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Chapter 1: 
.:Year 2073:.
The bed’s springs creaked as the old lady sat herself down on its edge. She reached over to pick up her wand from the nightstand when her knee bumped against it and made the wand roll off onto the floor. She sighed and was groping under the nightstand when her fingers touched something else. She pulled it out and her face broke into a smile. She brought the picture closer to her face – her eyesight had been getting a little bad ever since she hit sixty-five. She ran her fingers over the faces in the picture. They were smiling, waving up at her.

“Grandma Rose?”

Rose looked up at the doorway to see her eight-year-old granddaughter standing uncertainly in it. She smiled even more warmly and drank in the look of her as if it were the last time she was seeing her. Rose thought everything about the child was beautiful. Right down to the ponytail of red hair that had migrated to the side of her head and the fuzzy pink slippers on her feet.

“Amy,” Rose said, beckoning with her hand. “Come. Sit with me.”

Amy smiled at her toothily and bounded to her side. “Mummy wanted me to tell you that we were out of all the breakfast groceries so was running down to the store to get some and that she’ll be back soon. And that someone needs to wake up Dad.”

“We seem to be out of breakfast groceries a lot, don’t we?” Rose sighed. “Where are Danielle and Robin?”

“Danielle’s still asleep and Robin’s making everything in the living room fly around.” Amy rolled her eyes. It was obvious she thought her recently come-of-age sister was behaving childishly. “Should I wake up Danielle?”

“Yes, go do that,” Rose agreed, getting to her feet. She heard an ominous crash from the direction of the living room. “I’ll go stop Robin from destroying the house.”

Amy scampered off and Rose headed to the living room. She paused in the doorway and couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of her eldest granddaughter hastening to clean up the mess she made, her wand lying forgotten on the floor. Her once long black hair had been cropped short and dyed midnight blue and her ears had one too many piercings for Rose’s taste, but she couldn’t help suck in her breath slightly when Robin looked up at her grandmother and smiled.

“Sorry, Grandma Rose,” Robin said, flushing. “I guess I got a little carried away. But I can fix it! I know it was your favorite and all…” She started picking up pieces of the broken vase once more.

“It’ll be much easier to fix it with magic, dear,” Rose reminded her, coming into the room and sitting down on one of the couches.

“Oh. Right.” Robin, grabbed her wand and waved it at the mess. “Reparo!” The fragments of ceramic flew together and joined into a whole vase. “There,” she said, placing in back in the table. “Sorry again, Grandma.”

“No harm done, dear,” Rose waved away the apology. “So are you excited about your first day of summer?”

“Yeah,” Robin replied, plopping down next to her grandmother. “Jason’s coming to pick me up after breakfast. We’re going to see a movie then do some shopping. Mum says I have to leave my wand behind in case Jason sees it. It’s so complicated having a Muggle boyfriend. I mean, Jason’s great – and I’m crazy about him – but I just wish I could tell him, you know?”

“I understand,” Rose said, patting Robin’s hand.

“How can you?” Robin asked, not unkindly. “Grandpa was a wizard. You didn’t have to hide anything from him.”

“Danielle’s up!” crowed Amy, dancing into the room and pulling her thirteen-year-old sister along with her.

“Good morning, my angel,” Rose said.

Danielle groaned and rubbed her eyes then blinked in the sunlight streaming in from the large windows on the east wall. Her golden blonde hair stood up in clumps around her head and her crystal blue eyes were gummed together with sleep. She staggered forward and collapsed on the couch beside Rose.

“What’s that. Grandma?” Amy asked, pointing at the picture in Rose’s hand.

Rose glanced down at it and smiled. She held it out for Amy to see. Robin leaned forward for a look too and even Danielle cracked an eye open. A young couple entwined in each other’s arms, grinned blissfully up at them. They stood in a forest where the dappled sunlight shone off their faces. Robin sighed as she watched the girl peck the boy’s cheek and the boy’s hold on her tightened. Danielle wondered where the girl had gotten her shirt from. Amy bounced at the thought of a wild forest.

“Who are they?” Robin asked, staring down at the happy people.

“Why that’s me, of course!” Rose laughed. “Me and your grandfather right after we finished school.”

“That’s Grandpa?” Danielle cried, bending forward for a better look.

“You guys look so happy,” sighed Robin dreamily.

Rose laughed again. “Oh, it took a lot of work to get there.”

“What do you mean?” Amy asked.

“Well…I have always wanted to tell you three the story of how your grandfather and I met…but it’s a rather long story – and rather interesting too, I might add – I want to do it justice.”

“Oh, come on, Grandma!” Robin encouraged. “You don’t have to tell it all at once. Just start it now.”

“Oh, all right,” Rose said. “All right….Where to begin? I suppose I’ll start at the beginning of my seventh year. That’s when your grandfather transferred to Hogwarts. That’s when I fell in love with him. I must tell you, though, that my father – your great-grandfather – didn’t approve of Nicolai. He thought he wasn’t “good enough” for me. He probably still does.” Rose shrugged. “I didn’t care though.”

“Ooh, a forbidden love,” said Robin, grinning. “My favorite kind.”

Rose smiled and continued. “School had been in session for a month and I was as happy as could be….” 


#

“Rose, do you think you could mention me in front of Albus and see how he’ll react?” my friend Kylie Adams asked while she charmed her light brown hair curly. “Or better yet, just ask him what he thinks about me. I mean, he is your cousin. He tells you everything doesn’t he?”

I looked up and frowned at Kylie. It was a Sunday afternoon and my friends and I had nothing to do but loll around our dormitory.

“I guess I could ask him,” I replied. “He probably won’t answer me truthfully, though.”

“Slip him some Veritaserum,” suggested, Alex Ducharme, my other friend, who was painting her toenails red.

“Alex!” scolded Tasha Thomas, yet another friend from where she lay on her bed, reading a book. She glared at Alex with her pale blue eyes, so strange contrasting with her caramel skin. “Rose could get expelled for that!”

“I was joking,” Alex said, rolling her eyes. “Just blackmail him, Rose.” She looked up at me, pushing her coal-black hair off her face.

“No, don’t do that,” said Kylie. “He might not tell the truth then. He might just say what he thinks you’d want him to say. Just ask him. That’s it. Say, ‘Hey Al, what do you think of Kylie?’. That’s it. Nothing else.”

“All right, Kylie, all right,” I said. “I’ll do it.” I reached under my bed and pulled out a magazine which I started flipping through.

“Um – excuse me,” said Kylie, coming to stand in front of me and casting a shadow over my magazine. “What are you doing?”

“Reading a magazine?”

“No, you have to go talk to Albus, like right now.” Kylie snatched the magazine out of my hands and pointed toward the door leading out of the sixth year girls’ dormitory and to the staircase to the common room.

“But – but my magazine!” I wailed, reaching for it.

“No, not until you talk to him, Rose,” said Kylie, rolling up my magazine. “He’s probably in the common room right now. And don’t tell him I like him.”

“Fine,” I huffed, getting to my feet. “I’ll go talk to him. But I won’t throw in any free compliments about you like I was planning on doing.” And I stomped out of the dorm. I muttered to myself as I made my way down the spiraling staircase and into the Gryffindor common room. I scanned it quickly for my cousin and found him sitting near the window with a couple other sixth year boys. “Hey Al,” I said, plunking onto a cushion between Trent Jordon and Marcus Grey. “Hi Marcus – Trent.” I nodded at the other boys.

“Rosie,” Albus said. “Hi. What’s up?”

“Mm...nothing,” I picked at my thumbnail while Albus and his friends watched me. “Um – can I talk to you, Al? In private?”

“Uh – sure.” Albus got to his feet and held out a hand to help me up. I led him to a deserted corner of the common room.

“Tell us what she says, eh, Al?” called Marcus behind us.

I rolled my eyes. I had never liked that kid.

“So what’s up?” said Albus in a low voice as we leaned against the wall facing each other. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine.” I picked at my nail some more. “I just wanted to know how you—” I paused, trying to remember Kylie’s exact wording. “Um – hey Al, what do you think of Kylie?”

“Kylie?” Albus frowned. “She’s – er – fine. Why?”

I sighed. “Well, she likes you and she wanted to know if you like her….And I wasn’t supposed to tell you that she likes you so…you don’t know.”

Albus laughed. “Okay. I don’t know that she likes me.”

“But do you – you know – like her? At all?”

“Well, sure, I do,” Albus said. “I mean, who couldn’t like Kylie? She’s smart and nice and really pretty.” He stopped and his cheeks reddened. “But don’t tell her I said that…although I don’t know why I’m saying that since I know you’ll tell her anyway.” He smiled at me to show me that it was all right.

“Right,” I nodded. “So you like her?”

“Yeah, I like her,” Albus said.

“Then ask her out.”

“What? No way.”

“Why? Why don’t guys ask out the girls they like?”

“Sure they do,” Albus said. “Just not me.”

“Oh, come on,” I said. “If you don’t ask her, she’ll ask you and that’s way more humiliating.”

“You’re right,” Albus agreed quickly. “I’ll ask her. Just – don’t rush me.”

“Great!” I grinned. “Kylie will be really pleased.”

Albus grinned. “You really think she likes me?”

You really think she likes me?” Marcus had come to see why we were taking so long and had heard the last bit of our conversation. He laughed as he mocked Albus.

Albus’s face reddened even more.

“Shut up, Marcus,” I snapped.

“What? I didn’t do anything,” Marcus said.

“Yes, you did,” I said, scowling at him. “I do not want to hear that you’ve been tormenting Albus over this. Ever. It’s really good that he’s going to ask out Kylie. I think they’d be really good together.”

Kylie?” Marcus snorted. “Kylie Adams?” He hooted with laughter.

“What’s so funny about that?” I demanded. “What’s wrong with Kylie?”

“Well, she’s”—Marcus shrugged—“Kylie.”

I glowered at him. “You want to know what I think, Marcus Grey? I think—”

I broke off suddenly. The portrait hole had just swung open and Professor McGonagall had climbed inside. But she wasn’t the reason I froze. Standing next to her was a boy with hair the color of a raven’s wing smoothed back from his wide forehead, and liquid gray eyes. And he was so pale. I wondered if he’d been sick. But it wasn’t his pallor that caught my attention, nor was it his glossy black hair or his intense eyes. Alone, his features looked ordinary, but, together, with his haunting look, I thought he was beautiful.

“Attention please, everyone,” McGonagall said loudly. “We have a new student joining us. Nicolai Daladier is in sixth year. He transferred from Beauxbatons. I’m sure you will all make him feel welcome.” She looked around at us all sternly as if to say “or else”. “Your dormitory is through there, Mr. Daladier,” she continued, pointing to the door. “You will find your trunk is already there.” She waited until he nodded then left.

“Wow…” I whispered then looked around at Albus and Marcus quickly to make sure they hadn’t heard.

Marcus burst out laughing and even Albus had to crack a smile. “Impressed, are we, Rosie?” Marcus said between bursts of laughter.

“Don’t call me Rosie,” I snapped.

I turned and stomped back towards the doors concealing the staircases to the dorms, glancing over my shoulder to see where Nicolai Daladier was as I reached for the doorknob. He was nowhere to be seen. I turned back to face front and saw him. He was reaching for the doorknob as well and a second before our hands met, he snatched his back and looked at me so fiercely that I felt myself shrinking away. His eyes narrowed as they looked over me once. “Um…hi,” I managed to say. “I’m Rose Weasley.” I held out my hand.

He looked at my hand then back up at me. His eyebrows were contracted and, up-close, I noticed that he had dark purple, bruise-like marks under his eyes. “I’m – I’m in sixth year as well. We’ll probably be in a few classes together.” I tried to keep my voice light and cheerful even though Nicolai was somewhat eerie the way he wasn’t speaking. And his eyes looked so…so hollow. “So you came from France, huh?” I continued even though I wasn’t sure why. It was obvious Nicolai wasn’t very responsive. “My aunt’s French. I’ve always wanted to go there…” He didn’t reply. “Well…I – uh – just thought you should know my name…I mean…er….” I groaned inwardly. I thought you should know my name? What was that? I glanced at him beneath my eyelashes and was pleasantly surprised to see that his face was looking a little less hostile. “Okay then, bye,” I chirruped, suddenly happy, and ran up the staircase back to my dormitory, my head reeling.

“What took you so long?” Kylie demanded the second I entered the dorm.

“I—”

“So did you ask him?” she interrupted, practically bouncing with anticipation.

“Yeah, Kye,” I sighed. “I asked him.”

Kylie let out a squeal. Alex rolled her eyes. “What did he say?” she cried. “Wait! No, don’t tell me…yes! Tell me! But only if it’s good. No! Tell me if it’s bad too.”

“He said that yeah, he likes you,” I reported, stretching out on my stomach on Tasha’s bed beside her.

“He did?! He does?!” Kylie fluttered her hands and grinned like a maniac. “I’m acting so stupid and I don’t care!” she giggled. “What else did he say?”

“Um…” I tried to remember. The arrival of Nicolai had driven Albus’s words completely out of my mind. “He said that he wanted to ask you out”—Kylie squealed again—“but not to rush him because he’ll do it on his own time…and he was pretty excited that you liked him too.”

“This is so great!” Kylie claimed, falling onto her bed and staring up at the underside of the canopy. She smiled dreamily.

“What’s up, Rose?” Tasha asked. “You look a little…I don’t know…”

“There’s a new kid,” I said. “Nicolai Daladier. He’s French.” I put a slight emphasis of the word French.

Alex laughed. “His name sounds like a song the way you say it,” she said.

“I don’t make it sound like that!” I retorted. “His name is just that way.”

“I don’t think so,” Alex said. “Nicolai Daladier. See? Sounds perfectly normal.” She laughed again. “Why are you turning all red? Is he hot?”

I rolled my eyes and rolled away from Alex’s gaze. “Yes,” I breathed, smiling to myself.

“Didn’t hear that,” Alex said glancing at Kylie who was still lost in a dream world of Albus Potter.

“I can’t believe he said he likes me!” Kylie squealed.

Alex rolled her eyes and hopped up. “Well, I want to see this new kid who has Rose head over heels.” She waved a hand and left the dormitory…

…and came back ten minutes later her eyes wide and her cheeks scarlet.

“He’s MINE!” I shouted before Alex could get a word in edgewise.

“Oh…my…pants…” Alex heaved. Her great grandmother told her she was related to Merlin and she had taken to talking about her pants instead of Merlin. “He’s so…pretty.”

Pretty?” Kylie said popping out of her reverie. “You’re calling a guy pretty?"

“Beautiful…I mean…Kylie, Albus looks like a troll compared to this guy…”

Kylie looked skeptical. “Everyone is a troll compared to Albus, even Veela men—if there are such a thing—and on the off chance that you’re right, I’m not going to look at him. I won’t be seduced away from my beloved Alby.”

Alby?” Alex, Tasha, and I said scornfully, looking at each other and then collapsing into a fit of giggles.

Kylie colored. “Don’t you dare tell him I said that, you hear me? If you do, I’ll box your ears until they fall off and then I’ll curse them so that you can never get them back on.”

I shook my head trying to get my thoughts away from my cousin and the new boy. Albus was easy to put out of my head, but I couldn’t stop seeing him, Nicolai. His dark eyes bore into me from inside my head. They were so deep and yet so empty—like the sky.

“Earth to Rose,” Tasha said waving her hand. “Are you even paying the least bit of attention.”

“What?” I answered absently. My mind was elsewhere, down in the common room with Nicolai. I shook myself out of my trance feeling utterly ridiculous.

“For heaven’s sake! You’ve only just seen him. I’ve been in love with Albus forever. That makes it more important,” Kylie said frowning.

“Oh we know Alby is much more important,” Alex said grinning toothily. “Let’s go see how Alby is doing right now, shall we?”

“What? No!” Kylie shrieked.

“Albus…he’s in the common room, right?” I said barely aware of what I was saying.

“Yeah…” Kylie answered one hand still outstretched toward Alex ready to strangle her.

“Then I want to go down to the common room,” I said standing up.

“She’s got it bad,” Alex said dodging Kylie’s punch. “C’mon, let’s restrain her before she hurts herself.”

“She just wants to see Albus,” Kylie said shrugging, “why not?”

“Oh shut up, you want to see Alby not her. She just wants to see the new kid.” Alex stood up. “But whatever, let’s just get this over with.”

I didn’t give them time to rethink it and fixed my hair in the mirror. Kylie elbowed me aside and fixed hers as well. Alex rolled her eyes and mussed her hair up till it looked like she had just gotten out of bed. Kylie stuck her tongue out at her. I grinned, it was so like Alex to try and mock us like that. Tasha was already waiting for us outside the door – her long wavy hair always looked perfect.

Albus was sitting in the same place I left him. Marcus looked up and grinned. “Rosie’s back. What the matter, Rosie? Did you miss me?”

Albus swung a punch at Marcus who ducked and rolled off the couch laughing. “Sorry about him,” he said looking at me. His eyes stayed there for a second before sliding to the person behind me. “Kylie.”

“Hi,” Kylie said shyly.

Alex rolled her eyes.

“What did you do to your hair?” Marcus asked laughing out loud all over.

“What – you don’t like it?” Alex asked rolling her eyes, pouting, and touching her hair. “I thought it looked quite nice.”

“Excuse me,” a seductive voice said. I spun around and whipped Albus in the face with my hair in the process.

I didn’t expect him to be so close. His voice was so quiet. His lips dipped up a little in a ghost of a smile. He was looking up through his lashes, which were long and caused shadows on his cheeks.

“Breath,” Alex whispered elbowing me.

“Oh, yes?” I said, breathless.

“I was wondering if you could tell me where the library is.”

“Oh…sure. Um, it’s, um, it’s…”

“She can show you,” Alex said confidently fluffing her hair up even more, “it’s a bit complicated to give verbal directions. It is a big castle, you know.”

“Yes, of course,” he said his lips twitching again.

I stared at Alex in disbelief. What was she playing at? She just shrugged and pushed me forward, looking quite deranged with her hairstyle. I thought for a minute then. Marcus on the ground, Alex and her hair. Tasha already had book out. Kylie staring with wide eyes at Albus who was blushing and looking anywhere but us…

Could he approach me in any place less embarrassing? No.

“Er, sure, this way,” I mumbled walking ahead of him.

Even without seeing him I was aware of his lithe and graceful step just behind me. He smelled really nice, too. Something I couldn’t describe. It was unlike any perfume I had ever smelled and yet, much better. His steps were so light that had I not been concentrating on the noise, I would be totally unaware of them. I wondered what he was thinking, loping feline-like as he was while I was stumbling along. What was his expression. Curiosity? Humor? Distaste? Whatever it was, I couldn’t help daydreaming about admiration. What would that look like in his eyes while looking at me?

Ridiculous. Ridiculous and impossible.

“Here it is,” I said pointing lamely at the library door.

He stopped in the doorway and looked at me. His eyes! I wanted to lose myself in them. They reflected the torches like stars. “Merci,” he said politely inclining his head a little.

“You’re welcome,” I said my voice an octave higher than usual. “Um, will you find your way back?”

“I’ll manage,” he said smiling.

I walked back in a daze. Why was I so dizzy? 




[a/n]: So I've been gone a long time. Well, I popped in every once in a while but I haven't posted a story in ages. Me and my cousin wrote this together. Raven Feathers. So tell us what you think and chapter two will be up soon. ^^

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