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Chapter 14: Chapter Fourteen
A glass shattered across the floor and a long shrill scream rang throughout the halls of the ancient mansion. Abraxas sat bolt upright in his bed and glanced at his friend, who should have been sleeping in the bed beside him. He was disturbed at the sight. Tom was sitting cross-legged in the middle of his bed, staring dead cold at him.
"You'd best go check on your mother, Malfoy."
Abraxas didn't say a word before he slipped out of his bed and ran out of his large bedroom.
The sun was peeking through the curtains, but the familiar chill of winter could be felt through the walls. Tom smirked and leaned against the wall, rather pleased with the way the night before had turned out. He laced his fingers behind his head and breathed deeply. Happy Christmas, indeed.
Heaving sobs could be heard trickling upward into the bedroom from the family.
"Tut, tut. I am ever so curious what they're so upset about," he chuckled as he slunk sideways onto the bed.
Heavy footsteps sounded through the hallway and stopped in the doorway. Abraxas's long hair hung in front of his face, his eyes were bloodshot and swollen.
"Abraxas, pull yourself together."
"Where…did…you…go?" he grunted through gritted teeth.
"What are you talking about, you fool?"
"Where did you go last night?"
"You must be out of your mind to question my motives."
Abraxas's chest heaved up and down as he stepped into the bedroom and clicked the door closed behind him.
"I know you left last night! I heard you go! Where did you go?"
"I was doing a little business, Abraxas, it's none of your business, either way," Tom said casually. He reached into the pillowcase and pulled his long wand from the inside and touched the tip to his cheek.
"My grandfather…" Abraxas choked.
"What about him?" A sick smile twisted across Tom’s pale face.
"Certainly you're not accusing me of anything, Abraxas?"
"No, my Lord, no…" Abraxas hung his head.
"It didn't sound like it, Malfoy." Tom pointed his wand at the blonde. "Even if I did do anything wrong, I wouldn't do it unless I had to, don't you think, Abraxas?"
"It's Christmas, my Lord." Abraxas whispered.
"You think I care about Christmas?" Tom's high laughter rang around the room. "I could care less if it were the birth day of your child."
Abraxas slid down the door, defeated. "You could have shown some compassion." He hung his head between his knees.
Tom stalled for a moment. He couldn't tell if Abraxas was actually being serious when he suggested that he show anybody compassion. When had the world ever shown him compassion?
"Compassion? Silencio… CRUCIO!" His black wand brandished through the air.
Abraxas fell flat onto the floor, face contorting in pain. Tom's heart raced as he held his wand above his head. How dare he, pathetic Abraxas Malfoy, tell Lord Voldemort what to do; what a pathetic fool!
"Crucio!" Small beads of sweat formed at the top of his head and slid down his pale face. Spit slowly dribbled out of Abraxas's mouth before Tom ripped his wand away.
"Do not ever tell me what to do ever again."
Abraxas turned onto his side and got sick on the floor and breathed in heavily. "Ye...ye…yes, my Lord."
"Now clean yourself up, it is Christmas, after all. Have some class."
"Oh, how dreadful." Audrey sighed as she read the piece of parchment that had been delivered just moments before.
"What is it, woman?" Grandma Jade squawked.
"Morax Malfoy has passed away. How terrible. Looks like he went peacefully, though. He was found in his library. Not a very wonderful gift for the holiday. We'll need to send them flowers, darling."
Acton nodded as he flicked his wand at the beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. They were flying about the room and landing in tidy piles in front of the intended recipients. Jade sighed loudly and rubbed the tired from her eyes.
"Morax was so old, I'm not surprised it didn't happen any sooner."
"Hush, girl. You need to learn to respect your elders!" Grandma barked at her younger namesake. "Morax was a fine man, and if I didn't have all these damn packages," she hit one out of her face with her cane and sent it flying across the room, "I'd get over there and teach you a lesson!"
"Sorry," she grumbled under her breath.
"It was rather sad news, Morax was a very nice man. Reminded me of Pruflas, truthfully." Acton yawned.
Audrey took a long drink from her coffee cup. "I have a miserable headache."
"Maybe you shouldn't have drank so much last night?" Jade said as she ripped the brightly coloured paper from a box.
"Speaking of last night," Acton cleared his throat. "That Riddle boy is wonderful."
"Yes, dear, I agree. Who are his parents?"
Jade coughed as she pulled a beautiful cream dressing robe from the box. "He, uhm, his parents are... deceased," she said hastily before shoving the robe back into the box and grabbing for another package.
"That's terrible. But, he's pure blood, I would assume? He is certainly staying with some relatives?" Audrey tilted her head.
"I mean, well. No. He… just... I don't want to talk about him anymore."
"You sure seemed to want to talk about him last night." Acton chuckled as he pulled a chunk of wrapping paper off of a box of salted caramels.
"Yes, well, he's a very interesting person." Her frustration level was through the roof. Last night had gone all too perfectly. Something was being planned. Tom was a perfect gentleman and captivated the entire table. He complimented everybody at the perfect time, and he would occasionally rub his fingers up Jade’s thigh…
"You can bring him around more often, Jade."
"Thanks, Mum, I'll keep that in mind."
Christmas turned out to be a success for the Sterlings. Jade was happily prancing around the house in her brand new cream robes, and a beautiful silver 'S' was curled around a shining chain and hung between her collar bones. Audrey was sporting a very large emerald ring on her left hand. Acton was munching on every sweet Diagon Alley’s shops had provided. And, Grandma was scribbling conspiracy theories in her brand new journal.
Jade was so thankful that an early train would be taking her back to school tomorrow, and she wasn't required to have any more miserable dinners with the Malfoys. Salvation was a mere 22 hours away. Dinner with her family, and one night's sleep.
Today hadn't been so bad. And last night was all right, as well. Audrey hadn't been too terrible. She actually seemed pleased with her and Tom. Perhaps last night would encourage Audrey to drop her hopes for a spark between Jade and Abraxas. Because that was a fantasy. It would never, ever happen. She'd rather die first.