Chapter 4 : Bully for You
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"Morning," came a hoarse grumpy voice from across the table. I glanced up at surprise at Ethan.
"Really, Yaxley? It's 6 a.m.? What are you doing up this time of the morning?"
Ethan grumbled something under his breath that came out like, "Vander…Nazi…Quidditch…Claws have better food," as he dumped half the contents of scrambled eggs and bacon onto his plate and stuffed his mouth full of food.
“Ugh…right”, I said looking on in disgust as Ethan continued to devour his food like a crazed Hippogriff. Sometimes I really failed to see what charm Giles ever saw in Ethan.
Ever since the start of term, Evander had been pushing his team like crazy. Practices every morning and sometimes at night too. People were calling him as crazy or crazier than Potter was (James and Evander both became captains in their fifth year)…and that was saying something. Gryffindor had won the cup for the past two years just barely beating Slytherin both times. Needless to say, the rivalry was intense between the two houses and between Potter and Yaxley.
As for me, sure I wanted my house to win the cup but I really didn’t care that much about it. After all, who is going to care about it after Hogwarts? And more importantly, does any silly school stuff really matter when my father is in prison and I still don’t know the what the Knights are up to? The answer is a definite no, not really.
Giles feels the same as me, more or less, even though he is on the Ravenclaw team. He loves Quidditch and is good at it but it’s not his sole focus, he just plays for fun. I think Giles intentionally acts nonchalant about the game to piss off Ethan. He’s always been a bit intense and calculated, and Giles has always been carefree with a devil-may-care attitude. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had to listen to the two of them argue about Quidditch and how Giles doesn’t take it seriously enough. I would just tell Ethan that it doesn’t even matter because Giles isn’t even on his team…but then they would start off on which team was better and the conversation would never be over.
“Morning Bell, I see my brother is keeping you marvelous company.”
I looked over to see what Evander was talking about and noticed Ethan fast asleep on his now empty plate of eggs. I smirked and shook my head. Poor boy. I’m sure we’d eventually wake him up but for now it was more amusing to watch him cuddle his plate.
Evander took a seat next entirely too close to me and casually leaned his arm on the table glancing over at my huge stack of newspapers. “What’s with all the papers?”
I shrugged nonchalantly. “Just getting caught up on news.”
I took a moment to stare at him with a puzzled expression. Ethan joining me a the Ravenclaw table was a rare occassion but both Yaxley brothers at the Ravenclaw table at the same time was unheard of. However, I did need his help so I pushed aside the weirdness of the situation and decided to see exactly how much Evander really did like me.
“You know,” I said in a drawl. “That color of blue looks good on you…brings out your eyes.” I ran my fingertips along his shirt sleeve and gave him a slow easy smile.
“Is that so…” He rose one of his brows to go along with his trademark smirk. I noted that he didn’t bother to move his arm out of my reach though.
I smiled to myself. At least I knew I had his full undivided attention right now. I absentmindedly traced my finger on his arm as I pondered how to bring it up. I eventually decided I’d loosened him up enough and just went for the kill.
“Remember the last Yaxley Ball?” I heard Evander’s brief acknowledgment but hurried on before he could speak.
“Thought you might. You know, it’s really a shame what happened to Jessica Atwood. Poor girl is still terrified of heights and hasn’t been back to London since.”
At this Evander narrowed his eye but didn’t lose his carefree smirk. “What about her?”
Jessica Atwood was three years older than Evander. Always a haughty, stuck up girl from what I knew of her. At the last Yaxley ball Evander and Kale had held her suspended over a balcony and threatened to drop her. I couldn’t hear the entire conversation but whatever they said to her absolutely terrified her. When they let her down, Kale put his wand to her throat and whispered something in her ear. With a terrified whimper she fled into the night and hasn’t been seen in London since. I hear she made up some dramatic tale but her parents are naturally still upset. They still have no idea why she left.
“You never asked me where I was before we danced Evander and I haven’t told anyone…yet, about what I saw on the balcony that night.”
I braced myself for Evander’s anger and steely glare so I was more than surprised when I heard him laughing.
“Are you seriously trying to blackmail me, Besin?” He stopped laughing and gave me a slow toothy grin. I glared at him, furious he wasn’t the least bit upset at what I knew.
“Really, if you want something all you have to do is ask… you know I’ll be more than accommodating.”
“So you don’t care who knows about Atwood?”
“I didn’t say that, but as I’m pretty willing to do just about anything for you anyway… it seems a moot point.” Evander stared pointedly at me and smiled wider when I became the color of the strawberry jam on the table.
“Ugh, right.” I said somewhat awkwardly. “So here’s the thing…I need dirt on Malfoy.”
Evander chuckled to himself. “So you’re blackmailing me to get dirt on Malfoy so you can blackmail him. Merlin Besin, you’re just full of great ideas this morning.”
Alright, no one threatens my Ravenclaw intelligence without paying a price, even though it did sound ridiculous when he said it like that.
“Do you have any information or not?” I glared haughtily at him.
“I do…but none I can tell you,” he said evasively. “Why do you need to blackmail him?” When I remained silent his face grew cold and stony. “What did he do? Did he hurt you? I’ll kill him.” His demeanor was frightening enough that I understood fully that moment why over half of the school was terrified of him.
I quickly placed my hand on his arm. “No, no nothing like that. He didn’t do anything to me.”
Evander calmed down slightly then stared pointedly at me. “Listen, I told you I can’t tell you but I can warn Malfoy off for you if I know what you’re blackmailing him for.”
I paused, I really didn’t want to tell Evander anything but I also realized I didn’t have to tell him the whole truth, just what he needed to know. “I need Malfoy and Baby Potter to stop the pranking war on Rose.”
“Seriously? That’s it? Since when the bloody hell are you and Weasley friends?”
“We’re not.” I said simply. “Are you going to do it or not?”
Evander sighed and hefted his bag up on his shoulder. “Fine. Consider it done.”
With that he picked up an apple which he promptly threw at his sleeping brother’s head. Ethan jumped out of his seat and looked wildly around the room until his eyes fell on me and Evander smirking at him.
“Bloody tossers,” he mumbled more to himself than to us and took off in the direction of the dungeons.
By the end of the week, both Rose and I had held true to our end of the bargain. Potter would still wink at my in the corridors but he no longer tried anything and whatever Yaxley said to Malfoy scared him enough that he was too terrified to even look at Rose for the time being. Rose complained that I did almost too good of a job keeping Malfoy away from her but after I gave her a look that clearly said ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’ she shut up.
“Really Giles? What do you want me to do, he’s my father. You know damn good an well that this promotion is not just for appearances.”
“I could care less about Yaxley Sr., he’s trying to manipulate you Ethan! If he needs the contacts he can get them himself you--”
Giles let his sentence trail off as he noticed me approaching. Ethan sat back on the couch with his arms crossed against his chest acting as though I had not walked in on anything important. Giles face told a completely different story however. His lips were tight and he sat tall with perfectly impeccable posture…a sure sign that he was truly and royally pissed.
“Ugh, right. I just came for my notes I let Ethan borrow…”
The tension was so thick in the air no one in their right mind would want to be near them. I wouldn’t have even ventured to the Slytherin Common Room this late at night had I not needed my notes first thing in the morning. Luckily Kane and his mate Travis were sneaking out to go God knows where and let me in so I didn’t have to wait long outside the entrance.
“Actually I was just leaving, I’ll walk you back.”
Giles stood up abruptly and left an annoyed and dejected Ethan behind. So far in our years at Hogwarts I’ve always been on Giles side and closer to him than anyone else but I couldn’t stand to see either of them so upset.
“Night Yaxley,” I said softly and then followed Giles out of the common room.
“You want to tell me what that was about?” I asked after walking in silence for a good five minutes.
“Nothing…. Right, how stupid of me cause that certainly looked like nothing,” I said sarcastically.
Giles sighed and put his hands in his pockets.
“You guys never fight…Of course if you’d rather not talk about it I’ll just ask Evander. Goodness knows that I can probably get him to tell me anything with the right persuasion…”
Giles stopped walking and frowned at my satisfied smirk on my face.
“Sometimes I think you really should have been placed in Slytherin…and it’s not a compliment you conniving little---ouch! Merlin, Besin get off me!”
I had ditched my wand and instead launched myself at poor unsuspecting Giles nearly toppling him over in the process. Up until third year I would have succeeded but now Giles was much similar to a brick wall so he really didn’t go anywhere and instead I found myself flung unceremoniously over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
“Really Jugson, this is uncouth. Put me down!”
“Oh, I’m sorry milady…May-haps you should have thought of that before you launched yourself at me.” Giles chuckled and finally relented his hold on me.
“Ugh…you’re never going to leave me alone about this are you?”
At my silence and raised eyebrow he sighed and took off walking again. I thought I was going to have to do drastic measures to get him to talk when he finally spoke.
“Yaxley Sr. has been promoted to head of Department of International Cooperation.”
“What?…that’s huge. I didn’t think he had that much influence in the ministry anymore.”
Old families like the Jugsons and Yaxleys still held a significant amount of sway in the pureblood community but less outside of it. Everyone knew it had taken years for Ethan and Evander’s father, Torrin, to get a job inside the ministry. Even though it had been his elder brother Torrence who was a death eater and fought in the war and not Torrin, the association was not one to be quickly forgotten. Most people still associated the Yaxley surname with the Dark Arts because even though they had never given the public any reason to doubt them…they’d also never done anything publicly to declare themselves a ‘blood traitor’ like the Malfoys.
“Guess things have changed,” said Giles simply but with a hard glint to his eyes.
By the time we had reached Ravenclaw tower Giles had completely shut me out again. He absentmindedly said ‘Good Night’ and headed to the boys dormitory.
That night, I lay in bed awake for hours weighing the possibilities of Yaxley Seniors new appointment. It bothered me more than I cared to admit that while Giles was my best mate I wasn’t his confidant when it came to matters concerning his family. The rational part of me understood of course. How would a penniless orphan understand or even care about the pureblood community?
They had no idea of course that I was a part of it, that it was my past and would be my future. Sure, I had grown up in Albania but my parents ensured I was brought up with the knowledge that I was a Travers and from a long line of pureblood witches and wizards. I was brought up with the belief that my ancestors had helped shape the wizarding world and that one day we’d help restore it to its former glory. Growing up, I didn’t quite know what that all meant or how I’d do it but since my mother’s death and my father’s disappearance, I’d come to realize that when the time came, I would do everything in my power to help make my parents dream come true. I didn’t know why my mother had died but I would ensure, no matter what, that had she had not died in vain.
‘Always remember you’re a Travers’.
My fathers voice in my head was the last thing I heard before I finally drifter off into a dreamless sleep.
A/N: Hey guys! What do you think? Any guesses about what Yaxley and Jugson Sr. are up to? Please review and stay tuned! Ch. 5 is coming soon :)
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