Disclaimer: The OC’s and fragments of the plot mentioned in this story were created by me. Everything else in this story belongs to J.K Rowling. Thank you for reading.
A shiver passed down Coralie’s back, though it was hard to know whether it was from the icy temperature of Violet’s apartment or from the cold shoulder Nathaniel was sending her. She knew he was lying wide awake beside her. Neither of them had dozed off for even a moment since they’d crawled into bed, yet neither of them spoke a word either; their hands didn’t even rest by one another’s. Neither moved, nor did they make a sound. In fact, with Violet out, the only sound throughout the whole apartment was the ticking of large grandfather clock. Tick, tock - every second.
It was beginning to drive Coralie up the wall - it seemed to tick away in time with her heartbeat and her blinking. Every time she thought she was close to drifting off, that clock would reawaken her and remind her of the silence in its obnoxious, mocking tone.
She knew what must have happened at the Melots’ - she was stupid to think that Emma wouldn’t come up in conversation at least once – but for some reason, she’d still thought it would be a good idea. Some part of her brain, a part which she had now decided was crazy, had told her that Nathaniel would understand. Oh, how wrong she was.
With a sigh, Coralie rolled onto her right side and stared straight in front of her, where the black wall met the window that was covered by a dark red curtain and gave no light into the dark room. Finally, without being able to take it anymore, she broke the eerie silence.
“Nate?” No response. “Nate,” Coralie whispered again, rolling onto her opposite side so she could see, or at least attempt to see, Nathaniel. Still no response.
“What?” Finally. Just as she had guessed, his voice was far too awake to have been previously asleep, which meant, as she had again guessed, he had been ignoring her.
“When?” she asked, casting her eyes down to Nathaniel’s hand, which was perfectly still, not an inch over on Coralie’s side of the bed. She wanted to reach down and grab it, squeeze it so he knew that she was sorry, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it.
“What?” he repeated.
“When did you find out about Emma? Which one of them mentioned her? Mrs. or Mr. Melot?” Nathaniel took a deep breath; the room fell silent again.
“Before dinner. Mr. Melot told me - said you were best friends with her and that she died not two months ago. Which means, if my calculations are right, as they usually are, that she died while we were still at Hogwarts, before you got to France.” Coralie pursed her lips together.
“She did.” Silence again.
“And that’s why you came back to France. Because it was her funeral yesterday, not because you wanted to help your sister settle in.” Nathaniel raised his voice slightly, but still lay as stiff as a board.
“She was my best friend. I had to come back.” At this, Nathaniel chuckled bitterly, and Coralie snapped her head up immediately. “Don’t you dare chuckle at me.”
“If she was your best friend, then why didn’t you tell me that she died? I would have gone to the funeral with you, I would have been there for you.” She could hear him click his tongue, a habit he seemed to pick up whenever he was angry, and the very sound of it made Coralie want to bury her head under the blankets until everything went away. “I bet you told Black, didn’t you?”
“Sirius? Why would I tell him?” Though she had been keeping a soft tone so far, this sent her voice up a few pitches.
“Since you love him so much and all,” Nathaniel replied, kicking the blankets off himself and moving against the wall. Coralie was quick to follow.
“I never said I loved Sirius.”
“You didn’t have to. It was obvious. And it still is.” Coralie let out a frustrated scream and ran her fingers through her hair.
“I don’t love Sirius, I never did. I never told him, I never told anyone else. You are the only person who knows. My own sister doesn’t even know why I came here.” Nathaniel had looked like he wanted to say something, but at her final declaration, he fell completely silent.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” His voice had dropped to a low whisper, and he stepped towards her; she didn’t move back.
“I didn’t want people to come with me. I wanted to say good-bye to my best friend all by myself, just like I would have if I never left her in the first place. Was that too much to ask?” Coralie’s voice quivered, and she quickly moved back to the bed.
“Cora,” Nathaniel whispered, but Coralie had already crawled into a tight ball and wrapped herself up in the blanket, determined to doze off to sleep without another word. Nathaniel had no choice but to lie down and wait for the morning, by which time he could only hope she would be ready to talk.
Since leaving Hogwarts, Kiki Soho could honestly say that she had done nothing so far with her life. At least, not anything that would make any kind of difference or impact at all. So far, she had drunk some Firewhisky, slept, and had packed all her books and other belongings from Hogwarts in a box in the far corner of her room, which she planned to move up to the attic at a later date.
Her friends, on the other hand, had all been quite busy and successful already, and it irked her. Usually, she would have been the type of girl who didn’t care whether her friends were training to be successful Aurors, Healers, and the like, but it wasn’t until now that she realized that she, Kiki Soho, possibly the most popular girl at Hogwarts, had absolutely no plans whatsoever for the future.
What if she ended up doing nothing with her life, as she was doing now? She didn’t even have a boyfriend, like most of her friends; she was all alone.
And that wasn’t a usual occurrence at all. She was Kiki, for Merlin’s sake - she was the one who had groups of boys following her around, looking for the chance to get even a minute of her attention. Now Lily had James, Coralie had Nathaniel (and practically Sirius, even if she was too blind to realise it), Miranda had Remus (as much as Kiki hated to think about it), Alice had always had Frank, and Mary had Cory. Before she knew it, Shelena would probably have her own boy. That thought in itself was enough to make Kiki want to take a Killing Curse to the head. She could only hope that no one would hear of her ruined reputation, if that were ever to occur.
Then again, something tragic like that - that attracted people’s attentions. Everyone knew that people suddenly became popular again once something bad happened to them, and that was exactly how Kiki was going to make her own dent in the wizarding world. Soon enough, she’d have those boys following her around again.
It was all too easy, she thought, with a glance down at the letter she’d received from Dumbledore the day before that she had purposely ignored - she personally thought that the headmaster was a little too far off his rocker to have anything important to say to her. But who knew what was enclosed in that letter? Drama, perhaps – she could only hope.
She skimmed over the letter; she’d never been a big reader, even of letters. Regret to inform you, Miss Mary McDonald, attacked and murdered by Death Eaters, early morning of the twenty-second of July. Sorry.
With a smug smile, Kiki placed the letter in the box of her old things and then picked up said box. Within minutes, she was placing the box down in the dusty attic beside her childhood dress-ups and a box filled with her grandmother’s photographs, which had been left to Kiki and then forgotten about. She folded the new box in order to close it and headed back to her room, the letter forgotten with the rest of the things.
Mary’s death, her best friend’s death. It was the perfect tragedy and the perfect moment. Now she only had to milk it a little, and then just wait for them to come running to her with their sympathies.
Playing piano, in Shelena Millen’s mind, was possibly one of the worst ways you could ever spend your time on a Friday night. But for some reason, that Friday night she found herself sitting in front of the piano in the living room, simply staring at the black and white keys while they mocked her.
As a child, she’d been taught to play piano, but she had always hated it, so when she was sent off to Hogwarts at eleven she immediately stopped her daily practices, and within the first few months she had almost forgotten everything. She wanted to be able to say she didn’t regret it, but sitting there, honestly, she wished she’d kept playing.
“What on earth are you doing?” Leo’s voice cut through as Shelena’s fingers hovered over the keys.
“Nothing,” she snapped, pulling her hands away from the keys and standing up. She pulled the cover over the keys and turned to face her brother. Leo sent her a quizzical look, but didn’t press her for any details - that was just the sort of brother he was.
“Have you heard from Bennett yet?” Shelena shook her head with a sigh.
“It’s always Bennett, Bennett, Bennett with you. Next thing I know you’ll be declaring your love for her.” Leo sent her a disgusted look, despite the fact that he knew she was only joking, but before he was able to say anything she continued, “She’s still in France with her older sister.”
“Violet,” he interjected, but Shelena ignored him, though she had heard him quite clearly. She knew better than to comment about his slip-up. Merlin only knew how he would react to such a thing, though Shelena herself could only imagine.
“Apparently Peakes is with her now. She should be getting back soon, though.”
“And then we start,” Leo added, with a stiff nod in Shelena’s direction. He made to leave the room, but she stopped him.
“Straight away?” Leo sent her a look. “I thought Ana was supposed to start first - you know, with the little one?” Shelena frowned slightly and furrowed her eyebrows together. What she certainly didn’t need right now was Leo going around changing the plans; that would only cause problems. Problems that Shelena knew she would be forced to deal with. She would have been daft to believe that Leo or Ana would clean up after themselves.
“She is, but you have to work with Coralie. Make her trust you, be her best friend, and all that girly stuff. Otherwise we won’t be able to get what we need, and you’ll be the one who suffers, not me. So remember that, sister.” At this, Leo pushed past her and disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Shelena to mutter after him.
“Of course not, brother dearest.” She turned on her heel and headed back upstairs.
Authors Note: I’m sorry for missing my update last week, I’ve been quite unwell lately but I will actually be posting a ‘make up chapter’ on Monday as well as one next Friday so that everything still works out. I did mention in the previous chapter, but in case you forgot, I will be stopping updates on the 5th of June while I sit exams, but everything will return to normal afterwards.
Thank you for reading guys!