The slight breeze was like a soothing balm to her burning skin. Their clothes hung off, limp almost just sheets of cloth, nothing more. Patches of the worn cloth were covered in dried blood and dirt. The rocks underfoot dug into the cuts on the tough soles of their feet, but they both still held their chins high.
The woman looked no more than in her early thirties, with her ebony hair shining in the dusk. Wise warm blue eyes defied every buyer that dared stare at them. Indeed they stood in front of 50 men no less just waiting their turn to take a look at the merchandise but that didn't mean the two weren't going to raise hell for whoever looked their way of dared to bid for them. And though their clothes were almost nonexistent both mother and daughter were beautiful.
The girl no more than six or seven was wrapped securely in her mother's long strong arms. They were like a life preserver for her, because if her mother let go for even one moment they would be separated and likely never see each other again. Her golden locks clung to her sweaty face, cheeks red with fever. Her eyes, her mother's eyes, were half closed with exhaustion. They had been up walking all night, the herders leading them along at break neck pace never giving any lee-way and if they did you were likely to never be seen again. So when she became too tired to walk her mother would pick her up and hold her as they walked never letting go, always holding onto some part of her daughter. The fever had started to show three days prier and her mere did everything she could in their circumstances for her but there was nothing she could do now. Not in front of all their hungry stares but hold her and provide what little comfort there was to her. She knew they were going to be separated, it was a gut feeling she had, had for days and so she had held on even tighter to her mother than usual treasuring the last moments she was sure they were going to have.
The auction went slowly. The buyers seemed to be particularly ravenous and coins were spent almost as freely as elf made wine was drunk from their canteens. Some had even been so bold as to try to touch them but the herders kept the crowd back. That was about all they were good for, keeping the crowd at bay. When they were brought forth all hell broke loose. Hands were waving through the air at a frantic pace, voices shouted over the others, each trying to outbid the other. Apparently the rumor that the caravan had veela in stock had spared quickly. Not surprising really, considering how fast the other four had gone. All of them had been taken from their homes, the village set on fire and she had no idea if anyone had survived.
The girl shrank back as far as she could into her mother wishing they could just disappear.
She felt her little Cara pull herself closer to her. Bending slightly she kissed her daughters head genitally and turned her away from the crowd lifting her into her arms. Kissing her daughters hot forehead she whispered, "Tout va bien se passer Cara. Juste essayer de se reposer un peu, hein?"(Everything will be alright Cara. Just try to get some rest, hmm?)
Cara merrily nodded comforted by her mother's embrace and sank slowly into blissful calm.
A movement in the crowd caught the woman's eye and a streak of blond hair, but where she saw stood a slightly stooped figure with a cloak covering their face. Frowning slightly she surveyed the rest of the buyers wondering which one would decide their fate.
From the front of the crowd a man with shortly trimmed white blond hair and silver eyes stepped forward and said, "50,000 gallons for the girl," and seeing as most of the attendees were low class citizens or were shady enough in character that they didn't want to be drawing attention to themselves by spending so much money. So when that man bid everything went quiet.
His features though youthful and aristocratic were refined with barely veiled cruelty. He wore finely tailored black robes. Smirking his eyes were glued to the girl that had since become alert in her mother's arms and was shivering with fright.
The auctioneer looked around the crowd asking, "No more offers? No more offers? No more off-"
"100,000 for the both of them."
The woman looked towards the voice to see the slumped figure standing straight and proud.
Despite not seeing who the person was the woman had to admit that there was something that was like a magnet for her that drew to the strange person.
Though they weren't stooped anymore the figure was a little off kilter obviously leaning more on one side than the other and she couldn't help but wonder why?
Then there was their voice which she would have thought to be gruff and menacing like all the others that had been shouting earlier but instead it was soft, feminine like, and strangely comforting.
The auctioneer frowned. Even though he wasn't the brightest he could still do simple math and knew if he took that deal he would be losing money and the stranger really hadn't raised the price at all just changed the bidding subject to two instead of one. Grinding his teeth slightly he asked, "No more offers? No more offers? -"
"150,000 still for the girl."
"Come now Felis, surely two beautiful Veela is better than one? Besides I dare say the one you're looking at won't survive for very long, with the fever that she's sporting right now and how weak she looks. Really Felis I would have thought better of your judgment but I guess I was wrong."
The figure turned their attention from the blonde haired man to the two Veela on the low stage.
"Judging from the circles under her eyes, how glassed they're looking, skin color and how thin she looks I wouldn't put it past for her to give in a about a day or two."
The blonde haired man turned to the cloaked figure and frowned slightly. Who the hell did they think that they were speaking to a Malfoy like that? It was outrageous how low the wizarding world was falling really.
Shaking his head in disgust he sneered at the person that dared not showing him some respect.
"Why then are you bidding for the both of them? If one of them is likely to die why are you so interested in her then?"
Smirking he knew the girl would be able to work fine once he got her back to England and to a healer so he saw no reason to change his bid.
"Well quite simple of course Felis. A veela is very protective of its clan or family which ever you prefer to call it, especially the children. Besides what would any mother do if her child was to be in danger? She'd protect them at all costs don't you think? So it's safe to some that both would be more compliant if you had them together rather than separated. Then there's also the fact that we both know that you wouldn't spend this much money on a girl that was likely to die any day so it's also safe to assume that you have some plan in place to keep the girl in good health, am I right? So wouldn't it make more sense to have the package deal that behaves better? Besides they are very proud beings after all and wouldn't submit themselves to slavery willingly. My bet would be they'd kill themselves before they had to lower themselves to that level but with a little say persuasion I think they would see it your way, don't you think?"
The crowd had been uncommonly quiet through their debate. Not much was known about veela and whatever was most didn't really pay much attention too simply because it was so rare to run into one or find a whole group of them. Not wanting to let the price dwindle the auctioneer asked, "No other offers?-"
"600,000 for the both of them."
The blonde haired man looked at the figure incredulously. Even he wasn't planning on spending that much at most 180,000 for the girl. He wasn't a fool, Felis knew certain things of veela and that included their thrall too. The main reason he was avoiding buying the mother was for that very reason. He didn't what the possibility of her using her thrall on him to escape and he figured that buy the time the girl developed hers she would have gained a healthy amount of respect for her master in his opinion by that point.
"No more offers? No more offers?-
"Who are you?"
"No more offers?"
"No one of importance."
"SOLD! To Miss-"
The figure withdrew her hood and there stood Dawn Vanderwitt the one woman that had been a thorn in the black markets side especially when it came to slavery.
The only thing that passed through their minds was, "Oh, shit!"