Chapter 31 : |Chapter 29| A Slight Mistake
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“Are. You. Out. Of. Your. Mind?” he seethed through grit teeth. Lucius had picked up the closest thing to him; which had been a random spell book, and then proceeded to bash Roxi upside the head with it. Repeatedly. Until she finally had enough sense to sidestep him and knock the book out of his hands, that is.
“No, I believe that the real question here is: are you out of your mind?” she scolded him. “You could have given me a concussion, smacking me in the head like that. Besides, didn’t anyone ever teach you that it is improper to hit on a woman?”
“Yes, I know all about that,” he snapped back. “However, I believe that there are some exceptions to that rule. One of them being that said woman should deserve to have some sense knocked into her whenever she is found to be acting like an idiot.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You heard me right. I didn’t stutter,” he sneered. “A Death Eater, Roxi? You? Really? Tell me it isn’t true. Tell me that I have only been hearing things incorrectly.”
Roxi looked down in shame. “No, your ears are working properly alright,” she sighed. “But that’s exactly what I have come to tall to you about, Lucius. I too believe that I might be making a slight mistake here.”
“A slight mistake?” he repeated mockingly. “Roxi, this may be the BIGGEST mistake that you could ever make in your entire lifetime! I mean, my god, has my life not demonstrated that fact to you enough?”
“I know, Lucius, believe me I know,” she was doing her best to get him to understand. She should have known that he would take it like this. “I still have no clue what came over me. I-I don’t know what I was thinking; saying yes to him. But he was just so unusually sympathetic and excepting of me. He told me that there was no place else for me, and he was absolutely right - I have no place else to go if I leave here. Not only that, but I don’t really see the point anymore. Not with dra-”
“ Whoa, slow down a minute Roxi,” Lucius cut her off in mid-sentence. “First of all; you do have some place else to go to. If you would only talk to them, explain what all has happened to you, and tell them what you have been put through these past few weeks; I am sure that the Order will understand. They’d have to take you back in; because, supposedly, that is what they are all there for after all. And secondly; what do you mean that you do not see the point? Just because my son - well, you know the story. But that doesn’t mean there is no point for you in living anymore. After all, the two of you were broken up when he… Well, anyways, if I remember correctly, it was over with between you two.”
“Yes, yes, I knew it was over when he broke up with me,” Roxi snapped. “Thank you ever so much for that kind little reminder, Lucius. What exactly is it you’re trying to get at here?”
“My point, Roxi, is that life should still have a purpose for you,” he said encouragingly. It was so unlike him to want to help anybody but himself, yet he found a strong urge to try and get her to understand this. “And I am certain that becoming a Death Eater is not the life that you were destined for.”
“Well yeah,” she said. “I mean I know that now... Now that it’s too late to change it anyways. I wasn’t thinking clearly in the beginning, Lucius. I was just so consumed by this overwhelming darkness. I had actually convinced myself that the Death Eater life was what I deserved, especially after what I had done.”
“Yes, the Dark Lord is great at making people feel like they have no other options left,” Lucius said darkly. “It is, after all, one of the many things that he is well known for. That’s how he’s gotten half of his new recruits recently.”
“But you don’t understand Lucius,” she said sadly. “Everything that he was saying to me is true. After what I did, I don’t deserve to -”
“- What do you mean; after what you did?” he asked. “Roxi, what are you talking about?”
Roxi looked away from him, too ashamed to show her face anymore. How could she tell Draco’s father that it was her fault his son had killed himself? How could she possibly look him in the eye and confess that she had been the one who had made Draco feel like there was no other way out?
“Roxi?” Lucius asked softly after several moments of silence had passed by. “What’s the matter?”
“I can’t,” she said shaking her head. “Lucius, I just can’t tell you.”
“Tell me what?” he asked. “What did you do? Roxi, whatever it is, I’m sure it can’t be that bad.”
“Lucius, you don’t know,” she sniffed. “If you had any idea what I did, you would not be sitting her talking to me so nicely right now.”
“Whatever it is you think you did, whatever hold the Dark Lord’s got on you,” Lucius started, “Roxi, you’ve got to let it go. This, what you’re feeling right now; it will consume you if you allow it to. He has planted a seed in you, a dark seed, and you must not continue watering it. Look at me, please,” he pleaded.
Roxi reluctantly turned her face towards him. “Whatever it was that the Dark Lord said to you… It. Was. A. lie,” he continued slowly. “More likely than not, he’s fabricated some sort of story that has made you feel lost and hopeless inside. Am I right?”
“Roxi shook her head. “No, Lucius, you don’t understand. What Voldemort said to me was not fabricated. Not even in the slightest, because all of it was true. I am the real reason he’s dead!” she finally blurted. Roxi gasped and clasped a hand to her mouth, unable to believe that she had actually just said that out loud.
It took Lucius a moment to register what he had just heard. “You’re the reason that who is dead, exactly?” he asked, unsure if he really wanted to hear the answer. Roxi shook her head repeatedly, her hand still clamped over her mouth, refusing to speak anymore.
“Will you please tell me what this is all about and just be out with it already?” Lucius demanded. “There is only one thing I can think of that you would refuse to talk with me about. Only one person’s death that could make you chose to become a Death Eater over, should you happen to blame yourself for it… And Roxi, if this is about Draco, then I think you owe me an explanation.”
As much as she hated to admit it; Lucius was right. She did owe him an explanation, especially if she expected to get his help when it came time to find a way out of this. She finally lowered her hand from her mouth and took a deep breath. “You’re right, this is about D-Draco,” she said, stuttering to get out his name. “I-I, um, I…” but she just couldn’t get the words to come out. She wanted to tell him, she really did. But how do you tell a man who has lost everything that you are the one who’s responsible for what happened to his only son?
Lucius sighed and closed his eyes. It hadn’t even been a week yet, since he had buried his son. It was much too soon to be talking about it openly like this. So a small part of himself was urging to change the subject to a much more comfortably suitable topic. He suppressed those inner urges, however, and carried on. “So what did Voldemort tell you then?” he asked. “What do you claim he was right about? How is it that you blame yourself for Draco’s death? I want to know what exactly is going on here, Roxi.”
Roxi swallowed hard and her eyes finally met Lucius’ grey eyes, that were so much like those of his son’s had been. She felt a sudden sickness as she gazed into them, unable to look at anything else now. Roxi swallowed hard past the lump in her throat and forced words to form there. “I-I, well, I guess it all stated the night that Draco broke up with me,” she began.
“As you know, I was devastated when it happened. I mean, he didn’t even give me a real reason for it,” she said bitterly. “All he told me was that he didn’t feel like he could provide for me, and he said that he was not good enough for me - as if it were his decision to decide what was best for me. I knew what I was getting into. I’m not an idiot. I had done my homework. I had heard all the stories and rumors circulating about the Malfoy’s when I first came here. But none of that mattered to me, because the Draco that I came to know was not that spoiled little brat that everyone had warned me about. He was kinder, gentler, and a lot more quiet than from what I had heard. The Draco I knew was broken and in need of companionship, and we quickly became friends.
“The same goes for you too, you know,” she said, addressing Lucius again. “You’re a lot different than what I was warned about. I was told that you were this savage killer who could not be trusted if your life depended on it. But you’re not like that now, are you? If you were, I wouldn’t be here right now, I can tell you that. So it just goes to show you how wrong people can be sometimes.”
“Roxi, I -” Lucius started, but she quickly cut him off.
“Lucius, please, let me finish first.” Now that Roxi had gotten started, she was afraid to allow herself to stop, for fear that she nay not be able to start talking again. Lucius sighed but motioned for her to keep going. “Anyways, I was hurt and we didn’t talk for three days afterwards,” she plunged onwards. “It was during that time that Percy Weasley had finally decided to start being nice to me. I had no idea why at the time, but I wasn’t complaining. I was glad that he seemed to be in more of a helping mood, rather than the usual taunting one he’s normally in. I should have recognized the signs then, especially when Percy offered to help me win Draco back, but I didn’t. I was a fool.”
“Roxi, you’re not a fool,” Lucius disagreed with her.
“I am though, Lucius,” she argued back. “You don’t understand. Percy was playing me the entire time, and I didn’t recognize the signs... The night that Draco died, Percy came to me and offered to help me win him back. He said that all we had to do was make Draco jealous and that he would be begging me to take him back. At which point, I would play hard-to-get, but in the end I would have said yes. Percy painted this picture for me of how easy it would be to make him envious if we fed him the lie that I had found a new boyfriend so soon after our breakup. He even volunteered himself to be my decoy. Of course, that should have been a red flag right there, but I didn’t see it.
“So Percy and I went down to the basement to feed Draco our lie,” she continued after pausing to take a deep breath. “At first he wouldn’t buy it. He knew how much Percy and I hated each other, and he saw right through our clever little visage. So Percy pulled me aside and told me I wasn’t being convincing enough. He said that I needed to try harder if I ever wanted Draco to consider taking me back. So I-I, I um, well you see, um, I…” But Roxi was loosing control now, her words were beginning to slip from her grasp.
“You what, Roxi?” Lucius urged her to go on. “What did you do?”
“I… kissed… Percy,” she finally finished. “Right in font of Draco. Then I told him that I loved him. I even added that I would be upstairs waiting for him in my room, and then I left without another word after that.”
“So you’re suggesting that my son took his own life that day because you snogged Percy Weasley?” Roxi nodded and Lucius looked at her with intense skepticism.
“Lucius, you don’t understand,” she said when she saw how he didn’t look convinced. “It wasn’t just any kiss I shared with Percy, it was our kiss. Draco and I’s kiss. I intentionally kissed Percy the same way I used to kiss him because, well, I wanted it to get to him. I wanted him to buy the lie we were trying to sell. I acted spontaneously and I was selfish. I never once considered how hurt was going to feel afterwards. All I cared about was myself, my feelings, and my own reasons for doing it… I often wonder how different things would have been if I hadn’t gone down there with Percy that night. Be it not for me, Draco might still be alive. I know he sat down there and thought about that kiss all day, I just know it. It might have even been the last thing he thought about before he… before he…” but Roxi burst into tears before she could finish her sentence.
Lucius didn’t know what to think. He could not help but wonder himself if this was indeed the thing that had driven his son to suicide. Yet, at the same time, a kiss seemed like a silly thing to take one’s life over. He had always raised Draco to be a lot more stronger willed than that. In his heart, Lucius knew that Roxi was no more responsible for it than he was, then Severus was, or even than Voldemort was. It had been Draco’s own decision to end his own life.
“Roxi,” his voice cracked as he started to speak again. His throat was dry and his voice was hollow. “I… You are not to blame for this,” he finally told her. “It was Draco’s own choice to do what he did.”
“Yes, b-but,” she sobbed, “what if m-my actions led him to-to do it? W-what if I was th-the reason he felt like that; like he had n-no other way out?”
But Lucius was shaking his head. “Again, it was ultimately his decision, to do what he did,” he reassured her. “You said so yourself that you could not have predicted this outcome.”
“Well, yeah, but -”
“- But nothing,” he cut in front of her. “I will hear no more on this, Roxi. You are not to blame for what has happened, no matter what may have been said or done the last time you saw him. Draco always made it quite clear that he was in control of his own life, therefore, his actions are his own. You had no more control over my son than I did, so you need to stop blaming yourself for things that were beyond your control, Roxi.”
“I can’t just let it go though, Lucius,” Roxi argued in anguish. “no matter how hard I try, I cannot shake the feeling that somehow I am responsible. Every time I close my eyes, I see the pained look on his face as I was kissing Percy. And whenever I try to go to sleep, my own mind torments me with wonderings of what Draco’s last thoughts could have been. I always wonder if he thought of me, as his life was leaving him, which leads me to believe that I am to blame for it.”
“You have got to get dark thoughts like that out of your head,” he urged her. “For if you do not; they will consume you. Before long, the darkness is all you will be able to think about, and it will drive you mad. You cannot allow evil into your mind right now, for you need to approach this life-changing decision you are making with a clear head.”
“Lucius, what life-changing decisions are you talki- ”
“- The Death Eaters, Roxi!” he replied. “I am talking about your sudden change of heart to join them, of course. Whatever Voldemort told you to make you change your mind, you need to put it out if your head.”
“He told me that I would be making a difference if I joined,” she said.
“While that is true, because you shall be able to turn things more in his favor,” said Lucius. “But Roxi, is that really the kind of difference that you actually want to make? Would you seriously have your mark left upon the world be tainted by evil? Destruction is the path you are choosing; you do realize that, don’t you? That can’t possibly be what you want out of your life, is it?”
“I don’t know, Lucius,” she cried. “I don’t know what I want anymore. I’m not sure which is the right decision to make. All I know is that I have got nowhere else to go, and the only way I will be allowed to stay here is if I join the Death Eaters. I mean, the only good thing I’ve got going for me right now is the fact that I at least seem to be wanted here anyways.”
“That is not true and you know it,” Lucius disagreed. “You are not wanted here - not in the way of being desired anyways. The only reason Voldemort wishes to keep you around, Roxi, is because he wants to use you. He only needs you to spy from within the Ministry for him, and if you ever stop being of any further use to him, he will disown and abandon you. Hey may even kill you, depending on how much you fail him or let him down. Be honest with yourself; you know that I’m right, but you’re too scared to admit it, aren’t you?”
“Alright, fine!” she exclaimed after a moments pause. “Maybe I do know that the only reason I am wanted here is so that I can be used by him. But, Lucius, I’ve already told you; I have no where else to go. More likely than not, I’ve been fired from my job after not showing up there in so long. And even if I did try and explain things to the Order, Minerva would never have me back after I betrayed so many of their secrets to Voldemort. I can’t go to my home neither, for my father would be too disappointed in me for coming back with nothing, and I will not go back to listen to my Aunt mock me for the rest of my life about how I am some great big failure! I’m sorry, but I just cannot do it.”
“But you cannot become a Death Eater, Roxi.” Lucius was practically pleading with her to change her mind now. “I simply will not allow you to go through with this!”
Roxi raised her eyebrows at this, clearly offended by his tone. “You won’t allow me?”
“Listen,” he went on, disregarding the fact that she was taking offence. He could care less at how she felt about it, so long as he got his point across. “I know it all seems hopeless right now, Roxi, but you’ve got to get out of here while you still able to. Right now; you’re free to do as you please - the Dark Lord has no hold over you yet, your contract with him is no longer valid. So I urge you to think about what it is you’re doing here. Think about what all you will be giving up if you go through with that initiation tonight.”
“I have thought about it, Lucius, that’s the whole entire reason why I’m here,” she reminded him. “I want to stay here and join up and yet, at the same time, I find that I really don’t want to be here.”
“Well let me put it to you this way then,” Lucius started. “Do you know what will happen to you the second you take on that Dark Mark at Midnight tonight?” Roxi shook her head and Lucius could tell that she was obviously scared at what he might say next.
“With every new recruit it’s always the same,” he explained. “Immediately following the initiation, they are instructed to go an a raid with a group of their now fellow Death Eaters.”
“And what exactly is a raid?” Roxi asked.
Lucius looked at her darkly. “There are two different kinds of raids,” he answered. “Sometimes it’s the mudbloods who are raided, but as of late, he has been focusing more on the Muggles. Raiding is a sort of sport that the Dark Lord has taken a fancy to. It’s where he sends a group of us out to tiny, quaint little Muggle town in, usually the middle of nowhere, and then, well, he has us raid the place you see. Most commonly, the entire town is wiped out by the end of it, and the Death Eater who kills the most Muggles is then greatly rewarded.”
Roxi’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding me,” she exclaimed. “But that-that’s barbaric!” Lucius furrowed his brow and pursed his lips together, giving a cur nod, but otherwise he made no move to agree with her statement. A fact that Roxi was also quick to pick up on. “You disagree with me?” she asked boldly.
“Not necessarily,” he said reluctantly, shaking his head quickly. “But my opinion on raiding is neither here, nor there. The fact of the matter is that you will still be most likely expected to go on your own raid tonight, should you go through with this… But Roxi, are you really sure that you’re ready for that?”
Roxi stared at him in obvious shock and appalling horror. Sure, she had been expecting to be expected of murder. But sneaking off in the middle of the night to pillage and destroy an entire town of innocent Muggles? She could have never dreamed of being involved in such terrors, for her she could not fully wrap her mind around such things. To think; the Death Eaters actually did those sort of things for fun, every last one of them.
“Is there no way out of it?” she finally asked in a small voice.
“The only way out for you now,” he replied calmly, “is to never even enter in the first place. Because, if you take on the mark, you will be expected to commit those such crimes and then some. I don’t know what you thought being a Death Eater was all about, Roxi, but it is certainly no picnic. Every single one of us is expected to carry out any order the Dark Lord gives, no matter if we think it is morally right or wrong.”
“And every single one of you have done that raiding thing, have you?”
“If, by that, you mean myself included,” Lucius said, having no problem guessing what it was she was thinking, “then your answer is yes. I have done my share of raiding in my time, as well as every other person in this house right now. Severus, Bellatrix, Percy, Amycus, Alecto, Rodolphus, even that Lucas kid went on a raid or two before he got himself killed on that mission last week.”
And then she asked the question she was dying to know the answer to most. “But what about Draco?”
Lucius turned, giving her frighteningly dark look. It only lasted a second, however, as the shadow that came across his face had vanished as quickly as it had appeared. “I can’t answer you that,” he said, shaking his head. “I was in Azkaban when Draco was initiated. It hard to tell what the Dark Lord put my son through. I do know, however, that he was given the impossible task of murdering Albus Dumbledore at the age of only sixteen. And what’s worse, is that task was bestowed upon him with a threat that, should he fail, he would have watched as Voldemort murdered Narcissa and I before turning and killing him as well.”
Roxi swallowed hard past the lump that had formed in her throat. She had her stories of Albus Dumbledore; how he was the greatest wizard of all time, how he was the only one that Voldemort had ever truly feared. The story of his unexpected death had even made the news in America, three years ago. She would never forget it, for that was the headline that had given her the desire to come across seas and fight here in the first place. When she heard tell of Dumbledore’s death, she knew in her heart that it was time to step up and do something; to try and make a difference in the world by helping to win this war in whatever way that she could.
And Draco; her poor, poor, Draco. He had been right in the center of things; forced to murder a man that he stood absolutely no chance against, in hopes of saving himself and his family from all meeting an untimely ending as well. She realized then why is was that he would never talk to her about his Death Eater days. The memories of it all must have been extremely painful for him.
“The question you must ask yourself is this;” Lucius continued after a moments pause. He could tell now that he was winning, because he could already see that she was slowly starting to change her mind. “The Dark Lord does not have a conscience, he does not feel, and he certainly does not care at all about what you think is right. He is heartless, soulless, selfish, uncaring, manipulative, and incapable of loving anyone other than himself. He sincerely believes in the delusion that his way is the only way, and thinks that what he is doing is absolutely right…. But can you; Roxandrea Zarooni, truly give up everything that you have, deny who you are, forsake those whom you love, and leave it all behind you to serve a master who is like that? If you can honestly answer with a yes to that, then I think you may be ready for this path of evil. But if not…”
“If not,” she pleaded when he seemed like he wasn’t going to go on, “then what?”
“If not,” Lucius continued slowly. “Then my suggestion to you would be to run. Get as far away from this place as possible, put as much distance between yourself and here as you can by midnight tonight. Your vows with him have been broken; he currently has no hold on you. Therefore, you should run, Roxi. Run, for that is your only hope of escaping the fate which awaits you if you stay here.”
“But if I run away and he catches me, huh?” she gulped. “Or what’s more, what happens if I can’t even get out? What then?”
“Well then, don’t get caught,” he answered. “As for the latter, I promise to assist you in whatever way that I can.”
“But if you get caught helping me, Lucius, you will die,” she said. “He will kill you if I should manage to get away, for you will have cost him a valuable servant.”
“You know, it absolutely amazes me; how small of a time-frame it took you to figure him out,” Lucius smiled. “No one can even begin to understand him, nor can they hope to know what makes him tick. There is only one that I know of actually came close to figuring him out.”
“Let me guess… Dumbledore?” She provided. Lucius gave a short nod. “Well Voldemort’s not all that hard to figure out, really. He’s just an evil man who desires power, and is only afraid of one thing; which is death itself. And, well. it doesn’t really take a genius to figure that much out.”
Lucius was looking at her as though trying to decide whether she was being serious or not. “I’ll have you know; you really are something, Roxi Zarooni,” Lucius smirked. “And I do hope that you will accept it, when I tell you how sorry I am for the way I have been acting towards you tonight. My attitude, misplaced as it was, is only because I really do have only your best interests at heart.”
“Yes, and why is that, if I might ask,” she replied. “Not that I’m complaining or anything, but why do you care for my well-being so much?”
“Because…” Lucius hesitated. “He loved you and; had things gone differently, had you never been brought to this godforsaken place, and had the two of you had more time together… I believe that he may have even considered the thought of marrying you. You could have easily been my daughter-in-law, had things gone differently. So you see Roxi, in a way, you are all that I have left of him now. You, Roxi, are my son’s one and only first true love.”
“Lucius…” she whispered. Roxi was speechless after that. Words could not describe how those words had made her feel. On one hand; she was rejoicing inside, glad to know that he had truly loved her. But on the other; dread filled her as sorrow threatened to overtake her heart once more. He had truly loved her, and yet she had treated him like dirt, tossing his feelings aside like garbage. And she had betrayed his love for her own selfish desires. “I don’t deserve that,” she finally finished.
“Nonsense,” Lucius disagreed with her. “You were the best thing that ever happened to him, Roxi.”
“Yeah, well, you probably wouldn’t be saying that if you knew how I treated him the last time I saw him,” she said. “The last time we were alone together, I told him that I hated him. Then afterwards, the very next day, that was when I went down there with and pretended to be in love with Percy. I wanted Draco to think that I was over him; to believe that I had moved on, because I was hoping it would make him jealous. And then I shared that kiss with Percy, right smack in front of him, knowing full-well that it would be the most devastating blow. But I didn’t care at that time, so long as it would cause him to take me back in the end - that was all that mattered to me… I was awful to him, Lucius, you just don’t understand.”
“Well, even in light of all that, I know that you loved him,” Lucius said with difficulty. She really wasn’t helping to make it easier for him to be nice to her. “Besides, I’m sure you didn’t mean any of it. Like you said; you were just trying to win him back. How were you supposed to know that that would be the last time you would ever get to see or speak to him again?”
Roxi was shaking her head in disbelief. “I don’t understand,” she said. “How can you possibly not hate me right now? I know that if I were in you shoes, I’d sure hate me. Lucius, I don’t know if I can live with myself anymore after what I have done. I don’t think you get it.”
“You don’t think I get it?” he said, suddenly sounding angry. “Need I remind you that I watched my wife get murdered right in front of me and then, for months on afterwards, I blamed myself for her death. Had I only not come home that night, or had I just insisted that she wait in our room for me to get back, or had I even tried to make sure that she would not come looking for me if it took me too long to return; then maybe, just maybe, Narcissa would still be alive. Had I only just done one of those things, she may have never have went down to the basement that night to look for me, never seen what was happening to Draco, and thus she wouldn’t have felt then need to protect him like she did. After all, I had the situation under control, and things were going slightly the way I wanted them to, for better or for worse. I at least had the upper-hand in the situation, unbeknownst to the Dark Lord, until Cissy showed up and we got into that argument right on front of Voldemort…”
“But Lucius,” Roxi inserted as he paused from his story. “Surely you two could not have know that Voldemort was going to try and kill Draco at that exact moment, nor could you have predicted that Narcissa would step out and take the full blast of the curse for him. That was her own decision to make; not yours.”
Lucius looked strangely satisfied at this, and it wasn’t until it was too late that Roxi realized why. “But Roxi, don’t you see, that is entirely my point exactly,” he grinned. “I could not have predicted the events of that night any more than you could have predicted how Draco would have chosen to respond to your actions. No matter how much I may disagree with what you did,” he added sternly, “that does not make my son’s -er- departure from this world your fault. You must not keep blaming yourself for it.”
Finally, after a long moment of silence, Roxi quit struggling with the many demons inside of herself and admitted defeat. “You’re right,” she said quietly, “about everything, Lucius, you’re absolutely right. It’s not my fault. It’s not your fault. No, it’s Percy’s fault!”
“Roxi, I don’t think you’re quite getting it,” said Lucius. “This is nobody’s fault. No one is to blame for -”
“- No, Lucius, you don’t get it,” Roxi interrupted. “Voldemort told me many things the other night, and according to him, it was Percy all along. Percy was the one who made Draco fee like shit about himself, thus causing him to want to break up with me. Then it was Percy’s idea for me to try and make Draco jealous so that he’d get back together with me, this leading to the whole kiss thing which made Draco want to kill himself. So if I am to put blame on anyone here it should be him, not me! After all, it was my desire to get revenge on Percy that lead me to say yes to Voldemort’s offer to join the Death Eaters in the first place.”
“What?” Lucius said perplexedly. “You mean to say that that’s the only reason why you decided to join; because of Percy? Roxi, that’s got to be the stupidest excuse think I have ever heard! Percy Weasley is not one to throw your entire life away over.”
“Don’t you think I realize that now?” she snapped at him. “Why else do you suppose I’ve changed my mind? Why else do you think I came to you tonight, in hopes that you would be able to talk me out of this foolish decision I am making?”
Lucius couldn’t help but smile. “So you needed someone to tell you that what you were doing was wrong, to confirm that your second-thoughts were true, and you automatically knew that I would be the perfect man for the job?”
Roxi smiled now too. “Well, I it narrowed down to both you and Severus, actually,” she admitted jokingly. “I was afraid to tell you at first, you see, because I knew you might be angry with me.” Roxi paused and put a hand up to the spot on her head where Lucius’ book had collided with it. A small knot was already beginning to form there.
“Yeah, um, I truly am sorry about that,” Lucius said, indicating to her head. “I might have gotten a bit carried away with myself there in the beginning.”
“A bit?” Roxi chuckled. “More like extremely carried away, I’d say. You came at me like a mad-man, Lucius!”
“What can I say? You know how crazy I can be at times,” he said with a wink.
“Oh, absolutely,” she played along. There was a short pause, followed by a burst of laughter from both Roxi and Lucius.
Once their laughter had finally begun to die down, Lucius took a deep breath before becoming more serious again. “So Roxi, what do you say we come up with a plan to get you out of here now then?”
Even though there was still a trace of laughter in his voice, Roxi could tell that Lucius was being dead serious about helping her escape. She too drew in a deep breath and answered him lightly. “Honestly, Lucius, I thought you’d never ask me!”
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