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Alias: Harp
Age: 23
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Sexuality: Heterosexual
Character's Age: 18
Gender: Female
Blood Status: Half Blood
Relationship Status: In a relationship
Partner: Cooper Santiago
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Nickname: Gabby, Gabs
Former School: Hogwarts
Joined: 4-November 17
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Gabrielle Sauveterre

Hogwarts: Gryffindor

My Content
Jan 5 2018, 11:25 PM
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<h1 style="color:#FF7F24">harp's hoarde of wanted characters</h1>

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<div class="info">addie montague's older brother, werewolf</div>
</td><td><div class="text"><h2 style="color: #B13E0F">lars ____ montague</h2>
If you were ever in the market for a quiet, potentially angsty, protective but forcibly distant big brother figure, Lars Montague could be your dude. He technically has an open face claim, and I grabbed Zac Efron from my imagination, but hey, he's a vague suggestion for what Lars is meant to look like. All in all, Lars is a 25-year old werewolf who was bitten thirteen years ago. He was the eldest son and heir to the small Montague pureblood fortune until he got bitten at 12. Once it became known that he was a werewolf, he was basically cut off from the family and was half-heartedly locked up on his first full moon.

<br><br>Except, Addie was in the house. There's actually a lot about Lars' background and backstory in Addie's bio/shipper, located <a href="">here</a>. In short, Lars and Addie now visit on the downlow, and have been rekindling their brother/sister relationship for the past several years. Now that Addie's graduated and is working within the Ministry, I want to see where their relationship takes them, and once Addie eventually musters up the courage to leave their parents behind, she'll need a place to come stay.~

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<div class="info">first gentleman, elizabeth greene's husband</div>
</td><td><div class="text"><h2 style="color: #35586C">thomas ____ greene</h2>
So my lady <a href="">Elizabeth Greene</a> is President of MACUSA, and needs her husband and other children snatched up! If you want any muse or are curious for how this family interacts, watch Madam Secretary on Netflix and I shamelessly say that those are the vibes I'm going for. There's one other little babe on the family tree, and that's Lina's <a href="">Maddie</a>, who's the baby of the family!

<br><br>All in all, Thomas is a muggleborn, where Elizabeth is a pureblood, and there's just a lot of past stuff that I think would be precious to write out, and all in all, I just envision them as the perfect pair now. Not always in agreement, but at the very least, they both come home knowing that they love each other at the end of the day, and that they're best friends. Thomas I think is a mellow, peaceful sort of fellow, who has a sweet sense of humor that balances out Elizabeth. There's a lot that could be up for debate in terms of his career, family, etc., so feel free to give me a nudge if you're interested!

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<div class="info">18, open profession, first family</div>
</td><td><div class="text"><h2 style="color: #3B3178">rachel ____ greene</h2>
Basically for the other two of Elizabeth and Thomas' children (I have plans to make the eldest, Jennifer), there are a LOT that are open. Personality, profession, etc. Rachel here would be eighteen, probably about a year out of graduation from Ilvermony. Whatever her relationship may or may not be with Elizabeth, this is, all in all, a relatively close-knit family, so I'd at least to keep that spirit in tact!

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<div class="info">ilvermony sixth year, first family</div>
</td><td><div class="text"><h2 style="color: #3D59AB">joseph ____ greene</h2>
The second youngest of the Greene family, and the only boy, Joseph's personality and house are entirely up to his future player! As I said with Rachel, though, this is a fairly close-knit family, and his mother is also President of MACUSA. What this kiddo wants out of life is also entirely up to you.~ He has two graduated older sisters and one younger one also at Ilvermony. Gimme a holler if interested!

</div><a href=""><span style="font: bold 8px/20px calibri; opacity: .5; text-align:center;">BY MITZI</span></a>


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Dec 2 2017, 01:08 AM
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This was probably one of the stupidest nice things Gabrielle Sauveterre had ever done in her life.

<br><br>As she clutched the long package close to her chest, slipping down into the Slytherin dungeons with a rather specific purpose in mind, every step was a second thought as to whether or not she actually should have done this, or if her time would be better spent turning around and giving this package to someone like Lucas Vanetti or Laney Poletti. True, she’d made this purchase with this one singular person in mind, and it probably would feel… inappropriate to randomly regift it to anyone else. This was just dumb. And probably was going to get her nothing but teasing and probably… well, her stomach rolled to think of any sexual innuendos that might get tossed her way.

<br><br>Two summers ago (it felt like several lifetimes ago), it had… come to light within the Sauveterre household, to Gabby, at least, that Alphonse Sauveterre hadn’t always been a remarkably faithful partner. The revelation had come in the form of a letter, a letter from a Teresa Gaines asking for a tiny burst of financial assistance due to Alphonse’s… unique relationship to her son. Except it wasn’t actually all that unique. It had simply turned out that Liam Gaines and Gabby shared a father. Wonderful. It would serve her right that she somehow ended up related to one of the absolute most repulsive human beings she’d ever known.

<br><br>Except… people that Gabrielle Sauveterre was related to had dropped to a very low number. At least, directly so. While the Sauveterre family in and of itself had other branches spread throughout southern France, their patriarch had been Alphonse, and Gabby his heir. But now, it was just Gabby, and her uncle Laurent Sauveterre, and that felt wrong.

<br><br>But not as wrong as this was probably about to feel.

<br><br>The truth was, Gabby highly doubted her father ever would have publicly acknowledged Liam as his son. Her entire life, she couldn’t recall even a single instance when Alphonse had admitted he’d done something wrong. Coming clean about an illegitimate child and the scandal? He never even would have said anything about it to his wife or daughter had Penelope not found the letter, and Gabby stumbled upon their confrontation. Even so, that didn’t change anything, and while Liam was clearly oblivious, Gabby had begun wondering if, perhaps, she owed the Slytherin boy some semblance of familial protection.

<br><br>She hadn’t told anyone where she was going, or what she was doing, or whom she was meeting; not even Cooper Santiago. It was just… an awkward thing to explain, that she was probably somehow related to a boy who’d, until this year, had been one of their biggest rivals and one of the biggest pains in the asses anyone could imagine.

<br><br>Which, when a Slytherin ferociously asked her what she thought she was doing, hanging round near their Common Room, and she asked to see said pain in the ass, Gabby got an odd and curious look that bordered somewhere along concern. But the Slytherin simply told her to wait there, and they’d see if they could find him. She waited there for a solid five minutes before their Common Room entrance opened again.

<br><br>As soon as she saw that familiar face (it actually kind of startled her now, looking at him, and realizing the features she used to recognize in <i>their</i> father), Gabby chucked the package at him and scowled. Yeah, this had been a really stupid, sentimental idea; she shouldn’t have done it. <b><font color="99182c">“Happy Christmas, dickhead. I… bought you that.”</font></b> <i>With an inheritance that is probably rightfully halfway yours.</i>
<div class="marble-bar"><div class="marble-tags">it's a heckin fancy broom bless | for Liam Gaines | <a href="">&hearts;</a></div></div>
Nov 13 2017, 10:39 PM
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The tense silence in which Gabby walked down to Hogsmeade alongside Cooper Santiago was truly not born of any truly negative emotions, but rather a quiet nervousness over not knowing what, exactly, was going to come out of this. When Laurent Sauveterre had suggested getting away from the castle for a day or two, and even going so far to suggest that her boyfriend could go with her if she wanted, Gabby genuinely hadn’t known what to think. Mostly, she hated that it was that obvious that things had been… hard, since coming back to Hogwarts, and harder still with so many <i>additional</i> bodies around.

<br><br>Still, despite her mounting anxiety, she walked close to the boy beside her, pressed against his side for warmth in the biting chill of an early November afternoon in Scotland; snow dusted the ground, and the frozen breeze that stung her face promised more later. No, her anxiety wasn’t for being close to Cooper, not really, because after she’d come back, being around him was legitimately the easiest thing to settling back into normal life. It felt natural, and good, to be around him and Lucas Vanetti and to see her old friends again. It was just… literally everything else, that made it so hard, and she was <i>frustrated</i> that even three months, almost four, after the “fire,” her sleep was still riddled with nightmares and people still asked her questions about it.

<br><br>None of that was the reason she was anxious, though, either. As they made their way to the edges of the village, where some of the denizens offered the two students (their Gryffindor scarves probably made it obvious) odd looks for clearly being here alone, Gabby’s shoulders went tense as her heartrate picked up a little.

<br><br>The fact of the matter was, her relationship with Cooper wasn’t exactly the same as it had been before she’d… well, ruined it, and before this summer had happened.. They used to get up to all kinds of mischief, mostly the sexual kind, and now… <i>she</i> felt ruined. Gabby hated it. Ever since they’d picked back up in being boyfriend and girlfriend (being called his girlfriend, actually, didn’t bother her at all like it had before), there were things that they <i>hadn’t</i> picked back up. Like the sexual kind.

<br><br>To her, that’s what this venture to Hogsmeade had to have been about. Why else did teenagers (well, they were <i>adults</i> now, she guessed, gross) get an overnight stay in Hogsmeade? It’s why she’d gotten them a room last May for his birthday. Why would this be any different?

<br><br>But that was just it. Everything was different, but that obligation to do something for him given everything was ever-present, and was all that occupied her mind as her uncle’s flat door came into view. Gabby swallowed as she glanced in Cooper’s direction, and flashed him a nervous smile. He was still just as beautiful, just as attractive, as he had been last spring, and while she <i>did</i> want to, it just… didn’t feel right, exactly.

<br><br>As she pulled out her key (Uncle Laurie’d had one made for her when it had become clear that this would be her new home once they’d returned), Gabby steeled herself. She’d <i>make</i> it feel right, because there was a small part of her that couldn’t imagine that Cooper had come along for anything else. The larger part of her just wanted to make him feel good, give him <i>something</i> for these endless months of her being… weird, for lack of a better word. She wanted to be a good girlfriend, a good partner, for him, and Gabby honestly didn’t know of another way to do it.

<br><br>Which was why, as soon as she’d shut the door behind her, Gabby swallowed and turned around to face Cooper to take his hands in hers. She offered what she hoped was a mischievous smile, the kind of invitation she used to offer before everything had happened, but she was pretty sure it just came across as something nervous and small which was dumb as hell. Giving a small tug, she wordlessly pulled him from the small living room and through the short hallway that led to the room Uncle Laurent had given her.

<br><br>The room itself was painfully bare, which in and of itself was probbaly a stark reminder of how much had changed. Gabby’s few belongings involved a bookshelf (that she barely used), a lamp, a decently-sized bed, and a closet that had only sparing clothes hung up inside, and maybe a singular pair of shoes. There weren’t many decorations, no pictures, no messiness. But none of that was Gabby’s focus as she pulled Cooper in close and wrapped her arms around his neck; hesitantly, as if giving him space and time to pull back if he wanted to, she eventually stretched her neck up to him and fervently pressed her lips to his, pressing her body against his in tandem. If she could just make this like it used to be, she could make it happen and it’d be over with as soon as possible.

<br><br>It was when her hands started to roam, though, and she felt his hands gently wrap around her wrists, that Gabby pulled back from him, frowning. She opened and closed her mouth twice before asking, quietly, <b><font color="99182c">“You didn’t… you didn’t want to to do this?”</font></b> The confusion, but also dumb relief, were painfully obvious in the question itself as she looked down, embarrassed.
<div class="marble-bar"><div class="marble-tags">wipes tear at Cooper Santiago | <a href="">&hearts;</a></div></div>
Nov 11 2017, 03:35 PM
winter 2020, this past christmas break

“Gabrielle, mon cherie, your father’s asking to see you in his study.”

“Alright, Maman, I’ll be down in a minute.” In the way that Gabby doesn’t get up from her bed, scribbling with pen on a playful and friendly letter intended for Lucas Grant Vanetti , it’s clear that ‘a minute’ probably means much longer than a literal sixty seconds. She makes no moves to go downstairs, and after a moment, she hears her mother’s soft throat-clearing from the doorway.

“Gabrielle. I think he meant now,” Penelope Sauveterre tells her, voice a little sterner. “And you know how he gets when he has to wait.”

“A tragedy, having to wait for his own child,” Gabby finds herself saying in a monotone voice, even though she puts the pen down and pushes herself up and off her bed. Her mother remains, clearly waiting to make sure she gets on her way in a prompt fashion, and only the weary expression on her face keeps Gabby from making a bitter remark. When her father is disappointed in her, it’s one thing. It’s expected. When her mother gets frustrated with her, it’s something else entirely, something that makes Gabby’s stomach twist.

The venture down to her father’s study feels more like a dirge than a walk through the house. Gabby knows this feeling all too well; Alphonse Sauveterre only ever calls his oldest daughter down into his study when he wants to have a serious ‘talk’ with her, a talk that generally only ever ends in yelling and the overpowering urge to hit something. She’s pretty sure that he just likes feeling important, pacing around behind his big desk like he’s the Minister himself, but whatever. To each their own, right?

She wishes it was that simple. Gabby doesn’t even knock when she reaches her father’s study, just pushing open the door and already wanting this conversation to be over. She has a letter to write.

Her father is, as predicted, standing behind his desk, like he’s been waiting for her entrance, and is standing hunched over what looks to be a series of papers. When Gabby comes in, he looks up, a hardened look of what is probably annoyance on his face. Then again, Gabby figures that he always looks annoyed.

“Gabrielle,” he says in way of greeting, pressing his lips together as he gives her a lookover. Whenever she’s in the same room with him, it’s almost impossible to shake the feeling that she’s being judged, and being judged negatively. She shifts uncomfortably, but says nothing, There’s a part of her that wonders whether or not there will ever come a day when he doesn’t look at her like that, when he might actually be proud of her and want to praise her instead of berating her. But based off the look on his face, that day is not today.

When he catches on that she doesn’t seem to be interested in starting the conversation, her father clears his throat as his mouth twitches into a frown. “What’s wrong with you?” he demands to know. “You can’t spare a moment of your Christmas break to speak to your father?”

“You can’t spare a moment to come up to my room and talk to me, instead?” Gabby blurts out before she can stop herself, bristling at his tone.

She should just shut up and let her father speak over her. She knows this. Life goes much easier in the Sauveterre household when she does, but Gabby’s never been very good at that. She doesn’t like laying down and taking the condescension; her mother often says it’s because she’s proud like him, but the thought makes Gabby a little ill. She doesn’t know at what point she came to the realization that when she gets older, she doesn’t want to be like him. It’s there, though, and as she watches the stone cold mask of anger take over her father’s face, Gabby feels her resolve strengthen.

“I have important business that actually matters,” he snaps, “Which is partially what I wanted to discuss with you, actually. I was hoping it’d be civil, but of course nothing’s that easy with you.” Making a dismissive, frustrated noise, Alphonse gestures to the chair sitting in front of his desk. “Sit.”

Gritting her teeth and giving her father a mutinous glare, Gabby complies and sinks into the aforementioned chair. She feels like a dog obeying its master.

It takes a moment for Alphonse to speak again, as he looks down at the papers on his desk and lets out a tired sigh. Gabby recognizes this as his routine, the things he always does when he wants to have a serious talk. Maybe he’s trying to work up the courage to speak, or the patience, whichever one, she just wishes he’d get on with it. Except, as soon as he opens his mouth, she wishes just the opposite.

“Monsieur Moreau and I were talking at the Christmas ball about setting a meeting up between you and his son this summer.”

“Wait, what? Why?” It doesn’t click for a moment, as Gabby blinks in confusion at her father. What is he talking about? “Who’s Monsieur Moreau?”

“A man I work with, he’s a councilman to the Minister. The Moreaus are mostly based around Paris, but they’re a significant pureblooded lot-”

“You-” The word pureblooded blares like an alarm in Gabby’s head, as she suddenly sits rimrod straight and stares at her father in horror. “Wait, Papa, are you talking about meeting to try and set up a-” She chokes on the word. “A marriage?”

“What else would I be talking about, Gabrielle?”

For a second, she sputters, opening and closing her mouth in a mixture of awe and horror, and there’s a part of her that wants nothing more than to run back to her room, slam the door, and text Cooper Felix Santiago about what just came out of her father’s mouth. But she stays, transfixed, knowing that anything other than standing her ground would be an act of weakness and cowardice. With her father’s confusedly irritated gaze on her, she knows that whatever she says next will be judged. Maybe she could have managed saying something eloquent, something that would make her father smile and laugh and maybe even acknowledge that she’s right, but instead all that comes out is,

“I’m not marrying anybody.”

The moment she says it, she can see the annoyance turn into anger on her father’s face, as Alphonse grits his teeth and gives her a glare. “That entirely childish interjection aside, do you realize how old you are?”

“I’m seventeen, Papa, and I’m not marrying someone when I’m just-”

“Do you honestly think I expect you to meet the boy and have a ceremony on the spot?” At least her father has the decency to sound disgusted. “The fact of the matter is that you’re of age, child, and we have to start thinking seriously about your future. If you hadn’t bollixed up your education at Beauxbatons, you’d be graduating in less than six months. Have you even given any thought to what you’ll be doing with your life?”

Gabby presses her lips together, because when she really thinks about it, the answer is a solid no. She had never been someone who stresses about the future; she lives in the moment, takes things as they are now and deals with consequences later. Thinking about something as permanent as a career or marriage had never been at the forefront of her brain. But she knows that answer wouldn’t satisfy Alphonse. In fact, it’ll probably just make him angrier. So she says nothing, which gives her father the leeway he needs to make a frustrated noise and continue,

“My eldest child isn’t going to spend her life being some wayward drifter with no purpose and nothing to her but my name. What do you want to do? What do you like to do? If you don’t want to get married, what career do you want? Do you want to work in the Ministry? I can try to make that happen.”

“I-” Gabby bites her lip, knowing that she’s caught in what’s probably some kind of trap. But, for just a moment, she wants to be honest with her father. So she is. “Well, I really like playing Quidditch, and I mean, I’m dating Cooper, I guess, I-”

Alphonse chuffs. “Don’t get me started on that boy,” he growls. “Do you actually think you can have a career as a Quidditch player? From what I understand, you’re mediocre at best-”

“I’m good! Uncle Laurent’s seen all my matches, he-”

“My brother wouldn’t know a good Quidditch match even if he were at the World Cup,” her father scoffs, rolling his eyes. “I’ve seen the records from Hogwarts of the matches, how many goals you’ve scored.” (This actually surprises Gabby a little, she honestly hadn’t known that her father had taken any interest at all in her life at school.) “You have a good match here or there, but you’re certainly not stellar enough to become a professional. You need to be realistic about your chances. A job at the Ministry would be perfectly suitable for you if you wanted to try working in the sports department-”

“I don’t want to work at the Ministry,” Gabby answers stubbornly. The thought of working in the same building at him makes her want to jump out of a window. That, and having some desk job at the Ministry sounds boring. Even more boring than homework. “Why do we have to talk about this right now? I still have another year of school, and I-”

Her father raises a hand to silence her, the angered tension becoming almost tangible in the room. Gabby tenses in her seat, as Alphonse clears his throat. “Gabrielle, I understand that you want freedom to live life however you please,” he says, as though he’s trying to be diplomatic, “But what you have to understand is that you’re the heir to the Sauveterre name. You just make something of yourself, and you certainly won’t do that by eloping with some foolish halfblood boy with no prospects and running off to be an average Quidditch player.”

Immediately, Gabby feels her veins flood with anger. “Don’t talk about Cooper that way,” she snaps. Her father can speak about her however he likes, he always has, but when Cooper gets involved, it’s an entirely different story. “He’s going to be an Auror! I like him, and he makes me happy.”

“I saw the pair of you last summer, believe me, that isn’t real,” Alphonse scoffs once more, shaking his head. “Two teenagers always just wanting to dart off to be alone and mess around? Don’t be so naive. He may be your friend, and the pair of you might have sex, but he isn’t serious. Neither are you. You’ve never been serious about a thing in your life.”

Gabby’s face goes red as she hurriedly looks down from her father and down at the floor. She supposes that she and Cooper hadn’t exactly been subtle last summer, but she hadn’t realized that either of her parents had actually noticed. And if either of them had, she would have guessed it would have been her mother, yet neither of them had ever said anything.

But underneath the bewilderment over this realization, is a sinking pit in the bottom of her stomach, something that she doesn’t know what to deal with. She had never given much thought to her and Cooper’s relationship, mostly because she never wants to for the fear of coming to the same conclusion that her father apparently had. Gabby swallows, shifting around uncomfortably. She wants to say something, wants to fight him on this, but she stays silent, finding that she doesn’t know what she’d even say if she spoke. When she finally does speak, her voice sounds almost broken (which she hates) as she questions,

“Why does it have to be me? I never asked for all this pressure.”

“Maybe if your uncle’d ever had children, you wouldn’t have to be in this situation,” Alphonse remarks, unimpressed by her sudden lack in resistance. “But he didn’t. Whether he wouldn’t or couldn’t is up for debate, but…” Gabby scowls when her father snorts. “Regardless. The mantle of the family falls to you, so you’d better start thinking about the longterm instead of your own childish fantasies. If you want to put off making those decisions, then fine, go ahead and shirk your responsibilities for a while longer. But I, nor the world, will wait forever, Gabrielle.”

Gabby swallows.

“Go on, then. I have nothing more to say to you.”

The dismissal final, Gabby opens and closes her mouth once, before coming to the realization that any protests, any anger, wouldn’t make a difference. The pit in her stomach sinks further as she decides her father won’t be happy with any decision she makes. Pushing herself up from her chair, the Gryffindor gives a sigh before leaving her father’s study, angry when she feels the pinpricks of hot tears at the corner of her eyes.

Wiping them away, she sniffles and slams the door shut behind her on her way out. What does he know? Why does he always have to ruin everything?

What kills her the most, though, is that maybe, just maybe, he might be right this time. Is he?
Nov 11 2017, 03:34 PM
Brief Note: The series of events transpiring in this one-shot were all cleared previously, and the appropriate parties being NPC'd/powerplayed in this one-shot have cleared their characters' parts in it. Aka bless Maya, and Lacey too. <3 Maya may be posting @phillipe 's version of events, which can also be posted in this thread.~ Bless, and be unleashed unto my terrible masterpiece.

Trigger Warning: Death, violence against children, acceptance of death. Please tread carefully if these things trouble you!

She should have been dead.

Maybe she was, to some degree, because as she half-heartedly listened to the feverish hushed voice of her Uncle Laurent, speaking to someone she couldn’t see in the other room, she found that she felt dead. Every part of her body felt hurt, and occasionally, she could still feel the phantom spasms of scorching pain shoot up and down her spine. She ached, and yet she felt nothing at all, curled up on a couch with a ratty blanket draped over her in a room where the relative silence seemed deafening. She had already been consumed, it felt like, by the shock and the grief and everything in between; there was nothing of her left, because there was nothing of them left.

Gabrielle Sauveterre had been through hell, and had made it out alive.

Her family, however, had not.

Sleep wasn’t coming to her. She didn’t want it to. She knew what she’d see, what she’d hear, what she’d feel, the moment she closed her eyes. So instead she listened to what was going on around her, staring at nothing, just laying there like the bodies hundreds of miles away. If there were even bodies left.

Tears stung at the corner of her eyes, even though she’d been sure that she had run out of tears hours earlier. She sniffed. She didn’t even have the energy to reach up to wipe them from her face, instead just deciding to feel the droplets of moisture trail down the curve of her nose and drip onto the blankets around her. Eventually, after she felt the fourth tear do this, Gabby forced herself to lift her hand to rub away at her eyes. She shouldn’t be crying, showing weakness.

She wasn’t dead. She didn’t deserve to cry.

Then again, Gabrielle Sauveterre probably didn’t deserve to be alive, either, and yet here she was.

For what felt like the thousandth time since it had all transpired, she played through it in her head, trying to figure out what she could have done differently. Trying to crucify herself to the guilty woman’s charge, to figure out why it had been her, when she had striven to make it anyone but her, that made it. None of this was fair. None of it was right. But that didn’t make it any less real.

The golden sunlight of sunset filtered in through the large glass window panes of the Sauveterre den, the sky not yet dark enough for the lights to come on in the house. Gabby sat, curled up in an armchair, with a Charms textbook across her lap and a quill hanging out of her mouth, doing her best to make it look as though she wasn’t enjoying herself. In most cases, she absolutely detested homework in all forms, especially summer homework, but Laurent Gaspard Sauveterre 's subject had always been of relative interest to her.

Mostly, she was trying to outdo @phillipe , who was seated across the room from her with a book of his own in his hands. Whether it was a school assignment or just something for his reading pleasure, Gabby didn’t know, because she didn’t ask. What her brother was doing didn’t actually matter, because all that mattered was somehow doing it better.

By all accounts, it had been a typical day in the Sauveterre household. When the sun had risen, Gabby had gotten out of bed and gone down to the stables to muck out Cabre’s stall and take her beloved gelding for a ride, that the dogs had accompanied her on. By the time she’d gotten back, it was time for lunch, which she actually sat down for with her mother and some of her siblings, all of whom bickered until eventually everyone left the table in a huff. Gabby had gone outside (and snuck down to the orchards where she snuck a few apples and delivered them back to Cabre), before eventually returning to the house to do what she was doing now. Nothing out of the ordinary had transpired, because nothing out of the ordinary had been expected.

Gabby had somewhat gotten over the fact that she’d been forbidden to attend the Quidditch camp that she, Cooper Felix Santiago , and Lucas Grant Vanetti , had all been so excited about participating in before… well, what had happened. It was a topic that she hadn’t devoted much thought to since summer had begun, mostly because it hurt too much.

She was finishing up a portion of her essay when there was the curt knock on the door. Maybe knocking wasn’t right, it was a pounding, the kind of pounding that suggested that someone was going to get in whether or not someone came to answer the door.

She wished that they’d just busted in and began firing off their flashes of green. It probably would have been easier that way, and maybe more of them might have made it.

But there had appeared Penelope. Gabby and Phillipe both looked up from their reading to see their mother approach like it was any other day, any other guest, rushing down the stairway. “A moment, please!” she called out in her dainty hostess voice. It was a voice that Gabby had always hated, because it was the voice that her mother had always used to cover up when she was angry or worried or simply didn’t want to deal with something. It was a fake voice.

What wasn’t fake, however, was how the color drained from her face as soon as she’d opened the door.

“Madame Sauveterre, good evening to you.” Gabby straightened in her chair to see two men that she didn’t recognize casting twin shadows in the doorway. They wore nondescript robes, and yet they were matching, and something about their faces made the hair on the back of Gabby’s neck go up.

Gabby felt an uneasy pit form in the bottom of her stomach.

She missed whatever was said next, only catching sight of the two nameless men stepping inside. The pit in her stomach only hardened and clenched when she saw that those two were flanked by two more, and she could see at least one other figure outside. How many of them were there? And what were they doing in their house?

“You’ll gather them for us, then?” one of the men asked. “We’ll wait here. The room there should be fine.”

He gestured to the den, where Gabby and Phillipe were glowering at him suspiciously. If he realized their presence, he didn’t acknowledge them, simply turning back to say something in a low voice to his companions. Gabby’s attention was diverted back to her mother, who was hobbling towards them with an anxious, pale look on her face as she waved with her hands for them to get up and come with her. Penelope Sauveterre said nothing to her two eldest as they immediately rose from their seats to go with her. It was only once they had disappeared from the den and gone towards the back stairwell that she stopped and turned to face them.

Gabby was startled and disturbed to see that Penelope was shaking.


“Shh, mon cherie.” Gabby didn’t even flinch as her mother reached forward to place her hands on both sides of Gabby’s face. “It will be alright, understand? You’ll do everything those men tell you, yes? Don’t argue. I don’t know what they mean with us, but your father will be home soon. He’ll sort everything out. No disrespecting them, hm? Your best behavior.”

Gabby swallowed. “Yes, Maman.”

Penelope smiled at her, the kind of watery, flimsy smile that’s the work of someone who has too much on their mind to smile properly. Gabby closed her eyes as she felt her mother lean forward and give her a quick peck on the cheek, and watched as Penelope then turned to Phillipe and put a hand on his cheek before giving him a kiss as well. “You’ll look after each other and the little ones, yes?” The question was directed at the pair of them.

The question had a note of finality to it, and Gabby knew from that moment onward that the hint in her mother’s voice would haunt her for years, perhaps even decades, to come. What did she know that they didn’t? What secrets had she and Papa kept from them, that made this encounter so nervewracking? Perhaps, even then, she knew.

“Yes, Maman,” Gabby repeated at the same time Phillipe answered, “Of course, Maman.”

“I love you both very much.” She gave Phillipe one more affectionate pat on the cheek before turning and skittering upstairs towards the wing that housed everyone’s bedrooms. Gabby and Phillipe looked at each other one more time, twin expressions of anxiety on their faces, before going to follow.

Getting the children wasn’t exactly an easy feat, because in the afternoon everyone seemed to be spread out amongst their own rooms and activities. Penelope ventured off to gather the younger children, who probably had taken to messing around in the nursery (they were too old for it, but Claudine loved the art supplies in there). Gabby and Phillipe stuck together, finding the twins in their room where Adrienne was reading and Ralph was throwing magical darts at a poster on the wall.

Phillipe seemed to be a natural at presenting the same facade their mother was, offering comforting smiles as he explained to each sibling they found that there were visitors they had to see in the den. Gabby found herself struggling, the image of her mother’s watery smile ever-present in the back of her mind, her shaky voice playing over and over again in her ears.

When Adrienne asked her if something was wrong, Gabby found it impossible to lie. She opened and closed her mouth several times before murmuring where Phillipe couldn’t hear, “I don’t know.”

Eventually, the Sauveterres descended back downstairs to the foyer in a cluster. Penelope had Claudine by the hand, Edouard straggling behind with a glowering look on his face. Adrienne and Ralph walked on either side of Gabby and Phillipe; as the unknown group came into view, Gabby tensed as she felt Adrienne’s hand slip into hers, and the two sisters exchanged worrisome looks.

There were five mysterious figures standing in the foyer now, one of whom seemed to be looking around and snooping like they were looking for evidence of a crime. There was another standing at their head, a man Gabby didn’t recognize and didn’t like immediately because of the false smile on his face. The man dipped his head to all of them, like this was purely a social call, and he gestured towards the den where Gabby and Phillipe had been seated not just ten minutes before.

“We promise that we’ll be quick,” the stranger said. “We only have some questions we want to ask you, standard business, you must understand.”

Standard business for whom? Gabby wanted to ask these strangers, and opened her mouth to do so, when a warning look from her mother caused the words to die in her throat. Who were these people, and what right did they have to just waltz into their house and round them up like wayward animals? A quiet protesting noise from her right made her realize that she had started gripping Adrienne’s hand a little tighter than what was probably comfortable for her. Gabby lessened her grasp and let her sister’s hand go, instead folding her arms tightly over her chest as the group of them were ushered into the den.

She’d behave, but that didn’t mean she had to be happy about it.

“Madame Sauveterre, if you wouldn’t mind stepping into the next room with us? We’d like to ask you some questions first.”

Gabby instinctively tensed, and watched as the already fragile-looking expression on her mother’s face quailed. The brunette made to step towards her mother’s quivering form, but one of the figures sidestepped into her path. An oddly featureless woman whose face didn’t seem real held her hand out to stop Gabby from moving any further.

“Hey, you can’t-”

“Gabrielle, mon cherie, it’s quite alright.” Gabby couldn’t see her mother’s face from around the robed woman. “Just wait with your brothers and sisters with these kind people, yes? Wait for your father.”

It certainly didn’t feel quite alright. Something was significantly off; maybe it was the fakeness of the smiles around them, or the strange faces or the generic robes, or maybe it was just something in the air, but Gabby could feel it. Glancing over her shoulder, she couldn’t tell if her brothers and sisters could feel it too, but it just didn’t feel right to let this go.

She shouldn’t have.

“You’re the eldest, then? Gabrielle Sauveterre?”

Gabby clenched her jaw as she watched one of the strangers lead her mother towards the room across from the den, through the foyer, and into the family room, and forced herself to pay attention to the woman who’d addressed her. It was the woman who’d blocked her path, who was currently eyeing her in what felt like a mixture between wariness and curiosity. Behave, said a silent voice that sounded eerily like Maman.

“Yes,” she answered, folding her arms once again across her chest, tighter than before. “So what? What’re you doing here? What are you asking my mother?”

“Gabs.” She heard the warning in Phillipe’s voice. And the plea. Glancing over her shoulder, she could see her siblings all crowded together, gathered around her brother as though they’d flocked to the next oldest child once Gabby had broken away. They all had the same expression on their faces. They were scared.

The truth was, Gabby had never exactly felt like the oldest. The other Sauveterres just happened to be her younger siblings, and there had never really been any consequences or responsibilities attached to the idea. But, in that moment, it made her stomach clench to realize what being the oldest meant. Their eyes all on her, like she was their leader, the one they were counting on, and her heart rate began to speed up. You’ll look after them, yes?

She should have done a better job.

“Would you mind handing over your wands, by any chance? We’d like to look them over.” That came from one of the men, who’d seemingly taken up skulking in the corner.

If nothing else had been a sign that something was off, that would have been it. Gabby clenched her teeth, and became all too aware of the presence of her wand in her pocket, and she suddenly felt as though it was her only shield between her and these strangers. What did they even want?

The shaky, timid voice of Claudine piped up from behind Phillipe. “I don’t own one, monsieur, I’m just eight. And Edouard’s nine, he doesn’t have one either.”

“Don’t have mine,” Ralph said, even though Gabby knew he was a sneaky liar. “It’s in my room upstairs. Should I go fetch it?” She’d seen him grab it off his bedside table on his way out of his room. It was enough that she had to hide the slight smirk that tugged at the corners of her lips by reaching up and rubbing her face. She only felt marginally better that even her younger siblings could also tell that something wasn’t right about this.

The woman from behind Gabby gave a laboured sigh. “Do you think we should-” she began to ask, but the rest of her words vanished from Gabby’s focus when something else drew her attention entirely.

There was a green flash from across the foyer.

It was a hard thing to explain, when time slowed to a halt, even though that wasn’t physically possible. The world was still going on around her, and yet it felt as though time had ceased to exist. Maybe it was because time ceased to matter in that span of a second, or maybe it was because her mind had kicked into overdrive, and it was effortless to figure out what had just transpired. Gabby didn’t even have to hear the quiet thud that followed. There was only one spell that resulted in a bright green flash, one that Xander Emery Strange had covered on a particularly dark day in Defense Against the Dark Arts class. And it was a spell that would have confirmed why the young Gryffindor could somehow feel in her very core… that her mother wasn’t in the next room anymore.

Not living, anyway.

Several things happened in rapid succession in that next moment.

A shout registered in Gabby’s ears, but it sounded like it was coming from underwater. It echoed and bellowed in her ears like a tidal wave, and it almost felt as though the sound of it pushed her to turn around to see it.

Everything was in slow motion. Heart thudding in her ears, her chest, her stomach dropped out from under her when she saw two of the strangers reaching for something under their cloaks. Had it not been for the numerous lessons in Dueling Club, she might not have had the instinct to react. Gabby’s hand immediately flashed to her pocket, wrapping securely around the handle of her wand before she brought it out in conjunction with the strangers’ movements.


“Everte Statum!”

The one on whom Gabby had turned her wand suddenly jerked backwards, the force of the spell launching him backwards into one of the bookcases lining the far wall. He fell with a cry, which cut off when his head slammed against a shelf, and a small cascade of books fell on him as he went down. It had been a kneejerk reaction, something to be done in the instant of an emergency. She wasn’t thinking, and only turned around to fend off the most immediate threat to her: the woman from behind her, whom she could hear fumbling in her robes.

She should have turned the other way.

There was another flash of green light, this one far closer and more vibrant than the one seen from the family room.

Gabby heard the choir of screams that came from her siblings as she instinctively jerked her fist up and into the woman’s face before she could cast a spell. She felt the familiar pain that accompanied punching someone lance up her wrist, and felt a sick rush of joy at the woman’s choked cry as she stumbled backwards. Gabby didn’t even think before lashing her wand out and snarling, “Stupefy,” as the woman fell and didn’t get back up.

When she whipped around, it was just in time to see the third stranger, the one that must have caused the green flash this time, falling to the ground, his wand scattered several yards from him on the hardwood floor.

But then she saw the body.

Ralph was on his side, face down towards the floor; his arms and legs were spread in the tangle of someone who’d fallen and had made no attempt to catch themselves, and Gabby could see his wand just beyond him. He was unmoving, in contrary to his twin sister, who was falling to her knees beside him with tears streaming down her face. She could see Claudine clutching at Phillipe, and Edouard staring wordlessly.

Gabby’s eyes met Phillipe’s, as for one breathless moment, the realization struck that this was the crux of it all. These people, whoever they were, whatever they wanted, were here to kill; but there was barely any time to process it. Gabby’s stomach rolled, and she swallowed back the vomit that threatened to creep up her throat. She had to keep them safe, save them somehow. There was no question about that, the only question was how-

Her brother’s eyes widening as he and some of the others looked at something past her was the only warning she received for what happened next.

Gabby swerved around just as the green light shot past her, missing her by what felt like an inch, hitching a breath as the spell slammed into a bannister and seemingly left a scorch mark there. She heard Phillipe’s voice ring out before a red jet shot forward and struck a rapidly approaching man who’d come from the family room, who must have fired off the spell. There was another shout from across the way, and Gabby, still reeling from dodging the spell that would have killed her, wasn’t fast enough to raise her wand.

She should have been, damn it.

There was another green beam that shot from the foyer, and Gabby only turned her head in time to see it strike tiny Edouard. The young nine-year old had been coming for Gabby, as though seeking the only shelter he could find with Adrienne sobbing on the floor and Claudine already behind Phillipe’s legs. He never made it to her. The eldest Sauveterre felt a choked gasp of horror rip from her throat as she watched the deadly gleam sink beneath her youngest brother’s skin. As it did so, the light seemed to vanish from Edouard’s eyes, as the boy slumped forward and fell, face down, to the floor where he never moved again. Just like Ralph.

She didn’t think. Gabby blindly lashed with her wand, turning and aiming at nothing behind her as a pure emotional outburst of magic seemed to emanate from her wand. Where it hit the wall across the way, it crumpled as though a ram had slammed into it. She could see just the faintest glimpse of a figure hiding behind the family room’s entryway, and snarling, she shrieked a Leg-Locking Curse at the same time Phillipe shouted a spell of his own. She didn’t know which one hit. She didn’t care.

It only just barely registered that they’d managed to take care of all five of the strangers that had come inside the house, when the noise of a door slamming open in the foyer made Gabby remember that there had been more outdoors.

Instinct forced her into action once again, as she did literally the only thing she could think to do to shield her and her siblings from the onslaught.


Her wand jerked upward towards the ceiling, the arc of the swing sending the spell into the archway above the den’s entrance. There was a buckling sound, and then the roar of alabaster and stone and wood as half of the archway came crashing down into the hardwood floor. Gabby had to stumble backwards to avoid getting hit by some of the marble, and ended up tripping over her younger brother’s lifeless body to fall back onto the hardwood floor with a hard thud.

As her head slammed against the hard surface, stars flashed in her eyes, and she grunted as she felt hands suddenly grasp under her arms as her siblings began tugging her back to her feet. When furious shouting from the other side of the rubble resulted in some green and red and white bursts flashing between the rocks, though, they abandoned their efforts to join her close to the ground.

“What do we do?” Phillipe breathed in her ear, voice choked.

Gabby couldn’t think. For a split second, all she could do was grunt, her ears ringing and head pounding. The rubble that she could see didn’t block the entire entrance, but at least made it difficult to get inside.

She had to pull Claudine down to keep the eight-year old from getting hit by a blue beam that a wizard currently trying to climb through the gap sent flying their way. Phillipe Stunned them with no other preamble.

“Go,” Gabby choked out, voicing the only words coming to her mind. “Other way.”

They didn’t need to be told twice. Adrienne was still sobbing wildly, Claudine just didn’t seem to understand what was going on, tears tumbling down her cheeks. Gabby managed to stumble to her feet, turning towards her siblings as she started ushering them towards the only hope they seemed to have: the open archway on the other side of the den, that led to the back staircase that they’d used just twenty minutes earlier. It felt like an eternity ago.

She could hear the shouting of more murderous strangers, the cracking and groaning of moving rubble. Gabby instinctively ducked when she heard a spell shouted, and flinched when the wall next to her got another green scorch mark.

That was when she stopped.

“Gabs, what are you doing? We have to go!”

You’ll take care of them, yes?

Gabby whipped her head over her shoulder as a massive piece of alabaster was crumbled into dust by whatever spell had been used on it. She could see them now; at least three more, glaring and screaming at the group of young Sauveterres trying to make a getaway. Gabby shoved Claudine, who’d been lagging behind the others, forward into the hallway before turning around to fire a, “Bombarda!” spell at the bannister to blow it back into the rubble. It’d buy them maybe ten, twenty more seconds.

And by them, she knew she meant her brother and sisters. She wasn’t even sure how the thought had come to her, or when, but her decision had been made. Her gaze went to the bodies of Ralph and Edouard on the floor. Unmoving. Unbreathing. She took a deep, shaky breath and accepted fate.

“Go. I’ll hold them off,” she said. She was calmer than she thought she’d be, voice unwavering. Gabby tightened her grip on her wand as she looked back to her siblings, who were staring at her in horror.

“Wh- Gabby, no. Where’s Maman?”

Claudine’s terrified voice made the eldest Sauveterre clench her jaw, as Gabby dropped to her knees and gave her littlest sister a tight hug. She buried her face into Claudine’s dark hair, that looked like hers, and squeezed the eight-year old in one brief allowed moment of weakness. She had to be strong, now. She had to be strong, and do her best, for them. She could help them get away, if she could make a big enough distraction, give them enough time.

“It’s okay, Claudine. I’ll get Maman.” Gabby swallowed, and refused to look up at Adrienne or Phillipe. “You’ll stay with Phillipe and Adrienne, right? You’ll do that for me?”

“I will, I promise.”


“Shut up.” Sniffing, Gabby wiped at her nose and stood up and pushed Claudine towards the others. Another groaning crack sounded as the killers made more headway through rubble. “I’m doing this. Go. Go!”


Gabby clenched her jaw as she moved. She shoved Phillipe further into the hallway, and pointed in the direction she knew the back door was. “Get them off the estate proper and- and Apparate somewhere! I know you can do it.” Their father had gloated about how Phillipe had passed his Apparition test, where Gabby had failed hers. “Just go! I’ll buy you some time. I’m the big sister, I get to boss you around. Get out of here!”

If her siblings were going to argue it any further, Gabby didn’t let them. Stepping back, she raised her wand to the ceiling, and flicked it as she said in a remarkably flat voice, “Expulso.”

The effect was immediate, and the shocked cries of her siblings became muffled and silenced by the roar of more crumbling marble as the ceiling of the doorway caved in. Gabby gritted her teeth as she lifted her wand to fire another spell at another section that hadn’t quite come down, and felt a grim satisfaction as the wall gave and toppled atop the rubble already collapsing into the entryway. The corridor was almost completely sealed off. They were safe.

God, she was so wrong.

But in that moment, she was right. Gripping her wand, Gabby turned and swallowed. She thought she heard Phillipe’s muffled voice from the other side of the rubble, but she ignored it, striding forward to instead crouch down between Ralph and Edouard’s bodies.

She should have been able to stop this.

Biting back tears, she gently rolled each of them onto their backs. Their bodies were limp and already cold. Ralph had the same dark eyes she did, and she swallowed as she reached out to close his eyelids. Little Edouard’s face was frozen in a look of eternal terror, and Gabby swallowed as she closed his eyes too, hands beginning to tremble.

Their faces were going to haunt her for the rest of her life.

Gabby was not a well-read girl. She was too fidgety and too easily distracted to read a lot of books, but the few that she’d had, there had been one or two when the hero had felt they were making a final stand. That grim, fatal understanding that they wouldn’t make it through something alive, but that whatever they did, whatever they could do, was for something bigger than them. Better. She decided in that moment, as she stood up and took another few steps forward to put herself between her brother’s bodies and the quickly disappearing rubble, that the written word honestly couldn’t sum up the emotions boiling in her chest. There were no amounts of adjectives, adverbs, or any manner of noun that could describe the weight of mortality that had decided to sit on her shoulders.

She stepped out of the way with a Chaser’s reflexes when she saw a wand appear between the gaps of the stone. Green light flashed past her again, and she thought about her family. She hoped that Phillipe would be able to get them out. Otherwise her inevitable sacrifice was for nothing.

She ducked and fired a hex at someone when their face appeared over the crumbled wall. She thought about her friends, of her Quidditch team, and she hoped they’d had fun at camp. And that they’d continue to have fun, for the rest of their lives. They deserved that. Especially Lucas Grant Vanetti ; she hoped he'd eventually realize just how great he actually was, and get out from under his mother's thumb.

And when she gritted her teeth when someone blasted through the rubble, and a massive chunk of wood crashed into her side and sent her sprawling, she thought about him. She decided not to think about his face when she’d screamed at him, or the months of avoiding him afterwards; she thought about his smile, the late nights listening to him talk about Quidditch, the way he looked when he was underneath her, and the way he’d said ’I love you.’ Gabby hoped that he would be happy someday.

I’m sorry, she thought as an apology that he would never hear. Instead they would become the two words that her family would never hear.

“Merde!” Someone kicked through the remains of the rubble and saw what lay on the other side. It was a man with annoyance on his face and a purpose to the way he moved. “They’ve gotten out the back way! Send- oi! There’s one in here! It’s the girl!”

Gabby, wincing as she tried to roll into a better position, couldn’t raise her wand fast enough before a quick, “Expelliarmus!” knocked it from her hand. A growl escaped her throat that was cut short when the man that had come in kicked her in the side to roll her onto her back. So much for a last stand. But she could still be a distraction.

Instinctively, she rolled over anyway despite the pain in her side, scrambling to get to her feet again so she could put up a real fight.

She only barely heard the “Crucio,” before her entire body felt like it was being pierced by knives.

The pain caught her by surprise, and it was the only reason she screamed. Her body convulsed, trying to reject the magic that felt like it was making her blood boil as she was being ripped apart. Her head pounded, her muscles found it impossible to hold herself up, as Gabby collapsed back onto the ground in twitching agony. Maybe it was only a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity, and she gasped when the pain released its hold on her.

“Where are they? What did you do?”

Gabby gritted her teeth, flinching as aftershocks coursed through her. “Screw off,” she grunted out. “They’re gone.” They’d better have been, anyway.

She should have known they weren’t.


This time, she didn’t scream. The pain that coursed within her flared, as though resisting the urge to scream was keeping everything bottled in. Her body felt as though it was crumpling on itself and being torn apart at the same time, as she thrashed and twisted as if her mind was convinced she could shake it off. It lasted longer, this time, until Gabby finally arched her back violently enough that she felt something pop, or crack, in her ribcage. Pain that suddenly had nothing to do with the curse shot through her, and she lost resolve and let out a cry when the curse ended, and she flopped painfully back onto the floor.

“You filthy halfbloods are harder to kill than you have any right to be,” the man snarled, before lifting his wand and snarling into it, “Just light the damn place up. We don’t have time for this. I’ll finish this one off.”

Light it up? Gabby was only beginning to push herself off the floor when suddenly she felt the ground shake from underneath her and heard the distant roar of an explosion that she definitely did not cause, and saw an intense flare of light from outside; the orange and red of flames pulsing in the window.

“No,” she gasped. Had they made it out?

She heard movement from the foyer, the strangled shout of a vaguely familiar voice; her head was swimming too much to process it as the man in the room with her saw it fit to kick her in the side just one more time. The blow hurt far more than it should, and Gabby felt a shriek of pain rip involuntarily from her throat. As she wrapped an arm around her side, she glared at her attacker in mutiny as he raised his wand.

She waited for the inevitable, and closed her eyes at the last second so she wouldn’t see it coming. This was it.

Except it didn’t come.


Gabby’s eyes flew open when she heard that voice.

“You come into my house,” Alphonse Sauveterre roared as he stepped into the room. Many times in her life, Gabby had been convinced that she had never seen her father so angry. But in this moment? This was the angriest she had ever seen him, an eerily familiar blazing fire in the dark eyes that she’d inherited. “You murder my wife, you murder my children. I was promised they wouldn’t be touched!”

If the man was going to respond, he didn’t get a chance to as her father wordlessly waved his wand and the man was flung aside and collapsed into a heap when he struck the wall with a solid thwack.

“Papa?” she found herself choking out. Where had he been? What had he meant? Gabby tried to push herself to her feet, arms still shaking from the pain throbbing in her side, her head, everywhere.

“Gabrielle, Dieu merci,” Alphonse breathed, as he suddenly dropped down to help her up, almost pointedly not looking at the floor as he gazed at her. Gabby wasn’t entirely sure her father had ever looked at her like that before, as though she was his, something he was marvelling instead of scorning. “I’m going to get you out of here, understand?”

“But, the others-”

“I’ll get the others,” her father assured her, cupping her face in his hands as he did so. Gabby wasn’t sure he’d ever made such an affectionate gesture before. “You did well. But the house is burning, and you have to get out.”

Her brain was fuzzy, everything was beginning to feel like a blur. Was she actually going to live? What was he saying? “Where will I go?” she choked out.

“I’m sending you to your uncle. Perhaps him running off to Greece was ironically the best idea he’s ever had; you promise me that you’ll stay with him?”

This scene felt eerily familiar. Words didn’t come to her, so Gabby just found herself nodding as she tried to find what she wanted to say. But she’d never get the chance to speak, as her father suddenly pulled her forward and planted a fervent kiss to her forehead.

There were more sounds of movement from the foyer, shouts and pounding feet, as Gabby felt her father suddenly jerk away from her to look in the direction of the noise.

Alphonse pulled her towards the fireplace in the room, the corner of which had crumbled a little from the action but still remained mostly intact. Gabby went with him, bewildered and stumbling, feeling as though she was forgetting something, missing something, like she should be helping to fight back. As she tried to push weakly towards the noise, her father made an impatient sound in the back of his throat as he pushed her back down and ushered her into the fireplace.

“You’ll always be my daughter,” he told her with a note of finality, as he reached into his work robes and pulled out a pouch of pale green powder. “Stay with your uncle, understand?”

“What are you-”

Alphonse uttered an address that Gabby didn’t recognize into the green powder, which seemed to light up in his palms, before he scattered them into the ashes. She didn’t get to finish her question.

Instead, she was fairly sure she heard shouts from the foyer and saw a flash of green light before the flames engulfed her entirely, sending her spinning, spinning-

Until she was spat out into an eerily quiet and dark living room onto an unfamiliar rug. Gabby cried out in a mixture of pain and surprise, coughing as ashes spluttered from her mouth. Where was she? What had happened? Where was everyone?

“Papa?” she screeched, as she crawled painfully back into the fireplace, and began clawing at the firewood and the ashes beneath. “Papa! No! Phillipe? Claudine! What- how do I- I have to get back!”

The headlines the next morning would read that the Sauveterre family had been slaughtered in a tragic Muggle terrorist incident. The entire family. All dead, and the estate burned to the ground. No survivors.

Gabby wasn’t sure why the newspapers lied, and while she technically counted as alive, it didn’t feel that way. Her father had said he’d fetch the others, but nobody else had followed. She was alone, on that couch, aching, in pain, and exhausted. But she didn’t sleep. She didn’t move.

She just wanted to know why she was alive, when her family was not.
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