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Chapter 2: The Fighter
July 26th 2029
Scorpius let out a sharp breath of relief, as the cruciatus curse was taken off of him. His forehead wasn’t gracefully glistening with sweat, it was thickly sticking to him, draining him of what little water he had left in his body. Shattered breaths rattled around inside of him as he crawled onto his back.
He didn’t know what day it was, or what time, he was even having trouble remembering the year. They’d been tortured for so long he didn’t know what it was like to wake up and not be in constant pain. All he wanted was to figure out what the wanted. If he knew what they wanted, then maybe he could work out a way to get it to them. Anything to make them stop setting the very core of his bones on fire.
This man, the man that he’d come realize was in charge, was short with pitch black eyes and the darkest hair Scorpius had ever seen. He seemed to radiate a kind of madness that only grew with each encounter. Like he was waiting for the moment Scorpius would wake up and be completely broken. Though he didn’t know why this was happening to him or even sometimes who he was, he knew that point was growing nearer and nearer with everyday.
“I’m not going to ask you single question. You want to know why?” The man sneered. Then he lowered himself until he was right in front of Scorpius. His breath scorched Scorpius’s already boiling face.
“Because no one is ever going to find you when we are done with you. You are going to be beaten every day until we break you, and not just your body either, no…. We are going to break your spirit. So by the time we kill your half-blooded bitch, you won’t even have it in you to stop it.”
Half-blooded bitch? He wondered distantly who that was. His mind kept grasping at the figment of an idea and then as soon as it grew close enough for him to grab it was gone. Scorpius’s eyes, so light in the moonlight, were unfocused and confused.
A loud laugh sounded in the dungeon Scorpius was being held in. Scorpius shifted very slowly on the grime and hay covered floor he was laying on.
“I don’t know why I bother to talk to you. You’re already gone.”
“Why…” Scorpius groaned and found he couldn’t continue.
The man said, “Do you remember your name?”
Scorpius frowned and after a few moments he shook his head. “No…I don’t.”
“Well this will be fun…” The man sneered.
August 17 2029
Rose looked up and gasped when she saw James Potter walking towards her. Before she could say a word, she threw her arms around him and hugged him firmly. He kept waiting for her to release him so he could give her the bad news. But the longer they stood there the tighter her grip on him became. She couldn’t stand to release him for even a moment for fear that he, like every other male her life would be ripped from her.
After a moment James wrapped his arms around his dearest cousin, and saw there were tears on his shirt. He didn’t know if she was just happy to see her or if she had just been through so much that even the sight of him broke her.
“Hey,” He said to her as he rubbed her back soothingly. “I’m okay.”
She pulled back sniffling, her blue eyes big and puffy from crying. “When…When I didn’t hear from you...”
“Hey,” He tipped her face up and forced her to look him in the eye. “I’ve got two arms two legs, and I’m still dead sexier than every member of our family.”
An unwilling laugh brushed her lips as he grinned. “Prat.”
“Yeah,” His grin faded as disappointed loomed in his eyes. “You’re going to be mad at me.”
“Why? What went wrong?” Her voice grew with panic.
“I found where they were holding him, but he wasn’t there…”
“How do you know he was even being held there?” She crossed her arms, as she bit the side of her lip.
“I interrogated one of the guards and after some…coaxing-“
“Coaxing?” Rose’s eyebrows rose in criticism. “James you’re an Auror, please tell me you didn’t break the law.”
James had gone through a lot in the past few months, losing his brother was something it had taken him leaving to get through. Here all he saw was his little brothers face wherever he had gone anywhere around London. Before then he was never without a joke or a grin on his face, but times had made him grow more serious.
“Rose, I wasn’t authorized to leave. Anything I did was off the books.”
Rose felt a wave of guilt. “I’m sorry. I didn’t intend for you to get in to any trouble…”
“It’s Scorpius.” James shrugged, his words gaining much weight.
“So, what did you find out?”
“He was there for almost a month. They almost drove him insane.” James’s voice grew quiet. “But the guard didn’t know what happened to him. He seemed to think they moved him, but he was unsure…He seemed to be confounded.”
Rose had been holding on, to this flimsy sheet of hope. Her hands dug into the silky edges, making her palms bleed as she refused to let go. But at the sound of this news, or lack there of, she unintentionally let go to what little she’d been holding onto. Her little face, looked so incredibly vulnerable. She looked not like a strong, independent 24 year old girl, but a lost little girl.
An unforgiving wind brushed through the cemetery, swiping some strands of Rose’s frizzy red hair into her distant face.
Her eyes started brimming with searing tears. Before she even spoke, her throat began to shake. “James…I don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate everything you’ve done. Because honestly you’ve gone above and beyond anything…” Rose’s voice weakened in sincerity.
“But I need a straight answer James. Either he’s alive or he’s dead. If he’s dead, fine. Just fucking tell me. I will set up the funeral, I will tell his parents. I will …” Her hands began to shake, which grew to her legs and then finally her face. “I will figure out some way to get through it okay? I don’t know how. I don’t have the slightest clue, but I will figure it out. I’ll just…” The tears came quick and steadfast. “Just give me a straight fucking answer. Just something to go on.”
The breath that had been lingering her throat caught onto the side of her throat and slid down the rest of the way uneasily. That was the way her life seemed to be going. No matter what she did, no matter how much she adapted she just always seemed to be a step closer to the edge. Over that cliff was a freefall of unyielding depression. And she was trying to hold onto herself, she was. Her whole life didn’t revolve around a man. It was just that she’d been through so much, if she lost Scorpius…
She knew in ten years she would have gotten through it, but now, she couldn’t see how that ever could be true.
“I’m sorry Rose,” James apologized, his voice low and full of regret. “I don’t know what else to do.”
She nodded, but she was trembling too hard to give him a verbal response.
“I’m going to go check in at work…I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Once again she nodded. This time she turned away. Even though he’d already seen that she was crying, she couldn’t handle looking at him right then. He thought about hugging her or just staying with her for a few minutes, but James knew Rose better than anybody, and he knew that right then she needed to be alone.
“I’m sorry Rose.” He whispered again before apparating away.
She fell to the ground, bruising her knees as she let out a strangled sob. Rose wanted to punch, kick, hurt anything, anybody, just to stop the deep and bitter agony that was spreading across her heart. She wished he’d never came back. She wished she’d never fallen in love with him. She’d wished she’d never been born. But all these wishes were faint and meant absolutely nothing. Her thoughts were vicious and full of shattered heartbreak. The only clear thought on her mind was that she had to get to Scorpius’s flat.
It was dusty and quite warm in Scorpius’s absence. She’d been coming here every once in a while since he’d been taken. In the back of her mind she wished with everything she had that he would walk in. Her deepest desire was for him to come in and complain about the mess, to be so flustered about the disarray his flat had been left in that he would instantly start cleaning. Rose would have given anything to see that again. But as she stood there she heard nothing, not creaking floorboard, nor a door swinging open, not even the beat of her own heart.
Tossing her wand onto the bedside table, Rose curled up into his bed. It still smelled like him, which only made her heart hurt more. Eventually, after her crying became so violent it began to physically hurt her, she emerged herself in the bed like a protective cocoon, unwilling and unable to leave.
Her pulse was racing, as ropes winded around her, binding her down to the ground. Her red hair stuck to the sides of her face, as she looked out again at Scorpius. He was standing in front of a man Rose had never seen before, but still somehow looked familiar to her.
“Isn’t this what it all boils down to anyway?” He sneered as he loosely brandished his wand at them. “The fact that you two refuse to stay away from each other no matter what it does to you? Others might call it admirable, but it sounds stupid to me. I mean she’s fit, but really Malfoy you gave up everything for a woman? You’re pathetic.”
The next morning, Rose’s alarm went off quietly next to her. At first she wasn’t quite sure where she was. When it hit her, she felt like she’d been punched. Still, she forced herself up. She had never called a day off work in her life. Though today would be the most reasonable day to do so given the state of things, she didn’t. If she stayed here she wouldn’t eat and if she didn’t eat, she would never move. Using a strength she didn’t have, Rose made herself get up.
She told herself to just sit up, then stand up, then change her clothes. Everything was step by step. Anything past that was too much for her. She was halfway out the door when she caught a look at herself. Her face was gaunt, and almost lifeless. It pained her, but she didn’t know what she could do to improve that. The only thing she could think to do was to keep moving. Malice and coldness hardened around her heart, like a protective incasing. That seemed to be the only way she could survive.
As soon as she arrived at work, she felt numbness took over her until she couldn’t think or feel anything. Once she got to her desk she saw her cousin James sitting at his regular desk, there didn’t seem to be any repercussions put on him. He did say he was leaving, but still it wasn’t authorized. It seemed for once his surname did him some good. She almost smiled at him, but she didn’t.
In the distance she saw her uncle coming towards her. The man had barely spoken three words to her since Albus’s death and every single one of those words had been work related. It seemed as if today she was going to add at least a sentence or two more.
“Rose,” He spoke briskly, not looking her in the eye. “Come with me.”
Frowning, she stood and followed him a few rows down to Jake Andrews desk.
“Andrews here is your new partner."
Her Uncle said, “You’ve been without a partner for over a month. It’s regulation to reassign you.”
Rose didn’t even look at him or at Andrews. “Fine.”
Then without another word to either one of them she walked away.
It was rude, and incredibly inconsiderate, but she was going through too much to handle this. She couldn’t help the growing feeling of paranoia that was growing on her like a three-foot leach, sucking the life out of her until she became dizzy and saw nothing but enemies everywhere. She was furious.
Rose knew she was at work. She knew she should be in control. She knew that her credibility and any respect her employers had in her would be lost if she stepped even a toe out of line. Rose was quite aware of her circumstances, but she had reached the breaking point. Her uncle treated her like garbage to the point where he reassigned her without a single hint of warning. He even went far enough to trap her into this by telling her in front of Andrews.
Her very veins shook with rage, as she clenched and unclenched her palms. Slamming against her ribs violently, her heart grew more and more bitter. Setting her face, Rose grabbed her wand and stormed through the aisle way to her uncle’s office. Her eyes were set; she was running on pure adrenaline. Gone was any sense of control. She wanted to do something, anything to feel like she was doing something. They could fire her, they could kick her out, she didn’t care. Nothing mattered anymore.
James thankfully looked up from his desk just in time. As soon as he saw her face, he instinctively dropped his quill and leapt to his feet.
“Come on Rose,” James physically took her by the arm. “You don’t want to do this.”
“Oh really?!” She practically screamed. “Because I think I do.”
“Rose, think about what you’re doing-“
“I am! For the first time in a while I just don’t care. I’m not going to sit anymore and take it-“ She began fueled by growing hate.
James didn’t let her finish. In one quick swift movement he threw her over his shoulder and walked her flailing body out of the office. Everyone around stared but they both didn’t care. Finally when James reached the filing closet he opened the door and threw her in.
“Are you insane? Are you trying to lose your job?”
“Don’t you understand? Don’t you get it? I’m-going-insane!” She cried out unable to hold it in any longer. “I can’t do this anymore! Any of it! I thought I could! I thought I was tough, but I’m not…” Her voice broke and then she was crying, “I’m weak, and I can’t fight this anymore. I can’t James…I just can’t.”
His face grew very somber as his own eyes looked on the verge of tears. He stepped forward and put his hands on her shoulders. His voice was soft and earnest, “You don’t have to do anything Rose. If you want to quit do it. If you want to leave the country do it. Anything you want to do, do it…Just please do something.”
“I don’t know what to do,” She sobbed not able to look him in the eye. “What am I supposed to do?”
“You need to stop doing what you think you’re supposed to do Rose. It’s killing you. You need to do what you need to do.” His grip on her became firm. “Search inside yourself, you know what that is.”
The answer wasn’t clear, but Rose knew where to start. She had to cut off the parts of herself that were dying. It was just too hard for her to keep holding on. She would never truly give up on Scorpius, but there was nothing more she could do.
James took her home and she wrote a note saying she was taking the week off. There was not the slightest chance of denying it now. Rose couldn’t be at work right then. She needed what small amount of closure she could get in the only way she knew how.
She’d looked everywhere for him, and done everything she could to find him. But she was left with nothing but this loaded box that she couldn’t bare to open.
Her fingers rubbed the velvet covering feeling completely destroyed by it.
The box said so much and meant even more to her. It was a box full of the possibilities of what they could have had. A box she couldn’t cope with owning any longer. In order to survive, to be able to wake up every morning without hating herself and everyone else around her, she needed to be as far away from that box as humanly possible.
So she knocked on the Malfoy mansion right after sunset. The decision she was making was rumbling around her stomach making her anxious and nauseous at the same time. In her hearts she couldn’t believe she was doing this, but in the same instance she knew that she had to do this.
A small house elf named Firny answered the door, her face lit up with recognition upon seeing Rose’s face. “Madame Weasley?”
“Hi,” She echoed hollowly, “I’m here to see Mr. Malfoy.”
“He’s in his study Firny can take you,” She offered, her large brown eyes filling with sympathy.
Rose nodded and followed the kind little elf.
As she walked portraits and photos of young Scorpius grinned up at her. Every time she saw another one it was like breaking a window in an abandoned house, everyone could see the damage, but no one had the power to stop it.
Draco Malfoy was sitting at his desk when they entered, he looked a mixture of disgruntled and surprised at her presence. Her courage was slipping, any moment she might throw this whole idea out and just crawl into her bed away from everything. So before he could ask why she was there she acted.
She handed the box to Scorpius’s father, her eyes filled with burning tears. “I can’t hold onto this.”
“I don’t understand,” He asked in a bewildered tone. “This is yours.”
“No it’s not. He never gave it to me. It’s not mine.”
“Draco darling-“ Astoria said as she walked into the room, but as soon as her eyes caught onto Rose her gorgeous face turned to confusion. “Rose?”
“I can’t keep this.” She insisted.
Astoria frowned, her heart shaped face filled with sympathy. “Rose-“
“No,” Rose choked out a sob. “I can’t hold onto this. Maybe he meant to give it to me and maybe it was going to be mine, but he didn’t and I don’t know when we are going to find him, but he might not be the man that wanted to marry me when I find him…. And until we know I want you to keep it.”
“Okay.” Mr. Malfoy took the box. “I’ll hold onto it until he gets back.”
Rose let out a pent up sigh of relief. “Thank you.”
Then she turned and walked out.
July 30th 2029
Blood, so much blood was spilled. Scorpius should have been dead. His body laid flat on the floor, still. There he was wearing nothing but his underwear. His back was perfectly muscular and exposed to display the vivid scarlet lashes on his back. His head was cocked to the side and his bruised hands clutched his battered ribs. His skin was boiling and his bright blonde hair slicked back from sweat. There was no sign of life in him other than the hard throbbing pounding of his heart.
The door shook and swung opened. He didn’t move or even flinch when someone came in. Or when they kicked him in the leg. It wasn’t that he didn’t feel it. Scorpius had just adapted to it in a way that was almost inhuman.
“Are you guys even sure he’s alive?” The guard called as he kneeled down right next to Scorpius. Pulling his wand out of his pocket he pointed it at Scorpius’s throat.
Scorpius’s eyes cracked open, a rattling breath left his lips and then his legs swung out of nowhere knocking one of his captors over. The man’s wand dropped and Scorpius snatched it.
Pain was his companion, he grew to not fear it but expect it. Though his body was broken, he still held onto his survival instincts. He whispered a spell and ropes appeared out of nowhere to wrap the man up. Scorpius didn’t know how he knew the spell or how long it worked. All he knew was he had to get out of there.
Panting, Scorpius crawled out of the room, and then managed by some miracle to make it out into the hallway to a door that led out. He was in agony; his body was a weight anchored to the floor making him drag his wrecked limbs across the dirty floor. Two guards saw him and shifted to move towards him. Scorpius raised his wand and whispered a spell that knocked them both off their feet. Boldly, Scorpius pushed himself out the door, into the bright glaring sunlight of the day.
The song in the summary is The Fighter By: Gym Class Heroes. Thank you for reading as always! PLEASE REVIEW!