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If Memories Could Bleed

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1966.

Adeline Black was a highly unusual girl in many ways, and that was without including the abnormality of her being a pureblooded witch. She had been a rather normal child for most of her early youth, even with her fiery tantrums and disinterest to most adventure-filled and wild things that most children found amusing.

Unlike most young witches, Adeline Black had no interest in the infamous game of Quidditch —though Cassiopeia was quite thankful for that—, nor was she prone to causing trouble and mischief like her cousins. Instead, Adeline Black had found her hobby's in reading and writing, things most young's girls found exceedingly dull and mind numbing. On occasion she would play with her dolls, only to abandon them minutes later in favour of mucking around in the gardens with her mother.

That was one thing her daughter did enjoy that was of the messy sort—gardening. If Cassiopeia would allow it, she was sure that her daughter would stay forever outside, despite how prone she was to sunburns in the bright sun. Not to mention her never ending refusal to rub a sun lotion on her cheek bones and shoulders to save her mother from the pitiful weeping and moaning later.

Adeline simply adored gardening. Pruning the plentiful petunias on their patios, and watering their many mounds of magnolias set up on the window ledges. Adeline even found joy in the endless task of weeding and collecting the safer plants and herbs for her mother's potions out in the back gardens.

Most young mothers in the Wizarding World would be pleased with such developments, as they would not have to coax out the wild and untameable ways that often sprouted in young children out—, but all Cassiopeia could do was worry. She would tell her family—at least those like Alphard who knew her truly and did not see issue with her methods of raising Adeline— in letters that she was worried. Worried for her daughter's lack of hobbies and lack of adventure, she would say she was thrilled with Adeline's love of learning and dedication to understanding the most complex of things and messing about with the flower pots, but in truth she fretted.

She fretted both day in and day out wondering if she had done something wrong when rearing her daughter. Had the seclusion made her daughter less than that of other girls? Had she accidentally forced her into growing up far too quickly? After all, it simply wasn't normal for young girl to enjoy weeding and reading of all things—, shouldn't she rather play in the house with her dolls? Be more excited about mucking about on brooms like most children and giving Cassiopeia heart palpitations when she flew too quickly or turned to tight?

This is of course without bringing into part the horrific nightmares that had began to plague her daughter on the eve of her sixth birthday in 1966. It had started suddenly and without warning, like most things in the Wizarding World. Cassiopeia had tucked her daughter into bed as she always did that night, reading her the tales of Babbity Rabbit and his Cackling Stump to lull her off into the realm of Morpheus when it first began.

At first she had thought it a fluke bad dream, despite the way Adeline sobbed for hours about things of nonsense about Dark Wizards and silver masked men. Then it had happened again the next night, and the night after. It got to the point that her daughter was having horrific nightmares every time she laid down to sleep—including in broad daylight when she attempted to take a nap to make-up for her lack of rest. Adeline had been given her first fear since childhood, as unlike other children she did not fear heights or the dark or such simple and mindless things, but instead what awaited her in her dreams. And Cassiopeia was powerless to help her overcome it.

Potions such as Dreamless Sleep could only help so much and sooner rather than later (exactly three months to be exact) the potion was rendered completely useless as her daughter had built up an intolerance to it. Mother and daughter were back to square one, with Adeline crying out in the middle of the night in fear and Cassiopeia not getting much sleep either as she fretted for her daughter's peace of mind.

Cassiopeia had taken to sleeping with her daughter, instead of resting in her own bedroom down the hall for many months. Each night she would hold her daughter as she lulled off to sleep, only to wake up hours later with her six year old sobbing and thrashing about. It was like clockwork, having to wake Adeline every few hours from the horrible images that played out in her mind.

Nearly four months after the new development of her daughter's night terrors, Cassiopeia reached her wits end and made appointments with all sorts of mind healers for her daughter. Specialists with experimental sleeps aids in the hopes to combat her vivid dreams, many child  psychologists and mind-healers to see if there was a diagnosis that could be made or a way that therapy could help her reach a peaceful slumber. Cassiopeia threw galleons on top of galleons in the hopes of curing whatever sickness that had rooted itself in her daughter's subconscious, but it all amounted to nothing. The best of what they could offer was that she wasn't cursed, nor was she mentally ill—she was simply a child with an over active imagination.

Cassiopeia wanted to believe them, truly she wanted nothing more than these nightmares to be something Adeline would grow out of as she aged—but the older her daughter got, the worse they became. As a last resort and hope, Cassiopeia reached out to a hermit-like woman who was well-practiced in the art of divination. She didn't hold much respect for such practice, future telling and seers were something of whimsical fairytales in her mind as it couldn't be explained by any form of proper researching. Cassiopeia prided herself in logic and science, not of gut-feelings and make-belief. Nonetheless, she looked into the plausible avenue of her daughter possibly being a seer only for it to be a bust as well.

So the nightmares progressed, and Cassiopeia fretted whilst her daughter refused to sleep in fear of the horrors that haunted her in the night. Her previously easy and effortless go at parenting had become a living nightmare. It was similar to reliving the beginning months of bringing her daughter home with how little sleep the both of them received. A few hours—if that, some nights—before the both of them would be up for the rest of the day and attempting to work through the permanent feeling of exhaustion.

Speaking to Adeline about her terrible dreams did nothing to dissuade them either, as each one seemed different and more terrible than the last. It didn't help that she hardly remembered more than a few significant details, all to which stumped Cassiopeia in their origins.

Some nights it was men in dark cloaks donning silver masks whilst torturing muggles and wizards alike with unfamiliar faces, others it was of a large snake shedding the skin of an old women and attacking her daughter in her sleep. More often then not it was of her daughter dying a horrible death, or being tortured by some unspeakable and twisted method.

Burning in a room of cluttered things, drowning in a lake with an army of the dead dragging her down—and those of course were the tamed ones. In some of them, Adeline spent hours upon hours spent on a drawing room floor as a madwoman crucio-ed her into insanity, or sliced her to bits with a cursed dagger. The only reason Cassiopeia even knew the specifics of those were due to her extractions and use of the pensive that 2as hidden in her bedroom closet. As Adeline come to realize that the dreams were unlikely to halt in there assault of her unconscious mind, she began to close her shutters and refuse Cassiopeia's memory retrieval in the hopes of understanding them better.

"There's no point Maman*," Adeline had spoken in the very early morning on the fifth month of such events, after refusing to let her mother view the dreams in her pensive. "There's no sense in you suffering from the bad dreams too."

Despite how much Cassiopeia hated the reasoning, she didn't force her daughter on the matter. She had made a promise to never pry and remove her autonomy about her person, no matter how much it irked and bothered her otherwise. Besides, it wasn't like she was able to help the matter anyway, and no specialist or doctor in all of the Wizarding World seemed to have a remedy to it either.

The nightmares, for all the horribleness that they were did bring some new light to their home as well— though few and far between. Exactly a month after the horrible start of such terrors, Adeline had her first display of accidental magic. Cassiopeia had never been prouder than when her daughter had set fire to the sitting room drapes after loosing terribly in a game of Scrabble. Adeline of course had instantly been stumbling out apologies and nearly in tears at the destructive moment of magic. It had taken a full hour before Cassiopeia had been able to calm her scattered and distraught mind down to explain the exciting news of such a development.

"Relax, mon petit soleil*," Cassiopeia coaxed her daughter as she cried opening in the sitting room, staring at the ashes of what once was their long, floor length drapes. Only the golden tassels remained and even then they were nothing but scorched pits of yarn in the symmetrical piles of dust and silver holdings. "I am not angry, Darling. Not in the slightest."

"But the drapes—!" Adeline began to cry harder as she looked upon the ashes and destruction she had accidentally caused. She didn't understand how her mother wasn't angry at her when she had done such a horrible, horrible thing.

Adeline didn't know how it had happened—why it had happened. She knew that accidental magic was common, but usually it was like bubbles or changing the colour of someone's hair—never anything so destructive or volatile. Adeline hadn't even wanted to start a fire, she had just been upset about loosing to her mother, for not scoring high enough in the game—she was usually better at coming up with words. Clever and smart words that had her mother smirking at her ingenious. Why did her magic have to be violent and cause a mess?

"Maman*..." She tried to say through her icky sounding sobs and the snot slowly beginning to trickle from her nose, only for her mother to pull her into her chest in a tight embrace. It wasn't a new development, the hugging to soothe her troubled mind, her mother had always been the more tactile of them both in showing affection. Adeline had never been overly fond of it, but she appreciated it far more than he earlier attempts to buy her love through new robes and books.

"It's of no importance, mon petit fille*," Her mother spoke softly into her hair, running her hands along her back in soothing circles and slowly calming her down with it's repetitive motions.

"Besides," Cassiopeia added after a moment in a simple jest, once Adeline had calmed down enough to not begin crying and blaming herself once again. "I thought they were quite hideous anyway."

It seemed that her jest had made it's mark when Adeline began to softly laugh into her mothers shoulder. Before pulling away to wipe the tears from her cheeks with the back of her hand, Adeline offered her a timid smile that left a dimple in her left cheek.

Cassiopeia didn't even care about the snot likely covering the shoulder of her robes—her daughter had just done magic! Powerful and volatile magic sure, but magic nonetheless. Her heart was heavily pounding with enough excitement and joy for the both of them. It wasn't for the first time that she wished the girl's father was there to witness such a magnificent and once-in-a-lifetime moment. Her late beau would have loved every second of it, he would have undoubtedly loved Adeline just as much as she.

"Now, how about some celebratory pudding, hm?" Cassiopeia asked with a large grin filling her face, nearly identical to the one that appeared on her daughters rounded face at the comment. It was that final phrase that two witches residing in the Victorian home in the Rhone Alps, scampered off to the kitchen to share the wonderful news with their house elf, Mipsy.

Said house elf was overjoyed and could have created a river with the tears she shed once hearing the news. Even more so that her Mistress had thought it prudent to share it with her. It wasn't common practice for a house elf to be given respect in a wizard's home but Cassiopeia had never been one to stick too close to tradition anyway. Besides, Mipsy was practically family for how long she had been tucked at the two witches sides. To show her gratitude the house elf had instantly began making the most elaborate of puddings for her wonderful and magical 'Young Missy'. Adeline had hugged the house elf tightly when she had even snuck a dollop of whipped cream on top.

Despite the celebrations that were being held, Adeline couldn't shake the guilt wallowing her stomach and her confusion at her mother's reaction. It was for that reason that she couldn't help but timidly ask while they scraped their bowls clean with their silver spoons.

"I still don't understand Maman*," She spoke softly, so quiet that Cassiopeia had to glance up from her small serving to make sure that her daughter had indeed spoke to her in the kitchen. "You're happy that I set the drapes on fire?"

Cassiopeia couldn't help but snort—quite unladylike at that— before replying with arched brows and laughter still bubbling in her gut.

"On the contrary, mi amor*, I am happy that you displayed magic at all." Cassiopeia replied simply, not one to beat around the bush in anything she said. Besides she refused to lie to her daughter, not for anything.

She would rather explain something to it's fullest potential and then leave her daughter to ask questions or fill in the blanks herself—and if she didn't know the answer she would find it out and tell Adeline at her earliest convenience. Cassiopeia knew it wasn't a typical practice for mother's to use when raising children, but it was the one that she liked best. It was for that reason that she added on in clarification.

"Though, even if you hadn't displayed magic, I would love you the same." Her daughter's chest seemed to deflate at her words, as if the weight that and been pushing down on Adeline had suddenly lessened to that of a feather. With a small smile she continued to speak.

"It's a wonderful thing, being magical. However, with fire being your first act it is a tad concerning as a parent, mon petit soleil*. Your first act of Magic was filled with raw, untampered power... something most impressive for your age."

She paused for a moment before giving her daughter a proud grin with sparkling grey eyes, "It simply goes to show that we can expect many great things from you, Adeline."

 

 

 

After her display of magic Cassiopeia could no longer be ignorant to Adeline's introduction into the Wizarding World. Of course all the years leading up to her sudden display of magic hasn't been absent of the magical happenings and wonders that existed in their home— Cassiopeia literally ran an owl-order potions practice after all. That being said, she had been a little lax in the other, more proper Wizarding ways to educate her daughter.

So on the month leading up to her daughters seventh birthday Cassiopeia made some changes to their day-to-day schedule. She knew that her nieces and nephews had already been given a swath of tutors in various practices—all approved by the Black Patriarch of the family—on the duties and responsibilities of the upcoming Lord's and Lady's of House Black. Adeline would be no different in that respect, except for the small detail that all said tutors would be screened and approved of by Cassiopeia only and not Arcturus.

The elder Black woman had hated every approved Pureblood tutor that had been given to her as a child and refused to have her daughter spend hours of time with someone she would despise. After all, the said tutors would be working with her for years to come if the fit be proper—it was best if they could at least be cordial to one another. There was the added conundrum that Cassiopeia wished for the tutor's to be unbiased in dated prejudices, which was few and hard to come by to say the least.

In the end, Cassiopeia had found a passable tutor to suit her expectations and Adeline's needs, however her daughter was being more than stubborn to the change in scheduling. Not only was she angry about the lack of free times to spend in the gardens and in her novels but at the idea of learning from a stranger.

The two witches had been arguing in circles for days over the changes to come and Adeline was getting more and more ticked the longer her mother refused to bend to her wishes. It wasn't often her mother ignored her opinions and insights and she was having a hard time to adjusting to the sudden need for rules and regulations that were far too strict in her mind. It was like a punishment she had no need for.

"I don't want a tutor, Maman*!" Adeline shouted at her mother for what felt like the hundredth time that evening. The two had just finished up with dinner and when Cassiopeia had spoken of what her daughter would be learning, Adeline had immediately jumped at the chance to try and argue her way out of it. "Why can't you just teach me? You know loads of stuff!"

"It's improper, Adeline we've been over this." Cassiopeia replied shortly, having had quite enough of her daughter shoving her heels in the ground. With the combined lack of sleep for them both due to the nightmares and the sudden changes neither of the witches were in the best of moods and often got snippy with each other. Especially when Adeline mixed in her Black inherited stubbornness and inability to let the matter drop.

"Besides," Cassiopeia huffed out sharply as she attempted to control her own building frustration as she explained for neither the first nor the last time to her young daughter. "Madam Geller not only has marvellous reviews, but will be more up to date on what you will need to be focusing on."

"I don't want Madam Geller," Adeline whined petulantly. Cassiopeia felt her nerves grate together harshly at her use of tone as she clippedly replied.

"Then it's a good thing that I've already made the decision for you. This is not up for debate, Adeline. My mind is made up."

Adeline, seemingly having had enough of the conversation, skidded her chair roughly against the hardwood and went to storm out of the room. Cassiopeia growled below her breath as her daughter stomped her feet up the stairs and towards her bedroom door in a huff. She supposed she should be thankful that their arguments were few and far between, but it didn't make her feel any less angered when the house rattled from her daughter's slamming door.

Cassiopeia could only pray that the moodiness was from the lack of sleep and not in fact an ongoing performance that she would have to learn to deal with. Morgana pray for the day Adeline became an angsty adolescent prone to mood swings and menstrual cycles. Cassiopeia didn't know if she could handle a blown out of proportion Black temper on the daily. Perhaps, she ought to apologize to her own mother for all the headaches she used to cause her when she was little.

 

 

1968.

With the years well past since she had first been introduced to Madam Geller and forced into her dubbed 'Lady Lessons' much had changed in Adeline's life. She still spent a favourable amount of time in the gardens, though now mostly on the weekends as it was the only days she had no prior commitments too. In the late afternoons she would hole herself up in the private library with one of her novels or a textbook from her lessons to peruse through in her leisure.

Much had changed from when her days were filled with whatever her mother had planned up the night before—Adeline couldn't deny that it was nice to have a set schedule in a sense but it was also exhausting. Mostly because she spent all of her week days learning the duties and responsibilities to be a proper Black Heiress— which she was still not enthused about in the slightest.

The mornings were spent mainly on etiquette, whilst the afternoons were filled with history or activities she needed to have an acceptable aptitude in. None of these topics made her leap with joy or look forward to further lessons in the slightest. Her etiquette lessons were by far the most unappealing of the load on her plate— filled with the talk of manners and expectations as a Lady Black. It was always do's and don't's—particularly more don't's than do's in her case.

Some of it was marginally interesting however, and her tutor wasn't the worst person in the world, if a bit quirky in some aspects. Madame Geller typically wore robes of a mustard yellow and a strange and flappy, wide brimmed hat—she also had a really flouncy accent that absolutely murdered her pronunciation on some words. Her accent had been a real struggle to work around when Adeline was required to start practicing her French more consistently.

According to Pureblood society it was required to know at least one additional language to your birthright fluently. Most up and coming Black Lady's chose French, and seeing as how they lived in rural France, Adeline hadn't objected to that as her second. However, it had taken her less than a year to become fluent so Madame Geller had insisted her to take on another to challenge herself. So now Adeline not only spoke fluent French and English, but was well on her way to becoming fluent in German.

That wasn't the only topic, or lesson to be technical, that she had incidentally excelled in. Adeline had also been a quick study in the briefly touched upon politics of Wizarding society. Of course, this wasn't because she agreed with any of the subjects they touch upon, like laws being overturned and bills being put though to the Wizengamot— but instead because she had a quick temper about how backwards some of their decrees turned out to be. Such as the Act Against Magical Creatures and their employment that was founded in 1642 or how the Ministry had attempted —and failed, thank Morgana— to legalize Muggle Hunting in 1781.

Adeline had been nothing short of enraged and had all but locked herself in the library to pour over the rows upon rows of poorly written Pureblood Politic books. Her mother had to all but drag her out of her book-made shrine three days later—seeing as Adeline had not ate nor slept since diving into her research. Madame Geller was then given a strict restriction on when she could bring up about the said politics in their ongoing lessons. Not because Adeline had become nothing short of obsessed with it, but more so because she had nearly sent off three very strongly worded letters—at least for a nearly nine year old— to Madame Bagnold who was the current Minister of Magic. Cassiopeia had never been so happy that Mipsy had caught her daughter before the owls had flown off with the spiteful and vitriol filled letters of her daughter.

There were many lessons Adeline was not a natural in however, one of them in particular being Ballroom Dancing. The girl, despite being marginally graceful and coordinated, was a complete wreck upon the dance floor. It had taken Adeline nearly a full year before she was even marginally acceptable to be seen in public whilst dancing. Cassiopeia had thought it hilarious to say the least—watching her daughter flail around like a flobber worm in a simple waltz and two-step. Adeline had been less enthused and more hateful than anything after such spectacles. Even after she had gotten the hang of it, she had vehemently refused to dance ever again— even if it were a matter of life and death.

Another lesson she had been less than adequate at was shockingly recalling the family tapestries, though that was soon rectified with the help of her cousins—or one cousin in particular anyway. Narcissa and been more than helpful in aiding her daughter through owl correspondence to become more familiar with the way the family tree interlocked with the others of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. This however, didn't stop Adeline from finding the entire practice utterly pointless no matter show many times Cassiopeia tried to tell her otherwise.

"Think of it this way," Her mother had started off simply, as she tried desperately to explain it in plain terms over breakfast, as Adeline complained about such lessons. "When you're older and find a nice young gentleman you won't have to bother yourself with learning all of his family members names and interests a week before the wedding."

Adeline had done nothing but narrow her storm cloud eyes cryptically towards her mother, before staying nonchalantly, "Who's to say I'll be marrying a pureblood, Maman*?"

Cassiopeia choked on her coffee.

"Adeline!"

Her daughter quickly raised her hands up in a mock-surrender gesture as she added without a second thought towards her mother's undignified reaction.

"I'm just saying, Maman*."

"Well," Cassiopeia stammered unsure of how to proceed. There were a great many things she wanted to bring up but thought it perhaps a little too early in the morning to have an argument about soon to be offered weddings and betrothals. So instead, she changed her focus back to the topic at hand and tried yet again to get her willfully stubborn daughter to agree with her. It was like fighting uphill battle lately to get her to listen to anything she said at all—Cassiopeia more often than not blamed it on her Black inherited genetics.

"Alright, then when you decided to take over the Black family financials—"

"Also not a possibility." Adeline interrupted swiftly with a roll of her eyes. A gesture that Cassiopeia didn't know where it could have possibly originated from but would love to erase from her daughter's keen memory. That however was a slow going process between both herself and Madame Geller. "Since Sirius is going to be the next head of the family."

"But," Cassiopeia patiently disagreed with a surprising amount of control. "If Sirius were to become unsuitable or ill-fit to take the position—"

"Then it would go to Regulus." Adeline rectified in her blunt honesty, as she gave her mother a slow and disapproving look. As if Cassiopeia had been caught red-handed in a white lie.

"Honestly, Maman,*" Adeline remarked with a smug smile making it's way across her still youthful and rounded features. "—are you sure it's me who needs these lessons and not you?"

Mipsy, who had been quietly collecting the cutlery and dishes from their placemats had to stifle her donkey sounding laughter with a not at all convincing cough at Adeline's comment. Though the elf's amusement was soon cut short when Cassiopeia darted a glare over her shoulder. Adeline only sipped mindlessly from her porcelain tea cup at the tension filled room, with a look of complete and utter innocence painted across her face.

 

 

 

Of course Adeline's lessons weren't all about learning new hobby's befitting of a Black and how to integrate properly  into pureblood politics. Some of it was simply knowing which fork to use in a twelve course meal, and how to properly call a toast at an important social event. That had been a lesson with a lot of reprimanding on her tutor's part and a lot of nagging from her mother in regards to her posture. Not that she could slouch all too comfortably in the corset she was wrangled into to help with the process. Her mother had never cared previously to how she held her tea cups or when her elbows were set on the table but suddenly, it was like every time she dined with the woman she was being harped at.

"Elbows off the table, Adeline."

Followed her through lunch, breakfast and dinner.

"Sit up straight. You're not a Weasley for Merlin's sake."

And on and on it went.

Suddenly, her 'Lady lessons' weren't just lessons at all but expectations. She was expected to be able to list the entire Black Family Tree off by heart at the drop of a hat—whom was related to whom through which ancestral branch. Who was casted off and why—were they a blood traitors, a squib? Not only that, but she was expected to know which title to use when addressing someone of marginal importance. Whether it be a heir to a noble family, a widow to a ex-relative, a Lord or Lady at a dinner party or a lowly muggleborn in a grocery store. Every little and insignificant detail in relation to wealth, superiority and pureblooded property mattered.

Adeline was expected to know the family business. The trades and investments that the Black family had poured their galleons into over the years —the obscure potion practices and much smaller and meaningless ventures such as national quidditch teams. It all mattered. Adeline needed to know they held shares with in which branches of business, which old and noble families they were indebted to and this was before even touching on the family magic's they were known for. Black and dark magic for the most part— or at least that's what her textbooks insisted it was called—, though the terms themselves were hardly accurate. Any magic could be Black Magic or Dark magic if you had the wrong sort of intent behind it. Not that the scholars —and her tutor as well— liked to discuss that aspect much.

The Black Family was known for their Blood Curses, hence the family words of 'Toujours Pur'. They could end a family line with one syllable from the Black Grimmoire if they so chose, not that it had been opened in the last decade. That of course her mother had claimed was because Grandfather Arcturus had it hidden under lock and key in his office behind many wards. Adeline had found a morbid sort of curiosity in that lesson to be honest. She had found in more than interesting how each family was predestined to a particular skill set simply due to their blood—like the Fortescue's with Advanced Charms, or the Potters with Potion-making— though the same could not be said for Muggleborns.

They were raw magic, and an unknown factor. They were an abnormality in that sense with no-predisposition to any skill set in the magical community. It was for that reason that Adeline thought that most pureblood families feared them. Well, that and the fact that they held no respect for Wizarding culture. She theorized that if Muggleborns didn't waltz into the magical world and expect them all to do a complete 180 in their beliefs and traditions that there could easily be a world with less division.

There needed to be a mutual balance, or at least there did in her theories of world peace. Where Muggleborns didn't want to wipe away all of the Wizarding communities culture with their nuance ideas and where the Pureblood's didn't want to eradicate all that made Muggleborns who they are. There's a small grey area of coexisting that Adeline thought to be a plausible place for harmony between the two differing lifestyles. Then again, it wasn't like Adeline used much of her free time to contemplate her ideas behind world peace and eradicating racism as a whole. That was more of a fleeting hobby that quickly had her ripping her hair out in frustration.

Outside of the tapestry tests, and the financials she was supposed to have memorized off the top of her head Adeline was expected to be up to date on the more finicky of pureblood societal standards as well. Namely the expectancies of what a Lady Black should act like. She was to be proper and poised, always in control of herself and her emotions. Adeline struggled far more than she would care to admit with such minuscule expectations.

Her mother had stepped in for these particular lessons rather than Madame Geller, to assist her in such stances. In private she was taught the art of Occlumency, at least the beginning stages of it. She was expected to perfect her mental defences on her own time and add to them as she aged. Adeline had been admittedly excited at first, until she realized just how difficult the mind arts truly were. Though the challenge hardly dissuaded her, as she soon started pestering her mother for a beginners guide to Legilimency as well, though she insisted that was more for theory than practice. Whether her mother bought such a white lie, Adeline wasn't sure—her mother had been a Slytherin after all.

It was during her regular lesson times that she was given further culture and societal lessons on their family heirlooms. Such as the heiress ring that she was never supposed to remove until her becoming of age ceremony where she was gifted another ring in it's place. The Black heiress ring was a simple band of silver, embedded with a circular cut emerald at the centre with two silver  engraved snakes on either side. Nearly every Black in the family had been sorted in Slytherin House at Hogwarts, hence the patriotic decoration. The ring was embedded with a series of protective enchantments as well, just like all Black heirlooms hidden away in the family vaults.

The heiress and heir rings in particular were keyed against dark hexes and mind magic. As long as Adeline always wore her ring she could never be forced under the Imperious Curse against her will, or suffer severe consequences from a particularly nasty hex sent her way. The heiress ring also has the added protections against mild poisons. It would simply heat up on her ring finger, if she held a glass that had been tampered with. It wasn't fool proof, but it did manage to make Adeline feel a tad safer when wearing it.

Despite the lessons and gifts of jewelry and mind magic protection however, Adeline couldn't help but feel like the world had been dropped on her shoulders. Not dissimilar to Atlas and his burden in the Odyssey. It was all expectations and tests and Adeline was beyond exhausted from it all. It didn't help that her nightmares never seemed to wane—but it was to the point that no matter what horrors she saw behind her eyelids even they couldn't touch her any longer. She was too tired to wake up in the middle of the night in distress, to sob into her pillow at the pictures of horrible things staining her mind. Instead, she watched them, almost like a horror film every time she went to bed and woke up, feeling as if nothing had changed for her exhausting day-to-day routine.

The one thing that had brightened her exhausting existence outside of lessons and schedules was her cousin's letters. Adeline hadn't thought much of her maternal cousins since the one afternoon of tea but ever since she has written to Narcissa —upon her mother's insistence— about the Black tapestries she couldn't seem to stop writing. Despite their family-born relation, Narcissa was truly Adeline's first and only friend.

It was to the point that they were exchanging weekly letters, neither of the girls having much to say really but more or less just pleased to have someone to talk to that wasn't living within their own household. It didn't even matter that there was a good two years difference between them, as they got along swimmingly to say the least, even when Narcissa started her first year of Hogwarts. Even in the midst of her studies at the infamous school, Narcissa took the time to write her every week and five her an update to the comings and going's of her life.

 

Narcissa Black
Black Family Manor
Tilsbury, Whiltshire.
December 18th 1968

Dear Narcissa,
           You were right of course, the first thing my tutor tested me on was the Black family tree— thanks for the study sheets by the way they were oh-so helpful. I still don't understand why I have to memorize who married who twenty generations ago (they're literally dead!) but I rest my case.
            Maman has been as prickly as ever. Apparently my so-called Lady Lessons are not up for debate and I need to simply 'pull on my big girl knickers and get over it.'  My tutor isn't bad per say, she's actually rather funny in some instances but that doesn't mean the lessons aren't completely dreadful. I swear to Merlin if I get reprimanded one more time about my posture I might throw a stinging hex at her (not that I know how to cast a stinging hex... yet).
             Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Lessons are still as boring as they were a year ago, Maman is still snippy and nothing is happening in France. How's it in England? Is Aunt Druella still upset about the rose bushes that Bella mutilated? Has Sirius officially caused Aunt Walburga an aneurysm yet? Keep me updated!
             I miss you of course, and am anxiously awaiting your reply. It's the only thing marginally interesting these days. Perhaps, I'll see you at the ball this coming Yule? Maman is finally allowing me to accompany her via side-along.

With care,
Adeline Black

 

 

Adeline Black
Black Chateau
Rhone Alps, France.
December 20th 1968

Dear Adeline,
           You should know by now that I'm always right. I'm glad my study sheets were helpful, Andy says I'm a swot to take notes during Lady Lessons. Hopefully the holidays will put Aunt Cass in better spirits—speaking of which, why is it only now that I'm hearing about your attendance? At least with you there things won't be so dull this year, it's always a right bore until Sirius inevitably causes a ruckus. (Or Great Aunt Delphinus knocks over the punch bowl.)
             In answer to your questions, Mother is still cross with Bella about the roses but I think she's nearly past her rage phase and is slowly moving towards her grieving stage, so that's nice I suppose. Aunt Walburga is still, well, Aunt Walburga to say the least (read; uptight, and temperamental). England is fine but boring as always. Andy and I went to Diagon Alley a few weeks ago to be fitted for our dress robes, mine are silver this year incase you're curious.
            Though I doubt you're at all excited about the ball —besides being away from France for a little while—, I have to say that Grandfather Arcturus spared no expenses. He's invited most of the Sacred Twenty-Eight families, at least those of respectable bloodlines, of course. I'm almost certain that Mother has been the one colour coordinating the centrepieces and choosing the music. (That being said I should hope your ballroom dancing has improved significantly since that's all she'll place in the cue!)
              Besides the ball preparations though nothing new has happened as of late. My own tutors have just begun to cover the details in traditional courting and betrothals. Incredibly interesting if you ask me—, did you know there's at least six different ways to court a witch or wizard? It's ridiculous really, and there's hardly any variation between them all but it's the details that set them apart. But of course you'll learn all about it soon enough with how quickly you're moving along.
             I miss you as well and am positively delighted to know you'll be here in England for Yule. Buy me something pretty will you? (And don't think I've forgotten about your birthday—expect at least two presents when you arrive for the holidays in less than a week!)

With affection,
Narcissa Black