I said that it wouldn’t be long. Here is part 2. One more part is completely finished and I am halfway through part 4.
Part Two – 1993 (Eight Years Before)
Marcus sat down in the Slytherin stalls and leaned over to watch as the Gryffindors practised their moves for the match on Saturday. He knew that Wood, if he realised that someone was watching them, would go ballistic, but he knew that he could handle the burly Scot, and to be honest, he would welcome the verbal battle. Anything was better than the 5-foot Potions’ essay he had to finish for his late detention.
He was grinning at the way Wood had to shout at the two Weasley boys to make them take notice of him, when he noticed Katie Bell. The twig-girl was hovering just below his eye level, her dark blue eyes trained on him, her brows furrowed and the Quaffle in one of her raised hands.
“What are you doing here, Flint?” She raised the Quaffle even higher in her hand when it appeared that he wasn’t going to answer her.
“It’s a free world, Twig!” he spat the hated nickname at her, watching as she bit her top lip, and all of a sudden the urge to suck that full lower lip into his own mouth, nibble on it with his teeth, filled him. He gathered his robe over his lap to hide the unexpected reaction from her eyes, and glared back at her.
“I’m not a twig,” she shifted slightly on her broom, tightening her thighs around it, and then let go, holding onto the broom with only her legs. She tossed the Quaffle casually between her hands and watched him as though contemplating whereabouts she wanted to hit him with the hard leather ball.
“I wouldn’t,” the words were a warning, but they came out smoothly, a velvet caress that caused Katie to shiver for some reason that she didn’t fully understand.
“Oh? And why would that be?” She grinned at him, still watching his every move carefully.
“Because I only came here to watch. There’s no law against it and I wasn’t bothering anyone.” Normally he wouldn’t be so agreeable. Normally he would snap and taunt and tease and be downright mean, but for some reason he couldn’t be bothered today. For some reason he wanted, more than anything, to pull Katie off her broom and into his lap. Shaking his head, mortified that he was having such thoughts about someone who was considerably younger than he was, Marcus clenched his teeth and glared at Katie, willing her to go away.
“You’re bothering me,” Katie returned his glare with one of her own, her eyes narrowed further and she tightened her hand around the Quaffle, preparing to throw it.
“Look, Bell. I am not bothering anyone who matters so just fly off on your little broom and go bother someone who actually cares.” His voice was gruff with suppressed arousal and he was irritated with himself for his reaction to the girl.
Gritting her teeth and glaring furiously at Marcus, Katie turned on her broom and flew back to hover behind Oliver, listening avidly to his every word. She shook her head, confused when she realised that she was thinking more about Marcus Flint than she wanted to, he was a jerk, a nasty, slimy Slytherin bully who called her names constantly and, on more than one occasion, had knocked Oliver off his broom.
“You all right there, Bell?” Oliver turned concerned eyes to Katie, the youngest girl on the team. He watched as she shuddered slightly and then smiled, but the smile didn’t quite reach her eyes.
“Fine. Just thought you should know, Flint is watching us.” She nodded her head in the direction of the stands where Marcus was making it more than obvious he was paying little attention to what was going on in the Gryffindor practice.
“Well,” Oliver raised his voice a little bit, his thick Scottish brogue even clearer with the increased volume. “He can watch all he wants, it won’t help his team beat us next Sunday.” His outburst caused the rest of the team to laugh.
Katie smiled triumphantly when Marcus picked up the small notebook he had brought with him – she didn’t know he had any idea what one of those was used for – and stalked off, his words were muffled by the wind, but Katie was able to make out a few words, “sorry…stupid…twig…” Although they were insulting, Katie couldn’t help but feel as though she had won this game, although she had no idea really what the rules were.
Marcus sat down beside the fire in the large comfy armchair that was traditionally reserved for the captain of the House Quidditch team and rested his head on his hands as he stared absently into the flickering flames that rose up the chimney. What the hell had happened today? He was confused and that was rarely an emotion that he enjoyed and one that he would never admit to. Confusion was a weakness, and Slytherins weren’t weak. He narrowed his eyes when the flames of the fire turned green and the imperious voice of his father filled the empty room.
“Marcus, you were meant to come home this weekend. Why did I hear back from Professor Snape that you hadn’t turned in your visitation request?” Marcus winced when he realised how angry his father must be. He knew perfectly well why he was expected to visit the family seat for the weekend, and it wasn’t something that he wanted to go home for.
He wasn’t going to take the Dark Mark, it was just that the longer he put off saying anything, by either avoiding the letters or the home visits, the longer he had to plan his escape. He had seen what the mark had done to some of his friends, pushing them into unpleasant arranged marriages and forced to kill people they had been in classes with. He had purposely failed his last year at school to avoid being at home and under all the pressure to fall to his father’s will.
“I’m sorry, father. But we have an important match coming up, against the Gryffindors, and I know how important house pride is to you.” House pride, it was something that Jasper Flint valued nearly as much as his high position in the Dark Lord’s council. He half-smiled when his father’s face appeared clearer in the green flame.
“You will beat those insufferable Muggle lovers. No son of mine will lose anything to them, they don’t deserve the title of Wizard.” Jasper’s voice was loud, echoing clearly in the deep cavernous rooms that made up the Slytherin dungeons.
Lowering his head, not meeting his father’s furious eyes, Marcus nodded and murmured in the affirmative, then waited for further comment on the fact that he had refused yet another visit home. “As soon as this game is over, Marcus, I expect to see you in my study. I will put up with no further disobedience. Is that clear? If you ignore my orders again you know what will happen.”
Taking a deep breath, Marcus wondered exactly how the punishment would go this time. The last time he had ignored a direct order from his father, he had returned home over the summer holidays to find that his younger sister, Eleanor, had mysteriously suffered a broken arm and the right side of her face had been burned badly enough to cause permanent deep-tissue scarring. Furious beyond belief at what his father had done, Marcus had confronted him, only to be told that worse would happen if he were ignored again.
“This has nothing to do with them,” Marcus kept his voice low, but the anger was there, evident in every stiff movement of his body. “They aren’t in control of what I do.”
With an exultant smile on his face, Jasper raised his one eyebrow and studied his son carefully. “Obviously it has the desired effect. You will do as you are told or else they will suffer the consequences. It is up to you.” In the blink of an eye, Jasper Flint’s visage vanished from the flames and they returned quickly to their normal red-gold hue.
Slamming his fist down on the arm of the chair hard enough that it cracked the varnish, Marcus stood up and stormed into the room that he shared with his best friend, Terence Higgs, the only person he trusted not to spread it around that Marcus was doing his damnedest to avoid taking the honour of the Dark Mark.
Terence looked up from the pile of papers he was looking through and blinked at Marcus through the glasses that no one else was aware he needed. “What’s wrong? Another call from your father?” It was no secret, between the friends, that Marcus and his father were working from different ends of the ‘family loyalty’ scale. To Jasper family loyalty meant that everyone did what they were told to by him or else they suffered the consequences. To Marcus family loyalty meant sticking up for the people that mattered to him and doing everything he could to protect them.
Katie sat alone in the girls’ changing rooms, her wet Quidditch practice clothes hung, dripping, on one of the pegs above her head. For some reason she couldn’t stop thinking about Marcus Flint. She knew that he was a slimy, greasy git and definitely couldn’t be trusted, but there was something about him, even with those awful teeth, that made her curious. Shivering as cold droplets of water dripped from the ends of her hair onto her back, she shook the thoughts of Marcus aside, and focused on her crush, Oliver.
She smiled when Alicia, one of the other Chasers on the team, poked her in the back and demanded that she stop drooling over their team captain and focus on getting dressed so that they could all go to dinner. “He’s a really nice bloke, Katie, but he’s focused on nothing but Quidditch, all the time!” Alicia had known Oliver for years, their families were friends, something to do with a shared holiday destination or the like, but just because Alicia thought of the Quidditch-obsessed boy in a brotherly way didn’t mean that Katie had to. As a first year she had developed a crush on Oliver Wood, and over the last three years that crush had grown and grown until she was nearly as obsessed with him as Ginny Weasley was with Harry Potter.
“He’s not always like that,” Katie protested, all the time knowing that he really was always that focused. Unlike most other boys of his age, Oliver Wood spent most of his time coming up with new practice methods for the team, and new patterns to enable them to score more points against the opposition.
“You don’t know him well enough yet. You’ll find out soon enough that the only thing he ever pays attention to is Quidditch. I bet he’ll end up marrying some Quidditch groupie.”
Not liking that idea at all, Katie jokingly glared at Alicia, pulled on her regulation grey jumper and stood up. Quickly changing the subject, Katie picked up her overloaded satchel and headed towards the door, “Let’s go to dinner. I’m starving.”
Unable to disagree with that statement, Alicia followed after Katie, using a levitation charm on her own heavy bags, feeling far too tired to carry them herself.