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 MACNAIR, RUBY RHEA, 21 | loyalist
ruby rhea vaisey
Posted: Aug 25 2011, 10:28 PM

22 | werewolf | healer | widow
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Group: Loyalist Admin
Posts: 1,416
Member No.: 24
Joined: 3-June 09

‘Cause she’s a cruel mistress and a bargain must be made
But oh, my love, don’t forget me, I let the water take me

user posted image

play by Edyta Zajac


    “Ruby, my darling little gem.”

    Hestia Vaisey, formerly Carrow, looked down at her newborn baby girl while she slept in her arms, a precious and quiet child who very rarely ever cried and when she did, it warranted barely more than a soft whimper. She declared she'd always dress her in white to contrast her ebony colored curls and raise her with the most upstanding morals and faith in her own modesty, that she would always be a careful and obedient child, -- more sensible than Hestia herself would ever be capable of -- that she would take pride in herself and always be a person worth taking pride in and that she would someday play the violin with her delicate little fingers, making music so beautiful it would haunt the soul and she would be the smartest little girl Hogwarts had ever seen. Hestia's perfect, sparkling Ruby. She cooed over the brilliant blue eyes the little girl had inherited from her father, oblivious to the fact that apart from her delicate frame and stubbornness, it would take many years for any of Hestia's qualities to manifest their presence in the small child.

    But the proud mother rocked her to sleep every night, enthralled to have a child, finally, after so much pain and suffering and she took equal pride in the little girl's twin brother, who she loved just as much and held in just as high esteem. Too long, years and years she'd suffered the numbing pain of infertility and loss until it wore heavy on her heart and the grief stung her at every turn. No child to bestow herself upon, to raise in her image as was every woman's birthright. She'd known only loss in all the times she'd hoped for something small and pink to ease her loneliness and each time her hopes had been raised, they were dashed just as quickly. And finally here they were, and they would be the most precious jewels Hestia Vaisey would ever adorn herself with even if in their later lives she forgot to remind them of the fact, even when she herself forgot it. She loved them in their perfection and though her eyes would grow weary and her heart bored with their trials and mistakes and shortcomings in all her fickleness, she would always see them as they were in that moment: perfect.

    Perfect was a word Hestia Vaisey used far too often despite the fact that only her newborn children were worthy of it. There was no perfection in the trinkets that adorned the shelves or the expensive paintings lining the walls of her townhouse. Nor in the china cabinet or copper pots lining the kitchen walls. But compounded, they served as the cleverest ruse of all. Compounded, they gave off the illusion of perfection. Her gardens had to be weeded every morning to maintain their appearance, the arrangements in the house changed out when petals grew too dry. Because if Hestia Vaisey knew one thing, it was that things that were not pleasant to look at left moods to foul and the most important part of being a pureblood was maintaining the illusion that all was perfect. Whether is was an unflattering portrait or a bouquet of dead flowers, a misplaced mirror or a confirmation that all was not as it seemed, such things dug away at the notions she instilled in all who entered her home. And it was for that very reason that as Hestia Vaisey held her children to her breast, cooing down at them affectionately, she straightened their booties so they laid perfectly flat against their wrinkled feet and twisted each ebony ringlet until it rolled perfectly around her frail finger and could be released to lay against their perfectly pink wrinkled heads.

    The little girl's father looked on at her in admiration, confident that she and her brother were the most important achievements he'd ever make in his life. They were the reasons he got up in the morning, the reason he went to work. He would spend the rest of his days completely and utterly devoted to them and if more should follow, he would love them with the same burning intensity, in a way that he could never love his wife, or even his own existence. Edward Vaisey hated his life and had been an alcoholic since before he'd married because he suspected he would never have anything of value. He'd contemplated suicide many times over the years, having been afflicted with such a desperate depression, but the day his children were born, he vowed to soldier on, no matter how much he hated his life, until the day would come where they no longer needed him.

    He vowed that they would always have his resilience and he would help them find their passions in life, as he'd personally given up on his long ago and he vowed his daughter would be clever and prize her wit above all of her other traits, that she would never rely on the sharpened beauty she was sure to one day possess and that when people spoke of her, it was always her upstanding character and pure heart that they would boast of, her morality and devotion to always doing the right thing. He vowed that she would never covet possessions or take her situation for granted and that when the day came, she would not hide behind her status in society but by her own merit and though she was a Carrow, she was first and foremost an individual that deserved the prestige of an old family and that she would never squander her namesake in selfishness or entitlement.

    “I will always love you.”

    Hestia insisted as she pulled a brush through Ruby's tangled locks. "But you have got to sit still or it's going to hurt more." Ruby couldn't tolerate still, mostly because she was five and her mother was yanking on her hair, trying to get it into a neat French braid. And her dress was uncomfortable, the crinoline of her underskirts itchy and rough against her tender skin and the pink satin sash tied around her waist was tied too tightly. ”Make sure you remember to give Silas his birthday present. Jasper conveniently forgot last year and it was terribly embarrassing- Merlin! Sit still Ruby!” Hestia scolded, yanking harder on the little girl’s head. ”Mummy, why aren’t you going to the party?” Ruby inquired, wishing she could rub her head but settling for squinted eyes her mother couldn't see instead. It was beginning to hurt something awful. ”We already talked about this Ruby. Mummy is sick today. She can’t go anywhere.” There was a ironic chuckle from the other room and Ruby looked up to see her father standing in the hallway outside the den. The little girl couldn't see it, but Hestia Vaisey met the chuckle with a cold, hardened glare that could have set fire to a pond if she so desired it to.

    ”Mummy is always sick,” the man chided, taking a drink from his scotch glass, his blue eyes twinkling more gently than his tone would have suggested. He was normally very pleasant, depressed of course, but Edward Vaisey never flaunted his contempt for his wife and was only teasing her in a manner he knew would tickle her conscience. It was a bit cruel, perhaps, but never nasty. He was never intentionally malicious. Especially not in front of his children, never in front of his children. But the two had fought recently and he couldn’t hide his displeasure in his wife’s insistence that she was ill. Their entire marriage had been nothing short of a tirade of make-believed sicknesses that constantly confined Hestia Vaisey to her bed and Edward was beginning to grow weary. He himself wished it were possible to stay in bed sulking all day as Hestia did when someone cancelled tea or didn't invite them to a party. But there were bills to be paid and Hestia’s addictions, namely new home ornamentation, to sustain. Not to mention his drinking problem. Hestia flashed him a warning glare -- she didn’t like it when he called her on her bullshit -- and then quickly went back to Ruby’s hair. Ironically, hypochondria was just as much a disease as anything the afflicted feigned. ”And don’t forgot to show Silas your new charm bracelet. I want Artemisia to ask how much it cost the next time I see her. Surely she’ll want one for Athena.”

    The seeds had been planted, and even in her childhood, Ruby couldn’t help but think her mother was full of shit. Pretty trinkets and the latest fashions. Hestia seemed to think she had the world on a string the moment she dropped down her pocket book, but Ruby knew it wasn't that easy even as a little girl with a pink sash and a French braid. She could see it in her father's brilliantly colored, tired eyes. They lost a little more of their pigment every day. She saw it in the lines around her mother's mouth, the ones her twin sister, Flora, didn't have. Her parents' youth was fading and with it their security and place in the world. They worried about things, large things, trivial things, all things. Ruby knew better. She was a simple girl born into an excessive lifestyle. One that she knew wouldn't last forever. All she wanted was someone to accompany her to the party.

    “At least I‘ve got Jasper.”

    The dark-haired girl of eleven fidgeted nervously as she observed the conversation between her brother, her cousin, and a blonde boy across from her. The two black-haired males and the blonde chimed breathlessly as they all excitedly declared their desires to be chosen for Ravenclaw, their wide eyes brimming with anticipation as they shoved chocolate frogs into their mouths and giggled about the stupid expression Ronald Weasley was making on his. Each of the boys, like the dark haired girl, were purebloods who’d dreamt of their sorting for many years before their letters had ever come and while they chatted excitedly, the Hogwarts Express rumbled and spewed smoke into the air as it traveled through the mountainous countryside. Her robes had been pressed and the starchiness of them bothered her as she pulled at the sleeves, attempting to make them the slightest bit more comfortable as the two boys busily chatted away.

    She ran her fingers over her new wand, wondering what sort of magic it would someday produce, what type of witch she would become with it in her possession. It was dark in color, thin and delicate, but unmistakably rich and beautiful all the less with a sleek and shiny polishing, its handle made of maple, the rest of it where the unicorn tail hair was encased a fine black walnut and it was surprisingly strong despite its all its daintiness. Mr. Ollivander’s words still resonated in her ears from the day it was purchased, though she couldn’t quite understand what they would come to mean yet. “ Black walnut seeks a master of good instincts and powerful insight. Black walnut is a very handsome wood, but not the easiest to master. It has one pronounced quirk, which is that it is abnormally attuned to inner conflict, and loses power dramatically if its possessor practices any form of self-deception.“ Ruby pondered what it meant to deceive oneself and for as much thought as she’d put into it, she couldn’t fathom how it were possible to lie to oneself. She had mulled the idea over and over again for weeks since the purchase and had come to no solid conclusion of it. She could not have known in those early years that the biggest struggle she would ever find herself in would someday be the battle she fought within herself as she came to terms with who she was and who she didn’t want to be.

    As Ollivander had said that day in Diagon Alley, “If the witch or wizard is unable or unwilling to be honest with themselves or others, the wand often fails to perform adequately and must be matched with a new owner if it is to regain its former prowess. Paired with a sincere, self-aware owner, however, it becomes one of the most loyal and impressive wands of all, with a particular flair in all kinds of charmwork.” And Ruby would someday understand what Ollivander had meant. The wand had not matched itself to her because she would fail it, but because she would one day require a challenge that would remove the only thing she was assured in, her skill, so that she could rely on herself and overcome her inner weaknesses. She was pure of heart and gentle like her core would suggest, fiercely loyal and loving, but one day Ruby would face a crossroads in her life. One path would be taken out of bitterness and envy and it would fill her life with unpleasantness. It would haunt her and tear her apart and degrade her magical ability until she became cruel and abrasive. The other required her to overcome her own insecurity and though it was the more difficult and longer of the paths, the trails that brought her through would make her a much stronger and most certainly more remarkable witch.

    It all made her very nervous to think about as the boys happily declared themselves Ravens. She didn’t know where she fit, though she had a sneaking suspicion she didn’t want to be too far from her brother, for it had been a long time since they had been separate for more than a few hours, but someone knew, someone much smarter than Ruby, that the only way the young girl would ever reach her fateful crossroads was if she first took the lonelier path. So as she made her declaration to the rest of the boys, she would soon find in only a few hours that her life would take a different path. One that she couldn't have known she desperately needed.

    “I want to be a Ravenclaw, too.”

    “Ravenclaw, hm?”

    “Ravenclaw,” Ruby repeated, her heart beating intensely as she stared off into the crowd. The dark-haired heads of both her cousin, Ryker, and her brother, Jasper, looked up at her from where they were already seated at the Ravenclaw table. Silas Llewellyn sat between them, looking considerably more bored as he stared off into space and then back at the empty table where food would soon appear and capture his attention more readily than any of the students left to be sorted.

    “Plenty of intellect, oh yes. A passion for learning, a strong curiosity. Ravenclaw would certainly be lucky to have another Vaisey. But I see something that perhaps you do not. You’re a lonely child.”

    Ruby fidgeted, unsure of herself now, she was so easily swayed.

    “Your self confidence is minimal, but your ambition is impossible to deny. I see a little girl who always dreamed of making her mother better. It’s so rare to have such a clear cut dream at such a tender age. Very intelligent of course, but you seek greatness even in your youth. Slytherin will assist you on your journey. Your housemates will teach you to depend on yourself and though you will feel initially isolated from your family, you will only succeed if you allow yourself to embrace loneliness and discover comfort in your own ability.”

    ”My mother was a Slytherin. And so was my father. Neither of them achieved anything.”

    “Edward Vaisey had the seeds of a great athlete, a quidditch player of immense skill. But he was clumsy. I suspected he would injure himself on the pitch.”

    Ruby suddenly looked very surprised, as the sorting hat’s prediction had been spot on. While Edward Vaisey’s injury in his seventh year had not prevented him from continuing the sport and would not have deterred a prolonged career, his practicality gene had been too strong. He didn’t wish to cripple himself in the future and any family he might have had with his fiancée, Hestia Carrow. So after leaving Hogwarts, he’d obtained a quiet desk job within Gringott’s to ensure that Hestia would never have to worry about him. And though he’d always had great ambitions of becoming a great quidditch star, his duty and devotion to his family and his need to fulfill his responsibilities had always been greater. He’d entered Hogwarts a Slytherin, but by the time he’d left, he was already placing his happiness in the bottom of a tall bottle of firewhiskey.

    “And my mother, what of her?”

    “Hestia Carrow could not be separated from her twin Flora and the differences between them were so subtle, even I had trouble telling them apart. But when Hestia came and sat down on this very stool, she had a most admirable dream of opening her own apothecary with her sister. I suppose you and your brother are proof that her ambitions waned after school, hmm? I suspected they might. I always saw a very strong fixation with what others thought of her. I knew she’d marry young but I thought perhaps Slytherins would give her the push she needed. I’m never wrong. Slytherin would have molded them perfectly if not for their own dissatisfaction with their own ability. I can put you in Ravenclaw, but it will not help you along your way.”

    Ruby was dumbfounded, unable to comprehend how spot-on the hat really was. But she had always been a malleable child, swayed by the breeze that seemed most appealing, a follower before a leader. Perhaps the hat was right…perhaps Slytherin was the only way she could realize her talent and her ability. Perhaps the only way to stay true to herself was to admit that she wasn’t like the others...

    “Better go with SLYTHERIN!”

    Ruby shot her disappointed family members a look of remorse before taking her seat at the Slytherin table, alone. And then she whispered so softly that no one else could hear it,

    “I hope I‘m doing the right thing.”

    "There isn't any way to truly know," Ruby confessed in response to her best friend's insecurity, knowing it'd be of little comfort to her distressed friend. Persephone pursed her lips in response and wrapped her arms more tightly around herself as she paced the floor of the Slytherin common room. It was dark, as it always was no matter the time of day, but the brilliant silver lanterns provided the necessary light to make the area soft and inviting. The lake was a bit rough today and Ruby made note of the the violence in the manner of which the lake water pounded up against the windows of the dungeon. An unidentified creature could be seen momentarily before it slithered out of sight on the other side of the glass.

    "I love him you know, Fred. We're in love," she confessed, panic sweeping itself across her face as she did so. Ruby sighed softly, not loud enough for her friend to hear and further fret over. She opened her mouth to speak but Percy began again before she had the chance. "My mother will never forgive me, but what am I to do? I love him Ruby."

    "You loved Silas too." Ruby said involuntarily, realizing the instant she'd said it that it was the wrong thing to do. Percy looked over at her best friend, hurt, but at the same time knowledgeable of the fact that she was right.

    Percy had loved Silas from the time she was a little girl. But what if it hadn't been love at all and it had been only comfort that bound the two together? The familiarity and the safety of it all? Ruby had trouble believing that her tryst with Fred was more than rebellion -- after all, the closer the pair of blondes crept to their wedding day, the less the Urquarts talked of Percy as an individual and the more they emphasized her as a part of Silas. She'd always been a spoiled girl, much more intemperate than Ruby, always impossible to please. It was a wonder why the two had remained friends over the years, but Ruby suspected it had more to do with familiarity than anything else, as well.

    "He's been with someone else you know, I've heard rumors of a Slytherin girl sneaking into his room at night. I'll bet it's your cousin. I never believed in their closeness."

    "And I've know Silas for years as well, that doesn't mean we're seeing each other, Percy. It's just how pureblood circles work."

    Persephone narrowed her eyes once more, doubting Ruby's shotty attempt at convincing her otherwise. "I don't love him Ruby. I suspect I never did."

    "He'll be heart-broken. He fawns over you so." As much as Ruby despised Silas for all he was, in all her resentment, in all her jealousy, she knew that the one thing she couldn't do was deny his loyalty to Persephone. For years he'd chased after her like a lovesick puppy, presenting her with trinkets, winning her affections. It was clear to Ruby that Silas had always wished to woo Percy in his own right so that she would love him and not merely find him comforting. He wanted their relationship to be characterized by a genuine faith in the other person, and it was admirable, perhaps even just another source for Ruby's resentment toward him. She wasn't allowed to hate Percy, not as her best friend. But Silas was fair game. Persephone didn't deserve his devotion and while as her best friend, Ruby could not admit this, she could hate Silas for not realizing the fact sooner. And just one of the reasons why she despised him was because no man had ever looked at her the way Silas looked at Persephone. And the spoiled Urquart girl did not deserve him.

    “I don't care what anyone thinks. I love him.”

    "That's what she said to me, just like that. No remorse at all. Not to say she's to have some, but Merlin! She's so set on him. She doesn't care if it tears her entire family apart." Ruby informed her very interested cousin, waving her hand in elegant, but exaggerated, sweeping gestures to further illustrate her point. She'd been pacing the girl's bedroom for a good ten minutes now, explaining the situation to the only person she really knew to speak to about the matter. Percy was infamous for putting Ruby in impossible situations and if the two hadn't been best friends for so long, it was safe to say that they'd have parted ways a long time ago.

    Cadence's perfect lips curled into a characteristic grin as she crossed one black-stockinged-leg over the other. She was a beautiful girl, Ruby's younger cousin, with heart shaped lips and high, angled cheekbones, a long, curling mop of hair only a few shades lighter than Ruby's brownish-black and freckles -- so light a speckling they were hardly noticeable until one stood close enough and even then, they only served to make her irresistible. Her face was softer than Ruby's, more of her father's influence, no doubt. She had Theodore Nott's long, lanky limbs and was much taller than Ruby, but enough of her mother's influence must have been present because for all their differences, she looked as though she could have been Ruby's prettier sister. Their mothers were, after all, identical twins.

    "Good for her," Cadence replied, shaking her head enthusiastically. Ruby expected a feminism-charged speech about a woman's right to choose the man she married, but everyone knew Cadence was very liberal in that regard and Ruby was not oblivious to the things she heard about her cousin. No man would marry Cadence without her consent, or so Ruby suspected. The Notts had other plans for their new-wave thinking daughter just as they had plans for their elder son. Luckily Ryker had found himself quite smitten with his chosen one and everyone knew they were incredibly lucky, and happy. But Cadence wasn't ready for marriage. She was a free spirit. Ruby suspected there might have been other reasons for her support of Persephone's unfaithfulness. Other than the fact that Cadence loved to see uptight purebloods squirm.

    "You should know Percy accused Silas of betraying her with you. Everyone's talking about it," Ruby commented as casually as she could, hoping Cadence would bite.

    Instead the brunette became conveniently preoccupied with a lose thread on her skirt. Many would have taken her silence as an admission of guilt. But not Ruby. Ruby knew her cousin well. Cadence didn't mind it when people talked about her, spread malicious rumors. It all served as amusement to her. It was like a game she constantly won, every day, forever. People talked about her, how much they hated her. But the truth was, no one really hated Cadence Nott. When they talked about her loose morals or her questionable behaviors, it was because they were all secretly envious of how little she cared about what people thought about her. And how dedicated she was to enjoying her life. She was a girl who smiled constantly, like she had a secret.

    The secret was, she knew how to be happy and no one else did.

    Ruby secretly wished she could be as charming as Cadence, as charismatic, as envied. It wouldn't be until a little later in her life that she wished more than anything else to be a wallflower again, anonymous. It wouldn't be long before she wished no one knew her name.

    "Never mind Persephone and all her drama. If we lifted our heads every time that girl changed her mind, we'd all get whiplash. I've seen you around the castle with Greyback and I can't for the life of me figure out why that isn't relevant pureblood-forsaking-their-families news."

    Ruby mentally lingered over Cadence's accusation for several moments dully before answering. "No one cares about the affairs of Ruby Vaisey. I'm not you -- I'm a wallflower. And I reckon it might have something to do with the fact that he's not a Weasley. He's Slytherin enough. I suppose that earns him some points?"

    "But he's a werewolf. Your parents don't know, do they?" Cadence wrinkled up her nose as if they were talking about something dirty, but her eyes were glittering with amusement.

    "No," Ruby responded simply, curling a strand of black hair around her finger.

    Cadence let out an amused breath, uncrossing her legs before recrossing them the opposite way. "What's it like then, shagging a werewolf?"

    Ruby suddenly went very slack, dropping her arms to her sides, her face going very red. "I don't...I've never."

    Cadence tried very hard to suppress her laughter at Ruby's embarrassment. She was never cruel, but it was hard to pass up the opportunity to tease her cousin. "No wonder no one wants to talk about you."

    "I'm dull, I know." Ruby fired back a little too quickly in defense. She didn't like Cadence's teasing. "It's not like you've ever offered your advice as the more experienced cousin."

    "I'm not supposed to. You're seventeen. I expected you to have already figured this out."

    "I'll ask Ryker then," Ruby concluded, placing her hands on her hips. The normal color had mostly returned to her face in light of all Cadence's teasing and she'd suddenly taken on Hestia's defensive nature to repel Cadence's attempts at a rise.

    "Don't ask Ryker. He's an idiot."

    "That isn't a very nice thing to say about your brother, Cadence."

    "Do you honestly believe Ryker has ever been with anyone aside from Callie?" The expression on her face was one of matter-of-factly-speaking.

    "No, I suppose not," Ruby replied.

    "Exactly. He's an idiot. He'll tell you it's all about candles and romance. Do you think Blaine Greyback has ever shagged with candles and rose petals spread across the bed?"

    "I'd rather not think of Blaine Greyback shagging any way in the past tense."

    That familiar smile crossed Cadence's lips as she patted the spot on her bed next to her and opened her mouth to speak.

    “You have a lot to learn, Ruby Vaisey.”

    The shop keeper grinned, his thin lips wrapping themselves around a deformed tooth that stuck out at the most peculiar of angles. His eyes were almost black, beady, amused. And his clothes looked somewhat dirty though they weren’t ragged by any means. He found humor in the situation and Ruby took great offense to it as she wrapped her arms around herself trying to conceal her discomfort. She was embarrassed and it was then more than ever before that she wanted to collapse into the soft velvet of her traveling cloak and disappear completely before she became so desperate she had to pawn the garment off her back as well.

    She hadn‘t walked into the shop with the notion that she would have to apologize for being poor. It wasn‘t a common thing in her circles, to lack the funds one required to sustain a normal lifestyle, to have to choose one’s education over their principles, but here Ruby Vaisey was, trading emeralds for a golden cauldron that her potions instructor had insisted was the only way she‘d be able to successfully brew any of the potions in her N.E.W.T. level course. She hated the way the man leered at her, the way he, in his unfortunate looking state, took pleasure in her situation. She looked down at her shoes searching for confidence and finding none.

    “You can’t just prance in here with something like that and expect one not to ask questions. Even without the engraving, I’d know this to belong to the Carrows.”

    “And as a Carrow, I have just as much right to sell it as I have to wear it it. If you wish to buy it, then do so. I can take it down the street to your competitor,” she commented, making to take the jewels from him.

    ”No, no,” he fussed, pulling the necklace back toward his body just out of Ruby’s reach. “I’ll take them for the cauldron.” He stroked his finger over the center gem lovingly.

    Ruby suspected he was ripping her off.

    “That necklace adorned the throats of two wives to former Ministers of Magic and countless other noble women over the last several hundred years in some form or another. You can do better than the cauldron.” He thought she was stupid, a silly pureblooded girl. Selling her jewels to piss off Mummy and Daddy. Stupid, foolish, spoiled girl. She found her confidence in the manner in which he belittled her and in a matter of moments, she’d transformed from the meek little girl to the hard-faced daughter of Hestia Carrow.

    “I’ll give you half of what you previously proposed,” he said, lowering his voice as another customer wandered into earshot. “I don’t deny the history this necklace encompasses, none of it. Before your mother, I believe Alecto Carrow was the previous owner and as respected as she may be to some of us, her infamy and association to the line drives down the demand for such an item, I’m afraid.”

    Fucking Amycus and Alecto Carrow. Leave it to those nut jobs, who Ruby had never had the pleasurable misfortune of ever meeting, to completely ruin her day. Ruby took the money he offered her, rolling her eyes quite dramatically before shoving the coins into little velvet coin purse and picking up the cauldron off the counter. “It always comes down to that, doesn’t it?” she spat, obviously not very pleased.

    The shop keeper continued to run his fingers over the stones as Ruby made for the door. “And Miss? One more thing, I have to ask, why would you even want to sell something that surely has more value to you than anyone else?”

    Ruby turned around, her face somber, her voice bored,

    “The money is gone. All of it is gone.”

    Her confession hung thick and rigid in the air for several moments, silencing both of them before either of them really realized what it meant and Blaine still stood there, holding that stupid box full of priceless Carrow family heirlooms, dumbfounded. She didn’t know what to say as she’d already shown him all of her cards regarding her family’s dismal situation, something she’d been keeping from him and everyone else for months and he didn’t know how to respond to counter her bluntness. She’d lied to him about sneaking off to Knockturn Alley in order to pawn her things so that she could afford textbooks and potion supplies. All her advanced classes required expensive materials and she couldn't get into the training program at St. Mungo's if she didn't pass medical studies or N.E.W.T. level potions, and though they‘d been necessary investments, she was still ashamed at the means in which she had to obtain them.

    “I don’t want that,” Ruby spat angrily, shoving the box away as she made to step around him, but the towering blonde impeded her path. He furrowed his brow for a moment, confused as he looked down at the gems arranged delicately against the black velvet. The brilliant emerald jewels caught the light from the room’s many flickering candles and cast yellow lights on everything they had the reach to touch. He tilted the box upward so that she could get a better look, assuming that perhaps she had not recognized the gift as something that had once adorned the throat of her great-grandmother long before, that her mother had worn on her wedding day, that had accompanied Ruby to the Valentine‘s Day festivities earlier that year. Blaine had gingerly put them into the velvet box himself following the first time they’d ever slept together. “I thought you’d be happy. You didn’t tell me things were as bad as they are,” his voice was tinged in genuine concern, remorse, but all she heard was pity as he offered up the gift again and she found it disgusting considering the circumstances. But most of all, she was embarrassed as the silvery-blue orbs of her eyes became very faint and she narrowed them at him. He took a step backward, feeling the hotness of her glare against him. It burned with such an unfamiliar intensity that both excited and enraged him and he couldn’t make sense of how or why.

    “You really have no respect for me, do you?” she demanded of him as though it were a question, a question with an answer she really didn‘t care to hear, her usually sweet and tender voice so coated in bitterness that anger and rage were spilling out from her lips, a thick poison that derailed the situation very quickly. Blaine took another step back, his jaw dropping to the floor, his goldish eyes thick with confusion, then annoyance at her vagueness, unable to understand how his gesture had turned so sour. He‘d never seen her like this. The black-haired female had always been so soft, her voice was like a song, and any negativity was so incredibly rare for her that he did not recognize the terrifying monster taking form in her blue orbs, and frankly, it pissed him off just the slightest bit that she didn‘t appreciate the trouble he‘d gone through in order to produce such a fine gift. Obtaining it had been immensely difficult and he suspected the shop keeper had charged him over twice what he‘d given Ruby to take it off her hands. Her lack of appreciation enraged him and her hostility really called out to him, tickling his temper. “You have no idea what I went through to get these. What the fuck did I do wrong?” he asked stupidly in anger, unable to fathom what she could possibly be this upset over. Had he really damaged her pride so much by offering up her pawned necklace?

    “I don’t need someone to take care of me. Least of all someone who doesn’t even respect me.” Her voice grew sharper around the edges. She resented him and he’d never really had an impression of it. Never suspected it, but he’d heard it all before in hushed whispers and looks of disapproval, the way shop keepers pretended not to stare when he entered a store or barkeeps looked down their noses at him while he ordered his drinks. The way his mother looked at him in her fleeting moments of clarity when she realized what he was, and what her life had become since he’d become a part of it. He’d spent his entire life building a reputation upon the one he’d been born with so that when the moment came, a Ruby could step into his life with all her gentleness and renew him, see him for the lonely, needing person that he was and love him. But now she resented him and he couldn’t work his brain around why her affections had fallen so quickly, how they could be playing music together one moment and now she was giving him that look, that burning look of hatred when he’d gone out of his way to prove his devotion to her. Was her pride really so scathed? Had he undermined her so badly that it warranted her cruelty? He didn’t think her capable. He should have. She was, after all, a Slytherin. Her mother’s child. "Stop being vague and tell me what I've done."

    “Oh don’t you dare even pretend to be offended. I saw you with her. In the corridor the other evening. That sixth year from Hufflepuff. The one you said was just a friend.” If it were at all possible, her eyes narrowed just a bit further, the silver streak in them flickering for just a moment as if she dared him to tell her she was mistaken, that the blonde man kissing Aceline Fleet was some other. Perhaps Scorpius Malfoy dishonoring his lineage. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d confused them from behind. Or Brayden Urquart, for that matter. She expected an elaborate lie, a ruse, a cover-up. She expected an attempt to win her over. After all, he had brought her great-grandmother’s jewelry with him. What ever had happened with Aceline Fleet had been far from innocent.

    ”Aceline? She is just a friend, Ruby..”

    “Then perhaps we should take a moment to redefine the term. I don’t recall the last time I kissed Persephone. Or Layla. We’ve decided that such terms of endearment are inappropriate since we are just friends. Would you be unaffected if I kissed Finneas? ”

    “That wasn’t..I didn’t..You don’t understand..”

    “No, I believe it’s you that doesn’t understand. I have spent the last several months giving you the benefit of the doubt and choosing not to believe all the terrible things I’ve heard about you, giving you the opportunity to prove that you are the individual you wanted me to believe that you were.”

    “It didn’t mean anything Ruby. It just happened. She was crying and I don’t know. It happened. I didn‘t mean for it to happen. I didn‘t mean anything by it. It was just a kiss, nothing more.”

    “You should leave now. And take that with you,” the brunette grumbled, shoving the box in his hand away from her as she once more made to get around him. He took a step forward and she lifted her head to meet his mixed gaze. His eyes were unreadable. There was hurt behind them, regret, but they were dangerous. “Take it back wherever you got it. Don’t you think I’ve suffered enough shame in having to sell it to afford my school things? Am I to feel indebted to you every time I catch a glimpse of it in my jewelry box? Should I be embarrassed every time I wear it? That necklace is of no value to me now. Take it with you and go.”

    “Ruby, I didn’t bring this to you because of the other night. I brought it because it’s rightfully yours. No other woman should have it around her neck.”

    “Perhaps Aceline would be flattered to wear such a priceless gift. I’ll call it my blessing to the two of you, but I must warn you, I suspect it might knock her over -- surely the jewels weigh more than she does.” Her tone became more and more embittered as she spoke and the influence, the genetics Hestia had passed down to her daughter became increasingly more evident. Perhaps moreso than they ever had before. In that moment she truly was her mother’s daughter.

    “This isn’t about Aceline, Ruby, I did this for you. Stop acting like your mother. It‘s unbecoming.”

    Acting like my mother? I would much rather have inherited my mother’s shrewdness and her supercilious nature than your father’s character.” The moment the words had left her mouth, Blaine’s face flashed dangerously. She’d stepped into territory she wasn’t allowed in. She’d said the one thing that could really infuriate him; she’d compared him to his father. If there was one thing Blaine hated more than anything else in the world, one aspect of himself he could cut away and never feel the loss of, it was his sperm donor. He’d spent his life living behind the fear of his reputation and in the shadow of his legacy and in his name, but only because it was the only way to properly veil the fact that Fenrir Greyback represented everything Blaine never wanted to be, the beast inside.

    Blaine had always had a sneaking suspicion that there was always meant to be a crossroad in his life, a point where he picked which man he would become. One path led him to be a respectable human being, a man who made his reputation in the Wizengamot teaching others the difference between right and wrong. But his life had never been his to have and it was all the fault of Fenrir Greyback whose seed had damned him from the start and re-written his destiny. His charm, his dashingly good looks and manipulative streak, his warmth would always be utilized to harm innocent individuals who stood in his way when he should have been protecting them. And here she was. A little thing, Ruby. A little irritating thing reminding him how worthless he really was against what he knew to be her nature.

    ”Get out.” He spat, his eyes cold and growing dark. The warm yellow tones had disappeared from them entirely and the shade became closer and closer to black. It was horrifying but Ruby was too angry to notice.

    "Have you forgotten you're in my room? Does thick also run in your gene pool?"

    He'd turned to go before she'd finished her sentence but couldn't walk away from the insult and it only took a few second for him to be back in her face. She was really hitting below the belt, but she was angry and hurt. Ruby Vaisey had never been in an actual relationship before and she'd certainly never been cheated on. It was all she could do to nurse her ruined pride after he'd appeared with that goddamned necklace in tow.

    "You're such a fucking spoiled brat, you know that? Did I really injure your goddamn ego that much by coming here with this? Maybe I'll take your advice. Maybe I should go and see Aceline right now. At least she's not such a stuck-up princess. I don't have to worry about hurting her feelings because she doesn't want to admit her family are a bunch of lying, pretentious assholes. You think my gene pool is fucked up? It's your fucking family that cringes when anyone mentions the assholes who tortured innocent children for the hell of it. It's cute how you inherited Great Aunt Alecto's disregard for human beings you consider more lowly than yourself."

    Ruby Vaisey had never been a violent individual. She had never raised her hand to another human being in her life, not even her brother as a child, but when Blaine had finished spitting his tirade of hostility two inches from her face, her hand met his cheek bone harder than she ever would have imagined it could. And after she'd done it, she found herself raising her hand once more, the burning, seething anger in her stomach completely untouched with just the initial blow. He was surprised at the impact, but his instincts were much quicker than hers and he grabbed her by the wrist before she could make contact with him. "Try it again," He warned, his teeth gritted so hard it was amazing sound could escape them, his eyes completely black now. He was challenging her and if anything at all had been within her reach, she would have resisted every urge to not club him over the head with it. "Let go of me," she hissed, her breath hot and irritated. "With the way you're eyeing that candle stick across the room? Hardly. You've already assaulted me. Do you really want to add arson to the list of your crimes tonight?" His eyes flickered for just a moment, amusement at his own joke creeping into them as his temper settled just before it reached its boiling point, a steady simmer. The calm before the storm.

    "Is that something else you picked up from Aunt Alecto? Arson?"

    Ruby attempted to rip her arm away from him, the fury in her stomach raising faster and faster as he baited her, but his grip on her was too strong and she was filled with sickening excitement. She raised her free hand and within moments he had that one too and was backing her into the dormitory wall and she found her feet following his forceful lead by compulsion. He was stronger than her and she wriggled against him anyway, trying to break free from his grasp but even if he hadn‘t been a werewolf, he still would have won. Her back hit the wall roughly followed by her head which left a stinging sensation, white hot pain starting from the point of impact. His face was inches away from hers, his warm breath hot and uncomfortable against her cheek as she turned away from him. "It's funny how you want to bring up family until yours is mentioned. Why is that, Ruby?"

    "My family is nothing like yours," she spat, still trying to wriggle free from him. Blaine had dated a lot of women in his time. None of them had ever had Ruby's breeding, none so soft-spoken. But none had managed to piss him off like she was in this moment. The beast inside of him was itching, a maddening tingle at the base of his scalp, spreading over his brain. Fenrir's beast. He had to keep him contained but he was quickly losing control. And at the hands of this stupid girl, none the less. This stupid girl he'd come to love over the short months he'd dated her. But this was a side of her he'd never witnessed. He didn't like it and at the same time he was so incredibly aware of the fact that it probably hadn't existed before she'd seen him with Aceline. Sometimes jealousy had the ability to manifest itself as an even more terrifying monster than lycanthropy. And Ruby‘s jealousy was one Hell of a little bitch.

    Blaine gritted his teeth hard behind wrinkled lips as he struggled to remain calm. He shoved her away from him rather violently and stormed off across the room, slamming his fist into an open wardrobe door as he passed. He turned around in such a fury, his dress robes spun around and knocked a vase off a table which crashed onto the floor and shattered into several pieces and Ruby looked down at them along with the necklace box that lay discarded sometime between when he'd entered the room and when he'd pinned her to the wall. She’d have to buy Layla a new vase. His fists were clenched at his side, the sound of his heart beating roughly in his own head, his blood boiling. He‘d come here with good intentions, not to fight with her, and even though he knew he‘d screwed up, he found her hostility unnecessary. She was being cruel. Unnecessarily so, bringing up matters that were of no relevance at all, baiting him. The longer he stood there, the angrier he grew and when he turned around to face her, he expected her to be huddled in fear of him. But when his eyes met hers, there was no such emotion. She was calm, or at least she looked it, but her eyes were cold and unfeeling. ”I don‘t understand how you can look at me like that. You told me you loved me last night.”

    ”It was preemptive. I was mistaken.”

    His dark eyes descended into an unimaginable level of blackness. She’d taken it back. She’d fucking taken it back. They’d spent the evening up in the empty astronomy tower, stargazing late into the night and for the first time in his life, she’d nestled her head against his chest and whispered those stupid little words that when strung together had the power to melt human beings apart in a puddle of their own stupidity. But she’d taken them back and that gesture alone had the power to turn him into a two year old with a tantrum. And an affinity for raw meat and howling at the moon. A pissed off, two year-old toddler werewolf. ”You’re saying that out of anger,” he spat, trying to convince himself as much as her, trying not to remember all the time he’d heard his mother take it back. She hated him too, nestled him one moment and then thrown him out of the house the next, claiming to have no idea who he was. He’d been discarded before. It was the reason he was the way he was, why he flitted from bed to bed, dropping people before they had the opportunity to leave him first.

    ”No. I’m not,” she jeered, her voice sharp and icy. Her eyes were narrowed and cat-like and he couldn’t decide if the terrifying coldness made her more beautiful or less. Certainly someone she had never been before. ”No one could ever love you,” she spat, tramping his ego entirely, not because she took pleasure in it, but because it was all she could to hide the pain he‘d caused her. She‘d tear apart his ego before she would allow him to see her suffer. It was one of the only things she‘d ever received from her mother and it was a face she wore surprisingly well. And it was all that it took before he was back across the room grabbing at her and she was fighting him off. She struck him several times in various areas in an attempt to push him away, her heart beating quickly. He’d lost control and Fenrir’s beast had exploded in a fit of terrible, terrible rage, making all of his decisions now. She cried out involuntarily as her hair was yanked in the scuffle and both figures went toppling to the ground, Blaine hovering over her in an attempt to hold her in place. Ruby dug her nails into his face just inches above her and he yelped in pain before striking her in the side of the neck. It could have been his fist or the side of the table; she was unclear. She clawed at him again but he grabbed her wrists and pinned her down in an attempt to still her. She wriggled against him; he pushed her into the ground. They struggled for several more minutes, Ruby clawing into the sides of his hands and kicking at him with her legs. And then she was filled with the most excruciating pain she’d ever experienced in her entire life as he wrapped his jaw around her throat. She screamed, but it was lost before it ever made it to her mouth. She wriggled against him, trying to stop the pain as he tore into her neck. White, hot stinging. It’d started as stinging but now it was burning, throbbing. Her blood was on fire and it was spilling out of her. Her toes were numb and cold and she was suddenly aware and unaware of her entire body all at once. She was going to die and she knew it. There were not flashes of light, no drowsiness, no pleasant daydreams. Just maddening, intolerable pain and it wouldn’t dull or go away. She wished for death only to stop her torment but that was before the pain grew so strong she couldn’t wish for anything at all. Seconds felt like hours and her body grew very heavy. She couldn’t push him away. And then he was gone, as if he’d jumped away and ceased to exist altogether and she was very confused and very groggy.

    Someone whispered something to her as she slipped in and out of consciousness, the words soothing even if Ruby struggled to string them together, her sight growing hazy and unrecognizable, the voices around her became more muffled as colors sharpened and hurt her head with their brightness before going hazy and equally painful again. There was something heavy in her hand and when she opened her fingers to reveal it, she noticed the glittering green gems tangled around her palm. If she squinted just right, she could see the red fluid dripping off of it and onto her skin, or perhaps it was cascading off her skin onto the chain. Sticky and wet, covered in her blood. She raised her head despite its immense weight and caught a glimpse of those familiar eyes, Blaine’s eyes watching from the darkness. She had no concept of how much time had passed or what else was going on or if he was really there or just her imagination, but she was minimally aware of the fact that she was being carried. And as she passed by Blaine, or the mirage she assumed to be Blaine in her delirium, she whispered just loudly enough that he might hear before he disappeared, “You break everything you touch.“ Then she closed her eyes and the world grew quieter and she went to sleep.

    “You're going to be alright, Ruby.”

    Edward Vaisey said quietly, smoothing his own hand over his daughter’s as he sat at her beside. He looked up for a moment and could see his wife pacing the hall, biting her nails. She was nervous, that much he knew, but he couldn‘t blame her. They‘d spent hours in a panic, wondering if their daughter was going to pull through. And in true Hestia fashion, two minutes after Ruby‘s condition had been considered stable, she quickly began to panic over what she would tell their friends when they asked what had happened to her. It’d pissed off Edward initially, but he’d realized shortly after it’d have worried him more if she’d behaved in any other manner. It meant things were okay, that every thing was going to be okay.

    ”I‘ve been meaning to ask you something for a while.” Ruby began, studying her father. He was beginning to look quite old and it was the first time she‘d really noted it, the brilliant blackness of his hair giving way to silver streaks, at least in the places he still had hair. And he was wrinkled. Oh so wrinkled. He‘d never had so many wrinkles.

    ”What is it, Bee?”

    ”Why didn’t you and Mum ever pick out betrothals for Jasper and I?”

    Edward looked surprised, trying to figure out if his daughter was being serious or not. ”I thought it would be pretty obvious, Ruby. It isn’t news to anyone that your mother and I aren’t exactly happy. We didn’t want that for you or your brother. Your mother always believed that it wasn’t necessary- we’d raised you right and under the assumption that if we’d done our job properly, your choice would be suitable, and I…The truth is, I don’t really care what you choose to do with your life Ruby. As long as you don’t do what I did.”

    ”Marry a nagging shrew?”

    A smirk formed in the corner of Edward’s mouth and it was obvious for just a fleeting moment where Ruby had inherited her characteristic lopsided grin. ”No. give up on yourself. Things might not ever be easy, but anything that’s worth it in the end isn’t. I took the easy path and I often wish I hadn‘t.” He smiled sadly and then leaned in close so that no one else would hear the last bit of what he had to say if they were listening in despite the fact that they were alone. His word were meant for her ears only.

    “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,”

    the interviewer paused, looking up from the sheet on the desk. "What would you do with it?"

    "I want to be a healer, more than anything else in the world," Ruby began, her pale lips unfaltering. "I know my history is not ideal, but my test scores should speak for themselves. I've worked hard for those marks and if you go back far enough, you'll see even O.W.L.S. that are higher than most of your current trainees.

    "I don't mean to come off cocky, but I've been working toward this my entire life. I don't want something that happened just a few months ago to ruin everything. I can control it. I can do anything it takes. I want this. I need this,"
    Ruby finished, her eyes glittering with determination.

    It was amazing that after all these years, she remained the little girl who'd woven bandages from magical weeds in her mother's garden, the same little girl who'd sat down on that stool and worn the sorting hat that had told her Slytherin would help her grow from the little girl who desperately wanted to make her mother better to the woman who would save lives. "Someone changed my life forever, someone I never meant to. And it's done. But when I was eleven years old, I made a choice that would get me here. Someone very wise pulled me out of my comfort zone so that I could do this. And that's what my entire Hogwart's career has been about, getting here. So if you'd just give me a chance-"

    The interviewer cut her off with a raised hand and she was silent as the pale-eyed woman scanned her resume with pursed red lips. Ruby's posture changed slightly when she noticed the woman's expression, but changed as she raised her head, the slightest of smiles gracing her lipsticked mouth.

    “I believe we have a spot for you, Miss Vaisey.”

    The man appeared very sullen as he said it, leading her down through a hallway, an opening with a tall ceiling, offices. People craned their necks to get a good look at her, the one who'd come to claim what was left of the terrorist, the murderer. They all believed he deserved to rot for what he'd done, the crimes he'd committed against humanity. Some of them wondered how he'd done it. Secretly some of them praised him for his actions, his heroism that had saved them all from exposure. But most people were just curious. They couldn't look away from the slender, dark-haired woman who shared his cheekbones and water-colored eyes. She was like a car crash to them. No one could agree on their feelings when it came to Caerus Carrow, but most shared one simple opinion: no one wanted to claim his body.

    "I have to ask for the official record, what is your relation to the deceased, Miss Vaisey?"

    "My mother's cousin. She wishes to have no mention in the official documents."

    "Our records indicate that Mr. Carrow's mother is still alive, though we were unable to contact her. I understand that he was raised outside of her care?" Ruby nodded, seeing little reason to exhaust words over the matter. "Given the circumstances, you are the closest of kin. Do you accept this role?"

    "Yes," Ruby said dryly, her throat thick with tension.

    "I must warn you, Miss Vaisey, this might cause animosity between you and your family. The official documents will not be open to the public, of course, but people will see it. Once you sign your name, it will be available to the Ministry."

    She shook her head, dismissing his concerns. "There is no will. Anything of value in Mr. Carrow's name will be seized by the Ministry and considered evidence. When and if it is cleared, you will be contacted and all possessions deemed unnecessary as evidence will be released to you, as his next of kin." He continued reading off more legalities, but Ruby stopped him.

    "I'd like to take my cousin's ashes now, if that is okay. The only possession I care about is the engagement ring he carried in his breast-pocket. It belonged to his late fiancée. If the Ministry would sign the ring over to me, I'd like to take it with my cousin to the graveyard where Maria was buried in Muggle Essex."

    He nodded grimly and led her to the room where Caerus waited for her to take him home.
REFERENCE Caution, a long, long time ago.
CONTACT PM, please.
See any previous post.

Posted: Sep 21 2011, 07:38 PM

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congratulations, your profile has been looked over and approved by an admin. welcome to dorkus malorkus! please remember to sign up for the face claim and post in the who's whobefore you get started!

"this is my third gush, i know, but i really think this is excellently done. it's no secret that i love this type of bio because it shows so much more than it tells and it really gives me a better picture of ruby and her circumstances. beautifully done, my dear <3"

- nina
ruby rhea vaisey
Posted: Feb 19 2012, 08:23 PM

22 | werewolf | healer | widow
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we'd be so less fragile if we're made from metal and our hearts from iron and our minds from steel
and if we built an armor for our tender bodies could we love each other, would we stop to feel?
you say you want to know her like a lover and undo her damage, she'll be new again
soon you'll find that if you try to save her, it renews her anger, you will never win

user posted image
play by Edyta Zajac



"It says you were a Slytherin, is that correct?" I cocked my eyebrow just a bit as I sat down across from the young woman with hair the color of strong coffee. She was pretty enough, albeit sharp and too icy for my own tastes, someone else might have found her piercing gaze beautiful despite the fact that I personally found her a bit frightening. She was dressed in mourning black with her lace-stockinged legs crossed and her hands folded rigidly in her lap, fidgeting with a bracelet around her arm. She looked distressed and didn’t incline to catch my gaze when she lifted her own head. There were heavy circles under her eyes and I felt a momentary pang of pity for her despite the fact that my posture remained impartial and professional. I did, after all, have to rule her out as a murder suspect and so far, she was the most obvious one.

"May I smoke in here?" I frowned for only a moment, wondering why a pretty girl like her would be smoking cigarettes and ruining her lungs. Though her condition probably prevented them from going cancerous, I wanted to preach the dangers to her, but instead I nodded curtly and adjusted my glasses, waiting for her to speak. She reached into her clutch and produced a dainty cigarette holder made out of silver which I noted as being ironic because her file stated that she was a werewolf. It caught the light as she held it open and gingerly plucked one out and I noticed her gaudy engagement ring The rubies looked like little drops of blood against the platinum band.

But it wasn't her jewelry that drew my attention most. I was most amazed by her posture. She sat perfectly rigid at the edge of her seat, her shoulders pushed back, her neck long and stretched outward. Within moments she had lit her cigarette and was moving on to answer my question.

"Not of my doing, I assure you. I begged the Hat to put me in Ravenclaw with my brother and cousin, but I suppose it wasn't in the cards for me.”

”That must have been difficult for you, to be separated from your family at such a young age. Do you think the Sorting Hat made a mistake?”

She was thoughtful for a moment, pausing from the conversation to take a strategic drag off from her cigarette. I noted the behavior.

"I don't think so. I'm much softer spoken, I suppose. It's not that I'm not clever, because I am. And it's not that I'm not driven, because I am that too, but I've never been as independent as my brother. I've always believed that the best way to get what I want in life is by developing connections with others.”

I cocked my eyebrow and leaned forward just a bit toward her. ”Is that how you regarded Weiland Macnair? “A way to get what you wanted” from life?”

Ruby stroked the top of the silver lighter she’d used to set fire to the cigarette and failed to put away in an uncommon state of absent-mindedness. The delicate etching in the metal matched the markings on the case I had glimpsed earlier but they didn’t mean anything to me, though the metal’s presence on her person was developing a notable pattern. I expected her to speak for several moments and when she didn’t I began to grow curious. It’d been a leap in the conversation, intended to expose guilt, of course. It was supposed to invoke anger- I didn’t know how to deal with her silence.

She finally lifted her head to speak and I watched her lips move slowly, deliberately. I’d seen her picture in the papers before and her pout was typically painted in some bright shade of mauve or pinkish red that emphasized her youth, though polished nonetheless. They were painted nude today, only distinguishable from her natural pallor by their slight waxiness. ”I wondered how long the civilities would last,” She sighed ever so softly before placing the lighter back in her purse and tucking it away in her lap. ”I can save you the time by consenting to conduct this interview under Veritaserum. I did not kill my husband.”

”It isn't policy to administer Veritaserum when we suspect the interviewee to be easily capable of brewing the anecdote.”

”I recommend you reprimand the intern that supplied you with that information. My former Hogwarts professor that specializes in such will tell you quite plainly that Potions was my most dreadful subject. I'm absolutely rubbish at them.” She flicked a bit of ash off the cigarette with a rigid convulsion of her wrist, quite apparently agitated with my tone toward her, before popping the thing back between her lips and sucking in a large lungfull of smoke.

”So if your marriage to Mr. Macnair wasn’t arranged and you weren’t interested in his money, why did you marry him?”

The raven-haired woman looked taken aback as her spine stiffened in response to my inquiry and I realized it was indeed possible for her to sit just a bit straighter, still perched on the edge of her chair. Her left eyebrow arched and she tipped her head down just a bit and her silken waves of hair followed the movement of her face. Then she raised those glossy blueish orbs at me, the softest air of humor tickling the corners of her eyes, tugging at her mouth. I lost my train of thought, unsure how she might respond.

”Is that a trick question?”

She made a gesture with her cigarette.

"He was fifty-five years old."

[b]"Your attitude toward my kind is disheartening, I'm afraid. I believe the muggles have a term for that sort of thing. Ethnocentrism, if I am correct? Why it is that my beliefs are considered archaic and shameful when they don't fit your accepted social norm, but yours are celebrated because they make a majority of the current population comfortable?"
She paused, but only for a moment and I could tell by the flickering of light in her eyes that she was gaining steam, becoming more opposed to me by the moment. It was a feeling so much more complicated than anger glowing in her bright eyes: a mixture of passion and pride and loathing, discontent and distrust, a faithfulness to a cause, but not merely a cause -- a way of life. Her way of life. And I had insulted it without understanding it and for it I had lost her patience.

"The fact of the matter, Mr. Applebee, if I may be so bold, is that purebloods are numbered and dying. Not all of us want to take over the world, Mr. Applebee. Some of us just want to preserve our families without being discriminated against. I suspect the muggleborns can empathize with being ostracized for being born a certain way.”

“It was your people found responsible for crimes against muggleborns, not the other way around, Mrs. Macnair.”

“It was the Lestranges found responsible for crimes against muggleborns. And their administration. They were a radical group and any prejudices my family experiences because of their greed is unfair.”

“Your cousin died in service of the Lestranges, is that incorrect, Mrs. Macnair?”

“I don’t know what you seek to learn from these interactions, Mr. Applebee. I couldn’t even begin to explain to you why Caerus died doing what he did. I never knew what he was involved in.”

“I’m afraid we’ve gotten off topic.”

“Have we? The renovated Ministry might as well have declared war on purebloods themselves when the Elite fell from power. And if we display any sign that you interpret as us fighting back, you pull us in for questioning to put the fear of Merlin into us before we can return to our daily lives. I don't loathe muggles. I don't want to eradicate them. But I certainly don't want to assimilate with them. If living through this war has taught me anything, it's that muggles are ignorant people. Superstitious people.They have burned my kind alive, locked us away in dungeons, experimented on us, tortured us, waged war on our innocent civilians, simply because they don't understand us. It's not a world I care to be a part of. And I shouldn't be made to feel guilty for it."

She surprised me and I remained silent for several moments, fist balled up to my mouth, running her words over and over in my head. Her blindness to the way the world really worked baffled me, her naivety, how could she not understand that muggle aggression during the last conflict had been carefully orchestrated by purebloods in order to popularize an imagined war? "Is that what your archaic practices are? Fighting back? Betrothals and granting positions to the highest ranked?" I dared, unable to save the grin quickly spreading across my face at her expense and I took pleasure in my momentary act of cruelty. I didn't expect her to respond at all to my facetious treatment and when she did, I couldn't help but respect her for it.

"Betrothals are a joke and any good parent, purebloods included, knows that. Any child raised to respect themselves and their heritage will select a mate that shares his beliefs because they are compatible. You wouldn't go on and marry a woman who believed that the world was flat just because she came from a good family, would you Mr. Applebee?”

I cocked my brow but allowed her to continue speaking, making note of any thing that betrayed her innocence.

”You wouldn't even come to love said individual if you couldn't see eye to eye with her long enough to. Purebloods choose betrothals for their children when they are too lazy to raise them properly."

“I’m surprised to hear that from you. Your admissions director called you a "progressive pureblood" in your entrance interview at St. Mungo's.” I prodded as I fingered through her file and produced the piece of parchment I’d obtained earlier from the hospital. There were more papers with similar attributions detailed on them, the Ministry's werewolf registration from 2024. A few gossip article mentions. And some amateur story from the Hogwarts Herald, among them.

“That was before the war,” She said softly, fumbling with her cigarette case again. I’d hit something dark. A barrier. I wanted to press, but I wasn’t sure it would get me any closer to the information I required. I directed the conversation back.

”So I pose the question again: why did you marry Mr. Macnair? Did you love him?”

For the first time during the interview, I watched as a genuine smile pried at her mouth and tugged at the corner of her lips coming out all crooked. ”Yes. I suppose I did,” She said dreamily, caressing the words like old friends. ”I know how that must sound, but it's true. Weiland was an amazing man.”

”How did you and Mr. Macnair meet?”

”Weiland was introduced to the werewolf community when his son was bit in childhood. He survived, but came down with the condition within a few weeks of the attack. He soon came to find that support groups for the infected weren’t commonplace and many were outcast by society and forced to live like degenerates. Weiland founded the Society of Distressed Werewolves in support of his son and to change the world he would grow up in. St. Mungo’s traditionally hosts the yearly Lunartics Ball. As a healer in the Creature Induced Injuries ward, I was asked to speak last year. I assume my file is quite clear about my other connection to the cause,” She prodded, softly smashing the butt of her cigarette into the crystal ashtray on my desk.

”And you began dating after?”

She smiled again. ”He bought me a drink that night. And then another. I tried to resist, but he was forward and he wouldn’t let me leave until I agreed to have dinner with him the very next night."

I raised my eyebrow now. "Wouldn't let you leave?"

"He had more grey hair than my father does, all sandy with ginger still left in his beard. Piercing blue eyes. Arrogant, of course, completely convinced of his own charms. And he kept calling me "lass,' and even if I hadn't liked it, I couldn't have gone. Have you ever tried to resist the will of a slightly-drunk, determined Scottish man, Mr. Applebee?"

She hadn't stopped smiling the entire time she'd described him.

"I can't say that I have," I said, stomaching the urge to grin.

"But it wasn't just that,", She began, looking pensive for a moment. "It was effortless. I never had to worry if he was seeing another woman behind my back because aside from work, I was all he could keep up with. And he knew about my condition before we ever spoke. He didn't just accept it, he never made mention of it. Ever since I was bitten, I believed that all I could hope to do was settle for someone that accepted me despite being damaged, but Weiland never saw me as such," She trailed off. "He loved me in spite of myself. Never underestimate the importance of that, Mr. Applebee."

”It says here that you were married in August of last year, that would be...five months after the Lunartics Ball?”

”Four.” She said thoughtfully, plucking another cigarette from the silver case before snapping it shut. ”But that was the type of man Weiland was, I suppose. He did everything without considering consequence. He was an opportunist. When Gringott’s was broken into all those years ago, wizards suddenly stopped trusting goblins with their money, especially rich wizards. Gringott’s was rebuilt of course, my father works their today under goblin leadership, but the damage was already done. Weiland was twenty-five at the time and had already acquired a comfortable portion of his father’s inheritance. He talked over everyone just like he talked me into marrying him that night. It wasn’t long before he’d invested in his own bank and had many other important people doing just the same thing. It turns out rich people will pay a lot of money to protect their assets.”

I nodded, and stood up, making my way over to the coffee pot set up on the other side of the room before pouring myself a cup. I inquired as to whether or not she’d take a cup. She gestured affirmatively and in a moment I was making my way back over to the table.

”And what about you? Would you have paid Weiland a great deal to protect your assets?”

”What assets are you referring to? Surely not my own. I never had much growing up, but Hestia was just as good about pretending to have money as she was at spending it. Few others knew how poor the Vaiseys were when I was a child. Weiland found my habit of spending Saturdays curled up in front of the fire reading or drinking cheap liquor in bed endearing, but he still enjoyed taking me out and putting me on display," She trailed off thoughtfully, using the plastic straw in her cup to stir the untouched coffee inside. The was something in her voice, perhaps an air of resentment, perhaps at being treated like a trophy wife. I let her continue.

"He insisted we have a big wedding, said I deserved nothing less. But I knew it was inappropriate. I suggested we elope on our trip to Brazil, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. My mother hadn't any idea what to think of the whole thing, but no one was more horrified than Andromache, or more humiliated for that matter, I expect.”

”Andromache Avery did not like you?”

”They'd only divorced less than a year before Weiland and I were married. I might as well have been the hag that stole her last shred of joy right from under her. Worse, I was the werewolf that Weiland invited into his bed right after he kicked her out. I would have hated me too.”

”So Andromache didn’t want the divorce?”

”Of course not. She had nothing to gain from it. She’d insisted on signing a prenuptial agreement when they married to prove to everyone she was doing it for love and not to honor a betrothal. They were falling out of popularity and Weiland’s family wasn’t worth any more than hers was at the time. They came into the marriage as equals and I suppose that contributed to her decision. But as I mentioned earlier, Weiland made a lot of money when he opened his bank.”

”Perhaps Weiland bullied Andromache into signing the agreement?”

Ruby gingerly picked up her cup of coffee for the first time in the conversation and took a small sip. She added no cream, just two packets of sugar for flavor which she stirred thoughtfully as she spoke. ”It’s possible, but I doubt so. The only thing purebloods care about more than money is pride. If it was more beneficial to her ego to remain his equal and not his dependent, I’m confident Andromache would have signed it. And as I mentioned, he wasn't worth anything more than she was at the time.”

”But if Andromache signed a prenup and Weiland remarried and named you the beneficiary to his life insurance policy, or chose to leave his money to you, that isn’t very probable cause for Andromache to murder him.”

"I'll be sure to let you know if the death threats start showing up by owl to my residence, but I assure you, Weiland generously gifted Andromache a substantial amount of money when they parted. Not because he had to, but because he was a good man and he believed she deserved some sort of compensation for raising his son and putting her own career on hold to do so. And believe me, she didn't hesitate to cash that check."

"Then who else would have had motive to kill him, perhaps his son? He was forced to contend with a step-mother much closer in age to himself than his father, who furthermore threatened his inheritance as well as his ego."

She placed the cup back on the table quite roughly, the hot, black liquid lapping at the edges of the styrofoam. ”You seem to be under the assumption that I suggested Weiland’s death to be a murder. I looked at the results of his blood-work myself. Everything was normal, well as normal as could be for a fifty-five year old man with the heart of one twenty years older. Weiland died at no other hand but his own, regrettably of course, but he was stubborn. You couldn’t make him do anything he didn’t want to and I’m afraid he didn’t take to the salads I had sent to his work.”

I snorted involuntarily and most unprofessionally. It was inappropriate considering she was talking about the death of her husband, but I couldn’t shake the irony that came from a werewolf carrying silver accessories and sending salads in her husband’s lunch like some high end Stepford wife. She did not appear amused.

”Marginalize me if you will, but I did not kill my husband. I had no reason to. I did not sign a prenup and I didn’t know he’d put my name on anything until after I’d been called into his lawyer’s office after his death. Our marriage was brief, and for all I knew, Andromache was still the benefactor to everything. If Weiland had been thinking of his financial affairs the whole time, he didn’t feel the need to involve me and if I really had wanted someone to pay for all my expenses, it’d have been more strategic to keep him around as long as possible racking up the money. I haven’t a clue what to do with his investments. I’m a healer.”

”It sounds like you need a lawyer.”

”Do I, Mr. Applebee? This is the third time I’ve been in for questioning and I have spoken to you, without one, all in good faith to prove my innocence, but I am growing impatient. Either charge me with a crime so that I may contact one or let me go back to work. We can sit and drink coffee all afternoon, but it won't bring him back.”

"What about children? Did you and Weiland ever discuss having them?" I spat out of no where, trying to cover my bases. I was losing her cooperation.

"The subject came up on occasion. Weiland was fairly confident he wanted at least another, a daughter perhaps, but we hardly had time to consider it. We'd only been married six months when he passed away."

"Did you want to have children with Mr. Macnair?"

"Of course I did. For the first time in three bloody years, I felt like it was an actual possibility."

"Having children?"

"I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but lycanthropy is a blood-transmitted condition, meaning there is a small possibility that I could transmit the disease to any one of my prospective children in utereo. It wasn't really a risk I felt comfortable taking."

"But Weiland changed your mind?"

"If Weiland could raise a healthy, normal werewolf child, so could we. You can't even begin to understand what a great comfort it was to be with someone like him, someone that flipped over every insecurity I'd ever held about the possibilities for my life."

"I'm very sorry, Mrs. Macnair," I couldn't think of what else to say. Empathy had never been my strong suit. And it wasn't as though I was supposed to be empathetic. I grabbed roughly for some tissues from the corner of my desk, but she waved them away when I offered them to her. Her expression was grave, certainly very plagued by a great and consuming sadness, but she wasn't crying which I found odd.

"Just another thing that wasn't in the cards for me, I suppose," She said bitterly, taking a drink from her coffee.

"You seem more resentful than anything else."

When she looked at me, my natural reaction was to shrink under the sharpness of her eyes, her expression. I couldn't help but feel like a schoolboy that had just made a considerable mistake. "Have you spent much time in Britain, Mr. Applebee?"

"My entire life," I responded, unsure where she was going with this.

"Then you should be quite familiar with the events of the last several years? Surely you've been reading the papers? The little boy I tutored at Hogwarts was murdered at a summer Carnival along with his sister, who'd been dating my cousin just a year before that.There was a woman mugged and murdered for her time-turner four years ago. She was my best friend. A month before that, the muggle Prime Minister was found dead in his apartments. My cousin was found dead there as well. And when St. Mungo's was bombed, I was there. And people died. People I was training with, training under, patients. There was no discrimination. Innocent people were butchered. And none of those people were slaughtered because they were muggleborn.."

She paused for a moment, staring at the reflection in her cup, both hands wrapped around it to absorb the warmth it emitted. "This war has taken so much from me. But it was over. And I still lost my husband. Forgive me if I seem bitter to you, but I am so very tired of watching the people I love leave me behind."

I sighed, rifling through all my papers on the desk, before nodding slowly. ”You may go. We’ll send for you if anything new arises. Please make sure you remain in contact until then. And one more thing...”

Ruby sat patiently, waiting for one more thing.

”I intend to contact your roommate, the one you were living with before you married Mr. Macnair, Tristan Demonte, is it? He won’t tell us anything about your relationship that might contradict your testimony?”

Ruby froze for a moment, her shoulders a growing a bit too stiff despite all her rigidness. She wrinkled her slightly upturned Carrow nose in my direction and I made note of her discomfort at the mention of Tristan in her file. ”How do you mean?”

”Well, sometimes when there are cases such as these, there is a boyfriend involved...”

”I assure you, Tristan and I were not romantic. I took an interest in him when he came into St. Mungo’s after being bitten by a werewolf. As you can surely imagine, we bonded over the experience,” She responded cooly, making no inclination to explain intricate details. Like the fact that Tristan had turned up in St. Mungo’s after she’d been off on a bender and bitten him. Ruby and Tristan had both decided that the Ministry didn't need to know that.

The dark-haired woman stood up and pushed her metal chair in discretely as possible, though it still made a scraping noise as it slid across the tile. ”If you do happen to find a connection between Weiland’s death and one of my previous tumultuous affairs, please do me the courtesy of arresting the bastard and then allowing me to die in ignorance,” She paused, and bit down on her lip, considering, perhaps, if she'd been too harsh before settling on her final thought. "I would never forgive any of them if they ruined the only honest relationship I've ever had."

She gathered up her things silently, pulling her healer's robes over top the much sleeker, tailored skirt-suit made of grey and black wool that she wore underneath paired with a silk blouse. I recognized the pin on her breast as one trauma healers in the emergency ward of St. Mungo's wore. But I already knew that about her, it was in her file. As she went, I listened to the gentle, methodic clicking of her heels as they tapped across the tile. The door opened and then slammed shut behind her, but I didn’t see it happening because I’d taken my glasses off and my hand was now buried in my hands. When I looked up, the only indication of her presence was the mostly full coffee cup in front of her place and the still-smoking cigarette with a nude lipstick print on the white paper sitting in my ashtray. I sighed, picked up the cigarette, and finished it before getting back to work on her file for what felt like the thirtieth time.

One couldn't be too careful these days. Everyone seemed to have ill intentions.
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