Six years later


"Did you bring any water?" I ask as I wipe the sweat from my brow with my sleeve and readjust my satchel. Byron nods his head as we stop to take a break. "How much further do we need to go?"

He looks around with his hands on his hips before taking out the magical location compass from his khaki shorts. "Well," He says as he studies his equipment. I lean against one of the trees with the sounds of animals and bugs humming in my ears. I bug lands on my neck and I smack it with my hand, successfully killing it and I sneer as I wipe my neck and hand off on my shirt. "Just a few more paces that way." He says pointing to the direction we were already headed.

I narrow my eyes at his back as he starts walking that way. "You said that two hours ago." I remind him and he looks over his shoulder to smile at me. "Oh, you think it's funny to go hiking through the rain forest at midday when it's the hottest." I say to the amused look in his eyes.

"Come on. Complaining about it will not get us there any faster." He scolds me like I was a child and I grumble before taking off after through the dense rain forest. We use our wands to flatten plants and tree branches that get in our way, with the thick tall grass cutting at the bare skin of our legs. Pants would have been a good idea I think bitterly as we walk.

We're in Peru now, looking for some burial cave of an ancient wizarding society that spans back centuries. The locals from the village told us about when we came to stay here a week ago. They said when ever anyone gets close to a certain part of the cliff terrible things happen and the muggles explain it as demonic forces hiding out in the caves, but we know better. We know it's curses from old wizards.

"Look, Cass." I'm brought out of my musings by Byron and I look up at the large wall of rock, "I think that's it." He says, stuffing the compass back in his shorts.

My eyes scan the cliff trying to find a symbol or a sign and when I see the faint shimmer of yellow paint towards the top I nod my head. "This is it." I concur as I take off satchel and start unbuttoning my shirt.

"What are you doing?" He asks suspiciously as I tie the shirt around my waist and take out my wand. "We're not climbing that. It's too far up, we can fly." He says, motioning to our brooms slung over our shoulders.

"Come on, Byron." I say as I point my wand to the cliff and mumble a spell. "The hard way is always more fun."

The rocks start to move and little stepping stones branch out from the cliff to make the climb easier. He looks to me and raises an eyebrow at them and I shrug. "Well, the semi hard way anyways." I say as I make my way towards them and turn my hat backwards as I hoist myself up to begin my climb.

I hear him cuss behind me before following me up. My hiking boots find purchase in one of the large stones and I use it to push myself up a few more feet, with my face scrapping against the warm stone. After we graduated from Hogwarts I tried the whole living with the muggles thing for a couple months before that turned out to be one of the most bloody boring experiences of my life and I got so many letters from the Ministry warning me not to use my wand in that area that I would have been able to build a house with them. So, I went back to England and I enrolled at one of the magical universities, Majoring in Magical History and Archeology. I don't even know why I chose that, I just needed something to work towards and I randomly chose that profession. I'm glad I did and I think I would have done a lot better at the subject in school had the class not been taught by that monotone ghost Binns.

I climb up a little further with the sun beating down on my back now that we're not under protection from the heavy branches of the trees and I take a moment to catch my breath before starting up towards the yellow paint at the top of the cave again.

"Fuck." I hear Byron whisper and a few rocks tumble to the ground. I look underneath me and see Byron catching his balance and grabbing one of the rocks for dear life. He looks up to me with a flushed face, obviously shook up from his near fall. "We should have put a cushioning charm on the ground." He tells me with an irritated face, he wipes his face off with the back of his hand while glaring at me.

"Where's the fun in that?" I ask with a smirk and he cusses softly to himself again.

Byron has a degree in Wizard Anthropology and he graduated a year early so we could travel around together. Most of his problems he's been able to overcome by our journeys but I still consider him socially retarded. He wouldn't do anything with other people if I didn't make him and most people we meet think he's mute. We've been around half the world by now, looking into different sites and meeting all different kinds of creatures and humans alike. It's not as boring as the muggle village and it takes me far enough away from the lime light of home. I haven't even touched my trust fund yet, either. Something which I am immensely proud of. My parents paid for my schooling so I was lucky but Byron had to work his way through in small shops and pubs, barely scrapping by and he's still paying off student loans. So when we decided to travel around we vowed to do it the old fashioned way with just the clothes on our backs as we make money from town to town doing little work here and there. Instead of waking up to four corners of a nice hotel room we mostly wake to the ceiling of one of our tents.

I take in a deep breath and get my footing on another rock. There's a tree growing out of one of the cracks in the cliff and I grab one of it's branches as leverage, but when I hear a hissing noise I pull back quickly.

"Holy fuck, it's a snake." I say, watching the large yellow snake twist itself around the branch I was just touching. I fucking hate snakes. I watch it closely as I slowly back away and start climbing away from it. Far away from it. They give me the creeps.

"Are you alright, Cass?" Byron calls from below me and I nod my head.

"Too bad your step-dad didn't come with us." I say jokingly. "Doesn't he know how to hiss and spit at snakes?"

"The words Potter and Dad don't mesh well with me." He warns as he moves away from the snake infested tree as well. "How the hell did a snake get there anyways?"

Potter married Byron's Mom two years ago but Byron didn't even go to the wedding. He started his own investigation business with Ron Weasley... but after that book came out about the Order's financial dealings they haven't been trusted enough to get much real work so far. Samantha works for them as their case filer but I haven't seen her in years. She and Byron barely talk. He still blames himself for what happened so many years ago and some nights... when she's been drinking she blames him too. Sometimes I can't help but think about her and how stupid I was back then. It's like I'm living a whole different life now. It's actually been a quite humbling experience and it really puts things in perspectivedoing things like this, living this life. Not having everything at your disposable really makes the important things stand out brighter. I wipe some sweat on my sleeve again before climbing up a few more feet. This is a tall cliff I think to myself as we work our way up with my bag and broom laying heavily against my back. Any money we do make we send back to London to pay for our small flat that we split. My Dad has no idea what the hell I'm doing or why, but he's happy that I'm happy. I think he thinks I'll grow out of this phase and come back to take the reigns at Malfoy Enterprises, but Gavin already has that covered and I think Mom actually loves that I'm doing things this way.... it's almost like she expected me to fall right into step with my Father.

I make it to the mouth of the cave, with the shimmering paint that's invisible to the muggle eye and I take out my wand again to check for any curses.

"Anything terrible?" Byron calls from underneath me and I shake my head while doing a few more charms.

"Nothing that will kill us." I comment. I look down at him as he squints up at me. "You're better at curse breaking than I am." I say and he takes my meaning and climbs up until we are side by side.

He does a few spells to break the hexes and curses that were placed on the cave and he whistles to himself. "This is really old." He says as he tucks his wand back in his bag. "Do you think it will be untouched?" He asks curiously as he takes a vial of salt from his bag. He pulls out the cork with his teeth and throws the salt into the cave. It sizzles and whistles, turning the cave red before it dies down, killing whatever trapped curse was waiting for us. Once it's safe we climb up to get closer so we can make it inside.

"I wouldn't get my hopes up."

"Professor Bailey would have a field day if it wasn't looted, wouldn't he?"

"He would probably take all the credit for finding it. That old bat is worthless now in his old age." I joke as we make it to the lip of the cave. I turn to my friend and look into his eyes. "Ready?" I ask before putting my wand between my teeth to hold on to it.


We both grab a hold of the jagged rocks at the bottom of the crudely cut cave and we hoist ourselves up inside. My muscles strain under my own weight but I make it up with out much problem. I look around at the darkness, it smells like old magic and dirt in here and excitement swells within me as I take my wand from my mouth.

"A little help, please." Byron says and I turn to him as he struggles to get himself up. I go to him and grab his arm to help him up, laughing at his distress. "Thanks," He says quietly as he makes it to his feet and he starts dusting off his clothes. He hisses when he sees a bloody cut on his leg and he glares at me one more time before taking out his wand to heal it.

I ignore his grumblings as I lift my wand and make a lumos spell to light up the cave. It's looks bare now, with ancient runes etched into the walls. I go over and touch them, feeling the magic under my fingers and at my feet I see a human femur. Disappointment washes over me as I look around and I turn to see Byron bending down with a small faded textile in his hands.

"Looks like someone beat us to it." He says quietly before readjusting the black bandanna he has tied around his head to catch the sweat from his brow and then he lets his dark hair fall back down on top of it.

I nod my head tightly and kick over a few rocks, looking for anything worth while but the cave is nothing but crushed bones and a few pieces of cloth. "They must not have looked too pretty when they left." I say because all of the curses were still up and working. I kick a rock over the ledge and watch it roll down as I take off my hat and stuff it in my back pocket.

Tomb raiding is a big business in the black market magic trade. If this tomb would have been untouched it would have been full of objects full of ancient magic made out of gold and silver, the body would have been wrapped meticulously in fine cloth, and their ancient wand would have been secured in their bony fingers, decorated with priceless gemstones. It's any looters dream, really, and the museum we work with would have loved it if we came back with some news.

"What a bust." I say as I sit down heavily at the edge of the cave, looking out over the forest.

The sky is very clear today and a light mist hovers above the canopy of the green trees. I follow a line of birds as they sore up into the sky and then dive back down with in the foliage. Byron sits down beside me and hands me the water bottle, with our feet hanging freely over the ledge.

"It's beautiful here, though." He says optimistically and I look at him from the corner of my eyes as he looks out in front of us. The land here makes us look so small and insignificant. Nature favors no one. I take a drink and hand the water back as I watch his profile.

He's filled out considerably since our days at Hogwarts and he wears his dark hair shorter now. He eyes flick to mine and I nod my head. He has dark stubble on his face now because we've been hanging out in this stupid forest for two weeks straight with out the luxury of a bathroom. I scratch my own face and I guess I look about the same.

I look down at my watch and back to the forest. "We should head home." I say and he looks to me. "Lavinia's graduation party is tonight and since I didn't show up for Easter I think I might be banished from the family if I don't go."

I don't miss the look that crosses his face but I don't say anything about it. "She's done, then?" He says trying to sound casual but I know him well enough to hear the tightness in his voice.

"I think Chloe's coming," I say as I study his reaction. "You know you're more than welcome to come with me." Again, he wouldn't socialize with people if I didn't force him to.

"I don't know." He says uncomfortably, taking off the bandanna so he can place it in his pocket. He stands up and runs his hand through his hair, making most of it stick up from the sweat and dirt. "It would be weird."

"Why would it be weird?" I ask him, not totally sure what he's talking about. He shrugs and I stand up as well. "My Mom is constantly asking about you and you know good food will be there." I tell him since we usually live on take out and prepackaged food.... or at our very lowest... things we find. "Come on, I don't want to hang out with a bunch of teenage girls all night."

"Fine." He says with a sigh even though I can tell he secretly wants to go. Well, too bad for him. I look over the side of the cliff and take a few dizzy steps back, finally getting hit with the realization of how far up we are. "Jeez, we climbed up a long way."

"Yes, we did." He says flatly and I laugh at his displeasure. "Are you sure you don't want to climb back down?" he says as I take out my wand to Apparate. "We have a greater chance of dying if we do it twice."

"Funny." I smirk before Apparating to our flat in London. I ignore him when he pops in as I go to take a shower to get ready for the night. I'm sure my parents wouldn't appreciate it if I came to the Manor looking and smelling like a cave man.

I wash my body and shampoo my hair, brushing me teeth two times to get that thick cotton taste out of my mouth. I get dressed in dark slacks and a dress shirt to look half way presentable for the occasion because I imagine there will be a ton of people there. I study myself before sighing. In front of the bathroom mirror I shaveoffthe beginning of the beard I was starting to grow, taking my time so I don't cut myself like I usually do when I'm trying to be quick. I stop a moment mid shave when I see the gold from my ring catch the light. I look at the ring and touch it with my fingers, the Malfoy family crest etched into the black stone. Dad still keeps the charms on all of our pieces. He says when we're finally married he can rest assured that someone else will be keeping an eye out for us but until then... I sigh before bringing the razor back up to my face. It's always weird going back home, I just feel like a different person now.

Byron is already ready and dressed when I walk into the living and I sit down heavily across from him, relaxing my tired body in the comfortable chair. "So, what's your sister going to do now that's she's done with school and all?" He asks as he takes a drink from his water, pealing off the label like he always does. His brown leather journal is sitting on his knee so I know he was writing in it while I was in the bathroom. I still have no idea what the hell he writes about.

I shrug. "I have no idea." I tell him as I close my eyes and lean my head back. "I don't even think she knows."

"Oh, why didn't you ask Farah to come with you?" He asks as he watches me with his head tilted to the side looking much cleaner than he did earlier today.

"We broke up." I state flatly, my luck with girls has not changed since Hogwarts, that's painfully obvious. I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me. "And besides, I don't think my Dad would appreciate a muggle at the Manor."

"It would have been funny." Byron says slyly and I smirk at him before letting my face study him seriously. He's nervously tugging on his shirt sleeves now and I watch him as he shifts around in his seat.

"Are you ready to go?" I ask. He nods his head and stands up. "I'm going to warn you..." I tell him before we Apparate away. "She has a boyfriend."

We both know who I'm talking about and he looks to me with a lopsided smile on his face. "I would be more surprised if she didn't."

Most of the people are already in the main ball room when we show up for the party. I imagine most of the Hogwarts student body is attending and I can see some of the teachers I use to have taking their fill of the free food at the refreshment table. When a Malfoykid graduates it's always a big thing. I shake my head at the ridiculousness of it, not missing the pomp and circumstance at all as I weave through the crowd to find my parents.

It's really hard to miss them... they just stand out from normal people. I don't know what it is. They're standing now in a circle of people and my Dad has a glass of wine in his hands as he tells a joke. He says the punch line and everyone laughs as he places his arm around Mom's waist and she smiles at him in that sweet way that she always does. Now that I'm older I think I understand it more than I ever did before. I make my way up behind them with Byron on my heels and Mom looks over her shoulder. She looks right at me and then turns back to her friends and then, like she just realized who I was, she turns around again with a huge smile on her face.

"Cassius!" She says and my Dad turns around as well, totally ignoring their friends now that they see me. She gives me a tight hug and kisses my cheek. I can feel her Auburn hair brush against my skin and I close my eyes for a second because she still smells the same. She smells like home. "Oh my, you are so tan." She says as she studies my face. "I didn't even know that was possible."

"Enough sunburns will do that to you." I joke as Dad smirks at me. He wears his glasses all the time now and his hair he wears in the same style. It's getting whiter at his temples but you can barely notice because it was so blond before.

"Where were you this time?" He asks as he shakes Byron's hand in welcome. I'm sure he knows the answer to that because of the locater charm on my ring and all... but I think he thinks it's more polite to ask.

"Peru, Sir." Byron says formally and I roll my eyes at it.

"Did you find anything worth while?"

I shrug. "Just a few tree frogs and a huge bloody snake." I say and Mom smiles. "Where is everyone?" I ask, looking around the room for my other siblings.

"Lavinia's still up in her room and you know Gavin is going to be as late as he possibly can." Mom answers with a smile as she takes Dad's arm, intertwining it with her own. "Evelyn's right over there."

She points to my right and I turn my head that way and my jaw opens the slightest bit as I take it the long, lanky girl in the blue dress with the strawberry blonde hair. "She's growing like a weed." I comment as thirteen year old Evelyn spots me and she smiles wide as she runs over. "Jeez, you're tall." I say in amazement as she hugs me. It's only been a couple of months since I last saw her and she has to be a foot or more taller and she's all limbs.

"Oh, stop it." She says as she puts some golden red hair behind her ear. She's tall and thin, like Grandma Malfoy was. I feel like if I hold her too tight I might break her. "I'm not that tall." She says she flicks her eyes to Byron and then back to me. "I'm glad you came home. Things have been dreadfully boring with all of you gone." She says with a pout and I smile.

I still can't get over how pretty she's getting. She's starting to look like a real girl now… it makes me feel old. Where is that annoying little thing that use to bug me all the time? "I brought you something." I tell her, loving the way her slate eyes light up whenever I say that.

I reach into my pocket and take out a necklace that one of the villagers made me while we were searching around in the rain-forest. "It's supposed to be good luck." I tell her as she takes it and puts it on with no concern that it doesn't match the dress she's wearing.

"Oh, thank you, Cassius." She says as she makes Dad fasten it. "I love it."

"I thought so." I say smugly.

"You must take me with you the next time you go to one of those exotic places." She says with a smile as she curls on her toes. "I tell everyone about how much fun you have and I would really love to go."

I look to Dad who shakes his head. "Not until you're at least seventeen." I say, sounding so much like him.

"But... I'll be of age then anyways." She whines and I smirk, that won't ever change. I pity the man who marries her. "I'll be able to do whatever I want anyhow."

"I think that's the point." Mom says softly, sending me an amused look when she frowns.

"Anyways." She says with a roll of her eyes. "You have to tell me all about the places you've been since we last spoke. You know I'm never allowed to do anything." She sends a sideways glance to Dad who pretends not to notice as he drinks his wine. "I have to live through the stories of others."

"Evie, come here!" One of her friends calls and she looks over her shoulder and smiles at the group of girls. "I have to go. We'll talk later." She says as she flutters off like a gazelle.

I watch her go and then turn back to my parents who are watching me closely with some kind of emotion swimming in their eyes that I've never been able to place.

"I'm glad you came home, Cass." Mom says as she fixes my hair that must be messy. "I hate the thought of you two boys in that dilapidated little flat. There are so many health code violations happening there."

"It's alright, Mrs. Malfoy." Byron says as she looks to him. "We're not there often." That's the most I think he's spoken to my Mom since we were six.

"I hope you'll both be staying the night." Dad says and I nod my head. I wasn't planing on it but I might as well. A nice big bed does sound nice. "We have a lot to talk about." I bet we do. I look to Byron who seems terribly uncomfortable being by my Dad this long...he does that to most people.

"I think we're going to get something to drink." I tell my parents. They watch us walk off and I can hear Mom comment on how much older I look now as we make our way to the food table. "There's your sister." I say, pointing to the small girl with black hair, standing in the door way. "She looks a lot like Samantha." I comment and Byron nods his head as he fills himself a glass.

"I should go say hi." He mumbles before walking off in her direction. I watch him go before taking a glass of fire-whiskey from one of the floating trays. I can already tell it's going to be a long night.

I look back to my parents who are off by themselves now, looking out over the crowd and commenting to each other about the people. My Father is probably making fun of the guests and Mom is probably trying to find some good trait about them. I snort at the thought and the differences they have as Dad goes to take a drink from his glass. Mom snatches it from him before he can and brings it up to her own lips. He glares at her as she downs the rest of it and sighs contently when she pulls back. He looks horribly annoyed and irritated as he brings his hand up and wipes a bit of wine from her chin that she spilled. He's obviously scolding her for it as he takes the empty glass back and sets it down on the table behind them but she just rolls her eyes at him, ignoring the way his eyes are narrowed. Eventually he gives up trying to be mean and he puts some hair that came loose from her hair style over her shoulder so he can kiss her neck.

When she tilts away and raises an eyebrow at him I laugh a little and then turn away.

I'm a Malfoy and I'm a Weasley. I think I can accept both now.


"If you want the loan you are going to have to agree to these terms." I say coldly, pointing to the parchment in between us. "There will be no negotiating this."

"This interest rate just seems..."

"You've been denied by Gringotts." I cut him off narrowly and he looks up to me with wide eyes, looking like he thinks I might curse him. "So we're your only option now. If you want the money then you'll have to sign the paper."

The man sitting across from me chews on the inside of his cheeks before picking up the quill and sighing on the dotted line. "It's been a pleasure." I say as I stand and shake his hand. He looks a little lost as he limply shakes my hand with his eyes blinking, not totally sure what he signed for.

"Thank you, Mr. Malfoy." He says in daze before leaving.

When he's out of the room I sit back in my chair and sigh as I rub my eyes. I'm sitting in my office on one of the top floors of Malfoy Enterprises with my feet up on my desk and my hands folded behind my head, trying to relax. Today was stressful and I had lot of boring meetings I had to sit through which is never fun. Especially for me because I hate working, but I'm damn good at this job. People seem to do as I say when I take that cold voice with them and Dad has been steadily giving me more accounts because of it. I like that he trusts me to do a good job.

"Mr. Malfoy?"

My secretary peeks his head into the room and I smirk in his direction. His acne scars are starting to get better. It's amazing what kind of loyalty those Hufflepuffs have, especially when you know a secret of theirs. I didn't blackmail him or anything, I think he just thought it would be best to stay on my good side and I think my girlfriend likes that I have a male secretary so much better than a pretty female in a short skirt. Plus, he does anything that I ask him to which is always a good thing. It helped a lot in Hogwarts as well, when I wanted something or needed some information... he would always come through.

"Yes?" I ask with an eyebrow raised.

"Um, well, your Mother floo'd again. She said you weren't allowed to be late and if your father can take off work early, so can you."

Hmf. "That's all?" He nods his head and I wave my hand at him. "You can go home now, Rodger. I think I'm done for the day." I pick up my brief case and put on my cloak before Apparating home where Addison is already dressed and ready to go to the party.

As soon as I enter the house I know I'm in trouble because she sets her jaw and has her hands on her hips. "What is it now?" I ask with a whine as I throw off my cloak and loosen my tie.

"Why is it that everyone else at Malfoy Enterprises gets home at a normal time but you never get here until after dark!"

"I'm not doing this with you now." I say as I walk to our bed room to change out of my clothes. She huffs behind me and glares the whole time, burning a hole into the back of my head. "Did you pick up that gift for my sister?" I ask her as I button up the new shirt I threw on. I heel out of my shoes and take a moment to look at the shimmering silver invisibility cloak that's hanging in the closet, smirking as I remember all the things it let me get away with.

"Of course I did." She says as she leans against the door way, her anger starting to deflate now that I'm actually home. "Gavin," She walks into the room with her voice softer than before. She wraps her arms around my torso from behind and starts buttoning up the rest of the shirt. "Are we going to tell them tonight?"

I stop moving and grab her hands as I think about what I want to say. "I don't know if tonight would be a good time." They don't know we're living together yet, any more shock than that might kill my Mom.

She sighs and steps back from me. "They're going to find out soon anyways. It's not like I can keep it hidden forever." She walks over to the mirror and turns to the side, pulling her brown dress tight against her stomach and sighing as she lets it go. "I'm already starting to show."

"No, you're not." I say as I walk over to her. I push a curl away from her face and kiss her forehead then I bring a hand down to her stomach where our baby is starting to form. "You look beautiful."

She smiles at me and lets me kiss her. "I want to tell them tonight. The longer we keep it a secret the harder it's going to be on them. Your Father already glares at me when I come over for dinners..." She mumbles quietly and I laugh at her.

"He glares at everyone. Don't feel bad."

"I want to tell them." She says pitifully and I sigh. "My parents already know."

"Tonight's my sister's night." I tell her softly as I take her hand and play with her fingers. "We'll tell them another day." I tell her and I can tell that upsets her because she looks down and tightens her jaw. I tilt her chin up with my fingers and smile at her. "We'll tell them all about it when we let them know about our engagement."

She looks to me with wide eyes and I smirk as I take the ring I've been holding onto all day out of my pocket and I slide it onto her finger. "Is this your way of asking me to marry you?" She asks breathlessly as she looks down at the giant diamond.

"No," I say and her eyes snap to mine. "This is me telling you."

She rolls her eyes and playfully pushes my chest. I'm only half joking... I'm still a jerk. "You're lucky I put up with you." She says with her eyes still on the ring that looks so perfect on her finger right there. "This is perfect, Gavin." she says seriously and then she puts her arms around my neck and kisses me deeply, letting me lift her up the slightest bit. She really is a small little thing. "You don't think we're too young, do you?" She whispers worriedly and I shake my head.

"We're both twenty one now... so we have about three years on my parents if that puts things in perspective for you."

After a small snog session we leave to go to the Manor with the present for my sister held under my arm. Addison and I had been dating on and off for years since our Hogwarts days. I'd do something stupid and she would get angry and eventually we'd get back together. She's much too nice for me if I'm being honest. I have no idea why but for some reason I love her... which I didn't think I would ever do. In fact, I'm not totally sure why she wants to be with me. I'm kind of mean and she is kind of.. not. Am I ready to get married--probably not... Am I ready to be a Father-- No... but I know no matter how I feel she's ten times more scared by the situation than I am. I kiss her shoulder and she smiles at me before she goes off to talk to my Mother. I grab a drink from one of the trays and my eyes scan the crowd for familiar faces. I see Cassius off to the side drinking and looking all tan and rugged. I smirk before heading over to him.

"I'm surprised to see you here and not backpacking barefoot in some desert somewhere in the middle east." I tell him as I approach.

"I do like to come home every now and then." He says before giving me a quick hug. He pulls back and looks me over with an eyebrow raised. "You're looking as annoying as always... and you cut your hair." He sounds surprised.

"You know I like to keep up my appearance." I say as I pretend to check my nails. "So, how's living with your lunatic friend? Eating fried rats and what not."

"Probably as rewarding as selling your soul to the cooperate devil of Malfoy Enterprises."

I pretend to be hurt by that and I put my hand on my heart. "Aw, Cassius. I think you've missed me." He smiles at me and takes a drink from his glass. "Where is Lavinia?" I ask as I look over the crowd again. "I need to congratulate her on finally breaking free from the Hogwarts penitentiary."

"I was told she was still upstairs in her room." He tells me and I roll my eyes. Girls.

"Did you hear I closed a deal with Jason Weasley's new company?" I ask, watching his reaction.

"He's still alive."

"Alive and kicking." I say with a smirk. "And now at my financial mercy. I have to say I love this whole big business stuff."

"I'm glad you're happy." He says earnestly and I look at him seriously.

"Are you happy?" I ask as I watch him. He nods his head and smiles.

"I am."

We share a smile and I look away from him when I hear people starting to hush around the room. I have to admit there are times when I do miss my older brother... not that I'd ever admit that of course. I look as the doors open and Lavinia steps in blushing because of the attention and looking horribly uncomfortable that every one is staring right at her. She looks beautiful in the white dress that she's wearing and her hair is pinned up with pearl clips. She let it grow out since she had the shorter hair cut her first year and her bangs frame her face now instead of laying across her brow. She nervously looks around the room and smiles before uncomfortably making her way over to my Mom and Dad who each give her kisses and hugs.

I guess time doesn't change everything.

I smirk her way before looking around to find my girlfriend... no, fiancee. Who would have guessed? I find her standing by my dear old friend Terrance who was only invited because my Dad thinks I like him and we work together at my family's business. He tells her something and touches her arm, I watch that arm slide down to her waist as he whispers something to her and my eyes narrow.

"Excuse me." I say, not even bothering to look at Cassius as I make my way through all of the people who have started to dance as the band started up. The noise is loud enough that they don't hear me step up and I grab the wrist of my friend. He jerks his head to me as Addison looks over her shoulder.

"Gavin?" She looks confused so I give her a tight smile.

"Go talk to your friends."

"But they're not..."

"Go talk to your friends." I repeat again, sterner this time and she looks at my hand that's still digging into Terrance's wrist. She looks confused but she nods anyways and walks away, sending little worried looks over her shoulder. When I think she's sufficiently far enough away I straighten my spine and turn towards my friend, letting his arm drop. "If I see you do that again I will cut it off." I tell him dangerously and I'm not joking.

"Malfoy, I don't know what you're talking about..." He starts but I smile unpleasantly at him so he stops.

"I don't like repeating myself." I say flatly letting my point settle in and when I think he's pale enough I smile at him. "Well, I hope you have a good time at the party." I tell him nicely before walking off with my hands in my pockets. Whistling to myself as I go to greet my little sister.

"Gavin, how did the it go?" My Dad asks when I walk past. I stop and face him with my head tilted to the side. "The new account?"

"Oh," I say with a smirk remembering the man's sweaty face. "It went swimmingly."

He smirks and nods his head at me. That Greengrass guy just got re-elected last fall with my father's help. Most of the reforms and laws he's wanted passed that would never go through with him because of his background have been swiftly put through. I think taking back the head seat at the company was the best thing he ever did. He still has say in the Ministry but he's a ruthless businessman and when you're working for the public you really can't let that side show. So now he can be himself with out all of the sugar coating... and he's not as uptight because all of the stress is gone.

"We're not talking business tonight gentlemen." Mom says as she walks over and hands Dad a glass of wine.

"Are you sure you aren't going to take this one, Gin?" He asks her, watching her slyly as he takes the glass. "Because you could go get your own instead of taking mine, you know."

"You're lucky I replaced this one." She says and I have no idea what's happening right now but I smile when she kisses my cheek. "I'm going to go talk to Pam. It was nice of you to show up, Gavin." She says before taking off.

Dad watches her go with a shake of his head before turning back to me. "This is a nice party." I comment and he nods his head.

"Your sister's about ready to faint, though." He says and I turn towards Lavinia as she shakes the hand of some old couple who buys Mom's paintings all the time. "Poor girl..."

"Dad," I say to get his attention and he looks at me. "I've been in contact with Theo Nott."

"Again?" He says flatly, taking a drink from his glass. He knows Theo Nott was actually the author T. Holly. He doesn't miss much.

"Again." I confirm as I watch to gauge his reaction. "He has an idea for another article and he wants to interview you." I say.

After the book came out he had enough money to start up his own paper. The Wizard Times. It's been growing in success, especially the past couple years with the new decrees on magical freedom at the Ministry.

"Does he?"

"He does." I say with a smirk. "I think you'll find it interesting."

"Enlighten me."

I look out at the crowd and then back to him. "He's thinking about writing a piece about influential wizards and witches of recent times."

He smiles at me and shakes his head, even though I know he loves it when people stroke his ego. "I would love being on a list with Potter and Dumbledore." He snorts sarcastically.

"Dad," I say, bemused. "Nott's writing it. I doubt he'll even acknowledge their existence."

He smirks into his glass of wine and then he looks to me. "Let's enjoy the party, Gavin, and I think your lady would like to dance." He points towards Addison who's standing by herself, chewing on her lower lip as she looks around. She doesn't know anyone here really besides me and my family. "Word of advise, son." He starts and I cock an eyebrow. "Your Mother and I would like to know we're going to be Grandparent's sooner rather than later."

That kind of took the breath out of me. How did they know?

"Your mother has had four children." He tells me as I look down, feeling like a kid that just got caught doing something he shouldn't have. "Never underestimate the power of women and their observational skills."

I stare at him and he smiles, putting his hand on my shoulder and squeezing affectionately. "Good luck, Gavin." He says before walking off, leaving me there staring after him.

I swear my parents never miss a thing.


"We're so proud of you." Mom says as she smooths some hair away from my face and smiles at me. She looks like she's about to cry and I sigh as I look around the room at all the people who are looking directly at me. I wish they wouldn't have done this. "And you look so beautiful tonight."

"The dress is a little indecent." Dad chimes in and I blush as I glare at him.

"Draco." Mom snaps at him as she turns to me and shakes her head, letting me know it's alright.

"Well, it is." He says and then he smiles down at me. "Even though you do look wonderful in it. I just don't like the fact that every boy in here is staring." He takes a step closer to me and kisses my forehead. "Enjoy the party, sweetheart." He whispers and he winks at me before he and Mom step away to let the crowd engulf me.

I nervously fiddle with my watch and wish I could drink... but I know it's not lady like to drink in public especially at a party that's thrown in your honor. I smile uncomfortably at all the people that are congratulating me for making it through school and when I'm finally left alone I let my shoulders slouch a little. I smile a little when I feel arms snake around me and a deep voice whispers in my ear.

"It's about time you showed up."

I smirk before turning around and kissing Darius, my boyfriend of one year. "I almost didn't make it." I tease as I fix his tie. He's handsome enough, I suppose. In a boring way. He has brown hair and brown eyes, normal features and a decent body. He's really nice to me and not confusing at all. My Dad even likes him.... well, as much as my Dad can like a person he's not related to.

"I'm glad you decided to make it." He says as he pulls me towards the dance floor. "That dress looks amazing."

"Why, thank you Mr. Coldwater." I say as we start dancing with my arms around his neck and his hands on my waist. Keeping a respectable distance so he doesn't get hexed by my insane family members.

"So, have you been thinking about what I said to you?" He asks and I try to ignore that until he says my name and repeats it again. "Have you?"

"Yes." I say uncomfortably. I don't want to go with him to America. I don't know what I want to do with my life but I know I don't want that. "I just think I should stay in England for a while until I figure things out." I say softly, trying to sound nice so I don't hurt his feelings but I can feel the tightness in his body at my words. That tells me I failed.

"So you don't want to be with me?" He snaps and I roll my eyes.

"Not in America." I say bluntly because he snapped at me before.

"Well, Lavinia. What do you want then?" He says, obviously irritated with me and I really can't blame him. He's been really patient with me this year and I know I'm not an easy person.

I have no idea what I want so I shrug my shoulders. "I want to enjoy my graduation party." Is all I say and he narrows his eyes and looks away from me.

"Fine, I'm going to get something to drink."

He leaves me there in the middle of the dance floor and I can't find it in me to feel bad about it. I like him well enough and he's comfortable, but that doesn't make me feel any thing intense. I walk off the dance floor and off to the side as people stop me to talk, I almost want to run out of the room to get away from it but a gold dress interrupts my vision and I follow the dark skin up to yellow eyes. I smile tightly at Serena.

"We finally made it." She says as she tilts her glass of punch at me.

"I suppose so." I state, trying to sound like I don't care, even though I have to wonder how she made it here. I told her I was having my party at the vacation home in Finland. We don't have a vacation home in Finland and I thought it would be fitting if she showed up there but I guess she caught on.

"I see your older brothers made it. You know, my Daddy said that Lucius Malfoymust be rolling in his grave knowing that his grandson has turned into some tree hugging dirty liberal."

I roll my eyes. I know most old pure blood families fall under into the more Conservative category but I wouldn't go so far as to call Cass a tree hugger.

"Luckily no one gives a flying fuck what your Daddy thinks." I turn to the voice and smirk at Chloe as she places a hand on her hip.

"Flint." Serena says hatefully as she eyes her up and down, trying to make her feel uncomfortable.

"Whatever. Lavinia, come on. I want to show you something." I don't look back as Chloe grabs my arm and pulls me away towards open patio doors. I look around to make sure no one will miss me and they won't. These kinds of huge parties rarely have much focus. I follow her out to the cement railing as she rummages through her small hand bag that she brought with her.

I watch, half amused by the frustrated faces she's making before she smiles and pulls out the small silver box.

"Is this a present?" I ask as I take the package from her and inspect it.

She smirks. "You could call it that. Go ahead and open it."

I take my time tearing off the silver wrapping paper and I carefully open the lid to the cardboard box. A small clear ball rests among the cotton lining and I pick it up, holding it up to the light of the candles from inside.

"A Mood Manipulator?" I ask. I haven't seen one of these in years.

"Your Mood Manipulator, actually." She says and my eyes snap to hers. "I remember you writing about it. Remember? Harry confiscated it and never got it back to you."

"That was like seven years ago." I say as I marvel at the object in my hands. He never did give it back and they are very rare. Grandma Malfoyonly ever gave me very rare and very awesome gifts. "Is this really mine?" I ask as I look to her.

"I found it in his sock drawer." She tells me as she looks at it. "I knew it was yours right away. Harry could never afford something like that."

"Thank you," I say seriously as I clutch the ball in my hands. "Thank you." I repeat again as I hug her. Grandma died two years ago, she caught some kind of sickness and was gone two monthes after the healers diagnosed it and it really shook me up. It means a lot to have this back because I was really close with my Grandma.

"You're welcome." She says when we pull back and she smiles at me. "I'm going to go back inside." She tells me as I put the box on the railing and study the small ball. "Do you want to come with me?"

"No, I think I'm going to let my face cool down for a while." I state, knowing how deeply I've been blushing all night.

She snorts. "Hiding is more like it."

"It works for me." I say with a smirk and she smirks back.

"I'll meet you inside."

I watch her go before turning back around towards the gardens with the Mood Manipulator feeling heavy in my hands. Chloe has been a good friend to me these past few years and I was so excited when she was sorted into Slytherin in my second year. I think she helped me keep a bit of my sanity with my terrible roommates and the press constantly hanging around our house. When Dad stepped down there wasn't as much pressure but we're still so high profile that one paper or another is always around to take a picture or write something up about us. I smirk when I think about that book that came out about the Weasley's and the rest of the Order... I guess my cousins are in the same boat now. I think Cassius was onto something when he disappeared for a while. It sounds nice. I hear someone walking up behind me but I don't turn around right away as I stand up straight and prepare to fake smile at who ever came out to congratulate me on this whole graduation business.

I turn around to greet who ever it is but stop when I see Byron Flint standing there, staring at me with those cool blue eyes of his. The air was sucked out of my lungs for two seconds and my ears began to hum as I looked him over. He definitely grew up and I'd be blind if I didn't think he looked good... and fit... and perfect. I catch myself sighing and cover it with a cough.

"Hey." He says and I don't think I've ever heard a more perfect word.

I open and close my mouth a few times before stupidly turning around and trying to regain myself. I've been in control around him since the end of first year, I can handle this. I take a deep breath before turning around and plastering a fake smile on my face.

"Hello, Byron." I say mechanically and I almost groan because I sound so stupid but I've been spending years ignoring him and keeping my emotions in check when ever I'm around him. I think I can do it now. I just wish he wouldn't catch me off guard like that. Jerk. "I haven't seen you in years."

"I know." He says softly as he looks me over and I blush again, wishing my dress wasn't as tight as it was. Maybe my Dad was right. "So, are you going to use that?" He asks as he steps closer to me. When I knit my eyebrows together in confusion he looks down at my hands at the Mood Manipulator. "That."

"This." I say holding it up and then back down. "No, um. No, Chloe just gave it to me." He raises his eyebrows but doesn't say anything as he makes it to the cement railing, resting his forearms on it as he looks out over the garden. Unsure of what to do I turn the same way and put my hands by his.

"So, um... thank you for coming to my party." I offer softly and he looks to me from the corner of his eyes making my heart beat painfully and I hate him for it.

"Cassius made me." He says and it's like a punch in the gut so I clench my jaw shut and cross my arms. Of course. I'm stupid. "Was that boy you were dancing with your boyfriend?" I glance at him from the corner of his eyes as he runs a hand through his hair. He has beautiful hands. God, I really am pathetic."Your brother told me you had one."

"Yes, he is." I say tilting my chin up. I feel the childish urge to rub that fact in for some reason. So he knows that at least someone wants me. "His name is Darius and he's going to move to America to study Herbology under Dr. Thomland." I'm told that's impressive.

"Are you going with him?" He asks and it catches me off guard because his voice sounds so weird and guarded.

"I haven't decided yet." I lie with a straight face.

He nods his head and stands up straight, reaching into his pocket and I take a step back. I have no idea why. He takes something out of his pocket and sets it down on the railing. I look at it with a cocked eyebrow as the candles from the party inside make it shine. "I didn't wrap it or anything." He says nodding to the thing on the railing. I guess it's suppose to be a gift.

I flick a glance to him before picking up the small reddish brown stone. "You're giving me a rock?" I ask, unsure of what is happening.

"It's a carnelian stone." He tells me like I would know what that meant. I run my fingers over the jagged rock. "It has a rune etched into it." He says, turning it over and showing me the symbol. I shiver a bit when his hand touches mine and I scold myself for it. Pathetic. "I found it in India last year and I thought..." he pauses and moment and takes the stone away from me. He holds it up towards my face and smiles a little. "I was right. It's the same color as your hair."

"What does the rune mean?" I ask as he hands it back to me, trying not to blush.

He smiles to himself like it was funny. "It's uh... it's a positive energy rune." Is what he says but I'm not sure if that is totally true. My time was spent with Slytherin's in school. I know when someone is lying.

"Thank you for this." I say as I clutch it in my hand. I know I'll probably keep it forever even though it's a stupid dirty rock. "I should go back inside." I say, realizing how rude I am by standing out here and not mingling at my own party.

"You probably should." He says softly, looking me over once more. "You really have grown up, haven't you."

"I hope so."

He looks like he wants to say something else but he can't quite make it out. "Well, see you around." I say and I close my eyes because of what a stupid thing it was to say before walking back towards the doors. I have perfected being confident and collected but this whole party has just thrown that out of whack.


I stop and turn to face him.

He just stares at me any doesn't say anything for a while so I nervously bring a hand up to my face, thinking I must have something on it or something.

"I always knew you'd be beautiful." He says and my face gets hot again. "But the way you look right now surpasses anything I ever dreamed of."



Keep breathing...

Alright, I've had enough. I don't care if there are hundreds of people inside, after tonight he's going to leave with Cassius and I won't see him for a few more years and I just can't wait any longer for this. I drop the Manipulator and the stone, letting them clatter to the ground as I stomp over to him with angry steps. He looks at me like he thinks I might hit him but instead I bring my hands up to his hair and pull him down for a kiss. I press my body into his enjoying the way his hard muscled body feels against mine and the warmness from his body makes my head feel dizzy. He doesn't do anything for a few moments and I almost pull back and hex him for playing with me again. Who says that kind of stuff anyways? After a few seconds I start to worry and I begin to move back from him but his arms circle around my waist and he pushes me back against the stone wall by the doors. I take in a sharp breath as he tilts my head back, with one of his hands on my face, as he slides his tongue into my mouth, deepening the kiss. I think I might faint. He tastes like wine and mint and I don't think I've ever been kissed this way before. I feel like I'm on fire as we battle each other for dominance almost painfully and the wall pushes the pearl clips in my hair harshly into my head but I could care less right now. My body feels tight and tingly, making everything else seem obsolete.

He pulls back for air and when his breath comes out warmly on my face I realize how close we're actually standing. I let my eyes slowly open as I study his face, taking in every little detail that makes Byron look so perfect. He's staring at me with this intense look in his blue eyes and he sighs before dipping down and kissing my jaw.

"You're too young for me." He whispers against my skin as he kisses his way to my neck. I tilt my head to give him better access as my body hums and heats up. I can practically feel the blood burning through my veins and I think I could die right now and be content.

"I'm eighteen now." I remind him as I run my fingers through his thick hair, gently tugging. His heart beat speeds up and I imagine it matches my own.

"You have a boyfriend." He reminds me in the same thoughtful tone.

"He's boring."

"You're my best mate's little sister." He says like he was talking to himself as he brings a hand down to my thigh. He lets it travel down to the hem on my dress and he hooks his hand under my knee, pulling it up and around his waist. I gasp in surprise and smile at him when he moves to the other side of my neck.

I arch into him when he lightly bites my neck and I can hardly believe this is real considering I've been thinking about it since I was a first year.

"You are trying to get me killed." He says when I kiss his cheek.

"No, I'm not." I tell him, gripping his arms for better balance

"You're Draco Malfoy's daughter." He explains and that hunger I saw starts to leave his eyes, being replaced with unease. "Have you seen your brothers..." He stops kissing me completely and he steps back, letting my leg drop back to the floor. Suddenly I feel very cold and watch him with worried eyes. "I'm being disrespectful." He mumbles. "That shouldn't have happened."

Anger flairs with in me along with the pain of rejection and I can feel angry tears sting my eyes because of it. "If you didn't want to kiss me all you had to do was say it. You don't have to make up excuses." I hiss at him as I cross my arms over my chest from the chill of his distance. I sneer when I think about those hateful words he told me once. That he never wanted me to touch him. He must have just remembered.

"You don't understand..."

"Stop saying that to me!" I yell and we both seem surprised that I was that loud. He looks around to make sure no one heard me while I take a deep breath and close my eyes before glaring at him again. "Stop playing with me. You did it when I was twelve and you're doing it now."

"No," He shakes his head and he grabs my arm when I go to walk back inside. "No, I'm not playing with you." He says and then he makes a weird frustrated noise when I grab my arm back and narrow my eyes hatefully. "You never let me explain."

"What then?" I snap and he flinches. Quite the Gryffindor he is.

"Do you think this has been easy for me to feel this... this thing for you?" He snaps at me and I glare again. Thing... that sounds like a disease. I'm a disease to him. "I rarely feel anything at all and then you...Listen, I'm weird, alright?" He says and I watch him like he's crazy. "And look, in the twenty minutes that we've been out here I've already made you cry."

"I'm not crying." I say stubbornly, looking away to hide the fact that he's right. I can't wipe my eyes because of my makeup so I'm kind of stuck with it.

"I hurt you and I hurt just about everybody around me." I roll my eyes at his dramatics. " Don't do that." He says seriously. Sounding annoyed by my gesture. "I'm serious. I fuck up everything just like I'm fucking this up right now."

I look at him and we stare into each others eyes for a few moments until I sigh and turn away. That just makes my anger die away, that and the fact that he looks so tragically handsome when he's upset. "Are you staying the night?" I ask as I stare out into the darkness of the garden. "I know they wanted Cassius to."

"I think so." He says, looking the other way as well.

Feeling brave and accepting the fact that after this night he's going to be in some foreign country and I'm still going to be stuck here thinking about how much I hate him and love touching him. I step closer to him again and he eyes me like I was a python. I want a good graduation gift. I lean up and kiss him lightly on the lips with my insides doing somersaults...but I'm tired of waiting and if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right.

"My room is the second to the left on the third floor." I tell him and his eyes darken when I bite my lip. I'm crazy nervous right now but I don't care. This might be my one chance. "And my door will be unlocked all night."

He gulps and I smirk before turning around to walk back inside, praying I don't trip and fall on my face. "There you are." My face snaps up to Gavin as he stands in front me. "I've been looking bloody everywhere for you."

I look over my shoulder and see Byron bending down and picking up my gifts that I dropped and placing them in his pockets. I smile at my brother and take his arm to lead him away so he doesn't kill Byron. He seems to not like him very well.

"I hope you got me a very good present." I tell my brother who smirks arrogantly.

"Was there ever a doubt in your mind?"

The rest of the party goes off with out any problems and by the end of the night my face hurts from smiling and my feet hurt from standing. I take a guilty pleasure in sending secret looks to Byron when no one is looking. His hair is still all disheveled and he keeps reaching into his pocket where my two presents reside. My lips still burn from him so when I stand at the door way to say good by to the guests, half of which I don't know, I can't kiss Darius and he seems hurt when I turn away but I can't help it. By one o'clock the family is in their bedrooms and once in the safety of my room I let myself fall against my bed with my eyes closed. Fearing the rejection of him not showing up and fearing even more the thought of if he actually did.

With a smile to myself I walk over to my drawers and pull out a purple nightie that Chloe got me last year for my birthday as a joke. I carefully take down the pearl clips from my hair, letting it fall down in waves down my back as I step out of my white dress and into the nightie. I'm tired of being a virgin anyways, I tell myself as I look into the mirror to make sure I look alright. If this is my one chance to lose it to the guy, then I'm going to take it... because I know I'll probably get married to someone boring like Darius because Byron probably wouldn't want me for that long. Years of saying no to the boys at Hogwarts I'm going to say yes to Byron Flint.

That thought's a little depressing but I'm not letting it dampen my spur of the moment goal.

I blow out the candles around my room and leave a few on by my bed as I slide into the covers with nervous anticipation swelling in my stomach. I look at the four corners of my room and huff when I see stuffed animals on the shelves. That won't do. I get up and grab all the little girl things I own, everything pink, purple, and sparkly gets thrown in the closet so I can hide them. I imagine after tonight I will officially be a woman and won't need stupid things like that. I go back to my bed and sit on my covers, chewing on my lip and playing with my bedding. It seems like hours past and as the minutes tick by anger starts to seep inside of me. Some one knocks on my door and I whirl around with my heart nearly busting out of my ribcage. I run my fingers through my hair one more time to make sure it's tame before lightly making my way over to the door. I take in a deep breath before squaring my shoulders and turning the handle.

When I see my little sister there smiling at me I slouch.

"What do you want, Evelyn?" I snap at her and she looks at my outfit, barely containing her smirk.

"What are you wearing?"

I grab my bath robe and put in on while scowling on her. "I'm trying to sleep. What do you want?"

She rolls her eyes and opens the door a little wider. I can tell she has paint or something on her hands and she's wearing a pair of work out shorts and a messy tank top. "I finished your present." She tells me excitedly as she grabs my arm and starts pulling me out of the room.

"Can't you show me tomorrow?" I ask as her pony tail bounces in my face.

"I just finished it." Was her answer and I roll my eyes. She procrastinates with everything.

She drags me all the way down stairs to the craft room and I stand in the doorway with my arms crossed as she shuffles through piles of paper. When she pops back up she has something hidden behind her back.

"Is whatever your holding dry?" I ask skeptically as I take in the blue paint all over her skinny body.

"It will be. Are you ready?"

"Hurry up, then." I say with a sigh.

She brings it behind her back and shows it to me. "Ta-da!"

I step closer to get a better look at the gift. She painted a picture frame all different colors and inside holds a photo of her and I down at the stables. It was taken last year during our summer break and we're having a hay fight by the horses. The picture me and Evelyn are giggling and smiling as we throw large handfuls of straw at each other, getting it all over our clothes and hair.

"So you remember your little sister when you go off and do whatever it is you're going to do." She explains and I take it from her, sighing in relief when I see that it is dry. I smile at the photo and then look up to her as she eagerly awaits my reaction.

"Thank you, Evelyn. This is great." I tell her honestly and I even find it in me to give her a hug.

She is annoying and she likes to steal my clothes and change the sizes on them but I do suppose I'll miss her if I leave. I look down at my watch and sigh. It's three in the morning now. "We should go to bed." I comment and she nods her head while stepping back.

"Night, Lavinia." she says as she skips out of the room.

I watch her go before putting the picture on the table, smiling at the memory one more time before leaving the room. I take the long way back, trying not to feel bad about a lot of things. It's weird that I'm done with school, it's weird that I have no idea what to do next, it's weird that I'm so mad at Byron Flint. Everything is weird. As I pass through the hallways in the dark with my thoughts over taking me I see a stream of light coming from one of the doors at the end of the hall and I hear voices coming from it so I soften my steps.

"Lavinia! Oh, Lavinia look how big you are." That's my Mom's voice and I furrow my brows as I walk up. "Such a pretty little girl."

I make it to the door and push it open the slightest bit. Against one of the far walls a memory is playing and I rest against the door frame to watch it. It's of me when I was a baby and my Mom is behind me, pushing me on one of the swings.

"She looked so cute in that dress." Mom says but it's not coming from the memory. I look to the right and see Mom and Dad sitting on the couch, drinking glasses of wine.

"Is this her first birthday?" Dad asks, Mom has her feet up on his lap and he massages her leg as she nods her head.

"Yeah, it is. Look at her little cheeks." She says in her baby talking voice and I look at the wall again as the baby me pulls off the white hat and chews on it.

"Her hair was really red." Dad says absentmindedly and Mom agrees.

The memory on the wall turns blank and Dad hops off the couch. "My turn." He goes over to the stone basin on the table and lifts his wand to his temple, pulling out a silvery mist and putting it in the bowl.

"It had better not be another sex one or I'm going to bed."

"That was one of my favorite memories." He says with a smirk as he points his wand to the bowl and then up to the wall. It flashes before projecting the memory on the blank wall.

A pudgy baby with blonde curly hair is sitting in the middle of the floor, with chocolate smeared all over his face. "Aw," I hear Mom say from the couch as Dad takes his seat again, placing her legs back on his lap as he refills his glass of wine. "I didn't know you were there for this one."

"I was watching." He say softly before taking a drink.

The baby in the memory leans over and starts crawling towards the box of chocolates laying on the ground. I can hear Mom laughing in the background as he moves. Another blond boy comes into the shot and I can tell it's Cassius.

"Baby boy." He says as he moves toys out of the way for Gavin to move. "Gabin wants candy, Mommy." He smiles up at the Mom in the memory.

"Cassius is such a good big brother." Mom says as she watches. "and I forgot what a pudgy baby Gavin was." She laughs a little and downs her glass of wine. She gets up on her knees and leans over Dad to get the bottle from the table.

"He was pudgy because you let him eat all that chocolate." He says as he watches Mom fill her glass up. Her cheeks are flushed and he keeps on rubbing her back as she reaches toward the table. That tells me that my parents are getting drunk.

"That was the only way he would crawl." She says as she sits back down, closer to him this time as she brings a hand up to run through his hair as the baby Gavin from the memory babbles and crawls. "He was a lazy little man."

"Still is." Dad grumbles as Mom kisses his cheek. I know I should leave soon.

"I wish they didn't have to grow up." She says sadly as she looks back to the memory. Little Cassius is helping Gavin get the chocolate out of the box. "I can't believe Lavinia gradtuated. I wish they could stay babies forever."

He smirks at her and kisses her lips. "We would never get to sleep if they stayed babies forever." He says as he pushes her back on the couch so he can settle on top of her.

Now I know I need to leave. I gently close the door so they won't hear it as I start my way back towards the stair way. I debate with myself as I'm going up stairs and with determination I make my way towards the red guest room and I knock on the door. Two seconds later Byron answers looking all upset and surprised. I figure he never intended on coming to me so I want my stuff back.

I push him back and step into the room, closing the door behind me as he watches me with wide eyes. "I want my presents." I say with my arms crossed.

"What?" He asks softly as I study his room. The lights are still on and his bed is still made telling me he wasn't sleeping. I look over to the writing desk and see his journal opend with in ink dipped quill laying on top of the pages.

"My presents." I repeat. "You took them and I want them back."

"Oh..." He says as he walks over to the bed side table and he opens the drawer, taking out my Mood Manipulator and the rock thing he gave me. "Here."

He hands it back to me but I don't take it as I cross my arms and tighten my jaw. I flick and glance to him and then to his hands. "So, you didn't come." I say flatly, hoping he'll say he did while I was gone and walking around the house but the look on his face tells me otherwise.

"This is your parents house." he says like that explained everything.

I'm being stubborn, I'm being stubborn and childish and everything that I hate but I could care less because tomorrow I have to start my life. "You don't want me then." I say flatly and he takes a step closer to me while shaking his head. I take a step back.

"That's not it." I make a hmf sound and put my hands on my hips. He looks me over again and I realise that my robe has fallen open but I refuse to cover up right now and look weak. "What are you wearing?" He asks tightly.

"A night gown." I snap.

"That is not a night gown."

"Goodnight, Byron." I tell him, giving up on whatever it was I was attempting. "If you're ever in America look me up." I turn around and stomp away to leave him. I open the door but it slams shut and I jump a little in surprise when I see Byron's hand by my face as his chest presses into my back. I stare down, trying to catch my breath and understand what's happening as he reaches down by my hip and locks the door.

"You have no idea..." He says before spinning me around and kissing me.

I get lost. My head is dizzy and my body is hot as he pulls the robe from my body and I wrap my legs around his waist when he lifts me up. He walks us back towards the large bed and I fall down onto the covers with him falling on top of me. I don't care if it's slutty or if this makes me easy. I want this and I want him and I am a Malfoy. Which means that I'm use to getting what I want. He kisses my neck as my hands skim down to his pants. I hear him hitch his breath in when I arch my hips against his and I smirk against his lips when he comes up to kiss me again. He sits up on his knees and looks down at me as I smile up at him. He really is the most handsome man I have ever seen. He smirks at me in the most charming way before putting his hands at the bottom of my night gown... no it's not a night gown... and he lifts it over my head. I look up at him as I rest on my elbows almost wanting to cover myself because I'm self conscious, wondering what he thinks of my body... if he can see all the imperfections that I see everyday. I wish I would have thought quickly enough to turn the lights off.

He just stares at me for a while and I feel a blush staining my cheeks so I go to cover myself with the blanket but he grabs my wrists. "Never do that." He says in a deep voice that sends a jolt right through me as he lays down on top of me and kisses me once again and I feel like I'm drowning.

I reach to the bottom of his shirt to pull it over his head because I have this insistent need to feel his skin against mine but he freezes and stops my hands. "What is it?" I ask as I look into his eyes.

"Don't." He says, pulling my hands away and putting them around his neck. "I want to keep it on."

I laugh a little thinking he's joking but when I realize he's not I cock my head to the side. "What do you mean?" I want to see his chest. I imagine that it looks as good with out clothes on as it does with.

He shushsme and and kisses his way down my body, touching every sensitive point I have that I nearly forget how I got in here in the first place. When he pulls the knickers off my body I comply like I was under a spell and I help him out of his own pants.

"Are you sure about this?" He asks as he lays back down on top of me and I can feel how much he likes this against my thigh. It's kind of an empowering feeling.

"I've missed you." I tell him seriously. Even though I was cool around him for the years we were in Hogwarts together I did enjoy being around him just to look at him or listen to his blunt little comments he would make. I run my fingers through my hair and kiss him deeply, trying to put all of my feelings into the kiss as his hands rome my body. "I want your shirt off." I say against his lips because the material is hurting my bare chest. He looks at me with unease and something sad lingering in his eyes and I can't imagine why. "It's only fair." I tell him as I reach back down.

This time he doesn't fight me as I lift it over his head. All those long weeks of hanging out in forests and deserts really have done his body good because his muscles are well defined and hard under his skin as I run my fingers over them with feather light touches, barely believing this is happening. I can feel my body reacting to him as he settles himself between my legs, so much so that it's almost painful for me. I bite my lip as he brings a hand up to my face, looking deeply into my eyes in that intense way that he does and this time it makes me shiver.

"You're shaking." He points our worriedly. I am and I can't say what from. There are so many things going through me right now but I don't care. I want this. I want him. "Are you sure you want this?" he asks, giving me another window out but I refuse to let this go. I nod my head and kiss him, with my legs wrapping tightly around him.

"Hurry up before everyone wakes up."

"Aren't you romantic." he says with a smile as he situations himself to enter my body and a second of panic shoots through me but I try to cover it. "Are you ready?" He whispers softly against the skin of my neck.

Nervously I nod my head and close my eyes.

His breath his warm on my face as he gently pushes in and a ripple of pain shoots through me and I make a noise. He stops completely and looks down. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, yes." I say annoyed by his worry and wanting this to keep going. "Just go."

He kisses me as he pushes the rest of the way in and the pressure and pain I feel from the intrusion makes my eyes water. I have my eyes clenched shut as he kisses my cheek and rests his lips by my ear. "You should have told me." He says in a strained voice as his arms start to shake from keeping perfectly still.

"I wanted it to be you." I say and my voice sounds whiny as a few more tears fall. He kisses me again and I try to forget about the burning pain between my legs.

"Do you want to stop?"

"No," I say quickly. If I'm doing this, I'm going to do it right, I tell myself again. "You can move now. It's okay." I open my eyes and see him looking at me again. I try to smile reassuringly as I bring one hand up to his shoulder and the other I run through the hair at the back of his neck. "I'm alright."

He starts moving as I grip his shoulders and the pain eventually dulls to where I barely even feel it at all. I watch his face as he closes his eyes with his jaw clenched shut as he moves on top of me. It's strange being this close with someone, this intimate. His body feels heavy against mine and the only sound in the room now is our breathing and our bodies working against one another. I kiss him once more, just because I can, and he makes a little noise into my mouth as his movements start to get faster. I think I like doing this with him.... I like that I'm making his cheeks flush like that and I like the feeling of being full of him. I can let myself pretend that this will be forever and that we'll get married and have kids but I know that is just stupid wishful thinking.

"Oh, god." He whispers and I smile because of it. I'm not feeling that wild build up of passion that every body talks about, but I do feel happy. Just being this close to him makes me happy. His thrusts become harder and I wince a bit before getting use to it. "I'm sorry." He says. "I can't..." With that he takes in a sharp breath and his body tenses.

After a few more thrusts he relaxes on top of me like a blanket and I kiss his cheek. "I'm sorry." he says against my neck as I run my hands up and down his arm, pleased with the fact that I can just touch him like this. "That wasn't very good for your first experience."

He rolls off of me and I can see the red scars on his back. They look painful still, and for some reason I want to kiss them... like that would make them better. A shot of fear runs through me because I think he's going to get up and leave but he picks up his wand and turns out the lights with a flick of his wrist. Once we're shrouded in darkness he rests on his back and pulls me into his arms. This is a place I've always wanted to be and I close my eyes, trying to remember everything about this moment.

"I liked it." I say against his chest. Not that I have much to compare it to but still.

He curls his hand around my hip and his heart beat races against my ear. "It gets better." He says and I look him with a smile. In the sweetest thing I've ever had happen to me he smiles softly while bringing a hand up to put some hair behind my ear, letting his fingers linger on my cheek. Again I have to focus on breathing.

"We can do it again?" I ask and he smirks at me.

"Not tonight." I must look confused because he laughs. "You're already going to be sore tomorrow."

"Oh," I feel dumb again so I rest my head back down on his chest. I bring my hand up and run my fingers down the small scars on his arm and the few long ones on his chest. "How did you get these?" I ask softly. I know about the ones on his back from his journal... I just had no idea how many he had.

He shifts uncomfortably but doesn't tell me to stop as I trace the lines across his torso. "It's a long story."

"Was it your Dad?"

"Some of them." I open my mouth to say something else but he kisses the top of my head and squeezes my hand. "Go to sleep. It's almost five." he says and I don't comment again, thinking if I do this whole thing will be over.

So I close my eyes and let myself to go to sleep with a happy little smile on my face, feeling completely content and full filled. I wake to the sun shining directly into my eyes and I squint against it as I crack my eyes open, wishing I would have thought to close the curtains around the bed. We shifted in our sleep and now I'm laying on my side with Byron's arms wrapped around me from behind. I think we're spooning. I almost sigh out loud in a girlie type way but I repress that urge as I close my eyes and enjoy the way his breath tickles the back of my neck. The hand he has placed by my stomach I take in my own and lace my fingers through his, liking the way they look together like that. My heart nearly jumps when he gently squeezes back and I do sigh when he softly kisses my shoulder. I hear movement outside of the door and I open my eyes again because of it. Suddenly I remember where I am and what I've done and I bolt upright, looking at my watch.

"Oh, no." I say to the hands on the clock. It's nine thirty. In a panic I get up and pull the sheet from the bed as I try to find my clothes. I didn't think he threw them anywhere but for some reason I can't find them. I find the nightie by the night stand and I frantically look around for my knickers.

"Are these what you're looking for?" I look towards the bed as Byron sleepily holds the pink lace panties in his hands. I blush deeply and he smiles at me, with his hair all over the place and the covers up to his waist to cover his nakedness.

"Byron?" We both look towards the door in a panic. "I'm coming in."

"No, Cassius..." But he doesn't get to finish that sentence because my brother opens the door with his wand in his hands, obviously having used it to unlock it.

"I stopped by earlier but you didn't answer so I thought..." He stops mid sentence looking at the state of Byron on the bed with the knickers in his hands and then to me by the window with the sheet wrapped around me. I drop the nightie when he narrows his eyes and slams the door shut behind him. "What the fuck." He says angrily and I'm not sure who he's talking to.

"Cassius..." I try to plead with him as he shoots daggers at his friend.

"No. No, you do not talk." he hisses at me as Byron grabs his pants and slips them on under the covers. "What the fuck is this?"

"I'm sorry." Byron says as he stands from the bed, buckling his belt. "I should have known better."

"You should have known better than to fuck my little sister while you are a guest in her families house?" He shouts, looking like a mad man. Byron flinches but doesn't say anything.

My face is red because of his words but I won't let that make me quiet. "It was my fault." I say as I step closer to my brother who looks like he's about to murder everyone in this room. "I came in here and made him."

"You didn't make me do anything." Byron says gently as he looks at me apologetically.

"Cass, don't be mad." I say, trying to look pitiful as he glares at me.

"I am mad, Lavinia." he hisses and I look down. "I am so mad at you, because now I have to kill my best friend."

"I would deserve it." Byron says solemnly and I shake my head. Stupid dramatic boys.

"Please, Cassius." I try again, walking closer and looking into his eyes earnestly. "I'm not a baby anymore and I wanted this."

He grimaces, probably because he doesn't want to think of his little sister as a sexual being. He looks to me and then to Byron. "You had better marry her now or I'm telling my Dad what you did to his baby girl in his guest bedroom."

I'm mortified so I don't look at anything but the ground, but I guess he gives a favorable answer and my heart skips a beat. Cassius turns to me with his silver eyes flashing.

"Go get dressed. We're having breakfast now. Everyone thought you were out in the gardens." He sneers a bit. "And do something about your neck."

I bring a hand up to my neck before walking towards the door. I stop before I open it and turn to my brother. "Thank you, Cassius." I tell him, because he didn't hurt anyone and I think he won't tell. I look over my shoulder and give Byron a sad little smile.

"I guess you're not going to America then." He says and I can't help but smirk before leaving the room.

I run to my room and get dressed as quickly as I can, brushing my teeth and spraying myself with perfume just in case I smell like sex or something like that. I'm not even sure if that's possiable but if it is my parents would definitely know. I don't want to think about them right now so I do my hair in front of the mirror as I worry about Byron. I hope Cassius doesn't hurt him... I chew on my lip as I study my neck, putting on make up to cover the hickey. I can't believe I have a hickey. I feel different now. I wonder if I look different... I wonder if anyone will be able to tell that I've changed now.

I smile a little before leaving the room to have, what is sure to be, the most awkward breakfast of my entire life.