As Lucius swaggered down the hallways, heading towards the direction of his first class, his mind formed a trail of thoughts that shifted away from Tanya to something as minute as Severus’ tutoring request early that morning. His mind was so used to transitioning that it was slowly moving to nothingness when he entered the courtyard. But it was there that he saw Tanya.
Tanya was chatting with a few girls and Lucius immediately stopped in his tracks. He contemplated walking up to her, but was tempted to slip past her at the same time. Lucius would admit he wanted to find out why Tanya was leaving, but he was afraid that he was the cause of it. How would he feel if that was the truth?
Fortunately for him, his lingering caught the attention of Tanya’s friends and they did not hesitate to point him out. When Tanya saw him, she excused herself from the group and walked towards him. Lucius was surprise at her reaction, but he played it cool.
“I heard you’re leaving,” Lucius said.
“Yes, I am,” Tanya replied.
Lucius nodded his head. The question he wanted to ask was at the tip of his tongue but he held on to it.
“I’m moving to home schooling,” Tanya added.
“I see. Why the change?” Lucius finally let out the ‘why’.
“It will be easier for me to do my training.”
“Auror training. After the internship, they told me they wanted to train me.”
“But aren’t you too young? You haven’t graduated yet.”
“No one is too young to fight for a cause,” Tanya said.
There was a short moment of silence before Tanya added, “Besides, with home school I graduate faster.”
“Ah. So you’re going to be an auror,” Lucius said what meant to be a thought.
Tanya simply nodded and silence fell between the two of them once again. When it lingered too long, Tanya broke it with a smile.
“Well, all the best Mr Malfoy. I hope we never see each other again.”
Tanya gave him an awkward pat on the shoulder before walking off, leaving Lucius wondering what she meant.
There was no hate in her voice yet her words were like a punch in the stomach. Something about the whole goodbye did not seem right either. Tanya acted as though nothing happened between them but her last words did not sound too kind. Was it a jab at what he did or was it something else? Was Tanya planning on telling the ministry about him and his family, or was she just saying that to scare him?
It was an uneasy ending to an odd friendship, but Lucius knew that overthinking only wasted time. So, he decided to pack the conversation at the back of his mind and leave it there to collect dust. After all, he and Tanya were no more.
The rest of the day continued on in a slow pace. It was not just the classes, but the weeks before were slow in letters too. It was either the Dark Lord wanted to give him a break or something big was coming his way. Lucius could only wait and hope the next letter he finds would not be it.
When the weekend finally arrived, Lucius was told that Tanya would be boarding the train on Saturday evening. The prefects were urging those who knew her to see her off, but Lucius declined. She made it clear that she did not want to see him again, and Lucius silently agreed to that. So, while some went to the station to say their goodbyes, Lucius was in the common room being Severus’ worst tutor.
“No, you cannot mix snake fangs and billywig stings in a single bowl,” Lucius said.
“But if you add the standard ingredients in between, you can,” Severus replied.
Lucius narrowed his eyes at him.
“Look, it says here,” Severus said, as he showed Lucius a book he borrowed from the library.
Lucius took the book but he did not bother to read it. He wondered why Severus needed his help when clearly the boy knew much more than he did.
“It seems so,” Lucius said.
Severus nodded with a wide smile, as though it was the first time someone agreed with him.
“You’re doing a great job. Now excuse me, I want to get some rest,” Lucius said.
“Thank you for your help, Lucius,” Severus said.
Lucius waved him off and disappeared up the stairs to his bedroom. He was in a dull mood the whole day and he simply wanted it to end. Sadly, rest was the least of his worries.
As Lucius’ eyes gazed at the steps, the platform before his bedroom door greeted him with a white envelope. Shutting his eyes, Lucius wished the letter away. But when he opened his eyes, it was still there.
Picking up the envelope, Lucius took in a deep, tired breath before tearing it open. Inside, he found a letter that read, “Hogsmead, next week. Potage Cauldron Shop. Let’s meet.”
The letter was not signed with ‘your friend’ but the handwriting resembled the Dark Lord’s. Was it meant for him or was this letter actually meant for someone else? Lucius was not sure if he should go, but if the letter was really for him he better be at Potage Cauldron Shop next week. After all, the Dark Lord might not appreciate being stood up.
To Be Continued…
(Leave a comment below or vote on whether Lucius should follow the letter’s instructions or not!)