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By Relentless

Fantasy / Thriller

Chapter 1

The darkness of the room was suffocating. I had been lying on the damp floor for hours now, wondering about my fate. No longer was there any hope. All was lost, and I was the only one remaining. 

Days upon days I stayed in this dark cell, contemplating what had gone wrong. As I lay there, I felt nothing. I had cried at first, cried for the loss of my friends and professors, but now I was numb. 

He came to me each day. 

In the beginning, he tormented me with all the things I had lost, until he changed his tune. Then, he came to me, speaking of desire. He asked me what I desired above all. He asked me if I wanted to see my friends again, or if I wished to be free of my confinement. I told him nothing, because I knew there was no way to see my friends again, and I knew I would never leave this cell.

At first I thought it humorous that he would even dare to think that I would believe his lies—lies that he would, could let me see those who had died. He would tell me that I just had to desire to see them. He repeated it over and over to me: "What do you desire?"

What did I desire?

Of course I wanted to see my friends again, but there was no way. He was powerful, but not that powerful. When he left me, I contemplated his words, his lies. Why did he torture me this way? He never used any spells on me. He never even touched me. All he did was torment me with promises of seeing my loved ones again. It seemed pointless to me.

However, after day after day of hearing the same thing, I started to think of what he could do to let me see my friends and family again. I didn't think it would be anything pleasant. Inferi came to mind or some other Dark Arts ritual I was sure none of them would want to be implicated in. Still, it confounded me that he never asked for any information on the Order. He never questioned me about anything that I thought he would ask me about. What was his motive?

"What do you desire, Miss Granger? Do you want to see your friends again, or do you want to be free of your cell? Do you perhaps miss your parents? Wouldn't you like to be free to see your friends again?"

He repeated the same questions like some sick mantra over and over again. I knew he was trying to give me false hope. I knew he was lying. So every day, I refused to answer his questions. There was no reason to. I saw Harry and Ron die. They were all dead. All but me. I wondered why he left me alive? 

Now I know.

He came to me today. Like he always had, but today was different. Today he brought something with him.

He made me stand. Then he whispered in my ear. He told me, "I brought you a gift."

His breath on my ear was warm. I had been so cold in the cell. So I shivered from the warmth of it. He laughed at my reaction.

"Are you cold?" he whispered.

I didn't reply. He knew I wouldn't. I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. He moved away from me after that. He moved over to the object he had brought in with him.

I was curious. He never had brought anything in with him before, so I watched as he removed the covering. As soon as the object was uncovered, I quickly turned my head away from it. It couldn't be. How did he get it?

He again laughed at me. "I see you know what this is, don't you, Miss Granger? I ask you again, what do you desire?"

I kept my head turned away from it. I knew now why he only asked me the same questions. I had never seen it, but I knew from Harry's description what it was. I knew he probably had some clever plan that involved the Mirror of Erised. No matter how much I wanted to see my friends and family again, I refused to gaze at the mirror.

"I did say you could see your friends again, did I not? And here is your chance. Look at it," he spat at me.

I could tell he was getting angry at me for refusing to look. I wanted to look. The temptation was strong, overpowering; not only because he tormented me with promises to see them again, but because I truly did want to see them. I missed them; I grieved for them; but I knew if I looked at them, something would happen. He just wouldn't let me see my friends without a reason. Lord Voldemort was not kind. He cared not for the feelings of others, and he definitely did not understand the love one felt for another. So why did he want me to see my friends again? What was his purpose for bringing in the mirror? Was this some other type of torture? To let me see my friends, but not really, because I knew it was just a reflection of them. Just something that I desired to see, because the mirror could not bring my friends back, nothing could. Even though the temptation was strong, I still refused to look.

He moved away from the mirror and came back to stand behind me again. He lifted his hand, stroking my cheek softly. As he did this, he whispered, "I know you want to look at the mirror. I saw it in your mind. You long to see your friends again, don't you, dear? All you have to do is turn your head and look at the mirror. You could see Harry again, and Ron, the boy you loved, your parents… All you have to do is turn your head. So easy, to get to see what you want. Do it!"

As much as I wanted to, I didn't look. I knew if I did, something terrible would happen. When he saw that I was not going to turn my head, he took out his wand and said one word, "Imperio."

Now he was in my head, telling me to turn my head and look at the mirror. I fought as hard as I could to resist the curse, but I was too weak. Days of insufficient food and water had given me little strength to even try to fight off his powerful curse. So, as he commanded, I turned my head and looked at the mirror. When I finally set my gaze upon the mirror, he lifted the curse off of me. What I saw almost brought me to my knees. All the emotions I had bottled up for days finally broke through in a torrent of pain and grief.

There they were. Harry, Ron, my parents, all the people I cared for were there. They were looking at me like they were at peace and happy. I moved slowly towards the Mirror of Erised. He didn't have to curse me to look at them or walk over to the mirror anymore. I was already entranced by what I saw. I couldn't look away even if I wanted to. I never noticed that Voldemort was making my slow journey with me.

As I stood mere inches from the mirror, I took in each and every one of their expressions, their images. My parents stood together, holding hands, and looked at me as if they were proud of their daughter. Harry looked as he always did, with his messy hair and a content smile on his face that I had not seen him have in a long time. Ron looked at me with such longing, such love that it broke me. I would never get to find out what our relationship would have been like. He was taken from me. They all were. Tears were falling down my face. I missed them so much, and here they were, looking at me with just a small barrier between us.

When I turned my gaze back to Ron, he raised his hand and pressed it to the mirror. I raised mine,too. Just as I was about to touch the mirror, Voldemort placed his hand on top of mine. As soon as they were joined, a magical binding held them together. He took our joined hands and pressed them to the mirror before I had a chance to stop him. I felt a jolt of something enter my body and then exit through my hand to his. As soon as the magic forced its way back through me, it engulfed the mirror. I was horrified when I felt the magic travel through our hands and back to the mirror. What I saw in the mirror shocked me even more.

No longer were Harry, Ron, and my parents staring back at me. All I could see in the mirror was my image. My image with our joined hands pressed to it. Oddly enough, Voldemort was standing to the side of the mirror so his reflection would not show.

He ended whatever he did to bind our hands together and moved away. I stood still, shocked and frozen, staring at my reflection. I closed my eyes, picturing my friends and family in my mind, telling myself that was what I desired to see. I opened my eyes slowly, hoping that they had returned to look at me once more, but they were not there. The mirror only showed my reflection. Just as any other ordinary mirror would do.

What had he done?

I turned to my side to look at him. I could see the pleased look in his eyes. Had I done something, something to help him, something that could not be good for me.

What had I done?

So I asked him, "What did you do?"

I knew he would answer. He would not turn down the opportunity to gloat.

"I always asked you what you desired, Miss Granger, but I never elaborated on what I desired. I knew your weak, pathetic love for your friends would help give me what I desired. So I asked you day after day if you wanted to see your friends. Instilling in your mind the desire to see them most of all, and now, you see Lord Voldemort kept his word. I let you see your friends, did I not?" He laughed at my horrified face. I needed to know what he did to me.

"I see the curiosity is driving you mad, shall I continue explaining my ingenious plan?" He paused just to see if I would react to his taunt. I straightened my face as much as possible and didn't reply.

"You see, after you and your pathetic friends went and destroyed my Horcruxes, I had to come up with some other way to reach immortality. I knew I didn't want to use a Horcrux again, because they were too easy to destroy. So I began searching for other ways to reach what I desired. Then I recalled reading a book in my youth by a Muggle, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I remember being fascinated by the way he achieved his immortality. Although the fool squandered his good fortune by stabbing the picture and ending his useless Muggle life..." he trailed off when he saw that I knew what he was talking about.

"Ah, I see your intelligence wasn't exaggerated. Don't look so horrified, dear. I haven't even finished my tale. So, after I recalled this Muggle book, I knew I could achieve the same results some other way. Then I recalled how Dumbledore enchanted the Mirror of Erised to hide the Philosopher's Stone from me. I knew if the old fool could enchant the mirror to do something other than it was supposed to, then Lord Voldemort could do something as well. Something better, something I have desired since I was a young boy.

"When I found the mirror, I enchanted it to take a soul, a soul to keep, and for the price of a soul, the person who gave it would be immortal. Only I had a problem. I had gone further than any other to achieve immortality through the use of Horcruxes. I had torn my soul into so many pieces I feared there was not much left for the spell to accept my soul for its price. So, I came up with another method. I would bind myself to another so fully that what they gave or got, I would get to.

"So, on the day I defeated Potter and all of the rest of Dumbledore's pathetic band of idiots, I decided I would use you as my vessel to reach my ultimate goal. You were the reason Potter survived most of my attempts to kill him; you helped destroy my soul; so you were the one, I decided, who should help me get what I wanted.

"You destroyed my soul, so I took yours. You get to live forever. An eternity to suffer with all your losses, and most of all, dear, you get to spend an eternity with me. Don't worry I won't let you forget your friends.

"One more thing before I leave you to your delicious misery. Unlike the book, you cannot destroy the mirror to escape your fate. I have made it indestructible. Speaking of which, I have something I must try on you: Sectumsempra."

I felt the curse instantly. The pain was unbearable. I instantly covered my stomach in some inadequate attempt to stop the bleeding. There were cuts everywhere. No sooner had I come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do, the cuts started to mend together. There was no blood to be seen on what was left of my robes, and most shockingly, there was no pain anymore. He cursed me! He cursed me to test his stupid theory. As if the bastard hadn't done enough, he had to try and kill me to see if his spell had worked. I looked up at him with as much disgust and hatred as I could muster in my shocked state. He just kept looking at me with amused eyes. I hated him with every fiber of my being. I would find some way to work past his spell and I would make sure he suffered. As if knowing what I was thinking he said one last thing before leaving me.

"Fascinating… Well dear, enjoy your mirror. It should be excellent company for the rest of eternity."

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