Chapter 7 : Stressful Summer
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“Wonderful, time to unpack,” I mutter to myself. As I open my trunk everything starts falling out. The joy of being a girl, we can never seem to fit everything into one trunk unless we have to. As I unpack I come across an unopened gift. “What’s this doing here?” I ask myself. I sit on my bed and slowly open the small black box. As I do a folded note falls out. I pick up the carefully folded note and open it.
By the time you read this I’m sure you will already be gone, but I just couldn’t let you leave without giving you something. You’re my best friend, and what kind of best friend would I be if I didn’t give you a good-bye gift. I would have given it to you in person, but you know I’m not very good with good-byes. So here it goes. As you may have already noticed in this box is a necklace. When you wear it, it’ll be like I’m with you all the time. I know I can’t be with you to protect you anymore, so be careful and safe. Don’t do anything stupid like you’d do here. At that other school you’ll be closer to your parents, and from what my parents are saying, closer to the dark lord as well. If I could I’d transfer as well, but you know my parents, they would never allow it. I’ll write you sometime this holiday, to see how things are going at home. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you out. Whatever you may need, just ask. Especially if you forgot something here, which I’m sure you did. Good luck, and remember Be Careful!
As I look at the necklace still safely in the box, I am stunned. It is beautiful. In the shape of a heart, the emerald sparkles in the light. A double sided V provides the loop for the thin fragile chain. It is the most beautiful necklace I have ever seen. I can’t believe Thomas did this. I always told him not to get me gifts because I didn’t need anything, when truthfully I just didn’t want him to spend any money on me, because I could never spend anything on him. And what does he do? He goes out and buys me the most amazing necklace in the world. Ugh. Damn Thomas Bogstrand. I slowly place the necklace around my neck and look in the mirror on my dresser. Oh alright, maybe I’ll forgive him.
A week later, I’ve a good chunk of my ancient runes homework finished, but I’m nowhere near complete. Just as I am about to take a short break one of the house elves pops into my room. She’s an older elf and I’m actually surprised my parents haven’t gotten rid of her yet. My father tends to be a bit cruel to those things. “Miss Catharine, the Dark Lord w-would like to see you in the l-library,” the elf stammers, and immediately leaves the room again. Bloody hell, this is not good, not good at all. What could he possibly want?
I nervously make my way down to the library and knock lightly on the door. A few seconds pass. “Come in,” calls the Dark Lord from inside. It takes a few moments for me to finally calm myself and open the door. “Ah, Catharine please do come in,” he welcomes. Ugh, again with the Catharine. I enter the library not knowing what to expect or even what I’m supposed to do. The room is dark, as always, and he was standing, looking at the many tattered books on the dusty bookshelves. As I close the door behind me the Dark Lord asks, “Do you not like the name Catharine?”
“I go by Kate,” I reply but quickly add, “sir.” Why me? Why now? What does he want from me? I return my glance to the Dark Lord.
“Well then, Kate, how do you like Hogwarts? I was told you were placed in Slytherin. Congratulations,” He continued.
Choosing my words carefully, “It seems to be a good school. It’ll be nice to be closer to home, I suppose.”
“And have you made any new friends in Slytherin in the little time you were there?” he asks.
“Well, yeah, I suppose, Miss Parkinson and I seem to be getting alone quite well,” I explain as the dark lord pauses slightly. That occlumency in coming in handy, as long as I can keep it up.
“Good. You and your brother, how do you get along?”
“Fine, just fine,” this is partially true. I doubt that I’ll be able to stand him at school, but he’s usually survivable even occasionally nice when we’re home.
“I see you’ve been very well trained. That’s Durmstrang, I suppose. That may come to good use someday,” the dark lord comments. “Well, go on. It’s nice to get to know a bit about you Kate.” With that he walks to the back of the library, out of sight and I quickly leave the room.
An hour later I’m in my room continuing my Runes assignments. I’m starting to think that a class like muggle studies would have been a better choice. There would definitely be less for me to learn before classes start next term. And I probably wouldn’t need to spend three hours writing one stupid paper. There’s a loud band on the door cutting me off mid-sentence.
“You insolent little brat!” he yells as I look up from my position on my stomach on the floor. The livid look on his face only hints at how angry my father is, “How dare you try to deceive the dark lord? You think that you are powerful enough to block him from your mind?” I know better than to spit out a comeback, which probably is best. I luckily come out of this rage with only a few cuts and bruises.
The next few days I spend as much time in my room as possible. I even ask a house elf to bring me my meals. I can’t anger anyone if I don’t see any of them. Eventually I’m really tired of being cooped up in my room so I decided to go talk to, I can’t believe I’m saying this, my brother.
Not even bothering to knock, I walk into Draco’s room to find him… reading? On holiday? As I jump onto his bed I notice that it’s a book about different quidditch strategies. The same one he’s read about 400 times, of course. “Have you never heard of this thing called knocking? It tends to be the polite thing to do before entering someone’s room,” Draco insists, while not taking his eyes off his book.
“Well, of course you know, Draco, that I am not a very polite person,” I point out.
“Why don’t you go bug someone else? I’m busy,” he suggested.
“And who would that someone else be? Father maybe? He still can’t stand the sight of me,” I answer while stretching out onto Draco’s bed. A stack of papers fall to the floor from the bed.
“What did you do this time? You can never stay out of trouble can you? I’m starting to believe that I’ll have to renounce you as my sister.”
“Well, you see, I had a bit of a conversation with You-Know-Who the other day,” I start as Draco immediately drops his book.
“You What?! What did you do?”
“I may or may not have tried using occlumency during said conversation but if I did apparently it didn’t really work,” I murmur nervously.
“You didn’t! For crying out loud, Kate, what were you thinking? You must be mental!” Draco exclaims.
“Well what was I supposed to say! ‘Oh, yeah I made plenty of friends already. Let’s see, a couple blood traitors, a mudblood, and oh yeah Harry Potter.’ I’m not gonna be the person that gets Harry killed you know.”
Draco’s head is in his hands. “I can’t believe you. Why do you think Snape was teaching us occlumency? So you could put half an effort in preventing You-Know-Who from breaking into your thoughts and… ugh! Why do you have to talk to them in the first place? Did you not think that father wouldn’t find out eventually? And you’ll be toast.”
“Well of course. It’s the best way to get back at him for making me come back here and leave Durmstrang. I’m just hoping that he doesn’t find out until we’re back in school.”
“Like that will help you any,” he muttered, “Hey, what’s with the necklace?”
“It’s was a good-bye gift from a friend at Durmstrang.”
“May I ask who?”
“No you may not. Now if you’ll excuse me…” I start as thin looking house elf pops in to announce dinner. “Oh, grand, a dinner with family.”
The next few weeks, surprisingly, go quite smoothly that is until the week of the Ball.
Every year for Draco’s birthday my parents give a ball. I as usual am forced to attend and wear a beautiful ball gown, that I am forced to hate due to the looks I get from Draco’s ‘friends.’ This year’s dress, Royal blue, fitted to the hips at which it poofs out with layers of blue and a dark purple. It’s sprinkled lightly with silver sparkles, which makes me think of stars in the night sky. The strapless dress is amazing; I especially like the wrinkled strip across the waist. My mother picked out this dress about a week ago; I never go shopping with her.
The days before the ball are hectic, with mother and aunt Bella running around the house like mad women. They even get me to help decorate. Even the day of the ball mother is still putting up finishing touches as we’re all getting dressed.
First I fix my hair and put some make-up on, which I usually don’t do by the way. I don’t see the point in wearing make-up. It takes too long to put on and take off to really be worth my time. I also decide to leave the necklace from Thomas on, even though it didn’t really match. If I could have him here with me now would be the time I would need him most. About an hour before everyone should arrive I slip into my dress and meander down the hall to Draco’s room, again entering without a knock.
“Draco, why do you need to have so many birthdays?” I ask teasingly only to find my brother glaring at me.
“You think I want to do this either? If I could just cancel my birthday I would, especially this year. He’s gonna be there, so you know how tense and formal this is gonna be.” Draco just looks so nervous and almost scared.
“I know, and just think, everyone’s attention is going to be on you tonight. So don’t mess up,” I tease with only another glare as a response from Draco. I sigh, “It’s going to be alright. You know that if anyone’s going to get in trouble tonight its’ going to be me. Father’s always watching me like a hawk at these sorts of things; can’t embarrass the family you know.”
“Well, we know each other better than anyone so we’ll watch each other, and if one of us is going to do something daft the other will stop them.”
“Right, good luck.” Draco then goes down to get ready to greet the coming guests. I go down just in time as usual.
After all the guests have arrived, I slink away to a corner keeping to myself. That is until I see the Dark Lord talking to Blaise Zabini who then starts towards me. Wonderful.
“Hello Kate, How are you?” Zabini asks awkwardly.
“Fine, thank you,” I reply, hoping that he will change his mind and leave me alone.
“So, ah, do you think you are going to like Hogwarts better than Durmstrang?” He asks, trying to keep the conversation going. Ugh.
“I don’t know. Probably not, there aren’t as many fist fights at Hogwarts as there are a Durmstrang,” I reply in the hope of him leaving.
“Oh, uh, sounds interesting. Ah, do you want something to drink?” Zabini asks politely.
“Sure,” I reply as he turns back into the crowd. I immediately head to the opposite side of the room, he won’t look over here anytime soon.
“Now that’s not very nice of you,” I hear from behind me. You-Know-Who comes to stand beside me. “How is Mr. Zabini supposed to find you over here?” he questions.
“I was just a little nervous and needed some space,” I reply hoping that he won’t see through my lie.
“I suppose that’s acceptable,” he answers, “While you’re waiting for Mr. Zabini, I’d like to know a little more about you. Have you put any thought into what you plan on doing with your future?”
Crap, this is not a good conversation to be in. “I really haven’t, I’m only starting my fifth year so I suppose I didn’t think I really needed to,” I cautiously reply.
“Well, that’s something you should start to think about. Surely you’ve thought about this one. Do you plan on following your father’s footsteps when it comes to following me?”
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