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Chapter 17: Boys Don't Cry
Chapter 17: Boys Don't Cry
At first Dom doesn’t say anything and lets absolutely no reaction appear on her face. She’s just looking at me, as if trying to figure out what on earth I’m talking about. I have to admit, she’s a good actress.
“Mark who?” is her first question.
I raise my eyebrows at her.
“Mark Matthews – how many Mark’s have you said ‘I love you’ to?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Rosie,” she says, but I can see that she’s worried, “I really have to go –”
“Dom!” I call as she makes to walk away, “I heard you with him last night! I’m not completely thick!”
She stops walking and turns around to face me.
“Let’s not talk about this here,” she whispers furiously.
“Where would you suggest?” I whisper back, equally furious, “Because we are going to talk about this.”
She sighs and rolls her eyes, as if this is all my problem and I’m dumping it on her. Sometimes she really reminds me of her mother.
“The dorm,” she says curtly.
“Now,” I reply.
She storms off up the stairs without waiting for me. I don’t think she gets that I can’t walk quite as fast as I once could, due to the fact that I’m hauling around an extra ten pounds. So I make my way up the staircase towards the Gryffindor Tower by myself. As I’m passing the tapestry that I heard Mark and Dom in last night, I consider taking the short cut. I pull back the tapestry and instantly regret my decision. Jenny and Al are there, kissing as if their lives depend on it. Jenny goes red and pushes Al away when she sees me. Al looks slightly uncomfortable too.
“Oh Christ, get a room would you?” I say, disgusted.
“It’s not like we were in the middle of the Great Hall,” Al argues, looking extremely pissed at me.
“Did Dom come this way?”
“Does it look like she came this way?” he growls in frustration, his arm still around Jenny’s waist.
“Oh well sorry,” I say sarcastically and let the tapestry fall back into place before continuing on back up the stairs. Honestly, why do my entire family feel the need to fornicate behind that stupid tapestry?
I trudge up the stairs, finally reaching the Gryffindor tower ten minutes later. Dom’s in the dormitory, looking impatient by the time I arrive up. I’m completely breathless, but no need to worry – it’s not like I’m pregnant or anything.
“Right, so go ahead,” says Dom angrily, “Tell me I’m stupid. Tell me I’m a bitch.”
You’re a stupid bitch.
“I’m not going to call you a bitch,” I say, “It’s not my place. But you do realise what you’re doing isn’t right don’t you?”
Dom sighs and flops down onto her bed, and buries her face in her hands.
“I don’t know what to do, Rosie,” she says, “I thought…I thought I loved Scorpius,” she shakes her head, “But then at the Valentine’s party he just kept on staring at you…and then I wasn’t sure…and then I was dancing with Mark and it felt so right, you know?”
“Who kept on staring?” I ask, because she’s not making a whole lot of sense.
“And then after the party Scorpius disappeared off to his dormitory without walking me back to mine,” she continues as if she hasn’t heard me, “I was so angry that he’d just gone off without even saying goodnight. So then I walked back with James and Fred and Mark…and we stayed up talking in the Common Room…and it just sort of happened. I completely fell for him. But then Scorpius came and apologised the next day and I couldn’t just dump him. He was going through such a hard time, what with that big fight you two had.”
So this is my fault?
“I’m not saying this is your fault or anything,” she hurries to say, “What should I do, Rosie?”
“I don’t know,” I say, “Do you love Malfoy?”
She shakes her head and whispers ‘no’.
“And do you love Mark?”
She nods solemnly.
“Then you know what to do,” I say matter-of-factly, “It’s only fair that you break up with Malfoy.”
“But I don’t want to hurt him,” she says. Sometimes that girl’s too sensitive for her own good. She’s got to be more ruthless.
“He’s a big boy,” I say, “He’ll get over it. It’s better in the long run.”
She contemplates this and then nods. I’m glad she hasn’t started crying, that could be awkward.
“Should I do it now?” she asks.
“Are you up to it?”
“I think so. What should I say?”
Is she honestly asking me how to break up with one of my friends? No no, is she honestly asking me how to break up with the father of my kid? This is pretty messed up.
“Tell him the truth?” I suggest, but I’m not sure if that’s the best idea. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Dom nods again and then gets up, fixes her hair in the mirror and leaves the dormitory to find Malfoy. As she’s going out the door, Chastity is coming in.
“What’s up with Dom?” she asks.
“Boy trouble,” I say.
“She should join the club,” says Chas, kicking off her shoes, “I’ve just broken up with Derek.”
I have absolutely no idea who Derek is. Chas tends to have many boyfriends and I can never really keep up with them.
“Oh, sorry,” I say, hoping that I sound sympathetic enough to come off as genuine.
“It’s okay,” she says, “It wasn’t a bad break up really. I don’t think we were going anywhere. So what was that with James and Laura this morning?”
I shrug and suddenly become very angry. “James is a socially-retarded imbecile with shit for brains and is completely thick when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. He honestly thought it would make me happy to see Laura Phelps humiliated in front of the whole school.”
“Weren’t you just a little happy to see her get her comeuppance?” asks Chas, “I know I was.”
“It wasn’t fair what he did,” I say, “I mean, if he’d just called her fat or spread some rumour it wouldn’t have been as bad. But he messed with her emotions – that’s fucked up, Chas. That could damage her more than some stupid hex.”
“Rose, you should be made a saint,” says Chas seriously.
“Oh yes, I should be up for sainthood any day now,” I say sarcastically.
“I’m serious! I mean, you deal with so much – you’re so brave. And you don’t even mind that Dom is going out with Scorpius. I think I’d be really weird with it if it were me. And now you’re sticking up for Laura,” she finishes.
“I’m not sticking up for her,” I say, “I’m sticking up for girls everywhere who’ve had their hearts broken by insensitive pricks like Carl and James! We both know that’s never pleasant. I’m not trying to be a Saint, Chas. I can just feel her pain, that’s all.”
Chas nods, but I can tell she still doesn’t really understand my logic. I suppose I don’t really blame her – I don’t understand my logic either. It’s just how I feel. I never considered James to be a particularly vengeful person. Obviously I was wrong about him. I don’t know him as well as I thought I did.
When Dom doesn’t return after two hours, I decide to go looking for her. I’m scared that maybe Malfoy has gone to find Mark and turned him into a cockroach. The entrance hall is empty, as it’s almost curfew. There’s no sign of Dom, Malfoy or blood – so I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. It’s times like this I could really do with James’s map (called ‘The Marauders Map’ – he stole it from his dad) so I could see where she is. But then I hear a noise from inside the broom cupboard – the same broom cupboard I hid in after everyone found out about my pregnancy – and my instinct tells me to have a peek inside. I just hope to Merlin I don’t find yet another family member canoodling in here. But there’s only one person in there – and it’s Malfoy.
“Malfoy?” I say gently. He looks up at me. Luckily he’s not crying. He just looks a bit annoyed. I go inside and shut the door behind me and sit down on the box that holds all of the spare Quidditch balls. Malfoy’s on the floor opposite me. “What are you doing in here?”
“Just having a think,” he says, “I hear it’s a good place for that kind of thing.”
“Are you alright?” I ask. I don’t want him to know that I know about Dom and Mark. That would just be humiliating for him.
“Dom and I broke up,” he sighs.
“I’m really sorry,” I say.
He nods and half smiles, as if to thank me for the sympathy.
“I don’t know why she did it.”
She didn’t tell him.
Do I tell him? Or do I leave it? Is it any of my business? Oh bollocks I’m not good in situations like these. I say nothing.
“Did she say anything to you?”
Fuckiddy fuck. How can I lie now?
“Eh…I have to…I have to bathe…my rabbit,” I say.
“She did say something!” says Malfoy eagerly, “What did she say?”
“I can’t tell you,” I say quietly, “it’s not my place.”
He’s looking at me with those huge, brown puppy dog eyes – if my kid inherits those eyes, it’s going to be pretty hard to say ‘no’ to them. I have to look away, but I can’t. Those eyes are too mesmerising.
“Don’t look at me like that!” I protest. A small smile spreads over his lips and I can almost feel myself crumbling. “I’m warning you, Malfoy.”
He’s now grinning and places his chin on my shoulder and looks up at me innocently. Damn him.
“I can’t tell you!” I say, looking away from him, “It’s none of my business!”
“But you know something,” he says, now kneeling up and taking my hands in his, “C’mon, I have the right to know!”
“Yes, but I don’t have the right to tell you,” I say sadly, “You’ll have to ask Dom.”
Malfoy stays quiet for a moment and now looks like he’s thinking.
“Is there someone else?” he asks.
I stay quiet, hopefully remaining expressionless.
“There is someone else!” Malfoy exclaims, “Who is it?”
“I should go finish my homework,” I say quickly, standing up and making a beeline for the door. Malfoy’s quicker and stands up too, blocking the door.
“Please tell me,” he begs, “I thought we were friends.”
Wow, he really knows how to play dirty. I continue frowning at him anyway.
“We are friends,” I say indignantly, “But I still think you should ask Dom.”
“It’s Mark Matthews, isn’t it?” he says.
HOW did he do that??? Can he read my mind?
“I knew it,” he says, looking sort of bitterly proud of himself for figuring it out. Again I remain silent. “It’s okay,” he says, “I sort of had my suspicions anyway. And it’s not like my record’s squeaky clean either.”
I half-blush at this, but luckily it’s dark in here so he doesn’t notice.
“If you don’t care,” I start, “Then why are you hiding out in here?"
I hadn’t noticed it before, but now I do because I’m standing so close to him – his eyes are all red.
“It’s nothing to do with Dom,” he says, “That’s been rocky for ages. I suppose I’m happy for her that she’s found someone who loves her.”
“So why have you been crying?”
“I have not been crying,” he says stubbornly, “Boys don’t cry.”
“Yes they do,” I argue, “I’ve seen Al and James cry tonnes of times."
I raise my eyebrows at him as if to say – I know something’s up, so quit the bullshit and just tell me. That’s quite hard to say with just the twitch of your eyebrows, but apparently it’s worked.
“My neighbour died,” he says.
I don’t honestly see how this is a sad affair, because if my neighbour died I’d probably go dance on his grave. Okay, I know that sounds mean, but believe me this bloke is like an ex-Death Eater turned neo-Nazi who likes to creep into our garden, steal Hugo’s footballs (we never leave the Quidditch balls out in case Muggles see them – like this Death Eater Nazi) and then bursts them right in front of us. Well, he did that when we were younger and actually played with footballs. Now he just runs in, tramples on Mum’s agapanthuses and then blames it on his “children” (which he doesn’t even have). The man is a psycho – I mean, he spent ten years in prison for arson. I rarely get a good night’s sleep when I’m at home out of the fear that Mr Death Eater Nazi will douse the house in petrol and set it alight. So I really can’t see why Malfoy’s upset that his neighbour died. Then again, maybe he has normal neighbours.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” I say sensitively, “Were you close with him? Or her?”
“Yeah,” he nods, “Mrs Halpin was one of those women you called ‘Auntie’ even though she wasn’t actually related to you. Are you like that with any of your neighbours?”
Oh yes, Uncle Death Eater Arsonist next door – like a second father.
“No,” I admit, “But I’d always consider Mrs Tonks like my Aunt, even though she’s not.”
“Yeah, Mrs Halpin was like that. She’s a Muggle, but she used to babysit me while Mum and Dad were at work. And I was friends with her grandson too, before I came to Hogwarts. So this is pretty shit that she died.”
I’ve always noticed that when boys are trying to be sympathetic, they make a complete balls of it. Like the time Al was dumped in third year and James just said ‘aw, that’s pretty shit’ – or when my dog died and they said ‘yeah, that’s a bit nasty’. I mean, it’s ‘pretty shit’ that she died – it’s not sad, it’s not heartbreaking, it’s not emotional…it’s pretty shit.
“So are you going to go to the funeral then?” I ask gently.
“I suppose. It’s not far from here anyway. The chapel is about an hour away from Hogsmeade,” he says gloomily.
“D’you…do you need some company?” I offer.
“You don’t have to…”
“I’m coming,” I insist, “Nobody should have to go to a funeral alone. When is it?”
“Tomorrow,” he mutters.
“Alright, tomorrow it is. We’ll just have to clear it with Neville, I’m sure he’ll be fine,” I say matter-of-factly, “Now c’mon, let’s get out of here before we start some rumours.”
Malfoy opens the door and lets me out first.
“You’re pregnant with my kid,” he says, “What other rumours could be started?”
I get up early the next day, and while Laura, Chas and Dom put on their school uniforms, I pull my black dressrobes out of my wardrobe to get ready for the funeral. They need some altering around the stomach area, but I can do that with a flick of my wand (like I’ve done with all my other clothes). Malfoy and I got permission from Neville last night, and he arranged for one of the school carriages to bring us to the funeral and back today. I pull my hair back into a modest braid and check my reflection in the full-sized mirror – yes, I look depressed enough.
I head down to breakfast with the others, avoiding James out of the fear that I’ll strangle him. I haven’t thrown up at all today, so I don’t risk eating breakfast – I’m sure the grieving family wouldn’t appreciate me throwing up in the church. Everybody heads off to class and I meet Malfoy out in the entrance hall. He’s wearing a simple black suit with a white shirt and black tie. Then I realise something – we’re going to a Muggle funeral and I’m wearing dressrobes. How stupid can you get?
“Fuck, I completely forgot it’s a Muggle funeral!” I cry as soon as I see him. He smiles amusedly and flicks his wand lazily at me. My dressrobes turn into a knee-length black skirt and a black jumper that hides my bump nicely. Wow, Malfoy should be a fashion designer. “Thanks,” I grin sheepishly.
“No problem,” he replies, “Look, are you sure you want to come? I mean, it’s a funeral. You don’t have to –”
“What are friends for?” I say and link his arm, “C’mon, the carriage will be waiting.”
The carriage is waiting just outside the front doors. It’s not being pulled by the usual Thestrals, but by a regular horse. I suppose Muggles would just find it a bit weird to see a carriage being pulled of its own accord. Malfoy opens the door of the carriage and helps me inside. I’m finding it hard to be elegant in doing so, because I’m so bloody fat. Malfoy climbs in after me and throws himself down on the seat beside me, and puts his feet up on the seat opposite us. He looks really depressed. I need to do something to cheer him up.
“Pull my finger?” I suggest. People always seem to laugh when Fred and James do it. Malfoy just looks at me as if I’m crazy. “Sorry. I just wanted to cheer you up. I personally hate ‘pull my finger’, but I thought guys liked it. Apparently not. Sorry.”
“You don’t have to cheer me up. I’m not upset,” he insists.
“Well then you’re not human,” I reply, “You have to be upset. It’s only natural.”
He nods gloomily. I link his arm again and put my head on his shoulder to show him I’m here. And I can tell he appreciates it by the way he rests his head on mine. We remain silent for the rest of the journey.
I’ve only ever been to one funeral. I suppose I’m lucky in that way. But the one funeral I’ve ever been to made me realise just how wonderful life is, even if it does deal you a bad hand every now and again, and it should be valued. I was ten years old when Courtney Longbottom was knocked down by a car, and killed instantly. I’ll never forget Neville’s face at the funeral. I’ve never seen a living person look so dead. He just stared blankly into nothingness, hearing nothing, seeing nothing. His wife had died. Simon, who was only eight at the time, had lost his mother and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how that felt. My family might drive me up the walls at the best of times, but I couldn’t imagine life without them. Poor little Simon just sat beside Courtney’s coffin and cried the entire time. James, Al and I tried talking to him, but it was no use. He couldn’t talk.
That was a Muggle funeral too, as Courtney wasn’t a witch. Neville had met her while he was travelling across Europe just after he finished seventh year. According to Mum, he was researching plants of some sort for Herbology – that seems like the kind of crazy thing Neville would do. Courtney was British, but Neville met her in Austria. Even though Courtney died over six years ago, I can still remember her so well. She was a livewire and very daring, almost the complete opposite of Neville. But they suited each other so well. Her death happened so suddenly that it took months for it to sink in with everybody – that is everybody except for Simon. He knew that he’d lost his mother instantly.
When Malfoy and I enter the church, holding hands (in a completely platonic way), the first thing I see is the coffin on front of the alter. I suddenly become engulfed with remorse, even though I don’t know this woman at all. I suppose I’m just reminded of Courtney – and of Uncle Fred, and Remus and Tonks and everyone else who’ve died. Maybe that’s the point of funerals. They make you reflect on the sad things and appreciate the little things. Malfoy and I take our seats towards the back of the church. The sermon goes on for about three-quarters of an hour, but I’m not sure if Malfoy’s even listening. He just looks at his feet the whole way through. There’s not many people here – in fact, I’d say there’s about thirty, tops. When the sermon ends, four men in suits lift up the coffin, and everyone falls in line behind it to come out of the church. I take Malfoy by the hand and lead him out too – at this stage, I’m wondering if he even knows what’s going on.
Malfoy and I are the last two out of the church. Mrs Halpin is being buried in the graveyard on the church grounds. After the priest has said his bit and the coffin is lowered into the ground, people start to leave until finally there’s only me, Malfoy and another boy of our age there. The boy isn’t quite as tall as Malfoy, with dark brown hair and a rounded face. He’s not crying, but his face is screwed up in concentration. He then blesses himself and goes to walk away.
“Darren,” Malfoy calls and the boy turns around. His face breaks into a sort of bittersweet smile as he recognises Malfoy.
“Scorpius Malfoy,” the boy says and walks over to us. They shake hands and grin at each other. I’m guessing this is the grandson Scorpius said he was friends with. Wait – did I just say Scorpius? “How’ve you been? Man, I wouldn’t recognise you!”
“I’ve been good,” says Malfoy, “I’m sorry about your Gran.”
The boy named Darren nods gravely. “Thanks. She’s been sick for a while though. I suppose she’s in a better place now, right?” Malfoy nods soberly. “So who’s this?” Darren’s looking at me now – his eyes wander to my stomach and give it a sceptic look before wandering back up to my face again.
“Oh, sorry, Rose Weasley,” I smile and shake his hand. Darren’s eyes widen, as if he recognises me. I sincerely hope he doesn’t because I’m fairly sure I’ve never met this guy in my life.
“Rose Weasley?” he laughs, “The Rose Weasley?” He looks at Scorpius as he says this, who is now going scarlet for some reason. “Are you two together then?”
“Oh no,” I say quickly, “We’re just mates.”
“Yeah, just mates,” Scorpius – or Malfoy, whatever – confirms.
“Right,” he says, but he grins knowingly at Scorpius, who looks away, “I better go, Mum’s waiting in the car. Look, mate, drop us a line next summer. We’ve loads of catching up to do. Nice meeting you Rose Weasley.”
“You too,” I say, though I’m not quite sure if it has been nice meeting him.
“Bye Darren,” Scorpius calls, “Bye Mrs Halpin,” he adds, looking down into the grave. He conjures up a flower with his wand (he’s so lucky he’s seventeen) and lays it beside the tombstone.
“Do you want a minute?” I ask and he nods. I walk over to the carriage and climb inside. Less than a minute later, I’m joined by Scorpius and the horse starts trudging back to Hogwarts. He looks slightly more at peace now than he did on the way here. We’re sitting opposite each other this time and I’m now staring at him inquisitively, with one very annoying question on my brain.
“Why does Darren know me?” I ask and Scorpius goes red again for some reason. He mumbles some inaudible words and then looks out the window of the carriage. I prod his leg with my foot. “C’mon, how does he know me? Have I met him before?”
“Not that I know of,” says Scorpius. He’s really not giving away anything.
“Tell me!” I whinge.
“I…might have mentioned you once or twice in conversation, that’s all,” he says dismissively.
“But you said you hadn’t seen him since you started Hogwarts,” I point out.
“I have seen him,” says Scorpius, “Over the summer and that. We just drifted apart because we went to different schools for most of the year. I haven’t spoken to him since the summer after second year.”
“So what were you saying about me? It must have been pretty bad if he remembers me that well,” I press.
“Miss Weasley, you really are very pushy,” says Scorpius, half-smiling.
“I know,” I say, “What did you tell him?”
Scorpius rolls his eyes, sighs and looks at me and I immediately know he’s cracked.
“Nothing bad,” he says, “Just…stuff.”
“Like what stuff?”
“Like…okay…I might have had a teensy weensy little crush on you back in first year,” Scorpius says quickly. I can’t help but grin at this. He had a crush on me? Over Dom? Why do I feel oddly triumphant? “Stop your grinning!” he protests.
“That’s so cute,” I laugh, “You had a teensy weensy little crush!” I prod his leg with my foot again and he’s looking really embarrassed.
“I bet you’ve fancied me before,” he says, trying and failing to be cool.
“Yeah right,” I lie, “In your teensy weensy first year dreams!” He makes a face at me and turns to look out the window again, pretending to be in a bad mood. “Aw, have I touched a nerve?”
“At least I’ve never had a crush on a member of ABBA.”
How could he know that?
“How do you know that?” I cry.
“You do remember our little game of ‘I Never’ back at James’s birthday, don’t you?” he grins.
“Honestly, there’s very little I remember about James’s birthday,” I admit, “But I do remember bits of that game – your crush on Professor Chang for instance! That’s gross, she dated my Uncle Harry!”
“She’s got nice tits!” he insisted.
“She’s a teacher!” I cry in disgust.
“So? Teachers are people too,” he shrugs and takes a packet of mini chocolate frogs out of his pocket, “Want one? You didn’t have any breakfast.”
I take one of them and then flick the wrapper at his head. “How do you know I’ve had no breakfast?”
“I’m very observant,” he says and pops a chocolate into his mouth, “I know your every move.”
“My own personal stalker,” I say, “I’m so flattered.”
We stay in comfortable silence for most of the journey after this. Every now and again I can see Malfoy looking a bit depressed, but there’s nothing that I can think of that could possibly cheer him up. I reach into my handbag to see if I have anything at all that could make him laugh or even smile and then I see it – the picture of my first scan. I’ve never shown it to him. Would he even like to see it? I suppose there’s only one way to find out.
“Um, Scorpius?” I say, finding his name to be a bit strange to say, as I’m so used to calling him ‘Malfoy’. He looks at me, mildly surprised at the way in which I’ve addressed him. “Eh…here.” I hand him the picture. His face remains expressionless for a few seconds and then he starts smiling.
“This…is the scan?” he asks, looking a bit frightened. I cross over to the seat beside him and look in on it with him. It’s a little tattered at this stage.
“Yep, that’s it,” I say, “See, it has your nose.”
He raises an eyebrow at me and returns to looking at it. He looks absolutely fascinated. “This is the coolest thing ever,” he says, “I mean…I don’t really see it, but it’s still amazing.”
“Keep it,” I decide.
“Really?” he asks.
“Yeah, keep it. I’m sorry I haven’t shown it to you before now,” I say.
“Doesn’t matter,” he says in barely more than a whisper, “Rose, let’s keep the baby.”
A/N - Yay, the queue reopened! Hope you liked the chapter (lots of R/S communication, oui?) I'm not sure when the next one will be up. I'm starting my exams Wednesday 4th June (but let's not go there!) so I probably won't be updating until I'm finished (June 19th - but I have a week break in the middle so if I get fed up studying I'll post it!)
I've also started another Next Gen story, which is going pretty well (its a Teddy/Victoire), but I don't know if I'll put it up or not...ah decisions decisions! Anyhoo, thanks so much for all the reviews and reads and favourites and EVERYTHING! You all rock (",)