“Oho!” Professor Slughorn exclaimed, “I see that you two know each other! Well, scurry along or you’ll miss the feast!”
My eyes widened as I looked at Regulus' shadow hidden face. He smiled lopsidedly and placed a hand on my shoulder, pushing me out of the office.
There was an awkward silence as we walked down the hall. I was completely taken by surprise.
“How have you been, Estelle?” Regulus asked in an absolutely alluring low voice.
“I ‘ave been fine, Regulus. And you?” I couldn’t tear my gaze away from him. I was happy to see the other Black brother. Regulus was slightly shorter than Sirius and more slender. He had the same facial features that his brother had though and bore an uncanny resemblance.
“Fine... Just fine.” His smile was much more mysterious compared to that of Sirius’. “You should change into your robes,” he directed as soon as we had turned a bend.
“With you looking, Regulus? I should theenk not.” I smiled at him, raising an eyebrow.
Regulus gave a small chuckle and turned away, black hair curtaining his face as he bowed his head against the cold stone wall. I quickly changed into my robes and we both walked down to the Great Hall together.
“You are a prefect, then,” I nodded at the silver badge on the collar of his robe. He nodded in reply, simpering as he gestured for me to enter the Great Hall before him. It took me a minute to take in the spectacular view of four long tables; countless platters of food on each and I immediately heard a distinct murmur of conversation like bees. Four different coloured flags were floating above each table and as soon as I had turned my head in the direction of a scarlet lion, I saw Sirius.
I waved at him fervently who waved back just as enthusiastically. He stopped abruptly as Regulus walked in behind me. I also stopped. Regulus looked at who I was waving to and a cold expression came over his face; one that mirrored Sirius’s. I felt myself cringing to the tension.
“Come on,” Regulus muttered, placing his hand on my shoulder again and directing me towards the table underneath an emerald green flag, silver serpent writhing about on it. The serpent reminded me of a certain silver knocker...
“This is Estelle Louvier,” I heard him say as a group of fellow Slytherins stared at me. “From Beauxbatons.” I looked around at the crowd and nodded at each one of them. Each had an unmistakeable air of complete arrogance and had reminded me of my parents; pompous, conceited, and completely adamant in their beliefs.
The line of Slytherins shifted down two seats, allowing for myself and Regulus to sit down.
“I’m afraid you’ve come a year too late,” Regulus muttered to me as he poured pumpkin juice into my goblet. The others nodded in agreement. “There were more of us. My cousin, Bellatrix, I don’t think you would have met her. The Lestrange brothers, I’m sure you’ve heard of them, Wilkes... and Rosier.”
I inclined my head, “Oui. I ‘ave ‘eard of them.” After the countless times my parents have talked of the pureblood families...
“This is Aden Boyle,” Regulus nodded at a boy with spiky blond hair, “Elinor King,” a black haired girl with a strong jaw stared back at me, “and Severus Snape. He’s in the year above us.” I found myself looking at a very pale face which was contrasted by the raven-black hair framing it. His eyes were small and black as he looked at me.
“Look at them,” Aden spat all of a sudden, gazing across the room with narrowed eyes, “loathsome gits.”
Everybody turned around and I followed suit to see what all the fuss was about.
“They’re pathetic, the Marauders.” Elinor hissed as I scanned the room for any source of commotion. There was none, apart from Sirius and his friends laughing loudly at the centre of the other table, their wands waving around.
“What are you looking at?” I asked Regulus, eyes still traveling across the room. Regulus turned his head to look at me.
All of a sudden, there was a loud bang coming from Sirius and co.; a boom of laughter that followed as thick black smoke surrounded them.
“Don’t worry,” Regulus muttered, his voice low and barely audible, “It’s nothing.” With that, he placed a hand on my neck and gently forced me to turn my back on the rest of the hall.
A few minutes before the feast had ended, Regulus stood up and gestured for me to follow him.
“I want you to get used to the place before it gets crowded.”
I got up fluidly and nodded at the other three Slytherins who lazily waved back. With a hand on my arm, Regulus nudged me forward towards the grand doors. I paused before exiting, hoping to catch a glimpse of Sirius.
Now that I was closer to their table, I could see a series of vivid colours sparkling out of a goblet, forming small rats that ran across the table, overturning many plates and goblets and stepping in the pudding. I spotted Sirius, James, Peter and Remus amongst a group of girls who seemed to be hanging off of their every word.
I was about to turn away but Sirius had caught my eye and flashed me a great grin. I smiled back. Regulus placed his hand on the small of my back, “Come on,” he said softly. I noticed the cold look he gave Sirius before pushing me out of the hall.
“What ‘appened between the two of you?” I asked Regulus cautiously as we walked across the Entrance Hall. I didn’t miss the quiver in his breath as he looked at me through his dark grey eyes.
“Nothing,” he said quietly, eyes still fixed on mine. Just as we reached the top of the staircase leading down to the dungeons, there was call for my name.
“Estelle!” I turned back quickly and saw Sirius running towards me; James, Peter and Remus lingering back, though watching attentively. I felt Regulus’ hand fall limp from my back and heard the rustles of him turning away.
Sirius’s smile was too big on his face as he came closer. “How was your dinner?”
I beamed at him, “It was delicious but much too ‘eavy for me.”
He flicked the hair out of his grey eyes and pulled on my arm to move away from Regulus, who he barely regarded.
“Hey, let’s organise something for tomorrow. We have a lot to talk about.”
“Organise something?” I asked, confused.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter, dimples appearing on his cheeks. “Let me see your schedule.”
I pulled the parchment Professor Slughorn had given me out of the pocket of my robe and handed it over to Sirius.
He pursed his lips as though contemplating and pulled out his own schedule. “Hm,” he said as he looked to each parchment. After a few more seconds, he let out an enthusiastic “Ah!” and tapped at both parchments with his wand.
“I’ve fixed all the free periods you have that correspond with mine to ‘Sirius periods,’” He beamed at me, handing the parchment back to me. His smile wavered slightly as he looked to Regulus’s back. “I... I shouldn’t keep you for too long. You’d be wanting to go to your common room now.”
I tilted my head at him as I folded the parchment. “Sirius, I did not choose to be in Slytherin.”
“Of course you didn’t,” he slapped his grin back on. “I’ll be seeing you tomorrow afternoon. Good night and don’t let the house-elves bite.”
I beamed back at him.
“Seriously... James woke up one night with a bite mark on his neck. It might’ve come from an house-elf or it could have come from a girl... Who knows? It remains a mystery till this day.”
I giggled. “Good night, Sirius.” He winked at me before turning back to the rest of his friends. By now, there were a lot more people escaping the Great Hall to return to their dormitories.
“Come on,” Regulus said again, bitterly as I reached him. With each step the temperature must have dropped a degree as I found myself shivering from head to toe. “We’re under the lake now.” Regulus told me, nodding at my obvious shivering to support his statement. “It tends to get cold.” He flashed me with a lopsided smile.
I nodded quickly, closing my eyes to the frozen chill that went through me.
“Don’t worry, we’re almost there.” Regulus smiled kindly. He placed an arm around my shoulders and kept me tight against his chest as he led me down a low-ceiling, long stone wall corridor. He had a very nice, musky scent about him and I found myself inhaling a bit more than normal.
We stopped abruptly in the middle of the corridor and the moment he let go, I could feel the quivering chill; I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss his arms around me. I watched as he stretched out his hand and felt along the wall. Suddenly, a large crack and a door appeared where the wall had been.
“The password is pureblood.” With the mention of ‘pureblood’, the door opened inwardly, revealing a low-ceilinged, dungeon-like room illuminated by a murky green light. “Welcome home.” Regulus said, bowing slightly as he allowed me to go in first.
I walked in and looked around the room in awe. It was dark and gloomy; skulls were on display around the room and the lounges were made of black leather. There were two long, ornate tables with numerous hard backed chairs around them.
There was a large fireplace and a majestic rug that lay on top of the cold stone; a large green Slytherin crest was rested on the wall.
Regulus led me down a small set of steps where he told me the dormitories were. It was even darker down there and as we followed the very narrow hall, the air began to get thicker. We stopped at the end of the hall where two doorless arches were; a green lantern in the middle of the wall.
“The one on the left is for the females and the one on the right is for the males. Unfortunately, boys aren’t allowed to enter the girls’ dormitories, though the girls are allowed to enter the boys’.” He gave me a small, much more mysterious wink than Sirius; the ends of his lips upturned.
I caught myself staring at him for far too long and quickly looked down, abashed. I sensed a big smirk on his face as he scratched the back of his head ruggedly.
We were saved from the awkward silence as the ruckus of people coming into the common room was now loud.
“I’ll get Elinor to take you to your dorm.” he said, smirk still wide on his face.
Elinor smiled at me as she escorted Regulus and I back down towards the dormitories.
“She’s safe with me, Reg.” she asserted, waiting at the arch on the left side.
Regulus nodded, “I know. I just wanted to say good night.” He smiled at me. “It has been nice seeing you again, Estelle.” He looked straight into my eyes as he spoke, “Please, try your best not to disappear again.”
I matched his smile.
“Good night.” he said, suddenly taking hold of my hand and pressing it up to his lips, eyes still transfixed on mine. I gasped quietly as he let go.
“G-Good night.” I nodded.
I then followed Elinor into another narrow hallway; rooms along each side.
“This is ours,” she said, stopping in the middle of the hallway.
I looked back and peered to the front. There must have been at least thirty rooms along this hall.
“‘ow am I to know this is ours?” I asked her, examining the wooden door that looked identical to the previous ten we walked past.
“Look here,” she pointed at a number on the doorframe with long slender finger. “This is our number. Remember it and you won’t go wrong.” She sniggered and looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
She opened the door and I slowly walked into the circular, cavernous room. The walls and floor were made of stone, though the four beds looked very soft and comfortable. A cabinet stood beside each head of the bed and I found my embellished trunk at the foot of the bed closest to the door. There was another small door on the right and inside, I could see a toilet, stone basin and shower place.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I’m an early sleeper. I’ll be going to bed now.” Elinor said, patting me on the shoulder as she pushed through towards the bed next to mine. “Good night.”
Good night, certainly.
A/N: Hey guys, for all of you who have stuck with me, thank you.
I am terribly sorry for not updating in, what, a year? I had abandoned this story but then realised that I simply could not stop writing it, so here it is.
Again, I'd like to say thank you to all of you who are still here, and welcome to the new readers :) Hopefully you all enjoyed it, and I'll be updating again soon, so leave a review and tell me what you think :)