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Apr. 18th, 2006


(no subject)

It is late, and Viktor's family is asleep, but these days he is wary of closing his eyes for long, so in his restless state he climbs to the roof.

It is quiet up here, and one can see for miles, down into the valley. Rooftops like anthills, roads like dropped string. Viktor folds his hands against the late evening chill, says a word: the wind doesn't touch him any longer. He rests.

It's the moth that tips him off. Its flight, erratic in the air, drawing his eyes upwards until they meet the moon. And then, a wisp of cloud? No. It is a ribbon of smoke, and he looks down towards the valley, and sees the fire. There, at the edge of hearing, only conscious to him now that he is listening for them, the screams.

A flicker of green from the village below, and then comes a spray like a firework; poison-coloured stars inscribing that familiar shape, and Viktor stands on the roof and reaches out, as though the sparks, as they fall, could be captured by his fingertips.

Jan. 27th, 2006

Curse., Magic

Konstantinov, Part 3

Just after this...

The door swings shut, and even as Viktor hears the click his fingers are scrabbling at the wood, grasping for the handle. But it is already too late, for when he opens the door again, the bar is gone.

Alright, he says, to himself, beginning and then stopping, taking a moment to recover. He allows the door to close once more and takes a step back, brushing dirt from his robes in anxiety. His fingers twitch.

Calm down, calm down, letting breath come in through his nose and out through his mouth, feeling his heartbeat in his ears and the tips of his thumbs. Too much clutter in the mind, he reminds himself, is dangerous. He learned that at Durmstrang. He learned that at his very first Quidditch practice. So he closes his eyes and focuses on being blank.




And after a moment, his mind is nothing but the memory of a blue sky, and purpose.

And he opens his eyes.

Viktor lets his wand drop into his hand, detachedly, and raises it; a moment later a blast of stormy light strikes the door and blows it apart. Before the debris has a chance to settle he strides forwards, pushing inside and hoping to take advantage of any resulting confusion. It takes a moment before his eyes adjust to the darkness and he notices that he is passing between rows of pews. K. always did have a good sense of irony.

Appropriately enough the man himself is standing at the altar, his hands folded, his expression mild and attentive. Viktor notices this with a mixture of surprise and relief - he had been expecting a quick and violent ambush. The hairs on the back of his neck stop pickling, but he remains wary.

K. begins the conversation, because he always did love the sound of his own voice: “Hello, Viktor.”

Krum’s only reply is a grunt.

“You come all this way and you don’t even say hello? That doesn’t seem right. Doesn’t seem polite. Why don’t you say hello?”

Relenting, Viktor says, “Hello.”

At this, K. looks pleased. “Much better. How did you find me, Viktor?”

“I am not going to tell you that,” he replies.

“Does it have something to do with the scars upon your arm?” K. cuts in, quick but offhandedly, throwing Viktor off guard. “Very well, don’t tell me that. What are you doing here, Viktor?”

“I am here to kill you.”

K. sighs with what Viktor considers to be an excessive amount of drama, his sleeves falling back as his eyes and his hands are raised to the sky, as though asking, ‘Whatever shall I do with him?’

“Oh, Viktor. You’re not going to be able to kill me. You should know that. You are much too terrified of me.”

Krum bristles, fingers gripping tight on his wand. “I am not--

“Viktor, you are haunted by the very thought of me.” He lays it out casually, presenting a list of facts. “You came alone, because you don’t want anyone else to see when you give in. You keep giving me the advantage, going where I am, when I say, doing what I tell you to, because you know that you have no chance of winning against me anyway. I think, Viktor, that you should just admit that the real reason you’re here is that you know you are nothing without me.”


“Viktor! Forget it! You are rendered nearly speechless by the very sight of me. You can’t even bring yourself to say my name!”

And Viktor stares back at K., eyes wide and panicked, voice choked off. He can feel it, he knows it’s all right. He was meant to follow this man, to obey. To be his pawn. And he - can’t -

The silence in the church stretches out, opressive. K. gives Viktor a pitying look.

“Now, why don’t you --”


K. steps forwards, imposing, looming, looking down - always looking down. “What did you say?”

But Viktor takes it all in, captures it all: the thin arms and long fingers and the beard that he twists when he’s worried and those grey-green eyes, eyes the colour of something decayed, and the lies the lies the lies --

And Viktor realizes that in the end, all there is to this man is words and imagery. That is all that makes him seem great, seem strong. He is a shell, a house of cards, built out of the things he has convinced the world he is. And Viktor realizes that without too much difficulty, he can see through the whole thing.

“Karkaroff,” he says, and his voice is strong. “I am here to kill you. Karkaroff!”

And Karkaroff knows fear.

The room explodes at once in light - brilliant jets of red that strike the altar and reduce it to dust, that strike the floor where Viktor stood just seconds before and light it aflame. There’s movement, now, and heavy footsteps: Viktor rushes to take cover, diving behind a row of pews as something bright rushes past his head. Karkaroff for his part does not stop moving - rushing from cover to cover, throwing out spells so rapidly that his shouts are an angry stream of Latin-Russian-Greek that blends to nonsense. From his cover, Viktor avoids what he can and deflects the rest, spelling faster than he ever has before.

Karkaroff’s movements bring him gradually but unavoidably closer to where Viktor is hiding, and Krum for his part knows it will not be much longer before he can no longer simply evade. So he makes his move: bursting upwards, using a forceful blast to shove the heavy wooden pew in front of him, towards Karkaroff. The older Wizard is not fazed, turning the massive bench into feathers which drift harmlessly to the ground. In this moment, however, Krum takes up the attack, hurling a powerful curse in Karkaroff’s direction; it strikes a glancing blow, and blood gushes from Karkaroff’s nose.

And now the two dance closer, their movements never stopping - they are like two rival conductors in the world’s most deadly orchestra, their every movement spelling and dispelling, turning the church to fire and lightning and ash. The air soon takes on the sharp scent of burnt flesh. A moment, and then they are so close that each spell must be deflected the moment it’s spoken, and then they are so close that Viktor is grabbing Karkaroff’s arm, and twisting it back.

The elder Wizard cries out as something cracks, and his wand drops to the dusty ground. Krum wastes not a moment, but kicks it away and brings his own wand up to Karkaroff’s throat, holding it steady.

They stand there, locked close, saying nothing. Karkaroff’s breath comes slowly, through his mouth, as the blood from his nose would cause him to choke if he were to inhale. Viktor, refusing to take his eyes off of Karkaroff’s, takes quick stock of himself; he realizes after a moment that there is a sharp throbbing sensation coming from his left leg. One got through after all, apparently.

“You’ve disarmed me,” Karkaroff says, slowly, taking his time. “And not with a spell at all. I suppose I should have thought of that, really. Must be getting old.”

“As old as you vill ever get,” Viktor tells him, between catch-up breaths.

Karkaroff nods. “Ah, yes. The killing. Well, get to it then.”

But Viktor hesitates. And as soon as he does so, Karkaroff raises an eyebrow at him.

“Didn’t think this far, maybe? How are you going to do it? Avada Kedavra? Do you think you could? Or perhaps you will Crucio me to death - I know you could, I taught you that myself. Or maybe you will go for the poetic option, and not kill me at all - maybe you’ll use Imperio. Keep me under your control.” He adds, “That’s what I would do.”

“You sicken me,” Krum gasps, at last.

“Well. You embarass me,” says Karkaroff, and his free arm stabs upwards, driving a curved knife deep into Viktor’s stomach.

And then a number of things happen in rapid succession:

Viktor’s hand releases it’s hold on Karkaroff’s - Karkaroff breaks free.

Viktor falls to his knees, one hand grasping at the knife handle still embedded in his gut, even as Karkaroff dives for his wand.

As one, they each raise their wands and cry out:

Light fills the air.


Dec. 12th, 2005


Konstantinov, Part 2

When he wakes, it’s night already. He can tell this from the starlight that filters through his window, and it’s so beautiful that it takes him a moment to remember that there shouldn’t be a window there at all.

He shouldn’t even be inside.

Recollection comes to him slowly, like snow melting on a bronze statue. The well. The woman. The traitor. His stomach twists as he recalls how K. was there, was right there, and yet Viktor did nothing.

Sheets tumble off of him as he sits up, rising to face a room he does not recognize.

One question is answered as the old woman from the square passes through the hallway outside of his room. “Hey--” And she stops, returns, peers in at him. Her hand holds what at first glance is a candle, and then at second glance a wand.

Warmly, “[Ah. You are awake.]”

Eyebrows creasing, he frowns at her. “[What happened? There was a man who ...]”

“[He said you were ill,]” she says, and waves a hand vaguely. “[You collapsed in the square, he said you needed rest.]”

“[Where is he now?]”

She half-shrugs, face lined with worry, and he glares at her until he remembers the feeling of paper pressed into his hand. It’s a very quick search before he finds it in his pocket.

He wonders what it is with Death Eaters and notes.

So now he’s running.

Here, further outside of town, there are thickening forests. They are a blur around him, a haze of blue needles and green buds and grey moss that runs in his vision and blends together. The red on his coat makes him stand out, he knows, the gold of the two-headed eagle (a symbol of vigilance) providing a warm contrast with the cool leaves. He’s like a walking target. He’s like a foreigner, an outsider, which he is - he’s like the traitor in this situation.

Which he’s not.

As fast as his legs are moving, his thoughts are moving faster, moving jaggedly, slippery-style; he’s trying to formulate a plan but he can’t, he can’t. This is K., after all. He was the one to teach Viktor everything he knows, and that knowledge can’t just be forgotten or ignored. Viktor thinks exactly the way K. wants him to.

But that must be pushed past. That must be overcome. The traitor needs to pay.

The betrayal --

He’s in the tent and his arms are being bandaged, his face is being daubed with regenerative potion. “He was the one,” people are whispering, “he did it to her,” and he’s shaking all over because it’s true.

The task was a haze in his mind. He’d pictured himself happy, he’d pictured himself in a place where he’d already won - no, where winning didn’t matter at all. But it wasn’t true, not at all. Something had twisted inside his mind, something that was sleeker and stronger and hungrier, and it had taken control.

He remembers the word Imperio, and then Fleur’s screams and then Cedric’s cries and then nothing at all.

That is when he comes in.

The nurse is ushered out, despite her protestations, but Krum barely notices. His thoughts and his eyes are fixed elsewhere, hung up on a world that is nowhere near here. When the shadow passes over him it doesn’t even register until a grey hand clamps down on his shoulder.

“Viktor,” the man says, hushed and urgent. There is the barest hint of accent. “Get up. Get up, Viktor. You need to come with me.”

But he cannot reply, cannot even lift his head. “I almost killed --”

“Forget them! Forget her! What do you care about that whore? There is an opportunity here, Viktor! And you are ignoring it!”

And that is when K. asked him to come with him to Voldemort’s side.

-- unforgivable. Worth killing for.

This is Viktor’s mood as he arrives at the church.

He puts his hand on the door, and it opens ...

Nov. 28th, 2005


Konstantinov, Part 1

In Konstantinov, there is a well, and folklore tells that the water it contains will make you live forever.

Viktor learns this when he gets there. It's in the brochures that are handed out in the tourist shops, written in Russian and English and French and German. The brochures are almost painfully hopeful. Drink from the well, they explain, and your sorrows and sicknesses will leave you. Your sins will evaporate as though you were touched by God Himself.

No sign of K.

But he was always attracted to places like this, K. was, to the mystery and the charm of it. He spoke often of the Old Magic and Viktor, being Viktor, always listened. Yes, K. would be drawn here. He probably would have stood right in this place, with the road and the buildings and the people all touched by the sun, just so. And he would have felt it, just as Viktor feels it: the way time pools, stretches thin, lasts longer than it should. Old Magic.

This place has probably seen love and hate and heat and cold and wars and peace but, it lasts. It lasts. Perhaps it shouldn't, but it does. It's a good place to hide, really. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is a man who is all about change, but there are some things, some places, that just don't do change. It would be a while - a long while, perhaps, before His reach extended here.

A good place to hide if you've betrayed Him.

Somewhere around here K. has relocated, has changed his name and his identity, and perhaps even his face. The Death Eaters tracked him this far, by whisper and rumour, but no further. But they didn't know K. like Viktor does. Yes. They didn't know the quirks of his character, they didn't know the way he likes his tea. To them he was another malicious figure, huddled behind a shared ideology. He was another angry voice in a sea of angry voices.

Krum knows him better than that. And this is a mixed blessing, because the traitor's mind is his, yes, but at the same time, Viktor himself belongs to K.

Krum sits on a bench, and watches the traffic around the well. There is a lovely setup, in old stone, that brings the water around into a basin in front that people may dip their fingers into. Most of the local people are so used to seeing it that they ignore it entirely, passing it by on their way home, to work, to school. Only occasionally will someone stop and cup a handful of water and lift it to their lips.

Viktor settles back to read the brochure, and wonder. As his coat settles he feels the soft weight of the vial resting against his leg, and he frowns.

Okay. Where are you hiding?

He flips back and forth, glancing at a listing of local historical sites and then turning to a scaled-down street map before something obscures his sun. When he glances up, a kindly old woman in a red coat is offering to sell him a piece of fruit.

“Is good,” she tells him, in slanted English.

He nods, and forces a smile. In Russian, “[Yes. Thank you, I’ll take one.]”

“Ah!” She seems pleased to hear him speaking a language she can understand. “[You are Russian?]”


As he goes to press coins into her hand, she captures his fingers and leans closer, peering into his face. “[I know you.]”

He blinks upwards at her. The lines of her face compose a maze he cannot navigate.

Her finger jabs at the hint of crimson and gold double-eagle that peeks over the neckline of his coat. “[Durmstrang,]” she says, her voice low and rough like pebbles. “[It is a good place. My sons and their sons went there. So to me you are a nephew. Here.]” The coins are returned to him. “[You do not pay. Family does not pay.]”

He hesitates, and forces a smile. “[Thank you.]”

The woman gives him a smile and a bob of her head and she moves along, and he lets his eyes drift back to the well. There is a man there now, bent low, one hand holding back his beard as the other cups water and lifts it to his lips. His face is obscured, to Krum, by the shadows cast by his hat, but at the same time twisting shapes of light dance across his features. Nose, brow, cheek - in and out of focus, brought to light and then to shadow again, in an instant.

So is not until he turns, and the sun falls upon him, that Krum knows. It’s in the eyes, all the eyes - they are as ever green-grey, and darkened, like something tainted. So good at hiding lies. And while the face around them has been transformed by worry, and stress, and magic, too, Viktor knows them.


He’s on his feet in an instant but still he cannot move, and foolish, foolish, because now K. sees him and his eyes are widening and that grey aged hand is dipping into a pocket for --

Curse him, curse him!

He can’t do it. His arms are frozen to his sides. It’s not a spell, it’s just that he feels cold and paralyzed, and cannot move.

Only a moment longer, now, and K. will blow his head off, and that’ll be that.

So much for --

But then K. is at his side, his voice like the shedding of snakeskin in Viktor’s ear. “[You always were my best student. Good work. But we cannot speak here.]”

Something is pressed into his hand, even as the world blurs around him. And then darkness.

Oct. 22nd, 2005


Searching, Part 4

"[Viktor, where were you? What happened? You're all wet!]"

"[Caught in the rain, mother.]"

"[But it's not raining here -- Viktor!]"

But he's already gone upstairs.


For a brief while there is that cat-feeling about him, whenever he looks at the vial. He can't shake it. As he sheds his damp clothing (Apparition brings it with you) he occasionally stops, picks it up, puts it back down.

Rose Attar. What does it smell like?

A new sweater is shrugged on, in place of the old; he feels stupid as he realizes that it's crimson red with a gold eagle - old Durmstrang uniform. Old habits. It's his warmest sweater.

(He wore this when he fought the dragon. Who taught you how to curse like that?)

His brow creases, but he is nothing if not practical. The sweater stays. But the Rose Attar - the Rose Attar stays too. He's not touching it. Not opening it. Not yet. It's not for him, after all - it's for the other. For the enemy that is shared by both him and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. And He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named does not fuck around, as it were, when it comes to killing his enemies. So it is best to not get too curious about His weapons.

And Viktor thinks, This makes you His weapon now, too.

But that's not important. What's important is - where is he? ("I've already told you.") He didn't ask twice, because you don't do that, to a man with a wand and a snake-tongued skull on his arm and a predisposition to ripping your heart right out from your chest. But he still doesn't know, and can't think of how he should. As he lifts his cloak to hang it, he remembers the letter in the pocket, and pulls it out. The envelope hasn't even been opened, but suddenly - he has this ... feeling.

It's different.Collapse )

He stares, for a long time, at nothing. His hands crumple the note and throw it away without his mind catching on.

Okay then.

Time to go.

Oct. 12th, 2005


Searching, Part 3

It's raining hard now, cold and dark. Drops break the petals off of roses, carpeting the ground in red, slick beneath Viktor's feet.

He only Apparated here a minute ago and already he's wet to the bone. One puddle and then another means a quick defeat for his boots, but that just makes him run faster. The world is a flurry of grey and red. Viktor pays this no mind.

At last he is in the old house, and as soon as the door is closed, a voice speaks:

"Did you know that the Rose is called the Queen of all Flowers? Don't go for your wand."

His hand stops. Unaccented English, he notes. But the voice is wrong - or right, he supposes. It's not who he first thought. But it's who he expected. In the dark, however, he can see nothing.

"This place is known far and wide for its flowers," the voice continues, casually. "Attar of roses is used in many things - perfumes, cooking, and of course - spells..."

It's almost a comfort not to reply. To slip back into the old ways, not speaking unless he had to, taking in everything, revealing little.

"It's common enough in love potions, aye. That's a well-known fact. Captures the mind, the senses. Makes the blood flow red in the veins. But it has other uses, too. Roses are for passion. The heart, you see? The sanguine aspect. For heat and anger and violence." A pause. "Many people don't know that."

"Thank you for telling me," Viktor replies. Not sarcastic, not patronizing.

"So you want to kill him, do you?"

"I do."

"Think you could?"


The voice laughs, gruffly. "Okay, then. I wish you luck."

There's a long moment filled with nothing but chuckling, until Viktor cannot not reply any longer. "Are you not going to -"

"Who's the letter for?"

And there's a hand, nails blackened, leaning out from the shadows. It's holding a letter that Viktor put in his pocket --

"Vhat are you -!"

But there's another hand, with a wand, and a forearm, Dark Mark fully visible. No threat is spoken - but it doesn't need to be. "For a girl? Hm? Yes?"

"For -"

"For Thea?"

Viktor doesn't dare speak, now, for fear of what he will say.

"A muggle?"

"No." He says it with such vehemence that he forgets that it shouldn't matter.

Outside, the sounds of rain are stopping. Each drop is its own storm, now, its own weight of water; no longer part of a whole.

"Mm. Good. Perhaps he did teach you something after all. Take this," the letter is handed back, "And this -"

It's a vial of something red. "Vhat is it?"

"Attar of roses," he is told, "What does it matter? It will kill him. And we want him dead as much as you do. The only difference is, we don't think he's worth the bother right now. So have your fun. Do what you like. Send your girl your letter. I don't think we'll be meeting again."

"But vhere is he -?" he cries into the darkness. "You vere supposed to tell me vhere -"

And the darkness answers back,

"I already have."

Searching, Part 2

A green glow.

Viktor crouches by the fire, looking in. He's supported by his knees and knuckles, which rest on the still-cold stones of the hearth - the flames has yet to warm them. But he does not mind. He doesn't expect that this will be a long call.

In the fire, the head of Pyotr Bogrov, Auror in the Bulgarian ministry for magic, is saying, "[...not shown up since then. To be honest, he has not been a great concern for us. He severed many important ties through his testimony, and we believe he has gone into hiding -]"

Obviously, Viktor thinks, but it does not do to be sharp with these people. They are helping him, after all, in ways they shouldn't be. It is almost magic what box seats to a Quidditch match or autographed hats will get people to admit.

In his native language, Viktor replies, "[I understand. I am just hoping to find him, to see if I can - if I can help, offer something - protect him somehow...]"

Bogrov nods, the green flames licking his cheeks, his brow, though he doesn't feel them. His expression is one of great understanding - Viktor's stomach turns. "[Yes, of course. Though he made some... well, interesting choices... that is all the past, yes? And he was an excellent headmaster. And a mentor to - well. I needn't tell you that, do I? You were - but yes. I am sorry I could not help you. Perhaps you could get in touch with -]"

But Viktor holds up a hand, and turns his head sharply. Noise? No. But yes - there it is again. He hisses at Pyotr. "[I am sorry, sir. I must go,]" and his extinguishing spell cuts Pyotr's shocked response off before it can begin. Cautious now, he moves away from the fire, watching the doorway, his wand in hand. The green light of the fire has created an afterglow in his eyes, and he sees shapes - dots, curves of light, drifting circles - moving across his vision. He blinks hard to chase them away.

The door moves, and his fingers tighten on his wand. Cautious.

But it is just his mother.

"[Viktor?]" Her voice is sleepy. "[What are you doing up so late? Viktor?]" Her slippers shuffle on the floor, and her arms cross her chest absently, holding her nightgown together.

In Russian, "Мать," and now the trick of distraction, as one hand makes obvious movements for his cocoa mug even as the other tucks away the wand. "[Did I wake you? I am sorry.]"

"[Were you talking to someone?]"

"[I - Just making a call, mama.]"

She wakes a little more, rubs feeling and warmth into her arms. "[About him again? Oh, Viktor...]"

He doesn't answer.

"[I know you care about him, and you want to know he is alright, but I think I am beginning to worry...]"

Wrapping his arms around her, he tells her, "[Oh, mama. I am sorry to worry you. It would just reassure me if I knew...]"

She rubs his back, through the hug, and sighs. "[Please go to bed, Viktor?]"

"[Of course, mama.]"

And as they leave the room, he is relieved, because he hates to lie to her.

There are a few embers left in the fireplace; Viktor reminds himself that he will have to call Pyotr Bogrov back later, to get that name. And then he will make another call. And another. And another, until he has found what he is searching for.

Green glows have many meanings.

Oct. 5th, 2005


Searching, Part 1

It's been some months since he left the bar. The trees have turned from red to grey and now they are pink with blossoms and green with new leaves. But it's all very eerie that no, time did not pass if it should have passed at all.

Because he wonders.

He was never gone. He was never away. Not according to his teammates, blaming as they did his collapse upon fatigue and dehydration. Not according to his parents, who welcomed him home for dinner they same way they had every day forever. It was as if nothing had happened.

Perhaps nothing had happened.

There were thoughts on his mind, thoughts of dark booths and black russians and the lake and the universe exploding and Thea, but nothing had happened, nothing had changed. The marks on his arm were just vague shapes, scars but just scars, just scars. His mother, seeing him wonder at them one day, recalled the day he recieved them - Quidditch practice, don't you remember? And the storm came up too quickly, too hard, and the blinding lightning - and the wind threw you off, into the stands. Don't you remember that day, Viktor? Don't you remember? And he did.

And as time went on he came to anticipate, less and less, that each opened door might take him somewhere unexpected. If he was expecting a bedroom, that was what he would get. If he was expecting the changeroom after practice, there would be no sound of glasses clinking and patrons talking: just benches and lockers and the routine of leaving his broom for repairs and care. The world was as it should have been.

And so, when he sat to write letters, he would pause, and cross things out, and eventually stop, because who was he writing to, anyway? A girl from another world, in the future, in a place that couldn't possibly logically exist?

So it's spring now, in the Valley of the Roses, and Krum is wondering if he was insane all along. But there is one thing that he recalls, one thing he will not let go of:

At night he sits, and reads spellbooks and all of the newspapers he can get his hands on, and hunts for signs of the man that he will destroy.

Aug. 26th, 2005


(no subject)

and the door spits him out
but this isn't home
this isn't where he wants to go
here there is only burning whiteness
and a terrible hum in his ears
like static
the ending the author forgot to write
he shouldn't be here and this
was not meant to happen
these doors were not meant to be forced
he has defied what was meant to be and now
but no
he won't stop here
he must go on push forwards
he must get home
and so he reaches out in the nothing
and just there at the edge of his reach
there is something
cold smooth
door handle
and he's tired and confused but any door
would be better than this
and so he twists
opens it
falls through

(no subject)

no! no!

this is wrong

and he stands in the desert

bleached skeletons

dust storms in his face and



wrong wrong

have to get home

but he stumbles until

another door

and he goes

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