Chapter 4 : Chapter Three
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“Eat your breakfast Katherine,” badgered Angelina as she prepared a piece of toast; the pale girl was now slightly green.
“C'mon, Katherine, you won't be able to play like that,” she hissed, practically pushing the toast under Katherine's nose. She looked like she had just seen a piece of dung.
“No, Angelina... I feel sick.” She turned towards the boys, who were enjoying their breakfast.
“See, the food's not poisonous,” joked Alicia, who had already finished and was now tying her blonde hair back into a ponytail.
“Hullo children!” called a cheerful voice; it was Quincy, who looked cheerful, though trailing behind him was Oliver, who looked like his jaw had been glued together by a Permanent Sticking Charm. Fred and George joked with Lee, who be doing the commentary and was excitedly telling anyone who would listen to him.
“I'll be out on the pitch,” whispered the Scot, standing from his seat almost as soon as he sat down. Katherine swallowed. Their leader was nervous...
Fred stretched, standing up with George, both of them wearing determined looks. Quincy swallowed his pumpkin juice.
“Come on, kids, before Ollie drowns himself.” He set down the goblet as Alicia stood up, her eyes filled with fire.
“Katherine,” said Angelina, pulling her up. The girl felt her hand become cold. She looked up only to see their whole House beginning to cheer them on, along with the Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. The Slytherins booed them, as expected, but that couldn't dampen Katherine's eagerness to step out onto the pitch.
Fred walked in front of George, smiling and waving like his twin as they heard the applause. “Bring them down!” yelled a Gryffindor third year; another one called out, “Give 'em hell, Weasley!”
“We’ve got fans already,” said Fred, giving the boy a thumbs-up. In only two years, the boys had managed more chaos than any other students, which in their case was something to be proud of.
“See, nothing to worry about, Katherine!” called Quincy once they were outside. She gave him no response; instead, she nodded.
“Of course not!” yelled Alicia, smiling. “Believe me, today Montague will rue the day he ruined my Potions essay!”
Angelina laughed. “Believe me, he will!” The girls slung their hands over their shoulders. Katherine sighed, trailing behind the twins. She stared at the back of their heads; she had already give up on finding out which of them was her – she hated to admit it...
Her best friend.
They entered the pitch; broom in hand, Katherine stood behind Quincy, who had a tight grip on his broom, making it look like he was about to snap it in half. Oliver kept talking about defensive plays while the twins played around with their bats.
“Now the Slytherin team! Flint, Montague, Pucey, Bletchley, Bole, Derrick, and Higgs.” They heard Lee Jordan's amplified voice giving them the Slytherin line-up. “Of course, this is quite useless, since most of them can't even spell their own names!”
“Jordan!” yelled McGonagall.
The twins laughed along with Quincy, and the girls shook their heads. “Well, seems someone's having fun,” said Katherine as Lee's voice spoke once again.
“Sorry! Well, now the Gryffindor team! Wood, Johnson, Spinnet, last-minute chaser Rowle, Weasley, Weasley, and Quincy!” They heard the applause as they flew into the air. George flew behind his brother, taking his place in the formation. They stood face-to-face with the rival team as the captains flew towards each other, letting Madam Hooch give them the instructions.
“I want a fair and clean game!” she yelled, hard enough for all of them to hear. George clenched his jaw as he watched Bole smile stupidly at him... George followed the boy's eyes.
They were on Katherine, who looked like she was about to faint at any given moment. “ Don't even think about it, you prat!” mumbled George.
He bumped shoulders with Fred, catching his attention. “Take a look at Bole,” he whispered as Wood shook hands with Flint, both of them glaring at each other.
“All right, and they've released the Snitch! Remember, the team who catches the Snitch ends the game!” said Lee, his voice filled with expectation.
Fred frowned. “Don't worry – there's no way a Bludger is getting past us.” He then smiled. “'Sides, we're living Bludgers ourselves.” George nodded feeling reassured.
“And Madam Hooch throws the Quaffle into the air!”
The bright red ball flew above them. Katherine took a deep breath and gripped her broom, and Madam Hooch blew the whistle.
“And... Gryffindor's in possession!” yelled Lee, obviously excited. “I can't believe Rowle has the Quaffle – and she's shooting down the field!”
George's eyes scanned for the small black ball... there. He flew towards Quincy, who ducked, allowing George to beat the Bludger in Flint's direction.
“She passes to Spinnet, who passes to Johnson, who passes back to Rowle... oh, a Bludger just hit the Slytherin captain – nice work by the Gryffindor Beater!”
George smiled, swinging around his bat menacingly – no Bludger would get past him. He turned to watch the Chasers. For his first game, he had to admit he wasn't nervous at all.
“And Rowle reverse passes to Johnson, who... scores! Ten points to Gryffindor!” The lions cheered loudly as the Chasers celebrated in midair. From a distance, Katherine didn't seem so nervous any more – she actually looked excited.
“Slytherin is now in possession, and there goes Pucey down the field... passes to Flint, who tries to get past Wood... and fails! Yes!”
“Jordan, you are here for an unbiased – ”
Her voice was drowned by the Gryffindor cheer as Wood threw the Quaffle back into play. Katherine caught it quickly, turning away from her captain, flying towards the Slytherin posts. She could hear her own heartbeat. The risky feeling was exhilarating! She felt someone flying next to her; turning, Katherine saw Montague, and, not far behind, Alicia.
“Kat, here!” she yelled, though it was too risky.
If she threw the Quaffle now, Montague would catch it... and now that she thought about it, he was definitely more intimidating on a broom. She held the Quaffle tightly and maneuvered downwards, side to side, but Montague kept on her tail. “Give it here and I promise not to hurt you!” called the Slytherin Chaser. Katherine frowned as she heard another player fly over next to her. She turned, praying it was one of her own...
Her eyes widened in horror as she saw a green uniform. The boy looked about Wood's height, but he was definitely wider. He smiled lopsidedly, trying to take the Quaffle from her. “Stop it! Sod off!” she yelled as they pinched her, giving Katherine no way to maneuver on her own.
“Katherine!” She heard Angelina's voice, horrified, from below. They headed towards one of the stands.
She could hear herself scream until she felt someone pull on her broom, causing her to drop the Quaffle. “And what's this! Flint and Montague tried to out the Gryffindor Chaser! Really clean game!”
This time not even McGonagall yelled as Katherine stopped twenty feet in the air. It had been Quincy who pulled on her broom, dragging her away from the Slytherins.
“And the Seekers are at it! It seems the Snitch is nearby! C'mon Quincy!” Katherine looked up; Angelina scored, and was now following Pucey, who had caught the Quaffle. She shot up towards him until she heard someone yell, “Duck!”
She pulled herself closer to the handle of her broom.
Katherine turned, only to see a redhead give her a lopsided grin. Katherine gave him a shocked look as he winked. “Just in case, Kit, name's George!” With that he flew away, following the next Bludger, which Fred had already sent flying away...
George Weasley... Katherine simply floated there, her mouth hanging open. “So Slytherin scores,” said Lee sourly, “but now Gryffindor's in possession – but drops the Quaffle! Earth to Rowle!”
She looked up and stretched her hand, catching the Quaffle as blurs of green and red came towards her. Before another thought could cross her mind, she flew across the field; the other Chasers weren't too far behind. Katherine gained height and turned, throwing the Quaffle in Alicia's direction. She caught it successfully and scored another ten points. The game went on for another hour until they heard Madam Hooch blow the whistle. “The Gryffindor captain called for a time-out... scores stand 80-50, with Gryfffindor in the lead,” said Lee.
Katherine landed alongside Alicia and Angelina. The boys were already standing there when they arrived, Oliver looking like he was about to rip his hair out as he stared at Quincy, who held the side of his head, which was... bleeding.
“When the hell did that happen?” blurted out Katherine, staring at Quincy. Angelina gasped while Fred and George just stood there, rigid.
“Five minutes ago,” he said with a smirk, and one of the twins spoke.
“Quincy, you shouldn't have done that! We're the Beaters!” Katherine guessed that it must have been Fred... he had a stronger tone of voice when he spoke.
“It was stupid and reckless to stand in the way of a Bludger like that,” said Oliver in a hollow voice as Quincy shook his head.
“It was that or let Bole take a swing at her.” He then pointed at Katherine, who looked taken aback. “We're a team, Oliver! And quite frankly, I don't give a damn what position I'm in! This is minor compared to what the gorilla could have done with a swing to her!”
“Oh, Quincy!” said Alicia, rubbing his back. Angelina gave him a sympathetic look.
“When?” asked Katherine, but before Quincy answered, Oliver stepped in.
“When you were just floating there in the middle of the game.”
“But forget that – what the hell are we going to do?” asked Alicia, straightforward as ever.
“We play, dammit!” yelled Quincy, now pointing a bloody finger at Oliver. “If I'm still standing we have a chance! Now call this bullshit off before I decide to bash your head in!”
Oliver nodded, his eyes looked like they were emitting fire. “We're not losing to Slytherin!” he yelled. “Quincy, catch the Snitch, and Fred, you stay on Quincy's tail!”
Madam Hooch came over and asked if they were ready. Oliver puffed out his chest and nodded. Katherine turned; at her side was the tall redhead. “Don't feel guilty – from what I've heard, Quincy's always been overprotective of us little ones.”
“Thank you.” They mounted on their brooms, and he smiled.
“Stop it, or you'll make me blush!”
Laughing, Katherine flew in the opposite direction. The Quaffle was given to Slytherin, who had been in possession before the time-out. But the game didn't last much longer – just minutes later, Quincy caught the Snitch, but fell off his broom the second he did, leaving the Gryffindor team in horror.
It was the talk of the week that the Gryffindor team had beaten Slytherin... or, as some said, had cheated. Everything happened so fast most people didn't believe that Quincy had caught the Snitch. This, of course, caused tension between the already-rival Houses.
A month passed, and all was forgotten. Adrian Kirk was back on the Gryffindor team, and, as usual, they trained three times a week for five hours (most of the time... at least when Oliver was in a good mood).
Time flew by for George Weasley – why, between hanging Mrs. Norris from a chandelier and hanging Flint upside-down in the halls, who could keep track of time? He could barely keep up with his homework and the guilty pleasure of making sure Filch was miserable. Soon enough, Christmas had arrived, with snow and all.
“This year Mum wants us home,” said Fred after swallowing down a whole Chocolate Frog. Angelina shook her head.
“I'm staying. So is Alicia.” She picked up a Cauldron Cake. The sweets lay on the table in front of them all, courtesy of the Marauder's Map... and a small white lie that Quincy had helped with, Merlin bless him.
George turned to Lee and Katherine, who were comparing cards. “How 'bout you two?”
“I'm leaving,” said Lee, wiping a tear. “I'm going to miss you lot.”
Katherine sighed. “Father wants me home... so we can bond like a proper family...”
They all stayed silent until Alicia spoke. “Well, that's nice, right? I mean, he acting human, at least.” Katherine wore a dark look.
“Father's never been a generous man, let alone one to actually show some humanity.” She picked up another Chocolate Frog. “'Sides, I really don't care,” added Katherin,e hoping they wouldn't ask any more questions.
“We'll write,” said Angelina with a smile; at her side, Alicia nodded.
“Aww, Ang, dear, I didn't know you could be sooo sweet!” said Fred; she proceeded to throw a Licorice Wand at him. George laughed – those two were probably going to get married someday.
“Still, I can't believe it – two days 'til the train leaves,” said Lee, patting his stomach lightly.
“I hear you, mate,” said Fred. “I guess being home doesn't sound as fun as causing mayhem at this wonderful learning institute.”
Katherine snorted. “As if you don't cause mayhem at your house.”
George looked like Fred – hurt. “Why, dear, we are the best-behaved children Hogwarts has ever known.”
The group laughed at the twins’ faces; Katherine simply smiled, shaking her head as she stood up. “I've got to pack... I'll see you lot tomorrow.”
“C'mon, it's only midnight,” said Fred, though that didn't stop her from walking away up into the girls’ dormitory. Little by little, each of them slowly began to crawl into bed until it was just Fred and George left in the common room. They had just finished a game of wizard's chess when the common room door opened, revealing their Head of House. She wore a set of green robes, her usual speckled glasses, and a tight bun.
“What, may I ask, are you two doing up at this hour?” she asked, suddenly noticing them.
“We were just getting to bed!” faux-yawned Fred, standing.
George nodded innocently. “Sorry – lost track of time.”
“Very well, then. I suggest you two get to bed immediately.” Once Professor McGonagall had finished her sentence, she watched the twins run up the spiral steps.
“Wonder who's she got in for?” asked George; his twin shrugged.
“Whoever it is, I wouldn't mind them giving us a lesson or two.”
He walked out of the fireplace and dusted off his black robes. The blue-eyed man turned as he watched a pale girl walk in behind him, coughing as she dragged a heavy trunk. “Put it down. The elf will take it upstairs,” said the man in a low tone.
She obeyed and watched the small elf drag away her trunk. Katherine turned back to her father, who took a seat on a dark leather couch. So far they hadn't spoken – all she knew was that he had gone to Hogwarts to retrieve his daughter tonight... and apparently Professor Dumbledore had accepted.
“Sit,” he said, pointing to the loveseat across from where he sat. She obeyed once more, without a word.
“You understand that we have to make a couple of things clear, since you're going to permanently live with me.”
Again, she said nothing. “You will ask no questions – not about Egil, and definitely not about your mother.” He watched his daughter, yet she made no expression, though the distaste was obvious by the way her lip had suddenly twitched. “She was a filthy Mudblood.”
“My mother was a witch,” whispered Katherine, her blue eyes suddenly locked with her father's.
“That conversation will be held on another occasion.” His voice grew cold and menacing. Katherine knew her father was sitting there, waiting to test her.
“On the other hand, there are things we'll need to change.”
He walked over to his daughter, who simply looked up at him. “This, for example,” he said, holding up a strand of hair.
“What about it?” she asked, in a somewhat pleasant tone.
“Katherine, hold your tongue. I mean it.” He turned his back on her. “Fix it. In two days I have guests coming over.”
She snorted as he went on, “They start to arrive tomorrow.”
“Really, Father, I don't care,” she said, knowing the moment the words left her lips they had been a mistake, but she couldn't hold onto it any longer. Thorfinn spun around and stared at his daughter menacingly, pointing his wand at her. “Katherine Lyra Rowle, unless you'd like to spend your summer locked in the cupboard, I suggest you hold that slippery tongue of yours!”
Katherine watched as he came closer – the look in his eyes this time sent chills down her spine. “Quite frankly, I don't know what Dumbledore teaches you nowadays, but even if it's the last thing I do, you'll learn your damn place! Now get your arse upstairs before I lose my temper.”
Before he could take another breath, Katherine practically flew out of her seat and into the hall, where the family portraits stared at her. They whispered amongst themselves as she ran up the stairs; it hadn't even been a full day, and she already missed her classmates...
No, Katherine could say she missed her friends. She missed their kind gestures towards her, their laughter and smiles. She even missed the sudden smell of dung that filled the classrooms after one of the twins’ pranks.
She quickly found her room in the large manor. It was the only one with an open door. As she walked inside, Katherine found herself looking around. There was a four-poster bed with a dark green cover, and on the bed, there were at least four pillows piled one on top of another. Her trunk lay at the foot of the bed, and on top of it were two dress robes, still neat in their package. She closed the door and slid onto the floor; slowly, it all began to sink in... Egil was gone... she'd be living with her father. She took a sharp breath as her throat began to dry up, and she could feel her heart about to break.
His green eyes gave him an excited look. “You're finally going to Hogwarts!” He hugged Katherine; apparently, he was more excited than she was. The pale girl simply stood there, unable to string two words together. “Katherine, say something!” he laughed, ruffling her frizzy hair.
“I'm going to school?”
He laughed, and his handsome features lit up. “Of course, my child. Come, there's lots of shopping we need to do!”
Katherine closed her eyes; she could still feel the tears stream down her face.
“Katherine,” began Egil, putting a hand on her cheek as the train began to whistle.
“I'll be late!” she said impatiently; he laughed, hugging his niece tightly.
“I'll miss you – write as soon as you're Sorted!”
She nodded as he released her. “I promise,” she said as he shooed her towards the train.
“Take care! And remember, do your best!”
She bit her lip and slowly opened her eyes, crawling towards her bed. It just hurt too much to stand.
“I promised Elizabeth I'd care for her!” he yelled; Katherine stood behind the couch as he argued with a tall, cold-looking man. They had similar features, though Thorfinn was handsome in a haunting way. The older man sighed.
“Yes, but she's my daughter.” Katherine dug her fingers onto the couch; her father had come to see her! Before Katherine could get her hopes up she heard Egil’s voice.
“One who you've never cared for!” She felt her heart drop. “Leave, Thorfinn, or I don't respond!” spat Egil, causing Katherine to hold onto the couch tighter. Her Uncle had never yelled before.
“That half-blooded brat will be your death!” yelled Thorfinn as he turned around, slamming the door behind him.
Katherine began to sob. “He hates me!” she yelled, looking up at her uncle, whose face suddenly fell.
“No, Katherine... he just shows his love in a different way.” He took her small hands off the couch. “Your mum and dad loved you, both of them... very dearly... Daddy just doesn't know how to deal without Mummy.” His green eyes had misted over, but he hadn't shed a tear. “But don't worry; I'll always be here for you...”
Katherine pushed her face into the pillow and began to sob. He had died, just like that, and Merlin only knew in what circumstances. She knew her father would never tell her, yet he was the only she could ask. No one, not even Professor Dumbledore, had given her the answers she wanted to hear. Egil's death couldn't have been what was written in the Prophet – Egil wouldn't have let himself die that way.
She heard a small crack, but didn’t bother to look up. “Miss,” said the elf with a squeaky voice. “Are you Miss Elizabeth's daughter?”
Suddenly interested, Katherine looked up and nodded without bothering to wipe her tears. “I'm Nome, and Master Egil said I was to care for you if ever came here. And he also said I was to give you this.” The tiny elf dropped a small sack he carried on the floor. “He requested you keep it from your father at all costs!” Katherine nodded, and with that, the elf left with another crack, leaving her tired and confused.
Katherine held the small black book and a sealed piece of parchment in her hand; under her bed lay a flask inside a basin. She stared at the letter and ran her finger over it; downstairs, she could already hear the commotion. Katherine put the black book down and ripped the parchment open. The handwriting was neat and loopy.
I write this hoping you'll never have to read it. If you are, I apologize for my early departure, but know that I love you and that no matter what, you were my child. I always have thought of you as such.
You must have received the letter from the Rowle house-elf, Nome. He's a sweet thing – you can trust him, believe me (I was his favourite member of the family). Inside this sack is this letter, a Pensieve, and your mother's journal. I believe you know what the latter is already, but before you throw the letter onto the floor and open one of the following, Katherine, I wish for you to hear a couple of things. You'll witness and read lots of horrible things, things no child should ever learn about their parents... but these things are necessary for you to know. Knowing Thorfinn, there are things he'll never fess up to, dear, and it was with that in mind that I gave you these items. I beg you, Katherine, be wise. Inside that journal and the Pensieve there are horrible events... some I wish you never to see or experience.
What was he talking about? She went on, only wiping her tears.
Here I'll tell you to lay low around your father, as he has a harsh temper. Keep yourself safe, Kitty. Please don't let my passing change you. In fact, let it make you a stronger woman. Before I forget – if you’re sent to Thorfinn's house, he must have given you my room (if it has a small balcony, that's it).
Katherine took a glance over her shoulder - yes, there was the window with the small balcony. Currently the snow was falling lightly outside.
Underneath my bed there's a loose floorboard – hide everything there... and inside you might find a couple of things, too.
She smiled and held the letter tightly. The commotion downstairs got louder. Deciding to play it safe ,Katherine hid everything as Egil had said, under the loose floorboard. As she closed the floorboard Katherine heard someone open her door.
“Now, what kind of position is that for a young woman?” said a woman's unfamiliar voice.Katherine got her head out from under the bed. Before her stood a tall, slender woman. She had long blonde hair and probably the most beautiful blue eyes Katherine had ever seen. She wore deep green robes and a look of disapproval.
“I can't believe you're my cousin!” She hurried over and pulled Katherine up from the floor, observing her while clicking her tongue. “Thorfinn's right, child – you look downright awful!” Katherine brought her eyebrows together.
“Thank you, Selina!” the woman snapped, dragging Katherine towards her newfound vanity. Any girl would gasp at the sight of it, with its large mirror and delicate wooden frame, not to mention all the hair products that were there.
“What in the name of Merlin's hair is this?” Katherine asked, clearly disgusted.
Selina sat her down on the stool. “That’s what I’m asking you, child. Now shut up and let me see what I can do about this hair of yours...” The woman had her wand out, and with a couple of taps, Katherine had wet hair hanging around her face. Selina poured products into her hair while Katherine wore an expression like she had a Dungbomb stuck under her nose.
A half hour later, Katherine's hair hung in elaborate curls around her face, and she wore a dark, princess-like dress. She snorted at her reflection; she could only imagine the look on everyone's face at school if they actually saw the way she was dressed.
George would probably laugh. And speaking of which, she wondered what he could be doing.
George sat across the table from Charlie, who was in a conversation with his father. To his right sat Ron, staring at Fred and George as if he was trying to figure out the twins’ wicked smiles. Their mother was too busy talking to Bill about his hair, and Percy was lecturing Ginny about something that was probably boring.
“I know you two did something to my soup!” whispered Ron, frowning, as he pushed his soup away. This was quickly noticed by their mother.
“Ronald Weasley – ” she began, and Ron turned to her.
“Fred and George did something to it!” he yelled, pointing at the twins, causing everyone's attention to turn towards them. They feigned innocent looks.
“Ron, you know, that hurts,” began Fred, and George bit the inside of his cheek. Really, this could never get old.
“Ron, did you see anything?” asked Arthur with a frown; the little redhead shook his head.
“No – ”
“Then you mustn't make accusations.”
“But – but it's them!” said the little boy in fear. “They hate me!”
“No, we don't!” said George, seriously frowning. “You're our brother!”
“Besides, it's your knickers you should be worried about,” Fred went on, wearing a Cheshire-like smile. The table went silent.
Ron suddenly stood up, screaming.
His mother ran after him as he left the kitchen. Even that didn't stop her from yelling, along with their father, who stood up too. The older brothers sat, silent, until Charlie got up and followed Mrs. Weasley in an effort to help Ron calm down.
Deep down, though, they all knew that this was their typical Christmas, and with that thought, George couldn't help but smile.
The living room's furniture had been cleared out, and people stood about in dress robes. Men spoke about business and women about their children. Katherine guessed that there were at least thirty people there. She walked down the stairs, following Selina, who wore a beautiful sapphire dress that showed off her smooth back.
At the bottom of the steps she saw her father, along with two other men.
One man had white-blond hair and held someone kind of walking cane, and the one next to him looked around her father's age. Everything about him gave Katherine the chills, especially the way his dark eyes looked at her, surprised, as she stood at the bottom, of the stairs staring at them silently.
“Oh, Lucius, it's wonderful to see you!” said Selina, and he took her hand.
“Likewise, dear. And this young woman is?” he asked in a cold tone.
“My daughter,” responded Thorfinn, placing a hand on Katherine's shoulder. He dug his nails into it, probably as a warning.
“It's a pleasure, sir,” said Katherine sweetly, enough for her father to buy it.
“Katherine, this is Lucius Malfoy and Verne Montague.” She smiled at both men, though her heart sank. Great – so Graham Montague is here... lovely. I wonder who else’s father is?
“Well, I've certainly heard a lot about you from Thorfinn,” began Mr. Malfoy, examining her as she tilted her head curiously. “He says you're quite talented.”
“Best in my year, sir,” she said sweetly, as Montague laughed.
“Well, you'll get along with my son.”
The little colour her face contained was suddenly drained. “Yes, Katherine, go on” said Selina, shooing her away from the adults – something to which her father didn't object to. Katherine gladly walked away from them and into the crowded room. People ogled at her as she walked by, mainly because she knew most of them couldn't believe this tiny little girl was Thorfinn Rowle's daughter. That man was the head of the Department of Mysteries. Katherine ignored this while blushing as she walked over to the punch...
Unfortunately, next to it stood a group of familiar Slytherins; one of them even walked up to her.“Well, well – hullo, Miss Rowle,” taunted Selwyn with a smile, her dark eyes staring daggers into Katherine, who decided to ignore her for now.
“That's her, Selwyn?” asked a girl. Katherine knew her name – Devin Parkinson, probably the prettiest Slytherin girl. She poured punch in a cup and turned, only to come face to face with Montague and his captain, Flint.
“Hullo,” whispered Katherine, trying to remain calm, though her voice shook. At Hogwarts, she had her wand… here, she had nothing.
“Wood's little Chaser, isn't she, Montague?” said Flint.
“Just leave me alone,” she whispered, pulling herself away from the group.
As she walked away, all she could think about was how much she wished Egil was here. How she wished for his death to have been some sort of elaborate joke.
She could hear the nearby chatter–unknowingly, she had crashed into someone, spilling her punch all over the place. “You clumsy child!” yelled a white-haired woman as the man in front of her laughed.
“Narcissa, it's quite all right!” The man had a small accent, though she couldn't place where it was from.
“Sorry!” said Katherine, looking up at the man – he was handsome, and the most elegant man she had seen in the room.
“There, now, nothing a little magic couldn't get out.” He pocketed his wand as the woman was called over by another, and quickly left with a small apology.
“Oh, dear, believe me – it's quite all right,” he said again as he watched Katherine grow anxious. “Well, and who are your parents?”
“Thorfinn Rowle,” she responded quickly, hoping this would get her out of trouble. The kind man brought his ash-coloured brows together.
“Now, really... well, I'm Pierre Delacroix.” Katherine bounced on her heels. “You look just like her, you know,” he whispered, giving her a small wink. Her eyes widened.
He put a finger on her lips. “Yes.” He lowered his voice so much she had to strain her ears to hear him. “Owl me if you need anything.” With that, he turned her around, and, like Selina, shooed her away. Katherine walked away, though now with an immense curiosity – why would he have her owl him? Pity? Kindness?
That night for her had been awful. She felt like a porcelain doll around the adults, and around their kids, she was something to be made fun of. During dinner, the only comforting thing had been the Frenchman, who she later found out was the most prominent healer in all of Britain (Selina had also mentioned something about him appearing in Witch Weekly as the most sought-out bachelor). He was a kind man, though she could tell her father wasn't very fond of him. But, as the night went on, even his presence wasn't a relief...
At the end of the night only they remained.
“Katherine, bed,” whispered her father; around them, the house-elves tidied up the place.
Thorfinn turned, facing his daughter, who flinched but, despite that, didn't look away. “What did I warn you about?”
Katherine took a deep breath. “Father, aren't we going to spend time together... like a proper family?” She chose her words carefully – though only twelve years old, she was by no means a dumb witch.
“Like a proper family, Katherine Lyra?” he asked in a mocking tone, and she nodded.
“Even if I don't agree with your views very much, you are my father... and I'm your daughter.”
Thorfinn watched her curiously as Selina smiled. “Oh, she's right, Thorfinn! Nome, bring out a bottle of butterbeer and two Firewhiskys!” Katherine looked up at her cousin with a weak smile. Maybe Selina wasn't that bad after all, though her father didn't look at all pleased.
“Bring those to the study.” He walked away, signaling them to follow him. Good, thought Katherine, her eyes focused on the back of her father's head. She hoped that her attempt to get information out of him would work – after all, he knew the reason behind Egil's sudden death... and he would have to tell her.
They walked into his study, a larger and more handsomely decorated room. Everything from the floorboards to the window drapes looked like they had more value than the whole manor put together. Katherine sat on one of the leather couches, and Selina sat next to her, taking a hold of her hand. “Oh, I knew you'd warm up to us –I just didn't expect it to be so soon.”
Katherine gave her a stiff nod as she pulled her hand away. Thorfinn sat across from them, his eyes on his daughter, causing her to shiver. It felt as if Thorfinn was trying to read her mind, to find out what the meaning was behind Katherine’s polite behaviour.
There was a faint pop, and a squeaky voice came afterward. “Here, Master and Misses!” It was Nome, and he carried the tray with their drinks, handing them to each in turn.
“Thanks,” whispered Katherine as the house-elf vanished.
“I suppose you have hidden intentions with this conversation, Katherine?”
She turned quickly, slopping practically all of her butterbeer on the floor. Selina shook her head, pulling out her wand. “Child, honestly!” The blonde was completely oblivious to the turn the conversation was taking.
“Yes, Father. I have a question.”
Thorfinn smiled as he took a sip of his drink. “Then ask.” The girl took a deep breath, hoping not breaking into tears.
“How did my uncle die? I mean, no one's ever said a word about it – ”
“He died because of his stupidity,” began Thorfinn. Katherine felt like the bottle in her hand was about to break. “Egil, as you know, was dedicated to his job.” His blue eyes were on Katherine, who licked her lips nervously. “During one of his assignments, he let someone die, and he simply couldn't accept his failure.”
Selina shook her head. “Shame, really – Egil was a brilliant wizard.”
“Yes, but he was foolish – ”
“Foolish?” yelled Katherine, standing, the butterbeer bottle now on the floor, shattered into a thousand pieces. “Egil wasn't foolish! He was kind, and he was a better father than you'll ever be!”
She wished the words had never left her lips. Her father stood; draining his cup, he laid the glass on the table before looking down at his daughter. “Egil is dead. You hear me, child?”
“Thorfinn!” begged Selina, as Katherine whimpered.
“I'm your father, and while you’re under this roof, I'm the one who sets the rules!” He glared at her, causing her eyes to water up. “Understood?”
Katherine nodded, hoping that her father would lay down his wand. Thorfinn glared at Katherine as Selina sat down, clutching at her chest. “I said, understood?”
She closed her eyes as her father's hands left her face; she felt the burning at the back of her throat. It was the sign that tears were soon to come. “H-he was your brother,” she whispered; her father ignored this, turning his back on the women.
After that incident, Katherine was thankful for how quickly the holidays went by. Soon enough she was back to her daily routine at Hogwarts: Classes, nights spent in the common room, and her secret meetings with George Weasley, which now they held in the common room late at night while playing Gobstones.
She was surprised by how quickly the second half of her school year had gone, and before she knew it, it was their last night in the common room– just George and her, like always. This time, they were discussing their possible exam results.
“C'mon, George, you can't possibly fail Potions!”
“And you can't fail Herbology!”
Katherine flushed while looking away. “I hate plants.”
He laughed, causing her to look back at him. He was smiling. “You know,” he began, looking up from their textbook, “I think I might actually miss you over the summer.”
Katherine blinked as he put his hand over hers. “You know what, George... I think the feeling may actually be mutual.”
Hello readers! I hope you've enjoyed the story so far :) Anyway you're probably wondering who's who in the chapter images so I'll clear that up.
Nicole Kidman- Selina Rowle
Alex Skarsgard- Egil Rowle
Leighton Meester- Cashlin Selwyn
Remember to read and review
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