It Was You
The five of us chatted quietly until we reached the train station. We grabbed our trunks, but all decided it was best to wait for the train to clear out some before we tried to get off. I glanced through the window and watched my schoolmates reunite with their families. Most would run up to their parents and drag them into hugs. Some would carry younger siblings on their shoulders as they said good bye to their friends.
I searched with a hope-filled heart for any sign of Lucius, but he was nowhere to be seen. My father wasn't around either, though, so that was a plus. When we finally exited the train together, my father was still no where to be seen. It was the only reason I allowed Remus to drag me off to where an elderly couple and two younger women stood chatting together.
Introductions were passed around quickly. The elderly couple was James's parents, though they looked easily old enough to be his grandparents. A young, copper-haired woman with tired eyes and a big smile was Miss Hope Lupin, she hadn't been Mrs. Hope Lupin for some years now, and wasn't shy to tell me so. A slightly shorter, pudgier woman with dark, greying hair introduced herself to me as Mrs. Pettigrew. Mr. Pettigrew had died some years back, and now it was just her and her precious boy.
I looked at all of them and felt a stab of pain in my heart. There were so many smiles being thrown my way, and I'd never seen such expressions of unconditional love as I did when these parents gazed on their children.
"This is Desari Malfoy, Mum." Remus said when it became apparent that I wasn't going to introduce myself. "She's my g-girlfriend."
I fell into shock at the word. It had never occurred to me that Remus would introduce me as his girlfriend so soon. I hadn't been prepared. The copper haired woman's smile slashed further across her face as she swooped down and pulled me into the tightest hug of my life.
The three mothers busied themselves with asking me thousands of questions and giving me no time to answer. Then they each invited me over for tea whenever I might want and simply doted on me for what felt like hours. I think I was the only one to notice Sirius's look of despair when he silently slipped away from the flock of loving parents and close friends to join his mother and brother who were standing impatiently several paces away.
It took an hour and several well crafted lies from all three of my remaining friends to convince the loving parents that I could wait for my father on my own. After their eventual departure I was left alone on the platform to patiently await my father. Several times over the next hour I thought of calling the night bus to take me home, but I knew that such an act would anger father rather than relieve him of the burden of fetching me. By the time he finally arrived, I was halfway through a book on the proper testing methods of new potions.
"Father." I said standing and looking at my father's feet. I was ready to go as soon as I saw him, such was expected of a Malfoy.
"Well, get on with it, you useless girl." He commanded, holding out his arm. I took his arm, book held tightly in my hand and the handle of my trunk clutched in my other hand to hand to the house elf he always brought. "Hang tight to that trunk, girl. The elf was busy preparing your dinner."
Abraxas didn't even give me time to obey his command before there was a jarring sensation in not one, but both my arms this time. I leaned heavily on my trunk as he pulled away like I might infect him in the entry hall of the Malfoy Manor.
"You never cease to amaze me, you filthy squib." Abraxas snarled, now that we were in the privacy of our own home. "First you befriend a bunch of muggle loving scum, and now you want to leave the house our family has been sorted into for generations?"
I frowned. The thought hadn't occurred to me that the professors would have written home about my resorting. I'd never stopped to think what Abraxas would say about my hatred for my Slytherin comrades.
"Not even going to offer your usual excuses?" He growled, pointing his wand at me.
"I'm sorry, Father." I whispered. "I was in danger in Slytherin. I thought only of my own safety."
"Your safety?" Abraxas bellowed. "What about the safety of MY namesake?! What of the disgrace you've brought to this family yet again? Every time I turn my back on you for a single moment you run off dragging the name I gave you through the mud! Crucio!"
The pain hit me unexpectedly hard, tearing a scream from my throat. Abraxas continued yelling, but I could no longer hear him over my own screams. After what felt like hours, Abraxas's wand lowered and the pain subsided. My whole body felt as if it'd been put through a literal meat grinder.
"I knew from the day you were born that you were no good, girl." Abraxas panted as if he was as out of breath as I was myself. "You would have been drowned that very day if your mother hadn't stopped me herself. I wonder if she regrets stopping me now that you've killed her? Think she'd let me kill you if she could do it over?"
"No." I said bravely. I was delirious and in pain, and my new found bravery made me stupid. I knew it was a mistake the moment the word left my lips, but I couldn't take it back, so instead I stood by it. "Everyone tells me my mother was a bright and kind woman. Everyone tells me she was beautiful and that I'm just like her. No one says that about you. No one speaks of your wisdom or your greatness. They speak of you like a stain. They speak of you like you speak of me!"
"Why, you little bitch!" Abraxas screamed, his face flushing in his anger. "You're an ungrateful parasite! You are nothing like your mother! You're nothing but a little squib who murdered her own Mum for her magic."
I stood tall and proud, the way my years of training in Slytherin had taught me. "No. I'm none of those things. You only say that because you need to blame someone. You need to blame me, or you'll realize that Mum's death had nothing to do with me. You'll realize that years of your abuse caused her to be weak enough to succumb to the illness that really killed her. Yeah, my magic hurt her, but if she'd been healthy, she would have lived. The doctors told me that. The doctors told me that it wasn't my fault, but I didn't believe them until now. I just needed to look at the big picture. If anyone killed Mum, it was YOU!"
My last rant was too much for the old man to withstand. His wand whipped across his chest in a silent curse and I felt pain unlike I'd ever felt before. My hand came up to clutch at my chest and was met with warm, wet blood. The last thing I saw before the darkness claimed me was my father's nose starting to bleed from the exertion of power.
Darkness claimed my mind. I didn't wake when my body crumpled to the floor. I didn't wake when Ella, the poor old house elf screamed at the sight of the two of us laying in a pool of our mixed blood. I didn't wake hours later when Lucius arrived to visit and shook me as hard as he could. I didn't even wake when I arrived at the ice cold hospital and was swarmed my strangers. I didn't wake.
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