Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. (But I wish I did.)
I do own a few people from the last story though! Cassidy Valeska, and Troy and Lucifer Malfoy. When you meet the other group, I'll introduce you! I do also own two new people! Lilith Hermione and Damien Benjamin!
Attention: If you haven't read The October Hollow I would advise not reading this. However, because October Hollow is being revamped and redone, the story isn't done very far, so reading this would spoil some things, but not a lot. I can still have fun with the suspense and all. It is alright to read this if you're sick of the wait for the other.
Summary: Sequel to The October Hollow: A Harvest Moon. Her life had always been worse than that of a prisoner's, and always would be. A tale of deception, pain, lust, love, and a deadly mystery about one girl who's secret explained it all... M for later chapters.
Chapter summary: The woman, who has been through so much in her life, schedules an interview with her cousin that she hasn't seen in over fifteen years...and couldn't remember at all. The beginning to the long story of confusion and mystery and pain... and the people that brought it upon her.
Also, the time frame in this chapter is towards the end of the story, and the next chapter is going to be a LONG time ago. You could almost say that this is the FUTURE, (because, wudda ya know, it is!) and just something to start us off and branch off from.
Also, all of you know that by now, the main character of this story will be one of my own original characters and not someone we've met in the books of Harry Potter, so if you have a problem with that, don't read this.
Now LETS BEGIN!
of Drawn Shades
The Interview: Part 1
It was an unusually overcast day as the sun hid behind the clouds in an attempt to shield itself completely from the people bustling to and fro on the streets below. Frequently, shadows were cast over random people, and the sunlit streets became as dark as Knockturn Alley during some parts of the day. The resentful gossip of the mothering witches was heard clearly by the passing people.
The clouds parted again and a strong ray of sun descended upon the people, causing everything to brighten up considerably. People smiled and went about their work happily. The sun continued to blossom on them as if it were the hottest day of summer, and nothing, not even a solid concrete wall, could distinguish its light.
And yet, soon enough the clouds cleverly moved slowly in their place and engulfed the sunlight, sending people into scowls and openly hoping that the sun was still out. Most of them wanted the bright sunny days that had been accompanying them on their daily shopping along with the breezy weather. But today was not an agreeable day. The clouds rumbled quietly, and all at once opened up for the world to see in a drenching shower of thick, cold rain.
Almost immediately, mist was rising from the ground and the stench of the damp earth rose up like an eerie fog over a marsh. The pounding rain poured over the ground and filled the cracks of the cobblestone street and the badly boarded-up windows of some closed down shops.
The shopping witches and wizards of Diagon Alley hastily fled the streets and scurried inside shops for shelter, and perhaps a nice cup of tea with a shot of Firewhiskey to warm them up.
The rain continued to pour, heavier and heavier, louder and colder than before, and washed away any hope that the sun would survive the day. The few stragglers outside either hurried inside or completely left Diagon Alley altogether, hoping that the next day would be a good one to rejoice and go shopping again.
If anyone had noticed that the archway to Diagon Alley had opened, it would've been a miracle for the street was silently deserted. Not a single living soul would've been able to spot the woman that slowly walked forward as the archway closed behind her; the bricks moving magically into place and sealing her into the world of Magic and Unicorns and spells, a place where almost anything could happen.
The woman standing mere feet from the closed archway was in her mid-twenties, married but separated from her husband (and for good reason), and currently standing hesitantly as the rain steadily soaked through her clothes that soon enough deprived her of all heat. She swayed on the spot, a sense of foreboding washing over her.
She was wearing a thick navy blue cloak that contrasted perfectly with her eyes. Under that was a tight fitting, boat-neck blood red shirt that stopped at her forearms. She wore a black wool jumper over it that fell past her fingertips fashionably. Her skirt was black too, also made of wool, but lambs wool instead of a matured material like her jumper was. Thin ebony tights and kitten heeled trainers (the newest thing) held her up. She liked the difference in warmth and found her body was quite comfortable with the clothing she was wearing.
The woman's eyes swept over the drenched street, looking for any sign of life before taking a few steps forward. She remembered the last time she was here, and the outcome wasn't pretty. She didn't want to relive it again.
But he's dead, she assured herself. He was gone, she had been there, and even if she screamed out her name and what she was, he wouldn't have been able to pop out of a rubbish bin and hurt her again.
She tossed her long hair over her shoulder as she stood completely stationary on the spot. Her long, midnight black hair hung limply to her elbows because of the rain. Strands of the black tresses stuck to her cheek and face, and she tucked them securely behind her ears.
Breathing hard, her face pale and her cheeks flushing, the woman's stormy blue eyes checked again for any sign of life. She wrapped her cloak protectively around her voluptuous figure, biting her dark, unblemished lip. Rain dripped down her forehead and clung to her thick eyelashes that rimmed her beautiful eyes.
Making her decision, Cassidy gulped in air and made a wild dash down the street.
Rain lashed at her face and her hair flew out like a fan behind her, strands drenched in water and still sticking stubbornly to her forehead. She let go of her cloak and wildly pumped her arms as she sprinted down the street, breathing heavily through her nose and an anxious look on her porcelain face. Her cheeks flushed at the work and her heart hammered against her ribcage.
She forgot to jump any puddles that may have formed as she fled down Diagon Alley, past the many shops with people pressing their noses against the glass and watching her run by. Her expensive shoes clacked against the cobblestones and sent a wave of rain splashing in a tsunami-like fashion over her skirt and cloak, some droplets even managing to hit her face.
And then, finally, it was over.
In a heart-stopping moment, she skidded to a halt outside a little teashop near the end of the Alley. It just so happened to be right at the beginning of Knockturn Alley, in which she knew so well. The reporter surely wouldn't mind coming down this far, would she?
Cassidy pushed open the door apprehensively. A little bell jingled, causing several couples and customers to look up at the arriver and then back down to their meals and drinks that occupied their time until the rain stopped. A few single men eyed her clothing suggestively, and she quickly wrapped her cloak around her curvy figure and glared at them. They hastened to go back to their meal.
She made her way to an empty table across the room and sat down, taking off her cloak and hanging it on the peg. Sure, she had been in here once with her husband on a short day trip (which ended fairly quickly due to an unfortunate visitor), but she still felt scared being there, as if he would suddenly walk in the door, spot her, and drag her out and beat her again for entering such a place alone and easily seen.
But Cassidy told herself quite firmly that she was able to handle herself and that she wouldn't harm anybody if she didn't interact. He h had no reason to harm her anymore if she knew what she was doing, which she did. She had for quite some time now. She had to be able to control herself after all those gruesome and brutal years with him, or else she wouldn't be where she was today. No, Cassidy was proud to say that her powers were easily manageable.
Or at least when she had control of her own emotions.
"Can I get you anything?" a waitress in a black dress and a crimson smock inquired warmly. She appeared to be in her late thirties; her nametag read Sharon.
Cassidy hesitated. "Er, just a cup of tea with cream and sugar, please," she said politely. She decided she would have that only; a cup of tea wasn't too much to have.
"No problem, m'dear," Sharon said, and then after writing it down on a green-lined notepad with a feathery quill, turned and walked back off to the counter.
Cassidy observed the place quietly, tucking her freezing cold hands between her knees and sitting erectly. She made sure that she drew no attention to herself. The shop was based entirely on Muggle ideas. Cassidy guessed that the café owner wanted something new in the Wizarding World.
The shop was cozy, with a warm atmosphere and an inviting menu that had promising prices. When one walked in, the door there was a long bar table with a glossy top and old-fashion stools adorning it. Against the left walls were booths with red cushions and pegs to hold cloaks and jumpers. The booths varied from sizes small enough to fit one on each side to sitting five on each side.
The floor was a customary black-and-white checkered pattern with round, dimmed lights and large shop windows at the front of the store as if advertising its overall attractiveness. The window was currently fogged, shadowed figures walking across the glass occasionally. Cassidy guessed that the rain had finally lightened up enough for people to emerge on the streets once again.
The sisterly-looking waitress came back with a round, deep cup full of steaming, rich tea, perhaps with grains of sugar sticking to the side while the rest of them had simply dissolved in seconds and sweetened the tea completely. Cassidy thanked the woman, and put down the cup on its saucer for a moment before wrapping her freezing hands around it and sipping it cautiously.
The rich, warm liquid was hot enough that it warmed the palms of her hands as she held the cup carefully. When she swallowed, the warmth seeped through her veins and slowly started spreading down her fingertips, and a faint smile crossed her lips.
Five minutes later, the sugared dregs of the tea lay still at the bottom. Her heart pulsed normally, and her body was warm but slowly getting cold again due to her wet clothes. She longed to dry them with a simple spell, but she knew she couldn't. It wasn't like she wasn't allowed (well she wasn't, actually according to him) but she didn't have a wand and performing wandless magic (again) would draw attention to herself, and a scene would quickly start.
But even so, she was determined to do it discreetly. Raising her arms, her fists clenched, Cassidy yawned, closing her eyes and letting her muscles relax. She then put her fingertips at her hairline and ran her fingers through her hair, making sure that she caught every strand of jet-black hair and every small curl that passed like silk between her fingertips. As she released her long locks, she smiled in satisfaction. Her hair was dry.
She reached down under the table and covered her shoe with both hands; the effect was instant: her shoe was dry. She held her other foot and the same thing happened. Smiling, she ran her hands up her legs all the way to her thighs, one at a time, until her stockings were dry and her long, slender legs were warm again. Casting a careful look around the room to make sure no one was watching her, she ran her hands over her skirt, catching little threads between her fingers and poking her fingertips into the occasional hole.
Then, she moved on to her jumper, but decided to take it off first and do it. When she pulled off her black sweater, however, her curvy torso was revealed. She once again caught the attention of the few single men in the shop who were shamelessly staring at her wet shirt, which clung to her bust, and, although she blushed, she gave them angry looks. They grudgingly went back to whatever they were doing, but not without shooting her eager and hopeful looks, all of which she scowled upon. She was back with someone; she didn't need men hitting on her again.
But now Cassidy knew that if she ran her hands over her stomach and breasts, it would not go unnoticed by these men. She therefore decided (and wondered why she didn't think of it before) to go into the Ladies' lavatory and dry her clothes in there. She left her cloak on the peg, got up and left, and was momentarily gone before she came back in less than five minutes.
Her jumper and shirt were now dry thankfully, and she now wanted to fix her cloak but she doubted it would truly matter. If the interview were long enough (which she knew it would be), then her cloak would dry out by then.
She entertained herself for a while by tracing the brim of the teacup. She kept her arm on the table, but made sure that her elbow never touched the surface. It was against the morals nailed into her to have her elbow on the table. A lot of things were against the morals that she firmly followed (as if she had a choice). She wasn't sure how she remembered all of them and managed to do them all within a day's time without forgetting something.
Just then, the door clicked open and a catchy little jingle rang through the café. Cassidy looked up at the person standing there, and almost as if someone had put a match to her finger, she felt a slight shock that disappeared almost instantly.
A vivacious-looking woman stood at the door, looking around at the occupants of the café and wondering who she was looking for. She had long, flaming red hair that lay limp on her shoulders from the rain (which apparently was still coming) and she had a slim figure and curious chocolate brown eyes. Her long face was flushed as her eyebrows creased while her eyes skimmed the customers. She had a corduroy bag slung over her shoulder and was clutching it almost protectively. Cassidy could see the stains on the bag that she knew were from the rain. A diamond winked at her from the woman's left hand. She was as tall, if not taller, than Cassidy herself.
And then the woman's eyes landed on Cassidy, and the chocolate irises lit up in hopeful recognition as she made her way to the booth slowly. Cassidy noted her fashion sense (another moral nailed right in there with the rest of them); she had a dark cream skirt that fell to her knees with mahogany boots that went halfway up her calves. She, like Cassidy, had a blood red shirt on, though it fell a little past her fingertips and clung to her hands and neck.
Her boots clicked against the checkered floor.
"Hello, are you—?" she asked.
"Yes," Cassidy interrupted.
The girl smiled, relieved, and sat down across from Cassidy and fished around in her corduroy bag.
"I'm Ginevra Potter, but you can just call me Ginny." The woman smiled at Cassidy, still fishing in her bag for something.
"Pleasure," Cassidy said with an almost blasé dullness.
"Ah," Ginny said at last. She pulled out a black box thing with buttons on it. "Found it!"
"And what exactly is that?" Cassidy asked curiously. Ginny smirked, reminding Cassidy instantly of someone else.
"This, Cassie, is a tape recorder. Alright, it's a Muggle rip-off, but the Ministry of Magic had them magically altered for Wizarding purposes and finds them extremely useful," Ginny explained enthusiastically.
Quirking an eyebrow, Cassidy said, "Interesting."
Ginny laughed. "I sound like my father; he's all hyped up about Muggle things, too. Oh well. Let's get started, shall we?" Ginny asked. Cassidy nodded.
The redhead lifted the box onto the table and put it exactly between them. She pushed a little green button and there was a soft grinding sound that was barely audible. Ginny flashed a smile at Cassidy before starting to talk.
"This is Ginevra Potter, AIT and Auror Reporter. The date is January 21, 2006. I'm reporting the life story of Cassidy Neona—"
"Valeska," Cassidy cut in. Ginny frowned at her.
"But aren't you married to—"
"Yes, but this and that happened, and he agreed to let me go by my maiden name until we get back together again," Cassie said, a rueful smile tugging at her lips.
Her eyebrows creased, Ginny said, "Why? What happened?"
"Oh, well I assume you'll find out in time. I've got quite a long story to tell, and you'll find out," Cassie said, tossing her hair over her shoulder.
"Alright, then. I'm going to start by asking you a few questions." Cassidy n nodded and folded her hands on the table, lacing her fingers together. Her hair fell over her shoulder and lay in soft curls that hung over her breast.
"Date of birth?" Ginny asked, taking out a clipboard and quill and setting it on the table.
"September, 1979," Cassidy said lightly. Ginny scribbled it down, and then, her eyebrows raised, looked back up expectantly.
When Cassie remained silent, Ginny spoke. "What day?" she asked.
Cassie tucked a tendril of her black curls behind her ears before answering. "I never found out," she said with a mysterious smile.
"Really, now?" Ginny asked dubiously.
"Alright...I guess I can find out from my Mum. Parents' names?" Ginny asked, scribbling something quickly on the piece of paper.
"Hesper Sylwia, which was her maiden name, and Eryk Valeska." Ginny scribbled it down.
"And their dates of birth?"
"I never knew," Cassidy said quietly, tracing the brim of her coffee cup again. Ginny stopped writing and looked up at her, her eyes narrowed.
"In...in the accident, I lost my memory completely. I forgot who everyone was. I wouldn't have been able to recognize my parents even if they were alive." Cassidy avoided Ginny's eyes completely.
"Well...that's all right. I can have Mum get their birthdays, too. You know, Cassie, we're cousins." Ginny sounded sad but hopeful, as if she were trying to insinuate something.
"Yeah, I know," Cassie said, looking at her. Her eyes were unusually dim.
"So," Ginny said after a moment. "Any children?"
Cassie smiled. "Yes, two."
"And their names and dates of birth?"
"Lilith Hermione and Damien Benjamin. Lilith was born on August 16, 2001, and Damien was born on October 19, 2002." Cassie smiled reminiscently as she thought of her children.
"Lilith...I've got a little girl named Lily, after my husband's mother. She's the sweetest thing. Do you call her Lily?" Ginny asked.
"No, we — my husband and I, that is — call her Calla, for a type of lily, you know?" Cassidy explained. Ginny looked simply delighted.
"How sweet! And what about Damien?"
"Oh, we just call him Ben. We argued about it for a while, but settled on his middle name for his nickname." Cassie twirled a lock of hair around her finger, smiling.
"That's nice. Can I ask you something? I mean, more personal than what I've been asking so far?"
"Oh, go ahead."
"Why is Calla's middle name Hermione?"
Cassidy hesitated as she thought back for a moment, and then smiled.
"I love Shakespeare," she said softly. "And in A Winter's Tale, I found the name and loved it. And it's in Greek Mythology, too. Both my husband and I have a thing for Mythology. It's weird, actually."
"Oh," said Ginny quietly, looking down at the table. Her hand was still, and there was a remorseful look on her face.
"I know it seems weird," Cassie said quietly, "but that was before I knew...what happened."
Ginny didn't bother answering. She kept her eyes on the table.
There was a moment of awkward silence between them where Cassidy kept her eyes on Ginny, who was fidgeting nervously.
"Err...well, shall we get started then?" Ginny said after a tense moment.
"Can I get you anything?"
The waitress came over again and was looking kindly down at Ginny, who looked blankly at her for a moment before ordering the same thing as Cassidy did. Ginny shook her head and mumbled something under her breath that sounded suspiciously liked "perfect bloody timing" before she resumed her usual demeanor and smiled at Cassie almost shyly.
"Getting back," Ginny said, and she rolled her eyes. "Honestly, waitresses these days have the absolute worst bloody timing!" she said almost angrily. Cassidy smirked.
"I guess," she agreed politely. Ginny put a hand to her forehead for a moment before lowering it and letting out an exasperated sigh.
"Now let's really get started," Ginny said, and she chuckled to herself. Cassidy remained silent for a moment.
"Ginny," she said softly, and the redhead looked at her, eyebrows raised.
"A lot of the things I'm going to tell you are against the Wizarding and Muggle laws. Some of the things my husband, my Father-in-Law, and I have done are all Azkaban worthy. I just want to ask you to wait until I'm done talking to take me in to Azkaban, if you're going to. And I know this tape is going straight to the Aurors, too, but I just would like you to wait if you can. I'm not the type of person to run, and I'd go willingly. But please, just wait."
Ginny gazed at her, her eyes transfixed in astonishment.
"Worthy in what way?" she asked in a whisper. Cassidy smiled sadly and lowered her eyes to the empty teacup.
"Every way," she murmured, closing her eyes. "Every single way."
Ginny reached out and touched her hand, and Cassie looked up at the redhead. She had a compassionate look on her face, and Ginny smiled slightly.
"Cass, even if I haven't really seen you since before I went off to Hogwarts, and even if you've grown up with — them, I wouldn't bring you in. And I know I'm wrong in saying so, but I know you too well to assume the worst of you. So let's just...let's just get this over with. If anyone, I'd bring in that wretched Father-in-Law of yours to Azkaban if he ever gets out of Saint Mungo's. I hear he's a real jerk."
"Jerk is a bit of an understatement, Ginny," Cassidy laughed. "I would definitely say that's an understatement." Cassidy smiled, but she looked grim. "And I don't think he'll be getting out any time soon," she said, sounding slightly ominous. "The attack was pretty bad."
"I guess so; you know him better than I do," Ginny admitted, and she picked up her cup of tea as the waitress set it back down. She smiled as the drink started to warm her.
"Sadly," Cassie replied quietly. She was staring at her cup again.
Ginny put away her clipboard and put it in her bag, and pulled out a wad of paper. Her quill was in a little side clip and Ginny pulled it out, poising the quill on the parchment.
"Let's really start now," Ginny said, writing something down already. "Now, where are you going to begin, though? It's sometimes important where one starts."
"I guess…" Cassie said thoughtfully, looking at the ceiling. "I guess I'll start at the beginning; after the accident, that is."
"Always a good place to commence," Ginny said brightly. She scribbled something else on the paper.
"But..." Cassie paused, an odd look on her face. Ginny stopped writing and looked at her sharply.
"I have a hard time remembering the beginning at all."
A/N: Well, there's your first chapter! I really hoped you liked it! I'm sorry how it ended, it was quite weird and I didn't know how to end it properly.
Just to clarify things: this chapter is set in 2006. The next chapter will begin right where the last story left off, November 1998, the New Trio's Seventh year (Sixth for Ginny). The story will steadily work up to this chapter called The Interview, which takes place a long time after Cassie begins her story.
ALSO! I just want to say that there will be little in-between chapters where it will be Cassie and Ginny during the interview, probably named The Interview: Part 2 or whatever part it is. The between chapters will be a lot later, you'll see what I mean later.
This chapter it confusing, and aren't you all dying to know who Cassie's husband is? Actually, you probably aren't, but you may be! Take a guess, but I won't answer it. –Smiles-.
A big thanks to Kels for betaing this for me! You rock!