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Chapter 27 : Fleeting Attraction
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On the day Adrian stood up for himself; poisonous schemes were formulated. Adrian did not like being a harsh teacher, but sometimes it was necessary. Henry Wakefield really was the most infuriating pupil in the whole school. He was very talented for a little boy of twelve, but he never concentrated in class, and had a habit of playing “the class clown”. Adrian knew that Henry would make a great wizard someday; he just had to find the talent within. Helga had once told him he would make a good teacher, and now he had the chance to try.
He marched up the corridor back to his chambers after a long day of teaching. He hoped Helga would be there, he was so busy at the moment he rarely spent any time with her. He missed the times they spent together when they were newly married, but now they had settled into the reality of being man and wife and Adrian had to admit he rather enjoyed it. It was only when he saw the shadow on the floor that he realised there was someone standing at the end of the corridor, waiting for him.
Looking up, his eyes fell on the very man he hoped he would not have to face so soon, when he had so little backing from his friends. Guillaume had only been at the school a week and a half, but he was still creating friction. Godric and Rowena were still snapping at each other, and Helga was beginning to look strained with the nervousness of him being so near. He brought back memories, horrible memories, of when they were not in charge of their own lives. Guillaume raised one sculpted eyebrow as he gazed at Adrian, almost looking down his long thin nose at him. It was condescending.
They both stopped and stared at each other. Adrian had to admit the large Malfoy did intimidate him slightly, but he kept his ground. He knew how much this meant. If he gave into Malfoy, he would think he could trample all over his marriage to Helga, and he would not have that. Malfoy gave an amused smile for a fleeting moment before speaking. “Adrian,” he drawled, “so nice to finally see you again.” Trying not to show any sign of expression was very hard, but Adrian did his best. The hate inside Guillaume was barely hidden by his simpering expression.
Adrian could not think of anything to say back to Malfoy, and was about to walk on past when Malfoy continued, his voice like ice cold water. “Don’t think I’ve let this go Adrian. I never forget people who cross me and you and Helga crossed me.” There was a twinge of fear in Adrian’s heart, but he suppressed it. He would not let Malfoy beat him. He was older now, and he had to face him, not just for Helga but for Edward and Coventina as well.
“There is nothing you can do to us Malfoy,” Adrian snarled, his animalistic side rearing its ugly head as he defended his territory and his wife, “we are married before the eyes of the Lord, and I will not let you rip it all apart. I would die before I ever left Helga, or ever let her be used by you the way she was.” Malfoy gave Adrian a truly ugly look before whispering the most direct threat Adrian had ever had from someone.
“You will be sorry for what you did and you and Helga will pay very dearly but maybe not in the way you expect.” With that, Malfoy drew himself away from Adrian and said cheerfully, “well good day Professor Hufflepuff. I am sure I will see you in the Great Hall at some point.” Adrian could only watch bewildered as Malfoy turned on his heel and marched away up the corridor and disappeared out of sight. He just couldn’t help it as he shivered. He would have to be on the lookout for trouble.
Salazar sat at the far end of the teacher’s table now. He did not like to sit near everyone else; as he knew they would just want to lecture him on his appointment of Guillaume and he was not a child. He thought there were far more interesting people to talk to, namely Bonne. He could not help but gaze at her as she spoke, and he loved to listen to her laugh that was like ice cold water. It made him shiver with delight.
Yet, at the same time, it was not the same as the all consuming passion for Rowena or his familial love with Bess. With Bonne, it was more spontaneous, and he was not quite sure if what he was experiencing was the first seeds of a feeling that would bloom into deep love, or the searing strength of a raw animalistic sensation; namely lust. He had to admit that he wanted her, but he did not feel the need to possess her, or make her totally his, like he did with Rowena.
“Salazar,” she whispered alluringly, her fingers lightly dusting his hand making him shiver, “you have not introduced me to your friends, and as they are so interesting and famous I would love to talk to them. You don’t seem to sit with them much.” Her accent was like a purring cat, and it just made her even more seductive. He wanted to leave with her at that exact moment and take her somewhere they could be alone.
“I don’t sit with them anymore,” he began, desperately trying to explain what had happened, “because I don’t feel like it.” His story was terribly lame. He wanted to tell her that she was distracting all of his attention, but he did not have the guts. Part of him wanted to sit with his friends, but he kept sitting where he was with her.
“Are you sure?” she drawled slowly, her eyes flicking away from his face to gaze at them, “because you always seem to sit away with them. They always seem to leave you out; like they don’t care what you think or feel.” Bonne’s fingers clasped Salazar’s hand as she looked into his eyes, her great eyelashes fluttering as she went. He was so absorbed in her lilting voice that he almost did not hear what she was saying.
“No,” he said gently, keeping firmly hold of her hand, “my friend’s care what I think. I was the one who encouraged the idea in the first place.” Bonne momentarily raised one of her sculpted eyebrows at him, but then her expression returned to one of gentle concern. Her eyes lingered on Godric and Rowena for a moment, but then she gazed back to Salazar.
“They don’t seem to involve you in any of the decisions they make,” she cooed, pouting her pink lips slightly, “they never even ask you how you are. I also heard what a frosty reception dear Guillaume is got from them. He admits there is a history there but they could at least act professionally!” Bonne’s words stung; but Salazar repressed this emotion.
“I will talk to them,” he answered, squeezing her hand affectionately, “I am sure I can resolve everything you see so clearly.” Bonne gave him a dazzling smile, one that made him feel slightly dizzy. He wanted to kiss her; maybe Rowena would think twice if she saw him with someone else. But he didn’t. He knew propriety was worth much more than a fleeting kiss.
It always made Cadmus feel better.
On the days when pretending got too much, he would retire to his office and drink as much mead as he could manage. Nobody would know, and he usually fell asleep on his desk. When Rachel found him in the morning, he would claim he had been working so hard he was overtired; but he knew the truth.
It had been years since he last kissed Rowena, and Rachel was a loving and obedient wife, but his heart still pined for Rowena. The truth was, he had some affection for Rachel, but that was mainly due to the fact that when he held her in his arms, she was a small echo of Rowena like the ripples on a pond. She was kind and generous, and he supposed that he did love her, but he was not in love with her as he was with Rowena.
There was an abrupt knock on the door.
“Coming! Coming!” shouted Cadmus as he hastily stored his tankard in a cupboard out of the way. He did not want his friends to know what he did when he came up here alone. He was a teacher after all, and teachers could not be seen to have a dependency on mead. Straightening out his clothes, he hurried to unlock the door. On seeing who it was, he let out a little sigh. “Oh, it’s you.”
His brother Ignotus stood in the doorway; a brilliant smile on his face and an odd piece of material in his hand. Cadmus felt like shutting the door in his face; he couldn’t deal with his brother’s optimism at that moment. That was another thing that annoyed Cadmus; even Ignotus had got someone he loved in life. Coventina was a beautiful and wonderful wife, and the two got on well.
“Brother!” smiled Ignotus, lines drawn on his face at the size of his grin. Ignotus enveloped Cadmus into a deep brotherly hug, and Cadmus endured it like he knew he must, like his mother had taught him so many years ago. When they broke apart, Cadmus was still beaming with excitement like he was a child. “May I come in brother?” he asked, at which Cadmus knew he must oblige, so he opened the door wider to allow Ignotus entry.
Ignotus wasted no time in making himself instantly at home. He threw himself down on the comfortable armchair by the fire before looking up at Cadmus, a look of utter joy on his face. “I’ve done it Cadmus,” he whispered, his eyes glimmering in the firelight, “I’ve done it, and I wanted you to be the first to know.”
Cadmus was not best pleased by this. He hated when his brother was so cryptic. Balancing himself on the edge of his desk, he fixed Ignotus with what he hoped was a wilting look. “I have no idea what you are talking about.” This cruelty did not faze Ignotus however, who stood up and took the odd coloured material and swung it over himself. The effect was instant. Ignotus was gone, and all Cadmus could see was the fire.
He understood instantly. Since becoming involved with the school, Ignotus had turned into a little academic. Due to too many conversations with Rowena, he had become obsessed with Invisibility, and had strived to create an invisibility cloak, to do something no man had done before, and he had succeeded. Cadmus just stood aghast.
“See!” came Ignotus’ disembodied voice, “It’s worked!” Cadmus did not know what to think or feel as Ignotus threw off the cloak. They were both teachers at the school, both the same, and yet, Ignotus was that much better than him. He had done something extraordinary, whereas Ignotus was just a nobody, pining over a woman who had forsaken his love so many years ago.
“How did you do it Ignotus?” babbled Cadmus, his shock suddenly subsiding and allowing him to speak, “how did you do it?” Ignotus gave him a wry smile that clearly said he was not divulging his secrets; and Cadmus could understand why. Ignotus was going to protect his new invention; he would be known as a great inventor. “Congratulations,” mumbled Cadmus, not entirely sure what to say to him. What could you say to someone who had just achieved one of his own great aims?
“Thank you brother,” said Ignotus seriously, his face still with sincerity. After a moment he changed his expression, to that of an over excited child. “I must go Cadmus,” he said, quickly turning towards the door, “I must show Coventina! She’ll be so excited!” With that, Ignotus gave a farewell nod and left Cadmus alone again.
His immediate reaction was to go to his cupboard and withdraw the mead. How could it be he was the only failure in a school of heroes? Godric, Rowena, Helga and Salazar had built this wonderful school together from scratch, Adrian and Rachel had been unswerving allies in the fight for the school and Coventina had spent years fighting a tyrannical megalomaniac in her own town. Even Antioch when he was alive had made that deadly wand that had cost him his life, and even if he had been a headstrong oaf sometimes, he was still the greater man than Cadmus.
The mead was so soothing. It calmed him and made him feel less inadequate. How could Rowena ever love a man like him next to the dashing Godric? Even if Godric was taken out of the way, there was a queue of better suited men. There was Salazar, Ignotus, and even Adrian may be led astray by Rowena’s beguiling charms. He never had a hope in hell of getting her again. She had only wanted him when he was the only one available in a lonely world.
When he heard the second knock at the door, he immediately leapt up to conceal his mead. He was quicker this time in reaching the door, so Rachel did not seem suspicious as she entered the room. “Ignotus has finally done it!” she smiled, wrapping her arms around Cadmus, “I met him in the corridor. You must be so proud of him!”
Cadmus did not answer her. He didn’t know how he felt. Yes, he was glad his brother had achieved what he wanted, but at the same time it made him feel smaller, as if he was the failure. Out of the three Peverell brothers, he would be the forgotten one. He could never compare. He looked into Rachel’s eyes; a woman who knew her own mind and what she felt about the world. How could she understand something like inadequacy?
“Am I good enough for you?” he asked, taking her hands gently in his, old feelings of insecurity bubbling to the surface, “am I good enough for anyone?” Rachel looked instantly dumbfounded, but without a moment to think she leant in and gave him the most enthusiastic kiss she could muster. Cadmus did not respond, so when Rachel drew away, she looked concerned.
“Cadmus, why do you beat yourself up like this?” Her pretty face was etched with concern. “You are a wonderful husband. I know many women who have terrible flighty husbands who go wenching and drinking every day of the week.” Cadmus tried not to blush at the mention of “drinking” as Rachel continued, “you are everything I expected and so much more.”
With that, Rachel gave him a quick peck on the cheek, “I must go find Ulrich and put him to bed, it’s way past his bedtime.” Turning round, Rachel disappeared as quickly as she had appeared and Cadmus was completely alone. If he closed his eyes, he could pretend for a moment that the dark haired woman who had just kissed him was Rowena, and that like Ignotus, all his dreams had come true.
Breakfast was an interesting affair. For once, Godric was not inhaling his food, and instead had his eye on Salazar. He was sitting with Guillaume Malfoy’s sister, Bonne he believed her name was. She was a very striking woman, full of ice maiden tendencies and sex appeal. Godric could understand why Salazar was drawn to her. She was the type of woman that Godric would have had an affair with in the days he ran around with Adrian, Rachel and Salazar battling monsters.
Their heads were close together, and they were smiling. Godric was glad to see that. For years Salazar had seemed like he needed a woman, and now he had found one, and maybe she would make him a bit more forward with his emotions. He was glad that his friend had finally found the happiness he craved. He saw how Bonne made Salazar’s eyes sparkle, and how he smiled more. It warmed Godric’s heart to see his friend with something good in his life other than this drafty old castle.
There was a loud scrape as Rowena dragged back the chair next to Godric to sit down. He turned to her to kiss her good morning, but there was an ugly scowl on her face, so he didn’t. “I wish Mademoiselle Malfoy would stop rubbing her shameless flirting in our faces!” This shocked Godric. How could Rowena be so hypocritical? He was sure they had been forward with their flirting, and he was sure others may have found it distasteful, so why was it any different for Bonne and Salazar?
“Rowena!” said Godric incredulously, putting down his knife, “do you begrudge Salazar happiness? He has been a wonderful friend, but it must have been hard for him to watch us all pair off together.” Godric looked back down at his food, so did not see Rowena’s fingers stroke the locket that she wore around her neck with the large “S” on it.
“No,” she began, her voice steady in an attempt to hide her annoyance, “I do not begrudge him happiness, but I do not think that Bonne is the right woman to make him happy.” She looked decidedly angry, and Godric was very surprised. He had never taken Rowena as someone who so readily formed opinions on what other people should be doing with their lives. He thought that Bonne would be the kind of woman she liked; she was cultured and educated after all.
“Rowena,” he chuckled nervously, trying to defuse the tense situation, “don’t be ridiculous. She seems nice enough. He likes her, so I don’t see what is wrong with it.” When Rowena rounded on him, it was scarier than being attacked by a dragon. Her eyes were alight with anger and she kept her voice deathly low so no one could hear her, their Queen, losing her temper over such a trivial matter.
“She is Guillaume Malfoy’s sister, and you know what a little creep he is, so why should she be any different? I don’t trust her!” Godric could not quite understand where this was coming from, but Rowena continued, “the way she looks at him. It’s not love, it’s not even friendship, it’s as if it’s a game for her, and I will not stand to have Salazar played like that.”
Godric turned to look at Salazar and Bonne, smiling happily at each other. There seemed no hidden agenda there. Godric had never seen Salazar so happy, not for years. If Bonne was doing that for him, he didn’t see a problem with it. He wished Rowena would just let Salazar do what he wanted; he was not harming anyone else. “You are just being over protective. He’s not going to get hurt by Bonne; she is just a sweet girl.”
“Oh that’s right,” growled Rowena, fixing Godric with her most terrible look, “you are always swayed by a buxom blonde who flutters her eyelashes at you!” Rowena stood up, her eyes like daggers and marched away, her dress swishing behind her as she went. Godric could not help but roll his eyes. Women! Rowena especially could be so sensitive. He did not see what was wrong with Bonne Malfoy, and why should Salazar’s love life affect her?
Letting out a large sigh, he tore his eyes away from Bonne and Salazar. He had plenty of happier things to think of. After a long day of teaching, he was going hunting with Ignotus in the forbidden forest. They had grown firm friends over the years, and pushing Rowena to the back of his mind, he thought of the werewolf who they would be hunting down. It was as if he was back on the road again, as free as a bird.
Even as the light from the candle tapered away, Guillaume kept his eyes firmly on the small text in his Arithmancy book. It was about the properties of the number seven, a topic he was doing with his fourth years the next day. The founders may not have warm feelings towards him, but that would not stop him being a good teacher. He had pureblood Wizarding students in his hands, and he could not let them fail.
The door swung open very gently to reveal his sister Bonne in the dim candlelight. She had a contented grin on her face, and this was most definitely a good thing. She was clearly going to inform Guillaume of the progress of her little ‘mission’ involving Salazar. “I think he listened,” she said, closing the door and walking to the seat next to Guillaume, “even though he tried to persuade me his friend’s cared about him, and think in his heart of hearts he was hearing what I was saying.”
Guillaume broke out into a huge grin as he closed his book, placing it on his lap, “good,” he purred, his eyes locked on her face in determination, “keep persuading him that his friend’s do not care. Although he may not appear it, I am sure Salazar is the weak link in the chain. He can be easily persuaded to trust us instead of his old friends.” Bonne looked equally as happy as she straightened out her billowing blue skirt.
“Then I will start with the next plan,” she smiled, her voice filled with excitement, “and it will not be long before we can shape the school in our own image. They will be powerless to stop us!” Guillaume could not help but grin. He could rip everything apart that Helga had ever dreamed of. He would have his revenge, and as a by-product he would create the school how he wanted. It was the greatest revenge that he could ever imagine.
“Have you collected the ingredients?” asked Guillaume sharply, suddenly worrying that his plan would fall through. After so many years of careful planning and design, he could not let it fail now. The ingredients were such a vital part of the plan, and they had to be found quickly if it was to go ahead. If he could not have Helga herself, he would watch as her world tore itself apart, from inside to out, and all with the help of his too eager sister, determined to rid the school of those unworthy to study magic.
“A trusted servant has,” she sniffed, picking up a looking glass that Guillaume had left on the table beside her to study her exquisite face, “and the potion is ready to be made. I will make it tomorrow, while Salazar is teaching so he won’t be suspicious.” Guillaume nodded; he could not see how anything could go wrong with his cunning sister by his side. She thought of every eventuality, and had the ability to so easily hide her emotions that she was the perfect person to carry out his plan.
“He will see what he needs to see for him to do what we want,” she drawled, dusting some fine blonde hair out of her eyes, “it will not be long before this school is free of Mudbloods, just the way it should be.” She looked supremely satisfied with herself as she placed the mirror down. “He just won’t be able to resist me.” She stood up again and gave Guillaume a little nod, “I will see you in the morning. I am sure it will not be too long until an opportunity arises.”
“Goodnight dear sister,” he smiled as she made her way to the door, “I am sure our plan will work. They will never realise what we are doing.” She gave him a smug little smile before turning her back on him, and leaving the room. It was only then that he thanked his lucky stars that he had such a dependable ally.
I really hoped you like it! Please tell me what you think of Guillaume and Bonne, and also anything else so please review! If you liked this story, please read my others: From Ancient Grudge (Next Gen Fic) and its sequel Then I Defy You, Stars and the one that I am starting up again, The Chained Lady (Ted/Andromeda)! Next time...Bonne and Guillaume try something dangerous with Salazar to take their plan to the next level...
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