"A life for a life.”
It isn’t fair- But that’s how the world works.
The cold wintry morning blanketed the countryside, but it did not muffle the cry of a newborn child. Five faces peer from varying heights from around a corner, their features similarly arched and hallow, rich in masculinity and strength. They vary in age, and the two older ones are home for Christmas holiday. All of their similarly colored eyes focus upon the flickering star at center stage, the supporting role a man of similar build and coloring gripping her hand so tight, ten knuckles are a ghostly white. One by one they return to their slightly tanner alabaster coloring; one by one they fall away to instead grip the baby she cannot hold.
A name was agreed on weeks ago by a happy maternity couple experiencing everything over again for the sixth time- But it did not fit for the newborn. Its features were too pink-toned; its head full of blonde hair; its eyes a bright blue instead of an emerald green.
And ’it' was a girl.
This child was no winter-time gift delivered to an eager receiver. It had come in bright red wrappings that had to be wiped away by only one set of parental hands. They passed the child off to a waiting housekeeper, whose head was lowered in commonplace respect. The other children scramble back to their room, the younger teary-eyed and the older pushing emotion down as they had been taught to do. The man, worn with age and run down with the loss of his wife, retreats to his study. It wasn’t what he had wanted. He had wanted another son; he had wanted another heir to carry on his name; he had wanted his wife still at his side and not ten feet under a few days later. after a few months, the toddler grew on him.
His little girl grew on him.
Okropir Marquardt had never been the type of man to interact with his children at any point during a normal day, excluding times when the whole bunch was together- Or at least, he hadn’t been until Kreszentia was born. It may have been with the passing of his wife that he felt the need to be there more for his children, especially the newest edition to the Marquardt family line. He began to allow the children into his study during the weekends when he was not busy, and when a child grew ill he would take off from work, despite servants and housekeepers present to assure they found health once more. Unlike most purebloods, he didn’t allow the death of his wife to consume him into self-despair and inwardness; instead, he was there for his family while maintaining and even excelling more in his line of work concerning foreign affairs with other ministries of magic.
The five siblings, however, saw things differently. They saw their newborn sister’s existence only as the confiscation of their mother’s life, and so their perception leaked into how they went about treating her. Often times, it was lacking in any sort of relations with her, and whenever it was forced by parental or bounded hand, there was a clear and distinguished rift between the five of them and the younger girl.
It only grew in animosity as their father developed a clear and distinct favoritism toward Kreszentia, one formed due to her resemblance to his wife, both in features and it personality. From a young age she had a clear presence in a room, a lucid voice that gave way to what she was feeling. There was little fear in her youthful heart, and hardly was she cited for the tone in which she so often took on, the one that held sharp daggers and thin blades.
One by one the Marquardt boys were sent off to Durmstrang, loaded with a myriad of materials. Kreszentia was notably few years behind them in age, with a lacking of six years between the youngest boy and herself, leaving her alone with the housekeepers and her father when school was in session. She stuck mostly to her own room tucked far from those of the absent boys, and nestled close to her father’s room. There she played with dolls and other toys that had been passed down to her, both new and worn treasured in the eye of their beholder. The small girl possessed a delicate hand not attributed to those similar in age, and the weight with which she placed upon her belongings was only seen in men and women having suffered through periods of war, periods of scarcity.
"Sometimes things are damaged beyond repair.”
That didn’t stop him from trying.
Never did her fingers spark with something unseen and make those dolls turn to life. Never did her anger of not wanting to bathe or not wishing to eat her vegetables cause strange and unusual things to occur. Never did she show a single inkling of magic, not as the years ticked away an hour at a time. There was no ring, even after the passing of her eleventh birthday; there was no cry from her supposed magical blood to ever act on emotion as young witches and wizards were known to do due to lack of training.
The only noise heard was the ear-piercing, silent thoughts roaming around in her father’s head as he paced in front of the sill the family owl delivered the post to, the one in which every other Marquardt child in the existence of the line had received their letters on this very morning, afternoon, or evening.
Her age of eleven didn’t matter; the clock struck twelve and no letter had arrived. There would be no letter for her, no school or magical studying. She’d never be able to perform a single inkling of magic, not a single ounce. The burden was heavy on an eleven year old. The disappointment resided in her lungs, making it difficult to breathe, to exhale as she marched up the steps to go to her room and return to bed. The bloodline let down, however, would haunt her for years to come.
The next morning arrived as every other, only as she sleepily stumbled out of her room and down the multiple staircases. Foreign voices fill the air, their accents thick with others than the German one she knows. Crouching, she attempted to listen to what they had to say, but so many words were unknown to the girl that interpreting proved incapable- And one of her older brothers had caught her and threatened to snitch if she didn’t go back to her room right this instant. He knew what was happening, all five of them did, and perhaps in a single moment, one of them had finally taken pity on her and sent her away so she would be ignorant of what was about to happen for a few days more.
Ignorance is bliss, and when she used to have it, she found herself in such a state. Only a few days later it was seized from her, taken away not slowly, but rather all at once. She was snatched from her sleep, taken to quarters she never knew the Marquardt household possessed, and subjected to numerous attempts to bring out qualities her blood supposedly held. There were so many occurring on a daily basis that they tended to all blend together. Potions here, vials there. Cuts and scrapes littered her arms until they sunk deep into now alabaster skin and scarred for years to come.
Her hair had turned darker over the years to a forest brown, her eyes the bright and brilliant leaves the sun bounced light off of. She grew to look and act like a Marquardt, but her outward appearance and personality were all cast aside in the eyes of her father. Okropir slaved to have his growing girl possess a magical ability, growing obsessive to the point of becoming blind in what Kreszentia truly needed as a young teen. It was not of ill-intent that he did this; he cared for his daughter’s well-being, her status in the community, and the ability to provide her a hardship-less future.
And when he could not provide her that, he decided she was incapable of remaining in his household. He grew brash and harsh, no longer having an admiration for his own flesh and blood in his eye, but rather anger and disappointment. Upon the morning of her sixteen birthday, he “blessed" the girl with two gifts- Parting and infertility.
The latter came just before the former. Two slits administered to her lower abdomen allowed him access to a future of parenthood, to one of promised happiness and of heirs for a loving husband. Two removed organs took away her ability of a choice, of producing more “scum” such as herself. They were deemed valuable, and she was designated as unworthy. The scars covering her skin had grown in number over the years, slowly building up to coat most of the unseen flesh, and while the two slits scabbed over and sunk into the skin, unseen by most- Spare a lover- to date, they were not the only ones provoked that day.
Into the snow she was cast out, the occasional drop of red leaving a trail in the white powder coating the woods she was taken to via apparation. There was only one place she knew she would be able to go after being bastardized, where only one pair of arms would open and welcome her in. They would grow to be her home, those arms, rather than walls of towering mansions or lavish rooms. If given a choice, she would always pick Donar Skoll over anything else, over any opportunity, no matter the ability to erase any number of past events.
Never did her emerald eyes catch a glimpse of a magical school. Never did a wand pick her and fit into her palm as if it was another part of her. Never did she see or wish to see her father again. Never would she consider herself a Marquardt, deeming her simply Kreszentia until another’s surname would be offered up and shared with her. Never did she allow any other to see her weakness than the boy she went crawling to the winter night of her sixteen birthday.
“He was a boy who loved to play with fire.”
And she was his perfect match.
He was always there, right when he needed her, just a few meters of forest away. However, with the apparation into the woods, it had taken her much longer to find him this time- But even the strongest of forces couldn’t keep them separated. It took her nearly two days to navigate the woods she knew so little about due to very little exposure, but as soon as she arrived on the doorstep of the boy’s home she was brought in. The girl was attended to by the Skoll servants, despite the distasteful look in his parents’ eyes. They knew all about their affections for one another, despite them having yet to be acted upon fully. They simply spent the years together, friends when the other hand no one else.
He too was a squib.
Even before the label had been slapped against her, Kreszentia knew what it had meant. Donar had always been much more open about it than she, especially in the beginning. It never got in the way of a friendship, however, for young children are easily able to look past frivolous things that adults often take too heavily into account. They told stories, acted out scenes from their favorite books together, and they formed an unbreakable bond that allowed Kreszentia to show up on his porch while bleeding and looking like complete and utter shit.
Dirt had clung to her scarred skin, the flecks and specks of brown and black earth mixing in with her own red, core substance. It created a paste impossible to get out- Excluding endless hours of scrubbing. The Skolls did not permit any magical means to be used on her, and so the servants had to work in foreign fields, often making mistakes that brought about more pain for the girl. Ultimately she was put back together enough to function, and as she was about to go and face the world all on her lonesome, a strong handed landed on her shoulder.
The boy leaned close and whispered in her ear a small but powerful monologue the girl vows that even in death she will never forget. Many years later she would have a small part of it tattooed just under her left breast. They were unbelievable, and yet, she knew them to be true. His parents held a gaze locked upon them, but it felt as if they were the only two people left on the planet.
Soon enough, they were the only other to one another. His hand found hers, she squeezed the appendage, and then the two walked out into the brutal world together with only each other to depend upon. The first few months were harsh, especially with the bite the deep winter months pack. They scrambled across the European continent in a hope of escaping the cruelty of their homeland, finding a means when there was a way.
Eventually they hopped the pond and landed in England, settling into London. It was a difficult adjustment, both with resentment to their foreign origins and to the new culture. The settled into a flat that costed them most of their combined paychecks once they both found jobs: Him at a mechanic shop; her at a coffee cafe. Often times they slip products into their pockets at corner stores and super markets, both as resistance to a system and assuring they can get the necessary goods.
Upon her legality at eighteen came the birthday present of the century: No longer would she have to carry around the heavy, gruesome reminder of her family. Instead, she was freed by his name. They got many a look walking into the courthouse, but they had learned not to care what others thought about them by that time. Two years all alone together had strengthened them and their relationship past a threshold held by even elders still deep in love.
Although all they needed was one another, they grew into a group of people that looked out for one another. Others like them seemed to seek refuge in a huge city where they could blend in and pretend to be just like the Muggles, so much so that their own parents wouldn’t recognize them anymore. It developed into a multi-person relationship in which they all had one another’s backs, even if one person ticked another off.
It was evident that Donar was an implied leader, even to those not blinded or biased with affection, and she was at his side, where she belonged. All together, they stir up trouble all throughout London and the nearby cities, banding together to revolt against a system that chewed them up and spit them out.
She coats her skin in ink displaying earthy scenery. It is to make her feel like less of a freak, to make her feel as if she is natural. There are the remnants of the psychological effects of being thrown out by someone to claimed love for sixteen years yet hurt her so much physically and emotionally, but slowly they are being reconfigured by one claiming and truly embodying the emotion of affection. It is mutual, and the two as one is the only reason there is an independent pair of individuals.