When the Night Broke

By Hannah Davenport (slytherin_punk@hotmail.com)

Rating: PG

Summary: Sequel to "Bent" and "Twisted." Five years later, Ginny is a bored and very depressed employee at Flourish and Blotts. Outside her drawn-in, little world lies an evil overlord of doom by the name of Radoc Lafoym, who is threatening society. How do they relate?

Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J. K. Rowling. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. It's just fan fiction!

~

Chapter Nine

< >The sun rose slowly over the Burrow - and over all the reporters that were trying to sneak up to the fourth floor window. Ginny carefully peered out her window, hidden well by her curtains, and sighed deeply.

< >"I hate him," she said distractedly. "I hate him. What kind of sadistic man would -" she stopped in the middle of her question, answering it inside her head. The question had been "What kind of sadistic man would give this kind of publicity to someone he kidnapped, tormented, and almost killed?" The answer was, "His kind . . ."

< >"I don't even see why he did that," she continued, referring to their rather disconcerting physical contact. "It's not as though he feels anything for me . . . At least, not that thing,"

< >You sound as though you wish the opposite, said the voice in her head.

< >"I don't," she answered herself angrily. "He's an evil man, and I would never take any sort of interest in him... Ever. Besides, I'm spoken for..."

< >By whom? the voice asked. A dead boy?

< >There was a sudden and distinct pang in the area of her heart. "What if he hadn't been captured?" she asked herself suddenly. "What if Radoc Lafoym hadn't been captured, and I had joined him?"

< >Her inner voice finished, Would he really bring Draco back? And if so, why?

< >"I don't know," she sighed, stepping away from the window and sitting down on her bed. "I don't know, and I'll never have a chance to find out."

~

March

< >He took a deep breath of the cool air, letting it fill his lungs with gratitude. Azkaban was a stuffy place, and had the scent of someone who hadn't bathed in years. The saying was that if insanity didn't kill you, lack of hygiene would.

< >He stared around, watching the blue and purple clouds caressing the mountains in the distance as the stars twinkled in the sky, gazing at the small pond where geese were nestled in slumber, inspecting the sloping fields and adorable little cottages that dotted the landscape surrounding him. A few yards away was a charming wooden sign, that read Peaceful Knolls in a very neat script.

< >After looking around some more, he turned to his right, and spoke to the woman who was with him.

< >"Peaceful Knolls?" he chuckled darkly. "Are you sure these people are alright with me living here?"

< >"Positive," the woman replied, taking out a small, leather-bound book and opening it. "I talked to all of them last week, and they said they would be delighted to have you . . ."

< >"And what about my house?" he questioned. "They're fine with me moving it here?"

< >"Yes, sir." the woman replied efficiently. "On the count of three, then?"

< >"One," he began, raising his wand, "two, three!"

< >And then, together they shouted: "Accio Malfoy Manor!"

~

< >Ginny opened her eyes to see orange light. The sun was beginning to rise, and she had been dreaming . . . Again. She took a few deep breaths, and sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

< >She had been dreaming about him. It was rather irritating, but it was the truth, and she had to face it.

< >Why he had been in the countryside, she had no idea . . . After all, he was supposed to be locked up . . . Alone. Forever.

< >She sighed once again, and tried to push his handsome face from her thoughts. His arched eyebrows, his pointy nose, his distinguished chin, and his accusing eyes. Of course, it wasn't working. There were two possibilities for why it wasn't working.

< >Either she really needed to talk to him or - but that was just absurd. Completely and utterly absurd.

< >And that was when she heard the incredulous and angry shout from the kitchen -

< >"WHAT ON EARTH DO THEY THINK THEY'RE DOING?!"

< >And she ran downstairs as she recognized the voice. It was Ron, and as she drew nearer the kitchen she heard more voices, more angry muttering, and more curses.

< >She stood in the doorway, staring at her entire family: her Mum and Dad; Bill and his girlfriend, Clara; Charlie and his wife Alexandra; Percy and Penelope; Fred and Angelina, standing next to George and Alicia; and finally Ron and Hermione.

< >They all looked at her as she came into view, and their expressions suggested someone had died, or that she had turned into a man over night.

< >"I thought you said she wouldn't be up for another hour or so," Bill said quietly, turning to look at his mother.

< >"It was probably Ron's shouting that woke her up," Hermione whispered audibly, and poked Ron with her finger.

< >"Why are you all here?" Ginny asked, looking around at them. "I mean, not that I don't want to see you, but . . . And why was Ron yelling?"

< >They continued to look at her, their expressions changing slightly, so that they all looked very sad.

< >"Ginny," Charlie said, taking a few steps closer to her, and then stopping. "Ginny, he won his trial. He was acquitted, and sent away, his powers intact."

< >Ginny blinked. Reality hit her with the force of a double-decker bus, and her knees buckled with the weight of this new knowledge, this new idea that now began to gnaw angrily on her brain and create a funny buzzing noise inside her ears.

< >"What did you say?" she asked breathlessly.

< >The room was silent.

< >"That's what I thought," she replied, taking a deep breath. "I'm going to get dressed, and then I'm going into town for a while," she added, thinking quickly.

< >"When will you be back?" Mrs. Weasley asked hurriedly.

< >"I don't know, Mum," Ginny replied, sighing deeply. "I suppose when I get my questions answered."

~

< >Diagon Alley was not a very crowded place that day. There were a few witches in the robes shop, and a group of wizards around Ginny's age gazing longingly at the new broomstick models, and discussing how much better their game would be if they only had enough money . . .

< >But Ginny was more concerned with the building that was crammed between Flourish and Blotts, and the Magical Menagerie. It was a tall place, made of scrubbed blue brick, and had dainty little flowers in front of it. The sign on the door read: BENSON, FITCH, and CARDONNELSON, ATTORNEYS AT LAW in very intimidating text.

< >Nevertheless, she pushed the door open and walked inside.

< >There were three secretaries with signs above their desks, saying which lawyer they worked for. Ginny approached the desk of Mr. Fitch's secretary, and asked, very carefully:

< >"Excuse me, but may I please speak with Mr. Fitch?"

< >"Are you from any newspaper, periodical, or news show?" the woman replied, sounding as though she had asked this oh-too-many times.

< >"Oh, no," Ginny said, pulling a magazine article from her pocket, and showing it to her inquirer. "No, my name's Ginny Weasley . . ." she continued. "If it's alright, I would like to speak to him about Mr. Lafoym's trial . . ."

< >"Down the hall, third door on the right," the secretary sighed, but kept the magazine clipping, reading it with interest.

< >When Ginny reached the door, she found it open, and a tall, thin man sitting behind a desk looked up at her.

< >"Miss Weasley, I presume," he said, almost pleasantly, as he scribbled a note on a piece of parchment, and quickly tied it to the leg of an owl that was perched on his desk. "Here about Mr. - er, Lafoym's trial, no doubt. Well, come in and have a seat. What's on your mind?"

< >Ginny had a seat, and looked at Mr. Fitch, trying to think of what to say. "Well," she began, still wondering how to word her many questions. She began with: "How did he win? I mean, for heaven's sake, we all know he's guilty - me, especially - so how in the world could they let him go?"

< >Mr. Fitch looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "I take it no one's told you, then," he said, sighing.

< >"Told me what?" Ginny asked, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose.

< >"I'm not sure that's for me to say," he replied, eyeing her as though she were made of glass. He pulled a piece of paper from a stack and read whatever was printed there with unnerving silence. "It says here you have a history of - er - mental instability, and the story of Mr. - eh, Lafoym's life is lengthy, grievous, and rueful . . . You might not be able to handle it."

< >"I'm not asking for his life history," Ginny sighed warily.

< >"But you see," Mr. Fitch said, lowering his voice to a slightly arcane tone. "If I were to give you the account of - er, Radoc's trial, your mind would be muddled up; so as I'm sure you can see, it is much easier if I start from the beginning to avoid further disconcertion."

< >"When, exactly, was the beginning?" she asked.

< >He smiled in a rather despondent manner. "I'll just give you the minutes, shall I?" he replied, pulling a few papers from a desk drawer. "And you can keep them - being as unorganized as I am, I'm sure that there are other copies somewhere..."

< >"Thanks," she said, taking the papers, and standing carefully.

< >After she left, Xerxes Fitch brought out a new piece of paper, dipped his quill into some blue ink, and wrote:

Mr. Malfoy -

< >I gave her the papers, contrary to your wishes. However, you must understand that she would have found out someday, whether she met your future children in a bookstore, or she read your obituary in the paper.

< >I did it in her best interest.

Yours,

Xerxes Fitch

~

< >When she arrived home, it was much later than she thought it had been. The sun was already beginning to set, bringing a dark and unearthly glow about the place. Instead of going inside, where Ginny knew she would face inquiries on her whereabouts, she stayed on the back porch, facing an open field/forest, and sitting on a porch-swing. Conjuring a light with her wand, she turned to the first paper, submitting herself to be caught up in the memories of one Radoc Lafoym.

< >At least, to her knowledge he was Radoc Lafoym.


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