I skip breakfast, and instead unpack my suitcases, carefully. I then go in search of Abraxas, but instead I run right into Tom, knocking the both of us down. His arms immediately latch around my waist, preventing my body from hitting the hard, stone floor. Esmeralda, who had also been walking through the hallway, looks stunned, unsure of whether to laugh or ask if we're okay. I just glare at her, and she scuttles away, a giggle escaping as she leaves. My hands had rested on Tom's chest, and his dark hair flops into his eyes. I tentatively reach up, pushing the hair from his eyes, and my fingers touch his cheek, sending a shock through my arm, coursing through my me, and leaving me suddenly sick to my stomach. Tom is watching me, and he tilts his head to the side.
"Tom, Abraxas knows we kissed..." I trail off.
"Like it matters." He says. "You already had sex with him, so he must have forgiven you pretty quickly, huh?" He pushes me off of him but I quickly grab his arm.
"I did NOT have sex with Abraxas, Tom. What the hell are you talking about?" I demand, and when he tries to pull away, I grab the collar of his sweatshirt, yanking him towards me.
"You were sleeping with him, Lucinda. What was I supposed to think? That you didn't have sex with him?" Tom says, shaking his head. I realize just how much it hurts him to think of me with someone else, when it's clear he really, truly has feelings for me.
"Tom, nothing happened. I promise you that." I let go of his shirt, instead taking his face between my hands. "I didn't have sex with Abraxas. Do you think I would, when he and I had a fight? About you? About...us." I say the word. I can't take it back once I've said it.
"Is there an us, Lucinda?" Tom asks, not moving. I suddenly start crying, realizing that I'm really, truly in a mess. How could two very smart, handsome guys, have such strong feelings for me? A girl who is nothing more than a ghost in this time? A girl who is a time traveler?
"I don't know, Tom." I admit, "Sometimes it feels like there is, and other times, I just feel numb." I sob.
"Abraxas wants to be with you. Physically. He's not going to wait forever for you to make up your mind, Lucinda." Tom says, wiping at my tears.
"Don't you think I know that?" I ask him. "And I know you wont wait for me much longer either..." I trail off.
"I'll always wait for you, Lucinda." Tom tells me, and I lean forward, knowing I shouldn't kiss him, but still wanting to. "Lucinda...Don't." Tom says, reaching up again to push my hair out of my face. "You're with Abraxas. You shouldn't want me right now, not when you're with him."
"Tom," I start. But stop when I hear a sound behind us, coming up the stairs. I back away from Tom, bumping into the wall behind me, tears still staining my cheeks, and then Abraxas walks over to us.
"What's going on?" Abraxas asks, seeing my tears. "What did you do to her?" He asks Tom, suddenly furious.
"Nothing." Tom says. "Just ask her, and we both know she wont tell you the truth." He gives me a pressing look. "Don't worry about it, Abraxas. Everything is fine." Tom walks the direction Abraxas had come from and Abraxas walks over to me, rubbing up and down my arms.
"What happened, Lucinda?" He asks me, worried.
"I ran into Tom, and we both fell." I tell him. "He accused me of having sex with you, then was mean about it." Telling him this brings new tears to my eyes, and they spill over much too quickly.
"He told my mom that you and I had sex." Abraxas admits. "When Esmeralda came in this morning, he was with her. He seemed out of it, and left rather quickly. I told him nothing happened, but he had already told Mom. I'm sorry Lucinda. I should have told you but I didn't want to come back to your room so quickly, just in case mom decided to check in on us."
"It's my fault for talking you into sleeping in my bed with me this morning." I say, biting my lip. "Tom probably hates me. He thinks I'm lying."
"Sweety, he doesn't hate you." Abraxas pulls me in for a hug, telling me that everything is alright. "I can talk to him if it'll make you feel better."
"Don't." I say, shaking my head. "Abraxas, I don't see how this is going to work." I admit, sobbing as I say it.
"No, no Lucinda. Please, don't give up on us." Abraxas says, "Please. " He touches my cheek. "Is there something you need to tell me?" He asks.
"No." I say stubbornly.
"Lucinda, sweety." Abraxas says. "Look at me, Lucinda."
I comply, but that just makes me cry more. "I can't do this, Abraxas. It will never work."
"How can you be so sure if you don't even try?!" He demands, his face just inches from mine, and I flinch back against the wall, my heart racing and my palms getting sweaty.
"Stop." I hear Tom say. "Give her a break, Abraxas. She is trying."
"What the hell do you know, Tom? I invited you to my house, hoping we could be friends, but instead, I find out you kissed my girlfriend and that you're trying to take her from me, tell me, how is that fair?" Abraxas yells.
"Calm down." Tom says. "I know more than you think. I'm not trying to take Lucinda from you. In fact, why not ask her what happened? She was going to kiss ME. Abraxas, you're just pushing her too much. If you want her to love you, you have to give her a chance to get used to the idea of you guys together, and beyond that, you need to stop getting so angry at her. She's an innocent."
"Innocent? Yeah, Tom, that is definitely one word for her." Abraxas looks back at me. "You were going to kiss him?"
"Abraxas.... I'm done." I say, and run down the steps, past Esmeralda, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy, and out the front door into the cold, icy blizzard that had decided to come overnight. I don't even stop to think about the fact that I left my cloak, shoes and everything at the house. I run barefoot away from the house, into the huge woods behind the house. I don't turn back, and then, I trip and fall.
When Lucinda ran from the house, she had been barefoot, and she didn't have on the proper clothing for a blizzard, so if we didn't find her soon, she would freeze to death. Abraxas and Esmeralda decide to check town, it wouldn't be a surprise if she tried to get somewhere warm, and Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy were out searching as well, and had friends of theirs searching for Lucinda. I was supposed to stay behind, but I realize that Lucinda would not be going to be heading for town. I had seen the look in her eyes, a look of resignation, she had said she was done. She was going to go somewhere she didn't think she could be found. I bundle up and head out the door. I rush to the woods behind the house, hoping to find her near the entrance, but she's not there. It wouldn't hurt to venture inside, and I walk through carefully, taking the bends and curves that I know Lucinda would take. Slowly, but surely, I find my way easily through the thicket of trees, and then, by some miracle, I spot Lucinda. She is laying face down in the snow, and she is not moving. She is in thin sweatpants and a tee shirt that is so old it looks like it should be in the garbage. Snow is lightly falling on her, and I rush forward immediately, turning her over easily, and then I press my fingers to her neck, happy when I'm able to find her pulse. Her head has a short but deep cut on it, and blood clings to her eyelid, and to the ground and snow she had been laying on. I try to wake her at first, but she doesn't wake up. Hypothermia. I take off my cloak and sweatshirt, glad I had bundled up, not for myself, but for Lucinda. I put the sweatshirt on her, and the coat, and then lift her easily into my arms, her face resting against my neck, her breath tickling my neck. I am careful not to stumble, but it's hard with the snow. Lucinda is very light, and I am struck by how much of a child she really seems. I had been honest when I told Abraxas she was innocent. She can't handle pressure, and she definitely wasn't a slut, which Abraxas might have been implying when he asked her about trying to kissing me. I had also been wrong though when I had thought Lucinda had sex with Abraxas. I should have realized Lucinda wouldn't have just let Abraxas have his way with her so quickly, much less when they'd been fighting lately.
Lucinda begins to whimper in her unconcious state, and I lean against a tree, trying once again to wake her. "Lucinda, please wake up, for me? Please?" I beg her. "Please, Lucinda. It will be easier to get you back to the Malfoy's if you're concious. Please, Lucinda. Wake up." I press a kiss to her cheek. I see her eyelids flutter, and then open, and she looks over at me, surprised.
"T-tom-" She breaks off, choking and she begins to cough, then starts crying.
"Shh. You're safe." I tell her, kissing her forehead gently. "You must have been out here before. Which way is the quickest back to the Malfoy's?" I ask her.
"Turn left, and keep going." She says without stammering this time."What happened?" She asks, her eyes filled with worry.
"You fell and hit your head. Now that you're concious, I want you to keep talking. I think you might have hypothermia. It's best to keep you awake." I tell her gently.
"Right." Lucinda says. "I'm sleepy."
I kiss her forehead again, and say "Just don't fall asleep on me, sweety. We'll be back to the Malfoy's soon."
"Tom?" She says, in a warm voice.
"Yeah?" I ask her.
"I love you." She says, then yawns quietly. "Don't tell Abraxas." Then she falls back into a deep sleep. My heart is racing as I rush to the Malfoy's and open the door, laying her on the couch, and turning up the heat. I also grab the blankets off of the table, draping them around her, then rush around the house trying to find the first aid kit. I dab some iodine on her forehead, then begin to clean it as gently as possible. Mr. Malfoy comes in the door and sees us, and yells for the twins and his wife to get in the house, and call the doctor immediately. He checks the thermostat, then checks her feet. Her feet are sliced open and raw from the ice shards she had run on, and when Abraxas comes into the house, he runs immediately over to us, trying to push me out of the way.
"Abraxas, stay back!" His father yells at him, and Esmeralda grabs his arm, pulling him back away from me and Lucinda. Lucinda starts whimpering in her sleep again, and I press my now room temperature hand to her cheek, and then pull back. She is ice cold.
"Mrs. Malfoy, get a bucket of hot water and some rags, quickly please!" I yell over to her. She does as she's told, using her magic to get a bucket of hot water and some rags that she hands to me. I pull up Lucinda's pants legs, and begin rubbing the hot water on her legs, trying to warm her up.
"What the hell are you doing?" Abraxas yells at me. Esmeralda smacks him on the back of the head. "OW!"
"He's warming her up. When someone has hypothermia it's best to rub the legs to get the blood circulating, or there can be complications." Esmeralda says to him. "Something you would know if you paid attention in school, dweeb."
I start to talk to Lucinda again. "Wake up, Lucinda. The doctor will be here shortly, sweety. Open your eyes, please." Surprisingly, she opens her eyes, then squeezes them shut as if the lighting in the room is too much for her eyes to take. "Shh. You're safe, Lucinda." She nods, so lightly it's almost as if she doesn't nod at all. Her eyes are filled with tears, and she grits her teeth. Then, the doctor is at the door and Mr. Malfoy let's him in.
Abraxas is watching Lucinda, but doesn't say anything. He looks more upset than angry now. The doctor is very well practised in Healing spells, and it only takes him a few minutes to heal the cuts on her forehead and feet, and another ten minutes to get her on the mend. The hypothermia was just a small scare, and the doctor says she will be fine in a few days. When the doctor leaves, Abraxas says he wants to talk to Lucinda alone, but his mother and father wont let him. In the kitchen, we talk about this away from Lucinda.
"Son, I don't think that it's a good idea." His father says, and then his mother says "I think she needs some time alone."
"She had time alone, when she left and fell. That time is up." Abraxas says angerly.
"Abraxas. Not. Now." I say, getting up in his face. "It's your fault she got hurt in the first place, because you're pushing her to have sex with you and be with you when she's not sure if she wants to be with you, much less loves you." I yell at him.
"Whoa. Slow down." Mrs. Malfoy says. "You're trying to make Lucinda have sex with you?" She asks. "What the hell is wrong with you Abraxas?" She smacks him hard on the arm. "Have we taught you nothing? You can't force her to have sex with you!"
"Mom, I love Lucinda. I'm not trying to force her to have sex with me, though I admit I want to have sex with her. Tom is blowing this out of proportion." Abraxas glares at me, and I glare back.
"You yelled at her, you scared the living hell out of her! What do you expect is going to happen if you try to make her have sex with you when she's not ready, Abraxas?" I yell at him. "If she let's you do something like that to her when she's not ready, do you know what that will do to her? Do you want her to always be afraid of you? To not want to be around you? For her to be broken beyond repair?"
"No, shut the hell up already, Tom!" Abraxas shoves me, and I punch him in the jaw, hard. He falls backwards, but catches himself on the kitchen table.
"You're fooling yourself, Abraxas. She wont love you if she fears you!" I scream at him.
"What the hell do you know, you sick bastard? You just want her to yourself!" Abraxas hurls himself at me again, but this time, I grab him by the collar of his shirt.
"Enough!" Esmeralda stands between us, and I know Abraxas wont hit his twin sister. "Enough already. Abraxas, it's obvious Lucinda is scared. Please tell me you didn't try to do anything to her, or hit her?"
"I didn't." Abraxas shakes his head. "I just...I got mad, and I was yelling at her. I didn't realize..." He trails off, pulling away from me. "I'm sorry Tom, I got carried away. I guess you are right."
"I'm not trying to take her for myself." I tell him. "I've been encouraging her to stay with you, Abraxas. But if you're going to keep hurting her, I wont let her stay with you. I wont let her die because you aren't man enough to let her fall in love with you the normal way. If you don't let her fall in love with you, without trying to buy her affections, without yelling at her and saying you love her, that she must love you back, then, honestly, you don't deserve her." I say calmly.
His mother nods. "I think what Tom says is reasonable." She looks over at me, and I'm shocked when she gives me a small smile.
"Fine." Abraxas says, then tells me "Next time, just make sure to grab my collar again. That hurt like hell." He says, rubbing his jaw.
"Duly noted." I tell him. I walk out of the kitchen and back into the living room where Lucinda is laying on the couch, covered in the blankets I had laid over her. "You warm enough?" I ask her, sitting down on the floor in front of the couch.
"Yes, thanks to you." She says, and then pushes the blankets carefully off her. She takes off the cloak I had put around her and then slides the sweatshirt off with less ease. She slides off the couch and onto the floor beside me.
"It was nothing." I tell her honestly. "You were more important than me staying warm."
"Thank you, Tom." She whispers, then leans in, pressing her lips to mine. Her lips are warm, and the taste sweet as they glide over mine and I feel her tongue pressing against my lips, seeking entrance. But, I don't approve the entrance, and instead pull back.
"Lucinda. You're still dating Abraxas. You didn't break up with him." I whisper to her.
"Tom... I-" she cuts off, and with her looking into my eyes as her own fill with tears, I suddenly feel like as much an ass as Abraxas is.
"Luce, break up with him, and we can be together." I whisper to her, "Then I will kiss you like you deserve to be kissed."
Lucinda seems heartbroken, and I gently pull her into my chest, stroking her hair, and trying not to think about how Abraxas would react if he were to see us. "Do you think...he would have hit me if you wouldn't have been there?"
"I don't know for sure, Luce. It's possible. He was going to hit me twice, but I put an end to that rather quickly. Luce, were you afraid when he was yelling at you?" I ask.
She nods. "I know it sounds stupid, but it reminded me of my dad yelling at me..." She trails off.
"It's not stupid." I tell her. "And I figued when I seen you flinching away from him, then when you ran..."
"It was cowardly for me to run, especially when I didn't even have shoes on." She blushes.
"No, you reacted like any ordinary person would. I just couldn't believe you fell and hurt yourself." I tell her. "I was so scared. I just wanted to make sure you were okay, and then I knew you were unconcious..." I trail off. "It scared me to think about how close I was to losing you..."
"But you didn't." Lucinda says, her fingers closing over mine. "You didn't lose me because you're faster thinking than the rest of them. You knew I'd be heading for tree cover, didn't you?"
"Yeah..." I trail off. "I remembered how much you loved the Forbidden Forest before you were caught by Dumbledore and told not to keep going in there."
"Abraxas and Esmeralda don't know about that." Lucinda tells me, looking me in the eyes. "Only you and Dumbledore know." Her eyes then look down at my lips, and I want to kiss her more than anything in the entire world.
"Luce, can I ask you something important?"
"Of course." She glances up to look into my eyes once more.
"Do you remember what you said... When you gained conciousness the first time?" I ask. "What you told me?"
She shakes her head. "It's all a blur." She admits.
Her dark eyes are shiny and feverish despite the doctor having used healing spells. Her body will need a lot of rest to get fully better, and or she could go into a relapse. I've seen it happen before, but only once or twice. I give her hand a squeeze, and say "You told me you love me."
Lucinda's eyes get wide, and she pulls her hand from mine. "I told you.. I love you?" She asks.
I nod. "You also told me not to tell Abraxas." I whisper.
"Oh." She says. Her bites down on her lower lip.
"Lucinda, you were pretty out of it, but needless to say it shocked me." I tell her carefully. "Do you think it was the fever talking, or did you actually mean it?"
"I-I'm not s-sure." She stammers, "If I said I meant it would you still want to be with me?"
"Lucinda, you know I love you, but if there is any chance you do love me, you know what you have to do..." I trail off, knowing that she wont do it. She wont break up with Abraxas.
She blushes, and says "I'll, um..have to think about it."
"Alright. In the meantime, I'm sure you'd rather sleep in your bed." I take her hand carefully and help her stand up. She grips my hand tightly, and I notice how she nearly falls down, then leans into my side. Her fingers lace with mine, and my heart skips a beat. I lead her upstairs, and when we reach her bedroom, I am hesitant to go inside. But, I walk in, still holding onto her hand, and we walk over to her bed, where she sits down, not letting go of my hand. I'm facing her, and while she sits on her bed, she looks even smaller than she had before. She's sitting in her thin sweatpants and old tee shirt, and her hair, tangled and damp, falls around her like long, black out curtains. Though tangled and damp, her natural curls are still intact, and with her cheeks rosy and her dark eyes shining, she is truly a goddess on Earth. "I love you." I tell her, though I hadn't realized I was going to say anything.
Lucinda stands up slowly, kissing me on the lips fervently, and though I knew I shouldn't, I gently kiss her back, then pull away from her. "I'll see you soon." She tells me.
"Good." I tell her, kiss her forehead, then make her lay down in bed, pulling the blankets up under her chin, then leave the room.
I make my way down the stairs but stop when I reach the closed kitchen door. I head Abraxas, Esmeralda and Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy shouting at each other.
"I don't care, Abraxas!" Esmeralda exclaims. "After everything that's happened, why can't you just accept that Lucinda might not choose you? She may like you, but that isn't love. You can't force love upon someone, and if you even try to make a love potion and use it on her, I swear I will hurt you. She's my best friend, and I thought she was also your best friend. What is worse? Not having her as a girlfriend, or not having her as your friend at all? Huh?"
"Shut up. You just think you're better than the rest of us! Just like Lucinda! Just because she's got a high grade in the class, just like Tom, I might add, she's begun to think she's better than the rest of us. I just wish that she had never come to Hogwarts, because if she hadn't I wouldn't keep having my heart broken just because she wont admit she likes Tom more than she likes me! Don't you find it odd that whenever she's around him, she acts just like him? Arrogant and rude and mean and absolutely unbearable? I also shouldn't have invited him to stay with us, I wish I hadn't because he's just going to keep trying to take her from me." Abraxas shouts.
"He's not trying to take her from you. So what if he likes her. So what if you like her. Both of your feelings mean nothing if she doesn't return those feelings. And you know what? Tom and Lucinda are not Arrogant, rude, mean nor unbearable! They are smart, yes, and sometimes they have trouble talking about how the feel, but that doesn't make them rude or unbearable. I want him to stay, and if you try to make him leave, I will put a hex on you Abraxas Malfoy!" Esmeralda yells at him.
"Whatever." Abraxas says.
"Be nice to your sister." Mr. Malfoy raises his voice.
"Abraxas, Esmeralda, Tom is our guest. Like Esmeralda said, your father and I also want him here. And I know Lucinda does. Abraxas, I know it hurts to think about her falling for Tom and not you, but you have to accept facts. You scared Lucinda, and I know that you have trouble controlling your anger. You tried to hit Tom twice, and whose to say you wont try to hit Lucinda?" Mrs. Malfoy says. "If I ever find out you raise a hand to that poor child, I will beat your ass until it bleeds. You don't understand that Lucinda is fragile. She was constantly yelled at by her father as a child after her mother died. I'm not sure why her father yelled at her. It wasn't her fault her mother died. He also used to beat her. That all stopped once she was able to start school at Beauxbaton. Her father died shortly after that. But the fear is still there." His mother says. "I just wish you wouldn't get so angry."
"What if I were to tell you it was in fact her fault her mother died? Would you believe me mother?" Abraxas asks. That tears it. I burst through the door, and walk right up to Abraxas.
"What the hell is wrong with you? Lucinda told you what happened, and she doesn't need you spreading rumors about her, you coward!" I seethe. "If you really loved her and wasn't just obssessed with her, you wouldn't be trying to hurt her like this!"
"Shut up. What would you know, Riddle? She's my girl not yours." Abraxas says, glaring.
"Oh screw it." Esmeralda says, and punches her brother so hard in his face that his nose breaks and there's blood everywhere. I stare in shock. Esmeralda isn't a small girl but she's not very big either. That kind of strength must have come from being in a violent family.
Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy rush forward, and I back away, realizing that they will need space so that they can put a healing spell on him, that or call the doctor back. Esmeralda's eyes are as wide as mine, and before she can get yelled at, she grabs the sleeve of my shirt and pulls me with her out of the kitchen and upstairs.
"Holy shit." I say. "I cannot believe you just did that!"
"I can't either." She says. "I'm so sorry you had to listen to him say that crap. You're right that he's just obssessed with her. He doesn't truly love her. If he did he wouldn't try to hurt her feelings."
"I know." I look down. "I guess I'm guilty in that way as well, though. I've always been mean to her, and all because I didn't think she'd ever like me... She's a pureblood after all, and I'm nothing but a halfblood."
"Tom, there is nothing wrong with being a halfblood. You are still a wizard, and the best in our year, just like Lucinda is the best witch in our year. You two have more in common than you think. You may have grown up in an orphanage, but Lucinda... she was raised by a man who turned on her as soon as she accidently killed her mother. Neither of you got the love you deserved. While Abraxas and I have gotten more love than we need. That's why Abraxas is selfish, rude, and uncaring. He's a spoiled rich boy who thinks he can have whatever he wants. But Lucinda isn't something he can have. She isn't a possession. She can't be bought, or owned. It's not something that can be changed. You've come to realize that you can't force love on someone. Abraxas hasn't. That is the biggest difference between the two of you, and why Lucinda will never choose my brother." Esmeralda tells me.
"So you think I love her, truly?" I ask her.
"I'd be lying to say that I don't. Just don't tell my brother." Esmeralda smiles.
"Just because your brother is being a possessive jerk, I don't think Lucinda will stop seeing him. She'll want to keep trying, trying until she's broken beyond repair." I tell her.
"So you also realized that?" She asks, and when I nod, she whispers "You're right. But it's something she'll live through. Just promise me you'll be there for her when it happens."
"I promise." I tell her.
"I'll hold you to it." Esmeralda says, and I nod again.
"I'm sorry I didn't like you before. I judged you mostly because I couldn't stand your brother and I thought...since you're twins, that you'd be just alike. I was wrong. I'm sorry."
"You're forgiven. Sorry for thinking you were an ass all these years, but you were kinda mean. Especially to Lucinda."
"I kinda was." I admit. "Sorry about that."
"We're cool. Don't worry about my brother. I'll try to get him to back off, but if he doesn't, I want to you be around Lucinda as much as possible. Just in case he does...try to hit her or anything." I know it hurts her to think that her twin brother is capable of hitting Lucinda. I nod.
"You know I wont let anyone hurt her." I tell her. "I'd kill someone before letting them hurt her."
"I know you would." She smiles. "I would too. I know that it seems as if she's really fragile, and with her being so small, it's easy to treat her like a child. But we still have to let her make her own decisions."
"Right. Well, I promise I'll stay close to her. Maybe you should sleep in her room to also keep an eye on her."
"Yeah, of course. I'll go change now, and grab my sleeping bag. Just do me a favor and check in on her real quick, alright?"She asks me.
"Yeah, sure." She scurries off to her room, and I open the door to Lucinda's room. I'm shocked at how beautiful she looks even sleeping. Her face is even more childlike in sleep, a surprise because she truly always looks like a little kid. Her ruby red rose lips are slightly parted, her breathing easy. I had never seen her sleep before, not counting her being unconcious today. Her long black eye lashes are like black cresent moons turned over and laying across her alabaster pale cheekbones. I notice two small freckles beside her right eye, and the small dimples in both cheeks and the one right below her bottom lip. She is laying on her side, her long hair reaching to where her waist and belly are under the blanket. Her small pearly white teeth are slightly visible through her parted lips. I notice how her chest barely moves as she breathes, her breathing very shallow. I don't know if that is normal for her when she is sleeping. Esmeralda would know if something were wrong. Do I still believe she could be my Dark Lady? My Queen? She is so innocent, but, then again, she's also not. She'd already seen death. Provoked death. She is already partially dark. But when it came time, would I push her to give in to the darkness within her? I shake my head. I don't know the answer for that. I of course would like her to become immortal, just like I soon will be. But would that be the wrong thing for her? I imagine her as my Dark Lady, a cruel look on her face as our subjects bow down to us, a look I had never seen her have before. Her skin is paler, her eyes are slightly red, and she is not the same as she once was. I pull myself out of the daydream. No, she can't be my Dark Lady. I can't force her to do that. Would she still be with me when I'm a Dark Lord? Or will she shudder and shy away from me, like she must have shied away from her father, like she shied away from Abraxas today, pressing herself against the wall, terrified? It breaks my heart to think about her...afraid of me...
Esmeralda comes into the room, and she gives me a strange look. "You're staring at her. Are you okay?" She asks me.
"Yeah, I'm just thinking." I tell her. "Be careful." I then walk out of the room quickly, heading back to my room. Screw dinner, Esmeralda, Lucinda and the Malfoy's hadn't eaten either, and I can't just grab something to eat. No, I just change into clean pajama's, lock the bedroom door, then slide under my covers, praying for sleep to come swiftly.
The doctor had used a spell to fix my broken nose. I still couldn't believe Esmeralda had hit me. The girl sure can throw a punch! When we had been children, we had never hit each other. As twins, we had always been close, and never fought. Something had changed. Maybe it was me. I know that something inside of me has broken. The thought that Lucinda is afraid of me, it breaks my heart into a million pieces. I love her. Why can't she see that? I shut my bedroom door with a slam. Had her father really beaten her as a child? Just thinking about her body covered in bruises is enough to make me want to hurt him. But, honestly, with my anger I could have ended up hurting her. Just like her father had. If Tom hadn't stopped me... I don't want to think about what I might have done. I know she was afraid when I was yelling at her, I could clearly see it in her eyes as she backed away from me, her lower lip quivering, her hands shaking, and her legs barely holding her up. Then she had ended up bolting, rushing out of the house, barefoot and without any sufficient clothing to keep her warm. She could have died. All because of me...
It's probably for the best that she stays as far away from me as possible. But, all I want to do is kiss her, and tell her I'm sorry, that I wont get mad at her again, that'll give her time to decide if she wants to be with me. Although, I know I can't give her more and more time. It will just hurt me more in the end, and then what? She decides she doesn't love me and doesn't want me? I don't want that. I want her. I want to kiss her, and hug her, and be with her, and have her be mine. But, Tom keeps getting in the way. I punch the wall at the thought of Tom. Who the hell does he think he is, trying to steal my girl from me!? Tom is not going to win. I wont let him.
I grind my teeth, unsure of what to do. I could sleep. Or, I could look through my spell book for a hex to put on Tom. But, that could get me taken to the Azkaban prison. No, I can't do that. I can't believe this. I can't use magic to stop him. So what can I do? I take a deep breath. Maybe I should calm down, and show Lucinda that I'm the guy for her. Just relax, and be easy going. Right. That could work. That could work....
I wake up the next morning with sun shining through my window, and see Esmeralda sleeping on the floor in her sleeping back. Her white blonde hair is splayed across a pillow she had carried in here with her sleeping bag. I hadn't even heard her come in the room the night before. Must have been the healing spell that the doctor had used to heal my cuts and bruises. One of the side effects is drowziness. I comb my fingers through my hair, then get out of bed, holding onto the bed for support, and walk over to my dresser to pull out some clean clothes. The clock on the dresser reads 9 am, but since Esmeralda is still asleep, I try to be as quiet as possible. I slip into the hallways, glancing both directions. Neither Tom or Abraxas is in the hallway. I knock on the bathroom door to make sure nobody is in there, then slip inside and lock the door. I pull out a towel and wash cloth, then take a quick shower, dry off, and get dressed, leaving the towel around my long, thick hair. I glance in the mirror, seeing dark circles under my eyes, so dark that they seem oddly contrasted to my pale skin, which seems paler than usual. My lips are cracked and dry. I look terrible. Worse than I had in years. I unlock the door, and walk out into the hall. Then I head downstairs, and I hear Mrs. Malfoy puttering around in the kitchen, and Mr. Malfoy telling her what's in the newspaper this morning. I walk slowly in the kitchen.
"Oh, good morning honey. Can I make you some breakfast?" Mrs. Malfoy asks, and I nod. "What'll you have? A bit of everything?" Everything, it turns out, consists of bacon, scrambled eggs, sausage, toaster struddles, and porridge. Mrs. Malfoy makes me every single thing, and I'm sitting there eating it for an hour before I finally finish. "Seems like you really needed it." She tells me. "You shouldn't skip meals. You're going to end up getting sick from not eating, Lucinda." She clucks her tongue, she's such a mother hen.
Mr. Malfoy asks "You feeling any better Lucinda?", in a concerned voice. "I can give the doctor a call if you're not feeling well still."
"I'm just tired." I shake my head. "I'll be fine."
"Such a strong girl." He squeezes my hand, then goes back to reading the newspaper.
I take the towel off of my head, my long hair finally dry, and Mrs. Malfoy puts the towel in the hamper for me. I get up and help her with the dishes, and then Esmeralda and Tom come into the kitchen, looking worried.
"There you are!" Esmeralda exclaims, rushing over to me and gives me a hug. I flinch in surprise and she let's go of me. "Sorry... I just woke up and you weren't in the room so I got scared."
"And what's your excuse for being worried?" I ask Tom, surprised that he blushes and looks away.
"You know why I was worried." He mumbles, and Mrs. Malfoy giggles and raises her eyebrows at her husband, who had been watching with an interested look on his face.
"Right." I say, my cheeks flushing and I bite my lip. "I'm fine, you guys. I'm not a child, so stop treating me like one."
"I'm sorry." Esmeralda says. "We know you're not. Forgive us."
"Already forgiven." I tell her. "Maybe we could go to town today?" I ask.
"Not if you're not feeling up to it." Tom says, surprising me even more.
"I'm fine. Didn't I say that like a minute ago?"
"I heard you, yes. But don't lie and try to tell me you're feeling fine, because I know you're not." Tom says, narrowing his eyes at me.
"Tom. Don't. Treat. Me. Like. A. Child." I say, making my eyes wide, and getting up in his face. Tom's eyes widen in shock, and he nods.
"But if you start feeling sick, you tell us, and we'll come right back here." Tom says.
"Alright, fine." I say, "And you might wanna put on a cloak. It's still snowing out there." I state without looking out the window.
"N-no, it's not. It's sunny!" Esmeralda exclaims, walking over to the window, and pulling it open. Bad idea, because snow pours in onto the the floor. "Oops. I guess I should listen to you."
"Right." I say.
"You're the one who needs to wear a cloak, Missy." Tom tells me, and I look up at him again, then back away when I realize just how close we're standing to each other.
"I'll remember this time." I tell him. "I'm going to go grab it now, and put on my boots."
"Good idea. May I come with you? I need to grab mine as well." Tom says, glancing at Esmeralda.
"Um, yes, sure, I guess." I say, and then look over at Esmeralda as well.
"I'm going to stay and eat breakfast. Here's a roll, Tom." She tosses it to him and he catches it deftly, then follows me out of the kitchen.
"Lucinda..." Tom trails off as we slowly walk up the stairs.
"Yes?" I ask, my heart hammering in my chest.
"How are you feeling?"
"I told you I'm fin-" He cuts me off.
"I heard that. But, Luce... You're eyes are shadowed over, and you're paler than usual. Don't tell me you're fine, when I can see the hollow look in your cheeks and in your eyes." Tom stops me from walking up the rest of the stairs. I look up at him, my eyes damp.
"Tom, please don't point out how I'm feeling to the Malfoy's." I beg him. "I don't want them to know how..." I trail off, searching for the right word. "Broken I am..."
"Is it my fault?" Tom asks, and he reminds me of the little boy I had met in third year, the child-like Tom that had been very rude and mean to me.
My fingers ache as I lift my hand to his cheek. "No, it's not Tom." I tell him, and stand on my tiptoes. "It's not." I let my lips hover over his own, and I feel him exhale into my mouth as my lips are parted slightly. His breath is sweet, like strawberries or blueberries, and warm, though it sends a shiver up and down my spine. I let my eyes find his and he closes the distance between our lips, and my eyes fall shut as his lips touch mine, and I fell his tongue against my own. I slide the hand I had touched his cheek with up his neck to rest on his lower neck, then wrap the other arm around his neck as well. His tongue caresses mine, and he drops the roll as he wraps his arms around my waist, forgeting how wrong it is for us to want each other when I'm still with Abraxas. My heart pounds harder in my chest, and tighten my grip on his neck, pressing my belly against his. Their is virtually no space inbetween us. Something about the way his tongue easily wraps around mine and the way his fingers down travel any lower than my back makes me think that he's much more of a gentleman than Abraxas is. He's careful, and while I know he really does want me, he is also careful to not hint at it, or even push me towards it. Instead, he disentangles us from each other smoothly.
"We'd better grab our stuff before someone sees us and all hell breaks loose again." He tells me after pulling his face away from mine. I nod. I can't believe it's been just a week since Abraxas asked me to the dance, much less that I had kissed two guys and wanted them in the same week. Who am I becoming? "Luce?" He asks me, realizing I'm not following him. I look up at him. "Luce, what's wrong?" He hands find my shoulders, but I bend my head, and wont look him in the eyes again. I can't. My hair hides my face, and Tom then rubs my shoulders gently. "I'm not trying to push you away, Lucinda. I promise you that. I've given up on that. Tell me, please, what's wrong?"
"I'm such a whore." I murmur.
"No, you're not." Tom says, stunned. "Why would you even think something like that?"
"It's been a week since Abraxas asked me to the dance, the party. And in that time, I've just about had sex with him, and considered having sex with you." I say, "I am a whore."
"Lucinda, sweety. It only makes you a whore if you were to actually have gone through with it. And with us... you and me, it's not going to happen. I'm not going to have sex with you, Lucinda, until years and years in the future, and only if you want me, and will marry me first." The way he says it reminds me of Abraxas proposing. Except, Abraxas was pushy. Tom isn't.
"Are you proposing to me, Tom?" I ask, my voice shaking.
"Dear god, no." He says. "We're not of age yet, and if you think about it, you're still with Abraxas. We would have years to think about that...if you choose me, that is. It's not something either of us wants right away. I know it scared you when Abraxas even brought it up. Chao, Lucinda. I promise you, I can wait a long time for you. Until then though," he says, pulling me in close. "I'll be the best friend to you I can be."
"Tom you're really changed." I say. "I like you a lot better this way. And I think that you wont have to wait so long..." I trail off, unsure how to word it. Other than the fact that I can no longer look at Abraxas without feeling afraid, maybe Mrs. Malfoy was right, that Abraxas and I are just meant to be friends.
"Really, now?" He asks me. I nod, and he tilts his head to the side. "It's no rush, Lucinda. Now, let's go get our cloaks and boots." We go up the rest of the stairs. I don't hear anything coming from Abraxas' room, so I assume he's still asleep, and Tom and I head to our own rooms separately to grab our cloaks and boots. I comb my hair quickly as well, and am happy to feel the smooth, clean hair, fall heavily against my body. I walk out of my room and lean against the wall waiting for Tom. Then, I decide to sneak a peak into the room they had given him. I hadn't ever been inside it, and when I step inside, I see how beautiful it is. The walls are royal blue and the drapes are a dark midnight purple. The ceiling is black with small white dots, and I see that they must be glow in the dark to make it look like stars. The bed is a giant one, a king sized bed. Then I see Tom standing beside his dresser, and he is pulling on a cloak I hadn't even known he had. Tom turns around when he hears me. "Finished already?" He chuckles and I giggle.
"This room is magnificent." I say.
"Yes. You wouldn't believe how comfortable the bed is." He tells me. Then, his cheeks turn red. "I mean..." He trails off.
"Shhh." I say, letting the door close. I take his hand, and lay down in the bed, and he lays down beside me. Honestly, I wanted to see if Tom had been serious about the no sex til marriage thing. Abraxas had been willing to have sex right away. I press a gentle kiss to Tom's lips, and I feel his fingers run through my hair, slowly. When I roll so that I'm facing Tom, draping my leg over his, Tom pulls back.
"Lucinda. No." He says. So I was right. Tom really is different. "I told you, only if we were to get married..."
"What if I said I'd marry you as soon as I come of age, since you already are?" I ask. "Would we be able to... do it...now...?" I'm testing him.
"No." He says, and then he realizes what I'm doing. "You're so smart, Luce. I bet Abraxas would've already had you undressed by now if you'd said that to him. But you know I'm not him. You know that I wont, but you wanted to be sure." He kisses me gently, then stands up, helping me up.
"Tom, I did meant what I said... About marrying you, not about sex. Would you marry me when I come of age?" I ask.
"Lucinda..." He trails off. "I want to wait for something like that. If you were to break up with Abraxas in the next couple of weeks, and decided to be with me instead of him... I might say yes, but not right away. Not for a couple of years at least. You will need time to move on from what happened with Abraxas, and you will need to admit to me whether you have feelings for me or not."
"I understand." I kiss him, smiling. "Shall we head to town?"
"Yes." He says, taking my hand in his, and opening the door, then we head downstairs to where Esmeralda, and Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy are standing. Tom lets go of my hand immediately, to not draw more attention to ourselves than we have since we arrived at this house two days ago.Esmeralda smiles and says "May I drive?"
"No." Her father says. "I'm going to go up to see if Abraxas would like to join us. I want you all to get along if he does want to join us. Got it?"
"Yes, sir." Esmeralda, Tom, and I say.
Mrs. Malfoy hands Tom a banana. "You need to eat." She says, then sits down on the couch. Tom eats, and throws the peel away.
Abraxas makes his way downstairs, followed by his father. Abraxas is dressed for the cold weather, but I know I'm the only one who notices that he, like me, looks pale and drawn, his eyes dark and shadowed, and when our eyes meet, I feel guilty. Abraxas looks as guilty as I feel when he notices how awful I look. I turn away, tears peeking into my eyes. We all go outside and get into the automobile, driving to town slowly and silently, me sitting in between Tom and Esmeralda, and Abraxas in between his parents.