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THE BELL ABOVE THE DOOR OF Borgin and Burkes announced their arrival. Like the rest of Knockturn Alley, it was unsurprisingly empty.

Celestia knew that most people found the store foreboding, but she couldn't help but love it. Every time she stepped into the shop it felt like she was travelling into a medieval, illicit outfit that belonged to a dodgy trader.

The walls were a dark stone, so dark it almost looked black. Wrought-iron chandeliers hung from the same dark stones of the roof. Where the light from the chandeliers didn't reach were handheld oil lamps, littering amongst the merchandise.

To one side, there was a large stone fireplace which was not aflame. Opposite the fireplace, near the wall, was the counter where they'd finalise payments. In the middle, separating them, was one of many tables with items bestrewn across its surface.

One of the items, a glass case preserved a bloodstained pack of cards which had been there for years. She had never inquired on why, exactly, they hadn't been sold it and did not ever plan to.

Walking through Borgin and Burkes was like walking through another era. Most of the time, she loved it.

The group of three passed by a wall in which chains were strung. Celestia's hand went to her wrist, rubbing the scars she knew were there under her faux leather trench coat. The sign below one set of manacles stated:


She didn't allow herself to dwell on the irons, instead focusing on the back of the shop; the reason they had come here.

When they reached the back wall, a small smile made its way onto her face. Draco looked bemused, but didn't voice his confusion as he watched both Celestia and Theo assess the objects before them.

Even if he had asked, Celestia doubted she would have heard him. She was completely mesmerised.

The only time she had seen an actual sword had been in the training room conjured by the Room of Requirement. Those had been basic, ordinary. The swords in front of her now, in individual vertical stands, were nothing like the ones back at Hogwarts.

There were only ten swords here, but they outranked every one she had seen at the training room. Four of the blades were silver, three of them gold, two of them white, and one of them was pure black. Their hilts, too, had unique designs.

Alluring as they may be, they had properties — or so the plaques in front of their stands claimed. Some seemed negative, others not entirely so.

One of the white swords said that when it was drawn, it blazed with fire; if drawn by a worthy man, the fire would aid him in his cause, but if it were to be drawn by a man with an unworthy purpose they would burn alive.

Below a silver one, the plaque stated:

The sword in which will never fail to kill a man, but will eventually kill it's wielder. Has claimed unknown specified amount of muggle and wizard lives.

It was morbid, but she couldn't help but be enamoured by each dark curse claimed to be bound to the swords. How many people had died because of these swords standing before them?

For all she knew, the plaques were lying; it wouldn't be the first time that Burke or Borgin had used false advertising to try and sell something. Some people found themselves trying to beat death, and attempted to do so by buying products that advertised that. It never worked.

Betrayal of the BlackWhere stories live. Discover now