Natalie (hestiajones) and I decided to collaborate for this challenge and wrote two drabbles. It's the same narrative but from two different PoVs.
Title: Black Secrets: Part One
Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th Years/None
Word Count: 700
Halloween always had a different meaning for Slytherin House. They tended to forgo the crass and loud frights that the Gryffindor’s favoured, or the bonhomie that the Hufflepuffs loved to spread with their warm, smothering smiles. Even the Ravenclaws, with their pretentious jokes and over-planned pranks, slipped into the spirit of the holiday.
But in Slytherin, Halloween was a night for secrets.
And Andromeda certainly had her fair share.
She sat on Bella’s bed in the seventh-year dormitory, legs crossed as her fingers weaved through Cissy’s hair. Bella was sitting on a chair beside the bed; she had a jack-o-lantern suspended mid-air, that hissed and smoked as small trails of flame shot from its mouth.
“Do you like this nightgown, Meda?” asked Bella with a smirk, her hands trailing across her legs against the emerald silk. “Rodolphus gave it to me.”
Andromeda’s eyes narrowed.
“Bella,” she said warily. “Not in front of Cissy.”
“Oh please,” said Bella with a laugh. “Our dear little sister is not as innocent as she looks, are you Cissy?”
Narcissa stiffened but didn’t say anything. Dropping her hands onto her younger sister’s shoulders, Andromeda gave her a gentle squeeze.
“Come on, Bella. I thought you were going to tell us a story. Don’t tell me we’re just going to watch you play with a pumpkin all night.”
Bella stretched. “I see boys aren’t a very welcome subject tonight,” she said. “Fine, I shall tell you a story. Something perfect for Halloween.”
“Oh! Is it about the haunted manor?” asked Narcissa.
“No,” Bella said. “It’s about this young witch named Elsa, who belonged to a noble, pure-blood family just like ours.”
Andromeda’s head shot up, eyeing her sister carefully, but Bella wasn’t paying her any attention. Instead, she was now fiddling with the silver dagger their parents had presented her with on her seventeenth birthday. “Elsa went to Hogwarts,” she continued, “where she met a boy from a lowly, half-blood family. A Hufflepuff, no less.”
Andromeda moved her hands from Narcissa’s shoulders, fists clenched as she tried to keep her face passive.
“Was she a Slytherin, Bella?” asked Narcissa. “Did you know her?”
Andromeda looked at the younger girl sitting before her, hunched forward, eagerly staring at Bella, who was laughing. “Oh yes, Cissy,” she said, “Elsa was a Slytherin but this was years ago. Of course, every true Slytherin knows the story, though. Or rather... well, I don’t want to spoil the ending!”
“Go on, Bella,” interrupted Andromeda, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “The suspense is just killing me.”
With an amused smile on her face, Bella replied, “Are you sure you want to know, Meda?”
“Of course,” Andromeda answered, smiling just as sweetly while she clenched her fists even tighter until her nails dug into her palms.
“Is it something horrible?” asked Narcissa, her voice shaking a little.
Bella didn’t reply immediately; she rested the blade of the knife in her right hand, twisting it to and fro as it caught the candle light. Andromeda waited, not taking her eyes off her older sister. How could she know? Was this some sort of trick? Some sick way to get Andromeda to confess all her secrets?
Suddenly, Bella sat up straight.
“The two lovers continued to meet in secret. Elsa knew exactly what her family would think if they found out, but the boy had fallen in love. He grew tired of lying to his friends. Those Hufflepuffs love to throw their happiness in everyone’s faces, you see, and of course, he was no different. They grew careless. Someone saw them.”
Andromeda flinched, and Narcissa turned around to look at her.
“Scared already, Meda?” she giggled.
“Oh you better be,” Bella said, and while her tone was casual, there was no mistaking the gleam in her eyes.
There was something hard and cold sitting in Andromeda’s stomach, as if all that food she had eaten at the Halloween feast would come up at any second. She tried not to think of Ted, knowing that would make the guilt show on her face.
“When you spit on your family’s honour,” Bella said, one finger running along the edge of the knife, “there can be no happy endings.”
Name: the opaleye
Title: Black Secrets: Part Two
Ratings/Warnings: 3rd-5th Years/Character Death
Word Count: 700
Narcissa wasn’t sure she was going to enjoy the rest of the story. Bella had always been a dramatic narrator, but tonight’s tale was different.
It had been a strange month for Narcissa. Gone were the days when boys were something to ignore. Recently, she’d begun to notice them more and more, and she wasn’t the only one to sense this new shift. First arrived the anonymous notes, slipped into her satchel sometime between Charms and Potions, then came the furtive glances and flushed cheeks across the Slytherin table. She’d never paid much notice to Aloysius Edgecombe, at least not until he started paying close attention to her. Earlier that night, during the Halloween feast, he’d finally asked her out for the next Hogsmeade visit, even though it wasn’t until February.
Aloysius may have been a Slytherin but, unlike her or her sisters, he was from a half-blood family that had worked in the Ministry for generations. And now, Bella was telling them an ominous story about a pure-blood Slytherin witch named Elsa, who fell in love with a half-blood student from Hufflepuff.
“But Bella,” she began, her mouth curving into the innocent smile she’d spent her life perfecting, “what if the boy had been in Slytherin?”
“Don’t be so stupid, Cissy,” Bella replied, her voice low and soft. “A Slytherin Mudblood is still a Mudblood no matter where that raggedy old hat decides to sort it. Remember that.”
Narcissa bit her lip hard as the sense of guilt deepened.
Andromeda, who had been quiet for some time, spoke at last in an even voice. “You mean that only someone from a well-established pure-blood was good enough for Elsa.”
“I do,” said Bella, the expression on her face one of challenge. When Andromeda didn’t comment, she continued. “As for Elsa, someone saw her with the Hufflepuff boy and the news eventually reached her older brother. She didn’t know they’d been found out until Halloween night...”
She trailed off, seemingly preoccupied with the sharp tip of the blade. As though out of curiosity, she pressed a finger down upon the point, not stopping until Narcissa let out a soft gasp.
“Elsa enjoyed the Halloween feast as usual,” she went on, “looking forward to a secret assignation at the top of the Astronomy Tower later on. But perhaps she’d had too much chocolate cake like you, Meda, because for some reason she decided to return to her dorm first. I guess she wanted to change into something more... alluring, but when she opened her trunk…”
Narcissa swallowed nervously, and she could feel Andromeda shifting uncomfortably beside her. Bella was now holding the knife up to the pumpkin, carving away at the two eyes, widening them further until it looked positively grotesque.
“What she found in her truck,” she told them, “wasn’t much at all. Only a yellow and black scarf with just the tiniest amount of blood spattered across the wool.”
There was the tiniest bit of pause when she turned to look at them as though to check their reaction. They must have reacted the way she wanted to; she was smiling when she spoke again.
“They found the boy’s body the next day, broken and cold beneath the Astronomy Tower. It was assumed he’d fallen while doing some for his NEWTs, but every Slytherin knew what had really happened, and once Elsa left Hogwarts, she was never seen again.”
“She died,” murmured Narcissa softly.
Bella nodded. “They say there is a ghost of a former student that resides within the castle, watching as other Slytherin girls fall into the Mudblood trap. They say that if she finds you, well...”
Her eyes bored into the two of them as she withdrew her wand and flicked it at the pumpkin, making it spin towards the door, a blur of fiery orange in the dim room. But before Narcissa could process what was happening, Bella had already turned away. There was a blur of movement, followed by a loud whiz that abruptly stopped as the silver dagger found its mark, right between the eyes of the pumpkin.
“So you see, my darling sisters, some secrets are impossible to hide.”