Chapter 1 : Prologue
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A family of French purebloods had just arrived on the threshold of the Black Manor, having apparated across the turbulent sea for an introductory dinner. The family of three stood in the dark, a chilly wind piercing their exposed skin. The man, who stood tall and broad, banged on the front door with a silver twisted serpent knocker just as an exceptionally violent gust went past them.
A moment’s silence and with a creak the door had opened, revealing a small house-elf with a round, bulging nose and large eyes.
“Mr and Mrs Louvier,” he croaked, bowing deeply to the wizarding family before him. “Good evening.”
“Bonsoir,” Mrs Louvier replied, her voice high-pitched as she flashed the elf with a cold, condescending smile. She was a woman with an air of elegance and self-importance with her blonde hair kept in a tight bun; her dress a moss green velvet.
Beside her Mr Louvier stood, neither a smile or a sneer visible on his strong featured face as his blue eyes glanced at the elf with a distinct sense of impatience. He had a thick black moustache which twitched slightly in the cold.
Lastly, there was a girl. A small quivering girl who stood only a foot taller than the elf. Her hair was bright yellow and silky, her skin porcelain and her lips a vibrant pink. She looked up to the elf before her with glistening forget-me-not blue eyes. With those lips, she forced a small, shy smile, hair flickering around her love-hearted face.
The elf stood to the side and invited the family in. The first thing to notice was the gloomy hall in which they had found themselves in. The air around them was thick with silence, the walls covered with portraits of regally good looking people. The french family had walked by the small elf, not noticing as he closed the heavy door behind them.
“This way, sir and madams,” they heard the elf call, standing beside a tall door frame, the intricate door already ajar.
Mr and Mrs Louvier strode past the elf without so much as a glance, while the girl edged closer and closer rather nervously, eyeing him with a certain niceness; a small smile lingering behind her curious face.
They came to a magnificent room, the words toujours pur scripted below a significantly large crest on the wall. A long dark oak table was found in the middle, with a group of tremendously royal, pompous looking wizards around it.
“Ah, Walburga,” Mrs. Louvier shrilled, smiling widely at the tall, gaunt though pretty looking woman with dark hair while Mr Louvier paced towards a very intimidating, bulky man who’s sharp nose and beard stood out.
In between them were two little boys who looked almost identical. They both had long, combed-back, ebony hair and striking features on their faces that envisioned a certain handsomeness. Both had dark grey eyes, though one was slightly softer than the other. Another minor difference was noticeable in their height; where one stood a foot taller.
“These are my children,” Walburga Black declared with a clear, high-pitched voice as she retreated from a cheek-to-cheek kiss with Mrs Louvier. Indicating towards the two small boys behind her, she pushed forward the taller boy who seemed to move reluctantly, “Sirius. And this is Regulus.” The shorter boy, Regulus, advanced a couple of steps willingly.
“Ah, zey should be about five or six, just like Estelle,”
The young girl immediately straightened her back, her eyes darted into focus on the unfamiliar family before her. She cocked her head slightly as she looked to the two boys, both who were looking back at her with utmost respect and politeness.
“Sirius is seven years of age,” Walburga said as the house elf who greeted them appeared once more, carrying a tray of teacups. “And Regulus is five.” She absentmindedly took a cup and sat down behind the end of the table, gesturing for the others to do the same.
“Estelle is six,” Mrs Louvier said, sitting down on the edge closest to Mrs Black.
“Ah,” Walburga smiled widely at the little girl who forced a small simper, “And which school shall she be attending?”
“She shall be attending Beauxbatons,” Mr Louvier said instantly, his voice sonorous and deep as he sat himself on the other end of the table, next to Mr Black.
“She ‘as ‘ad ‘er name down since birth,” Mrs Louvier spoke again, simpering almost smugly as Walburga nodded understandingly. “And your boys?” gesturing towards the two boys, who had sat down opposite to them.
“Hogwarts,” Walburga said, “Been a part of our family tradition for centuries; We pride ourselves on being sorted in the noble house of Salazar Slytherin.”
“Ah, ‘Ogwarts,” Mrs Louvier said, oblivious to the house-elf now serving her food on a glistening silver plate.
“Some vin?” Mr Louvier suggested, producing a tall glass bottle of red liquid inside which poured itself into four glasses with a wave of his wand.
“Elderflower wine,” boomed Mr Black knowingly, smelling the wine and smacking his lips as he did so.
Estelle watched as the adults conversed to each other over dinner, speaking of matters that hardly concerned the three children. She looked across to the two young boys, who ate courteously. She caught the eye of one - the taller one - and beamed at him. He hesitated before smiling back at her.
She continued looking at them, from one to the other. She noticed that the one on the right - Regulus - had continually avoided her gaze, while the other stared right at her; never shying away. He had even managed to make her laugh slightly as he pulled an extremely ugly face.
After dinner came a time where the adults locked themselves in a room with their floating wine glasses and magical gramophone which played soft music in the background; though not before Mrs Black and Mrs Louvier warned each child to behave themselves.
“Sirius, you are the oldest. All responsibility will lie on you.” Mrs Black said, giving Sirius a stern look.
“Estelle, vous comportez,” said Mrs Louvier waggling her index finger playfully, though flashing her daughter with a steely stare; ‘behave yourself’, she had said.
With a soft lock of the door, the three children glanced at each other awkwardly.
“Well,” Sirius said to break the silence. He smiled amiably at Estelle who beamed in return. “My name is Sirius.” He took hold of Estelle’s small stubby hands and pecked the top of it., smiling goofily as Estelle broke into giggles.
“Eet iz a pleasure to meet you, Sirius.” She turned abruptly to look at the younger of the brothers. She held her hand out to him, as though expecting another kiss.
He blinked violently. “Only adults do that,” he shouted, recoiling away from her with a look of outrage on his face.
Estelle’s smile faltered, stung, as her arm fell limply down to her side.
“It was only a joke!” Sirius turned around to look at his little brother, his face portraying an innocent ire. “His name is Regulus, by the way.” Sirius turned around again to face Estelle, who’s eyes were brimming with tears.
Instead of acknowledging the sulky looking Regulus, Estelle upturned her nose and folded her arms across her chest stubbornly.
“I know what! I’ll take you to my room!” Sirius squeaked suddenly, smile wide and eyes bright with enthusiasm.
The little incident prior was immediately forgotten as Sirius and Estelle ran up the staircase as fast as their little legs could carry them. They continued running, though extremely puffed out, to the topmost floor - the fourth - which had only two doors on opposite sides of the hall.
“That one is Regulus’s room,” Sirius said, stretching his arm to point towards the door on the right. “And this one is mine.” He used his other arm to point towards the one on the left; he grinned over his shoulder to where Estelle was, as though he was unable to drop his arms.
After another minute of mutely smiling at each other, Sirius’ arms still outstretched, he abruptly let go and moved toward his door, opening it with a small click.
Estelle came into full view of a large room; a huge bed with a carved wooden headboard, which on top lay black sheets; velvet curtains tied in a knot, exposing a large glass window. Then there was a delicately designed wardrobe to the left and a small table to the right. The floor was made of smooth marble and the ceiling was very high.
“It isn’t much,” Sirius mumbled uncertainly, unsure of what to make of her silence. He played with the collar of his white fluffy shirt and the golden buttons on his small burgundy robe nervously.
“My room iz a beet bigger zan zis, but eet iz close!” Estelle said, taking a few steps forward, hand scrunched up around the hem of her venetian-red dress. She walked towards his bed, tracing the dustless oak frame with her finger.
She turned around to find Regulus beside his brother. Instantly turned cold again, Estelle glared at him; her blue eyes narrowing with every second. Regulus’s face was of dismay, and as much remorse a child could possibly have.
“I am here to apologise. My manners were bad and I did not mean to be so... mean.” Regulus averted his gaze to the floor with short and uncertain looks back at her through his lashes. He pulled at his white shirt, as Sirius had done just moments ago.
Estelle grinned widely, eyes twinkling. She ran up to Regulus and held out her hand. Regulus took that as a gesture to kiss her but instead of waiting for him to kiss the soft surface, she shook his hand fervently.
The three children played together for the rest of the evening, laughing and giggling as they ran around the enormous house; even finding the time for a game of Exploding Snaps and another of Gobstones. Eventually, they fell asleep on the lounge down in the drawing room; their hair and normally smart clothes doused in the filthy liquid emitted from the stones and a roaring flame in the fireplace.
By the time Estelle had awoken, she was back in her own four-poster bed, made of genuine dragon leather. She woke up with a start, remembering the pleasant time she had with two boys. She ran down the grand, well-polished stairs, hoping to see their faces once more.
“Mère, où sont-ils?” she asked, her sapphire blue eyes wide and in a frenzy; darting across the kitchen in search of a familiar grin. Where are they?
“Ne sois pas stupide, Estelle.” Her mother replied as she brandished her wand to slice a fresh loaf of bread. Do not be stupid. “Nous ne serons pas les voir plus.” We will not be seeing them anymore.
Estelle stopped abruptly, staring at her mother as though she was a grotesque being with three heads. “Pourquoi?!” Why?
“Ne pas poser des questions.” Mrs Louvier snapped. Do not ask questions.
Estelle stared at her mother, mouth opening and closing. She bit down on a retort and instead, accepted the grim fact that she would never see the two Black brothers again.
AN: Hello Everyone! This is a new project that I'm working on and I would like to apologise now for my French! Haha, I'm not French and I've gotten these phrases from google translator :$ So I'm sorry if it's not accurate or anything!
Anyway, I hope you all have liked the prologue so far.. If so / not please tell me why in a review :) & Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it :D