- The Dark Arts
- Other Canon Male Muggle/Other Black family witch or wizard
- Other Canon Male Muggle
- Harry and Classmates During Book Seven
- Deadly Hallows (Through Ch. 36)
Published: 09/27/2007Updated: 09/27/2007Words: 1,235Chapters: 1Hits: 369
- Story Summary:
- Ted thinks he ought to get used to the feeling.
"...They burned down Dedalus Diggle's house, but as you know he wasn't there, and they used the Cruciatus Curse on Tonks's family. Again, trying to find out where you went after you visited them. They're all right--shaken, obviously, but otherwise okay."
Just like in the movies, Ted had always imagined them to come in the middle of the night. But never during dinnertime.
He and Andromeda are tucking into an especially delicious-smelling roast beef dish ("Molly really has a talent for making recipes," his wife says after one bite) when there is a crackle, like lightning, that briefly lights up the gardens around the house.
He stops eating to listen for thunder, fork and meat hovering in front of him. Andromeda's eyes are wide as she quietly puts down her glass. They both draw their wands under the table.
The kitchen door is thrown open with the force of a gale and he and Andromeda are disarmed and frozen to their seats before the word Protego even reaches his mouth. Three wisps of thick black air enter the room in a flurry of swishy noises and solidify into people.
The first jolt of electric pain zigzags its way up his spine and follows the numerous paths of his neurons to burn into every part of his body. Sweat is already breaking out on his forehead and screams are ripped from his lips, from his diaphragm and the vibrating strings at his throat. The only thing louder than Ted's screaming is that of Andromeda's as she falls onto the floor, twitching and wriggling like a fish out of water.
But just as suddenly as it was cast, the curse is stopped.
"There'll be more of that if you don't cooperate," says a voice recognizable to Ted from years of playing Quidditch against its owner. "Do you understand?"
Ted looks up at Rodolphus Lestrange and nods.
"Do you understand, Andromeda?"
"Yes, Rodolphus," she replies weakly from the floor. She is roughly shoved back onto the chair by Yaxley. He keeps his wand trained on Andromeda while he twirls her wand in front of her, a familiar gesture (A Death Eater trademark? Ted's mind wonders as it pumps blood furiously) that almost makes Ted smell the burning wood and hear the panicked screams of people that colored his first and last encounter with the Cruciatus, when Death Eaters attacked Hogsmeade during the first visit of his seventh year and Bellatrix tortured him and he realized he was in love with Andromeda.
"We know that Harry Potter was here last July 27," Lestrange tells them, "and that he took a Portkey to another secure location afterwards." He looks Ted straight in the eye. "Do you know where he went?"
"No," Ted and Andromeda reply.
"Don't lie," Dolohov says, and flicks his wand to send a current of pain that travels from the tips of Ted's toes to his head and back. Ted's voice is hoarse when he gasps for air, achingly aware of the weakness of his body. Andromeda tries to move closer to him but Dolohov flicks his wand again and now it's her screaming that reverberates through Ted and rings in his ears.
"WE'RE NOT LYING! WE'RE NOT LYING!"
"Andromeda," Lestrange says. "You do know what we are capable of doing to you and everybody you care about if you don't cooperate."
"Unfortunately," she breathes softly, but with enough venom to amuse him.
"And you still won't answer our questions to save this worthless piece of shit you married?"
Ted feels like he's being forced to turn inside out to expose his raw, sensitive insides to curse after silent curse from Lestrange, Dolohov, and Yaxley.
"STOP IT! STOP IT!" Andromeda screams. There are trails of tears running down her cheeks. "LEAVE HIM--LEAVE HIM ALONE--"
"He will meet the end he deserves one day, Andromeda," Dolohov says. "But you can still...stall." This is met by harsh laughter from the other two. "And perhaps, if the information you will give us is extremely helpful--why, we may only want to torture you for the shame you brought upon your family, upon the entire pureblood--"
"We don't know where Harry Potter is," Ted interrupts him through chattering teeth. "And even if we did, we wouldn't tell you."
"You've made your choice, Tonks," Yaxley spits out.
They leave Ted and Andromeda trembling on the floor. Ted thinks he ought to get used to the feeling.
Ted decides that being prepared for the worst doesn't make the worst feel any better. But knowing that the worst is for the best does.
He is in a position he only knows too well--curled up on the ground--at the feet of somebody who is playing with his nerves and every feeling particle of his body with well-placed curses that spread like a disease. How ironic that he is in a forest again, like he was when Bellatrix first made his body contort in agony with words that oozed from between her blood red lips.
But this time, it is evening and there is no Andromeda to block his view of the sky, because she is safe at home and he hopes that she will stay that way.
Bellatrix's dark eyes glitter like the few stars above him as she sneers down at his dirt-strewn form. He is still shuddering from her Cruciatus, occasionally bumping into Dirk Cresswell's lifeless limbs beside him. She twirls her wand in front of him, and Ted feels seventeen and helpless again.
Ted always knew that she would be the one to get him in the end. She says the things he has always expected her to say when this time came, things about blood and filth and how he is filth and how he dared to even look at a sister that could've been great. She says these as she circles around him for the entertainment of her companions, who have also probably gotten that boy Dean and those goblins.
He doesn't want to use what is left of him to fight back and say that Andromeda chose him over them because he knows that Bellatrix already knows this and that is why she is so angry.
The ground is cool and moist and reminds Ted of camping with his father in the woods and letting Dora crawl all over him in the garden while her hair goes from pink to purple to plaid, the plaid of his mother's favorite trenchcoat--his mother who tried and failed to learn all the household spells Andromeda knows, spells to make the house clean and shiny--and then there's Andromeda, scolding him for leaving his dirty socks on the floor, the pair with stars that his dead best friend Edgar Bones had given him when he learned that Ted was made Head Boy, the socks that he wore to Dora's wedding because he was in such a hurry--
Ted thinks of Dora's baby, who may or may not be a werewolf, who may or may not have a different nose each day, and an ache fills him where all desire for fighting Bellatrix used to be.
But he knows that he is keeping his family safe by leaving. And that makes the end almost bearable--like something familiar and calming enveloping him, less of an end than a return to where he came from.
Ted disappoints Bellatrix when he doesn't beg for mercy.