The Sugar Quill
Author: Rainydaie  Story: Black Ink  Chapter: Default
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Black Ink: by Rainydaie

Black Ink: by Rainydaie

 

It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities

 

-CoS

 

 

The sheet of parchment was crisp and white, not at all stained by the miles it had flown by owl to reach me. And the order was written in stark black ink by a Gothic hand in a sharp spiky script, a writing that spoke volumes more than the words it carried. I still could not believe what I was doing.

 

In short, the letter had instructed me to kill.

 

Let me tell you first off that is against my nature to kill. Killing its self never bothered me, but I just never wanted to be the person who did it. I don’t want blood on my hands, but blood on the hands of another is fine.

 

He was a shopkeeper, suspected of working for the Department of Mysteries. Rookwood had not been able to get the information out of his supervisor, and there was no way he could reveal himself. However, the Dark Lord did not believe in taking chances. This man was working on a contraption called a “Time Turner,” a completely ridiculous notion – turning back time? Impossible. Admittedly, a device such as this would be valuable to our cause, but the entire idea was nonsense. So if this man was an Unspeakable, then the Department would be down one, and if he wasn’t, then more civilian casualties for the Prophet to exploit. He had to go.

 

The Dark Lord seemed confident that I could finish him off. I was pretty confident too. I was perfectly capable of giving the man a soft Avada in the back and then getting the hell out of there. I was perfectly physically capable.

 

Not mentally.

 

He had no family or close friends. He had no employees in his shop. He was fifty-nine years old, whereas I was twenty. A soft Avada in the back. Simple. Easy. Completely impossible.

 

I Apparated there, to his store, the letter in my pocket. I could feel the Dark Mark burning against my skin.

 

He was a clock maker. Ticking filled my ears immediately. I blinked a few times to get used to the lack of light in the shop. I started to step left, but there was a huge grandfather clock in that direction. I tried right. Same thing. I shuddered, thankful I had landed exactly where I had. There was to be no commotion, the letter said. None. I gulped, imagining the consequences.

 

It had been easy to Apparate there because so many people Apparated to Diagon Alley, where the man’s shop was located. The more Apparations, the easier it was to Apparate there. Obviously, few people traveled to directly inside a store, but the residue from outside was enough.

 

With very few creaks I was up the stairs and in his living quarters. Fewer creaks and I was in the bedroom.

 

I drew my wand.

 

He was lying there, completely asleep. Why not? The Dark Lord had assured me that all his antitheft and trespassing charms had been disabled for the night. I had been as quiet as a rat.

 

There was a bright flash of light, and the sound of thunder. I jumped, but the man in the bed did not move.

 

Two words. Avada Kedavra.

 

I raised my want. Two words. It would be over with. I had proven my allegiance already, hadn’t I? Giving all I knew about James and Sirius and Remus? Except for their Anamagus forms. I wasn’t sure, really, why I had kept that back, but I had. Two words! It was easy!

 

And then my nerve failed me completely. Killing was no easy thing. I would say he had been gone. He would certainly punish me, but that was no matter… what was a little blood in the gutter, a little pain? The Dark Lord had already assigned me a task for the next night, one that didn’t involve killing. Someone else would do the job. I felt no remorse for the man. But there was something. Something I hated… something I loved… something that stopped me.

 

Down the stairs. Out the door. Into the storm.

 

I put my wand in my pocket and stood there, staring into the angrily boiling sky. Lighting like a forked tongue flashed out and down from the swirling sky, barraging my eyes with dazzling light and my ears with the deep booming of thunder. It all seemed surreal, standing there in Diagon Alley and watching the sky storm. My hand came from my pocket bearing a rumpled sheet of paper. The letter. I looked down at it.

 

And against the rain the black ink smeared, pooling together like my blood would in a matter of hours. I did not care. I had not killed. Life was not good, and it was not getting better – it was, in fact, about to get much worse – but somehow I felt triumphant, as if I’d beaten down an old and terrible enemy. If only that victory had not been over a part of my own mind.

 

 

finis

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