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In My Time by LilyLou

Format: Novel
Chapters: 3
Word Count: 7,357
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong language, Strong violence, Scenes of a sexual nature, Slash (same-sex pairing), Substance use or abuse, Sensitive topic/issue/theme, Spoilers

Genres: Horror/Dark, Mystery, Romance
Characters: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Voldemort, Bathilda, OC, OtherCanon
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 09/05/2013
Last Chapter: 01/18/2014
Last Updated: 01/18/2014

Summary:
banner by LadyDi @ TDA! | Beta'd by Lululuna




Walburga has a fatal flaw: she is far too compassionate for the coward she is. With a dangerous secret, an icy gaze, and a fate left for her to decide, will her heart of gold lead her down a path she never wished upon herself, where everything will go numb?

You already know the answer to that.


Chapter 1: i.
  [Printer Friendly Version of This Chapter]

A/N: This was inspired by Lululuna's 'The Unexpected Voice Challenge'!  Please, read and review!  This is a very original story, in my opinion, and it'd be appreciated if you could give me an idea of how you all felt about it!  Thanks!

-Janelle

 







 This perferct CI is by the amazing Elenia @ TDA!






The house is creaking in its sleep.  Not a soul is awake at this ungodly hour of 2 a.m., unless one counted Kreacher.  Though, no one ever did.

Not a soul but I, Walburga Black, is awake.

Across the room, I Alphard is mumbling in his sleep.  He often speaks in his sleep; he is a restless boy.  Full of passion and feeling; filled with love and stubbornness.  He is uncharacteristically loyal as well; I can’t remember a time when that boy had left me on my own.  It’s as if he was the older one, not me.  He can handle himself on his own and can navigate through life without having to hold someone’s hand. 

I envy the boy at times.                                                  

Pulling back the curtains of my window, my blond hair falls into my big grey eyes as I take in the winter sky.  This night of December 24, 1941 is as dead as the last day of earth itself; not a soul crosses the street, not a single person sings cheerful carols within the church.

And even little baby Cygnus knows why.

The war is coming to an end- we can all feel it.  The question was, will it end in devastation, or triumph?

No one dares to answer that question.

And even though the Muggles started the war, needless to say it affected the wizards far more than the first time.

The light of the full moon pours through the glass of the window, illuminating the book I have resting quietly against the cushion of the window seat.  Curling into the crook between the window and cushion, I open the book and read my restless mind to sleep.

Perhaps if I fall asleep, I won’t have to wake up to my nightmare of a life.








I wake that morning to a loud crack that is unmistakably Kreacher, popping in to rouse us.  No doubt mother has already been howling at the house elf for not having us awake any sooner.

This is how it happens every Christmas morning.  Kreacher allows us to sleep in, and then pops in after enduring mother’s wrath with a plate full Christmas treats for Alphard and I.

Though, we keep that last part a secret from Mother.  No doubt she’d give Kreacher a good beating for it.

“Mistress Miss Walburga!  Please do wake.  Kreacher needs to be off now to care for Master Cygnus,” comes Kreacher’s low, scratchy voice as I sit up from my spot at the window seat. His uncharacteristically joyous words leave a rare smile on my face.

It was a something that didn’t happen often.

“Thank you, Kreacher.  Happy Christmas,” I nod to the elf.

“And to you, Miss Walburga.”

And with a crack, he is gone, a plate of biscuits and two glasses of milk left in his place.

Looking up from where Kreacher had disappeared, I catch Alphard’s gaze.  He gives me a small, sad smile before taking a glass of milk and some cookies.

“You’d best be getting dressed now, Walburga.  Mother will have a cow if you’re not ready to leave soon.  We’re off to a party this evening.”  There is a pause. “Happy Christmas.”

“And to you, my brother.”

Sighing, I wish to never leave the attic again.  I loathe the annual parties, especially at Malfoy Manor.  I despise the people who walk those halls.  Mother would be disappointed if she knew.

We aren’t good enough for Mother, you see.  We aren’t pureblood enough.  Our blood is thick with magic, but our minds pay little attention to that.  Sure, we never dare to associate with Muggles, or anyone with tainted blood for that matter.  Not a single one of them deserve to own a wand, to produce magic, with Muggle blood in their veins.  But we don’t spit at them.  We don’t burn everything they touched.

Alphard used to act much like Mother. As a young child, he would scowl at Muggles.  He would spit at their shoes and laugh at their pain.  Mother was proud; he was her pride and joy.

But as he aged, he realized how horrid his actions were.  He no longer treated them with disrespect.  Sure, he doesn’t never speaks to Muggles; that would bring shame to the name of Black.  But he doesn’t treat them as if they are the ground he walks on- how we are expected to treat them.

And that frightens me.








If one were to visit a Muggle home, they would all be huddled around their pine tree decorated in ornaments, glowing.  There would be children gathered around the tree, smiling as they anxiously shook the parcels that contained their presents.  The mother would be smiling fondly down at her children, taking in the moment, before allowing them to tear at their wrappings until they retrieved their gift.

Here, it is simply a day to go to parties, where we will boast and brag about our purity.

The parties consist of the same things, every time: pureblood families, dressed in tight-laced dresses and fashionable robes; champagne, to demonstrate the riches of the ancient pureblood families; young men come of age since the last holiday season, flashing their expensive watches; engagement rings blinding those around them with the bright reflections off the giant diamonds; and, of course, the introductions of young women and eligible bachelors.

Every party, there is some older man who confronts me with his son.  I have already been spoken for by my ghastly second cousin, Orion.  It isn’t my choice, of course, but nevertheless, one never says no to mother.  There are points in my life in which I wished that I had the choice of any of the young pureblood men, but no; the Black blood must be kept within a select few families.  And the only young man of an appropriate age in those few families is my kinsman, Orion Black.

Orion Black is a ghastly man, to say the least.  His cool demeanor and lack of a personality is quite revolting, really; he never seemed to speak, only when he was spoken to.  He keeps his mouth shut and his nose out of others’ business, just as any good man should.  He wouldn’t want to rub off as a nosy boy who was too immature to interact with superiors.  Though there is something off about him; the way his eyes dart around the room anxiously, or how he stiffens at the mention of household business, as though he had a secret to hide.  As if something horrible happened to him.

But, in the pureblood society, it is rare that anyone does care to find out.










Laced up in my tight lavender dress that I had been fitted for over the holidays by Anastasia, our maid, I stand on the front steps of the Malfoy Manor.  My dirty blond hair is tied up in a fancy bun, ringlets hanging loosely, framing my heart shaped face.  A deep, plum-coloured jewel hangs from a chain around my neck, resting in the hollow of my throat.  White gloves cover my hands and forearms, rings holding the fingers in tight.

How purebloods dressed is much like the Muggles’ late Victorian.  It is rather odd, that we were are so far behind the Muggles, but alas, here we stand in 1941, dressed as if we were visiting from London in 1873.

Flanked with Alphard to my left and Mother on my right (she had handed me Cygnus with a look of disgust) I watch with dread as father’s cool hand grips the metal knocker on the Manor door, and bangs it against the cool dark oak of the door twice.

With a groan, the large door swings open, revealing the eldest of the two Malfoy boys, Abraxas.  He holds himself with an air of arrogance, just as every Malfoy does; they know quite well of their wealth and superiority among purebloods, as well as any wizard or witch who dared cross their paths.

Abraxas is a quiet young man.  He keeps to himself often, but there is still that slight way about him that leaves me unnerved.  Extremely handsome, the tall boy stands with his back straight, chin held high, and a pale blond, nearly white, head of hair that has been slicked back with an attractive ease.

A smile, one that causes me to cringe, curls his thin lips, though his pale blue eyes were still emotionless, as they train themselves on me.  “Mr. and Mrs. Pollux Black, welcome.”

Light on his feet, he shifts out of the doorway so he holds the door open for the five of us, his manners not passing escaping Mother’s notice.  She curtsies on her way through, shooting me a look.

As I walk past Abraxas, I give him a tight smile (And an eye roll; mother would be ashamed) before curtsying as best I can with a whining Cygnus on my hip. The child yanks at the loose ringlets that framed my face, crying out for food.

Walking out of earshot of Abraxas and down the narrow hall, which I know leads to the ballroom, I smack lightly at Cygnus’ chubby little fingers.  “Now, now, Cyggy.  Food will be in just a moment.”

Curtsying to the men, whom I do not recognize, then passing the servants who held the doors to the ballroom open, I find myself enveloped in hot breath, sweaty hands grabbing for mine, chapped lips brushing across my knuckles, and questions on my betrothed, all while clutching tightly to Cyggy, who whines as he sits on my waist.

It is just as I expected it to be.  A day that had no gifts, no tinsel or tree, no smiles or family hugs.  There is only Alphard and I, trapped within a world and life we have no interest in.  All we want is a real family that cares, not prejudiced parents and relatives who don’t even know our names.  Our lives are hell.

It is enough to make me want to hang myself.








 

A/N: Yes?  No?  I've read up on all of these characters as best as I could.  I find this to be a challenge I'm up for!  Walburga Black has always fascinated me, so I thought, "Why not?"  A time without any existence or knowledge of "Lord Voldemort" is something different.  (Note that I put quotations around Lord Voldemort ;D) So here we are! And please, lets give a big thanks to Lululuna, who beta'd this story! Please, review!






 

-Janelle


Chapter 2: ii.
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A/N: Here's the second chapter, beta'd by the brilliant Lululuna!  Please, review!  I want to know what everyone thinks!  Your opinions matter a great deal to me, so it would be wonderful of you to share your thoughts.


 

Thanks!


 

-Janelle


 




 

Hogwarts is a place that I, like many others, consider home.  Yes, I have a roof over my head and a family that feeds me, but I do not feel comfortable at home.  I do not feel as if I belong. 


 

Which is why during any break, the only thing I feel is the longing to return to school, for it is the only place I have a true family, though it is rather broken and small.  It is still my family.


 

When the Christmas Holiday finally found finds its end, I am more than happy to leave Grimmauld Place.  The morning that students were to catch the train, Alphard and I head out early, in hopes of being the first to board the train.


 

These hopes lead to me standing here on the empty platform.  We have beaten the train to the station, so Alphard and I are currently standing quietly together, our trunks shrunken down in our pockets.


 

It is ten o’clock on the spot; exactly one hour before the train is to depart.  Of course, no one with magical capabilities would arrive this early if they were in their right mind.  However, Alphard and I are not, in fact, in our right minds.  We are desperate, you see.


 

We are desperate to escape.


 

We do not exaggerate in believing this, either.  Staying with mother is torture.  Living up to her expectations is simply impossible.  No matter how tall we stand, how quiet we are, or how much we smile, it never seems to be correct.


 

It is suffocating, living with my family.  I feel as though everyone is judging me.  There is never a moment where I feel comfortable around anyone in my family, other than Cygnus.  Even Alphard makes me feel as though he is judging me.


 

Of course, he is judging me.  Judging the decisions I make and the actions I take. But I do not care about that. He is my brother, so I accept his judgement, for it is meant to build my strength and superiority, not to put me down. 


 

Slowly, as we stand side by side, shoulders brushing slightly, fellow witches and wizards begin to filter in, waiting for the scarlet locomotive to make its scheduled appearance.  Purebloods are the first to enter, as per usual.  Never is a pureblood family to arrive late.  They are punctual people, purebloods.  They are the example of Wizarding Kind, according to them.


 

We need to represent.


 

Thinking this, I feel Alphard tug on my hand, pulling me back to the present.  I finally notice that the train has already pulled in. 


 

“Ready to go home?” my younger brother asks, smiling down at me, his grey eyes, so much like mine, lit up like a small child on Christmas morning. 


 

I smile back. “Absolutely.”


 



 

 

 

Leaving Alphard with his friends and finding my usual compartment, I levitate my trunk up to the luggage rack before making myself comfortable in the corner with one of my treasured books, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’  I managed to steal this copy from a vacant table in the Hogwarts library one time, and left before I could discover whose copy it was.  The front cover is blank, disguising it from the outside world.


 

In other words, I could read it and lie about what it was without anyone realizing.


 

For if mother discovered I was reading a novel written by a Muggle, I would cease to exist.


 

Curling up with my legs crossed on the seat with me, I lean my head against the window, blonde curls wild as always. I rest the book in my lap and read, waiting for the compartment to fill up with my friends.  In the book, Mr. Collins has proposed to Elizabeth.  Unfortunately for me, I am just about to discover Elizabeth’s answer when Elladora slides open the door. Elladora Greene is a good friend of mine.  She has been one of the few people to accept my ‘cynical’ personality.  I do not actually have a cynical personality, but many people happen to believe that. Elladora has silky blonde hair and piercing green eyes.  She is very tall, standing at a staggering 5’10”. She is extremely witty and very intelligent; she had to argue with the sorting hat to place her into Slytherin with me.  According to her, the only reason she is in Slytherin now is because of how determined she was as an eleven-year old.


 

“Walburga!” she squeals, dropping her trunk with a loud thud and running over to me.  I have just enough time to set my book to the side and stand before she has her rather strong arms around me.  I laugh, so happy to be home, hugging her back.


 

“Elladora!  How are you?” I ask, pulling away and holding her an arms-length away by her shoulders.


 

She rolls her bright green eyes.  “I’m perfectly alright, Mother.”


 

Elladora, as well as many of my other friends, often refers to me as Mother.  They insist I have a strong motherly nature, and that I am always worrying in some way.


 

It is true.  I worry about all of them.


 

I worry about everyone I care about, in fact: Cygnus, Alphard, Elladora, Beaux, and Winston.  While most of them do not have a reason for me to worry about them, I still find the time in the day to do so.


 

At the mention of Beaux and Winston, the pair of boys strolls into the room, side by side, as always.  They are never caught separated unless necessary.  At meals, in the common room, or down by the lake, they are always together.


 

Beaux Phillis is a dashing young man.  With his black that sweeps across his forehead, he can easily catch the attention of any young woman.  His dark skin makes his pale blue eyes shimmer.  He is rather tall, but on the lanky side, and is a pureblood.  Unfortunately, due to family business, Beaux was unable to attend the Christmas ball, leaving me to fend for myself.


 

Mother is proud.


 

Winston McGowan, however, is quite the opposite of Beaux.  He is not all that dashing, but that does not deduct from my fondness toward him.  His personality is bright and optimistic, which is uncommon in the house of Slytherin.  He has hazel eyes that are round and wide and a smile that lights up the room, as the Muggles would say.  His long pointed nose is stuck in a book, more often than not in a book, and his intelligence is extraordinary.  His blonde hair is a simple buzz cut, and shows off his angular face.  He is a halfblood, much to mother’s distaste.


 

The two young men make up the remainder of the people I love in this world.


 

I beam as they entered the compartment and Beaux shut the door behind him.  Elladora does as well, and the pair of us tackles the boys, enveloping them tightly and laughing all the while.  These four people, other than my brothers, are the reason I am still alive, still here on this earth.  If they were not a part of my life, I do not know what I would do with myself.


 

They are my everything.


 



 

 

 

The four of us sit and talk for the remainder of the train ride.  As usual, I stay quiet, sitting in the corner with one of my novels in my hands.  Winston takes the seat next to me, and often times leans to read over my shoulder.  Every time he does this, I snap the book shut and glare at him menacingly.


 

Elladora has the tendency to talk one’s ears off, so that is exactly what she does to Beaux and Winston.  I, however, have mastered the art of blocking her out after sharing a dormitory with her for five years now.  I simply read my book and ignore the world, wishing I could just sit there forever, reading every book ever written.


 

Eventually, we reach our destination.  Quickly changing into our robes and leaving our luggage on the train, knowing it will find its way down to our dormitories, we find ourselves a carriage.


 

A pair of Thestrals is currently pulling our carriage, which is the last one in the line of carriages that led to the castle. Hogwarts glows in the nighttime sky, looking powerful and invincible.  It is extremely intimidating, Hogwarts, for it has held the most powerful of people within its walls as well as dangerous creatures that lurk about, particularly in the dungeons and on the third floor, as well as on the grounds and just beyond them, within the Forbidden Forest.  Howling, snarling, and growling are often heard at night.


 

Despite these intimidations, the castle allows the warmth of safety to wrap itself around me.  I feel safe when I am within its walls.  It is impenetrable, and I am quite confident my parents cannot reach me there.  They can make their way into the castle, if they so desire, but can never lay a finger on me.


 

It is something of a safe haven for me.


 

Sitting next to Beaux, I peer out the window past him, watching the woods, and the students and faculty walking in the darkness.  It amazes me that people would want to walk, when it is nighttime, but I do not make an effort to stop them.  If they wish to walk, then I am not one to interfere.


 

“What are you looking at, Walburga?” Beaux questions, an amused glint in his pale eyes.  A smile tugs at the corners of his lips as he watches me carefully.


 

The seriousness of the question does not pass me; I know he actually does want to know, and is somewhat concern.  However, I smile slightly, waving his concerns off easily.  “Just thinking.”


 

Beaux raises an eyebrow into a perfect arch. “About what, may I ask?”


 

I meet his pale eyes with my light grey ones.  Looking into his pale blue eyes remind me of Abraxas Malfoy slightly.  However, Beaux’s hold an amused, innocent interest; Abraxas’ normally hold an amused, dark interest.


 

Quickly brushing the rather random thought to the side, I smirk playfully at Beaux.  “There is a reason I thought, not spoke, Beaux.”


 

Beaux pouts his lower lip and mutters something I did not quite catch before turning to Elladora, who sat in front of him.


 

I look across the carriage to find Winston’s eyes trained on me.  I raise my eyebrows with question, but Winston merely shakes his head slightly before turning to gaze out his window.


 

Interesting.


 

As the carriage halts in front of the castle gates, I stand and gather my robes before stepping out of the compartment, grasping Winston’s hand, who has successfully made it from the carriage before me, to prevent myself from falling. 


 

Walking a bit behind Beaux and Winston, Elladora and I chat animatedly, discussing our summers.  Elladora visited Rome with her aunt and uncle, and spent the entire break there.  She describes it vividly, and for a moment, I can feel the light breezes of Italy and can see everything as she describes it to me.


 

I find myself slightly jealous of her, and wish that mother had allowed me to spend my break with Elladora, like we had originally planned.


 

But, alas, she declined our requests, and while Elladora had the time of her life in Rome, I was forced into attending parties and avoiding the haunting eyes of Abraxas Malfoy, as well as the grimy hands of Orion Black.


 

We reach the Great Hall and take our usual seats at the Slytherin table, which is slowly but surely filling up.  We usually sit with the rest of the fifth year students, which includes three other boys and two other girls. I normally sit between Elladora and Trinity, one of our dormitory mates. 


 

However, just moments after we seat ourselves in our usual places, a group of seventh years takes the seats surrounding us.


 

A young man with carefully crafted, sleek black hair that frames his extremely pale face sits himself next to Elladora. His eyes are black and empty of any human emotion, but he still cordially introduces himself to my best friend, who blushes slightly at his handsome features.


 

Beaux and Winston sitting side-by-side and slightly farther apart than usual, find themselves forced together by two boys who shove themselves onto the bench, taking the seats on either side of my pair of friends.  They are rather big, both tall and fat, and they have brown hair.  However, one is slightly shorter and fatter than the other, and he has a lighter shade of brunette hair.  Other than that, they are unnervingly similar in looks.


 

I feel a cold arm brush mine as someone took the seat beside me.  I can smell the mint on his breath and could feel the iciness of his eyes on me.  I stiffen and slowly look to my right.


 

There sits Abraxas Malfoy, his haunting blue eyes on me and his lips curved in a slight smirk.  He speaks in a slight purr. “Good evening, Miss Black.”


 

The greeting catches the attention of all of my friends, who are forced back into the present situation.  However, I pay their curious glances no mind as I hold Abraxas’ gaze steadily. “And to you, Mr. Malfoy.”


 

“Would you care to introduce me to your friends?” Abraxas questions.  By the look in his eyes, the question is rhetorical.


 

“There is Winston McGowan and Beaux Phillis,” I say, beckoning to each one, “And beside me sits Elladora Greene.”


 

Abraxas nods in acknowledgment toward them in turn, and I quickly realize that he has little to no interest in my mates.  My grey eyes narrow, suspicious.


 

“What is it you want, Abraxas?”


 

Abraxas’ thin blonde eyebrows raise in amusement. “On first name terms, are we?”


 

I scowl, letting his interrogation falter.  He has done nothing but speak engage in meaningless small-talk since he sat down, and it is about time he finds his point in the conversation.


 

He seems to sense my thinning patience, and leans in, speaking in a hushed tone against my ear. “I have just come to inform you that the castle has eyes.”


 

With that, he stands.  His friends shadow him. 


 

Then they are gone, as if they were never there.


 

Seconds later, the remainder of the fifth year Slytherins take their seats around us.  Trinity greets me, and begins a conversation, but Elladora picks it up, knowing I will not respond.


 

For the only thing I can think of are the words Abraxas Malfoy whispered to me.


 

The castle has eyes.


 




 

A/N: So, what'd you guys think?  How do you like Elladora?  Beaux?  Winston?  Abraxas?  Any guesses on who Abraxas' friends are?;D What do you all think Abraxas means by 'The castle has eyes'?


 

Thanks so much!  Please, review! 


Chapter 3: iii.
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A/N: CHAPTER THREE!  WOOHOOOOO!

 




  The morning following the Welcoming Feast, I awake rather early, at the ungodly hour of four.  The stars are still out, winking down at me through the half-closed drapery covering the windows, and the moon is nothing but a slight crest in the ebony-coloured sky, welcoming sleep.  However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to find sleep, so I sit up in bed, pushing the silver and green comforter off me, and wander to my trunk—which is still completely packed— before pulling out the latest novel I am reading.



The novel is a muggle novel, you see, battered and beat from the years I have spent hiding it at the bottom of drawers and trunks.  In a phase of rebellion when I was younger, I stole this novel from a muggleborn boy who is in Gryffindor—this lead into an unbreakable habit—, and read it.  It was Emma by Jane Austen.

I immediately fell in love with the book.

Thirsty for more, I started borrowing muggle books from my potions partner that year, a small halfblood Ravenclaw boy.  The more I read, the more I became addicted.

The year after, which was my third year, I had the privilege to visit Hogsmeade.  During those visits, I would sneak away from Elladora to snag some books off the shelves of the small bookshop, which held everything from books on magical creatures, to muggle books that were turned in from muggleborns in exchange for money. Beaux was the one who caught me, and he promised not to tell.  Eventually, all of my friends discovered this secret, and began searching for muggle books for me to read.

Currently, I am rereading Emma, another work of art by Jane Austen.  I love to reread the books, to ensure I do not miss anything.  There always seems to be a small, fascinating fact that slips past me.

I read these books for the enjoyment of them, but I also read them because they educate me on life outside of this prejudiced cloud I live upon.  I can discover what it is like to be a muggle.  What they wear, how they act, what they do for a living.  It is all so fascinating.

Reading these books feeds the hunger of escaping my life.  If I read books written by witches and wizards, I cannot quite disconnect from my world, because there are still comments on blood status scattered throughout any novel written by a wizard or witch, for it is our way of life.

I have discovered that muggles, too, have their own ways of defining people, though there are no purebloods.  They judge people based on social classes and other factors, such as the colour of their skin. 

At least I now know that no matter where I run there never will be entire equality.  Even in books, there is always someone labeled as lower than somebody else.

With these negative and depressing thoughts circulating in my mind, I fall asleep with the copy of Emma open on the pillow above my head.




That morning, I wake to Elladora and Yvette Gerald, the last of our dormitory mates, chatting at an obnoxious volume.  I moan, rolling over onto my back, and sputter and spit, trying to get the curls of my blonde hair that made their way into my mouth. I open my eyes slowly, blinded by the morning sunlight  which has leaked its way through my green and silver curtains hanging around my four-post bed.

“Good morning, Walburga!” Elladora sings, her normal chipper self.  She is a morning person, much to my distaste.  I much prefer Trinity, who is just as miserable as I am in the mornings.

I moan in response to Elladora’s greeting, which does not seem to fulfill her expectations.  I hear her stomp across the room, and before I have the opportunity to shield my eyes, she pushes the curtains hanging around me open, allowing the previously-shielded sunlight through to me.  I let out a yelp and throw my arm over my eyes, but Elladora grabs my arm and tugs me out of my bed.

I sigh in defeat, meander over to my trunk and quickly slip on my uniform.  At the sound of Trinity exiting the bathroom, I quickly run over to it before any of the other girls claim it, and shut the door behind me.

Looking into the mirror, I study my curls before deciding to straighten out my hair.  I am in no mood to mess with my natural hair whatsoever.  Pulling out my wand, I mutter the charm that straightens hair, and my blonde hair immediately transforms into pin-straight stands that fall down to just above the small of my back.  I leave my face with no makeup of any kind and brush my teeth.

“Would you hurry up already?” Yvette moans from outside the door.

I roll my big grey eyes.  I absolutely loathe Yvette Gerald.  Obnoxious and spoiled, Yvette cries more than Cygnus.  She has simple blue eyes and wavy, light brown hair.  She is by no means beautiful, but she is not ugly either.  Her nose is a perfect shape and size, and her features are soft, although her chin is a cleft chin.  Her cheeks are slightly chubby, although she is rather petite and short.

Before Yvette whines any more, I stalk out of the bathroom.  If I had stayed in there any longer, I would have ended up jinxing Yvette.

No one jinxes Yvette.

Grabbing my bag, which I packed the previous evening with all of my textbooks, and I stuff Emma into the bag as well and follow Elladora up the stairs which lead into the Common Room.

The Common Room is not very full this early in the morning; after all, it is a full two hours before classes begin.  However, we fifth year girls are notorious for waking early.  There is a pair of sixth year prefects sitting by the fire to prevent loitering near the staircases this early in the morning, but other than those two, it is just Elladora and I.

We exit the Common Room and make our way up to the Great Hall.  When we arrive, I sit down in my seat, Elladora beside me as usual, and reach for a slice of toast.  Buttering it, I am just about to take a bit when a voice interrupts me.

“Miss Black!  Miss Greene!” a jovial voice echoes through the Hall.  Thankfully, it is virtually empty, only a group of Hufflepuffs accompanying us at this early hour.

I turn toward the voice to discover Professor Slughorn waddling his way over to us, smiling widely.  He is rather young; however, he walks as though he is at the ripe age of fifty, waddling about whilst holding his jiggling belly, his thinning hair sitting atop his head.  He stops just in front of us and speaks again. “How are my two favorite students?”

Most people know that Elladora and I are not, by any means, his favorites; however, we are elite members of the Slug Club.

Well, that is what Professor Slughorn refers to us as.  I would not go as far as considering us elite; the most we do at his parties is eat and drink.

“Quite well, sir!” Elladora exclaims, putting on her fake smile, which convinces just about everyone but the boys and I. “And you?”

“Very well, indeed!” he shouts loudly, causing me to cringe slightly.  “Miss Black, how are those lovely parents of yours?”

It takes everything in me—and I mean every fiber in my being—to not scoff at the adjective he used to describe my parents.  Quickly composing myself, I respond as jovially as I can muster, “They’re doing phenomenally, sir.  Thank you for asking!”

Slughorn laughs, holding his belly.  “Always one to charm, Miss Walburga.” He pauses. “Now, here are your timetables.  I am very pleased to notice you both enrolled in double Potions! I will see you there!”

We say our goodbyes and he waddles away, toward his next victims, a trio of second years a ways down the table, who had just sat down a ways down the table.

Elladora groans, rubbing her temples.  “That man is too much; far too much.”

I nod slowly in agreement, studying him as he laughs with the frightened second years, and respond to Elladora, “It amazes me that man was a Slytherin.”

“Who?” Beaux’s voice cuts through the conversation.  We look up to see him and Winston sitting across from us.  Again, I cannot help but notice the space between the two which Winston puts there as he moves away from Beaux. His friend notices, as well, but chooses to push it aside and instead focus on me, waiting for the response to his question.

“Slughorn.”

“Ah!” Beaux responds with recognition, piling a variety of breakfast foods on the plate in front of him.  “I completely agree; far too joyful and naïve to be a Slytherin.”

This comment catches Elladora’s attention.  She looks up from her timetable and cocks her head slightly, her green eyes focusing in on Beaux’s pale ones.  “Do you truly believe he is naïve?”

“Do you?”

She shakes her head. “I believe it is a façade.  For if he acts that way, there isn’t much intimidation, yes?  That way his enemies do not fear him.”

“The element of surprise,” Winston says, speaking for the first time that morning.  We all nod in agreement.

I look at Winston and notice his plate is empty.  “Why are you not eating?”

“Why aren’t you?” he shoots back.

I roll my eyes.  “Please.  I already had a slice of toast and that blueberry muffin looks incredibly tempting.  I am eating.”

Beaux turns toward Winston slightly.  “You need to eat, mate.”

Winston pointedly ignores Beaux’s comment and reaches across the table, snatching my timetable from my hands in an attempt to change the subject.  “Double Potions?  Are you mad?”

I decide to drop the eating subject for now, and respond, “I enjoy Potions class, thank you very much!”

Winston scowls playfully.  “That is the most horrendous subject.  You should have doubled up on DADA like Beaux and I.”

I stick my nose up in the air slightly, and speak in a high-pitched, nauseating voice, “DADA is not a class for women.”

The four of us laugh.  I am impersonating my mother, you see.  Last summer, she had said that exact thing to all four of us.  However, the boys stop quickly and their eyes both focus on something behind me.

Cringing, and knowing who it will be, I address the newcomer without turning around.  “Good morning, Alphard.”

While Alphard often agrees with my distaste for mother and her beliefs, it is rare that he encourages my negativity and public displays of my attitude toward her.  He is right when he says that it is careless and that someone may overhear me, but he is wrong when he says that I should not express it to my friends.

Who else is going to listen?

“Not quite, sister.”

I roll my eyes at Beaux.  Sticking my tongue out slightly and screwing up my face in a mocking manner at Beaux, I turn to face Alphard, who stood over me, his arms crossed over his chest.  “What’s the matter, Alphard?”

I say this sentence with a bit of indifference, along with a slight tone of sarcasm, and I see the hurt flash across his face.  He tries to deflect it, to hide it; but it does not work.  I notice, and I sigh, rubbing my temples.  I often times forget that he is my younger brother, and that he looks up to me.  It is so common that it is I looking up to him, rather than the other way around.

“You can tell me, Alph,” I say with sincerity, looking up into his grey eyes that resemble my own. 

He shakes his head.  “Not now.  I just came to inform you of a group of fifth year Gryffindors who have been raiding the corridors with water balloons.  Their latest prey, sources report, are their fellow fifth years—particularly Slytherins.”

Winston chuckles, “Who is your source, may I ask?”

Alphard’s friends are notorious for hiring second and first year Slytherins to keep up on any information they may need.  They pay them, of course, and I suppose that eases their guilt.

“Blake Zabini, first year,” Alphard informs us.  We nod, not sure who Blake is, but recognizing the surname, nevertheless.

I glance over to see Winston and Beaux sharing a quick glance at each other that I cannot decipher, and am just about to ask what the look was for before my brother cut through my thoughts, his deep voice loud and attention grabbing.  “I have to go; Hayden seems to be looking for me.”

Alphard begins to turn slightly away from me, but he then turns back around and leans down to whisper into my ear. “Eleven o’clock.”

Before I can even comprehend what his lips form, he disappears into the steadily growing crowd of Hogwarts students.

The first thing that I assume is that he is speaking of the time of day.  However, I quickly realize that Alphard is much more mysterious than that.  It is a riddle of some sort; he is not speaking the physical eleven o’clock.

He is speaking of the direction.

I turn my head slightly toward the direction of eleven oclock, careful not to catch the attention of anyone.

There sits Abraxas Malfoy, his pale blue eyes, almost colourless, trained on me with a severe intensity.

I whip back toward Winston again, allowing my back to face Abraxas, and place my head in my hands.  What does he want from me?  Why would Abraxas Malfoy, a young man so high in class, be watching my every move?

It is unnervingly satisfying.

Unnerving due to the fact that, as I said before, there is an intensity in his gaze, which provokes the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck to stand up.

Satisfying because he is, after all, one of the purest and intelligent bachelors within the circle of purebloods I have been brought up from.  To earn his attention, which so many young women vie for, is satisfying to me, for it leaves me with a bashful feeling.  A proud aura.

“Walburga!”

My eyes snap open, dilating, and I look over at Elladora, who had shouted my name.  “Yes?”

There is a silent pause, then Winston creases his eyebrows and looks at me with a concerned expression colouring his features.  “We’ve been trying to get your attention for the past two minutes, Walburga.”

I open my mouth to respond, but I stop and mirror Winston: my eyebrows crease together and I wear a confused expression. “Really?  I’m sorry; I was lost in my own thoughts.”

Beaux laughs quietly, and mumbles something that sounds a lot like ‘No shit’, but I choose to ignore it and pick at the remainder of my breakfast, pondering the reasons for which Abraxas Malfoy would be watching me.

So caught up in Abraxas’ pale blue irises, I fail to notice the pair of dark blue ones on me as well.




Arriving to Defense Against the Dark Arts, my first class of the day, I sit myself next to Yvette, so I am between her and the aisle.  My friends all took up Divination again, while I did not, so I was inevitably separated from them and forced into a class with no friends. Due to the three of them taking up double DADA, they have a different class time. 

Yvette, however, was more than happy to sit beside me.  She claimed that she did not want to end up next to some filthy Gryffindor, therefore she allowed me to grace her with my presence.

She is quite a handful, Yvette Gerald.

As I have established, we take DADA with the Gryffindors this year, which is extremely dissatisfying to many, if not all.  The Gryffindors reciprocate the feelings that we Slytherins have toward them, so they too are quite unhappy with the arrangement.  Dumbledore insisted, though.

Pulling my supplies from my bag and placing them on the tabletop in front of me, I dip my quill in my ink and begin to doodle.  By no means am I an artist, but doodling keeps me preoccupied, and it is also an extremely successful way to distract myself from the world around me.

Naturally, of course, something as simple as getting lost in your own thoughts is quite impossible when one is sharing class time with rowdy Gryffindors.

Yvette taps me on my shoulder and leans in, her brown waves falling over the shoulder she tapped me on. “There they are—those boys Alphard was warning everyone about.”

I follow her light blue eyes and find myself marveling at the group of five young men.  They saunter into the rooms; heads held high with something I am unfamiliar with—courage.  Their noses are not stuck in the air with snootiness, nor with superiority.  Their noses are not, in fact, even in the air.  Their chins are held high with courage, for they are not conceited—well, perhaps a bit—, but brave.  They are unafraid of being laughed at, or called names.  It is often they get in trouble, or do something insane, but they do not worry about failing.  I find that courageous about them.  They aren’t afraid to fail.

“They hit me with water balloons earlier this morning,” Yvette explains, her voice slathered with disgust.  “Baboons.”

I agree with her, of course.  They were baboons.  However, I do not disregard their lack of fear.  For I sometimes wish I had that kind of courage. 

It would be amazing to feel invincible, rather than acting like it.




A/N: What do you think?  Ooh, what's Abraxas up to?  Who are the Gryffindors?  What do you think about the pair of dark blue eyes?  Any new guesses about anything?  LET ME KNOW, PLEASE!  I love hearing feedback from you guys!  Everything means so much!  Thanks!  -Janelle


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