After I send the owl, I turn to Justin. "Well, that's done, now we just have to see what he'll say."
We've been back from Bali for three days. Three quiet days during which the Dark Lord has been uncharactistically silent. Something is going on, something big, and sooner or later I know we'll find out what. After much discussion, we agree this is still the best course of action. For me to approach Corner and see if he'll be willing to trade. I know that Justin isn't thrilled about the idea, but about now I'm willing to trade with a demon if I have to. The Dark Lord may be the Devil we know, but so is Micheal.
When I receive the owl in return, I raise my eyebrows at Justin. "He wants to meet today."
The look on Justin's face is troubled. "I should come with you, keep watch."
"No, it's better if i'm alone. If you're there, he'll think it's a trap. He won't hurt me, Justin, and if it comes to it, I can take care of myself, you know that."
He nods once, and although the closed off look stays in his eyes, the hand that touches mine is steady. "Do what you have to then, but come back to me."
"Of course I will. Why wouldn't I?"
How I'm feeling:
Yesterday passed in a blur of sightseeing and time spent on the beach. Before I knew it, the day was over, and I found myself curled up next to Justin in bed, finding it hard to fall asleep. He was asleep quickly, his sun browned skin dark against the sheets, and I found myself just watching him, my hand resting against his chest where I could feel the rhythm of his heart and the soft rise and fall of his breathing. For some reason, I found myself crying. I can't explain why entirely, only that I know how very much I want this. Maybe it was seeing Mandy and Ernie together earlier in the day. Watching the way he'd turn to her, or how he'd casually take her hand and smile at her as we walked along the sand or when we entered the courtyard of the temple, made me yearn for the normality they have. Sometimes I wish things were so simple.
It was a long while before I fell asleep, and when I finally awoke, the sound of a soft rain was filling the room, coming in through the wide open windows along with the muted early morning light. When I turned, I found Justin staring at me, and his hand reached out and brushed my cheek. The look in his eyes made my breath catch in my throat, and I placed my hand over his.
"Today is our wedding day."
His answering smile made the tears come to my eyes again. "Do you have any idea how very much I love you?" I asked. I wanted to say more, but somehow the words wouldn't come. He looked at me with serious eyes, then leaned in and kissed me softly.
"Of course I do. You show me every day."
How I'm feeling:
What I Hear: The sound of waves on the beach, and soft rain falling.
Who knew eloping could be this difficult? Bless Rowena that we're not planning a real wedding. Between arranging for the hotel (on the beach, lovely little tiki style huts, two rooms, of course, both with extra large beds and mosquito netting), and arranging for an official and license in Bali, I think I might go mad. As far as anything else goes, I'm assuming we can find flowers easily, and of course we can go out to eat. The rest will be easy, casual. We've already decided the wedding will be on the beach, shoes (and other things) optional. Although, I do hope Ernie restrains himself long enough for the ceremony to get over with.
The thought makes me smile. I'm glad the two of them are coming. It will be good to have family with us for the day, for the four of us to be like we once were. Four friends enjoying each other's company. Of course, there are certain benefits to the way things are now that we couldn't have enjoyed back then.
Both Justin and I have been busy with the Dark Lord's work the past few days. I'm hoping terribly by having everything done that he asks, that he won't summon us over the weekend. I did of course, take the precaution of asking his permission for us to marry. Not that we need it, but I do hope he remembers and asks someone else to carry out that bit of torture that just can't wait till Monday.
When Justin comes in, he's dirty and tired, and I wait until he's done taking a shower to slide behind him on the bed and rub his shoulders. He leans into my touch, and his head slowly falls forward.
When he's fully relaxed, I pull him back onto the bed, a wicked smile on my lips.
"I've been planning our wedding ... but I think I need your help with a few particulars."
A low moan escapes him as my robe slips off. As his lips travel down my neck, he mutters. "I always did like planning parties."
How I'm feeling:
What I Hear: It's Probably Best if I don't Say
I haven't let myself think about it for the last few days, but I've known it was coming. When I woke up this morning, I stared into the predawn gloom and thought. Today Parvati and I would have turned nineteen. Does it seem strange that my birthday isn't really real without my sister here beside me? It was always our birthday. Never mine alone.
I felt depression fall upon me like wet sand, and I got out of bed, tucking the covers back over Justin, then got dressed in some loose trousers, one of Justin's old shirts, and a floppy hat. I left him a note that I was going for a long walk and would be back later in the day. I know he'll spend the entire day in his workshop anyway, he probably won't even know I'm gone until after I'm back.
The sound of the sea is loud as the tide comes in, the breakers crashing against the rocks. I wander far off of our property, following the curve of the land, until I reach an isolated inlet. I sit there and watch the sun make its way across the sky. Thinking of nothing, letting little pebbles fall from my hand and picking them up again to cup them in my palm. The rocks are cool and painful against my bare feet, but it feels good in a way. It's a reminder.
As noon passes, some gulls fly overhead, and I watch them fly higher and higher.
I'm sorry, my sister. I wish I could make everything different. I wish you weren't gone. I miss you. I love you.
The afternoon breeze stirs up, and still I watch the water. A storm is brewing overhead, grey clouds, like dark wool shrouds over the land, scuttle in from out to sea. I watch the waves slapped up by the wind, feeling the icy sting of the sea water on my face as it is pounded against the rocks. I am trying. I will make this better. I will. I will atone for what I did to you. I will risk everything if it means someday I can face this day and know you would be proud of me.
When the rain comes, I let it wash over me. My clothes sticking to my body, the sound of the thunder loud over head. It washes away the tears that won't stop falling.
I miss you, Parvati. Happy Birthday wherever you are.
How I'm feeling:
What I Hear: The rain lessening as I walk toward the house
The morning light flickers into our kitchen as Justin prepares breakfast. I hand him a slice of bread and pull myself up onto on the counter, looking at him, while my feet kick at the cupboard below. "We have to go. We've been putting it off for weeks. If she's to be the Dark Lord's consort, we have no choice in the matter. Besides, Theodore is pleasant. I'm sure the two of you can have a conversation."
He just looks at me and mumbles something about already having to wear a tie once this week then goes back to toasting the bread.
I scowl at him. "Justin, I won't make you wear a tie, if you'll just go. Wear a shirt and jacket and some nice trousers." I jump off the counter and put my arms around his waist. "If it were up to me, you could wear nothing at all. I'm certain Daphne wouldn't mind."
He stiffens, and I can't help but laugh. Slowly I run my hands over his chest and kiss his shoulder blade through his shirt. "I can think of some things that might convince you."
He makes a low growling noise in his throat, and before I know it, I'm pinned back against the kitchen table, his lips harsh on my throat.
"No tie," he murmurs between kisses.
"No tie," I agree, pulling his shirt up over his head and sliding my hands along his chest. With a ripping sound, he pulls open the front of my blouse and begins to mark a path with his tongue along my skin. My legs wrap up around his waist, and I lean back, his hands digging into my back, his mouth hot. The world is a pleasurable haze. The world is a haze.
I struggle to sit up. "Justin! The toast is burning!"
He pushes me back down with one hand, and snaps the fingers of the other. Instantly the toast blazes into a ball of fire and within seconds is reduced to a pile of ash. He looks down at me, his eyes dark with lust and pull my skirt up. "Let it burn."
How I'm feeling:
What I Hear: His harsh breathing in my ear
|» Night and Day|
During the day, I'm fine. I'm back to my research now, the scratching of my quill soothing, while Justin either works around his mother's house, or does some other things I'm not aware of, possibly things the Dark Lord calls him for, although I do not ask.|
At night though, that's another story. At night, I dream I'm back with Marcus again, and wake up fear gripping my heart. Justin sleeps through the sound of my ragged breathing, and I don't want him to share the pain I feel. He already feels guilty enough. Instead, I curl up next to him until he murmurs in his sleep and pulls me close. It takes a long while of listening to his heartbeat until I can fall asleep again, and then, when I do, he is still there. Waiting.
I rub my eyes, and look up from my book. The nights of little sleep are gaining on me, but when I see Justin come in, I smile as if nothing is the matter, and tell him about my latest research until he silences me with a kiss.
At least some things don't change.
|» Looking for a Place to Call Home|
Justin and I both feel releived now that we know Genna is safe. Yesterday, we spent time with her again, helping her finish her summer garden and Justin helped her fix a few more things around the house. Last night though, we talked, and we both agree we keep her in danger the longer we're here. We need to move on, to distract people from her.|
We can't go back to the flat in London. Not for some time, I think, even with working on the wards. It's too vulnerable. Too many people know where it is. No. We need a new base of operations. I broached the idea to Justin. I have a good deal of jewelry from my mother, and if we sell it, we can easily afford another place. Certainly I won't be requiring the use of a tiara in the near future.
After some discussion, he went alone to gather my jewelry box, along with a trunk of clothes for each of us, some of my books, and Batu. Genna isn't thrilled to see the little monster, but we assured her he'd be leaving releived us of the jewels. Between that and what I have in my Swiss Accounts I set aside before the Gringott's attack, we should be set for some time to come.
Tonight we start looking for places to live. I bring out the catalogs I picked up in London, and we begin to pour over the pictures. Despite the necessity, it's exciting, because really what we're doing is picking out our house. Together. I smile down at my ring. I like that idea.
|» Gentle Rain|
I lay awake in bed this morning. Justin's body is taking up more than half the bed, his arm sprawled out over the side. I woke up early, the sound of the gentle rain falling waking me. It's quiet in the house, and I think even Genna decided to stay in bed. I lay, watching him sleep. My hand is resting on his chest, and from time to time, my eyes fall to the ring.|
I can't believe he asked me. I thought he might, but it never seemed possible somehow.
I have vague childish memories of writing his name and mine in my Herbology notebook over and over in various combinations. It was the one he borrowed and somehow "lost". I wonder if he had kept it. The thought makes me smile. There's too little that does nowadays. Last night was the first I hadn't had nightmares about Marcus and about what happened. I haven't told Justin about them. He's upset enough already. Thankfully, last night's events helped me have a quiet night.
My dreams were simple, and I don't remember them, but they make me recollect my childhood dreams of being with him. My parents wouldn't have approved, I'm sure, but they wouldn't unless I had married the man they'd picked out for me. I smile and stroke his cheek. This is so much better.
Is it possible to be happy in the midst of all that surrounds us? Apparently so. For one night I didn't allow myself to think of the Dark Lord, of what we've done, of what we'll still do. Last night was just about us. He stirs slightly and gathers me closer in his arms. The Dark Mark is clear on his skin, and I lay my own next to it, comparing the two. We're bonded together in more ways than one.
|» Night Falls|
Once again, night is falling.and I stare down at the beach after dinner, my hands on the rails. Justin is helping Genna clean up the kitchen. She slept well last night, and we helped her with her garden this morning. Later, we visited the Dark Lord. He was more than pleased with our efforts of last night, and I feel we are climbing even more in his favor. Daphne did well too. While there, I overheard the lower echelon discussing Daphne and our Lord. He had never favored her over the others, but it would appear she is taking Bellatrix' place. I wonder how she is dealing with that realization.|
As if she could read my mind, I received an owl from Daphne this afternoon. I regarded it for a while. If she is to be the Dark Lord's consort, it is important that we work with her, even though our Strike Force is higher in the council than her own. Certainly, it can not hurt to have an allegiance with her and Nott. If anything, the four of us worked well last night, and the four of us can certainly give some of the older Death Eaters something to worry about, as well as watch each other's backs. I do not pretend to think she isn't wary of Justin. But by his behaviour lately, I feel he is ingratiating himself to the other Death Eaters. I think back on Genna's words. Yes, it is best to keep all our options open, and allying with Daphne and Nott is just one way to do so.
A voice interrupts my thoughts, and I feel Justin's hands on my shoulders. His lips press against my neck, and I smile. "Remembering last night?" he asks.
I feel a flash of heat go through me at the thought, and my gaze travels down to the ( rocky coveCollapse )I looked up at him and smiled, my voice a low caress. "Feel like a little reenactment?" He had me in his arms and starting down the steps before I could say another word.
I try to focus but I can't. Memories of Marcus cloud my mind. Of him touching me, kissing me. My mind tried to insist I wanted his touch, but it felt as if spiders were crawling on my skin, even as my body betrayed me. My hand throbs where the nails are missing and the fingers a bloody pulp. He wasn't content with just one, pulling off all of those on my right hand before crushing the fingers beneath his boot when after the first one I tried to claw him with the remaining nails.|
For some reason, I followed his instrucions dociley, kneeling while he entered me roughly from behind, while a part of me screamed and rattled the bars where I am locked inside my own mind. I can't think for myself. I feel pleasure when I obey him. He is making himself my world, and I want to die, save for the part of me that slinks away inside and plots slitting his throat if he would only untie my hands.
I wait for him in my bedroom. Justin and mine, I remind myself. Thoughts of Justin give me strength and make the haze clear a bit. I will do this. I will kiss his boots if I need to if it allows me to later spit in his face and watch while he dies.
When he enters the room, he strokes my skin and presses his lips against mine. I want to vomit, instead I kiss him back, feeling a dull throb of well being at doing his bidding.
He takes some clothes out of my wardrobe and hands them to me, watching me while I dress, then retying my hands. I can feel his erection pressing against my thigh as he whispers in my ear. "We're going visiting my sweet. But first ... you have something you need to do."
I kneel and take his cock in my mouth, wanting nothing more to bite it off and spit it out. But I will bide my time, for now let him think that I am his.