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Chapter 3 : 3. Deal with the Devil
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I took a sip of my take-away coffee, awkwardly glancing at Regulus who sat next to me on the stairs. Neither of us said a word, we just silently stared at each other, before ducking into a coffee shop, bought coffee, and found a quiet place to sit down. It was just beyond awkward for so many reasons; first of all, he was the younger brother of my boyfriend. Second of all, he was the one who made me see a whole new side of Sirius, and made me surprisingly enough confess my undying love for him – or whatever. And third of all, it was my duty to hate him. Kind of.
The law of nature, you know.
“So,” I said finally, clearing my throat. “Why—“
“I’m sorry about your dad,” he said quickly, avoiding any eye contact.
“Thanks,” I said, glancing at him. “So… Reggie,” I said, trying to smile. “Regulus,” I amended, as he gave me a startled look. “Surely you’re not here merely for a courtesy call, right? What’s up?”
“You need to leave,” Regulus said, shifting nervously. “You can’t stay, not here, not with him… not with Sirius.”
I watched him fidget with his hands, nervously biting down on his lip. I had always hated that about Sirius’ younger wuss-of-a-brother; always nervous, and shifting around like a weasel. To be honest, I always got the urge to pee whenever he was near – yes, he made me that nervous.
My bladder was having an anxiety attack because of Regulus Black – okay, what was it with these Black brothers, giving my body weird syndromes, and whatnot?
“What are you talking about?” I said, frowning. “Is something wrong?”
“Mother doesn’t like it,” Regulus said, shaking his head. “No, no, no – she hates it. She says you’re no good, she thinks you’re the reason why Sirius rebelled at Hogwarts… and still rebels, even if he’s not at Hogwarts anymore.”
I snorted loudly, shaking my head slowly. “Merlin’s beard, are you serious!?” I said. “He was a lot worse before I came along, and if anything, I think I’ve taken down a notch or two of his insanity, thank you very much!”
“I agree,” Regulus agreed quietly, still shaking his head. “But I overheard… overheard… mother say… t-terrible things, terrible, terrible… things. She has terrible p-plans, if you don’t disappear.”
I stared at him in confusion. “Why does she even care?” I asked. “I mean, I’ve never met the woman, and from what I’ve heard, she’s not exactly the kind of person I’d like to waste my time on! Sirius is a twenty-year-old man, he’s not a little kid anymore, so Mrs Black can sod off, and—”
“You don’t understand,” Regulus cut in, finally looking at me. “My mother is a scary person, Susan.”
“Did you just—“
“Yes,” Regulus sighed, shaking his head at my distraction. “Just… be careful, okay? And… would you mind… not telling—“
“Do I look like a complete idiot?” I demanded, slightly offended. “I know better than to bother Sirius with some stupid little thing like this…”
“Whatever,” I said, putting down my coffee, as I stood up. “Bye, Regulus.”
One week later…
“Richard Quency was a fine man,” the man began, as he stood in front of the guests. “He was a family man, a man with his priorities in order. He always took work seriously, but never did he neglect his family because of work. He was a great man.”
I glanced around, and felt a tug of annoyance; the room was filled with people I weren’t familiar with, most of them had known dad from work, or so. They were probably attending the funeral because they had to, not because they wanted to.
My eyes wandered to the last row, where my friends were seated – everyone except James and Lily, of course. They were on their honeymoon, much to Lily’s objections, which I had easily overruled.
She owed me one, that’s why she let it go.
I met Chuck’s gaze, and he waved faintly. Mama had asked him to join the family at front, but he had politely refused, since he wanted to be ‘emotionally supportive’ to his pregnant wife.
Speaking of which…
Vicky, the pregnant wife – also known as Mrs Perry – was seated next to Chuck, her hands fondly folded over her huge stomach. I had already gotten used to everyone around me getting pregnant, so Vicky’s pregnancy hadn’t been such a shocker… considering how they went at it every hour of the day – basically. She hadn’t really changed at all, the only thing that had changed was… well, she wasn’t slender anymore, but I could hardly hold that against her.
Last time I pointed it out, she burst out crying, and refused to talk to me for a week.
Next to Vicky, I found Remus and Val, both of them giving me a sad smile. I felt like rolling my eyes; they were annoyingly perfect for each other, both as friendly as ever, it borderlined annoying, really.
Then I finally saw the person I had searched for; Sirius. He saw seated closest to the aisle, mainly because he almost missed the whole thing. He had practically barrelled in during the Minister of Magic’s speech, getting everyone’s attention.
But that was Sirius; he was like a magnificent star that caught everyone’s attention. Everyone adored him, for a reason or another, whether they wanted or not.
“And now I’d like to call up Susan Quency to say a few words,” the man finished, and Sienna elbowed me in the ribs.
I walked stiffly up, clutching the piece of paper with my notes on. Mama had prepared a poem for me to read – of course, it had been Sienna who had given it to me.
I cleared my throat, and stared down at the ridiculous poem.
“YOU ROCK, SUSIE Q!” Sirius boomed from the back, and made me look up.
“Stupid moron…” I mumbled under my breath, as everyone gave Sirius a look of annoyance. “Hello,” I said more loudly, greeting the guests. “I’m… Susan Quency, daughter of Richard Quency.”
I almost expected them to greet me back, ‘Hi, Susan!’, like at those AA-meetings or something.
“In my father’s memory, I’d like to read a poem, as a little something from us all,” I said, glancing down at the paper.
A long silence followed, as I stared at the poem. What the fuck was I doing? This wasn’t it. Dad wouldn’t have wanted this. His last words had been that mom was a slut, who had had an affair with some other bloke, and I was the result of that affair – and now I was supposed to read a poem about loyalty and love?
Well, fine, he didn’t exactly call her slut and all that – but whatever.
“I… can’t do this,” I breathed, looking directly at mama. “I’m sorry, I can’t… I can’t read this fucking poem!”
Everyone gasped, as the words left my mouth. I saw Sienna’s eyes widen, as she stared at me, and Ali next to her tried his best to cover their children’s ears – unsuccessfully. Mama, on the other hand, sat calmly in her seat, staring blankly ahead.
“Dad hated poems,” I said, searching the crowd again. “At the family reunions, whenever someone read a poem, he would tell jokes instead. He also knew lots of Muggle tricks – like, you know, how to get a spoon to dangle from your nose without magic? Yeah, that kind of stuff. He did that. He was never the strict and punctual man everyone thought he was – he was just my dad. He probably gave me more freedom than to my sister – who we all know as the ‘runaway bride’ – but that’s just because he never expected me to marry. In fact, he never expected me to be interested of boys at all. Or girls, whatever. So I think it was a real shocker when I brought home this… this… scruffy-looking, arrogant, bad-boy by the name of Sirius Black. Yeah, it was… eventful. But even then, he wasn’t strict. My dad… my dad trusted people. He trusted many; people at work, the milkman, a Muggle passing him on the street… and his family,” I said, meeting mama’s eyes. “Above anything, he trusted his family, the ones he loved the most. And his… his wife, my mother,” I finished, pursing my lips tightly. “My dad is a man I’m proud to be daughter to. Thank you.”
I stepped down from the podium, and walked down the aisle. Sienna reached to grab my hand and pull me down to sit, but I continued to walk on. Everyone looked after me, as I walked on, and I knew it.
As I passed Sirius, I didn’t even need to look at him to know that he was already on his feet, waiting for me to reach him. And as I did, he silently grabbed my hand, and left the room with me.
I had made a decision – and Sirius would follow me, no matter what.
“That was a brilliant speech, Susan!” a man said, smiling brightly.
I realized it was the man who had given a speech before me. I smiled, and raised my glass to clink it against his. “Thank you!”
“Normally, one would just read a poem…” he said awkwardly, and I continued to smile. “Are you really dating Sirius Black?”
I nodded, sipping my drink. “Yeah, why?”
“The Black family is an old, Pureblood family, great history… dark history, too,” he said, shaking his head. “You’re in over your head, girlie, you know that, right?”
“I don’t really care about his family, to be honest,” I blurted, still smiling politely. “It’s Sirius I’m shagging, right? Not his family,” I said, putting my glass down on a tray. “And don’t call me girlie.”
I elbowed my way through the crowd, until I reached the backdoor. I waited until the door had closed behind me, before letting out a sigh of relief, my eyes closed.
“Susan Quency,” a voice said, making me snap my eyes open. I looked wildly around, squinting in the dark. “Oh, did I startle you?” a woman said.
I watched in silence, as an elderly woman stepped out from the shadows. Her dark, thick hair was in curls, with a few grey strands, and she peered at me with her bright eyes.
Awfully, familiar, bright eyes.
“Good evening,” she said calmly, but I could hear the disdain and hatred drip from her voice. I felt her eyes take in my appearance as I stood in front of her.
“Evening,” I said shortly, narrowing my eyes. “You must be—“
“Walburga Black,” she said, her thin lips pursed. “So you’re the hussy who has bewitched my son.”
“And you’re the old hag who can’t face the fact that your Sirius is a grown man, and doesn’t give a damn about your values… ma’am.”
She smiled a small, humourless smile, as she glanced inside through the window, where all the guests were socializing. “Am I interrupting a family gathering?”
“A funeral, actually,” I said. “I know you know about my father.”
“Which one?” she asked, her eyes piercing through me.
I felt my heart grow cold. “W-what?”
“I asked,” she said, smiling again, and showing her yellow-ish teeth. “Which one – the one who raised you as his own daughter, or the one who got your poor mother pregnant, and didn’t give a damn?”
I stared at her, not sure if she was bluffing or not. A dreadful thought crossed my mind – she couldn’t possibly be bluffing, it was just impossible to guess something like that.
“How do you know about that?” I demanded, pulling out my wand.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Mrs Black said, eyeing my wand. “You kill the queen bee, and a flock of bees will follow – you don’t seriously expect to get away with this the easy way, do you? Do you have any idea who I am, girl!?”
“I don’t want to kill you,” I snapped, glaring at her. “Only seriously injure.”
“You’re more stupid than Lucius let on,” she said, clicking her tongue in mock disbelief. “And to think that he almost married you – it’s a good thing another marriage was arranged for him, considering… your family background.”
Even with everything going on, when someone offended my family’s pride like that, it still hit a special place, and all anger management went out the window.
“Don’t make me hurt a senior citizen!” I shot, grabbing my wand tightly. “If you’ve been correctly informed, it wouldn’t be the first time I hex someone to St Mungo’s!”
“I will make a deal with you,” she said, lifting her pointy chin.
“I’m not going to make any deals with the devil, but for the sake of good manners, let’s hear it,” I said, tilting my head to the side.
“I’ll give you this,” she said, holding a piece of paper between her fingers. “If you leave my son alone, give him his freedom.”
I snorted, and shook my head. “Sirius’ freedom? Lady, are you stupid, or what? Sirius is free! What makes you think—“
“Dump him, break his heart, leave him be,” Mrs Back went on, her face darkening. “And I’ll give you all the information you need to know about your real father.”
My eyes drifted to the piece of paper she was clutching, and I felt my willpower waver slightly.
“I… can’t,” I finally breathed, lowering my wand, as I continued to stare at the paper.
“Sure you can,” Mrs Black said, her voice disgustingly sweet and polite.
“You don’t understand,” I snarled, narrowing my eyes at her. “Sirius loves me – he’ll never believe it, if I suddenly decided to break-up with him!”
“It’s not love you two have, it’s lust, m’dear,” Mrs Black said, her eyes dark. “If you refuse to leave my son alone, you’ll regret it. You’ll regret it your whole life.”
“What are you going to do?” I demanded. “Kill me?”
“That would be the easiest way out, wouldn’t it?” she purred, nodding. “Although, in order to get my son back, I couldn’t possibly kill you – he would only end up hating me, wouldn’t he? You would win. No – if I can’t have my son, then no one can.”
It took a moment before her words sunk in. I inhaled sharply, my eyes widening, as Mrs Black’s master plan played out in my head.
“You… you would actually kill your own son?” I whispered.
“Do we have a deal?” she said, ignoring my accusation. “Let’s be honest here, girl; clearly you care about my son, and want the best for him – but what do you have to offer him, hmm? Happiness? That’s doubtful. Isn’t a person the happiest when surrounded by family? Or… can you really disagree, and say that Sirius is happy with you, like this?”
I was speechless. Stunned.
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “I can’t… I mean, I don’t know…” I said, and found myself close to tears. “W-what should I tell him? He’s never going to—“
“Hurt him,” Mrs Black said, folding the paper neatly, not even looking at me. “Hurt him to save him, Susan.”
“N-no…” I gasped, falling down on my knees. “I c-can’t…”
“I take it we have a deal, then,” she said, kneeling in front of me. “Good girl – you’ll make any father proud!” she said, patting my head carefully.
She dropped the paper in front of me, and with that, she was gone.
A/N: Since I'm TA, I can post as many chapters as I want :D I think it's rather unbelievable xD Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the chapter... not that it was a good one, or a happy one, but still... IT HAD TO BE DONE.
- Lily xxx
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