Title:* Finding Foxes
Character:* Revealed at the end.
Rating/Warnings:* Violence/ Profanity. Sexual situations sort of, but you may not notice. 3rd-5th, I’d say.
Author's*Note:**I’m not sure whether this is sympathetic enough, but there you go.
She was not supposed to be awake. She was supposed to be in bed, but she’d known that her mother was out, and knew her father would not mind.
She wanted to investigate the noise in the garden. Obviously it was something the grown ups knew about and did not consider a threat, because the noise had been happening for a few nights now.
Even though she knew her father had heard her, she liked to pretend that no-one knew where she was. She had briefly considered waking one of her sisters and sharing this adventure with them, but changed her mind. Her life was so regimented that it was fun to be doing something alone, something illicit. She turned the key in the lock, opening the back door.
It was a warm summer’s night, and she looked up at the swelling gibbous moon. She realised that she was holding her breath. There was something in the bushes, at the end of the garden. Walking very slowly across the lawn, she shivered with a slight wind.
Crack. She stood suddenly still, worried that her mother was back home, but then realised she’d stood on a twig.
The noise, a strange screaming sound, had stopped. Suddenly something with bright yellow eyes, and reddish fur, and a long tail, burst from the bushes and leapt onto the wall to her left, into the next door garden. She then heard another noise, and glancing back at the bushes, saw another fox clambering over the back wall and away from her house.
So it had been the foxes. She sat down for a few minutes, enjoying the night air, before deciding to go back inside. She carefully locked the back door, and was just leaving the kitchen when the hall light flicked on, and she saw that her mother had returned home.
Her father was talking to her mother, clearly trying to create a diversion, and she tried to take advantage of it, crouching down and walking past.
“Oh, darling,” her mother was saying, hand on his chest. “I’ve had the most exhausting evening. Georgette looked divine, she asked after you, you know. You should have been there.”
She had noticed her mother’s tone change, and therefore made a dash for the staircase, running up, but suddenly felt her body stop in mid-step. She willed it on, but couldn’t move. If she had been able to she would have shivered.
“Darling, what are you doing?”
She felt her body turn round, and she was faced with the piercing gaze of her mother. This was then directed at her father.
“What is she doing awake?”
“Love, she just wanted to be in the garden. I saw no reason––”
“No reason? There are rules for a reason, darling, and she is not supposed to be up past nine o’ clock.”
“But dearest––” her father was saying.
“I don’t like being disobeyed, Cygnus. I will deal with you later. For now––”
She watched her mother raise her wand, and felt herself tense up in preparation for what would come next. The pain was brief, but what hurt the most was the humiliation. She knew other people’s mother’s did not do this, and didn’t see what she’d done to deserve it, other than threaten her mother’s control. Soon she would be in Hogwarts, away from this woman, away from this b••••.
“What did you call me?”
She was in bed. She hadn’t cried. She was proud of herself for not crying. When she heard the footsteps outside her door she thought it was her mother and found she did not care, but when the door opened she saw her father’s form silhouetted against the corridor light, before she closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep.
He sat next to her, and she felt a sudden warmth on her back as her wounds were healed by her father’s wand.
“Your mother does love you, you know,” he said.
She had planned on keeping up the pretence but at this she could not, opening her eyes and saying, “No, she doesn’t so why do you say that?”
Her father was silent.
She sat up, brushed her black hair from her face, and said firmly, “I’m never letting her hurt me like that again. I’m promising myself, and I don’t break promises I make to myself.”
“My darling, you are ten years old. You can’t––”
“I can. I won’t get caught again. Ever.”
Although Cygnus had long been used to the domination of his wife over their household, looking at the determination in his daughter’s black and hooded eyes, he was sure that Bella could do anything she could put her mind to.