Chapter 1 : Catch Me
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But, I give to you Bera Smiles.
July 14, 1977
She busied herself by plunging her thoughts into the boy who had her heart. She fiddled with the silver ring with a ruby and emerald wrapped in the infinity symbol that she wore on a silver chain. Laying on the bed of the bedroom she had been accompanying for the past month, she drowned in her thoughts.
Her breathing consisted of a wave of butterflies that would occur every few minutes, causing the corners of her mouth to lift into a grin. Her brown eyes were richer than chocolates, yet finer than coffee and they held a new sparkle within them that had never been there before. They were clouded with the memories that were stored, not in her mind, but in a special place within the depths of her heart.
The satiny brown skin that she had glowed in the sunlight that beamed through the window, giving it a natural glow. Her petite, manicured fingernails clinged to the bed sheets as a reminder as to where she was, keeping her in reality while she was lost in her dreams. Her thick, dark lashes batted themselves slowly, they were what kept the memories alive as she relived each and every one of them.
Her beautiful spirals were sprawled across the bed. Each thick curl was defined in its perfect formation. Her hair felt as if it were made of the finest silk that not even the Chinese themselves would be able to provide.
She felt worry overcome her and the corners of her mouth turned downwards as the freshly relived memories began to dissipate from her mind. Her fingernails loosened their grip on the bed sheets as she came back to reality. The butterflies in her stomach had turned into a much worse feeling, causing her to hold her stomach nervously.
Bera Zabini slowly sat up from her daze and came back into the world that had surrounded her. She hopped off of the bed and hesitantly went over to the desk in the corner of the room and seated herself in the chair.
She stared at the blank piece of parchment, her thick eyelashes blinking nervously as she contemplated what to write. She slowly picked up the quill and dipped it in the bottle of ink that was to her left. She slowly began to write the thoughts that came to her mind.
It’s been over a month since we’ve officially been dating, and I honestly can’t believe it. Even though we have been together, we haven’t seen each other since the day we arrived back from Hogwarts.
I miss you a lot, I just wanted to let you know.
Bera hesitated with the quill in her hand. What else could she write? She hadn’t heard from Sirius in about a week, and that was odd for him. His replies would usually come back very quickly.
How have you been? How are things at home? I was just wondering, because I feel so out of the loop being here in Spain.
I remember a few weeks ago, you mentioned something about a muggle contraption called a ‘motorcycle’? How is that going? I really can’t wait to see it once you’ve gotten it.
I’ll be coming back in about another week, and I hope our plans are still on for when I come back. I’ve missed you so much and can only hope that you miss me as much as I do you. I can’t wait to see you soon.
I miss you so much,
In all honestly, Bera felt like a complete idiot writing to Sirius with there being a possibility that he wouldn’t reply. She could only hope.
Bera folded the piece of parchment and set it aside. She hurriedly pulled out another piece and began writing to Lily, who had written to her yesterday.
It was great hearing from you. I’m glad that everyone’s written to me this week...except Sirius. That’s actually making me kind of nervous. I’ve just written a letter to him and I hope he’ll reply.
Good news; I’m coming back next week so we may be able to spend some time together very soon.
“Bera come on!” Ciño called, poking his head in the doorway. “We’re heading down to the beach,” he said in spanish.
“I’m in the middle of a letter,” Bera muttered to her cousin. “I’ll be down in a minute, Cinito,” she sighed, turning in her seat to look at him.
“Don’t call me ‘Ciñito!”” He replied angrily. “My name is not little Ciño!”
“We’ve been calling you that for forever,” Bera shrugged. “Everyone calls me ‘Beranita’,” she added.
"Well, you’re still small,” he replied. “But, you’ve got five minutes,” he warned, pointing a firm finger at Bera.
“Fine,” she muttered, turning back around to finish her letter to letter.
Miss you lots!
Also, my ‘Bigoted Ferret-faced git-of-a-brother’, as you so gently put it, says hello.
Bera folded that piece of parchment after finishing the letter, and tied it to a barn owl’s leg. “Here you go,” Bera said to her beautiful owl that her father had gotten her for her birthday, Midnight. “To Lily and Sirius,” she told the small owl. She sent it off from the window, and stood up from the desk.
Bera loved her owl, because he was a beautiful midnight black color and was very intelligent and seemed to love her just as much as she did him. He also had light specks of grey within his feathers, which reminded Bera a lot of a midnight sky.
She then tied up her hair into a loose bun and headed out of the bedroom she was staying in.
She sighed to herself as she made her way down the corridor to her cousin, Enrique’s, bedroom. But, she found that the room was empty.
She then made her way down three flights of steps and exited the massive front doors of the giant Capraso Manor, the maiden name of her father’s mother’s family. Bera’s grandmother, Risa Capraso, married into the Italian Zabini Family, and the Zabini family congregated in Spain with the rest of the Caprasos. Many would expect the Capraso-Zabini family to also speak Italian, though only very few people in the family spoke the language, such as Bera’s father.
It was also known that the Capraso-Zabini family was known for inter-marrying. But, only with the Caprasos and Zabinis that weren’t closely related. Bera’s father was one of the very few who didn’t inter-marry with the Caprasos and married Amberlinne Greengrass, instead.
He chose not to go through with an arranged marriage.
Bera’s father was one of the lucky few who got to make that decision. But, she was absolutely fine with Sirius. She walked along the warm sand in her bare feet. Her thoughts quickly wandered back to Sirius. She really missed him a lot and wondered what was keeping him from replying to her letters. That last owl she’d sent was the third one this week. She really hoped that he wasn’t upset at her in some way, shape, or form. All Bera wanted was to hear from Sirius, but it seemed as though he wasn’t going to write, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Bera finally made it over to her crazy frenzy of cousins, who were wrestling in the shallow waters, and she didn’t really want to be a part of all of the ‘fun’. So, Bera seated herself on the warm sand and stared at the waves as they crashed against the sand.
Bera really had missed Spain over the school year, but now she missed Sirius more. She sighed inwardly, awaiting the day when she’d be able to see all of her friends again. Lily seemed to have been the only one who had been writing back consistently. James wrote every once in awhile, but it was more than Sirius had ever wrote.
“What’s his name?” Bera heard from behind her. She turned to see her older cousin, Enrique. He was a Capraso, though he was very close in relation to Bera. Bera’s grandmother, Risa, and Enrique’s grandmother, Alana, were sisters. Bera’s father, Vincenzo, and Enrique’s father, Emilio, are first cousins. Which made Enrique and Bera second cousins.
“Sirius,” Bera answered, looking at the sun that shone over the sky. “How did you know?”
“Well,” he began, “You’ve been acting more like a girl than ever,” he said. “And Andrew told me and the guys.”
“What?” Bera asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Well, lets just say that there’s a third cousin or two that had an eye on you,” he stated with a smirk.
Bera’s stomach turned over and she thought the was about to throw up. “Eww, who?”
“Well, there’s Benni, for one," He stated.
“Benvolio Zabini!?” Bera shrieked. “I’d never marry someone with the same last name as me!” Enrique went into fits of laughter holding his side at his cousin’s disgust. “Bleh!”
“Oh, he’s not the only one,” he teased, looking at the large group of male cousins.
“Just don’t mention anybody else,” Bera muttered. “I’ll never look at Benvolio the same.”
“I bet,” Enrique chuckled. “But, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Beca shrugged. “I just haven’t heard from him in a week or two.”
“Ah, long-distance?” He asked.
“Not exactly, just the one month that I’m here in Spain Bera explained.
“Ah, so when’s the wedding?” Enrique teased.
“To be announced,” Bera replied shakily. “We’re both a bit shaky on the wedding thing and we’re generally on the same page about things. ”
“Ah, so he’s your other half?” He teased.
“I guess you could say that,” she muttered. “?So, what about you?” She asked, elbowing her cousin playfully. “Have you got anybody on your eye?”
“Well, I did before,” he shrugged. “But, she’s taken,” he said, looking at Bera with some sort of disappointment in his eyes, but she didn’t exactly notice.
“Well, maybe you’ll find someone else someday,” Bera suggested, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“Maybe, ” he sighed.
July 21, 1977
Bera walked into her familiar bedroom and felt at ease, finally returning home. She’d actually missed her home and was excited to see her friends again.
Bera wiggled her toes as she stepped along the beautiful emerald rug that was decorated with silver butterflies that flew in graceful circles. She preferred the rug over the plain marble floors that were hidden beneath it.
Her king-sized canopy bed was parallel to the large window that took over an entire wall that was on the opposite side of the room from the door.It was draped in silk emerald and green curtains similar to the ones in the Slytherin common room, but much more elegant. The comforter on her bed was made of pure velvet and Bera loved to run her fingers along it, just because of the way it felt.
The bed was covered in about forty pillows total, twenty on each side. The pillows were so soft and Bera never had a problem falling asleep at night.
“Hey, Midnight brought you these,” Andrew, her twin brother, said, poking his head into Bera’s bedroom.
“What are they?” Bera asked, sitting up. “Letters? From who?” She asked eagerly, making her way over to her twin brother to take the letters.
“From just about all of your Gryffindor friends,” he muttered. “Including…hmm..Sirius,” he said, grinning at Bera.
“Give me the letters, Andrew!” She complained, trying to reach for the bunch of letters that her brother held over her head. “Come on! I really need to read these letters!”
“Fine, take them,” Andrew said in amusement, handing Bera the letters.
“Thank you!” She said impatiently, shoving her brother out of her bedroom and closing the door behind her. She hurriedly shuffled through all of the letters until she found one in Sirius’ handwriting.
She squealed in excitement as she opened up the parchment to read the contents.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written to you, I know. I’m sorry for waiting so long to reply to you, but I was going through some…difficult times while you were away in Spain. You see, about halfway through the month I was the happiest I’d ever been in my entire life. It was because of you, Bera. You just take everything and make me so happy.
Even getting letters from you gave me butterflies. But, that was before my father died... I went into some sort of depression…I shut everyone out, and for that, I’m sorry. But, most specifically to you. You seemed worried in your letters and I realized that they had been coming more and more consistently. But, I was so wrapped up in myself that I never bothered to open the letters until yesterday.
I hope you’ve been alright. I really need to see you, Bera...Maybe seeing you will make things right again. I can only hope.
Write back as soon as you can,
Bera bit her lip worriedly. Sirius’ father had died. Bera had wondered if whether or not Regulus was alright, as well, but quickly diminished the thoughts. Why should she care about Regulus’ feelings?
She quickly wrote a letter, asking him to meet her there at the Zabini manor so that they could spend some time together. She really wanted to see him, too. She wanted Sirius to feel better the best way she could.
She quickly sent Midnight out and told him to make sure that Sirius got the letter as soon as possible.
The next morning Bera went into the dining room, where her family was eating breakfast. She yawned as she seated herself across from her brother.
“You’re up late, Bera,” her father noted. “What kept you?”
“I didn’t sleep well,” Bera muttered, pushing the food on her plate around with a fork. She hesitated before she finally spoke up, “Did you know that Orion Black died?” She blurted.
Both her parents stopped eating and stared at Bera in shock. “Well, yes..” Her mother said.
“And neither of you bothered to tell me?” Bera asked. “And you both know that I’m dating Sirius!”
“We didn’t think it would be important for you to know, dear,” my father said in a soft tone. “You were enjoying yourself on vacation, you needn’t be worried about Sirius,” he stated.
“It’s not just because of the arranged marriage that I have some sort of connection to him, father,” she growled. “He was my friend long before we started dating and long before an engagement was even thought of!” Bera said angrily. “I actually have feelings for him!”
Both of Bera’s parents fell silent. “You..really like him?” My father asked.
“Father, if it isn’t obvious, I don’t know what is!” Andrew blurted. “She’s in love with the fool--I don’t know what she sees in him, but she sees something!” He sighed loudly. “I’m just thankful it’s Black and not Potter,” he muttered.
“Yes, father,” Bera said, glaring at her brother. “I really like Sirius,” she said.
“I’m sorry, Bera,” her father stated. “If I would’ve known...” he sighed quietly. “I apologize.”
“It’s fine,” Bera muttered quietly as she continued to play with the food on her plate.
“Uh..Miss Berry,” Bera heard a light, slightly squeaky voice ask from behind her. She turned around to see one of their house elves, Jebby.
“Yes, Jebby?” Bera asked sweetly.
“You haves a visitor...his name is Seiwe..” Jebby said quietly.
“‘Seiwe’...” Bera said quietly to herself. “Seiwe...Sirius!” She said quickly, standing up hurriedly and rushing through the corridors of the manor to get to the front door. She saw him standing there, observing a portrait of Bera from when she was about eleven years old. His hair had grown much longer, and he seemed to be dress more like a muggle. “Sirius?” She asked quietly.
He turned around to see Bera, his lovely Mini Zabini. “Bera,” he said, capturing her in his arms. “I’ve missed you,” he whispered as her embraced her tighter.
“I’m sorry, Sirius,” Bera said. “How did you get here?” She asked, breaking the hug.
“My motorcycle,” he said with a half-smile. He pushed Bera’s hair from her face as he admired her beautiful face. “I’ve missed you so much,” he said, hugging her again. “It feels like it’s been eleven years or something,” he said with a light chuckle.
“For me it feels like it’s been much, much longer,” she said gazing up at Sirius. Sirius’ eyes glanced at the ring that Bera had around her neck.
“You’re still wearing it,” he said, smiling to himself.
“Of course, I am,” she said, looking up at him. “Why wouldn’t I?” she asked, smiling slightly.
“Well,” he muttered. “With me not replying to your letters and everything..”
“Sirius, your father died, I understand,” she said quietly, taking his hand.
“I’ve missed you so much, Bera,” he said, smiling at her, moving a strand of her hair behind her ear.
“I’ve missed you, too,” she said with the corners of her mouth lifting into a gentle smile. “Would you like to join us for breakfast?” She asked suddenly.
“Er, sure,” Sirius said. “I’m actually starved.”
Bera took his hand and led him back into the dinning room, feeling happier than ever to see Sirius for the first time in over a month.