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Chapter 6 : Chapter Six: Meeting Of The Foes
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It was not the sound of her alarm that awoke Sofia that morning but rather her Mother's incessant nagging.
"Come on Sofia, I won't ask again. It's time to get up. Your party is today and we have lots of things to do. I expect you to be down for breakfast in 15 minutes".
Sofia groaned and rolled out of bed. She had forgotten today was the day of the party. The day she would be paraded around a room full people she didn't know in a ridiculously fancy dress. After washing and brushing her teeth, Sofia headed down for breakfast. She didn't even bother getting changed, it was too early for that.
She was surprised to find her parents and Blaise in the lounge and not the dining room. She was even more surprised to find two stacks of presents piled high in middle of the floor.
"Happy Birthday, darlings", her Mother beamed, "We know your birthdays were a few weeks ago now but due to what happened neither of you got a chance to open your presents so we thought we would give you them today".
"Wow, there's so many", Sofia replied in awe of the many gifts her parents had got for her.
"No use standing there like a gaping fish, get stuck in!", said Blaise.
20 minutes later and the twins were both done with unwrapping and were thanking their parents for their belated birthday presents. Sofia had never been given so many gifts before. Her parents really had gone all out. She had received shoes, clothes, make up, an advanced potions set, new parchment and quills that had her name inscribed on them in silver letters, heaps of chocolate frogs, licorice wands and fizzing whizzbees, new red winter robes and piles of books that she had only ever dreamed of having. She had also been given a black eagle owl which she had named Jewells. Her parents had also surprised her with a muggle 50 inch flat screen television, complete with dvd player and dvd's. The best present of all was most definitely the charm bracelet her father had given her. It was pure white gold and had numerous charms attached to the chain.
"It was my Grandmother's, the one that I told you about named Sofia. Whenever a momentous occasion occurred in the family she would add a charm. For example, on the birth of her children, her wedding day and so on. When she passed away she gave this to me and told me to give it to my daughter, should I ever have one", her Father said as she took it out of the box.
"Thank you, Father. It's amazing", was Sofia's reply.
"I'm glad you like it. I also added an extra charm just for you".
Upon closer inspection, Sofia noticed a charm which was made of her initials, SNZ, that were intricately weaving into each other. A diamond love heart was also dangling off the bottom of the Z.
She ran over to her Father and engulfed him into a hug.
"I'll treasure this forever", she whispered to him. "It really does mean a lot to me, Dad".
This was the first time she had ever referred to her Father as Dad. She knew Blaise called their parents Mum and Dad but she had felt the need to be slightly formal with them since she met them. Now, however, she knew that she was a true part of this family and her family was a part of her. She felt no concerns about talking to them or addressing her parents so comfortably as it felt natural.
Blaise and his Mother looked on at the affectionate display between Andre and Sofia, both with smiles on their faces. For Blaise, this had definitely been the best birthday ever. Not only was he going to have an amazing party and had been given everything he wanted from his parents but he had also got his sister back. His twin. Sofia's absence over the years had been a gaping hole in his family and nothing could fill it. Ever since he could remember his Mum and Dad had spoken of her every day, telling him how much they loved her and that one day she would be back. They said she was the other half of Blaise, what with her being his twin, and that when she returned the family would be complete again. They were so right. Blaise did feel complete with his twin back where she belonged. She was his other half and he could not be happier that she was here, back home at last.
To say that Sofia was stressed was an understatement. She had been in and out of numerous dresses, had her hair tugged here, there and everywhere, almost choked to death from the amount of powder that was being slapped onto her face and was nearly blinded by a damn mascara stick! She was not impressed by the stylist team her Mum had hired to get them ready for the party. "I'll tell them what they can do with their bloody eye liner pencils and make up brushes, they can stick them up their-"
"All done!", smiled the make-up artist, distracting Sofia from her creative thoughts. "Now you can go and look in the mirror. I must say, you look simply gorgeous".
"Not if I have half of the orange crap you've got smeared all over your face piled onto my skin", Sofia thought.
When she reached the mirror, she immediately took that thought back. She was far from egotistical but even she couldn't deny that she looked good. A diamond flower was placed on the left side of her hair pushing it back. The rest was left to flow in loose curls down to her waist. Her skin looked flawless, her lips plump and shiny and her luminous eyes were surrounded by thick mascara and black and grey smoky eye shadow. It was her dress that took her breath away though. Silk spaghetti straps covered with tiny diamonds ran over shoulders, crossing over her back and meeting the dress again just below her arm pits. Pale silver fabric made up the rest of the dress, it was so pale that it was almost white. It shone in the light as tiny crystals and clear sequins glistened. The material was so elegant it almost looked like lace. Two triangular pieces of the beautiful fabric covered her chest and a row of diamonds were placed underneath her bust. From there the dress flowed straight to the ground, almost appearing as if it was air like and floaty. Matched with the diamond necklace and bracelet her Mum had given her and a pair of studded earrings, she truly was a vision.
"Well don't you scrub up well", Blaise smirked as he walked through Sofia's walk in wardrobe.
Sofia turned to him, laughing as she noticed the colour of his clothes. His tux was a shiny grey and his shirt was black but the tie and cuff links were the same silver as her dress.
"Well don't we look a right pair. Mum clearly missed out on dressing us in matching clothes when we were younger", she commented.
Only just realizing what his sister had noticed, Blaise ran to the mirror.
"What the hell! Why would she punish us this way? What did we ever do wrong? We look like class A tools! As if we don't look alike enough as it is, she has to try and make us into some sort of zoo attraction!", he exclaimed.
"Now Blaise, you and your sister look wonderful. You should be grateful that you have such nice outfits to wear", came their Mother's voice. She always seemed to have a habit of creeping up on people when they were talking about her, it was slightly scary. Blaise just shook his head, still staring at the mirror in disbelief.
"You're Father and I are going to greet the guests in the foyer. You will enter the Grand Ballroom through the double doors when you are announced in 45 minutes. You should both know that the press will be there for the first half an hour. They're dying to get the scoop on your return Sofia. Your Father notified them this morning and he alone will speak to the reporters and explain what happened, so you will not have to. I do ask that you smile gracefully as you enter as many photos will be taken", Seline continued.
Sofia would have been shocked and thrown a fit had she not expected it. She knew the news had to come out somehow and she had had a feeling that it would be tonight.
"Caggie will come to collect you both when it is time". With that said, Seline left the room.
Time seemed to fly by in Sofia's room as she and Blaise waited to be called. Before they knew it, they were stood at the double doors, waiting to be announced.
"You ready for this?", Blaise asked his sister, linking his arm with hers.
"Ready as I'll ever be", was her reply.
Through the double doors, the twins heard the loud voice of the leading musician announcing their arrival.
"Presenting Master Blaise Hector Zabini and the long awaited Miss Sofia Narcissa Zabini".
The doors flew open and Sofia would have been shocked at the amount of people in front of her had she not just heard Blaise's middle name. To be blunt, she found it hilarious. She quickly earned a swift elbow from her brother as they descended down the steps but all she could do was smile even more, trying to keep the laughter inside of her. Even the bright camera flashes could not do anything to get her out of her moment of giddiness. Their Mother and Father met them on either side at the bottom of the stairs and Andre began to tell the press everything about her return. After the constant questions and photographs, the media's half an hour time limit soon ran out and the party started.
Well for Blaise and Sofia, it started after an hour of being pushed around the ballroom by their parents, in order to greet and be introduced to every guest there was. Sofia felt extremely uneasy after this though as a few surnames of the people she had met were stuck in her mind. "Dolohov, Rookwood, Avery, Macnair, LeStrange. Those were the surnames of Death Eaters. Death Eaters that I fought against. What on earth are their families doing here? At my birthday party!".
"Slightly overwhelming isn't it", came the cheerful voice of her brother, "Meeting all of these people and not having a clue who they are. I'm guessing that is what the face is for?".
"Erm, yeah, something like that", Sofia replied.
"Come on, I want to introduce you to some people".
Blaise took her hand and lead her across the dance floor and through the large circular tables that were dotted around the room. On the right hand side of the room, sat around one of these tables, were people that Sofia didn't particularly want to see.
"Pansy, Adrian, Daphne, Theo, Astoria, Vinnie, Greg, this is my twin sister, Sofia", Blaise announced to his group of friends, the pride he was feeling was visible in his eyes. "Erm, you've already met Draco", he added just as Sofia spotted him sat in between Vincent Crabbe, whom she assumed was Vinnie, and Pansy Parkinson.
"Woah, she looks like you but with long hair", was the thick reply of Gregory Goyle.
"That's because she's my twin sister you dolt. You know, identical twins!".
"It's weird", Goyle replied, disbelief on his face at what he was seeing.
Sofia let out a laugh at this. She didn't think she had ever met anyone quite as stupid as this and she found it highly amusing.
"It's nice to meet you, Sofia", smiled Daphne Greengrass. Her blonde hair fell around her heart shaped face and Sofia could see her mile long legs through the slit in her dress as she stood up. At first, Sofia thought she was going to hit her or something, until she leaned towards her in an attempt at a hug. Sofia returned it stiffly. Daphne seemed nice and she hadn't been one to make fun of her at school but she was Pansy Parkinson's best friend, surely she was just as mean.
"Erm, it's nice to meet you too, er Daphne".
"Blaise told us a few days ago about everything that happened and who you were before", continued Daphne. "We all got together and decided to be honest with you when we met you. We know that you were Hermione Granger and we know that you are not overly fond of us but we just wanted to say that some of us never called you at school because we don't believe in that pureblood crap. The only reason there was any animosity was because you was a Gryffindor, it's just how things were. The rest were forced to act the way they did by their families. If they didn't it would have led to being outcasted or much worse".
Sofia just stared at Daphne, impressed by her boldness but not by her excuses.
"What I'm trying to say is that I'm sorry. We're all sorry, honestly. We hope that you can give us all a chance. We're really not the people that you think we are", Daphne finished.
Sofia looked at all their faces. All were full of hopefulness and anticipation but also fear of being rejected, even Crabbe and Goyle whom she thought could only feel one emotion at a time or they might spontaneously combust. She turned to look at Blaise and saw the pleading in his eyes, silently hoping for her to accept his friends and give them a chance.
Turning back to Daphne she responded, "I can't say that we will all be the best of friends but I'm willing to try if you are".
Relief could be seen on all of their faces and Sofia swore she saw Pansy Parkinson smile with excitement. She sat down next to Blaise and conversation began.
"So, are you excited to go back to school? We are, we really missed the place deep down", Daphne asked as Pansy vigorously nodded her head.
"I suppose so, I mean the syllabus for the new classes are meant to be really interesting, much more so than our previous years", was Sofia's reply.
"Trust you to be excited about what we're going to learn!", Blaise laughed.
"Well I don't have that much to be excited about right now", Sofia glared.
"What do you mean?", asked Pansy.
"Ah, our little Sofia has to be resorted at the start of term feast. To say she is not looking forward to it would be putting it nicely. She even has to wear a first year tie", Blaise smirked.
"Well that's alright, you will blend right in! You're bloody tiny!", laughed Theodore Nott.
"That's exactly what I said!", Blaise exclaimed.
Sofia did not find this funny. Theo and Blaise clearly thought they were the jokers of the group.
"Yes well, I would have been taller if some selfish git had given me space to grow and had not taken up all of the room with his big head and overlarge nose in our mother's womb", Sofia shot back.
Theo spat his drink all over the table at this and everyone else was in hysterics, even Draco Malfoy had laughed. Blaise, however, went bright red.
"Mate, you just got owned by your sister!", shouted Adrian Pucey.
"I'm glad to see my Sofia is making an impression on you all", came Andre Zabini's voice. "I am very surprised that none of you have asked such a fine young lady to dance yet though".
Sofia's cheeks burned at this and now it was Blaise's turn to laugh.
"Draco, I'm sure you would love the honour of dancing with my little girl".
Draco actually looked mortified at the prospect of dancing with Sofia. He knew that she hated him and she had good reason to but he also knew that it would be incredibly bad manners to decline.
"Erm, yes. Yes of course", he stammered back.
Sofia looked to her Father with indignant eyes. She was not going to dance with Malfoy.
"Now, now, Sofia. It would be very rude of you to object now that Draco has expressed his wish to dance with you", Andre told his daughter.
Sofia glared at her Father, stood up and took the hand that Malfoy was offering her.
On the dance floor, her face was hard. She couldn't believe her Father had made her do this, with Draco Malfoy of all people.
"I'm sorry too you know. I wish I could take back the hurtful things I said to you", said Draco.
"No you're not. You're just sorry that I'm your best friend's sister", Sofia hissed.
"It isn't that, truthfully. After third year, I never wanted to say those things to you but I had too. I had to do what my Father said and that meant degrading and disrespecting anyone that wasn't a pureblood. I really did change. Please believe me? Or at least give me the chance to show you that I've changed?", he asked.
Ignoring the sincerity in Draco's eyes, Sofia responded, "It's a little late for the apologies, don't you think? I can't stand the sight of you. Being stood right here is making my skin crawl. How dare you ask me to give you a chance, after all that you have done to me and after everything you have said! You've got some nerve Malfoy".
Unable to be near him any longer, Sofia pulled her hands out of his and took her leave. However, lying in bed that night, she could not get the image of his face out of her mind. His normally cold eyes were so sincere and sad. He looked like he was ashamed of himself. It was for this reason that Sofia almost forgave him. Almost.
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