Chapter image perfection by Lake @ TDA!
"Well, that's all for today, Ms. Greengrass," Slughorn says brightly, watching me tidy up the last of the Rhetoric Rhubarb leafs. "I must say, this should seem like a fairly tame detention, compared to that which your young friends Nott and O'Halloran are being put through." He chuckles, his large belly rolling.
I smile tightly. While I've been chopping potions ingredients and helping Slughorn mark essays, poor Pyxis and Taurus have been accompanying Hagrid into the Forbidden Forest. When I asked them about what they do, they just shudder and refuse to answer, although both have developed a keen, slightly shell-shocked tendency to chatter about poisonous moss and vengeful Bowtruckles.
"Thank you, Professor," I reply, trying not to look too thrilled that my detention is over. Of the many detentions I've had over the past two weeks, this has been the longest and most boring. In fact, I nearly envy Pyxis and Taurus: at least they're out doing something mildly exciting.
"Oh, and Ms. Greengrass? I'd love if you could attend my Christmas soiree," Slughorn calls after me. I spin in my tracks to look back at him. "It'll just be a small group, some old friends, and some select students, of course." He winks, and his great walrus moustache bobs up and down. "Not a bad way to meet prominent people from a variety of different fields. Have you considered your future at all, Ms. Greengrass?"
I glance over at Slughorn's stand with the picture of his former students waving. I can pick out the young Newt Scamander, an author that Daphne has raved about, and the old Minister of Magic before Cornelius Fudge squinting thought his monacle next to a slightly younger Slughorn.
"I'm keeping my options open," I inform Slughorn, deciding not to confide that I'll most likely be a Death Eater like my father, that my future was decided for me when I was conceived, that my fate is my birthright. "And I'd love to attend your party, Professor."
"Excellent!" Slughorn cries, clapping his meat-like hands together. "I shall owl you the invitation, Ms. Greengrass."
"Goodnight, Professor," I reply politely, and once I am out of his sight line I bolt for the stairs, towards the Hogwarts kitchens, where I've agreed to meet Terry tonight. Since Terry thinks Michael Corner will be suspicious if he changes the password to the secret room again, and I don't think we can weasel out of being caught a second time, we've been meeting in a variety of obscure locations.
Since the first Muggle Studies class, I've attended a couple more with Terry. Professor Burbage is constantly kind and welcoming, but the lessons have become more and more intense. We're currently learning about the genocide in Rwanda, in which one warring ethnic group essentially annihilated the unhappy minority. The walls of my dreams have been spattered with blood.
I've also picked up a strange habit of staking out the Gryffindor common room: in fact, the Fat Lady portrait which guards it has become quite fed up with me and refuses to acknowledge me whenever I approach. Since overhearing my father's plans for attacking the Weasley family, I've been desperate for a chance to speak with Ginny, though I'm not quite sure what I'd tell her.
The desperation in my father's voice, always so strong, always so sure, was dreadfully apparent. In order to remain in the Dark Lord's good graces, in order to protect our family and himself, he must be successful in pleasing his master. But at what cost?
I wish I'd never heard that conversation. I truly do. I never wanted this incredible burden of being trapped between right and wrong, in a mind where those two things are entwined and polarized at the same time. There is no good and evil anymore.
Even on the few occasions when I’ve seen Ginny, I stay hidden, uncertain of what to say to her. What if I accidentally put the wrong information into her hands, telling the daughter of suspected Order of the Phoenix members that my own father is a Death Eater? What if I unwillingly hand my own father a one-way pass to Azkaban?
Who could forgive me that?
These thoughts, tumbling in my mind, are soothed when in the presence of Terry Boot. His kindness, his goodness, his mischievous grin are antidotes for the poison spreading inside me. Yet I cannot share my fears with him, and that, perhaps, is the great divide in our relationship.
I shrug these thoughts aside as I crawl into the kitchens and spy him there, perched beside a great wooden table, helping a house elf peel potatoes. The worries disappear like a shrug from my shoulders as he spots me and sets down his instruments, striding towards me and grabbing me around the waist.
"I missed you, mister," I inform him, and throwing my arms around his neck and let him spin me around until we are both rather dizzy, and unable to concentrate on anything besides the fact.
"What's it like to be fifteen?" Amaris asks me enviously as we walk together from Transfiguration. Professor McGonagall has had a candid talk with our class about future years at Hogwarts, and even divulged how the current sixth years are struggling with learning how to Apparate.
"I dearly hope that you will begin preparing yourselves now," she had told us sternly, "so that when the time comes and you are of age you will be able to pick up Apparition with grace and determination. The library has a large collection centered around Apparition."
"It's true that I'll come of age before you lot," I point out now, smugly thinking of lording my magical abilities over Amaris, Pyxis and Phin, if only for a few months.
"And you and Taurus will be able to drink legally before the rest of us," Pyxis adds bitterly.
"Not that age has ever stopped you," Amaris laughs, and Pyxis, who spikes his pumpkin juice every dinner and needs to smoke his Muggle drugs before he can fall asleep, blushes.
Since my birthday, Amaris has been rather giggly and excitable, more than usual. I dearly hope this change has nothing to do with Wendell Skin, since she hasn't confided in me about him yet and I don't particularly want to know.
"Anyway, I've got to go," I add, checking my watch. Since Michael Corner has Double Arithmancy this afternoon, Terry has ascertained that we will be safe to hang out in the secret room for a couple hours. Besides, he's promised to read over my Potions essay for me, and I've promised to sample the Cheering Potion he's been perfecting.
"Where are you always running off to?" Pyxis frowns. "Yesterday you were gone from Charms to dinner, and the day before all evening. I know you had detention, but not that late. You weren't in the library, or were you hiding out from me? I really needed you, Tor, to help me with Transfiguration."
"I'm not your personal tutor," I snap at him. "And, well I've been studying a lot lately, that's all. I really want to get ahead so I can take it easy over Christmas."
But even Amaris is coming out of her own self-absorbed glee to look at me curiously. "Since when have you ever cared about getting ahead, Tor? You're one of the most last-minute, laziest students I know."
"Maybe I've changed," I say coldly.
Thankfully, Taurus comes to my rescue, his deep voice strong and steady. "I totally understand where Tori’s coming from, I've been cracking down this year as well since it's our last one before O.W.Ls. Plus, we've been studying together quite a lot as well, where you lot can't distract us with your antics."
"Not to mention detentions," I add. "Honestly, I'd think you of all people would understand since we're all in the same boat."
Pyxis shudders. "Man-sized jack rabbits..."
"They will eternally haunt my nightmares," Taurus confirms, looking a bit pale.
Relieved, I look up at Taurus, who gives me a half-smile as if to say he understands.
"I'll talk with you guys later," I inform them, and sprint up to the secret room, hardly daring to look behind me to see if they're talking about me. Sometimes my friends are just too attentive for anyone's good.
I stop to catch my breath in the corridor, leaning against the wall across from the portrait of Anne.
"Looking a little flustered, love," she says to me mildly. I grimace, panting.
"I know, I've been running again. And yes, women were never flustered in your day. I've heard."
She looks amused. "Not never flustered, just never seen to feel any weakness or frailty. How are your studies going, then?"
"Oh, fine," I say, catching my breath. "Has Terry been up, yet?"
"Not that I have noticed," Anne says imperiously, running a dainty, lace-cuffed hand over her coiffed dark hair. She is very lovely, but her eyes are shifty and sharp, as is apparent from the great skill of her painting. Her face is very thin. "Then again, I have better things to occupy my time than keep up with you children."
"Oh, and how old are you exactly, then?" I blurt out before I can stop myself. Anne stiffens a bit.
"This, my portrait, was painted when I was quite young," she says shortly. "But I died when I was twenty-eight."
"I'm sorry," I say a little awkwardly, thinking how horrible it would be to die so young, and unable to help my curiosity from arousing. Plus, apologizing to someone after their death seems a tad odd.
Anne sniffs a little. "It was my own power and foolishness that brought me to my death, and of course the foolish Muggles of the time. You would do well to heed my warnings, young Astoria."
"Er, and what exactly are those warnings?"
"I used my magic to force love, and I died by my husband's neglect."
As I lean against the stone wall, breathing lightly now, Anne the portrait tells me her story.
She was a young, beautiful girl, born into a powerful family of wizards who had managed to rise at the court of the young king through manipulation, some pretty wandwork, and other not so tasteful methods. Her mother, a strong witch in her own right, had married a Muggle member of the lower aristocracy for love.
Anne had two siblings: a sister, Mary, a beautiful Hufflepuff, and a brother, a young, rash Gryffindor who charged into every situation with headstrong will, a colt that refused to be broken. Anne herself was the quieter one: the cunning one, the child of wit. A Slytherin, of course: handy with a spell, inventive, and an expert Potioneer.
Witches and wizards were feared in those days, although the great witch trials of Edinburgh were to occur many years later. Often, wizards in Britain integrated themselves with the Muggle power politics, lending their powers as Seers, Astronomers, Apothecaries and Healers. Affluence in the Muggle world was the easiest way to accumulate a family fortune, although dangerous if found out. Many wizards found employment as personal bodyguards and servants to the monarchy, so to protect them from other wizards' control. A bloodthirsty sovereign under the Imperius curse was a great danger.
Hogwarts was very different in those days and taught skills ranging from Latin to Legilimency, politics to Potions. Young wizards learned to be leaders and political theorists in the Muggle kingdoms which they inhabited, and after leaving the school Anne was summoned to join her family at the court of the magestic, handsome young king.
He was wondrous to behold: the great knight, taller and greater than any other man in the kingdom. Blinded, Anne became obsessed with his beauty and the power that he wielded. His wisdom, how only the king could match he in wit. The problem was his dull wife, an ageing princess from a Spanish kingdom, had the love of the people but had lost the lust of a king, and had only managed to give him a sickly daughter despite the best Healers of the day at her side.
So Anne, the secret witch, got to work. She cast a powerful love spell: drops of Amortentia, the most potent love potion, slipped into the king's drink. The tasters, degenerates employed to sample the king's food in case it was poisoned, may have undergone an infatuation with her as well: she did not care to find out at the time. A Confundus charm on the king's servers did the job well enough.
But Anne was not without her enemies. Cardinal Wolsey, the king's most trusted advisor, she pushed from the inner circle, dissuaded his advice, forced him to forfeit his grand palaces. History says he died of a broken heart before his criminal trial, but baring her teeth triumphantly Anne tells me she cast the Killing Curse herself.
"A little harsh, don't you think?" I point out, enthralled by her story but a little disgusted.
"He named me as a witch," she snarls. "He would have had the King cast me away and stay with his Spanish mule. He was my enemy!”
Ignoring her rudeness, I patiently wait for the story to continue.
After years of stringing along the king, he finally rid himself of his wife to wed Anne. In her coronation parade, her family and followers crept among the silent, angry crowds lining London, casting the Imperius curse on people to cry out their forced support for the new queen. She bore the king a daughter, the future Glorianna, the great witch queen who led England to might.
"She never married," Anne says a bit sadly. "Perhaps that was clever of her."
When her child was only a babe, Anne's doses of Amortentia began to wear thin, or perhaps the king had built up an immunity. Tiring of the queen who had bewitched her way to the throne, his ardor turned fast to loathing. The rivals and enemies of Anne's family, some among them powerful wizards themselves, recognized that their star was rising in England. Bereft, matched by more powerful wizards, and even turned against by her own family who had greatly encouraged the match with the king, Anne was accused of treason for committing adultery with five men.
"I watched them die," she tells me, "from the window in the Tower. I knew that I must. And then it was my turn: my husband did not even spare me. He himself avoided my execution, and rarely spoke of me again."
"But you're a witch," I question. "Couldn't you have Apparated out of the prison, foiled the guards? They were only Muggles, after all."
She shakes her head: in her likeness at least, it is still attached to her body.
"You cannot Apparate in old fortresses like the Tower, or the Houses of Parliament, or the old palaces and Abbeys. They are protected, like Hogwarts. Besides, they took my wand away. I died for my magic, and I died for chasing power. And I died for love."
I frown. "Perhaps you should not have entwined your fate with that of Muggles. Perhaps you would have been better to sit back and live a quiet life, free from power or pain."
"And free from power?" She questions, her eyes bright. "Would you, Astoria, live a quiet life free from power?"
I would if it would save my life," I tell her firmly, though I’m not sure of the strength of my words.
“And what of love? Would you flee from love if it meant your safety?”
I take a deep breath. “Yes, I believe I would.”
"Then what end exactly do you see for your... relationship with Terry Boot?" Her lip curls a little.
I feel myself flush, and remind myself not to let her get to me. "That's really none of your business, is it. Listen, thank you for your story. It was very... illuminating. I must be off, though. Terry will be up soon."
Anne the portrait watches me leave, her canvas eyes dark. She is both unbearably bitter and incredibly lonely, trapped within the second dimension, without restitution.
A few days later, I meet Theo in the Entrance Hall for our Hogsmeade non-date. I'm happy to see him: it feels like ages since we've actually spent quality time together. He's always either training or with Christiana and I've been either with Terry or my fourth year friends.
"First stop, Honeydukes?" I say the instant he's in earshot. Theo nods adamantly.
"I'm almost out of chocolate, it's been one of those weeks." We stroll together in easy silence, admiring the light November snowfall and stepping over puddles of drowning leaves. The sunlight shines on Theo's dark hair, making it shimmer a little. I am painfully brought back to the many years I fancied myself in love with Theo, the boy I looked up to for my entire childhood. For so many years I thought we were a perfect match. But now, with Terry in the picture, all of that seems less important.
But at least being with Theo would please my family. At least we could hold hands in public.
"So, what exactly happened between you and Christiana?" I ask, genuinely curious at their abrupt breakup.
"Honestly, Tor, she was getting a little too intense for me," he explains. "She didn't understand that I need alone time every so often, and she was always trying to talk about our 'problems.' It got tiresome, and I have enough to deal with at the moment."
"And how did she react to you telling her you just wanted to be friends with special benefits?" I ask, fighting back a most unladylike snort.
Theo shudders. "Not well, so let's leave it at that. You women-folk are impossible to understand."
"Do you miss her at all?"
"Nah. I was born to be a lone wolf." He throws back his head and gives a little howl to the dormant moon as I laugh. Personally, I'm convinced that the instant Christiana starts seeing a new boy, Theo will become extremely jealous and want her back on the spot. He's that kind of complicated type, who loves wanting what he can’t have.
The trip down to Honeydukes passes without incident, although I do hide from Griz Goyle's line of sight behind the Porcupine Lollypops. She hasn't taken any immediate revenge against us for the prank, although I've been putting up protective spells around mine and Amaris’ beds just in case. I also catch a glimpse of Ginny Weasley in the window of the Three Broomsticks, and am overwhelmed with guilt about what I heard my father telling Snape; that his team will attack her home over Christmas break. However, Theo steers me past the Three Broomsticks and down the road to the Hog's Head, seating us down by the fire that is hearty despite the grim setting. Above it, a wiry-haired boar’s head grins down at us, light from the fire flickering across it’s dead eyes.
"Two Butterbeers, please!" I call over to the silver-bearded barman, who looks up from serving a one-eyed warlock nursing a small brown drink, oblivious to the world. Something about the bartender reminds me of someone, but before I can comment to Theo our Butterbeers, albeit in rather dusty-looking pint glasses, have arrived.
"Thanks again for saving me from Goyle," I tell Theo, clicking my glass against his. Though it looks a little murky, the Butterbeer inside is warm and delicious. I see the old barman looking over at us, as if to make sure we're enjoying our drinks.
"Thanks for accompanying me to Hogsmeade," he returns. "I was worried I'd have to go with one of the guys, or ask out some girl just to have someone to talk with."
"Definitely the better choice," I conclude. It's funny: despite being relatively popular in Slytherin, Theo doesn't have many close friends. The boys in his dorm - Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle - have always been more interested in throwing their weight around than Theo is, and while he and Zabini see eye-to-eye on some issues Theo generally finds him annoying. He spends time with the rest of the Quidditch team, I know, or occasionally with Daphne, but is often alone.
"How's my brother doing?" He asks, seemingly out of the blue. I pause and think how to answer.
"You know how Pyxis is-indignant and passionate, but never about anything that matters. Sometimes I think he puts on that cheerful face so that he appears strong, but he's just as serious as the rest of us, really."
Theo sips his Butterbeer. "I worry about him sometimes, Tor. You know, when... when Mum passed away, Pyxis was so young. He resents me sometimes, for getting a whole two extra years with her."
"I don't think he does, Theo. I don't think Pyxis resents anyone."
"Well, I know we both wonder if things would be different for us if she was still alive. If she hadn't been killed."
My chest constricts in pity for him. "It was a horrible accident."
"I think about her all the time," Theo confesses, staring down at the table. Uneasily, I move my hand across the surface and cup his hand softly in my own.
"Have you been writing to your father at all, Theo?"
"They don't let him receive letters," he replies, voice low and dark. "I've tried. I can't imagine how awful it must be for him, rotting away with the Dementors... I wonder if he even remembers who I am."
I squeeze his hand. "Of course he does, Theo. The Dementors are awful, but they don't take away who a person is. Your dad is strong. He'll be alright." I remember the tall, laughing man who punctuated my childhood, exchanging meaningful looks with my father, serving large dinners for his sons and their friends and letting us eat on the sofa and not minding if we dripped on the cushions.
“My aunt said we could visit him over Christmas," Theo says, voice empty. Then he looks up at me hopefully. "Will you come, Tor? Will you come with me to Azkaban? I can't face it without you there."
I melt. "Of course, I'll be there for you. How could I not?"
"Thank you. That really means so much to me. I need you, Tor."
We sit in silence, my head hammering against the insides of my skull, uncertain of how to interpret this. Theo Nott, who if he spared me a moment or a smile used to fill me with excitement and promise. Now, I feel a little dread. I wonder what Terry would think if he saw us sitting like this, hands clasped across the table like lovers.
This reminds me that I am supposed to be meeting Terry at some point before the hordes of students return from Hogsmeade. Untangling my fingers from Theo's, I take another gulp of Butterbeer and take out the notebook that Terry gave me, flipping through to find a blank page and carefully tipping the spine away from Theo’s eyes. There's already a message saying that Terry’s done with his friends. I scribble a quick note that I'll meet him at the village gates, out of sight of both the castle and Hogsmeade.
"I should get going," I tell Theo, pulling on my coat. "I have an extra credit session for Potions."
He frowns. "Don't you spend enough time with Slughorn after all your detentions?"
"Er, well he wants me to start learning N.E.W.T. level potions, to get ahead. You know how it is," I finish lamely, and Theo, who has always excelled at everything he attempts, does indeed understand.
"I had fun today," he says, dismissing me.
I smile a little weakly. "You'll still be my date to the Slug Club party, right?"
"I'd be offended if you took anyone else," and finally he laughs. I leave him sitting alone in the Hog’s Head, tracing patterns with his finger on the mottled wooden table and slowly sipping his Butterbeer.
"What's wrong?" I ask Terry, who looks aghast from his perch on the floor of our secret room. I've succeeded in avoiding Anne the portrait and her morbid tales, but now Terry looks like someone has died. "Did something happen?"
He holds something up: it's his most treasured book, a historic copy of some sort of Arithmancy business.
"I broke the spine," he says sadly. "It was in my bag-you know how many books I like to have on me, just in case- and I took it out and it was broken."
"Can't you repair it using magic?" I inquire, sitting next to him and leaning my leg against his. He shakes his head sadly.
"It's too old and delicate, and only a book binder could have a chance with it. I just feel...so careless, you know? Like I've destroyed something by being foolish and now it will always be ruined.”
I take the book in my hands, holding it carefully. "I think it gives it a bit more character. And you can always save up the money and have it repaired professionally. I shouldn't think you should worry about it."
"I know," he sighs, and lovingly puts the book to the side, where it can lie safely and flat. "Sorry. How was Hogsmeade?"
"It was fun to catch up with Theo," I tell him, kissing him right below his lovely blue eye. He twitches a little, and chuckles.
"What did you guys do? He didn't think it was a date, now, did he?"
"What if he did?"
"Then I'll have to whup his ass," Terry says matter-of-factly. "And then have you wipe his memory so he wouldn't know it was me who did it, and why I did it."
"You could say he copied off you in Potions," I suggest thoughtfully. "But please, don't beat up Theo. He's too sensitive, it would go to his head."
"As long as you promise there's nothing going on between you," Terry says, and the slight note of seriousness in his voice annoys me just a tad.
"Well, there isn't." I stretch out my legs in front of me, reaching for my boots with my hands and laughing at myself in how inflexible I am. "Tell me something interesting, please. Something I didn't know about."
Terry wracks his Ravenclaw mind, which functions a bit like his own portable library. "Ok, well did you know that the Crumple-Horned Snorkack has been spotted a totality of four times throughout history?"
"That's not real, those people who ‘spotted’ it were delusional and possibly on drugs," I reply instantly. "Next."
"Ok," he says, scratching his hair. "Well, you've heard about the Order of the Phoenix before, right?"
"Like some sort of secret anti-You-Know-Who society?" I snort a little. "Nobody really thinks that exists either, at least not anymore."
"Well, believe as you will," Terry says airily. "Anyway, the story goes that they revolutionized messaging among wizards by sending messages by Patronus. It's brilliant, really."
"Have you ever tried casting a Patronus?" I demand curiously.
Terry grins widely. "Of course, and I was successful as well. Although were it against an actual Dementor who knows what would happen, I'd probably just curl up on the ground and cry and wait for it to gobble up my soul."
"What form did it take? Was it a corporeal Patronus? Where did you learn? Terry, that's very impressive."
"If I knew how easy it was to impress you I'd have been sending you Patronus gifts months ago," Terry comments. "Uh, my Patronus took some sort of mammal: a mink, I think. It was rather cute, actually."
"Interesting," I say, arching my eyebrows. "And when did such squirrel chance to appear?"
"Oh, I was just fooling around with some friends and we decided to give it a go," Terry says a little too lightly.
"Can you teach me?" Although I have never really thought about Patronuses before, the idea suddenly seems extremely appealing. I run through possible forms for my Patronus to take: perhaps it will be a snake, for Slytherin, or a great wolf, like my father's. Something fierce and protective. Something strong and worthy of Slytherin.
Terry brightens. "Now that's a fun way to spend a warm afternoon out of the cold."
"I can thing of more exciting ways," I say, kissing him again by grazing my lips across his. "But learning how to perform N.E.W.T level magic sounds a bit more productive. You should think about becoming a teacher, eh, you have the enthusiasm for it."
"Funny," Terry says, getting to his feet. "Snape’s a teacher, and I dare you to call him enthusiastic."
He helps me up and we stand, wands facing each other. "So, first you need to think of a happy memory. Something truly just filled with joy."
"Yeah? Okay, now concentrate on that memory, and let it fill you. Then repeat the incantation: 'Expecto Patronum.'"
"You go first, I want to see if it actually works," I inform him. Terry closes his eyes, grins a little, and lifts his wand.
"Expecto Patronum!" A burst of silver light explodes from the tip of his wand, filling my eyes with glorious light. The silver mink scampers around my legs, jumping up onto Terry's shoulders.
"It's wonderful!" I cry out. Terry's concentration breaks and the Patronus creature vanishes as quickly as it had appeared.
"Funny, I don't think they're nearly as friendly in real life, at least from what my North American relatives have told me," he comments. "Anyway, your turn. You've got the memory?" I nod.
Father is home and we are laughing. The night descends on the orchard, and Father looks into the sky like he is remembering something from another life. He bounces me on his knee, Mum and Daph laughing softly in the background. Father wraps his hand around my little child wrist. 'The constellation Pegasus,” he murmurs, “I once knew someone who loved that constellation very much.” A set of stars, a secret only for me.
"Expecto Patronum!" A bright light shines out of my wand, but no animal form. I frown, fighting to concentrate on the memory, of the sketches of the stars mapped across my mind, but they fade from memory and the light disappears. "Blast!"
“That was a good first attempt,” Terry says mildly. “Perhaps you need something happier?”
“Expecto patronum!” Again and again I try, but to no avail, until that precious memory starts to take on a slightly bitter tint. Finally, I throw myself down on the floor, weary.
Terry distracts me from showing me pictures of his pug, who despite being named Pansy is very sweet and doleful looking.
“Have you ever been near a real Dementor?” I ask him.
“Well, in my third year, they were sent to guard the school since Sirius Black had just escaped from Azkaban. You would have been a first year, yeah?”
“Right.” I think back to those days, those calming days when Father snorted at the mention of Sirius Black and said that Harry Potter should fear the Dementors more than worry about Black. And then it turned out after all those years that Black wasn’t who they thought he was. Maybe none of us really are.
“Kiss me,” I tell Terry imperiously, and he obliges, grinning against my mouth I let these troublesome thoughts fade into oblivion.
A/N: I can't believe this is Chapter 20!!! Unreal. I hope you guys liked Anne's story, I just couldn't put Anne Boleyn into the story without giving her a chance to tell her tale. Also, does anyone have any thoughts on Theo's behaviour? :) Please do consider reviewing!! :D