Chapter 36: Araminta & Conall

I was walking to dinner alone. Scorpius had run off with Albus to meet with Pembrooke and Avis. While, the trio were comforting their leader Ethel and my brother was off seducing that boy of his. It left me with a moment of the peace I was looking for earlier. I was never comfortable with all of this attention and all of these people in our lives. It was moments like this I needed.

Taking a deep breath I headed to the corridor that took the long way to dinner. Stepping from the shadows to stop me were the two Gryffindor students from last night. The ones whose names I didn’t know. The two of them looking anxious and unsure. “Yes?”

The female stepped forward. “I wanted to ask you a few questions.” I nodded my head. “As long as I can ask you one.”  The two looked at each other confused but nodded their heads. “What are your names?” Their expressions lightened for a moment as they chuckled. The girl holding out her hand. “Araminta Rosier. I’m a 6th year.” I shook her hand and turned to the boy. His hand was out as well. “Conall Travers. I’m a 7th year.”

I nodded my head slowly. “Alright then. Araminta, Conall what can I do for you?” Araminta looked over at Conall who nodded his head encouraging her. “Do you know the Rosier family?” Yea, I did. It was a notorious prestige name like many in my surroundings. “By name only?” I feigned confusion.

She took a deep breath. “My family has made a lot of bad choices: from Grindelwald to Voldemort.” Yea, I know. Everyone knows. I nodded my head slowly. “I see…” Araminta continued. “My side of the family has never really gotten involved in any of this but because we are cousins…” Conall interrupted her. “She gets it bad in our house.” That wasn’t surprising. James and his cult were extremists for truth, justice and honor. The confusion on my face grew. “I don’t understand. They aren’t your family?”

Araminta smiled sadly. “But they are.” I turned to Conall. “And this is about your family also?” He shrugged. “Sort of. My father works with Cyst’s father so we grew up together. She’s always been bloody annoying but not a Death Eater like they say.” I nodded my head in agreement. “That’s true. Her wording is just awful though.” The two of them cracked a smile.

Conall sighed. “When Louis said we should talk to you guys and make our decisions we were worried about whether or not it was worth it.” He wrapped his arms around Araminta. “We had decided to just enjoy what we could and get through our school years.” My face scrunched up. “That sounds like a sad school life.” The two of them nodded their heads. Araminta speaking up. “It seemed like the best choice so we wouldn’t ruin our futures.”

I looked confused again. “Your futures?” They both nodded their heads. Araminta wanted to become an Auror and Conall wanted to work with his father. It was a reputation and acceptance issue. “I don’t see how associating with a few Slytherins or Ravenclaws could derail your future plans?”

Araminta smiled sadly. “It shouldn’t but there is always that possibility.” I scratched the back of my head awkwardly. “I don’t really understand the question then?” She looked me straight in the eyes. “Is it worth it to you? To deal with the criticism?” I thought she was supposed to be brave one. “It is. I mean. If you have to live shouldn’t you live happily?” Conall sighed. “But what if it isn’t an easy thing? What if there are consequences?”

I looked at them awkwardly. “I mean, you two and everyone here seems to know a bit about my brother’s and mine’s life, right? If it’s about consequences then even living unhappy has them. I think it’s about choosing which you can live with and which you can’t. Here, I’ll tell you a story I’ve never told anyone else.”

The two nodded and leaned closer. “When we were found my brother and I hadn’t eaten for four days. We had just escaped the last orphanage we had been placed into and my brother was too weak to move even. He was beaten up and cut all over his body.” I took a moment to pause and increase the sad dramatic effect. The two seemed shocked. It was so outside the realm of what they could understand. Araminta looked worried. “What did you do?”

I summoned some water to moisten my eyes. With these students it was all about how things looked on the outside. “We were still a day away by foot from a town. Everything around us wasn’t edible. And then right after my brother collapsed I saw two men fighting on a cliff.” The two were thoroughly engrossed in this story. “I can’t remember what they were fighting over. I was probably too hungry to focus. All I know is somehow in the fight they both fell over that cliff. I left my brother to crawl to the back pack on the ground and in it I found a water bottle and some snacks. I was able to get my brother water and food. A few hours later we were found by some wizard that was sent to investigate what happened.” Araminta and Conall looked stunned.

Of course, they’d be. They’ve never been hungry. “Still to this day, I wonder what would of happened if I went out during their fighting? What if I hadn’t gone through the bag? How bad am I to do what I did?” Araminta looked upset. “And?” I sighed. “All I know is my brother is not only alive but we were found. He got to know why he was changing physically all the time and we suddenly got a bed and food three times a day. Cadmael even taught us about who we were and what magic was. After a few months I knew I was okay with being the bad guy for my brother’s sake. If I had to pay for it later it doesn’t matter.” I turned to look at both of them in the eyes. “What matters to you?”

Conall and Araminta looked at each other. Either they formed a close friendship from shared experiences or they were together. Conall seemed even more confused. “I don’t know what I would of done in that situation.” I put my hand on his shoulder. “That’s normal. Most people don’t until their in it. And the goal is to not be in it.” He cracked a smile. Araminta took a deep breath. “I know in this situation I’d rather not be the same type of person who does what has been done to us.”

I flashed her a smile. “That seems like a good place to start.” She smiled at me. “It does.” Conall took her hand. “Thanks for sharing that story.” I nodded my head. “Thanks for listening to such a story.” Araminta pulled me into a hug and Conall pat my head. “You are safe now.” “You did a good job.” My face turned red as I pushed away from them awkwardly. “Jeez, this is why I don’t tell people.”

The two smiled. “Alright then, I guess we’ll see you another time?” I nodded my head and watched them walk off. When they were gone I sighed. A fake story with annoying reactions. If that had happened there would be no confliction. I would do whatever I needed to do for my brother. Even if it meant pushing one of them off the cliff myself.

The sound of footsteps scurrying away echoed for a moment, so she was listening.

Florence ran as fast and as silent as she could. Until, she was out of breath and alone in her own territory. This was something she could tell Shannon and James. This was something they could use to show how horrible she really was.

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