Wraith Chpt. 59
Chapter Fifty-nine: Silence
"The silence of a treacherous man is to be feared more than his words."
The sun had set only moments before and the edge of the sky was still stained blood-red and orange. The evening air was frigid when Lord Voldemort stepped outside. He had used one of the Manor's side doorsthe door that opened onto the Rose Maze. His odd awareness of his Wraith had led him there.
Voldemort stood near the entrance of the Maze, on edge to see whether or not the girl had dared to disobey him by entering the Maze. "Wraith?"
"Here, my Lord." Wraith stepped around the corner of the Maze, smirking just a little.
"May I ask why you are out here, pet?" the Dark Lord asked, turning to face with her suspicious eyes.
Wraith shrugged lightly. "Curiosity," she replied ambiguously as she touched a hand to one blackened rose.
Voldemort relaxed slightly, recognizing the mischievous air about her. "Were you testing me again?" he asked her.
She tilted her head to t
Wraith Chpt. 58
Chapter Fifty-eight: Fractured
"There is no good and evil, there is only power...and those too weak to seek it."
Wraith stared at him, uncomprehending. "And you expect me to do that how?" she asked incredulously. He must be joking, A piss-poor joke but
"You are the most important of his followers, Wraith," Snape told her. "Your words have weight."
"And yours don't?"
Snape's patience, already a thin thread, snapped. He grabbed hold of her arm and began to pull her towards the stairs. "We don't have time for this," he said. "I have already done my best and it was not enough. We need her alive!" He pushed her through the front doors impatiently. "Keep her that way."
But Wraith did not move. "Why?" she asked swiftly. "Why can't she die?"
"Because we have gotten nothing from her," Snape said. "I have Veritaserum, truth potion, brewing, but it will not be ready for another month. We need to buy that much time at least!"
"I" Wraith f
Wraith Chpt. 57
Chapter Fifty-seven: Unasked Help
"Sometimes you feel other people's pain worse than your own. We're armored against our own troubles. We can't afford to give in to despair. Then you see someone else struggling, and it breaks your heart."
Wraith slipped almost silently into Voldemort's tower and quickly closed the door. "My Lord."
Voldemort was looking through the upper bookshelves and did not seem surprised by her entrance. "What are you hiding from now, my Wraith?"
Her eyes narrowed as she gazed up at him. "I'm not hiding," she told him with the slightest pout. When he simply looked down at her with vague disbelief, she gave in. "Oh, alright," she said. "If you must know, I'm hiding from the babies. I'm rather tired of their oh-so frightened glances and the rest." She sat on the edge of his desk and shrugged. "It's all well and good to be so terrifying, but it is so very tiring."
"It is more effective for them to fear you," Voldemort reminded her.
"At least there's Harp
Wraith Chpt. 56
Chapter Fifty-six: Reconciliation
"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."
He found her later, not in her tower as he had expected, but in a ruin of a room that had served as the Manor's library a thousand years before.
The room was immense, filled with broken and decaying shelves and thick with dust and the scraps of books long ago forgotten. It was only at the front of the room that a little restoration had been done. It was as if someone had started, seen the amount of work required, and then quit. The shelves closest to the doors were repaired and cleaned, though they had not yet been stocked with new books.
And in the corner of the room was a faded sorry excuse for a couch, set there as though it too had been forgotten. It was on that couch that she lay, gazing up at the ceiling and the faded gilt there, tears silently streaming from the corners of her eyes.
Voldemort stepped into the room and, ignoring the dust, closed the doors behind him.
Wraith Chpt. 55
Chapter Fifty-five: Watcher, part eight
"I have made plenty of enemies in my lifetime, but none has ever done me as much injury as I do myself."
Wraith entered the drawing room still wearing that smile and settled into a chair near the windows. Wormtail was sitting in the corner of the room, nursing a butterbeer and Rowle had a glass of something stronger.
Seeing her expression, Rowle hesitated before he spoke. "M-My Lady?"
"Yes, Rowle, what is it?"
"Was that the Dark Lord leaving?"
"Yes," she replied, not taking her eyes from the window. "He'll be gone for a few weeks."
"D-did he mention his purpose away?"
"He did not," Wraith said. "But then, he so rarely does." She turned her head and smiled at him indulgently. "I'm sure we'll all survive in his absence."
Although still disturbed by the odd glint of her smile, Rowle had to smirk at that. "I'm surprised he left without dealing with the newbies."
"So was I," Wraith confessed. She shrugged lightly and turned back to the w
Wraith Chpt. 54
Chapter Fifty-four: Watcher, part seven
"The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived."
Janesch only remained a little longer before he chose to take his leave. Wraith walked him back down to the door, rather unsurprised to see Harper and his pale shadow, Vaisey, idling about the entrance hall.
At the threshold, Janesch paused, looking back to her. She saw the shadow of worry in his eyes and was touched by it. "Be careful, ma petite," he whispered to her gently. "Gavin is a foolbut even fools get lucky sometimes."
"I won't give him that chance," Wraith retorted. "I'm done letting him hurt me."
"I believe you," Janesch told her with a crooked smile. "Write to me," he instructed firmly. "Else I'll return to haunt your steps."
Wraith rolled her eyes and made no reply, not trusting herself not to laugh. With one last grin, Janesch slipped through the door and was gone. Wraith stood at the door for a moment longer bef
Wraith Chpt. 53
Chapter Fifty-three: Watcher, part six
"A tactical retreat is not a bad response to a surprise assault, you know. First you survive. Then you choose your own ground. Then you counterattack."
Several days later, Wraith lounged once more in the drawing room, under the sharp and maddened glare of Gavin. The man had entered the room only moments after her, but he took a seat across the room and did not engage her in the slightest. Instead, he simply glared, as if he meant to burn a whole in her head with the intensity of it.
With an acidic tone, Wraith spared him a glance. "Bee in your bonnet, Watcher?"
Gavin sneered, but before he could reply, Harper stuck his head through the door and scanned the room. His eyes rested on Gavin for a moment and Wraith caught sight of the wicked smile the boy tried to hide. Harper followed Gavin's glare to where Wraith sat.
"Milady? There's, well, a vampire at the door. Says he's here to see you."
Wraith stood and slipped from the room,
Wraith Chpt. 52
Chapter Fifty-two: Watcher, part five
"Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."
The month of October dawned with the return of dark, dreary weather. A dense storm covered the skies in all directions and the rain never seemed to rest. Most within the Manor became reclusive, hiding from the cold in their rooms and huddling near their fires. The dungeons below the Manor were soon coated in a thin layer of ice, leaving the prisoners to suffer further.
Over the course of the cold-ridden weeks, the game went on. To the Dark Lord's surprise, his Wraith never actively sought out Gavin to torment him. In fact, the girl acted as though the man did not exist, even when he was in the same room with her. But she had been spending more of her time in sight than she ever had before. It was as if she were taunting Gavin with her very presence.
In the midst of the heaviest of the autumn storms, Volde
Wraith Chpt. 51
Chapter Fifty-one: Watcher, part four
"Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies."
- Voltaire (1694-1778) on his deathbed in response to a priest asking that he renounce Satan.
Wraith did not return to the Manor until nightfall, but Voldemort knew she had never actually left the grounds. When she slipped back inside, he was waiting in the drawing room alone. Sensing him, Wraith paused in the doorway to look at him. That sharpness had not left her eyes as she bowed her head to him.
"Evening, my Lord," she said. Her voice was suspiciously light.
"What are you up to, Wraith?"
She blinked and then gave him a Cheshire grin. "You and Gavin are a suspicious lot, aren't you?" she said, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning against the doorframe. "He asked me that very question this morning."
"And did you give him an answer?"
"Of a sort," Wraith said, shrugging. She tilted her head to one side. "Besides what makes you think I'm up to something?"
"I saw y