but the ones who bloom,
in the bitter snow,
we raise our cups to them.
this thread takes place in unison with In All Other Things
She’d arrived too late. Even now, Demetra knew that. She’d just had enough time to catch sight of her ‘esteemed’ husband, and his tight grasp upon Eris’ arm. The pale and drawn look upon her granddaughter’s face made Demetra wince, and even from a distance, she knew how much the tightly wrapped bun on Eris’ head must be hurting her hair. Eris liked her hair loose. Demetra suspected that it reminded Eris of flying when her hair was free and often tangled. Eris loved anything wild, and she loved flying the most. When on land, she often stared up at the sky with a longing that made Demetra feel raw remorse over her part in ensuring Eris was kept inside daily, studying. Although, a small reprieve was that Eris had dedicated herself to becoming an Auror. Which meant that she dove into studies about the branches of magic required with a vigour that lead to a few hours without the eagerness to go outside and put the edge off the hyperactivity that often plagued at Eris.
Demetra hadn’t been with her granddaughter to aid in getting her ready for the train ride. To hear of her thoughts about going back to school, even though Demetra knew that Eris was worried. Adrian had insisted that she sit with Lucas, who was once again worked up into a fit. It was strange, to be with a son who she hardly knew. He had been gone for 12 years, and when Demetra searched his face, she found nothing of the sweet boy that had once been so dear to her. Adrian felt the same way, but instead of supporting his wife through the immeasurable pain that dealing with such moments entailed, he did nothing of the sort. He spent his time working on business deals and ridiculing fellow purebloods. That was fine. There was no love between her husband and herself, but Demetra sometimes thought that most of her problems would have been avoided if he’d bothered to show some affection or support, at least once.
It was strange to Demetra that her husband worked. The sum of money the Fawley family had was so unfathomably large that it seemed that none of them or their descendants would ever need a job. Sometimes, Demetra mused over the idea that he only worked to be away from her and closer to the women who oogled and eyed him, with their flaxen hair and youthful eyes. He went through a roving list of secretaries, but Demetra knew he never did anything with them. No, he just preferred the company of women who weren’t her. Women who he could lavish affection onto, the same way he lavished cruel words and admonishments onto Demetra while waiting for her to falter in her meek temperament. She was just a long game of chess to him, but one wrong move didn’t end the game, it also ended her life.
She wondered if he thought of Eris as he thought of her, as just another chess piece. Or, prehaps he treated all women like he treated the two of them. It seemed a fair assumption to come to, what with the way that her husband’s hand pressed tightly into Eris’ shoulder. He liked his family meek and mild. There was no room for the fiery passion that Eris radiated. There was no room for Demetra to defend her granddaughter, not without risking the exposure of years worth of secrets, that had been safely locked behind sullen expressions and chaste kisses. As much as she loved Eris, Demetra was no Gryffindor. She wasn’t willing to damn herself or her own life, just to save Eris. She did all she could for her beloved granddaughter, but sometimes it felt like all of her best efforts would never be enough. It made her a coward, but Demetra had been cowardly for so long. She wasn’t sure what else to be, or if she could ever be anything else.
The Fawley matron took a step towards the train and her husband, watching as he let go of Eris and shoved her towards the train. It wasn’t the type of shove that was noticeable, but a small reminder for her to move forward. There was no affection shared between the two family members, and Demetra found herself unwilling to be recognized by Eris, or her husband. Facial features shifting, until she was nothing more than an unrecognizable woman in the crowd of hundreds, Demetra kept peering intently over at the form of her granddaughter-- growing smaller and smaller. Meanwhile, Adrian had already gone towards a nearby pureblood family, and was speaking to them. Most likely about business deals, or about how well adjusted Eris was to the pureblood world.
Demetra wished it was possible for her to have grown to love him. Maybe then, he would be less hardened and kinder. Sometimes, she blamed herself for his cruelty. If she had been different as a youth, perhaps she could have influenced him for the better. The past was better left unspoken, though. Yet, in a different world, maybe she could have stood by his side. He could have been speaking to her, instead of other pureblood families.
There was no purpose to running up to the train and waving Eris goodbye, like so many of the muggle-born families were doing. She saw the way Adrian stared at them, sneer permanently affixed to his face, as he adjusted his tie and took off into the crowd. It seemed the family he had been talking to did not capture his attention. The affair seemed over with, then. Eris was now on the train to go back to school, and life would become dull and mundane again, without her fire to warm the frigidity of the Fawley Manor. Demetra missed her already. It felt like a part of her heart was going with Eris to Hogwarts, really.
But, Demetra caught the look that Eris sent into the crowd, the punitive plea in her scared eyes, as she tried to wrestle with whatever emotion was suddenly contorting her features into such a saddened look. Within moments, the look had faded and Eris was back on the train, but the image lingered in Demetra’s head. It took her back to being sixteen years old and in her family’s kitchen. Demetra’s hands started to shake, as she shoved them violently into the pockets of her heavy coat, the warmth of the fabric doing nothing to halt the shiver running down Demetra’s withered spine, as she shook slightly.
She’d forgotten about Anna, about anything besides her life as a Fawley. But, memories were like a train, she supposed. You didn’t seem them coming until the warning bells were ringing, and then you were slammed into. As the steam from the Hogwarts Express wafted over the scene and families tearfully said farewell to their children, nobody noticed the old woman trip over herself to sit down on a lone bench, head held in her hands. It didn’t matter, though. If any tried to speak to her, they’d find Demetra far too lost in her own thoughts to even strike up a conversation.They’d broken her mother’s puzzle in their haste to get to the kitchen. Shattered those perfect puzzle pieces into a million pieces over the floor. Giggling so hard that it had been hard to cast reparo, the two girls had finally managed to fix the puzzle, before rushing into the kitchen. It was one of the only areas in the house that Demetra’s family would never go looking for her in, for why would a pureblood ever deign to be in the kitchen? That was where the house elves prepared the food. So, in time, it had turned into a place of familiarity for Demetera and Anna. Celestina Warbeck’s voice ran throughout the room, courtesy of the radio the house-elves had left playing. All of the house-elves were gone, as they always seemed to find ways to leave the kitchen when Anna and Demetra were in there.sixty years ago..
”You know..”Anna stated suddenly, over the music. Her musical voice drew Demetra’s attention away from the song, as her cheeks flushed. Anna always had the ability to make Demetra feel young and unexperienced all over again, even if the two had been together for half of a year. No matter how long they were together for, Demetra would never stop blushing when Anna looked at her. Even her voice was a godsend, so beautiful and intricate all at once. Demetra even loved her voice, and the way it sounded like a song, even if she was speaking about the most mundane things. "We’re broken pieces of the same puzzle, you and I.” Anna said thoughtfully, causing Demetra to frown. Mood ruined, Demetra looked at Anna in evident confusion. They rarely got moments to themselves, and as Demetra’s family were out on important pureblood business that Demetra was not to be part of, it made it easier to sneak Anna into the kitchen. These were rare moments, just being together. As much as Demetra wanted to support Anna, it was usually a given that they were not going to spend their time speaking about depressing things. Those were topics that could be breached over owl, or casual conversation. Not in the confines of Demetra’s home, where even breathing the same air could get the both of them in trouble.
“That’s not exactly romantic,” Demetra yelled, over the loud music, as Anna swept her up into a twirl. Frown forgotten, Demetra allowed herself to be swept up in the dance, as her girlfriend raised an eyebrow. “It is, you see? We’re both broken, but because our edges have been cut off, we no longer fit where we’re supposed to. But, we fit together.” As if to demonstrate, Anna pulled Demetra closer to her, until their breath mingled in the sweaty air of the kitchen. Demetra grinned, holding her breath, as if that simple motion could make the moment last longer. Every second counted when with Anna,
It had been half a year of this. Of furtive kisses in hidden places, of declarations of love whispered so that nobody could hear them. The two came from different worlds. Worlds that were never supposed to intermingle. Anna was a mudblood; the daughter of a dentist and a stay at home mum. She was all that Demetra’s world hated, as Demetra was the gifted metamorphmagus daughter of an aspiring pureblood family. They weren’t even supposed to be friends, but they were somehow dating too. Demetra didn’t know how that had occurred. Anna was a Hufflepuff, who had been put in Potions class with Demetra. Against all odds, she’d seen goodness in Demetra that Demetra hadn’t seen in herself. Over the course of their five years at Hogwarts, the two had fallen in love.
Or at least, what little of love two sixteen-year-olds could know. As Demetra finally breached the gap to press a kiss to Anna’s lips, her hair changed to a radiant shade of pink, exposing her happiness. Anna’s hands twined in her hair, as she moved away to speak-- most likely something about how much she liked Demetra’s colour-changing hair. She’d always been in awe of the fact that Demetra could so easily change her face and appearance. It was enduring, really. It made Demetra feel special for her abilities, not just like a commodity to be passed around through the pureblood world. Although, Demetra was glad that her parents had suddenly let her be. There were gone a lot, recently. Allowing Demetra and Anna more moments together, although Demetra had never stopped to question what was going on and why her parents were often so distant. The good moments were all that she cared about, all those precious moments alone with Anna draining any thought of her parent’s intentions from Demetra’s thoughts.
But, all good things evidently have to come to an end. The doorway to the Kitchen was opened by a pale-faced house-elf, effectively cutting off the music and the two girl’s kiss, as Demetra spun to look at the door. In tow, Demetra’s mother advanced towards the scene, her features taking on a look of horror. Demetra’s father cussed softly in French, the two of them standing pale and resolute in the doorway. Anna shrunk behind Demetra, who stared at her parents. Why were they in the kitchen? Why had the house elves directed them towards her?
The answer was clear, as a honed feminine laugh of delightful mirth echoed through the Kitchen. A silver-haired woman stepped through the small door and into the kitchen. Her very presence made the room seem smaller as if she soaked up all of the energy in the room through her imposing presence. Even her hair, while silver and grey, looked regal and elegant. By her side stood a boy who Demetra knew from her classes, the dark-haired heartthrob, Adrian Fawley. He attracted girls, for some insane reason, just through being cruel and aloof. For whatever reason, that was what the other girls in Hogwarts were attracted to. And now, he stared at Demetra and Anna with an interest that was predatory, as if searching for weakness in the both of them.
Demetra held her head high, refusing to feel shame for who she was. The pink in her hair faded back to it’s natural ginger, as Demetra met the eyes of her classmate and scowled. Adrian Fawley’s face reddened in anger at the insubordinate gesture, a scowl upon his face. Meanwhile, Anna quivered in the corner, trying to search for a way to escape the room, trying to avoid the gaze of the four purebloods in the room with her. The silver-haired woman, Maria Fawley, snickered. “So, she does have the ability.”The woman crooned, looking at Demetra with a scrutiny that suddenly wiped away any trace of bravery from her face. Looking slightly panicked, Demetra turned frantically towards her parents, searching their faces for any sign of what was going on. She found nothing but sadness and repulsion darting across their faces and looked away, lips silently parting into a silent O of shock.
“We didn’t know about her...affliction.” Demetra’s mother, Amara, spoke softly. As if Demetra wasn’t even there. In truth, Demetra didn’t even feel like she was there. She felt like she was drifting away, just watching the scene take place in front of her, unable to do anything. Anna quietly cried in the background, and Demetra felt like she should reach for her hand or do something. She couldn’t move, though. Her eyes kept meeting those of the cruel Fawley boy. Demetra knew what was about to happen, as she slowly began to edge backwards. She had heard the stories of arranged marriages, knew that she was desired for her metamorphmagus abilities. But, had thought that marriage was far off.
She took Anna’s hand, then, as Maria’s son, Adrian, spoke. Even his voice was cruel, it’s very tone enough to send shivers down her spine. Demetra didn’t know him, but she already hated him. Everything about him was wrong, repulsive, and terrifying. Demetra took Anna’s hand then, as Adrian’s hateful words washed over her. ” There is no affliction if none of us ever speak about this moment. The mudblood’s name is Anna. She’s a Hufflepuff, and would not be missed at school. Mother, you could use a plaything.” He smirked then, as Anna’s quiet sobs grew louder and her grasp on Demetra’s hand tightened, ” We can overlook that this ever happened. The metamorphmagus trait is far too valuable to waste. You’re lucky that we’re willing to take her, but we shall spare your daughter from a life of shame by marrying her into our line. Nobody will ever have to learn the truth of how much of an abomination your child is.” He spit out the words, hate oozing into every word. Meanwhile, Demetra turned pleading eyes towards her parents. They wouldn’t leave Anna to be tortured by Maria Fawley. Everyone knew of Maria, how she had supported Grindelwald and was even crueller than her son.
Even Anna knew that, as she edged closer towards Demetra, searching for protection that Demetra could not offer. Demetra’s gaze stayed focused upon her family, imploring them to save her from the fate being given to her. Tears sprang to life in Demetra’s eyes, as Amara and Francois looked haunted, but no pity flashed in their eyes. Amara, moreso, looked traumatized. As if she was reliving something from her past, there was a ghost of raw panic flashing upon her mother’s face. Softly shaking her head, Demetra’s mother gave her daughter a long look.
”Take her. We have no need for impure blood traitors. Bring honour to our daughter. Kill the mudblood.” Amara finally stated, sounding as if each word physically pained her. The pain they caused her was none compared to what Demetra felt, as a wail of pain sprung forth from her lips. Anna stayed silent, her shoulders shaking from the restraint required to keep her sobs from escaping.
Meanwhile, Maria Fawley grinned. She smiled like nothing was wrong in the world. She seemed just as happy as a child on Christmas, giving her son an approving nod of the head. It felt repulsive to see the praise of a parent in a situation this horrible. It felt obscene and rude, as Anna’s sobs penetrated the threatening silence that rang out in the Kitchen. Maria padded forward. “Relashio.” She hissed, tone serpentine in nature. The black wood wand in her hands waved through the air, as the effects of the spell yanked Anna’s hand away from Demetra’s.
”Pleasure doing business with you all. We’re going to have fun, you and I.” The woman purred down at Anna, who was now held firmly in place by Maria’s free hand on her wrist. Demetra screamed then, trying to rush towards Anna, only to find herself blocked by thin black ropes. Adrian must have cast Incarcerous. Gritting her teeth, screaming once more, Demetra fought against the ropes. She must have thought herself successful, as the ropes fell backwards. She sprung forward again, only to find a solid chest pressed up against her back, holding her hostage. Adrian’s arms were a cage of their own, holding Demetra back from getting towards Anna. She couldn’t claw at him, or do anything. She simply sunk down deeper into herself, knowing that if she was to hurt Adrian, he’d kill her. And, she didn’t want to die. Even if Anna had to die, Demetra wanted to live. It was another cowardly fear of her own, another painful admittance. Demetra was unwilling to die, not for anyone. It made another sob come clean from her throat, her own patheticness threatening to overwhelm the teenager.
Meanwhile, Maria kept talking, as if nothing had happened. ”I shall see you back at the Manor, Adrian. With your new fiance in tow, I do hope. Let us get the marriage over with soon, in case she gets cold feet.” Maria smiled, tracing an artfully sharp nail across Anna’s throat. ”I’ll make a deal with you, Winchester. If you marry my son, without any problem or without ever speaking about your… problem, I’ll keep your little .. friend alive." Anna shook her head, as if in plea. And Demetra, in all her stupidity, nodded her head. She hadn’t quite learned that sometimes, death was the better alternative.
Perhaps it was fate, or even just luck, but nobody mentioned an unbreakable vow. Maybe, they just thought they all were willing to drop the topic and move forward. It was true, though. The shame could ruin Demetra’s life for good. Maria grinned once more, before forcefully tugging Anna away, apparating with the muggleborn in tow. Demetra was crying too hard to even speak, unwillingly slumped against Adrian’s frame.
There was no comfort to be found in his arms. He let her fall to the floor, stepping away. Demetra then looked up, eyes still filled with tears, meeting his gaze. The boy grinned once, the smile similar to the one of pure joy his mother had given before he slammed his fist into the side of her face. Amara let out a scream, as Adrian looked down at Demetra and promptly spat on the floor. She stared at that spit for a long moment, the flow of tears ebbing to a halt. Nearly delirious from all of the crying and the pain of the night, Demetra was unable to process what was going on. She laughed once, the dazed noise strange in her ears. Fear and contempt mingled into one, as Demetra wiped at her snotty nose and tried to conceal the fear in her gaze, as she looked up at the man who was to be her husband.
”You should be dead. Filthy blood traitor.” He muttered, sardonic voice sending chills down Demetra’s spine. ”But, you’re beautiful. And, you’re special. We can work out how to deal with your preferences. She shivered then, raw disgust flashing over her face. Adrian merely shrugged, looking like a normal sixteen year old for a moment, as he put his hands in his pockets. ”Pack your bags. I shall work out the marriage papers with your parents. He then sounded all self-important again, the swagger in his voice back.
Still dazed and heartbroken, Demetra allowed house elves to tug her to her feet and lead her back towards her rooms. Ignoring Stella’s door completely, knowing her sister wanted to know what was going on, Demetra found she had no energy for that. Face throbbing in time with her painfully shattering heart, Demetra slowly began to pack her bags in the safety of her own room.
Demetra laughed again, a feeble broken laugh the echoed in the confines of her bedroom.
”She was wrong, you know. Two broken puzzle pieces don’t fit together.” Demetra muttered, speaking to nothing, as she stared at the wall. She said nothing more after that, focusing on packing her bags, as if the distraction could take away from all that had just transpired.present day..Demetra’s eyes shot open, as she painsakingly rubbed at her face. A firm hand was clasped onto her shoulder, as the old woman blinked. She hadn’t realized she’d nodded off, the memories replaying in her head still echoing. To her shock, she was staring at her husband, who looked at her with a rare worry that made Demetra instantly wary. He opened his mouth to say something, but Demetra tuned it out.
Remembering that she was not in her own skin, Demetra let out a sigh of relief and jerked his hand away from her shoulder with all her limited strength. ”Watch where you put your hands, old asshole.” Demetra gritted out, glad that she was hidden. That she could speak such words, as she wasn’t even herself for a moment. Looking at the flabbergasted expression upon Adrian’s familiar face, Demetra turned tail and fled, reverting back into her normal form, as she apparated away.
She didn’t head back to the Fawley Manor though. Instead, Demetra made her way to St. Mungos, to the familiar bed where Anna would be resting in. She was now old and wrinkled, but as usual, Demetra sat by her bed, once again taking the guise of another person. Demetra had found out twenty years ago that Maria had messed so badly with Anna’s head that she’d ended up in St. Mungos, in a magical coma. Demetra made a point to visit her whenever she could, now. Just sitting by the bed, Demetra sighed and coughed once, looking at Anna’s sleeping body.
”We really are broken old pieces, aren’t we?” Demetra chuckled to herself, settling down to get comfortable, as she took vigil over the sleeping body. Those words were the only sign she’d show of affection, of apology for all that occurred those many years ago. At least, until Anna woke up. Demetra had faith that she would, indeed, wake up. If not for herself, but to ease some of Demetra's guilt. Even years later, Demetra was still the same coward she had been at seventeen. And, all she wanted to do was apologise, to ease some of that guilt.
So sighing, making herself more comfortable on her chair, Demetra opened her mouth and began to regall Anna with stories of the past few years. She had faith that Anna was listening, somehow. It was just another coping skill, another feeble attempt to feel better. Not only that, it was a way to speak out loud. To tell the stories of her life to someone who wouldn't judge. "She's one of the sweetest women I've ever met. I think you'd really like her.."
sorry not sorry bout' what i said
STA: 6 EVA: 7 STR: 1 WIS: 8 ACC 9 ACC: 9
abilities: transfig DC -5