woke up he was at the infirmary. He felt bandages pull his back, he felt them ache, he could feel his cut on his right arm burn.

 

He remembered then all.

 

He has Draco.

 

Harry didn’t feel anger. He doubted he could ever feel anything so strong again. 

 

He just felt this steadiness inside, he had never had this much of a clear mind before.

 

He felt calm.

 

I will eventually get him back.

 

Harry started nodding, although he didn’t notice anyone in the room.

 

No need to worry, I will eventually kill them all.

 

“Hi,” Harry heard a voice from the door, he looked back at saw a red head, a bit older boy than he was. “Someone will come here to take you away, orders from the heads, you know.”

 

Harry frowned. “Why?”

 

The boy blinked. “You won,” he said. “You’re the Kaiser. Just go with them, okay? They will take you where you need to be. Karin, Cedric, Kesta and Chinasa Botha will be moved there as well.”

 

Harry didn’t sense lie at all. “Okay,” he said. “Who are you?”

 

The red head smiled. “Ron Weasley.”

 

 

 

––––––––––––––––––––

 

 

Astoria noticed him immediately in the large crowd.

 

There he is.

 

She ran and caught his arm, pretending she lost her balance. The man automatically helped her.

 

The choir rang in her head, she didn't even hesitate.

 

The man who’s child writes for the lord.

 

“Thank you, sir,” Astoria said. “May I ask your name?”

 

The man nodded and then finally took off his hat. 

 

Astoria froze.

 

“Of course,” the man said. “I’m Arthur Weasley.”

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

“I have to write the book soon,” Ron said, sitting in front of the boy. “My headaches are getting worse and worse.”

 

“Did you tell him what you needed to tell?”

 

“Of course.”

 

“Well then, you can get to writing the book. Until then,” War turned to him and give the Prophet to the chess piece, The Queen. “Shall we begin the third act, Ron?”

 

 

 

–––––––––––––––––

 

 

 

Let’s pray for the souls who believe The Savior will destroy Voldemort. 

 

Let’s pray for them.

 

Because no one will ever do

 

 after 

 

Harry

 

is 

 

done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Part II