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Chapter One

September 1st 1932


The Prefects’ Lounge was stifling hot. The sunbeams warmed the compartment, and with the heat from the ten persons sitting inside, the temperature did nothing but rise.

Cedrella had been made Prefect, and her parents had never before been more proud of her. Callidora hadn’t been made one – to her parents’ dismay – so she was the first one in her family, which they liked to remind her of.

To Cedrella, on the other hand, it meant nothing but extra hard work.

She was actually lost in thought, looking out the window, as the landscapes just passed her by. The Head Girl was talking incessantly, and nothing of it made any sense to her.

But she was suddenly aware of how everyone rose and began to exit the compartment. She followed as though she knew what was going on, indifferently and with a hint of superiority in her manner, when she in fact was bewildered at what was happening.

Abraxas Malfoy, her fellow Slytherin with white-blonde hair and penetrating grey eyes, turned towards her and flashed a handsome smile. She forced herself to return it.

“We’ve got the first rounds,” he said, and Cedrella, who would have loved to return to her compartment and sleep, sighed. Sleep was what she really needed.

She didn’t know what she had against Abraxas; he was handsome, she couldn’t deny. Perhaps it was his proud and superior manner she had something against; he was just like every other Slytherin boy. He was nothing like what she wished for.

“Alright,” she said uninterestedly, and they began their stroll.

Abraxas engaged her in a conversation while looking for misbehaving students. Cedrella managed to seem enthusiastic about their political conversations, but the truth was she couldn’t remember a time she’d been more bored.

They passed a compartment just as its door slid open. The succeeding events blurred Cedrella’s vision, making it impossible for her to remember everything in detail, since it all happened so fast.

A boy stepped out of the compartment, only to collide with her and make her fall straight in Abraxas’ arms. After several moments, she managed to stand upright — to Abraxas disappointment — and turned around to face the clumsy boy.

But whatever words that had build vicious sentences in her mind vanished the instant she met his warm hazel eyes, which were glinting. He wore an apologetic grimace and his ears had turned slightly red. She then noticed his vivid red hair, whose colour matched the emblem upon his robes. A Gryffindor.

“I’m sorry,” he said, and she heard the sincerity in his tone. The students within the compartment were chuckling merrily.

Cedrella, who had been absolutely certain that she would teach the boy a lesson for his clumsiness, was unable to utter a word.

Abraxas, who had seemed sure Cedrella would have said something, only got bewildered when he noticed her expression. So he faced the Gryffindor and said menacingly, “You better be.”

He only received an amused look from the boy.

Cedrella found her voice at last and said, “It’s alright. I didn’t hurt myself.”

“Good,” he answered her and smiled.

Abraxas looked reproachful, while Cedrella was dazed. Why, she had no idea.

*


Cedrella hadn’t been able to keep her mind off the red-headed boy, whose named she had learned was Septimus Weasley – a name mentioned often when it came to blood-traitors.

But she didn’t care if he was a blood-traitor or not – it was not significant.

She caught a glimpse of him once in a while, mostly in the Great Hall or in the corridors. She sometimes even found herself smiling at him – pathetic really, she told herself.

He always smiled back though.

*


Autumn turned slowly into winter, bringing with it freezing winds and minor rain storms. Any day now, it would snow.

Cedrella was quite surprised she hadn’t had the opportunity to speak to him, but on one of those grey days, it appeared.

She was at the library that day, finishing off her difficult Transfiguration essay. Their teacher was preparing the fifth years for their O.W.L.s, and every time she thought about it, her stomach clenched. She was determined not to fail her O.W.L.s, not wanting to disappoint her family.

She sighed at the thought.

The library was almost empty, since most of the students were finishing their dinner. It was just the way Cedrella preferred it. Her head couldn’t possibly put up with all those giggling girls or the boys’ arguments about Quidditch.

The Common Room was full of those.

At the sudden sound, which disturbed her silent surroundings, she raised her head, seeing Septimus entering the library.

To her surprise, she coloured and lowered her gaze. She would not let him see her blush.

Her heartbeats were ringing in her ears and her stomach turned itself upside down. Cedrella felt his warm eyes upon her, but she heard him sit down by the table next to hers.

She couldn’t decide if she was relieved he did that, or disappointed.

She tried to rid herself from such confusing thoughts, which were only disturbing her concentration, but the mere fact that he sat in the same room as her made everything blurry.

What’s happening to me? she couldn’t help think. Since colliding with him at the beginning of term, she had been absolutely preoccupied thinking about him. She was so unfamiliar with her feelings, making her feel despaired and afraid.

She heard his regular breathing and she could clearly see him in her mind — brows furrowed in concentration, eyes glinting and his mouth pursed.

But she unwillingly forced herself not to raise her gaze.

They sat in the library for what felt like forever. The hours crept by them both, and Cedrella’s eyelids threatened more than once to close.

She yawned soundlessly and decided to return to her Common Room. Slowly, she began packing her bag, hoping he would lift his eyes to look at her and speak, to say anything.

She waited unnecessarily.

Cedrella walked past him, feeling utterly downcast. But she held her head high, because it wasn’t good to show one’s weakness in the presence of a boy. That was what Callidora had told her years earlier.

But when she exited the library and slammed the door shut, she wanted to scream. She was surprised feeling that way, because never before in her life had she thought about screaming for a boy who was bigheaded and ignorant.

Bloody Gryffindors! she thought viciously and headed down the corridor.

But then she heard distant steps, running in her direction. She stopped and turned, only to see Septimus heading towards her.

She could swear her heart had stopped beating and that everything was a dream.

He stopped before her to catch his breath, and Cedrella looked at him with curiosity and shock.

When his breathing at last returned to normal, he faced her.

“Hello,” he said stupidly. She smiled.

“Hello.”

“Err… How do you do?”

His confused expression lifted her spirits; it confirmed the theory that he was just as nervous as she was.

“Fine, thanks. And you?” This is so silly.

“Fine. Your name is Cedrella, am I right?”

“Yes,” she answered him, surprised he knew. “And you’re Septimus… yes?”

He nodded as an answer.

Their conversation continued far into the night, in the middle of the deserted corridor. Cedrella was amazed at how easy it was to speak to him; he was so relaxed in her presence and it made her feel all warm.

Later that night, Cedrella reflected upon their evening. She knew very well that he ignored her surname because of their different upbringings. It was wisely done.

Even though their families were as different as they could be, they did not care – which lead them to, in time, face the inevitable.




A/N: Hope you liked this flashback - and yes, I do like flashbacks, hehe. Remember to let me know what you think of this, because only then can I improve.

Thanks to edenvirg for her incredible beta'ing skills!

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