Okay, first off, I want to say how utterly brilliant this piece is. Not many can pull this kind of thing off as well as you did. It’s hard to see the other side of Harry Potter for some people; the darker aspects of it. But you’re a natural at this, so congrats.
“You have been among my followers for some time now,” the hissing voice continued. “However, you are yet to have participated in an extermination. This is what I need from you tonight. Are you ready?”
“Yes, my Lord.”
He didn’t know if the words were true, but he had no choice but to say them. Any other response would result in his immediate death. He was not ready to die. The question was, could he kill to stay alive. He would soon find out.
The introduction into Lucius Malfoy’s hell. Nicely done.
It is true that Death Eaters have no say in what they do, whether they agree with their tasks or not. I love seeing the other side of this, and how the mind works behind the ivory mask.
“Yes, my Lord,” he said. It was always in a Death Eater’s best interest to agree with whatever the Dark Lord said. If he said the sky was pink, it would be best to respond with, “Yes, my Lord.”
I love the cynicism in this. And how it’s not really Death Eaters being deluded, but rather their will to stay alive, and how they will do what ever is necessary to do so. No matter how ridiculous it may seem to others.
“Evans is a Mudblood. She is the weaker link. I want to send her a message. A very strong message. Something that will show her I am serious. I want you to burn her parent’s home to the ground, with them inside.”
This time Lucius did not respond right away. He was shocked, and it was not easy to shock a Malfoy. From his master’s point of view, it was the perfect plan. He could kill two Muggles, while sending a message to two wizards. It worked out well for him. Less well, for Lucius. He wasn’t ready for a kill; he knew it. But there was nothing he could do. So he did what he always did, he agreed.
“Of course, my Lord.”
This is the part where one inserts the ‘Oh sh-t!’ moment. Lucius reminds me of Regulus Black in this moment: not really knowing the full extent of what he was getting into until it’s too late. However I’m enjoying seeing Lucius struggle right now. So much inner-conflict later on. ;)
“I want this done tonight, Lucius. There have been enough mistakes. I do not feel that I need to tell you, failure will be punished. You know that. I know you will give this mission the best of your skills.”
“Yes, my Lord.” Lucius was beginning to feel as though those were the only words he would speak for the rest of his life.
This sounds so much like a jail sentence. These words are so true, for basically throughout the Harry Potter Series, Lucius Malfoy was imprisoned in his role as a Death Eater, from the day he took his oath.
He walked away from the building where he had just meant his master. He knew that he should Apparate to the Evans’, but he couldn’t do it. He wasn’t ready. He didn’t have to do it that second. He was told to do it that night. There were still many hours left in the night.
He walked until he found a small lake. He had no idea where he was, and he didn’t care. He sat down by the lake. The moonlight reflected in the water. It gave him an eerie sensation. It was a beautiful night. It didn’t seem like the type of night one would choose to become a killer.
He’s stalling right now. It’s great to see the psychology in this: How Lucius is looking for anything to stop himself from doing the unthinkable.
Of course, he was not choosing. He had made one choice in his entire life. Everything had been decided for him since birth. He had not even been able to choose his own bride. And he had certainly not chosen to be a Death Eater. His father chose for him, and he had let it happen. That was his choice. He could have fought, but he didn’t. Now he would become a killer, simply to stay alive.
I’m reminded of Narcissa right now. It’s this same passiveness that makes you feel pity for them.
He could hear their muffled voices. He wished they would shut up. This would be easier if he could pretend there was no one in the house. Then it would just be a fire. He wouldn’t go to hell for a little property damage, but murder was a different story.
“I have no choice,” he said, aloud. “It’s their lives or mine, and I am not done with mine yet.”
Poor Lucius, trying to convince himself to do this. It’s like he’s trying to escape into his own mind, or rather, a more pleasant thought so he can do this.
He watched the fire burn. The flames reflected madly in his eyes. If anyone were to see him, they would be certain that he had gone mad. For a moment, he was sure that he had. He thought the burning building was only in his mind, and he would be forced to watch it burn for the rest of his life, as penance for contemplating murder.
It’s more like is innocence is being burned away right here, replaced by a rather passive nature: how he’s just letting it burn to the ground in observance of what he did, and himself.
He was brought out of his dark thoughts by a scream, a wild scream of pure terror. It was coming from within the burning building. The burning building that existed in reality, regardless of what he wanted to believe. Mrs. Evans had realized what had happened. It was too late. The whole house was in flames. There was no escape.
Her screams persisted, but they were no longer screams of terror; they were screams of pain. She was burning to death, and Lucius was watching and listening as it happened. He felt ill. He ran towards the woods, surrounding the home, and vomited in the bushes.
Finally, disgust. It was about time.
Again, he prepared to leave, but, once again, he was interrupted. This time he was stopped by the sound of another scream. It was different from the screams of the Evans woman. This was a scream of anguish and despair.
He turned to locate the source of the crying. He saw a petite woman. She was being held back by a man, who greatly resembled the giant squid. He had never seen these people before, but obviously they had some connection to the people he had just murdered. Guilt rose inside of him, as he saw, firsthand, the damage he had inflicted.
He couldn’t bear to watch. He Apparated to the Potter’s home. There he would wait, until he had an opportunity to deliver the Dark Lord’s message to the young Potter woman. There he would try to regain his composure, and forget what he had just done. Otherwise, he could never look at himself in the mirror again.
I like this passage a lot. It shows how he’s beginning to feel disgust in himself, and guilt. Well done.
He entered the woods behind the Potter’s house, and sat on the wet ground. He didn’t care about getting wet. All he cared about was relaying the message to Lily Potter, and getting the hell out of there. He had never been so anxious to return to his mansion in all his life.
He wondered how long he would be stuck there. It was the middle of the night. Lily was probably in bed, with her husband. How was he supposed to get her alone? He could be sitting there until morning. Why couldn’t the Dark Lord just send her an owl? What was so great about personalized Death Eater delivery?
These questions were pointless, as it was obvious that they would never be answered. The Dark Lord was the only one who could supply an answer, and anyone who questioned him ended up dead. So Lucius would keep his questions to himself. This would be no hardship for him, as he had been taught since birth to do just that.
After about an hour of sitting, he thought he was about to get a break. A pretty red-haired woman came out of the house. He knew it had to be Lily Potter. There would be no other woman living there. He rose to go speak with her, but before he could leave his hiding spot she had Apparated.
He cursed under his breath. If he had just been a little bit faster, he could be going home. But instead, he was stuck in the disgusting wet forest. Why did she have to Apparate so quickly? He just wanted to get this over with.
Ah, Lucius is getting antsy. This feeling of objectiveness towards everything, anxiousness to get home to his comfortable manor, and wallowing in the disgusting wet forest: he’s merely avoiding the breakdown.
Lucius’ mind drifted back to the other home he had stared at that night. He remembered the flames, and the screams. His stomach heaved, again. There was no way for him to comprehend what he had done. He had just killed two people. And now that he had proven he could do it, the Dark Lord would be expecting it from him more often. He didn’t even know how he was going to keep himself alive.
The hours he spent in those woods were the most emotionally devastating hours of his life. He continued to replay the evening’s events in his mind. Each time he felt more repulsed by what he had done, and what his future would hold because he had done it. He was no longer a mere observer of the Dark Lord’s cruelty–he was a participant.
I like this passage. It’s as if Lucius is finally recognizing his lost innocence, and how he can never go back.
About five minutes later, James reappeared with Lily. She looked horrible. She couldn’t even stand under her own power, and Lucius could hear her sobs. She must have found out about her parents. He was witnessing more of the fallback from his earlier actions. He wished he could take it all back. Surely, death would be more merciful than this.
James led his wife into their home, and once again, Lucius was left alone. He doubted James would be letting Lily out his sight again that night. He might as well get comfortable. If he planned to avoid the Dark Lord’s wrath, he could not leave until the message was delivered.
He leaned against a tree, and looked into the sky. The stars were beautiful that night. They littered the sky, and sparkled brightly. It made him feel like the universe was trying to comfort him. He closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep.
Poor Lucius has to deal with the guilt of what he’s done. I love how you’re making him desperate in trying to find comfort in something (the stars, for example). Very psychological.
He stepped out of the trees, and walked towards her. To his surprise, she didn’t look scared.
“You can take that mask off, Lucius Malfoy,” she told him. “I would recognize that strut anywhere.”
Taken aback, he did as she suggested. He removed the mask.
“Your husband was the one who liked to strut around Hogwarts.”
“He was nothing like you.”
“That is because I actually have class.”
I am so reminded of Draco and Hermione right now. Lucius’ whole attitude from his strut to his response to Lily’s words is very similar to how his own son would act. And I’m reminded of Hermione right now, because she’s known for shocking Draco (not to mention this is kind of how she would act).
But anyway, enough with parallels. I’m enjoying how you made Lucius take off his mask. It shows how he’s somewhat coming to terms with what he did, but not fully yet.
“I never thought of murderers as particularly classy,” she snapped. “It was you who killed my parents, wasn’t it?”
She had shocked him again. This woman had quite a flair for surprises. He didn’t know what to say to her. He didn’t want to admit to what he had done. He knew that his master would not want him to do that.
“You don’t have to say anything,” she told him. “Your silence says it all. Why are you here, now? Are you supposed to kill me too?”
“No,” he told her. “I am supposed to give you this,” he handed her the envelope, “and tell you that the choice is yours.”
She grabbed the letter out of his hand. “There you have done your task. Now, you can return to your master, and tell him it is complete.”
He didn’t move.
“Go,” she snarled at him.
He turned to leave, but then he stopped again. He looked back at Lily, and said, “I’m sorry.”
“A lot of good that does,” she told him, and then she walked back towards her house. Leaving Lucius alone to contemplate the consequences of his actions.
This reaction to Lucius was very Lily-like. A lot of people (most likely the ones that delve into too many James/Lily stories) seem to think Lily will always react to things with a huge temper.
But that is certainly not true. For she didn’t react as such when Snape called her a Mudblood; she merely made a cold remark and left him be (and took out her anger on James). Then, later, she felt more disgust at what Snape did.
I can see her reaction to this being similar to how she reacted to Snape: disgust, yet sad and sympathetic to some degree.
So well done on the Lily characterization.
Lucius stared at Lily’s back door for a long time, after she left him. He was unable to fully comprehend what had gone on between them. How had she even known who he was? He certainly hadn’t remembered her. And if she knew what he did to her parents, why didn’t she attack him? She had a chance to make him pay. She didn’t take it. She simply told him to go away. He didn’t understand.
He also didn’t understand why he was standing in her yard, trying to understand. The task was over. He could finally leave. After reporting to his master, he could go home, and start trying to pretend that the whole thing had been nothing more than a twisted nightmare.
He forced himself to look away from Lily’s home, and Apparated to his master’s side.
This is a particularly nice passage. It’s the beauty in the breakdown right here. Well, the beginning of it anyway.
“You sound tired, my friend. Tell me, how did your first kill make you feel?”
Lucius hesitated. He knew that this was not a wise thing to do when talking to the Dark Lord, but yet it could not be avoided. He did not have an immediate response for such a question. At least, not one that would not result in him receiving the torture curse.
Finally, he did what he always did. He said what was expected of him.
“It felt good, my Lord.”
“Crucio,” his master hissed.
I always enjoy reading of Malfoys being caught off-guard.
Pain surged through every part of his body. He could feel tears welling behind his eyes, but he would not allow them to fall. If a man did not have his pride, he had nothing. Lucius Malfoy would not cry. A Malfoy never cries.
I love this passage. For despite everything that he’s done and went through tonight, his Malfoy arrogance makes him too stubborn to let go of his pride. Like he’s basically fighting the breakdown soon to come.
He collapsed in his leather chair. He could still see Lily’s accusing eyes staring at him. Why hadn’t she attacked him? She had every opportunity, and every reason. Perhaps she realized that reliving that night in his memories would be punishment enough.
He could still hear the screams of her mother, in his head. He covered his ears, but it did nothing to block out the woman’s pitiful cries. Cries that had been caused by him. How could he have done it?
He couldn’t get the screaming out of his head. He flipped his desk over, and let out an exasperated cry. Then he collapsed to the floor, and finally allowed the tears to fall. He couldn’t help it. He couldn’t keep it to himself anymore. It didn’t matter that he was a Malfoy. The tears came, just the same. He allowed the sobs to escape from him; he had no energy left to fight them.
She walked over to him, lowered herself to the floor, and wrapped her arms around his trembling shoulders. “What happened?” she whispered to him.
He looked at her, with confusion in his eyes. It was almost as though he didn’t recognize her. Didn’t recognize his own wife. The look in his eyes scared her, but she did not pull away. Lucius was her husband, and it was her responsibility to take care of him.
I love this. Lucius being hysterical right now has a brief moment of insanity. I also like Narcissa’s reaction to this, how she’s scared, yet she won’t abandon him. Very IC for her.
“What happened?” she repeated.
Finally, a glint of recognition appeared in his eyes. He knew who she was. He even seemed grateful to have her there.
“I–I killed them,” he told her.
“Lily Potter’s parents.”
Realization. I love how you finally make him address it. He seems so much like a clingy child right now, who realizes he was in the wrong.
Narcissa didn’t know or care who Lily Potter was. She just wanted to comfort her husband.
“Was this a task from the Dark Lord?” she asked, as softly as she could manage.
He nodded, and started to sob again.
She held him tightly. “It’s okay,” she whispered into his ear. “It’s over now. It’s just a memory. It can’t hurt you.”
Narcissa had no idea how untrue her words were.
Very grim here. But I like it. It shows that there’s not a happy ending for everything. Also, it reminds me of war veterans who lost more than a leg or an arm in the battle: they lost their life. Figuratively speaking.
This is absolutely fantastic writing. You managed to captivate the reader, address the emotions the characters would feel, and the horror of what had happened and what is to come. I’m adding your to my favorite authors for this.
Oh, and this presentation has been brought to you by ‘The Order of Ravenclaw House-Elves’.
Author's Response: Wow! Thanks for the super long, super sweet review. This was great. I'm glad you enjoyed the story so much. This one of my early fics and it hasn't gotten much attention for awhile. *hugs for reviving it* And cheers to the Ravenclaw House-Elves.
This is the first story that I've read where I actually felt sorry for Lucius.
For a moment I thought that his actions were a bit OOC, but considering this was his first kill then I could see the premise for what he was acting and feeling the way he was.
You went in depth with Lucius's feelings from his being made a Death Eater by his father to his remorse in killing Lily's parents. It actually had me feel pity for him. It's good that you can evoke such emotions out of the reader.
The part where he delivers the message to Lily felt a bit off to me. Since I hear so much about Lily's temper, I would have thought she'd killed Malfoy at first sight. But I guess her grief over her parents death took some of the fire out of her anger. Yet I would have liked to see a bigger fuss from her.
Considering this is the man who killed her parents, I figure she would have more to say to him than just that.
Great story. The last scene where he is crying in his wife's arm after being crucio sums up the story very well. I see why you chose the title for this fic.
Author's Response: Thanks so much. I'm glad you liked it.
And you have a fair point about Lily. I did overlook her temper. However, I think she was distraught, and somehow managed to feel a certain amount of sympathy for Lucius.
Thanks again for the review. *hugs*
sorry for sending were draco and harry born yet when this happened? luv the story!
Author's Response: No, Harry and Draco weren't born when this happened.
I'm glad you liked it.
This realy explains alot about Lucius, and Lily for that matter, you did an excellent portrayal of the monstrosity of taking a life, and the grueling aftermath to follow...you opened up alot of new ground in this fic, it was really amazing, and helped alot in the explanation of that onesided love you play between Lucius and Narcissa. *smiles* SEVEN OF FIVE STARS!
~The Tainted One
Author's Response: I wrote this fic because I don't feel that Lucius could be what people think he is. There has to be more to him than that. So I decided to explore what he was like when he was still young and mostly innocent.
Thanks so much for the review and the compliments. :D
I like the story, but J.K. Rowling said that the grandparetns on both sides died of natural causes.
Author's Response: I'm glad you liked it. I thought J.K. only said that James' parents died of natural causes. Anyway, thanks for the review! :D
That was very powerful. I especially liked the interactions between Lucius and Voldemort; they were very believable. Very nice!
Author's Response: Thanks so much. I'm glad you liked my interactions between Lucius and Voldie. I'm not always sure how Voldie would talk to his servants. Anyway, thanks again for the review! :)
I thought this was really believable. In the books, I don't think we see a first kill, so we never really know how the Death Eaters feel about it. You described Lucius' feelings about it perfectly.
Author's Response: Thanks so much! I'm glad you liked it. I figure no matter who you are or how you were raised it would be hard for someone to kill. I'm glad you found it believeable. Thanks for the review!
Ahhh! Somebody should kick Voldemort out, and let Bellatrix be ruler (I know, I know, I'm obsessive). He's such a meanie beanie baby! First he send Lucius on this mission that could have been easily completed by himself or another experienced Cookie Eater and then when Lucius completes it, he tortures him because of a little white lie. I mean, c'mon, Voldy, like you've never lied before. I loved how Narcissa tried to comfort him... ahh, love can cure almost anything... a little. I mean, it must've helped him to know that Narcissa was there for him. Poor, poor, Lucius...
Author's Response: Bellatrix almightly ruler of the Death Eaters...hmmm. I like it! :D But people have been trying to kick ol' Volie out for years and the jerk just won't go down!
I tried to demonstrate the ultimate cruelty of Voldie, especially to his supporters. I mean come on, these people were stupid enough to follow him, he really doesn't need to Crucio them all the time!
The part with Narcissa comforting him was weird to write because I never believed these two to be in love. I don't for the purpose of this story either. However, I do believe they have a certain bond, and care about each other very much. So I didn't find it hard to believe that Narcissa would do everything she could to comfort her guilt stricken husband.
As always, thank you very much for the review!
Oh, poor Lucius! Having to watch the house burn up and hear Mrs. Evans's screaming, and then having to see Lily like that!! Ahhh! Hey, here's an idea, one of us could do a one-shot about Bella's thoughts during her "killing of Sirius". (look how I even manage to bring her up in reviews). If you want to, I won't, but if don't, I will. Just let me know in the response. Anyways, back to your beautiful story. At the end, I was expecting Lily to not let him go, to attack or something, but she let him go. Was it because she knew he would if he didn't give her the message? Her charity must've caused Lucius more pain. I've never felt sorrier for him, and this is coming from the girl who feels sorry for the devil because he lives in such a warm place =]. Your story is moving. Here's another one for my favorites!
Author's Response: Hehe. I love writing stories that make people say poor Lucius. It's just not a phrase you here very often.
It's funny that you would mention a one-shot involving Bella's feelings when she killed Sirius, as I am currently outlining a Bella chaptered fic, that does indeed deal with that, to a certain extent. There's a lot of other stuff going on too. So I've actually already given her feelings on the matter some consideration, but there's a strange twist that makes it hard to explain here. But if you would like to try on one-shot on the topic, please feel free. I can almost gurentee that we will not be going in the exact same direction.
And Lily. Well, I debated what she should do, but her character never seemed to be the violent type. In the end, she let him go because he was just a pawn, and she knew it. He did what he was told to stay alive; he didn't want to kill her parents. Attacking him would serve no purpose, when Voldie was the one to blame. I also think of Lily as a very perceptive person, and therefore, she could already see the large amount of pain that he was in. She realized that he was already suffering, and there was nothing more for her to do to him.
Also, I absolutly loved your line about feeling sorry for the devil because he lives in such a hot place. I swear I laughed for ten minutes!
Once again, thak you for the lovely review, and adding my story to your favorites. It is always greatly appreciated! :D
Very nice beggining chapter! Lucius has this innocence that we've never seen from him before, and I certainly haven't seen that in a fic until this one. It was an interesting idea to have Lucius pause by the lake and think, that was a very revealing moment. Usually, a character's thoughts define them more than anything. Before reading your fics, I was a pure Black family fan, but I am coming to new terms with the Malfoys as well. Once again, great job.
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed. This chapter was actually kind of hard to write. The whole point was for Lucius to receive the assignment, and in some way show that he didn't want to do it. It was difficult to give the chapter much length, and make it interesting.
It's interesting that you say you started as a pure Black fan. I started as Sirius fan, then it grew to include Severus, then I fell in love with the Blacks, and I've only recently gotten attached to Lucius, as I've started writing him.
Anyway, thanks for the review. They always mean so much!
Haunting...but in a good way...
Author's Response: Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reviewing!
Creepy...I don't know what to say...you seem to have a talent for this kind of story...the dark kind, that is...good job.
Author's Response: Thanks. Dark tales are kind of my specialty. Thanks for reviewing.
hmm interesting when will you update!!
Author's Response: Sorry, no more updates. I admit that it was kind of a strange ending, but the story was only meant to show what Lucius went through the first time he killed for Voldemort. This story does have two related one-shots A Single Act of Kindness and Draco's Destiny. But Draco's Destiny hasn't been validated yet. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this one. Thanks for reviewing.
Ain't Voldemort just a peach?
Author's Response: That's not the word I would use to describle him. :)
Wow, that was great. You know, I never really thought of Lucious Malfoy having proper feelings. It was an excellent story; it shows that we are all, indeed, human because of our weaknesses and our ability to feel pain. Good job. an loss.
Author's Response: Thanks! I can't imagine that Lucius has no feelings, but it's not very often I read something where he does, so I decided to write something myself. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for reviewing.
I really loved it. I like the idea of Malfoy feeling remorse, and even crying. Maybe we can expect the same thing for Draco in the Book 7...
Author's Response: Glad you liked it. I think the Malfoys feel a lot more than we know. The Harry Potter books are told from Harry's point of view, and he is a little bit bias towards the Malfoys. I also hope to see remorse from Draco in the seventh book. Thank you you for the review!
I just read three chapters of your story...THEY WERE AMAZING. I was really impressed by the way everything was said and written. FANTASTIC job. I've always wanted to read a story about Lucius. Thanks for the great read!
Author's Response: Thank you so much. I'm glad that you enjoyed my story. I enjoy writing about Lucius, it's fun to try to get inside his head. Thanks for the review!
This is very interesting. I love stories that show another side of a character, it gives the story more dimension and believeability. Nicely done.
Author's Response: Thanks so much. I love to explore the lighter side of the dark characters. Glad you enjoyed it.
*adds story to favorites list and curses author for not having more chapters up* That was brilliant. It was a very interesting idea and the actual atory was very well written. I liked the way you had Lucius as a person, rather than an animal. I also loved the bit where he is talking to Voldemort and he kepps having to say 'Yes, my Lord'. That part was really well done. Where he was talking to Lily was very sad too. Anyway, please update soon!
Author's Response: Thank you so much for reviewing. I'm glad you're enjoying my story. The fact that most stories out there make Lucius out to be a monster kind of annoys me. There has to be more to him than that. So I kinda like to explore the softer side of Lucius Malfoy.
No offence but I thnk the story could have been a little longer. And I think that you should put the part where Mowfoy does the deed that voldemort has him do.
Author's Response: The story is longer. It's a chaptered story. It will have three parts, and the chapter where Malfoy does the task in the quere now. Sorry, you didn't realize there was more to come.