Chapter 5 : Of Scrubbing and Stars.
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 2|
Background: Font color:
I sunk into Anabelle’s arms, the tears falling down my cheeks and my breathing hitching every moment or so. She hadn’t questioned me arriving to our dormitory so late in the evening, or why I pulled back her bed hangings and cast a silencing charm over us so I could throw myself on her bed spread and cry. She had just pulled me into her arms and rubbed slow circles on my shoulders.
“I’m sorry, Anabelle,” I muttered softly sniffling and sighing pathetically.
“Oh, dear, you’re fine. Whatever happened must have been very upsetting, I’m glad you came to me,” Anabelle said softly, her unmistakable accent coming out probably from being so tired.
I felt that same feeling in my stomach as I did every time I was with Anabelle and in an emotional state, the feeling that I wanted to tell her all of it and let it out.
It had started in fourth year when everything ended with Crabbe, he had been so angry with me for calling it off that he had spread a vicious rumor that he had deflowered me. And hardly any respectable guy would date me after that or dance with me at the balls. I couldn’t tell my mother why the boys avoided me that year because I didn’t want her to know that I had chosen to break it off. I just told her there was no one else because I needed time to heal. And she bought it.
But I would come crying to Anabelle when some boy would say something cruel to me about it or when my friends would blatantly ignore me in the hallways, and she never pushed for more information. Luckily when Crabbe actually found a girl who could stand him for more than a few moments she pressured him into telling the truth. Thank Merlin for her.
But here it was again. I could tell Anabelle all of this and be free of it. Someone would finally know all of the weight I felt on my shoulders.
“I’ve been meaning to get some time alone with you though, Claire. I kind of have big news,” Anabelle said eying me hesitantly, broaching if a change in subject was okay.
I pulled back wiping my eyes, staring at her in amusement. Anabelle hardly had exciting news, at least news she was especially excited about.
“What happened?” I asked a smile now on my lips at the distraction, the feeling to tell her everything slowly slipping away.
“Well I wanted to tell you without so many ears around but it happened over summer holiday. I met a boy,” Her amber eyes sparkled with anticipation.
Anabelle had met a boy? That was so wonderful. She had never dated while we were at Hogwarts, or cared much about it honestly. She had found them attractive or nice, but no one had yet to win over her affections. It didn’t help that she was a brilliant Keeper or Quidditch captain, it scared most boys off.
“That’s lovely! What’s he like?” I asked beaming at the prospect of Anabelle truly finding the right person for her.
“He’s so great, Claire! He grew up on a farm too, not too far from ours, and he is funny and romantic and wonderful and fit,” She said wiggling her eyebrows.
I snorted a bit; Anabelle had never used fit to describe a man in her life.
“But honestly, he’s so sweet and endearing and he wants to have his own farm and kids!” Anabelle said jumping up and down on her mattress, her eyes glittering in happiness.
“Does he have any flaws?” I said in more of a rhetorical sense, giggling at Anabelle’s excitement over the issue.
She stopped however, her face getting rather serious and looked at me bashfully. So he did have a flaw.
“What is it? Was he like homeschooled in magic? Because, yeah, it can make a guy socially awkward and all but he sounds lovely,” I said, furrowing my brow and trying to figure out what she meant.
“No, he wasn’t homeschooled in magic. He never went to school for magic,” She said softly, her eyes flitting back and forth from my gaze to her hands which were nervously twisting themselves.
“So he taught himself? Well, that’s rather daunting,” I said raising my eyebrows slightly, trying to keep Anabelle’s eyes steadily.
“He’s a Muggle, Claire,” She said softly, her gaze dropping to her hands.
Anabelle had fallen for a muggle boy.
Muggles. They were filthy beings whose mere presence could make a witch sick and cause her powers to weaken. They stole magic from us and hated our kind. They were everything I had been taught to hate. I knew the children's stories of their destruction and malicious ways. But Anabelle hadn’t gotten sick, and as far as I was aware her magic had not changed. She was still brilliant in Transfiguration, top in our year.
And I had an inkling that she was in love with him.
“That….I am… I am so happy for you, dear,” I said taking her hands in mine and smiling.
Anabelle looked up a tear falling from her eye, “ You don’t think I’m crazy?”
I did. Anabelle was condemning her and whatever children she had to a life of misery and ridicule for their blood.
“Darling, you love him. Why should it matter what I think?” I said beaming, hoping that I could dart telling her the truth.
Anabelle sighed wistfully, the large smile coming over her face again. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen someone so in love, at least in the starting of a relationship. Most of the relationships I had encountered were ones where the two grew to love each other, but only married for lineage sake.
Ah, I do remember one instance. I remember the look on Andromeda’s face the last time I saw her before she ran off with that mudblood fellow. I remember seeing this glow I had never witnessed before. I should have known then that she wasn’t like the rest of us.
A small part of me wished I could have that as well someday. But another knew that it mattered little, I was loyal to my family and their wishes first.
“We should get some sleep, Claire,” Anabelle said now, her excitement wearing down.
She enveloped me in one last hug and I stiffened a bit in the realization that these arms had once held a muggle and all of Anabelle was contaminated. After she released me and lay back on her bed I zipped off to the bathroom, as quietly as I could past our roommates.
I had heard stories about what contact to a muggle could do to your skin, it could seep into our blood. So I went to a shower stall and threw off my clothes as quickly as possible, and grabbed my shower things. I turned the water as hot as I could manage and grabbed my sponge and began scrubbing. And I kept scrubbing.
I can’t say if I was doing this because I felt like I wanted to scrub away the contamination of a muggle for my own sake or because I felt like my pureblood friends would be able to tell. Like interacting with those who had contact with muggles would somehow leave a physical mark.
I couldn’t risk it. I had been read so many stories as a child about what a muggle could bring on you, and even though some were outlandish and scare tactics, I couldn’t risk it.
I scrubbed until my skin was red and hurt, and the water was searing. I got out, wrapping my towel around body and grabbed my wand from my robes. With a wrist movement and a flick I levitated my clothes to the center of the bathroom and with another flick I set them on fire. I clenched tighter to my towel on my body, watching as the flames enveloped the fabric and turned it to ash.
For the next several weeks I avoided Anabelle. I couldn’t completely duck away from her but even within our dormitories I would just flash her a smile and hurry off to do other things. I made myself busier with Evan, attending his Quidditch games as they began and practices. I studied alone in the library and went to bed early nearly every evening. I could not dare to face her.
On this particular evening I was sitting with Evan in the Slytherin common room. A fire was crackling the large fireplace, and remarkably only a few people were ambling around in the common room.
“Do you want to go over some Potions work then? That paper on Shrinking Solution is coming up in a week, and I don’t feel prepared enough,” I commented, leaning forward to grab my potions book form the stack of my books on the small coffee table in front of us.
But Evan snaked his arms around my waist and pulled me back just as my fingertips brushed the spine.
“Darling, can’t we put the books down for one moment?” He said tightening his grip on my waist to pull him closer to my side.
I felt the heat rush into my cheeks and clenched my teeth a bit.
“Rosier,” I hissed, “this is hardly appropriate in front of everyone. We aren’t even together.”
I could tell he heard the slight disappointment in my tone towards the end, and I was hoping he would. We hadn’t defined whatever this was and I wasn’t ready to allow public affection if he had no intention of asking me to go steady.
He released his grip from my waist and sighed a bit, and I felt my face fall. I had given him the perfect opportunity and he was going to just let it slip away. Was I just a little plaything to him? Did we have no meaning together? I had more pride than to be a distraction to a man.
“We should go to dinner,” Evan commented, standing up from the couch and offering me a hand up.
I took it and stood as well, and then we made our way from the Slytherin common room to the Great Hall. Hallows Eve was near so pumpkins decorated the outside of the Great Hall, soon to be jack-o-lanterns in a week. I smiled at a few of my pureblood friends as I entered into the Great Hall, their eyes shifting and winking as they saw me walking with Evan. Mostly everyone was aware that we had a thing, if only some bloke would define this thing.
Evan motioned for me to come sit with him and his friends, as I had done more recently to avoid either sitting alone at my own table or enduring time with Anabelle.
The meal for this evening mostly consisted of soups and warm foods that were sure to ward of the chill of the looming winter. I wasn’t a huge fan of the season in all honesty. I much preferred the warmth and strength of summer. I mildly paid attention to Evan and his conversation with his mates, usually about Qudditch or sometimes much darker things. Then at a about halfway through the meal Evan stood up and brandished his wand. My heart jumped in my throat a bit as to why he would need to do magic at the table.
But then he pointed it up and changed the sky on the ceiling above us that was always charmed to be the same as the one outside, but the stars shifted into letters.
Claire Nott, would you be mine?
I blushed as more and more people took note of the stars and looked over our way, Evan smirked down at me awaiting my reply. He would do this in front of everyone.
“Of course,” I said, standing to kiss him on the cheek and grab his hands in mine.
Evan was sweet; he wanted the whole school to know that I was his. And that he was mine.
“Kiss her, kiss her, kiss her,” came the low chant from his mates and I felt my cheeks grow hot.
Evan smiled devilishly and leaned in and kissed me. It wasn’t a bad kiss, in fact it was pretty nice, and just as quickly as it had begun it was over. The Slytherin table and a few of my house members who knew me whopped and clapped for us. And I beamed. Mother would be so proud of me.
Evan jerked his head for us to get out of here and I nodded, and we strode hand in hand to the door.
Everyone I passed at the Slytherin table looked happy for us. But just before we went through the doors I caught Regulus’s eye, and I couldn’t shake the haunting feeling that I would be widowed soon enough.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Other Similar Stories
The Rise of ...
No Time For ...