Chapter 3 : Dark hair and darker eyes
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"A good library is a palace where the lofty spirits of all nations and generations meet." - Samuel Niger
The heat of summer could be seen in every crack of the Irish landscape. It could be seen in the fierceness the sunlight chased away the shadows. It could be seen in the verdant emerald covering the surrounding hills. And it could be seen in the light warm breeze blowing from the West onto the colourful homes of Addison’s Gulf. Unfortunately, despite all of the delightfulness of summer that could be seen there was one sixteen year old Macdonald who was letting it all go to waste as she slept in her bed.
She was buried beneath three layers of blankets despite the heat wafting through her window and swirling about her room. The ivory curtains covering her double-hung window were being blown over her face and onto the edge of her bed, but she didn’t notice and when the sun shimmered through the pane and onto her face she merely groaned and flattened a pillow over her head.
“Mary!” Called her mother on the other side of the bedroom door, but Mary ignored her hoping that if her mother thought she was too deep in sleep she would go away and let her sleep all summer. There was a light clicking of a lock and all hopes of hibernation vanished with her last speck of dreams. “Mary.” There were footsteps and Mary felt, what she knew to be forty-seven pounds, placed on her butt. She rolled onto her side, the weight rolling and giggling as she did so. Mary’s baby brother Marcus was now jumping on the bed not caring if he occasionally landed on the back of his sister’s knees. The girl narrowed her gaze at her mother who was smiling triumphantly.
“Hey, I’ve let you sleep in late for the past two weeks. Now it is time for you to help out around here…come on Marcus.” The boy jumped onto his mother’s back and they both left the room, singing off-key at the top of their lungs.
Mary glared at the room; it was too bright with its whitewash walls and ivory linen and too girly with all the cute stuffed animals staring down at her from her bookshelves. Marcus was always coming into her room and taking them despite his height. He had come into his magic a little early, unfortunately for Mary, and the toys were always levitating themselves down to him if he screamed loud enough.
“Coming,” she shouted back before throwing the blankets onto the floor.
The Macdonald residence was a lavender painted two-storey house nestled in the midst of Addison’s Gulf, a completely non-magical village surrounded by lakes and countryside. In the home lived Mary, her mother, brother and on occasion her father when he chose to visit. There was also the family’s snowy owl Dax that usually stayed in his cage outside on the wraparound porch if he wasn’t out hunting for food.
The kitchen was a bit small but bright like everything else in the house and filled with the smell of fried eggs and bacon. Mrs. Macdonald, with her dark hair tied back in a loose ponytail was sitting with Marcus at the dining table. Mary joined them sitting in her usual seat where a full plate of food was already waiting for her.
“Morning,” greeted Mary before pouring cream into her tea.
“Good Morning.” Replied Mrs. Macdonald with an eyebrow raised, “nice to see you’re out of your room.”
“I came out yesterday.”
“For dinner.” Marcus nodded in agreement.
“Yeah well…” Mary blew on her tea, realizing she had no excuse.
They ate mostly in silence except for Marcus’ story about his new friend from the street over. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know the girl’s name, as Mary had pointed out, according to Marcus they would be friends forever and that was that.
After breakfast Mary washed up the dishes, took a shower and helped her mother wash the clothes. She was out in the backyard hanging a blouse on the clothes line when Marlene arrived looking very excited.
“Hello, Hello.” She practically skipped over to Mary from the backdoor and nearly decapitated herself on a clothes line when she tripped on a stone. A bark escaped Mary’s lips before she clamped down on them.
“You okay?” Marlene waved the questioned aside completely unfazed. Mary noticed a piece of parchment in her hand. “What’s that?”
“This?” Marlene held up the parchment, her smile growing into a mischievous smirk and her dark eyes were practically twinkling. Mary nodded anxious for her to continue. “This is a note, that I got two weeks ago that I was supposed to pass on to you-“
“Let me finish.” Marlene’s grin was so wide she looked ready to burst and she was practically bouncing in place. “I just remembered about it today when I was doing laundry-“
“You haven’t done laundry for two weeks?”
“Will you let me finish?” Mary grinded her teeth and hooked the pins in her hand onto the tail of her shirt. “Now, this note I have not read it.” She paused holding up her hand to halt Mary’s accusation. They both knew how curious Marlene could be and it seemed impossible to believe that she hadn’t read a simple note that had been in her possession for the past two weeks. And if she was this excited the note had to be from a boy.
“Sirius Black.” She held out the parchment for Mary to take and the girl took it. She looked at it doubtful that anything good could be written on the parchment, especially since her and Black had not departed on good terms.
“What is it?” What could Black want her to know?
“I don’t know. He said you asked for it.”
It? thought Mary. What exactly was it? She hadn’t asked him for anything.
“Just open it,” Marlene ordered her face practically burning with curiosity. Mary frowned at the note, she wanted to give in to her own stubbornness and just crush the parchment in her hand and throw it away, but she was curious too. Besides, it wasn’t like Black would know that she had opened it. “Oh give it.” In one quick motion the parchment was back in Marlene’s hand, and before Mary could stop her cousin, unfolded and being read aloud.
“Sirius Black, Number 12 Grimmauld Place, London.”
“His mailing address?”
“Seems like it.” Marlene handed the address over to Mary looking a little suspicious, “why would you want Black’s mailing address eh?”
“Oh stop it.” She stuffed the parchment into her skirt pocket and resumed hanging up the clothes. “I didn’t ask for it.” There was a ‘hmm’ and Marlene picked up pair of trousers from the laundry basket and handed it to Mary. She took it not bothering to question Marlene’s suspicious ‘hmm’.
She didn’t want to admit it but after a week Mary could not stop thinking about Black’s note. It was sitting on her nightstand still crumpled up in a ball. She had attempted to throw it away a few times and had succeeded but then she would always reach into the trash can, unfold it, crumple it again and place it back on the nightstand. She knew it was ridiculous but it was like a little voice in her head constantly asking her to write but she kept saying no. And what really bothered her was that she didn’t know why Black wanted her to write him. Maybe he had wanted her to apologize for being mean or maybe he was still curious about her running away from him, whatever the reason Mary had decided not to send him anything.
“Why not?” Marlene, unfortunately, did not agree.
“Because I have nothing to tell him.”
“Big butt!” Both of the girls turned to indeed see Marcus pointing at an enormously big butt of a large woman who was bending over to take a book off a bottom shelf. The girl’s giggled and immediately disappeared with Marcus into the next aisle before the woman spotted them.
It was a Saturday and the girls (after Mary’s begging) had decided to go to the village’s only bookstore but only if Mary would accompany Marlene to the clothes store afterward. Marcus wasn’t keen on visiting either place. He thought books were boring and only good for stacking up and using as footstools or for throwing at lizards and as for clothes he preferred to be running around naked most of the time. That’s why at this point Mary wasn’t getting any browsing done and had to keep stopping him from pulling things off the shelves.
“But he obviously wants you to write him.”
“You sure he doesn’t want you to write him? How does he even know we live near each other?”
“Emmeline, and I know it wasn’t me because he said to give it to you.”
Mary put back a book she was looking at and kept moving down the aisle. She hated this bookstore it hardly held any of the types of books she was interested in and they rarely brought anything new in. She moved from horror and glanced at the romance section. If she wasn’t going to get a thrill she could at least satisfy the sensitive part of her.
“Looking for valiant knights with rippling pectorals?” Mary’s eyes widened when she saw that it was the large woman from the aisle over, she winked at Mary and picked a paperback from the row of shelves. “This should put some blush in those cheeks.”
Marlene was still laughing when they left the store.
After spending two agonizing hours wandering through Fiona’s Fabulous Frocks, the girls and Marcus walked over to Marlene’s house for lunch. With their homes just being a few blocks away the girls always spent most of their time together, especially when they were younger. While growing up as magical children in a muggle village their parents had always been cautious with whom the girls played with so most of the time they just played with each other.
July moved by swiftly and ended with Lily and Marlene staying over Mary’s home for the week. They did the typical girl sleep over things - staying up late, freezing underwear, eating junk food and talking about boys although that was a short discussion. In the day both Mary and Marlene showed Lily around the village and they all took the floo network to London for a day. Lily took them to see a movie for the very first time and both girls loved it from the start.
When August arrived Lily left but not before asking Mary’s mum if Mary could stay over for Christmas break. “Of course she can.” And of course Mary’s mum had agreed.
Everyone was sitting down at the dining table indulging in dinner because of course Lily’s parent had agreed after their daughter’s insistence that she be allowed to stay for the whole day instead of leaving as soon as the sun rose.
“See,” whispered Lily as she passed Mary a plate of cabbage colcannon, “told you she wouldn’t mind.” Mary smiled hoping she didn’t look as fake as she felt. She had in fact known her mother wouldn’t object to Mary getting out of the house more but of course Mary had told Lily otherwise.
It wasn’t that Mary didn’t want to spend time with Lily outside of school it was just that Mary did not want to spend time in other people’s homes. She didn’t even like going over to Marlene’s house most of the time and she was family. She was not very comfortable invading other people’s privacy and space and despite the amount of fun she and Lily had over the past week she did not like people invading her space.
“Marcus, can you stop jumping on my bed.”
“Never!” Mary glared at Marlene who was also jumping on the bed.
“Not helping.” Marlene blew a raspberry and Marcus followed suit. Seeing that she was outnumbered Mary sat on the floor and pulled out the envelopes she had hidden in her skirt. She ripped open hers first and quickly scanned the list of grades.
Astronomy – E
Care of Magical Creatures - P
Charms - O
Defence Against the Dark Arts - E
Herbology - O
History of Magic - A
Transfiguration - E
Study of Ancient Runes - O
Potions – A
“Well, that’s not so bad.” She placed the list back in the envelope and read the usual letter from McGonagall stating the start of classes on September 1st and the list of books needed for her passed courses.
There was a gasp and large thump as Marlene landed on the floor. She bolted to the unopened envelope, ripped it open and kicked Mary’s leg lightly.
“Thanks for telling me.” Mary shrugged and waited for Marlene’s squeals of delight.
“Oh mum’s going to kill me.”
“Got an A?”
“In Herbology.” Mary rolled her eyes, it was ridiculous. Marlene the normally straight O student and prefect extraordinaire got one A and her mum would go postal on her. She could just imagine how Aunt Kerry would react if she saw Mary’s P, the woman would probably tell Mary’s mum to pull her out of Hogwarts and home school her herself.
“How’d you do?” Asked Marlene eyeing Mary’s envelope. Mary handed her grades over without protest and watched Marlene’s eye widen for a second before quickly becoming forcibly neutral. “These are good.”
“Uh huh.” Mary snatched back the grades and headed downstairs. “Mum. Got my grades,” she shouted. Her mum was in the backyard sitting on the steps listening to the Wizarding Wireless while drinking coffee. She usually did this on rainy days when the air got cool and the day dark. A basket of folded clothes were sitting on the floor beside her. Mary moved them and sat next to her.
“Got my grades.” Her mum continued staring at the rain for a few seconds and then as if pulling herself out of dream slowly looked at Mary with the same brown eyes as her daughter. She took the parchment from Mary and slowly unfolded it. Mary watched anxiously for some sort of sign on her mother’s face but her mother remained impassive.
“These are good.” Her mother smiled at her and handed the grades back, “we should celebrate.”
“But I got a P.”
“Yes, well as much as I’ve dreamed for you to tame dragons I think I’ll let the P slide.”
It wasn’t until the following week that the celebration took place. Everyone had decided to hold off plans until both Mary’s and Marlene’s family were free for the occasion. It wasn’t anything big just dinner at a restaurant. It was casual dress and the girls had been allowed to have a sip of wine each when the waiter wasn’t looking. Mary wasn’t fond of the taste always finding it too bitter while Marlene always snuck another sip when the opportunity arrived.
Mary was related to Marlene on her mother’s side making Mr. McKinnon Mary’s actual uncle. You could tell by looking at the table that the entire clan was related with their dark hair and even darker eyes. Except for Aunt Kerry of course who was only related to Mary through marriage, she had flaming red hair and was a bit on the short side while the girls had inherited a good amount of height from their linked parents.
They all sat through five courses and when the bill arrived Uncle Conall paid.
“You can get the next one.” He had said to finally convince Mary’s mum to let him pay. It was what he always said even though he paid all the time.
“I will get the next one,” was Mrs. Macdonald’s reply.
Marcus was asleep when they reached home. Mary had volunteered to carry him into the house while her mum balanced the doggy bags they had taken with them from the restaurant.
The lights inside the house turned on as they were walking up the front steps and when the door opened before Mary’s mum even had a time to find the right key she knew before seeing him that her dad had come back home.
Authour's Note: Thank you all for reading. I know there were a lot of names beginning with 'M' in this chapter I hope it wasn't too confusing. Its just a tradition with names in the family. With that being said please tell me what you think of this chapter in the the lovely box below ^_^. I know your out there reading this I have proof! So please be a sweetie and write to me.
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