Categories > Books > Harry Potter

Checkmate; The Queen

by swaggermcswagging05 1 review

Her life was spun out of lies. Hestia Jones had an adventurous night with none other than James Potter; the two had broken up with their partners, only for the next day to reunite with them. Hestia...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Blaise Zabini,Draco,Harry,Narcissa,Snape,Theodore Nott - Warnings: [V] [X] [R] [?] [Y] - Published: 2021-02-23 - 10124 words

0Unrated
Chapter One - The Lie

It's a cold winter night in mid February, music is ringing in the ears of Hestia Jones, as her heart is pounding in her chest, alcohol pulsing through her veins intoxicating her whole system, every last bit of sanity draining from her body. She finds herself kissing a fine, young man, her hands running through his hair, his around her waist. His lips taste of Fire Whiskey, lust is in the air, it's all the two are inhaling into their systems. She finds herself pinned against the wall, the man's hands traveling down her back as the other is searching for the knob of the door besides them. The door swings wide open at the flick of the woman's wand. Never breaking the hold they have on each other, only for short breaths, they find themselves in the dark room. The man pushes Hestia on top of the bed, breathlessly, he climbs over her, their kisses are hungry and aggressive as if they were looking for an escape. They start tugging on each other's clothes, removing each piece slowly, one after the other, until they find themselves completely vulnerable.

"Hey, wake up. Come on now, we really need to get out of bed," a familiar voice slowly started to fade into Hestia's head, his voice was light and fluffy.

The man's gentle hands softly dragged themselves across her bare skin, the hair behind her neck perking up as shivers ran down her spine at his touch. "Just five more minutes, I swear, I'll get up. But until then..." Hestia still with her sleepy eyes, barely fluttering open, glancing from the man's face to the windows through her blurry vision as she drifts back to sleep. She snuggled up closer to him, yet he stiffened to her action, hesitantly wrapping an arm around her as she dug her face into his chest.

The sun shines through the tall windows, while Hestia begins to awaken, her body still being held by the man. She found warmth in them through the night, she inhaled deeply, realizing that he had fallen back asleep. She looks up at him, breaking out of his grasp, realizing that she may have made the worst mistake of the decade. She had not found herself back into the arms of her love, Regulus Black, but into the arms of James Potter, her best friend. Though, both of them had broken up with their partners, it still wasn't right with her being so close with Lily, knowing that she still had feelings for him. Her mind wandered back to when they were in their 4th year at Hogwarts, to when she had realized she loved James. Why now?

She gazed back at his handsome face savoring the moment, knowing that it could be the last time she sees him. She didn't think she could ever have the strength to even look at him again, not after what happened that night. He looked so peaceful, every strand of his messy hair perfectly placed, the way his pink lips called to her, his rosy cheeks ever so beautiful as the sun kissed his skin through the white curtains. She sat up covering herself up with the bed sheets, she got up, her eyes roaming the room, searching for her clothes.

"I was shocked, too, you know?"a voice called out behind her. She spun quickly dropping the sheet to her mid thigh, fast as lightning she picked it back up, covering herself as though they hadn't shared the same bed, a bright shade of red bloomed her cheeks. James got up from the bed without any feeling of shame, making his way to her, taking small and steady steps towards her. His hands started making its way to her delicate face as the other on her lower back. His lips inching towards hers, noticing how her eyes closed and how she leaned in the slightest bit, he let go of his grasp on her and dropped himself back onto bed.

The poor girl stood there, annoyed by his actions. "Now you're just being a tease," she said as she finally spotted the last bit of her clothes. Furiously, she started to slip into them, "You know, I used to think about us being together back in school. I remember being in 4th year, realizing I loved you. I was a bloody idiot back then!"

She turned back once again to face him, only he was no longer in bed but pressing his lips against hers, it was short and innocent. The same kiss repeated several times before Hestia finally came to her senses, she pushed him off her with an agitated look on her face, tears swelling in her eyes. "Don't tell me that you regret it now, Goose." He knows how much I hate that name, since we were kids... but he remembers. Contradicting thoughts came across her mind, contemplating whether he had called her that in order to show her some sort of affection or to tick her off.

"No," she brought herself to say aloud. James was perplexed as he furrowed his brows as a signal to continue her thought. "Deep down, you know that we could have had something- if I had only taken a different course of action. You still love Lily, and I refuse to be seen as an object. I refuse to be used. I don't want to be the one you settle for. I'm not a second option and I won't be treated as one." Her breathing was heavy, the tone in her voice filled with anger and regret. If we just had something now, we could have been something from the very beginning.

James was distraught by what Hestia was telling him, remembering the time they had gone days without speaking to one another. It occurred once he got with Lily. Hestia immediately started to avoid him in the corridors, classes, common room, even in the Great Hall for meals. But I did love you back. "You don't understa-"

"I'm not done talking! I don't know exactly what happened between you and Lily, but I know that you weren't kissing me," her voice was shaking as she roared, a tear streaming down her cheek. "My lips were convenient but it was her on your mind. It was her name that rolled off your tongue, for Merlin's sake! Just admit it!" At this point, she couldn't hold back her tears anymore.

"That's not fair," the man finally brought himself to respond to her. God, I hate it when she cries, she just- her face. Reaching for her hand, not breaking eye contact, noticing every tiny speck of green in her light brown eyes, pulling her gently closer to him. Inhaling deeply before he said, "I'm sorry. I have never been the best person towards you, and despite that fact, you were always there for me when I needed you." A lump in his throat forming, retrieving the memories of the times he found her crying to Alice Fortescue. He remembered it so vividly, how his heart dropped hearing his name fall out of Hestia's mouth, he never really knew what exactly he did back then, barely connecting all the dots now. I'm such an idiot, how did I not know it was because of that?! "So, you don't anymore?" Her brows furrowed in confusion, unsure as to what he was referring to. "Love me," the look in his eyes broke her heart, she could see the pain they screamed.

With her forehead now resting on his chest, trying to swallow back her tears, "Oh, Baboon." Baboon. That was her nickname for him, she gave it to him trying to get him to understand how idiotic she felt when he called her “goose”. He chuckled lightly to the sound of it. "You know I do, I always will. I know that you do, too, but you love Lily much more. I could never forgive myself if I were to be the reason as to why you aren't incandescently happy," Hestia whispered into him, refusing to pick up her head to look at him.

"Let's go get some breakfast, how does that sound?" James didn't know what to say other than offering a distraction from all the chaos.

The broken woman sighed, picking up her head alas, nodding to him. His underwear catching her eye on the lamp in the corner, letting out a slight giggle at their stupidity. "All right, only if you put some clothes on, I'm not really sure how to take you seriously with only the sheets covering so little of you."

Moments later, they both walked out of James' manor and into the bitter cold. It was that type of perfect day, clear sky, sun shining bright, all while the air is cold nibbling on their noses. Hestia hadn't expected to spend the night at James' so he let her borrow a pair of light washed jeans (they fit her too big but she simply fixed that using a ribbon) a big sweater, and a cozy jacket of his. The young man was simply entertained by the condensation of his warm breath in the frigid air. Hestia only glanced at him seeing how even though he's a grown man, he still behaves like a child.

"Before we get past the gates, where do you wanna go eat breakfast?" James making a sudden stop. "We could go to a muggle dine-in in London, it's called The Breakfast Club London Bridge. I've heard it's really good." Hestia furrowed her brows in confusion before nodding to him in agreement. She's been to many muggle restaurants whenever her family travel, London just wasn't ever one of them. She found it strange how she never saw the sights of London, have lived so near it ever since she was born. With her hand lightly holding the left arm of James they walked to through his garden, even though the trees and bushes were bare and naked, and the grass was dead, even when it was all so lifeless, Hestia found true beauty in it. The moment that was two meters away from the gate, James took out his wand swiftly, disapparating them both. Hestia never liked doing so, her stomach churned and she felt her head swirl around causing her to feel weak, the drunkenness they underwent the night before making it worse than the usual. The poor girl clutching onto the boy, tightening her hold as the sensation of vertigo increased, his only response to it was pulling her into his chest affectionately, placing his hand on the back of her head barely ruffling up her hair, remembering that for some odd reason she'd always feel sickened by apparating from one place to another.

At last, they found themselves in a dark alley in the great city of London. When their feet hit the ground, they immediately were buzzing with excitement as the streets' noises rang in their ears, the conversation of many people overlapping one another, the streets filled with fast moving cars. Oh, how beautiful the city was. Hestia still feeling a tad woozy still clutched on the arm of James' for support, how she hated apparating for it made her feel so weak and vulnerable to those around her, it wasn't like her. As they walked out of the alleyway, she took in the wonders of the great city, noticing the joy on children's faces, the beautiful architectures of the buildings, and the red telephone booths not knowing what exactly they were, how peculiar everything was to her. Despite all the places she's gone, no matter how beautiful they were, London was now her favourite city.

"Just around this corner, a couple of meters and we'll be there," James was wearing a huge smile on his face. He radiated such joy it warmed Hestia’s heart causing her to smile. How is it that an action as a simple smile could cause such feelings? I’m not doing this again. I am not gonna allow myself to be consumed by the thought of him… and I. The poor girl was becoming overwhelmed with angst and guilt; she snogged Lily’s ex-boyfriend, sure they weren’t very close anymore but it still felt wrong.

The handsome boy made a sudden stop before a beautiful building, a metal fence surrounding the black tables on both sides of the tall sage green door, big windows allowing them to look inside. James gently tugged on Hestia’s hands leading them inside. The place was marvelous, brown wood flooring, ginger booths against the navy blue wallpapered walls, long wood topped tables painted a brown shade of spice, lined up against the windows with tall black stools. Both of their eyes set on the bar, giving each other a look of agreement as they followed to sit down.

A short amount of time passed, when a short haired woman in a waitress outfit and apron came out and handed them the menu, eyeing the young man, a smirk forming on her face as they made eye contact. Hestia biting the side of her cheeks, giving the woman a deadly glare warning her to knock it off, as a response, she rolled her eyes and made her way to the register by the display of pastries. “What was that about?” the fine young man noticing how Hestia was still glaring at the woman from the side of her eye. Snapping out of it, the girl turned to look back to James’ amused face with a slight smile curled on his lips. She shook her head, rolled her eyes at him as she dismissed the question. “Oh, I see. A bit jealous, are you now?” She could feel her face flush a bright shade of red to his comment, acknowledging that he was in fact right. No, not jealous because of that if not because of Lily, he belongs to Lily, she told herself this to not feel guilty about it, but deep down she knew that wasn’t the truth.

Flipping through the pages, “I think I am gonna get a black coffee and an ‘All Breakfast Slammer’,” they had sent away the waitress multiple times before Hestia finally made up her mind about what she wanted. “Tell me not, cinnamon and glaze stacked pancakes, scrambled eggs, with sausage links and bacon sounds pretty good. Or should I get a chocolate milkshake instead of the coffee.” James getting annoyed with her indecisiveness called over the waitress.

“Finally ready?” the woman asked, taking out the small notebook.

Hestia pursing her lips together not wanting to be rude, she knew darn well that if she did anything more than glare, she’d find herself with a spatted meal. “Yes, can we get an ‘All Breakfast Slammer’? Or actually, make it two of them, and hash-browns too, please. I heard that the hash-browns are the best here, yeah?” James excitedly making the order, the woman only smiled and nodded to his question. “Oh, and a chocolate shake along with an orange juice, please.” Taking the last bit of notes, the woman told them it would only be a short amount of time before she’d bring out the beverages.

More people started filling in the diner, chatter filling the air, and small talk only escaping the mouths of Hestia and James until a certain question came up, “So, what happened with you and Black?” Hestia quieted down thinking back to herself, to the night they had an argument. Regulus had been really secretive and moody for the past couple of months, the poor girl only wanted to help him with whatever it was he was going through, but he refused to open himself up. Hestia eventually got tired of seeing him so upset all the time, that night she insisted on knowing what was going on with him. They of course started arguing. Regulus brought up how he so badly wanted to be with her and asked for her hand in marriage, Hestia yelled at him saying that she couldn’t imagine herself with such an egoistic man who constantly pushed away those who truly loved and cared for him. His last words ringing again in her ears, “Well, then, what are you still doing here then?! What are you waiting for? Leave. I mean, since I am such a horrible person, why surround yourself with me?!” Her eyes watered remembering the harsh tone in his voice, regretting the horrible things she said to him, she wanted to hurt him so badly in the moment and said all the right things to do so. Regret filling her eyes, she turned her head down to her milkshake as she slurped quietly before bringing herself to answer the question.

Washing the lump in her throat down with the drink, “We got into an argument, we both said things we didn’t mean- I- or so I hope.” Perplexity crawling up James’ face, his brows furrowing, hoping for her to continue. “He asked me to marry him.” He was stunned by what she said, bringing himself to realize that she too might have some sort of commitment issues. To him, she had always been so sure in what she had with Black… maybe she didn’t have commitment issues, Maybe she’s hiding a part of the truth. “I turned him down in the most horrible way, I said some really cruel things, knowing well that it would hurt him,” picking her head up sorrowfully, looking up at James. Though they probably wouldn’t be in that moment had she not left Regulus, she was glad it happened but she regretted having done it knowing it would cause certain people pain. “If that fight hadn’t happened, we probably wouldn’t be here right now. So given these circumstances, I’m not all that sure I should be happy that it ended.” It all seemed so clear to her, well, for the most part. Serendipity she thought to herself: finding something beautiful without having been looking for it; the occurrence and development of events by chance in a joyous manner.

Shortly after, the waitress presented herself to the pair with plates in hand, carefully setting them down in front of them. The hot plates were steaming, breathing it in the delicious smell of it filled their senses as excitement and hunger growled from their stomachs. “So now tell me,” Hestia took her fork and knife in hand already cutting down on her pancakes. Curiously asking, “What happened between you and Lily? The last time I saw both of you together, you seemed to be truly happy…” she trailed off noticing how he was just staring at his food in despair. “We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, I understand,” in a caring manner, she laid her right hand on his left one, giving him a reassuring smile.

Picking up his eating utensils he lets out a sigh before speaking, “I was planning on proposing to her.” Hestia wasn’t surprised by this at all, she always thought that they were endgame, if anything, she was surprised the most when she found out they had ended things. “She wanted to have a child already, in the midst of a war. It just seemed so wrong to me, why would she want a baby now? I mean, they’d be in danger, they wouldn’t live a normal and happy childhood. It seems a bit selfish, you know?” Deep into thought, he knew she had good intentions and that he may have overreacted to the situation, but maybe he was the selfish one. He wasn’t ready for a kid, so maybe he gave himself those ideas to not feel guilty about the way he said certain things to Lily- like her.

They continued their meal keeping casual talk, making jokes, and bringing up past times, the good old days. Back then, they thought things were hard, now that they were speaking of it, those were the good times, and Merlin knows that we don’t appreciate the moment until it’s over. It’s the way life is really.

They had eaten so much that their stomachs hurt but of course they weren’t gonna leave without something sweet, so they ordered a fruit tart to share, they knew they would not finish one alone. It was much different than the tartes they served at Hogwarts, it was smooth and had a variety of fruits: mango, strawberries, blueberries, black berries, raspberries, kiwi, and green grapes; the creme was smooth on the tongue, and the crust crumbled beautifully in their mouths. “We surely did choose the best pastry to end the meal, didn’t we, James?” The man didn’t bother to reply, being too busy enjoying his final bite of it.

They made their way back to the same alleyway, enjoying the sun and cold breeze against their skin. For it had been almost noon, the day had been going splendid for Hestia, until she remembered her sister was visiting home. She hadn’t seen her since the end of her third year, they had gotten into an argument over something to stupid, it was so stupid she doesn’t even remember what about they fought about. Her stomach started to churn just by the thought of it, maybe she shouldn’t have eaten so much. “Are you alright, Hestia? You’re pale,” James worried. She simply nodded and continued to walk, wondering to herself if her sister was still mad at her or if she wouldn’t dare to speak, or even look her in the eyes. She may not remember what started the argument, but the words she had said to her have been imprinted on her mind since the day she left home, without any formal goodbyes to Hestia.

They said their goodbyes, Hestia hugging James, and him tightening his grip on her, “Be careful and don’t get into any trouble.”

The girl chuckled to his comment, “Moi? Never. I’ll write to you.” She started to back away from his touch, pulling out her wand slowly as a gentle smile crept up her face with a slight grimace. “Also, talk to Lily, make amends. I’d hate to see such a lovely relationship go to waste. What you two have is the love of once in a lifetime.”

And with that she was gone, didn’t even give him a chance to argue back. She just always has to have the last word, huh. Somethings don’t ever change. He thought to himself before he too Apparated back to his own manor.



*



Mrs. Jones was peacefully cooking as their house elf, Tarra, scrubbed the corners of the floor and walls, their grand piano playing itself an astounding piece, when the front tall door burst open with Hestia at foot panting heavily. “Is she here already?”

Her mother looked at her with a disappointed look. She noticed she was wearing men’s clothing, it was casual clothes, so she knew it hadn’t been Regulus’. She really enjoyed the idea of them two being together, he was such a formal, good looking man and though he would be turning 18 in a couple of months, he seemed to be more mature than most kids his age. Hestia had always been an outgoing person, talkative and playful, a bit too much sometimes, although they had diverse personalities, she noticed that they were both closed off when it came to any sentiment and affection.

She remembered the first afternoon Hestia brought him home, they were only fourteen. She gave him a tour of the manor from the inside out, though they did remain in their garden for the majority of the time before supper, she seemed to be happy, her eyes glistened with real joy. Mrs. Jones noticed the way Regulus looked at her, the adoration in his eyes, how he fought back a smile whenever she’d do the simplest of things. Mrs. Jones what was to become of them. “No, not yet. She should be here within an hour or so. I advise you to go on and take a shower, Merlin knows what mischief you’ve been up to.”

The poor girl grimaced as she lowered her head avoiding the irritated eyes of her mother. Since a kid, she had a strained relationship with her mother, she knew that she cared for her but always made it seem as though she was a burden for not coming out perfectly like her sister, Jasmine. She on the other hand, was always top in her classes, poised, well mannered, and dangerously beautiful. Long, chestnut brown hair, even lips, thin, a sharp jawline, beautiful green eyes, and a kind smile. Hestia was constantly compared to her all throughout her first, second, and third year, boys from a variety of years constantly brought up how she was so perfect. She didn’t mind not getting the same attention from boys as her sister did, though when it came to her mother, it was rather painful. Hestia did her best to even reach the heels of Jasmine, but with the standards being held so far up high, she eventually lost all motivation in her fifth year.

Mr. Jones always did his best to make up for it whenever he wasn’t working, which was hardly ever. He read stories to Hestia before bed as a child, spoiled the living out of her, taught her about the star constellations which inspired her profound love for Astronomy and Ancient Greece On her eighth birthday, he had gifted her several collections of books about Greek history, the wars, stories, Gods, Goddesses, inventions, government, everything related to the topic. Though her favourite book was The Bull from the Sea, a muggle novel. It told the story of Thesus after his return from Cretes, she could recite the whole book if she really tried. It was one of the very few personal things she brought with her during her years in Hogwarts. She never got tired of reading it, the ending was always the same but with each time she read it, the more vividly she could imagine the story. She had always loved the idea of being a warrior, she dreamt of becoming the hero to her own story even if it did result in her very own death, it was what had gotten her into the house of Gryffindor.

Whenever her father wasn’t home, she grew rather bored and tried to find some sort of amusement outside. During the ages three and seven she’d chase after the ducks and geese, while they got away from her when they’d hop into the pond, that was until she built up the courage to jump in. She hadn’t known how deep the water was, she would have drowned were it not for Jasmine. Her mother wasn’t surprised by her action and only lectured her to be more like her sister, the words went in one ear and out the other. It was nothing new so she had developed the habit of zoning out when she was only five, everything and anything she did was always wrong in the eyes of her mother, she grew immune to the harsh tone in her mother’s voice.

Mr. Jones left work as early as he could when he found out about Hestia near death by drowning. He burst through the front entrance, the walls shook, his voice echoed throughout the manor with a great volume, calling out to Hestia to come down. Her hands trembled as anxiety and astonishment filled her senses, though her mother always got her in trouble, her father never had raised his voice at her, much less yelled at her. Tears welled in her eyes as she quickly made her way to him, fearing to anger him anymore. He scolded her with such a horrid tone and furious face, Hestia ran the short distance between them and buried her face into his abdomen, sobbing into him, her whole body quaking, she begged for his forgiveness promising that she’d never do anything as reckless as that ever again. Mr. Jones stood there in shock with her tiny arms wrapped around his torso, hesitantly, he knelled down and hugged her back, a low sob escaping his mouth. He wasn’t sure whether it was because he had made his poor, sweet angel cry, or the painful thought to have lost her. After that day, he was determined to never leave home for weeks at a time. He taught her how to swim, horseback riding, he gave her lessons about the key to survival, anything and everything just in case.

As she grew up, he found it harder to spend time with her, she had gone off to Hogwarts and only returned for the holidays. He finally understood somewhat how Hestia and Jasmine had felt when he’d leave for weeks, the feeling of loneliness and longing for their presence, the sound of their laughter. He hadn’t really been there for them when he had the chance, he regretted it but there was nothing to do about it, so he appreciated every moment he had with them and made sure they knew that he loved them both. He constantly wrote to Hestia, well, once or twice a week, if he was lucky three. They wrote to each other about what she had been learning, her friends, the delicious food, their personal thoughts. She’d ask him about his work, if he was all right, about her mother. She never bothered to write to her mother, she didn’t know what to say to her, she feared that she’d send her a howler for every little thing she did.

Hestia dragged her feet to the foyer and apparated into her room, deep into thought, she threw herself onto her bed looking back to fun times she had with Jasmine, When did it all change?

Jasmine and Hestia had an age gap of almost five years, but despite of it, they had been close at some point. Jasmine was about three when her mother was pregnant with her second child, she had a miscarriage in her first trimester. The little girl was the one who found her on the floor bleeding out, she hadn’t known what to do and tried to wake her until she realized her mother wasn’t going to awaken, so she called for Tarra. They had a Magick doctor specializing in pregnancies summoned, she was luckily able to save the mother but it was far too late for the unborn child. Mrs. Jones cried for weeks at a time, she felt as though it was all her fault that she had a miscarriage. It was about two months later when they had found out she was bearing a child once more. Her pregnancy was harsh due to the miscarriage she suffered from, it complicated the pregnancy more than what the doctors and midwives anticipated. She loathed it. The morning sickness, the increased hormones, the fact that her sense of smell heightened much more but everything reeked, she grew weak due to not being able to keep any food in her body.

One night, she snuck into her parents bedroom late at night and laid between her parents, she had just turned four. Her mother’s stomach was vast, the curious girl rubbed her mothers belly before she pressed her ear onto it, it startled Mrs. Jones causing her to flinch abruptly with a gasp. Jasmine let out a yelp awakening her father besides her, he too jumped up from his sleep. “What’s going on inside mummy’s stomach? Is she gonna blow up?” Such odd questions Jasmine asked her parents.

They explained to her that she was pregnant, that she was growing a life inside of her. “Well, you see, women are powerful, even the non-magic ones,” Mr. Jones had scooted over closer to Jasmine and her mother. As he brought his big bear arms around them, he continued, “They all have this power to grow a life inside of them, they feed the child inside, give it oxygen, they keep it alive. The world is at the feet of all mothers, without them, life wouldn’t be possible.” Jasmine realized how important women were, to think that the world rests at the feet of her mother made her mother even more admirable than she had been before, she thought of her to be the most strong and intelligent woman to have ever existed, but to have been told this as such a young age she was propounded by a new sense of curiosity.

When Hestia was born, there had been an awful turn of events, the child had suffered from choking from the intestines wrapping around her neck. For a couple of minutes they had thought she was dead until they were finally able to get her heart working again, the brain was still very much alive, thankfully. After the mishap, they informed Mr. and Mrs. Jones that she no longer would be able to get pregnant, the possibilities were extremely slim, but if she were to, neither the child or herself would be able to survive. Jasmine had been anticipating getting to meet her newborn sibling, she had been disappointed when she found out that it was a girl. Though, she set her mind to always take care of her, to be her very own best friend, to go on adventures with her, and to teach her everything she’d ever learn. She was incandescently happy to finally have a sibling, she was rather bored with having no one to play with, Tarra was fun and all but it just didn’t seem ideal.

As Hestia and Jasmine grew up, they did nearly everything together. Hestia always wanted to match clothes with her, Jasmine was a bit irritated by the girl’s clinginess, but she still allowed it, remembering the promise she made to herself when her little sister had been born. They played various games together, mostly being princesses or warriors in some sort of war, spent hours at a time in the garden and hedge maze, learning to play the piano, colouring, Jasmine always read to her dear sister to sleep. They had the perfect relationship. That was until Jasmine received her letter from Hogwarts. She had no one to play with, no one read to her if her father wasn’t home, she was left behind, all alone; it broke Hestia’s heart.

When her sister returned from her first year at Hogwarts, she was no longer the same. She didn’t want to play dolls with her sister, nor princesses, their times at the garden had been left in the past. The books she read weren't tales anymore but of her school textbooks, she found it so interesting, if it weren’t for her loyalty and determination, she would have been sorted into Slytherin for her ambition to be the best at everything. Whenever Hestia went into her older sister’s bedroom to ask if she wanted to spend time together, she got yelled at to leave immediately by either her mother or her sister, it pained her to be constantly pushed away by the only person that was truly there for her since the beginning. Even when Hestia enrolled at Hogwarts and became a Gryffindor for her sister, it didn’t change anything, not one bit. If anything, it just hurt her more with constantly being compared to his sister by her fellow classmates, the teachers never said much but the looks they’d give her spoke volumes. She tried accepting the fact that her relationship with her sisters would never be the same again, but she always hoped that one day, she’d stop ignoring her, that people wouldn’t lessen her, that Jasmine would stop acting so arrogant, that they would be best friends again.

“God, why am always second best?” tears welled in her pained green eyes. Trying to swallow back down the lump in her throat, she got up quickly to head to the bathroom. It felt awful to be back “home”, everything she did just wasn’t good enough. Not for her mother. Not for her sister. Not for the family name. Hestia turned on the shower as she patiently sat on the stool in her silk robes, deep in thought of her most recent events with James. We really did it, huh? Her fingers gently gliding across her bottom lip. He was just so gentle, the way he kissed me was angry but patient an- and- Lily. Those kisses- everything- it was all for Lily, don’t give yourself false hope.

She noticed the steam fogging up the clear glass door of her shower, sliding off her robe, letting it drop to the floor, and she carefully got into the shower. The hot water seeped into her skin, she messaged the shampoo into her hair trying to move away the thought of her and James’ night together from her head, reciting her favourite greek mythological creatures: Hydra, Minotaur, Phoenix, Siren, Cretan Bull... She rinsed the shampoo out her hair, sliding off the loofa from it’s hook on the tile. She stood out of the water’s reach as she slowly began to rub the loofa against her skin, starting on her left wrist, she traced it up her arm reaching her shoulder. He kissed me there, starting to apply more pressure onto her skin. In circular motions, she scrubbed above her breast as the memories began to fill her head. She led the loofa down her right arm down to her hand.

His hungered kisses tracing up her neck, his lips gently peppering her jaw, and up to her mouth. Intertwining his fingers with hers, as he brought them resting above her head. His tongue gently sliding under hers. She brought the loofa up to her neck, scrubbing harder by the second. She brought it down to her chest. His hand sliding under her bra, pushing it upwards as his thumb fiddled with her nipple, it grew hard from the touch of his cold hands on her breasts. Her hand going down her sternum… His lips grazing her skin as he left a trail of kisses down her waist, his hands roaming every curve of her body. Her hands gently gripping his hair as a whimper escaped her mouth. She scrubbed even harder on her inner thighs. His teeth grazed on her skin, gently nipping on her inner thigh, her hands on getting a hold of his neck and shoulders, bringing him back up to her lips. He slipped in, thrusting his hips against hers. Their fingers laced together, each hand beside her head. Passionate kisses, brief moments of gasps, moans escaping their mouths. He whispered in her ear, his voice barely being heard, “I love you, Lily.”

The moment is over btw.

A sob escaped Hestia’s mouth, she hadn’t noticed she was crying. She let herself fall on the ground under the water. Everything was crystal clear to her now. He wasn’t kissing her, it was Lily on his mind. He didn’t make love with her, her body was just convenient. Perhaps that was the worst of it all, in the pit of her stomach she had known that James would never look at her as more than his best friend, but she allowed herself to be devoured by the mere idea of being desired. He was the first boy she ever let herself love, it broke her heart when Lily and James got together, but she was happy for him. Besides, it’s not like she ever made the effort to make a move on him. She had no one to blame but herself.

Shortly after her shower, she laid in bed for a couple of minutes before deciding to get ready for the dinner party they were having to celebrate her sister’s long awaited return. For a brief moment she wondered why she was such a big deal to everyone, it’s not like she has done any different than anyone in the family, aside from becoming an auror at such a young age. She was proud of her sister’s success, she just envied the love and affection she received from her mother.

A sudden snap broke the silence, and with that Tarra appeared, “Tarra has a gift to give to Miss Hestia. Mistress Jones has ordered Tarra to give you this dress to wear.” With that, the house elf kindly handed the garment bag, and with a pop in the air she was gone. Hestia laid the bag on her bed, when she opened it she found a beautiful satin wine dress. She studied it from the hems up to the texture of the fabric, off shoulder, long and a bit puffy, the fabric had folds on the skirt to add volume. It was one of the very few things her mother liked doing for Hesta, dressing her up, the girl never minded it since her mother has fine taste in clothing, what mattered most to her is the fact that she seemed to remember her favourite colours. The majority of the time, Mrs. Jones got her dresses in shades of maroon, burgundy, and wine, she said that it complimented her hazel eyes along with her skin tone. It was a gentle way that she showed affection to her daughter, she didn’t know of any other way.

Hestia closed the bag back up and hung it. She carefully examined herself as she sat down in front of her vanity table. She wasn’t sure what to make of herself, of course she wanted to look presentable, but now that she thought about it, they hadn’t informed her how big of a dinner party it was going to be. You know what, let’s just play it cool and just do a little light makeup like lip tint and a little mascara. She quickly got it done and thought to herself, There, I won’t be getting too much attention. With a flick of her wand and the incantation of Crinus Muto she styled her hair, two front pieces framing her delicate features, a rope braids from both sides of the part starting from the front of her hair, wrapped around the crown of her head tied together loosely, her long golden brown locks of hair in large loose curls, gently resting on her back. Her hair was always the tithing that made her feel confident in her looks, she knew she was pretty but being constantly compared to her older sister made her feel as though she was only decent. But her hair, that was something no one could ever downplay her about. She carefully slipped into her dress and quickly made her way downstairs.

Mrs. Jones was pacing around between the kitchen and dining room ranting, “My goodness gracious! What took you so long? The guests should be arriving in a few seconds, some of the decorations have yet to be put up, and dessert is yet to be finished!” She set down the last eating utensils on the table and spun around to scold Hestia, “And my wha-” her eyes widened at her daughter. She picked the dress specifically because she knew how well it would suit her, but she never imagined for her to look so breathtaking in it. Hestia simply stood there in shock not knowing what to do as a response to her mother’s reaction. Her mother gave her a wan smile before telling Hestia, “The mascara is a bit too much.” and with that she handed her a small list of things she was to do before the guests arrived, without a second to spare she briskly walked back into the kitchen.

With a flick of her wand and a silent incantation she removed all her makeup. She took a look at the small parchment of paper, Change the drapes from all the house to kettle black, hang the chandeliers, and hang the rest of the white wisteria flowers. She could easily manage to complete the tasks, what worried her was not doing it in the exact way her mother imagined it to be. She summoned the drapes and with a floating incantation she was able to replace the white and black ones. She moved around the whole rest of the house and hung the flowers. The chandeliers were a bit more difficult, her mother hadn’t instructed which ones to hang or where. She called out for another house elf, Paise, “Do you know by any chance which chandeliers are to be hung tonight, or even which ones are to be replaced?”

The house elf seemed to be deep in thought before replying, “Paise hasn’t got a clue. Paise will go ask Mistress Jones for assurance,” with a crackle and a pop she disappeared. Hestia stared up at the chandelier hanging above her head trying to imagine what her mother would want. Suddenly, there was pop, “Mistress Jones has sent Paise to finish Miss Hestia’s task. She says Miss Hestia is free to do whatever Miss feels like.” Hestia gave her a thankful smile before taking her leave to the library.

She slipped in through the grand doors, finding herself in her escape of reality. The library was enormous, was three stories high with hundreds of thousands of books to read, there was those of first edition, enchanted books, history of magic, fairy tales, a small section of muggle fiction, arithmancy books, potion books, plenty of books about famous witches and warlocks, but she usually was in her section of the library, Greek literature and history. No one but her and Mr. Jones entered that part of the library, it was their thing, it was their escape. She searched through the shelves trying to find if her father had bought anything new, to her astonishment, there wasn’t. She rolled the ladder from the far end of the enormous shelf, she kept climbing up until she was a meter and a half up in the air, her eyes curiously searching through the spines of the books. Her index finger roaming the mounts of books, stopping before The Bacchae.

“Haven’t you read that book fifty times already?” called out a familiar voice, startling her to nearly let her left leg slip off the step. Angrily she turned to look down at her father, her face was quick to change from an irritated expression with one filled with adoration. Her eyes filled with delight as she quickly picked out the book and climbed down the ladder keenly, right before three steps she jumped off and embraced her father in a tight hug. He hugged her back and made a short spin in the aisle.

He set her down and cradled his daughter’s face, “Merlin it feels like it has been eons since the last time I saw you!” The last time they had seen each other was before she returned to Hogwarts for her last year, she had decided to drop out and pursue a different career. She didn’t want to work for the ministry so she hadn’t seen a single reason as to why she had to finish her schooling.

She met a well known clothing designer, Matilde Silva, at Hogsmeade one day, they conversed for a minute or so before the beautiful woman invited her for a cup of tea. They spoke about all sorts of things, their childhoods, the places they traveled to, but most importantly about her career. She explained how she didn’t finish school and instead studied abroad in Milan for fashion, she got her degree and apprenticed under the wing of a certain fashion icon during her time. Hestia had always had an interest in fashion, but with her family’s expectation, the opportunities to fulfill her dreams have always been limited. The kind woman offered her to be her apprentice, Hestia said she’d have to think about it, the woman as a response handed her a business card, she said to contact her if she had any further questions or even if she changed her mind about the offer. She later on did contact her about it, she told her about how grateful she was for the opportunity. The catch was that if she wanted to become her apprentice, she’d have to drop out of school since Miss Silva was in great need for one immediately. They came to an agreement, Hestia would start working after the new year started, and that’s how she found herself to be everywhere but home. Hestia knew that her mother wouldn’t be so happy with the news so she spent Christmas break with one of her close friends, Molly Prewett.

“Oh, father, it’s only been a couple of months,” she gave a wry laugh as she studied the look on his face. She knew that he must have been distraught to have learned that she wasn’t coming home for Christmas day, it broke his heart to feel so distant from his daughter, their relationship was one of the most important. “Though, I am here now. I mean, how long did you think I could go without seeing my best friend?”

Mr. Jones' eyes lit up with joy, the thought of losing her was one that he could never bear. “Oh, you couldn’t live without me, my dear,” he snorted as Hestia sighed quietly letting her shoulders relax. He wasn’t wrong, she’d be all alone were it not for her father. He was her whole world, his support meant everything to her.

He took her hand to hold onto his arm as they walked to the couch at the far end of the library, with his left over hers, “I know that you know- my dropping out of school- my apprenticeship.” Hestia looked up at her father expecting a response. He continued to walk with her until they stopped before the couches, he let go of his hold on her to take out his wand, silently the fireplace lit up and they took their seats. “I know mother is disappointed in me, but that’s nothing new so I don’t mind it, at all really.”

He drew a sharp breath before looking back at his daughter’s innocent face, “Your mother is a traditional woman, she wants what’s best for you, I’m sure of it. Though, I do find myself disagreeing with her on a lot of topics, I would have wanted you to finish school.” Hestia’s eyes began to tear, blinking constantly trying to push them away, her throat beginning to form a lump, her lungs pulsing in her chest unsteadily, slowly losing a hold of any air. “It’s a leap of fate that you’ve decided to take, and I’m proud of you for taking the chances on something you love, not many are brave enough to do so knowing that loved ones wouldn’t approve of,” pursing his lips into a line, looking up to the ceiling, trying to hide that he was on the verge of tears. His voice hoarse when he began to speak again, “I’ve always admired the way you did whatever you felt like, you’ve always had a strong sense of security in yourself.” A single tear escaped his left eye, he was quick to wipe it away before she could notice it. “I wasn’t angered by what you did, or even disappointed as a matter of fact. If anything I was worried- that- that you’d never come back home in fear of what your mother had to say.”

She took his hand in hers, sniffling quietly with her head now resting on his shoulder, “Oh, pops, I could never- I would never leave you, you mean everything to me.” Her father was one to mask his emotions, it was rare to ever see him furious about anything, even more to see any sign of sorrow on his face. The sound of his voice breaking tore her heart apart, she realized how much she meant to him for him to nearly cry, and for him to allow her to see him as such a vulnerable state. She’d never forgive herself for the pain she’s caused him to feel.

With a smack on Mr. Jones' thigh and a couple deep breaths he stood up, “I must get going, the guest must be whispering about my absence. Can’t leave them waiting for too long!” A small chuckle escaping his mouth before he spoke again, “Don’t take too long on making your appearance, your sister’s arrival mustn’t be taking much longer than 5 minutes. I would have expected her to be here earlier, odd,” and with that, he showed himself out. Hestia’s heart started pounding on her chest, the anticipation of her sister’s arrival was killing her. In- 1,2,3,4- hold- 1,2,3,4,5- out- 1,2,3,4,5,6, she said to herself repeatedly. She took a look on her hands, they were shaking slightly. This is Jasmine’s night. If you can’t do it for your mother, do it for your sister, you owe her that much.

“Paise,” a short crackle breaking the silence. “Can you do me a favor and take this up to my room?” The house elf nodded before kindly taking the book from Hestia’s hands, a short crackle and pop as she disappeared.

Hurriedly, Hestia brisked out the library doors, through the halls before the doors of the dining room. An abrupt sound of the doors’ locks clicking. “She’s coming! She’s coming!” Hestia yelled in a whisper as she threw herself before the guests. Her aunts, cousins, uncles, grandmother, and family friends got into position awaiting Jasmine’s appearance. “Shhh, everyone quiet.”

“Surprise!” They all yelled to a startled Jasmine. She dropped her bags as she threw herself to hug her parents, teary eyed. “Oh, you guys are the best!” Jasmine squealed, making her way hugging everyone. She hesitated before hugging Hestia, the bright smile she had worn was now a thin line, it had only lasted two seconds before she broke apart with a wan smile. Hestia’s heart dropped at her sister’s response, she was still mad over their argument from four years ago.

They all took their seats, the house elves bringing out the feasts’ preparations laying them down on the long table. Conversation filling the air along with the delicious smell of ham, lobsters, crab legs, baked potatoes, seasoned asparagus wrapped in bacon, and loads of other things. “My, my! Mum, you’ve absolutely outdone yourself this time,” Jasmine remarked, her polite laugh filling the joyous air. “I had a lot of help to thank for,” smiled Mrs. Jones as she handed the slicing knife and fork to her.

Time flew by as they all conversed. They nearly finished with their meals before there was a loud knock on the door, there was a sound of a creak and then short flip flopping until Tarra appeared in front of the dining room doors with none other than Regulus Black. “My apologies for my tardiness, there was some unfinished business that required my attention,” his voice was smooth and voluminous.

“No need to apologize. Please, come sit down,” Mrs. Jones flashing a bright smile making her way to him. They gave each other a kiss on each cheek before she made herself back to her seat, “Why don’t you sit down in the empty spot next to Hestia?” The girl’s face flushed pink, she felt the heat rising to her cheeks as she flashed her eyes down to her hands resting on her lap. With such grace, he walked to sit down besides Hestia with a shy smile. Everyone continued their conversations as the Tarra made their dinner plates disappear with a snap, along with the leftovers, and with that a three tier cake, treacle tarts, and loads of pastries appeared on the table.

“So, how have you been?” asked Regulus wryly while reaching out for a treacle tart. Hestia slowly brought up her eyes to his face, barely glancing at him before resting her eyes on his hands. She gave a weak shrug, not knowing how to bring herself to talk to him after all the horrid things she said to him. “I missed you, you know?” the brokenhearted boy leaned into the table trying to meet her gaze.

She could feel her mother’s glare, she glanced up at her from the far end of the table, her eyes piercing through her, she quickly averted her eyes to look at Regulus. His eyes looked so pained and exhausted, she wondered if he’d even been eating from how his cheeks were sunken in, the hard edges of his jaw growing a stubble, how much she desired to cradle his face in her hands and kiss him.

She painfully gulped before she stood up and excused both herself and Regulus, “If you don’t mind, we have somethings to catch up on, if you’ll please excuse us.” Her mother gave her a sharp nod, her face fighting against a small victorious smirk. Hestia took Regulus’ hand in her own, leading him out of the manor through the east wing and into the garden. All the flowers were dead and the bushes were naked, there was nothing but gravel leading to the pond. Their walk to the pond felt like it took ages, every second was dreadful. They stood in silence in front of the calm water, taking in every moment of the beautiful scenery; the moon’s waning phase glowing and glistening in the water’s reflection, the stars shining in the sky, it was dead, the plants, but it was so aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The bitter air biting on her skin, Hestia forgot to even get a cape or even a blanket to cover herself with away from the cold. Regulus noticed the goosebumps on her shoulders and arms and was quick to remove his black robes, “Here.”

She shook her head refusing to take it from him, “I’ll just conjure a coat or something.” Patting down on her dress, she realized she left her wand on one of the tables in the library. He moved a short few steps to stand in front of her with his blazer in hand, he gazed down on her before she sighed in defeat, with his free hand, he moved her locks of hair from the back to rest on her left shoulder, he brought the blazer over one shoulder and with his left hand pulled the other side of it over the other. They were about a foot away but his facial features were so clear under the moonlight, she could make out every blue speck in his grey eyes, every strand of his beautiful black curly hair, he smelled of wood, herbaceous, and a bit of lavender. She could feel the warmth of his hands on her shoulders, radiating through the blazer.

“I’m sorry,” Hestia’s eyes widened in surprise as those words slipped out her mouth. The boy just stared at her not saying a word, his brows furrowed at her comment. As he studied her face, her eyes swimming in a pool of tears. “I said some really mean things- I- I hurt you, but I didn’t mean to! But I still hurt you,” she basically vomited the words. “I’m so, so sorry. You had a lot going on- you probably still are- I just added more to what was stressing you and- you don’t deserve th-” his hands now on her, one on the curve of her neck, and the other cupping her face. His soft lips pressing to hers, Hestia’s eyes in shock, blinking rapidly as she let herself savour the moment. She wrapped one of her arms around his neck bringing him closer to her, the other resting on his chest. Her back arched allowing him to deepen the kiss, his right hand dropping from her neck down to her waist.
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