Pre Edit Count – 2,236 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Nothing Left to Say by Imagine Dragons
Bella sighs, then says, “You told me as soon as you could. We will solve this. Now go home. I need to get to sleep and get rid of you guys before Severus sends his damned potion.”
A smile graces his face and Lucius nods. “Take care of her. “ Looking at his fellow knights, he nods, and then steps back into the flames using the spell Bella had made for these trips.
Then there was the two old friends and the new knight to be alone with their Lady.
Lying in bed, Bella huffs. Even with Severus’s potion, she still cannot sleep. She is watching the flames dance on the walls, her mind turning over everything.
Her door opens and Jasper strolls through, dropping himself into a chair by her bed. “I know you are not asleep. Though from what I gather from the men out there, and those who were here earlier, you really need to sleep, Bella.”
She sits up in bed and Jasper really looks at his Bella. Her face is thinner, her body and bearing befitting the Lady they claim her as. Now he is looking for it, he can see the slight tells that scream to him that something is not normal.
In her pajamas, a long pants and long sleeve 2 piece, Bella has one knee bent up with her arms around it as the other is curled under her. “I haven’t really slept for years. However, after knowing you guys, I am happy that I can sleep at all. But trying to tell the rest of them that will have them upset. They don’t like the idea that I suffer.”
He chuckles. “I don’t like it much either. However, I can understand. If you need it, you can always ask me to knock you out. I gather the potion stuff didn’t work?”
Shaking her head, she stares at the shadows on the wall. “It should. I hate to have to tell him but Severus will easily see that it didn’t work. He will try to find something else to work.”
He feels the emotion in her and smiles. “Who is this Severus to you?”
Lifting an eyebrow at him, he grins. “Okay. But who is he? Why do I feel the absolute trust you have for the men that showed up tonight? Help me understand them, Bella.”
Looking into his golden eyes, she remembers what her Peregrine told her. “Severus is the premiere Potions Master in the world. He could be making millions but instead he spends his time sacrificing himself to serve three masters. He is our spy into the enemies midst. Before you ask, he volunteered for all of them. What no one else knows, is he did so for my sister- well, she is my cousin. We grew up as sisters, however. He loved her for a long time but when we got an idea of what was going on; well, we made our own group.”
She looks back to the fire. “There is a war going on and it has been going on for a long time. This is just a new side of the battle. The worst yet but still just another side. It is all because of a man’s sayings being corrupted.”
Jasper watches her and he comments to her, “Is that not the normal?”
She looks over to him. “One man’s words have tried to bring the Holocaust to the Muggleborns of this world. But his words are from a time that Muggleborns were killing the wizards and witches in the halls of this school because of a little religion being brought to the Isles: Christianity.”
Jasper gasps. “Druids…”
She nods. “Yes, up until they came, a Muggle to be born with the power of the wizard folk was a celebrated thing. Then Christianity came with their claims that the Druids and hedge wizards and such were the devil incarnate. So these Muggleborns were being sent here as terrorists. They were killing the purebloods because they couldn’t handle being taught one thing and being told that they housed the demons inside their own bodies. Salazar Slytherin tried to argue that the Muggleborns would be better off not allowed in the school just to stop the killings. Mudbloods became their name, not because of how dirty their blood is, but because a lot of Muggles were earth based wizards. But, now…”
Jasper whispers, knowing only too well the issue, “Someone has taken the words but not the reasoning behind them and made them into a rallying cry. Why is it worse now?”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Squibs? What the hell is a Squib? I figured Muggleborns are not pureblood, but not too sure on that one, darlin.”
She blushes lightly. “Purebloods are that – they can trace their lines back to having only wizarding folk in it. Half-bloods means that one of their immediate parents was a wizard folk, while the other was Muggle or Muggleborn. Muggles are normal humans without magic, and Muggleborn are from family that has no history of wizards being in their line. At least, that is what all it used to mean. Now the lines are so fudged that I am not sure anyone can tell you what they mean at all. Squibs are children born of purebloods, but have no ability for magic and it used to be, and frankly still is, a cause of shame and being expelled out of the families.”
Jasper, though, is used to her and he asks, “And your thoughts?”
She looks at the fire. “Lily’s parents were squibs and so was at least one parent all the way back to where it ties into the Swan family. I only knew of her because my father hated the prejudice and believed family was family. He tried many times to get to know her family but only when Lily was given an invitation to Hogwarts could my grandparents, the then Heads of Family, allow us to see them. By the time this happened, Lily and Severus, who is a half-blood, had become friends.”
She sighs. “I think the squibs are from the inbreeding. My family keeps very careful, or shall I say, kept very careful records of who married who, and often would go outside Britain to marry. Still purebloods, but…”
He breathes, “Inbreeding.”
She nods. “In fact, Lucius, who was to be my betrothed, was only acceptable since the Malfoys are actually French. There has been no inbreeding with the lines here on Britain long enough to have any negative effects. His family is very strong. One of the more powerful out there and that has led to the misery of my friend’s life. His father was seduced to the dark arts with the honeyed words of a man who reminds me way too much of Hitler for my comfort. This lead to Lucius being forced to take the Dark Mark, to serve under this man. He used that to give me information. He is a spy for us in that dark place, and one of Severus’s true friends. He was going to marry me, but I was…declared dead. He is now married to a shrew and hates every moment of it. He has a son, who he can’t control because of the way that the betrothal was drawn.”
Tears glimmer in her eyes. “Lucius is what his father made of him to the world, but I know the true self of that man. He is loyal and has deep feelings running through him. He has become the Icicle Lord to protect his son. One who he can’t show any love to in order to protect him. He begged me to bring Draco to my side and teach him what he cannot.”
Jasper disappears to only reappear before her, sitting on the edge of the bed. He cups her face gently. “Bella, your heart is so big. No worries. I will help and I have more news but back to the story.”
She nods, closing her eyes to control her emotions and then continues, “Lily was thought to be extremely powerful. I expect that every Muggleborn is descended from squibs of purebloods. It would take a while for the inbreeding that caused the squib part to recede enough to show up again. Severus is a half-blood and he is more powerful than any can imagine. So is Harry and so many others. But Riddle… or Lord Voldemort as he is called now, is using the fact that there are more squibs being born to drive his theology through. Which is hilarious because he is a half-blood too.”
Jasper sighs. “Hitler all over again. Though Hitler was only a quarter Jewish.”
She nods. “Severus was seduced to the dark arts because he wanted to be more powerful, to be able to protect those he loves. Others thought it was to show Lily he could be powerful. In reality, it was to protect her. He loved her so deeply Jasper. But when her life was in danger, he went to Dumbledore, the so-called leader of the light side, to save her. He did nothing. He allowed Harry’s parents to be killed.”
Jasper watches her and asks, “And what about you?”
Her lips lift in an ironic smile. “I am a contemporary of them all. I grew up and came to Hogwarts, was a member of the Marauders. I was the best friend of Lucius as he courted me. Severus was also a close friend. Harry’s father was James Potter, who was the one of the Marauders along with Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and the Traitor. James married Lily. Sirius and I are Harry’s Godparents. This group of people are the people I love most, my family. Lily and I formed the Owls when we saw what was going on around us. The deal was, we cast a very intricate spell that only allowed us to see who we brought in, the others remained faceless and basically a shadow. I had no idea Severus, for example, was part of the group. Nor many others until I came back.”
He lifted an eyebrow. “Why is that?”
She looks down. “We are the… I guess the grey magic. Dark magic is not evil. Nor is all light magic good. It is the intent of the wizard who casts the spell to determine the meaning behind the spell. I am an Archmage. I am more powerful than really either of the men that are the so-called leaders, but my positions hold me to a higher ideal than any could imagine. I can craft spells in a moment if needed. This is very rare in this world. I was sought after by both sides to join with them. If Voldy would have known how close he would have been to having me marrying Lucius, he would have killed Lucius’s father in an instant for stopping it. But I hid myself for a long time.”
She looks into the fire. “I would go out with many of the others and clean fields where battles were raged. The magic left behind would have killed Muggles, but no one cared. I was out one day, with another person with me, when I was attacked by Death Eaters, followers of Voldy. They used a new curse, one that was supposed to call for eternal suffering. I threw a counter curse and managed to make myself immortal. Which is a curse, truly. The other person in the field… I still have no idea what happened to them. I was taken to our hospital for wizards and later, I found out I was pronounced dead.”
Jasper’s eyes are hard as he looks to her. “I take it that it was someone who could make it believable, but why?”
“A prophecy. One that said that one of two boys would be the one who killed Voldy. Harry was picked by Voldy himself and made to be that boy. Voldy killed my sister and her husband. Whoever managed this mischief did it so very well. I was declared dead. Sirius was blamed and put into hell itself, leaving Harry unable to be cared for by family. He was put with his aunt and uncle who abused the boy and treated him as a slave. I myself was given to the Volturi to serve under. Thankfully, they hated the idea and were appalled that someone made a curse that was so unfathomable by any but a vampire of how much suffering it will cause.”
Jasper stares at her. “You will live forever. Every single person in your life will die. All that you hold dear… you will watch pass you by.”
She nods. “And I cannot die. I grew so upset that Marcus tried to bite me – and nothing. After that, we tried many things to try to kill me but I lived through them all. The only thing not tried was the killing curse and I will not damn anyone’s soul to try it.”
He brings her in for a hug, and tells her, “I will be here and my brother and sister are coming. They are all Whitlocks, darlin, and Peter is the one who told me to answer the call. Unless we are destroyed, one of us will be by your side no matter what. I promise.”
She breaks in his arms and he holds her. He can feel the emotions in her and can only imagine the pain she has been living with. She can never give up. She can never lay down her burdens.
Yes. A curse indeed.
Final count: 2,269