When arriving at platform 9 and 3/4, the four of us get off of the train and Tom and I follow Esmeralda and Abraxas over to where their parents are standing. Abraxas and Esmeralda hug their parents happily, and I feel homesick, remembering that my father isn't truly dead, though he hadn't been much of a father since my mother had died. All in all, I actually miss him, and my heart seems to leap into my throat, making my eyes cloudy and fill with tears I do not release. I feel Tom's hand on my shoulder, and glance over at him, and when he sees the tears in my eyes, he gives me a small side hug, and we walk over to Esmeralda and Abraxas' parents. Their mother is a petite woman with hair not quite as dark as mine, but still dark. Her eyes are a light hazel color, and her skin tone is olive. Their father has their white blonde hair, blue eyes, and pale skin. Needless to say, they sure had taken over the Malfoy genes more than their mothers' genes. When their mother sees me standing beside Tom, tears in my eyes, she pulls me forward for a tight hug, and then lets go.
"You and Esmeralda look more stunning everytime I see you." She says smiling, taking in the two of us. Then she smiles over at Tom. "And you must be Tom Riddle. It's a pleasure to finally meet you!" She exclaims, pulling him forward for a hug as well. She is very big on hugging. Tom hugs her back, a small smile on his face.
"It's a pleasure to meet you too Mrs. Malfoy." When she let's go of him, he bows to her, making Esmeralda and myself giggle, and Mr. Malfoy and Abraxas laugh loudly. "Thank you both for letting me stay with you for winter break. I really appreciate it. The orphanage is just terrible."
"You're welcome at our home anytime, Tom." Mr. Malfoy says, shaking Tom's hand, then also pulling him in for a hug. "Sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but our family is very big on hugging, as you can see. But our Lucinda has never hated it. She's like family, and if you'd like, you can also be a part of our family."
"Again, I really appreciate it. And of course it doesn't make me uncomfortable. It's a very nice change from what I'm used to." Tom admits, and I punch him gently on the arm, and laugh.
"You're used to arguments and spell battles." I tease, giggling.
"You're right about that." He laughs as well, and seems happy when he glances over at me, and notices the tears are gone. The Malfoy's really are like family. The 6 of us ride in the family's automobile, a tight fit, but we manage quite well, Esmeralda sitting between their parents, and me inbetween Tom and Abraxas in the back. The drive isn't long, not when Mr. Malfoy put's a spell on the automobile to make it Apparate to their estate, a huge mansion and a huge property that the Malfoy family has owned for nearly a century, passed down to Mr. Malfoy by his own grandfather.
While Esmeralda and Mr. Malfoy show Tom what is to be his room for his entire stay at the Malfoy house, Abraxas takes my hand, and we walk over to his mother, and ask her if she would like help making dinner.
"Why, sure!" She exclaims. "Anything you two want to tell me?" She asks as we wash our hands then begin chopping tomatoes and basil and carrots.
"Um, other than we're dating, I don't think so." Abraxas says, smiling over at me.
"Oh that's wonderful, sweety!" She exclaims, smiling.
"Yeah, it is." I say, blushing as I chop the tomatoes.
"How long has the been going on? You didn't mention it in your letters, and Esmeralda has neglected to send us any for nearly three months." Mrs. Malfoy says, shaking her head.
"I asked her to the Christmas Eve party, and Lucinda said yes." Abraxas says. "Since then we've been dating, and today we finally told each other we love each other."
"Oh, how sweet." Mrs. Malfoy says smiling. "Lucinda, dear, you haven't been very talkative. Anything you wanna talk about? I could send Abraxas off to find his father."
"No, everything is fine. I've just really been missing my mother lately." I admit. "It's just that, with graduation two years away, and everything that's been happening lately, I just really would have liked to talk to my mother about everything, just to hear her voice one more time. You know?" I ask, tears glistening once again in my eyes.
"Yeah, I know sweety. My mother died when I was a little girl as well. It really can take a toll on someone so young." Mrs. Malfoy says. "Abraxas, honey. I think Lucinda and I can finish up in here. Go tell you're father dinner will be served in ten minutes please."
"Yes, mother." Abraxas says, kisses me gently on the cheek, then walks out of the kitchen.
She waits until Abraxas is out of earshot before asking "Did something happen with Abraxas?"
I look startled, shaking my head really quickly. "N-no." I stammer.
"Lucinda, something had to have happened. The way he was looking at you..." His mother trails off, and I shake my head again.
"We almost..." I trail off, putting the tomatoes, basil and carrots in the pan with the chicken.
"Seriously?" She asks, surprised. "That's awfully quick, honey. I hope you were the one who put a stop to it."
"I did. I didn't think I was ready for something like that." I say. "Or if Abraxas is the person I want it to be with." I whisper.
"Didn't you tell Abraxas you love him?" his mother asks, sitting down beside me.
"Yes. And I thought that maybe i did, but maybe it's just hormones. You know?" I ask, blushing, glancing down at the table.
"I know, honey. How do we ever really know if we are in love with someone?" She asks retorically. "It may feel like we love someone, and maybe it really is love, but a totally different type of love. It's good that you didn't let it go any further, Lucinda." Mrs. Malfoy tells me, pushing my hair out of my face. "My son does love you. But he's misguided. He hasn't given you enough time to truly understand what you feel for him. I know you may feel as if you might love him, but it might be the kind of love that is friendship love, a love that is similar to the kind of love you might feel when you end up marrying someone, and having children with them. But it's also different. It's the kind of love where you feel happy with them, but you also know you could go a few days without talking to them and everything would still be alright. When you are in love, love, well, going one hour, one day, feels as if it's forever you haven't seen them, and like you need them there every minute. Do you understand?" She asks me.
"Yeah, I think I do." I admit. "Being with Abraxas is nice, amazing actually. He's an excellent kisser, and if I had been ready for something like...that... I might have let it happen because Abraxas is...Abraxas, he's special, and I don't trust many guys the way I trust him." I murmur.
"You know something, Lucinda? I think you're quite special. Just don't let anyone pressure you into having sex before you're ready, and make sure it's with someone you truly love." Mrs. Malfoy tells me. I give her a hug.
"Thank you." I tell her, "Do you think I should just tell Abraxas I want to be friends?"
"It's better to tell him sooner rather than later. But, honestly, if you think you might actually love him then wait and see hun."
"Again, thank you." I tell her smiling. "I mean, I don't want to hurt him, and he always makes me feel so, so great. Special. Loved. I know he loves me, and has since the day we met. So maybe..." I trail off.
"Don't worry, hun. Everything will work itself out for the better." Mrs.Malfoy gives me a hug, and asks if I can help set the table. I nod, and begin putting out 6 place settings. I hear Abraxas. Esmeralda, Tom, and Mr. Malfoy walking into the room, and scoot out of the way, finished setting the table. Out of habit, I go to the bathroom to wash my hands, and pull my hair up into a bun, surprised at how much longer it has gotten, and wondering if I should get a haircut. Exiting the bathroom, I walk back into the dinning room, and take a seat near Esmeralda, keeping away from both Tom and Abraxas. The 6 of us pass the food around the table for each other, and we talk about school, and work (Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy), and grades and everything while eating dinner.
Everything seems to be normal, just fine. But nothing seems quite so normal, especially when Tom keeps staring at me throughout dinner. I ask to be excused only halfway through dinner, sick to my stomach. Mrs. Malfoy excuses me, and I go upstairs to my room (since I had begun to come to the Malfoy house for every break, they thought I should have my own room), and I lay down on the bed, my eyes closed. I must have drifted off to sleep, because I open my eyes, and it's completely dark in the room, and outside the window is a blanket of darkness. I lay curled in a ball, holding onto a stuffed animal I always take with me whenever I will be staying anywhere for a long time. It's a small black bat, and my mother had given it to me when I was born. You would think it would be torn, raggedy, gross, and putrid by now, but it's in perfect condition. I wrap my arms around it tightly, remembering how I had used it as a pillow when I was a small child. I remember all of the tears I had shed over the tears on this poor stuffed animal. I take a deep breath, trying not to start crying over something most people would this is stupid and that I should be over by now. But, despite the time difference, nearly 50 years before my mother would die, and despite the distance, I know that I cannot get over something that I feel so terrible about.
To make matters worse, with everything that's been happening with Abraxas and Tom, the way everything has been moving so quickly, it's just so much that I want to cry. I bite my lower lip, and flinch when the pain comes and following it, a steady stream of blood. I get up, and go to the bathroom just outside the hall, closing the door behind me, and I grab some tissue paper, wishing I wasn't the sort of person who gets upset quite so easily. When my lip stops bleeding, I step back into the hall, and walk over to my room, only to have someone grab my arm, and when I start to let out a scream, the person covers my mouth with their hand, pushing me with the other hand into my bedroom, and closes the door, turning on the light quickly, and I realize I'm face to face with Abraxas. I let out a sigh, then pull away.
"You scared the crap out of me, Abraxas!" I half shout, half whisper.
"I'm sorry, Lucinda. I didn't think, I just wanted to make sure you were okay, when I heard your door creak open." Abraxas tells me, his eyes worried and shadowed, his medium length hair falling over his face.
"I'm fine." I tell him.
"Don't lie, Lucinda. I know you're not okay. I heard you talking to my mother last night." Abraxas tells me.
My heart, skipping a beat, sinks, and I gasp. "Abraxas, were you eavesdropping?" I ask.
"Yeah, I guess I was." Abraxas whispers. "I'm sorry if I'm making everything happen too fast. I really do love you, Lucinda. I promise I wont try to force you to have sex with me. That would be wrong, and plus, I really want to be with you, but that wont happen if we're not honest with each other."
"But, you know that I'm not ready for that yet. I told you the truth when...it almost happened." I whisper.
"I know. But I also know you're not telling me the full truth about you and Tom." Abraxas accuses. I look him right in the eyes, about ready to burst into tears.
"I'm guessing that you know that he also told me that he loves me?" I ask.
"I figured he had already told you. He told me that he loves you." Abraxas admits. "Did...anything happen?"
I shake my head. "No." Even I know that it is a lie. Tom and I had kissed. Otherwise, that was all. I also know that kissing Abraxas is much different than kissing Tom. Kissing Tom was like a wildfire, fast burning, and it had zapped my strength immediately. Kissing Abraxas... that was more like molten rock, slow and still burning, and the longer we had kissed, the more intensely it felt.
"Don't lie to me, Lucinda. I can see in your face that something happened, and I want to know what." Abraxas demands. I turn away from him, and he grabs my arm, making me face him. "Tell me."
"It was nothing!" I exclaim loudly. "It was just a kiss, damn it, Abraxas!"
"Was this before or after I called you my girlfriend?" He asks, right up in my face. I know I can't lie to him.
"It was right afterwards..." I trail off. "After I followed Tom out of the room at the Chirstmas party." I tell him.
"Do you love him?" Abraxas asks, and I know it hurts him to even ask.
"No." I admit. "If you heard your mother and myself talking you'd know that I also said I love you, but I'm not sure if I'm in love with you, yet." I blush. "It hasn't been very long. Not even a week, Abraxas. Do you expect me to fall madly in love with you in such a short time?"
"I guess not." He murmurs. "It just hurts that you would kiss him."
"Like I said, it was just a kiss..." I trail off again. "Not like when we kiss." I promise him, moving in closer, my hand caressing his cheek. "When we kiss, it's like my heart stops beating, Abraxas. Everything slows down and speeds up at the same time with you."
"I love you, Lucinda. But I'm not just going to immediately forget this. Can I just ask, was it an experiment of some kind?"
"No." I tell him. "It just...happened. I'm not even sure how it happened, Abraxas. I promise I wasn't just kissing him to see how he compared to you. I promise." I whisper, tears breaking through the barrier I had put up, and begin sliding down my cheeks.
"I believe you." He tells me, wiping at my tears. "See, I know when you're lying and when you're telling the truth, Lucinda. Please, don't lie to me again. I haven't lied to you, and I expect the same from you. I just want to ask something else."
"Do you still want to be my girlfriend? We can wait a while before we move any more forward with the relationship, we could even cool it with the kissing and touching if you'd like, but I really want you to still be my girlfriend."
"Of course I still want to be your girlfriend. I told your mother that. And I like kissing you, and the feel of your hands on my back and my hips..." I trail off, leaning slowly forward. "I like you." I admit, breathless.
"I love you." Abraxas says, kissing me just like I wanted him to. The flow of molten rock is there immediately. But, he pulls away too soon. "You should get some sleep." Abraxas tells me. "It's just after midnight."
"Sleep with me...?" I trail off with a question.
"Lucinda..." Abraxas says, trailling off.
"Just sleep. Please?" I ask, taking his hand, pulling him over to my bed.
"Lucinda, get into bed, and go back to sleep. I'll even cover you up." Abraxas tells me.
"Abraxas..."I trail off, pulling him down on the bed beside me.
"Lucinda." He says, and begins to stand up.
"Please, Abraxas." I give him a puppy dog face, and he sighs.
"Fine." He says, pulling me in close, and covering us up with my blankets. I wrap my arms around his waist, and lay my head on his chest. His body is warm, and even though the night is cool, and damp, I'm warmed up quickly by Abraxas. I begin drifting off to sleep. "Goodnight, Lucinda. I love you." He whispers, just as I fall into a deep, dark abyss.
Just the feel of Lucinda beside me, asleep, makes my heart race. If she ever does come to truly love me, would we forever be sleeping this way? Together? Forever? I would hope so. I glance down at her, her face pressed to my chest, and her thin arms wrapped around my waist, holding onto me tightly. I kiss the top of her head, and try to calm my erratically beating heart, wishing for sleep to come. When I do fall asleep, I wake up when there is a loud knock on the door, and I try to sit up, but can't because Lucinda is still beside me with her arms wrapped around me. The door barrels open and Esmeralda and Tom are standing in the doorway, staring at Lucinda and myself, laying together in bed, me in my sweats and tee shirt, and Lucinda in the same leggings and tank top she had been wearing the day before. Tom's eyes meet mine, then dart to Lucinda before he turns around and walks quickly from the room. Esmeralda just stands there staring, then blinks a few times and gives me a questioning look.
"Nothing happened." I reassure her, trying not to talk too loud for fear of waking Lucinda.
"Seriously? Nothing happened?" Esmeralda asks, and I nod.
"Nothing happened." I repeat. "We got to talking in the middle of the night, and we had a bit of a fight, and then we made up. She asked me to stay in here with her, is all."
"She told me that you guys were going to....yesterday before the train got to the school." Esmeralda states, and I lower my eyes.
"We were. But she wasn't ready. I said I wasn't going to push her to do anything yet, and I haven't. I wont." I say.
"You better hurry up and get out of here before mom comes in to check on Lucinda. If she catches you in here, she's going to flip out, Abraxas." Esmeralda says, and then glances at Lucinda. "I have a question."
"And what is that question, Esme?" I ask her, wishing that she would go so that I could wake Lucinda and I could leave the room.
"You really do love Lucinda don't you?" Esmeralda asks.
"Yes." I admit. "I could see us getting married some day and having kids together."
"Does she love you?" Esmeralda asks.
"She and Mom were talking and Lucinda says she doesn't know whether she is in love with me or not yet. She hasn't had very long to get used to the idea of us being together, and I get that. It's been just a week, and it takes longer than a week to fall truly in love with someone. So I can't answer that. Only she can." I tell Esmeralda.
"Well, I don't think you're the only one she cares about." Esmeralda tells me. "Just think about that alright? And don't hurt her." She walks out of the room, and I shake Lucinda awake.
Her dark eyes are shinning, and her cheeks are rosy when she looks up at me. She smiles and leans in to press a gentle kiss to my lips. When she pulls back, I say "I have to go to my room, before my mom comes in and thinks something happened. Tom and Esmeralda already seen us in bed together."
"Crap." She murmurs, and kisses me again before pulling back and saying "Promise me we'll hang out later?"
"I promise." I kiss her again, then slide out of the room and back to mine. I change clothes, and when I walk out into the hallway, Tom is standing by his door, and he looks forlorn, and I walk over to him. "Tom, I'm sorry you saw us in bed together. I promise nothing happened though."
"Don't worry about it. She loves you, I get that." Tom says.
"She's not even sure if she loves me, Tom. She thinks she might, but she's not sure about it." I tell him.
"She's not?" Tom asks, surprised.
"She's not." I confirm. "I'll see you later, man." I tell him, and head downstairs for breakfast. My mom doesn't say anything at first. Then she gives me a look. "What's wrong mother?" I ask.
"Tom informed me that you and Lucinda we're sleeping together." She says, raising her eyebrows.
I close my eyes, rubbing them in frustration. I open them, and see my mother still staring at me. "Nothing happened mom." I tell her.
"I don't care if you say nothing happened, Abraxas. I don't want you two sleeping in the same room much less in the same bed." My mother says sternly.
"Mom!" I exclaim. "Nothing. Happened. And nothing probably ever will, alright?" I demand, angry.
"Do not yell at me, Abraxas. And what do you mean nothing probably will happen with you two?" Mom asks.
"I heard you guys talking. And I confronted her about it this morning, and we had a small fight, and I found out something I hadn't expected, but I mean, we did make up, but we're going to take things slowly, see if things will work out between us. But if not..." I trail off. "I mean, I really love her. But she probably will never be in love with me."
"So you were eavesdropping on Lucinda's and my conversation. What is it you found out that you didn't expect?" Mom asks.
"It's nothing." I say, grabbing a piece of toast, and biting into it. I walk out of the room, and head back upstairs, going to the library to sit and eat my toast.