Chapter 1 : In His Eyes
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It was always there – haunting me, telling me that no matter what I did to redeem myself, I would never be the same in his eyes. It was as if he was wordlessly telling me that I was not good enough for his love, that I was tarnished, unworthy, rotten.
It was the look that followed me in my dreams, tormenting me, mocking me. During the day it was all I saw. I found myself locking myself away in my room, going for walks, and spending much more time than was humanly possible counting the specks of black in our marble tiles. All so that I did not have to look at him.
All, so that I did not have to see the fact that he did not love me by choice.
He loved me begrudgingly. He loved me because a father was supposed to love his daughter. He loved me with the type of love that one would reserve only for acquaintances or business partners. I was just another part of his life – one that could be easily ignored while I was at school. One that could be forgotten about on a daily basis, put aside, shelved, like Christmas gifts that were never wanted nor opened.
Many would have thought that I would have become indifferent to this empty stare, to the way that I was valueless.
But was I not human? Was there not some part of me, that underneath all of the hard, unfeeling layers I had built around myself that wanted to be loved? Was there not some little girl, deep down inside of me, crying out for someone to come and put the pieces of her scattered and fragmented life back together?
“Pansy, darling, what is wrong?”
I looked up from my barely touched plate of food into the inquisitive face of Narcissa Malfoy.
“Oh nothing,” I replied, smiling the gracious smile I had been taught to bestow upon elders. “Excuse me, ma’am. I must have been caught in a daze.”
“Be happy, girl,” she said, gently sipping at her wine. “It is Christmas. Everyone deserves to have joy on Christmas.”
“Oh, yes,” I answered lightly. “Tis the season.”
Narcissa smiled a thin lipped smile at me and then rejoined the conversation with the rest of the adults at the head of the table, smiling and nodding at the proper moments, just like a good pure-blooded wife should.
“Are you not hungry?” I heard someone ask from to my left.
“I am quite full,” I replied curtly to the blonde boy on my left. Draco nodded once and continued to pick at his own plate of food. He had no reason to be harping on my own lack of appetite. He had barely eaten more than me.
I folded my napkin in my lap and placed my hands in a tight knot over them. I knew I was the picturesque daughter. I had spent hours this morning curling each and every strand of my ebony hair and had even ordered a new dress for the occasion. Most fathers would have been proud to bring such a presentable, well mannered girl to the Malfoys’ for Christmas dinner. My father had just nodded his solemn approval and told me that it was time to leave.
I was not quite sure what I had ever done to make him so unfeeling towards me. I had known ever since I was a child that there was something about me that made him wary of me. I supposed for a long time that it was the fact that my mother had died shortly after giving birth to me. I had thought that he hated me for killing her.
Now I realize that having him hate me would have been preferable to having him feel nothing towards me. If I did not exist, he would hardly notice. He would not grieve his loss. He would accept the sympathies others would bestow upon him like the gentleman that he was and he would move on with his life. It was that simple.
If he had hated me, at least he would feel something towards me. They say that hate is the closest thing to love. If that was true than I should truly want for him to hate me. To have him be so careless, it was unbearable.
That was why I had run away all those months ago. That was why I had spent endless weeks crying myself to sleep on a lonely, musty bed at the Leaky Broomsticks. It was why I had come back to him in the end.
I do not know what I had been thinking – that maybe losing me would make him realize that he truly did love me? Maybe I was hoping with a blind, naïve hope that absence did make the heart grow fonder.
Like most other times in my life, I had been let down. Things had become worse between the two of us. If he had been absent before, he was like a ghost now. We barely spoke, and when we did it was awkward and lasted for little more than a few seconds. I did my best to show him that I wanted to be there – that I loved him, and that I was willing to make things work.
I spent more time than ever before in my life socializing with his business colleagues and friends. I had impressed his boss when he had come over to dinner with my impeccable manners and hospitality. I had studied harder than ever in my life and gotten six NEWTS. I had even attempted to strike up a relationship with his current lady friend.
And yet there was never any sense of pride in his voice when he spoke of me or to me. There was never any warmth when he said my name.
I was sure that no one else that noticed this defect in my father’s personality. One would not notice the difference, unless they were searching for it. Me, I had spent my whole life searching for it. The fact that I could not find it was eating me alive. It was as if there was a hole slowly ripping its way through my very core, threatening to destroy me from the inside out. It was as if my organs were slowly caving in on one another, suffocating me.
I died a little bit more every day.
I started and looked up. The entire table was staring at me, most with concern, others with bemusement, and some with exasperation.
“Yes, excuse me?” I asked, blushing a bit from how flustered I felt.
“Are you sure you are all right, dear?” Narcissa asked kindly, looking genuinely worried. “You do not feel sick?”
“I’m quite all right, thank you,” I lied, smiling my gracious smile again.
“I would like to propose a toast,” Lucius Malfoy announced from the head of the table. Everyone quickly went silent and stared up at our host. “Family, friends, and everyone here today, I would like to wish you a healthy and happy Christmas. May you all find love and comfort this holiday season.”
“Amen” everyone chorused, raising their wine glasses high.
I nodded my head and glass to Draco, who was doing his best to smile at me. Everyone present knew that Lucius’s toast had just been an empty speech, said because there was nothing else to say.
“Merry Christmas,” I said to the wizard who sat on my right, whose name I could not remember, but knew that it was only proper to address anyway.
“Merry Christmas,” he mumbled back, nodding quickly at me and downing the rest of his wine in one gulp. I grimaced and turned away to address someone else when I felt it.
It sent shivers down my spine and I turned slowly in my seat, dreading what I knew I would see.
There they were. Two empty brown eyes. Two eyes that stared at me with such disdain, such disappointment, such regret.
“Merry Christmas, Pansy,” my father said from where he sat next to Narcissa. I smiled meekly back at him and raised my glass to him.
“Merry Christmas, Father,” I replied sadly.
A/N: So I don't really know where this came from. I was just kind of upset and this is what came from it. So I decided to share it with you all. I hope you all liked it. Thanks for taking the time to read it. And hey, if you want, leave me a review and tell me what you thought! I don't usually write stuff like this, so it would be interesting to see what you think of it. :)
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