Heather got out of the car, her large blue eyes dancing with trepidation. She looked around her. Her mouth nearly dropped open, and her heart-beat quickened. Looming before her was the most incredible house she had ever seen. It was slightly gloomy, but otherwise very grand. All around were flower beds, though they were not bright with yellows, oranges, or pinks. They were dripping with dark reds, blacks, velvety purples, and they seemed to be watching her. As she looked away from the flowers, she could have sworn they sighed in disgust.
The large stone mansion beckoned her forward, tempting her over to some unknown darkness. She took a deep breath. She had expected this, but had hoped that the house of her cousin wouldn’t be so dark. She had, in fact, only met her cousin once, and he had seemed rather disagreeable. It was as if he had only put up with her because she was related to him by blood…pure blood. Yes, Lucius Malfoy was obviously not a person to be trifled with, and his father Damien, Heather’s uncle, had seemed just as cold, distant and snobbish. Her Aunt Cordelia didn’t talk very much. Heather suspected that Damien did all of the talking, rule-making, and was most likely the head of the house. That didn't leave room for Cordelia to have much of a personality. Heather wasn't sure if her show of indifference relieved her or unnerved her.
Heather silently chided herself. She had only met the family once and already she was planning their whole life-style out for them. Perhaps she was reading too much into things. Just because most of the Malfoy family was obsessed with the Dark-Arts and pure blood didn’t mean they all were. Look at her! She was a Malfoy, and she wasn't like that.
She picked up her small trunk, which was very worn and old. She wasn’t used to pampering, although you would think that somebody from the Malfoy family would be. Her father had joined Lord Voldemort when she was very young, and had been killed. Her mother had been very upset, and clammed up. She left Heather at a wizard orphanage, and moved away. Heather had never saught to find her mother. Unlike other orphans, she wasn't curious about the woman who had left her to fend for herself. She didn't want to see who had abandoned her. She didn't want to face a past she'd rather escape.... At the orphanage, she had been schooled. Just recently, however, she had been unexpectedly taken in by her Aunt and Uncle. She hadn’t even begun to ponder why, all of a sudden, they might want her. She didn't think to ask herself why all those years, they had never offered to save her from a life of poverty...until now.
Leaving behind her musings, she walked up to the large, old wooden door. She looked around, and saw an old fashioned knocker. Awkwardly she slammed the glaring metal ring into the wood. She stood back, composing herself; a first impression was everything. She waited several minutes, and nothing happened. Again she pounded on the door. Finally, after many minutes of frustration, a very young looking House-Elf opened the door. Heather smiled at him.
“Hello there, I’m Heather. I’ve come from the orphanage,” she said brightly. The House-Elf nodded twitchily. Heather frowned. “Are you alright?” She had honestly never seen a live House-Elf. She only seen pictures of them in books, and honestly, they hardly did these creatures justice; this little creature was much more bizarre than any picture. The House-Elve's already bulbous eyes widened, making it look as if they were nearly bigger than his whole head. He put his hands over his large nose, and his eyes watered. Heather didn’t know what to do? What had she done? “I’m really sorry! I didn’t mean to upset you,” she said hurriedly. Wonderful! Just wonderful! She had already messed up and she hadn’t even met her relatives yet! The House-Elf continued to sob.
“You isn’t offending me, Miss. I am just so happy you cares about me, miss. You shouldn’t do so. If they catches you they will be angry,” the Elf said. Heather didn’t understand at all.
“I’m afraid I don’t see what you mean. Who would catch me and be angry at me for being nice to you?”
“You is not supposed to be nice to me. I am but an Elf, Miss,” he admitted.
“Do you not want me to be nice?” Heather asked, kneeling so as to be on his level. He looked at her sadly.
“I want what my master wants,” he said firmly. “I would be being a bad Elf, Miss, if I didn’t.”
“Well, I can’t see how I could possibly be mean to you. So I’m afraid you’re just going to have to put up with my affection,” Heather said jokingly, trying to coax a smile out of the creature. She didn’t know why, but she felt she could connect with him, in a way. She was trying to feel the way the Malfoys did about Muggle-Borns, but was having troubles. She honestly despised bigotry, and that was what she feared her cousin would expect of her. This Elf seemed to be trying to think the way he felt he should think too. But was obviously having difficulties. Heather thought that his circumstances were less agreeable than hers. At least she wasn’t a slave.
“Thank you, Miss,” the Elf whispered, looking around as if making sure nobody was listening.
“You’re welcome,” Heather said, whispering also. She smiled then. “What’s your name?”
“Dobby, Miss. I am new at work here. I don’t think they likes me very much,” he said sadly. Heather smiled encouragingly.
“I doubt…” but she was cut off as Dobby lifted off the ground. For a split second she thought he had levitated himself. But as she looked up, she saw that he was being held off his feet by a large hand clutching the pillow-case that clothed his body.
“Who said you could talk to our guests?” a clean, crisp voice asked. He pronounced the words precisely, as if measured with great care. Dobby squealed in fear.
“I’m s-sorry, Sir! Please, I was just…” he tried to choke out, the pillow-case apparently tightening around his neck. Again he was interrupted.
“Did I tell you to speak?” the voice sneered. Heather snapped out of her reverie, barely able to take in the fact that Dobby was being so mistreated.
“Let him go!” Heather said furiously. She stood up and saw that she was confronting her cousin. Hating herself for it, she cowered slightly, noticing how much taller he was than she. She looked away, losing some of her nerve. “Put him down,” she repeated, trying to sound as brave as she had earlier.
“Why should I do that?” Lucius hissed snidely. Heather glared now, taking a deep breath to glare him in the eye.
“Just do it,” she said, seeing Dobby’s face turning rather red from lack of oxygen. Lucius stared at her for quite some time, and Heather stared right back, hoping that her fear of him didn’t show. The truth was that he terrified her. Lucius laughed softly at her, but threw Dobby on the ground.
Heather moved to go help him up, but Lucius laid a firm hand on her shoulder. She tried to pry it off her, glaring the whole while, but when she next looked back to where Dobby had been, he had gone. He must have scurried away.
“Why did you have to treat him that way?” she demanded hotly, very aware of the fact that things weren't going the way she'd planned them at all.
“Because he is just a House-Elf,” Lucius said simply. Heather just stared at him, realizing that there was no arguing with this boy. She took the time to get a better look at him. He was very lean, tall, and muscular from little charms he must have put on himself. It couldn't be Quidditch that toned his body, as he didn't play beater, and she doubted he would degrade himself to do anything so low as exercising. He had white-blonde hair, and very pale skin. He was the same age as her, seventeen, and might have been considered handsome if not for the permanant sneer that marred his face. His cheek bones were higher than average, but for some reason, that only seemed to compliment his sharp nose and icy gray eyes. She let out a short, pent up sigh, rather disappointed that his appearance didn't show the ugliness within.
“Dare I ask what you could possibly be talking about with my House-Elf?” he finally said, breaking the silence.
“No,” she snapped, feeling that it was none of his business. He raised a sharp, finely curved eyebrow.
“I see,” he said. “Well…welcome, I suppose.” Heather nodded stiffly, still very incensed. “Come, my mother is in the drawing room,” he said after awhile. Heather nodded, and she followed him.
As they walked, she realized that she could easily get lost in this house. It was amazing, and yet, very spooky. It was quiet and empty. Most of the rooms they passed were either very rich with dark, wooden furniture, or completely bare, and dungeon-like. After what seemed like a thousand turns and staircases, Lucius bade her enter a room. Eyeing Lucius suspiciously, she opened the door.
As soon as the door was open, a wave of music filled her ears and the empty hallway she stood in. She entered the room, followed by Lucius.
Looking around, Heather noticed that this room was bathed mostly in deep reds and burgundies. The curtains were drawn wide, inviting the sunlight, yet the room was still dark and depressing. Heather didn’t blame the sun for its neglect upon this room, it was rather creepy, and very 18th century. She scanned her surroundings and saw a large walnut grand piano tucked in a corner by the window.
Somebody was playing a lonesome, yet very pretty ballad. Heather craned her neck around, and was rather surprised to see Cordelia sitting on the ornately decorated bench. Her eyes were closed tightly, as if savoring the sound of each note, holding it in her mind for as long as possible. Her body swayed as she dove headfirst into the song she played.
Heather chanced a glance at Lucius and saw that he was leaning against the doorframe, looking extremely bored and examining his nails, waiting for his mother to finish. Heather, however, was not bored at all. She loved playing piano, and had for the past ten years. Of course, she had been confined to a small keyboard at her previous residence, but she still had found it enjoyable, always pretending that the keyboard sounded just a wonderful as a thousand grand pianos. Her ears pricked with curiosity, however. This song was utterly unfamliar. It had the hints of Debussy, while parts of it grew as grand as if it was Rachmaninoff. Then, as Cordelia slowed consierably, Heather noticed a trace of emotion...was it Chopin? After several minutes, Cordelia finished up, and slowly turned her neck to stare at Heather, looking her up and down.
“Hello,” Heather said, trying to smile sweetly. She had already messed up with Lucius, but maybe she could try and befriend Cordelia? Her hopes were dashed when all she received was a nod.
“Take her up to her room, Lucius,” Cordelia said in a rather husky voice. Lucius stared.
“Do it yourself,” Lucius yawned, and then left. Heather stared at Cordelia, wondering if Lucius would be scolded for such disrespectful behavior. Her mouth fell open whan all Cordelia did was nod. If Heather had ever said anything like that to one of the adults at the orphanage, she would have certainly been screamed at, perhaps even slapped across the face.
“Come on, then,” Cordelia said stiffly, getting up.
“I really enjoyed that song. You’re a wonderful pianist,” Heather said, trying to strike up conversation. Cordelia nodded yet again. “What song was it? I don’t think I’ve ever heard it before."br />
“One of my own compositions,” Cordelia replied uninvitingly.
“Really? That was amazing! I play too, you know. I’ve played for ten years. I love to play. Maybe you could give me some pointers some time?” Heather asked excitedly.
“You are welcome to play the piano anytime you wish. But do not play too loudly. It gives Damien a headache,” Cordelia said coldly. Heather nodded.
“Yeah, ok. Thanks,” she said, realizing that talking wasn’t getting them anywhere. The rest of the way up to her room, she remained quiet. Finally, they reached a large door, and Cordelia beckoned her inside.
“Your Hogwarts supplies are on the bed,” Cordelia said.
“Hogwarts?” Heather asked before turning the door knob.
“It is the wizarding school you will be attending now, along with Lucius,” Cordelia said curtly. Heather remembered reading somewhere about Hogwarts. She remembered that there were four houses, and the Headmaster was Albus Dumbledore, one of the most famous wizards, next to You-Know-Who. Heather thought of something then. What house was Lucius in? Heather voiced her question.
“Lucius is in Slytherin. You will be too. All Malfoy’s are in Slytherin. It is the most honorable of houses. No mud-bloods are permitted, so you will be in good company.” Heather tried to hide her disgust. She hoped she wasn’t sorted into Slytherin. She didn’t want any part of all the prejudice and bigotry that house most-likely hosted.
Deciding to hold her tongue, Heather turned and walked in her room, and it was as if she had walked into a dream. This room was much lighter, and the walls were cream colored, sprinkled with pictures of angles, some relatives, and large paintings, watercolors. The carpet was a rather deep shade of blue, and a large gold rug adorned the floor. In the middle of the room was a large, squishy looking bed, with ivory bedclothes. She smiled, as the window had been opened and sunlight poured through.
“This room is wonderful! I simply…” but she realized as she turned around, that Cordelia had gone, and she was talking to thin air. She didn’t really mind; thin air was friendlier. She went and sat on the bed, setting her trunk next to her Hogwarts supplies. She sorted through them, pulling out a cauldron and examining it. She saw her robes, and pulled them out. She slipped them on, and walked over to a full-length mirror in the corner. She scrutinizing her reflection.
She had always thought herself as an average type person, with sparkling, Malfoy-blue eyes and her mother's dark brown hair. Her hair was the only physical trait she'd recieved from her mother's side of the family. It was curly, and waist-length. She normally let it sway down her back, unless she was doing something active, then she would pull it up into a curly ponytail. She had a pale complexion, and soft, slightly pouty lips. She had dark lashes, and they outlined her eyes, bringing out their color more effectively. Being somewhat short, and very thin, she gave off the appearance of being very delicate, as was most of the Malfoy family.
She tried to picture herself in a large crowd of bustling students, rushing to classes, but found it difficult. She had always been a loner, rather confined. She couldn’t possibly imagine having friends, and certainly didn’t want to hang around with her cousin’s friends. They were sure to be just as arrogant as Lucius. She sighed, closing her eyes, and tried to relieve some of the stress she was feeling.
She walked over to her bed, and heaved all of her Hogwarts supplies onto the floor. She thought about being sorted into different houses. She wondered how it was done; did they test you on your skills? If that was the case, she wasn’t sure she could pass any tests. She got under the covers of the bed, pulling them up to her chin. She stared at the ceiling, as if hoping somebody would drop from it and take her away. She tried desperately to cheer herself up. It wasn’t that bad. She only had to stay here a week before she could go to Hogwarts. She smiled, holding on to that thought. Only a week…and then she could leave, and maybe even start a new life…
Preview for Chapter Two~*~Assumptions: Sirius smiled devilishly. Never had he been so pleased to cushion somebody’s fall before. He had been prepared to give the person a piece of his mind, that is, until he realized that the person was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. He stared into her innocent blue eyes, they showed her entire personality. He almost snorted; this girl wore her heart on her sleeve. His first thought was that it would be easy for somebody to toy with her emotions; his second was that he would never let that happen.
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