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Do we eat lies because our hearts are hungry?

Aster’s POV

“You need to control your magic, you’re letting it overwhelm you”

All I could manage was an eye roll and a groan.

The fact that I was still cooped up in this dismal excuse of a house was starting to get under my skin. They wouldn’t let me outside until I had a handle on my legilimency and occlumency, something I had come to learn I was a natural at. Such a natural that I had no control over the act and that was the ultimate reason for my excruciating headaches.

“Seriously Flint, I can see your eyes twitch when you don’t control it. Do you want another headache tonight?”

I looked at my supposed teacher with contempt. A chestnut curl was hanging in front of his forehead, it was quite tantalizing to watch. As I focused on the soft curl, I felt my magic swirl in gentle waves. It was an odd but comforting feeling knowing that my magic was now alive and stirring beneath my veins. It was an apparent side effect of the legilems genetics I was passed down. Something my Mother had failed to mention. Something I was trying to repress my feelings about. Another lie.

My body jolted in surprise as my magic slipped into his brain, a vivid memory appeared. One, in which I was watching myself from afar, my school robes on, my hair up in a messy bun. I was in the library and he was watching me.

I brought myself back instantly.

“Do you really have to think about memories of me? You know I can also interpret how you’re feeling in those moments right?” I whined, heat flooded my cheeks.

Theo looked at me amused, the usual cheeky glint in those hazel eyes of his.

“How was I feeling?” He asked, picking himself up from his chair and strolling towards a side table that was holding his glass of water.

I considered not telling him but than I figured it was his own feelings he wanted to know about.

“It felt warm, the kind of warmth you feel when you wrap a warm towel around you after a dip in cold water, like you were comforted but also excited or nervous. I don’t quite understand the difference yet...” I murmured, slightly embarrassed that I had to experience first hand his feelings towards me.

“You’re getting there. I was relieved to see you, I had a bad day and I dunno when I’m around you I feel better” he answered awkwardly.

I hardly saw Theo awkward, so I found myself staring at the ground, hoping my red cheeks were not as red as they felt.

“Please stop showing me memories of myself, its quite disjointing” I pleaded, looking up to find him looking at me from beneath his glass of water.

“Fine” he grinned.

“Is your mother good at interpreting feelings?” I asked.

“She’s better at it than seeing people’s memories. She doesn’t like to delve into people’s thoughts, instead she normally used it to see if I was telling her the truth...it’s beyond annoying to be honest. She practiced enough to be able to just skim peoples thoughts, just so she could get a gist of what their emotions were like. It was helpful in her line of work”

“She’s a healer right?”

“Yeah, that’s what she’s doing right now. She’s in Romania, working with some researchers”

“Why didn’t you go with her?”

“I did briefly, that’s where I went before I visited France. Then I left my father in France with his parents and came back to Hogwarts. Didn’t feel quite right not being here” he murmured thoughtfully.

I nodded and pulled my legs up underneath me.

It was more than a shock when I saw Theo with the rest of the order that afternoon. I reluctantly joined the Order downstairs, in their sorry excuse of a kitchen and the one person my eyes instantly found was him. I could feel Blaise gaze on me the entire time, like a big brother waiting for me to snap.

Professor Lupin, or Remus as I should say now, was the one to explain my sudden natural ability with legilimency. He had been a friend of my mothers growing up and had first hand experience with her mind-reading abilities. Remus, along with an odd pink haired lady named Tonks explained my mother’s genetics, how being a muggle-born she was unaware of her natural ability to both legilimency and occlumency, a rare ability.

“Why am I training again?” I asked, thoroughly exhausted from the mind games.

“You can’t risk being known so you need to learn to control it. You heard Remus, your mother had no idea and ended up scaring the goblins out of a first year. Luckily Remus was around to take the kid to the infirmary and the kids mind wasn’t completely scrambled”

“I can seriously hurt someone with this can’t i?”

“Yeah, but only if you’re highly emotional and not in control. Otherwise its harmless, it can just be invasive I suppose. You can’t just use it on people without their permission, unless you really need to. If someone else finds out, they can easily let he-who-must-not-be-named know and by then we might as well just hand you over on a silver platter”

That thought made my bones shiver.

“Why would he need someone like me? Isn’t he perfectly capable of it himself?”

“Yeah but it’s also handy to have someone else around that can alter people’s minds and see who’s telling the truth. If anything, we need to keep the fact that you’re a natural Occlumens from him. If he finds out you’re a legilimens, at least you have the ability to keep him out of your head”

I nodded solemnly.

“You know, you need to forgive Blaise. If you can forgive me, you can forgive him” Bliase suddenly said, his tone lowering and his eyes seeking mine apprehensively.

“Who said I’ve forgiven you?” I spit back, suddenly feeling itchy with hot anger. I was determined to not think about Blaise, it was one thing agreeing to the senseless Legilimency lessons but to forgive him and let him think it was ok for him to do that to me, I couldn’t do.

“We didn’t do anything wrong Ast”

“Don’t call me that”

I didn’t like that nickname coming from his lips.

“Fine, Aster. We couldn’t tell you, you know that.”

“Is this why you two have been all chummy since you got back? You’ve been secretly meeting with a secret organisation thats named after a stupid bird?” I childishly retort.

“Blaise’s mum knows mine from school. She’s been keeping an eye on me since Christmas” he admitted, seeming almost ashamed.

“You’ve been on your own since Christmas?”

“Well not really, we’ve been at school. I was only on my own for a week”

“And you and Blaise have been meeting up since then, behind my back, talking all about me and Malfoy, and death eaters?”

My hands were now gripping the side of the couch, Theo had sat back down in the armchair next to the fireplace, only a coffee table separated us.

“Well only I talked about you, and not in that way..” he’s tone was flirty and I could tell he was trying to diffuse the tension.

“Seriously Theo, you and Blaise kept so much from me at Hogwarts. After...Harper...I just can’t believe Blaise would keep things from me. He knew how much Harper’s betrayal hurt me and him! How can he just do the same to me?”

His hazel eyes turned sympathetic. I watched as his fingers ran against the length of his trousers, an off-hand twitch accompanied his leg.

“That’s part of the reason Blaise went to Dumbledore. He wanted to see if he could get his help to get her back and then you got more involved with Malfoy and the Death Eaters...you should have seen him when you told him you were thinking of becoming a death eater to protect your father. He was furious. He couldn’t lose both of you. Thats why he went to Dumbledore and Dumbledore gave me the idea of you just helping Draco”

Air seemed to thin around me, my lungs seemed to be working in overdrive.

“He told Dumbledore?” I squeaked out.

“Fuck” Theo replied, running his hand through his curls.

“I shouldn’t have told you, I should have waited for him to explain. But Aster, you need to realise, he’s done all this to keep you alive. If he wasn’t with the Order, you-know-who would be searching high and low for you right now. He would probably already have you locked away at Malfoy Manor already”

“Instead, he just has my father” I cried out angrily.

I stood up from the couch and paced the length of the room, trying to calm the erratic feelings drifting through my head. Theo’s own emotions were creeping unexpectedly into the cracks in my mind, I could feel the ache he was feeling. He was worried.

I cradled my head in my palms and sighed deeply.

“My mum is merlin knows where, my father is a prisoner of war probably being tortured, my ex-best friend is most probably a death eater, my only best friend has been keeping a secret from me this whole time and my boyfriend....” I couldn’t complete the rest of my sentence, I was suddenly very aware that Draco wasn’t even my boyfriend anymore.

“Boyfriend?” Theo asked.

I looked up to find Theo’s eyebrows furrowed.

“You already know all about me helping Draco right?” I deduced from his early admission.

“Oh right yeah, but boyfriend? He was the guy you were seeing?”

Blaise’s eyes drastically avoided mine, instead they glanced at the empty fireplace with a sort of distant expression.

“I’ve been seeing him since October” I admitted, feeling very sheepish and more of a teenager than I had felt in weeks.

“October” Theo mumbled quietly, still staring into the grate.

“You willing dated a Death Eater?” his voice seemed to echo around the dark room.

I blanched.

“Yes but he doesn’t want to be one. It was either that or be killed” I explained.

“Sure” he mumbled.

“You can’t be serious?” I groaned.

“What?” he spat at me, his eyes were wide and furious and his hands were clenched. I was seeing an entirely new Theo.

“Are you angry at me for dating Draco instead of you?”

He narrowed his eyes at that.

“Fuck off Aster. You need to get over yourself.” was all he said in reply.

“Over myself? He’s not just a Death Eater Theo. Just like Harper, we all know she’s not just a Death Eater. There’s good in them too. You can’t be angry just because I fell in love with him and not you!” I was furious, my words fell from my lips easily.

“In love?” he almost sputtered.

My mouth opened and closed. I hadn’t realise what I said. I felt my cheeks flame at the realisation, and then I felt Theo’s strong emotions through the threads of my magic.

He was disappointed.

“You cannot be disappointed at that? That is so...so egotistical of you!” I yelled.

“Don’t read my mind!” He yelled back.

I stepped backwards, as if the shock of my invasive act just tumbled into my consciousness, knocking me about and making me feel awful.

“I’m- I’m sorry Theo, I didn’t mean to” I murmured.

He looked tired, his eyes found mine and in a quick flash they turned cold.

“I think we’ve done enough for tonight. Goodnight Aster” he said, picking himself up from his chair and walking out of the room without a second glance back.

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