Chapter 5 : And Just When You Thought You Knew Everything
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“It’s completely mental!” Narcissa shouted, her voice causing even the fire to back down into a nonthreatening billow.
The three girls sat in the Slytherin Common Room, plotting vindictively. The warm hands of the fire captivated the chill of the cold walls. Nearly everyone was asleep, except for the three of them. Nixie sat cross-legged, already working on Narcissa’s skunk dress for Halloween. The words ‘skunk dress’ made Narcissa cringe just thinking about it. Vesper held a few papers in her hands and stared at Narcissa, startled by her reaction.
“Yes, well, I thought you wanted something dramatic,” Vesper explained, tightening her ponytail.
“I do, and your plan is perfect!”
Vesper frowned, confused, “You just said it’s completely mental.”
“It is completely mental, but that doesn’t mean it’s not brilliant,” Narcissa stated, taking a sip of hot chocolate. She shrieked and yanked back the cup, spilling mounts of her drink over her legs. “Merlin’s beard I’m burning!”
She bit her lip in an attempt to lessen the pain as her friends laughed at her.
“I think she’s a bit too excited about this,” Nixie whispered to Vesper, who waved her wand, cleaning up the mess.
“Excitement is an understatement,” Vesper grinned, shaking her head, her attention back to the papers she was holding.
As the girls continued chatting, the Common Room door opened and in strutted Drew, his cloak fluttering behind him. His forehead glistened in the glow of the fire as Nixie stood up and faced him.
“What’s wrong?” she questioned after kissing him affectionately.
“Nothing, just had a row with a couple of pig-headed fifth years,” he acknowledged, playing with Nixie’s hair. He loved her hair. During their first few years at Hogwarts, Nixie would always cast a straightening charm on her hair, that is, until she started dating Drew. Ever since he’d told her he loved her curls, she’d grown to love them as well.
“Anyways,” he sighed, running a hand through his wavy mane, “I’m off to bed. Night love. Night ladies.”
With a quick peck on Nixie’s cheek, he hurried past them and into the boy’s dormitory.
“I hate it when he lies to me,” Nixie complained as she sat down. She held out her hands in front of the fire, gazing at the flames, no doubt lost in her thoughts about Drew. “He always gets upset when he has to deal with Malfoy and that lot.”
A light suddenly went off in Narcissa’s head, making her jump.
“Oh my god!” she gasped, remembering what Malfoy had said to her.
“What is it?” Vesper inquired, moving closer.
“Is it about Drew?” Nixie asked nervously, a worried and anxious feeling overwhelming her.
“I can’t believe I forgot!” Narcissa wailed, covering her face. “I’ve just been so preoccupied with this whole planning and revenge that it completely slipped my mind to tell you!”
“Tell us what?” Vesper urged.
“Spit it out!” Nixie yelled impatiently.
“The night of my detention with Malfoy, he said I wouldn’t defend Drew if I really knew him. I don’t know what he was talking about, but he was egging on the idea that Drew is hiding something from us. Or from you is more like it. I cannot believe I forgot to tell you. Nixie, you’ve got to ask Drew about this.”
Nixie bit her lip, frowning in confusion. “I mean…I know he used to hang out with Malfoy. He told me that. I think it was halfway through their third year when he stopped. He said something about Malfoy being a bad influence on him. When I asked him what he meant, he said Malfoy was a jerk.”
“I didn’t really push him about it. It really upset him talking about it and I figured he was telling me the truth. I trusted him. I mean that’s what you do in a relationship right? You trust each other.”
“Nixie,” Narcissa started softly, sitting down beside her friend and taking her hand in her own, “I’m almost positive Malfoy was only trying to provoke me again when he said that. Nothing he says is credible. Just wait till tomorrow morning and ask Drew.”
“What if he did something horrible?”
“Like what?” Vesper asked, sitting down beside them.
“I don’t know,” Nixie shrugged. “Use your imagination. What if he did something really horrible?”
“If he did, which I honestly doubt, then we’ll deal with it tomorrow. Just don’t stress yourself out about it. This is exactly what Malfoy wants.”
Nixie nodded and stood up, making her way towards the girl’s dormitory.
“Nixie,” Narcissa called out as Nixie turned to face her. “Don’t do anything dramatic.”
That night as Narcissa lay in bed, she couldn’t keep her mind from wandering to the places she’d tried to subdue. School and plotting her revenge on Malfoy had definitely distracted her from thinking about her family, but despite all that, she felt lonelier than ever. She had numbed herself to the fact that her father was a Death Eater. He obviously cared more about The Cause than he did about his family. One Black cared too much, the other didn’t care enough. She hadn’t replied to any letters from her parents, yet she had been hoping every morning that at least one letter would be from Andromeda. She really had left everyone behind. Although Bellatrix was her sister as well, affectionate wasn’t really a word in her vocabulary.
She remembered when Andromeda had told her to attack Malfoy, but avoid being caught. The memory made her smile, then tear up moments after. She rolled onto her side, not wanting to cry. It had been a month since she’d cried about Andromeda. The less she thought about it, the easier it was to forget. But in moments like these, alone at night with her thoughts free to grasp her, sometimes she couldn’t stop them from surfacing.
So she grabbed her pillow and stuffed it against her face, letting it soak in her sobs as she emptied out the pain she’d been holding inside since the start of the school year.
“You haven’t stopped worrying, have you?” Vesper asked Nixie the next morning as they made their way into the Great Hall.
“Of course not,” Nixie admitted. “But I’ve decided to replace my worry with hunger.”
Narcissa rolled her eyes. “Nixie calm down. I’m telling you, Malfoy is a liar. There’s no doubt about it.”
With Narcissa’s luck, who should suddenly appear beside them if not for the one and only reprehensible rake: Lucius Malfoy. Narcissa stopped breathing. He’d heard every word, she was sure of it. His gaze rested on her and she sucked in a sharp breath, startled by the deadened look in his cold grey eyes, his face hardened. As quickly as he’d come, he’d gone, leaving Narcissa with nothing but a chest of heavy gasps.
“Cissy, I think he heard-”
“I know he did,” Narcissa cut in quietly, interrupting Vesper. “I don’t care.”
Trying to push what had just happened to the back of her mind, Narcissa redirected her attention back to Nixie, who still had sore baggy eyes from staying up all night. Narcissa hadn’t been the only one up all night crying. She walked both her friends to Charms, despite already being late for Transfiguration. She dreaded the idea of walking into the same room as Lucius Malfoy.
After hugging her friends goodbye (particularly Nixie, who nearly burst into tears when she saw Drew sitting in class, waiting for her) she scurried through the hallway until she reached the classroom. Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door, preparing herself for a scolding from Professor McGonagall.
Instead, she heard a simple, “Ah, Ms. Black, your punctuality astounds me. Take a seat.”
Narcissa looked about the room for an empty seat and nearly choked up her tonsils when she realized there was only one, and it was next to Lucius Malfoy.
“Well what are you waiting for, Ms. Black, an invitation? Take a seat.”
“Sorry, Professor,” Narcissa muttered as she trudged towards her new prison. Now would be a fantastic time for her to melt into the floor. Anytime now.
Malfoy continued to disregard her presence as she took a cautious seat beside him. The scent of his cologne was clogging her nostrils, making it harder for her to breathe. She snuck a glance at him and was relieved to find that he looked like his usual self, smug and conceited.
They were reviewing some older spells in class today, such as transfiguring their books into animals.
“Now,” Professor McGonagall announced, “turn to your partner and rehearse the incantation.”
Tough luck, thought Narcissa. No force in the universe could compel her to converse with Malfoy, and she was positive he felt the same way.
“So you really think I’m a liar?” Lucius asked, interrupting Narcissa’s thoughts.
Had he really spoken to her? Or was she imagining it? No, he really had said something to her. He was staring at her intently, his blonde hair haughtily falling over his shoulders, his lips in a tight smirk, waiting for a reply.
Her mouth hung open, her expression pathetically priceless. He was actually talking to her as if he hadn’t done anything wrong. It was obvious he felt no remorse whatsoever about what he’d done to her that night.
“Yes, Malfoy, I do think you’re a liar. You’re a liar and you’re manipulative.”
He smirked. “Still angry about our little adventure, are you? It was nearly a month ago-”
“It may have been a month ago for you but I relive it nearly every day you heinous creature.”
“Mr. Malfoy, Ms. Black, enough chatter. One of you needs to transfigure something,” Professor McGonagall said to them before turning her attention to a different pair.
Lucius drew out his wand from beneath his robes and muttered the spell, transfiguring his textbook into a sly skunk that now sat perched on the table. Narcissa squealed and sat straight in her chair, exercising her breathing very cautiously.
“Look familiar?” he asked crudely, his eyes moving from the skunk to Narcissa’s hair. “Shall we test the stench and see who the heinous one really is?” Malfoy challenged, inching towards Narcissa.
“Turn-it-back-Lucius-Malfoy,” Narcissa got out between breaths. She knew if the skunk sprayed her, Malfoy would curse her so that getting rid of the smell would be ten times as difficult. She was seriously reconsidering being a skunk for Halloween now.
“I’m simply following McGonagall’s orders,” he shrugged, egging the skunk onto Narcissa’s lap. “The thing with skunks is that you never know when they’re going to blow…if you know what I mean.”
“If that thing sprays me I’ll-”
“There’s nothing you can really do but stink,” he smirked again, enjoying the terrorized expression on her face.
With the flip of his wand, the skunk transformed back into a book, which Lucius stuffed aggressively in his bag before dismissing himself. Narcissa sat reclusively as the classroom emptied, replaying the skunk episode over in her head. She’d had enough of his taunts and tantrums. She was done putting up with them.
Fists clenched, she headed back to the Common Room to meet with Nixie and Vesper before her next class.
“Vesper! Nixie!” she shouted as she entered. “I can’t take it anym-”
Her pace slowed when she walked in on Nixie sitting on the couch, her eyes smudged with the remains of her mascara. Vesper was sitting down next to her, trying to calm her down but looking clueless as ever.
“What-what on earth happened?” she demanded.
“Lucius didn’t lie to you, Cissy,” Nixie cried. “He was telling the truth.”
Vesper nodded, “It’s true.”
Before Narcissa could question her any further, Drew burst into the Common Room, his hands clenched in agitation. He locked his painfully torn eyes on Nixie, who turned her back to him instantly, her curl’s bouncing in response. Narcissa turned to Nixie, astonishment twinkling in her blue rims. Drew walked off into the boy’s dormitory without a word.
“I think I sort of…broke up with him,” Nixie sniffled, wiping her eyes.
“Sort of?” Narcissa asked with a raised eyebrow, placing her hand on her waist.
“She told him she never wanted to speak to him again,” Vesper explained, gently massaging Nixie’s shoulders.
“You were eavesdropping on us?” Nixie exclaimed, frowning at Vesper.
“No, of course not. I just happened to overhear you screaming at him,” she quickly justified herself, scratching her forehead.
Nixie turned to Narcissa and began, “It’s really quite terrible.”
Vesper nodded, staring awkwardly at Narcissa.
“Well, what did he say?” Narcissa asked, sitting down in front of Nixie, placing her hands on Nixie’s knees.
“He was friends with Malfoy, he didn’t lie to me about that. But well, they also had the same group of friends and some of the older Slytherins –”
“Which Slytherins?” Narcissa cut in.
“I don’t remember exactly,” Nixie frowned, trying to remember. “I know he mentioned Rodolphus and his brother, and Rowle, and some older ones too. They were all studying the Dark Arts, which I’m not surprised about honestly, but…well they started practicing on students.”
Narcissa’s eyes widened. She hadn’t expected this.
Nixie bit her lip, looking down as tears brimmed her eyes again. “I mean I know I talk shit about Muggle-borns but I would never actually, you know…do the Cruciatus curse on one.”
“Drew…did that?” Narcissa asked, her voice barely audible.
“He didn’t know what he was doing, at least that’s what he said. It was hard for him to talk about it. They manipulated him and threatened him. They were trying to get him ready for the real thing.”
“The real thing?”
“Well The Cause, obviously,” Vesper explained.
“I know that,” Narcissa looked up at Vesper. “But they were just kids. Do you think they’re all Death Eaters? Do you think Malfoy is a Death Eater?”
“I don’t think so. Not yet at least. Drew said even Malfoy wasn’t comfortable doing it at first, and that eventually he stopped practicing on students. He didn’t stop teaching himself Dark Magic though. He’s a prat yeah but he doesn’t want to get into serious trouble. Or at least, that’s what Drew told me.”
“So they tortured Muggle-borns together? What a fun way to bond,” Narcissa muttered sarcastically.
Nixie went on, “They would torture them then wipe their memories so they wouldn’t remember it. Isn’t that just sick? I can’t believe he kept that from me.”
“I just can’t believe it, period,” Narcissa said, staring off. “No wonder he didn’t tell you, Nixie.”
“He was trying to justify himself,” she scoffed. “He said they made him and the others do it, they manipulated them into thinking they were doing the right thing. They yelled at him and forced him to otherwise they would practice on him instead. They said yeah it hurt, but it was for the greater good of understanding the dark arts.”
“I mean, are you going to talk to him about it?”
“No,” Nixie said instantly. “You can, but I can’t talk to him right now. He lied to me, Narcissa. I told him everything and he hid something that serious from me.”
Narcissa stood up and nodded, “I understand. But you can’t hold it against him forever. You’ll have to hear him out sooner or later.”
Nixie wiped her nose. “Later rather than sooner.”
Narcissa wasn’t surprised to hear the names she had heard. Andromeda had once told her that Rabastan wasn’t who he said he was. She had said he was vile and that she could never be with someone like him. Andromeda had also told her that he advocated child murder, not to mention general murder for The Cause. If Rabastan held those beliefs, then surely so did everyone else involved in those practices.
Narcissa cringed when she thought of Rowle. She couldn’t believe she’d ever liked such a dim witted troll. Andromeda had been right about him as well. He’d done more than just torture children: he’d killed one of Andromeda’s best friends, Pru, and it was something that had haunted Andromeda since. She’d blamed herself more than anyone and had refused to speak to Narcissa about it. The ghost-like look in Andromeda’s eyes was etched into Narcissa’s memory forever.
So did that mean that Lucius Malfoy believed the same things as Rodolphus and Rabastan and even Rowle? She didn’t know. She hated him and wanted to assume so, but she needed to find out for herself if all of this were really true.
If it were then he would prove to be more of a barbarian than she thought, and if it weren’t, well she still hated him anyway.
A/N: Yay so I love Drew/Nixie drama, it always spices things up, especially since Nixie is such a drama queen. Anyway, I hope you guys liked this chapter. Leave me a review and tell me what you think. Do you think there's an explanation for everything or what? Or you could just leave me a review saying hi. REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW :D
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