Full Summary for Vanity and Pride

What is a story without a scandal?

Underneath every burn hole on the tapestry of the Black family tree, there is a story, and underneath every story, there is a scandal.

In 1924, the Blacks were the most powerful family of the Wizarding World. They were greedy, back-stabbing, malicious, and power-hungry. And Cedrella was no exception. She was her father's favourite daughter; the pride of the Blacks, and it has earned her a conceited nature like no other.

But during her seventh year at Hogwarts, her life begins to become a little more clear, her family a little more conniving. She is arranged to wed the infamous Abraxus Malfoy and has people watching her every move to make sure she follows through. It makes it even more difficult when Septimus Weasley, a blood traitor and fellow classmate, starts to convince her, that for once in her life, she could have what she wanted.

A scandal forms between the two; a forbidden love between Black and Weasley behind the walls of Hogwarts. If they are found out, their lives will be ruined. But even under the opposition, what a Black wants...

a Black gets.

***

Preface

Abraxus was walking towards her, his stride very wide and not considerate of the people who he was walking though. He did not notice Septimus walking towards her as well – something that made her sigh with relief. His steel coloured eyes were boring into her, and she made a mental note to not act like she had become the least bit soft since the last time she spoke to him.

"Ah," she said silkily, though it came out colder than she meant for it to. "Abraxus. You look... sharp this Saturday morning."

He grinned wolfishly. "And you look like the queen you have always thought yourself to be."

Her chin rose with a smirk as she tried to hide the feeling of her stomach clasping as she watched Septimus stop in his tracks. His hazel eyes looked like they were searching for something in her eyes, but it was not there. No, this was the Cedrella she was trained to behave like, not the one he loved. Her stance did not waver.

"Are you going to explain why you are here, or stare at me for the weekend?" she asked bluntly, raising her eyes brows. Her hands went to her hips, but they fell limp when his beat them there.

Abraxus pulled her closer and she could feel her face flicker with disgust when she felt his large paw where Septimus's hands held her not an hour ago.

"I could take you home right now," he growled in her ear. She her herself purr and was impressed with her acting skills at the given moment. "Mm... but I have something important."

"Something important," she calculated, pressing her hands to his chest so she could look at his expression.

He smiled and held her at arms length. "I know this was not a match of your choice."

Cedrella's heart fluttered with hope, but she kept her smile sultry. "Ah, what makes you think that?"

Abraxus beamed and his hands gripped her hips hard, making her wince.

"That's my Cedrella," he proudly. "Well, I want to make it official. You know, engagement ring and all."

She felt her heart in her throat, and when he started to get down on one knee, she could no longer keep her composed performance. "W-what?"

He smiled, as if the crack in her voice was a sign of a surprise he was hoping for. Pulling out the velvet box, he answered her question. Inside sat the most gorgeous emerald set ring she had ever seen, large enough o make any Black proud to show it off. Tears were finally rolling down her cheeks profusely, and she couldn't even make the motion to wipe them away. To him they looked like tears of deep joy, when they were actually for fear.

She looked back behind her for a split second, and apparently, she was not the only one who was having a hard time grasping the scene. Pollux had actually put his wine glass down, and his dashing smile had turned to one of heart-breaking sympathy.

Abraxus cleared his throat so she would turn back to him. "Cedrella Black, will you marry me?"

A sob -yes, an actually sob- broke through her lips as she looked behind Abraxus to see where Septimus stood. His face was lifeless and his eyes stared into hers. His nose flared the way it did when he was upset, but he made no emotion; no sense of movement like he was about to object.

'Being betrothed is not being married. You still have hope,' Septimus assured. 'We still have hope.'

Here eyes did not leave his, even when the tears started to blur the sight of them. She slightly begged him to not make a scene, to hold his stubborn little tongue for once in his life. His objection would only make it worse.

No, Septimus said nothing. He stood there politely and watched as his life crumbled before him.