Chapter 1 : The Golden Couple
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The Black mansion, home to Bellatrix, Andromeda, and Narcissa, had been especially decorated for the occasion. Fairy lights glittered from the garden outside, and dazzling chandeliers lit the expansive ballrooms indoors. A staff of two dozen butlers had been hired to attend to the guests, while a team of house elves toiled away from inside the kitchen.
The ceremony had just been concluded and the reception was now underway. From beside my parents, I watched as Bella and Rudolphus cut their wedding cake. Bella looked beautiful. Her dark hair was drawn up in an elegant twist, revealing her high cheekbones. She couldn’t stop smiling, and it was easy to see why. She and Rudolphus made the perfect pair; Slytherin purebloods, and Hogwarts sweethearts. The kind of match that every pureblood parent hopes their child will make. The new Mr. and Mrs. Lestrange were the social highlight of the season.
Although I hadn’t been friends with Bella while she was at Hogwarts, my parents were close friends with the Blacks. In fact, they were good friends with a number of pureblood families. My father, a Wizengamot member and prominent attorney, had been in Slytherin during his time at Hogwarts, while my mother, originally a Selwyn, had been in Ravenclaw. As a Ravenclaw myself, I felt a bit out of place tonight among so many Slytherins. Although I recognized a number of my classmates, I had never spent any significant amount of time with them, apart from class or the standard pureblood gatherings I attended with my parents. So I stuck close to my mother’s side, politely chatting with friends of my parents.
Soon enough, the party was in full swing. Oddly, my mother seemed to have forgotten that I was still under 17; she had been plying me with glasses chardonnay throughout the night whenever she periodically “checked” on me. I was beginning to suspect that she wasn’t actually concerned with my well being, just with the social connections I was making.
“Darling, you simply have to meet Lucius Malfoy. Did you know that we used to own an estate very close to the Malfoy manor when you were very young? We were practically neighbors. You and Lucius knew each other when you were in diapers. His mother and I have always thought that you would be perfect for one other.”
Evidently, my mother had had a few glasses of wine of her own. Although Lucius and I were not acquainted, mainly because I was in Ravenclaw, while he was a Slytherin, I had easily discerned what type of boy he was. A Hogwarts, Lucius was known as a notorious player, something I had repeatedly told my mother every time she offered to floo Mrs. Malfoy to arrange a date between Lucius and I. For some reason, this less than ideal characteristic about Lucius always escaped her.
“Aurelia!” my mother called to a blond woman who was chatting to a group nearby. Aurelia Malfoy turned and beamed. “Charlotte, it’s been too long!” she gushed as they embraced. “You know, I was just telling Lucius to look out for Jenevieve.” “My how beautiful you’ve grown up to be!” she said after an appraising once-over. Apparently I passed the test for “appropriate purebloods my son may date,” because in the next moment, she called for Lucius to come over.
“You need to go spend some time with kids your age,” she winked.
Lucius presently appeared. His blond hair was expertly slicked back and his dress robes were tailored to perfection. I’ll admit, although arrogant blondes had never been my type, Lucius looked extremely handsome tonight.
“Lucius, this is my good friend Charlotte Fawley, and her daughter Jenevieve,” Mrs. Malfoy said to her son.
“Mrs. Fawley, how lovely to meet you,” Lucius said, suavely kissing my mothers hand. My mother giggled in response, clearly taken with him already. I made a mental note to monitor her wine intake in the future.
“And Jenevieve, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, he said, kissing my hand as well. I could barely detect it, but it was still there: Lucius’ smile contained a subtle smirk. He was an expert at pleasing parents and he knew it. Somehow no one but me noticed his smirk, nor the fact that his eyes lingered a second too long on my exposed chest.
“Why don’t you kids go have some fun and let two old friends catch up,” my mother said, shooing us away.
“Nice dress,” Lucius said, fully smirking now that we had moved away from our mothers. I frowned in response, wishing my mother had let me wear something more modest. My gown for the night, while stunning, bordered on risqué. My mother had the unfortunate talent of picking out gowns that maintained a perfect balance between tasteful and revealing. Her newest purchase, a flowing gown of black silk, had a deep “v” in the front, and was nearly backless. Luckily, I had spelled the scant upper portion of the dress securely in place.
“How about a shot?” Lucius proposed.
“I think I’m going to need one.” I quipped.
“Worried about hanging out with a big bad Slytherin?”
“Worried you’re not witty enough for a Ravenclaw?”
“Let’s head to the bar, Fawley,” Lucius laughed, offering his arm for me to take.