The beach was a lonely place this time of year.

Esmeralda sat on the frosted sand, pulling her coat tighter as she watched the waves lap upon the shore. The shore was a graceful arc of sand, glittering under the winter light, a place for a placid ocean to lap. The waves rolled in with a soothing sound, the salty water, a brief flurry of sand. It was so calming, so soothing. Esmeralda wasn't sure why she had apparated here. All she had wanted was to get away. 

She had to admit, she'd had worse christmas days. Much worse. It was rather strange to have one where she could just sit down or do as she wished. It was a good time to think. Which was something she had to do.

And she had been thinking for hours... it seemed like no time at all, and yet she seemed no closer to finding her answer. She had to pick her side.  Was she Tom's dark girl... or was she the gentle girl Fleamont saw? Dark or light? Evil or good? Not that there were such stright differences between the two, but it was the only way her head could seem to figure it out. 

It was the deciding moment.

For her life.


Was she like her father... or was she her mother? Gryffindor or Slytherin? 

She blinked as a girl appeared before her. Against her black woollen jacket the girl's blonde hair was almost white. It fell in perfect curls midway down her back, bouncing and shining in the dimmed light. She lifted her head and Esmeralda found herself surprised, her eyes were not the watery blue she'd expected, they were the colour of shining gold.

"Oh no..." Esmeralda whispered.

The girl smiled and stared at her. Esmeralda watched the younger version of herself with horror. The gold eyes of her mother plunged deeply into her mind, twisting and burning with a great force. Eyes that haunted and sweetened her very sleep. 

'Long time no see.' She said with a smile. 

Esmeralda said nothing and simply stared.

'You know, I think you're getting soft.'

"I am not." snarled Esmeralda, "I just have to think things through carefully nowadays."

'Screw that. Let me out. I'm just you, remember?'

"I- I can't. Father said I have to have this glamour. He said I have to keep it on." Esmeralda muttered, rolling her eyes in annoyance.

'Since when have you listened to him?'

Esmeralda stared at her younger self. 

"You scare people, I look fairly normal."

'Oh yes. A blue eye and a gold one: perfectly normal.'

She sighed heavily.

"I have to tell him, don't I? Or you won't go away," She muttered, " I have to tell him."

'Tell who?'



Esmeralda flew upright, clutching her bed sheets tightly in her grasp. Looking around her, her bedroom slowly came into focus, the shadow of snow through the window tumbling gracefully in the wind. It had been a dream. 

Just a stupid dream. 

And yet as Esmeralda slowed her breathing, she realised she had decided. She had picked Tom without a second thought. Potter hadn't even crossed her mind. She had picked Tom over Potter...She sighed in relief, whether from relief of having decided or picking Tom she wasn't sure.

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