Chapter 8 : Chapter Eight – Old Family, A Night with Pansy, A Chance Taken and A Blackened Emptiness
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Bill and Fleur Weasley stood around making their small Cottage look remarkable. Fleur had made sure everything was clean and Bill had hung decorations from the ceiling and walls. They’d been concerned when they’d suddenly lost contact with Hermione. Then they’d got that letter from her explaining what had happened, how she could think that because of her changes they would no longer wan to associate with her. To them she was family. They’d been unable to find time to write back however as Fleur had discovered she was pregnant and Bill had taken more work on at Gringotts. Then to top it off they’d had a visit from Molly Weasley, demanding that they stop associating themselves with the harlot that was Hermione Granger. She’d demanded that they see sense and start talking to the family again. Fleur had shown Bill how passionately she considered Hermione her family when she told his Mother that in no certain terms would they break contact with Hermione as she needed them. She’d gone on to tell his Mother that she shouldn’t believe everything her children told her for it was obvious to all that her two youngest children were manipulative liars. She’d continued to rant about whether Molly Weasley even knew what had happened to Hermione over the summer or if she’d just listened to her youngest son’s poorly constricted lies – the latter it would seem!
She’d ended the rant with telling the Weasley patriarch that Hermione would always be considered family which is more than can be say for Molly and that until she worked out the truth and made mends with Hermione she wouldn’t be welcomed at Shell Cottage. Nor she mentioned would she be allowed anywhere near her grandchild if this was the way she behaved. Molly Weasley had been outraged but hadn’t managed to get two words of insults out before her son banished her from the house.
It had been soon after that argument that Katherine Zabini appeared on their doorstep requesting any information, stories, and pictures of her daughter that would give her memories of her life. A friendship had been struck up quickly between Katherine and Fleur, they were each powerful women with powerful hearts. They weren’t as they said women to be trifled with. Katherine had appeared again at their doorstep some weeks later – Fleur and herself had been conversing through letters but this just couldn’t wait.
“What a surprise to see you here, please come in” said Fleur, opening the door for Katherine.
“I’m sorry for turning up unannounced. I just came from Hogwarts” she replied.
“Is something wrong?” asked Bill coming to sit beside his wife.
Katherine nodded, “Evvie is so lost and sad. I spoke with her earlier, she said she didn’t know who she was, that she was searching for herself but it seemed to be lost in the sand” Bill and Fleur looked on concerned for Evvie and the worried that was so evidently clear on Katherine’s face, “She said that something was calling her magic but she couldn’t work out what it was. She said that it hurt in her heart, like something was stopping her from being whole. I was worried then. Then she said how powerful her magic had become” Katherine shifted slightly.
“She cursed some people. Your youngest brother and sister being some” Bill noted her silence but motioned for her to continue. “It was a spell she’d invented herself while on the run, she said she used it when attacking Death Eaters. It happened in Herbology, apparently your sister and brother were going at her a long with someone called Pavarti? Blaise said he watched the whole thing – invisible of course – he said watching her was incredible. They’d been insulting her, it started with remarks about Krum – I don’t know what happened between them but I imagine it was bad – then it developed on slights against her purity and personality. It kept escalating each attack getting more vicious, Neville – her friend I believe – stood up for her but they still wouldn’t stop, they were waiting for her to crack” Katherine took a deep breath and continued.
“She did crack but not in the way you’d expect. Blaise said he’d never been so scared of a calm voice before. She called them on all their faults and likened them to Voldemort stating that the way they were going they’d end up just like him, trapped in Azkaban with all the other murderers they helped put there. Then as if to further her point she cursed them”.
“What was the curse?” asked Bill.
“Offensus Incidere Unconscious it literally means shock, cut, unconscious. She said she felt no remorse for what she did. I asked her why she chose that spell to use and she replied that her magic told her to, that if she’d used anything else they would have died”.
Fleur placed her hand gently over Katherine’s to stop the shaking and to comfort her.
“I spoke to Minerva, she seems to think that glamour charms weren’t the only ones put on her. Usually as you know your magic bonds with your soul up until the age of one or two. It seems that this bonding was stopped midway as Evvie was taken. Her bonding process was never complete, so when she says her magic is talking to her, she means it. Minerva also mentioned that her power was so much stronger because the barriers containing it had been broken when she transformed. Now she just has to learn to control her new found power”.
“Is there anything we can do?” asked Bill.
“Actually yes, Minerva recommended that Evvie needed time with her family. She’s with Blaise always at Hogwarts and I can see her whenever I want to – given recent circumstances – but I was wondering if you would allow Evvie to stay with you this weekend. I know it’s a lot to ask but she misses you so much and I would hate to think what she would do if she ever lost you”.
“Of course we’ll have her this weekend. Evvie will always be a part of our small family; even my veela blood says to protect her” said Fleur firmly.
It was Friday afternoon when Evvie found herself standing in McGonagall’s office waiting to use the floo. She’d been called in quite randomly and had been worried that she was in trouble – though she couldn’t remember ever doing anything bad – she was quite relieved when McGonagall explained it all.
So she was getting to spend two whole days with Bill and Fleur Weasley, she was really looking forward to it. She’d been worried after she hadn’t heard back from them, she’d assumed that they didn’t want anything to do with her anymore. It was silly for her to think that but Evvie was still very self conscious, she was still suffering from being underappreciated by Harry, Ron and Ginny, it had left lasting effects on her.
No matter, in her eighteen years of life, she was learning to accept things and not to let things get to her so easily. It was hard to stop the hurt but she tried. McGonagall ushered her through the floo unwilling to allow it to remain open for long and Evvie immediately found herself in Shell Cottage. She hadn’t been able to say goodbye to anyone before she left, so she hoped someone had told them or there would be a lot of worried Slytherin’s walking about.
When Evvie had talked with McGonagall she’d also been told that McGonagall had deemed it prudent for Evvie, Neville and Lavender to have separate Herbology classes due to the situations that had been occurring in the class. A new Herbology teacher had been found – one who actually knew the subject as well as how to control a class – and McGonagall was very happy to let Evvie, Neville and Lavender have more private and difficult lessons with the new teacher.
“Hello?” Evvie called into the house, would it be selfish to say she’d been expecting a big welcome?
The house was silent, but they’d known she was coming hadn’t they? She tiptoed quietly from the sitting room, out into the hall and into the kitchen. As she turned the handle of the kitchen door and opened it quietly she was surprised by both Bill and Fleur who had been hiding there. The room was decorated with lots of bunting and fairy lights, they’d obviously gone to a lot of trouble to surprise Evvie.
“Welcome home Evvie” said Fleur warming, bringing the girl she thought of as family into a tight hug, “Now let me look at you” Fleur stepped back so she could look over Evvie’s new appearance. Evvie blushed under their eyes, she still wasn’t used to people looking at her.
“You’re beautiful Evvie” said Bill, causing Evvie to blush even harder.
“I bet you can’t hid from anyone now” said Fleur with a hint of mischievousness glinting in her eyes.
Evvie chuckled, “No, I can’t”, then she frowned, her voice lowered an octave, “I thought you didn’t want to know me anymore, you never replied to my letter” she muttered in a small voice.
“Hush now” replied Fleur leading Evvie to sit at one of the kitchen tables, “It’s been quite an uprall since we received your letter”.
Evvie looked from Fleur to Bill and back again.
“See we got your letter and we were amazed at who you really were but that was never going to change the fact that you are part of our family” said Bill. “Shortly after that we had a visit from your Mother, she wanted to get to know us because she knew we were important to you and she wanted to be told some stories about you. Fleur and your Mother have been writing to each other weekly since they met, I have no doubt of the strong friendship they have”.
“Then quite suddenly we had a visit from my dear Mother. I won’t lie to you Evvie, she called you an awful lot of horrible names. I was shocked by how vicious she had become. I always felt that when it came to Ron and Ginny Mother had forgotten her iron hand. They both grew up knowing all the comforts but none of the rules. They’ve been manipulating her for years and she’s so far into it that she can’t get out. She believes everything that Ron and Ginny tell her, more fool her. She’d come round to demand that Fleur and I stop associating ourselves with you”.
Evvie gasped, her eyes blinking back her innocent tears.
“Fleur made me very proud that day, you would have loved to have seen her. She completely let rip over my Mother. Told her not to be such an idiot, and told her that you would always remain part of our family. She went on to list all your qualities that make you an impeccable person and then chastised my Mother for her upbringing of Ron and Ginny. To end it all my darling wife told my Mother that she wouldn’t get to see us nor her soon to be Grandchild unless she made things right with you” Bill finished with an angry glint in his eyes.
“Bill I’m sorry you had to do that to your Mother” mumbled Evvie.
“You didn’t make him do anything Evvie. It was his decision to make. He’d been on rocky ground with his Mother since the end of the war. He doesn’t believe in the decisions she’s made regarding Ron and Ginny. The way they’ve been raised will only hinder them in the future”.
“Fleur’s right Evvie. I made my decision because it was the right thing to do, my Mother needs to learn a lesson and if that means I have to avoid her until she makes things right with you then I will”.
“Oh but promise me that when she does come seeking forgiveness, don’t give it to her easily or she won’t learn anything, make her work for it” he winked.
Evvie giggled, she always liked Bill’s sense of humor. He was always crafty in making light of situations, it was one of the reasons Evvie loved him so. It seemed they’d planned out the entire weekend. They’d obviously missed Evvie very much, it must have taken a lot of time to decorate the house so. Evvie was ecstatic to hear about Fleur being pregnant, they hadn’t had time to tell her with all that had been going on but it was welcomed news to Evvie’s ears.
First however, Bill and Fleur wanted to know all about Evvie’s time at Hogwarts. Between Bill’s Mother and Evvie’s Mother, words had been thrown but none of it was substantial. Especially with Fleur being part veela, she would do anything to keep those she considered family safe, that meant hearing about everything that Evvie was going through.
“Evvie, tell us what has been happening at school” asked Fleur gently.
“Yeah, and don’t be afraid of telling us anything” added Bill sternly.
Evvie knew Bills comment was addressing any concerns she had about mentioning his siblings. She’d hoped to avoid talking about this again, letting her guard down around her Mum had been shocking enough. However she guessed Bill and Fleur were easier to talk to about these things as she’d known them longer.
Evvie grimaced, “What’s happened at school?” she repeated, “Have you ever felt like you’d spent the last however many years putting your trust in the wrong people?” Fleur nodded, she understood what Evvie was saying, being a half veela, she knew what it was like to put trust in the wrong people, there were always those people who wouldn’t understand what they didn’t know.
“When Ronald mucked up that potion and I got caught in the blast. I changed as you know. When I found out who I was and had had a conversation with my twin, Blaise and my Mum who had stopped by, I agreed with McGonagall to meet Ronald, Ginny and Harry in the Hospital Wing – as it would be mutual territory. Needless to say my explanation went exactly as I expected. Harry demanded I tell him exactly who I was while he held his wand to my head. Ginny told me I was nothing but a whore so Slytherin was welcome to me, and Ronald acted like he always does, temper first thought second”.
Evvie paused for breath, “The Slytherin’s welcomed me. As you know only a few of the seventh years came back to repeat. Blaise must have told them before I arrived at the common room. Did you know your sister slapped me?” Bill shook his head horrified, “Yeah, she cut my lip open and bruised my cheek. Well after that Blaise and his friends wouldn’t let me out of their sights. I made friends with Pansy, best friends really, it’s nice, I’ve never had that before. Life has been good since I found out who I really am and moved houses”.
“But?” asked Fleur sensing there was a but.
“But that all comes to heads in Herbology, that’s where your brother, sister, Harry and Pavarti hold fort. They’ve been bullying me verbally. I guess Mum must have told you about the spells I’ve been using. I suppose I should say I’m sorry for cursing your brother and sister but I can’t lie to you, so I can’t apologize”.
“What have they been saying to you?” asked Bill, his eyes turning slightly yellow as his werewolf tendencies came to the forefront.
“Oh that I’m a whore, that I’m an ugly duckling, that I’m frigid and cold, that I have no friends, that I belong in Slytherin because I’m a traitor, that I’m just seeking attention, that Blaise must be horrified at having me as a sister, that even with my different appearance I still don’t have a hope of ever getting a guy etc. I know I shouldn’t let their words bother me but when you hear something repeated enough times you can’t help but let it get to you”.
“Ahh Mon Cherie I’m sorry you’d had all this trouble. It’s not easy being accepted I know but you have family here and with your Mother and Blaise” murmured Fleur in a soothing voice.
“I’m sure your Mother has told you this before but they will regret their actions. Those that speak with spite, bitterness or hate will always get their just rewards” said Bill.
They spent the rest of the evening chatting and catching up with things that had been happening. With Fleur being pregnant, she’d had to cut her hours from work and was spending more time working from home or spending time in her ancestral home in France, while Bill had been promoted at Gringotts. After the war he switched his position from being in the field to a desk job because he didn’t want to spend time away from Fleur. Bill had such control and knew so much about curse breaking, it took a lot to impress the goblins of Gringotts but Bill seemed to have done it and therefore gained a promotion. He was now the leader of a large division of people and earned himself a high wage.
Sunday was spent with Fleur devoting her time to help Evvie further her wandless magic. Evvie had got down her wandless magic to all the basic spells and some more complex ones but she needed to improve if she wanted to master it. So Fleur had been devoting her time to help Evvie achieve that. There was another good thing that came from Fleur teaching Evvie wandless magic. Evvie had been thinking for sometime on the supposed death of her Father. Something inside of her knew it wasn’t correct, when she confided in Fleur that something was calling her magic to something that was hidden further away. Fleur was quick to jump in and help, she said it spoke of a higher power, a connection that must have been established during the time that Evvie had been taken and her Father disappeared. Fleur explained that connections like that were powerful and that obviously when Evvie had transformed the connection had been once again established.
Fleur promised to keep Evvie’s secret hidden and search for information of that particular raid and search out any information about Evvie’s Father. Fleur could sense that this was something of importance to Evvie and no one could really blame her for wanting to have a complete family. Fleur had also sensed Evvie’s magic calling to something. Like when a werewolf claims a person as a member of their pack, the bonds were similar with veela’s, thus with Evvie being claimed as a pack member to Bill and a family member to Fleur, she was far more protected than other people and would be helped in her quest by any means possible.
It may seem quite a feat suddenly deciding to find ones Father who was supposedly dead, but since when had Evvie managed to have a quiet year. Some would say she lived on off the danger, that without Voldemort her life was boring. Harry had spent his life searching for a family; didn’t Evvie deserve the same fate? Some would argue that she’d already had her chance at family with the Grangers, so therefore didn’t deserve another one. However, if Evvie didn’t decide to find her Father, there wouldn’t be much of a story now would there. Everything has to have a little bit of drama otherwise things would be stuck in a never ending loop of dullness.
Evvie returned to Hogwarts on Sunday evening feeling refreshed and happy, she felt like nothing could get her down with the happiness she was currently feeling. Of course statements like that never last for long, but this was for living in the moment and all that jazz. In her pocket she carried two halves of a locket. Fleur had given it to Evvie when she’d described the friendship she shared with Pansy; though it was new it was deep and powerful. Fleur recognized it for what it was but didn’t think that Evvie needed to know just yet. Evvie didn’t need to worry about anything extra for the time being.
Evvie walked straight from McGonagall’s office to Slytherin common room, she was reminded as she left that her private Herbology lessons with Neville and Lavender would begin next week. Evvie was fortunate in her walk back to the common room in that she didn’t walk into anybody, the halls seemed quite deserted. It was after dinner but it was quite unusual for the halls to be so empty, no doubt there was a party going on somewhere.
The Slytherin common room was surprisingly empty as well, most of the younger years were absent, they were either in bed or sneaking around the castle looking for trouble. Blaise, Pansy and the rest of her friends were comfortably situated on the sofas near one of the fires. Evvie had been sick of the others complaining about how cold the dungeons were, so she’d not only charmed the fires to always blaze bright and warm but she’d transfigured the stone cold floor into a deeply luscious green carpet, that was impervious to dirt. It was a wonder no one had thought of doing this before.
Evvie moved silently through the common room, no one had noticed her arrival yet, she tiptoed towards her friends. They were all gazing into the fire lost in thought.
“What are you all staring at?” inquired Evvie quite loudly.
She got her desired result; they all jumped, spinning around to attack the intruder.
“Jeez guys, it’s only me” she added sheepishly.
They redrew their wands on sight of her. Blaise punched her lightly on the arm, “You scared the crap out of me!” he said.
“Why didn’t you tell us you were going away, I was frantically worried looking all over for you until McGonagall informed me that you’d gone” huffed a sullen Pansy.
“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t know. McGonagall wanted to see me in her office and before I knew it I was being pushed through the floo to Bill and Fleur” she replied.
“More Weasels?” asked Adrian slightly disgruntled.
Evvie sighed, “I guess they are technically, but I don’t think of Bill and Fleur as Weasley’s. They were the only ones who stood by me during the summer, they offered their house to me. They’re like an extended family” she replied.
“Ok sorry to sound Slytherin-ee but how can you trust them? Considering how the rest of them have been treating you?” asked Marcus.
“Well first off, it’s only Mrs. Weasley, Ginny and Ron who have been treating me badly and secondly, how much do you know about werewolf and veela bondings?” they all shook their heads and offered up little information.
It was ok, Evvie was used to explaining things, “Well you know Bill was attacked by Greyback, while not during the full moon he still has some wolf like tendencies, for him I have become part of his pack. You all know how strong a werewolves pack is, he will go to any lengths to keep me safe. As for Fleur she is a half veela, their bondings are similar, she sees me as a member of her family and would do anything to keep me safe. So in return they get my trust, they’d never do anything to hurt me and have always been there for me”.
Blaise nodded in agreement to Evvie’s status. He’d been slightly concerned by her apparent connection with the newly married couple, even with his Mother’s soothing words, he was much less concerned from hearing Evvie talk.
“I need to borrow Pansy for a moment” she grabbed Pansy by her hand and yanked her up the stairs.
“Woah what’s the rush!” exclaimed Pansy.
“I have a present for you” said Evvie.
Pansy squealed in excitement.
“I was talking to Fleur about you. About how I valued our friendship and how much you meant to me” Evvie mumbled, “She gave me this to give to you”. Evvie handed her one half of the necklace. It was of simple design, half a heart with best friends written on one side and forever on the other, Evvie had the other half of the heart.
“You don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to, I know it’s not expensive or anything, I just wanted to show you what our friendship meant to me” mumbled Evvie embarrassed. She’d never done something like this before, she didn’t know if it was too weird or not. She wasn’t sure if people even gave presents to those they had deep friendships with. Worst case scenario she’d just made a fool of herself.
Pansy looked up at Evvie with tears brimming in her eyes. Pansy wasn’t someone who was known for crying, she was hard, sturdy and bitchy but the raw emotion Evvie had presented whilst giving Pansy her half of the necklace had broken her down in more ways than she could count. She’d felt a strong connection to Evvie the first moment she changed, she couldn’t explain it because she’d felt nothing but strong dislike towards Hermione Granger.
Evvie made to take the necklace away thinking that Pansy’s silence was a rejection but she was stopped by Pansy’s hand.
“No don’t take it back. I want it” replied Pansy.
“Are you sure, you don’t have to feel obliged to wear it if you don’t want to” said Evvie determined that Pansy should accept it for the right reasons.
“I don’t feel obliged, I want to wear it. You just stunned me that’s all. I’ve never had anyone do anything like this to me. I’ve never had a friend like you. Gosh just listen to me I sound like a proper Pansy!” she giggled at her own joke.
Pansy put on the necklace and then helped Evvie with her own. She was shocked beyond shock by Evvie’s emotional outburst. She had friends of course, or people she was forced to befriend to keep her family safe. She’d always longed for the friendship she now had with Evvie, the kind of friendship where you could ask them anything in confidence, where you could trust them explicitly, where they would be by your side in any situation. She’d found that with Evvie, she didn’t want to lose it.
They hugged and cried at the emotional situation, it was a tender moment for the two girls. Once tiredness overrode emotion, Pansy fell into a fitful sleep, which left Evvie to put her to sleep. However, once that was done Evvie was at a loss of what to do, she wasn’t tired enough to sleep, so she thought of going down and seeing if Blaise was still up.
The common room was empty when she got down there, well almost empty, she saw a familiar head of blonde hair sitting in front of the fire. She was in half a mind to go upstairs again but she decided against it.
She had feelings for this man, she knew she shouldn’t have them, she knew the chances of him returning them were slim but if she didn’t try she wouldn’t know.
“Hi Draco” she murmured.
He looked up to acknowledge her presence, he’d been lost in his own thought, a world of darkness where he was trying desperately to find the light.
“How come you are still up?” she asked.
“I was thinking” he replied.
Evvie should have taken that as a sign that he didn’t want to talk, however, she was too nervous to notice his own discomfort.
“Draco I was wondering. The Winter Ball is coming up soon. I was just wondering, I mean it’s not important” she was babbling, she knew it. Draco looking like he’d rather be anywhere else but here.
“Would you go to the Winter Ball with me?” she asked in a small voice. In her mind she was condemning her forwardness, what was she thinking, this was ridiculous, she was a planner not a spontaneous person. She wished the ground would just swallow her up, how very unSlytherin to put her heart on the line like that.
Draco sighed; he was condemning himself to a life of solitude because he felt he didn’t deserve the one person he wanted to be with.
Life was silly sometimes, making people believe the worst in themselves, sometimes all it took was a little push in the right direction but it was up to others whether or not they took that push and acted accordingly.
“You don’t want to go with me” he replied.
She was confused, “Yes I do, it’s why I asked” she said.
“I won’t go with you” he said stonily.
He got up, looked at Evvie with a cold gleam in his eyes, and walked away.
Evvie stood still and stiff, well there was her answer wasn’t it. She’d put her heart on the line, she’d asked her question and she’d got her answer. She didn’t realize how much it hurt to hear his answer. Well that shows how much I feel for him then doesn’t it she thought.
No tears fell this time, perhaps she was too far past being able to cry having cried for so long. She felt numb inside, she felt a blackened emptiness consume her as the hope that was growing inside her diminished and died.
It's Easter Sunday, so Happy Easter!! :) ~ Zyii
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