Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Make Them Gold

Summer '94, III: Ghosts of Almerry Castle

by nevilleslongbottom 0 reviews

in which aurelia black makes cookies with the tonks family and realises that she'll never have a peaceful year at hogwarts . . .

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Andromeda Tonks,Bellatrix,Neville,Tonks - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2021-01-02 - 5381 words

ANDROMEDA TONKS HAS to be Aurelia's favourite aunt, she makes the best cookies in the world and she doesn't make Aurelia feel bad about her flat figure. Andromeda had easily taken the spot of the best aunt out of the three she has. Not that it's a hard competition — one aunt's in Azkaban for torturing the parents of her best friend into insanity and the other aunt's a stuck-up bitch that likes to make her life hell at Hogwarts.

After saying goodbye to Neville, Aurelia goes bounding over to her aunt with a large grin on her face. She goes to greet her aunt when her cousin, Nymphadora Tonks, appears behind of Andromeda with a shit-eating grin on her face, Aurelia stops dead in her tracks and the smile is wiped off her face. Nym had obviously seen her interacting with Neville Longbottom, a boy, and she is blushing, which means only one thing: Aurelia is never going to hear the end of it.

"First off," Nym says, her smile gleaming with mischief, "Asterope, you look fabulous with those leather gloves, second —"

Nym is about to start her endless taunting but Aurelia isn't about to let that happen even though she knows there's nothing to taunt because Neville is just her best friend but it still gets on her nerves. Her cousin had teased her about Ron for the entirety of her first year until Ginny put an end to it by saying that Aurelia liked her better, which was true but Aurelia hadn't expected Ginny to know that. The youngest Weasley was more preceptive than anyone realised and also Aurelia reckons she can be a little obvious when it comes to crushes. But, Aurelia didn't have a crush on Neville, the blush and smile on her face must tell Nym otherwise.

"Where's your brother — I mean, where's Ellie," Andromeda cuts in, giving Nym a warning glare.

"He went with George," Aurelia says, "I thought that'd be obvious, they're always together, aren't they?"

"Hello, little one," Donna Tonk's loud voice exclaims

Aurelia jumps at her sudden appearance and lets out a yelp, she hadn't realised that Donna was visiting this year. Donna Tonks was Ted Tonks' little sister but she was only nine years older than Nym and so they often acted like sisters, sometimes Aurelia forgot she was actually Nym's aunt. She doesn't visit much anymore, she's a Magizoologist and she travels a lot, Aurelia was probably about three of four when Donna moved out of the Tonks'. She remembered that one visit Donna was blaring some Muggle music and then the next visit it was like she had vanished from existence.

"Donna," Andromeda says warningly, "I told you not to jump her like that, she's . . . She's sensitive. And you girls, I don't need you teasing each other for hours on end, I need to get home so I can finish these cookies I'm making."

And just like that, they both fall into line, not wanting to keep Andromeda from cooking her delicious cookies. Both Andromeda and Nym reach their arms out for Aurelia to take, Aurelia eagerly grabs Andromeda's arm and sticks her tongue out at Nym. Her cousin was horrendous at Apparating, in Aurelia's opinion at least, whenever the got to their destination, she always felt like throwing up, so she was glad that Ellie went with the Weasleys because that meant she could Apparate with Andromeda instead.

The Tonks' house, a little two story house that looked like a cottage you would find in the middle of forest filled with fairies, is like a second home to Aurelia, she looked forward to visiting as much as she looked forward to visiting Mae back then. Aurelia had been going to the Tonks for as long as she could remember and she can remember real far back. She much preferred it over Malfoy manor. Tonks' house is as warm and inviting as the people who lived there whereas Malfoy manor looked cold and intimidating and it was only the people in there that were kind, it left Aurelia feeling a little uneasy; Malfoy Manor had never felt like home to Aurelia.

Once they were all settled in, Aurelia, Nym, and Donna began to help Andromeda with the chocolate chip cookies she was baking. Even Ted Tonks, Andromeda's husband was helping as he had come early from work, Aurelia's not sure what he does exactly but she's certain it had to do with Muggle Television.

Her Uncle Ted sits across the table from the Aurelia and Nym while Donna sits beside him. He was helping them roll up the cookie dough while smoking from an ancient-looking pipe "So, Lia, how was your school year?" he questions her casually.

"It was okay, I guess. Snape was a dick as usual, Gryffindor can do no wrong, I got into some dangerous shit again. Oh, I got my position switched on the Quidditch team — I'm the new seeker!"

"That's wicked, little one, but did you say Sn —" Donna begins to say.

"Don't be so shy, Asterope, tell them about your new boyfriend," Nym cuts Donna off, giving Aurelia a wide, taunting grin.

"Merlin, give me strength," Andromeda mutters to herself as she bends down to open the oven.

Aurelia glowers at Nym, sticking her tongue out.

"Boyfriend," Uncle Ted says with keen interest, giving Aurelia a curious look, "Come on, Lia, give us the details."

"He's not my boyfriend," Aurelia says flatly as she flips Nym off and she ignores the offended gasp that her cousin gives her as she continues explaining the situation, "He's my best friend, you know, Neville Longbottom, the one that I've been friends with since first year."

"Look at her face, she a tomato, they are so not just friends," Nym argues, crossing her arms across her chest.

"He's not my boyfriend!"

"He's your boyfriend," Nym insists, "Look, even your hair's gone pink!"

"Sod off, it doesn't mean anything," Aurelia disagrees.

"It means you're in looove!"

"I don't mean to tease you, little one ( "That's a bloody lie, Donna!" ) but I think my dearest niece has a point," Donna pipes in, laughing only to fall silent when she catches sight of her sister-in-law's fuming face.

"GIRLS," Andromeda yells, "Please, don't start this again, please. The last time you argued about boys my table ended up being stabbed — It's mahogany. Please, the bloody thing cost a fortunate."

Both Aurelia and Nym fall silent, they continue working at making more cookie dough for Andromeda to bake. It's quiet for a good ten minutes and then Nym throws a chocolate chip at Aurelia who looks up and glares at her again but she merely smiles at the younger girl. Andromeda, who can hear the tension building just as well as she can hear the chocolate chip that just hit the floor, sighs tiredly to herself and Ted tries to hide his amused grin.

"So, Asterope, are you sure you don't wanna talk about your little boyfriend," Nym questions casually, giving her a smug smirk.

Aurelia clenches her fists and takes a deep breath and she cooly retorts "I don't know, Nymphadora, wanna talk about the heart eyes you give Remus?"

It's Nym's turn to be angry, her hair turns a bright red and she hisses "You little shit!"

Donna spits out her drink of Butterbeer "Remus bloody Lupin, Nym, what the hell?!"

Uncle Ted looks stunned "Wait, heart eyes? Remus? Since when?"

"It's nothing," Nym says and that's probably true but the same could be said about Aurelia and Neville — it's nothing more than friendship. And besides, Nym barely knows Remus. But, anyone is fair game when it comes to this war.

Aurelia smiles innocently, knowing she had won this round and Nym glares at her, hard, she's a sore loser.

"Remus," Ted says looking to Andromeda who merely shrugs her shoulders, "Really? Like as in our Remus? Remus Lupin"

Nym pouts, turning a light pink as she tries to distract herself with the cookie dough at hand.

"So," Ted says in an attempt to lighten the mood, "How did you enjoy Hogsmeade, Lia? You know my first trip I got hit with that dancing jinx or whatever it's called, yeah, Rowle —" he falters, his attempt fails miserably at the mention of the infamous Xanthea Rowle.

Xanthea Rowle had been a menace back in school, neither Aurelia's mum or aunts had fond memories of Rowle, and even Aurelia's uncles, the fearsome Death-Eater duo, Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange, are scared of her. That's all Aurelia knows about the infamous Rowle, the disappearing Death-Eater, she's only ever been mentioned in passing.

Ted clears his throat "I was hit by a Slytherin for laughs and Dromeda over here felt bad for me so she brought me to your mum — er, no . . . It was your aunt and had her break the jinx."

"Hogsmeade was okay, I guess," Aurelia says failing to stifle a yawn. She frowns as a wave of tiredness washes over her and she slouches in her seat, wanting nothing more than to go to sleep. It was as if this conversation, which had hardly began, was exhausting her.

"Where did you go first," Ted asks but the question seems to go through one ear and out the other, she stares at the table with drooping eyelids and he frowns at his niece, "Are you alright, Lia?"

There's a pause and then Aurelia nods slowly and begins to aggressively rub at her eyes "Yeah, m'fine. Are . . . Are any of the cookies cool 'nough to eat?"

"They are, girls, knock yourselves out."

After devouring about five cookies, Aurelia passes out cold on the Tonks' couch, trapping Nym under her long legs, the two cousins had been having a Scooby-Doo marathon, a normal activity for them. Nym pokes her cheek multiple times but Aurelia remains dead to the world and Nym has no choice but sit there and watch the rest of Scooby Doo and the Boo Brothers.

Hours later, Donna comes into the room to announce that supper is ready only to spot his sleeping cousin and Aurelia on the couch and a wicked grin crosses her sun-kissed face, she creeps forward but Nym pops an eye open and hisses "Don't you dare."

Donna scowls playfully but she abandons the idea of scaring the shit out of them when she spots the pile of Scooby-Doo VCR tapes "How insensitive would it be if we were to put on Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Dora? Like how mad do you think Andy and my bro would be?"

Nym bites on her lip to keep herself from giggling "You're such a wanker, Donna, you know that's a soft subject for her and mum and dad would be —"

"Do it, you cowards," Aurelia mumbles sleepily, she doesn't even bother opening her eyes, she knows that both of them look mortified. The creaking on the floorboards in the hallway had woken her up, she's a light sleeper unless she's sleeping in her own bed, safe inside Almerry Castle.

Both Nym and Donna laugh after a moment of silence, there's a sleepy smile on Aurelias' face that tells them that she really doesn't care so she puts the movie and takes a seat on the floor in front of the two girls. By the time the movie actually starts both Nym and Aurelia are fast asleep again. 


MAE DOESN'T ARRIVE at the Tonks until the next day. Just after two in the morning, Mae knocks on the front door of their house. Andromeda and Donna are the only ones awake in the house, Andromeda had stayed up late to await the return of Mae and Donna had stayed up to accompany her. When Mae's knock echoes into the kitchen, Andromeda wastes no time in answering the door and ushering the shivering redhead inside.

"You need to stop doing this, Mae," She scolds her.

Mae shakes her head stubbornly "You could give me a million reasons to stop and I still wouldn't . . . You four are my responsibility —"

Donna comes and leans against the kitchen doorway, she frowns as she looks at Mae and then tiny footsteps sound from the room across from her, Aurelia's awake. Donna swallows the pain she feels and smiles softly at Aurelia as she steps into the darkened living room doorway, blinking rapidly thanks to the harsh light in front of her. Donna slips back into the kitchen to give Mae, Andromeda, and Aurelia some privacy.

"Mae," Aurelia's small and very tired voice calls out.

"Or I could just give you one," Andromeda mutters as she watches Mae's stubborn expression melt away.

Quiet footsteps cross the living room and Aurelia's head pokes out into the small foyer, she blinks tiredly as she stares at the two woman. Mae laughs softly as she takes in Aurelia's sleepy appearance, her hair's sticking in all different direction and her clothes are all wrinkled "Mae, you came — you're here."

"Yes, I am. I'm sorry I'm so late, I didn't expect to be that long, wee moon, I lost track of time." Mae apologises.

Aurelia's just glad, she came back especially after having a terrible dream that Mae and Ellie decided they didn't want her anymore and sent her back to the Malfoys. As Mae smiles lovingly at her, she realises that the dream will never happen, Mae loves her and so does Ellie. They would never send me back.

"Would you like to come back to Almerry with me or would you like to stay here for the rest of the night," Mae asks.

"I wanna go with you," Aurelia mumbles sleepily.

"Are you sure, y'know it's a bumpy drive up to Almerry Castle from Travis' Inn," Mae says.

Aurelia nods quickly "O' course I know! I've been living with you for three years now, I know it's bumpy but that's okay! I wanna go with you," Aurelia exclaims.

"Well, if that's what you want, wee moon, go get your things then." Mae tells her, smiling softly.

Aurelia nods, stumbling back into the living room to gather her trunk and Freddie.

"Are you sure you're alright, Mae," Andromeda whispers.

Mae nods "I'll be fine, dear . . . I assume Ellie went to Molly's?"

Andromeda isn't at all thrilled by the change of subject but nods nevertheless "It'd be more surprising if he was here, wouldn't it?"

"You're right, a cow would jump over the moon before that boy misses a chance to hang out with George," Mae laughs with a shake of her head, "And he thinks he's slick."

"Mae, did she —" Andromeda begins to ask, the look on her face reminds Mae of a frightened child.

She almost feels bad for lying, Mae shakes her head and replies "No, she just talked and asked about Aurelia . . . As she always does, it's always been about Aurelia —"

"What about me," Aurelia questions, entering the foyer again this time with her things.

Both women froze, Mae eyes her weirdly "We were just discussing your academics! Meda was just telling me that you did very well this year. Not that I'm surprised, you do well every year."

"Oh," Aurelia mumbles, no longer looking interested in their conversation as she believes that it's about school.

"Are you ready, wee moon," Mae asks.

"I'm r — r — r — ready." Aurelia replies, yawning.

"Mind if we use your fireplace, Meda?"

"No, not at all." Andromeda says, going to set up the Floo Network.

Once that's done, Andromeda kisses them both on the cheek and insists that the come over next week for dinner. It'll be the last dinner Donna spends with them that year as she's been hired to track down a strange new creature in Africa. Mae agrees, saying she'll clear her schedule and with that they're gone.

Aurelia grabs a handful of Floo Powder and yells: "Almerry Inn!"

She comes out of the fireplace of Almerry Inn, the pub is rather busy despite the time but it's quiet. At the very back of the pub area is Travis Calderwood who looks to be sleeping.

Mae follows shortly after "My car's just outside, wee moon."

Aurelia nods and drags her things outside of the inn, she spots Mae's car, a yellow 1972 Volkswagen Super Beetle, at the very end of the street.

"Did you really have to park way down there," Aurelia groans, her Scottish accent is thicker in her sleepy state.

"I wasn't thinkin' when I left this mornin'! Forgive me!" Mae replies, her tone full of sass but there's a grin on her face at the sound of Aurelia's accent which she got from Mae..

Aurelia's eyes widen although they want nothing more than to close "You've been gone all day?! Merlin, what have you been up to?!"

"Nothin'." Mae says shortly, growing tense.

Aurelia fears that she's upset Mae. She didn't mean to, she hadn't asked the question expecting answer, she had only asked it as a joke, to emphasise that Mae's been gone a long time, doing whatever she's been doing. Aurelia really hadn't meant to upset her. She chews on her lower lip as they approach their car, she glances at Mae to see that she's still tense.

"I'm sorry," Aurelia blurts out.

Mae looks up, the car keys jingle in her hand as her surprised expression turns to one of confusion "Sorry for what, wee moon?"

"For prying . . . What you do is none of my business," Aurelia mumbles.

"You were hardly pryin', wee moon, you've got nothin' to apologise for," Mae tells her.

"Okay," Aurelia mumbles although she still feels as though Mae's upset with her.

Mae helps her put her trunk in the backseat along with her cat crate, Freddie's not at all thrilled by this, he doesn't like cars and he doesn't like cages, he prefers walking or shoulders for transportation; Freddie mewls loudly.

"Oh, stop complaining, Freddie," Aurelia scolds, "It's only gonna be thirty minute drive."

"But, it's a bumpy one," Mae chimes in.

"Shhh, don't tell him that!"

Mae rolls her eyes playfully "Ye know he can't understand you, wee moon, he's just a cat!"

"You never know . . . Professor McGonagall seems to understand Freddie just fine . . . But, I don't think they like each other very much. I was looking for him once and I found him in front of McGonagall's office and she seemed to be arguing with him, she said that his name was dumb after he had apparently insulted her name."

"Well, she's not exactly wrong," Mae snorts.

"Freddie's name's not dumb," Aurelia gasps.

"His full name is."

"His full name is pure brilliance!"

"Sure, wee moon," Mae says sarcastically, giving Aurelia a judgemental look.

"It is," Aurelia insists, getting into the passenger's seat.

Mae smiles as she gets into the driver's seat and turns the car on. "If you say so," She hums.

"You're so mean to me," Aurelia teases.

Mae only laughs as she turns the car around and heads to Almerry Castle.

The castle sits upon the highest hill on Almerry Island and as far as the locals know, it's been abandoned since Bellatrix Lestrange went to Azkaban. They think that Mae, Ellie, and Aurelia live in the small two-story house at the base of the hill. While they owned that house, they didn't live in it, unless they invited Travis and Lillian Calderwood over for dinner.

Almerry Castle hadn't always belonged to Aurelia's family. Seven centuries ago when the Almerrys founded the island, it had belonged to them. They were the royals of the island but they were dethroned — Aurelia's not being dramatic! She swears, this is the actual word they used in the history book of Almerry — by the Blacks three centuries after finding the Island. All the Almerry killed in a very bloody duel by the Blacks.

No one minded their deaths, most of the people on the island at the time thought that the Blacks were heroes for what they had done. The Almerry were terrible, brutal people that made the Black family look like saints. Almerry Castle used to be filled with tortured souls that were slaughtered by the Almerrys for fun, those souls have long been released from the Castle and now only two remain. The ghosts of the youngest Almerry Children, eight-year-old Anne-Marie and six-year-old Alexander. They were allowed to stay on the condition that they'd be good and to this day they remained much to Ellie and Aurelia's dismay.

Since Aurelia's family had taken over Almerry Island, the castle has been passed down from generation to generation. Her grandparents had used it as a summer vacation get away instead of a permanent residence. Her mother had told her many stories of her summer vacations at the castle, she had adored that place but it had been given to Bellatrix — her mum's still bitter about that. When her aunt had married Rodolphus Lestrange, Grandpa Cygnus had given the summer home to Bellatrix as a 'wedding present' but mum had told Aurelia that it was supposed to be a getaway for her. Then Bellatrix went Azkaban and she had given the castle to Mae — her mum's so bitter about that! — which Aurelia knows raised a lot of eyebrows. Including hers. Mae's a Squib and Aunt Bellatrix's a prejudiced Pureblood bitch, so why would she give Mae a bloody castle?

They were in love, Aurelia theorises, why else would her aunt give a whole ass castle to a Squib, someone she was taught to hate. Mae never says why Bellatrix gave her the castle then again Aurelia never asks but she knows there's got to be a bloody good reason for it.

One day she'll find out why, it'll take awhile as it's not in the Almerry Historicals. In the library there are a series of books the house automatically writes down events they find to be important, they're big books and so far there's about seven of them but Aurelia knows three of them are missing and she's got no idea where they are. One of those books has the answer to her theory. One day, she promises herself as she leans her head against the window. She'll look for them again this summer.

Despite the road to the castle being extremely bumpy, Aurelia finds herself falling back to sleep. Mae's soft humming is lulling her to sleep as she watches the scenery pass them by in a darkened blur. Halfway through the car ride, Mae glances over at Aurelia to find that she's fallen asleep. She smiles fondly at the sleeping child but she can't ignore the pang of sadness that erupts in her heart.

The possible 'what-if' situations are leering in her mind, tearing her apart.


SUMMER VACATION STARTS out smoothly, after returning to the familiar walls of her bedroom which are painted like Van Gogh's Starry Night and even charmed to move like the wind, Aurelia has had less nightmares and an easier time falling asleep.

Although, she's had a rude awakening almost every morning. Take this morning for example: Aurelia wakes up to Ellie screaming: "OH, MAMA MIA! MAMA MIA! MAMA MIA! LET ME GO!"

Aurelia drags herself out of bed, she's still in her clothes from yesterday, a Hufflepuff Quidditch sweater that has seen better days, a pair of slim-fitting black jeans with three small holes on the left leg, and a pair of yellow knitted socks from Molly Weasley. Mae's told her to get rid of the jeans multiple times now but Aurelia always says "Fuck that, these pants make my legs look good." every time, then usually adds a dramatic comment to the end of that statement that makes Mae roll her eyes.

Stretching out her sore limbs, Aurelia heads to the large bathroom that's adjacent to her even larger bedroom to shower and brush her teeth since she didn't get around to doing those things last night.

Aurelia's halfway through her shower when Anne-Marie's voice calls out "That shower looks a little cold there."

"I like cold showers, Anne-Marie," Aurelia replies cooly, "Now please let me shower in peace, please and thank you."

"I wish I could bathe . . . And I say bathe because showers didn't exist when I was alive," Anne-Marie sighs dramatically, Aurelia can hardly make out her hardly make out the child's ghostly form through the shower curtain.

"Proper hygiene was barely a thing when you were alive. You probably bathed twice a year," Aurelia scoffs.

"I bathed once a month thank you very much! My family were no peasants! You're getting to be as rude as your sisters these days, Bellatrix," Anne-Marie says hotly.

Aurelia sighs, it's not her fault, she reminds herself. Anne-Marie's always had trouble keeping up with the Black family, messing up the names so many times. Andromeda had told her that Anne-Marie would call her and Bellatrix 'Phoebe' all the time. Aurelia looks a lot like Phoebe Black, so does Andromeda and Bellatrix. Bellatrix happens to be the spitting image of Phoebe, except her eyes are a bright, ice blue instead of the dark grey that Phoebe had and of course Phoebe had shockingly blonde hair. Aurelia comes very close to being a spitting image and Anne-Marie sometimes calls her Phoebe but she mostly calls her 'Bellatrix'.

"Aww, didst I hurt thy feelings," Aurelia asks mockingly, scrubbing conditioner into her scalp.

She gets no reply meaning that Anne-Marie has left, the ghost has probably gone to find Ellie or 'Regulus' \ 'Cygnus' as she often calls him.

Anne-Marie's voice sounds from downstairs "OI, REGGIE!"


Aurelia jumps at the harshness of her cousin's voice and almost slips out of the tub but luckily she manages to balance herself. Today is going to be a long day, Aurelia thinks to herself as she starts rinse out her hair. And a long day it turns out to be indeed. The makings of a long day hit her in the face the moment she enters the kitchen where she finds a seething-with-rage Ellie and a panic-stricken Mae.

"Oh, he knows, oh no, he knows," Her mum mutters as she paces the kitchen, her Scottish accent is thick with concern, "If he even makes a joke about it or — or if they tell Aurelia, it'll all go up in smoke, oh no. It'll be somethin' terrible for her."

"Tell me what," Aurelia asks, stepping into their sight, Mae looks like a deer caught in the headlights and Ellie's hardened expression turns into one of complete indifference.

"Nothing," He says simply.

"Nooo," Mae says placing her hands on Ellie's shoulderd and rubbing circles on them, her accent getting even thicker as she glances at Aurelia, "No, I'm goin' to have to tell her."

Mae gives Aurelia a nervous look she opens her mouth but she stay silent for a long moment before saying: "You might want to sit down for this, my darling Donum Vitae."

This confuses Aurelia even further but she does what she's told nevertheless. She takes a seat at the kitchen island then Aurelia looks at Mae expectantly, they stare at each other for what seems like a long time before finally, the older woman takes a deep breath.

"The Triwizard Tournament is coming to Hogwarts," She says.

"You're joking, right," Aurelia asks meekly. She's got to be joking. They really can't be reviving that tournament after that long. And, Albus fucking Dumbledore can't be dumb enough to let it happen at Hogwarts, not while Harry Potter is attending — that's just a bloody recipe for disaster!

"I'm not, wee moon . . . I'm sorry." Mae says softly.

Aurelia glances at Ellie to gage his reaction but he looks just as, if not, even more surprised that she feels.

Aurelia's a huge history nerd so she's pretty much read everything there's to know about the the Triwizard Tournament. And everything about them practically terrified her, the tasks were nothing short of horrific . . . They could use werewolves, basilisks, or thunderbirds, they could use werewolves — they could use anything. It's horrifying, people have died trying to win it and they want to bring it back, what the fuck are they thinking? But, there's a bright side to this terrible idea —

"The Yule Ball," Aurelia exclaims, pushing her fear of the tournament to the back of her mind, "If they're doing the tournament then that means they're doing the Yule Ball! They've got to, it's mandatory! Ooh, it'll be just like the parties mum and dad would throw! I'll get to wear a fancy dress and dance!"

"Yes, they're doing the Yule Ball, they sent out a letter requiring dress robes for the occasion so we'll be going dress shopping sometime this summer!"

Aurelia pumps her fist in the air "Yes!"

"Wonderful, I bet I'll look great in a little black dress," Ellie says sarcastically.

"You know I meant dress robes for you," Mae groans but then adds in a light tone: "Unless, you want to wear a dress?"

"I'll pass but only because that means I'd have to shave my legs."

"Lazy wanker," Aurelia says teasingly and Ellie flips her off.

Mae rolls her eyes while Aurelia snickers.

Ellie claps his hands together "Well, now that's settled, I'm gonna go see George!"

Mae nods "Sure thing, love, see you later."

"Bye, Ellie," Aurelia says, feeling sad that she's got no one to hang out with now.

"You can come to you know, Blue. I'm sure that Ginny would —"

"Nope, I promised Plant Boy that I would write to him," Aurelia says quickly, her heart racing in her chest as she jumps up out of her seat and runs out of the kitchen.

Once, she's in the safety of her room, Aurelia slams the door behind her and she begins to cry. She can't ever face Ginny again, not when Ginny knows what her family is really like, not after what her father did to her. She feels horrible, guilt and physical pain weighs down heavy on her chest as she struggles to breathe. She can't handle facing Ginny, hearing what Ginny has to say about her now — she hasn't stuck around the younger girl long enough to know how Ginny feels about that situation. Quite frankly, Aurelia never wants to find out. She's perfectly fine with keeping how their friendship once was fresh in her mind then resolving the tension between them and finding out that Ginny thinks she's nothing more than a Death-Eater in the making.

Aurelia takes a deep breath and strides across her large room over to her desk, despite the fact she's crying, Aurelia starts writing a letter to Neville. After all, she had promised and it's nearly a week into their summer vacation and she had still yet to write a letter to him, he must think she's forgotten him or something. Typically they send each other, at the very least, 200 letters every summer, Aurelia does most of the writing but she knows that Neville reads every letter she sends him.

As she finishes the letter and signs her name, Alexander Almerry floats into her room, he smiles mischievously at her.

"Writing an extravagant apology to Ginerva Weasley are you?"

"I'm writing to Neville Longbottom."

"Oooh, how scandalous," Alexander teases, "It's like Romeo and Juliet except literal star-crossed lovers. Get it, 'cause your named after a star."

"Funny," Aurelia deadpans.

"You're so much like your mother, it hurts! She too was involved with someone she shouldn't be but you already know that . . . Oh, wait, you don't."

She drops the letter in surprise "What? No, hang on, Narcissa Malfoy, my grandparents pride and joy, rebelled? What, no, that can't be! No, I don't know, you must tell me more!"

Alexander shrugs his transparent shoulders and smiles innocently "Sorry, can't, I'm not supposed to say."

"What, hey, no that's not fair! You can't come in here and drop a bombshell about my mum like that and not tell me! That's my mum, you have to tell me."

"I mean," His mischievous smile widens, "Technically that's not your mum, so I don't have to tell you anything."

Aurelia inhales sharply and Alexander floats out of her room, laughing loudly as he leaves her hanging. She scowls to herself and picks up the letter she had dropped, mumbling to herself:

"I bloody well hate ghosts."
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