Filling the sink with water, Eileen splashed her face and stared at her reflection in the mirror. She had been this way for almost a month now, she felt nauseous and bloated, her whole body ached and her breasts were tender. Rinsing her mouth out she sighed, she would have to see a Healer, it seemed strange to feel ill and so healthy at the same time. Her dark hair had a sheen to it, and her eyes were not dimmed, so it could not be much at all. She wondered if she should have asked Madame Pomfrey to examine her before she left Hogwarts. But that was over now, she had left school two weeks ago.

“Eileen!” Came her mothers shrill voice from the other side of the doorway. “Merlins beard girl, you’ve been in there for ages! The Minister is looking for you. Come along!” The bathroom door opened and Eileen suppressed a sigh, fighting down the urge to rush back and empty herself again. Her mother sighed and flustered with Eileens hair. “Merlins beard girl, what have you been doing? You’re not coming down with something are you? You’re hardly likely to be selected to represent Great Britain if you’re unwell.”

“I’m fine mum, it’s just nerves.” Eileen replied quietly, feeling her face heat.

Her mother sniffed, tugging at the long braid hanging down her back. “Nerves! Yes, well I suppose you do have more than just the competition on your mind. Now come along Apteryxes is growing anxious. This is a good match Eileen, although what he sees in you.” Mrs Prince sniffed again. “Now come along, you must not forget your place.”

Eileen followed her mother as she led the way towards a grand room, the walls lined with a cream coloured wallpaper three quarters of the way to the high raised ceiling where it changed to a crimson red almost the colour of blood and studded with gold. The Black family crest was emblazoned in gold on one wall. The room was full of waiting wizards and witches. Eileen easily recognised the delegation from the Ministry, Mr Bartie Crouch was a junior politician, but quickly rising. She had heard her mother recommend him as a member of her party many times. A tall thin man with a long horse like face, he was rifling through a portfolio, arranging several sheafs of thin parchment.

Crouch coughed slightly, pushing his spectacles up his long thin nose and gazed around the room. Mr Rogerson, Eileen saw was standing by with his camera ready to take photographs for the Daily Prophet. Crouch saw him also and gave him a nod.

“Ladies and gentlemen.” Crouch read from the papers in front of him, lifting eyes only momentarily to ensure that he had the attention of everyone gathered in the room. A soft smirk crossed his face and he glanced over at the table near the front of the room where Eileen was seated along side her parents and Apertyxes.

“I have here, the results of the vote of the Department of Foreign Affairs in regard to the election of a representative for the upcoming International Potions Tournament, which this year has been proudly supported by Gringotts Bank, Partridges Potions, and of course the Ministry for Magic in Great Britain. I don’t think I need to remind you all of the significance of this event which is held every four years. Since its inception in 1796, the Ministry has sent a representative of our great island nation. This year, there were five entrants. Miss Anatasia Hunt from Lincolnshire, Mr Barry Dwight from Hampshire, Mr David Johnson from Liecestershire, Mr Ashton Crabtree from Cornwall, and Miss Eileen Prince from London.”

Crouch looked up again, his thin moustache bristling as he rubbed it thoughtfully, he turned the parchment over, reading his notes on the other side and cleared his throat once more. “While all applicants were able to prove their strengths in potion making to a level beyond the minimum requirements for this tournament, one entrant appeared vastly superior to the others. In spite of the vast age difference -”

Eileen felt her stomach lurch and she gripped it firmly. She could not be sick now, not now when the announcement was about to come. Any illness would be seen as her being unfit to go. Her father patted her hand warmly, a soft smile creasing his face. Eileen smiled at him warmly and turned back to listen to the rest of Crouch’s speech.

“Our chosen candidate was Dux of their class at Hogwarts school of Wizardry and Witchcraft, graduating with Honours in Herbology and Potions just two weeks ago, winner of the Archibald trophy in ’53 at the age of just fifteen, Miss Prince is an obvious choice-”

Eileen waited for the “however”, biting her bottom lip in suspense. She caught her mothers eye, a slight twinkle shone in her dark eyes. Eileen was suddenly aware of all eyes on her as the clapping started. Apteryxes clapping hardest of all, his cool blue-grey eyes smiling in satisfaction.

“Congratulations Eileen.” Her father murmured softly, leaning forwards to kiss her cheek.

Flushing, Eileen rose to her feet, feeling every eye on her, felt her ears pricking for the whispers. Crouch held out a small black bound envelope and shook her hand.

“Congratulations Miss Prince, I’m sure we will all be very proud of you.” Crouch said warmly.

“Thank you Minister.” Eileen croaked and turned to face the crowd. Merlins beard … was she expected to make a speech? Wavering slightly, she caught sight of her father’s smile and a brief nod. She wiped her hands on her dress, feeling slightly faint. “I … I wish to thank the Ministry for this opportunity.” She began softly. “And the sponsors of this tournament, Gringotts bank, Partridges Potions, Madame Tonkins and everyone else who is involved. I would also like to thank my family … my parents and of course my fiancé.”

She smiled in Apteryxes direction, but his head was turned as Davainea was whispering something in his ear. Apteryxes nodded, whispered something back and smiled at her. His smile made her legs melt, he was so handsome. “Thank you.” Eileen said softly once again and walked back to the table, the polite clapping made her face flush, she knew it would make her look spotty.

Her parents were on their feet, her father kissing her cheek warmly. “Well done my dear.” He smiled at her fondly. Mrs Prince nodded her head, but pulled away, accepting the well wishes of those around her. Looking up, Eileen saw Apteryxes and Davainea leaving by a small secluded door. She went to follow them, but had her arm grabbed by Professor Slughorn.

“Well done, my dear. Well done!” He enthused, bouncing on his toes.

 * * * * *

 Outside, Apteryxes shut the door and smiled softly at Davainea’s back. What on earth was it out here she wanted to show him? Something that Eileen wanted him to see, she had said. Eileen would be busy for the next few minutes talking with the other delegates and the officials from the ministry. They wouldn’t be more than a few minutes. The silver shawl around her shoulders slipped and she stopped, turned and laughed softly. For a moment he saw flash of something in her deep blue eyes. Smirking to himself, he picked up the end of the shawl from where it had fallen to the ground and placed it gently around her shoulders. Davainea smiled at him, patting his hand where it lay on her shoulder.

She was pretty, he realised. Tall and slender with long flowing blonde hair and a pretty oval face. Her skin was the colour of alabaster, and her eyes shone in the moonlight. This close to her, he could smell her perfume a tantalising jumble of essences all designed to inflame the mind.

“Thank you Appy.” Davainea murmured softly.

Flushing Apteryxes removed his hand quickly and fished for his wand, hidden in a pocket of his coat. “Lumos.” He whispered, and a silvery light flared at the wands tip illuminating the pathway ahead.

“Just down here.” Davainea said softly, she walked off quickly, one hand gripping the skirt of her gown holding it a few inches from the ground so she didn’t step on it. She led the way around the back of the house towards a group of low-lying buildings. Putting her hand against a door, she pushed it open and slipped inside.

Cobwebs brushed against his face. It was dark and cramped inside the shed. Boxes lined two walls, along a third was a workbench, he could see tools laid out neatly. Shutting the door behind him, the space seemed to close in on him somehow, he could feel Davainea’s breath warm and moist on his shoulder.

“Aren’t they adorable.” Davainea whispered as she bent down.

Intrigued, Apteryxes bent down next to her, feeling her arm slide over his back. There in a box of what he thought were rags was a dog, the “rags” he could see now were wriggling puppies. One of them murmured softly, rummaging around for its mother and something to drink.

Davainea’s hair played against his cheek as she snuggled closer to him. She felt soft and warm against him. Straightening, Apteryxes felt his lips twitching. Puppies. They were adorable. Davainea laughed, throwing her arms around his neck. “I thought you would like to see the newest addition to the family.” She purred.

Touching her waist, Apteryxes swallowed the lump in his throat. Davainea smiled and kissed him. For a moment, he stood there, returning the kiss before pulling away from her shocked.

“Davy! I-” He said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’m engaged to your cousin.”

Davainea only smirked at him. “It was just a kiss Appy, we are friends after all.”

Licking his lips, Apteryxes nodded but removed her arms from his neck. “We’d best get back, the others will be wondering where we are.” He opened the shed door and Davainea brushed past him, her body pressing against his slightly in the doorway. Catching the scent of her perfume, he half groaned. Davainea’s fingers traced over his hand as if she sought comfort from his presence. Her eyes opened slightly and she gave a soft groan as he pulled her hard against himself, kissing her thoroughly. Her mouth opened at a touch, soft and sweet. She was sweet as sugar. Willing and hungry for him. Burying his lips against her throat, she groaned slightly, wavering limply in his arms.

Hungrily, his lips sought hers as his hands explored her body. Davainea surrended to him hungrily. Her body quivered and she groaned softly as he took her roughly.

“Shh.” He murmured anxiously, glancing back at the house only feet away. He could just see lights from the drawing room through the bushes that hid the shed from the path. Adjusting his position, he drew her back hard against himself, she gave a soft whimper, her body quivering.

Davainea staggered as he released her, fumbling for her clothes. “Appy.” She groaned drunkedly and kissed him. “I’ve wanted you for so long.”

Apteryxes flushed. “Eileen must never find out.” He groaned and kissed her. Her body trembled once more. He grinned and slapped Davainea’s backside. Perhaps Davainea would keep him company while he planned his wedding?


Davainea grinned wickedly, her fingers clapsing his. “We’d best get back before we’re missed.” She murmured.


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