Norah knew what her fellow Lyra was saying was true. She couldn’t just cut ties to her family, and she really wouldn’t want to either. Papa might be a fool, but her mama loved her and Brynjolf wasn’t so bad all the time. It was just that she couldn’t believe what was happening to her. Part of her probably should have seen it coming, but a small part of her hoped that without a debutante ball, she had gotten off without all that pomp and circumstance. She’d heard stories about some dreadful prearranged couples and she had no desire to be one. The Lyra just loathed how little of a choice she had in the matter.
It didn’t always occur to the blonde that some people didn’t know that arranged marriages did still exist. She felt like they were few and far between, but the older families in wizarding society still held to them for whatever reason. It was an ancient, outdated practice for sure, but it was still a thing. Yet, the boy in front of her clearly knew nothing of it. Before she could stop him, Eugene had rolled to one knee and what he said was actually really sweet. Even while he was clearly going through some type of mental crisis, she couldn’t help the soft laugh that escaped her, only to turn sour half a moment later.
Oh, how she wished it was a prank.
Even Eugene’s fake proposal was better than what she was going through and Norah was overcome by the emotions she’d been masking in anger for the last three months. Unbidden tears welled at the corners of her eyes even as the other Lyra reassured her that it wasn’t binding. Still, a few loose traitorous tears spilled over and fell down her cheeks. Hastily, she wiped them away and reached out to push at Eugene’s shoulder. “Stop it, people could talk.” The idea that someone would ever actually propose to her like that was too good to be true. “They aren’t playing a prank. It’s how old pureblood families work and it’s real. I wish it weren’t. I don’t think you understand how nice it would be if someone ever did ask me to marry them like that.” It was harder to blink back the tears, but Norah was doing her best to manage. “Don’t worry, I know you don’t mean it. Who would? I’ve never been all that nice to anyone here and even if I was they wouldn’t want to date me, let alone marry me.” Merlin, she hadn’t even been on a real date and now she might never get the chance to.
“No,” she continued, clasping her hands together. “My parents intend to marry me off to a total stranger when I turn sixteen like I’m some sort of prized cattle.” She was a bargaining chip, a way for her father to begin to buy his way back into a proper standing in society. “I think I’d rather be that raw carrot and have someone put me out of my misery.” It was drastic, but Norah really was sure that dying had to be a better option than this. Anything would be.