Chapter 2 : An unlikely Ally
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“You know…you still haven’t told me how your summer went,” said Giles as we laid out side by side on our backs near the lake. “And no, hearing the titles of all the new books you read doesn’t cut it,” he said with a smirk.
“Haha, sooo funny. Ehh, It was the same as usual, I suppose. Dirty hell hole full of muggles. What could be more fun than that?” I muttered sarcastically.
Giles just smirked. “Well, I still wish you could have spent the summer with me and Ethan.”
“I know, I have to live there at least three months out of the year though so they can collect their money from the city,” I said moodily. “As soon as I turn 18 though, I’m an adult in the muggle world and am no longer a ward of the state.”
“Yes…but you’ll be 17 next year which is of age in our world, I’ll see what strings my father can pull,” said Giles with a nod of certainty.
At that I rose an eyebrow at him. I may be Giles best mate but Jugson Sr. wasn’t exactly very welcoming of me. Let’s just say he didn’t approve of Giles befriending anyone with a social status lesser than his own. It was pure spite, but I looked forward to the day when I could announce to the world I was a Travers and see the look of disbelief on Jugson Sr.'s face.
“Right, that I’ll believe when I see it…now, mister, you haven’t told me what you did all summer. Or should I say, what you and Ethan did all summer,” I said the last part with a slight smirk on my face. Giles really never got riled up about anything but I did so love to tease him.
Giles smiled and rolled over on his side. “Wouldn’t you like to know…”, he drawled out, chuckling lightly before rolling back over. “No, well my father was a right cranky bastard all summer so I spent most of my time at the Yaxley Manor or hanging out at the MacDougal Manor with my aunt and cousins.”
“You mean more of a cranky S.O.B. than normal?”
“Yeah…I mean I know we don’t normally see eye to eye but he usually pretends to at least care somewhat about my well-being.”
I reached over and grasped his hand squeezing it tightly. Giles doesn’t realize it but I understand all too well what it feels like to have your own father uninterested in you. Sure, my father is in prison but I can’t help but think that he could have found some way to keep us together after my mother’s death.
Giles squeezed my hand back. “It’s fine. I’m fine. Really. It’s not as if I need my father’s approval. Besides, pretty sure he’s preoccupied with other things…”
He let go of my hand and turned over on his side to face me. “Alright, I’d tell this to Ethan but he’d just tell me my Ravenclaw tendencies are going into overdrive.” Giles rolled his eyes and I chuckled at the too true statement. Poor Ethan just did not understand both Giles’ and my need to analyze every given situation. His favorite thing to tell us was ‘Life is not one giant mystery to solve!’
Giles took a deep breath, “So I think my father and his old cronies are planning something in the ministry. I don’t know what but all of them were coming and going at odd hours all summer long. Bloody Dolohov nearly cursed my ear off when he thought I’d been eavesdropping.” He paused to frown at the mention of Dolohov.
“Well, were you?” I prompted.
“Eavesdropping? Of course I was! I am the worst sort of Ravenclaw you know,” said Giles with a grin.
“Aww yes, the unscrupulous kind with an over eager imagination and a certain disregard of rules,” I replied rather dryly. “Well…what did you find out?”
Giles knew he had my complete attention and paused, intentionally prolonging telling me. Before I could reach over and poke him however he continued on.
“Unfortunately, not a lot. But, I did hear them mention getting a new head appointed for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, someone they could trust to get the job done. They also talked about Talin, whoever that is, and whether or not he has something secured.”
“But isn’t Finnigan Sr. the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement?” I asked.
“Well yeah,” said Giles thoughtfully. “But everyone reckons he only got the job because of Harry Potter. He hasn’t actually done anything significant since he got the post. Besides, the head of DMLE is supposed to be in line to be the next minister. No one wants Finnigan as the next minister so it sounds like my father and his friends are making sure that their candidate gets in.”
“For what purpose though? They already have contacts in the ministry, Yaxley for one, though he’s not too high up…”
“I don’t know,” said Giles with a sigh. He stopped and put his head in his hands before continuing. “I just have a really bad feeling about all of this. It’s not just idle planning they’re doing, something big is going to happen.”
Giles doesn’t have the sight, where he can see the future, but he has the most acute sense of foreboding than anyone I know. He can usually figure out what’s going to happen before it happens just be sensing other people’s feelings or observing their actions.
For example, last spring he, Ethan and I were on our way to the Great Hall. Without warning Giles stops, frowns and says we should let the Hufflepuffs behind us go in first. Ethan and I were used to this and just shrugged our shoulders following his lead. A few seconds later the Hufflepuffs pass under the doorway to the Great Hall and immediately break out in nasty golf ball size boils. The prankster ‘masterminds’ Potter and Weasley could be seen glaring at us from across the room, pissed the poor puffs had gotten hit and not us.
Later on, we were silent as we made our way to the castle for potions. Unanswered questions kept bouncing around in my head. What other pureblood families were involved? What were they planning? Were Jugson and Yaxley Knights like my mother and father were? Did the Knights even still exist?
I wanted so desperately to ask Giles about the Knights but I couldn’t. Not without telling him how I knew about the Knights in the first place. Sure, I trusted Giles but I had made a promise to my father. It’s not as if my father forced me to sign a Magical Binding Contract or used to tongue-tie curse to keep me from speaking but a part of me felt as though breaking my promise to my father would sever all ties with him. Like if I broke my promise, he’d break his and would never come back.
For now, all I could do was wait. After all, if Giles’ prediction was true, something major was going to happen. If only I knew how major.
Potions was one of my favorite classes, always has been. It required patience, a clear mind and diligent concentration…all of those qualities I possessed. The only thing I disliked this year in Potions was my partner, Rose Weasley.
Rose was a Ravenclaw like myself but she was in the first group of Claws, the blood traitors. Considering all of her family was in Gryffindor, minus Albus the lone Slytherin, it was hardly surprising her choice of companionship. The only person, besides family, I ever saw her hang out with was Sara Lynnwood, a muggle born Ravenclaw in our year.
We had always had a mutual dislike of one another. I tolerated the rest of my dorm mates with cool indifference but Rose and I consistently butted heads. Though neither one of us liked to flaunt it, we were easily the two prettiest girls in our year. We were around the same height and weight but while Rose had long thick red hair that was naturally straight and green eyes, I had long wavy black hair and blue eyes. Truly, Rose was my only true rival in both looks and cleverness. We were both in the top of our year, self confident and proven leaders. Our classmates knew that if one of us didn't know something, the other would. We were night and day, fire and ice but complimented each other perfectly as a team. Maybe, just maybe…if she weren’t such an insufferable know it all and a blood traitor …we might actually be able to be friends.
“Rose Weasley and Isbelle Besin, first row, table closest to the window,” said our Professor, not even bothering to look up from his list as he droned on from his desk.
Rose and I both groaned and reluctantly moved to the table. I was happy to note that Rose was just as eager to work with me as I was with her. See, this wasn't the first time we'd worked together. Oh no. First year Defense we both nearly killed our partners with a simple disarming spell. The next week Rose screamed at her Hufflepuff potion partner when they messed up the potion causing them to cry and run from the room , and I got so annoyed at a dumb Slytherin boy in the Greenhouse that I turned him into a potted plant when he destroyed ours. After that, the professors decided it was better to just stick the two of us together. As much as we hated each other, we made a good team and didn't hold the other back.
“Sooo…your boyfriend try to hex any more helpless first years lately?,” said Rose as she flippantly smoothed down her skirt and sat down next to me.
“He’s NOT my boyfriend and I doubt your cousin is a harmless as you think. She ditched her wand and punched a second year in the face yesterday…or so I heard."
Rose smirked, “Yes, well she does have my aunt’s famous temper I suppose. Yaxley is still a prat though.” She muttered and looked darkly at me as though daring me to defend him.
I didn’t. “I agree. Now pass the wormwood,” I said nonchalantly as I started to cut and separate our ingredients into small orderly piles.
Rose lifted her brows disbelievingly.
"Come now, I thought you were actually smart. You think I like being pestered by Evander and your prat of a cousin. Merlin's beard, I can't even walk down the corridor without one of them trying to carry my books or hexing the other."
Since the train incident, both Potter and Evander have made it their mission to meet up with me in the corridors between every class. A week ago, Potter kissed my cheek and tried to carry my books to Potions. Evander sent him to the hospital wing with green fungus growing off his face. The day after the green fungus incident, Potter had a house elf follow me around in between classes reading love poems off a piece of parchment. Since that day, I still have seventh year Gryffindors cat calling me in the corridors calling me a ‘Blue eyed Bonnie lass’ and ‘Don’t slither in with the snakes’ but to ‘Get in the Door with the Gryfindors’. Yeah, they’re so original.
"HA! You think you have it bad. Malfoy has made it his mission to torment me. Slimy git, it wasn't enough that he asked me out 5 times a day, now he and Albus have started an unofficial pranking war against me. You don't want to know how many times my quill has backfired on me this week and ruined my parchments."
Rose and I sat there brooding for awhile in calculating silence before I spoke up.
"I know how we can make them stop…" I said smiling slyly. Some girls may have loved the kind of attention I was getting from Yaxley and Potter, but I hated it. I didn’t like being in the spotlight and being talked about constantly.
"Look, you want Malfoy to stop the pranking war and I want Potter to stop quarreling with Evander. Let's be honest, we both know Potter doesn't really like me, he's just messing with me to piss off Evander. So, you get Potter to leave us alone…and I get Malfoy, and consequently baby Potter, off your back."
"Right…"said Rose pondering. "How do you intend to get Malfoy to stop?"
I chuckled darkly, "Slytherins have dirt on everyone and someone owes me a favor. Just trust me, once I'm through with him he'll be polite as a Hufflepuff to you."
Rose snorted unbecomingly at the last part and slowly nodded your head. "Alright, but what makes you think I can make James stop bothering you?"
"Please, everyone knows you and Lily have those Potter boys wrapped around your fingers. That, and Merlin, even I'm slightly terrified of your Bat Boogey Hex….I'm not worried."
Rose grinned and we nodded at each other before turning back to our potion. For the rest of the period we worked in silence. For once, not because we were furious at each other but because we had worked together so often that we didn't need to talk to communicate. The potion turned out perfectly and we were the first done so we spent the rest of the class reading. Rose, 'The Ministry of Magic and Muggle Relations' and me 'History of the Magical Caste System in Medieval Europe'. What? We may not be stereotypical claws but we did like to read even if our reading choices were questionable at best.
“Okay, before Ethan gets here, give me the dish on Evander…and go!” Giles said in a rush as he met up with me before dinner later that day.
“You.are.such.a.girl,” I said, hitting him lightly on the arm. “Ugh, nothing is going on. He’s a prat, Potter’s a prat, blokes in general are annoying this year and yeah…not interested.”
Giles psshed at the last statement. “Alright, first off, ignore Potter, blokes are annoying you more this year because if you haven’t noticed, you’re even more bloody beautiful. And thirdly, my dear dear sweet naive girl…that’s a bold faced lie.”
By this time Giles was grinning like a Cheshire cat. An annoying Cheshire cat that I wanted to knock all of its teeth out.
“I don’t like Evander,” I said fiercely. “Besides, you know he’d never go for me anyway. I’m like his kid sister. That…and he’s the Yaxley heir. You think his father would ever approve of me knowing I’m a penniless orphan with an unknown background?”
Alright, I may be slightly lying to myself but I really don’t want to like Evander. He’s a chauvinistic prat, a show off and…ugh, Merlin help me…incredibly good looking.
Giles walked in silence, contemplating what I’d said. “Belle, I know you’re not a mudblood. You don’t talk about your past or maybe you don’t even know…” Giles turned and looked at me but I continued to stare straight ahead.
“Listen,” said Giles as he stopped me and grabbed my arm. “I never told you why I befriended you that day on the train, did I?”
I shook my head and Giles continued on before I could say anything.
“When I first saw you outside our compartment, all I saw was a girl who looked completely and utterly lost…in all meanings of the word. Then you stumbled into our compartment…you looked up but instead of looking into a lost girl’s eyes, I looked into your fierce and haunted eyes. For all of the outside world, you looked like a girl who would never amount to anything but when I looked in your eyes, I saw an equal. I sensed something more in you than I’ve ever sensed in anyone ever before…pain, betrayal, strength and unquestionable loyalty. I knew that you were important to me for some reason and that you were far far more than you seemed.”
Giles continued to look at me seriously before he adding with a smile, “And you know I am never wrong in my predictions.”
I could only look at Giles blankly. It kind of unnerved me a bit, his revelations. All of my life I’ve done my best to be under the radar. To be perfect and not draw attention to myself.
Growing up at the orphanage, I’d never really had any friends. It was as though the other children knew there was something different about me and they stayed as far away as possible. One time when I was seven, a group of girls a year older than me decided to corner me after recess. They kept taunting me, calling me a freak, and before I even realized what had happened the ring leader went flying backwards almost three feet. She ended up hitting her head on the pavement and suffered a concussion. I didn’t mean for anything to happen, but after that no one, not even the boys, wanted anything to do with me.
Here at Hogwarts it seemed to be the same, just for different reasons. I was too pretty and intimidating for most girls to like me. And boys? Sure, I got plenty of looks from them but since over three-fourths of the school was terrified of the Yaxley brothers I really had never been bothered or asked out by a boy. No one had ever dared, well except Potter, but everyone knew that those Potter boys attract trouble like a magnet.
“Guess you’re lucky I stumbled into your compartment then,” I said with a wink and nudged Giles with my shoulder.
“Who’s getting lucky?” Asked Ethan as he caught up to us before we reached the Great Hall.
“Bells,” Giles spoke up before I could say anything. “she was just giving me the scoop on your dishy older brother.”
Ethan’s mouth resembled a fish for a moment. He quickly recovered though and started laughing. Giles winked suggestively at me and took off running towards the Great Hall. He knew he wouldn’t get away with saying something like that, and he was right.
‘Levicorpus!’” I whispered and smirked with satisfaction as Giles’ books went flying and he was unceremoniously yanked up into the air by his ankle.
“Well, this has been fun but I’m off to dinner. I’ll let Ethan help you down…that’s if he remembers the counter curse.”
With that I took off with a skip in my step. Someone would eventually come along that new the counter curse but for now, well...Giles could just ‘hang out’ for awhile.
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