I was trapped. Regulus hadn’t arrived yet so I was alone. I didn’t mind until the boys started drinking and drooling on anything in a dress. Protectively, I crossed my arms around my chest and sat in between Mim and my father. She put her long slender arm around me and squeezed my shoulder as I leaned against her silky silver shawl. Always the conservative, Mim wore an elegant but plain black dress. High necklines and no hint of sex appeal was her style. Most 50 something pureblooded women knew their place but tried to wear designer clothes. She followed that example to the tee. I on the other hand wore an expensive handmade dark olive dress. The dress itself was tight but it fit me a little too well. It was backless with a swooping neckline and no sleeves. I would have actually liked the dress if it wasn’t an inch and a half above my knee. Another inch and I could have sued my mother for false advertisement. I would have won too... My mother had yet to understand that just because she wore scandalous dresses at fifteen didn’t mean I should be granted the same privilege. Twice that night I had to roughly push a drunk Rastaban off me without any help. His brother was too busy screwing some waitress to keep his brother off of his girlfriend. I could sue my mother for wrongful advertisement but she wasn’t worth the paperwork.
Sighing I glanced around the room. Everyone my age was either drunk or snogging each other in one of the several dark corners. I wouldn’t have minded the second but I didn’t feel like snogging any of the guys in attendance. They were all too vile or too drunk to be worth getting up for. I looked at my mother emptily and saw her talking to Mrs. Lestrange. Her lengthy black hair was swept up in a tight bun and her gorgeous face was pale from the pounds of useless make up she had applied. My father sat perfectly straight with his hand calmly around the small in my mother’s back. His pale blue eyes were blank as he listened to Mr. Nott talk about some new ministry policy. He held no emotion in his square face as he occasionally made quick but quiet replies to Mr. Nott. He didn’t say much but then again he never really did. My mother discussed some news with Mrs. Lestrange freely until Mr. Nott interjected his own thoughts. Then it was as if a switch were hit. She fell silent and listened without any comment. He wasn’t necessarily disagreeing with her but he wasn’t giving her any positive feedback either. She didn’t refute anything. Like the model pureblood wife she said nothing and let him boost his own ideas instead of contributing any more of her own. I wanted to slap her but I just scowled. No one noticed. After a few minutes my mother saw me sitting and the little crease between her eyebrows appeared.
“Juliette? Why aren’t you with your friends?”
Because the two friends that are here are drunk of their asses.
Mim answered for me, clutching me closer to her for affect, “Can’t she spend time with her dear grandmother in the last few years she has?”
Thank Merlin for Mim.
My mother rolled her eyes. “Mum you receive a full bill of health every trip to St. Mungos.”
“You never know what could happen.”
I could sense my mother’s fury at my lack of social grace but in the presence of other’s she put on a wary smile and moved on. Mim winked at me and hugged her tighter.
“How are you bebe?” She asked me as she gently stroked my hair out of my face.
I smiled up at her softly. “I’m fine, how are you?”
“Just glorious,” She looked and checked over to see if my parents were listening. “Your brother owled me today. He got a job with the Daily Prophet.”
“Oh,” I nodded politely. “That’s nice.”
“Would it kill you to care?"
I sighed indifferently. “It’s not that I don’t care…Actually I take that back I don’t care. I’m sorry Mim but I haven’t seen him since my thirteenth birthday and I haven’t heard from him since last Christmas. Some siblings are close me and Nik just …aren’t. We are too different. Sure as kids we were close but we’ve changed.... I’m sorry Mim.”
Mim nodded with a sad smile. “Maybe that will change one day.
“Yeah,” I lied with false hope, “Maybe.”
We stayed quiet for awhile and I started to feel bad. She was always in an awkward place. Mim loved Nik but she couldn’t openly defy his unofficial disownment and openly accepted him. The pureblood in her would always keep her from him. I tried to picture his face in my mind but I wasn’t able to. It had been too long. Biting my lip I looked around the room and saw Regulus. I jumped to my feet and rushed over to him. His parents and brother were a few feet behind him but I paid them no attention. My soul focus was the handsome boy in front of me. I threw my arms around him and hugged him tightly, much to his delight.
“Don’t ever be late for a party again!"
He laughed brandishing his perfect teeth. “I won’t!” Regulus hugged me tightly, “Where’s everyone?”
“Let’s see,” I started pulling away and pursing my lips, “Taylor’s drunk, Parker is sick, Lestrange is…indisposed, Nott is snogging, Angie is snogging, Avery is M.I.A, Malfoy is with Narcissa in the drawing room and your little girlfriend was here just a moment ago…”
Regulus gave me a dirty look and shook his head. “She’s not my girlfriend…”
“Yeah,” I scoffed, “Because you won’t give her a second glance. Why is that sparky? Too good for little miss pink?”
I laughed and watched his father shake my father’s hand. They were the same brand, not too talkative but menacing creatures all the same. His mother on the other hand was nothing like my own. Mrs. Black was short, pale and almost anorexic. Her black hair was chin length and her caramel brown eyes were oddly cold for the natural warmth the color gave off. I didn’t look at them too long. My parents may have been in a loveless marriage but they were cordial. It was a known fact that the Black family was one big fight. Mr. Black fighting with Mrs. Black, Regulus fighting with Sirius, there was hardly a time when they weren’t arguing amongst themselves. I glanced over at Regulus’s brother. He stood in the corner furiously. His eye was bruised and he had a cup of Firewiskey in his hand.
“Your brother looks pissed.”
Regulus scowled, “Yeah…He usually does.”
“Let me guess he doesn’t want to be here?”
“Understatement of the year,” He breathed under his breath so only I could hear it.
I hugged him I leaned against his shoulder with a sigh. “You know that’s gonna be us.”
He turned to see at what I was seeing and laughed at the old arguing couple I pointed out. “Oh yeah that’s us alright."
“Come on! Don’t you see it?!” I teased him easily resting my head on his arm.
He ruffled my hair mockingly, “Completely!”
“Are you saying you can’t see us married in fifty years?”
“To each other?!” His voice cracked but I could tell it wasn’t because he was opposed to the statement.
“Do you mind?”
Regulus rolled his eyes dryly. “Just a bit.”
“KIDS!” A fat little man shouted in the middle of the ballroom. “Kids! Come to the center. Picture time!”
Sirius sulked off somewhere as I grabbed Regulus’s hand and dragged him to the plump little man. Everyone seemed to emerge for the occasion. Nott pulled me into the center and wrapped his arm around me. Regulus got on my other side and wrapped his arm around my waist. Malfoy was on his right side with his arms wrapped around Narcissa. Taylor and Connor were next to them and Bellatrix managed to slink in with Avery and Yaxley next to Nott. Before the tiny man could take the picture Lestrange jumped next to Connor and tossed his arm around Connors shoulder.
“NO!” We laughed in unison.
“One more shot. Try to be more fun…in this one.” I couldn’t help but laugh. The man looked like he had never seen a fun thing in his life. Before I could share this thought with anyone though Lestrange rushed over and picked me up bridal style. Shocked I glued my arms to his neck as all the men followed the suite. I could hear the adults chuckling at the spectacle from their tables.
“One…two …three-“ The man called loudly.
Lestrange put me down and I felt my mother’s approving gaze on me. Disgust filled me. Lestrange lowered me and kissed me hard. I didn’t fight it; I just let it happen and kind of hated myself for it.
The instant my feet hit the grass I let go off his arm and went to the gate. I didn’t look at him. I just took out my wand and unlocked the thick three inch lock. I would have just used my wand but I wanted to make sure I didn’t set off some kind of silent alarm. Once I heard the lock click open I pushed it open and walked through it. I didn’t wait for him. I knew he would follow. We went to the back of the massive manor to where Lucius’s room was when he was a child. No one would use it now. The instant his parent’s died Malfoy took over the estate and moved back in with Narcissa. My knowledge of their years together after Hogwarts didn’t extend much farther than that. I grabbed grippers from my back pocket and threw him my spare pair. He looked confused on how to use them but I knew he would never ask me. So I just tucked my hair inside of my black camouflage hoodie and slid my hands through the grippers hands. Then I backed away a few feet away from the house before running at it full speed and going up the wall. Invisible sticky strings attached to the wall in front of me and held me in place. When I moved up they extended up the wall and stuck to the wall above me. It was like a wizard’s version of a spider web and I loved it. Reaching the window I magically opened it and sit on the ledge. Down below his mouth was ajar.
He did exactly what I did but looked unsure as he was walking up. “What if I fall?!”
“You’ll just hang upside down. Unless you let go then you fall.”
We said nothing else to each other. Maybe it was his determination to get this mission over with or his ruthlessness to not be worse than me at something but Sirius made it up the wall quickly. In training it took me a few tries to get good at using grippers I couldn’t see to get over the fact that I couldn’t see what was holding me up. He just did it on his first try. One trait I always admired about him was just what a fast learner he was. Just watching me do something and he could do the same thing. I never could do that. Though I do have a somewhat photographic memory I’m not as adaptable as him in new situations. I envy that about him. Shaking my head, I actively stop thinking about him.
I started letting my mind govern me less and rely on my senses. My ears were on alert for any suspicious sound. My eyes scanned the room. It was perfectly clean despite its obvious lack of use. I was taken aback by the size of it. My entire flat wasn’t half the size of this room. He had Slythern colors on every corner. Books, magazines, clothes were took up a library size book shelf and he had the largest rug I’d ever seen in the center. Then it hit me. All of my friends had rooms this size when I was growing up. Mine wasn’t as big as his but it wasn’t as small as my room now. In the corner of my eye I saw a picture and went towards it. I don’t know what possessed me to do so but I just had to go near it. It wasn’t until I saw my own giggling face that I understood why.
Lestrange was holding me bridal style and I was hanging onto his neck tightly for fear of death. I wondered why he kept this picture until I saw everyone else. We all looked so happy and…together. Everyone was coupled off and the two who looked completely in love were Lucius and Narcissa. A surge of jealously weaved through me as I forced myself to turn away and leave the room. He was waiting in the hallway he was about to ask what took me when he stopped himself. I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t anymore. It hurt too much. The image of two people fall in love and stay in love successfully was too much for me to handle. Especially with the only man I ever loved a foot away me. Tightening my jaw, I pulled out my wand and focused on everything but him. Lucius and Narcissa were supposed to be out at a pureblood society function leaving the house to us. Turning the corner I felt myself slip into the very memories I had been fighting years to forget.
“Juliette,” My father whispered menacingly. “Shut the door all the way.”
I felt the goose bumps on my arm emerge as I closed the door as instructed. I didn’t say anything. I was probably in trouble for something I didn’t even remember doing. I was used to getting lectured for stupid useless things. He could tell me how awful I was and try to belittle me but I didn’t care. I was so far from caring what he thought about me. I was going to get out. Get a job, a flat with Sirius and a life free from all of this. No more little white gloves.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
I starred at him stupidly, “Standing here?”
He closed his eyes, incensed by answer. “What do you think you’re doing with Sirius Black?”
My throat tightened but I forced myself to stare back at him. “I don’t know what you’re-“
“DON’T LIE TO ME!” He roared standing up suddenly. My eyes widened and I took an unsure step back.
“Bellatrix told me the truth.”
I gritted my teeth. “Oh she did did she?”
“What do you think you’re doing?” He repeated this time more controlled. “You think I’m going to allow you to see this boy? Did you really think you were going to get away with this?”
“He’s more than just a boy.” I reached into my pocket and slipped the ring from inside it on my left index finger.
I’d never seen anyone so angry in my life. He started shaking. “Juliette…You are never to see this boy again….”
“I’m sorry,” I told him indifferently, “But I’m afraid you’re wrong. I’ve already made the commitment.”
“Engagements are broken all the time. Especially to worthless blood traitors!”
I moved for the door. “I’m sorry father but I’m not giving in this time.”
“YES YOU ARE! CRUCIO!”
I dropped to the floor and withered in pain. As my bones were set on fire I screamed out in agony. He stood above me, his expression was maddened. He took the spell off and I was left on the floor, sticky from my own blood.
“Juliette you will break this engagement and marry your betrothed Rudolphus.”
I stared up at him through watery eyes, “We’re not just engaged.”
I could have lied and I should have but I didn’t. He knew exactly what I meant and he completely let go. All the years he wished he could beat me as freely as he wished were unleashed in this moment. Until I was barely breathing, laying on the cold floor in a pool of my own blood. I heard someone’s screaming and it took awhile before I understood it was me. I knew I was alone and that no one would find me in time to save me. Crying hysterically I’d never felt so helpless in my entire life. I started uncontrollably convulsing as I spit up blood. My ears picked up familiar voices but they sounded too far away for me to know who they were. Then I felt a rush of air and movement. I couldn’t handle being moved. The torture increased and I found myself wishing I were dead. Then I was in a hospital bed.
A voice asked, “How long has she been pregnant?” And I passed out.
“This isn’t right,” Sirius whispered as we rounded yet another corner.
I paused and faced him, “What do you mean?”
“We should have run into a house elf by now.” He explained logically.
“Where did it say they were?”
He pulled out the paper and read, “The Nott’s Annual Pureblood Ball.”
My eyes widened in fear, “That’s always in January
“Very smart Jules.” A slimy voice sneered behind me, “Too bad you didn’t figure that out before you climbed through the window.”
I turned to find Malfoy looking at me. “Lucius, what do we owe the pleasure?”
Several death eaters surrounded us and he smirked. “Oh I believe the pleasure is all ours."
…” I scoffed under my breath as Sirius was pushed to my side.
Lucius flicked his wand and my hands tied behind my back. I saw he did the same to Sirius and frowned. We followed Malfoy down to the dungeons and stopped as he unlocked the door. For just a second our eyes locked. Our guard’s were down and I saw everything; his pain, his love for me, his anguish over loosing me. I was shocked by the intensity of it. I knew he loved me but to what depth I never knew. My eyes watered and I wanted more than anything to go to him. I never got the chance. We were thrown down against the stone wall hard and the last thing we saw was Bellatrix’s leering face before she slammed the door shut.
I laughed to myself bitterly, “If we make it through this. I’m beating the shit out of her.”
Thank you for reading!
I probably will update again this week. Incase I don't Happy Christmas! PLEASE REVIEW!