by Sarah Black (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Keywords: Triss Care-taker Argus uncle
Rating: R (for implied violence)
Spoilers: All the books (just to be safe)
Summary: Christine Luan has been with her boyfriend Damien for seven years, he doen't treat her well and one day she finds herself free of him. She doesn't know what to do with herself until her grandmother's brother, Argus Filch calls her and offers her a job as a care-taker in his place.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: Please don't flame me too much! I promise the next chapters wont be as angsty! (AIM: tocool2bhot lame I know...) please R & R! Thank you.
"Triss" He said in a deadly calm voice. She knew he was about to strike her, like he had before on countless occasions. Why did she stay as his girlfriend, after seven years of taking this? If she left he'd kill her. Damien had been the best and worst thing that happened to her in her life. Her parents hadn't approved of him... she should have listened. If she had one piece of advice, it was 'you should always listen to your parents' they care about you, more than this horrible man who said he loved her... he used her. He was six years older than her when they had first met, she had been sixteen. Innocent, sweet sixteen. He had taken her innocence as well as her sense of security and reduced her to a slave, she did everything he told her. She didn't know when he'd ever be pleased. His name meant son of the devil... that wasn't true at all. He was the devil. He would hurt her every chance he got.
"Triss" he said again, he had that look in his eyes. She tried to say something but it came out as a whimper and she felt the tears well up in her eyes.
"What was that Triss?" He asked, some sort of sadistic twinkle in his eyes.
"Please" she managed, but it came out a choked sob.
"Please what Triss" She couldn't take it anymore, she hated this. She hated how he nicknamed her Triss, it was supposed to be Christine. She hated how she couldn't move from his grasp. But what could she do? He would just hurt her if she tried to squirm away, he'd hurt her if she didn't submit. He'd hurt her if she wasn't good enough. She was never good enough.
"Please let me go" she sobbed.
"Now Triss... that wasn't the right thing to say" He raised his left hand and she closed her eyes, ready for the blow.
It had been weeks. Damien sometimes left on trips, for a few days sometimes a week. She had no idea of what he did on these trips. He was a Photographer, he had taken pictures of her. Sexual pictures. She had no idea of what he did with these pictures. She didn't really want to know. But this trip was different. Before he left he had confronted her and told her, that if he was away for more than three weeks, she was free to go where ever she wanted. The weeks had passed and he hadn't showed up yet. The phone rang.
"Yes, who is this?"
"You probably don't know me, but I am your uncle"
"You are my sisters grand daughter"
"aren't you wondering why I call?"
"no, I'm wondering how you found me, and... why now?"
"I work at a school, I'm the caretaker but I'm getting to be too old for this job. I happen to know that you are without a job"
"You're offering me a job at a school as a caretaker?"
"When can I start?"
"I'll come get you"
"Wait, what's your name?"
"Filch, Argus Filch"
"well, good bye"
She hung up. This was too good to be true. A school caretaker? Well, it was more demanding than modeling for her 'boyfriend' but it was a welcome challenge. She walked over to her dresser. Her reflection stared back at her, a fading bruise on her cheek. Her dark brown hair was in a state of disarray. Gray eyes wide with wonder. Could she do it? She had never been good with children... what would she have to do? What was the pay?" She really hadn't gotten the chance to ask many questions. She had been in a bit of a shock. She took a deep breath and started packing. She could do this. She didn't need Damien. He wasn't good to her. And he had allowed her to go. She wasn't his slave anymore. She smiled. The first smile she had smiled since Damien had first stricken her. Well she had smiled for the camera. But she hadn't smiled, not like this.
"Uncle?" She said uncertainly. He had called her again and told her that she would be moving into the school. Apparently it was a castle, a boarding school. She was at Kings Cross train station, wearing the only thing she still had from her parents house. A long leather coat. She nicknamed it the Matrix coat. It was well worn and it was warm. Her favorite piece of clothing. Under it she wore all black. She liked black. It was her favorite color. And it matched her life. No. She was starting over. There were no dark memories in this life.
"Christine" He said simply. He didn't smile. He seemed scary. And he was very ugly. But Damien was much more frightening. While Argus had to use his ugly face and glare and harsh voice, Damien only had had to use his eyes. Damien could smile a winning smile and still be scary. And god knew he was handsome. No. She wasn't going to think about Damien. He was gone. Dead for all she knew.
"What happened to your face?" He asked harshly.
She put a hand to the fading - almost gone now - bruise. Should she tell him the truth? Damien had always known when she was lying, would Argus strike her if she lied? Silly, of course he wouldn't! He wasn't like Damien. She knew that. She just wasn't ready to be normal again... would she ever be ready?
"Nothing... it was silly really... I walked - fell - no walked into a d-door and er... yeah" she said lamely.
He just narrowed his eyes at her and nodded.
Then he put his hand on her shoulder and started pushing her towards the wall between Platform 9 and 10.
"What are you doing?"
She closed her eyes and waited for the impact. It didn't come. She opened her eyes and gasped.
"Where... what... how?" She spluttered.
"We need to take this train to Hogwarts. We could have used Floo... but we aren't wizards. I'm a-a Squib and you, you are a Muggle.
"I'll explain better on the train. Come on"
I followed him without a second thought. But in her mind thousands of questions were being born
As she stepped off the train at Hogsmade Station was it? She felt like she was having a very strange dream. She was going to be working at a school full of 'wizard brats' as her uncle had put it. That was a really odd feeling. Would she be able to cope? She hoped so. They were walking towards a beautiful castle in silence. She knew her uncle wasn't lying, she could practically feel the magic in the air.
He led her through huge doors into the biggest room she had ever been in, and he proceeded to give her the longest most tiresome tour she had ever been on, sure it was interesting, but she had never walked so much in her life! Why weren't there elevators? She had nearly died when a ghost called Peeves swooped down on her and gave her a hard spank. Her uncle had gone nuts and chased him away screaming something about the Bloody Baron. Following that incident was a lecture, lasting for the rest of the tour. Finally he stopped in front of a stone gargoyle. He said something to it and it opened. There was an odd escalator up to a door, which her uncle knocked on. A very old looking man opened the door. He looked - for lack of a better word - nice. He smiled at her like they were old friends but wrinkled his brow in worry as he noticed the bruise on her cheek, he looked questionably at her uncle, her uncle just shook his head and shrugged.
"Miss Luan, take a seat, please" It took her a moment to realize the nice man had been talking to her. She was used to be called 'Triss' Damien was very possessive, she had hardly talked to anyone but him for seven years. But she sat down quietly and looked at her hands in her lap.
"Argus tells me he doesn't know a lot about you, why wont you tell us what you've been up to the last few years." The old man inquired.
"What is your name?" She asked.
"My name, is Albus Dumbledore"
"Christine, I told you his name, weren't you listening?" her uncle scolded.
She had no reply for that. She just looked at her lap.
"Argus, it's quite all right, now, Christine was it? Tell us about yourself"
She didn't want to lie to Dumbledore, he was very nice. But she couldn't tell them the truth. She just couldn't.
"I've been living with my boyfriend, Damien" She said, what else should she tell them?
"I do hope he doesn't live up to his name" Dumbledore said, amusement in his tone. She winced and shook her head no.
"Well, have you had any work?" He asked a worried tone entering his voice.
"I've done some modeling... for Damien... he's a Photographer" She said quietly.
"But nothing like this?"
"No. But I don't mind hard work"
"You wont be sleeping much, I'm afraid. The other teachers will help of course at first... and Peeves does make quite the racket if he finds a student out of bounds... where was I? Ah yes. At night you patrol the halls... if you catch a student out of bounds you give detention and deduct house points"
Her uncle had explained about the houses and all this stuff before so she just nodded... she wouldn't be sleeping anyway. Damien haunted her dreams, or nightmares rather. So she didn't like to fall asleep at all... but unfortunately sleep was a necessity. She voiced her thoughts, well part of her thoughts.
"I won't be sleeping much anyway" as soon as the words left her moth she regretted them and clamped a hand over her mouth.
"I didn't mean... I mean I don't..." She started, but Dumbledore didn't seem angry or offended or anything. He seemed worried and amused.
"It's quite all right, quite all right my dear. Well, I think I have no reason to deny you a job here, Argus, you will help her get settled?"
"one more thing, wouldn't you like to meet the rest of the staff?"
His question was directed at her. She nodded. She was feeling at loss for words. She had never been to a job interview before and she had a feeling she had gotten off easy. And now she was following Dumbledore somewhere. Her legs had never been so tired in her life! She felt hot and sticky and urgh! Finally they came to a halt in front of a door. She could hear people talking in the room beyond the door. She felt afraid for a second, what if they didn't like her? She took a deep breath and walked through the open door. A strict woman with square spectacles looked taken aback.
"That's your relative Argus?" She said her eyebrows sky rocketing.
"He's my uncle" she said not looking her in the eye. She had never had the ability to look people in the eye for long, if at all.
"My sisters grand daughter" her uncle added.
"what happened to your face?" someone said behind her, startling her very much. She turned around to see a man. He didn't look like Damien at all. But his eyes were the same. But not exactly the same... they weren't... they didn't seem to possess what Damien had... it was, yes she felt silly to think it, but she knew... that man had a conscience. She came to her senses and answered him.
"I walked into a door" she said unconvincingly.
"Really?" he said sarcastically.
"yes" she said in a small voice
"I don't believe you" he whispered so on one else could hear.
"Severus bring her over here and stop whispering" A tiny little man squeaked.
"Of course Filius" the man called Severus said silkily.
She walked over to the other professors and didn't notice when 'Severus' slipped out of the room. After a long tiresome evening of answering the professor's questions and learning their names she followed her uncle to her new home. She walked over to her four poster and collapsed on it.
"tired?" came a cold voice from the corner of her room
she sat up and saw the man who had asked her about her bruise, standing in the corner of her room.
"what are you doing here?"
He regarded her from a distance, and she felt exposed in front of him. She was pretty. Maybe not traditionally beautiful, but she was nice looking. She wasn't tall, but not short she wasn't skinny but she wasn't fat, she vas voluptuous but not too much... she wasn't good at describing herself. She loved her eyes though. They reminded her of sea mist or storm clouds, with a more silvery color around her pupils.
"I came to talk to Argus" He said finally after a long pause.
"I think he's in his office..." she trailed off, he left before she could finish.
"I wonder what he wants with my uncle..." she mused out loud. Then - no matter her feet hurting - she followed him. He walked quickly and his cloak slithered behind him, so all she could hear was the soft material making contact with the ground. They finally arrived at her uncle's office, she waited outside and listened to them through the - luckily - half open door.
"Argus, what are you thinking?" demanded Severus.
"nice to see you too Severus" her uncle sounded a bit miffed.
"Why are you leaving?"
"I'm getting too old, I wont live much longer"
"Well, couldn't you at least give the care-taking job to someone who knows which end of a broomstick goes up?"
"She's my relative Severus"
"yes, yes I know! But why?" Severus was sounding annoyed to say the least.
"Dumbledore wanted to get someone who we could trust" he sounded very stern.
"But honestly, how much do you really know about the girl?"
"Not much actually..." admitted her uncle. "she left her parents house at the age of sixteen for some man, and it was by chance that I saw her and recognized her! She actually looks quite a lot like my sister, her grandmother"
She gasped, he had just noticed her on the street? Well so much for her theories of him finding her using some secret service...
"Really. Some man?"
"Yes, I suspect she's been through quite a lot, that bruise on her face... I bet you a hundred galleons it was that blokes work." growled her uncle, she felt a lot of things, glad maybe, that he was worrying about her, no one had worried for her since her parents, she also felt afraid, was she that easy to read?
"I don't know, what if she's just a clumsy and silly girl?"
"Severus." her uncle barked, she felt touched, him defending her honor... she felt tears prickle at her now closed eyelids. It had been so long. So long since someone had cared.
"sorry, Argus... but are you sure?"
"Of course I am. And I want you to look out for her. I'll be staying a day or two, showing her around, teaching her what to do and how to do it, but after that, she'll be in your hands, I don't know how she copes with children..." her uncle chuckled. She guessed it was because of Severus because he had started spluttering, sounding quite shocked. She could only imagine the look on his face.
"But-bu... I can't... I'm t-too busy I don't have time for some stupid-"
"Severus!" her uncle sounded frustrated.
"Severus, I'm asking you as a friend. Please do this for an old man"
She could here a sigh and she presumed Severus had nodded because of what her uncle said next.
"Thank you, now I have to get some sleep, and I suggest the same for you, you look tired."
"Yes, yes you're right, good night."
She hurried away from the door and ran around the corner as quietly as she could manage. She was too tired... and she was too lost! She hadn't been watching where she'd been going before and despite the tour earlier that day she was still quite unused to the castle. She took a almost screamed as Peeves appeared in front of her.
"Who are you? A student perhaps?" Peeves cackled.
"no" she heard herself say, she was a bit afraid of Peeves
"A teacher?" the ghost said in an annoying sing song voice, then he started to circle her, making her dizzy.
"no... I, I'm the new care-taker..."
Peeves fell out of the air looking quite sad, an expression which made him look very odd.
"Filch is going?" he said disbelievingly.
"yes, why are you so sad about it?" she said delicately.
"I'm not sad" the ghost said. But somehow she didn't believe him, he looked as if he were about to cry.
"of course you aren't sad" she said mockingly.
"Filch can't leave! Who am I to irritate?" Peeves had started circling again, but thankfully not around her.
"Well there's always me" she said knowing this could be a mistake, but she didn't want the funny poltergeist to be sad.
"It's not the same" he wailed.
"shhh" she hissed, she was starting to be very aware of the fact that Severus was lurking somewhere around there. But hissing at Peeves was definitely not a good idea, if anything he was wailing louder than ever! And of course Severus showed up a minute later, she froze and tried her best not to look terribly guilty, but after years of being obedient and not really doing anything worth guilt (Damien managed to make her feel guilty anyway) she just didn't know how to hide it.
He narrowed his eyes at her but turned his attention to Peeves.
"Peeves will you shut up!" He yelled at the poltergeist.
"I can't! Filch is going!" Peeves said and flew away wailing and pushing suits of armor over making a huge amount of noise.
Severus looked at her with a puzzled look on his face. She shrugged and struggling not to look too guilty she started to walk somewhere.
"You're going the wrong way" stated Severus lazily.
She turned around feeling heat in her cheekes, no... she wasn't supposed to blush! She smiled and giggled nervously. No! She wasn't supposed to giggle! Giggling is evil!
"I'll show you to your room" he said with a smirk.
She felt a familiar weight settle on her chest, his voice... his aura it was so much like Damien... no! She had to stop thinking about Damien... even after he let her go, he still owned her! Why couldn't she move on? She nodded none the less and followed Severus, careful to watch where they were going. She needed to know her way around.
"Here you go" he said coldly.
"Thanks" she said with a faint smile.
"Where you listening to me and Argus talking?"
His question surprised her, how could he know? He was so much like Damien... Damien always knew. She had never figured out how he always knew, he just did. And there were always consequences...
"yes" Damien always went easier on her if she didn't lie, but he never let her get away with anything.
He looked a bit surprised that she didn't lie. But he looked pleased as well.
"Then you know who's being your 'tour guide'?" he said with a raised eyebrow.
"yes" she answered quietly, she couldn't shake off the feeling that she was about to be beaten, 'Severus won't strike me' she repeated again and again, but her heart wasn't listening to her brain.
"Good" he walked off.
She pressed her back against the cool wood of the door and let herself sink slowly to the floor. She hugged her knees to her chest and started to veep soundlessly. She'd never get away from Damien...
The chapter has now ended.