Unofficial Portkey Archive

The Different Shades of Grey by moogle

The Different Shades of Grey


Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to JKR.

Warning: Adult themes, graphic violence, some sexual references.

A/N: Some of you may remember parts of this fic under the name "Salvation," and indeed much of the beginning of this fic will be taken from that older story of mine. However, it occurred to me the other day that I could make the story so much better by adding and taking away certain things, so that is what I intend to do with this story.

I know I am more known for my comedies and such, so I will warn you now that this fic is very dark and will feature a very different Draco from my usual fanfics. I also apologise to my faithful readers of A Marriage of Convenience. I have not forgotten that fic, but I felt it was time I took a break from frantically writing chapters so I can mull over things and sort out exactly what I want to do next. It will help in the long run, I promise.

The Swan Loses Her Wings

A lone woman dressed in a black cloak walked up the steep slope of a craggy hillside, her steps fast and purposeful, and her head bowed as if in silent prayer. Clutched in one hand was a dimly lit lantern, allowing the menacing shadows of decaying trees and twisted plants to chase along beside her in a frenzied dance, but not once did she look up to see what shadowy companions had decided to follow her on such a bleak night. She just continued in her stooped over walk, moving as silent as the deathly silent trees that surrounded her which had long ago lost their rustling leaves.

The night seemed to let out a long, mournful sigh, brushing the hood off the woman's face with a small gust of wind, and tugging insistently at her cloak. Strands of golden blonde hair slipped out and caressed her pale, surprisingly youthful, face, and only then did she pause in her hasty walk to pull the hood back up to cover herself.

Her eyes, shadowed by the hood, peered out into the thick darkness with wary intent, looking this way and that, but everything remained just as dark, silent and still as it had before. The dead world was not disturbed by the revelation of her face, and feeling comforted that she was safe for now, the woman continued to walk up the steep slope; though this time with more urgency in her step.

A few frail stars watched her progress in melancholic silence, but the unhelpful moon had had enough of bearing light to such an ugly, silent world and sleepily hid his face beneath a blanket of dark clouds. The darkness suddenly became smothering in its intensity, and the woman hastened her step at the frightening prospect of being left in such a barren wasteland with only the feeble light of her lantern for sight.

"Almost there," she whispered to herself, more to break the terrible silence than to reassure herself of how far she had to go.

And then she heard it. The sound she had been dreading to hear. Someone was running towards her.

Feeling her heart freeze in panic, the woman quickly extinguished her light and started running blindly into the darkness, inwardly praying that she was not running straight into her hunter. She could still hear the horrible footsteps crunching towards her and felt tears begin to burn her eyes.

"Please, not yet," she whispered. "I can't die yet!"

A dead tree branch snagged at her cloak, abruptly pulling her to a halt as the cloak tightened around her throat and choked what little breath she had left. She gasped in pain and frantically scrambled to undo the clasp so that she could free herself, her fingers fumbling in clammy fear.

"Oh, please, Oh Merlin, please!" she muttered fearfully, still trying to free herself from the branch's hold, while hearing the footsteps coming closer and closer.

Finally the clasp broke free, and hurriedly she quickly threw the heavy cloak off her shoulders and continued running for her life. Her breath started constricting painfully in her chest as she ran, and her very heart seemed to be about to explode from the sheer pressure of pumping her blood in her frightened state.

Something sharp flashed past her face, just grazing her cheek and allowing warm, sticky blood to ooze out onto her pale skin. She clenched her teeth to stop herself from screaming, biting her tongue in the process, and kept running in sheer desperation. She knew it was probably safer to stop running, as her feet were making just as much noise as whoever's was following her, but she also knew that her hunter was close behind her, judging by the knife he had just thrown, and would realise straight away what she had done.

A cold laugh echoed around her from the darkness. "You can run all you like, little witch, but we will find you, and when we do we're going to show you what we do to demonic whores like yourself."

Now she realised why she could not escape from the footsteps. There was more than one man following her.

Other menacing laughs joined in an unholy throng around her, and it was with sickly dread that she realised she had been surrounded. She stopped running and gripped her unlit lantern tightly in her clammy hand, wondering what she could do now. She was no fighter and never had been, but her options were wearing thin.

Torches burst to life around her, ghoulishly illuminating the grizzled faces of her hunters with an ominous light. She could see the lust for murder written on their faces and felt her heart give out in defeat. This was the end. She was going to die.

One of the men walked forward clutching a thick rope in his hand. "Let's see if your magic will save you from this one," he taunted gleefully, while another man descended on her and grabbed her roughly by her arms, pinning her against his chest.

"Please don't kill me," the woman begged in a frightened voice. "I'm not a witch, I'm a herbalist in the village!"

"Lies!" One of the men shouted. "I saw you creating those satanic potions in your house! You were going to poison us all!"

"No," she cried desperately. "I swear it was nothing!"

The man with the rope smiled. "We'll soon see. If you really aren't a witch, God will protect you and you won't die."

Her eyes widened in fear, realising what was about to happen. "Please don't," she whispered, tears now slipping down her face in scalding trails.

The man ignored her and placed the noose around her neck before pulling it tightly so that it was already strangling the breath out of her throat. Gasping and spluttering, she was suddenly yanked forward and led towards one of the dead trees, where the expanse of remaining rope that was tied around her throat was tossed over one of the higher branches and held tight by one of the other men on the other side of the tree.

People had already started up the frenzied cry of "Kill the witch!" and the woman suddenly found herself being hauled up off her feet as the man holding her rope moved further and further away from the tree; dragging her higher and higher towards the branch.

Struggling with all her might, she tried to break free from the noose that was slowly and painfully strangling her, but it was impossible to get loose, and soon all thought started to slip from her mind completely as the cold blackness of death crept into her heart with each failed breath she took.

It seemed like hours she hung there on that branch, slowly dying while the men below laughed and hooted with twisted glee. The sky grew increasingly darker, as if the stars could not bear to face such wickedness below and had removed all light to hide the evil act, and still the men celebrated to the sinister light of their flickering torches.

Suddenly a man dressed in a green cloak appeared out of thin air, holding a thin piece of wood in his right hand. The celebrating men paused in their gleeful shouts and stared at him in stunned horror; the man who had been holding the rope dropping it to send the hanged woman to the ground with a heavy thud.

The cloaked figure's dark eyes quickly took in the hanged girl and then fell back on the men, where they narrowed in pure hatred.

"IT'S A DEMON!" One of the men shouted. "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"

With a snarl curling his thin lips, the green-cloaked man started shooting powerful bursts of green light from the piece of wood in his hand. Every time the light connected with one of the men they would fall down dead to the ground, much to the surprise and horror of the others. The men tried to run away, but the newcomer was quick with his curse and was determined to kill every last one.

Once the final body had dropped dead to the ground, he silently walked forwards until he was standing directly before the still body of the young woman. Tears slowly crept from his eyes and fell one by one down his face, and silently he knelt down beside her and stared down into her pale, twisted face; disgusted at himself for being momentarily repulsed by the strangled expression etched onto those once beautiful features.

He shakily reached out and touched her pale cheek and was surprised to see her eyelids flutter in response. Hope surged through his chest, bright and strong, and suddenly he was clutching her limp body close to his chest.

"Katherine," he exclaimed tearfully, holding her body close to him. "My sweet, Katherine, it's me, Salazar! Please speak to me!"

Her head lolled back sickeningly, and it was then that he noticed the glassy texture to her beautiful grey eyes. He was too late; she was already dead.

The hollowness that descended over him was as bleak as the very world surrounding him. He felt dead: as dead as the twisted, gnarled tree that had helped kill her, but there was anger too.

Shaking in fury, Salazar placed her body back down on the ground and clenched his fists in fury. It was those disgusting muggles' fault. They were so jealous of magic; so frightened in their pathetic, stupid little way, and now they had killed his only love: a squib nonetheless, who could never have protected herself against their cruel attack.

An ugly expression contorted on his otherwise handsome face. "I'll kill them all," he whispered fiercely to the dark night, tears streaking down his face. "I'll kill every last one of them and the mudbloods that share their blood too! They have made me suffer, and so I shall make them suffer tenfold!"

Clutching his wand tightly, he stood up and glared through the night, his eyes gleaming with the deadly glow of the killing curse. He would have his revenge, even if it never happened in his own lifetime; he would make sure of it.

"There will be no rest for those of dirty blood…"


"Ginny, Ginny, wake up!"

Ginny opened her eyes dazedly, groaning slightly as her body suddenly realised all its aches and pains, and looked up into Ron's concerned, freckled face. His long nose was burnt pink in the sun and premature wrinkles were already gathering at his melancholy, blue eyes. No more was her brother that smiling, carefree boy. Too much had happened; too much had happened to everyone.

Sitting up from the dusty ground, she winced as a sudden, sharp pain shot through the back of her head, and tentatively placed her fingers where a bruise throbbed. "What happened?" she asked faintly, still gently probing the delicate flesh.

"You collapsed," Ron answered, holding out a rough, war worn hand to help her up.

Ginny accepted his help and was pulled to her feet. She swayed weakly and then quickly regained the strength in her legs to stand again, though she still felt a little shaken.

"I don't know what's wrong with me lately," she confessed with a frown tugging at her lips. "It's been happening more and more."

Ron's eyes grew even more concerned. "Do you want me to get Madam Pomfrey?"

Ginny shook her head. "I'll be fine. Really," she added, seeing Ron's disbelieving expression. "It's probably just exhaustion. We've been fighting for years now." Her warm brown eyes gave a tired smile, an equally drained smile settling on her lips. "I think I just need a break from it all."

"Yeah," Ron breathed out with a sigh, his expression once more descending into its normal, gloomy sadness. "The war could have ended long ago if I hadn't-" He broke off and sighed heavily again, shaking his head in disappointment.

"It's not your fault Harry was hit, Ron." Ginny said quietly. "No one could have predicted that would happen."

"I was right there, Ginny!" he exclaimed heatedly, throwing a hand out harshly towards the dusty distance, as if gesturing to some unseen battle only he could see. "I saw the curse hit him! I watched him fall, and I did nothing to stop it!"

"You couldn't have stopped it! This is Voldemort we're talking about!"

"Yeah, well now the only person who could have stopped this war is an inch from death thanks to that curse," Ron muttered bitterly, his face twisted into a dark scowl.

He clenched his fists and suddenly kicked a stray rock, his emotional pain so evident in the hard lines of his face that Ginny felt a rush of compassion. She did not blame Ron for what happened, but he could never forgive himself for not doing anything to help Harry, and so continued bitterly struggling in life laden with an imaginary guilt. She wished he could just understand that Harry would never have blamed him. He would have understood why; he always had...

Ginny bit her lip and touched her brother's arm hesitantly, a small, comforting smile drifting over her cracked, dry lips. "We may pull through yet, Ron. Just have faith."

Ron laughed hollowly and stood away from her. "It's been four years, Ginny. Nothing is going to change. Our world is going to continue being a wasteland. Just look at the people around you! Look at all the broken smiles and shattered dreams. We have no hope! We have nothing but this rotten camp with all its rotten dying people!"

Her heart clenched in pain. "It doesn't have to be this way," she whispered shakily, "Harry will come back to us."

Ron shook his head in disbelief and walked away into the dusty distance, his shoulders hunched forward and his feet scuffing at the dirty ground. He did not believe that Harry would come back. No one seemed to believe that Harry would come back.

Ginny looked towards a dirty, frayed tent swaying forlornly in the wind. Slowly made her way towards the ugly tent and stopped outside its flapping door. She stared at the shadows dancing across the brown material and took a deep breath that did little to comfort her, and then pushed through the dusty material and entered the tent.

Inside lay a few healing odds and ends littered about on make-shift cabinets, but it was the man lying silently in the bed that caught her attention. His black messy hair hung limply around his pale, sunken face, and Ginny could see the vivid outline of the lightning bolt scar still etched deeply into his forehead. She sighed softly. He was like a skeleton, and Ron was right; he was inches from death, but no one knew how to help him. He had been cursed with a spell Voldemort himself had created and she had tried everything she could to heal him all to no avail, as had Madam Pomfrey.

Maybe Ron was right? Maybe there was no hope anymore? Maybe they needed to find a new saviour?

Ginny sat down on the small, rickety chair and stared down at his face, reaching out her hand to gently caress his cheek. "Harry," she whispered shakily, tears creeping down her face, "please come back to me. I can't live like this anymore."

He remained just as silent and still as ever. He'd might as well have been dead already for all the movement he made. Ginny couldn't take it anymore. She couldn't take staring at his wasted face each day, knowing that the man she had promised so much to was slowly dying.

"So you're going away again?" Ginny said quietly, not turning around from staring out into the distance where a bloody battle had just been fought. She didn't need to turn to know it was Harry standing behind her, and truth be told, she was afraid of what she would see in his face if she did. He had already let her go before; she did not want him to let her go again, though she knew that she would never be able to tell him so. This was his battle, and she was resigned to be the pretty maiden waiting for her prince to come home from slaying dragons. She hated it.

"I have to go, Ginny," Harry explained in what he must have thought was a comforting voice, but only made her heart break that little bit more. "You understand, don't you?"

Ginny swallowed back the tears that burned her eyes and turned to Harry, giving him a single, brave nod. "I understand. You're the only one who can end this."

Harry seemed to sense that she was not happy and quickly grasped her hand, looking searchingly into her eyes. "Ginny, when this war is over we'll be together. It will just be you and me, I promise."

Ginny looked down at the makeshift engagement ring on her finger and smiled slightly. Her eyes flicked back to his, a more reassured expression on her face. "I know Harry. Just come back to me."

Harry smiled warmly and kissed her lightly on the lips, leaning his forehead against her own as he broke away. "Don't worry. I will."

"But the war never ended," Ginny whispered bitterly, clutching the ring around her neck, which was now hanging on a silver chain, "and I'm still waiting for you to come back to me."

The tent door opened and Madam Pomfrey walked in with a basket of medicines clutched in her ample arms. "Oh, I didn't know you were in here, dear."

Ginny quickly wiped her eyes and stood up, hoping that Madam Pomfrey had not heard anything. "I was just checking on him," she explained agitatedly. "You're going to administer the medicine now?"

Madam Pomfrey nodded and then proceeded to give Harry the medicine that never seemed to work. "It's getting harder to get medicines with the Death Eaters swarming everywhere. Did you know that the wastelands were attacked again last week? As if those poor people haven't been through enough."

"I can't believe that people still live there," Ginny mused out loud, momentarily forgetting her own problems. "London was destroyed two years ago. Why cling to a barren land that is no better than a pile of dust and ruins?"

Madam Pomfrey looked at Ginny with an odd expression, the kind a mother gives to a child when asked why they cry. "Maybe it's because they have nowhere else to go? Or maybe it's just because no matter how bad things get that place is still their home."

Ginny shrugged and looked down at her hands. "Maybe."

Madam Pomfrey smiled slightly and then picked up her basket again. "Well, I'm off to do the rounds. The poor muggles are being attacked left, right and centre, and there's only so much I can do."

"I'll help too."

Madam Pomfrey smiled gratefully and both she and Ginny left the tent to head towards the camp.

Four years had indeed changed the Wizarding World-No, the whole world had changed. The secrecy of the magical folk had been broken just months after the final battle and then muggle and wizard alike sought refuge from the growing war. This camp was one of the few safeguards left in Britain; the constant threat of Death Eaters made people frightened and wary to go anywhere alone, and even Ginny was reluctant to leave the campsite.

Guards stood at the outskirts of the campsite all day, and the few remaining members of the Order of the Phoenix were seen patrolling the camp itself to keep an eye on things. Trouble happened frequently, as people fought over food, water and medicine, and even the smiles and laughter of innocent children had been quickly stifled with the arrival of a problem more sinister than just lack of supplies. A strange disease seemed to be spreading through the camps, killing off muggles and muggleborns one by one and no cure could be found.

"Old Mrs Jenkins has caught the virus." Madam Pomfrey commented as they headed towards a large, white tent. "We moved her in today."

Ginny pulled back the tent door and stared at the hundreds of beds in rows from one end to the other. Women, men and children lay dying, and slowly Ginny and Madam Pomfrey made their way to each person with the help of a few other medic-wizards and witches, trying to ease their suffering.

"How are you feeling, Elise?" Ginny asked a raven-haired woman who had been in here for three weeks. When she had first came to the camp, she had been a beautiful woman with bright blue eyes and healthy rosy cheeks. Now she was no more than a shadow of her old self, and Ginny knew she was close to passing, judging by the hollow glow in her eyes.

Elise weakly turned her face towards Ginny and stared up at her through eyes chilled with disease. "I…I feel strange… It's like my body is on fire."

Ginny frowned and touched the woman's forehead. "You have a temperature. I'm sure a cooling charm will help."

Elise shook her head and grasped Ginny's hand feebly with her own clammy hand. "My daughter, is she okay? Have you seen her?"

Ginny nodded and sat down on the bed, giving Elise a tender smile as she gently returned the pressure on the hand that held hers. "Isabelle is doing fine. She will grow up to be a fine witch."

"I'm so glad I met you, Ginevra. I would never have understood how special my daughter was otherwise." Elise smiled weakly and tears started slipping down her face. "Tell her I love her."

"You can tell her yourself if you'd like. I can bring her in to you."

"No," Elise exclaimed feebly. "I don't want her to see me this way." She froze suddenly and Ginny saw what little colour she had left drain from her face.

"Ginevra….I feel so strange," Elise whispered, a scared expression on her face. "It feels like I'm just floating away, only a don't want to. Can't you stop me from going? Can't you tell them to give me a bit longer?"

Ginny held back a sob and shook her head. "I can't do that, Elise. I'm sorry."

Elise stared at her in frightened silence, still with that terribly hollow expression in her eyes, and then the hand that had been holding Ginny's dropped to the bed with a soft thud, her eyes glassing over with the passing of her spirit.

Crying softly, Ginny closed Elise's eyes and pulled the sheets up over her face to hide the dead expression that was quickly imprinting itself in her mind.

"I'm sorry," Ginny whispered softly and then stood up. She noticed Madam Pomfrey staring at her with a worried expression and quickly looked away to hide her tears.

"Are you alright?" Madam Pomfrey asked kindly, coming to stand beside her.

"I just don't understand," Ginny exclaimed bitterly. "Why is it that I am still here, while people like Lyra-who are so innocent-are killed? I'm the one who has fought and hurt in the war! I should be the one dying, not them!"

Madam Pomfrey sighed and placed her hand on Ginny's shoulder, "The innocent are always the ones to die, Ginny. Don't worry, we shall find a cure for this."

Ginny wiped a tear angrily from her eyes. "How long will that take? How many more children will become orphans? How many more parents will lose their children, their wives, their husbands? Those of muggle blood are being wiped out, and I just can't sit here and watch them die!"

Madam Pomfrey gripped Ginny firmly by the shoulders and looked at her through grim eyes. "Look at me, Ginvera. You have a great gift inside you. You were blessed with magic and have the ability to heal. If you give up now, who will help all these people?"

"I-I just feel so helpless," Ginny confessed tearfully.

"I understand, but right now all we can do is help ease their passing until a cure is found. Have faith, child, and all will be well."

Ginny sighed and nodded, if a little reluctantly. Wasn't that almost the same advice she had given Ron earlier? Sure, it was easy to tell someone to have hope but to actually live that way yourself was so much harder.

"I'll try."

Madam Pomfrey stared at Ginny with a critical healer's eye. "Hmm, maybe you've been working too hard. Why don't you go take some food to the soldiers?"

Ginny nodded again, relieved to get away from all the death and misery of the tent. "Okay."

She quickly gathered the precious food from the ration's table and then headed towards the 'fort', as they called it, but it was really more a shack where the soldiers ate their meals and slept.

Ginny knocked on the wooden door and entered. She smiled as she saw Remus Lupin sitting on a frayed chair with a cup of cocoa in his hands. He waved kindly at her with his free hand.

"Ginny, haven't seen you in a while."

"I've been busy with healing duties."

"You look worn out," Remus commented, pulling out a seat for her with his foot. "Care to have a chat with an old wolf for a while?"

Ginny smiled gratefully for his cheerfulness and took the proffered seat in some relief. "How's guard duty coming along?"

Remus scratched his head slightly and placed the steaming mug on the table. "So far it's been quiet; too quiet if you ask me. We saw some scouts here last month, but so far nothing has happened to cause alarm."

"Maybe they weren't scouts?" Ginny mused out loud with a frown.

"They were scouts, alright. We recognised one of them. Does the name Draco Malfoy ring a bell?"

She nodded. He was one of the most prominent Death Eaters and Voldemort's right-hand man after his father's death one year ago. Draco had been forgiven from his past mistakes because Voldemort had recognised his tactical abilities. He had been impressed by how smoothly the operation had gone in Hogwarts five years ago and had decided to make the young Malfoy a battle strategist for the Death Eaters. From there Draco had continued to move to the top, and the boy who had cried in a bathroom because of his fears was quickly lost to the lust of power, or so they said.

Ginny knew all of this information because she had been a fighter for the light; that is until two years ago when her brother Charlie had died in her arms. He had been injured, and Ginny had been forced to watch as he slowly faded away, helpless with her own lack of knowledge. It was at that point that she had decided to become a medic so that she would never have to experience such horrible helplessness again.


"Sorry," Ginny said apologetically, breaking from bitter memories. "I spaced out."

The door suddenly burst open, and a young wizard came running inside, his eyes wild with fear. "Remus, we're under attack. The Death Eaters are here!"

Ginny and Remus exchanged startled glances, and then Remus was pulling on his coat, wand in hand. "You coming?"

Ginny nodded and followed the men outside, the frightened screams just starting up as the unsuspecting refugees realised what was happening. Jets of red and green flashed through the dull skies and wizard and witches could be seen fighting ferociously against the swarm of black robes and masks that oozed in like a deadly plague.

"They're coming from the other side! We're going to be surrounded if we don't do something!" Tonks yelled, valiantly fighting two Death Eaters at once.

Ginny ducked a curse and tripped, gasping as she fell to the ground and scratched her leg on a particularly jagged piece of rock. She was close to the edge of the campsite, where the blue, shimmering barrier that was supposed to protect them had been breached. A Death Eater walked through the barrier and walked purposely towards her, almost as if in a slow prowl.

Scrambling to her feet, and wincing at the sudden pain that shot through her leg, Ginny clutched her wand in her sweaty hand and met the silver eyes peering calmly at her through the slits in the nightmarish mask.

"Long time no see, Weasley," a cool voice said amiably. She could almost picture the smirk that must have followed that remark.

"Malfoy," Ginny growled, clenching her wand even tighter.

"Come, come, that's no way to treat an old school friend," he mocked tauntingly, while circling her in a predatory fashion, his silver eyes still watching her intently.

No one else seemed to be bothering them; in fact, if she had really cared to notice, she would have realised that the other Death Eaters were doing their best to attract attention away from the two, lone figures standing by the barrier.

"Ha! Old friend, as if!" Ginny spat back at him, her heart pounding in fear as she watched his lazy movements. He seemed too much at his ease for her comfort, and she knew full well that her fighting skills were rusty from dedicating her time to being a healer. Not only that, but she knew that Draco Malfoy was not the weakling they had once thought him. He had made quite the name for himself on the battlefields, and it was not for anything good.

Malfoy laughed, the sound sending a chill up Ginny's spine. "Still as feisty as ever, I see."

Just in that moment, a purple light flared up from further down in the campsite, causing a satisfied smile to creep into the cold, grey eyes that had been watching her. "Perfect," he muttered to himself, and then turned his attention back to her. "Now we can play."

He aimed his wand at her face and without warning shot a strange spell towards her that seemed to consist of white mist. Ginny screamed at her brain to move, but her legs seemed to be frozen to the ground. It was like some terrible dream where everything goes wrong and you can't move at all, and yet she knew that this was as real as the pain searing in her leg.


Blinking in surprise, Ginny suddenly found herself being hauled roughly out of the curse's path, the heat of the magic burning past her face. She glanced up to see Ron glaring down at her.

"What are you doing just standing there like that?" he demanded, releasing her in frustration. "You could have been killed!"

"Ron! Look out!" Ginny cried, instinctively pushing him out of the way as she saw another jet of white mist coming towards them. The spell hit her square in the chest, making her fall back to the ground in a sickening rush; all the breath knocked out of her so that she was gasping desperately for air. She could hear Malfoy's triumphant yell and Ron screaming her name, but she could do no more than stare dizzily up at the grey sky swarming with black dots.

Her fingers clasped around the ring at her neck, and vaguely she saw a figure falling in front of her as easily as domino, but then her eyes were clouding over and soon she was swirling into darkness.


Ginny opened her eyes painfully, squinting at the sudden light that filled her vision. She sat up dizzily and held a hand to her head, which was throbbing painfully, feeling a horrible sense of déjà vu. It seemed like only a few hours ago that she had done just the same.

Her eyes darted about the room she was in, noticing that it was not a tent like she had been expecting to see, but a fully furbished room; complete with an old, mouldy dresser, a wooden stool, and a chamber pot that reeked of human waste. Even the bed that she was lying on stunk of stale sweat and a strange scent that Ginny was quite certain she did not want to know the cause of. It didn't take a genius to figure out why there were scratch marks in the wall where nails had ran down in sheer pain and desperation.

Feeling a sticky fear creep over her skin, Ginny pushed herself off the sordidly stained bed and walked towards the door, trying to ignore the way her body swayed dangerously. It seemed that she had still not recovered from being hit with Malfoy's curse.

She turned the door handle but the door remained stubbornly closed. Furious and frightened at the same time, she tugged desperately at the door, but it refused to budge and seemed to mock her with its battered wooden frame.

Groaning in frustration, Ginny looked through her robe pockets for her wand but her hands scrabbled over thin material. Her wand was gone.

"I'm trapped," Ginny muttered to herself, staring at the locked and probably magically sealed door in angry defeat.

She sighed and walked back to the bed, collapsing on it in exhaustion and tried not to think about how dirty the sheets felt against her skin or how bad the room smelt. It would not do to dwell on what had happened in this room.

Her head refused to stop throbbing and her whole body seemed to tingle with some strange, burning situation; not to mention the overwhelming dizziness that threatened to steal her consciousness again. She realised there was no point trying to struggle right now, as she had no strength at all and had already wasted too much precious energy just trying to open the door. She would just wait until her captor revealed his or herself to tell her what was going on.

Ginny's brow creased into a frown as she lay on the bed. What had happened before she fell unconscious? Surely that would tell her why she was here?

She vaguely remembered talking with Lupin in the fort, when suddenly the Death Eaters had started attacking the camp. Everybody had been running around like headless chickens, and she had fallen to the ground and hurt her leg. That was when Malfoy had showed up.

Ginny clenched her fists at the thought of Malfoy, remembering the way his cold eyes had lit up with pleasure at the thought of being able to hurt her. Ron had stopped him from hitting her with his curse the first time, but then what had happened then? It was all so confusing, and she vaguely remembered seeing someone fall in front of her but she was not sure whom it was. What she did know, however, was that she had been hit by some kind of curse, and so far it only seemed to have shaken her body but had not caused any real physical damage.

The door opened and Ginny's eyes quickly darted to the opening to see who would come in. She stared at the tall, muscular man who entered, noticing his mean, beady eyes and leering smile. She unconsciously shivered, knowing that his hungry expression was not for food, and sat up stiffly as he closed the door behind him and walked towards her.

"Well, well," the man said in a gruff voice, the unrefined tones grating at Ginny's ears. "Looks like your finally awake."

Ginny stared at him in horror, feeling much like an animal caught in a cage. He was still watching her with that horrible greedy expression, and it made her feel sick to her stomach to think about what disgusting thoughts were going through his mind right now.

"You've been unconscious for nearly two days now. I was getting worried," the man said with a small laugh. "I wanted to have some fun with you before our leader came back." His eyes misted over with a scowl. "He never lets us have our fun."

Ginny stiffened at his words and glared at him. If looks could kill this man would have died instantly, but he merely laughed at her fury and walked even closer towards her, reaching out one grubby hand to cup her face hard in his strong fingers. Ginny knew she was too weak to resist him and could only sit there in horror as the man leered down at her through his beady little eyes.

"You're better looking than the others we have had," he commented in a low, excited voice. "I know I'm going to enjoy this."

He suddenly grabbed her roughly by her shoulders, causing her to let out a frightened shriek, and pushed her down onto the bed, his large, strong hands holding her tightly pinned underneath him. She struggled as best she could, knowing what he was going to do, but she just felt too weak and already could feel her mind buzzing in protest at the energy she was using.

Desperation seemed to give her strength, and Ginny angrily bit down on his arm. He let out a yelp and then slapped her hard in the face, causing her head to swing back against the bed with such force that she almost passed out.

Dazed and in pain, she lay there helplessly as he ripped her robe open and tore at her under garments so that her bare flesh was suddenly attacked by the cold, night air, sending goosebumps running up his skin. He gave a lustful laugh and started running his dirty hands over her smooth skin, and Ginny suddenly took a sharp breath as his rough hands travelled in places no man's hands were allowed to go; places where even Harry had dared not touch her.

Crying bitterly now, she once again tried to struggle against his hold but he just pinned her down with his body and pushed apart her thighs, his other hand fumbling with his own robe. Ginny could only squirm under his bulky body, weakly trying to push his hands away from her in desperation, but it was all to no avail. This disgusting, smelly man was going to steal her innocence; the last shred of virtue she had left in this decaying world. He was just too strong and she was too weak.

Suddenly the door burst open and with a few quick strides someone yanked the man off Ginny with surprising ferocity. She stared up at her saviour with a terrified expression, her heart beating rapidly and painfully, and her chest rising and falling with her heavy breathing. Cold, grey eyes that not so long ago had stared at her through the slits of a black mask, now glanced at her briefly before they turned to the man cursing furiously on the floor.

"Get up you disgusting pig," Draco Malfoy spat in a chilling voice, his fury so evident that Ginny almost shuddered herself.

The bulky man sat up, his mean little eyes glaring malevolently at Draco. "What's this all about, aye? I'm allowed to do what I like to her."

Draco's mouth curled into a snarl and he reached down and snatched the bulky man by the throat, his cold eyes narrowing with intense dislike. Though Draco was only twenty-one at the most, there was no question in who was ruling the show here.

"I thought I specifically told you not to touch her," he growled dangerously. "She is in my care until the Dark Lord tells me what to do with her, which means you are not to go near her."

The man's eyes flickered with fear, his face going slightly purple from the lack of oxygen getting to his brain. He nodded to show he understood and Draco released the man's throat, letting him collapse to the ground again gasping for breath. The man quickly stood up and started massaging his throat.

"Forgive me, sir. It will not happen again," he apologised greasily, though his eyes still lingered with malevolence.

Draco laughed softly, the sound making the hair on Ginny's neck rise. "No, Baldren, you will not be making the same mistake again, for if you do, I will personally show you what I do to those who displease me. Do I make myself clear?"

Baldren nodded and quickly left the room, shooting a final dark glance at Ginny, who was still too shocked to move, as if it was all her fault that he had gotten in trouble.

Draco watched the door shut and then turned his chilling, grey eyes to Ginny, a disdainful expression on his face. "Cover yourself up, unless you want to prove what a whore you are," he ordered scathingly, his eyes briefly passing over her exposed body.

Ginny swallowed slightly and clutched the ripped robe to her body to cover her nakedness, still feeling very shaken and scared. She stared up at him through fearful eyes, wondering what he was going to do to her. She had no fear that he would try and rape her, but she was not stupid enough to think that he would be kind to her either.

"W-what do you want with me?" she stammered, her eyes burning slightly from unconscious tears. She had never felt so afraid in her life as she did in this room. She couldn't understand why he had captured her, but knowing that he would be her captor did nothing to soothe her fears. Draco Malfoy was as ruthless as he was cold, and she doubted her womanly charm would save her from his wrath.

Draco laughed his soft laugh and walked lazily towards her, reaching out his hand to grasp her face in a hard grip. He forced her face towards him painfully, so she had no choice but to look into his pitiless eyes.

"Don't cry, Ginevra," he taunted cruelly, the use of her name only making his words seem even more sinister. "I'm not going to rape you like Baldren tried to. In fact-" he lowered his voice so that it became twistingly soothing in an odd way- "I don't want anything from you at all, but it seems my master has plans for you. You should be grateful," he added bluntly, not sparing a single shred of pity for her. "If I had my way you'd be dead."

Ginny's eyes widened in fear, realising just how dangerous her position was.

Draco laughed suddenly, as if he found her amusing, and released her face to step back from her. "Don't look so upset," he mocked in his smooth voice, "At least you're not already dead like your brother."

Ginny gasped and clutched her mouth in horror, her eyes instantly filling with scolding tears. She could see the amusement he was getting at her expense and felt like tearing out the cold eyes that mocked her sadness so ruthlessly. How dare he laugh at her pain?

"Y-you killed him?" Ginny demanded, voice shaking with suppressed rage.

Draco smiled cruelly and nodded his head. "He made a heroic job in trying to protect you, but really the odds were against him." He smoothed his hair back arrogantly and met her teary eyes through his own cold grey ones. "What hope did a brainless oaf like that have against me?"

Ginny glared at him, her anger swallowing up any words she could have uttered. If she had had a wand in her hand at the moment she was sure that she could have cast the perfect cruciatus curse. She would have meant every word of it.

Draco merely smirked at her, knowing what she was thinking, and then walked away towards the door. "Don't bother trying to escape," he said casually as he opened the door. "I personally will punish you if you even attempt anything."

Ginny watched as he closed the door behind him, leaving her once again to be alone in the filthy room. All of a sudden she felt like her whole body had broken, with all the pain inside her bursting out from her rib cage in terrible screams. She pulled her knees closer to her, hugging them to her chest as she rocked backwards and forwards; desperately trying to breath through the tears that spilled down her face, but it was all becoming too much. Her life was over; there was no way she could escape from this place now. She could see it in Draco's cold eyes.

Deep down, in amongst all her fear and pain, she also had to wonder what was left for her out there. Ron was dead, who knew who else was dead, and Harry-Ginny let out a fresh sob and clutched the ring hanging from the chain around her neck-Harry had might as well be dead for all he could do.

Voldemort had stolen everything from her, and now he was going to steal her life too. She didn't know what he wanted from her, but she doubted it was to give her an enjoyable time. She just wished she knew so that she didn't have to spend any longer with Draco Malfoy or the disgusting man who had tried to rape her. Death would have been better than facing them every day.

Ginny sighed bitterly and forced her mind not to linger in such depressing thoughts. She just had to persevere and keep that hope that someone would come to save her. She could not give up now, no matter how much her body longed to. She couldn't; she had to fight, if not for herself, than for Ron who had died trying to protect her.


Draco picked up his drink, his fingers sliding against the cool glass as he frowned to himself. He had been surprised to walk into the room only to find Baldren trying to rape his prisoner, but that didn't explain why he had gotten so angry. Many of his Death Eaters did enjoy taking pleasure in the spoils of war, the female prisoners being one of them.

Though Draco himself never indulged in such crude acts, he generally allowed his men to have their way with the woman, if only to keep the peace between them. They seemed to feel it was their 'right', though Draco felt sickened every time he saw them doing it; even more so when the captive was no more than a girl. However, this time he would not suffer it to happen, and not just because the Dark Lord had made it clear he would be held accountable for whatever happened to her.

He didn't understand it, and truthfully he did not want to. Seeing her struggling so helplessly had triggered something inside him that had slept for a long time. His fury was overwhelming and it had taken all his self-control not to kill Baldren right then and there.

It disturbed him to know that his indifference had been overthrown, for when he had seen Ginevra's eyes meet his, the fear and relief so evident in the chestnut depths, it had almost been like someone else's emotions had taken control. He had never so much as considered her in any light before except for his own amusement to see her suffer, but in that moment he had had no choice but to help her. It bothered him, for he had promised to rid the world of all blood traitors, and she was one of them, so why, then, had he come to her rescue? Why did his rage flare so easily when he saw her struggling so helplessly?

Draco sighed and took a sip of his wine, letting the intoxicating liquid slip down his throat to dull his sense. He could still remember the way her creamy skin had screamed at him to run his hands along, to feel her smooth flesh under his…

He swallowed and took another gulp of wine, trying to ignore the way his body was heating up. It was only because she was sitting there exposed for anyone to see. Anyone would have felt tempted with the way she didn't even try to cover herself, as if she were inviting him to take her. It wasn't anything other than lust, and he was just grateful that he was not weak enough to give into such base desires. To even think of touching such scum as her was treacherous. All he had to do was clear his mind and he could go back to happily despising everything about her, just waiting for the time when he would be allowed to erase the life in her eyes and finally end the Weasley line.

Draco frowned again, wondering what it was that the Dark Lord wanted with her. He didn't see anything special about her, and the sooner she was killed the better. He didn't particularly want to be her captor and had been furious when he had received the missive to capture Ginevra Weasley specifically from the camp. Still, he could at least be satisfied that he had managed to kill Ronald Weasley; that had truly been a delight to carry out.

Smiling in a satisfied way, an amused expression crept into his eyes as he remembered the way Ronald Weasley had screamed in agony, while he, Draco, had tortured his body into grotesque shapes until the very last scream had been released. Oh yes, he had taken great delight in that death.

He was very good at torturing and prolonging suffering, thanks to the tuition of his loving Aunt Bellatrix. It was a shame his father could not have been here to see him take up the family mantel. He was sure Lucius would have been proud.

Draco drained the rest of his wine and placed the empty cup on the table, his cold grey eyes staring about the room, pausing when they ran over the form of an unconscious man lying on the bed before him. He stood up and walked over, his eyes trailing along the wasted body, pausing slightly when he saw the lightening bolt scar slashed across the man's forehead.

"Look what has become of you, Potter," Draco mused out loud in a soft voice. "Ironic, isn't it? That it should be you who is inches from death, while I walk triumphantly along the path you detested so much."

Draco pulled the blankets up over Harry Potter's emaciated body and stared down at him with an almost defiant expression that did not quite hide the trouble in his eyes. "You showed me pity once, but do not expect me to do the same for you. You should have killed me that day, but I will not make the same mistake. The ones who kill, they are the people who make things happen. Mercy is for the weak, and I am not weak!"

The door opened, causing Draco to turn and glare at the cowering man now standing in the doorway. "What is it?" He snarled, annoyed that he should be disturbed when he had specifically asked not to be. The man shifted uncomfortably and Draco couldn't hide his amusement at seeing a fully-grown man cringing in front him. It was proof of his power and superiority and made him burn with excitement to see the way he could manipulate people all through fear. Why would he ever give this up?

"Sir, the young lady will need some clothes." He coughed slightly and looked at Draco hesitantly. "She also asks if she is going to be fed at all."

Draco rolled his eyes. "Of course she is going to be fed, you imbecile. What do you think we are going to do? The Dark Lord has made his orders very clear that we are to look after her unless she gives us reason to punish her."

"Of course. I will go give her some clothes and food right away."

"Forget it," Draco exclaimed impatiently and walked past him. "I'll do it myself. You're all a bunch of incompetent fools, and I don't trust any of you with her."

The man flushed slightly but Draco was not blind. He could see how the men were getting excited at having another female prisoner, but he was not going to let any of them touch her. She was a disgusting blood traitor, but she was under his care and that meant none of their filthy hands were to go near her.

Draco picked up some plain black robes and then made his way to the kitchens to grab some food before heading back to the room where Ginevra Weasley was being kept. He glared suspiciously at the men walking down the hallway and briefly wondered if he should change the wards on the door to only recognise him; at least then he would not have to worry about his men trying to rape her.

Deciding that he would do just that, Draco opened the door, muttering an incantation as he did so that the door would only open to him. He then walked in and spotted Ginny still sitting on the bed, her hands clutching the torn robe to her body to cover her nakedness.

Draco casually walked towards her and placed the food down on the bedside table. He held out the robe to her, his eyes blank from all emotion.

Ginny took the robe silently, her fingers unwillingly brushing against his. She glanced at him with a sideways look and Draco realised that she wanted him to turn around so she could put the robe on. He merely stared at her coolly, his eyes showing nothing but disdain.

"Can you turn around?"

Draco raised an eyebrow, allowing his eyes to mock her and degrade her just that little bit more. "It's nothing I haven't seen, Weasley."

Ginny glared at him, her head tilting defiantly as she stood up and let the robe fall to the ground, revealing her naked body. She never once took her eyes of him as she pulled the robe he had given her around her petite frame, a furious expression burning in her eyes.

"Satisfied?" She asked contemptuously, now doing up the robe. Draco couldn't help but admire her strength; she was obviously made of more than he had given her credit for.

"Your food will be brought to you three times a day," Draco began in a smooth voice, deciding to ignore her taunt. "You have no need to fear being poisoned, as I'm sure you have already guessed that if I wanted to kill you I would have done it already. I suggest you eat it, as you will need your strength."

Ginny said nothing and merely stared at him with undisguised loathing. Draco gazed back coolly, completely unfazed by her hate. He had already resigned himself to being in charge of her, and now it seemed he would have to wait on her himself since he couldn't trust his other men. He doubted any of the others would be able to handle her anyway.

"I'll leave you now, but tomorrow I will be back and you'd best remember who is in charge here," Draco threatened dangerously. "I'm expecting your cooperation. I'm sure you will prove useful to me when I next decide how to destroy your pathetic fighters of light."

Ginny only glared at him, causing Draco to give a small smile at her feistiness. He knew that he would have fun breaking her, if only the Dark Lord would let him have his way.

Draco smirked tauntingly at her and then left the room, not even bothering to give her a backward glance. As soon as the door had shut, Ginny let out a frustrated yell and threw her tattered robes at the door. She hated him so much and now it seemed she would be subjected to him everyday.

"Oh Merlin, please let me get out of here! Please!"