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Terminal by Permanent Accountficexchange

Rating: PG. Created: December 17th, 2007. Updated: December 17th, 2007. Read Reviews (5)
Disclaimer: Characters, the magical world, etc, is property of J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros, not the owner of this fic.

Merry Christmas, Trish (cherrychalk)!

 

Terminal

 

It wasn't cowardice, he told himself as the door swung shut behind him, whistle of the wind dulled at impact. The house was as quiet as he could have hoped, only snores and soft mews disturbing the creaky silence. Floorboards whined under dress shoes and the tail of robes, and he gave an involuntary shudder as his fellow Death Eater stepped ahead.

"Lucky the girl's home for the holiday," muttered Travers, voice hoarse and hostile. "Moved out of her parents' house right after she graduated and usually doesn't visit."

"Yeah. Lucky." Rabastan's own whisper was ragged, fear cloaked easily by fatigue. It was nearly midnight, the end of a long week characterized by murder and Morsmordre, and God, he still had his brother's wedding to look forward to the next day. His hands were stained by the blood of a thousand Muggles, and the blood traitor McKinnons were no better.

He was exhausted.

Travers was circling him, sizing him up. "You haven't had your fair share of entertainment this week," he said, and it was true because he was the overshadowed Lestrange, the one who only witnessed Crucio at the hand of his sister-to-be, and if he didn't relish the prospect Travers had presented, he would have agreed that he was the shallow one, the weak one. "Take the girl; you'll like to hear her scream."

Rabastan's nod was numb. His footsteps were callous as he thundered up the stairs, and he wondered whether he was really as cold and as brutal as he seemed beneath the moon's fragile rays. The roughness to his words, his actions, seemed exactly like that of a simple-minded intruder in one of the damn mysteries Narcissa so loved to read, and it didn't help that the Ministry didn't even suspect him. He was a sidekick, a minor antagonist, and he wanted the glory.

They called him a follower, but he was evil of his own doing.

Rabastan's thoughts were already drowned by screams and spellwork when he pushed through the doorway. Marlene McKinnon was tall and thin, her once filled out figure now gaunt from overwork. Moonlight broke across her pale cheeks and stringy brown hair, and her chest shook with each breath. Rabastan bit his lip for only a fraction of a second before raising his wand: "Ennervate."

Her eyes fluttered open for the briefest of seconds before the deadly spell was spoken, and he thought again: it wasn't cowardice. He was jealous and tired and wanted the easy way out, it was true, but he needed to know that he was brave. Never mind that he was too tired for torture, never mind that he whimpered under the Dark Lord's gaze, never mind that he'd be thankful years later that he was caught on the job instead of bearing another death—he'd become this monster because of the way it felt to wrong the right, and he needed to know that he was brave.

He took a moment to breathe and let the regret seep in that he hadn't taken longer. Rabastan was tired, and yet—it had been a grueling week.

The corners of his lips turned at the very thought of it. Evil was a terminal illness—he'd self-destruct in the end, but before then, he was happy to milk it for all its worth.

He swept from the house suddenly, ignoring Travers's furious outcry, and sent the Dark Mark spiraling over the roof.

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