Chapter 1 : Drooping Angels
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I was in the drawing room, reading an adventure novel, when I heard a slight knock at the door.
“Come in,” I commanded, my voice ringing throughout the empty room. The door creaked opened, and the head of my maid peeked around.
“Sir Blaxton? There’s a letter for you,” she said, handing me a piece of parchment.
I took it from her, grunting my thanks. As I opened it, I recognised the tidy scrawl.
I am marked by grief, and betrayal. The despair is too much. My daughter, Helena has gone, driven by desire and longing. She has taken with her my precious diadem, and has run to where I am not sure, but I have heard rumours that she has fled to Albania. Please, do not tell anyone what she has taken, they must not know.
I am on my death bed, life is leaving me, I must see her before I am gone.
I know you have always loved her, so I ask you in a state of urgency that you will please, find her, and bring her to me. I know you will not rest until you find her.
My eyes winded in shock.
“No,” I said, “No, no, no, no” My voice started to rise in anger. “No, she can not be gone!” I yelled.
“Sir, -” My maid said timidly, “Sir, what is wrong?”
I turned to her, a gleam of madness in my eye. My breathing was heavy, my nostrils flared. I raised my fist, the crumpled letter crushed within it, and shook my hand.
“This,” I hissed, “ Is what’s wrong. Read it, and tell me I imagined what it said.” I demanded.
She took it with shaking hands and smoothed it out. Her eyes moved across the page and when she had finished, raised her head, tears shining in her eyes.
“I’m sorry -” she whispered, but did not continue, for I turned my back and put my hands to my face. My breath reeked of blood, I didn’t know why, until I realised in my anger I had bit down hard on my tongue until it started to bleed.
“Sir,” she breathed, “Sir, what will you do?” Her voice shook with worry. I knew she had always had feelings for me.
I turned to face my ugly maid, her greasy hair stuck to her tearstained pale, blotchy face.
“What do you think I will do?” I questioned her. When she did not answer, I said, “I’ll go after her, of course I will.”
She silently nodded her small head, and slipped out of the room.
I thought to myself. Both of them are, why did she have to run off? What was wrong with her. Why couldn’t she return my love?
I sighed, I might as well try and track her down. It wouldn’t be hard, I wasn’t in the slight bit worried, I knew I would find her with in a few days.
Well, that’s what I hoped.
First I would have to visit Rowena, assure her I would find her daughter, and ask who told her where Helena was.
Should I go now?
I thought, or in the morning when I have had a good nights sleep?
Now, Rowena may be dead by morning.
I grabbed my coat and barked at my shrivelled house elf to make sure the house was tidy for when I returned.
“Yes master,” he croaked, “Whatever you say master.” The disgusting thing bowed at my feet and shuffled out of them room backwards, muttering “Sock must do what master tells him to do. Must obey master’s orders.”
I had named him Sock because the thing he wears looks like an oversized, dirty sock and at the time I could not be bothered to come up with some silly name for a worthless creature. It does not even deserve a name.
“Amara,” I bellowed. The name Amara meant ‘of eternal beauty’... what a lie! “Amara, I’m going, make sure that those ministry people don‘t even set foot over the threshold, and do not let the house get dirty.”
“Yes sir,” she called from the kitchen, “Do take care of yourself.”
I grunted in response, and walked to the door, turning with my hand on the handle.
“Oh, and Amara, if those ministry people do come knocking, don’t tell them where I am,” I said to her as she appeared down the hall.
She nodded and was about to turn when I surprised myself by saying, “Thank you.”
She looked as shocked as I was when I opened the door to the bitter cold and turned on the spot.
Rowena did not lie in her letter.
As I entered the house, welcomed by a small maid, I heard a terrible chesty cough from the second floor. I slowly walked up the grand stairs, down the corridor and knocked gently on the bedroom door. When I did not hear a reply, I knocked a little harder.
“Enter,” A weak voice, wheezy and hoarse, said from inside.
I slowly opened the squeaking door and peeked my head in.
A limp body lay curled under a thin blanket, her black hair greying, and her face pale and thin. A nurse stood beside the bed, but her eyes were not on the patient, but on Blaxton.
“Please leave us,” he said to her, and she did as she was told, slipping out of the room swiftly.
“Blaxton,” she breathed, “Come closer, my boy.”
I reluctantly moved towards the bed, and knelt down beside her weak form. I saw her eyes had lost their sparkle, just pale, worthless ovals staring blankly up at me.
Her wrinkled, bony hand held onto mine tight, and I resisted the temptation to pull away from her grip. I did not like the feel of elderly skin.
Last time I saw her, she looked young, healthy, but in those past months, she had aged dramatically. I could not bare to look her in the eye. They were so full of grief, betrayal, memories...
“ My boy,” she whispered, “Please-.”
“Don’t worry, I will find your daughter and bring her to you. She will come back safe, with not even so much as a scratch.”
Rowena nodded ever so slightly, and closed her eyes. “What a good boy you are, Blaxton.”
I sat in silence for a moment, until I said, “Rowena, who told you she was in Albania? Who was it?”
Her eyes fluttered open, and she looked me right in the eyes. Blue into black.
“Blaxton, please don’t go looking for him.” She pleaded.
“Go looking for who?” I asked, impatient.
She looked at me for a moment, and then answered, her voice barely a whisper. I had to lean in close to make out the words she was uttering.
“Salazar. Salazar Slytherin.”
My head shot up in shock.
“What?” I hissed, “How would he know? Why would you trust him?”
“Blaxton, my boy, Salazar isn’t as bad as they say he is.”
“What? Of course he is. He wants Hogwarts to be full of pure bloods.” I said, grinding my teeth. And that’s what I want too, I thought.
“He has a kind soul.” And she left it at that.
I stood up, leaving her to sleep. “I will find her,” I whispered.
The nurse went back into the room as I slipped out. I did not make eye contact with her but I saw her eyes on me.
I crept out of the mansion, past the many maids and nurses and down the stone steps. The cold air was shocking coming from that warm house. The snow lay on the hard ground like a white blanket, but it no longer glittered since the sky was covered in grey.
The bare trees stood naked and drooping, their branches sticking out like lost souls, bony wings of an angel.
A sudden gust of wind broke out, hitting me unexpectedly, freezing my face and hands.
Oh, how I hated winter.
I remembered a time when I was small and the snow fell outside. I looked out of the frosted window and the white grounds, and begged mother to let me play outside. She did not allow it, so latter on when she was decorating the Christmas tree, I stuck out without wrapping up warm.
The cold air hit me hard, but I was so desperate to play in the snow that I did not care. I didn’t think about my footprints and that mother was bound to see them. But what I did do was cross the grounds to a place you could not see from any window.
I played in that corner, surrounded by dead flowers and bushes, bare trees hanging over my head, braches like bony hands reaching out to grab me.
I started to shiver, my hands and legs were numb, I could not feel a thing. My head was sore with the cold and I wanted to go in, but I was so wet, mother would notice in an instant.
“Blaxton,” I heard mother’s angry but worried voice, making me jump and turn around.
“Blaxton, I know you are out in the garden, come back here right away.”
“Mother,” I called, “Mama, I’m cold.” I said, rather pathetically.
First there was silence, and then I heard the crunch of footsteps coming across the grounds.
I saw my mothers face peek around a bush, and when she saw me there, shivering and dripping wet, her face softened.
“Come here sweetheart, lets get you dry and warm before daddy gets home.” I ran towards her and she picked me up, and held me close.
She was right, I did need to get dry before father got home, he would be as angry as the devil.
I was ill after that. That is why I hate the snow and winter.
I apparated after recalling that dark memory, brought back by the sad trees like dropping angels.
I arrived in a small town, the houses squashed close together, smoke rising from the chimneys and families gathered around shining Christmas trees. I gazed in disgust at the families through the frosted windows. How could they look so happy in this sorrowful season?
I knew one man would not.
I walked briskly down the street, over the sheet of white, slipping slightly on deadly ice. Another reason for hating winter so much.
My breath was visible in front of me, shimmering in a cloud of steam. I breathed into my hands to warm them, but my breath, too, was cold. I couldn’t remember exactly where his house was, but I would know it when I saw it.
The grey sky was becoming black as the cruel night began. The darkness cast sinister shadows over the world and darkened the hearts of anyone who happened to be wondering outside in the bitter cold. The wind broke out again, whipping me against the face.
Listen to the screaming of the wind,
I thought, the shouts of a storm.
I must find shelter.
The rain was now beginning to pour from the darkening sky, pounding off my dark, scraggily hair, and running down my face like the tears of grief.
The sky was weeping.
My eyes, the colour of sorrow, surveyed the street, and rested upon a small house in the corner, dark and alone. It was smaller than all the rest, and was the only one that didn’t have a family, smiles shining in their eyes, surrounding a Christmas tree in the bright light of a fire. No, this house had not a single light shining, and if you did not know the man himself, you would think the house had not been lived in for years.
The weeds grew tall and wild in the tiny garden, and there was not a trace of a path. A lonely bench sat under a cracked window, a dead rose upon the broken seat.
I walked up to the rusty gate hanging on it’s hinges and pushed. It squeaked eerily as it opened, a howl of cold hearts in this dark night.
I had trouble fighting my way through the tangle of thorn bushes and weeds, but I eventually got to the front door, and, without knocking, I entered.
It was just as dark inside than it was out. I saw the silhouettes of paintings hanging on the wallpapered walls. Dark faces started at me, shadows in their eyes. Eyes that seemed to follow me.
I reached the end of the hallway and stopped outside a door.
I knew he would be here.
I turned the handle and opened it, welcomed by, yet again, more darkness. Only a single candle shone in the corner, the flame dancing.
The silhouette of a man sat hunched at the table met my eyes, and he slowly turned at the sound of my footsteps. The flame reflected of his dark eyes, and down one side of his pointed face. His hair was sleeked back, and the colour of snow, matching his pale face.
He had a rather snake like air about him. Maybe it was for the fact that he could speak to the creatures themselves.
“Salazar,” I said.
His dark eyes met with my own, searching for answers.
“Blaxton,” he breathed. “What do I owe the pleasure of your visit this time at night. And in winter too.” He said, almost hissing.
“Ravenclaw told me you knew where she was.” I informed him.
His eyes filled with something I hadn’t anticipated... Disappointment? “Oh,” he whispered, “Well, that is correct.” he said this a little louder, but still in hushed tones.
I waited for him to say more, but when he did not, I spoke up.
“She respects you, you know? Just like me. Of course, I couldn’t let her see that, she would not trust me.”
“You’re a coward.” he said bluntly, but harsh.
That caught me off guard. “What do you mean?” I asked, offended. “I do your bidding, I am loyal to you. I fight your battles. If anyone is a coward, it is you.”
“Now, lets not start a fight,” Salazar hissed. “You are afraid of what people may think if you respect me, you may fight my battles, but you do not fight your own. You are terrified of death. Does that not sound like a coward to you.”
My anger bubbled up, but I held it back. I wanted him to help me.
“So what if I’m a coward. Will you help me? Please?”
Salazar considered me, his eyes sweeping from my feet, to my waist, to my chest, and finally, to my eyes.
It was a long, and painful silence before he answered.
It was a slight nod of the head first, and then, “What will you give in return?”
I should have known.
I thought about this for a moment, and then said, “Ravenclaw’s diadem.”
Salazar was taken aback by this, “You have it? But I thought Rowena never let it out of her sight”
I shook my head slowly, “I will have it,” was all I replied.
“Very well,” Salazar murmured, “I shall help you.”
He flicked his wand and a chair slid out from under the table. “Take a seat,” he said, and I did.
Salazar stood up and made his way over to the cupboards and retrieved two bottles and two glasses.
“Butterbeer? Fire Whiskey?” he asked me, gesturing to the bottles.
“Butterbeer please. Just a small glass.” I replied.
He poured two glasses of butterbeer and brought them to the table, handing one to me.
He took a sip before he spoke, and when he did, his voice was louder than it had been before. “She came to me before she left, asking where she could run to. I was told not to tell anyone, but, as you know, I do not keep my promises. I told her to go to Albania, it was far enough away, they would never think to look there.” He stopped for a moment and gazed out the blackened window.
“But where about did she go?” I asked, rather impatient.
“A forest, I can‘t remember the name. A rather lonely place, well out of her mother’s reach. She will be safe there. For now. I can show you on a map where, or arrange a portkey if you like.”
“A portkey, really? Thank you, thank you, thank you.” I looked him straight in the eye to see if he was telling the truth. A smile did not flicker on the cold man’s face.
“Of course, that is was I did for her.” he smiled slightly, “If I get one other reward.”
“What is it that you want?” I asked coldly.
He moved in close, his cold breath in my ear and the stench of blood in my nose.
“Her love,” he whispered.
“Her love,” I repeated. But, I couldn’t give her up. She had never returned my love, but I was sure I would win her over one day.
“I know she has always had feelings for me, no matter how small. I’m sure, that when you bring her back, you can quite easily give her up.”
I nodded, “Very well,” I said. I would do anything to bring her back.
Salazar’s thin lips curled into a smile, and he said, “Good good.”
He left the room to arrange the portkey, and I was left alone. I did not know what to feel. Happy? Happy that I could bring her back? Regret? Loss of loosing her?
He returned ten or so minutes later with a dirty fire whiskey bottle.
“Here,” he said, handing me the bottle, “It will be activated in thirty seconds. When you return I want all that you promised.”
I had time to nod before the light started to flash. I saw his face for the last time. His white hair, his black eyes, his hateful sneer.
And then the familiar sensation of being jerked forward by an invisible hook and my feet leaving the ground took over me and I was speeding forward in a howl of wind.
Then suddenly my feet hit hard ground and my surroundings came into focus. Tall trees towered above me, and the first light of day was seeping through the braches and into this small clearing I was standing in. The snow here was thin and crisp, more like frost. Frozen leaves lay pressed under the white sheet, hard from the biting cold.
I thought, where to now?
The forest seemed huge, but after walking a mile or so, it started to thin out.
She’s clever, she would go to where the forest is deepest.
So, I set off back the way I came, to that little clearing, and even further. I walked for two or so hours, I knew I would be getting near.
The chilled air brushed against my face, and blew through my hair. The trees above we swayed and a single frosted leaf floated down from the sky and landing in my outstretched palm. I put my thumb in my mouth warming it, and placed it on the frozen leaf. The moment it touched the frost, it melted away until I was left with a leaf.
And then it burned.
She was near.
I always did that test to find out if magic was near. And it never failed to work.
I ran after that, blundering through the forest, over fallen braches, frost, crispy leaves and icy streams.
And then I saw her.
Black curls tumbled down her small back and she turned at the sound of me coming. A hidden sense of panic was covered by a veil of calmness. She seemed to be doing something she did not want me to see, but covered it up quickly. She stood beside a hollow tree, one petite hand rested on the rough bark. That hand should not have been rested there, but running through my hair, on my bare chest.
As her sapphire eyes locked with my own, she recognised me at once.
“Helena,” I whispered, as she did the same but to me. I ran towards her, relief making me forget her hatred for me.
“Helena, thank God I found you. Your mother, she’s dieing. You must come back with me, and see her one last time. Please, I worried about you, I would not rest until I found you.”
“Who told you where I was?” she snapped.
“I - I can not say.” I said, “But, please come back with me.”
“I will not,” she said, and turned to leave, but I grabbed her small wrist and forced her to face me.
“You will come with me.” I yelled, gazing into those beautiful sparkling eyes. I ran the back of my hand gently down her soft, rosy cheek but she pulled away, anger in her eye.
“Just leave Baron,” she commanded coldly, “I do not want to see you again.” she had turned her back to me again, and spoke to the hollow tree, the crispy leaves, the grey sky, anywhere but my face.
“Helena, if you do not come back with, then your mother will die alone, with only her servants and nurses to company her. You must come, my lady.” My anger was rising fast now, my voice was becoming hard and cold.
“I will not,” she said again, and started to walk through the wood, her long, midnight blue gown sweeping the forest floor.
“Helena,” my voice was a shout, a yell this time, that stopped her in her tracks. “Helena,” I said again, this time a whisper, “Please.”
She turned to face me, a hard look in her eyes. She held out her hand and walked towards me, and when she was only inches away, touched my chest with the tip of her fingers.
“No,” she told me.
Her eyes flung open and she turned, but again, I grabbed her by the wrists and pulled her towards me.
Our lips met, and in those few seconds that we kissed, it was the best moments of my life. The feel of her lips on my own was electrifying, riveting, too good to be true. I was holding her, strong hands and small hips.
She tried to pull away, but I held her tight. Her lips parted from my own, but I took them back, pressing myself against her. I felt her trying to fight, I knew she was not enjoying it, she wanted to leave. She hated me.
I was furious at her refusal, jealous of her freedom, angered by her rejection that I took out my dagger and placed it over her heart.
I tried to kiss her one more time, but she had felt what was placed on her chest and fought even harder. I could take no more. I drew my hand back slightly, and then into her flesh.
I had stabbed her.
She made a noise, it could have been a scream, a call for help, I did not know, but I felt her body become limp, and caught her as she fell. Lowering her to the ground I placed her on the frosted forest floor and laid her hands together over her bloodstained chest. Her dark curls fanned out behind her, and her eyes were closed. I would have thought she was sleeping were it not for her pale face and blood covered cloak.
God, what had I done?
“No,” I sobbed, “NO!” My voice came out as a call for help, a strangled shout of sorrow, grief and regret. I collapsed to my knees and wept. The tears ran down my face, falling to the ground and vanishing as it hit the frost.
I put my head back and screamed, I screamed for forgiveness, for death, for darkness. The bloody dagger dropped from my shaking hand, and fell in silence to the ground.
“NO, NO, NO!” I yelled. “NO!” I tore at my hair, put my face in my bloody hands. Why did I do that? Why, why, why? My heart was filled with regret. I would never forgive myself. Never in a million years.
My breathing was hard, my sobs loud, but I managed to regain myself for a moment or two and saw what I had done. Overcome with remorse I took the same dagger dripping in the love of my life’s blood, and put it to my own chest.
I would kill myself.
That kiss would be my last happy memory.
My only happy memory.
I could still feel the touch of her warm lips on my own, the feel of her soft, smooth skin. I wanted her. I needed her.
God, what had I done?
I took the dagger back slightly, but somthing hit me from behind. A sharp pain pircing into my flesh. I turned my head to see a man, his snake like eyes shooting daggers of ice into my own.
This was the end. The very end. The last chapter in your favourite book, the very last page. I collapsed to the cold, hard ground and fell onto my back, gazing up at the grey, bleak sky. I was leaving this harsh, dismal world.
I looked around and realised that this was the most beautiful place I had ever been. What a wonderful place to die.
I was lying in the heart of darkness, surrounded by towering, bare trees. Their leaves lay underneath my heavy body, hardened from the harsh cold of winter. The sky was grey, but in a way, that was the meaning of beauty. There was colour even in the darkest of places, beauty even in the saddest of places. That was what was amazing about this world. It may be harsh, cruel, dark and forbidding. But places like this lonely forest is all you needed to see before you realise what a wonderful world this actually is.
I had taken it for granted.
I had taken everything for granted. My house, my status, my money, her.
I would now die knowing that I was not loved, but I did love. I loved her and this cruel but beautiful world.
I got that kiss, that amazing kiss. But little did I know that my first kiss, would also be my last...
And then all of a sudden a tumble of thoughts and memories hit me. I remembered my mother’s kind face, my father’s fuming, outraged one. I remember seeing Helena for the first time in Hogwarts. I knew who she was of course, she was the daughter of one of the founders! Her name was called for the sorting ceremony and I saw as she strode to the stool to get the hat placed upon her long, dark curls. Her eyes told everyone around her that she was confident, that she knew what house she would be placed in, and sure enough the hat screamed “RAVENCLAW!”
That was the moment I fell in love with her.
But I knew not to mess with her.
The next memory was the first time I spoke to her. Her voice was cold, hard, and I knew she did not like me, did not think of me with any importance. But that did not shatter my love.
Memory after memory. It seemed like I relived my whole life, but it only took seconds. The last one was the kiss. That sweet moment I would always remember, even in the afterlife. But what happens when you leave this world? I hope I can see her one more time.
And this means I will not have to give Slytherin the diadem. I would not have to give him her. Speaking of the diadem, where was it? And what if the ministry people did come knocking? What if they hurt Amara? And what of Rowena? She would never see her daughter nor her diadem again. Will die today? Tomorrow? Will she ever know what happened to her beloved daughter?
Questions, questions, questions. Why could I not let my mind rest? That is what I wanted. But life was leaving me. Fast. I could not relax in this state. There was so many things I wish I had done, so many broken promises, so many regrets.
I never got her to return my love. I could not die now!
But just think of Helena, I told myself, think of her as an angel. A beautiful angel. But she had been murdered. I am a murder. She would not be a glowing heavenly being full of beauty. But she would be a drooping angel like those bare, dieing trees.
And I would not see her in heaven, for I would go to hell.
This was it. The moment you would read those last two words on the final page. The finish, the finale, the closing words.
And I would never forget that dropping angel, that, in my eyes, was filled with beauty.
I would forever be known as the Bloody Barron, who would haunt the walls of Hogwarts along with The Grey Lady, Helena Ravenclaw.
A/N Thank you so much for reading this and I really hope you enjoyed it! Please take your time to leave a review in that grey box at the bottom :D
And I know he actually killed himself, but you are not allowed to show it here, so I made him be killed.
As I said in the summary this waswritten for STG Sagmag's First Kiss Challenge. Any lines that you recognise are J.K. Rowling’s, and are from Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows pages 495 and 496 where Harry is talking to Helena and that is where I got a lot of my information from. Also, I found out a lot on Harry Potter wiki.
I would have loved to make this into a short story, but in the rules it said one-shots only, so it’s a little rushed, but I’m still happy with it :D
~ Eilidh :)