Chapter 1 : The Start of a New Game
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A/N: This chapter has been editted form it's origional form. The edits aren't massive, but they are important for the rest of the story (which is why I did them!). Please read and review!
I quickly glanced at the door, but snapped my head back to the large eyes in front of me. They were a light green, but only partially visible due to his drooping eyelids. He shut them in excitement at the touch of my hand holding his. His happiness was checked, however, when he saw the seriousness of my look.
‘¡Recuerde!’ I commanded as I placed the small slip of paper into his hand and then wrapped his fingers into a fist. ‘You deliver this directly to Fluer and only Fluer. No one else may see you.’
He nodded eagerly. ‘Yes, Mistress Isabel. No one shall see Kreacher.’
I bit my lip, but nodded reluctantly. ‘Come here,’ I whispered as I kissed his forehead, ‘be safe.’
Kreacher slowly raised his oversized hand and brushed a lock of my hair behind my ear. ‘Kreacher will come home. Kreacher will always come home to his kind and loving Mistress.’
I smiled down into my lap. ‘You better get going,’ I croaked, ‘and don’t come back until all of the windows in the house are dark.’ I dropped his hands and stood up. The little elf stepped back and with a snap of his fingers disappeared.
I sighed and looked about my old bedroom, its contents packed up in boxes stacked half-hazardously around the room. The job was sloppy, but on such short notice my mother didn’t complain too much—not even her things were packed away to her usual standards. I sat down on one of the near by boxes, but jumped up when the door behind me burst open with a loud bang.
‘Are you ready?’ my mother said slowly as she glided into the room to inspect my things.
‘Todavía no entiendo esto.’
‘Practice your English, Isabel,’ she commanded as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror. ‘No one in England will want to speak to you if you only speak Spanish.’
I sighed and closed my eyes. ‘I do not understand why we are moving, especially now with school about to start, and Fernando, and with Abuela’s estate—can we even afford to move?’
‘Of course we can, we can afford anything we want. Where is your jewelry?’
‘Allí—there,’ I rolled my eyes and tried to think faster, ‘But you said the money was gone—’
‘Did you pack your pearls together or separately?’
‘Separately like you told me.’
‘If you pack them together they will…’ She lifted her eyes to the ceiling to think of the English word.
‘No más Español. No voy a hablar este otra vez.’
‘Forgive me, Mother,’ I stepped over to the mirror and stood behind her, ‘please.’
She slowly ran her perfectly manicured finger along the wood surface in front of her. The corner of her mouth twitched, and she looked up at me through the mirror.
‘Did you pack your broomstick?’
‘You are not a monkey, Isabel. You are a lady.’
I could feel her hard gaze on me—it heated my face. I glanced into the mirror and our eyes met. ‘Unpack it.’
I silently nodded and moved across the room. Hidden by a wall of boxes, I unzipped a Quidditch bag and removed my broom, placing it on the floor beside me. I paused after a moment and took a breath, sucking up my bravery, and repeated my earlier question: ‘How can we afford to move to England?’
She sighed and began to speak in Spanish. I relaxed my shoulders. ‘I was hoping to tell you once we arrived, but I suppose it is just as well to tell you now: I am engaged to an Englishman, an influential Englishman with a heavily guarded Gringotts vault.’ Her tone rose at the end of it—I could tell she was smiling.
I stood still, silent and unmoving. I tried to calculate the proper response, but I couldn’t think of a thing to say—my mind was an empty abyss.
‘Isabel,’ sang my mother in content condescension, ‘you are forgetting proper social etiquette…Congratulate me on my engagement.’ I replaced the broomstick in its bag and zipped up the zipper. Silently, I moved out from behind the wall and faced her.
She raised an eyebrow, enjoying herself, and continued, ‘you may even thank me for being such a good mother as to give you a such an honorable father.’
‘Congratulations, Mother,’ I whispered. She remained silent so I added: ‘Gracias.’
‘In English, my darling.’
I lifted my chin slightly against her cruel smile. ‘Thank you.’
She nodded and stood up from her perch in front of the vanity. ‘Be down stairs in a minute. We leave tonight.’
I glanced about the room for the last time and then followed her out the door.
The house was not a house, but a mansion. A big box like mansion with three floors and an attic. Everything was antique, even the house, which came at no surprise because such lavish ornamentation would have taken a long time—a long enough time for the constructor to rethink his gaudy plans and replace them with something much simpler. My room, like every other square centimeter of the box, was filled with light fixtures adorned with naked cherubs and furniture with lion or raven claws.
I stood in front of a tall mirror from the eighteenth century and scrutinized my reflection. Every detail had to be perfect for her engagement party. I had dug through my boxes of clothes an hour before in search of the perfect outfit, but with every thing so wrinkled I had to settle for borrowing one of my mother’s dresses. It was navy blue. The slip covered from my mid-thigh to just above my neck, and the same color lace covered the slip and my bare arms to just past my elbows. Classy and modest, but was it too old? Perhaps a sixteen year old shouldn’t wear such a dark colored lace… I shook my head, tossing my long brown curls behind my broad shoulders, and took a deep breath. The dress was too loose on my body—I didn’t have Mother’s curves and she’d be sure to comment on it. I hunched my shoulders forward in an attempt to play the loose fitting off as intentional.
By the time I joined the party it was in full swing, or so I assumed. The harp playing itself in the corner could be heard easily over the silence of the crowd. The people moved in circles, and while their lips moved, their words were barely audible.
I descended the large staircase and slowly entered the party. I smiled politely as I passed each clique, but all I got in return were cold stairs. I quickened my pace when I caught sight of Madre. She was in the center of the room, sparkling brighter than the chandelier above her partly because of the extravagant amount of jewels she wore and partly because of her perfectly constructed smile.
Her dress was plain evening gown and pearl white; it was almost luminescent against her olive skin. She wore her hair tall with half of it tied back and the rest of it fell in curls onto her shoulders. She looked like a classic movie star.
‘Good evening,’ I breathed as I stood beside her. ‘Mr. MacDougal,’ I nodded to my mother’s fiancé standing next to her. He was about thirty years older and two inches taller than her. His wispy graying hair was slicked back, and the only feature that over powered his face more than his square jaw line was his large nose that produced peeping nose hairs. “How are you, sir?”
“Fine,” he answered loudly, shouting over the imaginary hubbub of the crowd.
I smiled, unable to think of anything to say.
‘Is that my dress?’ my mother asked as she mechanically turned her neck to face me.
‘Yes,’ I said calmly. ‘All of mine were wrinkled.’
‘Well you should have packed them properly.’ Her tone was sharper than appropriate for a festive occasion; however, she quickly recovered her pleasant demeanor and smiled. ‘If you had you could have worn a dress that actually fit you.’
‘I was just trying to hurry down. I didn’t really have time to get ready for the party after I finally finished unpacking.'
She opened her mouth to say something else but was interrupted by a couple that begun to offer congratulations to Mr. MacDougal. They were young and the girl, who looked only a year older than I, was draped all over the man, who looked to be in his later twenties. My mother was glaring at the girl, but I couldn't figure out if it was because the blonde had simply interrupted her or that fact that she was wearing a white dress so I decided it was because Señor MacDougal's gaze was continuously returning to the girl’s partially naked chest.
My mother cleared her throat, drawing everyone's attention.
'Ah yes, Charlie, Daphne, meet my fiancée, Larisa, and her daughter Isabella.'
'It is a pleasure—'
'Charlie,' barked Señor MacDougal again, 'have you wrangled up the last of them?'
'Yes sir I have,' smiled Charlie. He stuck out against the elegance of the party, but no one else seemed to notice. His hair was long and dirty blond; it was completely unkempt to the extent that if appeared he had slept somewhere outside the night before. His face was hairy, too, with his thick eyebrows and scruffy stubble. He smiled, showing his white jagged teeth. 'I move the gang onto Charleston in the morning.'
A chill went down my spine as I considered that maybe his hygiene wasn’t a matter of personality but blood. Maybe, I thought, this is what a werewolf looks like.
Daphne made a cute laugh and placed her hand over his heart. 'He wanted to leave tonight, but I told him we couldn't miss another event—especially one as nice as this!' She laughed again and I gave her the smile my mother wouldn't.
It was a pity smile, not for her unfortunately prepubescent laugh but for her date. I couldn't fathom what a girl like her was doing at a party with a man like Charlie, with a werewolf. She was beautiful with full honey blonde hair she had pinned back nicely. Her skin was perfectly tanned, and while her breasts were a little too large and a little too immodest for her to be considered a woman of high classes her shining blue eyes and warm smile made her someone to be desired. She wore a lot of shiny jewelry, maybe he had given it to her.
'Have there been many summer parties?' I asked.
'Not as many as before,' sighed Daphne. Her smile faded a bit, but it returned to its previous standards as Charlie began to speak.
'Too much work to be done for silly parties!' He laughed, or maybe barked?
'Isabel will you find me something to drink?' asked my mother sweetly as she gently placed her hand over her chest, 'I feel a coughing fit coming.'
I nodded and turned to walk away, glad to be leaving before her real fit began.
'I'll go with you,' said Daphne as she wrapped her hand around my arm, 'I'm feeling a bit parched myself.'
I only smiled at her. I didn't know what to say or what to do, so I let her take the lead.
'This is a beautiful house. When did you move in?'
'We arrived last night, but the floo was slow so our things only arrived this morning.'
Daphne gasped, 'You must be exhausted!'
'Forgive me if I'm terrible company?' I asked sheepishly, 'I'm still trying to get my bearings.'
She smiled and gave my arm a little squeeze. 'Don't worry, you are in good hands.'
I thanked her. I didn't realize how good of hands I was in until ten minutes later when she'd introduced me to a dozen other people she knew and had us invited to several upcoming group outings. I felt like a new piece of jewelry she was showing off to all of her friends; they all smiled courteously, but when Daphne turned around envy took over their pretty faces.
I laid the blue dress on my bed and sighed. Wrapping my silk robe closer to me, I walked over towards the open window. I looked up at the growing moon and closed my eyes imagining Fleur’s wedding: her dress, the pretty decorations, the music playing, the people dancing gracefully and laughing over wine. I opened my eyes again, slightly comforted by the idea that while I wasn’t there with old my friend we were at least under the same moon. I walked back to the bed and picked up my wand. I closed my eyes and was suddenly jerked upwards by my bellybutton.
'Kreacher,' I whispered into the darkness. 'Kreacher, are you here?'
'Kreacher is here Mistress Isabel, as Kreacher’s Mistress commanded.'
I turned around and pointed my lit wand in front of me. The little elf stood a meter way, but ran forward when I beckoned him with my hand. I dropped to my knees and held him tightly. 'Is anyone else here?'
'No, Mistress Isabel.' I could feel the tip of his warm nose pressed against my neck. I shut my eyes tightly and swallowed back the lump in my throat. 'You disobeyed me, Kreacher, but I'm happy you did.'
'Kreacher did not believe the veela. Kreacher knew the Mistress Isabel would never abandon Kreacher. Kreacher knew Mistress Isabel would never not say goodbye.' His voice cracked a little and wavered as he attempted to control it.
I pulled back and cupped his face in my hands. 'I meant what I wrote in my letter to Fleur. It's not safe for you to live with me anymore. You have to live with Fleur. Serve her as you would serve me.' He began to cry and his tears shook his body violently. 'Hush Kreacher,' I said in an attempt to sooth him, 'this isn't a goodbye forever. I'll still see you and call on you, and when I have a house of my own you can live with me then alright?'
He nodded as snot dripped down from his nose. I wiped it with the long sleeve of my shirt. His eyes bulged, but he said nothing. 'Go,' I whispered, 'Go to Fleur's and serve her. You may spend your nights where you wish, but when she calls on you, Kreacher, you must return to her.’
He was gone.
I sat on my knees alone in the darkness that was my family's grand foyer. My childhood home was no longer mine. The life I once understood had been taken from me. I was being forced to play an entirely new game for which I didn't know the rules.
I grasped my wand tightly and was pulled upwards again. I landed with a thud on my bed.