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Don't You Remember by DeathCabForCutie
Chapter 1: The Lonely
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First dates are never a comfortable experience. You spend about 40 percent of the time worried that you looked stupid and the other 60 percent of the time worried that you will sound stupid. Blind dates are even worse, because you don’t have anything to fall back on. You don’t have that funny incident at work you don’t have that shared hobby or just general background knowledge of the person. You have nothing, but your faith in the person that set you up and as I sat at the table in a crowded restaurant I started rethinking that choice. Kelly was great at a lot of things, but I just wasn’t quite sure if match making was one of them.
I was fifteen minutes early and I was beginning to really regret that. At first I came to just finish up on some paper work instead of pacing in my flat. But a page thru I stopped and looked around at the couples around me and felt lower than low. Here I am about to go on my fourth date with a stranger and I’m not even the least bit excited. This guy isn’t going to like me. He’s going to hear what I do for a living and think; “Well she certainly doesn’t have the time to shag me often.” And then he’s going to say that he will owl me when we both know he has no intention of doing so.
And you want to know what’s the worst part? Not the date, because you feel grateful that at least they didn’t just get one look at you and leave, but the people around you. All of their so-called sympathetic glances. Their reassuring hugs. They all say, “Oh honey don’t worry someday it will be you.” When you both know that there’s a very good possibility that you could fall in the category of people that love doesn’t happen to. The comments get even sharper if you’ve had the audacity of being in love before, because then they say, ‘Well you’ve had you’re chance.’ And clearly you’ve blown it.
That’s when you realize that you are seen as pathetic for being single. Like not only have you failed in the relationships you’ve had but also that you are failing as a human being for not being loved unconditionally by another person. After you’ve been single for more than a year you begin to get over it. As I’m reaching for year three I’m something of an expert in this area.
Twenty minutes into my date I made some mental notes about my date. He’s 25, successful, good head of hair and has a pet iguana named Iggy. All in all it wasn’t a bad date, but I seemed to sense he wasn’t enjoying the date too much. Sure I wasn’t busting with joy either, but at the same time I didn’t go out of my way to check out other people in the restaurant when our conversations grew dry. When it ended he kissed me promptly on the cheek and swore to owl me even though we both knew the gesture was meaningless. It really was a waste of my one night off.
Walking into my apartment, I sighed went to the fridge and grabbed a water bottle.
“What are you doing back so soon?” Lauren, my best friend for over a decade and roommate for the past three years asked. “Nother dud?”
I shrugged cradling the water into my chest. “It was alright…I’m more annoyed that Kelly keeps doing this. I get it. She wants me to have a date for her wedding, but come on it’s not going to happen this way.”
“Did he try to feel you up like the last one?”
“No… but he seemed to find the look of other ladies dresses seemed to fill out better.” I scoffed leaning over my kitchen counter. “It wasn’t like he had a lot to look forward to…at least he thought I wasn’t looking when he looked. That’s new.”
Frowning Lauren offered me a smile. “Well maybe Kelly will lighten up. I think she just doesn’t want you to feel weird.”
“I will feel fine. I honestly don’t care that I’m the maid of honor and I have no date.” I replied being at least half truthful.
Lauren shrugged. “Well why don’t you get some sleep? You’re going to be stressed enough tomorrow with your letter.”
“You’re right.” I nodded and drifted off into my bedroom. “Night.”
I took off my blouse and skirt, which I had just bought last week, and pulled on my pajamas. My bed was covered in blankets despite the fact that we were about to head into May. My whole existence felt tired. Tomorrow I find out the fate of my whole life, and I wasn’t exactly anxious to know. What if they rejected me? What if I was forced into a life of endless paperwork? That was more than enough to make me consider switching professions entirely just to avoid being demoted to a secretary.
Softly some music played from the living room. Lauren must have a proposal due tomorrow or something. I fell asleep whistling the tone of the song.
I jumped half a foot in the air with my wand out stretched as I starred wildly for the intruder. For ten hours, I had been soundlessly asleep in my bedroom. My flat had been quiet the whole day so I was beyond annoyed when I found my little brother Hugo was the one who was bothering me.
“Hugo, what are you doing?!” I snapped, opening one eye to see him standing above me with a bunch of envelopes.
He stepped over the threshold of my bed carelessly, and handed me a letter. “Lauren told me to wake you when the mail arrived.”
Without thinking about the sleep I was missing or why my brother was in my flat in the first place, I jumped for one particular envelope in Hugo’s hands. I ripped it open and read it as quickly as possible. In my hands held the prognosis of all my hard work and if it turned out it was all for nothing I was determined to stay glued to this very bed for the rest of my life.
“Well? Did you?” Hugo rolled on the balls of his feet in excitement. “Did you get it?”
I grinned, the expression felt foreign on my face. “Yeah…I did.”
He rushed over to me, scooped me up and spun me as we both started shouting in excitement. “YOU DID IT!”
And for a moment I let myself give into the feeling. I didn't the depression spread over the happiness. Instead I just held onto to the fleeting happiness that was mine. A happiness I hadn't really felt in years. For a moment I just let myself enjoy it and appreciate what I'd accomplished.
From the other room, Lauren stormed in lividly. Her bright blonde hair was askew and her eyes were narrowed in hollow rage. “Why are you two screaming?”
“I got it! I’m a fully fledged Auror!” I told her, unable to contain my enthusiasm.
She inhaled sharply as she tried to process what I was saying. Strutting forward, she stretched her long legs and then took the letter from me; halfway through a broad smirk crossed her lips. “Well done Weasley.”
“I know! Ahhhh!”
Hugo gave me a quick hug, his face beaming with pride. “I’m going to go tell mum.”
And then as quickly as it had come, was as quickly as the moment had gone. Reality had come back, and the guilt crept back up on me like it always did.
“Wait…Let’s wait on that.” I told him, my face falling slightly as my stomach clamped up and my body deflated.
“Why?...” He took a minute but then his face filled with comprehension. Hugo, put his hands on my shoulders reassuringly as his voice lowered an octave. “…She’d be happy for you Rose.”
I frowned. “Yeah, but why don’t we just wait? I know she will be, but don’t we wait till I’m settled into my job.”
"You know that though don't you?"
"Yes, but why don't we just wait?" I insisted, the guilt growing in strength.
“I can’t do it to her yet." I explained honestly. "I know dad’s been gone for four years now, but you know she never understood why I would want to join the department after that.”
“Okay,” Hugo kissed my forehead after some hesitation, “I’ll see you later okay?... I’m proud of you though.”
As my brother left I sank back onto my bed. Lauren came over in her scarlet robe and sat next to me with a thoughtful expression.
She yawned. “Rose, you know you’re about to be 24, I think your mom will understand.”
“I know, but I just want to ease her into it.”
“She had to know this was going to happen.” Lauren reasoned as she adjusted her sheep pajama shorts under her robe. “I mean you’ve been training for four years, and doing field work for a year on top of that. It’s not like this will be a big shock.”
I sighed, she was right, but I still couldn’t bare the look on my mother’s face. She had fought so hard to stay strong through the whole ordeal. I didn’t want to trudge up those old memories for her. To be perfectly honest I never thought they would qualify me for field duty in the first place. I always thought they’d find a way to bench me, by making me a filing officer or a case supervisor. I never in a million years thought they’d take me seriously. And now a ball of guilt was building in my stomach. How could I possibly bring this up?
‘Hey mum. I know dad was murdered and you still have nightmares over it, but I’m going to have the exact same job as he did and there’s a slim, but very real possibility that I could die the exact same way he did. But don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.’
Somehow that didn’t roll off my tongue like it should.
“I know. I just want to wait.”
“Alright, I’m going to go back to sleep.” She paused in the doorway, “Congrats though.”
As she shut the door, I cuddled my pillow and closed my eyes. Six years ago life was so much easier. I’d just graduated Hogwarts and I saw my life fitted before me. I thought everything was going to work out perfectly if I just believed and worked for it hard enough. But as I lost my boyfriend, my father, my job, my place to live and my sense of self in one month, I learned one simple fact. As you get older life doesn’t get easier. It actually really starts to become difficult and ...suck.
This is the sequel to Rumor Has It, so if you have not read that story I suggest you do so. This is just a small taste of what's to come. I hope you all liked it. The song in the title and summary is The Lonely By: Christina Perri. PLEASE REVIEW! THANK YOU FOR REVIEWING!
Chapter 2: Who We Are
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“Sir,” Scorpius cleared his throat impatiently.
His superior officer glanced at him and held up a finger of patience.
Scorpius sat up a little straighter, but began to tap his foot. He needed to do something to exercise his frustration. He’d been waiting ten minutes in pure silence to hear where he would be placed. He’d been hoping for just a promotion, but after the first five minutes he was beginning to worry he was going to be transferred to somewhere isolated. Somewhere were it was always cold, and it wouldn’t have been unheard of to be eaten alive by wild boar, wand or no wand.
He thought back on his work and so no reason for him to be transferred. He had a 91 percent case closure rate, which was the third highest in the entire ministry. He was always early for rounds; he filled out all of his paperwork promptly and even filled in for people when they need it. Out of everyone how the hell could they do this to him? He had made a life here. How could they not only throw away all of his work, but demote him and send him away to the middle of nowhere?
As the moments grew longer, his shoe started tapping louder and louder. Why was he doing this?
“Malfoy, is your apartment owned or rented?”
“Rented,” Scorpius replied suspiciously.
“Malfoy,” Dunkin’s cool green eyes surveyed him, “Do you have a girlfriend? Wife?”
Scorpius twitched. “…No.”
“Sir, if I could.” Scorpius interrupted as politely as possible. “I’ve been here for five years. I have friends here. I have a life here. I understand that if you give me an assignment I have to follow it, but I don’t think I would do my best work in another environment-“
“I have to disagree with you there Malfoy.” Dunkin cut him of bluntly. “You have an exceptional close rate for your age and I think it’s the perfect time for you to change environments, but relax I’m not sending you to anywhere remote.”
Scorpius subtly let out a breath of relief. “Where are you sending me then sir?”
In the few seconds before he received a response, he actually felt a little excitement. Maybe a change of scenery wouldn’t be so bad. He could always visit his mates from the states and he was sure they wouldn’t mind visiting him in Italy or France or maybe even Greece.
“There’s an opening in the London office.”
Scorpius’s face dropped. “What?”
“You’re British." Dunkin informed him obviously. "You should jump at the chance to go back.”
“Yes, I’m British-“ He was about to add that he didn’t want to go back, but he never got the chance to say so.
“Excellent then!” Dunkin announced, “You have a day or so to get your things together before you move to London.”
Scorpius stood up, “Wait where am I supposed to live?”
“Oh well you’re from London. Can’t you stay with your friends or some family?”
“I’m sure I can, it’s just-“
Dunkin stood up and shook his hand, “Excellent. Then I will send all your paperwork and you’ll be good to go. You’re expected to work here till the end of the week and start work there in a week.”
“No need to thank me for the opportunity. I’m sure you’ve been aching to go back home.”
Scorpius gaped at him and then released his hand. And then he realized that he had lost whatever chance he had to fight this. So he silently accepted what was said and went back to his desk.
Joe, his partner for over a year, gave him a sympathetic look. “I just heard.”
“What the hell? He literally didn’t even give me a reason.” Scorpius dropped into his chair. “Is it honestly just because I’m British?”
Joe crossed his big muscular arms. “They are switching you out with another British guy. I guess your, ‘tour of duty,’ here is over.”
“He made it sound like he was doing me some kind of favor.”
“Prolly thought he was.”
Scorpius glared at his friend of five years, “Well I guess I better take care of my flat and make sure all of my cases are closed.”
“Well anything you can’t close they’ll just dump on me, so don’t worry about it.”
“You excited to get rid of me?”
Joe snorted, “It took me years to make you Americanized. Now they send you back and I’m expected to do the same thing with this new guy? They’re wasting my work.”
“Knowing your luck he will hate American food and think you’re American accents mean you are stupid.”
“What like you did?” Joe rolled his dark eyes knowingly, “Well at least he won’t be terrified of camping.”
Scorpius raised his hands defensively. “America has the most unnatural animals just wandering around….Camping in the U.K is nothing like that. You don’t have to worry about being eat alive by a bear.”
“Well now you can go back to your tamer lifestyle.”
“I’m gonna head out. We’re having a thing tomorrow for you…It’s not a big deal, but you have to show up.”
Scorpius grinned, “I’ll see what I can do.”
“No, you’ll be there otherwise I’ll send Paulie to find you.”
“Fine!” Scorpius conceded imagining the huge man carrying him out of his own apartment was too much for him, “I’ll be there.”
Joe clapped him on the back. “You better!”
Scorpius smiled and then finished his paperwork for the day. He still had two days left of official work. Tomorrow he would have to go help train the new guys and then on his last day he had to finish up his last assignment of the week and go shadow a known accomplice on America’s most wanted list. It should be fun. A nice way to end his time in America really.
Heading to his flat, he organized his limited personal things and grabbed his briefcase. Walking in he was surprised to find Jane still lying on his couch. Although they had been dating for months he didn’t think it was serious enough for him to find her practically living in his apartment. That was the moment when he decided moving back home might not be so bad.
She glanced over from her book, her long eyelashes fluttering at him. “Hey Scorpie.”
He fought the urge to cringe, he truly loathed that nickname. “Hey, so I have some bad news.”
Jane swung around stretching out her long tan legs. “What’s up?”
“Well, I’m being transferred back to England.”
“What?” Her big brown eyes dilated in what he took as anger.
Scorpius grimaced and decided it would be best to lie at least partially anyway. “I didn’t ask for it, but he didn’t give me a choice either. I have to be in the London office on Monday.”
Her eyes filled with tears. “What are we going to do?”
“I’m sorry…but they given me no choice. I have to go, and I’m sorry, but long distance just doesn’t work.”
He knew exactly why, he wouldn’t even try it. It wasn’t even only that he didn’t think they would last long in the first place. It was also that even when he was honestly in love with someone he couldn’t do the distance. In his opinion, no one could. But he couldn’t tell her he’d tried it before because then she would make it about them, and the deeper meaning and all that girl garbage that he really wasn’t in the mood for. So instead he just avoided it.
“Look you know how I feel about you.” Nice, keep it vague. “But this can’t work. I’m sorry.”
And then she fell onto him and cried into his chest, on his brand new shirt. Awkwardly he patted her on the back and starred out the window. Why didn’t he just date around like he used to back at Hogwarts? Those girls never were this emotionally involved. They never cared whether he dated one of their friends. Then again, he didn’t have as much time as he used to so it was actually easier to just go out with one girl. Still he never made it exclusive or said anything that would make her think so. He never asked her to be his girlfriend, he never told her she could stay over and he never wanted her to get attached, but apparently despite his half assed efforts she had. And now instead of packing and hanging out with his mates he was going to have to stand here with her sobbing into his chest for the rest of the evening. Great.
I was late to meet Kelly for breakfast. I had to be at the office by 11 to start my first day a licensed Auror. So I was a little frazzled. I arrived at this little breakfast shop at 10 o’clock, and Kelly was already waiting for me. Out of the three of us, I would say she has changed the most. Lauren may have a legitimate job, but her personality hasn’t shifted much. All that’s really changed about Lauren is her blonde hair has grown out, she’s not dating anyone and she wears a business suit to work.
Kelly, on the other hand, now is constantly in scrubs. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t work today or if she’s planning to work later, she wears scrubs. She does have five different colors; indigo, olive, crimson, salmon, and teal. Her dark hair, like Lauren’s has grown long but is kept back by a messy ponytail. As I sat I saw how I must have changed in her eyes. My hair was a little longer than it used to be, but not nearly as long as Kelly or Lauren. I wear more make up now, because the long nights and early mornings of my job have taken a toll, but not a large one. I wear blazers, with my skinny jeans, and flats so I can easily slip into some tennis shoes if I need to. I’m sure there are more things that have changed about me physically, but generally that’s it.
Slipping into the seat across from her, I offered her an apologetic smile. “Sorry I’m late.”
“It’s fine,” She pushed aside her Daily Prophet. “How are you?”
“I’m good. You?”
Kelly shrugged, “I’m good. Just did a five hour solo surgery.”
“Damn…How’s your back?” I grimaced knowingly.
“Fine, I’m used to it by now. How’d your date go?” She questioned me eagerly.
I waved the question off and ordered my food. Within a few seconds it was in front of me and Kelly was still starring at me. So I sighed and said, “It wasn’t that great, but that doesn’t matter…. I made Auror.”
For some reason it was personally offensive to Kelly that I was single. I don’t know why. Lauren and her boyfriend broke up around the same time Scorpius and I did. And yet she can’t stand to see me single. I really don’t know why. I tried to ask her once, but all she said was that Lauren is the same either way, which I took as I become this depressing sucking void of a person when I’m single. Which I appreciate immensely since I’ve been single for so long, I must be a constant buzz kill.
“Okay,” Kelly let out a bitter sigh, her little face scrunching up. I could feel a lecture coming on and I wasn’t ready for it. I was in the middle of a bite when she said, “I’m honestly starting to worry about you. You haven’t dated anyone in a while. I’m beginning to think you have a fear of commitment.”
I shook my head dismissively and gestured to my plate. “I’m very serious about Pancakes, we’ve been together for awhile, I never get sick of them and I’ll be honest it’s getting kind of serious.”
Kelly wasn’t amused. “Rose.”
I let out a strangled groan and finished my pancakes. “I will find a date for your wedding, and if it’s that deep make Lauren your Maid of Honor. I honestly won’t be offended. I’m just not at the point in my life where I want someone else.”
“Someone else or someone other than Scorpius?”
My lips thinned as I paused before I sipped my water. If there was one topic I didn’t like to discuss, Scorpius Malfoy was it. My voice sharpened. “Kelly, drop it.”
“No, I’m worried! Even when you did get in a relationship, you didn’t seem to care at all.”
I rolled my eyes. “Which is why we broke up and I’ve been single!”
“I’m just saying it’s different if you honestly don’t care and if you’re just waiting for Scorpius to come back.”
My hands curled into fists. Kelly knew not to bring him up and yet here she was facing the possibility of my wrath, for what? Inhaling sharply, I fought to control my temper. I could take little Kelly out with one hand without even trying but I didn’t. Somehow I didn’t think that would be a good idea for our friendship.
“I’m not waiting for Scorpius to come back.” I stated coldly before adding, “I dumped him, remember?”
She swept her ponytail off her shoulder, “Yes, I do, but I don’t think you ever really let go of him.”
“Kelly, just drop it.” I checked my watch. “I have to go or I’m going to be late. I’ll see you later.”
“Don’t forget about the engagement party on Thursday.”
Midway through paying I gave her a dirty look. “I planned the event Kell. I think I know I have to be there.”
Her face flashed guilt and her eyes grew warm. “I’m sorry…I know you don’t like to talk about it. I just want to make sure you’ve moved on.”
“Don’t worry,” I smiled down at her forcibly, “I have.”
After I went through all the security I fastened my new badge to my belt and walked into the third Ministry elevator. Unfortunately, my shoe caught onto something making my foot slam into the side of the steel frame and making me look less than graceful. Swearing under my breath, I paused, accessed the damage, which was minimal and continued on into the elevator. Unfortunately, there stood my Uncle Harry who had seen the whole thing and had a quiet smirk on his face. Something I’d grown used to in the lifetime I’ve known him.
“Oh sod off.”
“I said nothing.” Uncle Harry laughed to himself.
I glared at him and smacked his arm.
“You probably shouldn’t hit your boss.” He teased under his breath.
“Oh, write me up why don’t you?” I shot at him.
He eyed me suspiciously. “What’s going on?”
“You’re a little snappier than usual.” He observed, as he scratched his salt and pepper colored hair.
I frowned. “It’s nothing.”
“Did you tell your mum?”
Facing him my frown deepened. “About making Auror?... No. Hugo says I should, but I’m not sure.”
“Well she’ll find out eventually, and she would be extremely hurt to hear it from someone other than you. Trust me.”
As my mother’s best friend for almost forty years now, my uncle new my mother better than anyone so if anyone would know how she would react it would be him. But the hard part was he saw everything so much differently. He was my father’s best friend for that time too. He watched my parents fall in love and was probably the reason they did so. He didn’t have to worry about disappointing my mother or even my father for that matter. Then again, how could Harry Potter, boy who lived, Head of Auror department, father of three be a disappointment?
I said nothing else to him as we waited for our floor, but he wrapped his arm around my shoulder warmly and kissed my forehead. “It will be okay Rosie.”
The elevator opened, and his hand squeezed my shoulder reassuringly before he left for his fancy office. I followed behind him, until I made it to my new cubical. A wide smile crossed my face as I saw Jade and Tom, my coworkers, and friends had also made the cut. Both of their desks were next to mine. A startling smile crossed Jade’s face; her bright smile stood out against her dark skin and without much discussion at all we both jumped into a chest bump.
Laughing we pulled apart and hugged each other. “Congrats.”
“Ladies,” Tom crooned putting his arms around us. “Now that we are working together-“
“No,” Jade and I answered in unison.
Separating, I allowed Tom to pull me into a hug and I laughed in his neck. “You’re a git, you know that right?”
Putting his hand on his hip he posed, accenting his actual good looks. “But I look good doing it.”
“Ah huh.” I snorted back.
Jade rolled her dark eyes and turned to me. She did not hug Tom. “I heard a transfer is coming in to replace Drake.”
I scowled. “Why? I mean he might have been an ass, but at least Drake was eye candy. I mean how could you take him seriously in that button up shirt…?”
“Did you picture ripping it off with your teeth too?” She mused.
“Yes…yes I did…”
We both starred off into the distance.
Tom cleared his throat. “On that creepy note… I’m going to go.”
Laughing, Jade and I slid into our matching desks. I pet the surface of my new desk lovingly. Jade had been working on this since she graduated Hogwarts and at the ripe age of 22 she was granted it. Tom and I took a bit longer. He spent two years backpacking around Europe, whereas I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.
We had a staff meeting in ten minutes, and until then I had nothing to do. My quill tapped over a blank sheet of parchment as I tried to think of what I should say to my mum. I pictured her face, so full of intelligence and sweetness. Lauren was right, my mother knew this was coming and probably knew what the end result would be, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to pause for a minute. This wasn’t as simple as Hugo or my uncle made it. Something in my mother broke when she lost my father, and despite my best efforts I’ve never seen her fully return. Then again I guess the same could be said of me. Before my father’s death I was a secretary on the other side of the ministry. So I guess we all have changed.
Jade tapped me on the shoulder. “Come on, we don’t want to be late.”
Ten of us gathered in a room with the thirty other Auror’s. It’s been two years since an Auror has made it through the training program, so it’s honestly a feat that all ten out of the thirty that started it made it through. It’s a hard process, you spend the first year going through mental and physical training and that’s the year you take the four out of six of your tests. Most people say they should wait that we couldn’t possibly be prepared and that’s why so many people fail. But I disagree; they need to see from the start who has what it takes and who’s going to get with the program. I know must people fail out the first week. Those are usually the people who are talking all that trash about how they have what it takes and how small little girls like me aren’t going to make it past the first physical. Little did those douche bags know that I’ve been working out for years, Quidditch season and beyond. I actually graduated from my team in the 90th percentile. That’s higher than my father did and only 3 percent lower than my internationally famous uncle.
Now the question was who they were going to partner me up with and what detail I will be on. I could permanently be a cover, if that’s the case then for six months I will be gone, looking differently and acting in a like that’s completely not my own. That’s less likely. They usually wait to do that until you’ve been licensed for three years or more. What is likely is that I will either be a full time operations officer or a part-time cover. It really could go either way. Since I’m a girl, they will probably make me a part time cover, because they could always use a pretty girl to weasel some information and out of somebody. But they could go the other way and have me be on a task force. If they did that I would constantly be on the front page, since I’m a woman, and I would be in charge of finding one of the most wanted wizards in the country. Either way I’m in.
The partner part was a little nerve racking though. They could set me up with a sexist pig. Sadly of all the new fades in the world there always is that big dumb idiot that feels the need to make himself feel more manly by picking on me. Unfortunately for him I speak four different languages fluently and I can take out a man twice my size with my hands tied up. Not to mention, the fact that my size is actually a blessing. No one would look at me and say, “Oh she can kick my ass,” but I can and I will.
“Alright.” My Uncle cleared his throat authoritatively and as always everyone fell silent. “I’m going to announce your new partners. You have to wait a month before you can ask for a new one, something goes for your assignment. Abbott with Jones, Scott with Levit, Boudrain with Lester, Delly with Hader, Caniet with Reynolds, Andrews with Cambell, Sampson with Weasley-“
I instantly stopped listening and looked for Anthony Sampson. He was a good two years older than me, and he didn’t seem to be pleased with the reassign, but he still nodded at me politely. I could tell already that this was going to be a stiff working relationship, but what can you do? They always try and partner people from different age ranges so that way the whole department at some point has worked together. We are all supposed to be one big team, but sometimes it doesn’t work out like that. I could already see that he was going to talk down to me. He knew my name, he’s seen my face and he is absolutely going to treat me like a child. I’m 24 years old next month, and this 26 year old man thinks he knows everything more than I do. With a few things of course he does, he’s been licensed for three years he will obviously know more than me, but he doesn’t have to act like it.
I spent the next few minutes waiting for my assignment to be given out. A smile spread across my face when I got part-time cover, it really was the best of both worlds. Sampson looked slightly pleased too. As soon as Uncle Harry was done speaking he waltzed over to me and stuck out a hand.
Slightly surprised, I shook his hand waiting for his ulterior motive to show. “Nice to meet you.”
“We’ve met before.” He assured me.
I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. “Are you sure? I don’t think we have.”
“Maybe I’m mistaken.”
“Well yes…Um…” I grabbed our file and moved away from him. “So, we are supposed to be doing a cover tonight on St. Mary’s. We have to be at a café, and we’ll witness a drop.”
He nodded. “What’s our relationship?”
“We are husband and wife.” I gave him his fake wedding ring and slipped mine on. “We’ll be there for an hour and if it goes wrong then we’ll have to take out the suspects and bring them into custody.”
Once again he nodded, his black hair falling in his face. “What time do we have to be there by?”
“Okay, well that means one of us has to do the paperwork for it and the other has to go train the newbies.”
I frowned, “I’ll go for the training, and then when I get back do you mind showing me how to catalogue it?”
Anthony went to his desk with the file, and I walked away confused. So maybe he wasn’t the asshole…maybe I was.
First thing you have to understand of the year of extra training before you get authorized is that you’re basically an Auror without any of the privileges. You go on missions, you go on opps, you just can’t do anything unless your superior officer authorizes it. So I’ve been all over the world. I’ve done all of this before, but now it’s different. And it’s not just because I have a badge, although that does help, it’s because it’s so freeing to not have every decision I make second-guessed and to be able to go on a mission without being babied. I have the badge to prove that I’ve been through everything and I can do the job. So if anyone wants to question what I know or what jurisdiction they can suck it, because I’ve been authorized.
Stepping downstairs into the Auror training facilities, I felt younger then I had in a while. The first time I came down here I was twelve and I was with my dad. The next time, I was nineteen. I was young and full of boiling blistering rage. Walking down five years older, I felt weird and darker somehow.
“Rose,” James fought to catch up to me, “Don’t do this. You don’t belong here. Your father wouldn’t have wanted you to-“
I rounded on my older cousin harshly, my hair wild and rippling behind me, “Well we will never know what my father wanted for me will we?”
“Rose!” He put a hand out to stop me, his brown eyes searching my blue one’s for sanity, but there was none. I had nothing left and he knew it as well as I did. “Don’t do this. You aren’t fit to join the Auror’s!”
My eyes narrowed, fire spitting from my eyes. “I can’t?! Why can the whole family join and I can’t?!”
James, my handsome, jolly cousin was no longer. His whole face was distraught. “Because if you’re going to do it. You should do it for the right reasons.”
“They tortured me right in front of my dad James. And then murdered him right in front of me. What better reason can there be?”
I blinked and turned to find James standing right next to me. He smiled widely and pulled me into a hug. “What are you doing?”
“It’s my shift to help train, I must have drifted off.” I admitted, hugging him back tightly.
I took a look at my cousin and was surprised, he was going to turn 26 at the end of the year and I couldn’t imagine where the time had gone. Of course James never really changed much, which was one thing you could always rely on James for.
“Well you are in luck dear cousin, it’s my turn to instruct them all so would you like to have a bit of fun with them?”
I rolled my eyes. “What did you have in mind?”
Ten minutes later, I walked into the main training room. Inside there were punching bags, wrestling mats, body armors and a lot of space. I held a coffee cup as I slipped to the side and watched James teach. He was really good and I half wished they would have let him guess teach when I was going through training, but then again at that time he wasn’t even authorized himself. Sipping my cup, I was oddly amused by how good the little station was down here. Maybe it will be worth the trip after all.
“Rose, can you come here for a minute?”
Inhaling sharply, I cradled the cup into my chest and walked forward in my flats and generally business casual outfit.
“Now how many of you think you can easily take her?” James questioned the room.
Everyone including the two girls raised their hands. James was right this was going to be fun. I tried to look as frail as possible and it wasn’t even that hard. Being as skinny as I am, everything looks weak on me. And I know that me casually sipping this coffee is adding more to their deluded view. It also helped that James didn’t tell them what my last name was. Rose sounds like a cute well to do girl, who’s never had a bad day in her life. Rose Weasley on the other hand had everything handed to her and then through the years learned how to fight like hell to survive.
“Well then, if it’s okay with Rose,” James feigned a tentative glance towards me.
I shrugged. “Sure, should be fun.”
“Well then who’s up first?” A few guys raised their hands, but the biggest guy looked so smug that James just had to pick him. James pointed at him, “What’s your name?”
“Well, if Rose will put her coffee down,” I did, “Please step forward.”
See some of the other guys didn’t volunteer, because they could see that this could be a trick. Obviously they wouldn’t bring some poor defenseless girl in here and expect her to be able to defend herself. But I guess this thickhead wasn’t thinking about that. He just wanted to show off and prove that he was superior to all the others. Which was ridiculous, but whatever, it’s his neck.
He stepped forward and looked at James for instructions, but he gave none. James strutted to the back of the class and gestured for him to proceed. I didn’t take an aggressive stance. I kept my stance open and waited for him to approach me. He chose to try and pin me down by forcing me into a corner. I spun around him, and knocked him down to the ground. He tried to use his weigh to force me off of him, but I had him locked down easily. But I wasn’t stupid. I knew now that he realized I had experience he was going to wait till I looked away and put my guard down to attack again. I didn’t give him that chance.
“Alright, time out guys.” James announced pulling me off John. “Everyone I’d like to introduce you to my cousin and fellow Auror, Rose Weasley.”
There was a hush over the crowd and John blushed furiously as I'm sure he felt very very stupid. I stepped forward. “Now normally John wouldn’t be wrong in assuming I would be easy to pin down, but he didn’t know that I’ve been training for years. So what mistake did he make?”
A blonde girl raised her hand. “He underestimated you.”
“Yes, sadly he did, but even if he would have tried a technique that would have been based on his weight. I probably still could have fought him off.” I stood in front of the class. “The point is, always assume your enemy is better than they are in a fight until you can see how much skill and strength they actually have.”
“Can you take her?” John asked James suspiciously.
I snickered. “Well James?”
“We’ve never tested out that theory.” James grinned, “But maybe the next time Rose comes in, we will test that out. For now let’s just say it would be a pretty even fight.”
For two more hours I went through drills with them and showed the bigger guys how to take a smaller girl. I explained how to work their weight to catch a skilled fighter off guard. By then a few of them managed to surprise me and manage to pin me down. Although in all honestly I wasn’t trying hard, it still was a small victory for them.
Walking into the elevator, I saw my other cousin walk in. I usually had lunch with him at least once a week to make sure he was on the up and up. Apparently he really was doing well in his job. Who would have known there actually was a career for being professionally nosy?
Albus smirked at me with a twinkle in his eye. “Rose.”
“Albus,” I smirked back at him. “What are you up to?”
“I’m about to break a story on one of the previous Minister’s of Magic…It’s going to be huge.”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh and how did you get this information?”
“I may have had to sleep with a few interns...” He admitted unashamedly, sounding alarmingly like his older brother, who I just left.
Albus pushed his dark hair out of his face arrogantly. “Well some people use their wits to get by, I’m forced to use my manly wiles.”
“Shit…You should have been in Slytherin, you’re shady as hell.” I said to him as he moved to leave the elevator.
“Lunch Friday?” He questioned me.
“We’ll see. I might have a case.”
His eyes grew huge and he stopped the elevator from closing. “You got it?!”
I nodded once again unable to hold myself back from being proud. “Yeah.”
“We are so celebrating!” He told me threateningly, “And I already know what we are toasting to.”
“Responsible today-“ I started knowingly.
“AND RECKLESSNESS EVERYDAY BETWEEN!” He yelled as the elevator shut.
Thank you everyone who reviewed the last chapter! The song in the summary is Who We Are By: Ryan Calhoun. PLEASE REVIEW! THANK YOU FOR READING!
Chapter 3: Disenchanted
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“Paulie!” Scorpius shouted as the much longer man tossed him effortlessly into a chair. “This is not necessary!”
“Sit down there English!” The half drunk three hundred pound man roared.
“JOE! What the hell-?” Scorpius yelled half-heartedly through his laughter but his friend was no help. Him and half the department were standing in front of him arms crossed and laughing around the bar.
Then Paulie held him down as all the guys smashed cake in his face. He tried to fight them. At first it made him so mad he was shaking, but then at one point he just lost it and couldn’t stop laughing. He was hit was 27 cakes before they dumped a bucket of water on him to clean off his face. After allowing him to wipe his face, he was able to see a line of very unattractive females coming his way.
There was no getting away so the only thing he could do was laugh as they danced on him and attempted to seduce him. Maybe if they didn’t all weigh more than he did and had bigger facial features than he did he could have played along, but they didn’t so he couldn’t even work with it. At the end of the night, he swore revenge on each and every one of his mates.
“Oh no, I want all of you to know that not only do I appreciate this going away party, but to let you know that this isn’t over.” He vowed to them, “I want you to forget and then when you’re bachelor parties come up, I’m going to make it awful.”
They all laughed, but Scorpius was entirely serious. He was going to get them all back someday. For now, he had to go back to his apartment and start to pack all of his stuff. He started with the small stuff and mostly just sat around his apartment with a beer in his hand. Though it mentally scarred him, he had to admit it was funny.
But the night took a different turn as the nostalgia kicked in. He had lived in this apartment for almost six years. After sitting, in the quiet of his dark apartment alone for a few hours, he started to recall things, things he’d long promised himself he’d forgotten.
“I don’t want to go.” She whined sliding her long legs around him as she hugged him tightly.
“Well it’s settled then, you aren’t going.” He smirked at her as she fell completely on top of him.
She laughed, her high-pitched, chuckle of a laugh, so feminine and yet, so Rose. “I can’t. I have work tomorrow.”
She gathered her stuff together, a bunch of things that in three days somehow managed to get strung across the room. He never understood how that happened, but he never questioned it either, in fact he welcomed it. Despite the clean freak that he was he loved Rose’s mess. Frankly because, well he loved Rose.
He loved her sweet scent. He loved her awkward off pitched giggle. He loved her stupid jokes. He loved her ambitions and dreams. He loved how rarely she apologized and when she did, it took every bit of her pride to do so. He loved how she curled up like deranged cat in her sleep. He loved how she scheduled everything, even their time together, but would skip only the things during her time with him.
He bolted over, and scooped her up in his arms, sunlight beaming on both of their faces as his grip tightened around her midsection. “Change of plans, you are sick.”
“I’ve used every sick day I have.” She frowned sincerely sorry. “But I’ll see you next weekend.”
Her slender cold hands cupped his face as she pressed her lips eagerly to his sending shivers down his spine. Then she slowly backed away, she put her things on her back and moved to the fireplace. She seemed to rethink herself, her blue eyes already watering. Then she dropped her thinks and jumped into his arms. A smile came onto his face easily.
“I’m going to leave.”
He laughed, “I know.”
It took her three tries to do it, but she finally did do it.
Nothing, no time, not space, not distance had freed him from the image of her. Maybe if he had just broken things off when they ended school he wouldn’t feel this way. Maybe he could have let her go if they would have had a clean break. But as the fractured memories sliced into him as fresh as the day they were made he knew it wouldn’t have been able to. Of all the girls he knew in his 24 years of life, she was the only one that had gotten under his skin. If he was being honest with himself, which after three beers he was, he knew she was the only real reason he didn’t want to go home. He could handle his family. He could handle his old friends. He didn’t want to her face. He didn’t want to see her perfectly happy in her new life away from him.
The bitterness of the evening crept up on him and dragged him down low. He hadn’t ever talked about her, not with anyone. Who could possibly understand? He never understood it himself. Sure back at Hogwarts he instigated the whole thing, but he never imagined it would have ended up like this. She snuck up on him and he never saw it coming. She was supposed to stay Rose Weasley. This girl he fancied, but at the same time deeply despised. She was supposed to go off and change the world and then somewhere down the line he would hear about her life and share a smile with himself about how he once shared a dorm with her.
This wasn’t supposed to be his life. It was a good life, but in the isolation of his room, he knew that he would never be truly satisfied with his life without her. After all, how can you truly enjoy a life when you know what it’s really capable of? He couldn’t unlove her and in all reality he knew no relationship would even come close to what they had. It just wouldn’t.
Feeling the beer beginning to wear of Scorpius shook himself out of it. He couldn’t go back to England like this. Rose Weasley was a thing of the past. She was probably married with ugly children by now. He had to lock up any misguided hope he may have. That was over. He was a man now. Not some lovesick eighteen year old boy. He had to get a grip.
Slumping back to his bed, he blamed it on the alcohol and knew the next day he would control his emotions better. Tonight, he would sulk over the girl he let get away. After all her family were all in the Auror department. The last thing he needed was to get back there and run into one of them all …emotional. The only thing worse than that would be seeing her everyday. In his last moment before sleep Scorpius Malfoy became very grateful of how large the Ministry of Magic was. He knew he’d never have to run into her. He was wrong.
You know once you haven’t been with someone or seen in that light in a while you begin to tune out things. For instance apparently this guy on tube was checking me out on an opp about a month ago and I was completely oblivious. At this point in my life, I don’t see it and I don’t get it. After a certain point you just stop caring. You stop thinking of yourself as a man or woman and just think of yourself as a person with a purpose. And in my life I have two purposes, my job and my family.
In between shifts I decided to go visit my mum and finally bite the bullet. When I arrived I was surprised to find my goddaughters running around the yard and my very pregnant cousin was sitting next to my mum as she gardened
“Hey!” I called. My mum and Victoire waved, but the girls deviated from whatever plan they had and came sprinting over towards me. “Oof!” I sounded as they both slammed into me. I picked each of them up in my arms as they both hugged me tightly.
“How are you two?”
Five-year-old Chloe, stuck her pale chin into the air. “I’m excellent!”
I snorted, and the turned to Charlotte. “How about you?”
I put the blonde’s back on the floor and told them to run along. Then I moved over to my mum and Victoire.
“Can either of them turn?” I asked Victoire gesturing the girls.
She shook her head. “I haven’t seen anything.”
“Well then again Teddy said he started when he was five…” I shrugged thoughtfully.
“That’s the last thing I need,” Victoire scoffed, rubbing her protruding belly, “A five year old mimicking me with my own face.
Smiling at her warmly, I scooted behind her and started massaging her back. Victoire didn’t even pretend to put up a fight; the normally tiny woman was to swollen to fight me. My mother’s brown eyes found me, despite my large human shield.
“So, are you going to tell me why you’re really here Rose?” Hermione Weasley’s voice carried gently as she dug out the weeds from her tulip garden.
As my hands expertly winded around Victoire’s severally knotted back, I bit my lip nervously. “I got my license.”
I saw over Victoire’s shoulder my mother take a minute to compose herself, before she forced a smile on her face. “Really? That’s great sweety.”
“Thanks.” I whispered back half-heartedly.
Victoire sensed the tension and despite her extremely vulnerable position, decided to break it. “Who’s your partner?”
“Teddy says he’s good Auror.”
I sighed, “Yeah we’ve done three missions, and we seem to work well together…. Though I was hoping to get Teddy.”
“I would love to see the pair of you thinking you were hot stuff busting up in places.” Victoires soft laugh filled the air.
“See we would have been unstoppable and the ministry couldn’t handle that force for good or for evil.” I joked with her.
For a few minutes Victoire and I went back and forth joking, but it was all surface level. Victoire, who was more like my older sister than my cousin knew exactly what was going through my head. She knew how deeply guilty I felt talking about this in front of my mother, but she also knew my mother still wanted to know what was going on in my life even if she didn’t approve of what I was doing. But eventually we moved onto different topics as little Chloe and Charlotte chased each other around the vast yard. I’d agreed to be both of their godmother’s months before they were born and now I was about to have a third godchild. Teddy suggested that Victoire pick someone else for it as Teddy had picked a different godfather for both Chloe and Charlotte. His reasoning was he wanted to make sure if something happened to him his kids would have the best options like he did. Victoire flat out refused, although Roxanne and Lily were both honorable options she wanted me.
I didn’t ask why. I just accepted. I loved those little girls and I would do anything for them. As if they could sense my thoughts, they both came over and jumped on my back, demanding we play dinosaurs, which is basically a game were they both death grip my back as I crawl around on all the ground on my hands and knees making what I considered to be dinosaur noises. It hurt my back after awhile, but I didn’t even care. It was no worse than training and it had twice as many benefits. Once they climbed off, I pulled them both into a bone-crushing hug. When I released them, I saw that I stayed longer than I was supposed to. I would have to get a snack sometime in between my shift, but it was okay. So I kissed my mother goodbye and hugged Victoire before apparating back to the ministry.
Anthony Sampson, was sitting at our newly adjoined desk, his dark hair flanked his face. In the few days we’d been working together, I actually had grown to really respect and like him. He wasn’t at all what I expected him to be. Unlike some of the other’s he treated me like an equal and not some stupid kid with good genes. But still I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something about him.
He handed me a blonde wig and I smiled. It wasn’t hard to become someone else. It was actually really easy. To slip into a new into a new personality was quite simple. It enabled you to forget any life you might’ve had and act completely different. I never wanted this lifestyle before, but once I started it I realized I actually had a knack for it. I was good at pretending my life doesn’t exist. After years of repressing unpleasant memories, I became highly adapted to it.
Tonight we were going to an exclusive party held a very high profile hotel. Almost every cover we have we are a couple. Apparently we look good together. I actually don’t mind. Sampson is a decent guy and not too bad looking. All of the temporary partners I ever had was always tried something. They tried to make it look like I was just imagining it, but I knew I wasn’t. In Sampson’s case I didn’t mind at all.
Tonight, I wore a black dress and I was perfectly forgettable. Blonde hair just washes me out and really does make me look like someone completely different. I could be a dumb twit. I could have a house in Yorkshirre. I could be anyone.
The cover was easy as hell. All I had to do was walk around and be pretty. It was like I was Sampson’s big and shiny watch. All I had to do was smile. He went in the back while I talked to the guests. He stole the necessary merchandise and we got out.
When we got back I handed the fake ring back to Anthony and separated. On the way out I felt a little sad. I kind of liked my fake little life. In it, I had no job, no children, but I had a handsome husband and said empty little hobbies. It felt nice to not really have an IQ for a minute. To just blindly nod to every little word and not have a feeling or care in the world seems like a way to be.
I went to the bar near my apartment. Lauren was usually there at least once a week going over her paperwork with a cold glass on the bar. Today, was one of those days. She was sitting in her usual seat pouring over seemingly endless material.
“Nice dress.” She snorted in amusement. “Did you have a nice evening?”
“Better than most.” I shrugged, moving into the seat next to her. “How about you?”
She covered her mouth to avoid a yawn. “Okay. I just can’t wait for this weekend.”
“What’s happening this weekend?”
Lauren’s eyebrows narrowed, “Don’t play with me Rose.”
“I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Rose today is Friday, which makes tomorrow Saturday.”
I eyed her suspiciously. “And?”
“And, Saturday is karokee night.” Lauren stated as if this was a national holiday. “Do not bring this down. Say you’re coming.”
Raising my hands defensively I gave her an unsure look. “We’ll see. I might have to work.”
“You can bring your stupid blonde wig, but I’m not losing my wing woman.” She declared fiercely. “I’m working 50 hours a week, my feet are molded into my heels, my assistant calls me Ms. Bitch behind my back…I-need-this.”
I shook my head, “…Not even an original nickname.”
“You are missing the point.” Lauren told me evenly, she pointed to herself, “I’m going to have fun this weekend,” She pointed at me, “And so are you.”
“If I don’t work.” I corrected her sternly, “If I’m not bring Lily. She could use a laugh.”
Lauren frowned. “Yes…she could, but I don’t think taking her out would help that.”
“Well I’m going to head back. I’ll see you.” I told her moving off the seat.
She called after me. “You better find a way out of work!”
Considering what my job was the chances of that were getting similar with the passing minute, but I didn’t want to crush Lauren. She was at this weird period of her life. It was the point where she was career successful, but had absolutely nothing else going on in her life. She wanted some good old-fashioned empty girl time and unfortunately I was the last person she should seek it from. I work almost everyday of the week. When I’m not out on assignment, I’m training, doing paperwork or training other people. Most days when I come home I can barely stand let alone be awake to go to karaoke bar with Lauren. I felt bad, because with Kelly in her 1950’s wedding mode and me married to my job it left her with little options.
When I got back to my apartment I dragged myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. I’d been getting exceptionally easy assignments lately. Nothing degrading or anything, but all assignments I would have received before I got my badged. Like how I’m the eye candy as Sampson goes and does whatever the entails. I didn’t mind because I knew they were trying to ease me into it. They didn’t want to just chuck me into the thick of things. They wanted me to know my partner well and be able to handle myself. I understood that, but if in a month I was getting the same mundane assignments I was going to be livid. I didn’t give this much of my time up to be some stupid little wind up toy. I signed up to do something with all of that time. If they couldn’t that I’d quit and go back to my old job, at least there I had flexible hours along with tedious tasks.
Before crawling into my bed, I opened my window to let some fresh air in. It was starting to get really hot out and my pale skin was already shaking in fear. The thought of oncoming sunburn was nearly unbearable. As I fell asleep I had visions of me walking around looking like a lobster, waddling around the ministry. Then someone was shaking me and I bolted awake.
Inhaling sharply I blinked at saw Lauren, sitting next to me. “There’s someone at the door for you.”
Stumbling out of bed I wandered to the door and was surprised to find a fully dressed and mostly awake Sampson at my door. “What’s up?”
“Get dressed, we have an opp.”
My eyes dilated in excitement, my hair stuck up in all different directions, “Like an actual assignment?”
“Yes, now go put on some clothes.”
I ran back to my room, switched from my dancing penguin pajamas to a pair of Yoga pants and a dark tank top. After shoving my hair into a bun, and sticking a stick of gum into my poor tasting mouth, I followed Sampson into the darkness of the night.
After twenty minutes of walking through the streets of London, he finally pulled me aside and clued me in on what the mission was.
“See that building behind me?”
“We’ve just received Intel an hour ago, everyone else is already on an assignment.” He whispered, barely louder than the soft wind that was circling us.
I crossed my arms to protect my torso from the goose bumps erupting on my skin. “What’s the objective?”
“There’s a known murderer in there, he’s in there with his thugs.”
Setting my face, I nodded. “How many?”
His dark eyebrows bunched together, “What do you think?”
I’d gotten around five hours of sleep, and my left eyelid was sort of twitching. So I was more than a little taken aback that he had asked for my opinion. It took me a minute to get my bearings. What did I think? I starred at the street and then I considered the situation.
“Do we know what room he’s in or the location of his lackey’s?”
“Two in the second floor, three on the first.” Sampson lean torso straightened.
I frowned, “You should go through the front door, distract the guards and I will take the target.”
Sampson didn’t look secure in this plan. “Why?”
“I’m smaller, and quieter, if they find me I can just pretend it’s a mistake. There’s no way you would mistakenly be in there. Besides you would draw more attention in a distract than I would.” I answered without thinking about it.
“Are you sure about this?” At that moment the two years age difference didn’t exist. He clearly had never been given this advanced of a mission this poorly planned. But I knew that we didn’t have enough time to question it.
So, I exhaled and nodded.
We silently strolled down the street and the turned down the alleyway adjacent to the building in question. Already my pulse was racing with the stream of adrenaline that had been flowing casually through my veins. This was what I’d been trained for. This is what I’d been waiting for five years for. And now that it was here I wasn’t going to mess it up. Sampson glided over to the front door and waited for my signal to walk over.
I let out a silent breath, put some sticking solution on my hands and then, like a spider I started climbing up the building. Once I was halfway up, I gave a wave and he was off. My stomach knotted as my body realized the only thing keeping me from falling a hundred feet to my death was a centimeter of sticking solution, but I didn’t let it psyche me out. I had business to take care of.
Once I reached the top, the back of my tank top was laced in sweat, but it felt good, because I was actually doing something. I heard a commotion and I started moving faster. There was a sensor on the ground floor and the thugs would no doubt be on their way to go take out Sampson. He could handle himself, but not for long. He could take on two men easily, but five was too high of a number for anybody.
Without making a sound I moved onto the narrow and unsteady windowsill. Curling up, I leaned my mouth down and bit my wand. Then did the wand motion with my wand still in my mouth. It worked, the solution on my hands dried and peeled away freeing my hands. I dropped the wand into my hand and opened the window. Landing on my feet, I searched the dark room, while I turned myself invisible. I did it a little too late though.
A thick boot came out of nowhere and roughly slammed into my chest. Temporarily it knocked the air out of my chest, but not for long. I rolled over and snatched my fallen wand. He couldn’t see me, but he could see my wand so he knew my general location. The man was much faster and stronger than I expected, but I managed to handle myself well enough. He tried to track my movements, but he wasn’t fast enough. His large, robust body prevented him from the catlike reflexes his mind seemed to think he had. After five minutes I had him tied up. I only had some minor bruises and a busted lip. If I hadn’t made myself invisible it would have been more of a fight, but I was lucky.
I turned the man invisible and dragged him downstairs with me. After letting out a breath of relief to see Sampson was alive my eyebrows rose. Sampson seemed to be having the fight of his life. He had already disarmed three of the men, but the other two were still fighting strong and they had the upper hand on Sampson who was bleeding heavily from his wand arm. Without a word I raised my wand and immobilized the other two men. They dropped instantly taking Sampson slightly by surprise.
He wiped his dark hair from his face widely, “Rose?”
“Yep,” I cleared my throat with one arm around my unwilling captive let’s go.
“Wait,” He took off my invisibility spell. “Not bad.”
I shrugged, but then grinned. It wasn’t the cleanest operation. I really should have been down here quicker and I should have put on the invisibility spell earlier so that way I couldn’t have been attacked at all, but whatever.
As Sampson and I walked into the ministry, we fixed our faces. It was dawn; most people were just coming into the ministry. But I knew the Auror office would already be half full with Auror’s. Sampson and I went to the fifth floor and signed all the paperwork and booked our newest friend. Once magical law enforcement took over we went to the elevator.
Sampson cleared his throat as we walked into the empty elevator. “You did good Weasley.”
“Thanks you didn’t do bad either.” I told him honestly.
My happiness level was through the rough and I couldn’t wait to tell James. Of all people he would be the most proud of me. I was rolling back and forth on the balls of my feet as we waited. I thought no one would care about our success. The Auror department mostly keeps their victories big or small locked in filing cabinets and not carried around the office. But as we walked into the Auror office we saw Davis, Drew, Matthews and Clark waiting at our desks with smug smirks. I didn’t like them so I was a little thrown off to see them there, Sampson didn’t look too happy either.
“Well?” Clark, the tallest one spoke roughly.
I blinked, “He’s in booking.”
Matthews, a man only six years my senior looked livid. “What?”
Sampson stepped in his jaw forming a hard line. “You gave us a mission and we did it.”
“You did …what?” Drew’s squeaky voice raised in shock.
They were all stunned, which surprised me. They gave Sampson and I this mission, why would they be surprised that it worked? Why would they set us out to fail? That just didn’t make any sense. Sure they were all assholes, but why would they be standing here, leaning on our desks….?
That’s when it hit me, they not only wanted me to fail. They expected me to. It had nothing to do with Sampson. Those four pigs just wanted to see me fail.
When they came up with this mission they did it in a way that there was no way my training could have fully prepared me. This was a way to weed me out once and for all, because if I hadn’t completed the mission then they would have a legitimate excuse to bench me. And they knew that I wouldn’t have fought them because I would’ve been too ashamed. This is why they licensed me instead of making me just a desk worker. They knew I would want to know why, they knew I would fight for an appeal. They knew I wouldn’t take it lying down. I had too much of my father in me.
Sampson seemed to come to the same conclusion, because suddenly his hand was gripping my wand arm to stop me from doing something I’d regret. But Sampson hadn’t known me long enough to know how I work. I’m not going to say anything to those smug, upper class white males who I had heard my father complain about for years. I’m going to let my work speak for itself and I’m going to accomplish anything they throw at me. A rage that couldn’t be controlled, roared from the veins in my wrist to the throbbing muscles in my throat. Fuck them.
One of the higher operatives came over from the head clerk’s office and shook our hands. His name was Delly, and he was nice enough about it. But the rest just dispersed looking absolutely pissed off and it distracted me. Until finally I found that I was glad. Yeah assholes, you’re going to have to try a hell of a lot harder than that to get rid of me.
After it was done, Sampson and I headed back to our desks. Sampson handed me an ice pack for my lip. I ignored it. “Thanks, but I think I’ll keep it.”
He shrugged and began treating his arm. “Suit yourself.”
As I started scribbling my quill against the report parchment, my left hand balled up in my lap. I was going to show them. I was going to show them all. When I started they went on and on about how this was the most equal Auror department in the world. But from the minute I signed up that was constantly disproven. Every time I showed up for something there was someone standing there trying to stop me. At first I thought it was just because I was a woman, but then after a while I realized it was because of my last name. They couldn’t stand that I was related to the head of the department and they assumed that I leveraged that to get into the department when there was nothing further from the truth. I worked my ass off, and my appointment had nothing to do with my last name. And if I had to die in action to prove it so be it. But they weren’t going to get rid of me this way. I’ve earned this desk, and I’ve earned this job. Yes, there are things that I need to work on, but fuck them if they think they can take me down now.
I’m Rose Weasley, no one is taking me down.
Now I know you guys are going to ask me, "When are they going to run into each other?" So I'm going to just tell you. Next chapter. Because I know as a reader it drives me crazy waiting. BUT i will not tell you how or when it happens, for THAT you will have to wait for the next chapter. The song in the summary is Disenchanted By: My Chemical Romance. THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! And I would like to give a special shout out for the 23 people who gave reviews for the first two chapters, you guys are awesome! PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 4: Jar of Hearts
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Sitting in on a lunch date, I blankly starred at the man across from me and couldn’t help, but think he would be a much better match for Lauren. He was cynically funny, impulsive and completely career driven. And I did like him, but twenty minutes into it, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t even remotely attracted to him.
He was attractive, he was tall, he had dark skin and wavy dark brown hair with a quirky smile. But I felt nothing. I genuinely laughed at his jokes, and I had no trouble finding things to talk about with him, but …there was something that was missing. I didn’t want to kiss him. I didn’t even consider what it would be like. Many people might not consider that a problem, but I do. If I’m on a date, there has to be something. Maybe I won’t want to rip his clothes off with my bare hands, but I will at least be interested in what that might be like. As I sat there, hearing him regale me with stories, I felt nothing.
Maybe Kelly was right. Maybe, I didn’t want to let go of Scorpius. Originally I legitimately tried to. After I put the pieces of my life back together I went on countless dates, I tried to get interested in other people. But I couldn’t. And it wasn’t that he himself was stopping me, but it was the fact that I knew, without having any idea how I did, that there was no one I could possibly love as much as I loved him. It wasn’t something I wanted or asked for. I tried to let go of him. Once I realized the distance wasn’t working, I tried to be an adult and break up with him. The part I didn’t get was whether I was with him or not I was still his without meaning or evening needing to be.
The date ended well enough, and I headed off to work in a good mood. We agree to hang out, but he seemed to be feeling the same way I did. I liked when things ended like that, no offense taken, no hearts broken, just a passive agreement that we aren’t right for each other.
As I settled into my desk, my mind unintentionally went to Scorpius. It had been years, but not a day passed where I didn’t physically feel like I was missing something, a part of myself that I’d given to him and never gotten back. When the break up was fresh I used to imagine fairytale situations where he would run after me and proclaim his love for me. That was not going to happen. He could be married with children for all I knew about his life since we parted.
I’d stopped crying about it, and I hadn’t openly talked about Scorpius to anyone since it happened, but even I can acknowledge that it’s taken a toll on me. I used to be different. Not better, not worse, but different. My torture, my father’s death and ending things with Scorpius were a series of the most awful things that inevitably changed me. And I know a part of Kelly is waiting from me to change back, for me to just wake up and be the person I was, with all the optimism, all the hope all the dreams. But what Lauren has come to accept, and what I already know, is that I won’t. Too much has happened for me to go back to the person I used to be. I blew out my desk light and stacked my papers.
The other day Kelly asked what I would do if I saw Scorpius. I told her I didn’t know, but that was a lie. I would run from him. Like a scared five year old I would bolt. I did however tell her the likelihood of that happening was slim to none. He was accepted to the American Ministry not my ministry and the very thought of him coming back was so foreign and outlandish that I didn’t even bother to give it any more thought.
I threw my jacket over my shoulder, locked up my things and left the Ministry. I had to be one of the last people leaving, but I wasn’t fazed, this wasn’t something that would become a novelty, long hours came with the job almost as much near death situations did. When I got back, I cleaned my room, made dinner for myself and ate in silence. A knocked echoed on my front door. I checked my watch and was surprised. Lauren was away on a trip, so really there was no one I knew who would knock on my door at 3 in the morning.
Grabbing my wand, I went to the door. “Who is it?”
“It’s Anthony.” A gravelly voice replied.
Curious, I opened the door and found that it really was Anthony Sampson at my door. Automatically, I opened the door further and let him in. “What’s going on?”
“I’m sorry to bother you.”
“No, it’s fine. Please come in, would you like anything?” I asked politely.
He shook his head, “No I just wanted to tell you personally that in a month, I’m going to be asked to be switched to another partner.”
Biting my lip, I felt furious. “Is this because of the guys? Because of what they keep saying about me?”
“No! Not at all!” I defended himself quickly before leaning against my kitchen counter.
“Because I can handle myself just fine, and they’re full of shit.” I told him fiercely, crossing my arms over my dancing penguin pajamas.
His dark hair fell into his bright blue eyes elegantly. “No, I know you can.”
“Then…I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Is there someone else you’d rather work with or something?”
“No…it’s not that.”
I didn’t get it. Why had he come here? Why was he saying this? Sure it was polite to let me know in advance so I wouldn’t be caught off guard, but why here? Why now? Glancing up at his face, I felt my chest tighten. I knew there was something I wasn’t getting and the longer I looked at his features, the more I knew I was right.
“Sampson…the first time we met… you said you’d met me before? Why?”
Casting his eyes downward, he looked extremely uncomfortable as he stuffed his hands into his pockets. “Well…it doesn’t really matter.”
“Now it does.” I insisted.
“Well I was in a bar, a few years ago, and you were there with your friends-“
I interrupted him, “How many years ago?”
“Four years ago, I think you were celebrating something, because you and your friends had a lot to drink.”
My heart clamped up, as the memory in question started to come back to me. I heard the music playing in the background, and I felt the effects of the excessive amounts of alcohol that I’d ingested splashing around my intestines.
“I just made it through the first phase of training.” I told him distantly, trying to strain my brain to remember.
The night was kind of a blur, but now that I thought back on it, I did see Sampson. And….my nerves raised as comprehension came to me. I also danced with him and snogged him for half the night. If Lauren hadn’t needed me to go with her to a ministry breakfast the next day I would have slept with him. A deep scarlet flush grew on my face.
“Oh…” My eyes widened in comprehension. “I’m sorry…I didn’t-“
“I know,” He muttered with an embarrassed smile, “How could we have known?”
I let out a mortified laugh. “Wow…Okay, so it must have been awkward for you then.”
“Not really, actually the reason I’m having a problem is before is because…well I have no problem with it.” Anthony confessed, brushing his fallen bangs out of his olive skinned face.
“I don’t understand…” I drifted off, and then my blue eyes lightened in recognition. “Oh…I see.”
He raised his hands sheepishly. “Don’t think I’m asking anything out of you. I just thought you should know.”
“Well thank you, I appreciate it.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow.” He smiled awkwardly exiting the way he came.
I locked the door behind him, and slid down the closed door. A ghost of a giggle appeared on my lips as I pressed my knuckles to my lips. I’d been on dozen’s of dates with men from a variety of fields, with vast different looks, and completely separate personalities, and yet to get me to giggle all it took was for Anthony to say he liked kissing me.
As I sat alone in my flat, I daydreamed about what it would be like to kiss Anthony for real. Not because we were pretending to be a Belgium couple. Not because we had to blend in with the crowd by seeming young. But because I honestly wanted to feel the pressure of his lips on mine.
After a few minutes of indulgence, I shook my head and pushed myself to my feet. I couldn’t think of Sampson like that. Until he was transferred he was strictly off limits. The Auror department had strict rules about inter-office dating and explicitly forbid partners dating. But even as I brushed my teeth and slid into bed, I couldn’t keep Sampson off my mind. How had he done this? He was in my flat for less than five minutes, he didn’t touch me or anything and yet, now I couldn’t think of anything else. Suddenly I was fifteen years old again and the rush of young infatuation pumped through my heart.
Waking up the next morning, I did my morning routine like I did every other morning, but this time it was different. This time, I couldn’t keep the stupid smile off my face. Sampson wasn’t going to do anything, I knew that. I also knew that nothing could come of his confession, but I couldn’t stop the spring in my step that his startling confession had caused.
During lunch, Albus eyed me oddly over his sandwich. “You’re acting weird.”
“What?” I blinked unsurely.
“You’re smiling…” He noticed aloud suspiciously.
I furrowed my eyebrows. “I’m excited about my salad?”
“Rose, don’t be daft, no one gets excited about a salad.” Albus pointed at me accusingly. “You are shagging someone.”
“No I’m not!” I replied hotly. “I’m not even seeing anyone.”
“Are you sure? Because you seem to be blushing pretty hard for someone who isn’t getting any.”
I threw a biscuit at his face. “I’m flushed, because my male cousin is talking about my sex life!”
“Or lack there of really,” He retorted unphased. “Come on Ro, you’re not getting any longer and with your job you might as well get it when you can.”
“I’m absolutely not talking about this with you!” I shook my head, before checking my watch. “Speaking of which I have to go.
Albus’s green eyes lit up with editorial excitement. “What are you guys up to? Is it opp? A deep secret mission-“
“Or,” I cleared my throat authoritatively, “It’s absolutely none of your business.”
Albus let out a long drawn out sigh. “Ever since you’ve joined the Auror’s you’ve become no fun.”
“I promise next time I will stay longer and bring mad libs.” I held up my hand as if swearing an oath.
“Add that you’ll pay and I’m in.” He smirked at me tossing a grape into his mouth.
I scoffed as I tossed my jacket over my shoulders. “You make almost twice as much as I do, there’s no way in hell I’m paying for your meal.”
“Was worth a try.” Albus shrugged to himself as I hugged him and ruffled his untidy hair.
“See you later loser.”
Once I arrived back to work the place was in chaos. Sampson found me and threw my Auror robes at me. “Come on, we’re on assignment!”
Up for anything, I pulled on my robes and listened to him as he explained the mission. It sounded exceedingly difficult. Apparently known terrorist Michael Sycamore was spotted in Scotland. It was our job to get any information we could without raising any awareness. The reason that was difficult was because we were required by law to indentify ourselves as Auror’s to anyone we question. And the minute we get out our badges the murder suspect will get wind of it and disappear. So the question was how the hell we’re we supposed to find anything out when we were so out in the open?
Anthony had an idea that I do the questioning and he shadow me. The only way we had to wear our proper Auror attire was if we were doing any questioning. If Sampson was with me or in the area he didn’t have to wear the robes in the badge, so he would be able to check out the surroundings and maybe overhear some information from the people after I left.
For three hours I had gone door to door to talk to magical residences who might have come in contact with the suspect and came up with nothing. That all changed when I was talking to an elderly woman with a heavy Scottish accent. I heard a noise, only something a trained professional would hear and then I caught the flash of movement behind the shop, I stopped talking and immediately bolted after it. It wasn’t even a conscious decision; it was a reflex like a dog chasing a squirrel, something that was hardwired into me on how to react.
I shot curse after curse after him to stop him, but he just dodged them all. Mentally, I had to give him credit he certainly did have home court advantage like knowing where the shopkeepers kept their trash so he could avoid them and I wouldn’t know to for example. Somewhere in the chase my cloak flew off, but I didn’t pay it any attention, I could always buy a new one.
He ran with amazing speed up the stairs and with the help of his wand broke into an abandoned flat. I raced after him, my feet carrying my small, but long body faster than any girl my size should be able to move. I almost caught him, my wand was raised and I was about to stop him. He had nowhere left to run, he was at the window facing an empty courtyard. But as I raised my wand, he smirked.
The fugitive made it over the line and apparated away before I could catch him. Swearing under my breath, I leaned back against the wall and put my hands above my head as I panted. Technically we hadn’t failed because we weren’t told to apprehend the subject, just get information on him. Still, the adrenaline in my bones was stilled in anger. Climbing down the stairs of the apartment, I smacked right into Anthony.
“Did you catch him?” He asked after helping me stand up straight.
I grimaced, disappointment rising in my chest. “...No.”
“Well it’s okay,” He grinned.
“Why are you grinning?”
Anthony held up my cloak and a notebook I’d never seen before. “Because I know where he is going.”
I was so excited that I threw my arms around him in a hug. Once I realized that this was a ridiculous response, I started to pull away just as his arms went around me. Our faces were mere centimeters apart and still my race was pulsing from the ten minutes sprint I just was in. Our eyes locked and I felt a shiver shoot down my spine. I was about to back away. I was about to do the right thing, I really was, but then he leaned down, seemingly unable to stop himself and our lips touched.
God it was stupid. Merlin I was stupid. I could get written up. I could even be fired for this, but the feeling of Anthony’s cool tongue glide against mine erased any and all protests from mind. I didn’t care about the consequences, because for the first time in a long time I felt something, and nothing was going to make me let that go. I clung to him, and he clung back to me as his hand slid up the back of my shirt. I felt all of the heat coming from his hard, athletic body. At some point it was clear we both hurtled over the invisible line keeping us a part and had trampled into this new dangerous territory. And it was Sampson who reluctantly pulled away.
“We better go,” He whispered in a husky tone, though his grip didn’t cease.
“Yeah,” I answered quietly. “Let’s get back.”
Apparating back to the ministry we went through security and walked back to our department in silence. I couldn’t look at him, everytime I considered it my cheeks flushed and I remembered the feel of his lips touching mine. Once I reached my uncle’s office I managed to regain my professionalism as Sampson informed him of our progress in the case.
“We’ve been chasing this suspect for months and we haven’t gotten anywhere, good work Weasley, Sampson.” My uncle nodded to both of us professionally.
I smiled at my uncle and then left when he dismissed us.
At the end of the day Sampson followed me into the elevator, and neither of us said a single word to each other, but our arms ever so lightly touched. It was like we formed this silent agreement to not talk about what had happened, but to keep going and if it happened again so be it. It wasn’t something I planned, but I couldn’t say I minded. This felt good, like being woken from a deep sleep.
Scorpius walked into the Malfoy manor with nothing but his wand in his right hand and a duffle bag over his left shoulder. Ironically, he returned to his childhood home, much as he left it. His parent’s were expecting him, but he still wasn’t sure what he expected from them. Their relationship had never really been solid, but it had gotten better when he got older.
His old room hadn’t changed much, he noticed without disappointment or happiness. Scorpius dropped his bag by the beds edge and began to search the large house for his mother. After twenty minutes, he was shocked to find her in the kitchen.
“Mum? What are you doing in here?"
His mother snorted and shook her dark hair out of her face. “Well hello to you too Darling.”
“No seriously mum, what are you doing?”
“Your father and I have taken a few cooking classes,” Astoria Malfoy told her son as she started slicing the carrots for Scorpius’s homecoming meal.
Scorpius felt like he was having an out of body experience. “You…and dad…went to a cooking class?"
“It’s really not that far fetched.”
“We’ve had servants for the past four centuries mum.” Scorpius retorted as matter of factly.
Her hazel eyes narrowed on him. “Scorpius, don’t toy with me. I wouldn’t lie to you, now please hand me that soup spoon.”
“Alright…but I’m going to need therapy after this.” Scorpius joked dryly.
“Oh sod off Scorpius!” Her hand went to smack him, before pulling him into a nurturing hug. “How are you doing? They aren’t working you too hard are they? I see some new scars.”
Scorpius tugged up the collar of his shirt so his mother couldn’t worry any longer about his work injuries. “I’m fine mum.”
“You better be.” She warned him before gesturing to the den. “You’re father is in there.”
He nodded and sat down on a stool next to her. “I’ll go in, in a minute.”
“Nervous about your first day of work?”
“No, not really.” He admitted honestly. “I have already picked out a new flat, and I can move in there next week.”
She frowned. “We aren’t in rush for you to leave. Take all the time you need.”
“Thanks mum,” He smiled at her.
“Are you dating anyone?”
“No and I don’t want that to change mum.”
She raised her hands in perfect innocence. “I said nothing about changing that, I was merely curious.”
“Well there’s nothing."
His mother eyed him worriedly. “Have you kept in touch with Rose Weasley?”
Scorpius’s jaw twitched and tightened. “No.”
“Well, before you get to work I think you should. She works there too you know.” Astoria, told him in her usual soft sophisticated voice. She moved and pushed Scorpius’s hair out of his face like she did when he was a child. “And you know I think she’s had a hard time since you two-“
His voice was suddenly rough as he moved away from her reach. “She broke up with me mum. She left me. Whatever happened to her after that is her problem.”
Her dark eyes narrowed in surprise at her son’s cold tone. “Well, maybe when you see her you’ll change your mind.”
Scorpius waited till she left to go heat the food to mutter under his breath, “Doubt it.”
He was twenty-four years old, a grown man with priorities and a life of his own. The last thing he wanted was to see the woman who unceremoniously left him. The other night, he was lost in his memories, and trapped in missing her. Now that he was sober and back in his childhood home that had faded enough for the bitterness to take over. Knowing his mother would most likely bring the subject up again until he saw her side of things he decided to go see his father.
Rising he strolled into his father’s study and took in the changes in not only his father’s appearance, but the den as well. Here was the room where his father would punish him and tell him what a blemish he was to the Malfoy name. There were worst memories he had of this room and of his father, but once he graduated Hogwarts he made an effort to put those memories in the past where they belonged. His father never made it easy, but since he left for America he seemed to be trying. Draco Malfoy’s hair was still as blonde as ever though it had receded an inch or two since graduation making his face looking even more pointed. He was in the middle of working on some kind of ministry paperwork.
Scorpius crossed his arms and leaned against the doorway with a smirk. “So I hear you know how to cook now.”
His father glanced up in surprise and the expression of amusement replaced it quickly. “Your mother was complaining we don’t do enough things together so I indulged her.”
“You are aware she is the one making dinner and not Pixie right?”
“Oh no…” Draco Malfoy winced, “Well you will have to pretend you like whatever she makes you. I assure you we did not fair well in that class.”
Scorpius snorted, “I thought Malfoy didn’t get D’s.”
“I didn’t,” He revealed, “Your mother did.”
“Then why aren’t you in there?”
“Because I have far better things to do than worry about a chicken for three hours.”
Scorpius chuckled at that, “Like?”
“Anything else really.”
“You know I don’t think mum would like to hear that.”
Draco’s eyes, which were precisely identical to his son’s, narrowed, “Don’t you say anything to her. I don’t care if you are a big shot Auror now, I can still take you.”
Years ago that would have been a legitimate, serious threat, but now it was just hysterical. His father was fifty-one years old, and wasn’t in shape anymore whereas Scorpius at twenty-four had never been in better shape.
When they ate Scorpius felt weird. For his whole life tears, screaming and fights at the dinner table were normal, but now that he was grown up that was mostly subsided. Now he could look at his parent’s without the biases of his youth and see them for who they really were. His mother actually was a radical choice for his father. Though she did come from impeccable upbringing she also had this whimsically unconventional spirit. Scorpius could see why his grandparent’s had difficulty with her, being so rigid in tradition and he could also see why that was precisely why his father had fallen in love with her.
He was supposed to meet up with a Jade Wilkins to find out who his partner was and where he was assigned. After putting on his white button down shirt, his black pants and black belt, he tossed on his Auror robes. Before he could leave, his mother insisted on him eating the breakfast she made for him. Though he was irritated by the inconvenience he appeased her and sat for a few minutes. Always a stickler for being five minutes early for everything, he kissed his mother goodbye, grabbed his wand and his badge and left his house.
It was weird to be back, to really walk around people with the same origin and some the same upbringing as him. He saw many faces that he recognized as he went through the ministry. Some from school, some from the daily prophet articles he read when he was young. Eventually though he made it to the fifth floor and saw where he would be working for at least the next few years. It wasn’t as cramped and as relaxed as the American Ministry, but he found he liked this better.
Stepping forward, he spoke with the receptionist who pointed him in the direction of the girl he was supposed to speak to. She shook his hand politely and proceeded to give him a tour of the office. It was all pretty basic stuff and nothing was that hard to grasp. But he stopped moving when he caught a flash of distinctive red hair.
Then his eyes were pulled up to hers, and his whole body felt like he was drowning.
The lovely dark skinned girl that was helping him around doubled back to see what had stopped him. “Oh that’s Rose, do you know her?”
“What’s she doing here?” He demanded in a voice much rougher and callous then his own.
Jade blinked concernedly. “She works here.”
No, this couldn’t be happening, not here not now.
“Yes, I know she works in the Ministry, but what is she doing here, as in the Auror department.”
“Because she works here Malfoy,” James Potter informed him from the desk over.
Scorpius froze address him directly, “Excuse me?”
“My cousin Rose is an Auror too.”
Jade cleared her throat, “I was just coming to find you James-“
“Well I’ve got it from here,” James told her kindly before turning to Malfoy. He stuck his hand out, “I don’t think we’ve ever officially met. I’m James Potter.”
Then everything happened all at once. First Scorpius shook James’s hand unsure of anything else that he could do. Then as James backed away to go get Scorpius’s paperwork Rose Weasley stumbled over and ran right into him.
She opened her mouth to apologize, but once her deep blue eyes met his she stopped. Scorpius was in hell. His whole body literally felt like he was being dragged under water and systematically drowning. What cruel act of fate was this? He hated her, and never wished to see her again and so she was thrown right at him?!
Furious Scorpius zoned out as the lady that had given him a tour pulled Rose away from him. He was so angry and taken aback he was shaking. James came back oblivious to the whole situation, handed Scorpius his paperwork.
“Fill this out and that,” He pointed to the empty desk. “Is your new desk.”
Gulping down air felt like gulping down sand. Emptily he searched for something to distract himself from the horror of his life. Anything really would do so he asked the only question he could. “Who’s my new partner?”
“Didn’t they tell you?” James asked looking out of place, “I am.”
THANK EVERYONE WHO REVIEWED! I honestly was so happy to see I had 30 reviews for the first three chapters that I wrote this! THANK YOU! I want to also THANK YOU FOR READING! The song in the summary is Jar of Hearts By: Christina Perri. I hope all of you liked this chapter! PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 5: Part of Me
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When I headed into the office that morning I had picked out a simple outfit. I wasn't on duty for any opps today so the most I would have to do would be change into a different outfit if Sampson and I got an assignment. In between we sat at our adjacent desks filing out paperwork and reviewing other Auror's work. It was so incredibly tedious and after three hours I couldn't even tell myself it was worth it. My hand felt like it was going to cut itself off, to save itself from anything more.
Sampson and I said nothing to each other, but every once and a while one of us would look up and smile at each other. I wasn't quite sure what the hell we were doing, but I wasn't mad. I liked that we weren't labeling it. We weren't adding any unnecessary expectations; we were just letting it be. Maybe in a month they could talk about taking it further, but for now we were going to leave it alone.
Teddy came by and handed me a cup of coffee merrily before going over to his cubical.
I snorted and called over to him, "What are you so happy about?"
"I think this one will be a boy." He revealed to me.
I rolled my eyes. He'd been saying that every time Victoire was pregnant and so far he'd always been wrong. "Keep dreaming Teddy!" Who knows maybe he could keep trying until he got a boy. I rose from my desk, with my coffee in my hand, to go ask Tom a question about the file I was going over. Mindlessly, I turned and ran right into someone. Immediately an apology rushed to my lips, as the coffee ran down my white blouse. But that apology died when I saw who it was.
There are some things that no matter how hard, you can't forget, something's are just engraved in your mind. Scorpius Malfoy was one of those things for me. It's like trying to forget addition or subtraction. You spend enough time dedicated to knowing something and you'll know it forever. Sure there are some things that you if you don't use you'll lose like history facts, or the plot line to a book you read when you were young. But if something's important to you for a long enough of a time it stays with you. It's like if you wore shoes without laces for a few years, or stop riding your bike, you would still be able to look at the situation and remember how.
As I looked at him I saw that. I saw things I'd spent days, weeks, months memorizing like the way his jaw curved when he was trying to seem impassive, and the way his back always was perfectly straight no matter how many years had passed. Some things had changed though. His face was fuller, and had a few fine wrinkles growing along his jaw. Though he hadn't grown in height, his body had changed the most, his muscles were fully formed now. No longer could he pass for someone even under the age of 22. His body was lean and perfectly capable to keep up with the fittest of men. But out of all of it, my eyes sought out one thing, his. There grey color was somehow darker, and underneath were the triangle of freckles laid was deep dark circles from years of late nights and stress. Something I'm sure was matched on my face.
I was frozen, starring at him with hot coffee staining my shirt. I couldn't move. This had to be a mirage, or a mistake of some kind. Or a nightmare. Yes,that fit the most. Only in my nightmares would I be face to face with my ex-boyfriend of five years with black coffee dripping into my push up bra. I wasn't blushing; I was frankly to shocked to blush. No instead, I starred at him like a wide-eyed freak, until Jade stepped in.
"Rose this is Scorpius, he's our new transfer."
"Uh…" My words died on my lips.
Her tiny little dark hand seized my wrist, "Come on Rose, let's clean that up before it stains."
I nodded numbly and let her drag me away, but said nothing. I was utterly speechless. Here I was twenty-four years old, with not the slightest clue what words could possibly be appropriate. Instead I just let Jade take me.
What was I supposed to say to him?
'I'm sorry I left you. My main goal wasn't to disappoint you, break your heart and make you hate womankind. It just kind of happened.'
Somehow I didn't think that would make it all better, or even make the situation improve in the slightest. I really couldn't explain the actions of my nineteen-year-old self. Back then I'd been a completely different person, and completely different thoughts. Back then I was stupid in careless. Back then I was head over heels in love. Now it all seemed like a very colorful blur of emotions and mistakes.
Jade stood by the door as I washed my face in the fifth floor ladies bathroom sink. As I splashed icy water on my face, as the feelings that had been haunting me for years finally were allowed to breach the surface and it was scaring me.
Jade frowned concernedly. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think I just have a stomach bug or something. Would you mind giving me a minute? I'll be out in a minute."
She nodded and knowing perfectly well I was full of shit she still walked out and gave me a minute alone.
As I hunched over the ebony sink, the light above me flickered. I'd spent countless nights thinking of went wrong, of how I had mishandled everything and now he just shows up here….I'd always thought about what it would be like. Would everything just snap into place? Would we both realize we were idiots and kiss in a grand gesture? No, we wouldn't. Why? Because life doesn't work like that. Life was filled with impossible hurtles and obstacles and in the end no one makes it out alive.
Clenching my eyes shut, I willed my self to calm down, and pushed down any feelings that had unintentionally arisen from this. It was like pushing down a thousand pound weight into the ground, but through my gritted teeth I did it. I was an adult now. I couldn't just walk around acting however I wanted to. I had to compose myself.
Looking up at the mirror, I snatched a piece of paper towel and swiped the smudge of mascara under my eyes. I also fixed my hair and my make up. Then with the help of my wand, I cleaned off the stain like it never existed. After I was done, I looked perfectly fine. I wished my feelings were as easy to wash away, but they weren't. All my memories started bubbling up, the fights the anger, until finally my last memory with Scorpius popped up.
In the middle of our third fight this week, I lost it and threw a vase across the room. I couldn't take it anymore.
"What do you want me to do?" He screamed furiously. "I can't quit my job!"
"I'm not asking you to quit your job you idiot!"
"Then what are you asking me to do?" He fired back, completely unhinged. "Tell me what to do that will fix everything and I'll do it."
I was speechless; because I couldn't think of anything. I really didn't know what I could do. "I think …I think," My head was spinning. "I think we should take some time apart."
His face fell and he ran forward. "Rose don't do this. Don't push me away!"
"I can't think here! I can't breathe! All I know is this isn't working and everything I'm doing turns out to be wrong!"
"Rose-!" He reached for my hand, but I pulled away.
Not thinking, I went to the fireplace, "I can't do this anymore! I just can't!"
Flooing to my parent's house I expected to find my mother or even my father in the living room. Instead, I found a young, dark haired, devilish looking man sitting on my couch.
"Uh….Sorry." I exclaimed not knowing what to say to the stranger as I wiped away the signs of smeared mascara.
"It's perfectly fine, Rose."
A chill ran down my spine, and I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings. "I'm sorry, but do I know you?"
"We haven't had the pleasure."
My chest tightened, as tears still were clinging to the edges of my eyelashes. "Oh."
"It's perfectly fine."
"Where are my parents?" I asked as I didn't hear anyone else moving around in the house.
His eerie smile grew, "I was hoping we could speak."
"I have to be somewhere, I'm sorry." I tried to rush back through the fireplace, but I dropped back. Looking up, frozen as a curse spasmed through my body, I became terrified.
My body was shuddering, and I couldn't seem to calm down. All these years, I've put my feelings away. I made myself stop actively loving him. I didn't owl him. I didn't visit. I didn't check up on him at all. I just left everything that happened that year stay there like a crater hole. But now he was back and I had no way to prepare for that.
It took me awhile to calm down, but once I did I realized just how much I overreacted. Scorpius would probably be on the otherside of the department. I would never have to work with him. And if I saw him, I would just avoid him or act like he's someone I went to Hogwarts with. Setting my face, I pocketed my wand, ignored the throbbing in my heart and forced myself to leave the bathroom and move on.
When I sat down at my desk, I noticed that I had been the peak of inter-department gossip. Oddly enough it was a first. I'm sure they talked about me before given who my cousin and uncle were, but it was never this open or pointed. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. Numbly, I wrote out all my required reports until it felt like my hand was going to fall off. Though it was tempting I didn't leave my chair, not even once. When I left for the day, I spoke briefly with Sampson, but I didn't bother talking to anyone else. Then, I grabbed my things and apparated two blocks away from my house. I could have apparated right outside my front door, but I needed some fresh air tonight.
As I walked through the chilly wind, I tugged my coat closer to me and followed my whirling mind. I needed to sleep off the shock of it, but the adrenaline of seeing him, of unintentionally inhaling his cologne was enough to keep me up for the rest of week. My eyes were watering by the time I reached my flat, but I couldn't be sure if it was because of the bitter wind or everything else. Stumbling in, I shut the door, and dead bolted it before moving to my room. Thankfully the living room was empty meaning Lauren was out for the rest of the evening. I loved my best friend, but I couldn't handle her right now. I couldn't handle anyone right now.
Exhausted, from my day, I threw my bag next to my dresser and shut my door. Once I'd stripped off my work clothes and changed into my pajamas, I crawled into my bed and violently cuddled with my pillow. Whether I would cry or not wasn't really a question, but more of an answer. I wanted to stay here forever, protected by my fluffy warm comforter and closed off from the rest of the world. Of course the next day I would have to be practical. I'd have to get up, get dressed and figure out a game plan for how to avoid Scorpius for the rest of my life. But for now no one was going to stare me, judge me or tell me what I'm doing wrong. Now the only person left to judge me was myself.
And in the darkness of my room with all of the rooms closed off from me, I thought that I was the worst critic of all. Because I, I alone knew exactly what I was capable of and what I have done whereas other's only get mere glimpses of who I am.
After all, who better to hate me than me?
Waking up, I felt awful. Every kiss I shared with Sampson felt cheap and wrong now. One look from Scorpius and I felt like a whore.
Falling in love isn't the hard part, finding a way to stay together and not lose yourself is. That's the part they don't tell you. You think that if you find the right person, and you just fall in love then your whole life will follow. Like the magic of you and this person can change everything and you will be happy forever. The problem is once your there you don't know what the hell to do. You are faced with obstacle after obstacle, and somehow you make it through, but after one too many fights you begin to question everything. Am I really with the right person or do I only think that I am because they're the one I'm with? And you'll never really know the answer to that until years later when you get to look back at the mess you made of your life and see what you could have done to fix it.
I could have gone back to Scorpius after I escaped. I could have explained everything and assured him I was just emotional and needed space. That I didn't really mean the words I had said. But the problem was not only did I mean what I said, but when I did go to see him I saw him with another girl. Sure it could have been innocent, but even if it wasn't I had no right to say anything. A month had passed since I had broken up with him, and a week since I'd gotten back. I was too broken, I couldn't face him and so like a coward I left and never said another word to him.
Now there was no way in hell I was bringing it up. If he didn't know what happened to me I wasn't going to tell him. He should hate me. I deserve his anger, his hate. But other than that I'm not going anywhere near him. I'm going to stop this thing with Sampson. It can't lead anywhere good and now anytime he touches me I will feel guilty.
Going into my bathroom, I stood over the sink for about a half an hour. At first I brushed my teeth, and tweezed my eyebrows and then I scrubbed my face viciously until my skin was pink and raw.
Looking into the mirror felt my throat in my chest. My face was different. It wasn't mine anymore. How did I get here?
"Okay," I bit my lip nervously, "Ready?...Settt….GO!" I screamed, my hand locked around Scorpius's as we threw ourselves into the ocean.
The warm water splashed all around us as my bikini became soaked and his blonde hair stuck to his face. He chased me around in the waist deep water, laughingly as I sprinted away from him. Scorpius's arms winded around my hips, as he swung me up into his arms. My mouth hurt from how hard I was smiling.
Later on, we laid in the sand, our limbs intertwined to the point where I almost couldn't tell which body parts were mine and which were his.
"Do you have to go?"
I nodded, with a sad smile, "I'll be with you all day tomorrow."
"I know." He played with my wet hair absentmindedly. "What are you going to do?"
I sighed as I fell back into his bare chest, "I'm going to help my dad clean out the shed. My mum has been on him for months about it and he asked if I would help."
"How are things?" He asked, pressing his lips to my hairline.
"Almost back to the way they used to be…I mean obviously he still doesn't approve of my taste in dating you, but he's gotten better."
Scorpius shrugged, and in doing so pulled me closer. "Well at least it's better now."
"I love you," I told him, as my bare legs rested against his and the sun beat down on our skin.
"I love you too," He replied naturally.
"ROSE!" Lauren called, storming into the living room. "I've got some news!"
I gulped and let out a breath. I had to get a grip. "I'll be out in a minute!"
Slowly, I fixed myself. I put on make-up and put my hair up into a ponytail. When I came out, Lauren had her arms full of shopping bags. A snort escaped my mouth as I rushed to help her.
"What's all this?"
Lauren let out an excited shriek. "WELL! Kelly, as per your instructions made me maid of honor, and I have your brides maid dress."
My eyebrows rose in horror as I saw the box. "Lauren…what color are these?"
"Hot pink." Lauren muttered with a small deceptive look of excitement.
"We are going to look like hookers!" I exclaimed, as pulled out the dress and put it against my body.
Lauren couldn't control her laughter. "Well Kelly was ranting, and she kept saying something things about you and so I figured this might snap her out of it."
"How will two of the trashiest dresses I've ever seen snap her out of being disappointed with me?" I wondered wildly.
"Is it obvious? She'll see the dresses, freak out and then decide that she made a mistake. You two will make up and I can go back to being a bridesmaid."
Cocking my hip, I looked at Lauren in awe. "The way your mind work in truly shocking."
I wasn't mad that Kelly had picked Lauren to be her maid of honor. I felt nothing. The only time I'd felt anything was when I saw Scorpius. How could that be? I'd been best friends with Kelly for years. I was one of the reasons she met her husband and I was the one she turned to whenever they had problems. And yet I didn't care if she didn't want me to be involved at all. There was something wrong with that. That wasn't right. This wasn't right.
During my patrol shift I sat in silence in front of a suspects house. Sampson was surveying the building from the other side so I was all by myself. In that time that I sat on a bench, pretending to work a crossword puzzle I looked over my life. Something was wrong. My priorities seemed to be off, and I had idea how to get them back on track. And as I watched suspected agents of espionage make extremely illegal deals, I knew there was only one person who would tell me the truth.
He opened the door with a surprised smile. "Well hello cuz. Nice of you to drop in."
I kissed Albus's cheek in hello. "Well I needed to talk to you about something and I figured I'd see your new place…wow."
Albus owned a spacious two bedroom flat, with nice high ceilings and sleek wood floors. He took my coat and we exchanged some family gossip for a few minutes before he got that inquisitive look on his face.
"As much as I enjoy catching up with you, I feel like you have something on your mind."
I frowned, "I feel like…there's something wrong with me."
"I don't know… Like just recently I've noticed, that…well I am really depressing."
Albus pushed away the table and sat directly in front of me. "Let me ask you something, when's the last time you were happy?"
"What do you mean?" I furrowed my eyebrows honestly not understanding the question.
"Well, do you want me to be honest?" His voice was guarded and I knew why.
In the few years since his blunder we've grown back to being best friends again. It wasn't easy and I didn't always trust him, but it came back. Now I knew he was making sure he could say what he would have no problem to say now.
For a second I hesitated. But then, I nodded. I needed to know.
"Ever since your father died you've been acting like…well like you're the one who died." His gaze was careful as he adjusted his glasses, "You spend time with people, you have a job, you date, but you never really seem to enjoy anything."
My face fell as rested my head on my knees, "…Really?"
"And I don't even think it was just losing your dad either." Albus went on. "You had a lot on your plate before then, you seemed to be losing it and that was just the last straw."
It was weird, but the minute the words fell out of his mouth I knew he was right. I was on the edge back then. On the edge of something I could come back from.
"Really?...I never thought of it that way."
"Well I don't think you wanted to think about it at all. Like you repressed the whole thing so hard that it's crippled you." He folded his arms. "You had no idea what you wanted to do career wise and you were in a long distance relationship that wasn't working. You were having a hard time, and then you broke up with Malfoy, which made everything worse instead of better. And then you were taken…" His voice drifted off as his green eyes focused on me. "The point is you need to stop acting like you died and start living. Uncle Ron wouldn't want this for you."
He was right. My dad wouldn't want me to be miserable. He wouldn't want me to be doing this. Looking at the ends of my hair, I thought it wasn't right. It didn't look right anymore. If I was going to figure out what I really wanted and who I really wanted to be I needed to stop looking and acting like someone I didn't want to be. So I thought of my life and saw what needed to be change. First thing was first.
"Can you help me with something?" I asked suddenly.
Albus eyed me oddly, "Suuure."
An hour later, we were both laughing as Albus ran his hands threw my new brown hair. "This is so weird, I've never seen you with anything, but red."
"It was time for a change." I told him starring at my caramel locks.
"Promise me something?" Albus asked rhetorically.
"Promise me you'll apologize to him."
I blinked in surprise. "Who?"
"Malfoy." He told me firmly.
"What? You hate him!" I was stunned.
He frowned and leaned against his kitchen sink. "No, I don't hate him. I just was projecting all my insecurities about the future on you. Since I felt like I had no control over my own life I tried to control yours. " He smiled and raised his hands, "Or so my shrink said."
"Well why do you think I should you know…apologize?" I muttered tentatively. "I mean I know he deserves an apology. I just don't know how he'll react."
"I don't care about him. I care about you. If you hold onto everything for that long your never going to be able to breathe again. It's going to hollow you out. It doesn't matter how he reacts. All that matters is you that say it."
I laid my head on Albus's shoulder. "
"We all have to grow up sometime. It just took me longer than expected."
Laughing, I wrapped my arms around his mid section. "Well, I'm proud of you."
"Enough of the mushy stuff. I think you have a few places you need to go." He pulled me into a hug, "I love you."
"I love you too Albus.
I grabbed my purse, and apparated away. It was refreshing. I needed this. I needed to wake up. Because the truth was I couldn't fake a smile and play along anymore. Because honestly I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to fit into this mold of who I used to be. I'm not that person anymore and it's time I fully accepted that and fix the mistakes I've been making. Knocking on Sampson's door. I stepped back and prepared myself for what I would say to him. I didn't want to hurt his feelings or make things awkward, but I did need to set the record straight.
Anthony opened the door looking utterly surprised. "Weasley?"
"Hey, so I needed to talk to-" My voice stopped when I saw a half naked woman walk behind him to the bathroom. "Well that solved that problem."
He shrugged and shut the door behind me. "It's not what it looks like, she's my roommate."
"Oh…Well I still think that we should go back to being professional. We both could get fired."
Anthony frowned. "I understand."
"Now that we're being straight with one another, is that really your roommate?"
"Yeah, she is."
I raised my eyebrows at him. "I'll see you later."
I turned around. "Yeah?"
"I like your hair."
And for once a genially smiled, "Thanks."
Once I got home I was on a mission. I needed to rid myself of anything and everything I didn't want. The first victim was my wardrobe. I'd let Lily take me shopping so half of my frilly, girly things were going. I moved all my flats and heels out of the way and put my tennis shoes and sneakers in the front. It was back to basics for me.
Lauren's jaw dropped. "What have you done to your wardrobe?"
"I'm giving this all to goodwill." I informed her.
"And WHAT have you done to your hair?" She gasped.
I smirked a real wide smirk. "Tomorrow, after my shift. I'm taking the night off, and you and I are going to shopping for new clothes."
"And on Saturday I will go to karaoke."
Lauren literally looked around the room searching for my sanity. When she couldn't find it she checked my forehead. "You don't feel warm…maybe it's a tumor."
"I'm fine Lauren. Actually, I'm better than ever."
Sampson might have slowly woken me from my sleep, but it didn't do anything permanent. I merely went back to sleep as if nothing really happened. It took Scorpius's presence to remind me of myself. To electrify me back to living and make me see how hard I was fucking up. But this was the last time I would ever need him. I would seek him out, apologize and then it go. I would let him go. This wasn't healthy and I could do better. And I would do better. My slump was over.
The song in the summary is Part of Me By: Katy Perry. To all of you who reviewed, I LOVE YOU! You are why I updated so fast. THANK YOU FOR READING! I hope you guys liked this chapter. I wanted to show how broken she had been, but also show the Rose Weasley comeback tour. PLEASE REVIEW! Tell me what you think!
Chapter 6: Better in Time
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Sitting in his room, Scorpius’s neck and temples ached with a hurt that he thought he gotten over years ago. In his hand was a cold glass, he hoped it would help ease him, but it didn’t if anything it magnified his issues. Why was it when he just needed something, anything to fix him, everything just made it worse?
A quiet creak, that someone of a lesser training wouldn’t have heard, sounded through his room driving his attention to an unwelcome guest in his room.
“Scorpius honey, are you alright?” Astoria Malfoy asked kindly placing her hand on Scorpius’s shoulder.
“Then why are you drinking?”
He needed a flat and he didn’t think he could wait a week to get it. One overwhelming positive was that he wouldn’t have to explain why he was nursing a firewiskey to anyone. He would be able to sit in the solitude of his room, judged by no one, not even himself.
“Mum, please, please leave. I just want to be alone.”
After realizing how serious he was she left him alone in his large empty room. For a few minutes he sat by himself, drinking himself numb, until he couldn’t take it anymore. He had to open the box. The box he swore he would throw away. The box he swore he’d burn. The box he promised himself he would never open again. This old tattered box with frigid corners and dusty edges held so much of himself inside the four corners of the cardboard box. Inside were pictures, letters, a collection of the most vivid memories of him and the only girl he’d ever loved. A girl he was going have to see everyday at work until …Until something changed that.
Tonight was all he would allow himself to grieve over her. After tonight it was over. He would go to work, he would move into a flat, he would make friends and never speak to her. Rose Weasley was in the past. She was just some bitch that left him broken hearted and had the audacity to succeed in her life after him. In his most honest and darkest moments he knew that he was at his best when he was with her, but that was over. That time was long over and he needed to control himself. If there was one thing he learned from his father and grandfather it was how to keep himself composed even when everything in him is telling him to break down.
What was it about her that brought him down to that level? What was it about her that stopped him? Even before they were together he could never really get her off his mind. What was it about him that couldn’t help, but hold onto her?
Putting the liquor away, Scorpius began to tidy up his room. Cleaning and organizing cleared his mind and gave him some reprieve from his misery. Tomorrow he would make a bid on the flat and the day after that he would move in. It would take some time, but he would be fine. Scorpius found that at the end of even the crappiest day, he could be fine. Because he was a Malfoy, and Malfoy’s were always just fine.
Eventually he made it to his bed. His room was spotless by the time he did. He shoved the box far under his bed with his feet. He would be okay. He just needed to sleep it off.
The next day Malfoy went to work. It was weird. For five and a half years he went to an office, an office that was homey with familiar faces and lazy on the rules. This wasn’t the same at all. Here everyone had a purpose, and were polite to one another, there was no use of first names. Everyone wore proper robes until he reached the Auror’s office. The farther in he went the more lax it became. By the time he made it to his desk he wasn’t sure if he was overdressed or underdressed.
James Potter strutted over to their joined desks with a thick file. “Next assignment.”
Scorpius opened the file and read it over. “You can’t be serious.”
“Until you prove yourself here, we will be getting weak assignments.” James explained with a sour expression. “It won’t last long.”
“You seem to not care.” Scorpius noted with distain.
James sat down in his desk chair. “I’ve gone through at least thirty partners in the past few years. They always do this, but if you pass the first test they give you then they’ll move on.”
A few hours later Scorpius went through more paperwork than he’d seen in years. It was pointless and aggravating. The case he worked through was full of tedious loose ends. It wasn’t specifically said, but it was implied that whoever the killer was, they were long gone. So basically he was working a cold case that no one cared about anymore. The victim’s families weren’t even alive anymore.
The angrier he became the more black coffee he downed. After drinking far too much coffee, Scorpius headed to the bathroom. On the way out, he caught sight of a very attractive girl that made him stop for a second. He didn’t know why, but there was something vaguely and intimately familiar about her. Scorpius thought back to his misspent youth at Hogwarts. Was she one of the many Ravenclaw’s he devoured in schools seemingly limitless broom closets? For a moment too long he starred, before he became enraged. His nostrils flared and his eyes came alive with fury. How could he have been so obtuse?
It was Rose; she had dyed her hair, and changed her clothes, but it was her alright. He would always be able to pick her out in a crowd even in a disguise.
Was she trying to throw him off? How was he supposed to stay away from her when she switched it up like that? Ducking behind the wall like a first grade boy, his face tensed in pain as he heard her voice. Someone was taking a tire iron and slowly, but viciously rolling it down his guts. It hurt, a bottomless agonizing hurt, but it was bearable. He could survive it.
“Hey Jade,” Rose muttered nervously, her voice going up an octave like it did when she was uncomfortable. “Have you seen Malfoy?”
“I think he’s in the loo…I’ve been meaning to ask you about that…What was that yesterday?”
Hesitating, Scorpius heard the air catch in her chest. “It’s…complicated.”
“The rumor mill is saying you guys used to date.” Jade stated neither judging or appraising the situation.
“Something like that.”
“I won’t ask anything more, but I will tell you, you should hide any feelings you may or may not have. You know the guys are itching for a reason to get you sacked.”
Rose sighed, “I know and thanks.”
“Don’t mention it.”
Scorpius moved as far as possible from the door. He wasn’t going to make it easier on her to find him. Yes, he was a grown man. A grown man that shouldn’t be running from any situation, let alone one involving a hundred and twenty pound girl. But he didn’t want to hear anything she might have to say to him. They were over, and nothing she could say could mend what had been scarred and burned years ago. Like the true male he reacted in only of two ways, either avoidance or anger. And today he chose avoidance.
Potter was waiting for him back at his desk when he came back. His brown eyes surveyed Scorpius curiously like he was a type of animal that hadn’t been identified yet. “We have an actual assignment.”
“I thought we were on paperwork detail.” Scorpius replied coldly.
“Change of plans, they are throwing you in.”
Scorpius held out his hand to see the file, after a few minutes of examining the case he gave the folder back to James and grabbed his cloak. “Let’s go.”
“You alright there Rose?”
Glancing up, I nodded at Teddy with a free smile. “Just a little open wound. I’ll be fine.”
“Did you catch the guy your after?”
“No,” I groaned with a scowl. “He disappeared just as we got there.”
Teddy leaned against my desk, with a confused frown. “Then what’s with the wound?”
“A few of his buddies were there.”
Teddy’s light eyes lit up proudly as he high fived me. “Way to go cuz.”
Sitting down at my desk, I pulled up my jeans to put some ointment on my knee. For a week Sampson and I have been thrown in the thick of it all and every time we just scrape by, which was more than enough for me. What was bothering me was how our suspect seemed to continuously getting the jump on us. How is that possible that every time we almost get him he slips through our fingers? It wasn’t just annoying it was straight up embarrassing. If we didn’t find him soon we could get could get into trouble.
Even with my work aside there still there was one unresolved mission of mine that was bothering me. A mission I’d spent all week trying to accomplish it, but every time I tried I would clamp up and back out. It was like there was no area of my life in which I was remotely succeeding and it was really getting to me. Why couldn’t I just do it? Why couldn’t I do anything right?
It started out simple; I’d make it halfway to his desk and pull back, I’d almost catch up to him and then I would stop. I’ve done almost everything else I can to get to this point. I’ve picked out and bought my own clothes with the help of Lauren. I’ve actually legitimately gone out with Lauren. I’ve made a lunch date with Kelly to talk to her about our issues and later this week I’m going to have dinner with my mum. I’m trying. I really am. But until I talk to Scorpius I won’t be able to get rid of it. This aching iron squeeze on my soul was really getting to be a hassle. I needed to get some closure and let him go.
Somehow I was going to have to trap him. I had no idea how he felt about me, but I’m a thousand percent sure that he hates my guts. If he does I deserve it. From his perspective I broke every promise I ever made when we broke up and I honestly don’t want to go against that. He can believe what he wants. After I say my peace I don’t want to bother him any further. Because it wasn’t that I wanted to him to magically forgive me. It wasn’t that I expected this to fix everything that was wrong with my life and make everything go back to the way it was five years ago. It was that I regretted what I did. I regretted not being honest with him. I regretted running away from him, treating him poorly and being a coward. What if I died tomorrow and I never got the chance to make him understand that I’m sorry? What if I died tomorrow and he thought he never meant anything to me? I couldn't handle that.
I just need to say the words. Even if it’s too late. Even if to him they have absolutely no meaning. Even if he doesn’t want to hear them, I need to say them. But the hardest part was, I knew Scorpius. If he didn’t want to talk to someone, he wasn’t going to talk to them. It was that straightforward with him. He didn’t play games or play around. So it was a very real possibility that I could be honest and that I could apologize and he could not take me the least bit seriously. He could laugh at me. He could yell at me or worst he could ignore me. That was the thing about apologizing years after it happened, you think it’s not a big deal, because you’re just trying to get something off your chest, but really you’re exposing yourself. You’re putting all your vulnerabilities on the table and saying, ‘Look I’m not saying you don’t have a reason to hate me, but hear me out.’
And that’s not easy at all.
It’s horrifying apologizing to someone you fought with a week ago, let alone years in the past. Why? Because you’re throwing your pride aside and owning up to your mistakes in a way that can either be seen as honorable or extremely pathetic. You are daring to dig up the past, to search for this one seed of truth beneath it all. But a problem with that is that you upset everything else that was buried there. Every memory that was meant to be laid at rest is uprooted and exposed for the world to see and judge. Things that should have stayed in the past arise and you can’t push them back where they belong. And somewhere in the midst of all of that dust flies up, feelings dust. Shit you swore you never felt, shit you promised yourself you would never feel again hits you and it’s all down hill from there.
Finally at the end of the week, I managed to corner him. I saw James and him get back from an opp. He headed to the records office, James didn’t follow him and I knew no one else was there. So I bucked up the courage and went after him. As soon as I opened the door, he turned to the door to see who it was. His face blinked shock at first at my appearance, but then his whole existence turned frigid and cold. I took a minute to think and then I blocked the doorway so he couldn’t escape.
It took split second of nerves for me to get the nerve to say anything.
“Shit,” I breathed anxiously as my throat clamped up and my lips grew incredibly dry. “I should have prepared what to say…I just…I needed to… well… apologize. After that I swear I won’t speak to you or even look at you ever again.”
His face was unconcerned as he looked everywhere, but at me.
“I’m sorry, that I…That I gave up…I’m sorry that I left you. I shouldn’t have and I broke my promise and for that I’m sorry.” Turning to leave, my hand was on the arctic brass door handle.
My whole body stopped moving; his words had worked like little vindictive knives, stabbing me from every angle. My emotions overtook me as my eyes filled with tears. Swallowing down the current of emotions, I forced myself to face him and whatever he had to throw at me. I deserved this, this bitterness, this absolute loathing and hate. It hurt so fucking much, but it didn’t matter. This wasn’t about what this would do to me. This was about what my actions might have done to him. I never wanted him to hate me, and I could barely handle the thought of it, but this was something else. I could feel the rage radiating off his body and I hated myself for causing it. I never wanted to hurt him, but I did. And now was my time to face that.
“That’s it?” He repeated again. I turned and regretted it immediately. I could hear a lot of what he was thinking and feeling from his voice. But nothing was worse then the way he was looking at me. His hard silver eyes were hard and full of rage. “That’s all you have to say to me… after all this time?”
Stepping away from the door, I crossed my arms around myself protectively. “I don’t think there’s anything else I really can say.”
The room had gotten so cold that the hairs on my arms were standing perfectly at attention and every goosebump on my body erupted. My hair brushed my back ever so gently as we stood at an impasse. Five years of buried emotions and hatred were sitting just below the surface now, like a damn just waiting to be cracked. I could see it in his face and I’m sure he could see it in mine. If one of us just pushed the other, just a small little nudge, then all hell would have broken loose. For just a second we were seventeen again, with the world in front of us, and then in a flash it was gone.
Scorpius moved forward, and then used every possible square inch to make sure he wouldn’t possibly touch me.
“By the way,” He spat at me coldly as he paused in the doorway, “Your hair looks like shit.”
It would have better if he had just punched me in the face. Because at least that way I’d have proof. Complete and unequivocal proof that he hated me. Proof that I tried. But more importantly proof that somewhere down inside him he still cared even when he would rather kill himself than admit it to anyone, least of all me. But instead I was left to stand there and wonder if that happened the way I thought it did, the way I experienced it or if I mistook everything he said and turned it into something different.
Moving to the back of the room, my eyes snapped shut as a memory surfaced and my eyes burned in agony.
Waking up on a cold, less than hygienic floor, I pulled myself off the ground. My jaw was severely bruised and quite possibly fractured. As I moved I discovered the rest of my body was too. All around me there was darkness, suffocating, empty, soulless darkness and not a single answer to how I had gotten here.
My mouth was dry, and hoarse. For how long I’d been unconscious I didn’t know, but when I tried to speak it hurt. All I managed to get out was a name. Just one name.
Afterwards I heard a shuddering chilling laugh from the opposite corner of the room. “He’s not here sweetheart.”
Crawling around to see who was speaking I froze. I recognized the masked outfit the man wore from old newspaper clippings of Death Eaters. Instantly I threw myself back against the hard unforgiving wall behind me. My eyes searched around me for something, anything that was familiar, I saw nothing.
“Where am I?” I gasped terrified.
“Don’t worry. You’re safe.”
It was the simplest sentence. Said from a calm low male voice. I’d heard that sentence many times before in my life, but never before had it had the haunting ring of finality in it. Before it had always comforted me no matter who had spoken it. But now it took on a whole new meaning. An unhealthy, sickening meaning that was so simple that it made my very bones shake with blind panic.
He meant that no one would ever find me, so really that I wasn’t safe at all. I was going to be murdered and found in a trash somewhere with a note attached explaining the reasons behind my capture and untimely death.
“Why me?” I whispered with tears glowing in my eyes. “What did I ever do to you?”
The man gradually made his way over to me, in his willowing black robes and haunting mask, and then he lowered himself eye level with me so I could clearly see his calculating hazel eyes.
“Because my dear. You are the daughter of Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. You are the symbol of the bright future the rebellion. Who better to remind everyone that we may be hidden away, but we aren’t forgotten?”
Looking up, I was dazed to find my uncle was standing in front of me looking distantly concerned. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” I shook my head and plastered a smile on my face, “I just zoned out.”
Affectionately he ruffled my hair and moved past me to get a file. “Are you coming to Friday night dinner?”
Every Friday I’d put it off. I could fake hanging out with my friends, but I couldn’t lie to my family. But I made myself a promise now and I was going to keep it. I missed my family, and it was about time I came back to them.
“Yeah I’ll be there.” I told him.
A flash of surprise crossed his face that faded into happiness. After grabbing the file he was looking for Harry James Potter came over to me and beamed. The fifty-year-old man, starred down at me said the seven words I hadn’t heard in years. “You’re dad would be proud of you.”
He had no idea how those seven words effected me and I made sure to not lead on. Leaving me, to go to one of his many ‘authorized personnel only,’ meetings I leaned back against a filing cabinet and wondered if that was true. My Uncle Harry wasn’t a liar, but at the same time maybe it was just something to say. Either way, I went back to my desk and finished the remainder of my paperwork. It was all very routine and boring. I couldn’t wait to get home. My bed never sounded so enticing, before.
In the back of my mind I felt awful for how things happened with Scorpius, but I made myself repress it. I appeased myself, by pointing out that I was just trying to do the right thing. Even if he couldn’t see that, even if he didn’t want to see that, I did what I said I would do. And for now I just need to move on. The only way to do that was to not feel it. I couldn’t let it in. I couldn’t let myself feel it. Not even a fraction of it could get in because if it did I wouldn’t be able to take it. I had to shut it all off. From now on I would feel nothing for him. I would make myself let any piece of him that I held onto go. I had to.
The first step in actually moving on is fixing what I’ve let go to hell, mainly my relationship with Kelly. It was mostly my fault. I stopped trying with her, and whenever we were together I was surly and unpleasant. That was going to stop. I was going to be a better person and more importantly a better friend.
For lunch the next day, I met with her and didn’t waste anytime. She was in the middle of finishing up some work still in her scrubs. When she saw me, a little crinkle appeared above her jet-black eyebrows. She didn’t want to see me. I could see it by the look on her face.
“Kelly, I refuse to step down as maid of honor.” I told her firmly before she could even open her mouth. “I’ve been your best friend longer. I’m closer to you than Lauren is and I think it’s incredibly unfair that the reason why you are trying to dump me is because I don’t have a date. I understand that I haven’t been myself for…well awhile, but if you want Lauren to be your maid of honor you’re going to have to do better than that. ”
Her black eyes widened in surprise. “Oh…um.”
“And I don’t care if you are mad at me because your requests are ridiculous.”
“Well…” She gaped, her hand still in the middle of turning the page. “This is new."
I shrugged and fell into the seat across from her. “Well I thought it needed to be addressed.”
“Do you want anything miss?” The waiter asked me politely.
“Yes,” I cleared my throat authoritatively, “I’d like three large orders of pancakes and an orange juice please.”
As my food came, I arrogantly forked my pancakes into my mouth as Kelly starred at me. Finally she licked her lips absentmindedly, as a few strands of her dark hair escaped her half-hazard ponytail.
“What the hell happened to you?”
“I got a wake up call.” I replied bluntly, “I realized that I wasn’t acting like me, that I hadn’t been me in a long time and I saw fit to change that.”
Astonished she grabbed the maple syrup and handed it to me. “What kind of wake up call?”
“Just…a wake up call.” I smiled without a trace of happiness.
“Okay…I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to this. You’ve been a ghost for a while and I’m supposed to just believe you’re back...Just like that?”
I put down my fork and sighed. “I’m sorry… I know this isn’t easy to believe.”
“Lauren always knew it would happen eventually,” Kelly looked at me, her dark eyes shinny with bitterness. “She said something would snap you out of it eventually, but to give you time.”
“Well…As usual Lauren’s right.”
Kelly frowned, her eyebrows growing together. “Fine. You can be Maid of Honor, but if you pull any of the crap you have been I’m not going to put up with it. I don’t care if you have a date. I just want you to care about this.”
My face dropped in shock. “You thought …I didn’t care?”
“Rose up until ten seconds ago I didn’t think you cared about anything and I haven’t thought so in a long time.”
All the air left me as my lip trembled. “Well I do care. I’m happy that you’re getting married. I’m happy for you, and I’m sorry I made you doubt it.”
Her dark eyes became moistened as we shared a collective silence. Our eyes met and she let broke a little. She didn’t need to say it, but I knew this had been hard on her too. It wasn’t easy watching your best friend torture herself when you know you can’t do anything about it. This must have been hard on her since Lauren was clearly not helpful on the support. Lauren just knew I would be better and didn’t understand how Kelly couldn’t see that. Kelly was just…built differently. She hoped for things, but she didn’t blindly support anything. She needed to see evidence to believe something, which was why she was a great Healer. Because as much as she loved me, she didn’t have as much faith in me as Lauren did. Kelly knew what I went through and she thought it could have changed me from the person I was into the person she didn’t want to know.
Before I could stop myself I scooted over to her and put my arms around her. She was surprised by the gesture. I hadn’t let anyone hold me in so long that this simple costumary gesture was forced at first. But eventually her tiny little arms circled around me and she rested her head on my shoulder. I sighed and smiled as the hug became tighter. I felt like I was finally coming home.
A few hours later I stood outside my Aunt and Uncle’s house listening the howls of my past urging me to hold back while my family gathered inside. The howls told me I didn’t deserve to be happy, that I didn’t deserve to be free of my guilt and self-imprisonment that I had traveled with all these years. But the longer I stood there the more sure I became that I was doing the right thing. I needed to be me again. I had allowed myself to get lost once. I wasn’t going to lose myself again. So instead of standing outside in the spring chill, I moved inside the house.
James was in the middle of some big joke, his arms were raised for dramatization, but everyone collectively stopped when they saw me. My eyes took them all in, all my cousin’s, uncles, aunts, my brother and finally my mum.
“Well don’t stop on my account.” I smirked with the Weasley swagger, mocking James. “Just how many guys were there James?”
My brother’s face lit up as he rose to hug me, and the rest of my family looked shell shocked. I was sure my Uncle had told them I was coming, but they didn’t believe it. They clearly weren’t sure what to believe when it came to me. But now it was my turn to make sure they knew for sure that I wasn’t going anywhere. I took turns hugging my relatives and catching up with all of them. I’d kept in touch with James, Albus, Victoire and Hugo, but it was nice to talk to Dominique, Roxanne, Fred and Louis for a change. By the end of dinner, I was laughing hysterically with my arm around Albus.
He whispered in my ear, “I’m glad you came.”
“I should have never left.” I replied hugging him into me.
“Well just so you know,” He began feigning seriousness, “Now that we’ve got you, we aren’t going to let you go again.”
My face flashed a smile, as my eye caught my mothers. “That’s fine with me.”
So sorry you guys had to wait so long for this! My finals nearly killed me! THANK YOU FOR READING! I know her apology wasn't as grand as it could have been, but don't worry there is a whole shit ton of drama headed this way. PLEASE REVIEW! And thank you to everyone who has been reviewing! You guys are the reason I made sure to finish this as soon as my finals were over. Song in the title and summary is Better in Time By: Leona Lewis.
PS: BobbyNumNum, your email didn't work :( so I guess maybe you can just put your comments in your review?
Chapter 7: Oh Nostalgia
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A soul mate's purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life,…"
-Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)-
You know you're going to die here, don't you?" His low vicious voice growled through my screams. "I'm going to kill you and send your parts back to your family."
Jumping out of my sleep and into consciousness, I snatched my wand and starred wildly around the room. Looking for any sense of danger I began to calm down once I saw there was no danger. My wand arm shook in fear, but I lowered it slowly. It was just a dream. Just a dream. My heart rate was high and I tried to lower it, but it took longer than it should of. The feeling of his jagged breath hot on my neck. It was as real as it was when the memory first occurred.
Disgusting sweat covered me head to toe, scrunching my covers to me I held myself as I cried. I hadn't had that dream in awhile, but almost every night I had a nightmare of some kind. There are a lot of things in life you can work through. Things that if you just work the right approach everything really will be okay. But with this it never was. I always awoke terrified and alone just like I was in that dungeon. Eventually, I always calmed down, it usually just took a shower and a swift cup of coffee, but this time I knew it would take more. I was more shaken this time.
My clock blinked 3:45 back at me and I groaned. I had three hours before I had to get ready for work. This wouldn't take three hours, but I will need to limit myself to control my emotions well before I walk into that building.
Slowly slinking of my bed I went into my closet and grabbed a cloak and some sneakers. It was warm out, but cool enough to were the cloak wouldn't over heat me. It didn't matter much anyway. Either way I was going. Pocketing my wand, I left making sure to make as little noise as possible.
Apparating a mile away from my destination, I felt my body begin to shake as the tears shuddered out of my overwhelmed eyes. A cool breeze attempted to comfort me, it reassured me silently and ungrudgingly. It told me I would make it and that I would be okay. I hoped with a hope I never spoke out loud that it was right. I hoped that I wouldn't break like everyone thought I would, like perhaps I should have. Once I made it to the cemetery I shifted past the familiar names to a large plot.
I took great happiness that no one was here. In the dead of the night, I could let it out. All of the pain, all of the torture I went through to be here without my father. His name was itched into the aging tomb, and my eyes glided across reading the words I'd read a million times. God I missed him. We fought, we ignored each other, but at the end of every single day no matter what we did to each other we loved each other. Dropping to my knees, I cried freely with no fear of anyone discovering me. There was no shame here, just forgiveness and peace.
But I could release my guilt. I could apologize to every single person on the earth for every single thing I'd ever done to them, but I could never once apologize to my father for anything. I couldn't tell him I loved him. I couldn't make him understand how much he meant to me and how great of a father he truly was. All I had was my memories, which was more than most people had in a life time I knew, but I still felt robbed. My father was a great person, and he was flawed, so severally flawed, but he was my father.
Letting out a shuddering breath, I swiped away my shuddering tears and smiled at his tombstone, "I wonder what you think of all this…"
My expression became serious as my thoughts became more and more vivid. "I just want it all to stop you know?" I asked knowing full well that no one in the world could hear me. "I'm sick of feeling this pain. So I'm going to shut it off. I'm going to do whatever I have to get back to the person I was…I know that won't be easy, but I can't…I can't do this anymore. I can't be this weak person who's waiting for the wave down come down and crush her anymore. I need to move on."
Letting out a swift breath another unwilling tear rolled down my cheek. "I understand why he wouldn't let me have it, I do." I scoffed at my feet, "His pride prevents him from letting any part of my words in. He has to block me out. It's just the way he is but I wish he wouldn't have." I choked a bitter laugh, "I guess no one can take me seriously when I'm trying to do an honestly nice thing. I have to always have an alternative motive…But I don't. I just want to be a better person. I want him to have a good life, and if he does then I'm happy for him even if that doesn't include me, because….he deserves it and I don't want to look back and think for even a second I stopped him for having that."
I shook my head, "Look at me. I'm sitting at your grave in the middle of the night, crying…" I swallowed my tears and bit my lip. "I just want it all to be better and I don't know what I should do to make it so."
Collecting myself I carefully let some slow breaths. I was going to be okay. I was going to be okay. I needed to be okay. And with my dad's support, I would be. Brushing my hair out of my face, I let the tears on my face dry naturally as I starred up at the sky. Today would be different. Today, I will be happy. I won't let the past get to me. I'm going to push through, I have to.
Pushing myself up to my feet, I let out a sigh. "Bye dad."
Lauren leaned against the doorway as I was busy in my bathroom getting ready for work. "You okay?"
I smiled at her. "Yep."
"You sure?" Her face filled with disbelief. "I know it's May 15th."
A sharp jab hit me in the chest. Exactly five years ago I was kidnapped. Damn. It felt like it was yesterday. I forced a smile on my face. "I'll be fine."
Lauren strolled up behind me. "I know you will." Her arm slunk around me supportively, "I know you will, but if not, I'm here."
I had an hour before I had to be at work. That was plenty of time to see Hugo. Lauren left before I did. So I took a moment to make sure I was really alright. I was. I just wanted to see my brother. He probably didn't remember. I was actually shocked that Lauren remembered. It wasn't shocking that Lauren was the one that remembered, it was weird that anyone besides me would think to.
My father would want me to be happy and he would most certainly want Hugo happy. So I'm going to make both of those true.
Knocking on Hugo's loft I re-arranged, the coffee's in my hands and leaned against the doorway. "Hugo, come on, I know you're in there!"
"Hold on!" He called.
I sighed and took a sip out of my own coffee.
My brother's sleepy face answered the door. "What's up?"
"Just checking on you," I handed him his coffee, "Brought you some morning refreshments."
I eyed him suspiciously, "Why aren't you inviting me in?" A bolt of inspiration came to me. "Do you have a girl in there?"
A deep Weasley blush appeared on his cheeks, as he moved to block the doorway with his chest. "No."
"Really?" I giggled evilly, "Then why do you look so guilty baby brother?"
Hugo's brown eyes narrowed down at me. "I don't look guilty Rose."
"Oh? Then why won't you invite me in?" I insisted teasingly.
"Because you didn't owl to ask to come over in advance." He corrected me casually.
"Today is Tuesday Hugo. We always have breakfast on Tuesday's unless otherwise engaged," My blue eyes sparkled with mirth. "Are you otherwise engaged Hugo?"
Letting out a haughty sigh, he shook his head. "I will have to reschedule with you. Thank you for the coffee."
"Come on! Are you seriously not going to tell me?"
"Not a chance sis." He smirked, moving out of the doorway and shutting the door.
Starring at his doorframe, my curiosity grew and I knew who would know what was going on better than anyone. So I skipped down to the end of the hall and apparated into Madame Claire's, a high end boutique in Diagon Alley that was operated by none other than my cousin, Lily.
She, did not look pleased to see me. "What do you want Rose?" She chirped, before I even uttered a word.
I looked at her, she was in a high-end dress, her red hair was pulled back off her face, with the ends curled. Her amber make-up was flawless. It was hard to remember that the woman in front of me was not only my baby cousin, but was only twenty-two years old. She looked like she could be heading towards her thirties instead of just easing into her twenties.
"Well hello to you to Lily." I scoffed.
"You know I'm busy Rose, so I ask again, what do you want?"
I rolled my eyes. "Do you know who my brother is shagging?"
"Not a clue, but I can snoop and find something out from my brother." Her smirk was wide and catlike. "You know Albus, can't help, but tell me everything."
I smiled. "Yes I do know that."
Lily gave me a once over. "What are you wearing? Those aren't the clothes I picked out for you."
"Yeah I gave them to goodwill." I told her without shame. "They weren't me Lil."
"Well that may or may not be true, but at least for a year or two you had style." She told me condescendingly with a warm smile. "But at least you're fighting me again. I don't like it when you give into me blindly. It's too easy."
Giving her a look, I crossed my arms. "Well don't worry. I won't blindly support you again."
"I have to go back to work."
"I know…" My face softened, "Will you be at dinner Friday?"
Shock hit her perfect features. "Why will you?"
"I was there for the past three weeks, and I noticed you haven't been there."
Lily frowned, guilt surfacing in her eyes. "Yeah. I couldn't get away from here…" She grabbed my arm and pulled me away from the register, there I could see the stress straining her eyes. "My boss is killing me. She keeps giving me overtime and then not promoting me. I should be executive manager by now!"
"Lil," I grabbed her shoulders, "You have to say something. You've been working here for three years. This would be the time to stand up for yourself."
"What if they fire me?" She groaned.
"Lily Luna Potter!" I scolded her, "Then they don't deserve you!"
Her brown eyes narrowed on me. "And if I can't afford my rent and I become destitute?"
"Then you will move in with me, and judge me on my style choices every day."
Her gorgeous little face, broke out into a warm smile and I saw my little cousin. She took a few seconds to stop being this cold fashion diva and shifted back into the Lily I grew up with. Before I could react, she threw her arms around me tightly, her seven-inch heels clicking ecstatically as she did so.
I laughed at her sudden embrace. "Just talk to your boss. You can't live in fear for the rest of your life. It will be fine and if it isn't you know who to call."
"I've missed you Rose."
"I've missed you too Lily," I checked my watch and groaned. "I have to get to work, but I'll owl you later to see how it went."
She bit her lip nervously. "Okay."
"Not okay!" I told her fiercely, "You got this! You're a Weasley!"
"Technically, I'm a Potter," She said under her breath.
"Even better!" I said excitedly. "You are a Potter! You don't take shit from anyone!"
Rolling her eyes at me, she nodded. "Okay."
I gave her arm one last squeeze before letting her go back into work. Then I headed off to work myself. Walking through security I felt like I'd been awake for a million years. This day was so long already and it wasn't even 10 o'clock yet. As I waited for the elevator I stood and finished the remains of my coffee. The crowd spilled out of the elevator and I got in. Shortly afterwards, I drained my cup and leaned against the side of the wall. Just before the door was about to seal shut, an arm slinked through and stopped it. My eyes shot up, just in time to see Scorpius Malfoy strut into the elevator and walk to the other side without so much as a side-glance at me.
For two weeks, Scorpius and I successively stayed away from each other. Somehow even though our desks were thirty feet away from each other we managed to find every escape possible to stop us from running into each other. It was easy at first. I was constantly on assignment, and from what I knew of James's schedule so were they. For a moment there I really did think I would never have to run into him. I let myself become naïve and buy into the fact that unless we become partners we don't have to interact. I let myself believe that the world might leave us alone and just simply let us live our lives without bothering each other, I was wrong.
For ten minutes excoriating minutes we both stood in the most absolute and hateful silence. Neither of us looked at each other, but as the moments grew on I felt like the room was getting smaller and smaller. Every breath we took, was heated and angry and it felt like we were right next to each other instead of feet a part.
We just wanted to be apart. Was that really that big of a request to make? Was it really too convenient to just leave us alone to our individual lives? Could the world just not stand for us to not have any drama involving one another?
Right before the elevator was about to stop on our floor I let out a breath of relief. We wouldn't have to be near each other for much longer. We could separate soon enough and go back to ignoring each other for the rest of time.
It's funny, for a long time if someone would have asked me who the most important person in my life was…he would have been it. Yes my family was always at the top too, but Lauren, Kelly and him were the only non-blood related people that I'd do anything for. I knew every second of every day if he needed to I would walk through fire for him. I'd go to hell and back to save him and he would have done the same for me. Now we were just strangers that just happened to know each other exceptionally well.
But as fate would have it, or rather our elevator system would have it, we didn't make it to our floor. Suddenly, without any warning it stopped, jarring us and locking in between floors in the process. My eyes panicked, and I went to the button I'd never seen anyone use and pushed it.
"Yes," A cool voice came over the intercom, "We are aware of the issue and someone will be there shortly. Please stay calm."
And then there was nothing but silence. Was she fucking serious? Stay calm? My eyes snapped shut as I death gripped the railing next to me. Why today of all days did I have to get trapped in here with my ex? What could I have possibly done in a past life to deserve this?
I wanted to pace the space to calm down but I couldn't. If I moved I could make the elevator drop or run into Scorpius. Either way it was awful. My heart rate and blood pressure began to process this. I could pretend for a million years that I didn't give a shit about the man a few across from me, but this wasn't a good way to test it. This was the worst case scenario and I was freaking out.
"Okay we've been standing here for ten minutes!" I exclaimed in outrage into the com. "How the hell can the elevator be stuck? It's run by magic!"
"Ms. Weasley, we are assessing the situation." A cool voice announced. "The lift should be working shortly."
I drummed my forehead against the steel wall, "Thank you." I replied bitterly through gritted teeth.
I could feel him fighting every urge he had to not talk to me. Scorpius wasn't a big talker, but he was huge on shit talking people he didn't like. It was a hobby of his, to get his enemies going and then leave with a huge pompous smirk on his unnaturally attractive face. But I wasn't the type of enemy he was used to having. He was used to being around people who were so clearly beneath him, people that ruthlessly annoyed him to no end. Though I'm sure I'm not his favorite person, I'm sure I don't fall in either category. I'm sure that since the demise of our relationship he's made an entirely new category for me. Cause somehow I can't see him throwing me on the pile of ex-girlfriends he's had over the years. Maybe it's my arrogance, but even I know that what happened hit him hard, even if it only took him ten seconds to get over it.
My attention snapped on him as he shifted to lean back against the back wall of the elevator. His cool eyes avoided mine, they were detached from any emotion, but as soon as he saw me glance at him, they flipped over to me aggressively. We glared at each other for a few minutes. My glaring was purely reactive, but his wasn't at all. He looked like he wanted nothing better than to tell me exactly what he thought of me. Every hateful thing he never said to me was burning under the surface waiting for the time to strike. I wasn't going to give that to him. I've apologized; I have nothing else to say to him. He can hate me for as long as he wants. As I pressed my forehead against the cool steel wall I went back to a memory from long ago.
"Are you crying?" He whispered, his hands cupping my face to turn me to face me.
"No." I lied horribly.
I let out a shuddering breath, "Bad dream…I'll ….I'll be alright…"
"I know you will," He kissed my lips gently and despite the fact that he was sleepy he pulled me into his chest and stroked my hair. "Don't worry I've got you."
"I'm fine really. I just …I dreamed you left me and I was trapped a room all alone and I couldn't get out." I admitted freely in his shoulder.
He pulled away so I could see his face. "I will never leave you. Got that? No matter what you do. I will never leave you. I love you, which translates to you're stuck with me. Okay? I'd never let you be trapped anywhere okay?"
I choked out a laugh, as I shifted closer in his arms. "So you're saying no matter where I am you'd always come after me?"
"Of course." He smirked, "I'm the hero. I come in, wand out, swag on and save the day."
I busted out laughing, "I can't believe you just said that with a straight face!"
"What? Don't I have swag?" He teased me knowingly, his gray eyes alive and full with mirth.
"I love you, you know." I told him, straddling his waist and stroking his hair out of his face. "No matter what happens. No matter how many times I screw this up promise me you'll always remember that."
His face darkened and his arms held me tightly. "Only if you promise me you'll never leave me either."
"I can't promise I won't leave in a fit of rage to clear my head," I admitted, before linking my arms around his neck. "But I will promise that I will always come back."
"Fair enough." His smile became devilish, "Now since you woke me up…and we have a few hours to kill…and you happen to not be wearing any bottoms."
I giggled, "What ever do you have in mind Mr. Malfoy?"
"Oh I think you know Ms. Weasley!"
As soon as the elevator opened I bolted right out of it. I couldn't take one more second in there. Not even one more minute. I headed as far away from him as possible, but in the course of my escape I slammed right into someone bruising my nose in the process.
"I'm so so-" I began clutching my nose, but then I stopped as I saw who it was. "Aiden?"
His sleazy smile grew, "Well hello beautiful."
"What the hell are you doing here?" I asked in a rush as I threw my arms around him in a tight hug.
Aiden laughed into my hair as he picked me up and twirled me in the middle of the Auror lobby. "I just transferred back home. I thought six years away was long enough."
"Well I have to go," I groaned seeing my watch, "But we need to catch up. What's your schedule like for this week?"
"I'm free tomorrow, and Sunday."
I frowned thoughtfully considering my own schedule, "Well I work tomorrow, but I can do lunch."
"It's a date," He winked, before walking into the elevator.
A bright smile took residence on my face removing all bad feelings I had from my elevator experience as I headed into the office. When I came in I saw a stack of mail waiting for me on my desk. One was an anonymous tip on my suspect. Sampson of course was nowhere to be found. Procedure told me to wait for him. It wasn't safe for a newly legalized Auror to go off by myself, but fuck it. This prick has had the jump on us everytime and I'm not wasting anytime waiting for Sampson to drop the donut and get to the office. Grabbing my jacket I dropped the note off on James's desk so someone would know where I am, and I left.
The air was warm and sprightly in downtown London, and I couldn't help, but feel this could be a trap. I wanted to check out the area first. If anything was suspicious I could pull out and wait for Sampson. There was nothing wrong and just checking out a halfhearted lead. Nothing at all.
Scorpius reached his desk with a scowl etched on his face. Ever since he got back he hadn't smiled once. It was her fault. Why did she have to become an Auror? This was just annoying. Like a fly that just wouldn't die no matter how many days went by and how many times he swatted it, it lingered. When he arrived at his desk, he saw James waiting for him with his usual smirk.
"What Potter?" Scorpius asked dryly.
James shrugged innocently. "Nothing."
"That's horseshit," He retorted knowingly as he took off his jacket, "What are you gloating about?"
"Oh nothing…I just happened to get a date with Stella."
Scorpius's jaw dropped, "What? She's been blowing you off for weeks."
"I don't know Malfoy," James began with a voice full of arrogance as he flexed a muscle. "I'm just the whole package."
"I really don't need to throw up this morning so why don't you save that for your fake date?"
James rose from his desk, feigning offense. "You don't believe me?"
"That you have suddenly become the office stud?" Scorpius laughed at him mercilessly, "No I don't."
James's tan face lit up, "Well one of little faith I'll prove it."
"Go for it." Scorpius snorted as he went through his mail. "I would love to see how that would work out."
"You are such a negative noodle."
Scorpius's eyebrows furrowed together. "Now you're just making shit up."
"Well hurry up, we're on training duty today."
"Both of us?"
James paused to think, but then walked over to the bulletin board. He scratched his unshaven stubble as his dark eyes searched the board for the assignment for the day. "Huh…I guess you're right. It's just me." James pouted, "I hate going by myself."
"That sounds like a personal problem," Scorpius informed him slyly without glancing up.
James rolled his eyes as he strolled over to his desk to grab his wand. "Well what are you going to do while I'm gone?"
"I don't know solve world hunger, maybe negotiate a bit of world piece, the usual."
"Good luck with that."
As James walked away Scorpius sunk down into his seat with a laugh. A month ago he would have thought the idea of him being partner's with a Potter would be unbearable and would have never considered he could be friends with one. But it happened. James went out of his way to show from day one that he wasn't at all like his younger brother. And overtime a weird sort of friendship formed. James was funny, stupid, but so annoyingly likeable that Scorpius couldn't help, but be thankful that he was put with him and not some of the other idiots here.
Mindlessly, he looked around his desk, and saw a note straddling his desk and James's. It wasn't until he was halfway through it he realized it was for James and it was written by Rose. He was about to throw it on James's desk when he read the line,
'Sampson hasn't shown up, but I'm going anyway. If I'm not back by 11:00, you might want to check on me.'
Scorpius's watch told him it was 10:53. So he sat there and literally watched the next six minutes pass on his watch. He should go tell James to take care of it. He should. But he didn't. His own mind confused him, and struggled with what to do. This wasn't his problem. She didn't even address the note to him, he shouldn't have even read the note, but he did. And now in there was tug in his gut that something was wrong.
He reminded himself that no matter what trouble she had gotten herself into this time she wasn't his to save. The only reason she had even left the note in the first place was to basically as an insurance policy. But no matter what rationality he tried to tell himself, nothing stuck. Why? Because at the end of the day he still gave a shit, and no matter what he did he couldn't turn that part of himself off.
Checking his watch again he saw that it was 11:09. Rose's partner was nowhere to be found and James was all the way in the basement. No one would ever know if he did nothing. He could just go about his business and stop caring about her completely. He hesitated, his cool gray eyes glued to the address printed on the paper.
"I'm such a fucking idiot!" Scorpius growled under his breath, as he grabbed his jacket and rushed out of the office.
Song in the summary and title is Oh Nostalgia By: Patrick Stump. I'm sorry this took so long! I've had this written for weeks, but I keep forgetting things when I update so then it delays me getting published. Anyway THANK YOU FOR READING! I hope you guys liked it. PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 8: Russian Roulette
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Scorpius arrived at the address, and wasn't the least bit surprised to find a wand fight happening inside. He pushed through the doors and saw Rose diving, blocking and fighting three fully sized men.
"WHAT THE HELL WEASLEY?" Scorpius breathed as he shot down one of them.
"I DON'T REALLY HAVE TIME TO…" She rolled to dodge a killing curse. "TALK!"
"WHO'S THE TARGET?"
I pointed to the heavier man trying to escape in the back. "GO GET HIM! I GOT THEM!"
Scorpius raced along the edge of the room, jumping over the buildings debris and chased after the man. His blonde hair was flattened as he galloped through the off colored rooms. The man was fast, much faster than he should have been. His legs tensed as he pushed himself faster and faster through the building until he finally had the man cornered. He was about to apparate when Scorpius shot three spells at him, one to disarm him, one to bind his arms and legs and one to freeze him. Letting out a satisfied breath, Scorpius strutted up to him, picked him up and threw him over his shoulder. When he came back Rose had someone managed to knock both of them out without hurting herself. It was then that it occurred to him that it wasn't be happenstance, it was that she might possibly be good at her job. Something that had never occurred to him before.
"Where the hell is Sampson?" She scoffed with heavy breaths as linked the unconscious men together. "We started at 10 this morning, he's NEVER this late."
Scorpius shrugged. "Maybe he overslept."
"Maybe." Rose conceded wiping the sweat off her forehead and checking her aching body for any damage. There was none.
Scorpius's heart seized as he looked at her. Why didn't he just get James? Seeing her was more painful then he let himself believe, but instead of this agony shifting into anger he just looked at her. For the first time since he'd been back he sincerely looked at the woman she'd turned into. No longer was she warm. No longer was she even remotely weak. She could have handled this entire situation by herself if she needed to. There was something driving her, something he hadn't noticed before. Furrowing his light eyebrows, he wondered distantly what had changed her. Sure it had been awhile, but there was something darker about her, damaged even.
"You've changed." He noted bluntly before he could stop himself.
"Pain does that to people." Rose shot at him blankly and then it seemed to hit her that Scorpius was here, and not James, the person she requested. "What are you doing here?"
His lips thinned. "Found your note, Potter was busy."
"Ah…" Her eyes flashed with an emotion he couldn't understand before becoming impassive. "I've been looking for this asshole for weeks…Um…Thanks for …uh helping."
"Don't mention it." He retorted meaning every word.
For a moment they starred at each other unsurely. They were both still breathing heavily from the pursuits so the adrenaline was still pumping hard through their veins. She looked away first, which he was thankful for because he wasn't sure he would have been able to. She then, raised her chin into the air and put on an air of professionalism he never thought they'd be capable of having with one another.
"How the hell are we going to get all of them back to the ministry?"
"Side along apparate them to the visitors entrance, then take the back way in to get to holding prison." Scorpius figured aloud.
Rose paused starring at him in surprise.
"Nothing," She shook her head. "Let's go."
They both fastened the men together, and without another word did exactly as Scorpius said. Scorpius wanted to say more to her, but he couldn't find it in himself to do so. There was a time when he could tell her anything, but that time was long over. Now she was locked up, unreachable and completely closed off. As he helped her he wondered how this had escaped his attention. Had his anger been so blinding that he hadn't noticed how truly changed she was?
He wanted to know the reason why. It couldn't be because of him. She had left him. If it hurt her this deeply she could have gone back to him. She swore she always would. So something else had to have caused her breaking point. But as he locked up the prisoners in the temporary confinement, his curiosity couldn't be helped.
Right after Scorpius returned from helping Rose he saw James was back from training. His face wasn't it's usual jolly self, but was more formal and professional. Scorpius furrowed his eyebrows.
James handed him a note, "My dad, or rather the Head of the Auror department wants to talk to you."
Scorpius searched the note for a reason, but found none. "Do you know why?"
"All I know is it isn't good." James told him grimly, he clapped a hand on his shoulder, "I'll be back working on some cold cases. Find me when you get out."
His nerves raised as he strutted over to Harry James Potter's office. The last time he'd spoken to the man he was seated at his kitchen table with his arm around his niece. Scorpius knocked on his door, and then waited for the mans response. Once he was granted entry, he paused in the doorway feeling terribly like he was walking into a horrible trap.
"Scorpius," Harry Potter acknowledged him. "Come in."
"You wanted to see me? Sir?"
He nodded, with a look of mixed emotions. "Please sit."
"Alright." Scorpius answered, lowering himself into a crimson chair tensely.
And then for six minutes they said nothing. Scorpius could hear the sounds of cubicles around this main office buzzing with influxes of information, but Harry Potter just starred at his desk with a torn expression. His hair had switched from being mostly black to mostly grey in the past few years, but his eyes remained the same.
"Am I…in trouble Sir?" Scorpius broke the silence, unable to stay quiet any longer.
Harry let out a low laugh. "No, you aren't in trouble. I'm just trying to decide if I'm making the right decision or not."
Scorpius sat frigidly in his chair completely unsure of what to do or how to respond.
"My niece," He began clearly, "Was kidnapped several years ago. She was tortured, and then forced to watch her father murdered." Taking a breath, as the honesty flowed out of him, his green eyes turned on Scorpius gravely. "The parties responsible were never caught, but someone mailed me this."
Scorpius leaned forward and grabbed the note skeptically.
"It's been tested for everything that could be wrong with it, but that's not the unsettling part.
'On the anniversary of the death of one of your own. I will take another, and there will be more to come until you all fear me and repent for your comfort. This comfort is a delusion into thinking you won the war. You will never win as you are all tainted and most be purified.'
Scorpius's hand tensed on the note as his face became tight. "I'm sorry, but when you say you're niece….which niece are you talking about?"
Harry's heavy eyebrows met as his face blinked astonishment at Scorpius. "I'm referring to Rose. Surely someone must have told you."
Letting out a humorless laugh, Scorpius shook his head. "I don't believe you."
"Didn't you notice her father wasn't working here?"
"No. I actually was too distracted with the fact that she was working here…" He breathed in shock. "I don't understand when did this happen? How did this happen? I don't understand."
Harry Potter ran a hand through his hair slightly of his element. "I thought someone had told you. This happened five years ago. Here's the reports. It's filed under public record."
Scorpius took the file; with steady hands he opened the file and fists tightened as he recognized the handwriting.
'I returned to my house from my boyfriends house and then there was a man there. Before I could get out my wand he had disarmed me, and put me to sleep...'
Scorpius stopped reading. He skimmed a few of the minor details and stopped when he saw the pictures at the back. Tears pricked his eyes, as all the oxygen left his lungs and his entire body felt like it had been sucked dry.
"We haven't found her partner, but he didn't call in today and he didn't answer any owls. If he doesn't show up tomorrow we will start a search for him."
Scorpius closed the file and handed it back like it was toxic.
"I don't want her to know until we're sure this is credible." He told Scorpius not like a boss, but like a parent. "She's settled into her life. I don't want her to panic."
"I understand." Scorpius fixed his features to control himself. Now his face was impassive and cold.
"I know you and Rose are no longer together, but I also trust that you will still do your duty as a fellow Auror to protect her."
Harry stood up, and walked over to him. "I trust you will keep the information you've learned today to yourself. She's been through enough, she doesn't need to go through anymore pain than necessary."
Scorpius pushed himself to his feet with a curt nod. "I understand sir."
"So," Aiden asked me as we settled into our chairs at the restaurant. "How's the family doing?"
Feeling unnerved by the events of the week, I gave him an unconvincing smile, which he bought.
"Well, I'm glad you asked," I snorted, latching onto the distraction, "Because a few days ago I went to go see him for our weekly breakfast, and he wouldn't open the door. I think there was a girl in there," My eyes widened for emphasis. "He wouldn't tell me who though."
Aiden laughed at my expression, as he sipped his half sugar filled coffee. "Maybe it's someone you know."
"Probably. Point is he should know he can't keep anything from me long. It's just weird because I'm usually the one he tells everything to."
He looked a little skeptical. "Well hasn't that changed a bit over time?"
I shrugged, "I guess you're right."
"No," He smirked arrogantly as the waitress brought him food, "You know I'm right."
"What about you Mr. Successful?" I mocked him knowingly, "How's your life been?"
"Utterly boring and dramaless with you." He grinned, "But it's been alright, jobs good, my family's good. My sister just got engaged."
I smiled, "Congratulations, when is Anna getting married?"
"Well, it is wedding season."
Aiden's dark eyes dilated in surprise, "You?"
"Oh no." I laughed immediately, "No. Kelly is getting married soon too."
"So you're single." He grinned with an evil glint in his eye.
I shook my head, with a wide smirk. "You are ridiculous."
"No, I'm just honest. I'm single too if you're wondering which I know you are because I, have aged well."
Busting out into laughter, I looked at my old boyfriend with a mixture of mirth and disbelief.
"Well I'm happy for you and your looks. I hope you remain happy together."
"That we will," Aiden answered promptly before taking a bite out of his blueberry muffin. "So what do you do now?"
I sighed and took a sip of my hot chocolate. "I'm an Auror."
"…No seriously what do you do?" He rolled his eyes at me, "I know you were visiting your cousin or something the other day."
My face tensed.
"Last I heard you had a desk job."
Reaching into my pocket I grabbed my badge and showed it to him.
His face dropped in shock. "No way!"
"Originally I did work a desk job, but I hated it so I started to be trained as an Auror."
"But why?" His hands rose innocently as he handed me back my badge. "I mean I'm sure you kick ass at it, but why the drastic switch?"
My stomach tightened and my eyes burned with pain. This was the one question I hated the most and the one question I'd always gotten the most. I'd dated Aiden for a long time back at Hogwarts and somehow we managed to stay civil afterwards, but I hadn't kept in touch with him since we left. He didn't know about what happened. It was featured in our papers, but only when we were missing. My uncle stopped them from posting a follow up piece when I escaped. The follow up story floated around the Ministry verbally, but Aiden wouldn't have heard it, not all the way in America.
At one time Aiden was my best friend. He knew me better than even Lauren and Kelly did, but I couldn't tell him this. I couldn't tell anyone this. James had figured it out right of the bat and tried to stop me, but no one else cared why I signed up. All they cared about was that I found a reason to get out of bed those mornings. Aiden wouldn't. He would know that even though I've moved on with my life, it still haunted me, and that no matter what I've done and what I do it still bothers me. Then again, how could anyone erase the image of their father being murdered right in front of them?
So I did something I wasn't proud of, I lied. "Oh well you know my whole families in that department so I figured maybe it was genetic and I gave it a shout out."
"And it worked out." He commented, his face looking suspicious. "Interesting."
"Well sometimes life works like that." I forced a smile on my face, "You enjoying your muffin?"
Aiden nodded, "It's doing its job."
An owl swooped in the shop and dropped a letter into my lap. Frowning, I opened it and discovered that I was needed back at work.
"Duty calls. I'll see you later."
His hand shot out to grab my arm. "Lunch next week?"
A real smile came back on my face, "Yeah, I'd like that."
Once I left the restaurant, I felt tears whelping up in my eyes. Why? I didn't know. Aiden and I had a brief, but perfectly nice time together. He didn't push me. He just was curious about my life. So why did it hurt so much more when I lied to him, then when I lied to myself? Stopping by my apartment, I ran my face in water to calm myself down. I was supposed to be back at work as soon as possible, but I needed a minute. This week was shaking me much harder than I ever thought it would. I thought I was stronger than this, but as my body began to betray me, I fell to the floor in tears.
Hugging my knees I tried to calm myself, but I couldn't. I was being so stupid. When I took off on that mission I was asking for trouble. If Scorpius hadn't shown up I could have still handled it, but once I saw him…
Why did he come after me? Why didn't he just tell James? Or hell just left me alone? He could have. I wouldn't have blamed him for it.
Shaking my head, I smacked myself in the face. I had to snap out of this. I was acting ridiculous. It was five years ago. I haven't heard a peep from the man or men who abducted me and I probably never will. If I don't let it go it's going to eat me alive. Getting a grip, I closed my eyes and did some soothing breaths. This week I will be happy. This week I won't let it get to me. This week it will be better.
Stepping out of my bathroom, I was surprised to see Lauren leaving her bedroom in just a t-shirt.
Her big blue eyes were the size of saucers. "Ro…Rose? What are you doing home?"
My eyes narrowed suspiciously, "I forgot something. Why?"
"Hey Lauren, we forgot-" My little brother began as he came out of my best friends room in nothing, but a pair of boxers.
My mouth narrowed into an,'O,' formation as I finally connected the dots. My face flushed bright red as my throat clamped up. My best friend is fucking my brother. My brother is fucking my best friend... There were no words to truly convey the horror of it all.
"Well." I gulped, "I'm going to go…far, far away."
Neither of them tried to stop me, and I was extremely glad. The last thing I wanted to know was what it meant. In my mind, it simply didn't happen. The idea of it was too much so I refused to acknowledge it. Later on, preferably when I had a rather large bottle of firewiskey available, I would talk to them, but for now I begged for ignorance. As I walked through security and traveled to my desk, I wished I had just gone to one of the thousands of bathrooms around the restaurant Aiden and I had gone to.
My eyebrows raised as I saw Scorpius coming out of my Uncle's office. It wasn't an odd thing to see an Auror meeting with the head of the department. Actually in the scheme of things it was pretty by the book. But this was different. I could tell by the looks on their faces, but what could it be?
Lips thinning, I sat down at my desk. Sampson, once again had not shown up. It wasn't like him to miss this much work without so much as a word. Yesterday I managed with Scorpius, but I couldn't do without for much longer. He was really starting to worry me. My eyebrows lifted when I saw my uncle heading my way. Usually he tried to keep distance from me to keep up a professional appearance. But the minute he stopped in front of me I knew it wasn't good news.
"Rose about your partner-"
I raised my hand to cut him off. "If he isn't here tomorrow I will personally go out and look for him. He's probably just sick."
"No Rose." He sighed with a heavy heart. "He's dead."
My chest clenched as my eyes became hard. "What?"
"He's been murdered."
"I want to see the body." I told him firmly.
My uncle looked taken aback. "Rose you can't-"
"He was my partner, and I won't believe it till I see it."
"I'll have James go with you."
I shrugged, keeping my expression cool and aloof. "Fine."
Grabbing, my jacket, I secured my wand and followed James to the elevator. I wasn't going for closure. I wasn't going for proof. I was going to see what the cause of death was. Auror's were killed all the time, but rarely murdered. Until I saw how it had happened I couldn't process it. I couldn't feel it. James said something comforting. Something warm and fuzzy to make me feel better, but I ignored him. My eyes were burning with hate, as I followed James through a maze of rooms I knew I didn't have clearance to be anywhere near.
Then we stopped at one room in particular, his body was half covered, half naked laying on a gurney. James starred at me waiting for me to burst into tears like he did when we were younger.
"James give me a minute."
"I'm not supposed to-" He began gently.
My eyes slated into steel. "James, give me a minute."
Giving me an I-hope-I-don't-regret-this-look, he moved to stand right behind the door. "Don't take to long Ro."
I nodded, tears climbing up the back of my throat in an attempt to flee pouring out of my eyes.
As soon as he shut the door, I checked his body for something. Something I knew I would find, but hoped to Merlin I wouldn't. On my hip bone there was a very rigid carving of a lightning bolt. Something Sampson had on him too.
A chill went down my spine as those tears shot up into my eyes and slowly rolled down my cheeks. To anyone else it could have just been a scar, but to me it was a clear cut warning that danger was coming and it was headed straight for me.
Brushing his dark hair out of his face, I said to him though I knew he couldn't hear me. "I'm sorry."
Then, after a tug of effort I wiped my face clear off any and all tears and walked back with James. "It's procedure that I tell his family right?"
"Considering the circumstances-" James started hesitantly as we got into the elevator.
"No. I will do it."
His dark warm eyes turned to me compassionately. "Rose-"
"Don't. I'm fine." I set my jaw and prepared myself for what was to come. "I can handle this."
If he wanted to come back and rattle me fine. Consider me rattled, but the masked man had to know things have changed. It's a new game and this time I'm not weak and defenseless. He chose the worst time to come back at me and the worst way. Walking back to the fifth floor, i was no longer lost. I was full of seething rage. Sampson was a good guy, he will be avenged.
Song in the summary is Russian Roulette By: Rihanna. THANK YOU FOR READING! I appreciate it much more than any of you will ever know! PLEASE REVIEW! I will updating pretty regularly untill writers block sneaks up on me, which hopefully won't be for awhile.
Chapter 9: A Rush of Blood to the Head
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I don't think there's a single person in the world that likes funerals unless they were the one that purposefully caused it. This wasn't the worst part. When it's your family that has died it is, but when it's your friend, your coworker, the worst part is telling their family. Sampson's mother cried her bloody eyes out when I finally managed to get it out. His father had died years ago, so Sampson was all she had left in the world. It took every professional bone in my body to keep it together, but it was nearly impossible. How can anyone look at middle age woman crying over the loss of her last relative, let alone her son and not break a little? But if I was going to be honest I wouldn't say I broke a little. I would say I broke a lot.
Dressed in all black Auror robes, I sat on my couch with my forearms firmly pressed on my thighs. Pulling my hair back off my face, I mentally practiced his eulogy in my head. I knew the man a month, but I guess when you factor in how much of that time we spent in each other's company that makes me closest to him in our department. The weight of this whole thing has been on my shoulders since I discovered who killed him and now it was beginning to bruise the bones underneath. Could I really do this? Could I really say goodbye to him?
Auror's had the life expectancy of a hamster, but it didn't matter. Anthony Sampson's blood was on my hands no matter what my superiors or the statistics said. No matter what anyone said really. He should have at least made it to thirty. Long enough for him to have a wife and some kids. Long enough for him to really matter. Now only a handful of people will have ever really known him and he'll be dead with his name on the wall with all the other Auror deaths.
"You ready?" James peeked his head out from the church, dressed in his Auror robes looking dashing as usual.
I nodded, and licked my dry lips to give them some moisture. It didn't work. All it did was sting the tender skin I'd been trying to heal. Pushing myself to my feet I followed my older cousin through the room to the podium. The whole room was only a quarter full, any Auror not on duty was required to come and when you added that with a few of his friends and distant family it didn't take up much space. It was sad. This was the last time anyone would ever gather for Sampson and he had such a small turn out. I wondered why. He was a good person, hadn't he had friends back at Drumstrang? Hadn't he had old girlfriends that might want to pay their respects? No matter what Scorpius and I put each other through, and how many years go by I will be at his funeral and I know despite where ever the hell we're at he would be at mine. Did Sampson not have anyone that felt the same way?
As I climbed up onto the podium, his picture stood above his casket and it was like someone had stabbed me deep in my gut with a frigidly cold knife. This shouldn't Sampson, this should be me.
"Mum," I started firmly, "He's back."
As I let the meaning of my words hit her she furrowed her strictly plucked eyebrows as she reorganized her ridiculous book collection. For hours she'd been in her library adding some new books to her 1900's history section and filling her new bookshelf.
"The man who murdered dad."
I saw her throat clamp up and she froze. "How do you know?"
"The cut on Sampson's neck…it was his mark."
"It couldn't have been an coincidence?" She asked her voice much lower than normal.
My eyes guarded, I shook my head as I kneeled down on the floor next to her. "No."
"What happens next?"
"Victoire is too vulnerable. She's the easiest target, so I was wondering if she-"
My mother put down her books, her brown endearing eyes searching my face. "You were wondering if we could make this house an unplottable and use you as a secret keeper."
"You work from home mostly anyway and you could always drop off any documents you need to send in randomly."
Her face straightened in fear. "This is serious."
"He would have killed me if I hadn't escaped, and now he will go after anyone to show up the new government. As Weasley's we are the first on the chopping block, but also because of me he will want revenge…They all will."
"What about you?" She asked maternally, scooting forward and incasing my hands in hers.
"I will do what I have to, to keep all of you safe." I answered vaguely, my face set and determined.
Letting out an anguished sigh Hermione Weasley shook her head. "I don't like it, but I suppose I don't have much of an option…"
"I'm sorry mum, but I don't know what else to do. I know Uncle Harry is going to try and keep me out of it, but he doesn't get that I'm always going to be involved."
She laughed, brown tumbleweed hair falling past her shoulders. "Well if anyone can understand that it should be Harry. We spent our whole lives involved in things we should have been… Why did you dye your hair?"
Deciding to lighten up the subject I put on a teasing smile. "Because I wanted to look more like you mum."
She rolled her eyes in disbelief. "You could get contacts to have your eyes match mine as well and it wouldn't matter. You are your father through and through."
My eyes watered as I realized that she truly meant those words. "I miss him."
"Me too honey," She rubbed my shoulder with her own eyes tearing up.
Coming back to the moment, I sucked in a sharp breath and did everything in my power to hold back anything I was feeling. I told the few people who sat in front of me what a good person Sampson was. How he always brought suspects alive, even when they did everything possible to make him rethink that decision. Of course I left out the part where we had feelings for each other. I also left out the part were we kissed. At the end of the day none of it mattered. All that mattered was that once upon a time Anthony Lee Sampson was alive and did his job well. And now he was gone.
Once I got off the podium, I moved to the back row and sat in between Jade and James. James face was impassive, but I knew better. My cousin didn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but every death near or far from him affected him. Jade on the otherhand didn't even hide the tears rolling down her cheeks. Sampson was her mentor when she first arrived at the Ministry and though that was years ago I knew that she would always feel indebted to him. We always feel indebted to the ones that believe in us.
Subtly as a man I did not recognize rose to speak, James wrapped his arm around my shoulder. He whispered so only I could hear. "You know…no one would judge you if you cry."
Biting my bottom lip, my eyes shinned from the water welling up behind them. "I know."
Squeezing my shoulder, James said nothing more.
I didn't listen to the words the man said on the top of the podium. All I could think about was Sampson. How he used to work on word searches before we started every morning. How he always brought me breakfast or would grab me food if he was getting himself something. How all he wanted was to make the world a better place, but he would never know that the world was already a better place because he was in it.
My tears never fell, but I knew James was right. If I were going to cry right now, no one would say a damn word about it. But I couldn't. I had to keep it together. I had to push all of those overflowing emotions down. If I let them out, even for a single second, I might break, and I can't do that. Not here, not now.
They will come for me now. All five of them are coming. All hell bent on destroying my life and everyone's life around me for the soul purpose of exacting revenge on something that happened over thirty years ago.
This was the last moment that I could really let it out before everything was shot to hell, before everything would be on fire. But I couldn't, all I could think of was a memory. A horrible memory, I spent nights debating whether I should erase or not.
"Dad," I cried, as the shackles of the binding spell dug into my skin making it bleed. "I'm scared… Why are they doing this?"
"They want revenge honey," He told her honestly, his blue eyes were watering with pain, as he looked at his oldest child and only daughter lovingly. "But look at me."
She did softly though it was hard to see him from across the room.
"Promise me, you will make it out of here."
Rolling her eyes even in the situation she wanted to laugh at him and she would have if her throat had enough moisture to withstand it. "Dad, we both will."
He didn't look so sure, but he held on to her gaze. "Promise me Rose."
"Promise me!" His voice was unyielding as tears slipped down his cheeks. "Rose you have to promise me no matter what happens you will get out of here and you will never stop fighting. You have to!"
I frowned, "Dad what do you know? What aren't you saying?"
Heavy footsteps sounded in the halls. My bones ached, my muscles were sore and there were countless lash marks on my back that still hadn't fully healed, but I didn't care about that. All I cared about was what my dad was trying to stay to me. The whole month they rarely left us in the same room unless to torture one of us in front of the other. And now he seemed to know something.
"Dad what aren't you saying?" I repeated, my voice half hysterical. "Dad!"
"PROMISE ME ROSE!" He roared, his red hair disheveled and dark. His eyes were wild with blinding fear. "PROMISE ME!"
I told him, "I promise," as the men entered. As they moved towards my father I cried out, "I promise dad! I swear! I will never stop!"
And then, without another word spoken, a man raised his wand as I starred into my father's panic stricken eyes, so worn from the torture he'd been forced to endure for the past month, and a green light lit up the whole room. It struck my dad in the heart as I slashed against my bindings with every bit of strength I had and even some I didn't.
"NO! DAD! NO!" I sobbed as my dad's body slumped lifeless against the wall. "DAD PLEASE! NO! WAKE UP! PLEASE DAD! WAKE UP!"
But he didn't and the men just laughed. They laughed at my pain. They laughed at my loss. They laughed at my weakness.
"Rose," James whispered from a place that sounded so much farther away than right next to me. "Rose, it's over."
I clamped up.
He was worried, I felt his body tense next to mine. "…Rose?"
Letting out a small breath, I came back to the present. "I'm fine."
"We have to leave Ro."
I nodded though I wasn't really listening. "Okay."
His hands guided me upward. After that his arm wrapped around me and half dragged me to the hallway. Once there he sat me down on a bench, and knelt down in front of me. His dark hair was spiky today, but his coffee colored eyes focused on me.
"Talk to me Rose."
I shook my head slowly, "I can't."
Looking frustrated, he sighed and bared his teeth. "Rose, you can't stay in there forever. You have to open up to someone sometime. It's not healthy to bottle all of it in.."
"I know," I choked out.
James's arms fell to my shoulders. "Well when you're ready. We're here."
Then, without another word, he stood up and left.
A week later, I walked into my parent's house. A lot had changed in a week. I didn't have an emotional break down and I didn't go running to my cousin, but I was temporarily benched from any and all cases until Sampson's death was cleared, which considering who I know killed him was almost indefinitely. This was the time for me to step up and do what needed to be done. This was the time for action.
My mother wasn't home, but I didn't come to meet her. I walked up the stairs to my old bedroom and found James lounging comfortably on my bed. I placed a bag of his favorite bagels and a coffee out for him.
"Come on," I nudged his relaxed form. "It's time for work."
James's smile became teasing. "Oh you've heard of it?"
"Up your arse James!" I spat hatefully.
"Calm down, they just don't have anyone to partner you with." James scoffed grabbing one of the bagels out of the container. "Once they do then they will stop keeping you out of everything."
I gave him a look.
"Okay, okay!" He raised his hands innocently, "You asked to meet to discuss battle plans. So by all means." James gestured to my room.
"The man they are look for is the man that kidnapped me." I told him and I didn't wait for his reaction. I was on a roll. Pacing, I said, "Now they are going to start coming. Sampson was the first strike and we need to figure out his next targets."
James's eyebrows shot straight up. "Uh…Wait what?"
"Just follow along with me James!
"Okay," He looked off into the distance, "I guess …our parents?"
I shook my head as I continued to pace. "They already hit that generation. Now they want to hit ours and they're gonna hit it hard."
"No," I waved that possibility far far away. "Lily has nothing to do with the Ministry. The people they want to get have to be directly involved with the ministry. If provoked then Lily would be their back up plan or their retribution for their plans not going to through." I leaned forward in my chair as I put all of the available options on the parchment on my desk and began to number them. "You and I are the highest possibility for the next hit."
Worry lines creased into James's tan forehead as his black hair swooped downward. "I understand."
"Your father will try to control this by trying to protect us, but it's too far gone for that." I began decisively, "You have to promise me no matter what happens you can't help me unless I ask you to. If they come for me you have to let them take me and you can't go looking for me."
James let out a scoffed of blatant disagreement and put the donuts aside. "Why the hell would I ever agree to that? Rose now you're just being ridiculous."
"No," I told him firmly, "I'm not. I have a reason for asking you to do this and it's not because I'm trying to get myself killed. I just have a plan."
"Well what's included in this so-called plan?" James spat, his voice alarmingly cold as she starred at me like I was crazy.
"I can't tell you, but you just have to trust me. You have to convince your father to overly protect the following people." I handed him the parchment.
James eyes widened, "So I'm just supposed to go along with this blindly?" He eyed me furiously. "Are you mad? Are you honestly insane?"
I let out a sigh and gave him a steady look. "I know how this sounds. I do. But the only way any of this is going to work is if as little people know what's going on as possible and you know that. I'm not telling you not because I want to keep you out of it or because I don't trust you, but so you will act right when the time comes. This needs to be done James…. Okay?"
"This is ridiculous Rose." He told me snappishly rising from my bed furiously.
"I know," I ran a hand through my hair. I hadn't dyed it in a while so the roots were red and the rest of my hair were tinting red. "And that's why I think it will work."
Walking into my own apartment a few hours later, I was surprised to find Lauren and Hugo sitting on my couch. Sure I knew they were together, but they seemed to be waiting for something. Apparently waiting for me. Adjusting my leather jacket, I waited for them to speak. Clearly they needed to say something, so I gave them the time to say it.
"Well," I muttered as I grabbed a cup, filled it and drank some orange juice. I starred at the pair dryly. "This is sufficiently awkward."
"We're both legal adults. There's no reason either of us should have to explain anything to you." Hugo declared quickly despite being unprovoked.
I let out a wild laugh. "Come again? My brother and my best friend have been screwing each other and neither of them bothered to tell me about it for…what? I'm guessing a month now? And I'm not allowed an explanation? That's really rich Hugo."
Lauren looked everywhere but at us. I knew she would rather be anywhere but here but for some reason she stayed, which surprised me. Lauren wasn't the type to stick around for a fight and yet she didn't move from where she was sitting next to Hugo. Sure Hugo was trying to make this big show about how I couldn't control him, but I honestly didn't care. If he wanted to be with Lauren I was happy for them. What unnerved me was it didn't seem like they were just shagging. They're body's curved into each other's even though they weren't talking. It was weird. Even the way they were looking at each other wasn't right. It wasn't how Lauren had ever looked at anyone. She always had boyfriends, but I always knew they were temporary. Lauren never loved anybody. There was something annoying permanent about them that really got under my skin.
"Oh no." I voiced as I stopped trying to open a jar of peanut butter and grimaced. "You're in love aren't you?"
Hugo blushed deeply, but he didn't shy away from my glance. "Yes."
"Oh god." I groaned in agony and then I shot a desperate look at Lauren. "Really? My little brother? Really?"
Lauren's blonde head turned to face me. "Yes."
"Okay…well…Really?" I asked again rhetorically. "I mean when did this start?"
"It's been awhile now." Lauren admitted quietly.
I put down the peanut butter. "Define awhile."
"About a year now."
"A year? A YEAR?"
Leaning back, I gaped at them. How could they have possibly kept this from me for an entire year? Was it because I didn't look too closely into Lauren's romantic life or was it because I was too busy with my own life that I noticed my brother had gotten one? Either way it didn't matter. Even if I was upset I needed to let it go and just be happy for them. This wasn't my call. I had no right to tell them what to do with their lives. So I took a breath and got it together.
"Well…congratulations?" I laughed not sure how else to handle this. "I don't know why you guys hid it in the first place."
Lauren's eyebrows arched in disbelief. "So…you aren't mad?"
I careful examined my thoughts and thought of the most honest answer. "I'm mad that you didn't tell me."
"We thought you'd freak." Hugo said, his face frowning in guilt.
"Well I'm not freaking out." I lied perfectly, taking a step forward. "If you guys want to be together I'm not going to stop you. Neither of you ever stopped me when I wanted to be with Scorpius so…I will respect both of your decisions to be together."
They both looked shell shocked.
I added after finishing off my orange juice. "But if you two are going to screw around for the love of Merlin keep all the fuckery in your room. If I see something I'm not supposed to see I will freak out."
Then I grabbed my bag and left for work.
While I was there, I kept getting stares from the higher up operatives, the ones that would be cleared to know what was really going on. I knew they were all wondering about me. Because we all knew I was the next one to go. The only question was when. So they gave me paperwork to keep me busy, but mostly so they could know where I was. See they couldn't confine me without a reason and my Uncle was doing everything in his power to keep this away from me.
Halfway through my shift, I walked to the filing cabinet. This whole thing was pointless, but I had to play my part. I had to act stupid, like I didn't know. I had to act like when I went to see my partner's body it was to confirm it with myself. They couldn't know why I really went. My body tensed up as I saw Scorpius coming towards me. There's no reason in the world he should want to talk to me. So why was he starring at me like I was a cross dressing racist?
Scorpius stopped abruptly, when he reached me. His arm grabbed my upper arm and haled me into a custodial closet. "Scorpius what are you-" I started bewildered.
His face was impassive, and though his voice seemed calm there was a jagged edge to it. "When were you planning to tell me?"
I honestly had no idea what he was referring to. My back was against a steel shelf, and dust circled around us as I starred at him wildly. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I'm talking about five years ago," He began, his words laced with raw emotion, "I'm talking about how you left me and never came back. And now I find out that you were kidnapped and tortured that entire time and somehow no one ever told me!"
All of the air in my body abandoned me. A sadness grew on me as I saw the hurt in his eyes. I looked away vacantly. "Who told you?"
"Who told me?" He repeated softly, before gripping my shoulders and forcing me to look at him. "Why didn't you tell me?"
My mouth opened and closed several times. I had no idea what to say.
"How could you not tell me?"
"What was I supposed to do?" I let out a short humorless laugh. "When I escaped and got my life together you were with some blonde. I didn't want to disrupt your life."
His eyes widened. Scorpius's voice became even quieter as he looked at me in horror. "You didn't want to disrupt my life?"
The anguish in his voice tugged a large cord in my chest. Tears pricked the surface of my eyes, but I fought them off. I was at work. I couldn't do this. Not here. Not now. I had a million things on my mind and I thought we were past this. Honestly I thought if he found out he would feel slighted, but I was shocked that he still felt so angry about it. He'd probably shagged Ms. Blonde-something-or-another what did it matter what happened to me?
"Scorpius, it was a long time ago."
"Clearly not too long for you to feel the need to apologize." He replied cuttingly.
That comment sent me over the edge and finally I couldn't hold back my own anger any longer. "Are you kidding me right now? We are at work! I'm sorry that I apologized! Clearly it was completely inappropriate and I take it back! Does that make you happy? I honestly don't know why this bothers you so much! Yes that happened, but it was a long time ago and I found a way to get past it. If that bothers you get over it!"
"You don't know why this bothers me? Are you serious right now?"
"Yes! I'm completely serious because I don't understand why it matters! I left, and you moved on!" I threw up my hands in aggravation. "Sure I promised I'd always come back, but by the time I did you were doing perfectly fine on your own!"
He was incensed. "No I wasn't!"
"Well it didn't seem that way to me!" I shouted. "So before you try and get an attitude with me, why don't you reevaluate your anger?"
"I'm perfectly justified."
I scoffed and let out a huff of anger. "Sure you are."
Then I roughly pushed passed him and moved as far as humanly possible from him.
Why couldn't I have had just a normal teenage relationship? It could have been this temporary thing that hurt like hell, but taught me momentous lessons for years to come. Why did I have to crash into a meaningful relationship that would haunt me for decades to come?
James was waiting for me at my desk when I got back. He sat on the edge of my desk, with his arms crossed as I slowly walked over. My stomach knotted at the look of him and I became really paranoid. Despite the fact that I spent an hour trying to convince him to do what I asked I still didn't think I got through to him. James could be freakishly stubborn when he wanted to be.
Standing well over six feet, I saw his smug smirk and felt the anger simmering underneath the surface. "I'm going to do as you asked Rose."
I eyed him suspiciously. The way he was smirking, the way his voice clearly defined his anger…. I knew there was something off. "What's the catch?"
"Oh nothing." He told me innocently, "Have you spoken to my father yet?"
"You've been assigned to a new temporary partner."
I tilted my head in confusion; my paranoia growing with every passing second. "Who?"
"Well I figured they could probably use me for a cover or protection detail now that we have a new security risk. So I volunteered my partner for the time being."
My face flashed red with pure hatred. "What?"
"I won't stop you from whatever self destructive plan you have planned," He leaned back farther against my desk. "But Scorpius will."
"What the hell is wrong with you?" I spat venomously gripping the front of his shirt threateningly.
James's eyes narrowed dangerous and his smirk left his lips in a flash. "You want to go off on a renegade mission that's going to fix nothing and get you killed fine. I'm not going to stop you. I've done the best thing."
"How the hell is saddling me with Malfoy the best thing for anyone?" I breathed between my clenched teeth all I saw was blinding rage.
James stood up straight looking remarkably like his father. "Because he's the only person I know that will move hell and high water to make sure you come back alive."
This was so reckless and stupid. How could James have done this? Didn't he realize how high the stakes were at this point? Why the hell would he rope Malfoy into this?
"JAMES YOU CAN'T DO THIS-!"
"Actually," He said as he removed my hands from his shirt coolly and stood up. "I already did."
Over his shoulder, I saw his father walking towards me. My eyes widened and my whole face tightened up in terror. "JAMES-!"
"See you later cuz!" He saluted me.
Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. James moved far enough away from me to where I couldn't kill him and then strutted away from the line of fire. I watched in horror as my uncle stopped at Scorpius's desk and spoke with him briefly. And there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. Scorpius was sitting in the middle of some paperwork and he looked absolutely pissed with the information he was getting.
Jade appeared at my side with a chocolate shake casually in her hand. "What's going on? Malfoy looks livid."
"I'm going to kill James!" I spat through my gritted teeth.
Song in the summary and title is Rush of Blood to the Head By: Coldplay. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS READ AND REVIEWED! I'm so glad you guys like this so much! PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 10: Rolling in the Deep
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It's so stupid really. When you look back at your life and see all the times you could have been happy and weren't, most of them were because of you. The pain of rejection and the pain of loss come when you care about anything, but somehow you convinced yourself that you were better off alone. You got in your own way and decided that it wasn't worth it when really it was that you were scared. Because what's scarier than admitting that you care about someone else? There's nothing more honest or real than that. When you say it you take out a piece of yourself and offer it to the other person. The problem is we think we know who best to give these pieces to, but we don't. We are shooting blind and sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don't. And although some of us are the lucky few who shot right, we may never get those pieces back. Those pieces are a part of who you used to be and sometimes a part of who you used to be. And with some people, the select few you give the most of yourself to, I don't think you ever get those pieces back. The problem is those are the people that no matter what you do or where you go you can't ever stop loving.
And I really didn't want Scorpius to be that person, but the longer I lived and the more time went on it was becoming clearer that he was that person for me.
"Why," I whined, "do I," I hit my head on the counter in front of me, "keep getting stuck," I continued to hit my head, "with-him?"
Lauren frowned, "Well I would answer you, but you really don't want to hear what we have to say."
Kelly snorted from across the table in agreement.
"No," I laughed hollowly as I took a very large swig of firewiskey, "I really don't." I pointed accusingly at Kelly. "You are going to tell me something sappy about how love conquers all," I narrowed my eyes at Lauren, "And you are a traitor who makes out with my brother."
Lauren let out a sound of outrage, "You swore you were okay with it!"
"Yes well…" I frowned into my half drunken mug. "That was when I was sober and able to disconnect my feelings from honesty."
"Rose," Kelly scolded me warningly.
"What?" I scoffed softly, "I support her! I just don't get why my brother. There are millions of blocks…I mean blucks…I mean-"
"Alrrright," Lauren announced grabbing my glass, "I think you've had enough.
I blew poorly constructed raspberry at her. "Lies."
My hair was pushed up into an awkward bun, which was falling in my face. My make-up was smeared and I was half sure my dress was on inside out. But it didn't matter, why? Because we were in dive bar that was horribly lit with not a single soul around us that knew who we were. Not that it would have been bad for anyone to see Kelly and Lauren. Kelly was, for once, not in her scrubs, she was wearing some jean shorts, a slinky blue tank top with her dark hair down. Lauren was wearing a sundress with some tight jeans under it with her bright blonde hair in curls. I was the one that hoped to god that no one here would ever see me again.
Suddenly, I gripped the table as my head became incredibly full. It was like all the alcohol was swimming around my brain drowning it from forming coherent thoughts. My legs wobbled as I found myself leaving the safety of the table and rushing for the bathroom. It wasn't a conscious thought, I moved on pure instinct. Busting through a stall, I dropped to the floor and began to hurl the contents of my stomach into the less then hygienic toilet. When I was finished I cleaned myself up lazily and crawled to the sinks. Lauren and Kelly wandered in behind me with looks of disapproval prominent on their faces.
"I DON'T LIVE HERE!" I announced, feeling euphorically better.
Lauren's lips narrowed, "Of course you don't, we are in a bathroom."
"I-don't-livvve-here!" I announced in a singsong voice at the top of my lungs.
"Oh Merlin," Lauren groaned checking my face, "She's stage fiving."
Kelly slumped down to me and sighed, "She hasn't been this bad since Meredith Kitter's wedding."
Both of them lowered to the ground grabbed me by my armpits and heaved me up to my feet. "Where am I going?" I wondered in a childlike tone.
"Home," Kelly laughed as they ushered me threw the crowded bar.
Everything was so bright and swirly. There were so many swirls. I felt my feet scrape against the floor, but I couldn't focus on anything. I knew they were talking and I almost positive they were talking about me, but I couldn't identify anything in particular. All I could remember was Kelly helping me change and Lauren helping me into bed.
Cuddling into my pillow I felt like I was riding a roller coaster even though I was perfectly still. "Lauren?" I mumbled into my pillow.
Bemused, Lauren sighed and sat down next to me. Her blue eyes sparkled in the moonlight as her blonde hair fell to her chest. "Yes Rose?"
"How did you fall in love with my brother?" I asked bluntly, any sense of a sensor gone. "I mean…Did you just always like him or was it like a fairy tale?"
She snorted at the last part, but shook her head. "We've always been friends, but I ran into him after work and we got to talking. Then at one point we looked up and realized the bar was closing up and we were the last ones in there. We'd spent the whole talking to each other not noticing that everyone else had left." A faint blush crossed Lauren's pale face. "I'm only telling you this because I doubt you'll remember anything tomorrow."
"No, I want to remember this." I whined, "I'm glad you've finally settled down. I just wanted to know why, and Hugo's always so…bearlike."
"He was just nervous…He assumed you would trash it." She admitted sheepishly.
I closed my eyes, "I'd never do that. I wish you guys would have told me."
"Are you sure you're okay with it?" Lauren whispered hesitantly.
I nodded, "Oooh, it's like a swirl…" I fought to gain control of my mind. I opened my eyes and pointed at her sluggishly. "I just want you both to be happy and if that's with each other that's great. I can't think of two people who deserve it more."
Lauren's face lit up, and her eyes watered slightly as she was touched by my words. She really had expected me to reject their relationship, to tell her that she wasn't good enough for my brother and vice versa. But she didn't see what I saw. I saw how happy they had become, and even though I'd been focused on my own life I'd seen so many positive changes in them both. They were good together. Lauren finally found someone that wouldn't be a coward and let her run the show. And Hugo finally found someone who wasn't attracted to him because of his surname. It was perfect really.
She whispered something else, but my eyes fluttered to a close and I fell into a deep sleep.
The next morning, I arose to the most agonizing headache known to mankind. My head felt like a squashed melon and my throat was too dry. The second I moved, my whole body recoiled as if this movement would result in instant pain.
"Ulgh!" I groaned, crawling into a ball as I tasted a horrible taste in my mouth. "What-the-hell?"
The light from the sun burned into my face as I tried to hide under my covers and pillow. An obnoxiously loud knock sounded at my door. I submerged myself farther into my bedding and growled at the intruder hatefully.
A familiar chuckle echoed in the living room. "It's just me Rose."
"Aiden?" I wondered from under my cocoon of protection.
He lifted the sheets and gave me an amused look, his dark hair catching in the light as he smiled wickedly. "Yes, it is I and I think it's time Rose you and I had a little talk."
Several miles away Scorpius was in his parent's dinning room. His father was fully dressed, but his mother was still in her nightwear. They had not expected their son to arrive let alone come at eight o'clock in the morning enraged.
"Why didn't either of you tell me?" Scorpius breathed furiously.
"This is far too early in the morning for us to be having this conversation." His father told him briskly as he drank his morning coffee to fight off his obvious exhaustion.
Scorpius's eyes flashed rage. "I'm not leaving until I get an answer.
His mother's face was etched in guilt, but his father's face stayed firm. "We didn't want you to go looking for her and get yourself into trouble."
"You…did what?" He breathed, "She was my girlfriend! What right did you have to make that call?"
Astoria reached for his hand, but he pulled away. Her brown eyes shined with tears. "Scorpius you were only eighteen we didn't want you to throw away your life-"
"SHE WAS MY LIFE!" He scoffed flippantly, rising out of his chair. "You both had no right to keep this from me!"
"Scorpius please!" His mother insisted sternly pushing him down in his chair. "You will get your father's blood pressure if you keep raging like this!"
"All you would have done is risked your neck for nothing and gotten yourself killed." His father told him diplomatically as if he were discussing some business matter. "And clearly she felt the same was as she kept from you as well."
Scorpius glowered at him. "Yes and I'm still livid about that."
"Of all people don't be mad at her," His mother muttered sadly. "That girl went through a lot. She was trying to protect you …and even if you don't believe it." She paused to lean forward, her soft stare centering on him. "We were too."
"That's great and all, but you had no right." He spat, grabbing his cloak. "I have to go to work…." He glanced over them furiously. "I understand your intentions, but that doesn't make it right. I was an adult. Whatever I chose to do would have been my choice. MINE. Not either one of yours."
And with that he stormed off.
When he was in America he rarely got angry. Sure there were situations that would annoy him, but he was never this incensed and ever since he got back it was constant. He was angry with his parents, he was angry with Rose, but the worst part of it all was he was the angriest with himself. This wasn't her fault. This was they're fault. This was his fault. How had he been so stupid all of these years? How had he not investigated her leaving? How had he let himself believe that she would leave like that without a single word to explain herself or even a word of goodbye?
He'd been so incredibly and inexcusably stupid, but he couldn't give himself to face it. His pride was severally wounded and he couldn't take another hit. So he held onto the small fraction of this that was her fault and blew it out of portion to cover his pain. To cover the heart she broke really. And he knew, deep inside, that this wasn't fair. The way he was treating her, the way he was treating everyone, but he couldn't stop. He was on speeding freight train headed straight for disaster and he didn't have it in him to stop.
Scorpius had grown up a great deal in the past few years, but somehow none of it counted now. Now he was becoming more immature than he was when he left Hogwarts and it was like he couldn't even begin to control himself. He knew if she hit the right button, if she just pushed him far enough, he would let out all the rage hiding behind his cool exterior.
He arrived well before she did, but she was always on time, but never early. This was one thing that he always loved about her, because to him it showed level headed and calmness he'd never possess. Scorpius on the other hand always arrived early everywhere. His father had instilled that, and his sense of organization in him early enough to leave a lasting impression. But today he wished she would just show up. The earlier she came the sooner he would be in his new flat and away from her.
Looking up, his whole body tensed as he saw her. He would have thought it would have gone away by now, this raw energy he felt whenever he saw her, but it didn't. She could dye her hair and change her clothes, but she was still Rose. Her face was still beautiful with her long eyelashes, big blue eyes and warm smile. And her figure had gotten leaner with years, which he attributed to her strict Auror work out schedule. Before she saw him, he memorized her face, the jagged fading scar on her neck, the pale soft skin of her cheeks, the way her hair tucked perfectly behind her ears, but stuck out slightly in the back. For a second he let himself feel what it was like to be in love with her again.
It was like sunlight suddenly warming your body when you've been sitting in the shadows all day. At first he was startled, but then the warmth spread and he began to feel alive again in a way he never felt when he wasn't around her. Clenching his eyes closed, his hands formed into fists and he forced the feeling away. He couldn't do this. He had to stop himself. He had to save himself from the trouble he was so recklessly teasing around. If he kept pushing it he would fall in and there was no coming back from that.
Sipping down his black coffee, he focused on the file in front of him, silently vowing that he would do his best to put everything aside. To forget her and everything that happened, everything that she used to be, everything she used to mean. He knew it was impossible, but he promised in vain that he would be professional and hold it together.
"Fuck off James," I snapped looking down at my desk hatefully.
"Oh quit being so hostile." James rolled his eyes, sitting on my desk.
"James," I started sharply, "Get away from me."
He saw my furious expression and didn't look the slightest bit concerned. He had expected me to be mad and he wasn't disappointed. "I have your newest assignment." James held up the folder, "But before I give it to you I'm going to get your partner to switch into his new desk."
"What's wrong with you?" I whispered with pure distain. "You know our history, why couldn't you have stuck me with someone else? Anyone else in this department would have had my back!"
James lip curled over his teeth in a thoughtful expression. Then, he put away his tough-love method for a second and sat in the seat next to me. "Rose, I love you. You're more like my sister than my cousin, but I'm not going to watch you die. You're right every one of us would die to protect each other, but I trust Scorpius." Swiping his black hair out of his face he sighed sadly. "And honestly if you were in danger I know he would do everything he could to protect you, and I do mean everything."
"Since when did you two become all buddy buddy?" I scowled.
"Since I'm not my brother and I like to give people a chance…" James leaned forward, his eyes forcing me to look at him. "I don't care what happened between you two right now all I care about is keeping you safe."
Most of my anger faded as I starred at him. I never could stay mad at James long, but this time it was because I understood where he was coming from. Wasn't that what I was trying to do for everyone else?
Still, I couldn't bring myself to openly forgive him. Didn't he understand at all what he was doing to me? Sure I never talked to him about Scorpius and he had never even met him until he arrived at the Ministry, but he had to know right? Our mother's were best friends he had to have overheard something about it over the years, but looking at his face I saw nothing of it.
"Fine," I muttered with a sigh.
"You know," He began with an arrogant smirk. "You look like a baby dragon when you're angry…You just sit there huffing and puffing fire, but not saying anything."
Uncrossing my arms, I glowered at him. "You can leave now James."
He raised his hands like I was pointing a bazooka at him. "Alright, alright! Well you both are on training duty this morning."
I opened my mouth to protest, but James with his ridiculously long legs just waltzed away. Taking another swig of Aiden's hangover cure, I braced myself for the hell that was to come. Of course I would try to be the bigger person. I would use all of my sluggish energy to be civil with him. It was going to take everything I had, but I had no choice.
Rising from my seat, I forced myself to walk over to him. When I was standing right in front of him, his eyes flashed to my face and my whole body felt like it was caving in. But I held on, my finger nails clenching onto what remained of my sanity.
"We have to go train downstairs."
"Fine." He replied curtly, grabbing his wand and rising from his chair. "Let's go."
Moving forward, I heard him following behind me, but I didn't check. I knew he was too professional to let our bullshit stop him from doing his job.
On the way down, we said nothing to each other. We were so passed faking small talk and pretending that we both weren't furious with one another.
"Do you want to lead it?" I asked quietly before we entered the training room.
He spoke briskly and purposefully to the group, while I stood in the corner. I'd never seen him at work. Even when we were dating I never saw him work as an Auror, but as I watched him talk to them and check their stances I saw that he was actually pretty good. It came naturally to him, as naturally as breathing. Eventually though he needed to include me. Today was a lesson on subduing a person without magic, which I already knew wasn't a good idea from the start.
"Weasley," He chipped coldly.
I scowled, walked up next to him and then waited for him to give me an instruction. He hadn't called me that since early seventh year and he hadn't expected the return to that to sting me. He knew exactly how to get under my skin to get to me, but I didn't let it show. This wasn't the time for us to have it out.
"Now I will take Weasley's wand and Buckley's wand, and Buckley here is going to try to take her down." He gestured to the only woman in the group. "The point of this exercise is not to fight, but to contain the other person."
Standing at five feet and seven inches and weighing in at just a little over a hundred and thirty pounds I was easy to toss around. But Hadley Buckley looked even easier. She was a small little thing measuring at five feet four inches and weighing in at just a little over a hundred pounds, but I recognized that determined look in her eyes. It was the same look I had when I first started out.
I handed Scorpius my wand and stood a few feet in front of her. Her thick dark hair slunk into her face.
"Now Hadley," I told her in a low voice so the others would hear. "I'm not going to make this easy on you, but I'm telling you to give this everything you've got or those boys are going to eat you alive. Even if you have to hurt me, do it, because I can handle it. Got it?"
She nodded and then took her stance.
Scorpius stood back with the rest of the students. "On my count Buckley, three…two…one-"
The small girl launched herself at me, and almost got a hold of me. She was much faster than she looked, but I was a little faster. Her technique was much different than the boys. They thought to use blunt force, but never just to make a grab for me. Hadley's only thought was to get a hold of me and then she'd worry about binding me after that. She tried for several minutes and really made me work for it, but all she earned from it was a bruised cheekbone and ego.
"Nice try Buckley," He told her curtly, "Now who's next?"
Most of the boys knew me well enough to know that they would leave limping or at the very least bruised, but still every time there was always one that liked to challenge themselves. Once or twice one in the month and a half I've been authorized one managed to get the better of me, but it didn't happen often. After waiting for a few seconds it was clear that no one was going to step up.
"Alright, then one of you has to try and pin me down." He challenged knowingly.
Hadley crossed her arm, still obviously offended for getting singled out. "Why do you try and pin her down?"
"Me?" Scorpius was caught off guard. His eyes switched over to mine, as one of the few brown hairs left on my head fell in my face.
"Yes, you." She stated authoritatively. "We clearly aren't going to catch her, but you have been trained and in the field longer than she has
"I'll hold the wands!" James offered stepping into the room merrily.
I literally considered murdering him in cold blood. My hands squeezed together in a strangling motion as I used every muscle in my body to stay where I was. What THE HELL was he up to?
"It's not professional." I insisted not meeting Scorpius's eye.
"Nonsense," James countered snatching bother of our wands and standing back with the students pompously. "I've fought both of you in front of them countless times. I don't see the difference."
The difference was I had wrestled with my cousins since I was little. James and I had even gotten into a physical fight once, but I'd never gotten into a fight with Scorpius. The most that we ever did was chase each other around and eventually snog. It was nothing but playful. But we knew too much about the way our bodies worked. I knew all of his ticklish spots and all his trick nerves just as well as he knew mine. It was like cheating.
But Scorpius didn't seem to mind, after sending James a particularly nasty look he stepped forward and looked at me expectantly.
What had I ever done to James? The rage was back with a vengeance, but with it came with a shudder of not fear, but excitement. A large part of me really wanted to beat the shit out of Scorpius and now I had the perfect opportunity to do so. So for a second I tried to be rational. I tried to tell myself that this was only asking for trouble. That if I had grown up in the slightest I would just walk away and ignore anything the pair of them had to say to me.
"Unless your scared Weasley." Malfoy drawled.
And suddenly I was seventeen again with a large need to prove myself and I didn't give a single fuck about being the bigger person. I saw the pompous seventeen-year-old boy he used to be clearly in front of me and it was clearly time we had a chat.
"Go for it Malfoy," I growled harshly, widening opening my stance to prepare for any sudden movement.
"That's what I'm talking about!" James flicked his own wand and made plushy seats for him and the thirty or so students behind him well out of the way of any action. "Now get comfy kids!"
He took a step forward, it was a calculated step, and he was doing his best to make sure he was thinking absolutely everything through. Finally he had acknowledged that I wasn't the same girl, and that he shouldn't underestimate me.
We started to move in sync. He would take a step, and I would follow. Then finally, after what seemed like forever he reacted. First he tried to simply tackle me, but I maneuvered around him so I could flip over his back and rush away from him. I barely made it to steps before he knocked grabbed me around the waist and tossed me over his shoulder. My adrenaline hiked up, as his arms snared around me. I elbowed him in the center of his stomach and twisted around as I kicked him in his lower rib. He dropped me instantly, and clutched his side, but he clearly wasn't done. Scorpius waited just a beat for his pain to subside, and then he sprung at me again. I stood by the opposite wall panting, with my hands on my knees as slick sweat dampened the back of my neck and the top of my forehead. His steel eyes sliced through the air between us, as he starred at me the whole world ceased to exist around us.
A large bruise formed on my arms as I ducked his arms swiping to reach me, but he missed and ended up punching my arm. I let out a groan of pain, and he looked like he might stop when I roughly knocked his legs out from underneath him. Scorpius's body crumpled to the floor and before he could get his second wind, I jumped on top of him. My hands suctioned around his wrists, and my legs were angled so they perfectly trapped his. Our minds were still in the fight as he struggled beneath me, but I and I alone had the power.
The harsh warm breath that left his body went right into my open mouth as I glared into his eyes. His body adjusted and he stopped fighting me. It wasn't that he could throw me off of him. There were dozen's of ways for him to His whole body tensed under my weight as the tension between us shifted into something much stronger than hate, and much darker than love. There was a faded, but familiar feeling growing inside of me as I looked at him. I hadn't felt that way in a very long time so it took me a minute to realize what it was. As soon as I understood, I saw the lust in his eyes and a blood red blush rushed to my cheeks.
I could have kissed him. The past was nowhere in sight. All I could see was his chest rising and falling faster and faster because of how close we were. All I could hear was the hitch in his breath as he considered it himself. It was like we were in our own little protective bubble. His body grew warm underneath mine and the parts of my body that were directly touching his began to tingle. I saw the triangle of freckles under his eyes, and his silky blonde hair and I almost lost it. I almost gave in.
But then I looked up and like a tidal wave reality came crashing down on us and I immediately peeled myself off of him. Pushing myself to my feet I fixed my hair and adjusted my outfit. I didn't offer him a hand up. I couldn't bare the thought of touching him. I didn't even look at him. I couldn't handle being under the gaze of his steel eyes for any longer. Instead I waltzed over and took my wand from a stunned James and told him he could finish the rest of the lesson without me.
Controlling my overwhelming anger, I pushed out through the doors and walked as fast as I could to the elevator. Tears were welling up in my eyes, but they didn't fall until after the elevator doors shut.
I just felt more in five minutes than I had felt in the entirety of the past five years and we didn't even kiss. How could that be possible? And more importantly why didn't he throw me off of him? He's supposed to hate me! How am I supposed to go back to hating him after that?
The old saying goes whatever kills you can make you stronger, that part is true, but in the process it kills a little piece of your soul to make you stronger and if you're not careful you could lose it all. And I almost did, again.
Song in the summary is Rolling in the Deep By: Adele. THANK YOU FOR READING! I will update again very soon! PLEASE REVIEW! And thank you to those you who have been!
Chapter 11: Down
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Kelly twirled around in her wedding dress. It looked absolutely stunning on her, Lauren and I swooned in the doorway as we looked at her. Short, petite, dark haired, tiny waisted Kelly looked absolutely beautiful. The dress clung to her little curves and complimented her. Her tan skin glowed against the beautiful ivory gown.
Putting a hand over my heart, I gasped. "Kelly…you look…"
"You aren't even going to make it down the aisle," Lauren cackled boldly. "The minute he sees you he's going to rip that dress of tread-by-tread."
Kelly blushed; her tiny face starred down at us self consciously as she gripped the bottom. "Are you sure it's not…I dunno, too much?"
"Kelly!" I laughed, clapping my hands over my face in excitement. "It's your wedding! I think that dress is pur-fect!"
"You really think so?"
Lauren let out a delighted laugh. "I'm packing you with some contraceptive potions for your wedding night, because you-will-need-them."
Kelly snickered, "Alright, alright! I'll get it!" She carefully moved back into the dressing room.
Lauren sat down in one of the waiting chairs. Crossing her legs she laughed, shaking her head at me. "What?" I asked her.
She said. "I've never seen her so happy."
"Me neither…She's worked so hard." I commented as I sat in the chair next to hers. "If anyone deserves this she does."
Lauren looked at me thoughtfully. "You know I always thought you would be the first."
"First to what?" I questioned.
"To get married." She told me softly as she leaned back in her chair.
The smile drifted off of my face as we looked at one another. "Well." I said sadly, "That time has long passed."
"You don't think you guys will ever get back together?"
Biting my lip, I leaned forward, resting my forearms on my knees as I starred into the empty space in front of me. "I don't think so."
"Why not? You clearly still care."
"Am I that obvious?"
Lauren flicked her long blond hair out of her face. "Yep."
"Ever heard of sensitivity? It's this new fangled thing, you outta give it a try."
She rolled her eyes dryly. "It's like…you were all dead inside." Her tone became serious. "And then the second he returned you came alive again… I actually think he's good for you despite absolutely everything."
I let out a bewildered shaky laugh. "What?"
"He challenges you, you challenge each other and he makes you re-think your life, which I think helps you. You need someone to check you every now and again."
"What do you call what you do?" I countered with a snort.
"Um, excuse me asshole. I would call what I do miracles considering what I have to work with." Lauren told me snidely.
I laughed and shook my head.
Kelly walked out in her jeans and healer union t-shirt. She was perfectly flushed from the excitement of the day. We had been in this bridal shop for just under an hour and already she found her dress. I rose to my feet and slung my bag over my shoulder. A few girls rushed by me to go try their dresses giggling the whole way. The owner came over to speak to Kelly for a second, and I paused next to Kelly as she finalized the order. We were just about to leave when I felt something. Call it my Auror's six sense or whatever, but I knew something was off. Kelly was signing some documents, and she shifted for us to leave when I looked out the window and saw a man.
He had ordinary brown hair, common light brown eyes and a very common face, but his glance wasn't ordinary at all, it was lethal. His wand raised and his mouth began to form words that I had heard too many times.
"GET DOWN!" I yelled as he pointed his wand at Kelly.
She didn't move fast enough. I snatched her by the waist and chucked her at the ground. Wand raised I sent a curse through the broken window to immobilize him. Springing to my feet, I raced to him and binned him with a spell.
"Is everyone-?" I called through the broken window, but once I saw the look on Kelly's face I knew the answer.
The woman, the short stout grey haired woman who owned the shop, the woman who was seconds ago gushing with Kelly about how beautiful she will look on her wedding day, was on the floor. Kelly was sitting with the woman between her legs, her face full of horror and helplessness. Her hands were frozen on the woman's face, and I knew that if Kelly wasn't doing anything that could only mean that the owner was dead. She was used to seeing patients come to her and die on her operating table, but she wasn't prepared for this. Lauren came over and put a protective arm around Kelly's shaking shoulders.
"I'll be right back." I told them. Then I locked eyes with Lauren and mouthed, 'Watch her,' Before apprating to the ministry.
"Are you sure they were after your friend and not the owner?" My uncle asked me for what felt like the hundredth time as he paced in his own office.
"Yes." I answered. "He was pointing his wand at her. I just moved her out of the way and the owner was a casualty."
My uncle ran a hand through his hair, which seemed to have gotten a lot grayer in the past month. "Fill out the report and return to your desk."
I fought the urge to tell him how ridiculous it was that he was keeping me in the dark about why they were there and who they were. But I didn't because I needed to be in the dark.
Already on edge, I actually was looking forward to sitting around the office all day going through cold cases. Sure I had to put up with the raging tension between Scorpius and I, but at this point that was becoming second nature. We'd been stuck together for three days so far and so far we've managed to keep our tempers in check. It wasn't remotely easy, but then again I keep forgetting that we used to hate each other for several years and yet we worked together as prefects and Headboy and Headgirl. Sometimes, when I pictured stabbing him in the eye with my quill, I tried to remember that.
Lily wandered into my office and sat down in the guest chair across from me as Scorpius and I silently worked through our paperwork.
Without looking up I said. "Yes Lil?"
"Um…" She gave Scorpius a bewildered look and it suddenly occurred to me that I never told her (1) that Scorpius was back in town, (2) that he worked in the same department as me and (3) that he was my temporary partner.
"It's temporary Lil. What's up?"
She adjusted her designer dress. "I was wondering if you're free for lunch today."
"Can't," I frowned. "We'll probably be here all night with this case. What's up?"
Sighing, she fiddled with the bangles on her wrist. "I like someone."
An amused laugh escaped my lips. "I have yet to see a problem."
"I don't think he looks at me that way."
I looked up from my work. "Lily, every boy looks at you in that way."
"Not this one."
"Who is it?"
A deep and unforgiving blush arrived on her cheeks. "Oh…um you don't know him."
"Then what's the harm in telling me his name?" I snickered. "It's because I know him isn't it?"
"Let me guess…" I grimaced in disappointment. "Is it Aiden?"
"Ew! Your ex boyfriend? Gross!" She flinched.
"Then why wouldn't you tell me?" I insisted.
She groaned, "Fine! …It's Frank Longbottom."
"Don't tell your mother. She will have a FIELD-DAY with that information."
"Well it's a little hard to let her plan our perfect wedding when he looks at me like I'm a child." She pouted.
I shrugged. "Well he is 26 and you're only 22."
"Um remember when you dated someone that was 10 years older than you." She shot at me suddenly
I frowned. "No."
"Damn…I was really hoping James wasn't lying about that…Anyway, I just wanted some advice."
"From me?" I snorted. "I have no idea how to make Frank see you differently."
"Make him jealous." Scorpius interjected from behind his box of files.
I glared at him, my judgment perfectly clear. "That's how she's going to make him see that she is a mature adult? She's going to make him jealous?"
He moved the box aside so he could see us both clearly. "Look, the best way to get a man to notice you and see you as dateable is to show that another man sees you that way. It helps if it's a guy his own age that he has respect for. And if all else fails and he has no reaction then you will no for sure that nothing you can do can change his mind."
I hated that he had actual logic behind what he was saying, and that he was right. Lily's brown eyes, much like her older brother's, closed in on Scorpius. Her black mascara and light pink eye shadow made her eyes a sight to behold and often made men twice her age stop and stare, but Scorpius didn't look fazed.
"Are you saying that if you were interested in a girl the only way to make you know that would be to make you jealous?"
Scorpius, light eyebrows raised as he scratched his recently shaved jaw. "I'm saying even if a guy isn't the most jealous guy, he will notice if it bothers him if you are all over somebody else. If that doesn't bother him, then he doesn't care about you."
Lily leaned forward giving him a smirk. "Are you a jealous guy?"
"Alright alright Lil," I interrupted her. "We have to work. I'll see you at dinner tomorrow."
"I'd like hear the answer to my question." She smiled at Scorpius coyly.
I physically got up and pulled her out of her chair while rolling my eyes. "I'm sure you would."
"Because isn't that Aiden now?"
Annoyed, I looked across the room, my hand still hooked under Lily's bird arm, and I saw Aiden was indeed smirking at me from across the room. I let out a noise of irritation, and dragged Lily with me.
"If you want to talk more, just owl me. In the meantime go get back to work."
She snickered, "What are you going to do about Aiden?"
I sighed, "Find out what he wants and get back to work."
Lily winked at Aiden and went to the elevator. I placed my hands on my hips and gave Aiden a dirty look, but I faltered. "What are you doing here? I thought we covered everything earlier this week!"
"We did. I just missed you." He grinned.
I rolled my eyes. "That's great. I love you and all, but is there a specific reason you're visiting?"
He pulled me into a hug, and whispered into my hair that no one but me could have heard.
I froze in his arms. "Okay."
Then instead of letting me go and going about his business, his grip on my deepened and I could feel the fear in the tightness of his grip. But I just hugged him back reassuringly. This was risky, but it had to be done, and sacrifices had to be made. I forced him to release me and grabbed his shoulders. Reassuringly I squeezed as I looked up at him.
"I know, I know." He whispered his eyes oddly wet. Then the seriousness disappeared and he couldn't help but grin again. "Malfoy's watching us you know."
I shrugged pretending to be unconcerned. "So?"
"Well…I say we make him sweat for a minute."
"What are you-?"
Aiden, leaned down, his overly long arms scooping me up into a lingering somehow overly intimate hug. I hugged him back, but I wasn't sure what he was trying to do. The whole point of this was that he was supposed to have limited contact with me so he could pass messages, but not be in the line of fire. So why was he being overly friendly?
When we pulled away he gave me a wink and said, "Remember what I said."
Giving him a dirty look I snorted. "I will, thanks."
I didn't know what game he was playing, but I was sure that whatever it was it was too dangerous to play. Once I got back to my desk and began working again, I heard Scorpius gnawing on his gum and everything clicked. Aiden did that to get Scorpius going. My mouth opened to explain to him that I wasn't back with Aiden. That Aiden and I were nothing more than old friends, but I didn't say it. What was the point? Everything I did pissed him off these days anyway and there was no reason for me to explain myself.
Scorpius didn't say a single word to me, but I knew that he was bothered because his lips were much thinner than before. For a few brief seconds I felt a sliver of guilt, but I pushed it away. We would be leaving soon, our shift would be over and he would have the rest of the night to get over my newest disappointing act.
"Rose?" A voice sounded above me drawing my attention to my uncle. "We have another attack."
My throat ceased in my throat as the list of possibilities filled in my head. My eyes filled with fear. "Who?"
"It's Uncle Neville…. He's alright, but you two have to go interview him on the attack." Grimly, he handed me the folder, his face stern, but flickering with sadness. "I want you to report to me as soon as you two return."
I nodded. "It shouldn't take too long."
My uncle frowned. "I don't know about that. You're going to Hogwarts."
All the muscles in my stomach tightened forming this big massive locked knot of anxiety. Scorpius's and I glanced each other, both of our faces filled with apprehension.
Erasing yourself from somebody's life is never as simple as just walking out the front door. Scorpius and I both did a horrible job. We left millions of loose ends and more recently we'd basically come to a silent agreement to accept that. Sure we were both pissed at each other, but we had to work together, so we were almost civil towards each other for the sake of our mutual sanity. This was different.
As soon as we apparated next to the borderline for Hogwarts everything changed. My shoes sunk into the sprightly lime grass, and I staggered for a minute. His arm shot out to steady me.
He asked. "You alright?"
I frowned as I looked across the hauntingly familiar grounds. "Yeah, thanks."
Every memory from my youth came rushing back vividly into my mind as we pushed through the edge of the Forbidden Forrest to the castle. It was like walking on shards of glass barefoot. You knew no matter what you did would hurt, so you tread carefully, but that just made the pieces stick into you deeper. At the office we just stood in the glass, embracing the pain and learning to numb against it. At least that way we could learn to deal with the pain. This wasn't something I could ignore. This was like someone was poking me in the back, forcing me to walk through the plain of glass and endure all of pain that shot through me because of it.
Every time I looked at Scorpius that jagged edge of glass dug deeper and deeper into my foot, jolting shocks of piercing pain up my body. I didn't realize how bad it was until I was faced with the echoes of our past. But Merlin, I missed him. I missed his laugh. I missed his smile. I missed the way he smelt when he just came back from Quidditch practice. I missed the way he looked when he first woke up in the morning. I missed the smell of his coffee stained breath. I missed his ridiculous temper. I even missed obsessive need to have everything in order. Is it even possible to miss someone that's five feet away from you?
I hoped with every single fraction of my soul that this would get easier, but instead it just got worse and worse. Every single place on the grounds had a sacred memory that we shared together.
We used to stay up late talking for hours. Sometimes we'd fight, sometimes we'd snog, but mostly we were just together happy no matter, look what happened to that.
Everything was different, and yet it wasn't. The building hadn't changed at all. The castle was still majestic and wonderful, but darker somehow. Maybe because now I've seen more and know more, but also maybe because I was a much lighter person back then. Looking across the plane of warm grass, I was hit with flashes of memories. It started off with memories just involving Kelly and Lauren, but then it grew. Suddenly I saw my thirteen-year-old self playing with scrawny eleven year old Lily near the Black Lake. I saw James and Hugo chasing Albus and I around the grounds. I saw Aiden kiss me for the first time by the old oak tree right before the forbidden forest. I saw Albus and I helping Hagrid with his newest animal fascination. The last two memories were of Scorpius and me. The first was in our fourth year.
I was laying in the middle of the grass with Albus, Kelly and a bunch of our Quidditch team mates. The sun was high and we all were about to give up the pretense of studying when Scorpius strutted over to me. He always picked on me, but this day was different, because this time he was specifically seeking me out. I remembered being furious. I didn't understand why he was bothering to talk to me in the first place. By the end of our verbal spat I had slapped him and stormed off.
The second memory was drastically different. We had just had a ridiculous fight and I went to go make up with him. He threw me in the lake and then we wrestled in there for a bit, laughing hysterically the whole time. Whatever it was that we fought about I couldn't remember. It was then I realized that any fight could seem stupid six years later. None of it really matters, because no matter what we fought about we always were back together at the end of the day.
Lost in the past, my eyes glistened with tears. How much I would give to go back, to be that person again and have all those experiences again. I would change a lot, but at the same time I wouldn't. I would spend more time with my father, and made sure he knew I loved him. But I wouldn't have changed one second of the time I had with Scorpius.
Then I felt a tug in my stomach, and heard my name called and I was pulled back to the bitterness of reality.
"Come on." He told me coldly.
Nostalgia's such a bitch. Every corridor we passed made my heart grow heavier and heavier until we reached the headmasters office. After a certain point, I wanted to just close my eyes and shut it all out, but for once it didn't work. Usually it was fine. Usually I was fine. I could just walk away from it, walk away from it all, but not here. I couldn't lie to Hogwarts.
I nodded at the Headmaster. Though I did not know him, it was clear by his overjoyed expression that he knew me. Waddling forward, he thrusted his chubby hand into my palm with an overeager expression.
"Rose Weasley I presume?"
I shook his hand and gestured to Scorpius. My voice cooled into its professional tone. "And this is Scorpius Malfoy, we are here with the Auror's office about the attack on Professor Longbottom."
"I'll have a house elf retrieve him from the Hospital wing! You two just sit tight!" He insisted leaving the room.
I frowned. "Where's all the students?"
Scorpius checked his watch. "It's only Five. They probably are still in their lessons."
"Did he seem off to you?" I questioned not sitting though I was instructed to.
"The Headmaster?" Scorpius asked, and shrugged. "I don't think any of them have ever been normal."
Shaking my head, I let out a long breath and finally sunk into one of the chairs in front of the headmasters desk. The Headmaster himself rushed back into the room and sunk his rather large behind in the desk chair behind him. He was …weird, not like any Headmaster I was used to having, seen or even hearing about. But I said nothing. I was here in professional capacity.
"So what is it like to be back?" He asked us.
Completely unbearable. "Fine," I answered coolly.
"Please sit Mr. Malfoy!" He insisted.
Scorpius didn't sit, I could see he was simply too uncomfortable. "How long have you been Headmaster?"
"Two years." He answered cheerfully, his smoky mustache twitching. "I took over after your Headmaster, my predecessor. I have to tell you both it is a treat to have you both back even in this situation."
Scorpius didn't seem to like him. Bluntly he said, "And why is that?"
"Well you both were prefects, top of your class and of course Headboy and Headgirl! Hogwarts loves welcoming home its successful students!"
For a blinding second, Scorpius and I shared a look of contempt towards this man. Its actually quite shocking how much you can convey with a look. But before we became to comfortable we slid back into our vicious hatred of one another and tried to pretend the man didn't bother us.
"Yes, well." I replied shortly.
"I was very troubled to hear about your father Ms. Weasley." He shook his head in dismay, "He was very good man."
My chest dropped and my wand had twitched. "Yes he was."
"Did they have catch the men responsible?" He wanted to know.
I could see Scorpius eye me from where he stood across the room, but I paid him no mind. The room grew still and quiet as we waited for my Uncle Neville to arrive. Though he wasn't genetically my Uncle I couldn't remember a time I didn't call him that. He was an extremely close family friend and godfather to Lily. He was a sweet older man with three kids of his own. One of which Lily had revealed only a few hours earlier that she had a mad crush on.
When he walked in, I rose and enveloped me in a hug. Of course if he hadn't I would have felt guilty for not doing so, but I was supposed to be professional. Thankfully he pushed that out of the way for me, saving me from making that awkward choice. Conjuring up a chair for him I listened to his explanation. Under his light eyes I saw a bruise growing and just above his floppy hairline I saw a rather large gash, but overall he looked fine.
"Have you received any threats from anyone? Students? Staff?" Scorpius interrogated him directly.
Uncle Neville shook his head. "Not a peep. At first I reckoned it was just a mugging gone wrong, but then I realized they never tried to take my money. They were just trying to attack me."
"Where did this happen again?" I muttered as I wrote in the file.
"Hogsmede, in broad daylight." He said. "I don't think they thought I knew how to fight, because they seemed to think that I would go down easily."
Scorpius scowled. "And when the fight ended they scattered?"
"Yep and they were wearing masks so I never saw what any of them looked like." He paused giving me a look. "The masks were the part that threw me off."
Before I knew it I knew exactly what he was going to tell me. Scorpius seemed to tense up too. "What were they?"
"Twisted versions of Death Eater masks…They definitely used the original material and just altered it slightly so it was less …shiny."
"Anything else?" Scorpius asked as he stood perfectly straight.
"Before I tossed them off," He pulled down the collar of shirt to show the space over his heart. "They burned me with this."
I saw the jagged scarlet lightning bolt scar, and instantly I lost all color in my face. Quickly I tried to regroup, but unfortunately Scorpius had been watching my reaction. I let out a breath.
"Well thank you. We will send this information back to the Ministry immediately." My face turned kind. "But next time why don't you wait on honeydukes till the rest of the staff goes?"
He smiled earnestly. "I will Rose. Say hi to your mother for me."
I smiled back, though it took everything in my power to do so. "I will."
"We will let you know if anything comes to light during our investigation." Scorpius told him smoothly, shaking his hand as we headed out the door.
Though my face was impassive, I was shaking under my black Auror Robes. We walked down a flight of stairs past a slew of on coming students. At first I thought Scorpius might not say anything. I thought he might not mention my reaction and just for once let me off the hook. I was wrong.
His arm gripped mine out of nowhere and without a word he pulled me down a familiar path. "Scorpius! What the hell are you-?"
"We need to talk." He told me simply.
I let him force me up the Astronomy tower to the secluded rooftop. Once we were there I pulled myself free and gave him a reproachful look. "What is so urgent you couldn't have said it down there? And why did you have to take me?"
"Because if I would have told you what I wanted to talk to you about you wouldn't have come with me."
Already I didn't like the sound of this. I leaned back on the brick railing as the sun began to set behind me. "Well?"
"You know, don't you?" He said accusingly.
His eyes narrowed. "You know that whoever took you is behind these attacks."
"I-" My mouth formed the lie.
"ROSE." He snapped harshly, his face flushing with anger. "Just answer me."
"Yes," I said snappishly. "I know."
Concern took shape in his eyes, but it was quickly overshadowed by anger. "So what are you planning?"
"Nothing." I lied.
"Because if I know you," He examined me closely. "And I do. You have something up your sleeve. Some kind of trick plan or something."
"Scorpius," I said between clenched teeth. "Just stay out of it."
His eyes widened. "Rose…You aren't going to-"
"I'm not doing anything!" I protested, "Now come on, we have to get back to the office.
"You are literally going to sacrifice yourself and you want me to stay out of it?" He yelled incredulously.
I sighed. "Scorpius just… don't."
"What?" He began sharply, "I should just start acting like nothing happened between us huh? Should I pretend that I don't give a shit what happens to you? It seems to be working just fine for you!"
Finally, that control I had over my life, my temper, that little rubber band that was holding it all together snapped and the old Rose was back. The Rose that would have slapped the shit out of anyone who got in her face and made sure they would never do it again. The Rose that quite frankly had been waiting for this moment to arrive so she could, was out with a vengeance. If he wanted a fight he was going to get a fucking fight.
"You want to go there?" I spat furiously. "You do? Fine!" I faced him fearlessly. "I was tortured for twenty days and twenty nights. And instead of looking for me or even considering that something might have happened you jump into the nearest slut's arms!"
It took him a second to hold onto his rage. He was jarred by my reaction, but he had too much adrenaline to not let it out. "You told me you had enough! I thought you were leaving me!"
"Well then why didn't you wait?" I screamed finally. "A month was all it took and you couldn't keep it in your pants on that long could you?" I pushed him hard in the chest, using my full weight to force him into the brick wall behind him. "COULD YOU?"
"No! I was destroyed so I tried to find someone to fix it!" The words spilled out of his mouth and he instantly looked like regretted it. But it was too late, it was all too late.
I scoffed hatefully, "That's sad. And even worse is that's pathetic…Because you know what? I would have come after you. I would have made sure." My teeth grinded together as I breathed in his face. "I would have waited."
My eyes blazed with emotions as tears streamed onto my cheeks. "You didn't look for me or wait for me. You just moved on." My eyes locked on his. "I would have never done that to you. I would have always come after you." I gulped back the tears as I shook my head at him disgustedly. "And I meant so little to you…I was so replaceable that any girl would have done the trick huh?"
"You don't understand-" He began, his voice much softer than it had been in awhile, but I was done.
"NO!" I shouted, "What would I know about being abandoned? I may have walked out the door. But what you did to me was far worse! And you have the nerve to spend every single minute of every single day hating me? Fuck you! I'm done waiting for you to grow up! I'm done putting up with your shit! I'M DONE! DO YOU HEAR ME? WE ARE DONE! WHATEVER WE HAD! WHATEVER WE MEAN TO EACH OTHER! I'M OUT OF IT! YOU ARE FREE TO BANG WHOMEVER YOU LIKE! I REFUSE TO CARE ANYMORE!"
Heatedly, I took a heated breath, as my chest dropped and rose far too quickly for my liking. I saw his destroyed face and knew my words had found their mark. As I released my hold on the top of his robes, I wiped my cheeks to rid them of tears and I let out a choked sob.
"Isn't that what you wanted?" I asked in the smallest most hurt voice imaginable. "You wanted me to fight back. You wanted me to yell at you." Taking a step back I shook my head. "I don't know why you wanted that. I don't know why you needed me to tell you those things. I don't know why you couldn't just be civil with me and just leave everything else where it was."
Tears of his own shined in his eyes. "Because …I can't."
"Why?" I cried. "Why couldn't you let it go? Why?"
"Because I love you."
It was so blunt, and so…honest. I wasn't prepared for that. I thought he'd say because I deserved it. Anything but that. His right hair was disheveled from where I pushed him and I could see dark circles under his intense steel eyes, but the thing that killed me was the emotion that was there. He meant it; with every fiber of his soul he did truly love me. But that made it all worse.
My heart sank, and I bit my lip. "Well, I wish you didn't."
Then before I could start blubbering, I rushed down the Astronomy steps and away from him.
Years had passed, but nothing had changed. We had the exact same problem as before. Everything told us we shouldn't be together. Everything was telling us that we were better off apart. Everything was screaming for us just get a clue and see that we tore each other to shreds and if we came together again we'd be asking for complete destruction. The problem was the facts changed nothing. Because no matter what we did we couldn't stop loving each other, and that was our biggest problem.
Song in the summary Is Down By: Jason Walker. THANK YOU FOR READING! I will be uploading the next chapter as soon as humanly possible. THANK YOU FOR THOSE WHO HAVE REVIEWED! I really appreciate it honestly. PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 12: In My Veins
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"Sometimes," I said with a mixture of disgust and pride, "I don't think we could be anymore related than we are."
Albus and James gave me weird looks as they ate their food. Albus was first to speak. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"I mean, even if I somehow found out we didn't have a trace of DNA in common, I'd wouldn't believe it. Because you two are so related to me it hurts."
James rolled his brown eyes at me as he continued to scarf down his taco. "I'll take that as a compliment."
"I mean it has to be otherwise she would be insulting herself." Albus interjected with a wry smile, his dark hair falling into his green eyes.
"So Rose, why did you want to see us?" James asked in between sloppy bites. "I was under the impression you were angry with me, for Merlin knows what reason."
My eyes narrowed and I pointed at him accusingly. "You know exactly why I'm cross with you."
He shrugged unconcernedly. "What's up Rose?"
"Can't I just spend time with my cousins?" I asked innocently picking an invisible piece of lint of my shorts.
"Then why didn't you invite Lily?" James countered seeing right through me. "And if this was a true cousin's lunch where is Hugo? You know…your brother."
"I'm seeing him tomorrow. I just feel like I don't get to spend enough time with both of you together."
Albus's had to hide a laugh. James turned to his little brother. "Do you know what she's up to?"
"Not a clue." He said flatly, wiping his hands on his napkin.
"This was very last minute of you. I mean why did you decide to have this just this morning?" Leaning forward, James's large eyes zeroed in on me. "What are you up to?"
I let out a laugh and raised my hands defensively. "You are crazy."
"Well as enjoyable as this was." James snorted, pulling out his wallet. "I have a case in Bristol in twenty minutes…. Unless," He stressed the word specifically, " There is anything you want to share with the class Ms. Weasley."
"Nothing Mr. Potter." I told him as I put my own money on the table.
James shook his head at me. "You're crazy." Then he clapped his brother on the back and left.
"When do you have to go?"
"Not for a minute." He said absentmindedly as he starred around the crowded restaurant. "How are you doing?"
I shrugged, "Fine I guess. Did you hear about Uncle Neville?"
His light eyes darkened, and in that moment he looked exactly like his father. "My mum wrote me about it. You worked the case?"
I nodded eating the rest of my remaining fries. "He was pretty shaken up."
"I can imagine."
For a few minutes we sat in loaded silence. The tables around us chatted in excitement about their plans for the coming summer, but neither of us bothered. The sunlight shined through the large windows on the other side of the room. It landed on Albus's face making his light skin seem even paler and forcing the remaining brown hairs on my head to panic under scrutiny.
"So are you covering the ministry events coming up?" I asked though I already knew the answer.
"Well I think everyone is required to go to this Ministry dinner next week. Aren't you?"
"It's mandatory," I agreed, "I think your sister might be going with Frank."
His face scrunched up in displeasure. "As in Frank Longbottom?"
"The very same…What? Are you going to get all big brother on her?"
A bemused smile appeared on his face. "We'll see. I really can't picture them together. He's so tall and she's so short."
"Most guys like short girls." I shrugged.
"Most guys also like my sister that doesn't mean they should be able to date her." Albus mentioned with a subtle threat hidden in there.
I gave him a disapproving look. "Of all of the boys that girl has gone through I like this choice the best. So why don't you just let it play out?"
"Rose," He began with a sigh, "I may have come far in the past few years, but I'm still me. I still don't think anyone is good enough for you and Lily."
Rolling my eyes. My heart warmed slightly at the sentiment. "As sweet as that is you can't go around scaring any guy that's interested."
He scoffed, with a smirk. "Like I have THAT kind of time. Lily alone would be a full time job."
My watch lit up signaling I had to get back to work. "I have to get back. I'm on an assignment."
He stood up and embraced me in a hug. It was funny what you noticed about a person. James was two years older, taller, broader, with longer hair, darker eyes and much more muscle mass than his younger brother, but that wasn't how I knew the difference between them. It wasn't the fact that Albus was more prone to anger, jealous and general mood swings. It wasn't that I talked to Albus about deeper things or that I talked to James more often. It was that when they hugged it was different. James was a big believer in big sweeping hugs. Often times when I wore flip flops or flats, my shoes fell off as he lifted me off the ground. Albus was different. His arms locked around me protectively and he would tuck my head into his shoulder as he held me securely. James trying to show me every once of affection he could. Albus was trying to reassure me through a simple, but genuine gesture that he would always be and has always been there for me.
I flashed him a smile and was about to leave when he pulled a green apple out of his bag and threw it to me. "My mum worries you aren't eating enough at work." He explained simply.
Snorting I pocked the apple and went back to work.
Scorpius was waiting for me at my desk when I came in. He didn't look at me, but very clearly figured out that I had arrived, because the minute I stopped at me desk he grabbed his cloak and went for the elevators. Sensing that I should follow, I scowled, dropped off my stuff off and trailed after him.
We hadn't looked at each other since the day before when we emotionally vomited all over each other. After everything we'd said to each other it was impossible to even fake a normal conversation. We both knew too much now. Before we could act like we were completely justified in our standpoint and refuse to discuss it, but now that illusion was shattered. I know knew that not only did he never stop loving me, but that he was trying to protect me. And now he knew that it wasn't that I was immune to him, but that I was still furious that he moved on so quickly.
It was at the point where we were both too tired to fight with one another anymore. What was the point? We couldn't change the past. And it didn't seem like we could even be able to forgive each other for it.
We finally let everything out and now we both understood perfectly. This was just all too much. Before there was an anxiety that one of us might set the other off and then there would be this huge explosion, but post-war that anxiety was gone. All that was left was our own throbbing broken hearts.
"What's the assignment?" I sighed, as I leaned against the cool elevator door.
"We are on a cover-opp." He said. "We have to go change."
And I just said, "okay."
My eyes closed for a second as I felt completely and totally hollowed out. As I stood there I tried to think of what it was about us that always felt unfinished. He was 24 years old, attractive, smart, and everything a girl could want, but that wasn't it. There were a million guys that fit that description. I've been rejected and have rejected dozens of guys and loved some too, but I've never felt this. This unnatural pull dragging me towards him was constant and never ending. But why? What was it about him?
Despite myself I looked over at him, and tried to see what it was. But I couldn't put my finger on what it was.
Was I just kidding myself?
Had we ever been happy or did I just imagine it? And did I even still love him or was I just simply to stubborn to let go of the past? What was it that I was even holding onto? How were we even sure if we loved each other? We've changed so much. How are we even sure we know each other anymore?
I wanted to ask him. There was no pride to hide behind anymore, but we did have to work. And it was too much effort to go back there when we were about to pretend to be other people. But I did let myself look at him, even if he knew I was looking I still did it. My gaze shifted as soon as the elevator doors opened and we moved out from the main floor.
I cleared my throat and walked along with him. "Well?"
"I'll just side along apparate you." He told me calmly.
A day ago I would have fought him, and told him that I could apparate myself. But today I stopped myself and just let him have it.
When we reached the apparation point he held out his arm, and I wrapped my arm around his. Our skin didn't touch, but under my cloak I felt a rush shoot up my arm. His face shifted for a moment, and I knew he felt it too. But instead of talking about it, we just apparated away.
"Did they catch whoever killed Mrs. Edelson?" Kelly asked quietly from dinning room table hours later.
I frowned. "No, they didn't."
"Question," Lily asked me lowering Kelly's wedding color scheme and hiking herself up on the kitchen counter next to me. "How is it that you were furious at Albus years ago for messing with your relationship with Scorpius to the point of almost disowning him but James does the same thing and you're just a little pissed?"
I sent her a look. "I'm more than a little pissed at James and they aren't the same thing at all."
"Albus went behind my back and erased not only my memory, but Scorpius's memory to keep us from each other. It was completely unnecessary and over-dramatized. He took away my ability to make my own decisions and then had the nerve to not feel bad about it."
Lily waited for me to continue.
"James," I breathed, reaching over and handing Kelly the amended seating arrangement for her wedding. "Told me exactly what he was doing, and perhaps in spite of the fact that I don't want to be near Scorpius, James seems to honestly think that we should be together."
"Interesting, but wasn't Albus's whole thing how he genuinely believed he was doing the right thing?"
I scowled, pushing the old memory away. "Nothing involving a memory charm is doing the right thing."
"I still think they are similar."
"Maybe, but James isn't forcing me into anything. If I really wanted to I could get reassigned, and he knows that. So that is why he's testing his limits, but not forcing them."
Twirling her red hair between her fingers, she looked at me. "Why won't you get reassigned?"
Hesitation filled me, but I shook it off. Why didn't I ever ask to be reassigned? My Uncle would have had no trouble granting that request. Sure I would have gotten flack from the idiots in my department, but what was knew about that? They always were trying to get at me anyway by saying that I only was licensed because of my family. It seemed completely unnerving to me that the thought had never even occurred to me.
Focusing on Kelly's wedding details, I moved out of the kitchen and sat in the chair next to Kelly. Though she was still happy that she was getting married, Kelly was still shaken up about what happened. It was clear by how pale her ordinarily tan skin was. I frowned, but knew nothing I could say would make a difference.
"Why did you want to become an Auror Rose?" Lily interrogated leaping off the counter top and wandering over to our table. "I mean I get the adrenaline rush aspect, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary work and ridiculous hours. Didn't you pull two all nighters this week?"
I shrugged as I double-checked the names on the invitations. "I like it."
"I think there's two very different, but important reasons you became an Auror." Lily stated evenly her dark eyes centering on me. "One being what happened to you and your father. That rage had to be put somewhere were you felt you were doing something for the greater good. Also you thought you might be able to hunt down the men that did it to you, which you did."
I eyed her curiously. "And the second?"
"The first reason is obvious and is a reason you would give to anyone that knew what happened to you. The second reason on the other hand is more subconscious. I think another reason you became an Auror was because you knew someday you would run into Scorpius again."
I opened my mouth to refute it but she held up a hand to stop me.
"Think about it. Why an Auror? You could have literally gone out there without a badge to find those people. And that way no one would have be able to stop you with rules and regulations. So why did you have to make your pursuit legitimate? You could have even joined a similar department that would have gained you the same file access, but you didn't. Because you knew eventually you'd cross paths with him."
"Most of family is in the department," I disagreed, but she cut me off again.
"Which is actually another reason for you to avoid it because wasn't it always your big thing to make it on your own in a field away from your family?"
Finally I had no counterpoint. She was right, but I no longer had the energy to fight her. Who cared why I joined and why I didn't ask to be with someone else? It didn't change a single thing. At the end of the day we were still broken, and stuck in it.
Exhausted, I ran a hand through my hair and groaned. "Lily… can we not do this please? I have to help Kelly figure this out."
"I'm merely suggesting that you stop swimming around in the past, and you start thinking about what you want now."
I gave her a dirty look.
Pouting Lily sighed. "Fine. I will let you drown in denial, but when it occurs to you that you both are being incredibly and ridiculously stupid," She put her large sunglasses on her face and swung her oversized purse over her tiny bird arm. "You know my address."
Snorting, I gave her a smile. "Bye Lily!"
Kelly made a noise under her breath but I shook my head at her. "Don't. I'm exhausted. The last thing I need is a discussion about my ex boyfriend. Believe me I've been asking myself all of these questions for years and I don't know! Everything is complicated. Everything is blurred. I don't know anything about any of it. All I know is we have to figure this shit out tonight."
She rubbed my back reassuringly. "We don't have to-"
"No we do." I told her firmly, "I might be…busy soon and I just want this taken care of while we have the time." I breathed as I wiped the sleep out of my eyes.
I could see the hesitance in Kelly's black coffee colored eyes. She was so maternal, it was in her natural instinct to protect everyone around her, but I couldn't let her keep me on that list. The attempt on her life was the beginning. The more time that went by, the more fragile all of our lives became.
For the rest of the night we finished her wedding plans and then passed out on opposite sides of my couch. When I woke from the sound of my alarm in the other room, I forced myself up and over to my room. I changed out of my sweats into my black dress pants and white blouse. Kelly was still sound asleep, her black hair was flat against her little face as she tucked her feet into the creases of the couch. She looked so peaceful that I couldn't bring myself to wake her. I knew she had the day off anyway, so I went to the cabinet and set out some cereal for her and left for work.
You can plan a million things in a thousand different ways. You can think you have everything figured out, mapped out, and perfectly controlled. But what scares the shit out of you, what scares the shit out of all of us, is the element of surprise.
Today was just a normal day to everyone else, but not to me. I could feel the tremor of anxiety in the air, warning me that everything was not going to be all right.
Scorpius was sitting in his desk, prompt as usual. He looked up and even nodded when he saw me arrive. I guess today he was willing to push out enough energy to be civil.
"Anything for today?" I asked him with a sigh.
He shook his head. "We are on cold cases again."
I scoffed. "Ugh."
In between my hand cramping out and my neck stiffening, I yawned and checked the clock.
"Want to send for food?" I groaned to him as I covered my face with my hands.
"Yeah." He answered quietly. "What do you want?"
"Anything will work."
I removed my hands from my face when I heard him softly laughing. My face broke out into an exhausted smile as we both laughed at how empty and tedious this was. There were rarely any break in cold cases, and even if there were we wouldn't be able to do anything about it until tomorrow. This was just busy work.
Scorpius and I laughed for a few minutes before he paused. I looked to my Uncle Harry standing in front of our desks. Any lightheartedness faded as I saw the darkness in his eyes. Without thinking about it, I stood and braced myself.
"Rose," My Uncle started and I knew exactly what he was going to tell me from his tone.
Putting down my cloak I eyed him. "Who's dead?"
My jaw dropped in shock as my head shook involuntarily. "No."
"The killer left this." He handed me a note and I knew immediately by the handwriting.
'Roses are red
Violets are blue
I'm going to burn down this town
Starting with you.'
And beneath the note was a necklace that was ripped off my neck years ago. It was slightly rusted from lack of up keep, but I recognized my own initials and the shape of the steel. It was the necklace Scorpius had given me for Valentines day my seventh year. I used to never take it off.
My back became thick with anxious sweat, and I felt Scorpius hesitantly move out of his desk and next to me. My Uncle took back the note.
"I'll speak with you later." He told me before walking away.
My throat ached and my shoulders began to shake as I held the necklace in my hand. They must have tested it for any kind of hexes already, but that didn't matter. It wasn't sent to do physical damage. It was meant to do emotional damage.
I moved as fast as I could to the filing room. The bathroom was too far away. You can tell yourself something a billion times. You can try to engrave it into your soul to the point of it becoming a second nature fact. But it won't work. Because there are something's you can't just learn to accept. And the fact that there is a team of people out there with the soul purpose to destroy me and everyone I love is one of those facts.
Shutting the door, I began to shake, and cry. My plan, all my preparations were still in place, but I wasn't. What if everything went to hell? What if I trusted the wrong people? What if at the end of the day none of this matters because we are all going to die anyway? The fear that had building up inside of me all month was spilling out of me. The door behind me opened, but I turn around. I was obviously freaking out, they'd see that and leave. They wouldn't feel compelled to help because they couldn't see my face.
The door shut and I let out a breath of relief. I turned and was shocked to see Scorpius standing there. My face was puffy and so shamefully covered with tears. I didn't have the chance to shy away or even wipe my face. His face for once wasn't impassive, his eyebrows were shifted inward and his eyes were wide with tears. All the muscles from his jaw to his collarbone were constricted with noticeable discomfort.
"What?" I croaked in a small voice.
"Is that…?" He breathed gesturing to the necklace still locked in my hands.
I nodded, my eyes locked on his, completely unable to look anywhere but at him. "They took it from me…when they…" I let the sentence drift off and die as my voice shook.
Then, he took a step forward, and another, until he was standing right front of me. In the past few minutes everything had changed, I could see it in his deep steel eyes and he seemed to let go to any remain resentment and anger. His hands reached forward and without any hesitation he pulled me into his chest. Instantly his arms wrapped around me as if couldn't bear to not hold me any longer, his grip tightened. I buried my face into his neck before I control myself. All sense of what was right and wrong was lost in me. All I knew was I couldn't pull myself away from him the thought alone was unbearable.
"This should have never happened in the first place." His eyes hardened in unmistakable guilt as he whispered. "I should have gone after you."
"Scorpius," I groaned, wishing with every breath left in my body that we didn't have to have this conversation. "You couldn't have known. I just left you. You shouldn't feel bad at all."
"Rose, I know you have this perspective that what happens in your life doesn't affect me." He snapped shortly, as I pulled away. He brushed my tears away with the side of his hand gently, his arms still around me. "But it does and you need to learn to get over that."
I rested my hands on his strong shoulders and let out a slow breath. "I know, but I'm okay. And you shouldn't worry about me."
"I can't control it." His hand cupped my face. "I will always care about you."
My whole body melted as I sunk into his embrace. I swooned like a fifteen-year-old girl as I looked up into his eyes. After all this time, after everything we put each other through, we're still here. How could we still feel this? I didn't have it in my to fight anything anymore. I wanted to be in his arms, I wanted to be with him, but it wasn't safe. Did he know how serious this was? Did he know how close we all were to disaster?
Stepping away from him, I sighed and tried to pull myself together, but instead all I felt was the ache of leaving his arms. "I think I'm going to leave early."
"Fine, I'll take you home."
My chest tightened and my whole body filled with panic. "I can manage."
"I'm on orders." He told me firmly. "You can't go anywhere alone now."
He couldn't come with me. This couldn't happen. I considered shaking him, but I knew there was no way in hell he would let me out of his sight. So I would have to trick him. I didn't want to deceive him in anyway, but what was my choice? I couldn't let him get hurt by this, by me. Even if I'd lose him forever at least he would be alive to hate me. But until then I'd have to play along. I'd have to make it seem like I was just shaken up and that it was nothing more. I'd have to lie to his face. The thought hurt me more than it should have, but I pushed it away. This was the way it had to be. There were no other options left.
We apparated a mile away from my flat, my nerves were shot, I jumped at even the slightest noises around me. Tears surged down my face as the street became alive with color. Everything was more vivid from the random civilians to the man standing right next to me. Scorpius put a protective arm around my shoulder. It was so…natural, my body shifted into his instantly and my mind felt more at ease. But it didn't last because I knew what was to come.
Once we reached the door, I halted. My eyes caught onto something that was sitting next to the doorway, a green apple.
I like to consider myself a strong person. I like to think I'm selfless and courageous. We all do don't we? We like to wake up every morning and think that every decision we make that day will make a difference, and maybe it will, but most days it doesn't. Most days your decisions aren't important at all. But for me, in this moment my decision was.
I could stay. I could be with Scorpius, really be with him and enjoy it while it lasts, but he would always be in danger. And if I really loved him, if he meant more to me than I meant to myself I would put his life over my momentary happiness. And for a moment I considered it, but the moment passed and I knew it wasn't right. I couldn't take his life away from him. I couldn't do it. No longer could I be selfish with him. And knowing that he would probably never want to see me or speak to me again killed me. But I had no choice. This was the only thing I could do.
I had to knock him unconscious or find a way to get him away from me as quickly as possible. I had to act before he realized what I was doing. I didn't know specifically what was going to happen, but I did know I had to put as much distance between Scorpius and myself as possible.
Thinking fast, everything happened in a blinding flash. Violently I stuck out my foot and tripped him. Surprised, he released his hold on me and fell forward. I had only seconds before he would get back on his feet and try and stop me. Propelling myself forward, I ran into the building as he his body dropped to the ground, out of the range of whatever triggering mechanism was on the building.
At first I thought I'd gotten the signal wrong, but as soon as I locked the door, there was a small signaling noise. It was a soft little beep, something that could have easily an alarm clock, but I could feel with every fiber of my soul it wasn't.
My heart stopped and my body locked in place, making me enabling me from rethinking this decision and running away.
This was it. There was no turning back.
I clenched my eyes close as my body convulsed in hysterical sobs. The blast scorched a blast through the building, shattering the windows, shaking the floors. Beneath my closed eyelids, I pictured the roaring crimson tide heading toward me, but I didn't move. The building came alive with fire trapping me inside before consuming me.
Scorpius was screaming and hollering to get in, but it didn't matter because I was already gone.
So it's the strangest thing, but I uploaded this a few days ago and then I went to check on it today and it was gone...So i'm re-adding it. Weird though huh? Song in the summary is In My Veins By: Andrew Belle. THANK YOU FOR READING! You have no idea how much it means to me that you all bother reading this. PLEASE REVIEW! And thank you to those who have been! You are the best!
Chapter 13: Here Without You
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“SCORPIUS!” James roared his arms seizing Scorpius by the waist and using every ounce of his strength to hold the struggling man back. “SHE’S GONE! YOU CAN’T GO IN THERE!”
“NOO!” Scorpius screamed as he punched, kicked and did everything in his power to break free, but he couldn’t. “LET ME GO POTTER! LET-ME-GO!”
James winced, “I can’t Scorpius…She’s gone!...She’s gone.”
No matter how hard he tried or how hard he fought he couldn’t break free from James’s hold. James held onto him until the Ministry members came and even then he kept a close watch on him.
“No.” Scorpius kept repeating to himself, his eyes unfocused as he looked at the remains of what once had been Rose’s building.
His whole life wasn’t over. He wasn’t committed to her in any real sense. He had a job. He had friends. He had a family. But at the end of the day he still felt like he was watching his entire life burn to the ground.
Two hours later Hugo stood in front of his mother’s house, with a face full of tears. His eyes, his cheeks were crimson from the hour he’d spent crying. All of the weight of his life was sitting on his rib cage, crippling him and shaking him to the core. His tall, once gangly figure leaned against the door as he tried to prepare himself for what was to come though he knew there was nothing he could do help this.
He knew one day he’d have to make this visit, as soon as his sister joined the Auror’s office he knew this day would come. But he always hoped with every fiber of his being that she would be the exception. He always believed that his sister would simply be too headstrong to die. But the day had come and he wasn’t even remotely ready for it. How could he look at his mother and tell her this?
Inside Hermione Granger Weasley was sitting in her favorite armchair in her study. She could see her son leaning against the front door of her house and she knew this would be the hardest part of this whole ordeal, pretending she didn’t know anything. When her son came in the house she would have to lie to him, and more importantly she would have to make him believe it. Sometimes she wished she could be ignorant. Sometimes she wished that she wasn’t always in the loop, because doing so made everything else so much more complicated.
Adjusting her bushy brown hair, she scooted back farther in her chair making her sweater ride up slightly. She didn’t mind, because like so many other random little things it reminded her of her long departed husband. Hermione Weasley looked across the room at an old picture of them taken right before she was pregnant with Rose. They’d been so happy, so in love and everyday she ached from the pain of his absence. It was true that every day it got easier, but she knew that pain was always going to be there. It was there to remind her of him, of them and of what she was lucky to have in the first place.
As she tried to plan out how she would react to the news her son was about to give her she started to think about the way of the world and she remembered something that had occurred to her a few years ago. She was sitting in this very same chair and she found a letter he had sent to her years ago when she was studying in France. Instantly she fell to the floor, cradling the note, as she broke into hysterical tears. She wondered if this agony would ever cease and what practical thing she could do to help it. But her overly logical mind couldn’t find a solution no matter how hard she tried. It didn’t make sense to her. Her husband wouldn’t want her to feel any pain or distress over him being gone and yet she felt it and would always feel it. It took her a long time to realize why, but when the answer hit her she was so shocked she laughed, the first real laugh since her husbands death.
Love, she now understood, was like an alarm clock. For most days you set your alarm clock for a specific reason, to wake up for school on time, to remind you to take your medication or to generally keep track of time. Hermione reasoned that love was a lot like that. When something is important enough to you, you remember it, whether it is meeting at the market or going to a meeting, there’s a subconscious alarm clock inside of you ringing, nudging you to remember.
At first she thought this was a bad thing. She worried she would be tortured to live in the past and think of nothing but his untimely death. But as time grew on she began to see things differently. She started to see that it wasn’t a punishment, but it was a gift. A part of her needed to remember. She needed to know that once a upon a time she loved one person with all of her heart and that some one else loved her that much too. Even in her darkest moments she needed to know that even though he may be gone that love still exists and will always be there for her to hold onto.
In the distance she heard the front door bell ring and knew Victoire would answer the door first. In the past few days Victoire and her protruding belly had been getting restless from being locked away in the house, but Hermione knew she would be able to walk around freely soon enough.
“Aunt Hermione!” Victoire’s soft voice called up the stairs, “Hugo’s here!”
Hermione let out a short sigh, and pushed herself off her chair to her feet. Then after giving the photo one more fleeting look she frowned and went downstairs to see her son.
“James.” Harry Potter whispered as he came into the St. Mungos. His eldest son was sitting far away from all the civilians, his face was dark and his eyes were completely bloodshot.
Biting his lip, James nodded tentatively, “Dad.”
“I’m fine,” He waved away his fathers concern. “Just some minor burns.”
“Did you-?” Harry began hesitantly not quite sure how to phrase the question.
James shook his head, his long black hair falling into his face. “Scorpius wanted to do it.”
“Scorpius?” Harry frowned thoughtfully.
“He was there when it happened. I had to hold him back from going in after her.” James whispered as his father sat down beside him.
“He hasn’t a word since…” James’s soft voice drifted off as rough tears sprung in his eyes. He looked up at his father. “I don’t know what to do dad…I can’t…” He croaked, his face shuttered as he fought back the emerging tears. “She can’t be dead. Not Rose. She was too smart for this to happen to her. I mean I knew they’d come for her, but…not like this.”
His father, the great and famous Harry Potter shifted in his seat without a single word of wisdom to share. He’d seen a lot of deaths in his fifty-three years of life and had lost many of his family members, for that matter but this was the only one that didn’t feel …right. This didn’t feel finished at all. It just felt like someone cut her life short like stopping in the middle of a sentence without adding any punctuation. There was no coma, no period; it just ended without any real conclusion.
Harry Potter ran a hand through his graying hair, and put a hand on his eldest son’s shoulder. “I don’t know son…I don’t know.”
“Has anyone told Albus?” James asked between deep breaths.
“Your mother did a few minutes ago.”
“How did we get here dad?” James sniffed through tears. “My generation was supposed to be beyond this. We weren’t supposed to be attacked for being blood traitors or for the war. It was supposed to be over.”
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned.” Harry sighed, “It’s that some people never really let go of the past.”
Sitting by himself, in a sea of empty chairs six floors down, Scorpius sat perfectly still. People had tried to talk to him, but he didn’t talk to any of them. He didn’t have it in him to pretend to be interested in what anyone else had to say.
It was simple. If she wasn’t alive then he didn’t want to be alive either, because a world without her was a world he didn’t want any part of.
She could be a million miles away. She could be married with seven kids. None of that mattered as long as she was happy and alive. He was even flexible on the happy part, because that could always change with time. The one thing he wasn’t flexible on was the possibility that he would never see her again. Even when they hated each other, even when they wished each other bodily harm, at the end of the day he would always love and protect her with every morsel of his soul and he couldn’t even consider the thought that in the end that wasn’t enough.
He didn’t choose it. He didn’t choose this. If he had a choice he would have picked someone different, someone less brave, someone less fearless, someone less selfless. Someone he could give up. Someone he could forget about. Someone he could handle losing. Anyone but Rose. Only Rose could wring his existence out like this. He had a life before her. He had a life after her, but none of it was important. It didn’t matter to him that they’d changed. It didn’t matter that they might not have worked out anyway. All that mattered was that they never even got the chance to try. He would never be able to make her understand how much he regretted the time they spent apart. He would never be able to make her understand how deeply he loved her.
When you’re seventeen it’s easy to think you love someone and maybe you even do, but it can fade quickly and move into being a past memory even quicker. How you know it’s real is when you’re tested. For Scorpius it was the years apart and then finally seeing her again that did it. He’d told himself when they were dating that he would be fine if they’d break up. He even went as far to tell himself when it happened he would be fine as if he knew for a fact that something would come along and rip them apart. And he was right. But the part that he got wrong about was himself. He wasn’t fine when they were over and he never got over it like the assumed he would. Because when you love someone with all of your heart and they love you the same you never really let them go.
Scorpius didn’t know himself half as well as he thought he did. He had always programmed himself to be the better version of his father, modernized and past all of his father’s petty flaws. It took Rose leaving for him to realize he could be more than that, that he actually had always been more than that. She was the only person who ever saw that.
Even when he came back he saw it in her blue eyes, that instinctual trust, that unyielding faith in him and his abilities. She might have said she hated him, but he could see that it wasn’t true. She wanted to hate him. She wanted it to be that simple, but she was drawn to him just like he had always been gravitated towards her. And despite everything that he had done to her she still saw through every façade he put on and saw who he really was. Just like he saw past all of her toughness and newly acquired skill to see the girl who could save herself, but wouldn’t despise him if he did it for her.
But that wasn’t the only reason he knew he loved her. There were millions of annoying reasons that continuously presented themselves to him. The one that stuck out the worst was how he felt when he was near her again for the first time. Past his rage, past his hurt, past everything was… happiness. He didn’t recognize it at the time; he was too blinded by everything else to see it, but apart of him needed her and would always need her. She was vital to him. Even if he could never be with her, he needed her around to believe that one day he could be whole again. Something he hadn’t been since she first left him.
He buried his head in his worn hands as he curled forward on the cold bench.
How could she do this to him? How could she make him fall in love with her all over again and leave him again?
She really did make him love her again. Despite all of their efforts to stay separate from one another, to not care, in the end none of it made a difference. Her voice, her jokes, her spirit, she may have become tougher, she may have become darker, but the real Rose hadn’t changed much at all. Her temper may have been more controlled but it still was there.
Now her laugh rang in his ears. He heard it merely seven hours earlier and now it was haunting him into madness. He should have fought harder. He should have done everything in his power to save her. He should have hexed James and gone after her. Even if nothing changed he should have died next to her.
“Mr. Malfoy?” A healer whispered through the open door.
Scorpius looked up, dropping his hands from his face. “Yes?”
“You can identify the body now.”
Forcing himself to his feet, he used every bit of his strength to hold himself together as he followed the fifty something year old healer down the dark, frigidly unsettling hallway.
He couldn’t believe it. He wouldn’t let himself. If he saw her, if saw her body then he wouldn’t be able to deny it anymore. And that piece of himself that always belonged to her would break off of him and be gone forever.
Scorpius hesitated at the door the morgue. James had offered to be the one to do this, but he knew it had to be him. If it wasn’t her mother that had to indentify Rose than Scorpius didn’t want anyone else to do it.
“In here Mr. Malfoy.” The woman gestured inside, her dark eyes filling with kindness as she saw the pure, unfiltered misery in his grey eyes.
Scorpius straightened up his jaw and stepped towards the gurney boldly. The walls were lined with cabinets and inside were corpses. The blonde hairs on his arms stuck up as he crossed his arms and starred at the sheet over the deceased body less than five feet away from him.
No matter how many times he tried to drill the idea into his head it never stuck. So he knew there was only one way to make himself see what he didn’t want to. This was going to kill him. It was going burn out any part of him that good, any part of him that was decent. But he couldn’t live in denial. He needed to face this, for better or for worse.
The healer lifted the sheet up, “Is this her?”
Gulping he took a step forward and prepared himself. The skin was too burned for him to be able to see her delicate pale skin or freckles, but even with her eyes closed he could see her square chin, her rounded nose and her wide lips. It was her.
“Yes,” He whispered in a voice two octaves lower then his own. “It’s her.”
The healer looked up, her eyes beaming with sympathy. “Was she your wife?”
“No…no.” He found himself unable to look away from her and couldn’t find the words to explain what Rose was to him in a way she could understand.
He wasn’t dating her anymore, they had no commitment between them and they hadn’t for sometime. In fact they’d never been engaged, they never officially lived together and they never had a status more permanent than girlfriend and boyfriend between them, but even that felt insufficient to show what they were to one another. How could a phrase he heard guys commonly speak of the girl they were casually shagging apply to him and Rose? They’d always been more than that, even when they didn’t intend to be.
His hand lowered his hand to her hair; he twirled it for a second, before stepping away from her body completely. Then as he felt himself lose control he turned away from the gurney and clamped his hand over his mouth.
“Sign here.” She told him handing him a clipboard.
As the clipboard slid into his hand he read:
This is the deceased body of Rose Weasley, I the undersigned identify the body.
For a moment, he saw every second, every memory he had ever had with her and before he could even consider controlling himself he saw tear drops fall from his face to the paper. Snatching the pen, he signed his signature and bolted from the room.
His long legs carried him far as he did everything he could to stop himself from sprinting. He heard heels clicking behind him but he didn’t turn to see who the owner was.
“Mr. Malfoy!” The healer caught up to him. “You forgot her personal affects.”
Broken, disheveled and beyond any sort of compassion he starred at the floor and held out a shaky hand. She placed a plastic bag in his hand.
“I’m sorry for your loss.” The woman whispered before walking back to the morgue.
In the bag was a pair of earrings he knew her father had given her the Christmas before he died and the heart shaped necklace Scorpius had given her many years ago. It was everything he could do to not break down and die right then and there. His had gripped the bag and he apparated to his flat. Falling to his knees he threw the bag against the wall with all of his strength and crawled into the fetal position. All of his composure was gone. He was completely ruined.
At the Potter residence Albus’s face was pale as he heard his sister sobbing with his mother in the next room. He knew he should go in and comfort them, but he didn’t have time. So instead he grabbed something from the kitchen and left into the night.
After shaking three tails, he finally arrived at his destination. Albus double-checked the perimeter before walking into the abandoned building. Being a rookie, and given the status of the situation, he was extremely paranoid and cautious. He needed this to work out as planned or all of this was for nothing. Once he got inside he loosened up and relaxed.
As he opened the basement door, he whistled and walked inside. In his hand was a bright green apple. Without looking, he threw it across the room before turning around to lock the gate behind him.
“All taken care of chief.” He announced with a sigh.
“Good,” Rose responded coldly, catching the apple out of the air and taking a rather large bite out of it. She sat against the old dusty brick wall, her knees against her chest as the moonlight shined against her face. “We’re back in business then.”
Song in the summary is Here Without You By: 3 Doors Down.
I really just want to take a second to appreciate all of you. I honestly would have never written a sequel if it hadn't been for all of your support. So I want each of you to know that every chapter I write is dedicated to each and every one of you that bothers to take the time to not only read my work but review it. Honestly thank you!
PLEASE REVIEW! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!
Chapter 14: The Hardest Part
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I sniffed loudly and rolled over to eye my cousin. "Huh?"
Albus frowned, as he fumbled with something in his hand. He seemed to chose his words wisely as he looked at me. "Do you…Well, do you regret it?"
"Dating Malfoy." He immediately raised his hands defensively as my face turned to annoyance. "I don't mean because what I put you through. I mean because eventually it broke your heart and it still hurts you now."
Groaning I turned from my spot on the floor to face away from him. "Can we not talk about Scorpius? Please? I really don't want to think about him right now."
"Well we're gonna be here for a while we might as well talk about something."
"Al you honestly don't have to stay here. I'm sure Aunt Ginny and Lily are worried about you."
Albus scoffed. "They'll just think I'm off sulking somewhere. You're the only one that would have come looking for me."
"Well that may have changed now that I'm legally dead." I told him wryly.
"Sure if I don't show up by the end of the day James will look for me, but for right now I think they'll have their hands full mourning you." Albus told her honestly.
A ball of impenetrable guilt heated up in my chest as I thought of my grieving family. I never wanted to put any of them through this. I would rather be tortured alive for the rest of my life than cause a single one of them pain, but I had no choice. As soon the attacks began I knew exactly where it would take me. With me dead my family stands a chance, with me alive they all would have ended up dead.
But as I looked across the room at Albus I realized I was being unnecessarily rude. Sure it brought up painful memories of my betrayal to talk about Scorpius, but Albus wasn't asking for much. He, after all, had given up just as much as I when he agreed to help me. So I put my feelings aside and answered him.
"No I don't regret dating Scorpius." Pausing, I curled my lip thoughtfully. "I definitely regret the way it ended, but I don't regret what we had together."
"Why though? If it hurts you now?"
This was easy enough to understand, but Albus had never been in love. So anything in regards to the whole process confused him. He didn't see how if something damaged you, how you wouldn't take it back if you could. It was only something that could be understood after you went through it. Looking into his 24 year old face, I was saddened. He saw me and felt pity for the pain I felt and always have felt. In his mind it should be avoided not sought out. It was like looking into the face of a fearful child.
"Because it hurts because it meant a lot to me." I sat up and starred at the dusty concrete wall next to me. "He meant a lot to me. And I needed him in my life. He made me a better person and through that I grew stronger. Strong enough to handle what came after we were done."
Albus shook his head. "It's seems pointlessly painful."
"To you maybe, but wait. One day you'll wake up and you'll want the girl who spent the night to come back or maybe stick around for breakfast." I gave him a knowing smirk before becoming somber again. "And you'll get this feeling in your chest. This feeling that will make you feel braver, better and more alive than you've ever felt before and you'll realize that although you are perfectly fine on your own you aren't even remotely as happy without them."
I ran a hand through my hair while I released a slow breath. "If we make it through this I'm going to talk to him. I'm going to tell him we should just let go of it and move on."
He titled his head in thought. "Why let go of it, if it means so much to you?"
"Because," I breathed, "When he finds out I'm alive and I let him believe I was dead…" I hung my head in shame. "He's going to hate me, and he deserves to."
Albus was outraged. "You are ridiculous. You faked your own death to save him, to save everyone! How could he possibly be mad at you for that?"
"Do you know what I've put him through?" I shot at him defensively, my eyes slicing into him. "I've broken him in every way I can without cheating on him. You can't possibly understand how deeply you can hate a person until someone you love has betrayed you."
Albus had nothing to say to that.
I shook my head and tried to shake the thoughts this conversation had stirred. We needed to focus. If we didn't focus the darkness would take over me and break me. We'd come too far to let it all slip now. We had them right where we needed them and I needed to end this for once and for all. I couldn't let my personal feelings get the way of protecting my family. They were going to come raining down hard soon and I had to be ready for it.
Albus shifted to leave, but he hesitated. "When are they going to strike?"
"Tomorrow at the charity auction." I answered. "It's mandatory for all ministry officials to attend."
"If this all goes according to plan, then what?"
I frowned. "What do you mean?"
"Then what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to spend the rest of my life groveling to everybody." I admitted freely as I closed my eyes. "This may be the right thing to do, but I'm still doing a horrible thing to get it done. And no matter what justification I may have for doing it, it doesn't make anyone else feel better."
"Why'd you tell me and not James?" Albus asked in a small voice.
I let out a small empty laugh. "James Sirius Potter would have never gone along with this. He would have said there had to be another way, and been furious that I even suggested such a thing. You on the other hand always get on board with my schemes." I paused to give him a smile. "Besides, you're my best friend."
"One of many," Albus rolled his eyes moving to leave.
"No," I shook my head, "You're my best friend."
For a second he looked genuinely touched by this sentiment, but Albus being Albus couldn't stay sappy for too long. "Well I'm going to go, before we get to painting nails portion of this evening. Are you sure you ate enough?"
I nodded. "I'm fine. Go take care of the family. I'll see you tomorrow morning."
He walked over and kissed my forehead goodbye before walking out. As he left, he took anything that was left of my good spirits. I could feel the pain I had caused and it was killing me. Tears slipped down my face and I didn't even bother to stop them. Now was the time to feel guilt. Better now than tomorrow when everything is on the line.
It took everything I had not to tell Albus to check on Scorpius. I needed to make sure he was okay, but I knew that I couldn't send Albus to do that. If Albus anywhere near Scorpius he would probably kill him out of pure hatred and grief. I cried harder as I thought of what he must be going through. My family would be mad, but they'd forgive me. After all, in our family causalities were common and often so they would understand after everything was said and done why I did this. Scorpius might not.
I tried to put myself in his shoes and reverse the roles. My whole body filled with livid burning rage at the thought of Scorpius doing this to me, but the difference is he never would. Scorpius loves his family, but he would never be forced into this situation. He might die fighting as an Auror, but there was not a reason in the world for anyone to pick a fight with his family.
Still, I knew above everyone else, he was hurting the most. My mother would have hurt more if I hadn't included her in the planning, and Albus too. But once I brought them in on what was going on Scorpius became the biggest target for pain. I wanted to tell him, but I couldn't. They were watching him. They were watching his reaction. They knew that if he was legitimately grieving than I must be dead. Because they had heard me cry out his name when they hurt me, and they had seen how desperately I wished he would run in and save me. They knew that I would never put him through this, but on that front they were wrong. I was crueler than they could imagine.
He wasn't going to be able to forgive me for this. How could he? I would have to switch to another department and stay as far away from him as he requested me to. He might even hate me enough to transfer to another country. The thought struck me down and wounded me more than I could say.
My enemies had to be thrown off guard. They assumed I would be warned about my building and watch as it burned to the ground. It was their intent to rattle me, but not kill me yet. They wanted my death to be public and etched into every bystander's memory forever. I took that away from them and by making that decision they weren't going to make anymore little statements. They were going to for a fully fledged assault at an event where most of my family was present. They were going to take whatever members weren't by force and torture them in front of the ministry members as a last stand.
We had four members of my family informed in advance, so we would be able to accurately spread out and be on guard. This ends tonight.
Scorpius woke up on his rug feeling hung over and sick all over. Groaning he rolled to a sitting position and squinted around the room. He couldn't remember what had happened the night before. He knew he didn't drink anything because his breath didn't taste of firewiskey. As he rose to his feet, he stumbled around the room and tried to piece the night before together. The depression from the night before swept upon his as he bent down to pick up a plastic bag on the floor. As soon as he held the bag he now understood why he felt so awful.
His throat became dry as he tried to gather his emotions. He wouldn't lose it again today. Today he had to go to work. He had to bury all of his feelings deep down where he couldn't find them till at least the end of the charity dinner. Pocketing the bag, he went to the bathroom and scrubbed his face with cold water until he felt human again. As he glanced in the mirror, he cringed. His face was much paler than usual; he looked like a hollow ghost. If it weren't for the fiery burning in his chest he would have thought it was him that had passed on.
He changed into his work clothes slowly and when he was finished he forced himself to eat breakfast even though he knew he would probably just throw it up later. If he could just get through today, then maybe it would all just be a dream. Maybe it would all be one big lie.
Her personal effects were still in his pants from yesterday and he took a moment to think of what to do with them. He couldn't leave them here. A weird part of him felt the need to guard them, as if it might someone bring her back somehow though his rationality told him it was ridiculous. So he took the bag and put it in his pants pocket knowing full well how stupid it was.
Sitting at his desk, an hour later he was hit by an excoriating wave of pain. Looking at her desk and seeing it empty was like being stabbed repeatedly and randomly with a thousand pin pricks. No one bothered him all day. He wasn't given any new cases. It seemed as if the whole office had somehow known that it would be unwise to come near him. They acted as if he was this violent, reactive volcano just waiting for the right moment to strike, and they were right. As he worked the cold cases he turned his brain off and tried to help other people though he knew it would do nothing.
When lunch came he left the office and ate alone in his flat. He didn't want to give anyone the excuse to worry about him, because if they worried over him they'd talk to him, and he couldn't handle that. His rage was bobbing just under the surface and if anyone taunted him he would lose it. He had nothing left to lose and if he was waiting for someone to just let him let it out.
Before sitting down at his new dinning room table, he dragged over the only chair he owned and fell into it. He wasn't going to eat. He wasn't even remotely hungry. Scorpius just wanted to be alone. Leaning back in his chair, he shoved his hand into his pocket and place the plastic bag onto the table in front of him.
Usually he had a tick that would stop him from being self-destructive, a sixth sense that would tell him he was going too far. But he was beyond that. He wanted to be destroyed. He didn't want to be whole anymore. Any chance of that happening had died yesterday. His hand opened the bag and he took out the pieces of jewelry. His grey eyes locked onto them as the sunlight streamed in from the open window. He wasn't interested in the studs at first. They were a present from her father; they had nothing to do with them. But the longer he starred at them the more and more sure he was that she hadn't been wearing them yesterday. She never wore earrings to work, so why would they be with her stuff?
He picked them up and held them in his hand trying to grasp what he was seeing. Then he swiftly put them down and examined her necklace. The magic placed on it had prevented it from burning in the fire and there was nothing special or different about it then when he saw it the day before.
Furrowing his eyebrows he starred at the earrings and tried to think of a logical reason they would be on her person. He read the description to see if they were just in her pocket like the necklace, but they weren't. The mortician wrote that they were in her ears, as in she was wearing them. Leaning forward, Scorpius let out a low whistle. "Son of a bitch..."
The next morning I woke with a heavy heart, and an even heavier conscious. I didn't sleep well. I kept tossing and turning on the cotton sheets. The thin sheets did little to give my body support against the hard wooden floor, but it did manage to give me protection against the dusty, musty floors. Checking the watch Albus had left for me, I saw that he and the rest of the cavalry would be here soon enough. I grabbed a face wipe from the small bag Albus had brought me and after cleaning my face I brushed my teeth and waited for them. It didn't take long.
I could hear heels clicking as Albus negotiated with her. Her voice rang clear as he opened the door. "Albus Severus Potter, you better start explaining what the hell-" Her voice stopped dead as soon as her eyes locked on me.
Standing up, I waved feebly. "Hey."
Lily's swollen eyes widened in shock as she saw me. "ROSE?"
"Yes it is me, and I know you're going to hate me for this, but it's for your own good." I grabbed my wand and flicked it at her.
She dropped to the floor with a thud. I pocketed my wand, picked a hair from her head, handed it to Albus, picked her up and put her unconscious body on the blanket I slept on during the night.
"You sure she'll be alright?" Albus voiced nervously eyeing his little sister.
"She'll wake up about three hours from now with a minor headache. I left some food for her to eat, and then at least one of us should make it back to let her out of here by the end of the night." I told him firmly.
Albus's eyebrows furrowed, as his whole face turned dark. The situation was bleak but we had to push through and get through today. If we could just make it through today then it would all be over and we could go back to our lives.
Teddy strolled in, his golden hair lighter in the sunlight. He eyed Lily's sleeping body wearyingly. "Well I see we are up to speed."
"Did you do all the paperwork?" I asked him calmly.
My cousin in law nodded as he moved to stand next to me. "Yep. As far as the ministry is concerned I should be away on assignment for the rest of the evening."
"Okay so you have everybody all lined up." I spoke briskly as I paced the room. "We have all our bases covered…or as covered as they can be anyway….Did you bring the potion?"
Teddy handed me a vial full of polyjuice potion. "Your mother added some extra ingredients that will make it last six hours instead of just one, but the change will be instant. You won't be able to feel it coming like you would if it was just an hour."
"I wish we knew the exact time of their attack…" I shrugged, "Well there's nothing we can do about that. Since it's my potion, I'll just have to deal with it when it happens. The charity event only goes from 7 till 11 so I will take it at 5."
"Are you absolutely sure you want to do this Rosie?" Albus asked cautiously.
I nodded, my throat tightened, as my face grew pale. I dropped Lily's hair into the potion. "Yes."
"Are you ready?"
I breathed in and out as I looked down at the polyjuice potion. "Let's do this."
Song in the summary and the title was The Hardest Part By: Coldplay. PLEASE REVIEW! Thank you for reading and reviewing!
Chapter 15: Till I Collapse
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“Lauren?” Kelly knocked on Hugo’s door. “Are you here?”
“Where else could I be?” Lauren muttered bitterly, as she sipped her coffee. “My flat has burned down to the ground yesterday remember?”
Kelly’s small forehead creased. “I came to check on you.”
“No,” Lauren corrected her harshly, “Wrong. You came to make sure I’m not a crying, weeping mess.”
“Lauren-“ Kelly started sitting down next to her.
“No.” She cut her off, standing up and moving away from her. “My boyfriend has been a mess. He’s been trying to hide the fact that he cries himself to sleep, but that’s a little hard to do since I’ve had to sleep here.”
Kelly sighed, her brown eyes cringing in concern. “You know you can-“
“Stay with you?” Lauren finished for her, her voice laced with anger. “Are you serious? Are you completely out of your mind? Do you think I really want to spend time with you and your fiancée? So you can be all lovey dovey together?” She crossed her arms. “I think I’ll pass.”
“What is the matter with you?”
“Are you kidding me?! My best friend was just burned alive, and I was supposed to be there! She knew that!” Furious tears rolled down Lauren’s face, as she ripped the note out of her jacket. “She sent me this! Posing as Hugo to get me away from the flat! She knew what was going to happen Kelly! Rose, knew exactly what was going to happen and she sacrificed herself!”
Lauren couldn’t control her anger. She grabbed the cup she’d been drinking and threw it with all of her strength against the opposite wall. The remaining coffee stained the wall and the cup shattered apart.
“I’m so mad at her!” Lauren cried falling to the floor, her blonde hair falling out of the tight ponytail it had been in. “Why did she do it?! How could she do this?!”
In the years that Kelly had been friends with Lauren she had never seen her lose it. Not when her mother died. Not when she found out her first boyfriend was cheating on her. Kelly was always the emotional one. Rose would always comfort her and tell her not to get so worked up about whatever test it was. Lauren stayed as far away from caring as she could, but the one person who had broken through that completely was Rose.
Kelly lowered herself down to the floor and carefully wrapped her arms around Lauren as her own eyes filled with tears.
“She wanted to protect you.” Kelly told her as she rubbed her back. “She loved you and she wanted you to be okay. She knew she wasn’t going to be.”
“How are you okay?” Lauren croaked.
Kelly frowned. “I’m not okay. I’m holding on, because I know that’s what she would want me to do.”
“How the hell could you know that?”
“Something she said to me the last time I saw her.” Kelly told her, but then she turned the conversation. “Are you going to the ministry dinner tonight?”
Lauren shook her head and bit her lip. “Yeah I have to.”
“Well then, why don’t we get you cleaned up and get dressed? Okay?”
Lauren sighed, her blue eyes tensed. “I have nothing to wear.”
“Are you going with Hugo?”
“I don’t know…He’s been with his family all day.”
“Well then you’re going with me.” Kelly told her with a smile.
Lauren asked, “What about-?”
“You are my best friend, and we will get through this together. My fiancée will survive one night with out me. Now why don’t we go get something for you to wear?”
In one swift movement, she pulled Kelly into her arms for a hug, something she had never done before. And then she cried onto the much smaller girl until she was all cried out.
Adjusting his dress robes, James’s eyes filled with tears. For the past forty-eight hours he’d been pushing his grief down, and refusing to deal with it. At first he thought it would be simpler to just cry out what he was feeling, but then he realized if he started he wasn’t sure he’d stop. And considering Hugo had no one left but his mother James felt it was his duty as his older cousin to keep it together for him.
Hugo sat on James’s bed already fully dressed, his curly brown hair desperately needed a haircut, but otherwise he didn’t look any different. The color of his brown eyes is matched his mothers perfectly, he was the same size and stature that his father had been. In the process of growing up Hugo had morphed into more of a mix of his parents. He worried like his mother, had her logical mind, but he had his father’s unwavering sense of loyalty and commitment. But right now that man was lost. He didn’t know what to do from one minute to the next. He felt seasick, constantly swayed from side to side, completely unable to get his bearings and stabilized.
“I can’t believe we have to go to this tonight.” James muttered under his breath as he flustered with his tie.
Hugo nodded, frowning in the silence of the room.
Steps echoed and James looked up as his father walked in already fully dressed. “Hey dad.”
“Hey boys. Have you seen your brother anywhere?”
James face tightened as a scowl worked its way on his face. “No. I haven’t.” He replied shortly.
“When was the last time you saw him?”
Harry frowned at his eldest son and sat down next to his nephew. “James, you might want to check on him-“
“Why?” He cut him off. “I’m sure he’s just sulking in his flat being too selfish realize other people loved Rose as much as he did.”
His fathers voice became pained as he wiped his exhausted face. “James. Can we please just get through tonight? I understand you are mad at your brother for not being around, but he’s dealing with his grief in a different way. Either way he’s your brother.”
“Believe me,” James said darkly as he put his wallet and wand into his pocket. “That’s been made more than apparent.”
“Can we just go?” James snapped, in a harsh tone that wasn’t like him.
Harry wanted to scold his son and make him see how in times like these it was important to stay together. But he didn’t have the energy to lecture him. If they could just make it through tonight then they could grieve properly without any of this lingering build up of emotion following it. But for once Harry Potter wasn’t sure what to do to keep his broken family together. So he nodded at his son and left with them feeling disappointed and a little lost. It would have seemed odd to him when he was his son’s age that he wouldn’t have it all figured out in his fifties, but you’re never to old to be lost.
“shitshitshitshitshitshitshit.” Rose breathed under her breath as she looked in the mirror and saw her baby cousins face reflected back at her.
“Breathe Rosie,” Albus put his hands on her shoulder reassuringly as she put make up on her face.
“I’m just…” She bit her lip. “What if they see through me? What if they figure out I’m not Lily?”
Albus wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “You’ve known her your whole life. You can do this.”
“Just make sure to keep your parents away from me.” She gulped as she finished her make up and fixed her dress. “If anyone will know the difference it will be Aunt Ginny.”
“You can do this.” He offered Rose his arm, “Come on. We’re gonna be late.”
Rose and Albus walked out into Teddy and Victoire’s living room. Teddy was waiting on his couch with an unconscious Roxanne sleeping next to him. His light brown hair stuck up slightly in the back and his face was unshaven from the weeks away from his wife and children. They really couldn’t have found a more cooperative coconspirator than Teddy.
“We’ll leave her here. Put a protection charm over her.” Rose declared in Lily’s high-pitched voice.
“Your mother is in charge of keeping my parents out of the way right?” Albus checked nervously as he rolled back and forth on his heels.
Rose nodded. “She has it under control.”
“Then we’re good to go.” Teddy announced after he finished putting the protective charm over Roxanne.
Teddy let out a low breath and closed his eyes. His body changed first, his six foot three inch body shrug and became less muscular and more feminine. Within seconds, his hair was dark black, his tan skin had turned caramel and he jet black eyes. Rose had seen Teddy transform before, but it was different seeing him become someone she knew. Even though she was in someone else’s body it still freaked her out to see Roxanne clearly in front of her and Roxanne past out on the couch. It was surreal and really confusing.
Albus felt the same. He shook his head and let out a breath. “This is weird.”
“But necessary.” Teddy said in Roxanne’s slow voice. “Al, take the real Roxanne upstairs, and then we’re off.”
Her whole body was shaking with a mixture of excitement and unbelievable fear, which all came from the unnatural amount of adrenaline pumping through her borrowed body. She could do this. Rose could walk like Lily. Rose could talk like Lily. For the time needed she would even be Lily and when the time came she would end this.
Lily had smaller bones, longer ligaments, and much thinner hair then I did, but the hardest part of being Lily wasn’t the physical aspect, it was her presence. Lily for the 22 years she’d roamed the earth had this intense above-it-all presence that was something seen not something that could replicated, but Rose did her absolute best to do so.
“Ticket?” A ministry security guard that she saw every day for years asked her.
Rose sucked up all of her strength and handed it to him nonchalantly like she didn’t know the names of his children or what kind of food his wife cooked best. Then she went a step farther and forced herself into becoming Lily. She didn’t have the time to hesitate. This was the time to buck up and go all out. As soon as they walked into the ballroom, she set her face and let go of Rose, and fully embraced being Lily.
One of the guards smiled to his partner, “Smoke break?”
The older guard checked his watch and sighed. “Fine, but be quick about it. We are the only ones covering this side and security is tight tonight.”
“I understand Truman,” Johnny rolled his eyes.
Johnny walked out the back door, with his wand loosely in his pocket as he tried to open his cigarettes. As he struggled with a pack, a man walked around the corner. The man lead with his chest, his short black hair, almost pure black eyes stood out against his almost translucently pale skin.
“Shit mate! You scared the shit out of me.” Johnny put a hand to his chest and let out a relieved breath.
“Well,” The man began before whipping on his wand and immobilizing the guard. “That’s unfortunate.”
Six males, and two females came up behind him. Turning, he eyed them all with a victorious smirk. He looked at the guys; Russell Avery, Thomas Nott, Timothy Rosier, Alexander Wilkes, Ralph and David Carrow and raised his head a little higher.
“Wilkes, you take this sods spot to keep an ear out for the security.” The man spoke clearly, his cold voice making the humid June air simmer. “Carrows, you are on the borders of the party, you stay alerted to all the Auror’s on patrol. When I give the signal I want you to take them all out quickly and swiftly. We won’t have long to get the hostages up on stage and have them isolated. So you work fast.”
The three men left as instructed leaving Rosier, Nott and Avery. “You three better not fail.” His voice constricted darkly, “Rosier you shadow James Potter, and you grab him at eight thirty. Nott you grab Roxanne Weasley at eight fifty. Then at nine o’clock Avery you grab Lily Potter. Avery you have to make sure you make her disappearance flaw-less. Threaten her family, make sure she goes quietly; she’s the biggest part to this plan. They need to watch her die. Understand?”
The three men nodded in unison and left like the three before them, leaving him with the girls.
“Who do we get?” A blonde woman asked coyly as she leaned against the brick wall.
“Brooke,” He began, gesturing to the bored looking brunette. “First you are in charge of de-habilitating any person that may be a threat. Dance with them, slip something in their drink and then leave before you leave a lasting impression. After that you are in charge of keeping our guests …entertained.”
Brooke Nott shrugged, “How beat up do you want them?”
“Enough to make a impact, but they have to be breathing Brooke.” He told her sternly. “So just wait by the Carrows until you see Rosier grab James Potter.”
Brooke swished her long dark hair over her shoulder and saluted him mockingly before disappearing.
“Well that just leaves me.” The blonde woman smirked.
“Rachel,” He breathed with amusement at the sound of her name. “You are in charge of grabbing the last hostage.”
She raised her hands feigning excitement. “What’s the catch?”
“By that point people will begin to notice that they are missing so you will have to use persuasive means to get him away from the crowd.”
“I see, and what are you going to do Nick?”
Nicolas Yaxley sneered. “I am going to wait till all of you have finished your work, and then I will become the host.”
“Revenge of the Death Eaters?” She smiled angling her body towards his.
Albus licked his lips and reached for a glass of wine. He needed some liquid courage to hide the unnatural anxiety growing in his chest. As Auror’s Teddy and Rose were used to dangerous situations, they breathed live or death scenarios everyday. Albus just wrote about them as a impartial bystander, this was completely out of his element. Once Rose let go of her fear and committed to acting like his little sister he began to silently panic. What if this all went to hell?
He looked from his intelligent, brillant Aunt Hermione, to his own mother in unyielding terror. At the table was Hermione, Ginny, Harry, Teddy-Roxanne, Rose-Lily, James, Hugo, Uncle George and Albus. Albus was sandwiched between Rose-Lily, which was the only way he could remember who she was, and James. The longer the night went on the worse Albus felt. They had to do this, but the fucked up part was no matter what they did there wasn’t a single thing they could do to promise that anyone at their table was safe and that killed him.
Across the room he saw a few familiar faces, Rose’s friends Lauren and Kelly were sitting a few tables over. Hugo looked over a few times but he never moved from his mother’s side. At first Albus thought his cousin was just trying to be supportive, but after awhile it seemed like Hugo was the one that needed to be supported. His girlfriend Lauren looked over a few times too, but after awhile she would just get this dejected look on her face and talk to Rose’s friend Kelly.
In the back of his mind he thought of what Rose had said the day before about love and he couldn’t help but wonder if anyone really ever fell in love or if they all crashed into it. Albus was there the first night Hugo talked to Lauren, they had run into her and invited her and Kelly to sit with them. After an hour or two Albus felt bored, Kelly was nice, but they had next to nothing in common. When he was about to lean over and ask if Hugo wanted to leave he stopped, because Hugo was completely in his own little world with Lauren.
Albus had seen couples in love. His parent’s, his grandparents, hell even his cousins, but he never understood it until he saw Rose and Scorpius. Hugo and Lauren were obviously having problems, but Albus couldn’t quite say whether they were a lasting couple anyway. They had a hit or miss quality to them that could honestly work out either way. It was twisted, but after what he did to Rose years ago he began to see that it could be more than that.
She was in dungeon, remote, unclean for hours. Worrying about her family, worrying about her friends, but above all worrying about Scorpius, a man who should by all merits be long gone, and should have stopped caring about her welfare years ago. At first he thought that he was just going to fuck her and leave her broken hearted like most guys their age would have, but there was something different about them. They had something that seemed to be able to with stand anything. It was so indestructible, but perhaps it was because the most unexpected relationships last the longest.
Looking at Malfoy across the room Albus knew he didn’t want to be here, but he was here anyway. But was weirder to Albus was that he knew that Malfoy was hurting. It wasn’t obvious. If he hadn’t been born adamantly observant he wouldn’t have the slightest clue. But he was, and he saw that Malfoy was being ripped from the seams. And Albus knew without a hesitation of a doubt that it was because of Rose, which seemed odd to him since he had never had a civil conversation with the man in his life. Then again, maybe he just knew his cousin so well that he knew him by association.
Albus checked his watch and saw now would be the opportune time for a bathroom break. On the way there he kept his emerald eyes peeled for signs of movement. So far it was a regular ministry event, boring with idle mingling and chitchat and a few people dancing to the off tempo music. When he was finished washing his hands, he dried them off and left to go back to the ballroom. He almost made it back in when he saw Rachel. She winked at him from across the room; her plunging neckline startled him slightly. But he didn’t get the chance to respond, because at that moment Scorpius Malfoy came out of nowhere.
Scorpius flew at him, he grabbed Albus by his collar and pinned him against the wall behind him. Bruising Albus’s spine as he was thrusted vigorously against the wall, his grey eyes were alive with rage. Albus scrambled for his wand, but Scorpius caught his arm.
“Listen you little worm.” Scorpius growled as he glared loathingly into Albus’s green eyes. “I know she’s alive, and I know you have something to do with it.”
“Let me go Malfoy.” Albus spat, “You don’t want to start this fight.”
“Oh I don’t?” Scorpius sneered. “Because I really think I do.”
Albus eyed him, as Scorpius’s grip tightened. “Malfoy, I’m going to say this one more time. Let-me-go.”
“Hey!” Rose shouted pushing Scorpius off Albus. “What the hell is wrong with you two?! You are both adults! We are at a charity auction!”
Albus let out an unnoticeable sigh of relief at Rose. She had perfect timing and was the only one who would be able to subdue Scorpius.
All day Scorpius had been planning what to do. He knew Albus was involved, he felt it with every fiber of his being. And as soon as he saw his opening he went for it. No one was going to stop him. Not even Lily Potter.
Scorpius was about to open his mouth to tell her to mind her own business, but when his eyes caught onto her he hesitated. Her words were something he knew Lily Potter would say. He had spent enough time with her over the years to know what she would say in a situation like this. And if he hadn’t looked at her he might have never noticed the slight difference, but he did. And when he did he recognized that something was off with her speech pattern. The words were right, but the way she said it wasn’t right. It was familiar though, and that caught him off guard. He’d been walking a tight rope of rage for the past eight hours, and then with one look at Lily he forgot it all.
“What the hell…?” He whispered eyeing her suspiciously.
“What Malfoy?” She scoffed, “Why don’t you be a friend and step away from my brother?”
Scorpius released Albus, but continued looking at Lily.
Lily pointed at Albus threateningly. “You get inside and stop it. And Malfoy-“
She paused, her heart rate escalating as her breath catching in her throat as she saw the way he was looking at her. Rose Weasley had been looked at by Scorpius Malfoy like this many time, but Lily Potter had not. And even though she really wasn’t Lily, Rose still felt completely unnerved at why he was looking at her like this now. There was no way he could know, but somehow Rose could see that he suspected something. Rose would rather just walk away and pretend he saw nothing. But Lily wasn’t the type to walk away. She was the type to confront, so Rose had to.
“Malfoy why are you looking at me like that?!” She snapped. “I get that you’re upset over Rose, but there is no reas-“
Scorpius snapped out of it, and shook his head. His heart digging with blades of agony. “Don’t…Don’t say her name.”
Rose felt a tug at her gut and she couldn’t help the rush of guilt. “I’m just saying you shouldn’t try to start a fight. Just go inside, and calm down.”
“How can you be so calm?” He spat, “She’s dead. Rose is dead, and you’re standing here telling me to get over it. Did she mean anything to you? Or do you know something? Do you know he’s guilty just like I do and that she’s a-”
“Who the hell do you think you are?” She breathed before roughly slapping him hard. “She was my cousin and best friend. Don’t talk like that.”
Then before Rose could break her cover, she strutted away like Lily would have, with her head held high and her hips swaying in the air.
“Nice save.” Albus muttered to her once she sat down. “I thought he was going to put me through the wall.”
She nodded, but she was still worried. “For a second I thought he might have known…”
“Known?...” Albus’s eyes popped in recognition. “But how could he?”
“I don’t know!” She whispered in a low voice. “But we need to keep an eye on him or he might throw all of this to hell!”
Releasing a slow breath, Albus shifted in his dress robes. “This is going to be a bitch isn’t it?”
“Yep.” She answered taking a swig of her wine.
“Should you be-?”
“Lily would,” Rose shrugged, as she made sure she held her glass like Lily did.
Rose watched each one of them get taken and did absolutely nothing about it. It was the hardest thing she ever had to do, but at this point she knew she wouldn’t be able to do anything anyway. She danced with some who asked and rejected some who seemed too eager. After what seemed like forever, someone grabbed her from behind as she headed for the bathroom. She thrashed and fought the man’s grip but she didn’t use her full strength, because she expected it to happen and because Lily wouldn’t have been as strong as she was.
When the blindfold was pulled off, she was standing in the middle of the room with a wand to her throat. Glancing over, Rose saw that Roxanne and James were in the exact same predicament. The difference was that James had a trail of blood running from his gashed cheekbone to his chin. It was clear by their injuries that they had taken turns on them. When it was Roses’s turn she got it the worst. They clearly were trying to make an important statement with Rose’s bruises. Everyone else was beaten, but they made sure she was completely and totally broken. The years of training came in handy, but it barely mattered, because in the end she really did need to be picked up off the floor.
When I opened my eyes, I felt a numbing pain all over, a kind of pain I had only felt once in my life. There were little spikes of piercing, skin seizing pain, but then it would stop and all I would feel was cold. Really, really cold. It took me a few seconds to process that I was on the floor; it took me even longer to realize I was lying in a pool of my own blood. My jaw was fractured, I could tell because not only could I not shut my mouth but also I couldn’t open it very wide. It was stiff and tender like it had been rammed with a freight train. I probably had more injuries, but I wouldn’t let myself go there. If I tried to think of my injuries then I might start to feel them or worse I might start to panic.
‘Okay,’ I told myself as I tried to slow down my ragged breathing and try to see where I was. Across the room Albus was slumped on the floor, barely conscious. ‘Okay,’ I said again, getting my bearings. I was still in Lily’s body; I could see that body just the shape of my arms. But I couldn’t hear anything. It was the most terrifying moment, but thankfully it didn’t last. It was only a few seconds, a heartbeat or two of horrifying silence. My heart exploded with unimaginable fear at the thought that I had lost my hearing, but then it all came rushing back and I almost wished I never had gotten it back.
“AHHHHHHH!” Albus screamed, his body squirming under the torture of a cruciatus curse.
My eyes burned with tears, as I flipped myself onto my side. Albus and I were the only ones conscious. James was unconscious on the floor, Hugo was slung up onto the wall and Teddy-Roxanne was passed out right next to him. It must have almost been time to go, because there was a man standing right next to me about to pick me up.
“Take the girl in last.” A familiar voice snapped, from somewhere in the room. My body tensed and I couldn’t control my reaction. Vomit came out of me before I could even consider stopping. I retched until there was nothing left in my stomach and almost nothing left in me at all. My head pounded as I coiled up in a pitiful ball.
“She’s a weak little thing.” The man above me commented to no one, his voice was soft, almost sympathetic voice.
“Alright,” The voice sounded again. “Take her, everyone else is in position.”
First he cleaned the vomit off of me, and then he scooped me up and carried me. For awhile I forgot where I was, who I was and what I was doing.
I said in the smallest voice, “Where am I going?”
The man seemed to hesitate before he got a grip on himself. “To the ballroom.”
“Are you going to kill me?” I whispered weakly.
He jostled me in his arms, I guess even Lily’s small body was heavier than he was used to carrying. I considered going to sleep. I was so tired and he already said he was going to kill me anyway. Why not just end it now?
We moved into the ballroom and I could tell we were invisible though I didn’t see the man put the charm on. All the guests were drinking and eating, but the night was about to start winding down. All of the alcohol was almost gone and already some people had left. My family hadn’t though. Though I only glanced at them for a second I saw they were worried. I didn’t know why. I was in so much pain I was completely numb. The thought that would connect their anxiety to me was broken.
The man laid me down on the floor, he grabbed his wand and pointed it at me, but I could tell he wasn’t really worried about me. He thought I was far too weak to fight back, and for a few minutes I agreed with him. I was just a little girl who just needed some rest.
All of the people with hostages wore Death Eater masks and robes, it made goosebumps arise on my arms, but I didn’t feel them grow. I felt nothing. I just wanted sleep, but when I tried to close my eyes the man nudged me awake. They wanted them to see the lights leave my eyes for some reason. Why didn’t they just end it now?
There was a barely visible temporary barrier separating us from the rest of the event. But it didn’t take long for them to notice there was a problem. A man ran into it with his drink and spilled it all over himself. Soon others were testing it, as they did, the death eaters secured the room. Then with a blinding flash of bright light, we all became visible. I saw my uncle standing on the other side, furious. His green eyes were a lit with a rage I’d never seen before. Not even when Albus and I were six and had flown off in the middle of the night on his and Aunt Ginny’s brooms.
“What do you expect to gain from this?” He asked the only man without a hostage, the man I knew. “Do you think you will walk away from this?”
The man chuckled, a dry snickering chuckle.
In that second I snapped back into place. Everything was distorted and blurry before, but now it all was clearly with vivid colors. My hearing became perfect as I heard the screams of the guests as they saw the state we hostages were in. Aunt Ginny panicked the most when she saw me, but that’s when I realized I wasn’t Lily, I was Rose Weasley and I had a mission.
My hands weren’t bound; the man that was in charge of me hadn’t bothered. He didn’t think I would be any trouble and a second earlier he was right, but not now. A violent tidal wave of adrenaline silenced any pain I was feeling and I pulled the strength out of me to kick my brain into thinking.
The man I now recognized. He was the one who took me. I never saw his face, but now I knew exactly who he was from old newspaper clippings. His name was Nicolas Yaxley, his father had been rotting away in Azkaban for the past thirty-five years. Now I understood. He wanted to finished what his father started and get justice for a father he never got a chance to know, because of my family. My father and I were supposed to be the first stand, but I got away and killed one of his guards to do so. He wanted my family gone but he wanted me to feel it because I messed up his original plan and made him wait. This was his last stand to make everyone see that Death Eaters will never be gone. Unfortunately, like his first stand, he underestimated the lengths I’ll go through to survive.
“You will watch your children die painfully and you will be able to do absolutely nothing.” His voice was like a sharp dagger to the crowd. “If any of you tries to stop us we will simply kill them faster and kill quite a few of you.”
Moving to the edge of the barrier, that I knew the Auror’s would have down in a half hour if they weren’t being held at wandpoint, Yaxley looked right at Scorpius. “Rough deal blood traitor that your little dirty blooded girlfriend had to die. But take that as a small token of what’s coming for you. We haven’t forgotten what role your family played Malfoy.”
Scorpius’s face went purely white with rage as he moved as physically close to the barrier as he could get. His voice was angrier than I’d ever heard it. “You sick son of a bitch-“
“Don’t.” His father whispered, putting a hand on his son’s shoulder and facing Yaxley himself. “If you threaten my family you will get hell for it.”
Nicolas smirked, looking extraordinarily like his father. “Then hell I shall receive.” He let out a breath and then moved to lock eyes with my Uncle specifically. “Your daughter will die first.”
“No!” Aunt Ginny cried out, but no one acknowledged her outburst or tears. My mother just held her as tears ran down her own face.
The man that was holding me grabbed me and took me to the center of the room. I knew he would not know I wasn’t Lily. He would assume that I would be naïve enough to go home and not realize he wired the whole thing to explode. He would assume I would not see any of this coming, that I couldn’t have possibly been prepared.
I was dropped in front of Nicolas; his eyes looked down at me and smirked. “So young. So stupid. You thought you were safe here didn’t you? You believed since you were Lily Potter you’d be safe because of your family? Well none of you will ever be safe.”
“Fuck you.” I spat, in Lily’s voice my eyes full of the deepest loathing.
“I see you have your cousins fire. I tortured her for weeks and she never caved…but you don’t have as much time. And I believe if I hit you enough I won’t need to use a killing curse. I wouldn’t want to make my predecessors mistake and believe that you will bend to the killing curse.”
I licked the blood of my lips, but found that I didn’t have enough strength to say anything. I needed to save what little I had left for what was coming next. On my knees I could already feel by body swaying from the strain of my own weight.
His mouth opened and he said something, but I didn’t hear it. My body was lifted and then forced through the wall behind me. The pieces of the wall that had fallen on me fell on me puncturing my lung. I gasped as I knew my lungs began to fill with blood. My eyes grew wide as I discovered that soon I would be dead.
But I wasn’t. Rachel walked over to me, I knew it was her by her hair. She lowered herself down to me and wordlessly fixed my lungs. I was shocked. Not at her actions, but by the fact that she knew exactly how to fix my lungs without even examining them. She then flicked her wand again and emptied the blood from my lungs. I wasn’t fixed, I still had a long list of problems wrong with me, but I could survive the other injuries. Her cool eyes focused on me and she smiled. I faked one last shuttering breath and then I stopped moving.
“Is she still alive?” Nicolas asked in a slightly strained tone.
I stayed perfectly still, which was the hardest thing I ever had to do. My body was burning raw with jagged agony from my various wounds, but I didn’t even flutter an eyelash. Blonde hair brushed my face, and two fingers pressed against my throat. She could feel I was struggling, that I was weak, but still alive.
“Wait one minute before crawling out.” Rachel whispered in a barely audible voice, before rising and proclaiming. “She’s dead.”
A sob echoed through the hall, but other than that there was complete and total silence. Beads of blood and sweat rolled down my face, but I didn’t dare move a single muscle. I waited exactly one minute, and then as all hell broke loose in the room in front of me I heaved the rocks off of me and dragged myself across the floor.
Till I Collapse By: Eninem is the song in the title and the summary. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS REVIEWED! You people are my favorite people in the world. THANK YOU ALSO FOR READING! I appreciate it more than any of you could ever possibly know! PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 16: Never Let Me Go
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My breath was rapid and unsteady as I crawled up the wall. My nails clawed into the brick wall as I pulled myself up. In my hand was my wand. Rachel had managed to toss it aside without anyone seeing. In the few seconds I had I repaired what I could. I didn't heal anything, but I did some quick fixes that would make my body work as well as it could for now. Later I could have a healer actually mend me, but for now I had a family to save.
I was about to walk out when I noticed I was back in my own body. Apparently somewhere in the process of being rammed through a wall, the polyjuice potion had worn off. Good.
If this is how I die I want it to be in my own body.
I could hear the Auror's dueling the guards. Clearly they'd seen enough and they weren't willing to go down without a fight. I knew without a hesitation that Scorpius was in the thick of them battling more than anyone else around him. Then I heard a sound that made me unable to hold back any longer, Albus's scream.
Letting out a breath, I firmly walked in there and blasted Yaxley off my cousin without even a hint of hesitation. The room seemed to collectively pause as the power dynamic switched drastically. Auror's and Death Eater's alike were gaping at me as people began to put the pieces together. Yaxley rose from the floor, blood dripping down his mouth, disbelief clearly shining on his face.
"No…NO…I watched you die." He growled in horror, his eyes alit with fear.
I smirked, it hurt so much it almost wasn't even worth it, but I was beyond pain. "You can knock me down as many times as you want." I breathed, "But I'm always going to get back up."
Then I flicked my wand three times. I disarmed James's captor, Teddy's captor and Albus's. Rachel bolted out of the room as her part of the deal was done, but she wasn't the only one. Once they saw I was alive two other guys took off for the exit and together four Auror's brought down the barrier.
One of Yaxley's followers tried to physically tackle me to the ground to get some leverage as everyone else around us was fighting, but I hexed him away. He staggered back to his feet and tried to duel me. I'll admit I was slower than I'd ever had been, but through all the sweat I still took him down.
For a moment I thought it was over. Most of his followers were gone, but I didn't think, I wasn't thinking clearly at all. In my haze I'd forgotten about Yaxley entirely and that was my biggest mistake. As I was running around helping other people and blocking spells Yaxley shot a nasty curse at me. It would have hit me square on, I didn't have enough strength left to move or enough time left to block it. But in a flash Scorpius bolted over and knocked me down to the ground full force. I groaned as my very bones cried out in pain. He saved me, but it damaged my body. Thick aching bruises lined my back from the pressure of his weight hitting mine. He didn't linger long; as soon as he saw the spell didn't hit me Scorpius leapt back up to his feet and threw himself into battle.
Before I could anything else, I spun over and I pointed my wand at Yaxley and cried out, "Petrificus Totalus!"
He dropped to the ground and was kicked away from the action by a nearby Auror. Far away I saw Lauren dodge a hit to the stomach and strike her attacker square in the stomach. Her fight was beyond magic. I was going to get up and help her when I realized I should check to make sure the spell intended to hit me didn't hurt anyone else.
Groaning, I bit my lip in pain and flipped over. My eyes widened as a shiver of uneasiness rose in my stomach when my eyes caught who had fallen on the floor. The mystery spell intended to hit me had hit my cousin instead.
"Al!" I cried crawling over to him, dropping onto bloody knees, my face filled with a raw mixture of panic and tears. "WAKE UP! WAKE UP!"
But he wouldn't. No matter how hard I shook him he wouldn't move.
Spells lit up the room, as screams and cries echoed across the hall, but I cared about none of it as I looked into my cousin's face. He could just as easily be asleep, but I knew it was far worse than that. I knew in that part of my brain that always told me the truth no matter how heartbreaking and horrible it was.
This was my fault. If he didn't wake up, if he didn't get better it would be all on me. I did this. I roped him into this bullshit in the first place. If I had been thinking clearly I would have taken Yaxley out. If I had been thinking clearly I would have put up a shield. If I had been thinking clearly Albus would still be fighting.
His jet-black hair was plastered to his unnaturally pale face and his eyes were closed. I cradled him getting my blood on his clothes. I no longer cared about the war we were fighting. My vision was going in and out, along with my consciousness all I knew was I couldn't leave Albus. I didn't have the strength left to even fake it. All I could do was hold him and pray with every fiber of my being that he would wake up.
"Rose," My mother whispered in what felt like minutes later after all the fighting had stopped. She lowered herself to the ground and pried me off of him. Her bushy hair had splashes of blood in it, but she was otherwise unharmed.
"Let go so the Healers can take him honey. There's nothing you can do." She repeated to make me understand, but I was too out of it to understand anything.
Hours later I sat in my hospital bed starring at the annoyingly white ceiling. They managed to fix me to the best of their ability, it took a few hours of poking and prodding me to do so, but they did. The only thing left they wanted to do was take me into surgery to fix my internal bleeding. Apparently that was the one thing they couldn't heal without more serious action.
They told me I was lucky to be alive. They told me that medically there was no reason that I should be. I supposed I should be thankful. I supposed I should have been grateful. But none of those emotions arose in me. All I could feel was pain.
I couldn't stand it anymore. At one point during all the procedures I had passed out, but once I had woken up I couldn't bare to be alone. They told me to stay put until they had me cleared for surgery, but I was never one to listen to the rules.
They had wiped me clean of all the blood and debris, but left me in the dress I had been wearing. So I just grabbed my wand, brought a wheelchair to me and lowered myself into it. I wasn't stupid. I knew I shouldn't be moving around, which is precisely why I had magicked a wheelchair to move for me. As long as I stayed still I shouldn't cause anymore damage than I already had. Even if it did cause me more harm than good I had to go sit with my family. I couldn't stand being kept in the dark.
When I rolled up to the waiting room though I didn't get a warm welcome. James had a slice mark on his forehead, but was physically fine. His brown eyes locked on me in such fury and such anger that I didn't even bother go towards him. Instead I moved myself into the corner by my mother and Teddy. My mother looked disappointed that I had moved from my hospital bed and I knew I'd hear something about it, but Teddy interceded her as the only one happy to see me.
"Hey Ro, how are you feeling?"
"She's supposed to be in her hospital bed, not moving." My mother interjected said sharply. "The healer said you have to go into surgery soon."
I shook her off unconcernedly. "Not until I hear about Albus."
"Rose-" My mother began sternly, but I cut her off.
"Mum, there's no way I'm going to be put unconscious without knowing what's going on with Albus." I told her firmly. "I'm in a hospital chair. I'm not moving around like instructed, but that's all you're getting from me right now."
She wanted to fight me, but I could see she didn't have the energy to do so anymore. I let out a heavy sigh. Across the room Lily was asleep in her mother's lap, and Uncle Harry sat next to her. Harry had spent the better part of the evening lecturing me when I was going through the procedures. He was livid, mostly because I didn't tell him about my plan, but also because I had involved his son in this. He had every reason to be angry at me so I didn't say anything to defend myself. I didn't say that Albus had known the risks. I didn't say that I told him he could back out at anytime. I just took it knowing nothing I could say would ever make involving Albus right.
The only thing that was keeping me awake was the constant pain circling around my body. They had given me potions, but none of it worked. My body burned through them within an hour and then it was just becoming ridiculous to even bother. I knew I needed surgery and I would get it, but not now. I couldn't go into surgery without knowing about Albus. I couldn't take care of myself without taking care of him first.
But the healers hadn't come back for a while now. The room was quiet, which was a first for our family. Uncle Harry, James, Aunt Ginny, Lily, my mother, Teddy and I all were usually so lively and talkative, but right now we couldn't think of a single thing worth saying.
Hugo had left an hour earlier to sit with Lauren. She was only allowed one visitor and I told him it should be him. Kelly was in surgery right now on my cousin so if we couldn't do it Hugo was the best choice.
My mother eventually put her arm around me; I could tell she was crying so I held her hand. None of us wanted to ever be here again. If it was anyone it should have been Teddy, or me we had signed up for this type of punishment, but not Albus.
Thinking of him, my eyes began to burn. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. There was like a emotional dam stopping anything from getting through. We'd all been through so much, but it was never going to be over. Glancing out the waiting room window, I watched all the healers running around and felt so incredibly lost. My whole world was twisted and distorted, I felt so completely off center. I was supposed to be the one that died. Everyone else was supposed to be fine. It was supposed to end with me. Why couldn't it ever just end with me?
Teddy rose after I'd been there for about an hour. I was about to ask where he was going, but the words died on my dry coarse throat. He was probably going to go check on Victoire and the kids. Even if he wasn't I had no reason to stop him from leaving. Teddy had done his part in helping save our family. His work was done.
I felt so heavy, the weight of the world wasn't on my shoulders, it was on my chest, breaking every bone in there until I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think of a single thing that would make this pain cease. My mother's touch just reminded me of what I had taken away from Aunt Ginny. And Teddy's reassurance had reminded me of the fact that I had cut Uncle Harry out of my plan. Everything was too much.
My mother got up to go check on Hugo, leaving me alone on my own ostracized corner of the room. I didn't feel sorry for myself. I deserved this pain. I really did and there was nothing to save me from it.
Gradually, my eyes scanned through the window until I saw Teddy walking with someone. Someone that made me ignore the requests of my healer and stand up. Though my family was furious with me, they all echoed sentiments that I should sit down. But I couldn't, my legs without a signal conscious direction from me. Teddy waltzed over to me, as my eyes locked on the man he was with. He smiled, and put a gentle hand on my shoulder.
"I'm going to be with Victoire. You know how to reach me if you need me."
"But what…" I whispered in shock.
Teddy made me break me glance with Scorpius to look him and he said, "Rose, this isn't your fault. None of it. Everyone's mad because they don't know how else to deal with what happened. You deserve to be happy. So be happy."
Then he walked away leaving Scorpius and I alone in the once crowded hallway. Scorpius's face was half black from bruises and I could tell there had been something wrong with his arm, but he was here now. The tears from before, the ones that refused to fall, fell and I took a hesitant step forward.
Scorpius had always had trouble believing that Rose loved him. She was always so controlled in public, and even when it was just them, he had a hard time seeing it. Most of it was his overactive insecurities, but mostly it was because he could never truly see what it was. She was always so guarded he was never really sure she meant what she said. He always believed she was fine without him. He always believed that she could survive anything and that at the end of the day she didn't need anybody.
But when her eyes lifted and met his he saw it. He's been so angry with her, his whole body was triggered to explode with the amount of hate and pure wrath he had rising in him. When Teddy found him he was silent. All he could think of was all the hateful things he could say to her to make her feel just as horrible and shitty as he had felt. He wanted her to understand what she had done. For once, he wanted her to realize how much other people needed her. How much he needed her. He needed her to need him back.
All rage dropped to the floor as he saw her eyes reflected the complete anguish she felt. This wasn't the face of a liar. It was the face of entire sincerity. It was the face of someone who was looking at someone they loved. As he took in the sight of her red hair, he saw no brown hairs left. Here she stood, purely Rose, and here she stood with a face full of remorse and regret. She did love him; anyone would have been able to see it. It was shinning so clearly in her blue eyes that it tore his heart in two.
"It needed to be real!" She told him fiercely as she moved forward, her heart pounding on her sleeve. "You needed to believe it! If you believed it they would believe it. He looked at you and from your reaction he believed I was dead. That was the only way to stop the bloodshed and stop them. And we did!"
Scorpius frowned, his expression hurt. "And you think that makes it alright?"
"No! Of course not!" She whispered in a rush, "But I had to. After they …" She cleared her throat, but couldn't get rid of all of the emotion that lay there.
"After they killed Oliver Wood I knew it would only escalate from there. They planted that bomb. They were going to kill me anyway. This way they got to do so without risking anyone else. I'm so…" She gulped through her tears. "I'm so sorry, but I couldn't let anything happened to you. I couldn't take it Scorpius! I know you hate me, and if you want me to transfer to a different branch, or even a different department I'll do it." She cried. "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry. I just couldn't watch you die-"
Her speech was stopped. Scorpius had been standing perfectly still his face was transfixed on hers, memorizing every single detail, but he couldn't stand it anymore. He could stand to be even a few feet away from her. He needed her in his arms. He needed her in his life. He needed her period. There was no even a second thought that could hold him back. In just three strides he seized her, his arms wrapped around her waist as face buried in her hair. As she choked out a sob of relief, he picked her up, lifting her a few inches off the ground and pressed her as close to him as humanly possible.
"I would have come back." She whispered in the darkness, not quite sure if he could hear or not. "I'll never leave you again… I love you."
Her voice was so desperate, so vulnerable as she vowed this. Scorpius pulled away from her hair, keeping her body against his and planted her with a kiss that drove fire up and down her veins. She knew she should stop him. She knew she should tell him to be gentler because of her injuries but she didn't care. She could die right now and it wouldn't matter because there was nowhere she would rather be, no one else she'd rather be with and not single thing she'd rather be doing. Her arms cupped his face securely as her eyes squeezed shut. His hot lips pressed hard on her recently healed jaw as her cool tears rolled from her face to his. This was all she needed right now and Scorpius felt the exact same way.
Eventually he pulled away, gasping slightly as he did so. He carefully put her down on the ground but didn't loosen his grip on her at all. His forehead pressed against hers as he starred into her eyes, knowing he would be perfectly fine if he never saw another thing for the rest of his life he'd still feel like the luckiest man on earth.
"Don't ever do that again." He declared in a rough voice. "Promise me."
"I promise." She smiled as he wiped away her tears with his calloused and broken hands.
Scorpius eyed the wheelchair from the next room and gave her a confused look. "Why were you sitting in a wheelchair?"
"I um…" Her face broke out into guilt. "I have internal bleeding."
A rush of remorse reddened his face as he looked at how he was holding her. "What?!"
"I'm fine! I just need surgery! I'll be fine I swear!" She reassured him weakly.
Giving her a rueful look, he grimaced when he looked at her battered body. "Where's your healer?"
"Because I'd like to talk to him and ask what exactly is wrong with you so I don't cause you more damage…I wouldn't have snogged you like that if I'd known…"
She smiled despite herself. "That's exactly why I didn't tell you."
"Come on." He grabbed her hand sending a rush of warmth up her arm as her eyes filled with happy tears. "Let's take care of you."
Then Scorpius Malfoy walked her back into the waiting room. He protectively and unnecessarily helped her into her wheelchair. Then he went to speak to her healer after kissing her forehead softly. While he was gone Rose looked up and saw James laughing under his breath. She furrowed her eyebrows to ask him why, but he just laughed harder.
Finally he said. "I'm still mad as hell at you, but I think it's hysterical that this is what it took to get you two together."
Despite everything, she found herself laughing too. She supposed they were quite ridiculous.
Song in the summary is Never Let Me Go By: Florence and the Machine. PLEASE REVIEW! Thank you everyone for reading and reviewing!
Chapter 17: Be Still
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"We did everything we could," The healer began in a tone that I'd long come to associate with lost causes. "All we can do now is wait and see if he's going to wake up."
Scorpius's hand was on my shoulder; his reassurance was unspoken, but unyieldingly present. I leaned into him so much that the chair arm that was separating us dug into my side. My hand clamped onto his as he tried to take my pain away with just a simple touch. He helped, but nothing could fully eradicate the agony I was feeling.
"As for you," The other healer turned to me. "We need to do surgery on you now."
I wanted to protest, but I didn't. "Okay."
"Sign these and please change your emergency contact person."
My mouth was dry as I opened it to ask why when I saw that my last emergency contact was my father. It would have been better to just stab me straight in the heart. My eyes filled with tears and I let out a sigh.
"Okay." I told the healer, as I grabbed the quill and filled out all my medical information.
I was about to hand the emergency contact information to my mother when I realized she had gone home earlier. In front of me sat my Aunt Ginny, Uncle George, Uncle Harry, James, Lily and Hugo. All perfectly acceptable options to be in charge of me state and medical care. I filled out the forms and after a moments hesitation I handed the clipboard to Scorpius.
His hair was everywhere, and his face was unshaven. He looked a mess from occasionally napping in this waiting room with me. But in that moment, his light eyebrows lifted in confusion.
"What are you doing?" He asked in a hushed voice as his steel eyes examined me.
I shrugged, "I need surgery."
"But why are you handing this to me?" He asked in bewilderment.
"Look at them," I whispered so only he could hear. He looked at my crying family, my grieving family. "They can't handle this right now."
He didn't look so sure. "Rose-"
"Scorpius," I breathed, taking his hand in my own. "You're my family. I don't want to ask anyone else. And I understand if this is too much for you, but if that's the case then just say it." I closed my eyes in exhaustion. "I'll write down Hugo, and I'll go off to surgery."
My eyes were closed so I didn't see his face. But I did feel his body tense up and I did feel him grab the quill and sign his signature. When I opened my eyes he was walking off to hand the healer the paperwork. A smile crept up onto my face as I watched his familiar strut. As my eyes fell to the other side of the room, my eyes locked with Lily. She was the only person in the room that wasn't furious with me, and the only person in the room who was looking at me.
Her big brown eyes were red with from crying, but she wasn't crying anymore. Her 22 year old face looked at me dead in the eyes and knew exactly how broken I was. He was her brother. She loved him deeply and dearly, but I loved him more. Albus was my cousin, but I was always closer to him than he was to his siblings. His heart was still beating, and he could still wake up any moment from now. He could have his father's luck and wake up to fight another day. But at this point I didn't have any hope left. All I had left was pain.
"Ms. Weasley," A healer walked over to me, and moved around my hospital wheelchair. "It's time."
I nodded, as my family looked up from their damaged stupor.
Hugo stood up, and walked over to me. When he reached me, he swatted to be at eye level with me. "Rose," He cried, his voice breaking with emotion. "Promise."
"I promise." I cried grabbing his hand. "I will fight."
He kissed my forehead, and left the room. Lily was next, she held my hand and said. "I will see you in a few hours. Okay?"
"Okay," I breathed, "Make sure you eat something okay?"
Despite herself she laughed. "Yes mum."
No one else rose to say goodbye to me, but I could see on their faces why. None of them could bear to lose me. They couldn't bear to say goodbye. They couldn't handle this right now. So I gave them a watery smile and waved. The healer than pushed me out of the room and into my own hospital room to change into a hospital gown.
Scorpius was in the room. He sat on the bed and delicately helped me out of my clothes and into the hospital gown. In vain he tried to keep his face impassive. He did his best to stay calm and act like seeing the bruises and scars on me didn't bother him, but I always saw through him. And even in my weakened state I worried what this was doing to him.
"You know I feel like this is one of my better looks." I joked dryly as sat on the bed.
He didn't smile.
I grabbed his hand and pulled him over to me. He shunned away, and was unable to look me in the eye. I'd never seen him look scared in my life. He'd always been confident. He'd always been so sure in himself. But right now he looked so lost.
"Hey," I whispered cupping his face, "Look at me."
He shook his head, as his jaw trembled. "I …I can't."
"Scorpius Malfoy, look at me." I demanded softly as my eyes bore into his.
He gulped and curled his lip. Finally his eyes met mine and when they did I was blow aback by the intensity that was there. His eyes held so much force that I couldn't help, but cry.
"I love you." I said weakly.
"I know that." He nodded, "I do, but…I talked to the healer. He said you have 60-40 chance…I can't take losing you again…I…"
I leaned forward and kissed him. My lips tingled as his fingers held my face, and mine knotted in his hair. I felt a rip of pain tare through my stomach and I let out a low groan of pain as I pulled away from him.
"Did I hurt you?"
I clenched my eyes shut, and gripped his shoulders. "No. It wasn't you."
"Ms. Weasley," My healer announced as he walked in. "If you could lay down, we will take you into surgery now."
I nodded biting my lip as my body start searing with pain.
Scorpius arms moved around me, repositioning me into a laying position as I no longer had the energy to do it myself. As they began to feed me potions to sedate me, I intertwined my hand with his. The bed started to move and Scorpius moved with the bed, his face full of tears.
I looked up at him.
"Come back, or I'll go after you." He swore, his face entirely serious.
As we reached the doors, I kissed his hand. "I love you too."
Then a wave of exhaustion covered me like a blanket and I fell into a deep sleep.
When I opened my eyes I was in a park. I'd been lying on the ground, getting my jeans all grassy. My eyes squinted as the sunshine grazed my face gently. I looked down and saw I was wearing my Quidditch jersey. After a few seconds examination I saw I was fully healed, I didn't have a single scrape or bruise on me. For a second I listened and heard nothing but the sound of a warm breeze sweeping through the grounds. I looked around and saw no one until I saw a bench by a familiar looking tree. Albus looked better than he had in weeks, he was perfectly shaven, he had no bags under his eyes, and there was a spring in his step I hadn't seen in a long time.
Picking myself off the ground I wandered over to him slightly confused as to where I was and what the hell I was doing there.
"Hey Rosie." Albus grinned as I sat down.
I eyed him suspiciously. "Al-bus, what are you up-to?"
"Me?" He pointed to himself innocently. "Nothing. I'm just here to say goodbye."
"Goodbye?" I frowned in confusion, and then my stomach knotted. "Goodbye?" I repeated as my eyes filled with tears. "No…"
Albus put his arms around me fondly, with a sympathetic smile on his face. "It had to happen Rose. At the end of that fight one of us had to die, and I'm glad it was me."
"NO! It was supposed to me!" I screamed furiously. "It was always supposed to be me."
"No," He told me softly, "It wasn't. It was never supposed to be you."
Albus sighed and looked out at the bright green grass that matched his eyes so well. His smile was back, as he inhaled the fresh summertime air. Thought there wasn't a child in sight it had a childish energy to it that seemed to grow the longer we sat.
"Do you remember this place?"
I frowned, taking in my surroundings. "No."
"We used to come here as kids."
"Aunt Ginny took us on her day off…" I whispered as the memory came back to me. "But what are we doing here?"
"When I thought of a time I was the happiest I thought of those days. I thought of a time before I was bitter, before I was jealous. A time before I felt a pressure of being Harry Potter's son. And I came here."
Biting my lip I looked at him. "How can you be so…"
"Calm?" He interjected, "Because I've accepted what's happened."
"Well," I spat stubbornly. "I can't. I refuse to accept this."
Albus laughed, a deep hardy laugh. "I knew you wouldn't which is why I'm approaching you in the first place."
"What do you expect to gain from this? I'm not going to let you go. I can't. Okay? I can't." I told him simply crossing my arms.
"Rose, it was never meant to be you." He looked at me somberly. "I had stuff going for me, I did. I had a job, I had family, a few friends, but you have a much bigger destiny than I ever would have. You have a big life to live. More people rely on you than they did me. You can do much more good than I could have."
I frowned, shaking my head. "I don't believe that."
"I know you don't and I love you for that. But for the love of Merlin promise me you won't blame yourself for this. No matter what anyone says I signed up for this. I knew the risks and I took them."
"How can you be so okay with this? You're…you're…"
"Dead?" He muttered, "Everyone dies Rose. It was just my time."
Tears flowed down my cheeks. "But…why?"
"Because I've done everything I need to do."
"What aren't you saying?" I asked.
He shook his head. "You aren't getting it. I'm at peace. I've accepted this. I'm with my grandparents."
"Uncle Harry's parents?"
"Yeah." He grinned, "But back to the point. The point is you're going to get through this, all of it."
I sighed as I wiped away my tears. "How can you be so sure?"
"Because you have a lot to look forward to." He said mysteriously, Albus gestured up to the clear blue sky. "They talk a lot up there. I know where you're going and I want to say, before I have to go. I'm proud of you."
He pulled me into a tight hug. "Yes, I am….I can't stand Malfoy, but after the sap-fest I just witnessed-"
"You watched?" I backed away furiously.
"What else am I supposed to do with my after life?" Albus snorted, "Besides I didn't truly cross over yet. I was waiting on something."
I furrowed my eyebrows. "What?"
"You." He pointed. "Now my times is up, but I love you. Take care of yourself okay? And when the time comes they'll all forgive you."
I nodded as his hand wrapped around my hand. "I love you too."
"The ones we love never leave us Rose…Remember that."
For a second we sat there, the warm sun warmed my skin. His black hair shined in the sun as his pale skin made his eyes glow. I didn't want to let go and if I hadn't seen him I don't think I ever would have. But he was sincere. He honestly believed this was for the best. And he genuinely felt at peace. Though I don't think I'd ever fully forgive myself for involving him in the first place, the weight on my chest was lifted. How could I be mad or upset when Albus himself had never been better?
He grabbed something from his other side and grinned. I looked what was in his hand, and a sob escaped my chest. It was Mad Libs.
"When you have kids you'll play Mad Libs with them right?"
Inhaling sharply, I lowered my head on his shoulder and hugged him back. He whispered. "Time to go."
And then I felt his grip loosen on me, and then I felt everything around vanish, and then I felt nothing at all.
Scorpius nursed his coffee and fidgeted nervously in his chair as he went over every little detail of what could go wrong in his mind. To a stranger he must have looked crazy, but to the few that knew him they would know he was doing everything in his power to keep it together, which considering the circumstances was everything he had.
The rest of the Potter family had dispersed when a healer came in to give them news on Albus. Scorpius didn't hear what it was, but from what he could see from the looks on their faces it wasn't good news. As he had no real alliance to any of them, he kept to himself and just stayed focused on Rose. But after they all left, he felt sadness for them. Though he was never treated very warmly by Rose's family, he still knew at the end of the day they loved each other very deeply and that this loss wounded them.
James was the only one who stuck around and was the only one sitting the room with Scorpius now. His stomach growled signaling for the third time in the past few hours.
"Have you eaten?" James questioned from across the room.
Scorpius shook his head. "You?"
"Not a single bite…Want to get something?"
Frowning Scorpius shook his head. "I better not."
"You're worried she will wake up and you won't be there?" James voiced knowingly.
A blush crept on his pale face.
"I swear we will be gone thirty minutes tops. The healers have you written down as emergency contact and honestly she's going to be in there for three more hours you have to eat something or you'll be in there next."
Scorpius let out a small laugh at James. He was right. Scorpius had noticed in the short time he had come to know James that he usually was. So he looked at his watch and sighed.
Scorpius stood up. "Fine, but that's it."
Walking to the cafeteria together Scorpius and James both felt the slightly better. They didn't talk about Rose, or James, but they didn't want to. As they grabbed some much needed food they talked about other things. They shared Hogwarts stories, and Auror stories and finally after more than thirty minutes they realized there wasn't a way in the world they could ignore the present. Scorpius let out a sigh and gave James a frown.
"I'm sorry about your brother."
James's face tightened, but he nodded all the same. "Thanks…I know that takes a lot after everything he did to you."
Scorpius shrugged, unable to deny this. "He may never have been a fan of me, but he did a lot for the rest of you."
"True…he did." James's eyes became watery. "But …it's weird, but I kind of felt it coming and I think he did too."
"What do you mean?"
"The way he was acting before…Rose wasn't the only one saying goodbye, he was too. I think he knew that if it came down to him or Rose that would be him."
Scorpius didn't understand how he could know this. It was clear that Albus never explicitly said it so how could James understand his intentions?
His disbelief must have been clear, because James's face grew very sad. "You don't get it do you? You don't have that kind of …connection with your family?"
"No," Scorpius answered honestly, but flatly. "I don't."
"Why is that?"
"My father and I…have never really gotten along. It's like we can't keep it civil without one of us saying something to wound the other." Scorpius let out a bitter laugh. "It's kind of a family tradition."
James shook his head in disappointment. "It shouldn't be like that."
"That's the way my family is… Very cold and old fashioned…except my mum."
"What's she like?"
Scorpius snorted. "Fussy, she nit picks about everything…" A childlike smirk slid onto his face. "And warm. She's very warm."
"You'd like her…everyone does. She's the only person in the world who can make my dad stop being such an ass."
"Sounds like my aunt and uncle," James smiled as he stirred his straw around his water. "My uncle Ron was a good guy, but he had a temper…a lot like Albus actually. When he got an idea in his head that was it. Unless my aunt Hermione got an idea in her head…Then there was no way he could have won." He paused and sighed. "I think Rose always assumed she'd never find something like that. Someone who would keep up instead of holding her down."
Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Well clearly that's not the case."
"She's going to be fine." James sighed casually. "But I'm warning you in advance. Now that you're with her there's going to be a whole line of people that are going to come out of the woodwork to take you to down."
"I've been through it before," Scorpius scoffed as they rose from their seats and threw away their food.
James gave him a dark look as they walked together back to the waiting room. "Not like this…"
Scorpius adjusted his shirt and considered arguing with James, but there was something about the way he said it, like it was a proclamation that was written purely in truth.
When they got back James left and told Scorpius to owl him when Rose woke up. Though he nodded, Scorpius wasn't really listening. He liked having James as a friend, and enjoyed their talk, but if he was going to wait for Rose he'd rather wait alone.
Millions of thoughts swirled around in his head. As much as he wanted to believe James knew Rose better than he did and that he had no reason to worry he still did anyway. Then again he'd been awake for much longer than usual. He had tried to sleep, but couldn't do so for long. His brain just wouldn't shut off. There was just no way he could relax until he knew she was safe, until he held her in his arms.
After waiting for only two hours a healer came up to him. His whole throat seized up, as his grey eyes locked on the man who hadn't spent the past four hours operating on Rose.
Scorpius let out a heavy sigh of relief that had been growing his chest all day.
"But she's going to need some time to recover. I'm not allowing her go back to work for at least a month."
He laughed, heartedly. "I'm sure that will go over well."
"Well I'm afraid Ms. Weasley won't have a choice. She had very extensive surgery and her body needs time to recuperate."
Checking his paperwork he said, "You may see her now."
It was the weirdest thing, but he found this was this was the hardest part. When he thought she wasn't going to be okay, when he thought they weren't going to be okay he would take on anything just to fix that. But now he worried that something would go wrong. After all something always went wrong and he worried that it would happened when she wasn't strong enough to fight it off. But when he got into her room, that aching fear went away.
All his thought disappeared and all he could was smile at her. Her hair shined bright red in the horrible hospital lighting, and her pale face was far paler than normal, but he was beyond reassured to see her awake.
"Hey," She whispered softly, her voice quiet from exhaustion.
He grinned, and sat in the chair next to her. "Hey."
Gulping she frowned, her big blue eyes filling up with watery fear. "Albus is gone isn't he?"
"Yes." Scorpius frowned. "I'm sorry."
Her arms opened in a childlike gesture that he couldn't help, but love. He moved closer and cupped her face as silent tears rolled down her face. Wordlessly he wiped the tears off her face as her small arms locked around him like vines. Eventually she moved over and ordered him to get in the bed with her, and even though he knew the staff would scold him later for it, he still crawled in next to her anyway. Scorpius gently kissed her cheek, forehead, temple and any other part of her face could reach. And for the first time in days, they both slept.
Song in the summary is Be Still By: The Fray. There will be one more chapter of this story, and then in a week or two I will post the final part of the Rose-Scorpius saga which will be named, "Make You Feel My Love." Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing. You people are the best! PLEASE REVIEW!
Chapter 18: Umbrella
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"You don't understand Rose. He isn't acting right." Lily spoke as she paced back and forth in Hugo's spacious living room.
I frowned and adjusted my position on Hugo's couch. "He's grieving, anything he does is going to not be normal James."
"That's just it!" She exclaimed frantically, as her heels clicked on Hugo's wood floor. "He's not DEALING with anything! He's going to work; he's going on dates, HE'S CLEANING HIS FLAT EVERYDAY ROSE! THAT'S NOT NORMAL!"
Letting out a sigh of disbelief, I ran my hands through my hair wearingly. "Maybe he's just in denial."
Lily stopped her rapid swirl of movement to look at me and for once I wished I had said nothing at all. Her brown eyes locked on me and I had to fight a wave of panic. She looked so extraordinarily like her mother in that moment that I almost believed for a second that she was her. Once I saw her make-up and clothing choices though it all came flooding back. Chewing the side of my lip, I let out a sigh another sigh.
"I will go see him, okay?"
Lily's face dropped and she looked guilty. "I mean if you don't feel good enough-"
"I'm fine." I sighed in frustration. "I've rested enough with you Scorpius and Hugo stalking me I've barely left this flat."
"As it should be." Lily snapped authoritatively. "You should learn to take orders for once."
A small ball of anger rose in my stomach as I looked at her. Now she sounded just like her father. Uncle Harry hadn't spoken to me since my probationary hearing when I was suspended for a month without pay for, 'going rogue.' Of course I didn't really care about that. At least I still had a job, and I was given the time I needed to recuperate. My physical injuries were the perfect excuse to stay away from everyone. When really it took me awhile to get away from the guilt I felt.
It was all consuming, I just couldn't help thinking that there was something I could have done differently. Something I could have done better. But after visiting Albus's grave I couldn't ignore his words any longer. He meant it when he said I should let him go and he meant it when he said he was at peace. Albus would have wanted me to heal and live my life to the fullest, not cry and hate myself.
Looking at Lily I could see sincere concern floating around her eyes. James, despite how he was acting, was hurting badly. Lily had handled her mourning well considering that not much time had passed. Their mother still hadn't left the house and their father was putting all of his energy into hating and despising me. Everyone was putting his or her grief somewhere. Everyone except James it seemed.
With three weeks left on my suspension, and 6 of the Death Eater's in Azkaban, including Nicolas Yaxley, I supposed checking on James was a good use of time. I was supposed to be on bed rest and I have been, but I was having a hard time. They were giving me so many potions that I was having a hard time getting motivation to do anything. It was like these medications were flushing any energy I had out of my system. Sometimes I'd sit on the couch and then three hours I'd wake up from a coma like nap. Now would be a good time to get out of the house and avoid wasting my day with another nap.
"Okay," I inhaled, pushing myself up to a sitting position, and feeling a familiar stiffness in my joints. "Here's the deal. You go on and get to work. I will see you at Hugo's game on Thursday-"
Her eyebrows furrowed. "What game?"
"Did you hear?" I asked with a proud smile. "The Cannon's picked him up for this season. He's been training with them all month…he's playing first string on Thursday."
"You know if they weren't notoriously shitty I'd actually be happy for him…But at least he has a job."
I snorted. "Wow Lily, you are just the most supportive person aren't you?"
"Have you seen this?"
Lily held up the Daily Prophet and I let out a low laugh as I saw Scorpius and I on the cover. "Yeah, I have. Apparently Rita Skeeter is back, although she has to be pushing sixty by now…Anyway, they're trying to raise their sales by adding more gossip and less government."
"It doesn't bother you that she says," Lily paused to read the line, "The star-crossed pair, who have been on-again off-again for years, are the leaders of the Auror community and a source tells the Daily Prophet that wedding bells aren't too far in the distance though some sources have reported that they aren't sure if Ms. Weasley can make the commit. She has been linked to several men over the years and has always been the one to plug on their relationship in the past."
A laugh escaped my lips as I pocketed my wallet and wand. "No, it doesn't. I used to freak out, and then Scorpius used to freak out, and then I'd lecture him, and he'd lecture me, but at this point who cares? In a few weeks they'll forget my name and be talking about some pureblood teenage pregnancy somewhere."
Lily followed me to the hallway and frowned thoughtfully as I locked up Hugo's flat. "I hope you're right."
"You worry too much," I told her as I gently pulled her into a hug. "I'm going to go see James."
When arrived at James's flat I was surprised to find it open, and I was even more surprised to find that Lily was right. Upon first glance I could tell that James was deep in repression. It was written all over his broken face. I sat down at his kitchen table in my shorts, tank top and worn tennis shoes with a frown. James was always the one that had it together. He was the one that held the rest of the together when we were barely hanging on. He was the one that believed in all of us, even when we felt like there was nothing of us left. With his optimism and upbeat attitude he always turned a situation around. How was I supposed to take his methods and use them against him? The simple answer was, I couldn't.
"James." I whispered, easing back in my chair carefully. "Can you come here for a second?"
He shook his head as he straightened up his pristinely clean kitchen. "Can't Rose. I have to finish cleaning, then I have to get to the owlery, and after that I-"
"James," I repeated, this time a bit louder as I struggled to make my voice sound firm. "Come here."
His black eyebrows furrowed together in confusion, and he slowed down to come over to me. James's entire body was tensed as if he were waiting for a fight, but his tone, his walk and everything else he did suggested he wanted nothing of the sort. He was holding it all in, and it was killing him. I needed to make him see what he was doing.
"I need you to come with me."
My jaw clenched, and my face became serious. "Now, James."
Rising to my face, I used my momentum to move forward. I took his hand, pocketed his wand and took him past his flat's apparation point. "Hold on."
"Rose-" He began again, but I didn't listen.
He was stuck in haze, a deep haze where he had convinced himself that his brother was off on vacation. And as much as I didn't want to see him in pain, I didn't want him live a lie even more. He could hate me. He could hate everyone just as long as he felt something that was real. But when we arrived at our destination, he froze. The grass ruffled in the light wind that carried across the cemetery. I leaned against the tree next to me completely winded. I hadn't been cleared for apparating yet, but it didn't matter. I would be okay. If I didn't do anything soon though James might not be.
"What are we doing here?" He demanded.
"You didn't cry at the funeral." I remembered aloud. "I thought it was odd, but I thought you were trying to hold it together for Lily and your mum."
James's adam's apple bobbled as his face became uncomfortably white. "Rose-"
Flicking my wand, new flowers appeared on Albus's tombstone, which was right across from my father's. "But then I heard that you haven't cried since…you have to face it James."
"I don't…I don't know what you're talking about."
"Yes, you do. That's why you can't look at me." I told him in a quiet voice. "I miss him too, and if you're mad at me I deserve it. But Albus please…please don't bottle it up. He wouldn't want that."
James's face tightened. "Don't say what he would or wouldn't like!" Then he tried to control himself as he tried to go back to acting like everything was fine. "I just…I don't want to be here."
"I know you don't. But James, you can't hide from this."
"I have to go." He announced turning away from Albus's tombstone swiftly and apparating without another word.
Frowning, I slid down the tree and sat on the freshly cut grass. "Well, that went well."
An hour later I was in St. Mungos and still hadn't heard from James. I decided if I hadn't heard from him by dinnertime I'd go look for him or send someone else to do for me. If I thought what he needed was space I'd give it to him, but if Lily was worried that meant that it was bigger than. Lily rarely worried about other people. If she did that meant it was big enough to freak out about. Shaking my head I sat down in a chair as Kelly helped a bitter Lauren into her wheelchair.
"This is ridiculous," Lauren growled.
I shrugged with a smirk. "The healer said you can't go home by yourself and I have a whole two weeks off to help you recuperate."
"Oh god…you're going to mock the shit out of me aren't you?"
"Me?" I pointed at myself innocently. "Why would I do such a thing to one of my oldest and dearest friends?"
"Because you are evil." She groaned and looked at Kelly. "Save me!"
I laughed. "I'm your best friend. How could I be evil?"
Kelly laughed at me as I stood to follow them out of the room. "I'm not answering that question."
It took us about two hours to get Lauren settled in at Kelly's guest room. I'd love to say I did a lot, but I really didn't. Little Kelly kicked into mother mode instantly and started nitpicking at the pillows, blankets and anything else she could arrange, which of course drove Lauren crazy. She wouldn't be here long, but I could already tell I was going to get Owl after Owl of Lauren complaining about Kelly hovering over her all the time. It was mostly Kelly worrying about Lauren and Lauren overreacting, but once Lauren's potions faded out I was sure her irritation would fade.
"I'll see you tomorrow." I told Lauren.
Her arms clamped onto me in a death grip. "Where are you going?"
"I have a Healer appointment in ten minutes…Why are you holding me this tightly?"
"Don't-leave-me-with-her." She breathed furiously. "I'll kill her."
I rolled my eyes and tried pried her fingers off of me, but I couldn't she had a freakish grip on me. "Lauren, calm down. You won't be here long. You just need to rest okay? Let Kelly take care of you."
"I don't know how!"
"Lauren, I get it. You raised your little sister and your dad never bothered you when you were sick, but Kelly was raised to stalk people when they were sick to make sure they are still alive. So take the intensity down a notch. Okay?"
She scowled and released me with a pout. "Fine…but if you leave me here…" Lauren let the threat hang in the air.
"I understand Lauren. Now I have to go. Take care alright?"
As I left I hugged Kelly. "Good luck."
"With what?" Kelly asked clueless to what I was talking about.
I smiled and walked away, "Never mind."
Walking back through St. Mungos I felt drained. Hopefully I could convince the healer to take me off a few potions so I wouldn't feel so sluggish all the time. But as soon as I walked in and saw the look on his face I knew that wasn't going to happen.
"Ms. Weasley," My healer, an older African male with a heavy accent started in a furious tone. "Who let you wheel yourself into the waiting room and run around this hospital with massive internal bleeding?"
I shrank back in my chair feeling like I was ten-year-old child instead of a 24-year-old adult. "No one did…I signed a waver. I wasn't exactly in the state to listen to anyone..."
"So you," His voice grew disappointed. "Thought it was a good idea to endanger your life and my reputation by going against my orders and leaving your hospital bed."
Normally I would never have put up with this. I would have said that I'm an adult, it's my life and frankly I signed the forms so why was he so upset? But Healer Clark had this fatherly tone in his voice that just injected me with such guilt and remorse. He'd been my Healer for years and was the one who set up and orchestrated my surgery. Afterwards he had a two-week vacation and didn't know about my disobedience, but apparently one of his assistants ratted me out when he asked why my recovery was taking so long. It was true, this was my fault. I shouldn't have gone off without permission. I shouldn't have been so careless with my health, but I couldn't take it back. So I frowned, unable to say much in my defense.
"My cousin was in the hospital." I whispered, "He …died…soon after, but I couldn't handle being away from my family."
His warm dark eyes sprinkled with sympathy.
I continued. "And since then I have followed every medical instruction given to me."
"How are you feeling?"
"I'm okay." I breathed carefully as I scratched my chin. "I'm running slower than I'm used to, but I'm suspended from work for another month so I don't really have anywhere to run to."
He put the tips of his finger to raise me chin to examine my face. "Have you been taking all your potions?"
"Yes," I rolled my eyes. "I've been staying at my brother's and he has been enforcing them on me."
"Good. I'm glad someone is watching over you."
My face turned sour. "I'm perfectly capable-"
"You are capable of taking care of other people, but you do a poor job of taking care of yourself." He told me in his no nonsense tone as he filled out a prescription. "Now I expect to see you in two weeks for another check up."
I nodded. "I'll be here."
"Yes," He told me as he handed me the paper. "You will."
Leaving the room, I found Scorpius smirking against the doorframe. My eyes narrowed at him as I crossed my arms. "What?"
"I didn't say anything."
"Yeah, but your smarmy pompous face did it for you." I snapped suspiciously. "You heard him scold me didn't you?"
He shrugged, his grin still present on his face. "Maybe."
"You liked that didn't you?" I accused him. "You like me getting yelled at."
"A little bit." He admitted, wrapping his arm around my shoulder as he kissed my forehead mockingly.
"Ugh. Come on, you smug jerk. I have to get to Victoire's."
Scorpius nodded. "I know Teddy asked I come with so they tackle me and not you."
I stopped in the middle of the hallway and starred at him in shock. Somehow in the past two weeks Scorpius had managed to befriend every male in my family and never ceased to amaze me. All of them seemed to sense his earnest need to be accepted and took him in. I smiled up at him and he cradled my body delicately into his. He still was taking it easy with me and had yet to do anything more than kiss me gently. But I didn't mind. When I was strong enough we'd take it further, but for now just being together was enough.
We arrived at Victoire and Scorpius took the hits for me as promised. He even played dinosaur with them, which worked better because they could both fit on his back as he pretended to roar on the carpet. I could barely handle it, Victoire and I were laughing so hard we were crying. I'd never thought I'd see the day that Scorpius would sink to the carpet on all fours and let two little girls crawl over his back.
"Okay we're going to go." Victoire announced after visiting with us for an hour, her belly protruding significantly.
"Before you do," I stopped Teddy and Victoire hesitantly. "Have either of you heard from James?"
They both shared a look and shook their heads. "No why?" Victoire asked.
I sighed. "I tried to talk to him earlier…but he ran away. I don't think he's handling his grief well. Even Lily was worried."
"I'll go look for him." Scorpius volunteered getting up off the floor.
"You don-" I began immediately.
He grabbed his cloak. "It's fine. I'll be back, if it takes long I'll just meet you back in my flat." He promised kissing me lightly on the lips.
I nodded after I saw that he wasn't bothered to do this in the slightest. Then I smiled and said, "I'll grab dinner for us. What do you want?"
"I'll meet you at your flat."
Victoire, Teddy and Scorpius all left Chloe, Charlotte and I. Thankfully Scorpius had played with them long enough for them to be tired. So I just sat on the carpeted floor and read them stories about princesses, pirates and thieves. They both swore they would stay awake this time, but by 8:00 they were both passed out on the couch with their pink princess hats on. I cleaned up the living room and tucked them in.
Teddy and Victoire came in around 9:49. They seemed to have a good time and were in good spirits. I was glad, with the third Lupin on the way I knew it would be a long time before they would get to spend time alone together. Leaving, I picked up food for Scorpius and I and waited at his flat as I said I would. After waiting there for only ten minutes I heard a knock on the door. It struck me as odd since this was Scorpius's flat, but I figured maybe he forgot his key.
"Coming!" I called rushing to the doorway. "So I ordered-" I stopped dead in my tracks as I saw I wasn't talking to Scorpius, but someone who looked a hell of a lot like him. I cleared my voice. "Uh…Hi Mr. Malfoy. I thought you were Scorpius."
It was then I noticed he didn't look right. His clothes, much like his son, were always perfectly straight and put together, but as I looked at him I noticed his tie was crooked, and his shirt was untucked. But more importantly, I knew for a fact that Scorpius Malfoy never visited his son anywhere.
"...What is it?" I asked quietly.
"An owl just delivered this." He handed me a piece of parchment.
Dear Draco Malfoy,
Although we've never met we feel we have a lot to owe you and therefore we offer you the gift. This gift is the gift of knowledge and the knowledge we are delighted to give you is the fact that we have your son. And unlike Mr. Yaxley we have everything under control. So I hope you have enjoyed your relationship with your son and that your memories with him don't haunt you when you attempt to sleep at night.
Your friendly neighborhood Death Eaters
Ps: The box included was found in your son's pocket. We have reason to believe it belongs to Rose Weasley. I trust you will return it to her.
My heart squeezed as all the blood drained out of it and I had to clamp onto the doorframe to support myself. This couldn't be happening. He just went to find James. Why would they take him? How could they have? He's stronger, smarter and faster than all of them. This was impossible. I was fantastic and adapting to a new problem and changing my expectations to fit a difficult situation, but I refused to accept this. Scorpius was going to run over any minute now and make us feel like idiots for ever worrying about him in the first place.
Mr. Malfoy dug into his black pants pocket to hand me the box the note mentioned. I thought it was… I don't know what I thought it would be, but as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what it was by the velvet covering on the jewelry box. All the color left my face, as my eyes widened and my grip on the doorway tightened almost painfully.
"An…engagement ring? But why would they think…He never…" I breathed unable to look anywhere but at the box.
"He was probably going to propose." He said in a strained voice.
I let out slow breaths and then looked up at Mr. Malfoy.
I was doing everything in my power to understand and adapt to this, but I couldn't. From the moment I opened the door to now I didn't understand a single thing. I was stunned. But my polite upbringing sprung out of me as everything else failed me.
"Would you like to come in?" I asked expecting him to decline.
"If it's not an imposition. We should make our case clear before we bring this to the Auror office."
I moved out of the way and shut the door behind him. My whole body was numb from the drugs, but now my mind was joining it as I tried to get a grip on what was happening.
"Um…I'll get some parchment."
"And…Rose?" He breathed in a stressed voice, his mouth tightening awkwardly at using my first name, something he had never done before.
"Yeah?" I paused, my eyes filling with hot furious tears as I fought to push my emotions down to control myself.
Mr. Malfoy said, "Don't say anything to Astoria until we have information. I don't want her to freak out until we know the facts."
His steel eyes bore into me, and I felt a stab of emotion jolt through me. "We'll find him."
My lip trembled as I nodded and forced myself to keep moving. "We have to."
Song in the summary is Umbrella By: Rihanna. The next part of this saga will be called, 'Make You Feel My Love,' and I will start it as soon as possible. This is the last chapter though of, 'Don't You Remember?' I hope you have all enjoyed it. Thank you for reading and reviewing!