Chapter 13 : Before My Curse
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I went back to Hogwarts to find Dumbledore there, standing where he was before I left. I felt miserable and the lowest of low. Not everybody can have a civil conversation with Lord Voldemort and live to tell the tale. Maybe my aunt Bellatrix but that isn’t the same. Tom—he only lets me call him that—raised me as his own. Yes, Harry did kill him when we were a year old, but he was barely living then. Most days when with him he was covered by something. And being so young, I never questioned it. I had more tears coming down on my face, tears dripping from my eyes to my mouth.
“How was he, Victoria?”
“You knew, didn’t you? That it was the Dark Lord?” I was yelling now, but I didn’t know why I was angry.
He didn’t seem to take me seriously, but I knew he wasn’t being short with me. I breathed a few breaths and walked up to him. His face was emotionless, which he was so good at doing. I stumbled as I walked toward him. I clutched the items on his desk for support and coughed. He watched me leave as I left to my room. But it seemed that my legs had other plans. And before I knew it, I was at the top of the Astronomy Tower.
I watched the sky and looked at the different constellations. I breathed deeply and turned when I had heard someone coming up. I didn’t give a damn anymore. The guardian I had trusted for all of my life was messing with my head and I couldn’t stop it. I got my breathing under control and looked to see who had come up. But no one was there. Was I really going mad? I certainly hope not.
I walked back to the Gryffindor Common Room, but stopped in front of the Fat Lady. I didn’t say anything. It was well past midnight. So she was sleeping, but she noticed that I was there. She weakly smiled and asked for the password. Once I said it, I was inside. The lights were dimmed down and everyone was sleeping in their dormitories. I sat on the couch and watched the small fire that was going. Though it was small, the heat was still warm. I hugged my legs to my chest and remembered that I was still dressed in my party clothes. I didn’t want to go upstairs; Harry was probably there and I remember he wasn’t exactly sober. Or it looked like it wasn’t. Hopefully he passed out.
I gathered my courage and walked up to my room. The door was barely open, so I got to open the door. It didn’t creak like I thought it would, like it did in Remus’. But Harry did turn in sleep when I walked in, which scared me. I changed out of my clothes and into my sleepwear. I could’ve collapsed onto my bed right then and there. But I remembered something. Fred. I just left him there. What happened to my mind? I got up and went to Hermione’s room. I knocked softly on her bedroom door.
When the door opened, I saw Ron standing there. “Ingrid, what are you doing here?”
“Ron!” I whispered. “I need Hermione.”
“She’s sleeping. What do you need?”
“I need Hermione. I left this evening at dinner, and I left Fred. I don’t know where he is,” I said quickly, my breath becoming uneven again.
Ron’s shoulders went down, relieved. “Fred went to the shop. He’s been there for a while. He sent us a message saying that he’s okay. He’s visiting you tomorrow, as long as you are safe. Now go to bed, Ingrid. I’m tired.”
Before I could respond, Ron shut the door in my face. I took that as a nice suggestion to go to bed. And that’s just what I did.
When morning arrived, I woke up to Harry watching me sleep. That made me scream and jolt out of bed. He didn’t have his glasses on and was still in his pajamas. I clutched my shirt and tried to keep my eyes from going crazy.
“Merlin, Harry! Do you usually watch people sleep?”
“I’m sorry, Victoria.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry too. About last night, I mean. I shouldn’t have run off like I did. It wasn’t right of me to do.”
“I said I’m sorry, Victoria. And I mean that, but I think you should become roommates with Hermione.”
I sucked in my breath and nodded. I looked around the room, trying to adjust my vision.
“I’ll go talk to Dumbledore. Ron agreed, so I guess that I’ll move out. Hermione will be here tonight.”
Before I could answer him, he had walked out of the room. I almost ran after him, but I knew that I shouldn’t. Instead I went over to Harry’s desk and noticed a photo album. I picked it up and flipped through the pages. They were pictures—moving pictures—of Harry and our parents. They were of Harry as a baby. I inhaled and went forward. There were more pictures of my parents—my biological parents. I could feel water fall down from my face. But I wasn’t sobbing like I was when I usually thought about them. That made me a little happier. And all the way at the end was a picture of Harry, Ron, and Hermione at the end of First Year. I sighed and put it back.
I looked back to see Hermione standing in the doorway. She had her pajamas on and looked like she was still asleep. I smiled lightly and walked over to her.
“So you know what’s going on?”
“That I messed up the one chance I had to reconcile with my “long lost brother”? And that you’re going to be my new roommate? Yes. I heard.”
“Oh I’m sorry Victoria. But at least you won’t have to go through Ronald just to see me.”
I nodded and laughed.
“Yes, that will be an advantage.” I walked back to my bed. “But I guess I’ll always slap myself when I think about what had happened last night…and the night before.”
“Yeah, you didn’t really tell me what happened.”
She was next to me on my bed and laid back. She stared at me as I basically poured out everything that happened. Everything. The werewolf thing, the Voldemort thing, and the event that had happened. She was a good listener or she was just shocked. It was one of those two. It was always between those two. When I had stopped, she didn’t say anything.
“Well, say something!”
“Wow? That’s all you have to say. Hermione, you talk on and on about topics people aren’t interested in,” I started.
“Hey!” She interrupted.
“But right now you can’t say anything but ‘wow’?”
“I think Remus Lupin’s visit to his alma mater couldn’t be more timely.”
I sat up straight and narrowed my eyes in confusion.
“What are you talking about?”
Hermione raised her eyebrows and instantly shut her mouth.
“I’ll see you when you get dressed and at breakfast. I think you’ll be in a better mood when you get there. Since it’s Saturday, we don’t really have to do anything. We can just hang out here and help Harry move out if you want.”
“Sure. That sounds good. Let’s do that.”
She left and I hurried to get dressed. I rushed down to the Great Hall for breakfast and saw that no one was there. That was more than odd, even though they had a dinner party the night before. I turned back to the doors and still saw no one. But when I turned back to the large windows, a small crowd of people was standing there. There were my loved ones, the small number of them. And in the middle standing there was my godfather, Remus Lupin. I ran down the Great Hall and jumped into his arms.
“Remus,” I whispered. I started crying softly into his hair.
I felt Remus sigh and wrap his arms tighter around me. I pulled away from him as he put me down. I smiled and wiped the tears off of my face, wincing, as my face clearly hadn’t fully healed. I could see that he was analyzing my face and at the newly formed scars of mine.
“I’m sorry. Professor Lupin,” I grinned.
He pulled me to him again and kissed me on my head, like my other godfather—Sirius—did.
“Victoria, it’s been a while.”
“A while? I haven’t seen you since the middle of the summer!”
Remus didn’t respond. A voice, a strong voice had answered for him.
“Well, Darling. The Order has been awfully busy these last few months.” It was Mrs. Weasley. Her puffy red hair stuck out from all of the tall people. I gave her a big hug and she kissed me on the cheek. Another redhead came out from the crowd of people. And I knew exactly who it was.
“George!” I screamed, putting my arms around him.
“How do you do that? Even Mum can’t tell us apart,” George joked, sort of.
“I can’t give all of my secrets away now can I, George?”
The day seemed like a breeze, which was until I remembered that I was being kicked out of my room. As everybody left, Remus looked at me with such a face I couldn’t ignore. I tried not to smile at his expression, but I just started to burst out laughing. His face eased as if he wanted me to do that. He put an arm around me and pulled me closer to him.
“I haven’t seen you laugh like that since Sirius left,” Remus laughed.
Remus never really liked saying that Sirius died. He’d always say that Sirius left. I thought that was really insensitive, but then I remember when Sirius told me about all of their adventures when they were in school and called the Marauders. I could see him behind my eyes and not remembering where I was. When I looked at Remus, he was smiling like he was. Before I could say anything about his appearance, he kissed me on my forehead.
“So, I’m not doing anything today except spending the whole day with my goddaughter. Where would you like to go?”
I thought for a while, but it seemed like we were going out of the Great Hall. I knew that kids would recognize him as the old Defense Against the Dark Arts facilitator, but there were countless kids coming up to him and saying hello. I was just waiting for the special boy to come up. And who knew that he was going to be right there, following us. A hand tapped Remus on the shoulder and it was he. Harry. Harry wrapped his arms around him and sighed.
“Lupin, what are you doing here?” Harry asked as he pulled away.
“Just visiting the old campus.”
I looked down and tried not to seem hurt by the excuse. But Harry couldn’t know anything…yet. At least, I hoped. I wasn’t listening to the conversation but I didn’t want Harry there now because I wanted to talk to Remus. Just go away, Harry! I kept thinking that and almost walked away. Neither of them seemed to be noticing me, so I just left. I had made it to the Forbidden Forest before I heard Remus calling after me. I turned to face him and saw him running down the hill that led to Hagrid’s hut.
“What do you want now, Remus?”
“Why did you leave?”
“You were talking to the Chosen One. The long lost sister who wasn’t really lost or far away was probably nothing compared to him.”
I turned away but Remus was quick with his reflexes and grasped on my wrist. He wasn’t going to let me go so easily. I looked into his eyes, staying strong. But what I really wanted to do was go back to how my life was before I had met Harry. I wanted to fall down and cry like a little girl would, but I couldn’t. I wanted to shrink down to a size where no one could see me anymore. I breathed loudly as a sign that I was getting angry or upset, but Remus didn’t let go.
“Don’t you dare think that about yourself. Your parents didn’t have a choice—”
“THEY HAD A CHOICE!” I screamed, causing the birds that were hiding to come out of the crevasses in the trees. “They chose to get rid of me because I was an inconvenience. They got rid of me because they didn’t care about me. It was always about Harry and I understood that. Harry was the Chosen One; he had to survive. But Tom, Tom cared for me, unlike Lily and James Potter. Tom is more my father than James could ever be.”
“Victoria, you don’t mean this.”
“Of course I mean this! I spent my whole life wondering why my parents threw me away. Lily wanted me to die. I knew it. You don’t think I don’t know? Of course, I knew. It would be a cruel joke if I didn’t. The sweet Lily that you grew up with wasn’t my mother. She was coldhearted and got rid of her daughter. She tried to kill me. She left me. They both did.”
“James and Lily were trying to protect you, Victoria.”
“Oh yeah? By leaving me at a lake hoping I’d die of hypothermia? What do you think they would think of me? Do you think they’d love me if they knew my childhood? Growing up with Tom? They’d hate me. They would probably say I betrayed my brother, living with the person who killed them. So I don’t care what they’d say or think about me.”
Remus had hurt in his eyes. “Did Sirius know this? These thoughts of yours?”
I sighed, “Yes. I told him the last time I visited him in Azkaban.”
“Well, Victoria. I’m sorry you feel this way. But let me ask you this. If they hated you, why would they name you, raise you, and give you people to look after you after they died?”
“They didn’t raise me. The Malfoys raised me. Whether I like it or not, they are my family. They adopted me; they got me. Besides, even if I wanted to leave home now, I couldn’t leave Draco there. Tom would eat him alive. I know for a fact that Lucius hates me. But Narcissa keeps him at bay. Tell me the story of you coming to my house.”
“Which one?” Remus laughed lightly.
“The first time. When Tom asked you to come.”
“Ah. Let me see. Oh. First, let’s get to Dumbledore. We can use his Pensieve.”
“Fine,” I sighed.
Dumbledore’s office was the same. Still cluttered with ancient objects no one could identify. But there was one thing I could always pick out when I entered his office. The Sorting Hat. He was always angry when he saw me, or he was just always angry with everyone. I walked over to the wrinkled brown thing and smiled a sarcastic smile.
“Malfoy,” he sneered.
“Still upset that I’m not in Slytherin?”
“That was six years ago. I don’t hold a grudge for that long.” He turned away from me.
“You’re calling me a liar?”
“Isn’t that what I just said? You wanted me so bad in Slytherin, but you know what’s really in my blood. You couldn’t be unfair, so you sorted me into Gryffindor.”
“Miss Malfoy, I don’t think you should keep this fight with our Sorting Hat,” a voice came from the back.
I smiled and narrowed my eyes at the Sorting Hat. I walked over to Dumbledore’s shadow and watched Remus do the same. I was still angry from before, but I could never stay mad at Remus for a long time. Then Dumbledore took out his Pensieve.
“I’ll leave you two to your memory.”
“Thanks, Dumbledore,” Remus said.
Remus put wand up to his head and silver silk-like string came from inside his head. When the Pensieve absorbed the memory, it turned into grays and blacks that could only recognized as my house. I put my head through the water and closed my eyes. Then, I was transported into the old memory of my godfather.
January 15th, 1982
“Remus Lupin,” I assumed Tom’s raspy voice came out. He was hidden under a dark cloak like the one he usually wore, except he had the hood over his head like his followers.
Tom’s bony hand came out and stuck out a finger motioning Remus to come forward. Remus did as he was instructed and looked like he had been crying. It was only a few months after the man who sat before him killed my biological parents and Sirius was committed to Azkaban.
“Why do you need me?” Remus asked boldly.
A very small smile came upon Tom’s face. Hardly anyone probably saw it. He turned to his faithful lieutenant Bellatrix Lestrange who wasn’t imprisoned yet, but was going to be in a few short days. Her ragged black hair still stuck out in every direction. She knew she was being called upon on and scurried to his side.
“Bring the girl,” Tom whispered, but the acoustics caused the whole room to reverberate his words.
Bellatrix pouted and did as she was told. She soon disappeared into the hallways of my home. Remus stood there as if he were waiting to be executed. His head was forward, but I knew he wanted it down solemnly. Bellatrix’s heeled shoes clicked on the wooden floors, indicating that she was returning with me in her arms. I could tell by her looks that she hated me already. They had me wrapped in a black blanket to make sure I couldn’t be identified. Then again, no one knew of me. Tom wasn’t capable of holding me, but Bellatrix wasn’t trusted with me.
“Give her to Lupin. See if he can identify her,” he demanded.
When Remus held me in his arms, his eyes softened and tried everything not to cry. Looking over Remus’ shoulder, I looked at myself. I was sleeping silently and softly. I looked at my dark brown hair and remembered that my biological father had the same hairstyle. He sighed and smiled lightly.
“Victoria,” he whispered.
“So her name is Victoria?”
“Where did you find her?” He became aggressive, holding me as if he was going to leave with me.
“I came across this girl at a lake, where she was left there. To die, it seemed. Do you know the girl’s parents?”
“They’re gone. Dead. Killed by you. The Potters,” he spat.
“This is the Potter’s daughter? I heard somewhere that they killed her.”
“They did. At least, that’s what everybody thought. Apparently, she was found by you.”
There was silence for a little while. I almost couldn’t breathe. I kept moving my eyes from Tom to Remus. Tom knew I was the Potter’s child and he didn’t throw me out. I know it’s awful to love a mass murderer, but I loved him a little more then. My breath almost was sucked out of the room.
“Why am I here?”
“Open the blanket.”
He did delicately and there was my scar that was on my arm. It was fresh and I could still see the blood dripping. Some of it was dripping onto the floor. I looked at the blanket closer and saw that it was damp. That’s why they had me wrapped in black; nothing shows on black. It looked like someone scratched me…with a rake.
“What the hell happened to her?”
Tom turned his head to the floor, or that’s what it looked like. It was as if he were sensing where everyone was in the room. I looked to where I assumed he was looking and I saw Fenrir Greyback. The werewolf who turned Remus into a creature of the night. His head was down, as if he felt guilty about something.
“Fenrir Greyback, you know Remus Lupin. You made him what he is today.” He turned to Remus. “He foolishly scratched Victoria on the arm and there is no cure that can reverse the werewolf curse. She will be a werewolf when the full moon rises.”
Remus gasped quietly as he looked at me. I sighed and looked at the scar on my arm. It had grown smaller but I could still notice it. He hugged me to him, not caring about getting blood on his clothes.
“I want you to help her. To help her through the process of this transformation. She’s going to need it.”
“Why do you care about this girl so much?”
“That’s for myself only. I have my reasons. You will meet with her almost everyday. She’s in capable hands with the Malfoys.”
“Yes. They are to raise this child as their own. She is going to be fine. You shall be in the dungeons of Malfoy Manor and teach her about her transformations. She’s going to need a lot of help.”
“Well, I couldn’t possibly have Greyback do it. He was the one who Turned her. He recommended the one he made a while back; the one who wanted to control his being. So I got the best for this child. And the best she will get.”
“Fine. I’ll do it.”
“You never had a choice.”
So, how was that for dramatic? Okay, I know you people out there are reading this. So I need you guys to actually review this story. Review Question: Why do you think “Tom” cares so much for Victoria? C’mon guys! I know you’re out there!
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