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Chapter 11: Being Strong
“What for?” I asked irritably.
“For improper dress.”
I scoffed. “There are people dressed more inappropriately than me!” She narrowed her eyes at me.
“That will be cause for another detention! How dare you disrespect your superior?!”
I clenched my fist ready to hit her, but Blaise loosened my fingers and held my hand. Umbridge looked over to him. “And a detention for you as well, Mr. Zabini. I expect to see both of you in my office at three o’clock tomorrow afternoon.” She gave us a smug look and walked away.
I was fuming. Blaise seemed to pick up on that for he led me off the dance floor and to the table we had gotten. He sat me down in the chair and then sat across from him. I didn’t dare meet his eyes. I was so angry at myself for getting him into trouble as well.
“Rex?” he asked, grabbing my hand and gently rubbing my fingers.
“I’m sorry.” I mumbled, staring at my dress.
“What could you possibly be sorry for?” he asked. I looked into his eyes and was surprised that they held worry.
“I got you into trouble. Now you have to be hurt by that hag.” He smiled slightly and brushed his hand over my cheek.
“It wasn’t your fault. She’s just a bitch.” I blew out a breath which caused him to briefly brush his lips against mine. “It wasn’t your fault.” he repeated. I nodded and looked up to see Ginny and Draco coming over to us.
“We are going to go for a walk outside. Care to join us?” Draco asked. I looked to Blaise and he nodded. We stood up and the four of us went to walk in the cool night air.
The next afternoon, I got ready to meet Blaise in the common room so we could go up to Umbridge’s office for our detention. He was there waiting for me and I couldn’t help to smile. We walked there hand and hand. When we got to her office door, I hesitated so Blaise knocked on the door.
“Come in.” we heard before the door opened. “Sit.” she ordered. Sitting on her desk were parchment and her ‘special’ quills. “You will write, ‘I will respect school policy.’ Off you go.”
I took a deep breath and picked up the quill. Before I started, I looked over to Blaise and he gave me a reassuring smile. I sighed and began to write.
Blaise and I walked out of her office clutching our hands. I was still angry at myself for putting Blaise through this. I know he said it wasn’t my fault, but I was used to that being the case. My mother’s death was my fault, and my dad hating me was my fault. I bit my lip to try to stop myself from crying. The pain was excruciating. I cut my scar even deeper. And Blaise was hurting too. He slipped his arm around my waist. I looked down to see his cut up hand. That was it; the tears flowed and wouldn’t stop. He pulled me to his chest and held me as I cried.
“I’m sorry.” I said into his chest. He rubbed circles on my back and kissed the top of my head.
“It wasn’t your fault.” I backed away and wiped my tears away.
“Right. Let’s go.”
We headed back to the common room where Draco was sitting by the fireplace with Ginny.
“Hey, how was detention?” Draco asked. I rolled my eyes and sat next to Ginny.
“Touché.” Suddenly, an owl flew through the window and landed at my feet. I took the letter from it and smiled when I saw who it was from: Remus.
I haven’t from you yet. How are you? I heard all the nasty things Umbridge has been doing at the school. Harry told your dad who told me. He’s really worried about you, Rex. I know that sounds like a shock to you, but he is. I also heard he gave you your mother’s necklace. I expect you will be getting a letter from him soon. He’s been meaning to write to you.
P.S. I figured you’d want to know this. I asked Dora to go to dinner with me tonight, and she said she’d love to! Oh, I’m kind of nervous. I feel like a teenager again when I asked Thea to be my girlfriend. I’m also nervous about the other thing. I don’t want to hurt her. Anyway, I will let you know how it goes!
I laughed. It was about time Remus realized that he had feelings for Tonks. I excused myself and went up to my dormitory to write him a reply.
I’m glad you finally asked her out! Don’t worry, Tonks won’t care. How could she? You’re the kindest, sweetest, most loveable person ever. Just go on the date. Have a great time and let me know how it goes.
I skipped back down the steps and saw that my friends hadn’t moved from I left them. Blaise was sitting in an armchair so I went over and sat on the arm. He smirked and pulled me down onto his lap. I leaned back into his chest and sighed contently.
“Rex, a letter came for you while you were upstairs.” I reached out and took the letter from Dray.
Oh, my lovely daughter, I miss you terribly. There’s so much of your life that I missed out on, and I am sorry for treating you like I did for the past couple years. Maybe if you come home for Christmas, we can put the past behind us and be as close as we were when you were younger. Harry, the Weasleys, Remus, and Tonks will be here as well. Please come home and spend the holiday with me.
How is Hogwarts? I heard from Harry that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts is atrocious. She hasn’t hurt you, has she? Oh, if she did…… How are you enjoying the present I sent you? The necklace looked beautiful on your mother so I just assume it looks as beautiful on you.
Please think about coming home for Christmas. I love you.
I stared at the letter open-mouthed. “Rex?” Blaise asked in my ear.
I robotically stood up and walked out of the common room into the corridor, dropping the letter as I did so. I shakily walked into an empty classroom and sat at one of the desks.
Why, after all this time, is my dad deciding to make up with me? How can I forgive him for the hell he put me through? Does he honestly expect me to be able to accept him with open arms? I was close to tears when I felt a hand touch my shoulder. I closed my eyes trying to squeeze my tears back in me. I couldn’t let anybody see me cry. I was supposed to be the strong one. I already showed weakness crying in front of Blaise earlier. I wasn’t going to show any more.
“It’s okay. You don’t have to be strong anymore, Rex.” Blaise said softly. I shook my head and he sighed.
He put his arms around my waist and lifted me to my feet. He spun me around and kissed me. It was filled with so much love and passion that I lost myself in it immediately. “What are you going to do?” he asked when he pulled away.
“I don’t know.” I whispered. He kissed my forehead and led me out of the classroom where I saw Draco leaning against the wall across from it.
“I told Ginny I’d meet up with her later.” I bit my lip.
“Oh Dray, I didn’t want…” He shook his head.
“You need me more right now.” I shrugged and started to walk away from them both.
“Rex…” they both said simultaneously. I stopped and turned around to face them.
“Why does he do this? It hurts so much.” Blaise started to walk toward me, but I held my hand up. “Don’t. I mean, he hates me for five straight years, and now he decides to play doting father! Did he actually expect me to forgive him that easily?”
“Rex, maybe he does miss you.” Draco said.
“Oh, so now you’re taking his side? I thought you were my friend!” I exclaimed.
When he just stared at me like a deer in the headlights, I ran from them. I needed to escape. I needed a place I could just be by myself and sort out my thoughts. A door appeared beside me and I smiled a bit; the Room of Requirement was perfect.
“Crap! Come on, let’s go after her!” I said to Draco.
“She needs her space.” he said nonchalantly.
“She’s hurt and confused. She’s trying to be strong but on the inside she’s breaking! Don’t you care about her?” I yelled.
“Of course I do!” he yelled back.
“Well, you’re not acting like you do! So how about I’ll find her and you go back to Ginny! You’d rather be with her anyway!”
“Don’t you dare say that! Rex is my best friend! I want to go find here just as much, but she needs to sort out her feelings on her own! I figure she’ll come to us when she’s ready.”
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Draco’s right. I can’t get mad at him. Rex will come. I patted his back and we went back to the common room.
I sat in the Room of Requirement thinking what I could do about my dad. I decided not to write back to him. No yet, at least. He hurt me too much and I couldn’t forgive him. Writing back to him would make it seem like I would.
I was pretty surprised that Blaise didn’t come and find me, but I was grateful. This was something I needed to figure out on my own. I really didn’t want to go back to the common room yet, but dinner was soon so I made my way down to the Great Hall. Comfort food was what I needed.
A/N: So, what did you think? Did you like it, hate it? Please leave a review!