The world of Fred Weasley has become one of pain and torture, and he lives now at my whim.
As I walk down the dank corridor leading to Fred’s cell, I am pleased to hear the snap of a whip striking skin and a mournful cry. I know that it might seem perverse to take pleasure in another person’s pain but Fred has taken away someone from me who is precious and turned her against me…for that he must be punished.
I know that Gabrielle acted much like my daughter of old when we were together this past weekend and her smile lifted my heart. But in the end, she still belonged to him and when news of his disappearance came, she ran to his find him. Now, I am forgotten and even though I understand her grief over the man she professes to love, she should have come to me…her mother.
I used to be the one that she went to when she was in trouble. How many nights did she join me in my bed when a storm would thunder overhead or a nightmare would seep into her dreams? Gabrielle depended on me like no one else has and it is difficult to have that wrenched away from me.
Walking into Fred’s cell, I see that my Ela have been busy. Fred hangs naked, face down and spread eagled over the stone floor of his cell. His arms and legs are held up by chains, rusted with use from a time when torture was more accepted than it is now. His ginger hair hangs limp, damp with the exertion of trying to just stay alive. Fred’s body is crisscrossed with fine lines, the skin flayed away from his back by the thin leather whips preferred by my Ela.
Signaling to my Ela, I have Fred lowered, the rusted chains creaking as Fred drops to the ground unceremoniously. He flinches after he lands, instinctively trying to curl up to ease his pain.
I almost feel pity for him. He is not the same man I dined with just a little more than a week ago. His blue eyes have lost their luster and in them, I see that he is losing hope…and hope is what keeps one alive.
“Mr. Weasley.” I kneel next to him as he scrambles away, cringing into the corner.
A dim recognition comes to him and I am surprised that I do not see the pure, unadulterated hatred I expect to find. Instead, he chuckles bitterly as he pulls himself erect and says, “Ms. Delacour.”
I make a mental note that my jailers must feed him more as I see that he has already lost enough weight to be noticeable and I need him to stay alive, even though I believe the Veela Heartbreak to be a myth.
Nodding, I take my time to look him over. I wonder if he has resigned himself to a life in my dungeon yet. He looks defeated but in his voice, he still has a sight bit of fieriness and defiance.
“How are you enjoying your visit?” I mock, calling for a chair to be brought for me.
Sitting down, I cross my legs as he looks at me while shaking his head slowly. “I’m fine, the accommodations could be better and it would be nice to have some clothes.”
I smirk at his bravado. I cannot fault his courage. Even though he has mocked me and taken my daughter from me in body, spirit and mind, I still find myself admiring him somewhat.
“If you would give up my daughter, you can have anything you want.” I lean forward, waiting expectantly for his answer. This is the first time I have attempted to make Fred an offer and I want to see his reaction.
“Then you might want to kill me because I’d rather die,” Fred snaps back quickly, defiance in his eyes.
“That can be arranged also,” I retort.
“You’re already on your way to murdering me but if you harm her, I’ll find a way to hurt you before I die,” he threatens, his voice full of menace.
One of my Ela hears his threat and he strides over, placing his large hand around Fred’s throat and lifts him up, slamming Fred against the wall. Fred hisses and brings his manacled hands to grasp the Ela’s wrists and try to tear them off. But he is unable to free himself and I watch him turn a vivid red as his air is cut off.
I stare idly at his crotch, wondering if it is true that asphyxiation will lead to a man producing an erection. I wait for an indeterminable time but I see that the myth is untrue and I signal to my Ela to let him down. Odd, what one will think about when watching another die.
My Ela walks away, grumbling as Fred falls to the floor, gasping. Fred pulls himself to one knee and holds his throat. He rubs his hand against the raw skin while I advise, “I would be careful about threatening me, Fred. My Ela are very protective and my hatreds are theirs.”
“I’ll remember that,” Fred answers with a strangled voice.
“Babette, a moment please.” I turn as I see Antone at the door. I feel terrible for my steadfast man. He has taken Pierre’s place as head of my Ela and continued his duties as my financial advisor. But he has done each job admirably and I have come to rely on him even more.
“Yes, Antone,” I answer after I stand and move toward him.
“I found these among the possessions of Mr. Weasley.” Antone holds up a pair of knickers in a plastic bag. I lift an eyebrow as he continues, “I apologize but they were in a hidden pocket in his robes.”
I feel the blood drain from my face at Antone’s revelation. Ripping the bag away from him, I stride over to Fred again and slap him across the face. Spittle flies from his mouth as I hold the bag in front of him and yell, “So you chose to be with some whore when you were in Paris, Mr. Weasley? I knew you were just like your brother.”
He stares at the bag incredulously after his eyes re-focus. Fred’s mouth drops open and he begins to laugh loudly before he breathes. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
My Ela steps between us again, worried that Fred will attempt to attack me. I wave him off as I look at Fred and ask, “What do you mean?”
“Those belong to Gabrielle,” he answers, watching me warily.
He glances at the knickers as I walk up to him and with a scream, I strike him in the throat. “Do you mean you carry my daughter’s underclothes with you?”
Fred spits out a stream of blood before he answers in a low voice, “Yes, I do and we have sex. In fact, we made love right before she left to be with you. We're in love and she's my wife.”
“I don’t want to hear it,” I reply, turning away.
“You will hear it now or I’ll scream it night and day.” Fred threatens and I spin around to face him, curious about his courage. He stands proudly when I look at him while he adds, “You need to understand that Gabrielle and I are married. We plan on having children…your grandchildren and come hell or high water, I will find my way back to her or die trying.”
My mind whirls as I stare at him and I find that the defiance has returned to his eyes. Still, he is wrong. My daughter is mine again and so is he now. Smiling, I take a step toward him and lay the knickers at his feet while I smirk. “Keep these, Fred. You will need a memento of my daughter because I promise, you will never see her again.”
Plastering on the smile I have worn all evening while entertaining my daughter and her bumbling fool of a husband has been difficult but I believe I have successfully accomplished my goal of ingratiating myself back into my daughter’s life. It was a bitter pill to swallow when I lost my Gabrielle and I let myself become morose after she left me. But I have decided to take matters into my own hands and reclaim my daughter as my own.
She denied me my right as her mother and the prerogative I had to marry her to a man of my choosing. But that is neither here nor there because she is now tainted…married in secret to a man who is not worthy of her. Still, I cannot refute the fact that Fred does love my daughter and in her own way, she does at least profess a love for this Weasley although I still believe she is more infatuated with him rather than truly love him.
“Mother, please. Let’s not be unpleasant.” My daughter scowls, ever the peacemaker.
“Bill does love, Fleur, Ms. Delacour and I would be proud to be like him when it comes to how I love Gabrielle,” Fred says haltingly and I watch him cover my daughter’s hand with his own.
I smile pleasantly, leaning back a little as I see the nervousness on his features. One thing that I do admire about these Weasleys is that they will stand up for one another despite the fact that they are wrong. This one before me seems to be truly in love with my daughter and I see no easily perceptible cracks in his armor that will allow me to break him as simply as I did the other one.
He is better than that bastard my oldest daughter decided to fall in love with and now has let ruin her life. At least Fred has learned to respect his elders and I do find him to be somewhat charming. His love for my daughter is painfully evident but the fact of the matter is that he has stolen what is mine. He took my daughter away from me without my permission and has not only violated her but has married her also.
But I worry that I tarry too much in my own thoughts and I let his comment slide by while I lift my wine glass. Tilting my head toward my daughter and Fred, I say, “Maybe you are right. At least I can give you a toast to the two of you and your happiness.”
I watch Gabrielle, pleased to see her eyes moisten at my words. I do truly love her but she has hurt me badly and for that I feel that I am justified to seek revenge for every bit of pain that I feel.
“Thanks, Ms. Delacour.” Weasley replies and nods his head toward me.
Smiling wider, I accept his gratitude. Despite the fact that every time he speaks, bile rises in my throat, I need to maintain the gracious and caring façade I have put into place. I wish that I were dining alone with my daughter but I know that concessions had to be made in order to lure her here.
Gabrielle’s hand reaches across the table to cover mine and I see the unbridled happiness in her soft blue eyes. For a moment, I almost regret what I must do soon and I know that my actions will hurt her. But she must understand that in the long run, I will only do what I will in order to ensure her future happiness and to guarantee that our family name and the hereditary line we Veela have always guarded so jealousy will both be protected.
“Mere, maybe you could come over to our home in a few weekends to eat. I’d love to show you around the store.” Gabrielle says excitedly.
My focus sharpens as I suddenly see the opening I have been waiting for since my daughter came home. Placing my glass on the table, I sigh dramatically before I reply, “I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to dine with you, Gabrielle. Business has been very taxing and I have spent most weekends out of town.’
I can almost see the relief in Fred’s eyes and I want to say something derisive. But when I glance at my daughter, I am pleased to see the disappointment on Gabrielle’s features and know that the time is now.
“Mere, I wish there was a way we could spend time together,” Gabrielle sounds disheartened and I watch as Fred reflexively reaches over and covers her hand with his. For a brief moment, I admire his instinctive actions and the way he tries to protect her but it is still not good enough.
I wait patiently, as if I am digesting her words but in reality, my response has been formulated long ago and after I pick up my glass again, I reply, “Maybe you could escort me on my next trip, Gabrielle. It will be like old times and I have missed your company.”
I allow my voice to be a mixture of hope and excitement, knowing how this will affect Gabrielle. I am rewarded when she looks expectantly over at Fred who nods at her before she asks, “When will you be going out of town next?”
“I will be going in a week. I need to travel to Spain in order to negotiate with a new supplier. Maybe you could go with me and we could spend time together.” I answer, knowing that I need to be cautious now and not seem overanxious.
Fred looks a bit alarmed but recovers quickly before he replies, “We had planned to go to Paris next week. I have to look at a new store location.”
“That is too bad, Gabrielle. This will be the only trip where I will have the time to spend with you. I will be far too busy on my other excursions,” I say with a slight bit of dejection in my voice. “I would love to have you with me, ma ange.”
“I know, Mere. But I promised Fred and we work well together,” Gabrielle answers and I sense her sadness.
I know that Gabrielle does not want to disappoint either of us as she glances furtively between Fred and myself.
It is now a battle of wills and whichever one of us blinks first will lose Gabrielle. I refuse to lose now. It has been nearly a year since Gabrielle was last mine and since then, the Weasley has infused himself in her life and now has even married her without my permission.
It is time to reclaim what is mine.
“I could go alone, Gabrielle. It’s important that you spend time with your mum.” Fred concedes after only a moment and I smirk at his weakness. This is the reason that love should never be allowed into a union between two people and I plan on teaching my daughter that lesson.
“No, Fred. This is your first time without Whizzy and I know the area and the language well,” Gabrielle replies stubbornly.
Fred takes my daughter’s hand and holds it tightly before he answers, “I’ll be okay, Gabs. I have an idea of what we want and now that the Ministry says we can trade again with France, negotiations shouldn’t be too bad.”
“Are you sure, Fred?” Gabrielle asks tentatively.
“I’m a big bloke and I’ll probably be home in a couple days since everything should be just about done. Besides, we can go to Paris any time.” Fred smirks and Gabrielle gets out of her chair to hug him closely.
I wince slightly at her actions but my disgust is counterbalanced by the fact that the first step of my plan to win back my daughter has been accomplished and I decide to revel in the moment.
Lifting my glass again, I watch my daughter look at me expectantly while her husband places his arm around her and I think to myself that if things work out, I will only need to put up with him touching my Gabrielle for a short period of time. Smiling at the thought of my plan being put into motion, I tilt my glass again and say, “Here’s to my reconciliation with my ange and to you Fred…may this not be your last visit to my home.”
I watch them both smile as I take a sip of wine and I realize that I can’t wait until my daughter lives with me again on a permanent basis…mine once again to do with what I please.
Studying my oldest daughter carefully, I see the same haunted look that I gazed upon in the mirror for years after her birth. I wondered after Gerard beat me the first time and took my Fleur away what I had done wrong and now, I see that somewhere in my daughter’s mind, the same questions linger there.
“’e ‘as not ‘it me, mere, if zat is what you ask,” my daughter replies defensively.
I stare at her with a bit of reproach in my eyes. I know she has more to say but it is in what she does not divulge that I hope to find my answers. Picking up my flute, I take a small sip, feeling the cool liquid soothe my throat before I ask, “Then why are you here, Fleur?”
In the deep azure of her eyes, I see the battle rage, the same war she has fought since she was a child. Should she choose her mother or the man who now is a part of her life? First, it was her father. The center of her world who could do no wrong and gave her whatever she desired. Now, it is Bill Weasley, the parasite who continues to feed off my daughter and hold her back from attaining her destiny.
I knew that when I had Fenrir attempt to seduce Bill to become one of his cronies, that the pathetic wolf would fall easily. Bill has always been weak, more concerned about his foolish pride and what he has become rather than the person who loves him. But I am worried now that Fenrir has done too well in his task and Bill has become so obsessed with the lure of power that he will harm Fleur. Although that could be easily solved with one whispered command, and then Bill would be dead.
But I realize now that it is not the time to attack Mr. Weasley because I have learned that has led to my daughter becoming defensive in the past. Instead, I need to be her sounding board and allow Fleur to work this out for herself before I begin to say my piece.
“Bill did not ‘urt me. ‘e came ‘ome and I was in ze bed.” Fleur answers quietly. She casts her eyes to the floor and continues, “Let me just say ‘e was different, a bit rougher.”
“Did he hurt you?” I inquire while leaning forward slightly, my eyes narrowing.
“I am strong, mere. I can take whatever ‘e does to me,” Fleur responds defiantly.
“I know, my daughter,” I reply, leaning forward and taking her hand in mine. I curl my fingers around hers, feeling a kinship I have rarely shared with my oldest child before I add, “You are Veela and you have the strength of our people within you. But you should not have to put up with any man treating you badly, including any man you may love.”
“’e did not mean to ‘urt me and ‘e apologized,” Fleur snaps back, her eyes becoming moist as she pulls her hand away from me.
“I know he did not mean to hurt you but he did, somehow or some way,” I retort, while sitting erect once more. Fleur frowns as I say, “I do not care how or the circumstances but you cannot permit this to happen again, Fleur.”
“’e will not do it again, mere,” she replies defensively and I realize that I am staring in to a mirror of myself, her voice echoing what I heard myself say years ago when Gerard first hit me.
“Stop it, Fleur,” I retort. “If you remember, I went through much of what you are going through now. I am not saying that your wolf is the same as my husband but he cannot be allowed to think this is acceptable behavior.”
She relaxes visibly at my words and I watch her lean back in her chair before she answers, “I am listening.”
“Look, my Papillion, as you know, your father and I went through some tumultuous times together which I have told you about,” I say calmly. “I did the same thing you did. After he hurt me for the first time, I told myself everything would be alright.”
“Are you saying zat Bill will turn out to be like father,” Fleur answers sharply, her eyes narrowing to slits with her anger. “Bill would never ‘it me.”
“No, I do not think that he is anything like your father.” I admit, remembering how brutal Gerard was before I finally stood up for myself when he tried to take my Gabrielle from me. I finish off my mimosa before I continue, “All I am saying is that you must be your own person, Fleur. Never let him control you in any way. You are better than that.”
“What do you mean?” she asks as she leans forward, the rage across her features dispelling somewhat.
Breathing deeply, I pick up my flute again and hold it above my head until a nameless servant shows up and refills it. Cupping the glass in my hands, I say, “I am not proud of everything I have done in my life, Fleur. But the one thing that haunts me is giving you up to be raised by your father and a nanny. We never established a bond between us and that has always hurt me.”
“Do you mean like you and Gabrielle ‘ave?” Her eyes dart furtively to the ground for just a moment and I feel the regret swell even more in my bosom that I never tried to reach out to my oldest daughter.
“I would say ‘had’ but I am trying to make amends with Gabrielle too. It has been too long since my daughters were a part of my life.” I smile softly, bringing my hand to her chin and lifting her eyes to mine. “That is why I am so glad you are here.”
“I wish it could ‘ave been under different circumstances. I should visit when zere is nothing amiss in my life,” Fleur answers while I remove my hand.
“You need me, Fleur and that makes my heart feel good. Sometimes I feel as if you and your sisters have outgrown me,” I reply, feeling an inner peace that I have not experienced in months as I sense a closeness with my daughter that has not been present since last summer.
“No, mere. Aveline and Gabrielle will always need you and I am ‘ere now.” She smiles and it is her turn to reach out for me.
Her hand slides into mine and I begin to muse about the first time her fingers gripped mine. It was so different then and I can once more almost feel the exhaustion, the perspiration on my brow after a long labor. All I wanted to do was sleep for days but when they put my beautiful, almost silvered hair child into my arms and her wide blue eyes captured mine, I felt alive. In her eyes, I saw my past, my present, and most of all my future. My soul rejoiced and then her tiny hand took hold of my index finger…and with that small gesture, she took my heart.
I cannot help but grin as the memories flood over me but then once more, I remember her father and what happened a few months after Fleur’s birth when I tried to begin my daughter’s journey along the path of the Veela and I know that this cycle has to stop now.
My jaw sets in determination and I know what I must do now as I say, “Fleur, I have one piece of advice for you.”
“What is it, mere?” Fleur asks, a questioning look crossing her features.
“Do not ever let anyone take away what is important to you. I have made this mistake in the past and I ending up losing you for years. But you cannot let this happen to you,” I reply, trying to convey with my tone the importance of what I am saying.
“I do not understand,” Fleur responds, the confusion crossing her features.
“You mentioned your modeling. Do you enjoy that?” I ask, trying not to become too upset as I think about my daughter’s choice to become a sexpot for the public at large.
“I enjoy it very much. It makes me feel alive,” she answers, her features brightening at the mention of her chosen career.
“Then do not let anyone take that away from you,” I reply sternly.
“Even you, mere?”
“Yes, even me, as long as I am allowed to make snide remarks.” I smirk while I watch my daughter laugh heartily, the soft sound filling the air beautifully around us.
“I will remember that,” Fleur chides as she leans forward in her chair.
“You know I would rather not have you appearing nearly naked in those magazines,” I answer, my tone becoming serious once more. “But I am not the one you ask for approval and that is the crux of the problem. You are a beautiful, vibrant woman who has learned to survive on her own. You should not have to ask for anyone’s permission to live your life, Fleur. Make your own choices and stand by them.”
My daughter is quiet for a moment and I know she is contemplating my words. But eventually she nods as she replies, “I understand what you are saying and you are right. It is my choice to be a model. Besides, ‘e ‘as told me nothing about ‘is job.”
“Then do not let him take that away from you.” I say soothingly.
“You are right, mere. Merci,” Fleur answers and I rejoice once more.
Reaching over, I hug my daughter, wrapping my arms around her and reveling in the warmth and sheer joy she has brought me today.
We each stand as we break our embrace and I smile at Fleur before I ask, “Will you be able to stay for lunch, Fleur?”
She hesitates for a moment and I know she wonders whether she should run home to Bill now. But when she looks at me, I see her smile shyly before she answers, “I would love to have lunch with you, mere and maybe if ze meal runs long, we can ‘ave dinner together too.”
Fri, Jul. 7th, 2006, 10:33 pm
Celeste is the only one of my daughters who has remained faithful to me and has eschewed her own needs for that of the Clans and myself. In her time with me, she has never failed when assigned a task, no matter how difficult the assignment. I enjoy her company and during my ill-fated tour of the Clans to find Gabrielle a husband, Celeste was my assistant and the one I would speak to during that wasted trip.
Truth be told, I miss Celeste. I have come to rely on her as a confidant and she is one of the few people who I trust. Even though I have taken Pierre as an occasional lover and have enjoyed his adoration, I need someone I can speak to without worry and in the months before she left, Celeste had come close to becoming that person.
I should have never sent her to watch Gabrielle because I missed having her nearby. But I needed someone who I knew would accomplish the task without fail and Celeste has shown herself to be the most reliable of my operatives. But it is good to have her back with me and I am anxious to once more have her by my side.
That is why I stand in front of Celeste’s door at an ungodly hour during the night. Pierre spent the night with me and we made love tonight. Although the experience was somewhat satisfying, the ensuing silence afterwards became uncomfortable and I ordered him to leave. Pierre protested, telling me about his undying love for me and his need to stay with me for the night. But I did not want him there and I insisted he depart from my room.
It was soon after that I found my way down to Celeste’s room. I have come down here under the guise of discussing her future position with me as my assistant and her duties but the truth is that I just want to speak about what has happened with my life.
I ball my hand into a fist to knock on the door. I am sure Celeste is asleep and this could wait until morning but after being gone for so long with children as her only company, I think she will be glad to have some adult companionship.
A series of soft moans sound out from Celeste’s room and I put my ear to the door listening closely until I hear a familiar baritone say loudly, “Celeste, gods, you’re beautiful. I missed you so badly.”
I cannot believe my ears but in my shock, I push the door open slowly, stepping inside where I see the broad back of my lover, Pierre, flexed as he thrusts his cock into Celeste. I stare at them dumbfounded for a moment while Celeste whispers, “Pierre, please come for me…”
I watch Celeste’s hands begin to roam over Pierre’s back as he continues to plunge into her and I am appalled. It feels that I have been standing there forever but my logical mind tells me only a minute has passed, yet it is enough for me to know that I have been deceived by two people I thought I could trust. When Celeste’s legs wrap around Pierre and I hear her urge him on in a soft voice, her body beginning to quiver, I know that I have had enough.
Pierre’s body begins to tremble over her, the familiar signs of his impending release I just experienced an hour ago appearing again and I know this has to end. Pulling out my wand from the folds of my robe, I cast a binding spell on Pierre, watching his body suddenly go stiff before I flick my wrist and watch him fly off of the bed. Celeste cries out when her lover suddenly is pulled away from her and I laugh maliciously when Pierre hits the wall and slumps down unconscious.
Celeste jumps off the bed, her body resplendent in the pale moonlight and I clearly that she is the epitome of beauty, the standard by which other Veela are judged. But now, she is nothing but a whore to me who has stolen the only person who shown me any affection since my daughters have abandoned me.
She glances over at Pierre and I see how distraught she had become over the lost of her lover before she begins to fumble for her wand. But I do not give her time to find it and instead, cast another binding spell and watch her naked form, still shimmering with the passion she shared with Pierre, suddenly become rigid.
“YOU FUCKING BITCH!” I scream as Celeste’s body falls on the bed. Walking over, I snatch her long blonde hair, pulling her upper body off the bed and I hear her groan.
Her teeth clench before I bring my hand back and hit her solidly across the cheek while I add loudly, “It wasn’t enough that every man you come in contact with wants you? Now you steal the only man who I have in my life.”
Celeste’s eyes start to water but she refuses to bow before me and for a brief second I admire her courage. She brings her gaze to meet mine before she hisses, “I didn’t do anything, Babette. I never wanted him. He came to me and said you had given me to him as a reward. I let him have me then.”
“Did I tell you he could have you, Celeste? Have I ever sent one of my men to say give you an order” I cannot believe you trusted him? A man…” I reply angrily before I turn toward Pierre. “One who is probably a dead man now.”
Pierre moans softly as his head lolls to one side. Striding over to him, I lift Pierre’s chin and his eyes flutter open before he recognizes me. The fear emanating from him is palpable but the binding spell limits his movement. Pierre struggles against his invisible bindings before he begs, “Babette, please. It’s not my fault. The bitch used her powers on me. I was walking by and she called to me. I’m sorry….I only want you.”
“You lying bastard. You left my bed and came here to fuck this whore? This will be the last time you think with your cock, Mr. Manners,” I say with disdain. The back of my hand explodes against his face and I watch his blood splatter on the floor. I cannot believe Pierre is so weak but I know it is not all his fault. I watched both he and Celeste both writhe in passion and neither of them looked as if they were forced to commit the act I witnessed a moment ago.
Three of my Ela guards surge through the door and I call them over to me before I point at Pierre and command, “I want you to take him to the dungeons and strap him up in a cell to await my pleasure.”
Two of my Ela drag Pierre out of the room before I turn on my heel and face Celeste again. Goddess, I was just about to reward her for her diligence and devotion and now she has betrayed me. Motioning over to my remaining Ela, I have him lift Celeste to sit up on the bed before I give him my orders. After he leaves, I pivot to face Celeste again.
“I swear if I knew about you and Pierre, he would have never touched me,” Celeste says and I am surprised that there is no hint of fear in her voice even though I could kill her right now.
I shake my head before I smile wanly, “It did not look as if you were in any discomfort, Celeste. He did not rape you. Your moans were just as loud as his.”
“But I never wanted him. He lied to me,” Celeste replies.
“I could almost believe you, Celeste. But the fact is you were in bed with him and he is mine whether you knew we were lovers or not. Now you will pay for spreading your legs for the wrong man,” I answer with a hint of regret.
“What are you going to do to me?” Celeste asks resignedly.
I smile softly as I think about my decision. Pierre’s fate was sealed the moment he chose to fuck Celeste. But he is inconsequential and I will either kill or maim him. But I cannot do the same to Celeste. No matter what, she is a Veela and I cannot kill one of my sisters.
Yet I have found something that will allow me to exact my revenge on Celeste for her
treachery whether it was planned or not. Moving over to the bed, I sit demurely on the edge of the mattress, before I say, “I cannot harm you, Celeste since our vows forbid it. But I believe I have come up with a solution that will satisfy us both. I have decided to bind you to Fenrir. The Ela I sent out is contacting him now.”
“You can’t do that, Babette, you know that a person can’t be unwillingly bound to someone else,” Celeste answers confidently.
“But there are ancient Veela spells that allow one to be bound to another no matter what,” I reply with a smirk.
“But you can’t perform them, Babette. You are not pure,” Celeste responds defiantly.
She is correct in her statement. I am not a full Veela. Therefore the spell is beyond my means. But I have planned long ago for this occasion so I hold back my anger at her remark before I give her my most sinister grin, “Of course, I cannot perform the necessary spells but I believe Angelique has the required lineage and the training. She will cast the charms, Celeste and you will have no choice.”
Celeste pales and for the first time, I see a slight bit of agitation on her features and I smile inwardly as she says, “Babette, please do not do this. I am sorry.”
Locking eyes with Celeste, I reply, “I would believe you, Celeste if I did not find Pierre between your legs and see the joy etched on your features as you two fucked. You have betrayed me and even as you profess your innocence, all I can see is you with Pierre. I need to rid myself of you and once I have you bound to the wolf, it will not matter if you love him or not. You will only desire Greyback from now on and that is your punishment for taking away the last man I will ever let touch me.”
“I’ll never submit, Babette. I don’t want Fenrir…not now, not ever,” Celeste snaps, hatred filling her eyes.
Reaching over, I touch her cheek and see her pull away from me before I say, “I do not think that is your choice anymore, Celeste. Whether you like it or not, you are soon going to be Fenrir Greyback’s lover forever.”
“Babette, you’ve had too much to drink again. Please, go to sleep,” Pierre’s features are full of concern but all I feel is disdain for the bastard who sent me to watch my daughters whore themselves out to the Weasley ilk at that damnable ball.
Worse of all, my youngest daughter, my ange, my love, my Gabrielle has married one of that brood without my permission, effectively cutting me off from her for life. I wonder if Gabrielle knows the descent I have made in the few days since her betrayal. I wonder if she knows that now I welcome death and it is because she was my last hope in this world. I wonder if she laughs at how pathetic I have become since she left me. I wonder if she even cares.
I sit on my bed and bring my glass of Chateau Petrus 1961 to my lips. He is right. I have imbibed too much and my head swoons as the effect of the alcohol starts to deaden my senses. Closing my eyes, I chuckle as I think of how my life has changed in this New Year. I have lost all my daughters now and there is no way I will ever be able to get them back. My greatest fear has come true and now I am alone.
A shiver runs down my body when I feel an arm reach around me and I know it is Pierre. The son-of-a-bitch has come to me again. He always comes to me when I am weakest, knowing this is the only opportunity he will ever have with me. I have rebuked him in the past few months, only once allowing him to kiss me in a moment of need but now, it is not desire I find filling my soul. I have never felt this emotion in this situation and when his lips graze against my cheek, I suddenly realize it is revulsion. But still, my soul, devoid for the past months craves this and a strange lust begins to build within me.
My eyes glare at a fixed point ahead of me as Pierre’s mouth traces down my throat, seeking out my pulse point. This is not me, this is not my life. I am spinning out of control and nothing can stop me. I need it to end, I need it to halt….I need control and suddenly, I realize that opportunity sits in front of me and all I must do is grasp it. After all, I am Veela proud.
Pierre stares at me dumbfounded when I turn and grin at him salaciously. He does not understand that where once he was the hunter, now he has become the hunted. His deep brown eyes brim with a mixture of apprehension and want. He licks his lips when I stand and I take the straps of my dressing gown, pushing them off my shoulders while I ask, “Is this what you want, Pierre?”
“Yes,” he gulps nervously…this pathetic, wretched creature who I once adored has proven himself to be just another useless man. But I need him, I need him more than I’ve needed anyone else because I have to control him…his very being needs to be mine.
I feel a giddiness from both the alcohol and Pierre’s eyes roving over me as my gown drops off my body and puddles on the floor. He feasts upon me, drinking in every subtle curve he has dreamed about since we met. My hands trace the swell of my breasts delicately and Pierre gazes upon me as if he is a dying man and I am his last hope.
My fingers find my nipples and I feel them become erect under my touch. I smile knowing that Pierre watches them turn blood red as my excitement begins to play over me. I glance down as I take the pebbled flesh between my forefingers and thumbs before I begin to roll them slowly while I feel the heat build between my legs. I wait until Pierre’s eyes meet mine before I comment, “Do you see my breasts, Pierre? At one time, they were perfect and I was beautiful. But now they sag ever so slightly and do you want to know why? It’s because I breastfed my babies until the last possible moment. It’s because I foolishly thought that if I gave of myself to them unselfishly, we would be bonded for life.”
You’re still beautiful, Babette,” Pierre whispers harshly and licks his suddenly parched lips again.
“You won’t speak or touch me until I say you can, Pierre, or this ends,” I reply with a quiet self-assurance as I know now my hold over him is complete.
I walk over to the bed and sit next to him, breathing in deeply and luxuriating in the scent of a man whose lust builds to a crescendo. I motion for him to strip and I feel a surge of power when his erection springs free and I know it is because of me. Pointing to the floor, I am pleased when he kneels in front of me in supplication, his eyes once more staring at me reverently. I allow my hands to drop to my sides, knowing that he follows my every move until my fingers dip between my now spread legs.
“Do you see this, Pierre? It was from my loins that my children emerged. With both of them, I was cautioned against natural child birth because my hips were too narrow. I did not fully blossom until after Gabrielle. But that is another story,” I purr, the tone of seduction in my voice oddly fascinating. I have denied myself my birthright for too long and now it is mine to claim. I spread my folds, moving one finger inside of me and feeling a sudden shiver course through my body while I sigh, “I insisted that they allow me to have my children naturally because I thought that through this pain it would prove me worthy of their love.”
His eyes never leave me as my thumb begins to graze over my clit as I add a second finger inside of me. The pleasure is so intense and I find myself biting my lip as my thighs begin to tremble. But still I need to maintain my power over Pierre and to do that I cannot allow myself to succumb to my desires. It is only through the force of my will that I do not cry out my release to the heavens and instead bring my gaze down again to meet his while I say evenly, “You may tell me what you want.”
“I want to be inside you, Babette. I want to make love to you, to watch you come while I hold you and kiss you as I’ve dreamed of since I first saw you,” Pierre’s tone is rushed, none of the deep, smooth assurance that he normally displays present in his voice. His hand reaches out for my knee but I glare at him sternly and he withdraws.
“Lie down,” my tone is honey sweet, laden with promise and Pierre vaults onto the bed, his erection standing proud as he readies himself.
I almost want to leave him there, abandon him to his hunger and mock him cruelly for his weakness. But I have spent the last ten years of my life in absolute control of the being that I am, rejecting my Veela heritage and I knew from the moment I first saw the lust in his eyes tonight while I touched myself that I would give in to my need.
Removing my hand from between my thighs, I make my way over to him, watching his chest rise and fall rapidly and I know his excitement is because he is mere moments away from fulfilling his heart’s wish. Still, when I take his length in my hand as I situate myself over him, I pause and ask, “What if I told you that once you had me, you would have to leave, Pierre. If I said that there would only be one time between us. What would you do?”
“Surely you must be kidding,” he laughs sharply. But when he sees that I wait for his answer, he bows his head and says, “I would take that one chance, Babette. It has been my dream.”
His answer satisfies me, even if his lack of fortitude doesn’t and I poise his cock at my entrance before I slowly sink onto his hardness, gasping as muscles long neglected begin to stretch at his intrusion. He does not thrust into me, instead allowing me a moment to adjust and I take advantage, letting myself luxuriate in the feel of his cock inside me.
I finally seat myself fully on his erection, feeling it fill me as I remove my hand from him and tip my head backwards, reveling in the sensation of being with a man once again.
I start to move and he begins to bring his hands to my hips but when he touches me, I tilt my head down and I deny him with a mere look. I watch his confusion but he obeys me without question. This is my time and I do not want him to hold me or pull me to him. Pierre is now a tool that I am using for my own satisfaction.
Lifting up, I plunge down on him again, nodding to him that he can begin to move now. He replies by stabbing his hips into me, his cock reaching places within me that I thought would never be touched again.
“Babette, I love you,” he moans and his hands move once more, playing roughly over my breasts and I feel my anger begin to build at his lack of absolute abeyance.
My moment of pleasure is almost shattered but I push his hands away and lean forward, my nails digging furrows into his chest until he flinches at the pain. We stop moving and when I have Pierre’s attention, I glare at him before I hiss, “You are not to touch me ever. It is enough that I have allowed you inside me. But there is no kissing, no confessions of your undying love. This is for my satisfaction and all your cock is doing is fulfilling an empty void left inside of me and giving me a temporary respite from my pain. Do you understand?”
Once more, my mind tells me to send him away but his cock still twitching within me fires my passion again and when he nods contritely, I bring myself up on my knees and impale my body on him again. My movements grow more urgent as I feel an unfamiliar tide begin to swell within me. I jerk my hips up once more before slamming myself down with a brutal force, grinding against him while he groans loudly. A numbness begins to roam through my body before I feel a slight tingle begin in my spine.
“No, not yet.” My focus returns to Pierre as I hear him whisper his plea and I know he will soon join me in my bliss.
I tilt forward again, my hands resting on his shoulders as I begin to squeeze my thighs together and feel my inner muscles begin to work along his length, coaxing his release from him.
“Too long…it’s been too long,” I sigh, my words surprising me as my mind tumbles backwards to a time of innocence when I was first with Gerard. I loved my husband so much then and when he entered me, I never wanted him to leave. I was shy and awkward, my Veela heritage assuring that I would one day become so much more but I needed these experiences to attain my potential. I loved him with all my heart then before he changed and took my Fleur away from me.
Still, as an insurmountable passion rolls over me and I am helpless against the surging storm. My body quivers, my hands reaching for my breasts once more, fingers fanning over my nipples as I scream out my pleasure. My back arches as I allow Pierre to bury himself fully within me and I watch for a brief second as he grits his teeth, trying desperately to stop the onslaught of his own orgasm.
“Gerard,” I whimper, my body thrashing wildly on Pierre’s as the name of the only man I have ever truly loved if only for a moment, passes unbidden through my lips while the last torturous tremor rips through me.
“Why?” Pierre groans and I stare at him with barely contained malevolence.
His teeth have cut open his bottom lip, the deep red hues of the blood barely noticeable against his dark skin as he held back his release. Yet his eyes are full of hurt now but I do not care because it was at his urging that I allowed my heart to be ripped in two by Gabrielle’s treacherous act.
I pull myself off of him as he cries out his dismay at my loss before I reply, “Because I loved him and because you are a fool who advised me to witness my daughters’ disgusting display at that Ball.”
“Please Babette,” Pierre begs pathetically and I observe his hips thrusting into thin air unconsciously as his needs are still unfulfilled.
“Come for me, Pierre and I may allow you to have me again,” I order as I lean back against the headboard. I watch him wrap his hand around his cock before I smile, “Afterwards, you’ll change my sheets.”
“Yes,” he grimaces as his fingers begin to ply over his length, his hand moving up and down his erection at a furious pace. After just a moment, his body tenses and with a shout his back bows and his cock begins to spasm as he spills onto his stomach and chest.
Rising from the bed, I take my wand and cast a cleansing spell on myself as I watch Pierre’s body still jerk convulsively on the bed. I take my dressing gown and shrug it on before I say flippantly, “You need to leave now and I do not want to see you again unless I call for you.”
I turn my back to him and begin to make my way to the shower before I allow myself to smile slightly as the control I sought has once again been found.
“Are you going to attend the Ball, Babette?” Pierre inquires as we walk together in the Italian Gardens that grace my properly outside of Faerie Ridge.
The air is crisp, the gentle breeze of an English springtime washing over me. I breathe deeply and take in the smell of honeysuckle, wishing it was Gabrielle by my side as I watched her gaze in wonder at the world surrounding her. I miss my daughter but every time I think of her now and her deception, a part of me dies inside. I know my relationship with her will never be the same but I fear I will die alone without any of the family I tried so hard to ensure that they did not lack for anything, including my love.
“I do not know, Pierre. I do not want to risk seeing my daughters but I almost feel I could not live with myself if I did not take that chance,” I sigh, shaking my head. Pierre has replaced Gabrielle in my life, providing me with some type of comfort while I wander through the morose darkness that has become my life.
He has taken on the role of companion, his gentle concern evident in every word he speaks to me. Yet, he is but a dim light when compared to the brilliance that my Gabrielle brought into my life. But I have resigned myself to the fact that she has gone down the same slippery path her sister has taken and now I am alone.
“You should make an appearance, Babette. It would be unbecoming if you did not, given your status in this country,” Pierre comments, his words soft as he prods me gently to make the correct decision.
I know he is right. I have shut myself away since Gabrielle left me and now, I have neglected my duties in at least maintaining the appearance of a legitimate business woman in this Gods forsaken hellhole. Several government officials and my own clan members have called upon me but I have ignored them, preferring to stay within the confines of my home and the solitude it provides.
“It is a masquerade ball, correct?” I ask while placing my hands behind my back while I take in the beauty of the gardens, the harbinger of spring wafting over me.
“It is and I have reliable information that there will be a separate area for the affluent away from the more common masses,” Pierre says a bit too eagerly while he touches my back chastely and guides me to a bench.
A small shiver runs over me as I allow him this small boon, my mind drifting back to a simpler time when I would have given this magnificent man whatever he wanted. But my life has changed since then, my status combined with my tainted view of this world souring me to any chance that love will find its way into my tattered heart again.
Allowing my robes to billow while I sit, I watch as leaves swirl in a crisp gust of wind that seems to rise out of nowhere. My hands cross demurely on my lap and I allow the slight tingle caused by Pierre’s touch to leave my body before I reply, “I do not know if I can restrain myself from causing harm to the men to whom my daughter’s have whored themselves and that would not make for a proper public display for one of my stature.”
I chuckle bitterly but I know my sentiment is true. I know somehow the Weasley brood will find its way into the function and drag my daughters along to flaunt to the world that they have been able to beguile my flesh and blood into loving them. Even my Aveline, the one daughter who I thought would have the sense to use logic instead of emotion has fallen into their clutches and is now saddled with a Weasley offspring.
“Babette, the Clan members who are there need to see you because they must know you still wield your power with an iron fist,” Pierre’s voice takes on a pleading quality and his hand reaches over for mine.
I am tempted to pull away but I hesitate and in that moment, his hand captures my own and in his tightening grip, I feel all the strength, all the compassion, all the love this man has felt for me since we were young. My breath hitches while I sense the impassable barriers I have erected against men begin to fade slightly as I remember the nights I spent in Pierre’s arms, never allowing him to find succor within me but I remember we shared a passion that I will never find with another.
My hand trembles and I try to pull away but when Pierre brings his dark eyes to mine, I see once more the young man who almost captured my heart all those years ago. My heart flutters for the first time in years and I know it is not just the presence of this man hypnotizing me. I am weak, my soul devoid as my daughters have been ripped away from me. I want nothing more than to fill the emptiness I feel inside and when I gaze upon Pierre as he leans forward, his breath hot against my cheek, a small whimper escapes me before I find the last of my resolve. Forcing myself to tear my eyes away from his, I implore, “No, Pierre, we cannot do this. I am not the innocent girl who you knew in the Creche.”
I stand, removing my hand away from his, trying to compose myself as I dust the front of my robes in a frantic manner. Stepping away from him, I suddenly feel his iron grip on my arm before I pivot toward him, fury ebbing over me at his restraining hold on my body.
He pulls himself erect quickly and I stare at his hand upon my skin, the dark cocoa color in such stark contrast to the porcelain skin of my Veela heritage. I suddenly feel his fingers on my chin and I find myself gazing upon the young boy who saved my life in Haiti a lifetime of lost innocence ago. I pour every gram of my remaining resolve into resisting him but when he brings his lips close to me, I suddenly ache for the solace he can provide me, the temporary sanctuary that we will share as we did in our past together.
“Babette,” he whispers, his voice thick with yearning as he releases my chin and runs his thumb along my jaw line. Pierre is no longer the young man whose awkwardness was so enchanting during our years together in the Creche nor is he now, the valued friend and associate who I trust beyond any person I have ever known.
He is a man, brash, confident…and he wants me unlike every one else in my life who has abandoned me. When his lips touch mine, I whimper quietly, my hands dropping to my side before I find the sudden need to wrap them around his neck, pulling him closer. Our kiss deepens and he shares with me every desirous craving he has had for me, spanning the decades.
He crushes my body to his and I gasp into his mouth while his tongue curls against mine. I suddenly become aware of his hands on my lower back and unlike the innocent sixteen year old who I shared my love when I was younger, now his movements are bold as his hands caress the swell of my bottom. I shudder at his touch, now wanting him to possess me, to make me his and take away the pain my own daughters have inflicted upon me.
“Babette,” a loud cry sounds from the front of the Italian Gardens and stark reality crashes down upon me as I begrudgingly break my kiss with Pierre.
The voice is Antone’s and it would do me little good to let him find me in a compromising situation with my closest associate. Yet, when I glance at Pierre, I still see his passion enflamed and I know that his need is mirrored within me. He leans forward while I try to compose myself as he begs, “Please, mon cheri, we can escape to the lake. Let me share your burden with you.”
“It cannot be this way, Pierre and you know it,” I whisper harshly, trying to convince him with my tone but failing miserably when my knees wobble slightly.
“You want me,” he states simply and brushes the back of his hand against my cheek while I steady myself. I feel my skin flush at his touch and I know he is right but this cannot happen…not now, not ever.
“No,” I find myself asking him instead of answering with the commanding tone I hoped to accomplish.
I step further away as Antone rounds the corner and thankfully, I do not believe my businesslike associate notices the blush of my cheeks as he walks up to us. He nods curtly at Pierre before he announces, “Your secretary would like to know how to answer the invitation to the Minister’s Ball, Ms. Delacour.”
Gnawing on my bottom lip, I hesitate for a moment but a surge of confidence runs through me when I reach into my soul and suddenly find it is not as devoid as it was just a moment ago. Smiling genuinely for the first time in months, I nod at Antone slightly before I reply, “Tell her to answer that I will be there. After all, I cannot miss such an important social event.”
“Don’t you think it is too much, Babette?” Veronica Desparde shakes her head as she takes hold of her glass and runs her finger around the rim. My healer hesitates for a brief moment before she adds quietly, “The werewolf has always been difficult to control.”
“As long as I have the treat, the puppy will follow obediently,” I reply with a mirthless grin. Veronica has been furtive in the last few weeks since she found out I brought my old rival into the fold to supervise the downfall of Bill Weasley, my despised former son-in-law.
“But aren’t you worried Fleur will become ill?” Veronica asks, her eyes casting to the Persian rug on the floor. She has taken care of my children and she has been exemplary. Even my husband could not argue that we could find better care for our family than with Veronica. But as the years have grown longer and Veronica has watched me take over my husband’s ‘business’, she has become irritatingly worrisome.
“She did not become ill when the cur left her the first time. We have no worries,” I reply confidently while picking up my cup of tea. Bill Weasley is arrogant bastard who my husband gave Fleur to years ago, allowing her a moment of frivolous fantasy with a commoner followed by years of misery. He divorced her and I had thought that she had moved past him but it seems that the call of the beast is too strong for my disappointment of an older daughter.
“These are different circumstances. Her anger and frustration may have been strong enough to carry her through the illness before and she was unvowed. These might have played factors in her survival,” Veronica retorts, putting her cup down in front of her before placing her hands upon her knees.
“Fleur is still unvowed and I am sure she is dissatisfied with her wolf or will be very soon,” I smirk, enjoying the fact that Bill will become what he despises if my plan comes to fruition.
I know that targeting one man or one family may sound petty but it seems that the Weasleys have had no problem with stealing what is rightfully mine. First there was Fleur and her damnable independent streak which led her to be swooned by the werewolf, although I cannot even call him that since he did not even get that right and now lives in the realm between that of man and wolf. Then my dear sweet Gabrielle was taken from me by an even homelier son of the cow, Molly Weasley. It seems that my impressionable innocent one allowed herself to become infatuated with an older man and since deviousness runs in the Weasley family, it was only a matter of time before she became involved in their web of deceit. Finally, my Aveline has become impregnated by another one of the brood. She at least has had the decency to not fall in love with her breeder and therefore there is some hope.
“It might be different this time, Babette. You are taking an awful risk,” Martha states with a strong conviction in her voice.
Leaning forward, I lock my gaze with Veronica, my eyes boring into hers until she submits and glances away. Smiling, I relax slightly while I say, “It is a chance I am willing to take. I loathe him to and I would rather die than to allow his tainted genes to intermix with ours.”
There is no where in my bloodline for the likes of Bill Weasley. At one point in time, he came from common yet hardy stock that would have been acceptable but since he was mauled by Fenrir Greyback, he is useless as a breeder now, the taint coursing through his veins too strong.
Sighing loudly, Veronica throws herself back into the cushions of the sofa. Veronica huffs in exasperation before she says, “Then I request that I be allowed to monitor Fleur. One of my assistants will follow her to watch for any signs of illness.”
“Do you really think I would try to kill my daughter?” I ask in astonishment while bringing my hands together. Veronica’s concern is a given but I am shocked that she would accuse me of harming any of my daughters. All I do, I do for their own benefit but they call me meddlesome when I have been just trying to protect them from the horrors of the world.
Still, I nod, granting Veronica leave to follow her wishes. It will not do any harm to have Fleur observed while her lover’s life falls apart. Standing up, I move away from where Veronica sits, calling an end to our meeting. As I sit behind my desk, I see that Veronica is leaving my office to my infinite pleasure.
When she departs, Pierre steps into my office and closes the door behind him. He moves across the room until he sits in front of me. I am a bit irked that he did not even ask permission to sit but our relationship has always been more casual than that I maintain with others. He adjust himself in the chair before he says, “The plans are in place for the other one too, Babette. We can move at any time on the one Gabrielle has chosen.”
Tenting my fingers, I lean over my desk and look at the ruggedly handsome man who was my first love, wondering if life would have been different if we had been able to stay together. But my mother would not grant us that boon. Instead, Pierre is now my confidant and most trusted associate in my Clan.
“Understand that the circumstances are different with him. Gabrielle is much more fragile,” I reply softly, knowing that my youngest daughter, the hopeless romantic could be hurt severely by any direct act I take on Fred Weasley. It would take a truly horrendous act by him for me to acquiesce to any action brought against him since I do worry that my youngest would not be strong enough to survive.
But it is also the fact that I detest Bill so much that I cannot even imagine him as part of my family. Had it not been for him first seducing my oldest daughter when she was but an impressionable young girl alone in a foreign land, none of this would have happened and my Fleur and Gabrielle would both be married to respectable men rather than the sewage they choose to dwell with now.
“You have made this abundantly clear, Babette. Your instructions will be followed,” Pierre states with a self-assurance I find so endearing yet so infuriating. He crosses one leg over the other while he continues, “Have you considered my offer to become your consort?”
“You know how I feel about you, Pierre…but now is not the time.” My voice is tainted with anguish as I answer Pierre. He has been dear to me my entire life but I cannot allow foolish emotions like love to control me like they do my daughters.
“We would be good together, Babette. You know how I have felt,” Pierre stands and rounds my desk until he stands behind me.
He places his hands upon my shoulders, causing my breath to hitch. I find my heart beginning to palpitate faster, a slight flutter spiraling through my stomach but this is not my destiny, not now. Closing my eyes, I revel for a moment in his mere touch but then I remember who I am and what I must do.
Spinning around, I knock his hands off me with my sudden movement before I say firmly, “It cannot be this way, Pierre. I am no longer a little girl. I have chosen a different path and unfortunately, there is no room for you as my lover while I make this journey.”
Pierre backs away, his hands raised and I see a slight look of disappointment cross his features. He nods slightly, the even white teeth on display again when he smiles, “I understand, Babette. As I said, please keep me in mind.”
He turns to leave and as I watch him go, I am filled with the anguish of decisions I have made and that which I have sacrificed. A tear begins to form in the corner of my eye before I find my resolve again. When Pierre reaches the door, I know I cannot show any weakness, not now…not ever if I want to survive. I ignore the wasteland that once was my heart when I call out to Pierre in an even voice, “Mr. Manners, please send in the wolf…”
Tue, Apr. 25th, 2006, 09:39 pm
My daughter, Gabrielle has stubbornly tried to remain in contact with me despite my declaration that our relationship as mother and daughter effectively ended when she choose her Weasley over me. I have always admired her persistence and at another time, I would have embraced her determination. I would have rewarded her with her heart’s desire. But as I read her letter for the thousandth time, both cherishing and despising every word she has penned, I still find that I am unable to answer her.
Picking her letter up from my desk, I smooth the crumpled edges and chuckle to myself as I read the first line.
I hope you won't throw this letter away, and that you'll read it with an open mind.
She was right to have worried and it was only through the force of my will that this letter did not find the rubbish bin.
I've been by twice now, since I last saw you, but no one will let me past the door. I suppose that was your doing, but I'm not angry with you. I guess I understand your position, even if I think it is a bit harsh. I wish I could do something to make you happy and love me again, but I realize that you're upset with me still.
She does not understand the embarrassment and heartache she caused me by her duplicity. In the eyes of both my Clans and my Veela sisters, I am lessened by her deceit.
I've been studying hard, preparing for my NEWTs. I'll be finished with them soon. I'll send you the results if you wish.
I always knew that she would complete her studies and the reports from Celeste indicate that she is one of the brightest students in her class. I had thought through Celeste’s correspondence that there was a chance that Gabrielle would find her way into the arms of Mr. William Mason, a young man whose family standing is quite respected throughout Great Britain and whose uncle acts as my primary barrister. It would not have been an ideal match but better than anything she could find in this pairing with the Weasley cur.
I don't know yet what I want to do once my schooling is finished. I thought about traveling, but I didn't want to be too far from my family or Fred. I thought about becoming a Healer, but you know how I get nauseous at the sight of blood. I don't think I'm smart enough to be a Professor and I'm certainly not strong enough to play Quidditch. I wish I could be like you.
I wish she would travel since distance would allow her to forget about this Fred and she could find love in the arms of another. I almost find myself hoping that she will find another man who will sweep her off her feet, romance her, and make love to her until the Weasly is nothing but a dim memory.
But my daughter could be anything she wanted…she has just chosen to lower herself and become like her sister, Fleur…a concubine to the Weasley mongrels.
I realize you haven't spoken to Fleur in awhile either, because she's reunited with Bill. She loves you a lot. She looks sad when we speak of you and I know she misses you.
Her sentiment makes me sigh but still, her heart is misplaced again. She has always had a fascination with the beast and this probably led her to be more accepting of the blood that ran through his veins…the worse of two worlds….Weasleys and wolves. Of course, her sister looks sad when she speaks of me, she can no longer deceive me either. To think that I almost believed Fleur when she said she would take her vows. But my daughters have always been my weakness.
I miss you too.
As I do you, my daughter…
Sadly, she is no longer my angel…she belongs to him now.
A single tear drops onto the letter. I want to accept her back into my life, to have her by my side but I cannot tolerate her dishonesty or her choice. So with heavy heart, I pick up my quill and begin to scribble on the parchment in front of me.
Thank you for the correspondence and I am glad you are completing your studies. This must mean that the Weasley has not impregnated you yet and for that I am grateful. I hope that your Fred suffers from the same affliction as Fleur’s creature because it seems that your sister and her paramour are thankfully unable to conceive a child.
I would hope that you find a successful career after you complete school. Unfortunately, I will not be able to use any of my numerous contacts to assist you unless you are interested in a position that requires you to stay away from England for extended periods of time.
Please reconsider your choice for a mate, daughter. He is not worthy of one as beautiful, vibrant, and intelligent as you. I apologize for trying to force you into a liaison with Nicholas but I was only doing what I thought was best for you. One day you will see that. Your current relationship will not last, Gabrielle and you need to look past him. Find someone better for yourself and I will not interfere in you choice. There are many men out there who are better suited for you, even at the school I have found out that you attend. I am even associated with the family of a young man who would be nearly perfect for you who I have heard is one of your acquaintances.
Come home and leave the unworthy one. I will introduce you to many men who you will find more appropriate. I beseech you, Gabrielle.
You do not understand what you have put me through with your lies and deceit. Your choice of men was only exasperated by your dishonesty. I do not know where you learned to be so devious but it does not become you.
I would hope you will reconsider your foolishness and return to me but if not, you leave me no choice and my wish is that until you leave him, you stop trying to contact me.
After placing the letter in my outgoing mail, I stand and walk over to the bay window overlooking the Italian Gardens outside my study. I wish I had never uprooted Gabrielle and brought her to this cursed country. If I had not deigned my Clans so important, I would still have my daughter. Instead I have endless days, full of dismal grays, both in the people I am forced to associated with here and in the climate that I find so depressing. It seems the days are endless here and without Gabrielle to brighten them up, I find myself wallowing in a pit of despair.
“Babette, he is here,” Pierre says quietly after he enters my study, not wanting to disturb my thoughts too much. Reluctantly, I forego thoughts of my daughter as the Clan beckons me again.
Smiling wanly, I command, “Allow me a moment to compose myself and then send him in.”
“I still don’t think it is wise for you to meet with him alone,” Pierre cautions and I know he is only looking out for my safety.
“He is dangerous but he is mine. He will not harm me because I hold the key to the only thing he holds dear,” I reply and walk over the sofa, allowing myself to sink into it before I fold my legs demurely.
Nodding at Pierre, I watch him leave to summon my guest. After a moment, he returns with the hulking presence that is my visitor in tow. Pierre bows and exits my study, leaving me alone with the man standing before me. I wave him to the opposite sofa and he follows my silent command as he sits down across from me.
The sofa groans under his weight, his wide, rangy form appearing larger in robes that seem a bit too tight for him. His gray hair is matted, splotchy and his matching whiskers are unkempt, unruly. He leans over, his feral stare piercing me before he rasps, “Why did you ask me here, Delacour?”
Placing my hands in my lap, I respond, “Your manners are still atrocious.”
“My manners are not why you called me here,” he growls, his hulking form seemingly expanding as he takes a deep breath. He cocks a furry eyebrow toward me, “I don’t merit an offer of tea and biscuits, Delacour?”
“I do not plan on having you in my home for that long,” I smile while I run one hand along my opposite arm.
“Then let’s get this over with because I am losing my patience and you don’t want to see me when I lose my patience,” he grins, his sharpened teeth gleaming in the lantern light of my office.
“I have a proposition for you that should be of great interest,” Leaning back, I watch the creature before me try to find a comfort level in a setting that he does not feel he controls. Of course, he realizes that in this world, I am the dominant one and as I showed him years ago when he tried to fill the power void left after the chaos of the last war, I will always rule him.
“Is this another one of your tricks, Delacour? Your last one cost me the rule of all you have now which by right was mine. Now that I think about it, I should kill you now for sending her to me,” he growls and bunches his rugged hands into fists.
I can see the veins begin to bulge on his forehead while I reply calmly, “You should thank me. You would have never found love without her.”
“She made me lose my focus and by the time I realized that you had swept in and taken control of the Clans, it was too late,” he answers before his hand pounds against the sofa’s cushion.
“So if the reward for your services included her, you would not be interested?” I ask innocently.
“Of course, I would want her, you stupid bitch. I love her and without her, I am nothing,” he laughs bitterly and throws himself back against the sofa.
Now it is my turn to become angered and I want nothing more than to loose the magic of my people, a magic he will never fully comprehend until the moment before he lies dead on the floor. But I need him, so I take a deep, calming breath and say, “Then you will be happy to know that she is the prize if you complete your task.”
“What is it?” he demands, his voice a deep rumble and I watch as his brown eyes haze over with desire.
I cannot believe that after all this time, the hold she has over him is still so strong but I do not have time to ponder that fact. Instead, I bring to mind the plan I have been forming for weeks before I reply, “It will be a simple mission for one of your skills. All you must do is seduce one of your chosen and bring him to me. I will give you everything you need to accomplish this task.”
“How?” he voice is full of curiosity but his single word response shows me the simple mind of his kind and I curse myself for needing one such as him.
“I have set up a dummy company that you will run. It will deal in the importation of certain items and you will contact our target to help you with them. Of course, you will pay him generously although it might be best if you did not reveal yourself until he is fully in your clutches. Once that is done and he has unknowingly become one of mine, then your task is complete and you may claim your prize.” I smile at the ingenuity of my simple plan since I know it will work famously. Leaning forward, I place my elbows on my knees while I ask, “Now are you in?”
“Yes, I will do it…for her,” he whines, a pitiful sound that I did not expect from one who is so powerful. His eyes almost beg me and I want to scoff at his weakness but instead I hold my tongue. After a moment to compose himself, his countenance becomes grim again while he rumbles, “Who is the intended?”
“I believe that this is the best part,” I answer while sliding a folder full of parchment toward him.
He opens the dossier and looks inside. His dark eyes open wide with surprise when he recognizes the name of his victim. He laughs, a piercing sound that vibrates throughout the room before his lips turn up into a snarl and he replies, “I believe that I am most definitely your man.”
I did not expect my life to be this way. When I was young and living in the crèche, I thought of nothing more than being a mother, guiding my daughters along the garden path as I watched them grow and mature into beautiful, vibrant women. I knew, I just knew that being a mother would be the penultimate experience in my life.
I would be different than my own mother, who was rigid and formal in her mannerisms toward me and my sister. I would give to my daughters and allow them to flourish in a world of my making because I follow the old ways and cling to the traditions of the Veela which seem to be slipping away from my people as our young ones revolt against the beliefs that have allowed our kind to survive as the chosen, the elite for centuries.
Yet, even my best efforts were for naught as each of my daughters has chosen to ridicule me by choosing those I abhor and even my dear Aveline has allowed herself to become impregnated by a man well below her. But at least, she has not professed her undying love for him like my foolish daughters of my own flesh. Each of them has chosen though and I am helpless. I have but one recourse for the remorse and anger which has welled up inside of me.
I laugh bitterly as I plunge the knife into my hand, feeling the sharp point imbed itself into the wooden table. It seems that the only way to allow me a brief respite from the hurt of my daughter’s betrayal is to find more immediate sources of pain. This is what life has become and as I withdraw the sharp point, I watch in fascination as the blood begins to pour out of my wound.
Dropping the knife, I allow my fingers to trace over the scars on my arm and I chuckle sadly as I know I have taken the coward’s way out. But I have become impotent and find myself paralyzed by the fear that any action I take might in some way harm my daughters. If I were to strike against the home or workplace of their loved ones, who is to say that I will not end up harming my daughters or if I were to kill their lovers, will I have to live with the anguish that I outlive them as they succumb to the Veela Heartache?
It is not as if I believed wholeheartedly in the myth but what if it was true? Fleur had survived without her beast but maybe it is because he still lived. But Gabrielle, she would surely die without the other Weasley. She is so fragile, so naïve and if the myth were true…Goddess, I cannot imagine her pain.
“Babette, let me heal you now,” Veronica Desparde, my Veela healer pleads as I stare at her dully. Glancing at my hand, I feel almost detached while I watch the blood coat my fingers before it drips off the edges of my palm, finding its way to the mahogany table below as it pools within the natural grains of the wood.
I do not really care if Veronica heals me or not. The truth be told, if it were not for my Clans, I think I would be dead. But yet maybe it was the very Clans I hold so dear that led me to overlook my daughters’ needs, in particular, my Gabrielle. Fleur was lost to me long ago but in my arrogance, did I allow myself to think that I could force Gabrielle to submit to my will?
A searing pain rips through my body as I feel the tip of Veronica’s wand begin to send forth bursts of intense heat to cauterize the wound. I will not allow her to use the magic of our people, that which the Mother Earth has bestowed upon us. Instead, I want the scars of my anguish to be evident.
Yet, when I look at my hand after Veronica removes the tip of her wand, I am relieved but saddened to see that the only visible scar of my latest bout with despair is a small pucker mark.
Breathing deeply, I regain my composure as Veronica stares at me intently. After straightening down the long sleeves of my dress, I sigh, “Thank you again, your skills allow me a brief sojourn from the pain of losing them.”
“This must stop, Babette. You are going to hurt yourself too badly and you will not allow me to use the magic of our people or that of the humans. I am afraid you will one day go too far,” Veronica shakes her head as she casts a charm to banish the blood from the table.
“Nonsense, Veronica. I just need to take a small break every day from the agony and then I am fine,” I reply, smoothing my hands over my dress and making sure my sleeves are in place, hiding the scars of my shame.
Veronica begins to pick up her tools of healing as I stand and walk over to the mirror. It looks like I have aged twenty years and the laugh lines brought about by my Gabrielle’s presence have faded into obscurity as I cannot remember the last time I have genuinely smiled. Still, my blonde hair at least does not look dull and while I can see the sadness in my pale blue eyes, I believe others just see the façade of confidence and strength I try to display.
Turning around, I call out to Veronica, “Please send in Mr. Gustafson."
Lars Gustafson, leader of the Fimbulvetr, enters my study as I arrange myself on the sofa. I cannot help but find his presence intriguing, a paradox this man with his fearsome face and the long beard he keeps in contrast with the simple business attire he chooses to wear.
He bends down and kisses my uninjured hand while his piercing gray eyes bore into mine. Yet despite his somewhat rugged good looks, I do not find myself attracted to him but the thought creeps into my mind whether it is possible for me to have a third chance at having a daughter who will follow my chosen path and maybe this time, I would be able to lead her correctly.
“You sent for me, Ms. Delacour?” Lars smiles menacingly as he releases my hand and sits on the sofa opposite me.
“Yes, Mr. Gustafson. You mentioned at one of our meetings that you would be able to help me in my quest to regain my daughters and if not, inflict some discomfort upon those who they have chosen to love,” I answer while leaning back against the sofa and crossing my legs demurely. Placing my hands on my knee, I continue, “I am interested in your ideas but first, I want to reiterate that no harm will come to either my daughters or their loved ones. Do I make myself clear?”
“I understand and I’ve already taken this into account, Babette,” His familiar use of my first name infuriates me momentarily but I allow it to pass as he leans forward. “I believe we need to strike against them financially and affect those around them. I’ve taken the liberty of placing some of my people within easy reach of the ones named Fred Weasley and Bill Weasley along with your daughters. They’re under surveillance much of the day.”
“This time, I will allow you to take such initiative, Mr. Gustafson but next time you will refer to me,” I reply caustically and watch Gustafson waver slightly as one hand tightens over the other.
“May I be blunt, Babette?” He inquires and I am shocked that he would continue to press. But I am intrigued and I nod slowly before he says, “I’ve only been with you for a few months but in that time, I have seen your daughters do nothing but hurt you with their insolence and treachery. They are unworthy of you and your attempts to block the pain they have brought you by injuring yourself causes those who care for you to worry.”
My fingertips caress my newest scar reflexively but I try not to betray any sign of agreement while he leans forward and continues, “I admire you, Babette, but as one who has led his own Clan and has sent those he loves to their deaths, I believe you are sacrificing yourself too much here.”
“You do not understand,” I answer, frustration boiling out of me. I try to stand and leave but Gustafson puts his hand on mine, causing me to pause.
He gives me the tiniest hint of a smile as he says, “I’m not here to cause you or your family harm. I know the myth of the Veela heartbreak and that is your concern. But it is only a myth and one day, the choice will be between your life and those who you have loved with all your heart and who still betrayed you and your right as a mother.”
I understand the implications of his words and I am stunned by his knowledge of the ways of the Veela. Still, to willingly hurt those I love is beyond my comprehension. But what he is telling me makes sense and if it came down to it, would I be willing to sacrifice myself for my traitorous daughters' lives? I would hope that I will never be faced with this choice but deep down inside, I know it is inevitable and the fiery rage I hold within me can only be tempered for so long by the paltry cuts and scars that now mar my skin.
It takes all my strength but I allow my eyes to bore into Gustafson’s and I let him see the malice there before I snap, “Go, Mr. Gustafson and if you again bring up my daughters and my rights and responsibilities as a mother or how I love them, I will have your tongue removed. Now, you have your assignment, carry it out.”
Gustafson stands and I see no fear in his eyes as he bows slightly and leaves. I close my eyes as I hear the door close, trying to banish his words from my head. But when I open them again, the world is still filled with the same darkness, my daughters have chosen to align themselves against me, and I know I will need Veronica’s services again today.
My world has crumbled since the New Year began. Where once I had the perfect balance of self, family, and work, now my family has fallen apart and there is little I can do to reclaim my wayward daughters. Fleur’s treachery was expected since I knew the draw of that beast that she chooses to call a mate was too strong and Aveline’s could be accepted since she showed no outward sign of loving the one called Charlie.
But Gabrielle was my chosen and her betrayal cut me deeply and now, I feel like a part of me which loved has been closed off forever. She was the one who would redeem me in the eyes of my Veela sisters and let me show my brethren that I could raise a daughter who was Veela proud. Yet, something went wrong and she turned out to be deceitful and hateful toward me, knowing that I poured my soul into raising her only to cast me down at the first opportunity. I am sure that if one could suffer from the Veela heartache for a daughter’s duplicity, it would already have possessed me.
Thankfully, I have my Clans to distract me and I have thrown myself into my work wholeheartedly, looking for some type of diversion to keep my mind off my soul tearing apart. It seems that I have been lax in my duty as leader of the Clans although Pierre has been able to make sure that they have not fallen apart in my brief respite since my war with the Actons and Pedrons ended.
Today, I have called a meeting of my most trusted assistants along with a newcomer to my inner circle. This is my life now that my daughters have tried to destroy me by choosing to love those I despise the most. I still am in disbelief over their choices and the stupidity that they have displayed over the love of a man…especially a Weasley. Their family disgusts me and once more, I find myself loathing my husband who allowed my eldest daughter to go to England for the Tri-Wizard tournament and exposed her to those vermin.
“The Rhine operations are once more fully operational although it seems that the Actons did contaminate several shipments of Penny Royale but we’ve adjusted to compensate for that act,” Antone Desparde, the man in charge of the financial aspects of the Clans sits once his report is complete and I curse myself for letting my mind wander.
“Very good, Antone but you will need to tell the Krieger Clans that I want an increase of five percent in my cut for the next two years for their indiscretion,” Smiling tightly, I think about how much irritation Jean Acton and his bid to break away from me caused. Now, I have had to use a contingent of Ela to ensure that the Clans are under my thumb in France which has forced me to bring on the Fimbulvetr as an associate Clan after a long and drawn out negotiating process.
The Fimbulvetr are the perfect fit for my organization though, lurking in the shadows and gathering information for me although their specialty is the unknown and unseen death of their chosen enemies but since they are mine, my enemies are now theirs. Glancing over to my right, I stare at the intimidating presence of Lars Gustafson, the leader or Shadow Mage of the Fimbulvetr. In contrast to his Clan’s want to maintain anonymity, Lars eschews all pretense of blending in and instead chooses to maintain a long goatee, hanging down past his neck. It is tied so that is has the appearance of two forks that Lars has chosen to dye red along with the tips of his blonde hair. His nose, lip, tongue and eyebrows are pierced and I have heard he also wears jewelry in other unseen places. On his right arm is a tattoo of a dead wolf while his other arm is inked with a large death’s head with fire in its vacant eyes, the symbol of his Clan.
But I stop my observation when Luc Rousseau begins to speak, “Cleansweep is doing well although we’ve seen a down turn in sales. It seems that Worthington was able to transfer ownership of the Mercury Fire company to Nimbus Brooms, which has cut down on our profit.”
“I think the problem Luc is that you are trying to dabble in too many things rather than concentrating on this task,” Luc looks uncomfortable with my accusation but I am not happy with him. It seems he has met Charlie Weasley and has given approval for this relationship to progress. This does not bother me but when he mentioned Aveline’s name, I again saw a glint of something in his eye that unnerved me and no matter her choice, I don’t want her in danger.
“But, Babette…” Luc whines and I slam my hand down on the table.
“No buts, Luc, you are to divest yourself of everything but Cleansweep including that loan company you are laundering money through. I need Cleansweep showing a profit again and soon.” I reply with a wave of my hand, concluding our brief exchange.
Luc sits and Pierre begins to speak, “Celeste has reported that she has ingratiated herself into Hogwarts and is on staff there as an Assistant Healer. She says your daughter is well and reports she may have a worthy suitor following her. Other than that, your daughter is exceeding at her studies and socially. The bad news is Gabrielle returns to Zonko’s every night, although she stays late at school with her friends and the suitor, so there is hope.”
“Encourage her to whisper in the ear of the suitor. Promise him whatever he wants to seduce my daughter. I want her taken away from the Weasley before the taint is too bad,” I reply quietly, thinking that this time last year, Gabrielle was by my side every day….I miss those times dearly now.
“It will be done but what about the one called Fred?” Pierre inquires and I find myself gritting my teeth in response. But I do not know if it is this Weasley who I should be upset with because it was my daughter’s deceptions which led me down the Primrose path. He is not openly defiant like his brother, Bill, so I have no hatred of him…yet. But my Gabrielle chose to deceive me to be with him and in doing that, she has removed any chance of me ever accepting the man she has chosen to love.
“I could have him killed very easily, Ms. Delacour. My people have already scouted out his store and flat. We know his routine and it would be a simple matter to destroy him,” Lars responds with assurance. He leans onto the table, his pale blue eyes glittering with excitement as he continues, “We could kill him in his sleep or even in his office. His store could have a mysterious fire. It would be easy and your daughter would return to you.”
“Can you guarantee me, Gabrielle will not be hurt?” Rising to the bait, I am engrossed by Lars’ words and imagine my daughter returning to me devastated after her lover was found dead. I would take her into my arms and once more be her hero.
“Easily, your daughter is gone most of the time, so she would come home to her boyfriend missing and maybe he could turn up in an alley a few weeks later,” Lars leans back and places his hands behind his head.
“Yes…” I almost yell out the words…my daughter’s return playing through my mind but then I remember Gabrielle’s mention of the Veela heartache she incurred and I worry about what if her statement were true. If Fred were to die, would she perish also as her heart shattered in a million pieces? I cannot take that chance.
“No, we will not take that path, Lars. You must find another way to affect him and I also do not want any of the other family members hurt either,” I declare, knowing that Aveline, Gabrielle, and Fleur are all involved with Weasley brothers and I cannot risk any of their lives. That would only leave the twin and the one called Ron. I cannot have the twin killed just in case they murdered the wrong one and Ron has lost any value to me since I destroyed the Malfoys.
Lars tries to protest but Pierre looms next to me and gives him his most menacing stare. Lars backs away and mutters as I say, “There are many ways to affect someone other than killing and for right now, I have my reasons not to murder the Weasleys. Still, I want pressure applied to them. Look at their expansion in Dublin and see if there is nothing we can do there.”
The meeting drones on after Lar’s suggestion and not even the information on the Vigilante’s grasps my attention. They have done nothing which concerns me now except removing petty criminals, allowing my own people free reign to do what they please.
Soon, I dismiss everyone and stand before stretching. Walking over to a mirror, I gaze at it and notice that it seems I have aged ten years in the past few months. Maybe it is my daughters’ betrayal or the Clans but somewhere inside, I have lost a part of myself and sadly, there is nothing I can do about the darkness creeping into my soul other than to accept the evil and bitterness which threatens to devour me and use it against those who I have deemed my enemies.