Act 5

"Pain, pleasure, all in a day's work ...Stimulus, that's the key."

Lerya put her plan into action carefully. After all, Demonique had worked very hard to break the young man with one method, it would not do to change immediately. Indeed, there were indications that this Snape would respond to a very calculated application of carrot and stick. She was not certain he would even understand what she offered at first given the marks on his body. She considered him through a one way glass. He sat still, very still. Meditation? Was the man a practitioner of eastern thought? Surely not, such men were disinclined to array themselves with powers in the world, preferring to deal with the spirit instead of the flesh.

The scars he bore were not the sort inflicted in the pursuit of spiritual things. They looked random, much as an abused child might suffer. Was he that? Did he escape from his tormentors by applying his skills for this self styled Lord Voldemort? There was so little about any of these people to be found out. Ultimate was ambivalent about their success. Yet if they could harness this "magic", whether unknown technology or true ability to master the use of energy without technology, Demonique would move up in the hierarchy, Lerya would move up and perhaps the bitch would cease to be necessary to Lerya's plans.

Severus Snape hurt. What was worse, he hurt with no physical indication that he had been damaged. His nerves tingled and shouted at him as they did under the Cruciatus. That bitch had to go. These Muggles were dangerous, they harnessed powers with their technology that should only be used by wizards and witches.

He became aware of being watched. The tall blonde woman he had seen earlier stood outside the bars of his prison regarding him curiously. He turned his back on her. The action elicited a soft laugh.

"Do you really think that's going to make it all go away, Wizard?"

Her voice seemed properly respectful of his position. Perhaps he could use her. Some muggles who knew of magic were easily manipulated; please with small displays of power as demonstration or in their favor. He rolled over to stare into her eyes. Her slow smile was not entirely reassuring. "What do you want?"

A chuckle in answer. "Power. And an answer as to why I tingle when I'm near you. Oh, I could use that to my advantage, I'm certain. It is almost sexual in nature and could be very, very useful … But I think it's something more. Or I've simply been too close to my boss's electric field suit and I'm becoming sensitized to such things. Do wizards have an electrical field? A more powerful one than normal humans?"

She looked intrigued, curious. He concentrated for a few moments and realized that this woman bordered on being a wizard. She was more than a base Muggle or a Squib; but she was unrecognized and untrained. For a moment, the face of an insouciant red haired girl occluded the blonde. He shook his head. Lily Potter had made her choice, turned her back on him, never given him the chance to prove who and what he could be for her. This woman was here and hungry for her place in the world she did not yet know. That could be useful.

"Power." He held out a hand and dark flames played about his fingertips. "What sort of power?"

Her lips parted, her eyes dilated in desire. This was raw, enticing, arousing. She met his black gaze and smiled. "Let's find someplace a little more comfortable." She opened the gate and led him to far more inviting quarters.

Once inside, she saw to his pain with surprisingly effect Muggle methods. Her hands on his skin as she worked the sore muscles and applied anesthetic ointment to where Demonique had touched him, worked the same wonders as one of his potions. Maybe more wonders as he noted his purely physical reaction to her touch, her smell, her body.

Her lips touched his, a brush of soft against his cracked skin. Suppressed urges surfaced. He reached for her, knowing her response was part of a plan yet drawing her to him. He lay back on the bed, burying his hands in her loosened hair. His reaction was painful. His potions were far away and Lerya was here, in his arms, stretched along his length. For a moment he pulled back, looking for the revulsion, for the deception and finding neither.

A small smile played around her full lips. "I am what I am, Wizard. I do not know where this will lead. I see death ahead, behind and all around, yet I cannot see where it touches. I am willing. For now, that is all you need and all I need," she whispered softly, the sound of Oracle in her voice before she lowered her face to him and invaded his mouth as no other had done.

In the security office, Demonique stared at the blank monitor feed from Lerya's suite of rooms. She had followed the woman's steps, drawing out the ugly man from his cell and taking him to a more suitable place of seduction. How had the woman known to blank all the feeds from her room? What did she think she was doing? Did she not remember that Demonique's continued rise in the organization balanced on what she learned from this man?

Stupid girl. Well, once Lerya had proved that the man was indeed a man, she would take over his training in the subtle arts of seduction and Lerya could go to America to serve that beast Bailey. A humorless smile curved her red lips. Oh, yes. A month or more serving Bailey would break the stubborn bitch. Of course, used up like that, she'd be useless to anyone including herself. She wondered how Bailey would kill her. The man was an animal.

Malfoy House

Illya roused from what felt like a drugged sleep to being remarkably clear headed in a matter of seconds. He stretched and then froze. The sheets were different and he was naked beneath them. Memories of heat and desire flooded him with feelings he had not allowed in so very long. His mouth literally watered at the memory of the taste of his companion. His belly tightened as he realized he wanted more, he wanted the abandon of last night, the satiation of senses.

"Nyet!" Was he telling the world or trying to convince himself?

"It's impolite to read minds," a lazy British voice told him from far too close. Lucius Malfoy, pale hair disheveled from sleep, leveled something between a glare and amusement at his guest. He ran an elegant hand through his locks, ordering them instantly, then leaned toward the other man and took a sniff. "Odd, you don't smell like a Muggle."

Illya retreated slightly from the intrusion in his space. Yet something about that arrogant face drew him. "You … I ..." He retreated to Russian for a moment to express his confusion.

"You're drawn to magic."

"There is no magic," came the automatic denial. Yet what Illya had experienced and seen over the last day or so told him that there was and that he was indeed attracted to it. The urge to go with Napoleon and his wife had been overwhelming. It was not the danger that took him with them to Diagon Alley, but the sheer power he felt rolling off of them. No, this was wrong. There was no … he leaned forward toward Lucius. Like a physical force, he wanted to inhale whatever it was that made Malfoy dangerous.

The other must have sensed something. He pulled back, slipping off the bed and into a richly brocaded robe. "There is magic. You are not a Muggle … not pure." Could the blond be a danger to his Master? "Get up. Dress. We will breakfast and investigate. Do not think one night of pleasure will keep me from my Master's bidding." He was about to sweep out of the room when he remembered it was his own and took a seat in one of the chairs near the fireplace.

Illya pulled on his clothing, noting it was clean and fresh, as quickly as possible, shielding his embarrassing reaction to being watched. First Napoleon re-entered his ordered world, turning his life on end; now this Malfoy was making insinuations that he was some sort of freak. Freak. Urod. Urodets. The words pounded at him. Voices yelling in the night. Torches. He hunched his shoulders against the assault of memories. A small village. Terrified people, all of them yelling at him … no, not at him. At her.

He went to his knees at the memory. His golden mother, hair swirling free around her shoulders, afraid. She who was never afraid, who was always strong. She pushed him … no … them, he and his little sister, behind her, protecting them. A crackle of electricity around them. And then the gunshot. Her light died, blood staining the front of her night gown, gushing from her mouth as she stared at the people around them. People who had known her growing up, people they had trusted.

She fell and they were alone. Someone pulled his sister away from him. He could hear her cries as they closed on him. Stones. Someone threw stones. His head rang with the concussion and darkness swallowed him.

Illya fell to his knees, hands to his head as the visions shocked through him. He could hear the distant crackle of loose electricity. Terror, the night, death and then succor. Hands drew him up into a hug. A voice muttered soothing words. As his world crumbled, Illya Kuryakin threw his arms around Lucius and held on for his sanity. Something told him that his world was changed forever. Where was Napoleon?


The wizard in question sat up out of a swamp of nightmare proportions, gasping for breath and knowing that something shattering had happened, but not what. He checked his sleep confused wife who blinked at him sleepily. A quick hug brought a smile to her face. Someone close to him was in trouble. But who?


"Sorry, Rox, but I need you awake. Something's up."