Chapter 16 : Chapter Fifteen
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1th July 1994
The room only contained a window, and a bed in which laid a young woman on her stomach, her eyes moving swiftly across the page of a large textbook. On the floor beside the bed was an open trunk, it contents all over the room. The only things that were slightly organized were her books all which lay in a corner and on top of them all lied a broomstick. If her cousin Selina ever laid eyes on the room she would probably have been scandalized and begun berating Katherine for living in such a dirty space.
Katherine wiped the sweat that glazed her forehead cursing herself for having chosen a room that got direct sunlight during the afternoon hours only to realize that this was the cheapest room the Leaky Cauldron had to offer, it was either this or Egil’s abandoned house in the Muggle neighborhood.
She shuddered at the thought of the abandoned house looking up from her book her eyes staring at small spot on the wooden walls.
The corset was on the concrete, Katherine closed her eyes. The blade at her throat as their leader threatened her. She was sobbing; all she wanted was to go home back to her Uncle Egil. She wanted to read books with him play with her dollhouse, have him reassure her everything would be alright.
“Enough, back to the correct way to brew a Felix Felicis” she whispered picking up her book again. Her eyes had begun to sting; Katherine wiped them quickly before any tears could surface. The past two weeks of living on her own had gone as she expected, she was alone except for Pierre’s daily visit, as soon as she turned down his offer to stay with him he took upon himself to visit her as often as possible. Katherine put down her book from outside the door came a soft knock. Pushing herself off her bed Katherine began to pick up move some of the items out of the way with her feet as she tried to make her hair look presentable. “Coming!”she called.
“I was expecting you later” she said as she opened the door expecting to find herself looking with a man in lime green robes, instead she found herself facing a large blonde in dark blue robes. Katherine frowned shutting the door with out as much as a second glance, before the door could shut itself Thorfinn Rowle pushed it open. “What the hell are you doing here?” she said as took a look around the room. “Come to do charity” she added plopping herself down on her bed.
“No, I came to speak with you” he said finally pulling his eyes away from the mess facing Katherine. “Selina has informed you’ve been here since the end of term.”
“Yeah, she came here a couple times, but I kicked her out” answered Katherine casually putting her arms across her chest “still doesn’t explain your sudden need to be fatherly.”
“I am your father, and I want you to come back to the estate” he said in a forced tone. Surely Selina had put him up to this, it only made Katherine’s blood rise at the thought that he would actually believe she’d go back to the estate.
She stood up clenching her jaw “You. Are. Not my father!” her voice began to rise “so don’t act like it!” Katherine scoffed as she saw her father’s lack of a reaction “really you’re not even going to fucking react?”
The room for moment was quiet except for the sounds of their breathing until Thorfinn spoke in what seemed to be a whisper “you’re still upset about Christmas.” Katherine balled her fist but kept quiet, as he went on in his usually condescending tone “of course, still looking through your mother’s memories aren’t you?”
She held up her head defiant. Katherine watched a small smile appear upon his lips “ah yes, Egil was smart, wasn’t he? Even after death he continues to manipulate my own daughter.”
“I am not-”
“YES YOU ARE YOU UNGRATEFUL PARASITE!” he spat. Katherine stared trying not to open her mouth, for the first time in years her father had raised his voice, his face red as he went on. “I don’t regret what happened to that whore! She went after me, and then left me to raise you, a worthless child!” He held his wand his knuckles white as he flicked it at her items making the arrange themselves. “Now you’ll come back home and learn how to behave.”
Katherine caught her Potions textbook in the air before it could fly into her trunk “I am not going back!” she yelled wrestling her book but losing as the book flew form her arms almost hitting Thorfinn in the face.
“You’re under aged” he said smugly as her trunk shut itself. “And you live under my roof-”
“If it’s because I’ve using your gold-” she began desperately pulling out a small bag from under her pillow, Katherine dumped its contents on the floor “take it!” He looked down at the small mountain of Galleons uninterested. “But I refuse to live with a cold-hearted monster like you!” Her eyes were watery as she pulled on his robe trying to lead him to the door. “Leave or I start screaming!”
He pulled himself away from Katherine and grabbed her arm “shut up and come home” he whispered. Immediately she stopped sobbing she looked at her father with watery eyes, there was a dark glint in his eye as he squeezed her arm. “Pick up the gold and put some decent robes on-”
“Katherine!” called a cheerful voice as it knocked on the door. “I managed to dump my work on one of the Chief Healers, which means I’m free for the rest of the day” Katherine closed her eyes, if Thorfinn opened the door she didn’t want to see what would happen next.
She felt her father release her and then came the creaking sound of the door.
Katherine opened her eyes turning to face Thorfinn and Pierre. Her father had his back towards while Pierre stood at the doorframe dressed in lime green robes. His eyes flickered to her for a moment until they settled on Thorifnn once again. “Thorfinn” he said icily as he walked in “well I can’t really say this is a pleasant surprise.”
Katherine felt chills down her spine as Pierre spoke, she was used to her father’s icy tone but her godfather was a different story. He was kind and gentle usually reminding her of Egil but as soon as his eyes found themselves with the sight of Thorfinn his demeanor had completely changed.
“I’d say the same thing about you Delacroix” said Thorfinn twirling his wand as Pierre pulled Katherine into a quick hug.
“Go, wait outside” he whispered as he ushered Katherine towards the door. She shook her head unable to speak “go Katherine, it’ll just be a moment.”
Nodding she watched her godfather shut the door, just seconds after the door was shut she could faintly hear the sounds of what seemed to be shouting. Katherine put her ear to the door hoping to catch at least a snippet of their conversation.
“stay out of this Delacroix!”
“no….she’s as good as my daughter”
“useless…it happened a long time ago….she needs to put it behind”
“never been father material….selfish…..murderer…”
Katherine pulled herself away from the door. The last word… murderer … What could Pierre be talking about?
“Egil” she whispered. Who else could it be? She turned the doorknob and pulled on the door, despite her efforts the door remained in place.
“I deserve to know what’s going on!” she shouted her voice bouncing off the walls. “I refuse to be kept in the dark!” She continued hammering the door, if her father was in any way involved with Egil’s passing she had a right to know. He was her father, not Thorfinn.
“OI! PIERRE!” she shouted now kicking the door, in the hallway a couple of curious kids muttered as they pointed in her direction. “GODDAMMIT I HAVE A FUCKING RIGHT TO KNOW!”
She stumbled back as the door flew open, Thorfinn walked past her his face scarlet. The children at the end of the hall ran back into their room as soon as the caught sight of the large man. Katherine took a couple cautious steps towards the room, but before she could take a look inside Pierre walked out pointing his wand to a small gash on his cheek.
“It’s alright” Pierre said as if he had just received a pleasant visit from a neighbor. His gash disappeared, he then pocketed his wand and beckoned Katherine to follow him down the hall. Katherine walked a few steps behind him as they went down the stairs and into the pub. Where he stopped and turned grabbing her by the shoulders. “Are you alright?” he asked, she nodded the questions still spinning in her head.
“You called him a murderer” she whispered as Pierre looked around, probably making Thorfinn was nowhere nearby.
“Not now” he whispered releasing her shoulders “go get your things; I’ll explain when we get to my flat.”
She managed to remain upright, Katherine always hated side-along apparition the very thought of it made her nauseous. They stood outside a wooden door in the middle of ornamented hallway; Pierre tapped his wand against the knob before opening the door. Her eyes wandered towards the blue and gold wallpaper before she followed him inside.
“You can drop your trunk there, when Antoine gets home I’ll see how we will accommodate you” said the Frenchmen as Katherine looked around. The white walls were covered in pictures, in some there was a woman with frizzy brown hair holding a small brown haired boy, but she was missing from most of them.
In other there was a man with ash colored hair, his elegant features lit up as he pulled a woman into the frame. “Katherine.”
She snapped out of her daze, and watched as Pierre walked out of the kitchen with a bottle in his hand. His brow were knit together as if he was having an internal debate, she walked towards him as he took a seat on the dark couch.
She took the butterbeer from his hand. “You called him a murderer” she said placing the bottle on her lap. He sighed and nodded slowly.
“I suppose I should explain myself” he whispered his eyes on the fireplace a few feet away from them the orange flames flickered as he went on licking his lips. “Your father, about fourteen years ago, was involved with the wrong crowd so to speak.”
“That still doesn’t explain it Pierre” she responded emphasizing his name her grip tight on the bottle. “He…he was involved in Egil’s murder wasn’t he?!”
“No” he said firmly. For a moment she felt relief, mingled with resentment. If Thorfinn wasn’t involved in Egil’s murder, who was?
“Then?” she spat standing her fist clenched “what the hell was it-”
“Who did he murder? What kind of people was he involved with?”
“Egil always suspected Thorfinn was involved with Death Eaters” said Pierre taking her hand as she sat down again. She stared slightly confused; she shook her head before speaking.
“Death Eaters were You-Know-Who’s followers” she said, he nodded. “But if Uncle Egil knew he was in with them why didn’t he arrest him?”
“Egil never had any proof” answered Pierre taking her bottle of Butterbeer and opening it. “Here, it’ll get hot” he smiled kindly at her, she noticed the wrinkle surrounding his eyes and they he suddenly looked defeated.
Katherine took the bottle from him; perhaps they could continue the conversation later. “Is that Antoine in the pictures?” she asked hoping to steer the conversation away from her father. Pierre took a glance at the wall behind her before nodding.
“Yes that’s Antoine” he smiled. “He’s supposed to arrive tonight, I’m pretty you two will get along great.” He stood up from the couch, walked past the kitchen and into the hallway. “Katherine, come there’s something I’d like to show you.”
She downed her butterbeer before following him into the hallway. “First door to your right” he called. Katherine followed his voice into a large room; it contained a desk and a couple tables that held various bottle and glasses. Pierre stood behind the desk holding up a small cardboard box, he laid it on the desk. “This was what I wanted to speak to you about today” he said as she walked over to the box pulling off the top. “There are pictures of Elizabeth and Fabian in there, I think there are even some of Molly” he said when she looked up he added. “Fabian and Gideon’s older sister.”
Katherine picked up a picture, a sandy haired young man held a red haired boy. Next to him was his twin who had each of his arms wrapped around a different woman. To his left was Elizabeth who smiled up at her, to his right stood a short woman with vibrant read hair and kind brown eyes. “It’s been years since I’ve seen Molly, but I’ve ran into her husband Arthur from time to time” he said fondly as she picked up another picture.
It was Molly in between Fabian and Gideon both of them held a red haired boy each. The wheels turned in Katherine head; she couldn’t possibly have been so thick. Pierre went on as she turned the picture. June 1978
“You know Egil and Arthur got along pretty well, in fact I think Egil may have given him a couple of snow globes from his collection-“
“She’s a Weasley” said Katherine looking up at Pierre her blue scanning his face. He nodded chuckling.
“Yes” he smiled clearly amused as Katherine dropped the picture back in the box. “You know come to think of it she hasn’t seen you since you were a year old” he picked up the picture she dropped “we’ll go see her this weekend, she’ll be happy to see you again.”
Katherine took a shaky breath as she tried to keep herself from throwing the box at Pierre. He was again keeping information from her, when was he going to get his through his thick skull that she wasn’t a child! Why didn’t he let her know before?! She looked up at him as he went through the pictures pointing out the ones he liked best. But before she could speak Katherine decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe Pierre like Egil, was trying to protect her or perhaps it slipped his mind.
“Bull” she thought as he handed her the box.
“I’ll get your trunk, you’ll sleep in Antoine’s room” he said walking out the room, Katherine held up the heavy box, in the back of her mind was the frozen image of her sobbing mother.
She dropped the box immediately leaving the room. Katherine wanted nothing to do with Elizabeth, but to visit the Weasley residence meant she’d get a glimpse of George and the simple thought was enough to make her smile.
A/N: Thank you to those of you who have stuck with this story so far, I love you all