Wraith P.2 Chpt. 46
Chapter Forty-six: Death's Warning
"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety."
The meeting was over sooner than anyone anticipated. It was almost as though the Dark Lord were eager to be finished with it. Slowly, the Death Eaters filed out of the drawing room, leaving the Malfoys' home as quickly as their feet could carry them. Bellatrix and Rodolphus were among the first to make their exit, though their path took them upstairs towards their room above. The Dark Lord stayed only long enough to speak briefly with Lucius and then he too was gone.
Snape waited a moment in the entrance hall, expecting Wraith to quickly follow Voldemortbut she never appeared there. With a trace of concern, Snape glanced back into the drawing room to find that the girl had vanished. An odd sense of foreboding filled him. He knew Wraith well enough to have seen the shadows in her eyes and the tension that lay thinly between her and her Lord. Having no o
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 45
Chapter Forty-five: Bitter
"The tongue is most remarkable. For we use it both to taste out sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words both sweet and sour with the same tongue."
A few weeks later, the Dark Lord called his Death Eaters to the Malfoys' manor home to discuss what had been accomplished since his return. He, along with his Wraith, had made quick appearances at prominent places in the Wizarding world, fueling rumors of their return. But, as with his disappearance, no one knew for certain and no one dared to find the truth.
As the weeks passed by, Voldemort took further note of the changes in his Wraith. She had always had a sharp mind and a tongue to match it, but now she exercised it. She suggested where others dared not speak, and many of the times that she spoke her mind, the Dark Lord found himself agreeing with her. She even carried herself differently, Voldemort mused. She held herself as the nobility of her blood demanded.
There were still
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 44
Chapter Forty-four: Changed
"We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves. I will do what I have to do. And I will do what I must."
The next week passed quietly, while the Dark Lord took back the reins of his new empire. Wraith thought them more akin to puppet strings, but she did not speak this thought aloud where anyone would hear. Voldemort did not seek her company alone, leaving her to presume that he had not liked her teasing that first night.
Just as well, in her opinion. The longer she kept him at a distance, the more time she would before the unavoidable matter of her innocence came into question. She had no clue as to how to explain that away, save to possibly blame it on GavinIt would be no loss to the world if the Dark Lord were to take his anger out on the man, after all. But she had already confessed to Voldemort that Gavin had never gone so far as to rape her in Azkaban; to change her story now would onl
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 43
Chapter Forty-three: Mercy
"Death's a capricious thing, innit?"
"Yes. Yes, she is."
Wraith spoke softly with Harper until she had finished the wine brought to her by Rowle. As she drained the last of it, a sudden idea came to her. She leaned in closer to Harper and he did the same at her cue.
"Harper, I want you to do me a favor," she murmured softly, "Leave the room. In about five minutes, I will meet you at the dungeon door."
Harper blinked at her and then nodded solemnly. He lifted her hand to his lips before he stood. "Goodnight, my Lady," he said, "I am glad that you've returned."
Wraith smiled easily at him and nodded her head. Harper crossed the room, stopping only to bow once more to the Dark Lord. "My Lord," he murmured before he took his leave.
Wraith sat at the window for a moment longer before she sighed and stood as well. But she did not leave the room. Instead, she crossed to where Voldemort sat and took the other chair placed before the fireplace. "Is it go
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 42
Chapter Forty-two: Innocent Eyes
"Sometimes it is the quiet observer who sees the most."
Wraith wandered slowly through the halls of Malfoy manor, moving quietly so that she did not disturb its inhabitants. The building felt familiar, almost home, and it was strange for her to think of how long it had been since she had been taken away from it. She made her way to the library, smiling slightly as she ran her fingertips over recognizable titles on the shelves.
It wasn't long before she left the books behind to find the music room, though. The door to the music room was slightly ajar, suggesting to Wraith that Narcissa was playing more often than she had been when Wraith was living there. She stepped inside and slowly approached the piano.
One last time couldn't hurt, she told herself as she sat down at the piano. She flexed her hands over the keys, smiling as she decided what to play. Greensleeves began to float from the piano in soft, quavering notes. Wraith
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 41
Chapter Forty-one: Their Return
"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it."
Snape waited until well past mid-morning before he left the castle. He was still avoiding the portraits, having no want to speak with them, most especially Dumbledore; though Phineas was very keen to speak about his disappointment that the girl was gone from the castle. And so he thought to keep his word to Wraith and avoid the former Headmasters at the same time.
The day was bright, not a cloud in the sky, something that Snape regarded rather bitterly. He entered the forest, remembering the field of heather that Wraith had so often told him of. It was close enough to the castle that Snape thought he would be safe to enter the forest. Honestly though, he had no idea whether the forest was still inhabited by the dangerous creatures that had once filled it. He hadn't seen any sign of the centaur herd since before Wraith had first arrived at the castl
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 40
Chapter Forty: Changes Dark & Bright
"She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood. She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here."
With the dawn, Snape found himself pacing in the entrance hall, waiting for some sign of Wraith. She had all but closed the door in his face after revealing that the Dark Lord had returned. He could only guess at what the girl was planning in the wake of the information.
He frowned at the sharp sound of heeled boots upon the staircase. He looked upand his eyes widened at the sight of her.
Wraith slowly descending the stairs, the rippling black of her skirts flowing around her ankles. She wore nothing but black; a sweeping strapless gown that clung to her thin frame, le
Wraith P.2 Chpt. 39
Chapter Thirty-nine: The Devil
"Even nothing cannot last forever."
Wraith and Snape both entered the office of the Headmaster with questions burning in them. Snape immediately strode behind the desk, touching a hand to the frame of the portrait that held Dumbledore's likeness.
Dumbledore woke, blinking at them both with those bright blue eyes behind half-moon glasses. He saw the looks on their faces and a flash of something went across his face, too quickly for them to understanding what it was. "What has happened?" he asked them. At his question, several of the other portraits awakened, listening intently.
"A fabulous question," Wraith said cuttingly, "but I have one better Who did you know in life that would rob your grave and yet beg your forgiveness for it?"
Dumbledore stared at her with what could have been shockand then he closed his eyes, bowing his head.
"Dumbledore?" Snape prompted when the portrait remained silent.
"Severus, contact the g