"Lumos," her voice hushed in earnest. A small orb light emitted from her white ash 8 inch dragon heartstring wand. She poured over a leather journal inscribed "To Songbird from Padfoot, 1977". Each page was absolutely filled with beautifully penned poems, notes, and personal entries. Her favorite pages were of the hand drawn portraits spread throughout the book. Her favorite was labeled "Padfoot" a young man with wild hair, a mischievous grin, yet kind eyes. The thirteen year old girl adored each and every page silently until a loud CRACK pulled her from them.
"Nox." She slammed herself back into the ancient mattress clutching the book close to her chest.
"Mistress Persephone, Kreature knows you were awake." the house-elf leered, "Mistress Black ordered you to bed four hours ago! You ungrateful abomination on the Black name!"
The girl remained still taking the verbal abuses which were better than her grandmother's punishments. She only hoped the cretin would keep this to himself and she wouldn't suffer anything in the morning.
When dawn broke through the dusty moth eaten curtains of her room Persephone vaulted from her bed and readied herself for breakfast with her caretaker. The vanity mirror her grey eyes reflecting back in weariness. She brushed her honey locks into a tight high bun after pulling on a long black skirt and a green blouse. A slytherin banner hung over her dresser and it made her smirk before leaving the room to join her grandmother for breakfast in the woman's room. Walburga Black laid propped up against a mass of feather pillows; her silver locks in a tidy bun, and the disappointed expression on her face was always there.
"Good morning Grandmother." Persephone quietly greeted before taking the chair next to the bed. Walburga didn't reply but merely reached for her wand on the bedside table. Persephone flinched gripping her hands onto her knees. Inwardly she cursed the house-elf. When no pain came she looked up to see an envelope floating into her grandmother's hand.
"You are to only withdraw enough for your school supplies. No extras and return the key to Kreature upon your return home or else."
"Y-yes ma'am." She held out her hand for the Black family vaullt key. They ate Kreature's oatmeal in silence.
Leaving 13 Grimmauld place was her favorite thing. It didn't matter where she was going or for how long. Any time-every venture she treasured away from the place the 'Ministry' labeled her home after her mother's death and her father's imprisonment. She looked across the way to see a shaggy black dog contently watching her. While finding this odd, as the muggles who lived in the area were well off, Persephone merely smiled at the stray dog before leaving the front porch. For a time she thought the dog was following her. It made her grip close to her wand tucked into her blouse sleeve. When she turned expecting to still find it following her but the dog was gone.
It was a decent walk to Charing Cross Road, home to the Leaky Cauldron, but the weather was pleasant and Persephone enjoyed the fresh air gracing her lunges with each breath. No one greeted the young student as she entered the pub, nor did she expect anyone to. The young girl didn't really have any friendships, and she looked on a trio, greeting each other after a long summer apart, enviously before passing from the pub to Diagon Alley. Her first stop was of course the wizarding bank, Gringotts. A rather irritated goblin escorted her to the family vault. The Black family vault was sea of golden galleons. She took out enough to satisfy her school needs, but decidedly took a bit more as a treat. How would her grandmother know any better? She hadn't gotten out of bed in two years. As they returned to the lobby of the bank Persephone stopped short seeing a tall platinum blond woman and her matching son enter. Unfortunately, they met eyes.
"Ah, Persephone dear." the woman greeted with a one sided smile, "Draco greet your cousin."
"Cousin." the boy nodded with a crude grin. He knew her secret.
"H-hello." She managed wanting to inch by them.
Narcissa Malfoy clasped a hollow embrace around her. "I'm sure you must be so frightened."
"Frightened?" the confusion in her voice drew the embrace apart. Narcissa peered down at her with blue piercing eyes,
"Merlin's beard you don't know."
Persephone glanced between them, "Don't know what?" Mrs. Malfoy squeezed her shoulders tightly,
"Dear girl it's all over the papers. Your insane father has escaped from Azkaban." It was almost like the woman took delight in telling her. Her apparent Aunt requested that she wait for them in the lobby, but the moment they disappeared beyond view she bolted into the alley to the nearest Daily Profit stand. The man plastered on the front page was nothing like the drawings in the journal. His expression was manic,and there was a craze in his eyes.
"SIRIUS BLACK AT LARGE." the purveyor yelled, "FIRST ESCAPE FROM AZKABAN IN CENTURIES."
Persephone took off down the street rejecting the photograph and yet the sting of tears plagued her eyes; she couldn't unsee it.
"AYE!" a voice yelled. It was too late she slammed right into a lanky planted body. She landed on her back reminding her of several bruises on her back.
"I'm so sorry!" Persephone sniffled. She shifted her long bangs to the side. A tall red head with a goofy grin held out his palm,
"No worries, shouldn't have been standing in the middle of the way. I was asking for it really."
Her hand felt so small in his as he lifted her up. His expression morphed seeing the tears rolling down her pale cheeks. He wanted to ask if she was okay, but she rather answered it for him.
"I-i'm okay." Persephone dusted her skirt.
"Hey, I know you. You're that second year that was in our fourth year transfiguration class. Perifney right?"
"P-persephone." She wiped her face against her blouse smearing a mixture of tears and snot against the sleeve. She took a closer look at the boy, "You're George Weasley."
He chuckled,"Ah, sorry but I'm Fred."
Persephone wrinkled her nose, "No your not. Fred has a tad wider nose than you."
"Hey Georgie, you coming!" His twin called from further down the alley. George looked at her with an excited grin,
"Well it was nice to see you Seph, I suppose I'll be seeing you in fifth year transfiguration!" he took off towards Fred with a wave goodbye.
"Seph…." she repeated the shortening of her name.
She successfully avoided the Malfoy's for the rest of the afternoon even if it meant oddly ducking behind counters, or hiding in a dressing room until they departed. It made her shopping longer when she got stuck in the dressing room at Madam Malkin's Robe shop.
"I don't know why you keep looking for her mother. She obviously didn't want our assistance."
"Family is all we have in this life Draco. They are the only alliance worth having." Narcissa staunchly replied.
"Why would we want a lousy Gryffindor traipsing around our home anyway?"
Persephone's heart slammed against her rib cage. That little snitch. Where they going to tell her grandmother now? Fear gripped the girl paralyzing each inch of her body. She remembered the day she left for her first year of Hogwarts-;
Walburga was leaning against a thick cane at Grimmauld's entrance door.
"Slytherin house child, or don't bother coming home. I won't raise another Gryffindor miscreant."
Eleven year old Persephone nodded.
But the sorting hat had other plans.
"GRYFFINDOR!" it yelled barely touching her hair.
That night in the girl's dorm Persephone attempted to silence her cries into a pillow. It annoyed her roommates to no end that they reported her to the head girl who in turn presented her to a tall elderly witch.
"I know it's scary to be away from home…"Professor McGonagall started.
Persephone screamed out that she wasn't afraid to be away from home- that, that home wasn't a home at all. This raw scream flustered the transfiguration Professor,
"Then dear girl what is the matter?"
After that night Persephone was put at ease. Professor McGonagall promised to provide her with Slytherin robes and apparel for when she returned home, and would convince the head of Slytherin to write to her grandmother if she required further proof of Persephone's house placement.
All of that was for nothing now. The Malfoy's would ruin everything.
"Dear Draco," Narcissa started, "Do you know how helpful that could be? Especially to your father?"
Madam Malkin rapped on her dressing room door,
"Dearie, everything going alright in there?"
Persephone squeaked grasping for a voice that wasn't her own to answer the witch.
"Come Draco, it's time for us to head home."
She waited for the bell of the door to ring before stepping out of the dressing room clad in red and gold.
"It fits wonderfully, thank you." she told the seamstress.
Persephone Black began her approach to 13 Grimmauld Place with her arms full of purchases rehearsing an excuse and subsequent argument with her grandmother. She had been out longer than her grandmother approved of. Her kitten heels clicked against the cobblestone. She was drawn to an odd scene. Two men stood outside the house's magical entrance. The first stood tall at six feet robed in purple complimenting his dark skin. The other wore tattered-mended robes and had two distinct scars across his face- this matched one of the drawings from her mother's journal to a T; her godfather stood before her- Remus Lupin otherwise labeled as "Moony".
"Miss Black… I am Kingsley Shacklebolt form the Ministry of Magic."The purple robed wizard started while approaching her gently, "This may come as a bit of a shock but your grandmother has passed."
Hello everyone! I hope you enjoyed this first chapter.
Yes, I know Walburga Black died back in 1985, but I thought this would be more interesting.