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Daphne Greengrass counted off the distance in her mind, plotting out the stunts necessary to cover it. Taking a deep breathe, she began the series of flips and rolls. In her head, she counted each step as if it were a meditation, crossing the gym in a deadly dance. Sharp kicks and hand jabs punctuated the series even as they were smoothly incorporated into the movements. She could feel her magic responding to the rising tension as she worked out the emotions that had plagued her since this morning’s letter.


It was not uncommon for Trevor Davis not to understand that he had lost all rights to his only daughter when Daphne had performed the bonding ceremony that she had. In the almost year since Daphne had used the Old Ways to get Tracey out of that man’s house, he had tried no less than twelve different ways of reclaiming the daughter he had declared only a mistake and one he wanted to finally fix.


Daphne landed with a concussive wave of magic that shattered the nearby balance beam. The two halves of the destroyed beam fell apart with a clatter. She stared at it as she panted to get her breath back. All her life, she had known her magical power was something that had to be contained lest it destroy things. Even as an infant, her accidental magic had often resulted in fires, explosions, and lightning. Losing her temper, even a little, had consequences, and the need for control had been driven home for longer than she could remember. Strength could only be found in control and control could only be found through feeling nothing.


She knew what the other Slytherins called her when they thought she couldn’t hear. She really didn’t mind being known as the Ice Queen. If others saw her as emotionless and distant, that only meant that she was completely in control, as she needed to be safe. It wasn’t even a full lie; Daphne knew she was cold and aloof, just as they said she was. Other people only mattered to her for how she could use them for the betterment of herself and her family by extension.


In the face of Trevor Davis’ latest threat—to make the Greengrasses a target for the newly-returned Dark Lord—it would be better for her family to undo the bond, to make Tracey return. It was the smartest thing to do, the wisest course. Daphne hadn’t even known Tracey that long. They had met through Hogwarts and their beds had happened to be next to each other; they had only associated because they were both outsiders in Slytherin (Daphne due to coming from a neutral-aligned family and Tracey due to her Muggle-born mother). All in all, she had known Tracey less than five years while she had known her family all of her life.


She was not even fifteen yet.


She wasn’t ready to be making life or death decisions for her family.


And it would be stupid to put one person’s life above an entire family.


Daphne wasn’t stupid. She wasn’t sentimental. She didn’t make emotional decisions. She was strong, powerful. She was constantly in control because she had to be, or people got hurt. Strength was found through control and control was found through feeling nothing.


She was the Ice Queen of Slytherin and that was as it should be. She was as uncaring as a glacier that destroyed everything in its path and just as unstoppable. She was the deadly softness of snow from a blizzard, blanketing everything with freezing softness. Her heart was as empty as the great tundra.


She was cold because she was strong. Strength came through control. Control came through detachment. She was ice and that was for the best.


Trevor Davis wanted to fix his mistake.


The scream ripped itself from her throat as her magic rose up around her in wild flames that ate at the gym’s mats and equipment. The fiery winds devoured the wooden beams and licked at the stone walls, leaving molten streaks behind.


Daphne would burn the entire world before she’d turn Tracey over for death.


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An Ending
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