Chapter 5 : The Treacherous Waters of Denial
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Very slowly, as if walking on ice that was about to crack and suck her under, she made her way to the Gryffindor house table. She saw Sirius sitting between James and Remus, frowning at her. She looked away, her heart clenching in grief.
Why did she care so much what he thought of her? She shouldn’t. He was a hypocrite. He came from the same situation as her, and yet he was too prejudice to realize it. His own family, the Blacks, had been supporting Voldemort as long, if not longer, than the Malfoys. He wasn’t like his family, so why was it so hard for him to believe she wasn’t like the Malfoys?
She spotted Alex, sitting next to a rather dashing young man. She was flirting openly. When she spotted Heather, she waved and pointed to the empty seat beside her. Heather smiled, glad to have somebody familiar to sit by.
“Hey, Heather. Congrats on being Gryffindor,” Alex said, smiling slyly. “Here, these are my friends. This is Alice Theil, Sara Davidson, and Lily Evans,” she said pointing out three different girls sitting around them. Heather shook each of their hands in turn. Alice Theil was a very pale, round faced girl. She seemed incredibly good natured and freckles spotted her face. Her hair was sand-colored, and was very short cut, flaying out slightly at the edges.
Sara was an extremely pretty girl with dark chocolate skin. She had her hair hanging in hundreds of tiny braids that fell down past her waist. She had rich brown eyes, and was very muscular. Heather geussed she probably played Quidditch.
Lily Evans was by far the prettiest of the group. She had bright green eyes, sparkling with excitement. She sat up very straight, and was obviously a very prim, proper type of person. She had bright red hair which hung to her shoulders in light waves.
“I’m Heather,” Heather supplied. She decided not to disclose the fact that she was a Malfoy, but Alex did it anyways.
“She’s Malfoy’s cousin,” Alex said. Lily’s smile faltered slightly.
“I’m not at all like you would think. Please believe me when I say I don’t hate Muggles, and all that stuff. I seriously hate my cousin,” Heather amended, annoyed that she had to tell people this. Lily’s smile turned into an apologetic one.
“I believe you,” she said softly, apparently feeling horrible for jumping to conclusions about her. Heather smiled.
“Thanks,” she said earnestly. Just then the Great Hall grew silent. Heather looked around, wondering what was happening. She saw that everybody’s eyes seemed to be glued to one spot. Heather turned and saw the spot. It was Albus Dumbledore. She had read about him in so many books, and had great respect for the man. She smiled as his eyes twinkled.
“Welcome, first years! And, in this case, seventh year!” he said lightly. Everybody’s eyes shot to Heather and she nearly dropped to the ground. She was not used to so much attention! “I hope that our new Prefects and Heads of Houses will help them through their first year,” Dumbledore continued.
Lily swelled with pride, and Heather saw a large ‘Head Girl’ badge pinned to her robes. Heather smiled and gave her the thumbs up. Lily smiled broadly at her, but then turned her complete attention faithfully on Dumbledore, apparently very determined to live up to Head Girl standards. Heather nearly laughed. She had a feeling she and Lily would get on very well.
“Now, I’m afraid that all of the House-Elves have decided not to cook dinner tonight so I hope you won’t mind,” Dumbledore said. Heather heard gasps of terror. No feast?! She looked at her friends and saw that they too looked crest-fallen. Then she saw the corners of Dumbledore’s mouth twitch. “See how much we rely on them? Don’t ever take something for granted. Let the feast begin!” he said. Heather laughed. He had been joking!
“He is always trying to make some stupid joke before we eat,” Alex grumbled, piling food onto her plate.
“I think they’re wonderful! They encourage light-heartedness and it relaxes the first years,” Lily said reprovingly. The two of them started debating Dumbledore’s jokes while Heather started looking around at the food on the table.
Never before had she seen so much food. Piles of mashed potatoes, bowls of gravy, stacks of corn on the cob, pot-pies, and many odd dishes she didn’t even recognize were at her disposal. And then, if she had enough room for dessert, pies of all flavors littered the table, along with puddings, candied yams, cream puffs, and so much more it made her head spin. She grabbed everything that was in reach, filling her plate to the brim.
“Hungry?” Sara said jokingly. Heather grinned.
“Starved,” she said, and dug into her plate greedily. As she ate, she spotted Lucius talking with Bellatrix. They kept throwing scathing glances at her. Heather honestly didn’t know what to do about them. She just had to make sure Lucius or his friends never caught her alone.
After Heather had eaten all she could, she felt extremely tired. She wondered where they would be sleeping. Dumbledore stood up as the volume in the Great Hall rose. He cleared his throat.
“I hope you all are well fed,” he said jovially. There was a loud murmur of pleasure. Dumbledore smiled. “Good. There are a few mandatory notices I wish to share with you. Our Caretaker, as always, wished me to inform you that at no time of day or night are Dung Bombs to be allowed in the castle. Also, to our new students, I must inform you that the Forbidden Forest is...well, Forbidden! I think it also necessary to remind some of our older students of that fact as well,” he said, casting a wink at the Marauders. They all grinned rakishly. Heather refused to look at them. “Now, I bid you goodnight, as you all have a big day tomorrow!”
“Come on, Heather, we’ll show you the way,” Alice said urging Heather to follow them. Heather did so, scurrying to catch up. Once they were all in the Common Room, Lily went to sit on the couch.
“Aren’t you coming?” Alex asked her, halfway up the steps to the girls dormitory. Lily shook her head.
“I’m going to wait for James,” she said grinning wickedly. All the girls snickered.
“James?” Heather asked, confused.
“Lily’s going out with James Potter,” Sara informed her. Heather’s heart fell. Lily was dating a Marauder? Of course, maybe James wasn’t like Sirius. She doubted Lily would date him if he was.
“Gotcha,” Heather said, winking. “Talk to you tomorrow then?”
“Definitely. Goodnight,” Lily called up after them. Heather got up the steps and saw four four-poster beds. One, hers she guessed, looked as if it had been shoved into the corner at the last minute. She sighed, and laid down on the bed.
“Long day?” Sara asked sympathetically.
“You have no idea,” Heather muttered. “See you tomorrow,” and without another word, she drifted into an uneasy sleep.
Sirius walked along the hallway, his hands in his pockets, ignoring the giggles and stares he was receiving from girls as he passed.
“What’s wrong Padfoot?” James asked. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you ignore your fan-club like that.”
“Shut up, they’re not my fan-club,” Sirius grumbled.
“What’s wrong, mate?” Remus asked him as well. Sirius shrugged his shoulders.
“I was just thinking about that girl on the train today. You know, the Malfoy girl,” Sirius admitted.
“She seemed like a real bitch to me,” Peter said. Sirius glared, but then stopped, realizing that Peter was probably right.
“I dunno, maybe you’re just making assumptions. I mean, what has she done to you?” James asked.
“Loads of stuff!” Sirius defended.
“Like what?” Remus questioned.
“She tripped, and then blamed me for it! She will most likely send her Slytherin friends after me,” Sirius growled.
“What Slytherin friends? She’s in Gryffindor, mate. That’s got to count for something!” James said. Sirius didn’t know what to say.
“You want to know what I think?” Remus asked.
“No,” Sirius grumbled. Remus smiled, but went on anyways.
“I think you really like her. I think you feel differently about her than any other girl and you don’t like it. You’re whipped mate. Admit it and things will be loads easier,” he said. Sirius didn’t say anything. Mostly because Remus was right.
“You know what, I really need some time alone. I’m going for a walk. See you later,” and without another word, Sirius went off. James grinned at Remus.
“Remind you of Lily a bit? He’s got ‘Denial’ written all over his face,” he said, slapping Remus on the back. They both laughed, but Peter didn’t. He didn’t like this Malfoy girl at all. She was a fake, a scam. She wasn’t a true Malfoy, and it sickened him. She didn’t deserve her last name.
Sirius walked along, trying to think clearly. Why couldn’t he get that girl out of his head?! It was going to drive him mad. He was so preoccupied that he didn’t see his cousin, Bellatrix, leaning against the wall.
“Hello, Sirius,” she said. Sirius looked around. Had Heather really betrayed him? He looked around, looking for more Slytherins, if Heather had tried to send people to attack him, she wouldn’t have sent just Bella. He frowned.
“What do you want, Bella?” Sirius asked coldly, his eyes narrowing. She just smiled.
“You know what I want,” she said. Sirius raised a brow.
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