Comfort from a friend
A/N: I own nothing except Lexie, all else belongs to J.K. Rowling
Lexie was silent, mentally turning the names over in her mind. True, she was now one step further than she’d been because now they were no longer nameless. They were still faceless though, a fact she hated.
She looked back up at the Headmaster but was distracted by a portrait that gasped, “No! Regulus Black’s daughter?”
Not a moment later did the portrait empty, its occupant gone to some other destination. The plaque on it read Phineas Nigellus Black. Perhaps he was an ancestor? She turned her gaze back to the Headmaster, wanting the answer to one more question before retreating to her Common room. She needed to think on what the night had revealed, maybe she could even wheedle Hermione into helping her find more on her parents when she returned. “How did they die sir?”
Albus Dumbledore looked upon the young girl seated before his desk, unconsciously clutching the packages from her deceased parents. His eyes lost their twinkle at the thought of the fate the girl’s parents had fallen to. She should have gone to Sirius Black, being her father’s older brother and her godfather. Alas, this had not happened.
“It is with great regret that I cannot give you the answer, you are still too young to handle such a tale Miss Malfoy.”
Lexie felt tears prickling in her eyes as she stared at the old man.Who was he tosay she was too young? She deserved to know how her parents had left this world, left her.
“While you have every right to know, I am afraid I must ask you to put it out of your mind for now. It does not do to dwell on the past.”
“Yes sir,” Lexie’s reply was spoken in a whisper as she cast her eyes down. She had no desire to show the Headmaster such a weakness but the outright denial stung. She stood, holding her parent’s gifts tightly, “excuse me sir.”
Not waiting for an answer, the girl left the office as quickly as possible, careful not trip in her haste. Discreetly she brushed the tears from her eyes and returned to Gryffindor tower, where she hesitated. The rest of the school would not be returning for a few days yet, Ron had fallen asleep on top of some homework it looked like. She was just debating going up to her room when she heard a familiar voice penetrate her musings.
“Lexie?” Harry called to the girl who’d just entered, laden with two packages. He’d been reading before the fireplace when his friend had entered and stared off into the distance at the girl’s staircase, worrying her lower lip.
The girl started and looked over to see Harry watching her in concern, then slowly went to join him. ‘Hi Harry.”
“Are you well?”
Not trusting her voice, Lexie shook her head faintly and sat down on the couch with him, then looked down at the parcels held firmly in her grasp. “These were from my parents to me.” Her voice was barely above a whisper and Harry leaned closer to hear. “Professor Dumbledore gave them to me.”
Harry was at a loss, he had received the cloak but it hadn’t been quite as upsetting for him as it clearly was for his brunette friend. He chose to remain silent, waiting for some clue on how to act or what to say to ease the pain in her usually warm eyes.
“He told me their names, Dorcas Meadowes and Regulus Black,” she went on. “But he wouldn’t tell me how they died.” Her voice was even softer now, and Harry could plainly hear the grief. “He says I’m not old enough.”
The two friends sat in silence, one trying her hardest not to give into her tears in front of the black haired boy, and the other hopelessly trying to think of something to say. Agreeing with the man was clearly not the answer; Lexie would only get mad at him.
“I’m sorry Lexie,” he finally settled on.
She did not reply, just gazed down at the last remnants of her parents she had. “Should I open them?” She turned her gaze back up to him, seeking an answer that her own anguish-ridden mind wouldn’t provide.
“If you want to. I’m right here if you need me,” Harry answered and squeezed her shoulder.
There was another long moment as the girl decided what to do before she slowly began to open one of them. In the first package was a leather bound book with a letter, sealed and with her name on it. She let out a sob and pressed a shaking hand to her lips as Harry watched helplessly. He had no idea how to help his friend get through this difficult time. He had grown up without his parents, while he had believed them to be dead from a car accident, but it wasn’t as fresh a wound as hers. It left an unpleasant ache inside but Lexie was dealing with a lot at once. Harry made a vow to himself to help her through whatever he could. The two of them were bonded on the fact that their parents were deceased, something not many could understand.
Harry watched as she unsealed the letter, her hand shaking very slightly, and began to read to herself.‘My dearest Alexis,
I would give anything to be by your side as you read this, for if you are, I fear I am dead. I hope you will forgive your mother and I for leaving you alone in the world, it is the last thing we would want. I want you to know that you are very precious to us, your mother is crying as she reads this over my shoulder. I have named your uncle Sirius, my brother, as godfather should this happen. Do try to drive the man crazy would you? Your mother is lecturing me now, so I will get on with what we wished to tell you before she hexes me. She and I love you, Alexis, never doubt this. The book that is enclosed with this letter is a journal, mine to be precise. I wanted to leave you something that would bring us closer, and you will find out a lot about my family, your grandparents. Please try not to think too terribly of me, I was young and believed what they had to say. Within you will also read about your mother and I, how we met and how she came to change my life. I am sure you take after her very much my darling, but never fear to become your own person, and make your own way in life. I regret that I must go, but know that you are always in our hearts, even if we are no longer there.
At this Lexie lost her battle and gave into her tears, it hurt inside to know that the person who wrote the letter in her hand would never look at her and smile, would never laugh at a joke, would never see a sketch she’d drawn. She vaguely felt a pair of arms circling her or the whispered muttering in her ear. Once she realized she was being held, she turned into his chest, seeking comfort. Distantly a voice argued that at least she had received a goodbye while he had not, but that thought was pushed aside.
When she finally got her composure, she stared down at the journal and the tear-streaked letter distantly. Harry smoothed her hair worriedly and watched for any signs of more crying, but she seemed to have used up all the emotion she possessed.
“I’ll be in my rooms. Thank you Harry,” she said shortly. She stood and took both parcels into her arms and headed toward the girls staircase, feeling numb inside.
Harry stared after her, his heart hurting for the girl. He decided to send Professor McGonagall up there if Lexie did not come down for dinner. Right at that moment he was jolted from his thoughts as Ron woke with a jolt and looked around blearily, a sheet of Charms homework stuck to his cheek and his hair everywhere.
True to his word, Harry went for Professor McGonagall once Lexie had not come down for dinner that night. Teacher and student hurried to the Tower as Harry explained what had happened earlier, “thank you Potter, I will take care of it from here.”
Instead of going to the Great Hall, Harry stubbornly sat down to wait, determined not to leave his friend to walk in alone. After a brief accounting of what happened to Ron, the other boy left to eat, leaving Harry to wait.
Lexie was lying on her bed staring up at the ceiling, Max at her feet. The gifts from her parents lay on her bedside table, her mother’s still unopened. She had not possessed the strength to open it after the letter her father had written, and had simply placed them aside. Her mind was swirling with questions, ranging from who her uncle was to what happened to kill her parents.
“Miss Malfoy?” A tentative voice asked after a soft knock on the door. When no answer came, the Professor entered the room. She saw the girl lying still and silent upon her bed and walked closer, noticing the opened package and unopened beneath it on the table.
“Harry sent you.”
Professor McGonagall looked at her then nodded, “he was worried Miss Malfoy.”
Lexie sat up, swinging her legs over the side and looked up at her Transfigurations teacher. McGonagall was saddened to see her student looking so heart-sore. “I am sorry about your parents, they were good people.”
The girl still said nothing. She wanted to rage at her teacher, yell until her voice was hoarse but what was the point? She had also received a letter from Draco but ignored it. She had no desire to write him back just yet. “Thank you Professor,” she answered quietly and made her way out of the dormitories. She was aware that she was dwelling and being sullen, but the way she figured it: she could be for just one night. Tomorrow she would be cheerful and normal, but tonight she was set on feeling very little.
Professor McGonagall watched her student as she left the room and headed back down the stairs, following silently. She felt bad for the girl, indeed all the children who’d lost one or both parents. But there was little she could do, and hoped that young miss Malfoy would seek the company of her friends to assist in such a trying moment.
Once they reached the common room where Harry waited, the two students and the teacher walked on toward the Great Hall, while Harry slipped his hand into Lexie’s. She was proud to see the boy trying his best to care for his friend, and observed as she allowed the contact, the two children holding hands in a gesture of companionship and support.