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SIYE Time:1:16 on 19th August 2017


Gothic
By Brennus

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Harry/Ginny
Genres: Action/Adventure
Warnings: Death, Disturbing Imagery, Intimate Sexual Situations, Violence
Story is Complete
Rating: R
Reviews: 158
Summary: A bored Ginny Weasley finds her world turned upside down when a handsome and mysterious young wizard with a dark reputation offers her a job. Together, they seek a lost treasure and battle monsters while she learns many new things about herself.
Hitcount: Story Total: 19459; Chapter Total: 1600
Awards: View Trophy Room




Author's Notes:
Here we are at the end of this little story and, I must say, Iíve been delighted at how well itís been received. It was immensely fun to write, too, which was just as well as it came at a time when my enthusiasm for doing these stories was flagging, a bit.

I do have a favour to ask of you, dear readers, and that is to read the last section which features Winky very carefully. Iíve thrown a little twist into the tail of this story and the end part might require a re-read or two before it sinks in exactly whatís been going on. Before you ask, no, I doubt Ginny will ever find out. *evil chuckle*

Lastly, a huge thanks to my beta, Arnel, for all her help and encouragement and to all my readers who offered corrections, suggestions, or just comments. They were all greatly appreciated. ĎGothic 2í? It might just happen.




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Chapter 9 — Dark Lady



Silently, they made their way back up the stairs and into the dining room. Surprisingly, there was still no sign of the Malfoy’s house-elves, which Ginny thought was odd. Surely the elves would have realised that there were intruders in the house by now, but still she and Harry remained unmolested. Perhaps they had travelled to Germany to attend Draco and Astoria?

Taking advantage of the unrestricted access, Harry and Ginny made an extensive search of the ground floor, but found nothing of particular interest. Even Draco’s study revealed no further incriminating evidence, although Harry took the liberty of duplicating most of Malfoy’s financial records for study later. Having exhausted the possibilities of this floor, they decided to move the search upstairs.

They left the study and soon found the central staircase which they carefully made their way up. The landing was pitch black, but Harry unswervingly guided them to the right, the floorplan of the house firmly imprinted in his mind. It was only when they turned a corner that they noticed light coming from under one of the doors further down the corridor. They halted warily.

“There wasn’t supposed to be anyone here,” Harry said, his voice barely audible.

“Perhaps it’s one of the elves?” Ginny suggested at the same volume.

“Let’s find out. We need to go that way, anyway.”

Stealthily, they crept down the corridor and paused in front of the door. Once they were nearer, distinct sounds could be heard from inside the room. A woman’s voice could be heard moaning and what sounded like bedsprings creaking. Ginny shared a quizzical look with Harry, surprised by what was undoubtedly the sounds of someone having sex in the room.

With a grim expression on his face, Harry firmly gripped the door handle before violently throwing the door open. For a moment, she was half blinded by the light in the room, but her vision quickly cleared.

She found herself inside a lavishly decorated room, which was dominated by a large four poster bed. At the sound of their entry, a man had scrabbled from the bed and Ginny saw that it was Draco Malfoy himself, stark naked and with an expression of horror on his face. His companion was a young brunet girl who was equally as nude as Draco. Oddly, the girl seemed unaware of anything happening and just lay on the bed, staring at the ceiling.

“Potter! What the hell are you doing in my house?” Draco shouted angrily.

“Stay right where you are, Malfoy,” Harry said, pointing his wand at the blond-haired man. “One move and you’re dead!”

“What are you doing here?” Draco demanded, although an element of fear had crept into his voice.

“I could ask you that same question. I thought you were meant to be in Germany with your wife,” Harry responded.

“Who isn’t that girl on the bed,” Ginny added in a cold voice. “Astoria was a year below me at Hogwarts and I’d recognise her anywhere. While the cat’s away the mice will play, eh, Draco?”

For a second Draco looked rather wild-eyed, before he turned his head and looked directly at the naked girl. “Attack them!” he ordered.

Instantly, the girl sat up and scrambled off the bed. She lunged at Harry with her arms spread out in front of her, but only got a few feet before Harry’s Full Body-Bind Curse paralysed her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Draco hurriedly turn and lunge towards a table, evidently going for his wand. She aimed her own wand directly at him.

“Stay where you are, Malfoy,” she snapped, causing him to freeze.

“This girl’s under the Imperius Curse, isn’t she?” Harry demanded angrily.

Draco, however, said nothing and just glared at him.

“There’s one way we can find out exactly what’s going on here. I have some skill in Legilimency. Let’s take a little peek into this girl’s mind and find out what’s happening, shall we? Cover him, Ginny,” Harry muttered, walking over to the rigid young woman.

“No! I…” Draco began, but it was too late. Harry looked directly into the girl’s eyes for a moment, before breaking away in disgust.

“Who is she?” Ginny asked, still watching Malfoy like a hawk.

“She’s a Muggle. The last thing she remembers is walking down a street in her hometown before a strange, warm sensation came over her. It appears Mr Malfoy here abducted her so he could rape her.”

“She’s only a Muggle,” Draco snarled dismissively.

“Really? Just like that poor girl down in your personal dungeon? I wonder if your wife knows what you’re up to. Made some excuse so you could stay home and play, did you?” Harry asked in a dangerous tone.

“No, she doesn’t know exactly what I’ve been doing, but I doubt she’d care, just in case you’re trying to blackmail me!” Draco sneered. “That girl is only a Muggle. She’s worth less than cattle. So I decided to use one or two of them for my personal entertainment, so what? Astoria would know that little piece of filth was nothing more than an object for me to satisfy my needs while she was away.”

“You pig! You utter piece of filth!” Ginny raged. “You think you have the right to rape and torture Muggle women for your amusement? You’re vile beyond description!”

“As I said, what happens to mere Muggles is irrelevant,” Draco sneered.

“Harry… what are we going to do with this bastard?” Ginny asked intently.

“Hmm, that’s a very good question,” he began, eyeing the blond-haired man with distaste.

“Oh, please!” Draco interrupted. “What are you going to do? Hand me over to the DMLE? Do you think they’ll care what happens to some random Muggle girl? I’ll probably get a fine, or something. Even if they do decide to imprison me, I’ll soon be out. I have connections, you know. Really, Potter, you’re making too much of this. Breaking into someone’s home, however, now that’s a much more serious matter. You two are going to be in big trouble. I’ll see you thrown in Azkaban for this!”

“Harry, can I deal with this matter, please?” Ginny asked.

Harry glanced at her with a raised eyebrow for a second, before nodding once.

“I’ll leave it up to your discretion,” he replied.

Ginny stepped for and looked him directly in the eye. She felt a cold rage building inside her.

“Draco Malfoy, you are a piece of human excrement. Not only did you attempt to blackmail me into having sex with you, you prey on helpless Muggles and treat them like they aren’t even human. You are a filthy rapist, a murderer, and a despicable idiot. Do you know what trouble would have been caused if it had got out that you had bribed one of the goblins? Do you even care? No, as long at Draco Malfoy gets what he wants, nothing else matters, does it? Well, I’ve had enough. Just because you managed to worm your way out of punishment for being a Death Eater doesn’t mean I’m going to let you get away with this. What you did to that girl down in your dungeon cannot go unpunished.”

“What… what are you doing?” Draco demanded, suddenly fearful.

“A while back, I was asked to make a choice and I took the easy option. That choice meant we didn’t have to kill two werewolves, but it could potentially mean that they could go on to kill other people themselves in the future. I think I made a mistake that day, because I wasn’t ready to take the hard option, the difficult choice that meant I had to get my hands dirty. I won’t make the same mistake again.”

“What are you babbling about, Weasley?” Draco asked, by now nearly in a full panic.

“It’s time to die, Draco. You should have died a long time ago at your master’s side, but you were too cowardly to do that, weren’t you? No, I’m not going to stand by and let you ruin other people’s lives like this. Rapists are the lowest of the low, and you are sick and twisted beyond belief. It’s time to pay for your crimes.”

“Weasley, no!” Draco screamed. “I have money! I can make you rich! I can give you anything you…”

Draco got no further, as a bright flash of light shot from Ginny’s wand and hit him squarely in the chest. Draco screamed once as he was blown backwards, landing in a crumpled heap on the floor. Blood immediately began to pool around his body.

Ginny stared at the naked corpse, barely able to believe that she had just executed him so coldly. Then she felt an arm snake around her middle and a warm hand gently force her wand arm down. Harry was there.

“Did… did I do the right thing?” she asked, her voice trembling.

“Yes, my darling, I believe you did. Draco Malfoy was a disgusting excuse for a human being, with no redeeming qualities. I very much doubt this is the first time he committed such terrible crimes. This is the sort of thing these types work up to, and I’m sure he would have only gotten worse as time went by. How many Muggle women would he have abducted, raped and killed? I fear the answer would have been many, simply because there was nothing to stop him doing it. Besides, do you really believe he wouldn’t have come after you and your family again? His revenge on you failed, and Draco was just the sort of petty monster who wouldn’t have let that lie. He was probably hatching some disgusting scheme to hurt you. You were just protecting the ones you love.”

“Maybe,” she replied shakily.

“Definitely,” he insisted. “Now, we’d better see to this poor Muggle girl.”

Harry released the Body-Bind from the girl, and she immediately screamed and tried to cover herself, the Imperius Curse apparently broken due to Malfoy’s death. Ginny hurried over with a dressing gown she had found and draped it over the terrified young woman.

“It’s alright, you’re okay now,” Ginny said reassuringly.

“Who are you? Where am I?” the girl demanded.

“You’re safe,” Harry told her. “You were drugged and abducted by the owner of this house, but we’re here to rescue you. It’s all over, I promise you.”

“He… he made me take my clothes off,” the girl gasped. “He… he did things to me. He raped me! I was totally helpless.”

“That was due to the drugs he made you take,” Harry lied smoothly. “What’s your name?”

“Charlotte… Charlotte Manning. How did I even get here? I don’t remember traveling here. Where is here?” she sobbed.

“Where do you live, Charlotte?” Ginny asked soothingly, ignoring the girl’s questions.

“Swindon, just off Drakes Way. Where is this place?”

“Not too far away from home, actually. We’re just outside Marlborough,” Harry supplied.

“But how did I get here? I don’t remember being put in a car,” Charlotte said in confusion.

“You were probably unconscious,” he said. “Ah, are these your clothes over here on the chair? I’ll nip out of the room while you get dressed, and then we’ll arrange to take you home.”

“What about the police? We’ll need to report this,” the girl insisted.

“It will all be taken care of. Ginny here will look after you while you get dressed,” Harry said before slipping out of the room.

Charlotte gave Ginny a wary look, before retrieving her clothes and hurriedly dressing. She stood looking at Ginny with mistrust written all over her face.

“Who are you two?” Charlotte demanded.

Before she had a chance to reply, Harry re-entered the room with a cheery smile on his face.

“Ready to head home, Charlotte?” he asked.

“I want to know what’s going on?” the girl demanded, now looking rather angry. “Just who are you two? Who was that bastard who attacked me? Why aren’t the police here?”

“Sorry, Charlotte,” Harry said simply, before raising his wand and firing a Stunning Spell at her. She instantly slumped to the floor.

“It was for the best. I’m sure she would have freaked when we Apparated her home,” Harry told Ginny. “I think we should just Obliviate this whole episode from her mind. It’s the kindest thing to do.”

“I agree,” Ginny nodded, feeling strangely detached from the events around her.

“Oh, by the way, I found what we came for. The last piece of the Moon Hare was hidden in the room across the hall.”

“Oh, good,” she replied. For some strange reason, even after everything that had happened, that simple fact made her glad. They had done what they came here to do.

“Come on, let’s get this poor young girl back home. We’ll need to do something about Malfoy’s body, and that of the poor girl downstairs, but you leave that up to me,” Harry said.

“Let’s just do what we need to do and then go home,” Ginny agreed. Right at that moment, she wanted nothing more than to get out of this house of horrors. She was sure that what she had done was the right thing, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

It was some hours before they were able to return to Harry’s home, having wiped the Muggle girl’s memories of the whole night and deposited her back in the well-lit main shopping area of her home town of Swindon. Harry had also followed through on his promise of disposing of Malfoy’s body, even if he refused to tell Ginny exactly what he’d done with it. It would never be found, he’d assured her, and she’d believed him. He’d also assured her that he’d taken the body of the poor girl they’d found in the dungeon and placed it somewhere the Muggle authorities would find it. That, at least, might give whatever family she had some closure.

Wearily, they collapsed on the couch in the main reception room of Harry’s home. Feeling somewhat dazed, Ginny recalled that this was the room where he’d first greeted her after she’d accepted his dinner invitation. Although that first meal together had only been a few months previously, now it seemed like a lifetime ago, to her.

“Here, drink this,” Harry instructed her as soon as she sat down. He handed her a glass with an extremely generous measure of whisky in it. She didn’t hesitate in raising the glass to her lips.

“I… I did do the right thing, didn’t I?” she asked eventually.

“You did. Frankly, Ginny, if you hadn’t killed him, then I would have. Draco Malfoy might have been a coward and a fool, but his money and position made him dangerous. Clearly, the madness that runs through that family had taken hold of him and driven him to depraved habits, and such evil cannot be allowed to exist. We had to do something about him. Draco was right in saying that the Ministry would have done nothing to him, save perhaps given him a slap on the wrist. He was a marked Death Eater, yet he still escaped Azkaban! This is the exact reason I dealt with any Death Eater I captured myself, rather than hand them over to the Ministry.”

“Have you… killed… many Death Eaters?” she asked hesitantly.

“Yes,” he replied simply.

“Oh,” she said, thinking about it. “Good.”

“I’m glad you agree. Those bastards would have killed me without a second thought, and they were responsible for the deaths of all my family. Why should I have shown them any mercy? Some might question who appointed me their judge and executioner, but I would answer that by saying they did themselves, the day Voldemort killed my mother and father. The day the Death Eaters killed Sirius and Andromeda. The day they took everyone I loved from me. Now the Death Eaters are all dead themselves, and the world is a better place for it, I think. I only let Draco escape punishment thus far was because I thought him a foppish idiot. I should have realised he would have had evil in his heart.”

“I guess you’re right, but it doesn’t make me feel any better about killing someone,” Ginny said despondently.

“We hold great power, you and I, and with that power comes responsibility,” he said firmly. “Tell me, is it right that we, people who possess such power, just stand by and do nothing while the likes of Draco Malfoy prey on the weak? Surely our inaction would make us a culpable as him?”

“I suppose you’re right,” she admitted before a thought struck her. “Is this why you made me decide the fate of those two werewolves in Germany? This was almost the same thing, right?”

“The situations are similar, but not identical,” Harry disagreed. “At the end of the day, we had no evidence that those pair of werewolves had actually done anything. I don’t deny that it was extremely probable that Karl and Agatha were both killers, but could we prove that? On the other hand, there was no doubt about Draco Malfoy’s guilt. In a perfect world we could have just handed him over to the authorities to deal with, but this is far from a perfect world. I learnt that lesson a long time ago.”

“But doesn’t that just mean that the most powerful get to decide what’s right? I mean, that was what Voldemort was trying to do, right? What makes us different to him?”

Harry knelt beside her and gently ran a finger down her cheek.

“Simply, because we have no desire to impose our will on others. We were only reacting to a crime that had already been committed. Voldemort and his Death Eaters were the ones who couldn’t live and let live. They felt the need to kill those that they didn’t approve of and set rigid guidelines as to what that actually represented. I hated the vampires because they were the same — they subjugated those weaker than them and used them as little more than cattle to feed on. I had far more sympathy with the werewolves, many of whom were just escaping from a society that mistrusted and despised them. It’s just a shame that their innocent neighbours sometimes suffer because of them.”

Ginny drained her glass and looked at him sadly.

“Again, I know you’re right, but I just wish it hadn’t had to be us that killed Draco.”

“It’s the price you pay for living this kind of life. We may only be seeking excitement and adventure, but invariably you will come across evil in some form or another if you travel enough. I'm sure that bored shop girl you use to be would never have been put in such a difficult situation, but think of all the other things she would have missed out on. Nothing in this life comes without some price attached, at least nothing of value. Maybe that’s what I saw in you when I first offered you this job — the strength to do the right thing, because that’s often the hardest thing to do.”

“You’re right, but can we talk about something else now? I really don’t want to think about this anymore,” Ginny begged.

“Of course. I know, shall we see what the Moon Hare looks like once we’ve joined all the pieces together?” Harry asked.

“Yes, I’d like to see it, especially after all the trouble we went to,” she nodded, glad of the diversion.

“Winky,” Harry called, and a moment later the little elf popped into the room. “Would you be so kind as to bring me the other four pieces of the Moon Hare, please?”

“Of course, Master!” Winky said happily and popped off. She returned just moments later the pieces of the jewel in her hands.

“Now, let’s see what we have, shall we?” Harry said, taking the pieces from the elf and laying them on the floor. Peering over his shoulder, Ginny could see the arranged pieces did now finally resemble a hare. Harry withdrew his wand and gave a sharp swish and flick, and there it was, finally. The Moon Hare was whole again.

“It’s beautiful,” Ginny said in awe as he held it up for her to see. The golden hare was exquisitely wrought and wonderfully decorated. From its paws hung small representations of various other animals: birds, frogs, mice, and even a small fish. From the tail hung a fabulous crescent moon carved in jade, and from its ears hung a sun, made from amber. “I guess it was worth all the effort, after all.”

“Maybe, but I think this isn’t the greatest treasure I found during this hunt,” Harry said, putting the Moon Hare down on the table and taking Ginny in his arms. “I’ve been so lonely, Ginny. I don’t think I realised exactly how lonely I was, but now I’ve found you, my life has changed.”

Ginny melted under his gaze. “I feel the same,” she admitted. “I don’t feel like I was even living my life until I met you. I want this to go on forever — you and me, having crazy adventures and exploring the world. I love this life you’ve shown me, Harry, despite the darkness that we might have to face.”

He bent down and gave her a long, lingering kiss.

“I’m glad, Ginny, but, despite saying that, I don’t think things can stay exactly the way they have been. It feels wrong to have you as a mere employee. You mean so much more to me than that, and you’ve become my equal in every sense of the word.”

“What do you mean?” she asked uneasily.

“It means I don’t think I can employ you any longer.”

“What? But… Harry, please! I need this job! I thought you were pleased with what I did for you. Why don’t you want me to work for you anymore?” she demanded in something of a panic.

“Because just paying you a wage just feels wrong, when you mean so much more to me. I don’t want you as a mere employee, Ginny, I want you to share everything I have, including my very life. In short, my love, I want you to become my wife.”

“Wife?” she gasped, “but… but… what?”

Harry gently placed a soft kiss on her trembling lips. “I love you, Ginevra Weasley, and I firmly believe I will never find a more perfect match for me. I want us to continue living this crazy life of ours, but with us equals and partners. I respect you too much for us to continue as anything else. So, tell me, Ginny, will you marry me?”

For a second, Ginny could only gawp at him. A million reasons why she should say no popped into her head, not least that that vast majority of her family would bitterly disapprove. There was his dark reputation, too. Would she be prepared to become his dark lady, and risk the scorn of most of society?

“I… I…” she stammered for a second, before an iron-clad realisation hit her. “Oh, bugger it! Of course I’ll marry you, you big git! I’ve loved you since the first time I set eyes on you, so screw anyone who doesn’t approve. I must be as mad as you are, but I will become your bride.”

“Wonderful!” he cried and kissed her soundly again. It was some time before they parted.

“You do realise my mum will have kittens when she hears about this?” Ginny giggled. “In fact, I think most of my brothers might have something to say on the subject, too.”

“I can’t wait to meet the rest of your family,” Harry said, smiling at her with mischief in his eyes.

“I wouldn’t be so keen if I were you,” she replied with a smirk. “At least Bill will be on our side. He’s pretty grateful to us for motivating him to get back with Fleur.”

“Indeed, and I’ll be glad of his support when meeting your formidable mother. Well, my darling, I think we have rather a lot to discuss. Winky? Would you be so kind as to find a safe home for the Moon Hare? I’m sure you know of a good place.”

“Yes, I knows exactly the place,” Winky confirmed, picking up the jewel with reverence.

“Now, where were we?” Harry asked, pulling Ginny into his arms again.

“Discussing our wedding?” she prompted.

“We can do that later,” he advised, pulling her down onto the sofa with him.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP HP

Winky made her way up to the top of the house where Master Harry kept all the trophies he had accumulated during his adventures. The room was extremely well protected, and only Winky and her master could enter it without instant eradication, such were the power of the magics protecting it.

The small elf had a spring in her step, as she was delighted with the news that Mistress Ginny was to become Master Harry’s wife. Certainly, it would be a huge change for her precious master, and one she heartily approved of.

Smiling to herself, Winky reflected on all the changes in her own life. She thought she’d been happy working for the Crouch family, and young Master Barty especially, but she had to admit things were much better now. Master Harry was a wonderful master, and she had so much more fun these days, even if she did worry about him sometimes.

Hopefully, she wouldn’t have cause to be concerned about Master Harry any longer, she thought. Mistress Ginny would be good for him. She was a wonderful witch, Winky believed, and the perfect cure for her beloved master’s loneliness. Maybe Winky would have children to look after soon, too! How marvellous would that be?

With that happy thought going through her head, Winky lovingly laid the Moon Hare in a cushioned display case in the centre of the room. She remembered when Master Sirius had commission the display case especially to house the Moon Hare. Well, it was a fantastic piece of jewellery and deserved a special setting. Winky had been most upset when Master Harry had ordered her to break the Moon Hare into five pieces and hide them around the world, thinking it was a shame to wilfully damage something so beautiful. Still, it was back in one piece again, now, and Winky was very proud of all the imaginative places she’d found to hide the pieces, so it was all worth it in the end. That Master Harry had found love was a massive bonus, albeit an unintended one.

Stepping back, Winky realised it was nearly time for her to go to Gringotts. Carrying messages back and forth between the goblins and her master was a regular task of hers, and no doubt they would be keen to learn of Draco Malfoy’s death. Deceiving the stupid Malfoy brat into believing he was bribing one of the goblins had been Master Harry’s idea, and one the goblins had embraced with enthusiasm. They would need to know that particular game was now at an end.

Turning, Winky wondered what games Master Harry would be playing now he had Mistress Ginny. Perhaps he would just settle down with her and live a quiet life, but Winky doubted it. After all, Master Harry might be named Potter, but he was a Black at heart, and the Black family always did enjoy playing games.

The little elf vanished from the room, happy in the knowledge that things had turned out for the best.



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