Part the Tenth
Halcyone and Voldemort, September-October, 1996
Draco and Hallie were walking through the halls of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, ostensibly on rounds. Hallie’s wizard cross was around her neck. She had never taken it off except to sleep, putting it on carefully each morning.
When they were rounding the corridor, Hallie was surprised to see Lord Roman Malfoy, Draco’s a bit of a wastrel of an uncle.
“Oh dear,” she greeted despite herself, looking between uncle and nephew. “Isn’t it a little late for official business, Lord Roman?”
Roman Malfoy was a handsome wizard, far more handsome than his older brother Lucius, Lord Malfoy. He had silver blond hair, gray eyes, which seemed to be typical to the Malfoy brothers. However, where Lord Malfoy’s face was pointed, his was less so. His features were softer and yet had an undeniable masculinity to them. Perhaps one could almost say they were hard where Lord Malfoy’s were pointed, and that made him seem almost inherently Masculine. Where his older brother had the physique of a boxer, Lord Roman had the body of a slim swimmer, and he certainly looked attractive in expensive robes. Hallie would never deny it secretly to herself. Simultaneously, she would never admit it to anyone, especially to a single member of the Malfoy family.
“You are beauty itself, Lady Halcyone,” he greeted, bowing as he took her hand which was resting by her side. As he rose from his bow, he lifted her hand to just beneath his lips, never kissing it, before releasing it.
She allowed it to hover politely for the briefest of moments before reclaiming it.
“How are you, Uncle?” Draco interrupted as silver eyes stared into hazel, an undeniable attraction passing between the two.
Halcyone figured she needed to watch more Muggle movies with ‘heartthrobs’ to cure herself of noticing just how handsome certain men were. Ever since she was about fourteen—about the time of the Yule Ball—she suddenly started to notice boys. And by boys, it was really men. Fortunately for her, there were virtually none at Hogwarts, and the few there were happened to be unattractive. Professor Snape, case in point.
Lord Roman turned his attention to Draco, fortunately. “I am well, nephew. I came to inquire from Lady Halcyone when she might have a free period. It seems certain parties wish to know.” His voice was now a purr as he took in Hallie from head—to toe.
“Certain parties?” she questioned. “You’re going to have to be a little more specific, if you want me to be forthcoming.”
He breathed out, a smile curving his lip. “A mutual acquaintance.”
“That could be anyone,” she laughed. “Be more specific, or I’m back on my rounds.”
Sighing dramatically, he took out a red notecard from his robes and handed it over. It read, in white ink, Is this proof enough, Lady Mabelle? Well, it seemed that the Dark Lord knew her well.
Handing back the card, he slipped it back into his robes.
“It does seem we have a mutual friend,” she agreed quietly. “Is there a particular day of the week that is suitable?”
“Thursday,” he drawled.
It was Monday.
“Fourth period,” she answered simply. “I shall be waiting inside the Forbidden Forest, still within sight of Hogwarts, but within the tree line.” Looking at Draco, she waited for his approval, as she had since she was a lost first year and didn’t know which way was up and which way was down.
He took her hand and squeezed it once to tell her to go.
Turning back to Lord Roman, she nodded once. “Are we agreed?”
“I can’t remember the Hogwarts timetable.”
“Your brother is a governor here,” she laughed as she walked around him without taking leave of him. “I’m sure he can tell you, Lord Roman. Perhaps Draco will inform you.” Hallie was not going to make this easy for him.
Roman turned toward her and called, “I have something for you.”
“Have him give it to me himself,” she stated without even turning. “I’m on rounds. I want to scare someone.” Heading to a well known closet, she felt Draco come up behind her, undoubtedly smirking if she knew him at all.
“My uncle watched you walk away.”
“I have far better placed suitors,” she stated. “What is he thinking sending Lord Roman of all people? The man has been half-after me since fourth year.”
“Have you told anyone?” Draco asked. “I haven’t. I doubt Uncle Roman has.”
“It’s a secret then,” she murmured as she came up to the closet and scooted to the opposite side of it. Nodding to Draco as he got into position then, she grabbed the handle and opened it as they shone Lumos spells at the end of their wands only to see—
“Harry?” Hallie asked, looking at her half-brother, who she had always secretly resented. She saw his messy black hair, his green eyes so like Mrs. Snape’s, and the lighting bolt scar that was almost identical to her own. “Who are you—what are you? Harry!”
“Right,” he greeted, coming out with a ginger top who was shorter, curvier, softer, and if she wasn’t mistaken on the Quidditch Team. “This is Ginny.”
“For the sake of fairness,” Hallie decided, “you take points, Draco, and I’ll talk to my wayward brother.”
Harry looked honestly surprised, but he followed her down the hallway. “I thought you renounced Mom and took a new name. Renounced Dad.”
“I never renounced Dad,” she stated carefully as she took in his swollen lips and realized, with the vined ring on her finger, she wouldn’t have that until she was married. The hormonal teenager in her was envious. “I would never renounce Dad. However, we both know that Mrs. Snape is not my mother. I look nothing like her—she never wanted me. She kept you and foisted me off on her sister.”
Stroking his chin, Harry stated carefully, “Why aren’t you a Potter anymore?”
“Right,” she sighed. Hallie and Harry had never had a close relationship, but they were ‘twins’ of a sort, the two Potter siblings, the two—well, Harry shared that they were the Prophecy children as Dumbledore had a habit of talking to him. They also now jointly owned Grimmauld Place together although Hallie had never been there. She’d told Harry to do what he liked with it while they were in school though she, at the time they had last spoken about it, had every intention of moving in after their seventh year. “The Gaunts are all about blood purity.”
He snorted, which really didn’t help.
“You always grew up as a half-blood with magic,” she told him angrily, “who came and visited three or four times a year and kept it a secret from me, your own sister,” she reminded him harshly.
“Right,” he agreed. “Mom said—”
“I don’t care what Mrs. Snape said,” she snapped back. “I didn’t know until my Hogwarts letter, and I was sorted into Slytherin, the land of purebloods, and Draco Malfoy believed in me—believed my surname, believed that Mrs. Snape wasn’t my mother because Professor Snape told everyone that she wasn’t.” She sighed and then took a deep breath. “The Gaunts are all about blood purity and I have known in my heart that I was a pureblood for five years now. My birth certificate, which Sirius gave me—” (Harry’s eyes widened) “—shows that my name is ‘Mabelle Halcyone Gaunt.’ Dad gave me my mother’s name because it means something. I live with my cousin, Lord Marvolo Gaunt, now.”
“The Dark Lord.”
“No,” she refuted. “They’re related, but the Dark Lord is someone else. We’re related. I just don’t know how we have the same pureblood dad by two mothers and were born on the exact same day. How do we have the same curse scars—”
“From Voldemort,” Harry told her plainly, which was frankly news to her.
“What are you talking about?” she asked in shock. “Yours is from the Dark Lord—mine is—I don’t know—you defeated him.”
Harry carefully came up to her and took her by the shoulders, looking into her eyes. They were within half an inch of each other, both reaching five foot ten, in her case, eleven in his. “Hallie,” he told her plainly, “Voldemort came after us because we were the children—or the supposed children,” he amended when she opened her mouth to refute it—”of James and Lily Potter.”
“Your mother is Lily Snape,” she told him plainly.
“She married my stepfather after Dad died.”
“That’s not true,” she argued. “Well, maybe it is, but Dad was clearly married to Lady Maia Gaunt at the time of his death. I have the marriage certificate in my vault to prove it. I can send for it if you want—They were married in October of 1979. All Hallow’s Eve, when the magic was strongest.”
His bright green eyes, partially hidden by glasses, searched hers. “No,” he refuted. “You’re lying.”
“Do you know what that unhealed scar is on Mrs. Snape’s hand is?” she demanded, grasping his upper arms when he began to pull away. Frankly, she wouldn’t let him now. “It’s the scar from an unconsummated bonding. A failed bonding. They tried to bond—but something disrupted it. I don’t know what, but they were never married, never bonded. It left Dad free to marry my mother. It left your mother free to marry Professor Snape, but they’re not even married if rumor is true!”
It happened so suddenly, Hallie didn’t have time to react. Skin met skin with a loud resounding smack and her head snapped to the side as he slapped her.
“Don’t speak about my mum—” he began, but then a wand was pressed to his throat.
“Fifty points for assaulting a prefect and fellow student,” Draco hissed, “and detention for a month with a professor of your Head of House’s Choice. I’ll be submitting a report first thing tomorrow if not tonight!”
“She’s my sister and she called my mother a whore!”
“She’s a witch! You never strike a witch!” Draco hissed, defending her honor.
All the while, Hallie was cradling her cheek and focusing on her breathing. Harry had never been violent toward her before. He and Dudley had gotten in a few scrapes when they were fighting over her. It was like she was a plaything when they were younger—despite the fact that Dudley liked to terrorize her on occasion when they weren’t playing “perfect family”—but Harry had never hit her. Never. Dudley had never. Neither would have ever laid a hand on her—or so she thought.
Before she knew it she was stumbling toward Professor Snape’s office. It was always the Slytherins’ habit to go to him when they had a minor (or even major) medical problem. With his potions, he could fix it without there being an official record.
He was no longer Potions Master this year, finally teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, but he was still her ‘Uncle Severus.’ She had called him that since she was a young child of about four or five, and he had always encouraged it, even when he told her that Lily Snape was not her mother and she wasn’t even remotely related to the Dursleys.
As she stumbled in through the door without knocking, she shouldn’t have been remotely surprised to see Mrs. Snape. Of course, she was laid on the desk with her blouse completely unbuttoned and her breasts partially out of her bra. Staring for a second, she immediately fled and ran down the corridor. She nicked into a closet and then pulled out her Invisibility Cloak from her satchel and pulled it over her body just as the door was swung open.
She was met with the sight of an enraged Professor Snape, his wand out and casting a Lumos charm. His face was flushed, his trousers hastily done up, and she fought to slow her breath. His greasy black hair was mussed up and his hooked nose was in stark relief.
Seriously, had either he or Lily Snape heard of a locking charm?
Her cheek throbbed. There must have been some accidental magic pushed into the slap as she could feel it blistering.
The door finally closing, Hallie wished she had some way to know if Professor Snape had left. She waited a good hour before finally emerging under the invisibility cloak and going to the matron. She only took the cloak off two corridors away from the Hospital Wing.
She spent the night with a pink paste on her face. Hallie refused to say what had happened to her, though it was pretty obvious. There was a large hand print on her face and there would be a report from Draco by next morning at the latest.
Falling into a fitful sleep, she wasn’t at all surprised to find Draco sleeping in a chair beside her bed the next morning. His hair was all mussed up, no longer gelled back, and he was still in his Hogwarts uniform from the night before.
When he woke up about twenty minutes later, he immediately grabbed her hand. “Halcyone,” he sighed, taking her in. “Your face.”
“Some form of accidental magic. Teaches me right to insult my own stepmother. Does she count as my stepmother if she might have possibly had an affair with my father? I’m still convinced there’s another explanation.”
He kissed her hand in affection and her ring twinged. By the grimace on his face, so did his.
“Put up a privacy spell,” she whispered, knowing that her wand was in her satchel, which was on the floor and she couldn’t quite reach it.
Draco pulled out his wand and did as she asked.
“I ran to Professor Snape last night—and the door wasn’t locked. Mrs. Snape was lying on the desk—partially naked. I mean, I know they have a sex life. They have their son other than Harry—Clemens,” she stated his name with derision. The child was a third year Slytherin and the four friends—Draco, Hallie, Pansy, and Blaise—completely ignored him and everyone who wanted Draco to favor him (and now Hallie given that she was related to the Dark Lord) did the same. “I had to hide for over an hour.” She flicked her eyes to her satchel and his gaze followed her.
He nodded to show he understood.
“I never want to see her naked breasts again,” she whined.
He ran a hand over her hairline as it was still partially up despite sleeping on it. “Hush. It’s over now and I’m sure your face will be as good as new. When McGonagall hears of this—and I told Madam Pomfrey to submit the report of this to her—Potter will be in trouble.”
“Let’s hope. If I’m not beautiful by fourth period Thursday—” She bit her lip.
Draco laughed a little sadly. “There’s always Uncle Roman.”
“He does everything to get around that vined ring,” she stated sardonically. “One fears what he’ll do after marriage.—Not that I would dream of criticizing any relative of yours except when it regards how he might treat me.”
“Never!” Draco agreed. “Still, I would like an aunt—though it would be strange if it were you.”
“Yes, it would,” she agreed, not that she hadn’t thought about it.
She was in the hospital for half the day and when the paste finally came off, she still had an angry slap mark on her face, which she was told would remain for the better part of a month.
“Do not wear cosmetics of any kind,” Madam Pomfrey warned. “It will only irritate it and make the recovery time longer. I’ve informed Professor Slughorn of the situation and he will be brewing some salve for you to put on each night. Go visit him directly after dinner before you return to your Common Room and he’ll have the first batch.”
She nodded and put down the mirror she was holding. “Thank you, Madam Pomfrey,” she murmured, knowing there was no way she could hide the mark with her hair and still embody Pureblood modesty.
It was, of course, all over the school. The Potter siblings had gotten into a fight and Harry Potter had injured Halcyone Gaunt—but no one knew what they had fought about. The primary theory had been the Dark Lord. Everyone knew that Harry Potter was the Chosen One, and his own ‘half-twin’ as they were being called was the Dark Lord’s cousin and supposedly in contact.
Still, he got detention every day for a month with Professor Sinistra, which was an interesting choice. Hallie wondered what the detentions would comprise of.
When Thursday came, Hallie took extra care with her appearance even though she had a stark handprint on her face. She came down for breakfast and Draco stood up from his chair and clapped for her and soon everyone was doing the same, although Hallie doubted they knew why.
At the end of third period, she dipped into an alcove and put on her Invisibility Cloak and fell in line with a row of third years, which included her—not quite step sibling—Clemens Snape, on their way to Care of Magical Creatures, but then continued into the Forbidden Forest.
She took off the cloak when she was far enough in but could still see the castle. Looking around for the familiar red, her eyes pierced the trees until he emerged from behind a large oak, motioning her forward. Hallie glanced behind her and then made her way toward him.
His hand reached up and was placed gently on her uninjured cheek and he leaned his forehead against hers, his eyes closing. “I am sorry for this,” he whispered.
“It is not your fault,” she murmured.
“The rumors—” he refuted.
“We were arguing over our parentage,” she told him. “You are only to blame in that you are a Gaunt and are family and not related to Lily Snape.”
He sighed, his deep crimson robes fluttering in the wind that whistled through the trees. “You know.”
“I was upset,” she admitted, reaching up and letting her fingers curl around his cuffs that were clean with cufflinks in gold. “I was afraid—” Hallie let her words hang, not voicing her fears, fears so great they sometimes almost choked her in the night.
He opened his slits of eyes, a shining pale blue. “What were you afraid of, Lady Mabelle?”
“It’s just,” she admitted, moving away slightly, to give herself more space to think. “I know that Gaunts marry Gaunts. I know what roses mean—it doesn’t have to be red roses, but it has to be flowers as the first courtship gift. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. And you’re a Gaunt. I’m a Gaunt.—It—” She hesitated. “It is true that I am Sacred Twenty-Eight. I will have to get used to that. I will have to get used to being courted for that. However, we intermarry. I’m aware of that. I’ve seen the convoluted family tree. I admit I was surprised that Cousin Marvolo didn’t marry my mother.”
“No, he didn’t,” the Dark Lord laughed. “Such a thought never would have occurred to him. He doesn’t believe in marriage, as in regards to himself.”
She took a step forward, swallowing her pride. “But it has occurred to you.”
“I first heard of you as a Gaunt,” he admitted carefully, “and that intrigued me. However, as soon as you rolled out that window I wanted to know the witch who showed such cunning and such self-preservation. I wanted to become acquainted with the woman who embodied everything a Slytherin should be, but so rarely was. I did not respond to you at first not because I did not care, Lady Mabelle, but because I was both impressed and struck dumb.” He walked up to her and cupped the good side of her face again. “I would kiss you if I could.”
“I want to be kissed,” she admitted, her eyes slanting away from him. “I would never—of course.”
“Of course,” he concurred. “We are slaves to a society that prizes fidelity above all else—and I would be faithful to the girl who I sent roses to—and gave this humble gift to.” He reached into his robes, showing a gold waistcoat with red and black vines climbing it, eating each other, and so utterly wonderful and horrible at the same time. Somehow it made her sick. The Dark Lord produced the signature orange box from the Pumpkin Carriage.
Hallie took it hesitantly and undid the brown ribbon and opened it to show a rose gold necklace in it. It had several small wizard crosses on it, interchanged with diamonds. Gasping, she looked up at him, wishing the gift were from anyone but him.
“It’s for more formal occasions than the one I understand you always wear—a birthday gift from your dearest friend, Heir Draco, I believe.” He picked it up from the bed of brown velvet it was resting on and went behind her, placing it around her neck and securing it. It was a choker and a perfect fit. Next, he conjured a mirror and presented it to her.
Hallie looked at her reflection and admired it, turning her head from side to side and then lifting her chin.
The Dark Lord took the box from her hand and whispered, “Place the ring beside it.”
When she did, she gasped. The diamonds were the exact size and shape as the four main diamonds on her ring.
“I asked the primary jeweler who designed and crafted your ring to design this for you.—It’s insured, of course, under your name.”
Lowering the mirror, she threw herself in his arms, clearly surprising him, hiding herself away from the world. “This is a beautiful and thoughtful gift,” she whispered into his ear. “You’re opening up a world for me I didn’t even think was possible.” Holding him closer, she buried her smooth cheek into his shoulder, and he placed his hand at the back of her curls that were pinned into an elaborate twist.
It turned out he had brought a blanket and a picnic tea for them, which she found endearing as she ate clotted cream and strawberry sandwiches on lemon bread with earl grey tea in thermoses. “Have you ever been to Riddle House?” she asked as she drank from the top of her thermos. “It’s just—you’re a Gaunt, too.”
“I have,” he agreed. “I saw where you put your flowers when I asked Lord Marvolo. I thought they might be difficult to take on the train.”
Her eyes widening at the thought of him in her room, she finally agreed: “Yes, I couldn’t manage them with my cat and my trunk. I also didn’t want to answer anymore questions from my half-brother than I already would have.”
The Dark Lord paused, as if considering. “I understand how important family is, especially as you are an orphan, but how close are you to Harry Potter? I know that you were with him at the Department of Mysteries.”
She blinked at him. “How could you possibly know that? Dumbledore got me out before you showed up, though he was not kind enough to Harry or any of the others.”
“Dumbledore,” the Dark Lord told her carefully, “is afraid of you.”
“He is not—” she began, but the Dark Lord gave her a quelling look.
“He is,” he stated quite firmly. “You think I do not know the old man by now? I know that I gave only one of the Potter half-twins a curse scar on their head—and yet you both carry them. He knows that you share a father, and yet have different mothers, but you share a birthday, which is a near impossibility. He knows that you have two separate mothers who each named Sirius Black as your godfather without your father’s input—”
“How do you—?” But once again, he gave her a look.
“He knows that I am destined to hate one of you, and he’s afraid what that means for the other. Will I hate the other, or will I love the other instead? And which one is which?”
The thing is, they both knew the answer to that.