Chapter 1: Chapter 1
“Yo! You! Faith!”
V’iera Nocturna Lestrange, more commonly known as Faith LeHane, and her cousin on her mother’s side, Draco Malfoy, looked with very similar expressions of disgust, as another witch, namely Ginny Weasley walked over to their stand and promptly sat down. If this was to have happened at the Leakey Cauldron, the rumor mill would’ve brought news of this to Rita Sceeter in a matter of minutes, hours of most, but this was the Ghent, a much more discreet place, and not as wizard-friendly either, therefore this approach was barely noticed, at least outwardly.
“And what do you want, little gumdrop?” Faith asked flatly, aware that her nickname for Ginny drove the British red-haired witch up the wall.
Ginny looked as if she wanted to punch the elder witch in the nose, magic-usage be damned, but she was able to restrain herself – barely. “You! You’re supposed to be this kick-ass magic fighter! So, how do you explain what has happened to Harry when you went out? What was Neville thinking-“
“My sentiment exactly,” Draco drawled-out in his trademark, arrogant manner. “I mean, whenever Potter’s status as a grade-A, prime-cut, Alpha-male gets threatened, he becomes one sulky, grade-A, prime-cut, Alpha-arsehole. Longbottom should’ve remembered what the old headmaster had done, and given Potter assistance whether he wanted it or not, rather than giving him a choice. Seriously, didn’t Grainger tell him any better?”
Ginny turned red. “You, you dare!” she sputtered. “You blonde, pointy-faced, obnoxious ferret-“
“Now listen,” Faith put one of her hands – or even just a couple of fingers - onto Ginny’s shoulder, but it was enough for Ginny to turn pale from fear, for unlike her younger sister Gloriana Mundicia, V’iera Nocturna was her father’s daughter, rather than her mother’s. Put otherwise, she was less a daughter of a witch who was concerned with purity of blood and similar trappings of power, and more a daughter of a wizard who was rumored to have made a deal with the archdevil Mephistopheles either for magical power or knowledge – a villain of a totally different kind.
And now Ginny Weasley, the daughter of a witch who has killed Bellatrix Lestrange found herself with an exposed back to the deceased’s daughter – not a smart move.
“Now listen,” Faith repeated quietly – the hostile intent aimed at Ginny’s unprotected back, “you came here, interrupted my discussion with Draco and are being outright rude. I’m not standing for it, whether you’re dating the boy-who-killed-the-dark-lord or not. Either do something about your behavior, or leave!”
Ginny couldn’t see Faith’s face, but she could see Draco’s, and for a change he was worried, rather than mocking – a rarely seen sight indeed. That decided for Ginny: very quickly she got up and left.
“She’ll be back,” Draco said thoughtfully.
“Yes, but only one in three she’ll be going for a fight,” Faith said wryly. “Not the chances we should be worried about.” She paused and added. “And you’ve provoked her why?”
“Because,” Draco said flatly, “I don’t like Potter, I don’t like Longbottom, and I can’t stand the Weasleys.”
“What about Grainger?”
“Eh, as I’ve told Weasley – not this one, the one who’s engaged to Grainger – since he’s so concerned about us purebloods inbreeding, he should be marrying her as quickly as possibly less his offspring will be that sort of pureblood morons that confuse their mouths and ears if they get excited enough!.. Since when I told him that he started to turn pretty colors and emit funny noises, I just hid behind the corner and observed Potter and Grainger trying to talk him down. They didn’t succeed, period.”
“One of those days that Weasley will manage to land a good one on you – again,” Faith said, bemusingly.
“Eh, Grainger did it in our third years – he was late again, as always,” Draco spoke still flippantly, before sobering back once again. “So, about this animagery lessons?”
“Let’s go to Giles, and see what he’ll say about that, cuz. Deal?”
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Clang! Came the sound. Clang!
Ginny Weasley took a deep breath and steeled herself. Somehow or other, the sounds that came from within the semi-stadium weren’t particularly reassuring. It sounded rather like metal hitting metal, and reminded her of the unfortunate time when several Death Eaters tried to use Hogwarts’ animated suits of armour against them. These weren’t happy memories and Ginny almost used them to back down – but then she remembered that if she backed down now, she would never be able to face Faith – or whatever her name was – ever again, and steeled herself, more or less, before walking inside.
Inside, there was some sort of a battle: a brunette girl – but not Faith – was using a rapier and a large dagger to fight off another girl, this one a blonde, who was using some sort of a broad-sword instead. As far as Ginny could see, unless the brunette began to use her dagger as well as the rapier to fight off the other woman, she was going to lose-
With movements that were too fast to Ginny to follow, both the broadsword and the rapier went flying in different directions, leaving both girls weaponless – but the brunette still had her dagger...
“Cut! Nicely done, both of you!” Faith yelled from behind and above bleaches. “Now take a break.”
“Yes, because it’s our turn,” a brunette, identical to the initial rapier-wielder said flatly, as Draco followed closely on her hills. And instead of arguing, as Ginny expected the other brunette to do, the latter wordlessly complied, following the blonde girl off the training field.
“So,” Faith said, startling Ginny once again, “why are you here again?”
Ginny took a deep breath, and turned to face Faith. “We need to finish our discussion from the pub.”
“Ah, now,” Faith said thoughtfully. “That is interesting.”
* * *
“So, what did you come to talk here about? Really?” Faith asked, clearly suspicious of the younger woman’s motives.
“As I said before, to apologize for my behaviour in that pub,” Ginny confessed. “It’s just that it’s Harry... and Draco...”
“Yes, yes, Draco does seem to be good at pushing your buttons,” Faith admitted wryly. “Looks like moving out of his family’s home will do him some good.”
“Draco moved out?”
“Moving out, hence the present tense,” Faith repeated patiently. “Of course, meeting Genevieve seems to be doing wonders for his self-esteem.”
“Isn’t she a muggle?” Ginny asked, suspiciously.
“She’s aristocracy all the way,” Faith shrugged, “a distant relative of the royal family too. Draco isn’t liable to find a better fit for someone of his values, and so he does his best to improve himself. Plus, she used to be working with a wizard, so she knows what to expect as well. Oh, and by the way? This isn't her twin, it's the phasm - the shapeshifter that Neville or Harry must've told you about.”
“I see,” Ginny said thoughtfully. “Anyone we know?”
“No,” Faith shook her head. “Anyways, your apology is accepted, I apologize on Draco’s behalf, so... anything else?”
“No,” Ginny shook her head. Somehow she didn’t expect her – their conflict to be over so quickly. “Thanks. I guess I’ll show myself out, then?”
“Yeah,” Faith nodded with a crooked grin. “Let me help, though, as it befits a hostess.”
And she did.