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You promise?

By Roberta Pinto

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 1

I made my way trough a damp, dark corridor. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine how people managed to survive here; the smell was nauseating and the moisture always chilled me to the bones.
Once I spotted what I was looking for, I made sure no one was guarding the door. You would have thought that a place such as Azkaban would have better security measures, and while it was impossible to get out, getting in was the easiest thing in the world.

As usual, on Thursday’s nights at quarter to midnight, nobody was standing in front of Lucius’ cell. It had taken me quite some time to find the best moment to sneak in, but after three months, I was now sure that I had exactly seventeen minutes before anyone would show up.

‘You’re late,’ Lucius stated from the far back of his cell. He no longer looked the way he used to; his hair was lifeless and his face was the one of an old man.

‘I’m shocked that you even manage to remember what day of the week we are,’ I attempted joking, but there was no room for joy in this place. Looking for the driest spot, I sat on the ground facing Lucius, bars separating us.

‘Don’t play smart,’ Lucius retorted, a hint of a smile barely perceptible, while coming as close to the bars as the chains would allow. ‘Alright, what have you brought me on this lovely night?’ He asked genuinely curious.

‘Some grapes and,’ I paused while retrieved a glass bottle from my handbag, ‘some 1928 Scotch.’ This time his smile was more visible and he eagerly outstretched his hand. I passed him the things and leaned back against the stone wall. ‘So,’ he asked between two sips, ‘what have I missed?’

I knew he wasn’t asking about the stock market or the Quidditch championship. Lately, he only cared about two things: his family and the Dark Lord’s business regarding his family.

‘Well, I went with Bellatrix to Manchester. Since you’re here, I have got to team up with her and it’s not as fun as it was with you.’ I was trying to avoid a specific subject, and by the stern look Lucius gave me, he must have sensed it. ‘Fine,’ I gave up, rising my hands in a defeated gesture, ‘I’ll tell you but you won’t like it.’

‘The Lord is still pissed at you for failing him, and well, since you are here, he can’t really punish you,’ I said, faking a positive expression. ‘Thus, he has entrusted Draco with a mission. He has until the end of the school year to kill Dumbledore and find a way to get us inside Hogwarts’.

‘What?!’, Lucius yelled before choking on a grape. He got up as quickly as his weak condition would allow, and grabbed the bars so hard that his knuckles turned white.

‘Calm down,’ I whispered slowly and put my hands around Lucius’s, ‘It’s going to be fine. Draco is a fine wizard, you said so yourself.’

‘A fine wizard?’, Lucius repeated, his voice filled with sarcasm. ‘He’s a sixteen year old boy, Dumbledore is one of the most powerful wizards, bloody hell!’ He was still angry, but for the sake of remaining undetected, he was trying to keep his voice down.

‘Don’t worry now. We’ll find a way, I’ll help him,’ I was seriously becoming desperate to console him. After all, he was my oldest and in all honesty, my only friend. Slowly, I saw him raising his head, looking me right into the eyes.

‘You promise?’, he asked, his voice barely a whisper.

‘Of course, I do. You’re my friend, Lucius.’

——————————

Perfect. Perfectly perfect.

What the hell had I been thinking?! There are two incredibly stupid things to do in life: falling in love and doing a stupid unbreakable vow. And while I had promised myself never to do either, I had now vowed to protect Draco, whatever the costs.

Bloody Lucius! What a great friend he is, tricking me into putting my own life at risk to save his son’s. I knew I should never have befriended him. I sighed, breathing out, trying to relax, what is done is done, and I can’t go back. The most important question right now, was how I, a sixteen year old girl, was going to save a sixteen year old boy.

I knocked on a dark wooden door. Seconds after, I could hear an ‘Enter’.

I slowly turned handle and entered the the barely lit study.

‘Alex, my child, what brings you here?’, the Lord asked, clapping his hands as if my presence truly rejoiced him.

‘I have an idea, my Lord,’ I announced in the most cheerful voice I could manage.

‘An idea?’, he repeated, ‘Very well, take a seat,’ he offered, gesturing towards a dark mahogany chair.

So, I wasn’t really feeling like sitting right now, but was I going to disobey the Lord? Not in a million years. My life might be seriously fucked up, but being killed by Voldemort really wasn’t on my to-do list. ‘Well,’ I began, sitting down, ‘I’m here to talk about Draco.’

‘An idea about Draco, what an unexpected combination,’ Voldemort wondered, his voice almost inviting.

‘Yeah, it’s about his mission,’ I started, my voice displaying a confidence that I did not feel, ‘with all do respect, my Lord, Draco isn’t prepared. Without outside help, he will fail his mission. Fail you, my Lord.’ I stopped, searching for the right words while simultaneously finding none. ‘Therefore, my idea is that someone could teach him, be his mentor.’

‘And who do you suggest, Alexandra?’ The dark Lord asked, genuinely curious.

‘Myself,’ Voldemort stared at me doubtfully, but I managed to go on, ‘I just got expelled from Durmstrang. And since I need to finish school one way or another, I could attend Hogwarts. That way I could keep an eye on Draco, make sure he follows through his mission and finish the two years of school that I have left.’

The dark Lord remained silent for a long time. Actually, he remained silent for so long that I started wondering whether I hadn’t just turned deaf and simply couldn’t hear him.

‘You have a point, my child,’ he agreed, ‘I will talk to Severus to make sure you may attend Hogwarts since school starts next Monday. In the mean time, find a cover up identity. Old Dumbledore wouldn’t want a Death Eater attending Hogwarts.’ And then he started laughing his disgusting laugh that freezed my entire body. Yet, I did join him in his weird moment of humor and laughed as well. Once he stopped laughing, he spoke again, all joy immediately leaving his face.

‘I will inform Draco about our decision at tonight’s meeting,’ he declared, and I knew it was my cue to leave, but there’s one more thing I needed to ask.

‘My Lord, would it be possible not to tell Draco that I will be attending Hogwarts? I don’t want him to know, once I’m at Hogwarts, that I am his mentor…’ I asked, hoping for some kindness.

‘Very well, my child,’ Voldemort granted me this favour and I know better than to stay any longer. I quickly excused myself and left the study without making a sound.


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