As I walk down the stairs, my eyes immediately dart to Lucinda's, and I'm shocked by how awful she looks. No, I'm not being rude. She still looks ravishing, but her dark eyes, while they look fevered, they also look tired, and as if she is depressed, the dark circles under eyes indicating she had slept fitfully, and the way her arms encircle her midsection, as if trying to console herself, I realize that perhaps she is afraid of me, and I wish I hadn't been so mean to her. Her eyes fill with tears and she looks away, not wanting to look at me. I know I look terrible as well, paler than usual, my normally happy physique is now dark and depressing, and my normally icy blue eyes are flat and gray , a shadowy color that resembles dirty snow slush. Nonetheless, I feel guilty that Lucinda is scared of me. Esmeralda doesn't look at me once, instead glancing at Lucinda to make sure she is alright. Tom also is watching Lucinda as closly as my sister is. It infuriates me to think about the two of them protecting Lucinda from me, and infuriates me even more that Tom is closer to Lucinda than I am at the moment. On the way out to the automobile, I notice Tom placing a hand on the middle of Lucinda's back. She glances up at him, and he gives her a small nod, while helping her into the back of the automobile, then getting inside, and placing a hand out the door, and helping Esmeralda inside, who doesn't need quite as much help as Lucinda does. I sit in between my parents, who don't say a word as my father starts the automobile, and drives us to town.
Being a couple days after Christmas, everything is on sale, and my parents give each of us, even Tom and Lucinda who aren't my parents kids, 10 Galleons to spend. Lucinda and Tom protest that they had given them too much to spend, and my father says "Nonsense. Have fun, kids." He pats Lucinda and Tom on the backs before saying "Abraxas you're with us today. Let Esmeralda, Tom, and Lucinda spend sometime together."
"Whatever." I say, getting out of the automobile.
"Actually, I wanted to talk to Abraxas today." Esmeralda says. "I think we need to have a long talk, brother." She tells me.
"Oh." My father says. "Um, in that case, Tom, Lucinda, do you mind going off and looking through the stores on your own for a bit? We had some stuff we wanted to get, and we can meet up with you guys at the gift shop in say, an hour?"
Tom glances over at me, and I glare at him. Tom clears his throat, clearly not afraid of me like Lucinda is. "Alright, sir. That's fine with me." He glances over at Lucinda, who nods.
"Alright, it's settled. Esmeralda, do me a favor and don't let your brother wander off on his own. We'll all meet up in an hour, at the gift shop, then we can all maybe eat some dinner here in town. " My mother suggests.
"Sure." Esmeralda says, and glances at me. "Coming, Abraxas?"
"Yeah, sure. Whatever." I say walking ahead of her, and nearly run into a woman who is pushing a toddler in a stroller. I walk by without apologizing, because I'm not really in the apologizing kind of mood.
My sister follows me, and she says "Wait up."
I slow down, and say "Why the hell did you say you wanted to talk to me?"
"Because we do need to talk Abraxas." Esmeralda says. "What's going on with you? Why are you acting so... arrogant and mean?"
"It's Tom's fault, and it's Lucinda's fault. Why not go ask them why the hell I'm being so mean?" I ask her. "No, you'd probably find him macking on my girlfriend."
"Macking, what is this, brother, 1st year?" Esmeralda sighs, shaking her head. "Tom and Lucinda aren't kissing, I can assure you of that. I think she'd tell me if they wanted to start dating."
"How the hell would you know? It's like I don't even know Lucinda anymore. Everything was fine, until Tom started showering her with affection." I say, grumpily.
"Abraxas," Esmeralda grabs my arm, forcing me to stop walking. Her blue eyes, icy and identical to my own, are sparkling. "Tom has feelings for her doesn't he?"
"He told me he does, and I can guarantee you he's told her so. They even kissed. Something she told me." I tell her.
"They kissed?" She asks, and I nod. "Oh my goodness. Abraxas, Lucinda's been going through a tough time, fitting in at school, having a grade higher than Tom's, how do you think she's been dealing with that?" She asks me, and I shrug. "She hasn't. She stays up much to late to complete her assignments. She's bullied, and Tom was one of the people bullying her. Then the dance arrived, and you asked her to the dance. She was excited. You two started dating, and everything seemed to be alright. But with all of the stress, don't you think it would be hard to tell if she really loves you, or loves the idea of being with you? She thought you were a safe choice. Then throw in Tom telling her he likes her, and also wants to be with her? Then you pressuring her into sex? While Tom's not? In the end, if you don't make some big decisions, who do you think she will choose?"
"Tom. She'll choose Tom." I say. "I get that. And I didn't mean to pressure her into sex. I mean, I really want her. I love her. I just want to wake up every morning, having her in my bed with me. I want to kiss her whole body and someday have kids with her."
"But, Abraxas. That might not be what she wants. Lucinda has never really known love. But she can sense that you don't just love her, you're obsessed with her. She's not ready to have sex, she's not ready to get married and have kids. She's only 16. We may come of age in the wizarding world at 17, but Lucinda isn't ready for marriage or any drastic changes. She's more sensitive than most girls our age. And right now, she's terrified of you. She really thinks you would hit her like her father used to. She and Tom may have always fought, but he wouldn't hurt her, no matter how mad he got at her. Lucinda's told me he's never raised a hand to her. He's ran into her several times, but he's never hit her, or screamed at her the way you did. She's not in love with you. It's not something you can force to happen. You've only dated a week, and look what's happened. She could have died yesterday, Abraxas, all because you can't control your anger enough to not scare the living shit out of the girl you supposedly love."
"Am I really that horrible of a person?" I mumble.
"No. But if you don't get control of your anger soon, you'll lose Lucinda forever. That much, I can assure you. If you don't change, she wont want to be around you." Esmeralda tells me.
"So she's really scared of me?" I ask and she nods. "I feel like a complete ass."
"Good. You should feel like a complete ass. By the way, sorry I hit you. I just needed you to stop yelling at Tom, and wanting to beat him up." Esmeralda apologizes.
"I forgive you. Sorry I'm being such an ass, I know we haven't talked like this in such a long time."
"We'll have to promise each other to talk more often." Esmeralda says.
"It's a promise. Do you think..." I trail off.
"Do I think what?" She asks, curious.
"Do you think she and Tom have kissed anymore? The way he touches her... it's as if there is something going on between them..." I trail off.
"I can't say for sure." Esmeralda says. "If they have, it's their business. Technically, I'd say the two of you have broken up, because you're not even allowed around her without someone else being present. Mom and Dad don't want to risk you hitting her because you're mad at her. Especially with her being so little. And as for the way he touches her, I think he's just checking on her, making sure she's alright. The two of them seem as connected as we were when we were children, Abraxas. It's like Tom can tell if she's alright just by looking at her, or touching her arm. If I didn't know better I'd say he's figured out Legilimency."
"Do you think he's capable of that?" I ask.
"I don't know. Tom is exceptionally smart, just like Lucinda. I think Lucinda can use Legililmency a bit, though it's not as strong as what Tom is able to do." Esmeralda tells me.
"Lucinda can use it as well?" I ask, retorically. "Is there anything the two of them cannot do?"
"I'm not sure. I do know Lucinda is afraid of a lot of stuff, and Tom isn't very social."
"Lucinda's not very social, either." I point out.
"Lucinda may not be very social, but it's mostly because she's very shy and she's got a troubling past that she's desperately trying to run away from." Esmeralda glares at me.
"Tom was born in an orphanage, was bullied his whole life, and currently likes a girl that technically has a boyfriend, and said boyfriend hates him." Esmeralda says. "So yes, he's also got a troubling past. Maybe that's the connection they share, maybe it's not. Nonetheless, they are as similar as we are. Also, I know that Lucinda is able to preform dark spells and curses that the most intelligent witches and wizards have trouble doing. And we all know Tom is able to use defensive spells quite well. Maybe even preform dark spells and curses as well."
"Do you think she'll choose him?" I ask in a quiet voice.
"Again, I don't know." Esmeralda admits. "You'd have to get her to stop being afraid of you, and promise you wouldn't push her or force her to do anything she's not ready for. She's still wearing the bracelet that you bought her, so I'd say that's a good sign."
"Good." I say. "I'll need your help, Esmeralda."
"Of course. But you need to help yourself first. You look awful." She says.
"Well thanks, you look stunning as always." I say sarcastically. But technically, it's not sarcasm because she doesn't look bad. She looks like she normally does. Happy. Healthy. Exuberant. Excitable.
"Thank you!" She exclaims smiling. "Now let's go see if we can find anything to get rid of those dark bags." She tells me.
I nod, following her.
After Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy and Esmeralda and Abraxas walk off in opposite directions, Lucinda glances up at me with a strange look in her eyes. I give her a small smile and ask "Where would you like to go first, since you know your way around and I do not?"
"Anywhere is fine." She tells me, and laces her fingers through my own. It feels strangely good to hold her hand, and I rub her thumb with my own before starting to walk. I walk slowly so that Lucinda has no trouble keeping up with me. We go to a few places before Lucinda asks to take a break. She seems even more fragile than she had a few days ago, and despite having healing spells and charms placed on her, she still seems ill and weak. We take a seat outside one of the stores on a bench, and I pull her in close, keeping her warm and out of the blowing wind.
"I'm sorry I can't go on and on." Lucinda whispers. "I guess I'm just not strong enough to walk through store after store."
"Usually you would be able to." I tell her. "It's because you got hurt yesterday. You're body needs time to heal. Maybe it wasn't a good idea for us to come to town today."
"No. I wanted to come." She says, clearly getting upset. "I thought it'd be fun."
"Are you having fun...?" I trail off in a question.
"Surprisingly so." She says, nuzzling against me. I smile and lean forward to kiss her. Her lips part, and I lower my lips to hers, pressing my lips against hers, and lightly outlining her tongue with my own. She closes her eyes, her gloved hands sliding up my chest to cup my cheeks, and I kiss her more gently, not wanting people to stare at us. Lucinda barely takes a breath as we kiss, and her cheeks are flushed when I pull back to take a breath. I'm breathing heavily, then I see that she blushes, and I gently cup her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over her cheek bones. She closes her eyes again, and I lean forward to kiss her eyelids. When pull back, she opens her eyes. Her whole body has relaxed, and a smile curves her lips. "Tom..."
"Yes?" I ask her, smiling back.
"I think I know what I want..." She whispers. "Who I want..."
"Oh, really?" I ask and she nods. "Don't say me, because that means your not even going to give Abraxas a chance to redeem himself."
She blushes brighter, then turns away. "Sorry." She mumbles, pulling away from me and standing up.
"Luce..." I trail off as she starts walking away from me. I follow her, gently grabbing her arm. "What's wrong?" I ask her.
"You said you love me. But you must not, if you wont even give me a chance." Lucinda says, her eyes filling with tears.
"I do love you, Lucinda." I tell her. "I always have, and I always will. But you have to at least give Abraxas a chance. You have no idea how much I'd like to call you mine, Lucinda. But for that to happen, first you have to talk to Abraxas. If you don't want to be with him, you have to tell him. Ignoring him wont fix anything."
"Abraxas isn't...good for me." I say. "He's not who I thought he was."
"And you're saying I'm good for you? Cause if you think about it, I was horrible, awful to you. And you're so easily forgiving me, but not Abraxas." I tell her.
"You never screamed at me or raised a hand to me. You may be a lot of things, but you're not an abuser." Lucinda says. "You may not be the nicest guy in the world, or have the most friends, or even the most sensitive guy, but you're a lot better for me than Abraxas."
"Nice to know you think so highly of me." I say sarcastically. "I know I'm not nice, or popular, but in some ways, I am sensitive. I don't know whether I'm better for you than Abraxas, but I do want to be the one you choose. But for you to choose you will have to understand both of us, and you will have to really know us."
"How do I do that?"
"By being friends with us. Which means..." I trail off. I brush my lips over hers. "We wont be able to kiss. Just hugs, and talking to each other. Friends."
"Friends..."She trails off. "You want me to be friends with Abraxas after everything he's done?"
"Lucinda." I say her name quietly. "I want you to really try to understand Abraxas and me. It might take a while, but if you decide after giving it a long hard thought about it, then choose me, then perhaps, we might be together."
"Alright." She tells me. "Can I just..." She presses her forehead to mine, our noses touching and our lips parted. She kisses me, her eyes closing, her tongue slipping into my mouth and caressing my tongue as gently as her lips on mine. Her tongue is warm, and it sends a shiver down my spine. Why am I trying to be just friends with her? I know it's not going to work between her and Abraxas, so I should encourage her to go out with me, instead of pushing her away. But somewhere in my deep subconscious, I know that pushing her away for now is the right thing to do. The kiss ends and she pulls back, her eyes shining, not with tears, but from the lights of the store we're sitting in front off. She looks like an ancient goddess walking on earth. She is truly beautiful, and no matter how much I had always tried to deny it, I find her very attractive.
"That will be an end to all of that, missy." I tell her, smiling.
"Yes. Well, I'll try to restrain myself." She says, giggling.
"Good." I say, chuckling. "Shall we get lunch then walk around some more?"
"Sounds...nice." She trails off, looking around for a place to eat. "Oh, definitely Marcellus Belby's place. It's very inexpensive while the food is absolutely mouth watering." Lucinda tells me, and I smile.
"Sounds good then." I take her hand and we walk over to the little restaraunt. The food, as she says, is indeed mouth watering. Better than anything at Hogwarts, and way way better than Wool's Orphanage's food, the orphange where I grew up.
The bracelet around Lucinda's wrist jingles when she moves, and I recognize it as the one that Abraxas had bought her in Hogsmeade a week ago. Her eyes follow mine to the bracelet, and her drops her arm to her side. When we finish eating, we pay the owner, and begin to walk around again. Lucinda seems to physically feel better after eating, and even though she still has the dark marks under her eyes, and she's still ghostly pale, she seems to be doing better emotionally. The look in her eyes says she no longer wants to burst into tears, even though she still seems vulnerable.
"Hey, Luce?" I ask her, and she looks over at me with a question in her eyes.
"Hmm?" She asks, running her fingers over the stones that are the front of some buildings. I guess I've never noticed how she always has done that, but for some reason, she always touches everything. Books. Stones. Glass. Grass. Trees. She always runs her fingers along everything.
My previous question forgotten for the moment, I ask "Why do you do that?"
"What your doing right now." I tell her, and her eyes widen.
"Oh, that. It's just something that grounds me in place. Keeps my magic from going haywire." She says with a shrug. "My magic can be unpredictable. If I don't ground myself, I could end up somewhere else."
"Somewhere else? Like Apparating?" I ask. She looks startled, but covers it by nodding. Maybe it's not like Apparating. Her expression tells me it's not. I don't push the subject though. "What I was going to ask was are you okay? After everything that's happened in the past week, I mean are you going to be alright?"
"Tom, I'm going to be just fine. It's a tough time right now, yes, but I'll get over it eventually. Abraxas and I will need to talk, so that means you and Esmeralda need to stop hounding me, though I appreciate the sentiment." She tells me, brushing her fingers over mine.
"Still trying to ground yourself in place?" I tease her, "Or do you still want me."
Her cheeks turn a bright pink, and she turns away from me, dropping her fingers to the side of the building we're walking in front of. "You don't have to make fun of me like you always used to." She says in a quiet voice. "I thought perhaps we'd moved passed that."
"I wasn't making fun, Luce. I was teasing. Being playful." I catch her fingers in my hand, and she glances up at me. "We can still tease each other and show affection. Just not the kind of affection that you and Abraxas were displaying for the world to see, Lucinda. I want to be known in this world, but not in the way that Abraxas wants to be known. He's a Malfoy, and most of the Malfoy's are the kind that demand attention and sex, and are rich and bigots and absolute assholes. Esmeralda is different than Abraxas, even if their twins. Esmeralda isn't like Abraxas, she genuinely cares about you, about me, about everyone. She's one of those rare kind of people, like you, that everyone should respect and cherish, because there aren't many of those kind left. Do you understand?"
"Yeah." She smiles. "Yeah, I do understand. But first, you'll have to catch me." She takes off running, knowing right where she is going, and I run after her, dodging out of peoples ways, and when I catch up to her, it's right beside a lake and a park bench. I catch her around the waist, lifting her up off of the ground, and she shrieks in excitement, and when I set her on her feet, she is smiling, laughing and her cheeks are flushed from running. Her skin isn't ghostly pale, and she looks genuinely happy. She sits down on the park bench, grabbing my hand and pulling me down beside her. "We've got quite a bit of time left before we have to meet up with the Malfoy's at the gift shop." She says. "An hour and a half." Lucinda smiles, very certain.
"How do you know how much time we have left?" I ask her, surprised.
"I always know how much time there's left, for everything." She shrugs.
"But, how?" I ask, realizing it's similar to the non-Apparating thing.
"Tom, what if I told you I'm more gifted than most witches?" Lucinda asks me, nervously.
"I'd say I already know that. You're smarter than the rest of them, and you're a lot more talented than they are." I shrug. The look on her face says that's not what she had meant. "What, is it something else, other than the fact that you're gifted in the Dark Arts?"
She hesitates. "Y-yes." She stammers. "Don't worry about it. It's not a big deal."
"No really, what is it?" I ask, "Have you cracked the formula for time travel?" She laughs, shaking her head, but I notice she's not laughing genuinely. I decide, again, to not push it. The two of us sit there in companionable silence for the longest time.
Then, "Tom?" Lucinda asks.
"Yeah?" I ask, smiling at her.
"Do you think I'm special?"She asks me.
"Yes. You're incredibly special, and not just because you're talented. You're special to me in particular. You're different than everyone else. You don't hate me, or judge me. You accept me the way I am. You help me to aim to be better, kinder even. You're truly one of a kind, Lucinda Prewert." I tell her.
"Thanks, Tom. And I'll have you know that, like everyone else, I did judge at first. But that was when you were mean to me. After we talked about my blood status, and me being an orphan, I realized you weren't so bad. You're actually one of a kind as well. Just in a different way. You're truly a powerful wizard, Tom." She says. I give her a small hug. "Do you think we'll receive letters about becoming Prefects? Esmeralda thinks we will, since we have the top grades."
"I think it's quite a possibility, but it's also a big responsibility." I tell her."Think you'd be up to it?" I smirk, teasingly.
"You better believe it." She says. "We should start back. We have 20 minutes until we're required to be at the gift shop."
"Of course, Time Keeper." I say with a laugh. I pull out my pocket watch, and am surprised to see the time. She is actually very right about the time. It surprises and astounds me, but I hide that and follow her back into the town.
I'm not going to say that I'd begun to fall in love with Tom Riddle. I'm not sure if that's what the feeling is. It might be similar to what I feel for Abraxas, or it might not. Regardless, kissing Tom was, in fact, amazing. The fact that we're aren't going to kiss anymore, is surprisingly heartbreaking. For some odd reason, I had begun to accept that I couldn't kiss Abraxas, but it's harder to accept that with Tom. I had said that kissing Tom is like the kiss being laced by poison that changes the way your heart beats, and the way you move closer to one another without realizing it. It's still like that. For some odd reason, just being around Tom draws me closer to him. When we're walking back into town, our hands brush repeatedly as we walk. The last time our fingers brush, I lace my fingers with his. His hand gently squeezes my own, and we walk hand in hand until we reach the gift shop. Only then do I let go of his hand, and when I glance around, my eyes rest on the Malfoy's, and we walk over to them.
"Well, how about we all get some dinner, then we can split up again, to finish shopping?" Mrs. Malfoy asks.
"Sure." Esmeralda says, smiling. The five of us find a nice restaraunt to eat at, and we take our seats. The conversation is lively, and when dinner is over, I regret that it ended so quickly. We try to decide how to split up.
"Um, Abraxas, would you like to take a walk together?" I ask, surprising myself, and he looks over at me, his eyes registering shock, and everyone looks at us, worried.
"Mom, dad, I think that's an excellent idea. Why don't I go for a walk with Tom, and you two can enjoy some more alone time?" Esmeralda asks.
"With you and your brother off at school, all we have is alone time. Lucinda, you don't have to hang out with Abraxas right now. Why don't you and I take a walk together?" Mr. Malfoy asks, "I can buy you a couple of outfits, what do you say?"
"Um." I glance at Tom, who shakes his head. "I really wanted to go for a walk with Abraxas..." I trail off, then glance at Abraxas, who is still looking at me with shock. "How about we hang out in a little bit?" I ask Mr. Malfoy. "After I talk to Abraxas?"
"Very well." Mr. Malfoy gives me a small smile. "Have fun, and how about I wait here for you when you're done talking with Abraxas? Then I can get you some outfits."
"Thank you, sir." I say, smiling back. "That is, um, did you want to go for a walk Abraxas?" I repeat.
"Yes." He says, and starts walking. I hurry to catch up, soon out of sight of Mr and Mrs. Malfoy and Esmeralda and Tom. "What did you want to talk about?" He asks me as I catch up.
"Slow- down- please." I say, already out of breath.
"Sorry." He murmurs, slowing down nearly to a stop as I suck in some air.
"I was hoping we could talk about...us..."I trail off.
"Is there still an us?" Abraxas asks. "After everything that's happened?" He doesn't look at me, and I grab his arm, pulling him around to face me. His cheeks are pale, his eyes puffy and red, and tears cling to his cheeks.
"I don't know." I say, in a whisper. "Everything... has happened so quickly, Abraxas. I didn't want it to be like this... I wanted it to be something amazing, and happy. Instead it's turned down a dark road. I'm sorry I made you so mad... I'm sorry I hurt you."
"You did hurt me, and you don't realize just how much, Lucinda." Abraxas says, his breathing a bit labored. "You will never know just how much you hurt me."
"I said I'm sorry. What else do you want me to do, Abraxas? Let you hit me, beat on me like my father did for years? Or just have sex with you? Marry you when we come of age? It doesn't work like that and you know it." I say.
"I don't know if I really would hit you or not, Lucinda, no matter how mad at you I am. I might want to but it doesn't mean I will. As for sex, of course I want to have sex with you, but not if we're never going to be together. I want you. I need you Lucinda." He reaches out a hand to caress my cheek, but I flinch back. He realizes that it's because he was going to touch me, and the look on his face is one of utter shock. "You really are afraid of me, aren't you?" He asks me.
"I wish I could say no, Abraxas." I say, shaking my head, tears burning my eyes. "I may have hurt you emotionally, but you really were going to hit me. Tom saw it as well as I did."
"I didn't want to really hurt you, Lucinda." Abraxas gently caresses my cheek, me flinching when our skin makes contact. "Please, I really just want to be with you. I love you, Lucinda."
"If you loved me, you wouldn't want to hurt me, you wouldn't want me to have sex with you right away, and you sure as hell wouldn't be mad at me for feeling confused about my feelings for you and for Tom." I say.
"So you do have feelings for him." Abraxas says, the hurt clear in his eyes.
"I don't know, Abraxas." I admit. "I mean, we all have some feelings towards a person. Just like the fact that I like you... the real you. Not the person who keeps getting so violent around Tom. I'd be lying to say that I don't like Tom at all. I do like him. He's smart, and funny, and when you truly begin to understand each other, he's actually very nice, Abraxas. I thought you two were going to get along."
"I thought you were mine. Some things change, Lucinda." Abraxas says icily.
"So you think of me as a belonging, like a possession?" I ask, glaring.
"No... I just thought you were my girl...my girlfriend. Then I find out that you two had been kissing, then yesterday you were going to kiss him again! Like, seriously, what the hell, Lucinda?"
"I don't..have to explain myself, Abraxas." I tell him. "Tom and I were talking. He thinks you and I should go back to being just friends for a while, then try dating again, later on."
"Ohhh, Tom thinks, does he? Screw Tom, Lucinda." Abraxas tells me. "I want to know what the hell you think we should do, not some idiot orphan who thinks he's better than everyone else, a guy who thinks he can take you from me."
"Abraxas!" I exclaim. "I'm an orphan as well, am I just an idiot orphan?"
"No, Lucinda, I didn't mean it like that." Abraxas tells me, reaching for me. "I just mean because Tom is an orphan, and he's an idiot, and he thinks he's better than everyone else."
"Abraxas, you know nothing about Tom." I tell him. "You know what, how about I tell you what I think? Yeah, so I think I don't want to date you, and I don't even want to be friends with you. I'm finished here." I turn away from him, starting to walk back.
"No, Lucinda, I love you. Please, come back here. Please." Abraxas says, following me, grabbing my arm roughly with his hand, gripping my arm so tightly that the pain is unbearable, and I let out a small shout. Abraxas, realizing what he just did, pulls back, but the damage is already done. My arm aches, and I begin to cry, running away from him, back to town, where Tom and Esmeralda are walking around, talking. Tom spots me quickly, and grabs Esmeralda's arm, and when she sees me, the two of them run over to me, and, sobbing, I let Tom wrap his arms around me.
"What happened?" Tom asks, pulling back, and he sees me holding onto my lower arm. The skin is discolored and swollen pretty badly already. "Shit." Tom curses, and he glances at Esmeralda. "Go get your parents." Weak, I nearly fall, and if it weren't for Tom holding onto me, I'd have fallen already. Abraxas rushes over, worry marked on his face.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry, Lucinda." Abraxas says. Tom, finished with playing nice, punches Abraxas in the face, hitting him on his eye, and Abraxas, knocked out cold, falls to the ground. People are staring, and Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy rush over with Esmeralda. Mr. Malfoy bends to to check on Abraxas, and looks over at us.
"What happened?" He asks.
"He hurt Lucinda." Tom tells him, still holding onto me so I don't fall. "He followed her back into town and I hit him." He says it so matter of factly that Esmeralda giggles. I'm still crying, and Tom gently pushes my hair out of my face. "Shhh, it's going to be alright, Luce." He tells me. "Where is there a doctor?" He asks.
"Down the street." Mr. Malfoy says, lifting his son up easily. Mrs. Malfoy looks at my arm, and shakes her head.
"Definitely broken." She say, and looks at her husband. "We should hurry to the hospital."
"Right." Her husband agrees. "Tom, can you carry Lucinda? She's not too heavy for you is she?"
"Lucinda, heavy? That's a laugh. Of course I can carry her." He lifts me very gently, and I wrap my good arm around his neck, holding on tightly to him. Tom whispers in my ear "You're going to be just fine. I promise." I calm down when he says that, and the tears stop flowing.
The hospital, a wizarding hospital, is not crowded, and it's definitely efficent. The nurse takes me back, and Mr. Malfoy goes back with me, and of course, so does Tom. The doctor takes an X-ray, something I haven't had since I was a little kid, and it's much different than those taken at the hospitals in the 90's. The 40's are a lot blurrier.
"Yes, it's broken alright." The doctor says, and glances at Mr. Malfoy. "How did this happen, it seems as if the bone was crushed?"
"My son must have grabbed her arm when they were arguing." Mr. Malfoy says. "We were all in town, and the two of them had been courting, but they've been fighting a lot lately."
"Ah, lovers quarrel?" the doctor glances between Tom and me.
"I'm not his son." Tom say, "I'm her...friend."
"Right well, I checked in on your son, Mr. Malfoy, the one with blonde hair like yours, yes?"
"Yes." Mr. Malfoy says.
"Just has a black eye and a low degree concussion. If you're not his son, you must be the one who hit him, yes?" He glances at Tom.
"I sure did." Tom says. "He deserved it. Plus more."
"Yes." The doctor says, and glances at me. "The severity of your break is unable to be fixed with magic, m'dear. So you'll have to wear a cast for 8-10 weeks. The bone is shattered, from being crushed, so it will take quite a bit of time to heal. I'll give you medicine for the pain as well, and you should rest a lot. You go back to school soon, do you not?"
"Yes, sir." Tom answers when I don't. I can't say anything. I just can't.
"Well, you and the rest of your friends will need to help her carry her books, her food, and such. Also, Ms. Prewert, please start eating more. Your bones are very tiny. Drink plenty of milk." The doctor says, and I nod. "And keep her away from your son, please. We don't need a repeat of this incident."
"I will." Mr. Malfoy says, nodding. "Thank you, Doctor."
"Of course. I'll send my nurse in."
"Lucinda, I'm so sorry that Abraxas did this to you." Mr. Malfoy says, rubbing my good arm.
"It's alright." I say in a quiet voice.
"It's not alright!" Tom exclaims. "He's not getting away with hurting you Lucinda."
"Tom, don't." I say. "It's alright, really."
"Lucinda, you don't! He hurt you, he crushed your arm, and your just letting him get away with it!"
"I'm not letting him get away with it. You already knocked him unconscious. It's fine, alright? Don't worry about it." I tell him. I glance over at Mr. Malfoy, who looks away uncomfortably.
"I'm going to go check on Abraxas. Stay here until I get back, alright?" Tom nods, and Mr. Malfoy walks out of the room.
"Lucinda, you actually are letting him get away with it. I can't believe something like this happened." Tom gently strokes my hair. "You can't let him hurt you again."
"Tom, it doesn't matter..." I start crying again. "He was mad at me. He wouldn't stop saying stuff about you and me, and I got mad, and told him that I wouldn't date him anymore, than I don't even want to be friends anymore."
"You broke up with him?" Tom seems surprised, and I nod. "Oh my god. You actually broke up with him?"
"Yes." I say. "I actually did." I rub my arm gently, wishing the pain would go away.
"Oh my god, Lucinda." Tom says, again. I glance over at him.
"What the hell do you keep saying that for?" I ask him.
"You broke up with Abraxas." He says again. He reaches forward and caresses my cheek, rubbing his thumb over my cheekbone. He leans forward and gently kisses me. I immediately reach up with my good arm to wrap it around his neck and kiss him back.
When I pull away, I say "You didn't think I could do it, did you?"
"I didn't think you wanted to. You so badly wanted to love him." Tom admits. "I just wonder...is it because you don't remember what it's like to love someone? After your mother died, you didn't get any love from your father, and I highly doubt you loved him after that.." He trails off.
I pause a moment, thinking about that. "I guess you could be right. But I think I also don't know what it's like to have someone truly love me." I say. "Tom, I thought..you didn't want kiss anymore?"
"I'm sorry, I was way out of line, it's just that if you're not with him...maybe we could be more than friends. Maybe in a couple of months we could try that." Tom asks me.
"You might have to give me more time than that." I say honestly. "I'm feeling depressed, Tom."
"I know, Luce. I know. I wish I could have stopped him from hurting you." He gently strokes my cheek. "If I could have stopped him, maybe you wouldn't be quite as depressed."
"It's not your fault. I had to talk to him alone or it never would have ended, Tom. He probably would have hit you and then everything would have been a lot worse."
"I can take a hit, Lucinda. You can't. Your body is fragile. I just want to tell you one thing."
"And what's that?" I ask him, glancing up into his eyes.
"I would never hurt you. I promise you that. I may get mad at you sometimes, and if I start yelling, I want you to leave the room so that I don't say anything that will hurt your feelings. Do you think you can promise me that if I get mad, and yell, you'll leave the room?" He asks me.
"I promise." I tell him. "And I know you'd never hit me. The only time you ever got really mean was when you pushed past me, bumping into me. And that wasn't that bad."
"I wont do that again. I'm sorry I did that. And I'm sorry I was ever mean to you. You didn't deserve it Lucinda. I'm just glad you could promise me that. When I get mad, I yell, and call people names, and say stuff I don't mean. I don't want to say anything like that to you. Which is why you'd have to leave if I get mad at you. I can't risk hurting you. I can't...risk you." Tom says, and I nod, pressing my hand to his cheek, and I kiss him. He kisses me back, his fingers tangling in my hair. The door opens, and the nurse steps in, looking shocked to see Tom and me kissing. We pull away from each other, and she nods.
"Alright, well I'm supposed to put your cast on. Come sit on the table, Lucinda." Tom assissts me in getting up on the table. In my mind, I suddenly see an image of him doing this, a few years later, my belly exposed a bit under my shirt. I gasp, and Tom and the nurse think it's from the pain in my arm, but it's not. I blink and the image is gone. What had I just seen? My heart is racing and I recall the image, which is now imprinted in my mind. My hair had been longer than it is now, if that's even possible, my dark eyes had a burning fire in them, yet still dark as ever, and shining, my body was still very short and my weight had increased slightly. The nurse is the same nurse in the room right now, and the doctor is the same doctor. My belly, showing under my shirt, was protruded just a bit. Tom had his hand on my arm. Just like that, though, the image slips from my mind. The nurse asks me "Are you alright, sweety?" I nod, my eyes wide.
Tom looks worried, scared even. "Hang in there, Luce." He tells me, his hand finding my good one, and he gives it a tiny squeeze.
The nurse starts wrapping my arm with the ace bandage, then asks me what color I want the cast to be. I think about it. "Green, please." I tell her.
"Ah, you're in the Slytherin house, aren't you?" She asks, and I nod, smiling. "I was also in Slytherin. Are you in Slytherin as well, son?" She asks Tom.
"I am, Ma'am. Mind if I ask, are you a Pure-Blood?"
"No, I'm a Half-Blood." She says. "My father is Phineas Nigelus Black. The Prewert's and the Black's are distantly related." She tells me.
"I didn't know that." I tell her.
"Who is your father?" She asks.
"He was Marcus Prewert, but he died a while ago. He also wasn't raised by his parents. They put him up for adoption when he was a couple of weeks old." I tell her.
"I don't remember that. Hmm." She says. "Sorry about your loss, honey."
"Not much of a loss, if you ask me." I tell her.
"He beat her." Tom says.
"Oh, I'm sorry." She says. She looks down at my arm, which is now casted and heavy. She says "Well, we're all finished here."
"Mr. Malfoy asked us to stay here until he gets back."
"Very well. Take it easy, sweetheart." She tells me. I just nod. She leaves.
Tom takes my hand and asks "What happened?"
"Nothing." I say. I squeeze his hand gently, the image now gone from my mind. Tom just nods.
"It's going to be alright. I wont let him hurt you again." Tom tells me, pulling me in close to him. I pull my legs up to my chest, curling up against Tom's strong chest. His arms wrap around my body gently, his lips resting on my hair. "I wont let him." He whispers to me. He sounds so sure about this, and when I press my lips against his neck, I feel him inhale sharply. I don't kiss his neck, I just rest my lips right on his juglar, feeling the warm, pulsing blood rushing through his veins quickly, pounding hard. Tom rubs my back slowly, feeling me relax at the gentleness of his touch. The door opens and I glance towards it. Mr. Malfoy seems surprised to see me wrapped tightly into Tom's arms, but doesn't say anything. "Ready?" Tom asks him.
"Yeah." he nods, and Tom stands up, holding me in his arms still. My arms wrap around his neck, one of his arms wrapped around my waist, the other supporting my legs. We go into the hall, and then turn, exiting the corridor, and going into the waiting room. Esmeralda, Abraxas and Mrs. Malfoy are sitting in the waiting room, waiting. Abraxas looks up at me in Tom's arms, his eye swollen shut and black, obviously his father felt he must deserve the pain that Tom had inflicted and that he should get to live with what he had done instead of having it healed, and I hide my face in Tom's neck, tears filling my eyes. I can't look at him anymore.
"Lucinda." he says. "Please, look at me. I'm so sorry."
"Don't talk to her." Tom says, and I can hear the anger in his voice. "Don't talk to her, don't look at her, and don't even think about her." His voice is a hiss, and my fingers clutch his jacket, telling him to calm down. His skin is slightly hot from anger, but it cools off quickly as he calms down. "Just don't." Tom tells him.
"You can't tell me what to do." He walks over to us, his voice is close, too close. "You can't, Tom. Lucinda, please look at me." I glance at him, and see the familiar light blue of his eyes, the chalkiness of his pale skin, and his white blonde hair falling in his face to hide the darkness of his eye. "I'm sorry." He says.
"N-no. Y-your not." I tremble, stammering over the words. "Just leave me alone."
"You heard her. Leave her alone." Tom says, menacingly.
"Fine." He says. "I'll leave you alone." He walks away and I hide my face again in Tom's neck.
We go outside to the car, and Tom get's inside, holding me in his arms still. I slide out of his arms to sit in the seat beside him, buckling the seat belt, then rest my head on his chest. Esmeralda gets in beside me, buckles up then rubs my arm gently. I soon drift off to sleep, exhausted. I wake up to Tom carrying me into the house, and up to my room. He lays me in my bed, and then notices I'm awake, and sits down on the bed beside me.
"How are you feeling?" He asks me gently.
"Tired. And my arm hurts." I whisper to him.
He grabs something from his pocket, a bottle with pills in it. "We stopped to get this filled. It says to take oe ever 6-8 hours, as needed for pain." He gets up to get a glass of water, then helps me sit up, and handes me the pill. I put it in my mouth, and he tilts the glass up to my mouth, and I sip some of the water, and swallow the pill. We just sit there in silence for a few minutes before he says "I'm going to stay in here tonight, keep an eye on you. Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy said it's a good idea to keep an eye on you."
I nod. "Yeah, thanks Tom." I scoot over a bit, and he shakes his head.
"No, Lucinda." He kisses my forehead, and pulls my blanket up to my chin, then sits down in the chair on the opposite side of the room, facing the door. "Goodnight, Lucinda."
"Goodnight, Tom." I say, closing my eyes, drifting off into sleep once more.