Original Chapter by Bittersweet Alias
A fixed purpose or intention: the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose.Determination
Micah was not in a good mood. His holiday had not started off well at all.
“Micah, surely there is someone of interest that can carry on our family line,” Caelius Montague, Head of the Montague Household and the constant arse rider of Micah finding a female and reproducing, said.
Micah gave his father a look of disgust. “I wouldn’t touch a woman for nothing in this bloody world. That is simply disgusting.” Not to mention, he’d already laid a claim on someone. Someone they would definitely not approve of if the knew exactly who Hadrian Muliphein Gaunt had once been.
He smirked at the thought. All the way back from Platform Nine and Three Quarters, he had been questioned over and over again, but he hadn’t said a word. He wouldn’t do that to Harry. Harry was his – and his parents were just strangers who had given birth to him. His father hadn’t even done that much.
His parents were also not pleased with his preference of the male gender. He was the only Montague left, but Micah didn’t really care.
Caelius was a dark eyed man with equally dark hair. Micah got his looks predominately from his mother, Mari Montague. She was the one with the golden tan, hair, and eyes. She was a little on the chubby side and short while his father was rather tall and thin.
Caelius was not pleased and Mari was shaking her head. “How can you do this to us, Micah?”
“Do what? Not fuck a girl?” he asked baldly, getting a growl from Caelius. Marie flinched, her eyes wide in horror at his lack of propriety.
“Marrying a pureblood girl! Don’t be so disgusting,” his father growled.
Micah thought he was crazy. “Look who’s talking,” he sneered, taking a dig at the lycanthropy gene his mother carried. “There is no way,” Micah said shortly. “For one, if I ever considered it, which I most certainly am not, I couldn’t so much as get it up to impregnate her, and I’d wind up choking her in her sleep!” He shook his head. “You two have another son. This conversation is over.” Micah all but snarled. He turned on his heel, swishing his robes in a rather Snape-like way; he was gone before either of them could call him back.
Micah’s marking was getting closer. They had left the manor the next day, his parents still riding him. Mari insisting that if he met the right girl, he’d be happy. But he simply stared at her as if she had grown two heads.
He didn’t speak any more about it. He was gay and that was that. Micah was pleased when he was back in his rooms at the Dark Lord’s Manor. His parents could no longer nag him.
He had five days. The next morning when he awoke, he had a strange feeling deep inside of him. One that he didn’t quite understand at first and then as he sat up, he realized what that feeling was.
It was guilt. It was the first time he’d ever truly had second thoughts on getting marked. It had been his dream to be marked, to be recognized and to do something. But now… he was worried. He hadn’t meant to take a sincere liking to Hadrian Potter-Black. It had all meant to be a tease, a hot chase and now that he had it, he didn’t want to let it go. What was even worse was that he wasn’t even sure that he could.
He scowled. He was weak and soft. Why couldn’t he stand for the thought of Hadrian slipping from his grip? The image of someone else touching him set him on fire, his heart almost burning a hole through his chest.
There was a loud commotion from the common room where the other soon-to-be-marked gathered during the early day and night before bed. Flinching, Micah shoved the covers down and reached for his wand as a painful scream alerted him completely.
Did someone break in? Impossible!
Micah was up and he bolted out the door with his wand raised and the Killing Curse just on the tip of his tongue, he was in nothing but boxers and his hair was disheveled from sleep. He gasped silently when he saw a figure, cloaked in a deep blood red material, standing in the middle of the room and several of his roommates having collapsed around him. Draco, Adrian, and Pansy just to name a few. They were shuddering.
The figure in the middle was small. From his clothed shoulders to his slim waist. Not someone you’d expect to take down every one of the trained Death Eaters. But it was the way he stood that caught Micah’s attention. He was still, hardly moving as though he had not lifted a finger. He also seemed a little bit irritated, if Micah had to make an educated guess, considering he could not see the figure’s face.
“That was not funny.” His voice was cultured English accent and perfectly cold.
Draco raised his head, eyes wide. “Who the hell are you?”
But the figure didn’t answer that particular question, instead stepping over the figures lying half conscious. “The Dark Lord sent me. I was to make my presence known to the lot of you.”
“You’re his Dark Heir,” Micah said out of nowhere, causing everyone’s attention to turn to him.
“Clever of you,” the figure replied and Micah could swear whoever was behind the hood was smirking. He reached out his wolf senses and was sent reeling back. The scent was masked. “Apparently, my father believes that you lot have potential. I, however, am not so sure,” he drawled tauntingly. “You all seem a little pathetic to me.”
How the fuck dare he! Micah snarled inwardly, a flare of white hot anger flooded him and he wasn’t the only one.
“How would you know?” Adrian Pucey was up now and he was glaring at the figure. “How do we know you’re not useless-” It happened so suddenly and without a single stir from the attacker. Adrian’s face twisted into that of painful agony and he fell back down to his knees. He began to sob softly and then it became louder, pleading, and unremorseful.
The figure hadn’t even turned.
“It would do you well not to question your Lord,” the Heir replied softly.
Micah’s eyes narrowed on him. “You just did, you said we were useless.”
“I did,” the figure said and he sounded amused. Micah braced himself for the same fate as Adrian, and yet none came. “However, the Dark Lord has left you lot to me. I decide whether you are useful or not. I decide whether you should be marked, and I decide whether I should cut your dicks off to prevent future spawns if I decide you are worthless.”
Draco got to his feet, eyes still wide, and he was sizing up the Dark Heir like it was impossible someone so small could do so much damage without even moving. Adrian was hiccupping back his tears, horror etched in the irises of his eyes. Micah had never seen him look so pitiful. “What did – you – do- to me?” Adrian demanded in a stutter.
“It’s very simple,” the Heir said. “A spell I created only three days ago. It attacks not your body in a physical manner but rather sends you into an emotional state of chaos. All you feel is undeniable heart ache, like someone you loved has crushed you and made you feel worthless. Keep someone under it long enough, and it can cause the victim to commit suicide. Of course, this is all to do with the mind. I didn’t touch a hair on your pretty little head.”
Adrian shuddered and staggered to his feet.
“I’m pleased to see that it works. I’m glad I didn’t blow you up as my father wouldn’t have pleased.”
Micah’s eyes narrowed. “You didn’t test it on someone else before you tried it?!” he hissed.
“Nope. Now, I know all of you by name, rank, and status. I’ve been watching you for quite a long time, really. You’re all terribly amusing, trying to figure me out.”
A few of them bristled, some went red, but Micah crossed his arms. “Of course we did, what did you expect?” he asked coldly. “Get down to it, what do we have to do to prove that we are good enough for the Dark Mark?”
“Can we at least get a bloody name?” Blaise asked stepping forward with a confidence not many had.
“Call me Viridian.”
“That isn’t your real name,” Micah responded coldly. Whoever this red cloaked person really was, he didn’t like him. He was far too sure of himself and all because he was the Dark Heir. What was so damn special about him, anyway?
“It’s the name my father gave me. Apparently, it was the name of his first snake, which was some Japanese breed. Whatever it was, I didn’t ask. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, I will uhm – give you ten minutes to dress.” He turned his attention to Micah. “Now!” he ordered more sharply than before.
Micah growled in a wolfish way. He remained still for fifteen whole seconds, as the others had already retreated.
Blaise nudged him. “Don’t piss him off,” he warned under his breath. The black teen was gone, leaving the red cloaked Viridian and Micah.
“I don’t like you.” The red figure took a few steps closer. Micah glared down at him. “I don’t know who you think you are…”
“I don’t think what I know. I’m through with explaining. Go!” he ordered.
Micah sneered, he longed to slap the hood right off him but knew better. He turned and walked away, but not without one last look over his shoulder at the Dark Heir.
Micah was dressed in black battle robes, his dagger strapped up his sleeve and the wand up the other. His hair was pulled back tight and he was resisting the urge to go out and curse the little bitch dead!
Everyone else was already out there lined up. Viridian was sitting on the arm of a chair.
“Are we ready?” He was up and already toward the door. Blaise was the first to follow, then Adrian, who was still a little shaky from whatever he had been under.
Micah was the last one. Draco was in front of him and you could see the great pout forming.
They stopped just a few doors down and met a brick wall. Viridian put his hand to the wall. He hissed something inaudibly causing the wall to suddenly dissolve revealing a set of spiral staircases.
He stepped aside and waved his hand. “Guests first.”
One by one the group began. Viridian chuckled quietly when Micah passed him causing a vein to twitch in the Head Boy’s neck.
Viridian closed the wall back, the torches lit themselves magically and soon they were out of the castle and into a humongous valley with a beautiful streaming blue lake and a walk across bridge. There were enclaves of a forest running along the entire edge. No one had ever been down there. They hadn’t known it existed.
“Alright, looks like all of us are here.” He had them line up along the lake. “Blaise Zabini, Adrian Pucey, Connor Warrington, Theodore Nott, Gregory Goyle, Vincent Crabbe, Pansy Parkinson, Daphne Greengrass, Terrance Higgs, Draco Malfoy, and Micah Montague.” He smirked. “There are five tasks I am going to set. Each one more incredulous than the other. I am setting these because no more than five of you will be marked this year.”
A ripple swished through the trainees, Micah growled under his breath but he had expected it. He couldn’t truly see Crabbe or Goyle bearing the mark. No matter how loyal they were they were a disgrace.
Draco crossed his arms. “What’s that suppose to mean?” he practically demanded.
“It means at least six of you will be out of luck until the Summer. If one person wins all five tasks, they are the only ones that get marked… the choice is yours. The only rule I am going to give is you don’t kill each other to get it. You would be useless to us if you were dead. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t cheat,” Viridian said with amusement. “You can render someone incapacitated if you wish to finish your task. Sometimes the task requires it. Unforgivables, but no Killing Curse.”
Everyone gave a nod of understanding. “Well, then, the first task is a game of Hide and Seek.”
“Excuse me?” Pansy squeaked. “Hide and Seek? You mean the childish game?”
Viridian grinned. “Exactly. The only catch is, all eleven of you are it and I’m the one hiding. You have three hours.” Without so much as a sound, Viridian disappeared, leaving everyone stunned.
“This is bull shit!” Draco snarled. “How dare he-”
Pansy sniffled. “Three hours? To play a stupid kiddy game? Is he crazy?”
“He gave us no warnings, no nothing just threw us down here as though we were dogs,” Draco continued to rant.
“Well, I’m going to find him,” Adrian said coldly and with a pop he disappeared.
Theo growled. “Preposterous.” However, he too disappeared.
Micah was already scanning the area.
“You’re seriously not playing this, are you?” Draco asked.
Micah didn’t answer him, and crossed the bridge toward one side of enclosure. Everyone had disappeared but Draco and Pansy. Crabbe and Goyle didn’t count, they sat down by the water and shrugged to one another.
Viridian wanted him to be found? Fine. Micah would find him.
It was two and a half hours later and Micah had searched the entire wood with every spell he knew. He came back to the river. Blaise and Theo were cursing, while Adrian’s eyes were wide in fear.
Okay, this little shit is trying to outsmart us, but how? Micah used every tracking sense and smell he knew but came up with nothing. So, the scent was wiped away. He was blind…
Which means, if he was blind, Viridian was somehow right in front of them. Those who were blind, use their other senses, but his nose was his eyes… so without his nose he had hearing and touch.
“Shut the fuck up!” Micah snapped dangerously at Draco and Pansy’s bitching.
He closed his eyes and stretched his hearing out for a moment. He could hear the ripples of the lake, the soft flushing sound of the trees that bristled together and… a very vague heart beat that was nearby and didn’t belong to any of his roommates.
He spun around suddenly, opened his eyes and tilted his head to the side. “Aperio!”
Instantly, the invisibility charm faded and standing right next to him was Viridian. “You caught me!” he sang, causing everyone to goggle at him.
“You were standing there the whole fucking time!” Micah growled.
“Yes, and so could your enemies,” Viridian said simply. When everyone came back to the pond, he focused his attention on Pansy and Draco. “The next time you fail to follow my orders, you will get twice the punishment Adrian received.”
“Pfft, you can’t do anything!” Draco had the gall to say and everyone knew within an instant that it had been the wrong reaction. The blond found himself flat on his back, his eyes were obscenely wide and he went totally still as though he were frozen in time.
Pansy shrieked and was suddenly curling in on herself, “Get em off! Get em off! Stop it, stop it! Please, please!”
Everyone stared at her in horror and when they looked at Viridian the figure was already walking away.
Micah stared down at Draco, wondering what had happened. Had he been killed that quickly? He wasn’t moving and Pansy looked as though she were losing her mind. Her hands came up to her hair and she began to pull on it, eyes wide. She was screaming so loudly that everyone followed Viridian just to get away from her.
“What’s happening to him?” Adrian dared to ask.
“Why didn’t you punish Crabbe and Goyle?” Connor Warrington asked as Pansy’s screams vanished as they appeared back on the proper flooring.
“They are not intellilgent enough to understand left from right, let alone play a simple game of hide and go seek. They’re self explanatory, but Pansy and Draco have a serious problem. Right now they are inside their own minds, facing my father.”
“W- what do you mean facing your father?”
“I created another Illusive Spell, except this one creates a real life setting and can really kill you because I’ve added the touch of my father’s magic to it. I completed it this morning and I decided to test them.”
“Can it really kill them?” Daphne asked worriedly.
“Absolutely,” Viridian answered. He placed his hands to the wall again and hissed, making it ripple. Everyone else already knew the routine.
“You’re not going to free them, are you?” Terrance Higgs queried.
“In three hours I will, if they’re not already dead,” Viridian expressed, following behind Micah and the rest.
When they appeared, it was no longer a valley, but instead it was a steel room filled from head to toe in mirrors. Upon looking harder, they all realized that it was a maze.
“Whoa…” Adrian said in awe.
“Mirror Maze, with a twist,” Viridian said watching toward the edge. There were eleven different routes. “You have eleven entrances. You must get to the end… but that’s not the hard part. There is one route that will kill you before you reach the end…”
Everyone exchanged glances, Micah was a little annoyed but he didn’t doubt for a moment that Viridian was serious. He wasn’t worried much about Draco and Pansy.
“I will be killing one of you in this room, today. Who will it be?”
Each person looked at one another. “I- thought you said that we would be useless dead?” Adrian choked.
“What’s the point if you are already useless alive?” Viridian asked back.
“Do we get to choose our path?” Daphne squeaked.
“You do. That’s part of the task. If you choose the wrong path, you’re useless anyway if you can’t see the trap in front of you.”
“Why the hell are we doing these? What point is there?” Micah growled, stepping up.
Adrian hissed and bowed his head. “Micah!”
Viridian swung his arms. “The reason?” he purred silkily causing several people in the room to squirm. “You want a reason?”
“Hell yes, I want a reason!” Micah sneered. “I don’t do anything that wastes my time.”
Viridian looked like he may be smiling behind his cloak. A soft cool chuckle escaped the figure. “Alright, I will tell you. What you are doing is strictly strategy. My Father doesn’t want a useless idiot shouting the Killing Curse every time he turns around and getting themselves and other people slaughtered. We are not about useless slaughter like most think we are. Everyone believes that all you will do is kill, but being a Death Eater is more than that. It’s like signing an Auror contract with a different side. While you are here you are not only training to become worth something, but you are also going through the exact same techniques that the Department of Mysteries designed for their Combat Unspeakables. Tell me, Graham Micah Montague, what happens without strategy?”
“Exactly. Those without a strategy will be sacrificed. Right now, it’s right in front of your eyes. Figure it out. You have one hour.” Viridian disappeared.
“What now?” Daphne squeaked. “I can’t do this! I don’t… I don’t think I can…” She whimpered.
Theo, however, was running his hand along one of the mirrors. Micah had been doing the same thing. Warrington and Higgs were conversing silently before choosing a path.
Crabbe and Goyle went in one direction together without any knowledge as to what they were actually doing.
Theo frowned. “I see it…” He raised his hand, there was a deep cut on the palm of his hand from one of the mirrors.
Micah located the mirror, by the scent of Theo’s blood. It had been the path Crabbe and Goyle took.
Finally, Daphne worked up the nerve and followed Micah and Theo, knowing that they were the smartest of the bunch.
But there was a catch that only one person remembered. Only one could win the task.
Micah hadn’t seen it coming, as soon as they saw the end, he was hit from behind with a stunner.
Daphne shrieked as Micah toppled forward onto his chest, leaving Theo standing and pointing his wand at her. “Theo! What the hell!?”
“Don’t you remember what Viridian said? Only one wins per task…” She had no time to respond for everything around her went black and Theo moved on.
Micah was not happy when he came around ten minutes later. “THEO! I am going to kill you!” he snarled ready to attack. Micah shot up but a swirl of red caused him to stop. A hand was pressed to his chest.
Theo eyed Micah coolly, knowing he may have made an enemy.
“I told you that cheating was allowed, I also told you that only one person would win per task. You all couldn’t have won,” Viridian said logically. Micah was still snarling, the anger and hate. He would get Theo back. As though Micah’s mind had been heard, Viridian giggled behind his hood. “Micah, Micah, you know very well he couldn’t have beat you without hitting you from behind. He knows this and you know this.”
“Crabbe and Goyle didn’t make it…” Adrian brought up.
Viridian shook his head. When he saw that Micah wasn’t going to attack, he took a few steps back and turned to Adrian. “Crabbe and Goyle are alive, the ones who are dead were imposters and they were traitors. There were two spies within our ranks and I decide to give them a horrible and long death.”
There was a flash on one the mirrors closest to Viridian and an image like a pensieve memory was splashed across.
Daphne gave a cry of horror. Micah and the others watched without emotion as magical crystal glass continuously pierced the flesh of the two spies. They were no longer under the disguise of Crabbe and Goyle. They recognized one but not the other.
“What’s happening to them?” Daphne gasped.
“Magic Crystals, a friend and I developed them together this year. They are really amazing because it’s a slow and very painful death. The Magic in the crystals stops them from losing too much blood, freezing it while delivering the pain. They won’t die for another… oh – four hours or more?”
Daphne had to turn away.
Viridian walked away. “Traitors are always caught.”
“Who catches them?” Adrian asked following along.
They reached the top of the stairs once more and the group gasped when they saw Pansy and Draco standing there, eyes wide. Pansy fell to the floor at Viridian’s feet and began to sob.
Draco also fell to the floor, he wasn’t crying but he was sheet white and terrified. “Viridian, I apologize for disobedience,” Draco Malfoy said with sincerity.
Micah had never heard the pompous Malfoy act so out of sorts, it was much like that of a house elf.
Pansy sobbed. “Please, Viridian, give us another chance! We had – had no idea…”
Viridian was very still. “Go back to your rooms. You will not be marked. But you are not without hope. You need discipline if you believe you are going to hold yourself up in front of my father with honour. You will not tarnish his name or his mark.”
“Of course, Viridian,” Draco replied, suddenly scrambling up and bowing his head. “I understand. I wish to do better.”
“Very well, and perhaps you’ll want to write your new cousin,” Draco’s head snapped up at him. “I told you, I’ve been watching you. And take Daphne with you.”
“What!?” Daphne shrieked. “Why? What did I do? I did everything you asked!” she wailed.
Viridian didn’t so much as look at her and when he spoke it was without any feeling in his voice. “You cannot stomach these simple tasks that I have asked of you. You have no decorum or any grace whatsoever. Until you stop acting like a twelve-year-old, you will not be marked.”
Daphne shivered before bowing her head and taking a step over to Pansy. “Of course, Viridian. I apologize, I’ll do better. I- I really want marked.”
Viridian didn’t respond, he turned and placed his hand back to the wall. “Next task.”
By the end, Micah was not a happy camper but he did have a grudgingly growing respect for Viridian, whether he liked it or not. He was intelligent and sly. He only punished with a reason and those who were punished came back with respect and devotion. Whatever Viridian had done to them with his Illusive Magic must have been earth shattering and Micah was not looking forward to the day he was under it.
Adrian was already tentatively following Viridian at his heels; a look of puppy love shining in his eyes which made Micah nauseas. Warrington and Higgs thought he was the perfect person for tasks such as these and didn’t complain.
In the end Micah, Warrington, Adrian, and Theo were the only ones that would be marked.