Title: The Spell
Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Revenge
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters: Harry Potter, Hermione Weasley
Genre: Time Travel
Word Count: 1,000 (complete)
Warnings: No beta, minor character deaths, murder
Summary: A man with nothing to lose is capable of anything.
* * * *
“Why are you doing this?”
I ignored the question.
“Harry, please, talk to me. We can…we can figure something out. You need help. There are people who can help you.”
“No.” I spared Ginny a glance and found my wife of twenty years staring at me with hard, dry eyes. “No one is going to help me, and I’ve made sure that no one will be able to help you either.” Tears welled in her eyes. “This is your fault and thanks to your boyfriend the people of this stupid country think I murdered my own children.”
“I didn’t know what Michael was planning!”
“I don’t care,” I murmured.
Grief and fury burned inside me.
“I love you.”
“I hate you,” I said. “I hate you more than I ever did Tom Riddle.” It was the most truth I had left—the burning, furious hatred I had for the woman I’d felt obligated to marry.
“Begging won’t help you.” I focused my attention on the runes I was carving into the floor.
Nothing could help her. Her fate was sealed as much as I mine was.
“Whatever you’re doing won’t bring them back. I miss them, too, but this…won’t help.”
I knew that well enough. Necromancy wasn’t an option and wasn’t within my abilities anyway.
“How many times did you tell Michael Corner you couldn’t leave me because of our kids?” I questioned and looked up. Tears fell down her cheeks. “Crying won’t help you either.”
“I didn’t think…”
“No, you didn’t. If you had you might have suggested he kill me instead,” I said evenly. “It would’ve certainly been a safer solution for that twat.”
“What do you mean?”
“Corner is dead.”
Her breath caught. “Harry did you…”
“I cut off his head in the middle of Diagon Alley. The DMLE will certainly have plenty of witnesses and evidence for that crime to successfully prosecute me.” I smiled briefly at that and looked up. Her face was sheet-white. “Worried? You should be.”
“This isn’t like you,” Ginny whispered. “Harry, please, you need help.”
“This is exactly who I am,” I corrected as I finished the last rune. “This is the man Dumbledore made—don’t you see? He shaped me for this and let me loose in the world. Perhaps he never thought I’d survive the war. But in the end, what he left festering in me was the least of his crimes.”
“What do you mean? What did he leave in you?”
“The insatiable want for revenge and for a long while I had nothing to seek—nothing to apply myself to. But you’ve fixed that, darling. What burns in me now is never going to be extinguished.”
Hermione came down the stairs at that point, carrying a bag. “Finished?”
“Yes, just now. Did you get everything we’ll need?”
“Yes, of course. I had to authorize a manhunt for you,” she told me and huffed. “Did you have to do it in such a public place?”
“Yes, it’s what he deserved.” I paused. “How is Molly?”
“She ate today without a compulsion spell, but the healers think she’s just willing herself to die.” Hermione glanced briefly at Ginny and frowned. “Why is she even conscious?”
“I’m enjoying her little show of remorse. Earlier she begged. It was pitiful.”
“Hermione, you have to help me! Harry’s crazy.”
Hermione flicked her wand at Ginny and stinging hex lashed over our prisoner’s face. I would’ve chastised her, but Hermione had every right to hate Ginny. Michael Corner had staged an attack at the Burrow. He’d killed everyone in the house and tried to frame me for it. In the end, we’d buried Arthur, Hugo, Rose, Fleur, Albus, James, Lily, and George. Molly had been in St. Mungo’s since the attack and Ron was still blaming me.
Hermione emptied out her bag and offered me a potion. She drank one herself as I uncorked mine.
“Are you sure you want to do this with me?”
“Yes, I have…nothing.” Her eyes closed briefly. “And you’ll need help.”
I tossed back the potion and pitched the vial toward her pile of stuff. “Did you have any problems getting the dust?”
“No, none at all. Nearly all the ministry is out hunting for you on my orders.” Hermione pinned up her hair and started unbuttoning her shirt.
“What’s going on?” Ginny demanded.
“You haven’t told her?” Hermione asked in an amused tone.
Hermione shrugged out of her shirt and let it drop to the floor. “Thanks to that bastard you were fucking, Ginevra, Harry’s life is ruined. Even if he hadn’t murdered Corner in the street—he’d have always been believed to be a mass murderer. So, we’re starting over.” She smiled. “And you’re our ticket out of here.”
I stripped off my clothes and tossed them onto the pile Hermione was making. Ginny was sobbing hysterically, but she was easy to ignore. I had a bigger purpose now, and the only hope I had of happiness was in the past. Hermione stepped into the ritual circle, and I joined her.
Hermione summoned Ginny and dropped her down in the middle of the circle between us with a little thud. “We need to kill her and harvest her magic before we begin so she doesn’t come back with us.”
“Okay.” I drew my wand, pointed it at my wife. “Messis Magicae.” Ginny’s magic surfaced on her skin and formed a writhing ball above her. “Avada Kedavra.”
“I’m sorry you had to do that.”
“I’m not,” I admitted. “I’ve wanted to kill her since I found out why.”
“The rest is stupidly simple.” She emptied the time-turner dust directly into the orb of Ginny’s magic.
I held out my free hand, and Hermione took it. “Itinerandum per Tempus.”
Magic exploded around us.
* * * *
“Excuse me, do you mind? Everywhere else is full.”
I looked up and saw Ron Weasley. I smiled at the little asshole. This was going to be fun.
The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum, The Workshop. The prompts come in two forms — a word challenge (the theme) and a single character challenge. I post my responses to the prompts on the forum first and eventually they’ll make it to my website. Each is a stand alone piece with no potential for expansion.
These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.