Chapter 3 : Meet the Parents (who are rather nasty and slightly sadistic)
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Alright, people. Read on... read on...
Disclaimer: My name is not J.K. Rowling, and 'By J.K. Rowling' is printed on all the book covers. You do the math.
I hate mornings. I loathe them, despise them, scorn them, and… erm, I just ran out of ‘hate’ verbs. Damn.
Well, let’s just say I’m not a ‘rise and shine’ person.
And this morning was no exception.
I had woken up rather traumatized from my very…er, romantic… dream about Davies. I was feeling rather numb from the shock.
I mean, I had dreamt about Davies! Davies! DAVIES!
I’m supposed to hate Davies! I’m supposed to look down upon him as the little git he is. I am not supposed to have romantic dreams about him! Bad subconscious! Bad! Bad!
Okay, it’s official. I’m going insane.
“Hi,” I said, out of breath, as I plopped down next to Zara on a bench. The Great Hall, as always, was bustling with activity this morning. The delicious aromas of mouthwatering eggs and bacon roamed around the room. I was starving.
Zara looked up from her book, “Hey! How’d you sleep?”
“F-f-fine…” I stuttered. I have never lied to Zara, but something inside of me (maybe the burning shame and humiliation?) told me not to say anything about my dream. I mean, if anyone found out about this, I would be the laughing stock of the school! It’s practically a known fact throughout the student population that Davies and I hate each other!
Zara’s pretty lil’ face pinched together in confusion, but I tried to ignore her. Instead, I focused on piling some scrambled eggs onto my plate.
My fork (spilling over with the eggs) was about halfway to my mouth when I spotted Davies entering the Great Hall.
I immediately lost my appetite.
And almost as if he knew, Davies turned around and we made eye contact.
I started to blush. Oh noo… oh noo…
“Lacey? Are you okay? You don’t look too good.” Zara said in her ‘soothing tone’.
I dropped my fork with a clatter. “Oh… it’s nothing… I’m just not hungry anymore.”
“But you always have at least three helpings of breakfast!”
I attempted to smile as I turned away from Davies’s gaze to look at Zara. “Uh… actually… I’m…uh… I think I’m catching something… You know, that disease we heard about in class the other day…? What’s it called…uh? Oh yes! Hilly-Far-Fever!”
Zara cocked an eyebrow. “Hilly-Far-Fever is a goblin’s disease.”
Oh, why me? Why ME?
“Well, you know, I’ve been hanging around at Gringgotts a lot lately…” Why did I have to be such a dreadful liar? “And…you know, talking to the … uh… goblins…and I think a few of them were sneezing quite a bit and…well… you get the picture.”
Zara dropped her own fork onto her plate and twisted her body to face me. “Cut the crap, Lacey. What are you not telling me?”
I looked around suspiciously. Everyone around was busy talking, and no one seemed to notice the two of us. I leaned in towards Zara to whisper in her ear.
“Okay,” I gushed, “But you have to promise not to tell anyone.”
She nodded, and I leaned in even closer. Bombs away…
“At-detention-I-got-a-cut-on-my-hand-and-Davies-helped-me-with-it-and-at-one-point-I-thought-we-were-gonna-kiss-but-Snape-walked-in-and-then-last-night-I-had-a-dream-where-Davies-and-I-did-actually-kiss!” My words came out slurred and quick, but I knew that Zara had caught each and every single one of them.
Zara squealed. A couple of people around us shot her questioning looks.
Zara was smiling like a damn Cheshire cat, “But you hate Davies!”
Thank you, Captain Obvious. We hope to hear another statement from you soon.
“I know! It’s horrible, Zara! I feel so ashamed!” I looked around wildly to see if anyone had heard, but no one showed any signs.
Then, I did it again. I locked eyes with Davies. I felt heat blushing my cheeks again. This was so not good…
“Don’t be ashamed, silly! I mean…was the kiss nice in the dream?”
I paused and tore my eyes away from Davies. “Yeah. It was nice. Terribly nice.”
Zara wiggled her eyebrows, “How far di-“
But the squawking and shrieking of several owls as they flew across the Great Hall interrupted her.
“Oh goody!” I said, happy for a distraction, “The morning mail’s here!”
Zara scowled as we watched the owls flutter down to specific tables. I wasn’t expecting any mail, but to my surprise, a black owl landed at my plate. It dropped a red envelope in front of me, and then was gone as quick as it came.
Zara and I stared at the red envelope.
In a flash, I had the Howler in my hand and was running, ignoring Zara’s cries for me to stop.
I was outside the Great Hall and up the Grand Staircase in no time, pushing past bewildered students as I ran and ran. I could feel the heat of the angry letter pulsing in my palm. I had little time left… I needed to get alone…
I sprinted down an unrecognizable hallway, my heart thudding with each step.
Suddenly, I came across a mahogany door. Skidding to a halt, I kicked it open and ran inside the room.
I had no time to look at my surroundings. All I cared about was that the room was empty. The letter was burning hot right now. It was about to explode.
Slamming the door, I leaned my back against it to barricade anyone else from coming inside. Then, with my eyes squeezed shut, I twisted my hand and riiipppp- the letter was open.
What followed was the loudest scream I have ever heard.
“AAAAEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIHHHHH!!! LACILYLA JULIANA ACKHART! YOU DISAPPOINT ME!” The letter exploded into a symphony of screams and anger. I clamped my hands over my ears, but I could still hear snippets of the furious letter.
“----BROUGHT YOU UP TO BE A PUREBLOOD SLYTHERIN!----”
I wanted to turn and leave, but it was as if I was paralyzed. Rooted to the spot, leaning on the door…
“----WHAT DO YOU DO?? GET YOURESLF SORTED INTO RAVENCLAW DURING YOUR FIRST YEAR!----”
I didn’t want to hear these words anymore.
“----THEN LAST SUMMER YOU DISRESPECT ME BY RUNNING AWAY TO THAT FILTHY MUGGLE’S HOME! ZARA IS WORTHLESS! YOU SHOULD NOT BE FRIENDS WITH THE LIKES OF HER!----”
Those horrible words…
“----I AM YOUR MOTHER, LACEY!! YOU ARE A PUREBLOOD! THAT’S HOW I BROUGHT YOU UP! EVER SINCE YOUR FATHER DIED, I RAISED YOU TO BECOME A DECENT PUREBLOOD… ALL BY MYSELF! AND HOW DO YOU REPAY ME? BY BEFRIENDING WORTHLESS MUDBLOODS! I DESPISE YOU! YOU DESERVE TO DIE! YOU DISGUST ME!----”
A tear. Dripping down my cheek.
“----AT THIS MOMENT, I OFFICIALLY DISOWN YOU! I WILL HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH A FILTHY MUGGLE-LOVER LIKE YOU! YOU’RE AS GOOD AS A MUDBLOOD! I WISH YOU DEAD!---”
Make it stop- Oh Merlin, just make it stop…Make it-
The letter vanished into a pile of ash and smoke.
It was finished.
For a moment, I stood there, my back still leaning on the door.
Okay. Maybe we should start from the beginning: my mother is a pureblood. My father is- or should I say was- a pureblood too. You do the math.
After my dad died, my mother raised me to become the perfect, pureblood, Slytherin. Associating with other purebloods, snooty talk, and uptight banquets basically outlined my childhood. I played along, and for a while, it was my biggest wish to please my mother. I was so young and naïve. I had wanted to be a pure little Slytherin. My mother was ecstatic.
So you can imagine her shock when I got sorted into Ravenclaw during my first year of Hogwarts. Oh, the irony…
And after that, six years of beatings, insults, and hexes followed. In Hogwarts, I was safe and protected, and my family was a different life.
But then, every summer, I would come home to pain. To punishment. I have welts on my back from that old hag. Scars on my body from the darkest spells I’ve never heard of…
So, last summer, before my seventh year, I had just about had enough. I packed my bags and went off to live with Zara.
I ran away from my own mother.
It had been a blissful summer. I had escaped my mother’s violence. No more pain. My bruises finally began to heal.
I had closed her off completely. She didn’t even know Zara’s address. I had ceased all contact with that old hag during the summer.
So it was only expected that my mother would try to reach me when I was at school. My only blessing was that I had just turned seventeen a month ago, so technically I wasn’t legally binded to her in any way.
I really should have seen this coming…
And here I was, leaning against a freaking door for support… As the cruelness of my mother’s words began to sink in…
The room I was in was about the size of a normal bedroom. The walls were grey stone and the inside was empty. The only object there was a huge window that covered the wall across from me. Early morning light spilled out through the glass panes, making shadows dance and play on the walls.
But I didn’t care about where I was, what time it was, or anything else. Shock was beginning to kick in. My legs trembled and I lowered myself onto the ground, my back still resting on the door. I allowed myself to curl into a small ball, tears streaming down my face. Her words echoed in my ears.
“You disappoint me!”
“You’re as good as dead!”
“Befriending worthless mudbloods!”
Those horrible words… My heart pounded fiercely until it felt like it would rip out of my chest. My blood boiled with fury.
“ZARA IS NOT A MUDBLOOD!” I screamed into the empty room, as if she could hear me. Tears spilled down my cheeks as I clenched my fists. My chest heaved into a clutching sob.
“ZARA IS NOT A MUDBLOOD!” I screamed again into the vast emptiness. More tears. More pain… I hate her. I HATE HER.
I pulled by legs closer to my chest, sobbing uncontrollably. The hot tears felt good on my cheeks. My side was in a sharp pain, but I didn’t care. The things she had said…
Did my own mother really wish me dead? Had I disappointed her that much? I trembled and whimpered against the door. Never before had I felt so weak… so worthless.
She was my mother! She was supposed to love me! Not hit me every day of every summer! Not ignore my incessant apologies! Every time I was home, it was either neglect or pain.
Ravenclaw… Slytherin… They were just names! Yet my body was in agony every summer…
I still have scars on my back. Those welts still dot my arms. I still remember the shrieking pain of the dark and mysterious curses she has performed on me. The way it feels like all the blood had been drained from my body… as if my bones have shattered.
As if my heart has broken.
I smacked the ground with my fist. Never. Never again will I come back home to that repulsing, bitter, old hag. Never again will she get the chance to cast dark magic over me. Never will I feel so useless.
Sniffling, I wiped my cheeks with the back of my hand and began to stand up. I was done crying.
I’m not going to be like her. I’m not going to grow up saying ‘Mudblood’ on a daily basis. I’m not going to adopt the same damned beliefs as hers.
I’m going to be different.
I didn’t bother to clean up the ashes of the letter.
“Zara is not a mudblood,” I whispered to myself one last time, and then left the room.
My face was still damp with tears as I trudged down an empty corridor. I was on my way to the common room for some R&R.
I just rounded the corner when BAM!-
I collided into something.
Well, not something. Someone.
…And my day just suddenly got worse.
“Ow… Merlin, Ackhart…” Roger Davies whined, “Watch where you’re going, okay?”
“Sorry,” I said, my face scarlet. Why, oh why, did the fates have to choose this one moment for me to run into him?
I mean, seriously. Like, what is it? National Let’s-Make-Lacey-Go-Insane Day?
Davies was about to push past me when he stopped. “Uh- Ackhart…are you alright?”
Hmm… he must have noticed my swollen eyes and tear-streaked cheeks. Pretty observant for someone with a single digit IQ.
“I’m fine,” I said gruffly, “Leave me alone.”
I turned away from him and began to continue walking down the hall.
“What is it? The time of the month or something?” I heard him holler behind me.
I whipped around, my insides clenching with a certain kind of fury that I couldn’t place. “Davies, I posses a wand and an extensive knowledge of curses and hexes… Not to mention that I am in an extremely bad mood. Don’t mess, Davies. Don’t mess.”
He smirked. That little insolent git smirked.
I mean, generally, when people are threatened by me, they don’t smirk. They cower in fear.
Okay, maybe I exaggerated. They don’t necessarily cower (even though I can be pretty scary when I want to). It’s more like they…flinch.
Anyways, he smirked.
And that just made me a whole lot angrier. My fists were clenched, and heat was flooding my whole body. My heart throbbed and pulsed angrily. I wanted to smack something. This was just too much…
And…so…. for some unthinkable reason, I just broke down in tears.
Yeah. I started sobbing like a blubbering idiot in front of the sexiest (and git-iest) boy in school.
And I’m not saying sobbing as in a few hiccups here and there…
No, I’m talking full on, snot-running-down-my-face-and-enough-tears-to-fill-the-ocean-sobbing.
I know. I’m cool.
Davies awkwardly patted me on the back for a while, murmuring things like, “It’ll be okay…”
And we just stood there in the empty corridor as I continued to sob.
Finally, I managed to control myself, and eventually ceased my humiliating display of bawling. “I’m s-s-s-sorry. I-i-it’s been a long day.”
Davies smiled. “It’s alright.”
His two hands were cupping my face, and he was using his thumbs to smoothly wipe the tears off of my cheeks. My heart jumped at his touch. I suddenly realized we were standing very close.
I looked up into his blue eyes, for he was quite taller than me, and managed a wobbly smile. “Thank you.”
He laughed a gruff but sweet laugh. “I still hate you.”
I continued to stare at those perfect blue eyes. So blue that they seemed to see through me like x-rays. “I still hate you too.” I said, although the words came out softer than I intended.
He released my face from his hands, and for a moment, we stood there awkwardly.
“Well,” cough. “Bye.”
I turned around and began to walk away.
“Don’t forget, Ackhart! Practice your Quidditch! You suck right now!” Davies yelled, his voice light and teasing.
My back still turned to him; I raised my hand to give him a rather unladylike hand gesture.
As I continued to walk away, I couldn’t help but smile. My sad and angry feelings were gone.
I knew everything was back to normal.
When I got back to the common room, I was in a considerably good mood (seeing as my one and only relative had just disowned me).
I plopped down onto a blue couch. At last. Peace… My eyelids drooped to a close.
My eyes snapped open at the sound of Zara’s voice, and I saw her glide down to the couch and sit next to me. She was in disarray. Her blonde hair was frizzy and wild, her face was pale, and her eyes were watering with worry.
I smiled. She didn’t even have to ask. I knew what she was thinking, “I’m fine.”
Zara looked at me for a moment. “Was the letter… my fault?”
I shook my head and lied. “No. She’s been sending me howlers for quite some time now.”
Zara paused. “Will you be okay?”
Knowing that she would probably have a heart attack if I told the truth, I mustered a smile and another lie, “Of course I will.”
She looked at me, unconvinced. “Alright. Let’s go get some lunch.”
I eagerly followed her out of the common room. Like they say, food is the best medicine.
Or is that laughter?
Well, whatever. It’s not like I need medicine. I’m not even sick.
Blah. I’m confusing myself.
I really appreciate reviews. Last time I had 440 reads and only 16 reviews. Am I doing anything wrong?
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