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Rabbit Heart by elegantphoenix

Format: Novella
Chapters: 2
Word Count: 6,085
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Romance, Action/Adventure, Angst
Characters: Harry, Ron, Shacklebolt, Percy, Draco, Pansy, Scorpius, Rose, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing, Ron/Hermione, Rose/Scorpius, Draco/OC

First Published: 07/17/2010
Last Chapter: 08/25/2010
Last Updated: 08/25/2010

Summary:
One deal made with a devilishly attractive mystery woman in a pub. One forgotten, distressing damsel locked away in a tower. And one impromptu act of heroism made by two people who refuse to forget.

A Lucy / OC story.
Inspired by Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. Fab banner / fantôme @ TDA <3


Chapter 1: Prologue
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Disclaimer Sadly, I'm just a JK Rowling worshipper. No ownage here.

Author's Note Hi, everyone.

I decided to rewrite this chapter completely, turning it into a prologue featuring Percy and taking the story in a totally different direction. It still runs from the basis that it is the romance story of two children of rivals in a race for the next Minister of Magic, but I have added a slight twist. It's going to be a modern (/modified) take on the fairytale Rapunzel, by the Brothers Grimm, featuring Lucy as the title character. I'm more of a mystery/dark writer than a flat out romance novelist, so I think this will be easier to write. I hope you all enjoy the chapter!

Best,
Nadhira





Percy Weasley stepped out of the frigid January air and into a small, dingy pub situated between a run down record store and a flower shop with a tan sign hanging in the front window indicating that it was closed for the night. The space was a modest size for a pub, about half the size of the Leaky Cauldron, with shadows hanging in the corners, dim lighting, peeling sun-faded crimson wallpaper, and about a dozen dusty wooden tables dotted throughout the space. He’d only visited the place once before, and it had not seemed any more welcoming that day than it did tonight.

The door shut behind him with a quiet click as he crossed to the bar, sliding onto a scratched leather bar stool and slipping out of his wool coat as he took a look around. It was Saturday night, but there weren’t a lot of people in the pub tonight – not that it could accommodate any more than two dozen or so; a man with a scruffy beard and his robes in tatters sat a few tables away from Percy, fidgeting absently with a spoon; there was a boy who looked no older than fourteen or fifteen in an off white apron cleaning up a few plates and mugs from a table; and a shadowy figure sitting at a table in the corner by the window, with the hood of their cloak pulled down low over their face and a mug of butterbeer on the table before them.

None of them seemed to have noticed that he had even walked in.

It was both a relief and slightly disappointing. It was a relief because for weeks, he had been hounded by reporters for every magazine known to the wizarding world, while it was disappointing because he had sort of enjoyed everyone knowing his name – his real name, not like back at Hogwarts, where he had only been known as Weasley, or worse, at work, where he was only known as Weatherby. Here, he was just another guy.

He didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing.

“‘Ello, dear,” somebody said, giving him a slight start as he looked round. A woman had appeared in front of him on the other side of the bar, looking in about her mid-twenties, with the same curly black hair as the boy who’d been cleaning up tables a few minutes ago, tanned skin, and olive eyes. “What can I do for you tonight?”

“Give me the strongest drink you’ve got,” he said, running his fingers through his uncharacteristically messy red hair. “Please.”

“Alright,” she chuckled, eyeing him skeptically as she turned to get a glass from the back shelf and turn on a rusted blue radio set nestled between a stack of plates and a row of mugs. “Rough night?”

Percy smiled sheepishly as he loosened his blue silk tie. “Was it really that obvious?”

“‘Course it was,” admitted the barmaid. “No respectable man would come into the dodgiest pub this side of London and order the strongest drink we’ve got unless he had something on his mind that he desperately needed off,” she told him wisely as she slid the small shot glass of amber colored liquor across the bar to Percy.

“Well, I don’t know about respectable,” Percy replied, chewing on his lip for a second, before tossing back the drink. He winced a bit and coughed as it burned his throat on its way down, but pushed his glass back across the bar to her nonetheless. “My youngest daughter clearly hates me, and my wife left me a month ago.” He shook his head and ran his hands over his face. “They all think I’m a joke.”

“Oh, I’m sure that’s not true,” she countered firmly.

“…I have it on good authority that your biggest competition in the current battle for Minister for Magic, Percy Weasley, is considering withdrawing because of the recent events regarding your son and his daughter. If this is true, Mr. Nott, how do you feel about it?”

The crackled, broken voice of the woman on the radio floated over to Percy, making him clench his teeth and swallow hard as he glared at the old blue radio set just above the barmaid’s shoulder. So they hadn’t forgotten about him yet. Sure, he had considered withdrawing from the race, but he had chosen not to let his daughter’s tiny indiscretion get the best of him. But the media just wouldn’t let it go, and it was causing his chances to become the next Minister dwindle faster and faster to nothing as each day passed.

Theodore Nott chuckled. “Well, Faith, I am not at liberty to discuss whether or not Percy has decided to give up,” he claimed, although his tone hinted more towards agreement, “but if he has, I would be thrilled about it, of course.” They both laughed this time. “It would mean that I had inevitably won the position and who wouldn’t be happy about something of that magnitude?” The reporter – Faith – made a noise of agreement with her throat.

“Of course,” she said, a small smile in her voice. “Now, you said in your most recent interview for the  Daily Prophet that you…”

By this point, the barmaid had noticed that Percy was glaring so hard that she was afraid that laser beams would erupt from his otherwise soft, blue eyes and blow up her radio at any moment. She set his refill down in front of him and turned to turn the radio off.

It was silent for a moment. “I take it you’re the Percy they’re talking about?” she asked tentatively, eyeing him, both wary and curious.

“How’d you figure that out?” he inquired with a half-hearted laugh, tearing his eyes away from the glass in his hands to look up at her. She chuckled softly, absently wiping her hands on a wash cloth.

“Well,” she began, “you were just looking at the radio like you wanted to jump through it and strangle that man a moment ago, so it wasn’t all that hard to put two and two together.” She met his eyes and smirked. When he exhaled solemnly and looked down at his glass again, raising it to his lips, she put her hand on his arm and leaned towards him. “Hey,” said the barmaid, brushing a tendril from her face, “so… are you going to tell me what that was all about?”

Percy stared at her hand for a long moment, before slowly pulling his arm from her grasp and downing his liquor again. “Well the woman on the radio just told you –”

“Yeah, but I want to hear it from you,” she pressed, her eyebrows pulling together. “I know there’s more.”

“It’s a long story,” he replied in a futile attempt at placating her, his eyes following her wearily as she walked round the bar and slid into the seat next to him and looking fairly serious. Percy figured that getting rid of this broad would not be an easy task.

“I’ve got time,” she assured him.

Percy studied her face for a long moment as she ran a hand through her thick hair, leaning one arm on the counter. She had dark circles under her eyes and a small, pinkish-white scar on her chin, wore a faded grey t-shirt and slim fitting ratty, torn jeans, and her attitude reminded him of his sister, but she still looked beautiful, and it was hard for him to string her along for much longer. What was he so afraid of? Sure, his daughter had embarrassed him with her actions, making him look less like the next Minister and more like an out of control father who couldn’t get a grip on his own daughter, but she hadn’t even known who he was.

Maybe she might even be a little understanding, if not helpful.

Taking a deep breath, he opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by the sound of dishes crashing to the floor a few feet away. They both jumped and looked round, and her features darkened quickly.

“Riley!” the barmaid groaned, clenching her teeth as she slid off her seat, half-turning to her brother before looking back at Percy apologetically. “I’m really sorry, but I have to take care of this,” Percy nodded for her to go ahead, earning an appreciative smile before she stormed over to the flustered boy scrambling to pick up the plates and glasses that were still fully or partially intact.

Percy turned to face the bar again, staring down into his empty shot glass. He exhaled, his mind going back to the interview on the radio. I am not at liberty to discuss whether or not Percy has decided to give up… Theodore had said. His tone had been biting, like he had known that Percy would be listening in. Well, his smug little smile would slip right from his face when he showed up at the Ministry Monday morning and found out that Percy was not, in fact, giving up anytime soon. Perhaps that had been his plan from the beginning – to sabotage him through his daughter, by secretly setting her up with his son and making sure that he found out so that he would get angry and ruin his picture perfect image of a family on his own. Theodore had known that his temper was short, and had used that knowledge to his advantage, expecting the vast amount of bad publicity to make Percy back out.

And, in truth, he had wanted to.

But once he had realized what Theodore was doing, Percy squared his shoulders and held his head up high, refusing to give Theodore the satisfaction. But he still could not forgive Lucy for consorting with the enemy, and he could not make his ex-wife forgive him for valuing his work higher than his family.

Percy swallowed hard against his dry throat and rubbed his forehead with a sigh. He needed another drink. He took off his glasses and cleaned them off on his pale blue button down, and when he put them on again, he found that his glass had been refilled.

His brows pulled together.

“Drink up, Percy,” said a silky voice. “It’s the least you can do, after the past few months you’ve had.”

At these words, Percy’s hand pulled a few inches away from his glass as he slowly looked to his right, finding the shadowy, cloaked figure perched on a stool two down from his, tracing the rim of their mug of butterbeer deliberately and looking straight ahead. As he was starting to doubt that they had been the one to speak to him, he caught their lips curve up slightly in a small smirk. The figure turned their head to look at him.

He still could not see their face, but he couldn’t help the sudden chill that crept up his spine. “Who are you?”

The figure tilted their head to the side slightly, running their long, scarlet finger nail down the side of their perspiring glass of golden liquid. “Someone who can help you,” they replied in an urgent whisper.

“Well,” he said, looking away and downing his glass in one gulp and shaking his head, “I don’t need any help,” Percy paused, glancing at the mysterious figure briefly. “Especially not from a stranger in a pub.”

“I could make all of your problems go away,” she murmured coercively, her voice nearer this time. “I could make your life so much easier for you at the snap of my fingers.”

Percy looked at her again, finding that she was now sitting on the stool right next to him. Her voice was spellbinding and musical, and suddenly, he felt a little sleepiness lingering just underneath the buzz from the alcohol. “Right,” Percy said, rolling his eyes. “I’m assuming you’ll be wanting something in return?” The woman’s smirk widened into a satisfied smile.

“You’re much smarter than your friends give you credit for,” she replied, gently brushing a lock of his hair out of his face.

He inhaled sharply, looking away from her and shaking his head.

“That didn’t answer my question,” he countered, picking up his miraculously refilled glass again and tossing back his drink, shutting his eyes against the burning sensation in the back of his throat before looking over at the woman again, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

This time, when he looked at her, he could see her face. Her hood was still drawn, casting shadows across her sharp features, but he could make out a long nose, smooth cream colored skin, strong cheekbones and full lips that matched her nails in color. Her eyes were cat like and a striking violet; so striking in fact, that he could not look away.

Percy Weasley found that he didn’t want to.

“Of course it wouldn’t be a proper deal if there wasn’t anything in it for me,” the woman grinned, her teeth sharp looking and dazzling white. “All you must do is think of the last person who has wronged you, the last person who has betrayed your trust, and sign on the dotted line.” Her smile remained intact right to the very end of her sentence as she gestured to a sheet of parchment that was now lying on the counter in front of them, complete with a quill, though no ink.

For some reason, though, he did not find this at all peculiar.

He let his eyes flicker between the parchment and the woman, swallowing as he set down his glass and picked up the quill. Percy thought about this for a long moment. Think of the last person who has wronged you, the woman had said. The last person who has betrayed your trust…

Lucy.

It was the first person to pop up in his mind. Just the thought of his daughter and Theodore’s son in bed together was enough to make his blood boil angrily. Grinding his teeth together, Percy scribbled his name on the line, each stroke creating a prickly feeling in the palm of his hand. He ignored it and then, once he had finished, stared at his signature glaring back up at him in some red substance he vaguely recognized. But he disregarded this as well, and with a blink, the parchment was gone.

He heard a quiet chuckling in his ear. “When you wake up on Monday morning, you will find that your life has changed,” the woman told him vaguely.

“What –” Percy tried to ask, but when he looked round again, the woman was nowhere to be found.

Percy reached under his glasses and rubbed his eyes, feeling the exhaustion set in finally. Maybe he had been seeing things, and he needed to go home and get some sleep. He pushed his empty glass back across the counter before grabbing his coat and standing up. As he shrugged into it and turned around, he found the barmaid standing behind him.

“Hey,” she said, looking him up and down and furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. “You’re leaving already?”

“Yeah,” Percy told her, his eyes darting round the nearly empty room. Still no sign of the woman. “I should, uh, head home before it gets too late.” He ran a hand through his hair, not meeting her eyes.

She swallowed, then nodded stiffly. “Oh. Yeah, right. Well, I’ll see you round, then,” she replied as he headed across the pub to the front door. Just as he was about to push it open, she called out again, taking a few steps forward. “Hey!” Percy half-turned back. She chanced a small smile. “I’m Audrey, by the way.”

Percy smiled back, giving her one last, long look before pushing the door open and getting a face full of frigid January air. He shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his coat, taking a deep breath as he tried to placate his sleepiness for a while, until he could find a safe, muggle-free place to apparate home. As he walked, he felt the prickly feeling in the palm of his right hand again, a burning sensation accompanying it as the cold winter air rushed over it.

He pulled his hand from his pocket to examine his palm, and when he saw what was there, he stopped walking abruptly. In the weak, flickering light of a nearby street lamp, he saw two words etched into his palm, and shimmering with fresh blood – his blood:

No refunds.





AN 2 So? What did you think of the new and (hopefully) improved prologue? I hope it was decent. Well, all general feedback/questions/comments/concerns/suggestions is welcome and appreciated as always!

Thank you for taking the time to read! (:

Chapter 2: Change
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Disclaimer Sadly, I'm just a JK Rowling worshipper. No ownage here.










A derelict tower loomed over the forest on a gentle hill in the center of a small clearing, casting an ominous shadow over the nearby vegetation. It was situated in a place where only the teensiest bit of light could sneak through the thick canopy overhead, and looked as though it had been erected long ago as the walls were crumbling and laced with leafy vines.

There was no door to this tower, but there was a window, only one, dozens of feet above the ground where no one could reach it by any natural means. As the boy looked up at it from the edge of the forest, he saw that there was someone inside, sitting by the window in fact, singing a solemn lullaby.

It was a girl, with reddish brown hair and fair skin – he could not see her face clearly, but he knew she was beautiful somehow, and he knew he had to save her soon, before it was too late…

Thunder rumbled and lightning flashed across the deep gray-indigo clouded sky, sending Declan Nott flying up from his pillow. He sat erect in his bed, his back damp, his bare chest beaded with sweat, and his chestnut brown hair falling in his eyes as he exhaled deeply through a part in his lips. His eyes darted to the window as lightning flashed once more, though it was slightly distorted through the rain slicked window pane. As a guy who had always believed that the weather on the first day of term determined the outcome of the entire year, rain did not particularly make him very excited to go back.

And not only was it raining, it was storming.

Talk about forboding.

Declan sighed heavily as he turned his back on the window and pushed the covers off of himself, then swung his legs over the side of the bed. Just as he was pushing himself to his feet, the double doors to his bedroom opened and Maisie, their family maid, came strolling in with breakfast. He picked his watch up from the bedside table and his shoulders drooped.

Nine-thirty on the dot. Punctual, as usual.

Maisie smiled at him, deep crinkles forming the corners of her eyes as she placed the tray on a coffee table by the window. She wiped her hands on the front of her frilly, starched white apron and pulled out her wand, and with a firm flick of her wrist, the pot on the tray began pouring him coffee. “Good morning, Mr. Nott,” she told him cheerfully as she opened the curtains to their full extent, “I trust your sleep was restful? You will need all the energy you can get this morning as it’s your first day back to Hogwarts,”

“Er… right,” Declan muttered, running a hand through his messy curls as he padded over to the table.

“How will you be having your coffee this morning, sir?” she inquired, her wand poised to direct the other various cups and bowls.

He held up his hand to stop her and picked up the mug just as the pot finished filling it with scalding black liquid. “This is fine, thank you,” he told her, blowing across the surface of the drink in an effort to cool it down faster as he dropped down in one of the three armchairs situated in a circle around the small table.

“As you wish, sir –”

“Maisie,” Declan sighed, looking up, “I really wish you wouldn’t call me sir. That title is reserved for my father.”

She smiled apologetically, shuffling round the coffee table and across the room to his wardrobe, the doors to it opening upon her approach with another flick of her wand. “Of course. It tends to slip my mind from time to time,” admonished Maisie. “Now, let’s see what we have here…”

Declan slumped down in his chair, sipping quietly on his coffee with his eyes trained on the soaked window pane in front of him as Maisie picked out his clothes for the day. She was a bit on in years, so her taste in clothing was always a bit questionable, but he wouldn’t be in the clothes for long. Soon, he would be wearing his school uniform and those clothes wouldn’t matter until winter holidays, when he would return home again.

As he watched the rain slap the thick glass, and listened to the sound of Maisie’s quiet humming float over to him from across the room, he remembered his dream. He remembered the clearing, dotted with purple flowers and patches of dead grass, the crumbling, ancient tower, the girl who lived in it…

She’d seemed so familiar, even if he hadn’t been able to see her face.

“Dex, I hope that –” Instantly, Maisie’s humming ceased and Declan stood, turning to face the door, finding his mother hovering just inside the room. Daphne wore a simple black sheath with cap sleeves and her blonde hair was in a tight chignon at the nape of her neck, showing off her high cheek bones and cat like eyes which were scrutinising as they fell on her son. “Declan, what aren’t you dressed yet? The Parkinsons will be here any minute,” she snapped, turning and stalking back out of the room again. “Maisie, get him dressed and downstairs in ten minutes!”

And then she was gone again.

Declan rolled his eyes, taking a sip from his mug again as he shook his head and approached Maisie by his wardrobe, setting his mug down on his nightstand. He took the clothes from Maisie, expecting her to leave on cue but she merely hovered there, smoothing her apron.

He glanced around. “Uh… Maisie?” said Declan.

“Yes?” Maisie asked, standing up straighter upon being addressed. He rolled his eyes again, exhaling deeply and extending his free arm toward the door.

“You can go now,” Declan told her. “I’ll be down in five, if anyone cares.”

She gave him a little bow. “I’ll let them know,” promised Maisie, before scampering out of the room and shutting the double doors behind her. Once she’d gone, he took a deep breath, wondering why she hadn’t just left. Did she still think he was seven years old?

He could dress himself now.

And so he did, quickly.

But he didn’t go downstairs just yet. He went over to his dresser, over which was a vast mirror that reflected about three quarters of his bedroom at once, and retrieved a chunky ring, sliding it onto the middle finger of his right hand. It had supposedly been forged of the finest silver in all of Europe, and had the head of a vulture on it whose eye had been replaced by a large, blood red ruby. He hated the thing, but he had been forced to wear it for so long that putting it on had just become a habit. His sister had one too, only on a pendant; their father had said that the rings were meant to remind them of who their true family was, but lately, Declan had felt more like an estranged second cousin who had wronged them one too many times.

He didn’t have much else to do in order to stall for time, as all of his things had already been packed for him and were probably already waiting in the car as usual, so Declan took a deep breath and headed out of his room to face probably the most unpleasant people in the universe – the Parkinsons.

Honestly, he was sure they’re worse than his own family, and that was saying a lot. They thought that they were better than they really were, spent their money on needless things, and talked nastily about people they were just being nice with behind their backs. But Declan guessed that that was just life for pureblood elitists.

It’s a bitch eat bitch world, as his sister Anysia would claim, and for once he would agree.

But when he was just about to walk into the kitchen, he heard laughter. And not just any laughter, but real, cheerful laughter, like on Christmas morning in some other, normal, not-pureblood-elitist home.

Declan entered with caution, unsure about whether or not he was in the right house, or if he had stepped into some alternate universe when he’d stepped off the grand staircase in the foyer. “Oh, there he is!” crowed Daphne, who seemed to have abandoned the icy demeanor she’d had on earlier for something slightly more pleasant.

She was standing on one side of the island in the middle of the room with a slender girl in a halter dress with white trim along the neckline and her dark hair tumbling over one shoulder next to her, and his sister on the opposite side. Anysia had the same sloping nose, almond shaped eyes, and curly brown hair as her twin brother, though she preferred her hair to be straight if she could help it, and her eyes were honey colored while his were slate grey. Her skin was slightly tanned, which popped against the pastel pink cardigan she wore. They all had seemed to be pouring over something on the counter – a magazine, maybe – before he walked in.

Aside from Daphne, the first person to look round was Vivienne Parkinson, the only child of Pansy and Marcus. She was a notoriously frigid bitch when she wanted to be, and had always fancied Declan a bit too much to be healthy, but today, she looked… normal. Or at least as normal as any pureblood elitist teenager could look in their expensive clothing and eccentric state of mind.

To make a long story short, Vivienne smiled. “Dex,” she purred, sauntering across the kitchen with perfect balance in her three inch wedge heels to pull Declan in a one-sided hug, “I’ve been dying to see you.”

“Er… could you…” he asked awkwardly, gesturing to her arms around him.

“Oh, right,” Vivienne said as if a light had just gone on in her head, pulling away from him. “I forgot you don’t like the whole hugging thing,” she rolled her eyes, chuckling as she ran her fingertip across the collar of his button down, “although you didn’t seem to have a problem with PDA at my parents’ summer house in Vienna for the last few months…” Vivienne trailed off, biting her lip suggestively, and for once, it didn’t seem creepy to Declan for the first time in… well, ever.

But he still didn’t understand what the hell was going on.

His mother snapped the folder she’d been looking at shut then, approaching them. “Well, we should probably get moving,” said Daphne, smoothing a hand across her hair, checking for kinks, “the train will be leaving soon and I certainly wouldn’t want you to miss it.” She smiled, walking past them and across the foyer to the front door.

“I’ll see you in the car,” Vivienne winked, tapping his nose with her fingertip before sauntering after his mother.

As Anysia began to follow suit, Declan grabbed her by the upper arm and pulled her off to the side for a moment. “What the hell is going on here?” he demanded in a whisper. Anysia just furrowed her brows, and then rolled her eyes at him.

“What are you on about, Dex?” she hissed back. “Did you get a brain transplant while you were away in Vienna with your dearly beloved?”

“Wait… I’m not –” he looked over his shoulder, his eyes falling on Vivienne as she was climbing into the back of a black Sedan parked by the curb of their circular driveway.

Anysia chuckled. “No,” she replied, “not yet.”

Yet?” Declan repeated sharply, his eyes wide in horror. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“God, Dex, do you ever listen when dad talks?” countered Anysia with a heavy sigh, rolling her eyes toward the ceiling. “You and Viv are going to get married next year, once you two have finished your final year of schooling, and then you’re expected to provide the family with one healthy heir to the family name, blah, blah, blah.”

“Says who?” he said.

Dad, you imbecile!” Anysia shot back heatedly, irritated with him now. She pulled her arm out of his grasp as their mother called for them from the car. “I’m starting to get the feeling that I might need to go back to Vienna and find my real brother, because you’re freaking me out too much to be him.”

“Annie, wait –” Declan tried to say, but she was already stalking off across the foyer and out the front door, leaving him standing alone in the middle of the room.

He exhaled deeply, running his fingers through his curly brown hair. He just didn’t understand it. All of a sudden Vivienne was acting normal – not creepy, not like a stalker lurking around every corner, and respecting his boundaries – and he was expected to marry her in the near future, his sister was civil with Vivienne and called her ‘Viv’, and no one was icing him out for the whole Lucy Weasley fiasco anymore. No one had even mentioned it.

Sure, it had been his father’s plan, ultimately, but no one in his family had had a problem with it. In fact, they all had seemed to be backing him up on it, and at first, Declan had been too. Family always came first, right? Well, that was until he’d started falling for the supposed enemy. Until he had grown a conscience and tried to give Lucy a heads up before things went any further and his father asked him to do something he regretted, but the damage had been done. The news of their relationship was all over the tabloids, and it had infuriated Percy Weasley, just as Declan’s father had wanted. But the moment that they found out that Declan had tried to stop it all, his parents had given him the cold shoulder and his sister had played along, but only when they were in the same room. When they weren’t, she had kept him company.

And now, suddenly, no one hated him?

It felt as though everything had changed drastically overnight, and none of it made any sense at all.










That same morning, Molly Weasley came bounding down the stairs of her family’s quaint little house in Devon, a few blocks away from the Burrow and the Scamander residence. Her pin-straight red hair was in a long plait down the middle of her back, and she wore a white t-shirt underneath a pair of cut off denim overalls rolled up to about mid-thigh. She was tucking an ancient looking copy of Magical Me by Gilderoy Lockhart in her bag as she walked into the kitchen.

When she looked up, she froze about halfway through tucking a lock of hair behind her freckled ear, finding a dark haired woman she’d never seen before in nothing but her socks and a blue pinstriped oxford shirt she had seen before – it belonged to her father. Her eyes went from the woman pouring herself a cup of tea to her father, who was seated at the table with a copy of the Daily Prophet in front of his face.

Molly wrapped her hands round the strap of her bag slung across her chest as she took a measured step into the kitchen. “Who’s this?” she asked, raising her voice an octave, making the woman jump.

Percy quickly lowered his newspaper and straightened up in his chair, as if he’d just been caught doing something illicit. Well, he might as well have been.

“Molly,” he said, a smile blooming on his lips suddenly, “Uh… this is… well, this is Audrey,” said Percy, his brows pulling together in thought. “You’ve met Audrey before.” He seemed sure of this. Molly, however, was quite sure that she had never met the woman before in her life. As Audrey waved, she seemed to get the hint that Molly was none too fond of having a new woman in the house, especially so soon after her parents’ falling out. Something glinted on her left hand as she picked up the floral printed mug she’d just dropped a tea bag into – an engagement ring, complete with a nice diamond.

This morning just got one hell of a lot worse.

Audrey glanced from Percy to Molly and back, tapping the rim of her mug nervously before making a decision. “I’ll go get dressed,” she said in a small voice to no one in particular, before squeezing past Molly and disappearing down the corridor and up the stairs.

She smelled strongly of vanilla and lavendar.

“You’re marrying her?” Molly hissed, advancing on her father and bracing herself on the back of the chair across the table from him.

He rubbed his forehead with a heavy exhale and shook his head. “Molly, we’ve already discussed this.”

“When? And who? You and her? You and I? The three of us?” Molly demanded. “Cos I don’t remember agreeing to you marrying someone else so soon. What about mom –”

“Your mother left me, Molly,” Percy reminded her firmly. “There’s nothing I can do about that now, except move on.” He stood up, folding up his newspaper and tucking it under his arm as he pushed his glasses up on the bridge of his nose. “Now have you got everything you need? We should start to –”

“Wait, we can’t leave without Lucy,” Molly told him pointedly, her eyebrows raising. “Have you seen her?”

Percy’s eyebrows furrowed, looking slightly bemused. “What are you talking about, Molly?”

“Um… Lucy, my sister?” she explained, though not knowing why she had to. “She’s about this” – she held her hand up to her shoulder – “tall, with reddish brown hair and fair skin, and she loves eating peanut butter sandwiches except around me because every time she does I tell her that when she talks with peanut butter on the roof of her mouth she reminds me of –”

Molly,” Percy said firmly, putting his hands on his daughter’s shoulders and looking her in the eyes seriously, “I don’t know why you’re so convinced that you have a sister, but you don’t. I know you’ve always wanted one, and I’m sorry I haven’t given you one, but you’re seventeen, Molly. You’ve got to learn to control your rampant imagination already, because this Lucy character you’re so fond of?” he said, “she doesn’t exist.”









AN Hello again :) There was Chapter Two. I hope it was alright, and hope it didn't confuse you too much. In fact, it wasn't meant to confuse you at all - it was supposed to be mysterious and make you wonder :P Ahaha. Well. What did you lot think of it? And where oh where is Lucy? Thank you for reading, and all questions, comments, and concerns are welcome and appreciated as always.

Best,
Nadhira


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