Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
I'm ruining her life Eric; I'm taking things away from her
From your last letter it seems that you're not getting enough sleep. Now, I know you're terribly busy in the department, but it won't do to get yourself killed. I'm still slightly upset that you won't tell me what those nightmares are about, but they can't be too terrible. You're making me worry Harfang, and I don't appreciate that at all.
On a happier note, I've become good friends with one of the Slytherin beaters. Damocles Lestrange, you know, eldest son of the Lestranges? He's set to marry Bellona Burke, but she's only a first year and they don't really speak much. He's an incredible beater, nearly broke Charlus Potter's nose (Dorea wasn't too pleased about that). He's incredibly intelligent, and he must be to run his father's estate, and he's wonderfully charming. I rather enjoy his company.
NEWT level Arithmancy is going splendidly. Professor Belmont is absolutely brilliant, and the course work is, perhaps, the only thing that makes me genuinely happy.
I don't really want to tell mother because I know she'll just run off and tell Tante Violetta, but something's wrong with Cassie. She's become terribly quiet lately, and she's been spouting some strange ideas. She really hasn't been herself and she's worrying me just as much as you.
Ella has also been acting strangely. She's been sneaking around, and she's been avoiding many of her old friends, and when I try to speak to her about it she just laughs and brushes me off. It's incredibly irritating and I think it's fairly obvious that she's keeping something from me.
Please write me back soon Harfang. I feel as though everyone I've ever counted on is drifting away from me and it frightens me.
Hoping to hear from you soon,
Why have I not heard from you in weeks now? Are you ignoring me? Is something wrong? How could you do this to me? I understand that one day we are to be married and I understand that I may not be your first choice, but you could at the very least tell me what's wrong. I thought we were maybe close enough that you would have the decency to write. This isn't like you and I must say I am extremely disappointed.
Eric Macmillan glances at his best friend. Harfang looks absolutely miserable. His brown hair is disheveled; there is stubble on his chin and shadows under his eyes. His study looks as though a hippogriff has torn through it, and his robes are wrinkled.
Eric skims through the two letters again, and sighs. Honestly.
"Well, I agree with her, you're a prat."
Harfang groans, and runs his hand through his hair.
"I'm ruining her life."
"No you're not."
"She clearly fancies that Lestrange bloke, but she can't do anything about it because she's my fiancée."
"That's not your fault."
"Yes it is, I chose her."
"So? Her parents could have refused you."
"I'm ruining her life Eric. I'm taking things away from her. She can't choose like other girls, I'm taking away some of the best years of her life. We're marrying when she graduates. She's just too young, and it's not fair to her."
"Has this thought just occurred to you?"
"I've been having nightmares about her. Either she gets hurt or she's crying and telling me I ruined her life, and I took away her youth. I almost want to call the whole thing off but I can't do anything about it."
"You're being stupid. The only thing you're ruining is the relationship you have. You're obviously hurting her, and she obviously cares about you, even if it's only friendship. That is a hundred times better than some of the other pureblood arrangements out there."
Harfang doesn't look convinced; he's fiddling with the ring in his hand. Eric's eyes soften at the look of uncertainty on his best friend's face.
"You care about her?"
Harfang continues to examine the ring.
"Of course I do, but is that strange? I feel as though it is, I shouldn't care about her the way I do."
Eric grins, "It's not strange, she's nearly at the right age, and honestly, the older you get the more the age difference won't matter."
"Do you think I can make her happy?"
"Yeah, I do."
Callidora Black is sixteen years old and adjusting her hair in the mirror. In light of Harfang's sudden disappearance, she sees no reason why she can't visit Hogsmeade with Damocles Lestrange. Harfang shouldn't mind, and Cassie and Helladius Prince would be in attendance as well. It is not a date, she likes to remind herself, but she feels uneasy as she applies some rouge to her pale cheeks.
To say she is angry with Harfang is accurate; to say she is sad is an understatement.
She cannot understand why he is ignoring her. Considering her last letter, it seems an aberration that he would so blatantly ignore her for so long. She cannot talk to her mother because Lysandra may very well turn it into the scandal of the century.
Ella is strange and distant as well as Cassieopia, and Dora cannot very well confide in twelve year old Charis. It seems she is truly alone now, and she is frustrated and sad, and maybe even a little heartbroken.
Where are you Harfang?
"Dora, what is taking you so long?"
Cassie is tapping her foot at the entrance to the girl's dorm. She is pretty with her long brown hair, and her big blue eyes, but her face is thin and her expression is dour.
"I'm coming, I'm coming."
She gives herself a once over in the mirror and hurries after Cassie. Damocles is waiting at the bottom of the stairs and she can feel herself color at the smile on his face. There is a twinge of guilt in her stomach, but she ignores it. Harfang evidently has no qualms about ignoring her, so she should have no qualms in seeing other boys. It's all in good fun.
"You look lovely," Damocles compliments her. Dora doesn't understand why his voice makes her feel sick to her stomach. Bellona Burke is sitting in a chair by the fire, and she is wearing a wounded expression. Damocles doesn't seem to notice her.
Bellona Burke is a pretty little thing, with big eyes and long eyelashes. She rises out of her seat, and calls out for Damocles.
He turns to her, disinterested, and after a few minutes of discussion Bellona nods, and heads back up to the girl's dormitories.
"Is everything alright?"
Damocles nods, "Bell just had a question about her Potions homework."
Dora knows that Bellona doesn't have any questions concerning Potions homework, but she is silent. It is a cold October morning, and she is grateful for Helladius Prince's presence. He speaks in a careful drawl about his trip to Bulgaria to visit his cousins, and it fills up the awkward silence that seems to engulf them. Cassie is uncharacteristically sullen, and Damocles is distracted, and Dora feels that if she opens her mouth she will choke on her guilt.
They split up upon reaching The Three Broomsticks. Dora shares a table with Damocles, and Helladius takes Cassie to buy more quills.
"I believe that little Bellona may be slightly jealous."
She doesn't mean to voice her thoughts aloud, and Damocles is surprised by her boldness.
"What gave you that idea?"
"Well, I can't be too sure, but I've heard some raving testimonials concerning her Potions work."
Damocles takes a sip of his butterbeer, "Bell is only eleven, we are marrying because it is proper. She is of a good pureblood lineage as am I. She is still very young."
"How do you feel about her?"
He coughs a little to mask his flush, "I am fond of her yes. She will make a good wife."
"Take good care of her Damocles, a happy wife makes for a happy home."
Damocles laughs a little.
"What nonsense are you spouting?"
She laughs as well, because he is right. It is nonsense. Purebloods don't marry for love, and pureblood women are very rarely truly happy. If Dora was to take her own family as an example, her mother, Tante Violetta, Tante Belvina, and Tante Hesper were certainly unhappy women. They were wealthy and they were of pureblood, but she's never seen a smile on her mother's face that wasn't full of greed.
That's no real life.
"You know," she speaks up, "Bellona is my cousin, her mother is my father's sister."
Damocles is smiling softly and Dora is surprised, "Bell is a good girl, I'm a bit stern with her, but we'll be content, rest assured."
Dora does not know why, but she wants to cry at the softness in Damocles' voice. Before she can excuse herself to the restroom, a familiar figure situates himself behind Damocles. Harfang Longbottom is standing in the middle of The Three Broomstick's, looking a little worse for the wear, and more than a little unhappy.
Dora is gaping unabashedly, and Damocles has his head tilted in confusion.
"I'll just be borrowing her for a bit, Damocles."
The Lestrange heir peers over his shoulder, recognition dawns on his face, and he rises out of his seat to shake hands with Harfang.
"Mr. Longbottom, it's good to see you."
"Likewise, I just need a quick word with Callidora."
"Not a problem Mr. Longbottom, we were just discussing Bellona."
Dora is furious, absolutely furious, that he would just pop up out of the blue and demand a word with her. She wants to shout at him, but she is a pureblood Black and when he offers her his arm she takes it, albeit reluctantly.
They are silent as he leads her out the door, and out into the secluded part of Hogsmeade, by the snow covered mountains.
She doesn't answer him.
"Are you angry at me?"
She hears the tremor in his voice.
"Do you hate me Dora?"
She looks up at him out of the corner of her eye. He hasn't shaved in weeks, there are bags under his eyes, and he looks so miserable that she doesn't have the heart to say that she does.
"I don't hate you, but I am a bit upset. Why were you ignoring me?"
"I had to make a decision."
"And you couldn't talk to me about it at all?"
"It was about you."
She can feel her heart sink to the region of her navel.
"Have you changed your mind Harfang?" she can hear her voice rise, "Do you not want to marry me anymore?"
He is quiet. She can't stand the silence, and she wishes that he'd just answer and put her out of her agony. She knows he is deep in thought, she knows too much about him.
"That depends;" he replies slowly, "Do you fancy Damocles Lestrange?"
She stops in the middle of the woods to face him. He releases her arm and it is clear to her now that he is nervous.
"Harfang Longbottom, you are my fiancée, not Damocles Lestrange."
"That doesn't mean anything," his voice is desperate, "You didn't choose me."
"What does that matter," she is angry, "I choose you now."
"Do you think that I can make you happy?"
She stares at him with her big grey eyes. Even when he is standing in front of her, a complete and total wreck it still lifts her spirits to see him. His presence always makes her happy.
He is flushing, and out of his robe pocket, he pulls out a velvet box.
"Well then, I-I'd really like it if you wore this, I mean, if you would like."
He opens the box, and Dora gasps. It is a small diamond, because he knows she is not extravagant, on a simple band of white gold. It is elegant, and simple and so beautiful and Dora believes this is the happiest moment of her life. On the inside of the ring there is an inscription.
To Dora, Never Princess Love Always Harfang
She slips the ring carefully onto her left ring finger, and Harfang is blushing and stuttering like mad. For the first time since she was very small Dora hugs Harfang. He stiffens in her embrace, but slowly relaxes and he holds her close to him.
Callidora Black is sixteen and she is glowing.
A/N: Hello all, sorry I was unable to reply to reviews. School has just begun and its going to be a challenge getting chapters up at all. Sorry for the excess amount of fluff...I know I'm not very good at fluff.
Reviews would be lovely so if you would?