“Blaise dear,” Mrs. Zabini pleaded with her son. “Please join Richard and I for dinner. I know he’d love to meet you.”
Blaise stood his ground firmly, his eyes never wavering, his tone deathly soft as he replied to his mother’s request. “Why?” he asked stubbornly, “So I can help you get into his will? Is that it? Do you think I enjoy knowing all the while that as soon as you get what you want, he’ll inexplicably and tragically die, just like all the rest of them?”
“Blaise!” his mother scolded. “You know that’s not true.”
“I’m your son, mum. Don’t expect me to believe that just because I did when I was younger.”
“Blaise,” his mother began, but her son cut her off with a slight shake of his head.
“No mum. Do as you like, but don’t expect me to get involved.” And with his final say in the matter, Blaise Zabini returned to his room, leaving a distraught Mrs. Zabini standing alone in the front corridor of his mansion.
Blaise couldn’t believe the nerve his mother had. He’d already clearly stated he wasn’t getting involved whenever a new prospective husband was concerned. Not after the last time, at least.
He still remembered the looks on the faces of the little girls of his mother’s last husband. He remembered the two children standing over the grave of their father, dressed in their best clothing; clothing barely fit for a rat. He remembered the tears flowing down their faces, and for the first time in many years, he felt pity. And he felt disgust, for his mother, and for the father of the young girls, the father who hadn’t the decency to leave anything for his children, but instead left everything he had to his new wife.
And it wasn’t only the man he felt disgusted with. Blaise felt abhorrence for his mother. Rich as she was, she refused to give any money to the young girls. And so it was then that he resolved not to get involved again. If he weren’t involved, he wouldn’t feel anything for anybody else. No pity, no disgust, no anything.
That was another thing. Blaise shouldn’t be feeling pity for the girls, the disgusting half-blood girls. But he did, and he didn’t know why. Maybe it was because somewhere deep down under his icy demeanor was a human. And being human he knew when something was wrong.
Of course, Blaise was still a Slytherin, and therefore rarely acted upon that. Knowing something was wrong had never stopped a Slytherin from doing it before, but Blaise supposed there was always a first time for everything. He figured if he could stop his mother this one time, the feeling of pity and repulsion that had been haunting him for so long would go away. And so what Blaise was about to do wasn’t for the man, but to give himself peace of mind.
Blaise pulled out a piece of parchment from his desk and with his quill in the other hand, thought about what he was going to write. He settled on something short and to the point, something that would help him clear his conscience, and nothing more.
Though I don’t know what brought me to do this, maybe the feeling I’ve had since the last time my mother’s husband died, I felt as though I should give you a fair warning about what you are getting yourself into. Whether you listen is up to you, because frankly, I don’t care. I’m not doing this for you, but for me.
My mother has had seven husbands in the past, all of which mysteriously died once she had gotten herself into their wills. She seems to think that I believe that they all mysteriously died, but if by mysterious she means that she had a large hand in their deaths then she’s right. I thought I’d give you fair warning, but as I said, what you choose to do knowing this is up to you. If you don’t listen, know I’ll be there at your funeral, but at least I’ll have a clear conscience, knowing that I tried.
Satisfied, he called over to his owl Demeter, attaching the letter to her leg. Feeling better he retired for the night.
The following morning, when Mrs. Zabini demanded to know why Richard had cancelled at the last moment, Blaise replied, “You really just don’t get it, do you? I have a conscience, and just because you don’t doesn’t mean that I can sit back and let him die. I haven’t slept a full night’s sleep since the funeral of your last husband. And do you know why? It was because of you mum. It was because I couldn’t be totally at peace until I stopped you at least once, and that’s just what I did.”
Mrs. Zabini didn’t even have a chance to respond, as her son left her standing once again alone in the corridor. But whether or not she cared, something about what her son said had struck her.
Alone in his room, Blaise sat down to think. He knew his own act alone wouldn’t stop his mother. She would move on, as would he, but for the first time in his life, he had done what he knew was right, and that, at least, was a start.