~*~Part One – Fifteen Years Later~*~
“I don’t see why you’re insisting on going to this. . .camp.”
Elizabeth Malfoy rolled her silvery-gray eyes, pushing back a lock of strawberry blonde hair so that it was firmly over her shoulder and out of her way. This was just her father’s way, she reminded herself with a inward sigh.
“Because. . .Annabella and Eric are going and it seems like fun.”
“Fun?” Her father sneered. “It’s camp, Lizzie. It might as well be a muggle –“
“Shh!” She shushed him with a roll of her eyes. “It’s a wizarding camp and you know it. Now just – stop. I’m going and I’m going to have fun and that’s that.”
She turned her back on him, feeling almost ashamed of herself when she heard her father walk slowly out of the room. A sigh escaped from half-parted lips. This was what she wanted – to go to camp with her two best friends in the entire world. So why did her father have to put up such a fuss and make it seem like she was going off to some exotic locale for a year or more? It was just a month and a half. And she’d be there with both Annabella Weasley and Eric Potter. Sure, that wasn’t a guarantee that she wouldn’t get into trouble. In fact, with a fellow Slytherin to be found in Eric Potter, there was a good chance that she’d get in more than usual.
It was her grandmother’s doing that she was getting to go to the camp anyway. Her father wanted her to have nothing to do with it. The ‘camp’, as it was; was the brainchild of a group of wizards and witches a few years ago. They had gotten the idea from watching muggle children leave home in the summertime to go do artsy things. Of course, this seemed like a good enough plan to parents who just couldn’t wait to toss their kids back to school at the end of the summer – and slowly even the parents who adored their children were doing it, too. The problem, when it came to Draco Malfoy, was that he didn’t like anything that had the faintest trace of ‘muggleness’ attached to it.
But Gramma Narci didn’t mind so much. She had gotten her tolerance of all things muggle from her Gramma, as surprising as it was considering her family’s history in the wizarding world.
“Thank Merlin,” Lizzie whispered under her breath, returning to her packing. Her father would get over it, she was sure. She would always be his little girl, the pride of his life. They were all they had in this world, after all, Gramma aside. She had had a mother at some point, of that Lizzie was sure, but who that witch had been. . .
Well, that was a subject that was best not broached with her father. She got the feeling that he had done something very stupid and chased her away. Not even Gramma would speak of it except to say that her father was ‘an idiot’ and that there was ‘nothing to be done about it’. Gramma had hinted once that she had tried to find the former Mrs. Malfoy but that it had come to naught and had been ‘too far gone’ at that time anyway.
Lizzie wasn’t sure what that meant, but it gave her little hope that her mother was still out there to be found. It was possible, with all the violence in the world, that her mother had fallen victim to a tragic accident – or worse.
The sixteen year old sniffled, tossing some more clothes into her trunk. She wouldn’t think on this anymore, that’s what she told herself every time she started down this path. That she just wouldn’t dwell on it. There was no use, really. Her mother, for all intents and purposes, was gone; thinking on it wouldn’t bring her back.
And she had never known her anyway. No sense getting teary-eyed over a woman you never met.
Lizzie reached for her wand, shrinking the trunk with only half a heart before she pocketed it and grabbed up her broom. The feel of the smooth wooden handle in her hand brought a smile to her face. Eric had gone to the camp last year and had come back saying that it was chock full of activities – including Quidditch.
Oh yes, Quidditch, the end all and be all of. . . .well. . .everything. She lived and breathed Quidditch – getting to play it this summer would be just an added bonus. As she understood it, the camp would take signups on the first day and then split the interested parties into as many teams as they had volunteers for.
She hoped her and Eric were on the same team. It would give them a little extra practice with each other before school started in the fall. Not that they needed it. Slytherin had won the House Cup every year since both she and Eric had joined the team in their second year. She was a Chaser and Eric a Beater, and they were unstoppable on the field.
With a lighter heart, she left her rooms in search of her father. Time to make with the apologizing.
“Ariana Rosenberg – get your butt down here –now-!”
The teen in question winced, throwing the last of her things into her trunk before she shrunk it. Her mother was pissed – again. It seemed like this last week leading up to camp had been nothing but a roller coaster ride of emotions for the witch she was normally proud to call her mother.
Alright, she was still –proud- to call her mother, even now when she was being screamed for.
“Coming!” She called out, grabbing up her things and racing out of her bedroom. Down the hall, then down the stairs, to the living room where her mother was waiting.
“You’re running behind.”
”We’ll get there just fine!” Ariana groaned with a roll of her eyes. She tried hard to be the perfect daughter, really she did. But sometimes her mother seemed to make it harder than others. Like now. “One little portkey and – poof! – we’re there. Hard to be late when all I have to do is touch the damn thing.”
“Language!” Her mother snapped.
“Moooom.” The teen groaned, flopping onto the couch. She put her elbow on the arm of the couch and propped her head up, legs sprawled out in front of her. She was in plain black robes, something she knew would irritate her mother without her ever having to say a word. And irritating her mother could be such fun at times.
“Ariiiaanna,” her mother mocked. “I swear sometimes –“
The words stopped, and her mother looked shocked not at her daughter, but at herself. Ariana knew all too well what she had been about to say. It was the same thing that she had heard in whispered tones before a million times. Oh, she wasn’t supposed to hear it, of that she was one hundred percent sure.
‘I swear sometimes you act just like your father.’
She wanted to ask – what was it about me just then that reminded you of him? What’s his name? Is he alive? Dead? Perhaps in prison?
All she knew for a fact was that he had been a wizard. She was a pureblood witch, not that it mattered one bit. Her mother had only told her that after her first day of school in her first year, when she had come home crying because some little twit had called her a Mudblood.
“Your daddy was a pureblood wizard.” Her mother had sighed. “So tell that annoying kid to shove it, ‘kay, sweetie?”
But nothing else would be said, not even when she asked. Only that haunting loneliness that would get in her mother’s eyes kept her from pressing further. She didn’t want to do anything to make her mother said.
Aggravated, more so the yes.
But sad? Never.
“Now – no dueling while at camp, understand?”
“Of course, mom,” the teen responded with faked sweetness. Her? Duel? The very notion of it was preposterous.
Except. . . Well, there were those dozen or so instances last term. And the five or six the term before that. Or --
She smirked, hiding it behind her hand.
“No pranks or hexing or cursing or –“
“You’re going to take all the fun out of it, you know.” Ariana interrupted, grey eyes sparkling with mirth. “It’s camp, for Goddess’ sake. Don’t worry. I’ll be a good little witch.”
“You’re going to be the death of me, you know that, right?”
Her mother sighed. “Jaysen and Diane are probably already there, you know. I doubt they gave their mothers this much trouble.”
Ariana laughed aloud. “You don’t know Jaysen very well then, do you?”
“No, I don’t suppose I do,” her mother laughed. “C’mon, then. Let’s get you off to camp so I can start a summer of peace and quiet.”
“Thought Aunt Buffy was coming to town.”
The teen shrugged. “Nothing’s ever quiet with her in town.”
“Point taken,” her mother smiled. “You don’t seem to have your broom with you. . .?”
“Not taking it. You know I don’t like to fly.”
“Yes, well, get it anyway. You never know when you might change your mind.”
Ariana growled a response, flicking her wand. “Accio broom.”
A moment later she held it in her hands, glaring daggers at her mother. “Can I go –now-?”
“Yes, sweetheart. Have a great summer. I’ll see you again before you know it.”
Ariana dropped a kiss on her mother’s cheek before reaching for the portkey. It flared to life under her touch and the world fell away.