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It was the Zabini New Years Ball and the manor was hectic. The guests were due to start arriving in 20 minutes and the tables were yet to be set. Orders were being shouted left, right and center and Seline Zabini looked as frantic as one could get.
"Blaise, will you please stop pranking the house elves and where on earth is your sister?".

"She's still upstairs, I'll go and get her", Blaise replied, glad of an excuse to get away from his Mother's incessant nagging.

"No, I need you to make sure the band is all set up and see that the champagne fountain is being tended to. Draco, would you be a darling and go and fetch Sofia? She needs to be here to greet the guests", Seline asked.

"Of course", Draco replied.

On his way to Sofia's room Draco was a little nervous. The last time they had been alone together in her room they had kissed and almost done more. He still remembered every curve of her fantastic body, the feel of her skin on his and the sweetness of her breath. It was hard to forget when he had been craving her touch every day since. Once he arrived he knocked on the door.

"Come in!", she called.

Had she known who it was she would have told him to wait. The last time he had been in here was still fresh in her mind and she thought that she might pass out just from the memory of it.

"Oh, it's you", Sofia said, shocked that Draco was in her room.

Draco couldn't speak. She looked phennomenal. Gold crystals covered her chest where the dress started in a sweetheart neckline. A gold sash, that was paler than the colour of the crystals, wrapped around her body underneath her breasts and then the same shiny material flowed to the floor in an A-line shape. Her hair was pinned up in curls at the back of her head but her fringe was swept to the side. Her skin was glowing and her make-up was flawless. She looked radiant.

"Is there something that you wanted?", asked Sofia, slightly breathless by the way that Draco was looking at her.


"Yes, you".


"Yes, your Mother said that you need to come downstairs as the guests should be arriving soon", he replied, though his thoughts were very different.

"Oh, I'll be down in a minute, I've just been trying to get this damn bracelet on. It's so difficult with one hand you see and-".

She stopped as Draco had taken her hand and fastened the 15 carat gold bracelet, that she had been blabbering on about, around her wrist.

"There. It's beautiful", Draco said, as he finished.

"Yes, you are", Sofia whispered.

At realising slip, her cheeks turned red and her eyes widened.

"I mean, erm, I-I-, what I meant to say is", she started.

Draco smirked and raised an eye brow at her, loving the flustered state he caused her to get in. She would never understand how cute it made her look.

"Yes?", he asked with his smirk still in place.

"I meant to say that, er, well, that-".

She was instantly cut off by his lips on hers. Unlike their last kiss, this was slow and sweet. As his arms made their way around her, Sofia melted into his embrace. His lips were so soft and she could have got lost in his kiss. She was sure his cologne was the smell of heaven and the sweet taste of peppermint in his mouth only added to this belief.

Both were breathless as they pulled away and stared into each others eyes. Draco put a hand up to her face to move a piece of her hair that had fallen down. When he finished he left his hand to linger on her cheek.

"Beautiful", he breathed.

Sofia could have stayed lost in his eyes forever but she knew her Mother would have a fit if she didn't get downstairs.

"Come on, my Mother will have our heads if we don't hurry up".

"You might want to stay away from Blaise by the way, he's going to have another fit when he sees that your Mother has colour co-ordinated your clothes again".

The two shared a laugh at this until Draco took her hand and they headed to the foyer.

*

Sofia had the same uneasy feeling that she had after meeting all the guests at hers and Blaise's birthday party and it was for the same reason. The surnames of Death Eaters that she had fought against in the war were swimming around her head. Rookwood, Avery, Macnair, Dolohov, LeStrange. She couldn't fathom why their families were here again. She knew everyone who was anyone was going to be here as the Zabini New Years Eve Ball was a massive event but the families of Death Eaters were hardly part of the elite.

"What's going on in that head of yours? You look like you might spontaneously combust".

Sofia turned around to see Draco smiling at her. He handed her a glass of champagne and the two walked around the room. They soon came to a set of double doors that led outside and they stepped out into the beautiful gardens. The night was cold but the gardens looked fantastic. Fountains were flowing and fairies could be seen in the bushes. Lanterns filled with muliticoloured fire flies were hung around the trees and the air smelled of roses and freshly cut grass.

"Come on then, what's wrong?", Draco asked as he looked at Sofia's troubled face.

"Nothing, I'm just not to keen on these fancy parties", she lied.

Draco chuckled at this.

"I didn't think these events would be your kind of thing".

"That obvious is it?", Sofia laughed.

"Not really, it's just who you are. You're more down to earth, it's not in your nature to be amazed by the glitz and glamour of this society", he smiled.

"And what would you know about my nature, Mr Malfoy?", she joked.

"Well, Miss Zabini, I know that you're a fierce friend and insanely loyal and caring. Why else would you have risked your life to go with Potter and Weasley? I know that you love to learn and read, but then again everyone knows that. I know that you like to seem strong and tough but that's just the outside. On the inside you're quite sensitive, you let me see that at Hogwarts that day. I also know that you're incredibly forgiving, after all you gave me a chance. I know that you're extremely witty and actually quite funny as you're the only one who can keep up with my cunning banter and keep me entertained. I also know..". He paused as he leaned in to whisper in Sofia's ear. "...that you have one scorching hot body underneath that dress".

She could actually feel him smirk against her ear and this only added to the heat she could feel growing on her face.

"Do I know enough?", Draco said.

Sofia could only nod her head and gasp as Draco leant down to kiss her lips for the second time that evening. They had kissed three times now and each time Sofia felt like she was flying. His kiss was magical. There was just no other way to describe it.

When the kiss ended, Draco stroked her cheek with his thumb.

"I know that your not happy with what our parents did but I also know that you've accepted it. It may seem a little strange to ask this as we know what will inevitably happen, but I'd like to anyway so, Sofia, will you be my girlfriend?".

For the second time, all Sofia could do was nod. When she saw Draco's dazzling smile, however, she stopped her nodding and smiled too.

"You know, conversations usually consist of two people talking", Draco grinned.

"What do you mean?", Sofia asked, confused.

"Well, you've been stood their nodding like a tool or smiling like a cheshire cat for the past five minutes", he laughed.

"Well you're just charming aren't you", Sofia said sarcastically. "Come on then, you wanted me to talk, what do you want to talk about?".

"20 questions? Rules are you have to answer any question asked and answer honestly?", he asked.

"Alright then, you go first", she agreed.

"Ok, er, why have you never learned to swim?".

"I'm scared of water", she replied embarrassedly.

"Why? And this can be my second question".

"I nearly drowned once when I was little. It was quite horrible so I never went into another pool or anything ever again", she answered. "My turn and I get two questions. Who was your first proper girlfriend and why did you split up?".

"Giorgie Napleton and because she shagged Marcus Flint behind my back. That's why she's never with you girls when you're with us", Draco said. "Now, who did you lose your virginity with, if you have?".

He smirked as he said this, knowing it was something she would not want to share.

"Viktor Krum".

"Are you serious?".

"Why would I not be?", she asked.

"Wow, that's some first time", he responded.

"Yep. So, what are you scared of the most?", Sofia continued.

"Small spaces. What's your favourite colour?".

"Purple. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?".

"In your knickers", Draco responded as he smirked and winked at a blushing Sofia.

"Has anyone ever told you how sexually orientated you are?", she snapped.

"Yes actually. You just had two questions though", he replied.

"You are just unreal", Sofia laughed, "Come on, people will wonder where we are. Let's go back inside".

With that, Draco took Sofia's hand and they went back to join the party.

"There you are! Been having some quality time have we?", Pansy smirked as she saw Sofia's and Draco's intertwined hands. "Come on, I'm absolutely dying to go to the bathroom".

With that, Pansy pulled Sofia to the guest toilets.

"Just give me a sec, then you can tell me all about yourself and Draco", she smiled as she headed into one of the cubicles.

Sofia laughed and headed into the next cubicle. She couldn't stop smiling after her encounter with Draco. He was right, they did know where this would lead to but he still asked her to be his girlfriend like he would have under normal circumstances and she was happy that he had done so. She was worried that their inevitable wedding would seem like a business deal but now she knew it wouldn't. It helped that they actually liked each other romantically too. Her thoughts were interrupted by the voices of two women who had just entered the bathroom.

"I hate to say it but that Zabini girl is gorgeous. Such a beautiful face and a petite litle figure too", one woman said.

"Tell me about it. Did you know that she's the Granger girl though? I heard through the grapevine that she was the one who obliviated my Antonin that night the ministry was taken by the Dark Lord", the other woman gossiped.

"Yes, I know. Hermione Granger, brains of the Golden Trio. It's disgusting that a Zabini of all people helped to take the Dark Lord down. Seline and Andre must be disgraced".

"I'll bet Andre is. She may be a Zabini but she will always be that Granger bitch to me".

"Too right and trust me when I say that that girl has a lot of enemies who are simply biding their time before they get their revenge".

With that, the two women left the guest toilets.

Sofia felt sick at hearing these words. She was correct. The surnames were not just coincidental. These were the families of Death Eaters and this woman was related to Antonin Dolohov. The fact that they had said that there were people waiting to get their revenge on her made her stomach churn. She felt the same kind of fear that she had felt in the war. A fear that she thought she would never have again. A fear that set her nerves on edge and sickened her to the core.

She walked out of the toilet cubicle and splashed cold water on to her face.

"Did you hear that?", she said as she saw Pansy come out of her cubicle.

"Yes", Pansy replied as she looked to the floor worriedly. "They were probably just making idle threats and trying to make themselves look good".

"Yeah", Sofia agreed but she couldn't shake the deep sense of dread that shook her very bones. "I'm going to get some air, I'll see you back inside".

Sofia left the toilets and quickly headed into the nearest door she could see. After igniting the lamps with her wand, she realised that she was in her Father's study. She had never been in here alone and wasn't sure if she was allowed to be but she couldn't go back out. She needed a few minutes to gather herself and settle her nerves.

While looking around the spacious study, Sofia noticed a door handle that was on one of the wooden panels that covered the walls. Curiosity took over her as she pushed the handle down and went through what she supposed was meant to be a secret door.

She ignited the lights in here too and was shocked by what she saw. Unlike the rest of the manor, this room was dark and eerie. The walls were dark green and the air was cold. She walked over to the book case that was next to her and read the spines. "'Dark Magic Uncovered', 'It's A Dark World', 'The Unforgivables', 'Torture Treats', but these are all full of dark magic", she thought. As she moved around the room she saw a glass cabinet. In it was a human skull, a gothic looking pendant, what appeared to be a shrivelled foetus and an ancient looking book.

Sofia turned to the far wall, not able to look at the cabinet any longer, and her breath caught in her throat. Three mannequins stood their with black robes hanging off them. Above them were gold plated masks. Death Eater masks. As Sofia got a closer look, she saw plaques on the wall above each mask. The first read 'Augustus Zabini, Devoted Servant and the second said 'Silas Zabini, Loyal Follower'. Sofia's stomach dropped as she read the third. Her eyes read it and read it but it still wouldn't sink in. Tears poured down her face as she looked back to the plaque that read 'Andre Zabini, Faithful Supporter'. Her Father was a Death Eater.

*

"Blaise, I'm telling you, the way that woman said it was eerie, it was like she knew something no one else did", Pansy said after telling Blaise and Draco what had happened in the toilets.

"Well, where's Sofia now?", Blaise asked.

"She left after hearing it, she said she needed some air".

"You mean to say that after hearing that, you let her go off on her own!", exclaimed Draco.

"I didn't let her! She just went!", Pansy shot back.

"Look, I'm usually no Daddy's boy but I'm going to tell my Father what happened. He can find her and show her that nothing will happen to her", Blaise said.

"And you're sure he can do that are you? In case you haven't noticed, this place is full of the families of Death Eaters that want her blood!", Pansy screeched.

"Who's blood?".

Andre Zabini was behind them and he was looking rather perplexed at Pansy's words.

"Dad, I was just coming to find you", Blaise said.

After a couple of minutes, the three teenagers had told Blaise's Father what had happened and were on their way to his study. Andre had told them that he had a map of the house and it would show him where any one inside was.

As they stepped in, his face paled. The secret door in his study was open.

"No! No, no, no, no", he said as he ran to the door, praying that Sofia was not the one had found this.

His prayers were not answered though, as the group entered to find Sofia stood in front of the Death Eater outfits at the back of the room.

Pansy gasped as Draco and Blaise, like Andre, paled considerably. They both knew what was in here and they both knew about Andre's past.

"Angel, please, do not look at that. Come outside and I can explain", Andre said cautiously.

Sofia turned around so fast at her Father's voice that the others actually jumped. Her wand was in her hand and held out in front of her.

"Explain what? I think this is pretty self explanatory!", she shouted.

"Angel, please. It is not what it seems", Andre begged.

"Really? That is your name is it not?", she said while pointing to the gold plaque.

"Yes but please, Angel just cal-".

"STOP CALLING ME THAT! I'M NOT YOUR GOD DAMN ANGEL! I'M NOT ANYTHING TO YOU ANYMORE! YOU MAKE ME SICK! YOU'RE WORSE THAN SCUM! YOU'RE A DEATH EATER!", Sofia screamed as more tears ran down her cheeks, she was practically hysterical.

"I GUESS IT'S TOO MUCH TO ASK THAT YOU TWO DIDN'T KNOW!", she bellowed as she looked towards Draco and Blaise, "YOU OBVIOUSLY KNEW, MALFOY, YOU PROBABLY WENT TO MEETINGS TOGETHER AND I CAN TELL BY YOUR BLOODY FACE THAT YOU DID, BLAISE!".

Both boys had the decency to look ashamed at this but it did nothing to calm Sofia.

"I REALLY DO WISH THAT NONE OF YOU HAD FOUND ME! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DRAG ME INTO THIS LIFE. IT'S JUST FULL OF SECRETS AND LIES! I HATE IT! AND YOU KNOW WHAT? I HATE OF ALL YOU TOO! I HATE THIS FAMILY, THIS NAME, THIS PERSON THAT I AM! WHY COULDN'T YOU HAVE JUST LEFT ME TO BE WHO I WAS! I HATE EVERYTHING!".

When she finished her tyrade of hate, she ran through the middle of Pansy and Blaise and out of the door. She flicked off her heels as she heard footsteps coming behind her and ran as fast as she could to her bedroom. Once she was in she threw locking charm after locking charm at the door to stop any one from getting inside. She grabbed her small beaded bag and began stuffing necessities into it. Clothes, toiletries, books, underwear, it was all in there. She heard banging on the door, a sign that they had broken through some of the charms. Knowing she didn't have much time left, Sofia grabbed a handful of floo powder and threw it into the fire before disappearing into green flames.

Just a minute later her bedroom door burst open and Draco, Blaise, Andre and Pansy ran inside only to find it empty.

"But, where is she?", Andre asked.

Tears streamed down his face and Blaise's eyes filled at the sight. In his 18 years of life he had never once seen his Father cry and it broke his heart to see it now.

"She's gone", croaked Draco.

*

The Weasley's had been enjoying their family New Years Eve feast when they heard the signal for the Floo.

"I'll go then shall I?", sighed Ginny whilst rolling her eyes.

She was in shock when she saw Sofia standing in the middle of her living room.

"Hermione", she still hadn't got used to the name Sofia, "what are you doing here?".

Sofia turned to see Ginny in front of her.

"Harry. Get Harry. I need him, now".

At seeing the state her friend was in, Ginny did not ask questions but immediately called for Harry.

" 'Mione! What's wrong", asked Harry, he too was having trouble remembering the name change but Sofia didn't mind.

"I need somewhere to go, to get away", she said hurriedly.

"Well you can stay here but-".

"No, they'll check here. I need somewhere where no one but us lot can go. You know exactly what I'm talking about!", Sofia exclamied frantically.

"Hermione, what's wrong? You're scaring me now", Harry asked worriedly.

"Harry, please? Just hurry and I'll tell you when we get there".

Harry then ran upstairs only to come back down again minutes later.

"I've got the key. Gin, tell everyone I'll be back soon".

Harry gave Ginny a swift peck on the lips before he and Sofia apparated to Grimmauld Place.

 

 

Well, that's chapter 12! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much I enjoyed writing it :) What do you all think about the new plot twist? Were you all expecting it? Please let me know what you all think :) Thanks, MM xx



 
 

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