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Chapter 12 : Treacherous Friends
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8 years earlier…
The steady thump of the bass floated down through the stairs, sank through the walls and ceiling, and drowned out the soothing sound of the waves rolling up onto the beach, despite that the windows of Shell Cottage were thrown open on that Summer’s eve. It had actually been Molly’s idea to open the window; one of her favorite aspects of Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur’s home was its proximity to the ocean, that wondrous, vast expanse that beckoned to her, promising to take her to places she’d only read about. Places, like India, where she could ride an elephant, or sip imperially on gin and tonics as she listened to the cacophony of Muggle rice cookers hissing to the rhythm of urban bustle and traditional songs praising the gods. She tried to imagine the smells of spices and tandoori breads, the blur of colors as women passed by in their Saris, and the intricate patterns of Sanskrit across parchment. She thought it would be fun to learn to levitate without a wand, like the Hindu renouncers of the magical community there. Molly smiled secretively to herself, trying to envision floating above the ground simply through meditation and channeling of her magical energy. She thought of monkeys, and briefly wondered what monkeys thought of her. Her lips twitched as a snippet of a story formed in her head, her ink-stained left hand itching for a quill. But, she’d left her journal at home.
She’d have to try to remember her fairytale later. Though, maybe it wasn’t a fairytale. Molly had heard that people were sometimes mugged by groups of monkeys.
“Do-om,” Lysander moaned playfully from the sofa, as his girlfriend continued to kiss him.
The noise rudely pulled Molly from her daydream world, and she turned back around in the armchair, away from the window, eyes carefully averted from the heavily snogging couple on the couch. She rolled her eyes, wishing she could sink back into her fantasy and away from this horridly awkward situation. Now, she was acutely aware of the strong stench of firewhiskey and her own lightheadedness. She looked across the sitting room at Lorcan, blinked once to bring him into focus, only to see that he looked about amused as she was with his brother and her cousin’s antics.
"Couldn't you guys get a room or something?" Molly slurred from her armchair as she surveyed Dominique with an annoyed expression on her face.
Dominique pulled away from Lysander long enough to catch the look on Molly's face, her own immediately darkening into a scowl. Her strawberry blond hair was tousled, and her eyes were black and shiny with alcohol and lust. Lysander, at least, had the decency to look embarrassed, and shot his brother a small apologetic smile.
"Daddy says I can't have boys in my room," Dominique laughed brattily, deciding to ignore Molly’s foul mood as she turned her attention back to her boyfriend. Despite the sheepish grin he wore, Lysander responded enthusiastically.
Lorcan rolled his eyes, and grimaced empathetically with Molly. She shook her head, and reached forward to refill her glass of firewhiskey, as well as Lorcan's. Neither one of them was having much fun as they tried to ignore the snogging couple on the sofa. It was highly uncomfortable, so Molly just kept drinking, not knowing what else to do.
A particularly high-pitched squeal tore Molly's attention away from her drink, and she couldn't help but suggest once more that they go up to Dom's bedroom. "Besides," she added, "Your parents aren't here, and Teddy is up with Vic in her room."
"Yeah, and they're also supposed to be down here keeping an eye on us," Dom snorted.
Bill and Fleur had decided that now that both their daughters were over seventeen, that they couldn't stop them from drinking. They thought it better they do it at home, than in a pub or club where they could be rendered vulnerable and preyed on. So, they didn't mind as long as nothing got out of hand and the rules were followed. Louis had to be out of the house (that night, he was at a camp out with the Potter boys, Freddie, Hugo, and Roxy), there were to be no boys in the bedroom, and Teddy and Victoire agreed to supervise.
"Stop being such a prude, Molly,” Dominique added scornfully.
Molly looked hurt and turned away from her cousin, debating whether or not to just go up to Dom's room herself. Of course, that would leave poor Lorcan down here alone, so she decided to stay even agitated as she was. She considered just going home, but her parents would want to know what she was doing back so early and would surely notice that she was drunk. Knowing her parents, they wouldn't take it nearly as well as Bill or Fleur. So, to avoid teasing and punishment, Molly stayed.
She finished her drink and sighed. It was an action that, despite her cousin’s distraction, appeared to annoy Dominique. She glared at her cousin around her boyfriend’s head.
Molly couldn't decide if it was the mean look in Dominique's eyes or the alcohol that was upsetting her stomach. Either way, it began to hurt.
Lorcan poured Molly and him another glass. She shook her head and pushed it away, sliding off the armchair to sit on the floor. She wrapped her arms around her stomach as her nausea increased.
"You ok?" Lorcan asked in an off-hand way.
Molly shook her head no, then changed her mind and nodded yes, not really caring to speak anymore.
"Maybe you'll feel better if you go throw-up?" He suggested, tossing back another glass.
"That sounds distinctly unappealing," Molly whimpered.
Lysander and Dom finally ended their romantic interlude and rejoined the party. "Give me a drink!" Dominique demanded as she reached forward for the bottle and poured everyone a glass.
"Cheers!" She called holding her glass out in the middle of the table, and waiting for everybody to clink their glasses together before downing her cup. When she noticed that Molly was only sipping timidly, she grabbed the bottom of the cup and raised it up so that the amber liquid came rushing out.
Molly sputtered and choked, as firewhiskey not only ran into mouth but also on her face and up her nose, stinging painfully. Dominique laughed at her own joke.
"Hey! That's not funny!" Molly scolded when she had finished coughing. "I'm not feeling well!"
"Oh, stop being such a baby," Dom teased again.
"I'm not being a baby; you're just being a bitch!" She argued back, groping her way to her feet and stomping, somewhat crookedly, out of the sitting room.
"Eff you then!" Dominique called after her, feeling a little hurt but mostly just irked that her cousin and best friend was such a damper.
Lysander recalled Dom's attention then, as Lorcan also stood and followed Molly out of the room. He found her sitting at the kitchen table, with her head resting on her arms.
"Hey," he addressed her quietly, "Don't listen to Dom. She is just being a bitch. I don't know what my brother sees in her."
Molly shook her head without looking up and spoke into her arms. "She's not always this way, just sometimes. She's still my best friend, and your brother is lucky to have her as a girlfriend."
Lorcan looked at the girl at the kitchen table sadly. "I suppose she's really pretty--"
"Beautiful," Molly corrected.
"So, it doesn't give her the right to act this way."
"Still not feeling any better then?"
"Well..." Lorcan began mischievously, "what if I did this?" He pulled out his wand, gave it a complicated wave and pointed it at Dominique visible through the kitchen door, whose nose began to grow long and crooked. Even a wart sprang up on the side of it.
Molly looked up at Lysander's panicked cry, and Dom's shriek.
"Oh, no," she cried, even as she burst into laughter, "she's going to be so angry if you don't set it right!"
Lorcan merely continued to laugh as he winked at Molly. Sure enough, however, Dominique sprang up from the couch and stalked into the kitchen.
"Put it back!" She commanded, getting right up into Lorcan's face.
He shook his head, and kept laughing.
"Do it, now!" She threatened, pushing on his shoulders.
Lorcan stopped laughing abruptly at her behavior as Molly called, "Leave him alone!"
Dominique rounded on her cousin. "What!" She spat.
"He was only having fun!"
"So what, you think its funny, too?" She asked, her voice growing louder as she stalked over to her cousin, bending down so she could be right in her face. "You think you can call me a bitch, and then make fun of me, now?"
Molly recoiled from her cousin. "Dom, maybe you've had too much to drink...I think you're overreacting--"
"If that's how you think, then you can just leave!" She sneered in Molly's face.
"Wh-what?" Molly asked, shocked. Dominique's close proximity was making her feel nauseous again.
"Just leave. I don't want you here, anyway."
Molly couldn't stop the tears from falling from her eyes. It was just so mean. The room began to spin as the pain in her stomach became unbearable. "I think I'm going to be sick," she managed to choke out before springing to her feet and running to the kitchen sink, where she vomited.
Dominique grimaced in disgust as Lorcan hurried past her towards Molly, clearing up the mess with a wave of his wand and supporting the sweaty redhead as she slid pathetically to the floor. Concern fought with her still burning anger as Dominique watched Lorcan conjure a bucket just in time to catch the second round. Molly shivered.
“Do you have any potion to give her?”
Dominique jumped at the sound of Lysander’s voice and turned to look at him beside her. He grinned, pulling out his wand and asked, “Want me to take care of that for you?”
Dominique’s hands flew back up to her distorted nose and she nodded, spite welling up inside her.
“Finite incantatum,” he said causing her nose to shrink back to normal.
Dominique studied her reflection carefully in the window before heading over to the cabinet where her mother kept their medicinal potions. She shoved several jewel-toned bottles aside, picked up a bright blue one, realized it was the wrong thing and was about to pick another up when she hesitated. The potion she held was the one her mother had always given them when they had really bad coughs. It worked very well and put them out like lights. But it also had the nasty, sometimes hilarious side effect of turning everything blue—skin, hair, and urine all blue. The little bubble of spite that was sitting heavy on her chest trembled with the possibilities. She could take her little revenge, wait fifteen minutes for Molly to freak out, and then give her the right potion, which was almost the exact same color. She could even claim it was an accident. She smirked to herself, imagining the panic.
“Dom?” Lysander called over the sounds of retching as Molly threw up again.
Dom moved some other vials around in the cabinet to make it look like she was still searching, grabbed the cough potion, and headed back over to the group.
Molly took her dose eagerly and smiled thankfully up at her cousin. Wickedly, Dominique smiled back. They moved back into the sitting room, laying her gently across the sofa. Her shivering continued, but she seemed more restful now and the others kept a close eye on her as they pulled out a favorite childhood board game and started playing.
Dominique was right; it did only take fifteen minutes.
A sudden cry sounded from the sofa calling all of their attention to Molly who was staring at her blue hands in abject terror. Dominique cackled, unable to stop the laughter that rose up suddenly. The Scamander twins stared at her questioningly.
Molly’s shivering increased as she rolled off the sofa, stumbling somewhat blindly to her feet. “I think I need help.” She winced, as she took deep, gasping breaths.
“Don’t be so dramatic, Molly,” Dominique admonished, though worry was rapidly filling her. “I’ll go get the right potion.”
“You-did-this-on-purpose,” Molly gasped, each word punctuated with a deep breath. She tripped and fell down, leaning her head against the sofa.
“It was a joke!” Dominique cried, truly concerned now as she ran to the kitchen for the hangover potion. She didn’t know if it would do more harm than good now.
“Molly! Where are you going?” She heard Lysander shout from the sitting room. Dominique ran to the doorway and saw Molly climbing the staircase, stumbling and then crawling the rest of the way up. Her voice was so weak Dominique couldn’t hear it, but knew she must be calling for Victoire and Teddy.
When Molly reached the top of the stairs, she knocked weakly on Victoire’s bedroom door. She leaned back and waited for an answer, trying to block out the steady bass that sounded from inside and made her feel sicker. When there was no response, she knocked again, louder and more desperately. “Teddy, Victoire,” she called, her voice so low she could barely hear it. But her oldest cousin and Teddy were her only hope; surely they would know what to do. She paused again and after a minute had passed, the music simply grew louder.
Molly felt sick again and fearful of making a mess she tripped over to the bathroom, where her nearly completely blue figure was reflected back at her in the mirror and in the clean ceramic of the tub. Her heart felt like it was going to beat its way through her chest, and her dizzy, sweating, shivering frame wasn’t strong enough to reach the toilet.
Dominique raced up the stairs at the sound of a heavy thud coming from the bathroom, Lysander and Lorcan right behind her. She skidded to a halt when she reached the bathroom, and gasped.
Her cousin was lying face down on the bathroom floor, no longer shivering and no longer moving. Dominique dropped to her knees beside her and rolled her over to check that she was breathing.
Tears stung the edges of Dominique’s eyes as her mind raced to comprehend what she intuitively seemed to know. “Wake up,” she sobbed, shaking her cousin by the shoulders. “Wake up!”
Molly’s eyes remained unseeing, and her limp wrist dragged across the tile with Dominique’s shakes. A beaded bracelet, one that matched Dominique’s, scraped against the tile forming delicate scratches across beads that read, “Best” and “Friends” and “D&M”.
“Please, wake up!” she howled, “I’m so, so sorry.”
“Dom?” Lysander asked, his voice raised to be heard over the music coming from Vic’s room.
“It was just a joke!” she cried, looking up into the horrified faces of the Scamander twins. “Tell her it was just a joke!”
“Dom,” Lysander said, moving into the bathroom and kneeling across from Dominique. He grabbed her hands and slowly had her release her cousin. Molly dropped gently to the tiled floor as Lysander looked straight at his girlfriend and said, “We need to tell someone what’s happened.”
Dominique calmed down and nodded fervently.
“It’s going to be ok,” Lysander said, doubting his own reassurance, but hoping to keep Dominique calm.
Dominique blinked. How could anything possibly be all right?
“I’m going to go get your sister and Teddy,” Lorcan announced quietly from the doorway.
“No,” she spat suddenly, reflexively grabbing her wand and using it to slam the door in Lorcan’s face.
“What are you doing?” He asked shocked, turning around to face her. Tears continued to roll down her cheeks, but defiance rested prominently on Dominique’s face.
“It’s not going to be all right! We’re all going to be ruined,” she stated plainly.
The boys shared an uncomfortable look between them, but Dominique kept her wand drawn. “It’s NEWTs this year. Do you really think they’re going to let me into Auror training after this? Or, you, Lorcan into magizoology programs?”
“Dom!” Lysander admonished.
“It’s the truth,” she persisted, turning her wand on her boyfriend now. “And, if we tell Teddy and Victoire, what do you think will happen to them. My sister will lose her place on the Harpies, Teddy will get kicked out of the Auror program. My entire family and your entire family will be ruined.”
“Molly’s dead! Not telling people isn’t going to change that!” Lorcan all but screeched.
“No, but my stupid mistake doesn’t have to have consequences for everybody!”
“What are you talking about?” Lysander prodded.
She looked at him, but didn’t say anything.
“You want to cover this up, don’t you?” Lorcan said insightfully, disgust marring his voice. “This is wrong.”
“Lorcan’s right; it is wrong. Besides, it was an accident—“
“I gave her the potion on purpose!” She hissed, “I wanted to see her panic, whose going to believe that this was an accident? They’ll send me to Azkaban! Please, ‘Sander, I can’t go to Azkaban!”
“Please, help me,” she begged, “do it for me, for us.”
Lysander regarded her carefully, searching her face and getting lost in her tear-stained blue eyes. She was right, the consequences for all of them would be dire. And, if Dominique did end up in Azkaban—he couldn’t bear the thought. Lysander nodded slowly.
From near the door, Lorcan made a noise of strangled disgust. “This is disturbing,” he muttered, “I’m leaving—“
All of his limbs snapped together, and Lorcan fell onto the floor next to Molly. His shocked expression was frozen on his face while he watched his brother pocket his wand, unable to believe that his own twin had cursed him.
“I’ve got a plan,” Lysander said, slowly reaching forward to remove Molly’s shoes.
A/N: Was that what you were expecting?
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