Chapter 4 : Butterfly, Pinned
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Thonilas Bishop was not a bad man. He was a respectable physician; a Healer of the most prestigious upbringing with the wizarding equivalent to an Ivy-League education and a head full of thick black hair. Along the path of life he had made some… questionable decisions, yes, but none that would make him a bad man.
He liked the simple things in life. Women, success, and the terrified respect of every intern sent to watch him work his magic on the ailing and injured.
In Thonilas’ opinion, Loren Zabini had been a woman from his own mould.
It had been a Friday when she strutted magnificently into his office, wearing a pair of thick sunglasses despite the fact that it was almost dark and definitely not sunny. She walked as though the very ground she stepped on was privileged to carry her weight, and Thonilas was instantly intrigued.
He soon found out that she wasn’t a woman for small-talk.
They went out for dinner at one of his favourite spots; a magnificent restaurant in Soho called August Haunt, the owner of whom was a wealthy warlock with a soft spot for Thonilas.
Loren Zabini had kept an air of extreme disinterest throughout the evening. She was bored, Thonilas realised.
“Not bored.” she had said, when he questioned her. “Just impatient. If you want something to eat, I have House Elves more qualified in gourmet than the chef in here. Let’s go.”
Thonilas was fascinated by her. Food was very obviously the last thing on her mind, and it was with an air of extreme captivation that he carelessly left a bag of galleons on the table, unconcerned that he was paying for food they had not eaten, and followed her out of the restaurant. Their clothes soon found their way on the floor of the carriage.
When the coach pulled up outside Loren Zabini’s magnificent manor, Thonilas went to grab his trousers before the driver could open the door. Loren sat back, watching him hurry into his clothes. She lazily swaggered the distance from the carriage to the manor doors in nothing but her heels and a necklace, the moonlight bouncing off her dark skin.
From that night on, Thonilas was hooked. Loren became his drug, his addiction; the reason his timing in the office became more and more careless as he cancelled appointments to be with her. She was like a butterfly, beautiful and mysterious and able to flutter away at any given moment.
The marriage had been his idea. At the time he hadn’t known that it had been her plan all along, to entrance him until he proposed. She let him think it was all his arrangements, that he was moving in with a net to capture the butterfly that was Loren Zabini and press her onto a cork-board to hang on his wall. She would be his forever.
After the wedding he started to hear things. Rumours… rumours about her previous husbands, and how they had suddenly died under suspicious circumstances. At first Thonilas ignored them. There were always going to be silly little people lower down on the food chain who got jealous and started whispering, after all. And his marriage to Loren was perfect.
It wasn’t until later that he realised it had been too perfect. They never fought. Loren never gave him reason to start a fight; she was cold and distant and yet never too cold to give him grounds for an argument. She never looked at other men, or at least not so he would ever find out.
And here he was, the once-great Thonilas Bishop, covered from head to toe in mud and grass and an ominous dark patch in the shirt he hadn’t had a chance to remove.
He stood in the shadows of the entrance hall, waiting for his heart to slow down. The ground glittered in the moonlight; the shards of glass like diamonds on the tiled floor. Thonilas inhaled shakily. What a mess… what a horrendous mess. Loren dead, her blasted son somewhere in the manor with some of his blasted friends… no, they would have to be silenced.
His eyes darkened and slowly rose to settle on the ceiling. They were upstairs somewhere.
“I am sorry, my love.” he whispered to the manor at large. “You shouldn’t have made me…”
The gardening shears were still in his hands, crusted dark red with Loren’s saintly blood. His conscience seemed to have welded his fingers closed around them; lifting the damned plant pot and hurling it at the window with one hand had been an interesting minute and a half.
Something thudded above him.
“Lord forgive me for what I must do…” Thonilas mouthed, stepping into the shadows. By the time the door opened and four huddled teenagers stepped into the entrance hall, he had disappeared.