The sound of him screaming still echoes in my head, my ear drums start to buzz from the memory.
It had been one week since I had come home.
One week since I saw Aster’s father squirm on my dining room floor. Limbs flailing in a way my brain couldn’t fully comprehend.
The Dark Lord had made me watch every moment, pointing out various ways to make him twist in pain, switching up the cruciatus curse with other agonizing spells, so as to not fully melt his brain. I watched as Pettigrew dragged his body from the floor before remembering that he could just levitate his body back to the cellar. Aster’s father’s body limp as he floated past me, his greying hair coated with sweat, tears dripping on his cheeks.
I couldn’t escape that sight.
He was in my nightmares, so I stopped sleeping.
I avoided the dining room, I avoided downstairs. I was lucky that the Dark Lord was preoccupied, taking my father along with him on missions.
I tried to forget about Aster.
She was all I could think about.
“Are you really going to mope around all day this summer?” a whiney voice interrupted my so-called moping.
I looked up and found Pansy standing tall in my door frame. She was wearing a black coat, slightly muggle-like but her boots had every essence of a witch stitched into them. They tapped loudy against the wooden floor as she approached my bed.
“What are you doing here?” I complained.
“I’m bored. We used to see each other all the time during the summers” she said simply. Her eyes wandered around my room.
I picked myself up off my bed and stepped towards her.
“Things have changed”
She looked back at me, a small smile played on her lips. Cocking an eyebrow, she scoffs.
“Doesn’t mean we can’t pass time together”
I didn’t reply, instead I just walked straight past her and to my bookshelf. Glancing briefly at my guitar, I instead picked up a random book.
“C’mon Draco, we can go to Diagon Alley, or we can walk to Crabbe’s like we used to..”
I lean against the hard bookcase and ignore her, instead pretending to read the blurring words on the paper before me.
“Or we could pass the time like we did last summer?” her tone changes.
I look up and find her eyes dark and sultry.
I sigh heavily.
“No,” I reply bluntly, returning back to my book.
“Are you still seeing someone else?” she asks, her tone quieter than usual.
“No,” I reply again.
“Then what’s the harm of having some fun?” From the corner of my eye, I can see her approach me slowly.
Too exhausted to deal with Pansy this way, I tell her the truth.
“I lied. I am seeing someone, well not really but I don’t see you like that anymore. So can you please stop?” I tell this straight to her face, keeping my gaze on her doe-eyes. I say it warmly, as to not hurt her feelings too much.
She steps back but her eyes grow wide in shock.
“You actually like someone? Like care for them? Draco Malfoy?” she chuckles and I feel my skin itch with annoyance.
“Fuck off Pansy, I care about people”
She laughs louder at this.
“Fuck, she must be someone special if she’s made you act like this”
She switches her tone. It doesn’t seem like she’s trying to be condescending, instead it comes across as disbelief with a mix of mild appreciation.
I abandon the book and leave in on a side table, instead I pull my fingers through my hair and groan slightly.
“Who is it?”
“I’m not telling you that”
I listen to her boots tap against the hardwood floor until they stop. I look up to find her leaving, before she walks through the door frame she looks back at me.
“If it has anything to do with the man in your cellar, I don’t think she would want anything to do with you now”
My heart cracks.
I quickly shove my jumper over my head and twist round to find Theo standing in the doorway. His hair was rumpled like he had been running his hands through the thick waves, his eyes looked dreary as if he was exhausted in a way he couldn’t seem to care about anymore.
“Whats up?” I ask, shuffling my books into one pile and tidying my make shift desk.
“Um - Aster. She said something about being in love with Malfoy. Is that true?”
My hands froze and I gulped nervously. I knew Theo had a soft spot for her, it was bluntly obvious. I was hoping I could avoid this situation with the severity of our other matters at the moment.
“I don’t know about being in love but I knew they were seeing each other. Why?” I kicked a lone shoe into one corner, feeling slightly awkward with the sensitivity of this topic.
“She just told me she was. Did you not warn her against it? This makes things ten times more complicated!” he was getting annoyed, Theo’s voice was stern and rough.
I scrunched up my nose and squeezed my eyes shut.
“She knows its not simple” was all I could say.
I open my eyes to find Theo looking like someone had taken his heart and squeezed it until no blood was left. He was grey all over.
“She knows what he’s like right? The Malfoy family are nothing like her”
He said it in an almost mournful way, his voice soft and sorrowful.
“No one is like Aster”
“You can say that again” Theo replied quietly.
I let out a short puff of air through my nose and continued to clean my room. I always felt the need to clean and reorganise when I was feeling uneasy. Aster and Harper used to make me feel awkward just so I would clean up after them. I smiled at the memory.
“She’s not getting any better” Theo added.
I looked up and nodded.
“She’s still angry, it will take her a while to hone those feelings into her powers in the right way”
“Don’t you think it’s weird that her parents never told her about her ability? She’s probably been showing symptoms for a while. Why didn’t her mum prep her?” Theo asked.
I shrugged my shoulders.
“Aster’s parents weren’t like most parents. They kept to themselves a lot, they were so caught up in each other they barely paid Aster any notice”
“So she kind of brought herself up?...makes a lot of sense” Theo mumbled.
“Mhm. She used to stay at mine a lot during the holidays, Harper would come join us and she wouldn’t even miss her parents. Harper would, she’s really close to her mum, so she would go back and forth a lot. Aster though, she was happy to be away from hers. I’m pretty sure she had to force herself to write letters to them at school. Family meant little to her.”
I was remaking my bed as I talked. I looked up once I was finished and found Theo staring at the pillow I had just thrown down.
“You need to talk to her, she misses you” Theo says, his eyes still staring blankly at the white sheets.
“I will” I murmured.
“You’ve already done that” Theo interrupts as I fold the same Tshirt twice.
Instead I leave the pile of clothes and snatch up my wand from the side table.
“Do you know where she is?” I ask Theo.
“In her room”
I find her snuggled underneath a thick woollen blanket on her bed. She’s writing in a dark blue leather journal, her quill scratches softly on the parchment.
“Hey” I say softly. I stay standing in the open doorway, feeling awkward and embarrassed.
She looks up, her green eyes look a little brighter than the last time I saw her. A healthier looking pink paints her cheeks.
“You alright?” I ask, leaning my side on the wooden door frame. It pokes into my ribs slightly, but I don’t move.
“Yeah I’m fine” she says bluntly before turning her attention back to her writing.
“You look a bit better” I press.
She sighs and releases her quill, settling it in the middle of her journal and closing the leather covers.
“What do you want Blaise?” She asks impatiently, crossing her arms in front of her.
“Please Aster, can we just talk? I miss you” I confess. A week with Aster ignoring my every step was more confronting than I thought it would be. Being a dark and gloomy strangers house was miserable when you only had one friend. I was apart of the Order but that didn’t mean everyone trusted me. The glorified Gryffindors seemed to counter every comment I made.
“You have Theo and I’m sure you have other members of the order for you to cuddle up with” she retorted, tearing her eyes away from mine and staring crossly down into her lap.
“There’s no one else here. Potter owns the place but he’s not of age yet as he has the trace....it’s complicated. Everyone else has their own homes to go to. It’s just me, you and Theo.”
She pulls her blankets off and wriggles around hotly like she’s suddenly feeling suffocated.
“It’s Dracos birthday today” she mumbles.
I take a step forward but instantly pause as Aster flicks her gaze at me. Her wide eyes stare at me for a few seconds until I notice her body slump.
“You can sit down here” she offers, shifting over and leaving me room to sit next to her on her bed.
My whole body instantly relaxes. Relief washes over me in such intense waves I have to gulp back a sob.
I sit myself down slowly, careful to not seem too relieved. I pull a pillow out from underneath me and place it behind my back before leaning back and settling in comfortably.
This feels normal.
She’s sitting cross legged, her back hunched over with her journal still in her lap. I keep my eyes on my hands in my own lap.
“I’m sorry Aster, truly. You know how much I love you and care for you. Everything I’ve done is to keep those I care about safe” I plead softly and quietly.
She stills at my apolgigy but after a few tense seconds she unravels her legs and shuffles back to sit next to me against her bed frame.
Her dark hair is tangled and messy, and I watch as she pulls it from her face and turns to face me.
“You hurt me. If there was anyone in the world I could trust one hundred percent it would have been you. Not even my own family could come close. I love them I do, and I want to save my Dad but you, you’re my real family”
Breath escapes my lips in an uneven manner.
“I’m sorry” my voice cracks and I feel tears prick at the corners of my eyes. I keep my gaze downwards and try to keep the tears from overflowing.
Then I hear her gasp and she’s inching herself away from me quickly and hastily, almost erratically.
“What?! What’s wrong?” I ask, panicked and confused.
Her eyes are wide and glossy and she shakes her head.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to”
I narrow my eyes at her and look around confused.
“I accidentally read your feelings, don’t worry not your thoughts but but it was like you were pushing your emotions towards me. I’m sorry I’m trying to control it!” She rushes her words frantically.
I’m so shocked I laugh.
She looks at me wide eyed.
“What?” She whispers confused.
“I’m sorry it’s ok. If there was anyone I wanted to know how I felt it’s you so don’t worry” I admit, trying to keep my chuckles to a minimum.
“Sorry I laughed, it’s just all so insane” I admit.
and she smiles.
That brightness that was missing from her eyes was there now. It was dim but it was there and I felt suddenly hopeful.
“It is isn’t it?” She chuckles, looking back down at her lap.
“I’m assuming you did this to Theo and that’s why he’s been so miserable all day” I tease.
Her smile turns into a stern frown and I inwardly curse at myself for bringing him up.
“No it’s ok, I shouldn’t have....I knew he liked me but he was so disappointed with me, I just felt angry”
“In me being with Malfoy” she mutters.
“I can’t help it. I won’t read his mind again, I’ll learn to manage it by myself”
“You can’t do that. I’ll help you and Theo can still teach you” I offer.
She nods slowly.
“I have an idea on how to get my dad back”