Alphabet Soup

L

So it took me WAY longer than expected... gomen nasai, minna-chan. My real-life writing sucks giant donkey balls and took over my life. In addition I'm a part-time student, so... yeah. Busy, busy, busy.

This is rather short. After such a long wait one would think I'd be able to post something substantially longer, but alack! It's also mostly ANGSTy but there's a bit of important jazz going on.

So many people liked the mysterious Death Eater that I decided to write her in and make her a somewhat important character. That required some changing of future chapters, but I'm kind of tired of calling her "the polite Death Eater" and such so it's worth it ;D

Please review if you think this sucks.

Please review if you like this.

Please review if you are ambivalent.

Alphabet Soup

L

Lecture

"Continue?"

Tom kept a smile on his face. She couldn't be sure, but Ginny thought he may have been genuinely amused by something. "Yes. Tell me what you've been pondering in place of what I told you to consider."

"I was thinking- don't pull my hair or anything, I'm just trying to find words!- um, about your behavior. And the stuff you said to Malfoy."

"Go on."

"Well, you…" she began frantically hunting for the proper words in her mind. "You…" No, don't sound accusatory, Gin. "It seemed like you were staking some kind of claim on me, and it's very confusing."

Tom frowned. Vertical lines formed between his midnight eyes as he considered her thoughts. "Why shouldn't I 'claim' you, dear Ginny? You belong to me, after all."

"No I don't!" she snapped. "No one owns me."

"You're mistaken about that, little Ginny," he smirked.

She bit her lip and cast her eyes downward. "How?"

"If I told you, your heart would break," he mock sobbed. "I simply couldn't do that to you, precious girl."

"Try me," Ginny challenged.

"I don't think I will. You shouldn't be asking such impertinent questions; it's not your place." He planted another small kiss atop her head and made for the door. "Don't think about Malfoy, just be grateful that I was there. In my absence, I want you to truly consider my position- the only logical position- on the current state of Wizardry. Good night, little one." He moved to leave the room.

"Tom- wait," Ginny blurted. "Please." He gave a half-smile and looked at her with interest. "Where are you going? You said you'd be absent."

"Oh, here and there," he grinned.

Ginny looked at him darkly. "You're going to do something wicked, aren't you?"

"That depends on your definition of wicked."

She paused and looked at her hands. "Someone's going to die."

"Kill one to save many; it's perfectly reasonable."

Ginny's jaw dropped. "Kill one… to save many? Tom, that's what people say about you."

"And you'd agree with them, wouldn't you?" he challenged.

She didn't respond; she didn't like the answer. "Can I ask… will you tell me…"

"Who?" Tom grinned. "Why, I've found your Harry, darling child."

Her face drained of all color. Numbly her lips formed the words. "You're going to kill Harry."

"That's the plan," he chuckled.

"You won't be able to," Ginny replied defiantly. Hands balled into fists, she began to rage. "You can't kill Harry! It's not possible!"

"Unless he's discovered the secret to immortality, then I assure you that I can and will kill him." His face became rigid; Ginny thought he looked like one of the statues at Hogwarts, cold and unmoving. "As I am the only one who knows that particular secret, I'm not terribly worried. Watch your tongue in the future, you insolent little child." Abruptly he strode out of her room and into the hallway.

"Harry," she whispered, "be safe."

Logic, Voldemort-style

Harry was going to die.

Tom was so powerful… being a Horcrux couldn't save Harry this time.

Harry was going to die.

Ginny shuddered. If he died, there would be no hope. So many had already given up and resigned themselves to being in captivity; upon hearing that the Boy-Who-Lived lived no longer, everyone would be filled with the same hollow sensation Neville had expressed all those months ago. Please don't let him die.

But… but Tom said that killing just one would benefit everybody. She shuddered, disgusted that the thought even brushed her brain in the slightest. Would he really stop being evil if Harry was dead? She laughed at her stupidity. He'd keep killing, she was sure of it. Even if he left Purebloods and gifted half-bloods alive, Muggles and Muggle-borns would still be eviscerated. Hermione, brilliant as she was, would see that flash of green light and be gone forever.

When Voldemort was destroyed, she reasoned, the Death Eaters dispersed. Maybe he just wants to get rid of the figurehead.

She wondered how long Tom would be gone. She wondered if he was lying to her. Maybe he hadn't located Harry after all. Maybe he had been bluffing, hoping that she would tell everyone else and crush their spirits. Maybe he'd been given faulty information and some Death Eater would die for leading him to the wrong place. One less Death Eater in the world. I'd like that.

With that thought she ran to her toilet and looked at herself in the mirror. She gazed harshly into her own eyes. She almost couldn't bear to see her reflection; this was the reflection of a girl who had just wished death upon a human being. She was as bad as any of them. Kill the enemy, kill them all- their ideas made them less than human. They wore those hideous masks, hiding their faces. There were no people under there, no mothers or fathers, brothers or sisters. There couldn't be. There just couldn't be. If those things were people, then she was condoning murder.

Ginny let out a dry sob and covered her eyes, ashamed. In Tom's eyes, people like Tonks were less than human. Ginny was as bad as him. "Oh, god!" She quivered and grabbed her hairbrush. She roughly ran it through her too-long red hair, hoping that the pain of tangles being snagged would relocate her thoughts. It didn't work, not for a moment.

Little Helper

The solitary sane Death Eater opened Ginny's door without knocking.

"What's got you so upset, Miss Weasley?" she asked calmly.

Ginny just glared at her and threw the hairbrush to the floor.

"I could hear you crying all the way down the hall," she explained. "Some wanted to issue a punishment, but I thought I'd see why you're causing this ruckus before any damage is done."

"What do you care?" Ginny snapped.

"I'll just send in someone else," the Death Eater sighed.

"No! W-wait!" Ginny beseeched. "Sorry, sorry. Please- what is it you're offering?"

"An ear."

An ear.

"My brother only has one ear thanks to you people," Ginny sneered. The Death Eater turned to leave but Ginny grabbed her robe. "I'm sorry, please don't let them hex me! I'll be polite."

"You're very endearing," the Death Eater stated. "I can see why the Dark Lord has taken such an interest in you." A pregnant silence reigned for a few moments. "Now, what's caused all of this crying?"

Ginny inhaled deeply. "Something Tom- er, You-Know-Who said."

"I know you call him by his old name. As he allows it and I already know he was given that name at birth, I don't mind if you call him that."

"Oh. Okay." She shifted uncomfortably. Behind the mask Ginny couldn't see this woman's eyes but sensed that she was staring, pressing her to explain herself. "Tom told me to think, and I don't like it. What he's made me think, that is."

"What's so horrible that it's made you cry?"

Ginny paused. "Behind that mask-" she shuddered "-you're a person."

A soft tinkling laughter filled the room. "Yes, I am. How is that bothersome?"

"You kill people… but so do they. It's easy to attack a mask, but you're human, just like any of my friends."

"Have you killed anyone, Ginny? Have you attacked any masks?"

"Attacked, yes. Killed, no." She faltered.

"But you wanted to," the Death Eater whispered.

"You killed my dad! And my brother! You killed people I know, my friends!"

"I'm afraid so. I'm not personally involved with the cleansing, but I know what you mean. Would it make you feel better to know that your friends and allies killed my brother?"

"No!" Ginny cried. "That's the problem! It doesn't make me feel better, and it should!"

"I see." She reached into an inside pocket of her robe and pulled out a vial of yellow liquid. "Drink this." Ginny didn't move to take it and eyes the container suspiciously. "It's just an extra-concentrated form of Dreamless Sleep. It might help calm you down."

"How do I know it isn't poison?"

"You don't," the Death Eater replied, "but I would be in a hell of a lot of trouble if the Dark Lord if I harmed you. I'm not about to take that risk. Drink up."

Tentatively Ginny uncorked the vial and slowly drank the potion. "It tastes like Dreamless Sleep."

"Goodnight, Miss Weasley. I hope you are a bit calmer in the morning."

"Wait!" Ginny called. The Death Eater looked at her. "What's your name?"

"My name is Mona. Sleep well."

So, yeah. That be that.

I have a question for y'all! I have all possible scenarios written up, but I'm having trouble deciding which to use. Here's the question: do you think Harry should live or die? I have the last word, obviously, but I'd still like to know your opinions.

Please drop a review on your way out.

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