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A/N: Hello out there! Yes, it is I, Gabbie. I'm back after a rather long, erm, hiatus and with that being over for now, I have here, Abandon, a freshly visualized taking that I hope you all enjoy! Please leave a review if you can! Much love.
The thick, smoky smell of fireworks invaded Roxanne Weasley’s nose as the last fantastic array of lights and sound vanished and melted into the dark sky and she cheered along with her many family members and their guests, quite pleased to see that her father’s new creations had worked for once instead of blowing the entire Burrow into ash.
Because he enjoyed working with her Uncle Lee, his friend for years, their home above his famous joke shop, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was constantly being repaired, painted and added onto until it resembled her father’s childhood home almost shockingly well.
Her mother, Angelina Weasley, didn’t seem to mind so long as they didn’t actually kill one another. She could mostly be seen hinting at new ideas and partaking in some of the dangerous new products her father couldn’t help but create, Uncle Lee and his wife, Alicia, cheering and crowing all the while.
Roxanne had grown up in a very loud, happy home and despite the fact that her father grew into sad moods on occasion, she had never seen him treat her or her older brother Perce (His name was Fred, after their uncle but she usually preferred to call him by his middle name, Percival.) as if they were something to be ignored.
Instead, they were ridiculously spoiled and despite her mother’s protests, Roxanne knew that she could only pout and plead with her father before he gave in and got her whatever she wanted, including a set of new Chaser gloves, expensive robes and recently, a new set of kid boots.
Some part of her knew that she shouldn’t take advantage of her father that way but she couldn’t help it and it sometimes made her feel childish and small, even though she was currently fifteen years old and going back to Hogwarts to start her dreaded OWLs.
There were only a few more days before she would have to crawl out of bed, stuff a bit of toast into her mouth and lug all of her Hogwarts things onto a trolley and go back onto the Express, her excitement for a new year dimmed by the idea that she might actually have to study for a change.
Luck was usually on her side and she had somehow made it all the way to her fifth year without having to stay behind like her friends Georgia and Leanne Wood, the daughters of the famous Oliver Wood, who made the best broomsticks in the whole world.
Aunt Katie, his wife, constantly nagged at her twin girls for not taking their studies seriously and the pair always responded with lazy replies, though that sort of talk had gotten them pushed back to their seventh year again.
Roxanne was still debating about how she was going to survive the next few months with OWLs looming over her head when she felt a tap on her shoulder and turning, she saw that her brother was smiling down at her.
With his brown skin and short wavy hair, it took a few moments for an outsider to see the resemblance that he shared with their father, whose skin was as pale and freckly as his siblings. “Everyone’s gone back to the tent, you don’t want to stay out here all night do you?” he asked with a teasing grin, showing off a deep dimple in his right cheek.
Roxanne hadn’t even noticed that everyone else had turned around, going down sloping green hills towards the gilded gold tent in the background where they were celebrating their grandparent’s anniversary.
She must have been so lost in her thoughts that she hadn’t even noticed that she was alone, gawping up at the sky like an idiot and she laughed, “Maybe I will if it’ll keep me from having to go back to school so soon.” She said with a frown and her brother laughed.
He was on his last year at Hogwarts of course and was by far much smarter than she was, saying that the longer he stayed in school the more corrupted he got. Success was the only option too if he wanted to go to Germany and manage the joke shop there like their father had promised (Even though they’d made a bet that Perce wouldn’t survive his NEWTs, that was hardly the point), “Worried that you won’t survive, Roxie?” he asked her with mock concern.
Roxanne frowned at him a little while she tried not to smile and he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, the strap of her dress being smashed purposefully under his large hand. “You’ll get it wrinkled!” she snapped and Perce laughed before she settled comfortably underneath his arm, “and I’m not too worried about OWLs, I’ll survive somehow.”
The lie didn’t escape her brother but he said nothing and started leading her down the sloping hills towards the tent, which was bursting with laughter and cheery folk music. Their entire family was down there and she couldn’t wait to dance with her grandfather and tease Molly Weasley for being too shy to dance, “You’ll be all right. Either that or you’ll just have to repeat a year like Leanne and Georgia.”
Roxanne flushed a little at the thought of slumping back to Fifth year Potions and hearing Professor Zabini announcing how much of a failure she was. If there was one class that she was actually good at, it was Potions and she refused to be the vampire’s laughingstock, “You know—if your girlfriend and her sister actually studied they wouldn’t have to worry about repeating a year.”
Perce thought about this for a moment before shrugging a little, not wanting to say anything negative about Leanne when they had just started dating not too long ago.
Considering that they had grown up together, Roxanne had been surprised that they had eventually fallen for one another when she’d always thought of them as brother and sister. “Yeah, well, miracles might actually happen this year. You never know.” He said in reference to her passing OWL year and his girlfriend finally sleazing through her NEWTs.
Roxanne grinned up at him as they hopped over a gnome hole and finally walked into the tent, which was ablaze with lights, caterers and food piled high into the ceiling. Someone had conjured a dance floor and because Uncle Percy never quite stopped showing off to make up for whatever he had done in the past, there was no need for anyone to worry about the price, “He really went all out. I was here earlier but I swear it’s gotten bigger,” she said to her brother.
“He’s Undersecretary to the Minster! We lowly mortals know nothing of grandeur so he has to show off.” Perce said with a laugh that collected in his chest. He was actually named after their uncle and spent a lot of time with him so Roxanne figured he had the right to tease, “Look, there he is right there.” He pointed into the thick of the crowd where Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey were dancing.
Roxanne had always thought that they were an unusual couple. While Uncle Percy was perhaps a bit stuffy, he was actually quite nice but Aunt Audrey was like a wild dragon and constantly threw him off balance, but her father had told her that a woman like that was just what her uncle had needed, “You know, looking at her I wouldn’t have thought that she had been a stripper.”
Aunt Audrey was short, slender and her long black hair was piled up in an elegant knot atop her head, her eyes sparkling with teasing mischief as she stared up at her husband.
She was Chinese as well, which had caused a bit of nasty remarks from ignorant people in the Ministry but she had a sort of strength about her that reminded Roxanne of her mother. It was almost eerie how vicious she could be, “Obviously you’ve never seen her dancing to different music,” Perce said to her with a frightened look in his eyes and she roared with laughter. Before she could remark on that, she caught sight of their parents in the crowd, both of them dancing with one of their younger cousins.
Their father was showing Rose Weasley the steps to the folk music while their mother was teasing Albus Potter as they maneuvered wildly around the dance floor, “She’ll kill the kid,” Roxanne said in alarm and her brother grinned, since he enjoyed bullying Albus too much to intervene.
He and Rose would start Hogwarts next year and Roxanne wasn’t sure why but she had a feeling that the two of them wouldn’t exactly have the best of times. It was an odd sensation but she shrugged it off and said to her brother, “I’m going to rescue Rose. Dad is obviously trying to make her cry,” she observed as their father dipped Rose over his arm, amid her shrieks.
Perce removed his arm from her shoulders and she saw him scanning the crowd for someone he recognized and an impish grin spread across his face. “Oh, look, its Molly.” Roxanne shot him a look. “And she looks so helpless and innocent—I’m going to mess with her. I’ll see you later,” he said, darting quickly towards a tall girl who was standing miserably behind an array of flowers, obviously trying not to be seen.
Roxanne rolled her eyes, not understanding why her brother liked to pick on Molly when the two of them were actually very close.
Molly was unbearably shy and she supposed her brother liked to see if he could break her out of it but it usually ended up with him covered in boils or Molly not talking to him for weeks, “You leave her alone Fred!” Aunt Hermione, who was nearby snapped once she caught sight of her brother yanking Molly from behind the flowers and pinching her cheeks until she yowled with pain.
Feeling a laugh bubbling into her chest, Roxanne passed through the mass of bodies and tried to get to her father but was waylaid by cousins, aunts and friends.
She wound up having a lengthy conversation with Lucy Weasley, Molly’s younger and more outlandish sister (Who wanted to join the Wizard circus), giving Teddy Lupin advice on how to scare James Potter and his sister Lily and dancing briefly with Louis Weasley, who was a year younger than her.
Exhausted by it, she darted around Victoire and Dom-Dom (Dominique), Louis’s older sisters and finally made it up to her father, who was trying to bully Rose into putting a spider down her father’s shirt, “I’m sure he won’t mind, Rosie,” her father said evilly.
Rose blinked up at him in alarm, her brown eyes wide. “B-but why, Uncle George?”
“Because I said so—” Roxanne caught her father saying and she punched him in the arm until he glanced at her sheepishly, obviously not pleased on having been caught. “I mean, just give your dad a hug for me.”
Rose said hello to Roxanne, thought about what her uncle had told her and then darted off to freedom to do as she was told. “You know you’re going to have to stop teasing the kids like that, Dad.” Roxanne said to him with a frown and he just laughed at her and brushed it off before offering her his hand.
Roxanne knew that her father and mother and half her family had fought at the Battle of Hogwarts but as far as she knew, her parents were the only ones whose hands still shook with past trauma. It had worried her when she’d been younger, thinking that they were ill but now, she tended to accept it as something she would never be able to understand, having never faced that sort of horror. “You’re not any fun, Roxie.” Her father said with a grin, showing off the dimple in his right cheek that he had given to her brother, “come on. Dance with me,”
Unable to refuse him, Roxanne took his hand and he pulled her into his arms with an exaggerated flourish, just as their mother passed them by, Albus looking terrified as he was nearly thrown into his parents, who had been talking to Uncle Charlie and Uncle Bill.
“Sorry!” her mother cried with a laugh as Albus regained his footing and his parents stared at her with resigned expressions, “come on, Albus, don’t be scared!” she said to the boy, who resembled his father rather strongly.
Albus was rather pale, “I can’t help but be!” he shouted before Roxanne’s mother swept him away, doing some exaggerated swirls and twirls that caused them to look like a mirage of color.
Roxanne felt deeply sorry for her younger cousin but her father was roaring with laughter. “I think your mum has had too much to drink.” He said to her in a conspiratorial whisper and she nodded in agreement. With a fond sigh, she was pulled into an easy, swaying dance, “so, beautiful girl, excited for OWLs?”
“You know I’m not!” Roxanne said in alarm as he grinned teasingly at her and she frowned, knowing when she was being made fun of. She reached up and tugged on his red hair, which had just started to grey (Much to his horror) and said meanly, “if I don’t pass OWLs, it’ll be your fault you know!”
Her father winced good naturedly before taking her hand and placing it onto his shoulder, which was clad in an outrageous blue dragon hide jacket. “How would that be my fault?” Roxanne’s eyes narrowed. “My genes aren’t that bad you know!” he cried, looking as if she had mortally wounded him.
Roxanne felt herself smiling. “You told us horror stories about OWLs and said that it didn’t even matter if we got one Outsanding!” she cried and this was very true. Somehow, both of her parents had managed to pass, though her father and his brother had left Hogwarts without even graduating, “I still don’t understand how you were able to get three.”
“Luck, Roxie. It’s all about luck,” her father said with an arrogant nod that had her laughing before he moved around the dance floor with her. She felt her curly hair, which was just like her mother’s bouncing around her head like a cloud and it made her feel wild and free, “you’ll do okay. You’re a good girl,”
Roxanne flushed with pleasure and embarrassment because she was, as Perce would say a true Daddy’s Girl to the end. “Thanks Dad,” she said and he beamed, quite pleased with himself. His own parents were looking truly happy as well when she spotted them sitting at a long table, talking to Hagrid (He took up at least five chairs and was well into his cups) and a few of their other friends who had come to say hello. Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey danced past them, her aunt making a challenging face at her father, who gawped at her, unable to believe her nerve, “oh, no! I am not going to be used for one of your games!” she cried, upon noticing the tension.
Aunt Audrey grinned wildly at her father, who she sometimes called Greg when she couldn’t remember his name (On purpose) and said. “I bet we’ll out dance you!” in a loud voice.
Uncle Percy sighed wearily. “Not again,” noticing Roxanne, he sent her a swift smile that reminded her a lot of Lucy’s, though she was always grinning about something that she shouldn’t have been up to in the first place. “You look wonderful, Roxanne.”
“Thanks Uncle Percy! You look okay I guess,” Roxanne replied teasingly and he rolled his eyes a little before narrowing them on his brother. “Are you going to have a dance off?” she asked her father worriedly, not wanting to be in the middle of one of their games.
Her father and Aunt Audrey were eyeing one another with playful fire and she groaned as he nodded, pulling her closer just as her aunt gripped Uncle Percy’s shoulder with unnecessary force. “The two of you are like big kids,” he said with a weary sigh.
“Whoever wins gets to mooch food for a week! And whoever loses has to take the kids for the summer.” Aunt Audrey declared, ignoring her husband. Roxanne’s father nodded and she groaned with acute misery just as the folk music struck up a new cord, the magical orchestra somehow knowing that there was something intense going on, “all summer.” Her aunt added darkly.
Her father’s eyes were wide. “Good God, you’re mad.” But he didn’t disapprove and Roxanne and her uncle were yanked into the center of the dance floor and it was only by the grace of God that they were even alive by the end of the battle.
Although her father lost, Roxanne didn’t mind spending the summer with her favorite aunt and uncle at their massive beach house (It was a few miles away from Uncle Bill and Fleur’s) and she found herself laughing along with the guests and her relatives, knowing nothing could go wrong.
Roxanne’s feet hurt and she had eaten too much. It was nearing midnight and the party was still in full swing, her grandparent’s still awake and offering for many of her relatives to stay the night before regretting it when her parents decided that they would, indeed bother them until tomorrow morning.
Perce was still in the tent, chasing Molly Weasley around with a fake rat the last she’d seen them and Albus had been running away from Teddy Lupin, his brother and Lucy, who had all been intent on making him cry.
Stretching her hands up to the sky, she was thankful that she had decided to sneak away to get a little privacy for herself and she tiredly made her way towards her grandfather’s shed full of Muggle things.
It would be musty and smelly but it would be a reprieve from her family for a while and she determinedly made her way over to it, her heels snagging in a gnome hole before she yanked it out, fearing that she’d gotten mud all over them.
Unable to see it despite the star and moonlight raining down over the area, she fumed for a second before continuing on her way, her toes pounding from her father yanking and dancing her around for nearly half an hour.
Yawning loudly, she saw the somehow haunting outline of the shed (There were about five more scattered around the Burrow) and walked over, knowing that the door would be unlocked since her grandfather still hung around in it on more than one occasion. After nearly tripping over Wellington boots and kicking at a gnome that tried to gnaw on her calf, she made it to the door and lazily tried the knob.
Oddly, it felt as if it had been broken open but she wondered if her grandmother had done it herself to get rid of some of her husband’s junk and she grinned before pushing it open with very little force and calling out into the darkness, “Hullo?” when no one answered, she stepped inside.
Boxes, crates and various hanging objects nearly caused her death but she eventually found a light switch (A present from Aunt Hermione last year) and for a moment the room was flooded with yellow, hazing light.
Roxanne looked around at all the bolts, microwaves, batteries and plugs that were nearly tipping towards her with a fond smile, thinking that she was alone until she saw a tall, dark shape in the far corner of the room.
She let out a scream of surprise before asking with clear bravado, “Who’s there?” wondering if it were one of the guests, she snapped. “The party is in the tent, I could show you where it is—” the figure moved and there was a flick of movement before she saw that it was a very tall, very big man and she felt something like fear descend onto her skin. “Who are you?!”
The person said nothing; just moved and shoved his way around boxes and she saw one of her grandfather’s prized toaster ovens fall down with a resounding crash. “What is all this shit anyway?” the person asked in a gravelly, smoky voice that she instantly feared.
“Do you want me to get my parents?” Roxanne demanded furiously, her heart pounding even though she was trying to be brave. She was a Hufflepuff but she wasn’t a coward but there was very little that she could do against a full grown man—a former Death Eater bent on revenge that had someone gotten past all the wards?
It was a possibility, there were still people out there that hated Uncle Harry and her family and had nothing better to do. “Stop right there you bastard!” she cried when the figure made a movement towards her, his features distorted as he suddenly, purposefully retrieved his wand from a jacket pocket.
Roxanne flinched, expecting pain.
But instead, the bulb above her head exploded with shards of glass and she stepped hastily back as the figure took deliberate steps towards her until she felt the back of a table laden with various Muggle books and tools hit her hard in the back of the legs.
“Damn, Weasley. This isn’t the sort of welcome that I was hoping for. Don’t you remember me?” the figure asked gently, menacingly and she felt her eyes widening as he reached out, one large hand cupping her chin.
That touch…it had been an entire year.
Her once and dearest friend…Roxanne’s mouth was dry as she muttered his name, somehow knowing that it was true, but couldn’t be— “Benjamin Malfoy?” and his laughter was both damning and pleased and she knew that everything was about to go wrong with that one, dark sound.
A/N: Hello! I know, I said I'd post something up for Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince but I have only half a chapter for it, so forgive me! D': Here is the second chapter to this new story and please enjoy and go easy on me....
It had been a long time.
Roxanne felt a shudder going over her skin as the rough pad of his thumb caress the soft line of her jaw, almost as if she were as delicate as fine China and she had to close her eyes against the sudden sting of emotion. After an entire year, Benjamin Malfoy had come back and instead of being infuriated by this and hating him for how he had ruined their fragile friendship, her heart decided to dance in a rhythm that she barely recognized—or hadn’t since he had left.
Though Draco Malfoy was still regarded as something of an infamous mistake, he had plowed his way through the Wizarding world with the intention of making himself appear as kindly and respectable as Roxanne knew that he was. When she had been younger, there had only been a few times that she had met Mr. Malfoy and each time that he had come to her father’s joke shop, he had brought a reluctant Benjamin with him. “What are you gawking at?” he hissed at her and Roxanne jumped nearly three feet in the air.
The stack of Fever Fudge that she’d been hiding behind clattered noisily but the customers roaming about hardly noticed her mishap, “U-uhm,” Roxanne said nervously as she met a pair of eyes that were narrowed darkly on her flushed dark cheeks. “I just…”
“Just what?” Benjamin snapped as he lowered the bag of Canary Creams that he’d been considering moodily back onto their brightly colored shelf. “Thought you could catch me doing something evil?” he was taller than she was and bigger than her brother and Roxanne was frightened by it.
She was only ten years old, not even old enough to be at Hogwarts yet and Perce had been going around telling her scary stories about how awful it was. He was two years older and therefore, in her mind, a lot wiser than she was and with their parents continuing his lies, she had a vision of Hogwarts being like the entrance to Hell that she’d seen in Muggle movies. “N-no… I just…” Roxanne swallowed, “wanted to say hi.”
Benjamin barked a mean laugh that didn’t sound as if it were coming from someone so young and she’d warily eyed him, thinking that he meant to make fun of her. Plenty of people she didn’t even know did, saying that she wasn’t really a Weasley since her mum was black but instead of doing that, the boy said, “From all the way over there? You look like a pervert.”
Roxanne frowned, stepping from around the shelf of Fever Fudge and ignoring the ones that she had spilt earlier to say. “I’m not a pervert!” Benjamin grinned meanly and she frowned all the harder.
“So why’d you hide instead of saying hi?” Benjamin demanded suspiciously. He looked out of place in her father’s shop, an ugly look in his eyes, “What are you, a freak?”
Roxanne fumed and snapped. “Shut up! I got nervous!” she often came downstairs to see her father work but when she’d spotted Mr. Malfoy and his son walking inside, she’d been so flustered with nerves, having only seen him from a distance that she hadn’t been able to come any closer once the boy had been alone. “You look so mean!”
“And you look like a dumpy little snot. Who are you anyway?” Benjamin demanded rudely and she felt a sting that he didn’t know who she was. “You look vaguely familiar.” He blinked at her, expecting some sort of answer, but when she said nothing, he rolled his eyes as if wishing for lightning to strike them both, “you live around here?”
Roxanne swallowed. “I live upstairs. This is my dad’s shop.”
Benjamin eyed her stupidly. “You mean George Weasley’s your dad?” she flinched as he ran his eyes over her brown skin, her curly dark hair and her eyes, which were so brown they hid her pupils. “Oh. I heard there was a sexy black lady that lived here. That’s your mum, huh?”
“Yes,” Roxanne replied warily, not thinking that her mother was sexy at all. Benjamin stared at her for a while longer until she started to think that he might just walk away but when he didn’t, she decided that she should gather some courage and walked down to him. He didn’t take a step away but his entire body tensed with dislike before she swallowed hard, offered her hand and said sheepishly, “my names Roxanne Katie Weasley,”
Uncle Percy had told her once that offering your hand usually started a very good friendship but with the way Benjamin was looking at her hand, it might as well have been an insult. After a moment, he burst out laughing and she recoiled, flustered, “I don’t care—wait. All right,” he said after a second and took her small hand in his larger one and gave her a firm shake that nearly lifted her up off her feet, “Benjamin Frederick Malfoy.”
Roxanne felt a burst of triumph go along her skin and she smiled at him before considering his name for a minute and saying. “My uncle’s name was Fred. He was my dad’s twin—it’s funny that you’ve got his name,” she said with a little smile before letting it fall from the look he was giving her.
There had been a slight pause before Benjamin had let her hand go with a bit of a slap and she frowned, stung and nearly kicked him just as she would have done to Perce or Teddy Lupin. “It’s not funny, okay? I don’t want anything to do with you stinking Weasley’s.”
“That’s not very nice of yo—”
“Well, no one’s been nice to me.”
“I’m being nice to you.”
“What for?” Benjamin’s voice was laced with dislike and suspicion.
Roxanne shrugged. “Cause that’s what friends do, that’s what my mum says anyway.” She didn’t want to tell him that her mother spouted this because her father had been the first person to really be nice to her when they’d met on the Express so long ago.
Benjamin narrowed his eyes on her but something in his expression relaxed. “You must be stupid Weasley if you want to be my friend.” Roxanne shrugged and he laughed a little, considering her. “Just because you’re being nice to me and I’m talking to you doesn’t make me your friend. Got that?”
Roxane nodded stupidly. “Okay.” And smiled.
That caused Benjamin to flush and he opened his mouth to say something to that but just then a long, dark shadow fell over them and they looked up. Mr. Malfoy had found them and he appeared to have bought quite a bit of merchandise, judging from the bags in his hands, “There you are. I thought you’d walked off,” he said to his son, who grumbled in annoyance, flushing even deeper.
Roxanne stared up at him curiously. He was pale all over with silvery blonde hair that was slicked back importantly and his eyes were a cool grey but it was the fact that he seemed to be really unhappy that caught her attention, “I was talking to him, sir.” She said.
Mr. Malfoy gave her a soft smile and she beamed under such attention, knowing that her own father would be very proud of her for being so polite. He’d probably buy her something, “What a nice girl you are. You’re Roxanne Weasley, right?” she nodded and he sent his son a sidelong glance. “You weren’t being rude to her were you?”
Benjamin spluttered. “No! She was the one staring at me being all dopey and cu—I mean, no.” He said hastily while Roxanne grinned at him. His father regarded him curiously before letting it slide and reaching out to pat him on the head, which only humiliated him more, “aw Dad—not in front of the enemy!”
“They’re not the enemy and it’s time to go.” Mr. Malfoy said sternly before glancing at Roxanne again and giving her a welcoming smile. “Feel free to talk to him again. I haven’t seen him this happy in a long time.” And with that, he swept away, black robes rustling and after a slight hesitation, his son gave her a nod.
Roxanne waved him away as he started to turn. “Bye! Let’s play Exploding Snap next time!” and Benjamin’s face turned slack with something that looked really mean before he turned bright red.
“Stupid,” Benjamin snapped but he nodded covertly, ignored his father’s teasing smile and stomped out of the shop. Roxanne felt proud of herself then for overcoming her fear and talking to him and making her very own friend but now…
“You’re not going to faint or something are you?” Benjamin asked her just then and she snapped herself out of her thoughts and felt her cheeks turning pink. Wariness settled after a moment though when his thumb danced playfully over her lower lip and she turned her face away, “did I scare you that bad?”
Roxanne thought that was an understatement to how he was making her feel and she tried to gather her thoughts and churning emotions. “What are you doing here?” she demanded, finally forcing the question out as she turned her face back to his, though she couldn’t see it due to the darkness.
Benjamin seemed to want a closer look at her because there was a flicking noise, followed by an eerie, grey light that made her eyes hurt. His wand was raised carelessly over her face in his free hand and she was confronted with the first real sight of him that didn’t involve his face being thrust into shadows— “You still look like a dopey little lump, Weasley.”
Roxanne spluttered angrily at the insult and she glared at him for his nerve. He, on the other hand, looked as hauntingly attractive as the last time that she had seen him but she couldn’t quite recall the thin scar that was etched into his right eyebrow, “I-I do not! I’ve grown up!”
“Out,” Benjamin corrected with a murmur and his voice had changed as well, it was still deep but possessed what she would have thought a devil might sound like. Apathetic and cold… “You’ve grown out. Merlin, your tits are huge,” he said with a whistle while aiming his wand low.
Embarrassment coursed through her and she covered her chest instinctively even though the modest neckline of the gold gown that she’d picked wasn’t severe. Her mother would never have allowed her to walk out of the flat like that and she flushed all the more, “What are you doing looking at them anyway—no, I don’t care!” Roxanne cried as he opened his mouth, revealing shiny white teeth in the darkness. “Ben, what the hell are you doing here? You weren’t invited!”
Benjamin took a moment or two to answer as he surveyed her curiously with his wand, the light going over her softly but making her squirm. His other hand still caressed her jaw now and she was distracted by the care he put into the touch, “Obviously, sweet. Actually, I came all the way here to see you.” There was something sly in his voice and she wondered if he had lied but something in her grew excited by the prospect, “it’s been a long time since you’ve hissed at me.”
Roxanne flushed at the reminder of how their friendship had ended last year and glared at him, her irritation dampening her fear, interest and happiness to see him. “Well. You know what you said Benjamin—would you stop that?” she snapped as he stroked the corner of her mouth until her lips became pliant and pouty, “what do you want? I’m not going to ask again.”
The gentle touch on her skin was withdrawn for the moment but he ignored her question before raising his wand and looking around at all the Muggle things that surrounded them. Roxanne then recalled that she’d backed up against a table and her calves were burning with the imprint of the metal digging into her skin, “What is this place anyway? A museum?”
“It’s my granddad’s shed. He collects Muggle things,” Roxanne explained impatiently and Benjamin whistled under his breath before turning his head a little. She saw something shift against his neck and shrieked, “What’s that thing on you?!”
Benjamin burst out laughing and flashed his wand to his shoulder, where a thick braid of black hair hung lazily and she realized what it was. He had grown out his already long hair to the point where he needed it tied back, “You are such a wimp.” Roxanne glared at him, her heart slowing down. “You like my hair?”
Roxanne thought about it for a moment, remembering that he had let her run her fingers through it on the grounds of Hogwarts while they’d lounged on the Black Lake. The memories brought a flush to her cheeks and she was aware of how much she had missed him and the silky strands underneath her fingertips, “I dunno, its different I guess.”
“I’ll let you hold on to it if you like, Weasley.” Benjamin said with a purr and she blushed so red that he probably could have seen her without his wand. His eyes glowed and she glanced up at him, recognizing the blue-brown hue of them just as she would have recognized her own, “or pull. Whichever gets you off—?”
“Stop talking like that to me. I’m not one of your stupid girlfriends—”
Roxanne heaved a weary sigh even though her chest was pounding and pounding. He was still so close to her and he moved a bit further until she felt his thigh intruding between her legs so that there was no way for her to escape him and she almost went light headed from the pressure, “Back up, would you—Benjamin!” she cried angrily as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her ear, “stop.”
“I came all this way to see you and this is how I’m treated? You have no idea how long it took me to get through those fucking wards over this place.” Benjamin said with a pout in his voice and his breath washed over and she let out a shuddery sigh, “I just got back today. Don’t you want to know how my trip to Italy went?”
The last that she had heard, he and his father had decided to move to Italy for a while until some sort of scandal had died down. It had been around that time that their friendship had ended and she hadn’t even heard from him when he’d left—he’d completely ignored her anxious owls, willing to forgive him if he would just talk to her but he hadn’t and she’d left it alone. But she’d wondered… “You didn’t have to do this. You could have sent me an owl at my place.”
“Yeah. But that’s not nearly as dramatic.” Benjamin said to her and she pushed at his chest a little, trying to ignore how hard it was beneath her fingertips. “I was going to go into that stupid tent but I thought I’d wait in here for a while until the party faded down a little and then corner you.”
“My parents would have hexed you!”
Roxanne groaned and he bit down on the skin of her throat in response and she nearly shot out of her shoes. A dizzying feeling nearly overcame her but she shook it away, “B-Ben, you just can’t do whatever you want! Don’t you care about the consequences?!”
Benjamin snorted. “No. Of course I don’t,” he said and she could have kicked him if she’d been able to move properly. “Who would I be if I gave a damn about the consequences?” Roxanne fumed at his nerve but found it suspicious that he had been able to break down the wards to the Burrow so easily and she felt something uneasy go over her skin, which only caused him to smile against her skin. “I didn’t bribe someone so I could get in, all right? The wards weren’t that strong, a baby could have gotten in.”
“That’s not true. My Aunt Hermione and Uncle Harry put up those wards and they know a thing or two about protective spells, Malfoy.” Roxanne stated fiercely and he pulled back to stare into her face, as if he found this highly irritating and she pushed at his chest. “And no one is taking the risk of something bad happening—not like when my Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur got married.”
Benjamin rolled his eyes; she was able to see the haunting glow from his wand that he found this to be a waste of his time. “They’re not nearly as strong as you think they are, Weasley if I was able to break through them, your family’s gotten soft.” Roxanne glowered at his nerve to insult her family and opened her mouth to cut him down a bit but he went on, “and plus, as much as everyone hates me, they can’t say that I’m stupid.”
Roxanne inhaled, annoyance spiking a little at this truth. Despite all the bullying that he had been subjected to in Hogwarts, Benjamin had proven time and again that he was nearly too smart for his own good and had gotten an Outstanding in nearly every class during his OWL year, “….So you did break in?” if someone like him could, then that meant anyone else had the chance.
“Proud of me? See how much I want to see you?” Benjamin asked with a grin and she sighed a little, wondering what he was really up to but feeling her heart nearly exploding with the thought that he had done all of this to be with her. “Thought we’d get a chance to talk,”
“Talk? Oh, about how you were a big fat prick and didn’t even owl me when you and your dad were gone? Or, when you said all of those nasty things about me behind my back?” Roxanne snarled; her good thoughts fading rapidly as she recalled these incidents. She pushed at his chest again but he caught her wrists in a powerfully gentle grip and her eyes widened in alarm.
Benjamin could snap her wrists if he wanted to but he had never physically hurt her and Roxanne flushed; her skin electrifying at the feel of his skin against hers. Somehow, this was a lot more intimate than his lips at her ear or throat and she felt a disastrous longing grip her, “Can’t you forget it, Weasley? It was ages ago and I take it all back.” He whispered and Roxanne snorted. “I never apologize for anything, so what? I thought about you while I was away you know.”
Roxanne felt her heart threatening to crush her but she snorted hard. “Yeah, I’m sure you remembered this stupid, immature loser that you couldn’t get away from fast enough.” She snapped; hurling his words back at him from that long ago day and he made a strange sound, like a growl and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. “W-what makes you think that I want to talk to you anyway?”
“Trying to say you haven’t missed me, Weasley? You can do a lot better than that you know.” Benjamin said with a frown and Roxanne glared up at him, hating that he appeared so calm. She wanted to say something mean and clever, shove him away…but she couldn’t, “and I’m not going to get my guts ripped out in this smelly place.”
There were a few sounds from outside just then and Roxanne wondered if someone were going to come in or had heard them talking. “Then I’ll do it tomorrow all right?” she spat and his cocky grin nearly had her kneeing him in the groin, “just send me an owl,”
Benjamin made a nasty sound with his teeth, not wanting to be anywhere near her family and she rolled her eyes a little before he requested. “Come over to my place with me tonight.”
“Come on, it’s been ages since you’ve been there. Since I’ve snuck you in anyway,” Benjamin said with an eye roll and Roxanne could recall various instances of when he had dragged her into their spacious Manor, both of them feeling rather pleased with themselves. “Don’t you want to know how I’ve been?” his voice lowered and she blushed a little, hating that his eyes were softening…she hated it when he did that! “Pretty please? Lie to your parents and come away for just a sec. We’ll talk and…”
And…? Roxanne thought feverishly but before she could say anything, there was the sound of the shed door opening and her cousin Dom-Dom’s voice. “R-Roxie? Your m-mum wanted me t-to tell you th-that its t-time to g-go home.”
Benjamin stiffened a little but Roxanne blew out a sigh of nervous relief at the sound of her younger cousin’s stutter. “All right! How’d you find me?” she called back and her captor shot her a venomous look.
“F-figured you’d w-want to g-get some air aft-after that d-dance.” Dom-Dom answered simply and Roxanne almost hid her smile but her cousin’s next words brought on a dose of fear. “C-can I c-come in? I th-thought I h-heard v-voices,”
Roxanne felt a cold sweat go down her back.
Benjamin started to smile and she shot him a warning glance but he said loudly. “Its only me, her best friend from Italy!” and there was a gasp from outside, followed by Dom-Dom shoving the door open with a bit more force than was necessary and stumbling inside, nearly falling over all the boxes and crates.
Roxanne surveyed her cousin, noticing her features from the wand light that Benjamin lazily cast at her and she saw a pair of big blue eyes widen. “It’s not what you think!” she found herself crying but with the way Benjamin was leaning over her and the fact that her wrists were captured, it was hard not to think something scandalous was happening.
Dom-Dom made a sound, like an embarrassed child. She was taller than her older sister, with their mother’s pale blonde hair that she wore in a simple bun and though she was very cute, Victoire in comparison had inherited the best characteristics from their parents. Roxanne often understood that Dom-Dom felt underrated when standing near her sister and it had made her very much a loner, “Y-you’re th-that M-Malfoy b-boy aren’t y-you?” she finally asked to Benjamin with anger, squinting.
“I sure am whichever Weasley you are.” Benjamin responded lazily and Roxanne could have punched him for saying something like that to her cousin, who was insecure enough as it was. “Mind leaving us alone?”
Dom-Dom surprised Roxanne by saying coldly. “No.”
Roxanne pushed at Benjamin with a bit more force and he finally stepped back so that she could slip away from him, although every inch of her was heated from where their bodies had touched. “You need to leave.” She said to him and he waved his wand a little, as if he were going to applaud her for sounding so tough.
“Hear me out first and then I’ll leave like a good little boy.” Benjamin whispered and Dom-Dom made a nasty sound underneath her breath and stepped closer to Roxanne. “Relax whomever you are, I’m not going to eat her.”
That was the word that was unsaid and Roxanne slid a glance at Dom-Dom to see if she had sensed it as well but her eyes were narrowed on Benjamin. None of her cousins had ever liked him and they had never seen why she had spent so much time with him—it didn’t simply have anything to do with his last name. There was something unsettling and predatory about Benjamin and Roxanne now admitted that she had never felt safe around him, but had never been able to leave him alone, “I’m g-getting U-Uncle H-Harry and y-your d-dad,” Dom-Dom said with a determined frown.
Before Roxanne could say anything, she had already turned away, the door shutting behind her, perhaps expecting her to come with her. Instead, she stayed put and eyed Benjamin warily, “All right. I’ll—”
“Come to my place?” Benjamin interrupted softly and Roxanne nodded, wondering why she couldn’t tell him no.
So, what do you all think so far? Please leave a review if you like and I'll see some of you again, back at Albus and then the others will probably wonder where Ms. Tang and Mr. Weeeasley have been. Until then! Much love.
A/N: Hello everyone! Thanks for coming back and reading! I'm trying really hard on this story so bear with me, you'll get answers and such eventually....>:D Much love and thanks again!
With her heart pounding, Roxanne turned her back on Benjamin but she could feel the heat of his gaze going over her neck and slowly down, as if he were touching her with indecent expectation. Flushing, she said sternly, surprised by how much her voice wasn’t shaking. “I’ll come with you but you have to wait a while until I can sneak out.”
“How long?” Benjamin asked her softly, quietly and his voice slithered and coiled around her until she thought that she wasn’t able to breathe. “Are you going to still be here?” he asked, perhaps thinking that she was going to sleaze away out of her flat and meet him somewhere in Diagon Alley, like she had so many other times before.
Roxanne turned slightly to look at him, unnerved that he had moved so close to her without her hearing his footsteps. For someone so big, he moved like a cat and it was an unwelcome experience, even though she should have been used to it by now, when he had always found it upon himself to sneak up on her and scare her when they’d been at Hogwarts. “I’m staying the night with my grandparents. I’ll sneak out after everyone is asleep and meet you back out here but you have to make sure no one sees you!” she snapped.
Benjamin considered this for a moment or two, as if he were highly amused. He probably was when he despised so many of her cousins for personal reasons that he had never quite shared with her and after a moment he ran his tongue slowly over his lower lip and her eyes flicked to the movement against her own will, “Weasley, are you trying to tell me you don’t think I can do a simple Disillusionment Charm?”
“Don’t talk to me like I’m stupid. I didn’t know you could,” Roxanne bit out sharply and his eyebrows shot up in mock surprise. There was no telling what was on his mind and that worried her a little and she thought for a second more on whether or not she should go with him tonight…after all, it had been a whole year since she had seen him and the last time she had, they hadn’t been on good terms. But— “If you’d have sent me an owl or two while you’d been away I probably would be happier to see you.”
Benjamin barked a laugh and it sounded rueful and annoyed. He moved towards her a little bit more and she took a step back, warily eyeing him as if he were a snake, “Don’t be scared, Weasley. I’m not the horrible person everyone says I am you know.”
“Ben, sarcasm doesn’t suit anyone.” Roxanne said dryly. That caused him to burst out laughing and she flushed annoyingly, “I have to catch up with my cousin all right? Go somewhere and hide for a while. Don’t come back to the shed, Dom-Dom might bring someone over here,” she warned but Benjamin seemed oblivious to this concern and ran his eyes down her form for a moment before giving her a soft, disarming smile. She almost forgot what she’d meant to say but worked around it firmly, hating how he could make her do that, “It’ll be a minute but don’t leave without me.”
At that, he reached out and touched a stray strand of her curly hair and she scowled. It seemed to please him though because he said gently, “When have I ever left without you when I wanted to see you?” he asked and Roxanne opened her mouth to say something to that but he had never abandoned her. It had only been recently that he’d stopped talking to her, “relax, Weasley. You should probably go after that stuttering cousin of yours.”
“Don’t make fun of Dom-Dom.” Roxanne warned sharply, smacking his hand away with more force than she’d thought capable of and he rolled his eyes, finding this overdramatic. “She’s a nice girl and you’re just…” she thought about it and he raised his brows, which were as black as the rest of his hair, so black that it reminded her of midnight, “There isn’t even a word for what you are.”
Benjamin laughed of course and she shot him a dirty look before gathering herself and leaving the shed, his light footprints swallowing her own. The tent was still glowing with light and even from here, Roxanne could hear music and happy laughter and for a moment she envied them, wishing that she could go and join her family once again but it was impossible.
With her strange friend hovering around the grounds of the Burrow, she wouldn’t be able to pretend around her family, they knew her a bit too well, especially Molly and her brother, “I’ll be around Weasley.” The sound of his voice so close to her ear caused her to jump but when she turned around, he wasn’t there.
He’d melted easily into the darkness.
Unsettled, Roxanne looked around frantically for a sign of Dom-Dom and caught a figure walking determinedly down a hill, halfway to the tent and she cursed fluently before chasing after her, her heart hammering a little with each step. “Dom-Dom, wait!”
Her younger cousin turned her head at the sound of her voice and halted, though she looked rather annoyed when Roxanne gripped her upper arm. “Wh-what i-is it R-Roxie?” she asked calmly, her big blue eyes going over her face, “d-did th-that M-Malfoy boy h-hurt y-you?”
“No, of course not,” Roxanne said defensively and her cousin narrowed her eyes a little, looking around the dark grass for some sign of Benjamin. She had no idea where he had gone but that wasn’t the issue right now, “I don’t want you to tell my dad or Uncle Harry that he was here, all right?”
“W-why? H-he’s not s-supposed t-to b-be.” Dom-Dom said with severe dislike and Roxanne wondered if there were few people her cousin did like and she could barely think of any. She was a loner and there was usually nothing that got her to talking to strangers, if at all, “I-I d-don’t l-like h-him.”
Roxanne swallowed hard and slowly released her cousin’s thin arm and watched as she ran her fingers down her dress for something to do. “No one does but he’s my friend and I’ll handle it.” She knew she sounded as if she were in control of the situation but in truth, there was nothing about Benjamin that she could handle, he was like a force of nature.
“H-he f-freaks m-me out,” Dom-Dom said to her and Roxanne was surprised by this admission and she watched her cousin gnawing on her lower lip for a second. “I-I d-don’t l-like t-the w-way he l-looks at y-you.” Roxanne didn’t really like it either but her skin warmed as if trying to mock her, “h-he’s l-like a-a n-nasty c-cat and y-you’re th-the m-mouse.”
Roxanne knew that her cousin was right and she couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t felt like that around Benjamin herself. But some part of her didn’t want him to ever leave her and she closed her eyes sharply against the thought that he had already, without a care for her, “I know he’s sort of…”
When she faltered for words, Dom-Dom supplied them for her. “C-creepy,” Roxanne laughed. “Y-you’re n-not g-going a-anywhere w-with h-him a-are y-you?” she asked with a frown, “y-you sh-should b-be m-more c-careful R-Roxie.”
A bit annoyed by the words and thinking that she could, at least, take care of herself; Roxanne frowned a little and Dom-Dom eyed her warily. “I’m just going to tell him to go home but you don’t need to tell my dad or Uncle Harry about it. They’ll just make a big fuss over nothing, I mean, my dad knows Benjamin, he’s been coming to the shop for years.” But he’d never liked him much either, having said, on one occasion that he’d sort of freaked him out.
“S-so? H-he’s a p-prat and I-I t-think h-he’s s-sneaky,” Dom-Dom said tightly and Roxanne thought that she was being awfully observant and sort of hated it even while she knew the words were true. Some silly part of her wanted to defend Benjamin because he had his moments of being extremely kind and on some days at Hogwarts he’d even been as sensitive as any other kid but no one else saw that but her. “A-are y-you s-sure y-you c-can h-handle th-this?”
Roxanne nodded firmly. “I’ll get rid of him. He just came to see me, but I’ll make him send an owl.” Dom-Dom looked worried, annoyed and doubtful all at once and she didn’t blame her. Could she hear her heart hammering at the thought of seeing Benjamin again? It was a guilty sensation and she didn’t precisely welcome it, even as her cheeks flamed, “let’s go back to the party and I’ll find my mom and dance with you before we go inside.”
“Y-your m-mum t-told m-me t-to t-tell y-you th-that y-you’re g-going h-home t-to g-get some cl-clothes,” Dom-Dom explained and Roxanne felt a smile creeping up because they were, in fact going to bother her grandparents for a while longer. Breakfast tomorrow would be interesting and she wasn’t sure how much of her parents they could stand but considering that their Gran had raised her father and Uncle Fred, anything could be tolerated. “I-I w-wish I-I c-could st-stay too.”
“Why don’t you?” Roxanne asked as they neared the tent.
Dom-Dom frowned a little. “T-Toire h-has t-to g-get u-up e-early f-for a b-ballet a-audition.” Her older sister took lessons and was hoping from what Roxanne knew to join a company after she left Hogwarts, “I-I d-don’t e-even w-want t-to g-go.”
“Maybe after its over you can come back over here or you can come with me to Uncle Percy’s to see Molly and Lucy.” Roxanne offered softly and her cousin nodded eagerly. Somehow, Lucy and Dom-Dom got along very well while she and Molly usually talked or went swimming in the ocean, which was where her parents’ cottage was, only a few miles from Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur’s.
While they walked though, Roxanne felt a shudder going down her back and she instinctively turned around only to meet a blank, dark landscape. A chill went over her skin and she knew, without staring for too long into the darkness that Benjamin had followed and stood apart from them, somewhere on the grounds and his gaze was like a white hot brand on her skin. Eventually, she turned around but his gaze fastened on her heatedly until a pulse of excitement thrummed in her chest, dancing to its own rhythm.
Roxanne’s heart was still pounding.
It had been an hour or so since her parents had taken them home and they’d gotten some extra clothes and items before going back to the Burrow and by then, the tent had been taken apart and the music had faded into her memory like a pleasant echo.
Her grandparent’s house was finally quiet and she had waited until her parents had stopped playing Gobstones down the hall before slipping out of her pajamas and putting on some fresh clothes in the bathroom.
She was supposed to be staying in Aunt Ginny’s old room while her brother stayed in Uncle Ron’s (She had a feeling that he just wanted to send letters to Leanne) and she didn’t think anyone would bother her.
Roxanne didn’t wake up until noon on most days and her parents had decided that they would stay until late in the afternoon instead of leaving in the morning so they all could go visit Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey. The weather was still very warm and she was anticipating going into the ocean for a nice swim but currently she peeked out of the bathroom door with her pajamas in her arms and angled her head.
Someone was snoring loudly and she giggled a little, knowing that it had to be her grandfather and slipped out, her feet heavier than usual because of the boots she was wearing.
Hoping that no one would hear her or get up for a late morning snack, Roxanne hastily walked back to Aunt Ginny’s room, opened the door and crossed to the bed, where she lumped her covered and pillows up. It wasn’t the stealthiest way to trick her family but she didn’t think that she would be over at Benjamin’s long, not when it was already early morning and she supposed that her makeshift puppet would have to do.
After shrugging into a pink jacket and zipping it up, Roxanne walked over to a mirror and checked her appearance for any flaws. After a moment she found only her bright eyed expression and her smooth brown skin staring back.
Bashfully, she hoped that Benjamin would notice how much she had grown and she ran her hands over her stomach, wishing that she could be as rail thin as Victoire and Molly but doubting that her love of sweets would allow for it. The tank top, mini skirt and tights made the most out of her figure and she thanked the lord that she played Quidditch so regularly while briefly looking at her butt and deciding that it couldn’t get any bigger.
With a sigh, she trooped towards the window on the far side of the room, opened it carefully and glanced outside. There was nothing but nighttime air, the sounds of gnomes in the grass and the sweet smell of grass. It was a relaxing moment and she climbed out, glad that her grandmother had got a trellis for her roses last year despite the fact that they hardly ever grew.
It was a shaky descent but she managed not to fall and after wishing herself some luck, hopped off the last few feet and landed easily on her toes, glad that all the Quidditch practices and her experience with sneaking out was on her side. Energized and pleased with herself, she walked back to towards the shed, knowing that Benjamin would be close by and listened to the buzzing of insects and the hoot of an owl making its way out the window where her brother supposedly slept.
Rolling her eyes at the thought of what excuse he would make later if he were caught, Roxanne grinned to herself and looked around in the darkness, trying to make out Benjamin’s tall, imposing shape. She didn’t see him right away but when a light went off she let out a slight shriek that hastily died as he clamped a hand over her mouth, moving so swiftly that she hadn’t even heard his footsteps in the grass. “Weasley, relax. It’s just me,” he whispered, sounding annoyed.
Roxanne relaxed only marginally and he removed his hand from her mouth long enough for her to swallow hard and look up at him. He was holding his wand over her, looking aggravated, “Why do you have to hide in the dark like that? You could have just come out and said something.”
“Where’s the fun in that?” Benjamin asked her with a wolfish grin that made her shiver. He surveyed her quickly and quirked one of his black brows, “you walk around like that all the time, Weasley?” she felt his eyes lingering on her legs and blushed.
“I have grown up Benjamin, in case you haven’t noticed.” Roxanne said smartly and he rolled his eyes a little, his gaze flicking away from her legs and settling onto her chest. “And stop looking at my chest!” she snapped, covering herself.
It made her feel like a little kid and he laughed quietly, the sound low and deep. “Not used to blokes staring at your massive chest, Weasley? Bet you haven’t even been kissed since I’ve been gone.” Benjamin jeered unkindly and she glared at him. He proceeded to say, with careful malice, “I offered to give you your first kiss but you got all mad at me.”
Roxanne flushed furiously at the memory. She’d been having a private conversation with Molly at the Great Lake and after her cousin had walked off to get to class he had appeared, making fun of her, “Shut up! I’ve been kissed a lot since then you know!”
“By who, your dad?” Benjamin asked nastily.
“No, I’ve had boyfriends!” Roxanne spat. Benjamin’s eyes narrowed and a strange look passed over his face. “You’ve been gone for a year, not thinking about me at all. Just because you’re my friend doesn’t mean that I was not going to date or turn down every guy that was interested in me.”
Benjamin made a nasty sound with his mouth and she knew that he was recalling all the nasty things he had said about her behind her back. Stupid, affectionate little Roxanne Weasley, she thought with venom and suddenly she didn’t think she wanted to be around him, “Whatever, Weasley. I don’t feel like arguing with you about that stupid shit right now. Outside, where anyone can see us,”
Roxanne crossed her arms and turned her nose up at him. “Then go without me. I think I’ve changed my mind.” She heard him chuckling and glanced to see his tall shape walking ahead without her, “wait!” she cried before she could stop herself, immediately following him.
“Thought you didn’t want to come?” Benjamin asked smugly as he glanced down into her upturned face. Roxanne scowled, “changed your mind again, I see.” He said with a grin and she harrumphed and ignored him even as he wrapped an arm around her shoulders and kissed her cheek, “Weasley, what on earth would life be like without you?”
“Oh, shut up and stop giving me the look!” Roxanne bit out as he softened his expression to such a degree that it was almost sickening. “You get on my nerves!” she snapped even as she started to smile. Benjamin, pleased, looked away and she asked, “Where are we going?”
Benjamin helped her over a dead log as they moved further and further away from her grandparent’s house and into the throng of trees. “Where I broke in at,” he said. “The wards haven’t been brought back up so it shouldn’t take us long to get out and Disapparate to my place,” he said with bored intelligence. Dom-Dom had kept her word and hadn’t told Uncle Harry or any other adult but Roxanne heard him say, “Seems like your family hardly even noticed that they were down.”
Roxanne didn’t want to mention that her family members had been a little too merry and drunk to notice, which was a little odd for Uncle Harry. He was always worrying about everything but she supposed that he’d relaxed more than he usually would have tonight, “Shut up.” She bit out.
Benjamin sneered a little but stopped her as she felt a strange pressure on her limbs. They had reached the wards blocking them from leaving and Roxanne found her eyes sweeping over the small clearing devoid of animals and shivered. “Take my hand and hold on, Weasley. I don’t want to lose you,” he said while stepping through a wavering spot in the center and holding out his calloused palm for her.
Roxanne watched the area swallow him up, his hand still outstretched eerily before her. He was watching her intently from the other side, a blurred shape of muscle and lines, “I don’t want to lose you either,” she whispered under her breath and without hesitating another moment, she took his hand and let him pull her through.
Hope you enjoyed this and let me know what you think! You know, type in that little box at the end. (Hint, hint)
A/N: Hello everyone! I'm so glad that you've come back and please enjoy this latest chapter and uhm, don't hate me for it.
Benjamin’s hand still felt the same after all this time. Roxanne’s fingers curled against his so easily that she felt an electric zing go up her arm and shot him a glance in the fading dark but if he felt it too, he didn’t comment and her eagerness to be with him blurred with the truth.
Their fingers clasped so easily as he pulled her throught he broken wards and spells, a slight pressure leaving her as she was pulled gently onto the other side, which was more forest, trees and a few streams thrown along.
Benjamin didn’t say anything but dropped her hand after a moment or so, looking away from her and smiling to himself, as if he had something naughty planned that he couldn’t wait to show her and he said, “Come on. We’ll walk a ways and then I’ll Disapparate from here, just to be sure.”
“All right,” Roxanne replied calmly, though her heart was pounding like a drum. Her fingers were a little sweaty and she rubbed them on her thighs and saw his eyes flicker over her a little while his wand waved around the area for intruders, even though they were the imposters here, “I don’t think anyone saw me leave.”
Benjamin scanned the area once more and she saw his wand flare with a strange, gold light before it faded, reduced to the same silvery light as before. When she sent him a questioning look, he explained, “Homenum revelio. It reveals human presence but it’s pretty useless here since a Muggle village is nearby,”
Roxanne smiled at him, genuinely impressed and he had the audacity to turn a bit pink. “What are you blushing about?” she asked and he snorted and turned away, “you know, you’re always so grumpy. You’re like an old man.”
“And you think I’m sexy so what does that say about you?” Benjamin shot back smartly, his eyes flashing with laughter. Roxanne had to cover her mouth to stop the giggles that nearly burst up, “you’re a dirty, dirty girl Weasley.” He said with a grin before motioning her closer, “come on, we should get going.”
Roxanne followed him without hesitation, nearly forgetting all of the things that he had said about her behind her back. It caused the slightest sting in her chest at the memory but she fought it down, knowing that underneath it all she had missed him and had needed to know how he had been doing, so far away in Italy last year.
He hadn’t sent her any owls when he and his father had gone because of some scandal that had been whispered about at her own dinner table. Though of course not while her parents thought she was listening and despite her snooping, she had never discovered what it had been.
People hushed up scandals and mishaps rather quickly in the Ministry, just like they always had and she pondered weakly if Benjamin would finally open up to her about it, somehow understanding that it might be like trying to catch fog.
Although she’d known him for years and they had been close, in their own strange way, it had been hard to get Benjamin to reveal the details of his life, the information and reality always causing him to fold in on himself.
The Malfoy name was still held with the sort of disdain and suspicion that had caused many former Death Eaters to either leave the country or bury themselves in mundane and trivial lives that they had never been accustomed to before.
Roxanne knew this much from her Aunt Hermione, who was an important figure in the Ministry and often talked about the changes that the new laws had brought onto former Death Eaters or old supports of Voldemort’s regime. Despite it all, Mr. Malfoy was, in her opinion, a good man.
He held charities and benefits for families and children that had lost or been deprived during the War and he had even opened endless accounts from his own personal family vault to rebuild Hogwarts.
No one wanted to openly admit that they appreciated it of course and the hatred and distaste for the man still simmered beneath the surface and it wouldn’t take much to start it all over again.
Roxanne had never grasped how difficult it must have been for Benjamin, the oldest son returning to Hogwarts and having that sort of stain and burden hanging over his head.
Her cousins and brother had never understood why she talked to him in the first place but none of them understood that she couldn’t help it, there was something about him that tethered and pulled at her and she had stopped fighting it a long time ago.
“What’s wrong with you lump?” Benjamin’s voice seemed to come out of nowhere and Roxanne, who had been crying on a bench near Quality Quidditch Supplies on a bleary afternoon, glanced up. “I thought I recognized you,” he said awkwardly, his eyes settling on her curly hair.
Roxanne stared up at him in awe, wondering how his shadow was able to stretch and shield her so effortlessly. His blue-brown eyes were curious and his black hair was hanging past his ears and he still looked a little mean and her cheeks turned pink but she didn’t immediately reply, “Benjamin?”
Benjamin shrugged lazily. “Who else would I be?” that was true, there weren’t a lot of boys his age that were this big and Roxanne swallowed hard. It had been a while since she had seen him and she didn’t want to admit that she had been going down to the shop every day for the past two weeks looking and searching for his tall, imposing shape, “you’ve got snot all over your shirt.” He said, distracting her.
Roxanne sniffled and wiped at her nose with her sleeve and he made a face before sitting beside her patiently, his eyes flicking warily over her. “Sorry,”
“It’s not my snot,” Benjamin said with a grimace as she sniffled. “What’s wrong with you?”
Roxanne hesitated but he waited patiently and she eventually explained. “I was playing hide-and-seek with some kids and this girl that was supposed to find me called me a really bad word.” The girl, Rachel Travers was a snobby little brat that had always hated her and lived with her parents above some fancy panty shop (Her brother said her mum made lingerie, whatever that was) on the other side of Diagon Alley.
Benjamin was silent for a moment or two before he asked carefully. “What’d she call you?” Roxanne shook her head but he prodded her forcefully until she finally voiced the nasty word out loud and his eyes flashed with disgust and anger. “What’d you do after she called you that word?” he asked sharply.
“I punched her in the nose.” Roxanne said firmly and he burst out laughing, apparently startled that she would do something like that. It was a known fact that she had her father’s temper, “It started bleeding and she ran away.”
“Then why are you crying?”
Roxanne glanced at him before saying with a sniffle, her eyes stinging. “People call me bad words all the time when they think I can’t hear.” She felt her lips trembling, trying to block out the memory of cruel words that had made her cry in the past. “They say I’m not a Weasley because my mum is black and I’m black,”
Benjamin hesitated uncomfortably before reminding her. “Your dad’s whiter than milk,”
“But my skin is brown.” She said while touching her arm and showing it to him. He pinched her lightly but didn’t comment, “My mum said it’s nothing to be ashamed of and I’m not, it’s just, people always say nasty things about me,” Roxanne said with another sniffle. Benjamin was silent for a while and she continued on with a frown, “my cousin Molly and Lucy are the only ones who understand. Their mum’s Chinese and people talk about them behind their backs too.”
There was a slight silence that was only broken by the sound of footsteps and various other noises from the shops and restaurants around them. Diagon Alley was always flooded with noise, especially in the afternoon and Benjamin eventually said with a grimace, “I know what that’s like.” Roxanne stared at him doubtfully. “I’m not my dad’s real son you know.”
Roxanne was surprised. “You’re not?”
“I’m adopted. My real parents didn’t want me,” Benjamin replied curtly, glaring at her as if she might say something to that. When she did nothing more than smile weakly at him, his face turned red and he looked away in a hurry, “and everyone hates my dad because he was a bad person.”
“He’s not anymore though. Your dad is very nice.” Roxanne pointed out with a confused expression while his shoulder brushed against hers. She felt her cheeks turn pink, “it doesn’t matter if he’s not your real dad.”
Apparently no one had told him this before because he stared down at her in surprise before pinching her cheek and tugging on it until she squealed. “Yeah, I guess so, lump.” He said with a grin before he let her go and she rubbed her skin, “and it doesn’t matter if you don’t look like your other cousins, okay? Just punch whoever says it in the face.”
Roxanne nodded firmly. “Okay,” and then she swallowed. “I don’t want to get in trouble for doing it though. My mum says I’m not supposed to fight. She hates fighting,”
“Well, sometimes you have to fight. Sometimes people really need a fist in the face,” Benjamin remarked and she laughed. He appeared pleased, “so don’t feel bad about it. I won’t tell anyone.”
Roxanne felt relieved and bubbly. “Why are you here anyway?”
“My mum wanted me to come to work with her. She owns a real fancy robe store,” Benjamin said with a hint of pride. Roxanne looked interested as he continued on, “it’s called Beauty Within,”
“I’ve been there. I didn’t know that she was your mum,” Roxanne replied, thinking of the nice lady that had always helped her find the nicest colors. It was always really busy there, even busier than Madame Malkin’s and that had once been the best place to buy robes, “I like her. Her belly’s all big too,”
Benjamin flushed pink but frowned, biting back a smile. “She had another baby.” Roxanne looked curious because she had always been around babies since she had so many cousins, “I have a baby brother and sister. Mum says she’s still fat and it makes her all sad and stuff. My dad thinks it’s funny,”
“Because…” Benjamin flushed and snapped embarrassingly. “It’s none of your business!” Roxanne flinched and he said hastily, swallowing hard. “My dad doesn’t smile a lot, he’s always really sad.”
There was a slight pause and Roxanne kicked her legs underneath the bench for something to do, humming and singing nothing in particular. Benjamin stared at her in rapt fascination and horror, “How come you’re not with your mum?” she asked eventually.
Benjamin hesitated a little but she watched him reaching up and lightly touching her hair. She gave him a confused look and he lowered his hand quickly. “I told her I wanted to get something to eat and I saw you crying.”
Roxanne smiled at him, flushed with happiness. “It was nice of you to talk to me,”
“So, that’s what friends do.”
“Whatever,” Benjamin grumbled and they fell into an easy silence. When Roxanne wiped at her eyes a bit more to get rid of any evidence of tears, he angled his head at her and said awkwardly, “you like flowers Weasley?”
Roxanne blinked in surprise. “Yeah, I guess so. Why?”
Benjamin surprised her by taking out his wand and she had a feeling that he wasn’t supposed to be carrying it around with him. “Everyone says that girls like stuff like that. Dad says it makes my mum stop crying when he makes her sad so…” he watched her eyes light up. “Don’t think it’s because I like you or anything okay?!”
“Okay,” Roxanne said soberly, flinching.
Benjamin glared at her a little, turning pink before swishing his wand and saying. “Orchideous!” and she was startled to see a flare of daisies burst from the tip and explode around them like fireworks, “damn. I’m only twelve but Flitwick said that’s an easy spell,”
Roxanne picked the clumps up from the bench and placed them in her lap happily. “They’re so pretty! But you’re not supposed to use magic outside of school!” Benjamin shrugged. “You’ll get into trouble!”
“So?” Benjamin countered and she couldn’t come up with anything else to say to that and he grinned at her impishly. When she raised one of the daisies to her nose, he surprised her by taking a few and putting them behind her ear, “there. Now you’re not sad anymore, right?”
Roxanne grinned at him. “Nope!” when he turned away, grumbling and red in the face she asked him eagerly, “you wanna help me put cherry bombs in some bathrooms? I was gonna do it with my brother but he’s with his friend Teddy Lupin today.”
Benjamin looked extremely interested. “Okay,” he mumbled and she hopped off the bench and he held out his hand for her and when she stared at it stupidly, he snapped. “You’ll get lost, walking around here by yourself, okay? And I’m hungry. I want something to eat.”
“You’ll buy me something too?” Roxanne asked happily, slipping her hand in his. He shrugged and she smiled, overcome by how nice it was to hold his hand as he led her away—
“You space out like that a lot, Weasley?” Benjamin’s deep voice intruded into her thoughts like a whip and she jerked sharply, surprised to find that they had wandered quite a ways from the comfort of the Burrow. Leaves crunched under their feet and she glanced behind his tall form and saw that the sky was streaked with weak flashes of color, the day threatening to begin.
Roxanne frowned but cut her eyes to his annoyingly. “I get it from my mum. She does it a lot too,” she didn’t explain that her father had told her that her mother did it when something traumatic from her past collided with the present. It was bad enough that her hands still shook and even though neither of her parents would explain, it wasn’t hard to ignore the sounds of their screams at night when a nightmare gripped them, “I was just thinking of the time I saw you again when we were little, after you saw me crying about Rachel Travers?”
Benjamin looked as if he didn’t recall it but she thought she saw a flash of color flash over his cheeks, though it was hard to tell with it still shadowy and dark. His hand tightened around hers as if willing whatever thoughts in his mind away, “I don’t know what you’re talking about, lump,” he muttered.
“But you have to remember! I punched that bitch Rachel Travers in the nose,” Roxanne said with renewed displeasure at the thought of the girl. She was a year or so younger than Benjamin and a Slytherin so he knew her and had told her on more than one occasion that she was a hag, “she thinks she’s so special just because her mum owns some stupid lingerie shop.”
Benjamin’s lips, which were a bit full, tilted up a bit. “She is a bitch, I’ll give you that one, Weasley.” They walked for a while longer until Roxanne’s feet began to hurt from her boots and she looked around every now and then, thinking that someone or something would spot them. There was only the hoot of owls, the scratching of various small mammals and the curious eyes of gnomes, “but she’s a damn good Quidditch player.”
He said this slyly and Roxanne shot him a furious glance before shrugging her shoulders and feeling only the slightest press of his eyes along her throat. When she spoke, her voice held a faint tremor, “She’s not that good of a Chaser you know, my brother can ride circles around her.” She proclaimed arrogantly and Benjamin rolled his eyes heavenward, “she’s too cocky and hardly ever pays attention, which is why that Bludger almost smacked her in the face last year,”
Of course, the girl had ranted and hissed that Roxanne had sent the Bludger flying at her on purpose but it had never been proven.
Quidditch was almost sacred to her and she didn’t cheat and hadn’t forgiven the wretch for the lie, no matter if they hated one another with a passion, “And you still claim you didn’t do it, huh?” Benjamin asked teasingly and she gawped at him in mock outrage and caused him to laugh. His laughter made the hair on the back of her neck rise a little with pleasure, “it’s not really your style anyway, even if you can beat me up.”
“Ben, you’re twice my size!” Roxanne said with a laugh. She had never been able to beat him up and he knew it but she’d given him enough tongue lashings over the years to leave his ears ringing, “and maybe if you weren’t such a prat all the time I wouldn’t have to put you in your place.”
Benjamin roared with laughter and she saw that there was something almost carnal in his gaze when he flicked his eyes back to hers. Roxanne’s cheeks turned scarlet, not understanding but feeling that strange, almost painful tug, “You can put me in my place anytime you like, sweet.”
Roxanne scowled, flushing. “N-no thanks,” she muttered and he laughed again. Benjamin had been with more girls than she could even tick off her fingers and toes and she, like always, felt a bit of envy pooling around her heart when she thought of someone else occupying his time. “Just be warned right now that I’m not going to rob Honeydukes with you this time, okay?”
“How come?” Benjamin questioned with surprise while kicking a gnome out of his way easily with what Roxanne noticed were dragon hide boots like the kind her Uncle Bill still wore. “Is it because of the Wanted posters or the fact that we’re banned?” he pressed curiously, naming two of the reasons why Roxanne could never go back into the sweet shop on Hogsmeade trips.
They had been caught once or twice, shoveling cartons of chocolate and gummy trolls into knapsacks by the furious owner and Roxanne’s parents had grounded her for a month. The fact that they’d done the same thing at her age had been beside the point of course, “That’s mainly the reason. And plus, I can’t stay out all morning with you, I have to go over my aunt and uncles later.”
Benjamin appeared thoughtful, though there was a little frown of displeasure on his face as if he couldn’t believe she had other plans that didn’t include him.
Roxanne waited for him to say something but he stayed silent as they continued walking and she took a minute or two to study him, taking in the hard planes and angles of his face and the heavy black hair that was tied in a thick braid down his back.
Things had changed a lot for him in the past year, she knew this just from these quick assessments and her eyes strayed upward to the scar on his right eyebrow, wondering where and how it had happened. “Why’re you staring?” he demanded after a while.
“I was wondering where you got that scar, you know,” Roxanne reached up on the tips of her toes and gently ran her fingers along his eyebrow, tracing the mark. His skin too, she noted faintly, was deeply tanned and she could imagine him suddenly basking in the Italian sun— “how’d you get it?” she asked, swallowing shallowly when she retracted her fingers.
Benjamin reached up and touched the spot with a rueful grin. His eyes were slanted away from her as he replied evasively, “A cat got me.” And when Roxanne appeared incredibly doubtful, he asked with a slyness that made her uncomfortable, “Do you really want to know about all my scars, Weasley? I’ve got a few on my back that are really, really something.”
Roxanne blushed, catching what he meant easily and frowned up at him. “Don’t talk to me like that, I told you once before. I’m not one of those girls that you fool around with and dump, all right?” Benjamin raised his hand to fend her off, the other still clutching his lit wand lazily, “I don’t care about all the stupid girls that you’ve been with!”
“You do,” Benjamin said with a slow, arrogant smile that cast his features into the sort of handsomeness that should be damned to Hell. Roxanne felt her cheeks flaming furiously even while she turned away and jutted her chin upwards, too stubborn to admit to the truth, “just admit it Weasley, I’m your dream lover.”
“Oh, please!” Roxanne found herself shrieking, outraged and trying not to laugh. The expression on his face was simpering and seductive but ridiculously overdone, “you’re too cocky for your own good! Not every girl faints and swoons at the sight of you!”
Benjamin shrugged his shoulders—shoulders that she noted were obnoxiously broad to match the rest of his large frame.
While he was taller and wider than any of the other boys that she knew and even her brother and cousins, Roxanne knew from eavesdropping on older girls like Miranda Patil that there wasn’t an ounce of fat on him, just lean, rippling muscle. The thought made her blush all the harder, “Come on Weasley, tell me you don’t love it,” he said to her now, waggling his eyebrows.
Roxanne giggled and swatted at him. “Shut up! I don’t—get away,” she cried breathlessly as he tried to wrap one of his arms around her and pull her close. It did little good since her foot snagged on a branch and he eventually had his way and nuzzled into her throat, “prat! Let me go!” she demanded, laughing and shoving at him.
For the briefest of moments she felt his mouth trailing along her throat, hinting at a kiss on her pulse before he pulled away, taking in her suddenly stunned expression.
Pleasure had buzzed like whispers down her skin and she had to blink rapidly to clear her suddenly empty mind, “Just admit it Weasley.” Benjamin murmured with a darkly pleased expression on his face that escaped her. “Come on, take my hand.”
Still a little unsettled, Roxanne reached out and took his hand and felt that strange and uncomfortable pull behind her belly button. She wasn’t the biggest fan of Disapparation and much preferred her broom but Benjamin was in control and she thought that there wasn’t anything that could get the better of him that he couldn’t bend or mold to his liking.
With that bouncing in her skull, she shut her eyes, gripped his hand tightly and felt themselves vanish with a distinct pop that marked the trees and grounds around them.
“You can open your eyes, Weasley. The worst is over,” Benjamin’s deep rumble of a voice was enough to startle Roxanne and cause her eyes to open. Disapparation usually left her feeling rather dizzy and she automatically placed her hand at her stomach to stop the churning and bubbling, “you all right?”
Roxanne nodded shakily, her throat suddenly a bit sore. She didn’t want him to think that she couldn’t handle herself, she had to appear mature and composed and yet her stomach was bubbling, “I just hate traveling that way.” The slight tremor in her voice betrayed her and Benjamin chuckled.
“I’ll get you some water but just as a warning, Weasley, don’t throw up. I’d rather not have to clean it all up,” Benjamin said with a teasing glint in his eyes as she turned her face up to his. There was only the faintest of lights around them and when she looked away, seeking the source, he explained, “I left a few lights on before I went to get you.”
Roxanne decided to ignore the smugness in his tone and felt a flush creeping into her cheeks over the fact that she had indeed come against what might have been best. They hadn’t seen each other in a year after all and she could still hear his mocking words ringing like bells in her ears—words that had hurt her to hear and had ruined whatever friendship they’d had, “Don’t look so confident. I won’t be staying long,” she said crisply.
Benjamin eyed her warily, trying to gauge her mood before shrugging it off along with her hand, which had still been entwined with his. Roxanne felt that same brief spark of electricity as her hand fell away and rubbed it awkwardly on her skirt, “I’m pretty sure I can change your mind. You want to know all about my trip to Italy don’t you?” he asked with faint manipulation.
Roxanne hated that she wanted to know but she merely shrugged her shoulders, hoping for carelessness but only succeeding in making him grin at her. “What?” she demanded icily.
Benjamin reached out and rubbed his thumb along her bottom lip. “You don’t need to pout, Weasley.” He said and Roxanne gasped and smacked his hand away, feeling her cheeks flaming, “I like you better when you’re yelling or smiling at me.” Before she could ask just what he meant by that last remark, he was motioning her forward.
Roxanne only noticed then that they had landed in the middle of a corridor and her eyes flicked around, unfamiliar with this part of the Manor. The Manor itself was larger than anything that she had ever been to and reminded her of some Gothic mansion from one of her cousin Lucy’s favorite novels, “Where’d you take us?”
“Just a corridor, I wasn’t thinking about a set place.” Benjamin replied as he watched her taking in the covered portraits hanging on the wall. A silence stretched between them as Roxanne wondered just how long he had been back from his strange departure to Italy before he said gruffly, “come on.”
Roxanne turned away from the portraits and followed him quietly as they walked further down the corridor, the sound of the marble floors clicking beneath her boots.
There was a strange feeling about Malfoy Manor and the first time that she had snuck here with him, back when she’d been thirteen, the sheer mass and grandeur of the place had overwhelmed her.
She knew from running around at night with Benjamin that it was one gigantic, darkly beautiful maze with more rooms, hallways and stairs than she could have ever imagined.
Although he never went into a lot of detail about his family, Roxanne had read historical tomes in the library at Hogwarts that boasted that the Malfoy Manor was one of the oldest pureblood homes in Britain.
Centuries upon centuries of Malfoys had passed through these halls, dined in the opulent dining rooms with important guests and it was here, Roxanne thought bitterly that Uncle Harry and her aunt and uncle had been brought.
Snatchers had captured them and Aunt Hermione had been tortured here by Bellatrix Lestrange and a poor house-elf had died saving her relatives and their friends from this place.
Some part of her felt a bit guilty about being here and the oppressive weight of past sins seemed to weigh heavily in the air, like a perfume that left a strange scent. “Where are we going?” Roxanne asked Benjamin as they walked around what felt like the millionth corner like accomplished thieves.
“My room,” Benjamin replied easily, his head turning curiously as he suddenly held her back. Roxanne bumped into the hard muscles of his back and gripped his arm, frowning and about to say something before she heard the tap of heavy footsteps. “Shit, my dad’s home. I thought he’d be at the Ministry,”
Before Roxanne could say anything or ask just what Mr. Malfoy had been up to and how soon it would be before he was back working at the Ministry that outwardly shunned him, Benjamin pushed her against the nearest wall. “What do you think you’re doing?” she hissed, glaring up at him as he braced his hands on either side of her head, his nearness creating a dizzying effect on her senses.
Benjamin’s lips were thin, his blue-brown eyes narrowed warningly. Roxanne shivered, “Do not make a sound. I have to take care of this and don’t wander off. Or I’ll catch you,” he said, his tone lowering with just a hint of something she didn’t understand, although the implication made her knees lock together.
Pleased when she couldn’t say anything but murmur in understanding, Benjamin pulled away from her and stepped around the corner just as a deep voice asked. “Ben, is that you?” and Roxanne quivered, her eyes nearly popping out at the thought that she might be caught snooping at Malfoy Manor by his own father.
“Yeah, it’s me, Dad,” Benjamin replied easily, sounding nonchalant and bored. Roxanne inched along the wall and daringly poked her head around the corner, just enough to see what was happening, “what are you doing back so early? I thought you had paperwork at the Ministry all night.”
Mr. Malfoy was still as tall and pale as he’d been the last few times that Roxanne had seen him.
He was dressed in an expensive set of blue and gold robes that gave him the look of some fallen angel and she watched as he ran his fingers through his pale blonde hair, weariness making itself evident in his tone, “I finished a bit sooner than expected. They wanted to interrogate me even more than they did when I got the bloody job,” there was a hint of some sort of shame underneath it all but Roxanne wasn’t able to detect where it might be coming from.
“So, did you get your old job back?” Benjamin asked with genuine curiosity, though she could hear a slight sneer in his words. “Or did they already give it to someone else?” he asked his father and Roxanne glanced at him, for the first time taking in his complete outfit with a bit of disdain.
Somehow the sight of him in dark jeans, orange dragon hide boots and a snug blue shirt made him appear, despite it all, like some sort of Muggle pirate or a killer on the loose.
“Benjamin, I’d appreciate it if you would lose the tone. I’m not in the mood to discuss this with you right now,” Mr. Malfoy replied and his voice had shifted into the sort of stern pressure that Roxanne only heard from her own father when she was in very serious trouble. “You look as if you’ve been somewhere. I told you not to leave the house.”
Benjamin shrugged his shoulders and shifted his feet slightly, the only sign that he might have cared what his father was saying. Roxanne glanced between them, two men that looked nothing alike but had the sort of affection that easily made them related, “I got tired of being cooped up.”
Mr. Malfoy sighed again and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. Roxanne watched as Benjamin turned away, his lips compressing into a stubborn and ugly line, “You get into too much trouble when you’re out on your own.”
“I’m seventeen, not five.” Benjamin said with defiance, his stance becoming defensive. “You don’t have to treat me like the other ones Dad, I’m not some sort of stupid kid. I think I’ve already proved that.”
Mr. Malfoy’s blonde brows gnashed together, his grey eyes narrowing slightly and Roxanne immediately swallowed hard, sensing a sharp sting of anger. Though he didn’t speak for a minute or two, it was apparent that his son had crossed a thin line and Benjamin’s shoulders stiffened as his father replied calmly, “I know that you’re not a child and hanging that over my head for the rest of your life is showing a weak strength of character. I’d expect better from you.”
Roxanne didn’t understand what they were referring to but she felt a sting at the words. A parent could easily frighten, love and destroy a child with just their words and her eyes flicked sympathetically to Benjamin, surprised to see that he was smiling, “I could say the same about you, Dad. The whole reason the two of us left was to stop all the rumors and make mum feel better.”
Mr. Malfoy’s eyes flickered with suppressed anger and sadness but he quickly reigned in his next words, the control that took impressing Roxanne considerably. She didn’t think that living with someone like Benjamin was easy, “While that may be true Benjamin, while you’re living under my roof, I’ll treat you any way that I like and you’ll do what I tell you to. Is that understood?”
Benjamin merely grunted a reply and Roxanne found herself frowning, wondering why he was nitpicking at his father. Mr. Malfoy looked as if he would much rather get a stiff drink and sleep then argue with his son and she wondered if that was more the issue, “After I get out of school, you won’t have to worry about me.”
Mr. Malfoy ran his fingers through his hair again before lowering it and asking sharply. “Why do you always have to fight me? You’re not some sort of burden to me and I never gave you any inclination that you were,” Benjamin opened his mouth to say something but his father said severely. “Don’t you think that I would like to change what I did? What I’ve done? You’re not the only person hurting.”
“I feel like it,” Benjamin snarled through his teeth. “Mum won’t even look at me”
“She was upset that you left with me, that’s all. And what’ve done to her isn’t something that can be easily forgiven,” Mr. Malfoy said and his tone was more gruff than Roxanne had heard it before. She could practically hear his heart breaking, “by any of you.” Benjamin said nothing and a thick and ugly silence seemed to spread between them before Mr. Malfoy replied softly. “I’m going to my office. If you leave, make sure you don’t bring any trouble back with you,”
And before Benjamin could say another word, Roxanne watched as his father turned on his heel and stalked away, his head bent low.
The feeling of intense awkwardness stayed after he was gone and she hung back, bracing herself against the wall and thinking hard about whether or not she should be here in the first place when it was obvious that Benjamin had brought her into his familial drama.
Her heart ached for him though, to see him so upset but she knew that he would rather deny it than tell her what his argument with his father had been about in the first place and she decided that she wouldn’t ask.
The sound of his boots turning signaled his return to her and when he returned, towering over her in such a way that escape would be impossible, Roxanne’s throat went dry, “Don’t repeat anything that you heard here, Weasley.”
“You don’t have to threaten me, Ben. Why would I do something like that to you?” Roxanne asked him sharply in a whisper, just in case his father was coming back out. But the sound of a door closing far off down the hall signified that he was indeed, in his office. She briefly wondered what he was doing there, all alone, “Unlike you, I don’t talk about my friends behind their backs.”
Benjamin’s eyes, which she’d always considered to be his best feature, narrowed dangerously. He appeared like some big, furious bear ready to devour her but she remained defiant, her chin jutted stubbornly even though a bolt of unease prickled at the nape of her neck. “You going to hold that over my head forever, sweet? I was in a bad mood.”
Roxanne had seen him in a bad mood but she didn’t think that she could forgive him for the things that she had heard him saying. She gritted her teeth but said tightly, avoiding his eyes, “So you were in a bad mood. Everyone gets in a bad mood but you don’t talk about your friends behind their—”
“Is that what we are Weasley?” Benjamin asked with chilling accuracy. Roxanne had always considered him a strange friend and she wanted to remind him of the times that they had spent together at the Astronomy Tower or near the Black Lake, soaking up the sun and talking late into the afternoon. But apparently, those things meant absolutely nothing, “I don’t think anyone would call us that.”
Roxanne felt a burst of renewed frustration as she turned her head back to his. Unnervingly, he had moved closer until his hands were braced on either side of her head, barring her way and causing her heart to stutter with something she didn’t want to identify. And even if she could, she didn’t think it was wise to dwell on it and her voice came out stronger than she would have thought, “Who cares what everyone else says?”
Benjamin let out a cynical snort before pressing closer to her, the heat from his body flooding her own and causing her head to swim. His chest nearly touched hers and she could feel the soft puff of his breath against her chin as he replied stoically, “That’s easy for you to say, Weasley. You don’t have the entire Wizarding world hating your guts or the knowledge that your parents aren’t really yours.”
This stung even though Roxanne knew it was the truth.
She had no idea how it must be for him and she could never imagine it, having the bullying and the sneering remarks thrown her way just because her family had sinned in the past. “I-I know that. Don’t you think I know that? But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be here for you, stupid. Even though you left and didn’t say a damned word to me, I missed you when you left me.”
The proclamation caused Benjamin’s black brows to shoot up, as if he hadn’t thought that his absence would have affected her in the least. Of course, considering what Roxanne had said to him the day their fragile excuse of a friendship had ended, she didn’t immediately blame him, “How much?” he whispered now, startling her out of her thoughts.
Roxanne jerked a little as he angled his head, his lips brushing against the curve of her jaw. “H-how much what? Would you stop that?” she snapped furiously, her cheeks flaming.
She placed her hands on his chest, attempting to push him away a bit to get much needed air but the feel of his heartbeat pounding beneath her palms was so distracting that her fingers curled into his shirt. It was a weakness she didn’t appreciate.
“How much did you miss me Weasley?” Benjamin asked with devastating softness. Roxanne, flustered and uncomfortably aware of where his mouth was wandering to next, tried to angle her head away but he cupped her cheek and turned her to face him. “Did you think about me all the time?”
Roxanne wanted to deny it but it was the truth.
She had thought about him so constantly that she had nearly forsaken all of her studies, ignored her family to stay locked in her room and worried that she would probably never see his tall, dark shape again, “I didn’t think about you at all.” Somehow, her voice managed to sound both pathetically squeaky and wistful.
Benjamin’s eyes had narrowed thoughtfully, a sinfully vicious smile transforming his face. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think straight….why did he always have to do this? “Liar,” he whispered with gentle venom before Roxanne felt the devastating pressure of his mouth against her own.
Thanks for coming back! Up next is my poor little Misfits from Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince!
A/N: Hello, all! I'm updating rather quickly for this story because I thought I'd just get it out of the way. So, enjoy. And much love of course.
Sensations were spiraling out of control.
Roxanne felt her entire body suffused with unbearable heat and a strange tension that made her feel constrained and bound. She wanted to pull away but her body betrayed her as her own mouth parted, welcoming more of his kiss until the feel and flavor of him became something almost sinfully addictive, like firewhiskey or hot chocolate.
Benjamin’s kisses…she’d imagined and wondered despite herself what they would feel like but she had never expected this. This was…she couldn’t even describe it.
It was as if her entire mind had suddenly gone blank but she could hear her heart hammering and pounding, the blood rushing to her ears and flooding her cheeks. There had been plenty of kisses before this, Roxanne’s mind desperately tried to reason. Over the past year, she had had kisses from her boyfriends but none of them had been this…dangerous.
That was the only word for it.
Roxanne tried to fight it, hating that it felt too good. She tore her mouth away, panting, needing to say something that would make him stop, “What do you think you—”
Whatever she had been about to say was swallowed entirely as Benjamin turned her face back to his insistently and captured her mouth again. Roxanne thought she heard him groan but was distracted completely as he deepened their kiss, turning it into something that she could barely understand and the power that was there, a sort of control that terrified her and made it difficult to think.
Her hands rose in a feeble attempt to push him away and demand to know what he thought he was doing but Benjamin merely cursed against her mouth, removed his hand from her flushed cheek and forced both of her arms around his neck. The position forced her higher against him, away from the cool shelter of the wall and she desperately fought for some sense to save herself but he’d pressed one large hand on her waist, anchoring her to him.
More sensations spiraled and Roxanne heard herself whimper, the most embarrassing sound that she could have ever made but only caused Benjamin to kiss her harder, deeper and with the skill of someone who knew exactly what to do to make her weaken.
How many other girls had fallen victim to this, Roxanne’s mind tried to ask but the burning indignation and shock were fading farther and farther away until she sank completely. She wasn’t certain how long they stood together that way with her body pressed so closely to his but by the time he released her mouth in a series of soft bites and licks that nearly made her dissolve, she felt numb with shock.
Her lips stung and she couldn’t catch her breath without her clothes snagging uncomfortably against her oversensitive skin. It took far too long for her to pull away but she couldn’t quite meet his eyes, which were hooded and secretive, “W…why did you do that?” Roxanne managed to ask, hating that her voice sounded so disturbingly husky.
Benjamin was still holding her, content to skim his lips along her throat and when she shivered, a smile started to form. Her pulse was rapid and she heard his own breathing steadying, “Maybe you shouldn’t wear such short skirts and have your tits hanging out.” Was his reply and Roxanne gasped in outrage, trying to disentangle herself from him. She knew he was smiling smugly and as soon as she was able to get her arms free, she would smack it right off, “what’s got you so mad?”
“As if you don’t know—stop that!” Roxanne hissed warningly as he turned his head and kissed her again, this time with more heat and need than she could handle. When she managed to turn her aching lips away, he merely angled her head for more but she didn’t think she could stand it, “Why do you keep—Ben!” she snapped as he pulled her squirming body closer and smothered her with more kisses.
The more she seemed to try and fight; the harder and closer he pulled her until Roxanne was forced to give up with a mental curse. Benjamin let out a soft laugh before distracting her with more kisses, more bites and delicious pressure until she was curled around him like a silly little cat and as angry and confused as she was; her fingers were digging into his shoulders.
There was nothing on earth like this and her skin was aching everywhere, wanting kisses and bites— “Mmm, Weasley, you taste like sugar.” He said after lifting his mouth and finally allowing them to breathe.
Roxanne managed to loosen her grip to glare up at him, flustered and angry. Her body was plastered against his and nearly caused her not to think at all but she fought it down, “I-I had some tea before I snuck out and—would you stop it?” she hissed as he bent his head again.
“You’re just so sweet—hold still, would you?” Benjamin snapped as she tried to wriggle out of his hold, despite her fingers clinging to his shoulders. Roxanne unclenched them and started to pull away just as he said with a trace of dark humor, “if you keep wriggling, I’m just going to have to strip you, Weasley.”
Roxanne felt a bolt of panic and finally managing to unlock her weak arms from around his neck and pinch him hard against his cheek. “You are such a fucking prat!” she cried, her mouth hanging open in surprise at his arrogance.
Benjamin let out a foul curse and touched his cheek, scowling down at her. “What the hell was that for?” he growled and Roxanne turned her face away, frowning. She heard him chuckle without amusement as his gaze skimmed hungrily over her form, “don’t tell me you’re mad because I gave you your first kiss?”
“My first—you prat, that was not my first kiss!” Roxanne found herself fuming, glaring around to stare into his laughing eyes. There was no telling how many other girls that he had kissed and she felt as if he had just added her to a very long scroll of parchment, “ooh, I hate you!” she snapped.
Benjamin laughed, but it sounded strange. As if he were imagining things that involved her doing the sort of acts that she was positive had been banned in separate parts of the country, “No you don’t. You just hate that I gave you a kiss and that you liked it.”
Roxanne fumed at the truth. “I did not like it!”
“Keep telling yourself that, Weasley.” Benjamin whispered, his voice wrapping around her so stealthily that she shuddered. While she tried to come up with something to say, he seemed to run his eyes over her in a completely self-interested way, “you look like pink candy Weasley…” he crooned.
Roxanne, not understanding what he meant glanced down at herself, mortified to see that he’d somehow unzipped her pink jacket and pushed her tank top aside, revealing a shocking amount of her cleavage. Letting out a silent moan of despair, she closed it, growling, “Ben, you—you are such a piece of work, you know that?”
Benjamin flicked his eyes up at her, looking unperturbed. He was still towering over her even when she tried to move away and he made escape impossible as he reached out and touched her arm, a lightly warning pressure that made Roxanne nearly flinch. “Come on, Weasley. It couldn’t have been that bad.”
Roxanne felt her cheeks heating as she righted her tank top and zipped her jacket back, wondering if he’d been copping a feel while she’d been distracted. Something about his darkly intent gaze confirmed this fear and her heart nearly stopped with the misery and embarrassment of it, “You can’t just snog someone after threatening them!” she snapped, reminding him of the strange few minutes before he’d kissed her.
Benjamin rolled his eyes a little but he didn’t appear at all sorry. Roxanne felt a flash of irritation and dislike for him, knowing that he was even more of an enigma than he’d been when the two of them had been at Hogwarts together, “I just had to shut you up. You’re still mad about something that happened ages ago and you shouldn’t be.”
For just a moment, Roxanne felt her eyes flashing over with red. She had inherited her temper from her father and had been known to go into little rampages when she’d been a kid and it wasn’t something that had particularly faded away, “I shouldn’t be? Ben, you are such a piece of shit!” she found herself practically shouting, causing his eyes to widen, “what you said about me wasn’t something that I’ll ever forget! I thought we were friends, I thought—”
“That I cared about you?” Benjamin asked coldly, filling in the words for her. Roxanne felt a guilty flush coming into her cheeks and he barked a laugh, “Weasley, don’t get cocky, all right? I don’t care about any of you— you’re not anyone different or special.”
Roxanne knew that the words couldn’t be true. This couldn’t be the same Benjamin that had helped her with her Transfiguration homework, the same Benjamin that had mended a few scraped knees after a rowdy game of Muggle baseball at Hogwarts. The same, strangely kind Benjamin that always gave her white daisies on her birthday— “Then why did you come and get me if that’s the truth?” she hated that the words were tight, that she couldn’t meet his eyes.
Benjamin opened his mouth to say something but he eventually said nothing at all and Roxanne felt her heart nearly explode with disbelief. He hadn’t missed her at all—was she just some sort of joke to him? Of course she was. She shouldn’t have been so stupid thinking that he had missed her while he had been in Italy, “Weasley,” his tone startled her.
It was startlingly warm and Roxanne glanced at him, wanting nothing more than to go back to the Burrow and pretend that this had never happened. Benjamin was holding out a few daisies for her, his wand clutched in his other hand and giving off a faint glow as the magic faded away, “What are those for?” Roxanne asked him, cheeks flushing.
“They’re for you. They’re your favorite aren’t they?” Benjamin asked in a whisper. His shoulders had sagged a little and she scanned his face, the harsh lines and planes of it and saw that he appeared regretful, “I’m really not in a good mood, Weasley and I suppose I really shouldn’t take it out on you.”
Roxanne didn’t reach for the flowers when he tried to hand them to her and instead, she considered telling him to leave her alone for good. But something hurt when she tried to form the words and her tongue felt too heavy, lips still stinging from his kisses, “You shouldn’t. I’ve never been anything but a friend to you. I’m not everyone else,” she managed to mutter.
Benjamin stepped closer to her and she moved away, glaring at him. “Why are you always so moody?” he demanded with genuine irritation. “You’re like a little kid. I swear that you need to grow up,” Roxanne felt a sting at the words that everyone told her at some point but he was tucking daisies in her hair, twining them around her curls with gentle care.
Roxanne had heard her mother telling her father the same thing on more than one occasion when he was getting on her nerves. “Georgia!” she’d heard her mother hissing to her father when he’d been complaining about nothing in particular, “if you don’t shut your mouth, I swear to Merlin I’ll make you read cauldron rates for an hour before bed!”
“Angie you monster!” Roxanne’s father had replied, looking truly frightened. They’d been in the kitchen at the time and she’d been on her way past to her bedroom, which had once been her Uncle Fred’s, “why don’t you kiss me instead?”
Roxanne’s mother had softened almost immediately by whatever she’d seen in his face and she’d sickeningly watched her father pull her into his lap and kiss her senseless. Her parents were very affectionate and very in love on a worse day and she and her brother had stopped wondering where they vanished to during the afternoons. “Shut up,” Roxanne muttered now, wondering why she couldn’t seem to find someone like her father instead of being the sort of friend of a Malfoy.
“Nice comeback, Weasley.” Benjamin replied dryly, surveying her with blatant annoyance before he turned away and started down the corridor without her. Roxanne gawped at his nerve and felt her legs moving after him before she could really think of a better alternative, like going back to the Burrow and pretending that she had never seen him in her grandfather’s shed. “What, so you’re staying?” he asked snidely over his shoulder.
Roxanne barely caught a daisy in her hands, preventing it from falling and gently tucking it behind her ear distractedly. Her fingers felt stiff, “I want to know why you’re acting like this—why don’t you ever tell me what’s going on with you?”
Benjamin flinched a little and angled his head back at her a little, blue-brown eyes flashing. He looked even more like some terrible thief or pirate and Roxanne’s feet came to an unsure halt before she stared defiantly at him and his lips flicked up in a wry smile. “Merlin, you’re annoying as hell. I don’t bother telling people my problems when they won’t care, Weasley.”
“But—” Roxanne started.
“And you heard more than enough from me and my dad’s fight.” Benjamin said and his tone of voice suggested that if she ever mentioned it to anyone or even asked more about it, he would make her regret it.
Roxanne had a feeling that kisses wouldn’t be necessarily involved this time and she felt her cheeks flush again with anger, why had he done it? Just to shut her up or to make fun of her? He was such a hard person to understand and she would rather not know all that went on in his mind when he was like this. “I’m not going to tell anyone, Ben. Would you stop threatening me?” she found herself asking angrily.
Benjamin opened his mouth to say something but then thought better of it and ran his hand down his face, looking suddenly tired. Roxanne had no idea how long he had even been up and what had even really possessed him to come to the Burrow to get her, “I’m a Malfoy, Weasley. Threatening is how we communicate,” he said after lowering his hand and giving her a level look.
Roxanne ignored the remark but had a strange feeling that it might be true. “When you came to get me, how did you know I’d be at my grandparent’s house?” when Benjamin said nothing, his lips tightening a little with what she sensed was embarrassment, she asked dryly. “Were you throwing rocks at my window again after stopping by the shop?”
The truth was written all over his suddenly blank face and Roxanne felt herself giggling. Benjamin frowned in annoyance, his cheeks a little pink, “When you didn’t answer I figured you and your lot weren’t home so I just thought of the next best place. You’ve told me so much about the Burrow that I didn’t even need to ask around.”
Roxanne wasn’t sure who he would have asked but she had a feeling that he had resources in every single place in Diagon Alley. When they’d been younger, he’d snuck in to Knockturn Alley to have a peak at some of the dangerous shops that they weren’t supposed to be looking at and his father had been furious when he’d been caught by Hagrid of all people.
Her family friend had been getting flesh-eating slug repellant when he’d snagged Benjamin by the collar and dragged him away from some shrunken skulls, (Benjamin had reluctantly related this to her later on since she hadn’t gone with him) and her parents had contacted Mr. Malfoy.
It seemed that Benjamin was always getting into trouble and she wondered if some part of him enjoyed it, “So you came to get me because….?” Roxanne asked questionably, wanting him to admit something. “You missed me didn’t you?”
“No,” Benjamin grunted too quickly and she laughed, triumphant. Their nasty words just a few minutes ago seemed to vanish entirely and she stared at him smugly, “shut up.” He snapped, his cheeks turning just the faintest bit red before he motioned for her to follow, “come in my room with me and sit for a while. Merlin knows I can’t argue with you in the middle of the bloody house.”
Feeling as if she had won for the time being, Roxanne sidled up beside him, grinning into his face. Benjamin glared down at her warningly but wound up wrapping his arm loosely around her shoulders like he had a few times before and pulling her close. It would only be later that she would realize how much of a mistake it had been to come at all.
Roxanne found herself stretching her arms high above her head an hour and a half later. She was sitting on the edge of Benjamin’s bed, finding it just a tad bit odd that she would even want to be there after the kisses that he had subjected them to, “I really should be going you know.” Her voice fell upon Benjamin as he lounged lazily on the floor with a deck of Exploding Snap that they’d just finished playing. Roxanne had won of course and had hopped on his black coverlet in her stockings for a celebratory dance and he’d watched her in amusement and indignation, not used to losing. “My parents and brother should be getting up in a few.”
“Stay for a while longer, Weasley. It’s not going to kill you,” Benjamin remarked dryly as he wiped a bit of soot from the tip of his nose. Roxanne honestly thought it might be better to get home, she had been a bit nervous about being in his bedroom after what had happened even though she’d been inside of it more than once over the last few years. “You want me to tell you about Italy don’t you?”
Roxanne knew that he was tugging on her curiosity and she said dryly. “You haven’t said anything about it since we’ve been in here.” And that was the truth and she hadn’t really expected him to. All they had done for the past half an hour was play a few games of Wizard chess, Exploding Snap and he’d destroyed her in Gobstones as the Manor had settled around them with silent grace.
Benjamin’s entire room was done in dark shades that were rather intimidating and a few of his personal things were still in boxes or leaning against dressers and chairs. Everything here; from the large bed that Roxanne sat on to the personal bathroom was large, expensive and reeked of his careless view of his surroundings, “I’ve been trying to think about what to tell you.”
“Why does it even matter? I just want to know what it’s like.” Roxanne replied crossly, annoyed with him and the fact that he had treasures lurking like mocking toys in his room. He’d collected pottery and some scrolls that she’d been told not to touch, for fear that they’d fall apart since they were so old, “I’ve never even been out of the country.”
“Well, why not?” Benjamin asked her blandly. Roxanne knew that her family was rich but her parents were always so busy that they never had the time to go anywhere exotic, even though Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes was nearly all over the Wizarding world.
Roxanne ignored him and her eyes strayed to the fallen daisies on the floor where she’d been sitting with him only a few minutes before. They looked like the neglected remains of some bouquet, “I just can’t right now. My mom almost moved to Ireland to play for the Hollyhead’s when she was a little older than me.”
Benjamin was instantly curious about this because he had, even though he wouldn’t admit it, a little crush on her mother. He’d never admitted it on those rare times when Roxanne had introduced them but she saw that age-old infatuation strike his face for a brief second before he asked, “How come?”
Roxanne smiled a little as she replied. “She decided to marry my dad.”
“She didn’t join the Hollyhead Harpies because she wanted to marry your dad?” Benjamin asked with apparent horror. He shook his head with distaste, “I can’t ever do something like that.” He was the Slytherin Quidditch captain and probably one of the best Beaters that they’d ever had, though Roxanne snorted mentally when she knew that her father could display far more skill.
Roxanne thought briefly of her laughing, sometimes depressed father fondly for a while longer before asking her strange companion. “You don’t want to get married, Ben?”
Benjamin recoiled. “Hell, no,”
“Why not?” Roxanne asked him curiously. She hadn’t really thought about whether or not she wanted to get married herself but she had never disliked the idea of being with someone forever. “There’s not anything wrong with loving someone and wanting to be with them forever and ever.”
Benjamin laughed at the words and then said, his tone sobering until she could barely hear him. “Yes there is. You’re just too naïve to understand it,” and Roxanne gawped, feeling a spark of anger. “Being with someone and being with someone are two different things, Weasley.”
Roxanne was confused. “What do you mean?”
“What do you think I mean?” Benjamin asked her huskily, his eyes running over her and resting in a not so subtle place on her chest. She’d mistakenly discarded her jacket, which was lying on the floor like a pink blanket and she crossed her arms, “I’d rather fuck than marry. Ever,”
The room seemed to heat exponentially and Roxanne flushed deeply and swallowed hard. “That can’t be the only good thing about being with someone. What about sharing your problems and actually getting to know each other instead of just wiping body fluids?” she asked dryly.
Benjamin roared with laughter before picking up the Exploding Snap deck and shuffling them expertly with his long fingers. Roxanne was distracted, wondering what they would feel like on her skin and instantly regretted the thought as he sent her a sly look from beneath his lashes, “There are some things that two people can do better than just talking, sweet.”
“W-whatever,” Roxanne replied uncomfortably.
Benjamin smirked to himself, the silent pressure and demand in the room making it hard to draw in an even breath. Roxanne rubbed her arms, wishing that he would stop staring at her, “You say that now Weasley. I bet none of your so-called boyfriends ever did much than hold your hand.”
Roxanne glared at him for his nerve to even assume something like that. Even if it was true, “That’s none of your business okay? Not all girls just so happen to blurt out their secrets.”
“Uh-huh.” Benjamin said with a smirk playing across his stupid full mouth. Roxanne’s lips tingled in recollection of how they’d felt on hers and she scowled, annoyed, “so I bet you’re all grown up now, huh, lump?”
Roxanne wanted to tell him that she knew a thing or two but she didn’t. Victoire was the only one out of her cousins who had even lost her virginity and she’d told her in that off-hand way of hers that it hadn’t exactly been bringing the planets together. “I am grown up,” she found herself saying defiantly.
Benjamin smirked even wider. “Aren’t you cute?” he asked with blatant disbelief. Roxanne glared at him and crossed her legs and his blue-brown eyes hooded as he openly stared. “You’ve got great legs, Weasley. Anyone ever tell you that?”
Roxanne pushed her skirt down a bit and tightened her legs a little. “Thanks, I guess. But that doesn’t have anything to do with Italy.” She said dryly, reminding him of what he wouldn’t tell her and he barked a laugh.
“I guess not,” was his bland reply.
There was a slight silence before she asked him. “Are you afraid of telling me because of your dad being home?” she questioned.
Benjamin looked startled and instantly wary that she’d asked. She’d been careful not to mention his father at all because of what she’d heard but the shift of his face was enough to have her wondering if he would rise from the floor and threaten her with more than kisses. “I’ve got a Silencing Charm in here, Weasley. My dad won’t hear shit.”
“Why do you have that?” Roxanne asked him and then she blushed. “Oh, right.”
Benjamin laughed. “It’s not just for when I’m fucking random girls in here.” Roxanne looked down at his bed with apparent revulsion and his face brimmed with renewed amusement. “Jealous?” when she glared at him warningly, he went on to explain. “I just don’t like hearing my parents arguing all right? Things have been pretty intense lately.”
Roxanne found herself pressing. “Where are your mum and siblings?”
“With my mum’s parents,” Benjamin said stiffly, surprising her. “My grandparents are out on vacation with some of their stupid, ignorant friends from back in the olden days.” He said dryly and Roxanne knew that they’d been avid supporters for Voldemort back in the day and felt supremely sorry for him.
Desperately trying to change the subject, Roxanne rushed on with a hopeful grin. “Just tell me what Italy was like. Did you go to another Wizarding school there?” she didn’t know much about foreign schools, only that every country had at least one or two. Aunt Fleur had graduated from Beuxbatons when she had been a girl and still talk about it fondly, comparing Hogwarts more to a dungeon than the fine palace where she’d traipsed in.
Benjamin saw her spark of interest and nodded as he sat up, having been lounging there on his Persian carpet like some sort of gigantic cat. “Yeah, I did.” Roxanne’s eyes lit up, wanting more information and he started to smile smugly, “it’s a lot nicer than Hogwarts and classes were always outside. The sun was always shining and I got to visit a lot of Roman temples during break.”
“So what are the lessons like? What sort of uniforms did you all have to wear?” Roxanne asked eagerly, nearly hopping off the bed as she felt excitement going through her. “What sort of food di you all get? Are there house-elves in the kitchens?”
Benjamin laughed. “Weasley, you’re asking a million questions at once. It’d take me all day to go through everything with you.” Roxanne pouted a little, “and you said you wanted to go home, right?” he asked slyly and she shook her head firmly, “there’s that Weasley spirit.”
Roxanne glowered at him. “Don’t make fun of me.”
“I’m not.” Benjamin said with a careless shrug. “And I really can’t tell you too much about the school itself because they like to keep things a secret. We still don’t even know where Durmstrang is, do we?” he pointed out and Roxanne nodded with a little annoyance. “It’s just a nice place. I liked it there.”
Roxanne didn’t like that he’d manipulated her without giving any other hint of what it had been like to live in Italy. She had a feeling that he was teasing, “Well. If you’re not going to say anything, I’m going to go home.” Her tone was rather crisp as she hopped off his bed and started looking for her boots, which she’d kicked off the instant she’d stepped inside.
Benjamin eventually stood up as she spotted them lurking behind a bookshelf. It was filled with tomes of nearly every magical animal known to the Wizarding world and Roxanne knew that though he wouldn’t admit it, he really loved working with animals and would probably get along with her Aunt Luna. “Aw, Weasley, I really can’t tell you too much. And anyway, you’ll be finding out for yourself soon enough.”
This caught Roxanne’s attention immediately and she stood up, unsettled that his eyes had been raking her backside as she’d bent over. “What do you mean?” her voice sounded tight.
“I mean that you’ll be getting a surprise once we get back to Hogwarts, sweet. I already know everything about it.” Benjamin replied smugly, obviously having been waiting for this chance to brag to her. Roxanne glared at him, wanting to know more but he simply said, shrugging, “it pays to have friends in the right places.”
Roxanne didn’t exactly like the way he’d said that and she felt a flush deepening on her face. Had he had some sort of girlfriend back in Italy? She was probably a lot better looking than her and most likely not the first he’d been messing around with.
Hogwarts had lost its variety for him, she figured when he’d slept his way through nearly every House since she’d known him (Miranda Patil gossiped quite a bit and she’d learned this unwillingly when she’d been eavesdropping once again), “You are such a prat. Why do you keep lying and saying you’ll tell me stuff and not do it?” She demanded.
Benjamin thought about it as he watched her slipping forcefully into her boots. “I really just like it when you pout like that. It’s really cute,” there was a wolfish smile on his face and Roxanne glared at him, not enjoying that he was having more fun than she was. The bottles of butterbeer that they’d drunk together and all the treats he’d given her in the last half an hour were finally wearing off, “just makes me want to kiss you again.”
Roxanne glanced over her shoulder at his bedroom door. She knew that all it would take was a quick and sly walk around the Manor to one of their sitting rooms towards a fireplace, which of course would have a decent supply of Floo powder, “I’m sure everything makes you want to kiss again,” she spat.
Benjamin was running his eyes over her in a predatory swoop that caused Roxanne to realize the sort of danger that she’d put herself into.
He had changed a lot from the person that she had known during Hogwarts and had been gone a year in a strange place, probably shifting into someone that she shouldn’t have been making eye contact with in the first place. But it was still Ben…still the boy that she’d known as a child, “Not everything has to be a kiss Weasley.”
Roxanne felt as if he’d dumped her in a pool of hot liquid and she flushed. Hastily, she looked around for her jacket and was mortified when she saw that it was near his feet, which meant that she would have to get closer to him in order to retrieve it. “I need my jacket.”
Benjamin bent and snatched it up, holding out for her. A sly cast to his eyes greeted her as he met her eyes, the pull between them pulsing and crackling, “Come and get it then.”
“No.” Roxanne gritted warily.
“I’ll give it back if you kiss me.” Benjamin whispered with velvet softness.
It was of course, like making a deal with the Devil himself and Roxanne’s lips parted wordlessly but she couldn’t quite force the words out. He looked too tempting and sure of himself, “Y-you’re just going to have to get over it then,” she snapped irritably.
Benjamin moved closer and she stepped back. A playful gleam had entered his eyes and Roxanne wondered if he had even been intending on letting her leave without getting something more from her, “Come on, Weasley. Are you scared?” he held her jacket in front of her, taunting and sneering.
Roxanne felt a bolt of challenge go through her. “I am not scared of you,” even though it was a lie, it felt good to say it out loud but only caused him to raise his black brows mockingly. Forcing her legs forward, she crossed the small space between them and reached for her jacket imperiously, “give it to me.”
The double meaning didn’t fly by him and Benjamin started to smile before it faded away at the defiant expression on her face. “Take it, Weasley.” He whispered gently and she felt a shiver. “After you kiss me, of course. A deal is a deal,”
Roxanne felt her fingers balling into a tight fist at his nerve. But some part of her wanted to play, even though the end result would be something she would more than likely regret, “I think you’ve had enough kisses for the morning, Ben. Are you drunk or something?”
“I’m not drunk. I just don’t want you to leave and if you’re not going to kiss me, then I’m just going to kiss you,” Benjamin replied warningly, his voice darker than midnight. Roxanne’s heart stuttered and she tried to think of something to say before he invaded her space, his intent becoming clearer and clearer, “stay with me for a little while longer, sweet.”
Roxanne swallowed hard and shakily reached for her jacket right as he pulled her closer to him, finding absolutely no resistance, “Ben, I can’t—” she said firmly but he’d bent his head and his mouth was on her throat, making her entire body burn.
The words seemed to be forced back as the kisses trailed from her throat, her jaw, the soft shell of her ear and when he finally took her mouth in a searing, deceiving kiss, there was no part in her that wanted to leave.
Until I come back to this, be patient! D': I have to update for Albus Potter and the Dark Lord's Prince!
A/N: Hello everyone! I'm updating for this again and please, at the end, don't hate me too much. Enjoy.
Roxanne didn’t want him to leave. “Do you have to go home now?” she asked Benjamin for the thousandth time as he walked her back towards her father’s joke shop. Diagon Alley was bustling with activity still and they went unnoticed even though they were both dripping with toilet water and probably smelling like a troll’s armpit from their recent adventure. They’d wasted the afternoon away putting cherry bombs in various bathrooms and had almost been caught but had run away before they could be grabbed by the throats by the furious owner of a Muggle Cuisine restaurant, “Why can’t you stay over my house?” she pressed around a frown.
“I have to go home, lump. I can’t stay and hang out with you all day.” Benjamin replied with an annoyed glance down at her. She looked up at him, frowning and near tears and he said awkwardly, “Look, er, I’ll come back in a few days, okay?”
Roxanne found herself pouting and he gave her hand a little squeeze. A smile started to curve despite herself and she swung their hands together, which caused his cheeks to turn a little pink even as a frown started to appear on his face, “When you come back I’ll let you meet my mum and she’ll make us something to eat. And then you can meet all my cousins,”
“I don’t want to meet your cousins.” Benjamin said stiffly and Roxanne frowned, not understanding why he wouldn’t like her family very much. He was a Malfoy but he didn’t seem all that bad, especially not after giving her those pretty daisies (They’d gotten wet from an exploding toilet and she’d sadly had to throw them away), “but I wouldn’t mind meeting your mum. She’s really pretty.”
Roxanne wondered if she would grow up looking like her mother. Maybe if she did, he would say she was pretty too, “You could stay for dinner tonight if you want. Mum is making cherry pie,” she invited and Benjamin frowned and shook his head a little, his blue-brown eyes flickering with indecision. “My parents won’t mind and my brother probably won’t come home today.”
Benjamin seemed oddly glad of this and she saw that he appeared very relieved. She was pretty sure that they didn’t get along well at Hogwarts, “How come?” he asked.
“He might stay with Teddy Lupin or go over our Aunt Audrey and Uncle Percy’s. They spoil him even more than mum and dad do,” Roxanne explained, shrugging. She wanted to go see Molly and Lucy soon too and tell them about her new friend but she doubted if they would like him very much, “so you can have dinner with us!”
“I gotta ask my mum and dad though,” Benjamin muttered, blushing. Roxanne felt his hand tightening around hers a little and she was just about to ask him what was wrong when he asked uncomfortably. “When do you come to Hogwarts lump?”
Roxanne frowned. “I’m not a lump!”
Benjamin grinned. “Yes you are. You’re all plump and cu—stupid.” He amended hastily and Roxanne glared up at him and then turned her face away, nose in the air. “So when do you go to Hogwarts?” he asked again, smiling broadly.
“I go next year!” Roxanne proclaimed proudly, instantly all smiles. She was really nervous about it though because her parents kept telling her horror stories and Perce had her thinking that the giant squid that lived in the Black Lake would come out at night and eat her.
“You’d better be in Slytherin then.” Benjamin said firmly and when Roxanne merely stared up at him in confusion, the two of them nearly running into a couple on the sidewalk, he explained smugly. “I’m a Slytherin and it’s the best House in the school.”
Roxanne furrowed her brow thoughtfully. “But my brother said all Slytherins are mean and sneaky.” She said and she wasn’t really sure if this was true or not but she hoped that it wasn’t because Benjamin wasn’t mean, he was actually very nice.
Benjamin frowned a little and he glanced at her as if he expected her to say something else but when she didn’t and continued walking with him, he finally said. “All Slytherins aren’t bad, okay? Your brother and your cousins are wrong.” He said fiercely.
Roxanne wondered if her brother and cousins had been rather mean to him and wondered, awkwardly, how to make it better. She would have to tell Perce not to bother him anymore since he was her friend now but she didn’t know if he would bother listening to her, “I don’t think they’re all bad. I’ve never met a Slytherin before you and you’re not so mean,” to her at least, “even my Uncle Harry says all Slytherins aren’t mean.”
That seemed to make Benjamin feel a little bit better and she watched as his frown deepened a little before he asked. “You gonna try and get into Slytherin with me lump? I don’t think I’d like it if you’d wind up being in Gryffindor. They’re all so full of shit,” he muttered.
“Ooh, you said a bad word!” Roxanne crowed, impressed. Benjamin shrugged but looked a little proud of himself at the expression on her face, “my mum says that sometimes when my dad is getting on her nerves.”
“Really?” Benjamin asked with a laugh.
Roxanne nodded, adding. “She also calls him Georgia too cause she says he’s real moody and acts like a girl sometimes.” That had Benjamin laughing harder and she wondered what his parents were like and if they played as much as her own but he didn’t offer any hints. “I don’t think I want to be a Gryffindor, my whole family has been there! My cousin Molly is a Ravenclaw and I really love her but I’ll be in Slytherin with you.”
Benjamin smiled then and it was the happiest smile that she had ever seen. It seemed to come from some deep, secret place in his heart and transformed his face. It made him appear so much nicer and she felt her cheeks turning a bit red and joy flood her system, “Really, Weasley? Promise?” he asked eagerly.
“Promise! I’ll be the best Slytherin ever!” Roxanne declared importantly and he squeezed her hand for a moment, still giving her that happy smile before they continued on their way. By the time they reached her father’s joke shop, they were chattering and making more plans when they would see one another again, most of them things that they would get into trouble for.
Benjamin was just suggesting that they throw water balloons at the elderly when the clink of the joke shop’s door opening alerted them to reality.
Roxanne glanced towards the entrance, a smile on her face growing at the sight of her brother standing just outside the door, looking thunderous, “What are you doing with my sister?” Perce demanded, taking in her rumpled clothes and probably inhaling the stench of toilet water.
“Perce, don’t be mean!” Roxanne chided annoyingly. Her brother looked as if he had had the time of his life away from home and she saw their father standing with their mother inside, the shop apparently getting ready to close as a few customers still meandered about. The brightness of the shop always made her happy but her brother’s expression made her a little confused, “this is Benjamin Malfoy, he’s my friend.”
Perce and Benjamin eyed one another as if they would love nothing more than to rip each other’s faces off and she looked between them worriedly. “I know who he is and I don’t want you talking to him.” Her brother gritted out furiously, “what do you think you’re up to anyway, Malfoy?”
Benjamin flushed an ugly red and moved in front of Roxanne as if he would actually hit her brother and she felt her body infuse with panic. Perce stepped further outside, slamming the door behind them and their parents looked towards the sound in alarm, “I’m not up to anything Weasley. You think you’d be keeping a better eye on your sister, right? She was sitting on a bench today all by herself.”
“What’d you do to her?” Perce demanded angrily as he took in Roxanne’s face. She was growing more and more angry at her brother, not understanding why he was being this way, “if I find out that you put your hands on her—” his voice trailed away as he noticed their hands still clasped. “Roxie, come here.”
“How come?” Roxanne demanded angrily. When she didn’t move fast enough her brother took her arm and snatched her roughly away from Benjamin, who tried to hold onto her fingers for a second longer before forcing his hand into a tight fist. “Ow, Percy! Let me go you prat!”
Benjamin was glaring at her brother fiercely and said tightly. “Why don’t you try being little nicer to your sister, prick? I didn’t do anything to her,”
Perce glowered at him while Roxanne nearly clawed his face off. “Would you quit it? Merlin!” he snapped angrily as she gave him a sharp bite on his wrist that had him howling in pain before he managed to hiss at Benjamin, who was laughing. “And Malfoy, stay away from my sister. You think you’re something special but she doesn’t know any better.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?! He’s my friend,” Roxanne cried, feeling a sting.
There was the briefest of pauses before her brother managed to speak, as if what she had said was too horrible to comprehend. “He is not your friend! Rejects like him don’t have friends!” Perce snarled down at her. Roxanne burst into tears and he recoiled, “oh, for God’s sake don’t start!” he cried.
Roxanne sniffled, her lip trembling and her brother eyed her as if she were an atom bomb waiting to explode. Benjamin was standing there, looking shocked and dangerously angry but he said nothing and that seemed to make it even worse, even though she couldn’t understand then how much her brother’s words had hurt him. “I-I’m telling!” she wailed.
“Don’t you dare!” Perce warned furiously.
The remaining customers in the shop had now left but they eyed the three of them with amusement and wary fascination before they walked away.
Roxanne waited for them to leave before glaring at her brother, opening her mouth and shouting as loudly as she could in a carrying voice that would make a banshee flinch, “DAAAAAAAADDY!"
Perce was about to let her go but it was too late and their father, who seemed to have rushed over as if the world were ending, opened the door. Roxanne had seen him angry more than once but she had never seen him this furious before and he glared down at her brother sternly, “What are you doing?” he demanded.
“I wasn’t doing anything—Roxie, shut up!” Perce snapped angrily at Roxanne, who was still sobbing a little even as her brother released her. Benjamin had slunk down the sidewalk as if he meant to make a run for it but her father shot him a glance and he surprisingly stayed where he was, “I was just telling her not to hang around this Malfoy kid.”
“Daddy, he was being mean to me!” Roxanne accused, still sniffling.
Their father took in her flooded eyes; Perce’s annoyed expression and the uncomfortable stance of Benjamin and sighed wearily. “Stop crying beautiful girl, it’s all right,” he said as he saw her lips trembling and more tears threatening to fall.
Perce rolled his eyes. “Such a brat,” he muttered.
Ignoring him, Roxanne rushed to their father and wrapped her arms around his waist and received a gentle pat on the top of her curly head. Her mother hadn’t come out but she knew that she was watching from inside, probably wondering when it would be best to take over if her husband couldn’t handle it, “First of all, what is that smell?” their father asked, wrinkling his nose before he bent and inhaled a few strands of her hair, “Merlin, beautiful girl. Take a bath when you get up in the flat and second, Fred, why are you trying to pick a fight?”
Perce flushed angrily, but Benjamin was eyeing him meanly and if Roxanne hadn’t known any better, she would have seen that his feelings were hurt. “I wasn’t trying to pick a fight with anyone!” he lied, looking very much like their father with that one action. Benjamin glared at him viciously, “he was holding her hand! What was I supposed to do?”
“Holding her hand?” Their father repeated curiously, brown eyes going a bit wide. Roxanne didn’t know why she was blushing but she saw Benjamin’s mouth tightening a little, his fists clenched tightly at his sides, “you hold hands with Leanne Wood and your sister doesn’t get mad at you.”
Perce blushed and his entire face turned scarlet. It was an interesting contrast to his dark skin and Roxanne giggled, “B-but that’s different! I know Leanne! Roxanne doesn’t know him,” he jerked his head at Benjamin, who rolled his eyes and then lowered them to the ground.
Their father was grinning a little, the dimple in his right cheek almost appearing. There was nothing he loved more than teasing Perce about his crush on Leanne Wood but he eventually let it go and Roxanne saw his expression sober, “Were you hurting her?” their father asked, swiveling his very red head in Benjamin’s direction. He stiffened at being addressed and opened his mouth, probably for some sharp comment but when Roxanne saw her father raise his eyebrows in that I-don’t-want-any-lies way, he closed it. “No? Yes?”
Benjamin muttered. “No, sir,”
Perce glared at him, obviously disbelieving. “He could have been!”
Roxanne frowned and hugged their father’s waist defensively. “He wasn’t stupid! He was just walking me home!” she looked up at their father, who was watching the argument unfurling as if he didn’t really know what to do. At their house, their mother handed out the discipline and he looked a bit lost, “Daddy, he’s my friend. He wasn’t doing anything wrong.”
“I saw you two while you were coming up and he didn’t look like he was doing anything wrong to me, Fred. I thought I taught you better than that,” their father said with a frown at his son. Perce looked startled to be on the wrong end of his affections today and glared at Roxanne, “Benjamin right?” he had turned his attention to the other boy, who was eyeing him as if he would take out his wand.
Or worse, spank him.
“Yeah,” Benjamin mumbled, staring up at him.
“I don’t mind you talking to my daughter but I don’t want any trouble between you and my son. So, the thing to do right now is make you hug.” That caused a slight silence and Roxanne watched as her brother flinched, Benjamin appearing disgusted, “it’s what my mum used to make my brothers do when they were fighting too much.”
Roxanne wondered which brothers he was talking about but her father wasn’t smiling and she assumed he was thinking about his twin. It made her sad too but she heard Perce snap, “I am not doing that!”
“Why not?” their father asked lightly.
Benjamin grunted. “He’s a bloke! I don’t hug other blokes—and especially ones that aren’t good-looking enough!” at that, Roxanne heard her father roar with laughter. It made the other boy flush embarrassingly even while Perce regarded him as if he were slime on his boot, “I didn’t even do anything wrong!”
It was true but Roxanne was distracted by the hurt in his eyes and even more so when the door opened behind her father. “What are you making them do?” it was her mother and the immediate appearance of her caused Benjamin to straighten up, his whole face turning pink. “I thought you could handle this on your own, Georgia but apparently not.”
“So I owe you a Galleon?” was her father’s reluctant reply.
“And you’re doing the dishes and painting my toes for a month.” Roxanne’s mother said with a grin before she turned her attention to the three of them. She took in Roxanne’s pout and the way she was clinging to her father with a sigh, “this is what happens when you spoil her, George. What’s the issue?”
Perce was the first to speak, his chest poked out. “Dad wants me to hug that stinking Malfoy boy and I’m not going to do it. He was holding Roxie’s hand Mum!” he waved his arms around to emphasize his point.
Their mother’s mouth dipped down in a disapproving frown and Roxanne watched as she gave him a stern look that caused him to deflate immediately. “We’re going to have a little discussion about name-calling before you get to bed, Fred. Didn’t we raise you better than that?” Perce frowned furiously, kicking at the ground. “And Roxie, you can’t always go crying to your dad when you can’t get your way.”
Roxanne blushed, not liking the words. “But Mum,”
But her mother wasn’t looking at her, she was looking at Benjamin. He was staring at her as if he would give her the moon and she bent down a bit until they were eye level, “You’re not a bad kid, are you?” when he shook his head, she gave him a smile, “now tell me the truth. Were you trying to play a trick on my daughter or were you just being a gentleman and walking her home?”
“I wasn’t going to do anything to her,” Benjamin said meekly and he looked hopeful that she would believe him and when she nodded, seeing nothing but the truth, he relaxed. “She was by herself in Diagon Alley and I decided to walk her home. Not a crime or anything,” he muttered.
“Now this was just a big misunderstanding and I want the two of you to apologize.” Roxanne heard her mother say and she stood and moved away from Benjamin. Perce glared at him just as she said, “Now hug, shake hands and come inside for something to eat.”
Perce looked ill. “I’m not hugging Malfoy…”
Benjamin glanced longingly at Roxanne, then miserably at her mother. Something in his face had changed and she saw that his fists were shaking, that he looked like he was being torn apart on the inside, “Forget it! I don’t want anything to do with you stupid Weasley’s anyway.” And with that, he stalked away but not before Roxanne saw that his eyes had been glassy with oncoming tears.
“Good riddance,” Perce snapped.
Their mother glared over at him. “Fred Percival!” she snapped angrily, looking as if she might just give him a good spanking. Roxanne watched her brother recoil and glance at their father hopefully but he merely shrugged, not being the one to get in the middle of it when he’d get the wrong end of his own wife’s fist. “You go and apologize to that boy right now before he gets away!”
Perce flushed furiously, panic written all over his face. “What? No!” that only caused their mother’s face to become a thunderous, impatient monstrosity and he flinched. “I’m not going to do anything like that. He should stay away from Roxie!"
“Look what you did!” Roxanne found herself sobbing furiously at her brother, who was gawping after Benjamin as if he couldn’t think of something to say. Their parents looked both angry and a little concerned but she wasn’t sure if they were upset about her friend or not, “Now he’s not going to be my friend anymore! I hate you Fred!” she cried, disentangling herself from their father fiercely.
Their mother frowned severely, instantly distracted as her brother stared at her with true hurt flickering in his brown eyes. “That’s not nice, Roxie, you take that back!” their mother commanded angrily.
Roxanne shook her head, sobbing. “No! Leave me alone!” she pushed away from her father when he tried to pull her back to him and ran as fast and as hard as she could from them. Benjamin had walked faster than was possible and was nothing but a tall speck on the sidewalk and she rushed after him, “Wait! Don’t leave me! Wait!”
“Roxanne, wake up.” Benjamin’s voice floated around her as if from a great distance and she groggily opened one of her eyes. His hand was gently pushing at her bare shoulder, forcing her out of a memory that still felt as fresh as if it had happened merely hours before, “lump, wake up. You’re talking in your sleep.”
Blearily, Roxanne tried to focus and felt a bolt of heat go over her as she realized exactly what she had done and with whom. “…I-I was?” she asked weakly, unable to look him in the eye as he peered down at her, his elbow propped up so he could observe her more clearly. She feared that he had been watching her sleep and a fresh blush flashed over her cheeks and she buried her face in his pillow, “stop staring! It’s embarrassing!”
It was more than a little silly to be embarrassed when she thought of what she had allowed herself to do against her better judgment.
Roxanne hadn’t been able to say no, she hadn’t been able to stop herself from responding to more kisses, touches and caresses…little words in her ear and by the time that her mind had started spinning again, she’d lost herself.
There had been a time, in her fantasies of seeing Benjamin again but she had never expected it to lead to this, with her naked body shielded beneath silk sheets and his own body so close to her own. Even now, after the last time that they’d… “With everything that I did to you, you sure do have a lot of nerve, Weasley.” Benjamin said with a wolfish grin.
She felt a prickle of irritation even as something stirred in the most indecent places. There was a shift on the mattress as Benjamin rolled over and she suspected that he would get out of bed and the dream would be over and she would come back to the real world but instead, he merely stayed put. Confused and hearing her heart pounding in a crazy tempo, Roxanne looked up from his pillow, which smelt so nice like his skin— “You…you’re not going to kick me out?” she whispered nervously.
Benjamin was lying on his stomach, facing her but she wasn’t able to sense his thoughts. There was always something so guarded and hard about the look in his eyes but just now, they were heavy and relaxed, the hue in them more brown than blue, “Why would I do that?” he asked lazily, his eyes roaming over her hair.
Roxanne felt a zing go up her arm as she felt his long fingers pulling her closer. She resisted a little but he eventually had his way until they were only a breath apart, the heat from his skin causing a flood of renewed sensation to churn, “Cause…all the girls say you do that.” She mumbled, distracted a bit as his fingers drifted up to play in her hair.
“Really, now?” Benjamin asked lazily, his voice sleep-scratchy. His fingers were wrapping around the strands that hung crazily around her face, nearly shielding the wide eyed expression on her face, “and did you hear that from Miranda Patil?”
Roxanne blushed guiltily and watched as his lips turned up in a smile. She couldn’t quite get the words out and was instantly distracted as he slid his fingers out of her hair and trailed a gentle touch to her jaw, the curve of her cheek and settling briefly on her lips. They were swollen and she must have made a sound because he gave her the softest of kisses before pulling away, looking only slightly apologetic, “You kiss too rough you know,” she said teasingly.
“I didn’t hear you complaining about it, lump,” Benjamin shot back, looking wide eyed. Roxanne found herself giggling a little as he brushed his mouth along her jaw, nibbling and kissing, “tell me what you heard from Miranda Patil. You’ve got me curious,” he whispered, pulling away just before their lips would have met.
Roxanne sensed that he had done it on purpose and was briefly embarrassed that she had fallen for it, unable to understand how he seemed to have such a hold on her. After swallowing a little, she said, “Well, she said you and her…you know,” she couldn’t even say the words out loud and he burst out laughing, his chest rumbling. “Shut up! It isn’t funny!” she cried but he was laughing all the harder and she punched him in the arm, “you think you’re so cool!”
Benjamin captured her fist before she could hit him again and rose up a little, watching as her eyes drifted over his bare chest. Roxanne blushed all the harder but heard him ask as his fingers laced with hers, a slow movement that drew a quivering sigh from her lips, “I am cool, lump. And just so you know, Miranda Patil was such a bad lay that I’d have been stupid to go back.”
“So you and she really did…?” Roxanne demanded, struck by the sting of jealousy. She was being ridiculous of course because there was no reason that she should be jealous of anyone that had slept with Benjamin before her but some part of her thought of him as hers. No one knew him as well as she did, and no one would take him from her—the thought was startling and made her feel briefly ashamed of herself, “oh. Well, that’s, uhm, not any of my business.”
“Jealous, Weasley?” Benjamin asked slyly as his eyes scanned over her. She was holding the sheets up to her chest and eyeing him, trying not to appear as hurt as she did on the inside, “you’re pouting again.” Roxanne glared at him and hated that it was true, “I really love it when you do that.”
“I’m not pouting!”
Benjamin was grinning evilly and she was embarrassed to note that he didn’t seem to mind that the sheets were sliding off him. Some part of her wanted to look but she fixedly kept her gaze on his, “You are pouting, it’s the cutest thing,” he whispered gently as he bent over her, “and you know what that makes me want to do?”
Roxanne gawped at him, shaking her head. “No, you leave me alone!” she cried but he was already running his hands over her and tickling her. Laughter bubbled up in her chest and although she tried her hardest to get away, he was bigger and faster than she was and soon had her pinned underneath him as easily as if she were a little kid again, “no! Stop—haha, stop! Prat, this isn’t—not there!” she cried in humiliation as he got a place behind her knee.
“Give in Weasley—ow!” Benjamin hissed angrily as she punched him rather hard in his shoulder. She was trying to get away from him and was kicking wildly, the sheets flying in every direction, “that’s it!” he snarled playfully when she actually bit his arm.
Roxanne tried to push at him, laughing and near to tears as he took her wrists and put them over her head and pressed her back onto the mattress. “Cheater!” she cried, gasping. Benjamin was panting, his cheeks flushed and he bent to nip playfully at her lower lip, relaxing his hold on her wrists and forcing them over his head until her fingers curled into his hair. His braid had come loose from earlier and she thought back to her own frenzy to have him and blushed, “I have to, uhm, get home soon you know.”
“What are you blushing so much about? You turn red all over,” Benjamin whispered in between kisses and she squirmed underneath him in indignation. “And you’re sweet all over…” Roxanne couldn’t breathe from what else he said and while she was gawping up at him, flooded with need and embarrassment, he said firmly, “Just send an owl to your parents and lie and say you’re with a friend.”
“It wouldn’t really be a lie. You are my friend,” Roxanne found herself saying distractedly as she felt his hands traveling. She could barely breathe from wanting more, “they’ll know I’m lying and I’ll get in trouble for s-sneaking out and stop that!” she spluttered when his kisses started to lower to her throat, “I don’t even know what time it is,”
Benjamin murmured something against her throat before rising up on his hands to peer down at her. She saw a flicker of annoyance growing in his eyes and something uneasy passed between them, “So what? You came here on your own. You didn’t think about how you were going to be getting back did you?”
Roxanne didn’t like the accusation he placed on her and she glanced away from him, knowing that it was more than a little true. She had been so excited on seeing him and being near him for a while that she had carelessly forgotten about how and when she would be returning to the Burrow, “You don’t have to sound like such an ass about it. I wasn’t exactly expecting you to crash my grandparent’s anniversary.”
“How else was I supposed to talk to you, Weasley?” Benjamin asked, the annoyance sharpening into something rather nasty. Roxanne glowered up at him, even though she was both confused and wary by the sudden turn of conversation, “did you think that your mum and dad would have liked it if I’d came knocking on their door?”
He had never even been inside their flat no matter how many times Roxanne had invited him to come up and have dinner, play games and watch Muggle TV. The hatred and disdain he felt for her family shouldn’t have been forgotten but she’d foolishly assumed that he would turn around…since he had her of course, “They actually wouldn’t mind it. My mum sort of likes you.”
Benjamin rolled his eyes and she saw that they were shifting from blue to brown and back again, a true sign that he was growing more than a little frustrated. “They can’t stand me. Just like all the rest of your family,” he muttered down to her.
“What? Don’t say that! My dad, he, uhm, doesn’t hate you.” Roxanne tried to say and she saw that that hardly mattered. A tick started to work its way in his jaw, “and I don’t care that you’re my friend, how many times have I told you that it doesn’t matter?”
Benjamin was silent for a long moment and she felt distinctly uncomfortable for most of them, the feel of his body over hers a distraction that she didn’t necessarily need. “It does matter. You’ve got no idea how much it fucking matters.” He snapped.
“Don’t you get mad at me! I don’t even know what your issue is!” Roxanne cried furiously, taken aback by the fierce way he regarded her. Had it just been a few moments ago when he had tickled and kissed her? She felt the hot threat of anger coming onto her more strongly than she would have liked, “I’m not embarrassed of you!”
“Then bring me home with you and tell your grand old family what you’ve been up to for most of the morning. Be sure to be extremely graphic,” Benjamin said coldly, a nasty gleam in his eyes. When Roxanne faltered, knowing that her parent’s wrath would be something fierce, he misinterpreted her expression and his upper lip curled, “Afraid that your brother won’t approve?” he sneered.
Roxanne frowned, knowing that there was no one else in her family that he despised as much as her own brother and some part of her couldn’t blame him. Not after what she had found out so long ago, “What does my brother have to do with this? I don’t want to get in trouble, okay? It’s not like I’m embarrassed,” she said, feeling suddenly uncomfortable with him leaning over her.
Sensing it, Benjamin leaned further and harder over her, making it impossible for her to leave and she frowned up at him. He knew that she couldn’t move from underneath him and her weakness only served to make him smile, the warmth in his eyes leaving, “Don’t want your family to know? Afraid of what they might say to you?”
“You’re the one who told me to lie! I don’t care that they know but this isn’t the way to tell them about us,” Roxanne found herself saying tightly. She knew that no one in her family would be pleased, especially her cousins but their disapproval had never stopped her from speaking and being near him before and she wasn’t sure why it suddenly seemed to matter to him. “I want to…I want you anyway.”
Benjamin’s black brows quirked up a little, as if he were confused by something and she felt a bit of lead enter her heart. Apparently, those weren’t the words that he had been expecting and he was silent for a long time and she felt her lower lip trembling a little, knowing that she had made a sort of mistake, “You want me anyway? You don’t care about my family, huh?”
Roxanne swallowed hard, tasting a sour flavor that disgusted her. “I don’t care about what your family might think about us, I really don’t.”
“No, it’s not that. You think you can handle being seen with someone like me? You think we can walk down the street together without someone making a remark? Without someone pointing out how much of a disaster my family is?” Benjamin demanded and when Roxanne didn’t readily reply, he barked a cruel laugh. “I should have figured that a spoiled little girl like you couldn’t handle the real world.”
Roxanne felt a sob coming on, unable to help herself. “That’s not…that’s not important! Get off of me!” when he didn’t move and merely stared down at her in a way that made her feel like the lowest worm, she said the words that she knew would destroy them. “Why are you asking me those sorts of questions? Is it because we’re…we’re together now? Is that what this is all about? Why are you so mad?”
It was as if she had dumped a bucket of ice water onto them both and she watched, horrified and stunned as Benjamin rolled off of her. The mattress seemed to sag with the turn of emotions and Roxanne watched as he slipped out of the bed, ignoring her completely as he picked up his trousers and slipped them back on, not bothering to button. “Weasley that is not happening,” he said tightly. “Not ever,”
Roxanne felt something, she wasn’t quite sure what, shattered and she balled her hands into fists. A slight tremor was starting that she couldn’t fight back; “A-and why not?” she demanded as she watched him run his fingers through his hair, pushing aside long dark strands. He appeared as distant and untouchable as a stranger and some part of her whispered that he had been and she just hadn’t wanted to see it, “what’s so wrong about it?”
“Let me make something clear. I don’t ever want to be attached to anyone and especially not to you and your fucking family. This was a mistake, I shouldn’t have even gone to see you tonight,” Benjamin said this all so clearly, so coldly that Roxanne felt goose bumps rising on her skin. How could this be happening? Why was this happening? What had she said that was so wrong? “I need you to leave,”
As if she could have ever left him, not after being his friend despite what others had said to her, not after falling apart when he’d moved away. Without any word, without any sign that he had cared about her at all and especially not after…not after… “Ben, why are you doing this?” Roxanne asked around the tightness in her throat.
“Weasley, I mean it. Just leave, all right? I should have figured that you would have thought something more was happening when it wasn’t.” Benjamin said and Roxanne felt a flood of misery, pain and hatred boil inside of her and the hot burn of tears threatened in the corners of her eyes. A stiff and very ugly silence seemed to thicken between them, “I can’t be with anyone. And especially not a Weasley,”
Roxanne said something but she wasn’t quite sure what it was but Benjamin’s eyes widened a little as she shakily slipped out of his bed. Her heart ached, and ached and she couldn’t see straight… “W-why did you…after we…” her clothes were scattered all over the floor and she sank onto her knees, desperate to get away, to leave and to wonder what she had done.
Why she had done it.
Benjamin let out a slew of curses and for a moment she heard his footsteps and shrank, wondering if he would come around and force her to her feet. “Like I kept saying since I went to go get you. I was in a bad mood and you just so happened to be what I needed to get my mind off of things.”
Roxanne heard the words as if from a great and terrible distance. Her mind was whirling, her heart was being crushed because some stupid part of her had hoped, hoped and dreamed that maybe they could be together and she felt like the biggest, dumbest fool. “….hate you,” she whispered.
“What?” Benjamin questioned, sounding bored with the turn of events. How many other girls had he done this to? How many other girls had slinked away from his bedroom with their own hopes crushed? And why had he done this to her?
The daisies he’d conjured for her all these years had meant nothing. The sweet, strange boy that had been by her side had vanished entirely… “Weasley, don’t make a scene. It’s embarrassing and it’s not going to get you anywhere with me.”
Roxanne felt herself shaking all the more as she stuffed herself into her clothes, feeling aches and pains that she wished hadn’t existed. It hurt to move but something was propelling her forward and across the expanse of the room— “So I was just a good…a good fuck then?” she didn’t know where the words were coming from but they were out before she could take them back.
Benjamin was silent for a long time, watching as she fought back oncoming sobs. Somehow she fought herself into her boots crossed towards the door, desperate to get away from this feeling and the horrible sense of betrayal and hurt, “Wait a minute Weasley.”
Hope flared in her chest and Roxanne, who had turned determinedly towards the door, slowly turned, a smile threatening to form. He was going to explain himself, he was going to talk to her…they were going to figure out what was wrong and this had never happened, “W-what?” she asked, hating how shaky her voice was.
Benjamin stared at her, a distant emotion lingering in his eyes. She wasn’t able to tear her face away from his and she traced every angle and line of him, this person that was the same and not the same, “You forgot something.” His tone was ice cold and her hopes scattered across the room like spun glass. Numbly, she watched as he reached down and picked up her discarded pink jacket, the tan of his fingers a noticeable contrast, “your jacket. Don’t you want it?”
Roxanne’s eyes widened and she felt a well of emotion threatening to explode out of her. She was so hurt, she was so everything in this one moment that she wasn’t sure how she managed to walk her way towards him, extend her hand…. “I hate you.”
“Now, don’t be immature, Weasley.” Benjamin said with a heavy sigh.
Roxanne said it louder. “I hate you! I fucking hate you!” Benjamin quirked a brow, though his skin paled drastically, “haven’t I meant anything to you at all? After all this time?! Why would you come to get me, why would you do this?! What have I done to you?!”
Benjamin was silent for a long few minutes and she thought that he wouldn’t answer, she thought that she would have the final word, the final victory but his lips turned up in a smile. It made her want to run, that smile but she stared into his eyes, trying to find the person that she had known, “Weasley, for the last time, stop thinking that you’re something special. You’re just a good fuck, a surprisingly good fuck but nothing else. Are you going to take your jacket or leave it for me as a souvenir?” he asked lightly, adding insult to injury by waving the fabric under her nose.
Roxanne reacted before she could bring herself to think more clearly, even though her mind was a jumble of mess and feelings that were tearing her apart. Snatching her jacket in one hand, she raised the other, threw her arm back and punched him as hard as she could in the face, blessedly connecting with his eye, “I hate you! I hate you! Don’t you ever speak to me again!”
“Bitch!” Benjamin hissed, stepping back and holding his eye with one hand. Her mother would be extremely proud of her, Roxanne knew but her temper was still flaring and she wanted to hex him, she wanted to curse him as hard as she could. She wanted to hold him, kiss him…be with him and the tumult of her emotions nearly made her sick—why had this happened?
What had she done? “I’m not a bitch, you’re a prat!” Roxanne screeched, trying to punch him again and only succeeding in landing a blow to his jaw. Benjamin fended her off easily, trying to subdue her but she was wildly incapable of being talked down, of hearing a rational thought, “Let me go!”
Benjamin was furious and she knew that she had crossed a line, a very thin, dangerous line and his grip on her arms, which he’d grabbed, tightened. Roxanne struggled, “Was that necessary?! Stop being a brat just because you haven’t gotten your way! Life doesn’t work like that Weasley! You can’t always get what you want!”
“I want you—I want you to let me go!” Roxanne clarified as his eyes widened, some emotion flaring in the depths before she managed to struggle free. He stepped back, eyeing her warily even as a bruise started to form around his eye, a nasty bruise that would probably turn colors in the next few days, “you’re a coward, you know that?”
Benjamin flinched visibly. “And you’re a brat. I don’t even know how you’ve managed to go this long without some horrible bloke fucking and leaving you,” the words stung and Roxanne kicked at him, barely landing a blow on his knee. There was a nasty crunch as leather met skin and she dodged away as he reached for her, looking mad with rage, “You’re not getting away with hitting me again!” he spat angrily. Roxanne glared at him, the hatred inside of her so palpable that she could have lit a fire, “get the hell out of here!”
Roxanne felt one large, traitorous tear leak from her eye and slide down her cheek and Benjamin’s face seemed to shadow with regret. Before he could say or do anything more, she was turning away, feeling the sobs working their way out of her throat with enough force to leave her dizzy and shaken.
Hating herself and hating him intensely for changing and using her so easily, she dashed for the door, opened it and ran into the shadowy corridor with her heart in pieces around her feet.
Erm, please be gentle. I know I'm terrible...but meanwhile, I'll be going back to Audrey and her Weasley! Uhm, look forward to that! D':
A/N: Hello everyone! Thanks for coming back and I hope to see you again! So much angst is addictive right? Hahaha.
It all felt like a bad dream.
Roxanne's mind, while in a turmoil continued to whisper those words to her, as if repeating them would make what had happened to her at Malfoy Manor disappear. The night had started out so wonderfully as she'd danced and laughed with her relatives, never thinking that she would ever come into contact with someone that had vanished the year before.
And yet, everything had changed the instant Benjamin Malfoy had appeared in the darkness of her grandfather's shed, awakening feelings in her that she'd tried to fight away.
The excitement of seeing him, coupled with the thrilling thought of doing something she wasn't supposed to had spurred her on to making a decision that had led to ruin. Benjamin wasn't the person that she had known before he had left, before he had destroyed their strange little friendship and turned his back on her without even a backwards glance.
But he had kissed her...he had kissed her as if she had been the only thing that mattered in his world.
Roxanne had fought the pull between them but while her mind had wanted one thing, her heart and body had yearned for something more. Everything that had happened had been a mistake. A horrible, terrible mistake that she could never make any better and it would fester and boil inside of her until she blessedly forgot it.
But no matter how hard she tried to keep her mind blank, images of Benjamin invaded her brain, somehow as tormenting as if he were standing near her or pressing his mouth on hers. Although it had only been a few hours ago, only a few seconds seemed to have passed for her tears to dry and for the overwhelming bitterness in her heart to ease.
After fleeing from Benjamin and hearing his insults ringing in her ears, Roxanne had blindly run through the Manor, her footsteps taking her further and further away from the person that had hurt her the most. Even though she hadn't been to Malfoy Manor in an entire year, Roxanne's mind had led her to the right destination without her really noticing.
Most wizard families kept a fireplace with a handy bowl of Floo powder and when Roxanne had stumbled into a living room, the furniture covered and reminding her of dead bodies...she had breathed a sob of relief. Mr. Malfoy had either still been in his office, drinking his troubles away or upstairs in one of the many bedrooms to have missed her slinking through his home.
Roxanne had jumped at every little sound, had hesitated every so often thinking that either the man would appear and demand to know what she thought she was doing or worse, that Benjamin would catch her. Some part of her didn't know why she'd thought he would but there had been nothing but silence in the Manor...a deafening sort of silence that could have driven any sane person mad.
Roxanne hadn't known how she'd survived it but she'd managed to dig her trembling fingers into the bowl of Floo powder on the mantle, stepped inside the grate like a thief and fled. The twisting and pulling on her way back to the Burrow had been swift and she'd found herself falling onto her grandparents kitchen floor in a heap of painful limbs and sobs.
A beautiful sun had risen over the grounds of her grandparent's home, slanting through the windows and despite it, Roxanne had sobbed for a full five minutes before she'd picked herself up and dragged her body upstairs.
Neither her parents or grandparents had been awake but she'd heard Perce banging around up in Uncle Ron's room with that old ghoul that still lived up there.
If she hadn't known any better, they had been trying to make the banging and slamming into musical notes but her mind had been too numb and dark to find amusement in it. Distantly, she'd trudged back to Aunt Ginny'd old bedroom, opened and closed the door and crossed the expanse of the room until she'd flopped onto the bed.
All of the horrible sobs and screams that she had tried to keep bottled for fear of waking or disturbing others had exploded out of her, buried rudely in her pillow like a bad secret. Roxanne wasn't certain for how long she'd stayed like that, crying and screaming her life away but eventually, she had slept, though not for long. The sounds of her family coming out of their slumber and preparing for the day like normal had slowly forced her to open her eyes.
They would go and see Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey and all would be well, if Roxanne managed not to burst into tears during a conversation. She could only imagine how ridiculous it would be for her to be the only one crying while everyone else was having lively conversation or digging into a good lunch.
But there were worse things, Roxanne's tormented mind tried to tell her. She could either burst into tears or somehow confess to what had happened.
There was no way that she could do something like that, the humiliation would kill her. Roxanne Weasley, just another number notched onto Benjamin Malfoy's broomstick and the thought was already making her already pale skin wash out of what remaining color it had.
If her family found out, they would never forgive her and Roxanne flinched at the thought of what her father would say, how her mother would feel and what Perce would do. If there was one person that Benjamin hated, it was him...
"Wait!" Roxanne cried desperately as she chased after the speck that was Benjamin Malfoy as he stomped away. Her parents and brother were calling after her at the shop but she found herself ignoring them and shoving various witches and wizards out of her way to get to Benjamin. "Don't leave!" she begged.
The older boy didn't turn around even though he stiffened just a little at the sound of her voice. If anything, he walked away faster and Roxanne had to pump her legs a bit harder to get to him, pants now issuing from her mouth as he started to slip away from her more and more. "Leave me alone!" Benjamin snarled over his shoulder at her.
Roxanne gasped at what she saw and even as he turned swiftly away, hiding his face from her eyes, it wouldn't be something to forget. Her brother had said something mean to him earlier in front of the shop and his feelings had been hurt and she furrowed her brow, stomping determinedly after him, "Wait, stupid!" she snapped.
Benjamin flinched in shock, stopping right ahead of her near Eeylops Owl Emporium. Roxanne wanted an owl for when she went to Hogwarts too because her brother had gotten one but she pushed the thought away, "Who're you calling stupid?!" the boy snarled at her, turning around.
Roxanne was once again confronted with the sight of his face flooded with tears and a miserable expression that made her own heart hurt. She had never really seen boys cry but it made her sad to see it on his face, somehow worse than anything a normal little boy would have done, "I'm sorry about what my brother said, and I don't think you're stupid." She mumbled.
"I don't care about what you or your dumb family thinks!" Benjamin snapped at her, startling a few people on the sidewalk. They sent him chiding looks while overlooking Roxanne, who saw them all one time or another on the street and he sent her a dark look, "just leave me alone, okay?"
"But...I thought we were friends." Roxanne found herself saying, frowning and feeling more tears coming. Benjamin recoiled as she took a step towards him, extending her hand a little, knowing that she still stunk from toilet water and that he probably didn't want to touch her at all. "You're crying and you're sad."
Benjamin stayed stonily silent.
Roxanne bit on her lower lip, trying to remember what he said about making people feel better. He had given her daisies earlier when he had seen her crying on that bench so maybe... "I don't have any flowers though,"
Would he still want to be her friend if she didn't give him flowers?
"I don't want any stinking flowers." Benjamin wiped furiously at his eyes with the back of his hand, looking as if he wanted to cry even harder. His voice sounded so mean and she couldn't imagine that this was the same person that she had wasted an entire day with blowing up toilets and sharing lunch.
"Are you mad cause I don't got any? I'll get you some." Roxanne said firmly and Benjamin eyed her annoyingly, a blush coming into his face. His entire body was stiff, his fists clenched tightly at his sides and she felt very bad for him, "my brother didn't mean all that stuff he said,"
Benjamin glared at her and her outstretched hand until she lowered it weakly to her side, shoulders sagging. "Yes he did! He's nothing but a cocky bully that gets whatever he wants just cause he's a Weasley," he said their last name as if they were the deepest scum.
"There's nothing wrong with being a Weasley!" Roxanne defended hotly, now feeling angry herself. There were people like Rachel Travers that didn't think she was a Weasley but she would never let someone talk bad about her family, not ever, "we're not bad!"
Benjamin frowned severely. "All of you are the same to me! Red hair, freckles or brown skin and curly hair. You all are the same and I hate going to school because of your stupid brother!" he cried furiously. "Him and that dumb Teddy Lupin and your cousins are always picking on me!" he said, fresh tears threatening to come into his eyes.
Roxanne gasped in outrage. No one said that about her brother, "My brother isn't a bully!" even though Perce had acted like one back at their father's shop, she didn't want to believe that.
"He is a bully! Him and Teddy Lupin shoot hexes and jinxes at me all the time but when I fight back, I get in trouble!" Benjamin shouted angrily and the anger sounded as if it had been brewing for a long time.
Roxanne didn't want to think about all the owls that Perce got when he was at Hogwarts or the arguments her parents had had about him. She loved her brother and he didn't hurt people, he wasn't a bully... "Y-you're wrong! You're lying!"
Benjamin's eyes widened a little as if she had really hurt him. "Cause I'm a Malfoy I'm a liar now?" he demanded heatedly. Roxanne shook her head defiantly, that not having any thing to do with it, "You're just like everyone else,"
"I am not! I don't care that you're a Malfoy!" Roxanne cried angrily, now flushed and feeling more upset. Benjamin glared at her, his blue-brown eyes rimmed with red and a bit swollen from crying, "I'll be in Slytherin with you! I'll prove it and be the best lying, stinking Slytherin ever!"
Benjamin looked surprised for a moment, his cheeks turning a bit pink but he stayed silent a long time. Roxanne hoped that she was in Slytherin, she hoped that she could be his friend forever but he destroyed any hope by snapping cruelly, "I don't want some snotty brat following me around. I don't want nothing to do with any Weasley so go home," and with that, he stomped off, leaving her standing there alone.
Roxanne tried to stop her tears but they came anyway until she could barely see straight. She saw him wandering further and further away in a blurry haze until he vanished entirely in the busy sidewalks, "You coming home yet or do I have to carry you?" Perce's voice demanded some minutes later.
Startled, she turned and saw a blurry shape directly behind her that suspiciously resembled her brother. Roxanne sniffled, "Leave me alone," she whined.
"Cut it out Roxie and stop being a brat." Perce said annoyingly, hands on hips in the way their mother did when she had had enough. Despite looking like their father, Roxanne had always heard their relatives say he acted more like their mother when it all came down to it and she'd always been jealous.
Roxanne wiped at her eyes so she could see him better and once she lowered her arms, she gave him a moody look. Perce appeared so much taller and mature than she did even though he was only twelve and she said, "I'm not a brat,"
Perce rolled his brown eyes. "Of course you are. Dad gives you whatever you want and still you whine and cry until you get more stuff," he said irritably even though he was just as spoiled. Roxanne glowered, "Mum made me come and get you, it took forever too so you owe me."
"I don't owe you anything!"
"Yeah, you do for hanging round that Malfoy boy when I'm just looking out for you," Perce said defensively and Roxanne thought of what Benjamin had said about him. Bullies didn't look out for their sisters, "Malfoy's no good to be hanging around with, he does bad things at school."
Roxanne nodded, weakly. "He doesn't want to be my friend anyway." Her brother looked very relieved by this but he said nothing, "and, uhm, I'm sorry Fred, I didn't mean it when I said I hated you." She mumbled awkwardly.
Perce appeared very happy about this and she saw that he had been very worried about this. He teased and picked on her so much already but Roxanne had never told him that she hated him, not even once until today, "Its okay, Roxie," he said with an embarrassed shrug. "Gonna hug me?" he asked curiously.
Roxanne hugged him before she could stop herself. This was her brother and her brother wasn't a bully...he didn't do mean things to people, "I love you Fred,"
"Stop calling me Fred. You never call me Fred," Perce said annoyingly while hugging her back. It was true, Roxanne never called him by his real name unless she was upset or overemotional, "I sort of don't even know who I am if you don't call me Perce all the time. Weird, isn't it?"
Roxanne nodded roughly. "You're Perce and you're my brother and I'll love you forever and ever and ever." That made him laugh and he patted her on the head.
"Forever and ever and ever?" Perce asked curiously. "That's a long time." Roxanne nodded, her face buried in his scrawny chest, "and by the way, Roxie, Mum says you're in trouble. Dad says he'll give you a cookie too."
Roxanne frowned, not wanting to know what punishment her mother had thought to give her. A spanking was the most horrible thing she could imagine, "Okay," she mumbled miserably, "I guess I can come home if Daddy gives me a cookie."
"Good, cause I'm hungry." Perce made her release him only long enough for them to be turned around towards the shop. The walk back was much nicer with his arm around her shoulders and she leaned into him, "and by the way, Roxie,"
Roxanne glanced up at him. "What?"
Her brother wrinkled his nose. "You smell bad. Like a toilet."
Roxanne frowned. "Nuh-uh,"
Perce grinned, showing off his deep right dimple. "Yuh-huh,"
"Nuh-uh," Roxanne said with a grin herself, feeling her own dimple appearing in her left cheek. The playful banter lasted until they had reached home again but that night, even as she was happy, she couldn't help but wonder about Benjamin Malfoy and wonder if he really did hate her....
“Oi, Roxie! Wake up already and get dressed!" Perce was pounding on her door now and Roxanne rolled over on Aunt Ginny's bed, surprised that she had dozed off again after so much noise had woken her up in the first place. "Might want to shower too before Mum and Dad go in there!"
The gross image that flashed through her mind was enough to get Roxanne up from her aunt's old bed. Muscles protested and she felt a guilty blush covering her cheeks before she slipped off the edge and blearily made her way to the door, where Perce was still knocking obnoxiously, "Would you quit that?" Roxanne snarled angrily upon opening it.
Perce was already dressed in jeans and a red Weasleys Wizard Wheezes T-shirt in faded yellow letters. A pair of sunglasses were pushed up in his wavy brown hair and he looked lazy and well-rested, "Whoa, Roxie, what are you wearing?"
Roxanne glanced down and cursed herself for still being dressed in her tank top, tights and mini skirt. She'd been too exhausted to change into pajamas, “Erm,” she started, tongue feeling dry.
“Snuck out to see one of your friends at a party, huh?” Perce asked with an approving gleam in his eye. Roxanne flinched mentally at the words but she must have looked a tad guilty because her brother leaned in and whispered, "listen, I snuck out last night too to see Leanne. Her parents weren't home cause Georgia had to go to St. Mungo's,"
Roxanne briefly forgot about her own problems. "What's wrong with her?" Georgia was usually the more careful of the twin sisters and she rarely ever hurt herself badly or got sick.
Perce grinned impishly. "Leanne gave her an extra batch of liquid Vomit Enhancer for her tea. Dad hasn't perfected the antidote for it yet," Roxanne felt herself almost smiling. Their father had just started experimenting with the new product and her brother must have stolen a few packs and given them to his girlfriend to try, "so, they had to go to St. Mungo's to fix her and meanwhile, I got to hang with Leanne all morning."
Roxanne frowned in disgust even though she had no right. "I don't need to know what you two were doing all morning." Her brother laughed but when he saw the bleakness in her face, he frowned in concern. "What?"
"You all right, Roxie? You look...sick." Perce said while running his eyes over her critically for some sign of marks. Roxanne prayed that Benjamin's hickeys weren't showing themselves on her dark skin and when her brother didn't comment on it or ask, she blew out a quiet sigh of relief, "partied too hard, huh?"
Roxanne rubbed at her eyes, glad that he wasn't chastising her for sneaking out and probably sneaking back in. He had probably done the same thing long before she had gotten a chance and was briefly thankful for that because she wasn't certain what she would have done if he'd seen her earlier. "I guess, so." She yawned for good measure and her brother gave her a pinch on the cheek before he released her, "what was that for?" she asked him irritably, rubbing at the spot.
Perce shrugged, "You looked sort of pale." He gave her another concerned look that he quickly hid over a smile before smiling. "I'll see you downstairs. Gran made cinnamon rolls, sausage, pancakes and squeezed some fresh orange juice for breakfast,"
Roxanne heard her stomach growling and she placed her hand to it with a glance up at him. Perce was running his eyes over her, something lurking in his eyes that was rather suspicious but he gave her a swift grin before she could comment, "I'll get ready then. Try to save something for me."
"Can't promise you that." Perce said truthfully before he gave her a gentle push than usual before he started walking away. He had a swagger to his step, she noticed and a happy smile nearly covered her face when she thought of how he and Leanne had probably spent such a nice time together. It had probably been much nicer than her own, she thought bitterly, "hurry up, okay, Roxie? I told Leanne I'd get her some seashells for her boobs."
Roxanne heard the comment but snickered at the ridiculous image that would be when Leanne's boobs were a bit larger than her own. Seashells wouldn't fit but that was probably what her brother was hoping for, "Don't rush me!" she snapped at his retreating figure before slamming the door for good effect, something she would have done if she hadn't been sick.
But her brother knew that she wasn't feeling well and Roxanne wished that she could say something but it wouldn't be wise. So, with a miserable sigh, she spent a few minutes gathering some clothes for the day, towels and shampoo and after swallowing more tears she trudged out of her aunt's old room towards the bathroom.
She could smell food in the kitchen and her parents were making her grandfather laugh about something and their voices, so familiar and untroubled nearly had her caving with guilt.
They would be so disgusted by her and what she had done. At the thought, Roxanne fought back the burning pressure of her tears and rushed into the bathroom, where she quickly opened and locked the door. After turning on the water in the tub and waiting for it to reach just the right temperature before she turned on the shower, she tried to force herself to relax.
It was over and she wouldn't have to see Benjamin again until Hogwarts and even then, he would be in Slytherin while she in Hufflepuff. And hopefully, hopefully, he would leave her alone. After getting what he'd wanted, he wouldn't want anything else to do with her and he'd made that bitterly clear.
Weakly she smiled as she recalled the punch that she had given him and his threatening command for her to get out of his room and out of his life. Roxanne just still couldn't understand why he had come to get her, why he would pretend to have missed her? Had he at all? What had been real and what had been a lie?
The truth was threatening to blur in front of her eyes and some part of her didn't want to know or think about it. It was already painful enough having her heart broken into so many pieces.
She felt torn apart, as if she would never be put back together. But Benjamin would find that only too amusing, her fawning and groveling around for him and Roxanne tried to force herself to be strong, like her mother.
What would she do in this sort of situation? Would she have even gone with Benjamin in the first place? No, her mother had a bit more sense than she did and wasn't nearly as reckless and she was just so strong, she could handle anything.
Roxanne would have to do the same somehow. But it felt as if her heart would never knit itself back together again but she would try, she would try to, little by little.
Against her will, she found herself looking down at her hands, her legs, hating every ache and feel of Benjamin on her body. Hurriedly and hearing her heart breaking all the while, she undressed, wincing every now and then as little bruises and kiss marks flared to life on her brown skin.
For a reason she couldn't understand, Roxanne paused to glance apprehensively at the mirror, where a bit of steam was sliding around the edges as her water heated. After wiping most of it off, she found herself staring at a girl that she recognized but looked washed and watered down.
There was a wild expression on her face, her hair a tangled mess of curls that started to frizz around the edges. Roxanne hated what she saw and despised that her brown eyes were terribly red rimmed, that her lips were full and puffy from too many nips and swollen from too-rough kisses.
Perce had seen her this way and she could only imagine what he had been thinking and she wondered worriedly why he hadn't pressed her for more answers on her appearance.
Maybe he didn't want to know. Maybe he would rather forget he saw it, just how Roxanne thought that it might be best to try and push it as far into the back of her mind as possible. The thought formed, like a hopeful wish but faltered quickly as she glanced down at her naked body, noticing that Benjamin had left his mark on every inch of her he could.
"You're sweeter than sugar, Weasley...." Benjamin had whispered softly against her flushed ear, knowing at that time that it was too late for her to think clearly. Roxanne closed her eyes tightly, trying to block out how his hands had felt, where they'd been and how wonderful his body had felt over hers, with her limbs tangled around his.
The memory made her stomach churn painfully and for one moment she thought that she might actually throw up. After the feeling passed, born from panic and depression, Roxanne practically hurled herself into the tub, forced on the shower with sweaty hands and allowed the water to fall.
Shakily, she yanked the curtains closed and after sighing in relief as the water teased away embarrassing aches and pains. Without hesitation she went to viciously using the thick bar of soap along her skin. It was blissfully wonderful, like heaven. Sighs of pleasure and relief were hard to stop and she forced herself to enjoy the fact that she was at the Burrow, with her family that loved her.
Hot water scalded and branded and even that happy thought wasn't enough to stop the painful details of this morning from reforming. Benjamin's eyes...she couldn't seem to burn them out of her memory, they seemed to stake her right through the heart over and over again.
Although his words had destroyed her, it was that look in his eyes that had really forced her to concede that the boy that she had known had been swallowed up entirely and this new creature didn't care for her at all.
If he had at all. Trying to stay strong and thinking of what her mother would do in this situation wasn't enough for her to ignore the disgraceful feel of tears sliding down her cheeks. Benjamin was everywhere and she couldn't shake him from her memory, couldn't erase the evidence that he had touched, kissed and tasted nearly every inch of her and never would again. Roxanne rubbed harder on her skin, desperate for freedom.
And yet, the harder she scrubbed her skin and used the shampoo on her tangled curly hair, Roxanne could still smell him. She could still feel his hands roaming over the trembling slopes of her body and taste his mouth on hers...reliving disastrous kisses that tasted like sin.
It was wrong that he had this sort of power over her! The bastard. Roxanne closed her eyes, willing the memories to fade away, even as some part of her wondered if she would always feel this way, if she would always feel possessed by Benjamin Malfoy.
Uncle Percy and Aunt Audrey's cottage was a nice, simple stone structure on the beach and constantly appeared peaceful and a part of some fairytale picture book. It was set a good distance from the ocean but the once blue stones that made up the cottages two-story structure had been washed down to a pretty, hazy grey that emphasized a very red front door.
Roxanne didn't know much about how her aunt and uncle had met but she'd found out from Molly that the two of them had been on rocky ground for a while before they'd finally gotten married. Their cottage resembled that to her at some moments when she saw a chipped bit of stone smoothed over comfortably and sweetly with time.
A stone pathway led to the front of the house and as Roxanne and her family shook off the after effects of Disapparation, they followed them eagerly. The sun was shining down pleasantly and the crash of large waves brought to mind of a ship rocking crazily to some unknown destination and Roxanne longed to go there.
She still felt miserable, tainted but she tried her hardest to appear as normal, though both of her parents had asked more than once if she were feeling all right. There was nothing worse than worrying them but Roxanne hadn't been able to tell them the truth about what she had been doing and with home for most of the morning.
So, she had lied.
It had felt badly and tasted like bile but she had lied to her parents and hoped that Perce's curiously perceptive stare wouldn't blow her cover and leave her blubbering for excuses. But he hadn't pressed the issue over breakfast at the Burrow and while their grandparents had decided to go and visit Aunt Hermione and Uncle Ron for the day, Roxanne missed the cover of their company.
But she shook the thought off and concentrated on the task at hand. It was hard trying to hold onto the heavy bags in her arms when she felt so drained, “You carrying that all right, beautiful girl?” her father asked, noticing her struggle.
“I'm all right,” Roxanne said with a weak smile at him. There was the briefest of pauses as he stared at her, worry etching itself around his eyes but he only gave her a faint smile in return. It hurt, lying to him especially when she loved him so much, “just the heat I guess.”
That had her father nodding in agreement, his skin already turning faintly pink and he sent his wife a flirtatious look. Perce looked suddenly ill, “Angie, you'll have to rub me down with sunblock to protect me from the sun. My skin is really delicate in certain areas,”
“You're planning on doing something completely different with that sunblock and we both know it, Georgie.” Roxanne heard her mother say with a sly wink in his direction (He blushed). To her utter embarrassment, her father sent her a look that made she and her brother gag loudly, “but we'll discuss that later,” their mother promised.
Roxanne shuddered while they continued walking to the front door, her parents still flirting outrageously. "Is Dom-Dom still coming round?" Perce asked, interrupting them at the point when she thought they would start groping one another and snogging all over the sand.
Before they'd left the Burrow, they'd gotten an owl from Aunt Fleur saying that Victoire's ballet audition would be going a little late. Apparently she had done so well that the instructors had made her perform with some of their prized artists and Roxanne had sensed that Dom-Dom had been rather displeased.
"Well, Fleur said that she'll drop her by after Victoire's audition is over.” The fact that Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur lived only a few miles away didn't seem to mean much when Roxanne knew that Dom-Dom would prefer to be alone. She hated being coddled by her mother and any escape from her sister was one she dreamed of, “they're probably going to take Victoire out for a while to celebrate.”
Perce groused. “So how long is that going to take?”
Their father was trying to coax a smile out of Roxanne by tickling underneath her arm and she swatted him away. Looking slightly upset by it, he frowned, “I'm not sure, Fleur didn't exactly specify," their mother explained while taking her husband's hand in her own and giving it a little squeeze.
Roxanne found herself sighing wistfully. She wished that she could be more like her and some part of her wished that she could have the sort of relationship her parents had with someone. Someone that was not at all a Malfoy or treated her like scum, "So Toire isn't coming either?" Perce asked in annoyance.
"Not sure, Fred, maybe you should send an owl." Their mother replied calmly, though there was a suspicious gleam in her brown eyes. Perce looked away innocently as she asked, "you didn't tell a certain blue-haired boy that she was going to be here and tricked him into coming round too, did you?"
Perce laughed nervously and their father gave him a pat on the back, looking awfully pleased with him. They looked so eerily alike in that moment that Roxanne could have thought they were twins, "Of course not, Mum. Merlin," he said while smoothing his hands down his shirt, "what sort of person do you take me for?"
There was a slight pause before their mother said dryly. "My son. That's more than enough reason to be suspicious," she said and Roxanne laughed weakly. Her mother sent her a concerned glance, squeezed her husbands hand one more time before letting it go and said to her son. "You know all they'll do is give the rest of us a headache."
Perce gasped girlishly, grasping his chest. "Mum, to think that you would assume I would do something like that on purpose is just hurtful and evil." Their father burst out laughing as he said in all seriousness. "But yeah, I did send him an owl but not because of Toire,”
“Then why?” their father asked suspiciously, though his eyes were dancing with obvious amusement. Roxanne felt more guilt building for making him worry about her and tried to force her depression down, “You know Vicky and Teddy hate each other.”
Perce looked simply impish as he replied smugly. “I know.”
Their mother rolled her eyes, even though she was smiling. “And this is our child, George. See what you've done?” she accused and Roxanne watched father and son burst out laughing, “that was mean of you, Fred, inviting Teddy here. All he'll do is get on Victoire's nerve.”
“This isn't about Toire Mum! How could you even think that? I love Teddy, he and I go way back, almost to the womb.” Perce was saying dramatically and Roxanne rolled her eyes even though it was mostly true. They were best friends, practically doing everything together, “I invited him here so the two of us could bond as one."
"That sounds perverted as hell." A new voice rang out and they turned to see Aunt Audrey peering out at them from the cottages open door. She had let her long black hair down from what Roxanne could see and there was a bit of paint on her nose, "I could hear you laughing all the way in my studio Greg." She said to her father.
Roxanne watched her father gawp at her. "I'm not that loud!" he denied but their mother shot him a weird look and he snorted, blushing just a little. "Okay, so I get loud at the most important moments. You know, when I'm naked and--"
"Dad, no," Perce interrupted in revulsion while walking up just as Aunt Audrey opened the door wider. She enveloped him in a tight hug and proceeded to happily kiss his face before letting him pass, "its too bloody early to throw up," he grumbled from inside.
Their parents snorted with laughter. “You're looking as sexy as ever Angie,” Aunt Audrey said to her mother, by way of greeting. “If we ever get divorced from our redheaded husbands, you're mine,” she declared saucily.
“She's promised to Katie Wood if we ever get divorced and then Alicia Jordan if they don't work out. So you'll have to get in line,” Roxanne heard her father say smugly, sounding quite pleased.
Roxanne watched her mother from the corner of her eye enviously, wondering why she couldn't at least be as pretty. Noticing her stare and ignoring Aunt Audrey and her father going over the particulars of a contract (That apparently included full benefits), she heard her mother say, “Smile for me today, Roxie.” She commanded gently, reaching over to pinch her chin, “and it wouldn't be a bad thing to tell me what's bothering you."
Parents had secret powers. Roxanne was more than sure of this as her mother released her, smacked her husband out of the way before he could get inside and hugged Aunt Audrey closely before stepping into the house. "Angie, you'll pay for that! Come on, beautiful girl," he said to her with a gentle nudge, "you'll have to hug her anyway you look at it and I know its horrible—"
Aunt Audrey's eyes widened. "Well, that's not nice!"
"—but everyone has to face their fears sooner or later." Roxanne's father finished wisely before launching himself at Aunt Audrey and nearly making her fall. It didn't really look like hugging to her, more like wrestling but her aunt eventually shoved her father away and she was hugged at last.
Aunt Audrey always smelt like paint and fabric to Roxanne but she gave some of the best hugs next to Aunt Ginny. "Molly's waiting for you in her room," the woman said to her happily after letting her go, "I caught her dancing to that horrible music in her panties earlier and she was too embarrassed to come out."
That had Perce, who had made himself lazily comfortable in the living room on their couch roar with laughter. "She'll be red for days!" he crowed happily as he flipped through channels with a remote at rapid speed.
Inside the cottage it was a strange mixture of Muggle and wizard and from what Roxanne had been able to guess, Uncle Percy had given his wife electricity for a wedding gift.
There was also an art studio where Aunt Audrey made puppets (She sold them to witches and wizard shops for a good price) and supposedly sketched nude pictures of Uncle Percy.
Roxanne glanced up towards the second floor where the bedrooms were, dying to see Molly. She couldn't tell her what had happened but she loved Molly too much to keep secrets from her, she was her favorite cousin and one of her best friends.
"Where's Percy?" Roxanne's mother asked curiously while setting their bags neatly onto the floor and avoiding a pinch to her rear by her father, who was nearby.
Aunt Audrey thought about it for a moment. "He took a day off today and I told him to go buy me some more panties at this Muggle place I like in London." Perce gagged and their father paled drastically even while Roxanne hoped her aunt was joking, "and I think he was going to find a computer to toy around with, you know how he gets."
Roxanne knew her uncle loved Muggle things as much as his own father did but she didn't think that he had a shed. Yet, "Well, he should have taken me with him!" her father cried angrily while glancing at his wife seductively. "I'd love to have Angie model some new panties for me."
"Dad!" Perce cried while briefly taking his eyes off what looked like soccer on the TV screen. He was probably just waiting for Molly to come out so he could bother her, Roxanne thought dryly, "no one wants to know about mum's panties!"
That had their mother roaring with unabashed laughter. "Like they stay on long when I do wear them." And that had Aunt Audrey bursting as well while Perce visibly shuddered on the couch and turned the volume up on the TV.
Roxanne intervened hastily before her father could comment on anything more having to do with panties (He was currently asking her mother what sort she had on since he liked lace) and asked her aunt. "Where's Lucy?" she hadn't seen her bounding down the stairs towards them like a brown-haired bullet yet.
"Oh, that girl." Aunt Audrey said with playful dismissively. Roxanne watched as she walked into the living room with her, long black hair trailing down her back, "she got an owl from that other one,"
"Which other one?" Perce asked curiously.
Aunt Audrey grinned. "Ms. Dom-Dom. Apparently she and the rest got back from some audition that Victoire was at and she was dying to be rescued so Lucy went, in full gear to get her." Roxanne wondered if her daughter had dressed up as a military woman again complete with fake gun to snatch their cousin and laughed a little. "They should be here in a while."
While her parents asked if Aunt Audrey would mind if Teddy Lupin came by unannounced (Perce seemed awfully pleased) and if they had enough food for all of them, Roxanne went upstairs.
As she made it onto the second floor and started towards Molly's room, she could hear blasting music that reminded her of screeching cats before she realized it was actual lyrics. Not sure if her cousin would hear her or not when she reached the door, which looked as if it would burst from the inside out, Roxanne simply opened it and stepped inside.
Molly was, apparently, dancing in her underwear again and using a mangled brush as a microphone to sing along to her favorite song with fan girl enthusiasm.
The way you touch me, please me
Tease me like a madwoman with no guarantee
Makes me wanna, (Makes me wanna)
Beg and plead like a lunatic!
The bloke was singing to a ridiculously overdone tempo and Roxanne rolled her eyes while Molly finished the lyrics expertly. "Plead baby just like this!" she practically screamed with her back to her.
Roxanne snickered. Molly's room was done up in dark purples and blues, her bed tucked in a neat corner on the other side of the room while her desk was littered with Hogwarts textbooks and quills. A Ravenclaw banner was hanging on one small spot on the far wall while every other square inch of the place was dominated by perverse posters of her favorite band, Twisted Duo.
They were a really famous group but Roxanne had always thought their music was too much like cats being slaughtered. She had never been a real fan of them, but plenty of other Hogwarts students were, and a few girls in her dorm were constantly blasting their music at every opportunity. Molly was currently enjoying herself too much to notice that she had company and Roxanne watched her in genuine amusement.
It was rare for her cousin to speak in crowds and she blushed whenever a boy talked to her even though she was sixteen but it had always been that shyness that Roxanne had liked about her. Dom-Dom had her stutter, Lucy was as peculiar as Aunt Luna and Victoire...well, Victoire had enough issues.
And yet, Molly had always been her favorite and she watched her now fondly, all of her troubles threatening to overflow. She couldn't let anyone in her family know but keeping such a secret from her closest cousin felt wrong, "Nice moves, Molly," she said loudly as she watched her cousin shaking her butt to the music.
Molly paused at the sound of her voice and even from where she was standing, she could see every inch of her skin turning bright pink. A little scream issued out of her mouth and she turned, black hair flying, "Have you been standing there the whole time?" she asked, mortified.
"I could just die!" Molly wailed as she slunked over to her dresser, where her stereo was thumping the horrible music. After turning it off and looking over at her with mournful brown eyes, she asked miserably, "you're not going to tell anyone are you, Roxie?"
Roxanne shook her head. "Your mum already did." Molly groaned and ran her fingers through her short hair miserably, looking as if she wanted to die on the spot. She was wearing a Ravenclaw T-shirt at least and hadn't been dancing completely naked, "so, uhm, that was pretty hilarious."
Molly glared at her. "I know I looked like a major loser!" she groused but when Roxanne didn't burst out laughing like normal, her cousin stared at her in confusion before saying apologetically. "I forget that you don't like Twisted Duo,"
"I don't see how anyone likes them." Roxanne found herself saying honestly while putting her hands in her pockets. She'd chosen to wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt to hide most of Benjamin's kiss marks, "they're just too much..." she said while eyeing a particularly bold poster of the lead singer thrusting his leather constrained crotch at her.
Molly laughed a little, still flushed pink. She didn't seem to mind that she was standing in front of her in her underwear though, but that was mostly because they'd seen each other in worse conditions over the years. "I think they're energetic."
Roxanne turned away from the crotch poster to look at another poster of the two wizards drenched in blood. They were naked underneath it all and considering that she had had sex with Benjamin and knew what a man looked like without clothes up close, she still sort of blushed. "I think they're weird,"
"They've won all sorts of awards you know!" Molly defended hotly while trooping over and gazing at the posters reverently. Roxanne gave her a dull stare, "Witch Weekly said that they're two of the hottest celebrities out! And they only debuted a few years ago!"
Roxanne read Witch Weekly but she'd always turned the pages on the music section quickly to get to the latest fashions. She liked music just fine but Twisted Duo was not what she'd ever call soothing for anyone's ears, "So, which one is which?" she asked, pointing at one of the wizards in blood that had a head full of dark red hair.
Molly didn't even hesitate, looking lovestruck. "That's Kieran Rookwood."
"Rookwood? Is he related to that Rookwood kid that goes to school with us?" Roxanne asked curiously, knowing that his grandfather had been a Death Eater. The kid she had in mind, Logan Rookwood was a Ravenclaw so she rarely ever saw him, though he didn't really talk much.
Molly thought about it. "I think so but I'm not sure." At Roxanne's mock surprised expression, her cousin frowned, "I'll have you know that they keep everything very private, no one even knows their birthdays!" when she laughed a little, her cousin frowned and pointed to the other wizard, whose hair reminded her of a burnished bit of Galleon. "And that’s Jason Crowe."
Roxanne didn't think he looked all that impressive compared to the other one but she was rejecting them both in favor of Benjamin. A Benjamin that wasn't the same and had callously tossed her aside, "....Have you ever asked your parents why they love each other, Molly?" she asked, not knowing why she was.
Molly looked startled by the question and the fact that she was still in her underwear. She made an awkward little dance before Roxanne gave her a dry expression, "I don't want Fred coming in here and seeing me in my panties, all right?" she groused and that had her laughing. "And anyway, I've asked my dad why he loves my mom and he says that she's just...like joy incarnate."
Roxanne wouldn't have expected her uncle to say something like that. It was actually rather beautiful, "He really said that about her?" she asked, knowing that Benjamin would never say something like that to her, not when he had abandoned her for the second and last time.
Molly nodded, smiling embarrassingly. "They don't act like it all the time but my dad would do anything for my mum. Mum doesn't care that he's a wizard, she doesn't care that he's Undersecretary to the Minister and she lets him know it all the time," a memory surged in her mind and Roxanne saw her flush even deeper. "But I dunno, its just the way they look at each other."
Roxanne nodded, knowing with a horrible ache that Benjamin had never looked at her that way. Everything had been a trick, and a lie, "...I was just curious."
"How come? Your mum and dad are always snogging. And you know, doing stuff in the shed when we go the the Burrow," Molly said, blushing furiously. Roxanne didn't respond with her usual exclamation of horror and her cousin asked softly, "You feeling all right, Roxie?"
Tears were welling already. Why couldn't she be strong like her mother? Why couldn't she fight it all down and pretend that it had never happened? The look that Benjamin had given her, she couldn't wipe that look from her memory. He had never stared at her with so much coldness, with so much hate.
What had she done to deserve it?
What had happened to him in Italy? The scandal that had caused his father to flee with him right alongside him...had it really been as terrible as she suspected? Benjamin had always been guarded with her, never telling her too many details about his home life or even himself but Roxanne had never been the focus of his displeasure.
At Hogwarts, he'd been nice to her. Helping her study, tending to little scrapes on her knees from romping around the grounds with him, that was the Benjamin that she knew, the same Benjamin that had given her white daisies for her birthday.
Though he'd never admitted to it or how he'd always managed to sneak them into her dorm room at the exact moment when she wouldn't be there, Roxanne had always known.
It had made becoming a year older all the sweeter with the thought that she would keep coming to school, keep sneaking into the Manor with him by her side. Roxanne just couldn't understand why he had hurt her so badly.
Had he always wanted to, deep down? Benjamin had never made it a secret that he hated her family but she'd never, ever treated him like a reject, even when he made her angry.
When their strange little friendship had ended the year before he'd fled to Italy with his father, Roxanne had yelled and cursed at him but she'd never said any of the things that he heard on a daily basis. So was it her fault for being around him in the first place when everyone else with enough sense had left him alone?
The other Slytherins were either too afraid of or cruel to befriend him from what she'd noticed and her cousins couldn't stand the sight of him but Roxanne had never treated him that way. Why was that such a bad thing? She really was as silly and immature as everyone said she was.
“Roxie, are you feeling all right?” Molly asked, snapping her thoughts into pieces and snapping her back to reality. She sounded worried and whatever her face must have looked like only made her brows furrow together, “you look really sick.”
Thinking about Benjamin was making her sick, that was all. "I'm...fine," Roxanne found herself saying, hating that just the sound of her cousins concern was enough to have her nearly bursting into a puddle of mush.
"You don't look fine to me. Did you and Fred have a fight?" Molly demanded worriedly as she moved away. Quickly, she snatched up a pair of jeans and stuffed herself into them. After smoothing her hands over her short black hair thoughtfully she remarked, "you look really upset, what did he do to you this time?"
Roxanne felt her eyes overflowing with tears and she wiped at them irritable, unable to believe it. But she had never hidden anything from Molly and even the humiliation of what she had done with Benjamin wasn't enough to stop her from saying in a watery sniffle, "M-Molly, I need to tell you something."
Though Molly was unbearably shy, she could always be counted on to be there and Roxanne collapsed onto her bed, feeling the mattress threatening to give way. If only she could be stronger, if only she could wipe that look on his face from her mind! Roxanne felt her throat tightening, "Whatever it is, Roxie, you can trust me."
“I know but it just...” Roxanne wiped at her eyes weakly with the back of her hand, noticing the slightest tremor. Benjamin had kissed her fingers, clasping their hands together at the exact moment when she'd given him everything, “it just hurts.”
Molly made a soothing noise as she sat beside her. Gently, she took her trembling hand in her own, rubbing it comfortingly, "What's hurting?” Roxanne shook her head weakly, feeling the pressure building. “Tell me what's bothering you, Roxie, I'll listen."
Roxanne felt ridiculous little sniffles bubbling in her throat along with a dizzying wave of relief. Benjamin couldn't take her bond with her cousin away from her...he could hurt her but Molly was here and everything was going to be all right, "...Don't hate me after I tell you all right?" she whispered.
"I couldn't hate you, Roxie." Molly said softly and with a sincerity that seemed to settle sweetly into her chest. That seemed to be all that she needed and what felt like a storm of words and emotion seemed to burst out of her and she confessed.
It felt terrible but she confessed to having wanted Benjamin Malfoy and being tossed aside like trash. Every little detail was revealed but what she didn't tell her cousin was that, even now, her heart still longed for something she couldn't have.
Thanks for reading! Both Twisted Duo and the song lyrics you saw here are fictional (Thank goodness) and were created by me. The song Molly was singing so badly was "Kiss It" by Kieran Rookwood and I will not go into the details on the how or where.
A/N: Hello, everyone! I'm sorry it took a minute but I have other stories to update and I'm a tease. ;) Anyway, enjoy this and uhm, please be gentle.
He wasn't coming back. Roxanne pressed her hands on the glass of her father's shop, staring out into the bustling crowd of patrons in Diagon Alley, looking for some sign of Benjamin Malfoy. Though she had known that it would be very silly to hope that he would, she had still thought, over these last few days that she would see him skulking in along with his pale haired father.
Instead, the days had gone by and by without her seeing any sign of him and she had begun to lose hope. It was becoming too much of a habit to see her pressing her face against the shop glass, hardly blinking, “What are you doing over there, beautiful girl?” the question made her jump a little and she turned around, spotting her father standing behind her.
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes was pounding with the sound of various feet, children and adult and the floors were alive with activity. The bright colors were supposed to make people happy but Roxanne didn't feel very happy just now, “Nothing, Daddy,” she said, knowing that it came out as a whine.
“Doesn't look like nothing to me,” her father said with a doubtful look in his eyes. He was dressed in the shop's maroon robes, the color clashing very badly with his red hair and freckles, “you'll fall into the glass if you're not careful.”
“No, I won't,” Roxanne said in alarm, knowing that he was probably teasing her. Then again, it might be true and she forced her hands off the glass and stared at him, feeling her lower lip jutting out despite herself, “are you on break now, Daddy?”
Her father gave her a mischievous smile as he looked around at the shop, where his employees were running around like mad. Perce and their mother were upstairs preparing lunch for when Uncle Lee and his family would come over but Roxanne hadn't wanted to join in. She was still mad at her mum for giving her a spanking, “Sort of,” her father whispered with a wink.
Verity, his assistant for as long as Roxanne could remember shot him a viciously nasty look. She was short and blonde and had a nasty temper sometimes but could run the shop with her eyes closed but from the way the register was being attacked with customers, she would need them open. “Am I in trouble again?” Roxanne asked him warily, sizing him up.
Roxanne had gotten into quite a bit of trouble a few days ago when she had last seen Benjamin, but not for talking to him. Her mother had given her a very long telling-off about saying the word “hate” to her own brother and she'd gotten a spanking and hadn't been able to come out of her room for a while.
“Trouble for what, beautiful girl?” her father asked her gently and she shrugged a little, glancing outside where just one glimpse of Benjamin would make her feel better. “Still looking for that Malfoy boy huh?”
“His name's Benjamin Daddy,” Roxanne corrected with a frown and her father raised his brows a little. Something exploded behind them but they hardly paid it a glance as a few kids started roaring with laughter as balloons filled the entire ceiling, floating up in rainbow hued colors, “and he's not a bad boy.”
That made her father break out in a little smile as he stared down at her and she tried to appear big and grown up for him. He treated her like a baby but she was almost eleven and that was a very big deal, “Me and your mum don't think he's a bad boy but you can't go around being friendly with everyone.”
Roxanne glanced down at her feet, trying not to pout at the words. Although her parents had told her that there weren't anymore Death Eaters that they knew of wandering around, she and her brother had been taught to be extremely careful. “Is it because he's a Malfoy Daddy?”
Over the last few days, Roxanne had been asking her parents questions about Mr. Malfoy and his family, trying to understand more about why people hated them so much. Neither of them had given her much that made them seem like good people but her mother had made sure to tell her, while braiding her hair for her that that was a long time ago and people did change.
But if that were true, people would be nicer to the Malfoy's, Roxanne had said and her mother had calmly replied that it was the sad thing about growing up, people tended to believe what they wanted to.
She didn't really know what that meant but it had made her sad thinking about Benjamin being treated so badly when he really wasn't that mean. After seeing him cry, Roxanne was convinced that he just needed more flowers and even if he didn't want to be her friend, it would be nice to see him in the streets with other kids in Diagon Alley.
“Roxie,” her father said suddenly, taking her out of her thoughts as he suddenly got on one knee to talk to her. He reached out and gently took her arm, his skin warm and a little calloused from either Quidditch or some failed potion or two. “You're a very nice girl but you can't make everyone see the way you do.”
Roxanne blinked in surprise and pinched his nose a little, which only made him laugh as the shop continued on without him. Despite being busy and running the shop, he never neglected she and Perce when they needed his attention or when he needed them, which, in her opinion made him the best. “Why not?” she demanded.
That made her father laugh and he took her hand away from his nose and kissed her knuckles. “Because the real world doesn't work that way, beautiful girl. Malfoy and his son come into the shop all the time and I never liked his dad when I was going to school but just because he's different now doesn't make other people, even me sometimes, believe it.” He said while she stared at him intently.
“But Benjamin's not his dad,” Roxanne said defiantly and for a moment she was quiet as her father waited for her to reply. She knew that she was touching on a shaky subject but she asked, “that's right about Perce isn't it? He's not Uncle Fred but people act like he is sometimes.”
A strange expression passed over her father's face and she saw in it all the sadness and joy that he dealt with, but tried not to let them see. “That's right, Roxie. Your brother's not my brother, he's my son and some people don't seem to understand that,”
Roxanne knew that her brother sometimes felt bad about being compared to their dead uncle. They weren't alike, they weren't the same person and her brother was his own, with his own things and his own mind and heart, “That's why I call him Perce, Daddy. He's not Fred, he's my brother dammit,”
“Don't curse!” her father chastised, even though he was roaring with laughter. If her mother had been around, she would have gotten a good thump on the lip before she got into a detailed fuss about why cuss words were bad except for her and Daddy, “you're a good girl, Roxie and you're right. Your brother isn't your uncle and little Malfoy isn't his dad.”
Roxanne beamed happily and got her nose tweaked and after her father pretended that he had stolen her nose, making her cry, “But I want it!” she eventually said as he placed the imaginary bit in his pocket, “Can I go see Benjamin, Daddy and try to talk to him?”
“Now? You don't even know where he lives, beautiful girl,” her father reminded and she cursed again. He pulled on her ear warningly as he stood up, “and your mum wants you to get ready to see Uncle Lee, Aunt Alicia and Adam.”
Roxanne groaned in aggravation and her father laughed. Uncle Lee always picked on her when he come round and his son, Adam, was really annoying, “But I'll be real quick!” when her father opened his mouth to ask her just how she was going to be able to see Benjamin without an address, she proclaimed happily, “I know where he'd be!”
A moment of indecision passed over her father's face and Roxanne worked on her saddest, most miserable face, making sure that her lips trembled dramatically. “That's not going to work on me this time,” her father warned gravely.
“But I'll be real quick!” Roxanne whined.
That only made her father cross his arms stubbornly. There had been only a handful of times that he had been stern with she and her brother and it never lasted for long, since he was such a softie, “Tough luck, Roxie. Your mum'll be mad at me and who is Adam going to play with?”
Roxanne didn't like hanging around Adam and was glad that they didn't see each other all that often. He had friends in his own neighborhood and Perce always said that he was really boring, which sparked an idea in her head, “Aw, Daddy! He can hang out with Perce!”
“I don't know if your brother would like that too much.” Her father said and Roxanne moaned, kicking at the maroon carpet with her trainers. That only made him laugh at her though, “he's in a bad enough mood since your mum told him he can't go and see Teddy for a while.”
Roxanne thought it was fair since he had made Benjamin cry but when she had said so, Perce had gotten really mad at her. “So Adam will be good company—oh, Daddy, please?! I'll be right back!”
Though her whining was common for her father, a few customers were snickering at her display. Some of the older kids were rolling their eyes but considering that they were holding boxes of You-Know-Poo, she ignored them, “No, Roxie,” her father said, looking as if he were trying not to melt on the spot.
Roxanne felt a spark of anger before calming herself down and thinking of her next tactic, knowing that it was her last chance. Making sure that she had caught his attention, she stared into his amused face and pouted, making sure that her eyes got bigger, rounder and threatened to sparkle with tears. “Please, Daddy?” she whimpered, giving a very good hiccup.
Verity, even while being swamped with customers looked over, mildly impressed. An old lady cooed at her and Roxanne knew that victory was hers as her father's shoulders sank with defeat. “Uragh, you're too cute. Be gone!” her father hissed, looking overcome.
Roxanne threw up her arms in victory. When her father took out a bit of toffee from his pocket and handed it to her, she eyed it warily, decided that it wasn't one of the trick sweets and put it in her pocket for later. “I'll be real quick though, Daddy!” he sighed in defeat as she batted her lashes up at him, “can you do something for me before I leave though?”
That caused his eyes to widen with interest and she motioned for him to bend down and when he did, she whispered what she wanted in his ear. “Oooh, I see.” He said in a conspiratorial way as she finished and leaned away, staring up at him as if he were her entire world. “Hm. I think I can do that but you make sure you come right back home if he's not there, Roxie or your mum'll beat me up in a bad way.”
“Okay, Daddy! I promise!” Roxanne said as she watched her father take out his wand, give it a wave and hand over the gift to her. Carefully, she handled the bouquet of white daisies in her hands, inhaling happily, “I'll be right back!” and before he could change his mind, she was already headed to the front door and rushing outside, intent on finding Benjamin, feeling as if she would make things better.
Daisies would be sure to make Benjamin smile...
“Roxie?” the sound of Molly's concerned voice startled Roxanne out of her thoughts, banishing that memory. She really did need to stop doing that so often and she wondered how her mother dealt with it all the time, it really wasn't that comfortable knowing that some memory from the past could arrive at any moment. “Did you find what you were looking for?”
Roxanne looked down at the latest, special edition of Quidditch Through the Ages and felt some sort of excitement form in her chest. In just two days, she would be back at Hogwarts and the thought of getting back on her broomstick with her father's old Beater's bat in her hand made her almost joyful, “Yeah, but I don't think I have enough to get it today,” she said to her cousin, looking up at her.
Molly was accompanying her this afternoon for a few last minute shopping excursions and though she wasn't into Quidditch really, she had been dragged into Quality Quidditch Supplies without much complaint. “I could get it for you,” her cousin offered lightly.
Roxanne shook her head at her and placed the gold embroidered copy of the book back onto its shelf. Her cousin had supported her so much in the past week with what she had told her about Benjamin, she didn't want to pester her, “No, no, Molly. Its all right,”
“Are you sure? My dad always likes hearing about me and Lucy going shopping for books,” Molly replied with a fond roll of her eyes. Uncle Percy liked to bring back books for Aunt Audrey to read, since she really loved Wizard plays and dramas but he insisted that his daughters learn as much as they could. Information was everything, he said, “I've got a few Galleons left.”
Roxanne gave her a stern shake of her head and walked down the aisle towards her, hearing the scuff of her trainers on the carpet. Quality Quidditch Supplies was one of her favorite places in Diagon Alley and she usually came her with her mother but because she was at the Ministry later than usual, she hadn't been able to come. “I'll just ask for it on Christmas. Dad'll probably buy it for himself before then though,” she laughed.
Molly looked as if she wanted to argue a bit more about it but she let it go, watching her worriedly. “You're sure you're doing you, know, okay?” she whispered as Roxanne snatched a cheap book about flying techniques off the clearance shelf and aimlessly started for the front of the shop, “you've been too quiet lately. Everyone's been worried about you,”
Roxanne wished that everyone would stop asking her if she were doing all right when she knew that she couldn't answer. Back at Aunt Audrey's, Molly had listened intently to everything that she had told her about Benjamin, offering up as much support as any sister would have and she knew that she should be lucky. If it had been Victoire, she would have crumbled into nothing, “I'm not okay, I know that. What happened isn't just so easy to get over,”
Though she hadn't meant for the words to come out sounding so nasty, Molly looked a little taken aback. “You know, Roxie, I am on your side. I don't blame you for what happened and I don't hate you,” she said sharply.
“Look, I'm sorry but I don't know what to tell you!” Roxanne said back, and her cousin frowned severely at her. She looked eerily like her mother, “I'm trying not to stay down but every time I think about it, I just feel like nothing is going to go right.”
“Why would you even think something like that? It was an accident, Roxie. Malfoy has known you since you were ten years old, he wasn't just some stranger that you ran off with and I'll admit it, it was dumb of you but any girl could have been fooled,” Molly said to her fiercely and Roxanne nodded, though the words just made her stomach lurch a little. “Malfoy's not upset about it and letting him control you this way is really starting to make me hate him even more,”
Roxanne flinched a little a the last bit of her words, knowing that her cousin had every right to hate Benjamin. She sort of hated him herself, even more so when she remembered the way he had looked at her that morning, as if she were nothing important at all to him. “You're right, Molly, I'm sorry,” she said sincerely.
Molly opened her mouth to go on about the situation but decided not to as she caught the look on her face. She gently nudged her in the shoulder as they made it to the front, and stood behind a tall black boy and a girl up front, where the cashier was having her hands full and looking sour. For some reason, Quality Quidditch Supplies had been really busy lately, “Its really all right, Roxie, I just wish that you would tell your parents about this.”
It was difficult imagining that she would tell her parents. They were worried about her, they had asked and asked if she were all right and Roxanne had only survived that day at Aunt Audrey's by avoiding them and hanging out with Molly and the others. At home though, it wasn't as easy to ignore the concerned looks her parents gave her and Perce was awfully annoying with his midnight snooping in her room, trying to find her diary.
After catching him reading her last one, he was stupid for thinking she still kept one at all but he was intent on finding out what was wrong with her. “I don't mean to be snippy or anything but I just hate what happened. Its really no one's fault but mine,” Roxanne whispered to her cousin.
Molly tucked a lock of her short black hair behind her ear before saying. “Don't think like that Roxie. I mean, I've never...you know, or anything,” she whispered, turning pink and making Roxanne almost smile at her expression, “but I know how much it hurts to think someone cared about you and then get proven wrong.”
Roxanne gave her a sympathetic look at the words, recalling that she had confessed her longstanding crush to Teddy Lupin last year. Molly had liked him for a long time, the two having gotten along really well for years and had mustered up the courage to tell him at her fathers Ministry ball but Teddy had, cuttingly told her that she wasn't exactly his type and she hadn't been the same since.
“You'll find someone else. I mean, Teddy's...Teddy. He's not that great to begin with once you get past his amazing abs and his fantastic bum,” Roxanne said to her, knowing that that time at the cottage with Teddy and Victoire had been nothing but torture for her.
Molly laughed and swatted at her with a Keeper's Guide book that she had gotten for Lucy. Her sister was the Slytherin reserve Keeper and took her job very seriously, “If he looked more like Kieran Rookwood, I'd never get over him.”
Roxanne rolled her eyes at the mention of the lead singer from her favorite band, Twisted Duo. “Good God, Molly, why don't you just send the bloke your soul?” Molly looked as if she might have tried and she snorted with laughter, the sound drawing the attention of the person ahead of them, the tall boy and the girl at his side. “Adam!”
Adam Jordan broke into a friendly smile at the sight of her, the girl at his side frowning a little as Roxanne gave him a thump on the arm. He was Uncle Lee and Aunt Alicia's only son and though she had always found him really annoying when they'd been younger, they'd gotten along better once they got to Hogwarts. “Rox!” he cried, turning fully around.
“I almost didn't recognize you, what did you do to yourself now?” Roxanne asked in alarm, taking in the eyebrow piercing and lip ring. He was sporting a blonde Mohawk now too, last year it had been green, “your mum wasn't too happy about those piercings I bet,” she said, recoiling.
Molly looked mildly impressed but the girl at his side, who was short, black and a lot cuter than either of them didn't look as if she wanted them talking to him. Roxanne didn't pay her a glance, “Don't you like it? I didn't know you were in here but I thought I recognized that laugh. Its been a while, how the hell are you?” Adam asked her while giving her a grin.
Molly stared uncomfortably up at him, not sure what to say since they didn't really know one another. They'd only met on occasion at Hogwarts and not for very long, “I've been, uhm, okay. How was your summer? I hardly saw you this time,” Roxanne said.
The girl at his side heaved a sigh. “Adam, if we don't hurry we're going to be late. I promised my friends that I'd help them look for gloves in Beauty Within,” she said to him and Adam was barely able to stop from rolling his eyes.
“Just a sec,” Adam said to the girl with a frown. Roxanne noticed that the cashier was glaring a hole into them as the previous customers left, “I haven't seen her in a while,”
Roxanne gave the girl an apologetic look but and took in her friend better. Adam had gotten to be a bit taller over the summer and with his dark skin looking a tad sunburned she assumed that he had spent a while outside, “I'm not trying to keep you or anything but you're my partner and you haven't sent me one owl,”
Molly ventured shyly into the conversation, which only caused the girl, whom Roxanne had a feeling was Adam's girlfriend, glower. “He's the other Beater on the Hufflepuff team isn't he?” she asked and Adam nodded, giving her a good little puff of his chest. She turned a bit pink as she tried not to either run away or worse, shut down completely.
“Would you mind hurrying it up?” the cashier barked at them and the group moved forward, Adam slamming his purchases onto the counter. The girl glared at him before ringing them up, “things are busy enough as it is.” She grumbled.
Adam rolled his eyes before turning his attention back to Roxanne, his girlfriend looking more and more annoyed. She looked vaguely familiar now that she looked at her but she wasn't sure if they'd ever met before today, “Was there something you wanted to talk about with your fellow Beater, Rox?” he asked her curiously.
“Oh, nothing serious,” Roxanne said with a shrug, watching as he looked awfully interested. Molly nudged her in the ribs and she stepped on her foot a little in retaliation and received a glare, “just wondering where you vanished to this summer.”
Though Roxanne hadn't really wanted to talk to anyone since Benjamin, she would have liked to have heard from someone other than Molly. Her friend Karen McMillan was a year older and most of the other girls in her dorm at school had gone abroad for the summer this year.
“Sorry about that, I wanted to share some new techniques I learned from Uncle Oliver but I've been busy.” Adam said to her with a careless shrug. His girlfriend coughed lightly in her hand, making Molly quirk a brow, “oh, uhm, this is my delicious girlfriend Bianca Shepard, but you two know each other already right?”
Roxanne heard bells ringing in her ears but it might have been just the cashier as Adam and Bianca stepped aside. She placed her book onto the counter, absently reaching into her jean's pocket, “Erm, sorry for making you wait,” she said to the cashier girl and she earned a glare in return. Turning briefly at Adam, she answered, “I think so,”
Adam shifted his bag of things in his hand a little and Bianca eyed Roxanne sourly for a moment or two. “We're in the same House together,” the girl said, her tone drawl and Molly gave her a look from the corner of her eyes, “I'm a year older than you though, Karen McMillan's a friend,”
Roxanne thought hard and recalled the girl now. She was always hanging round Karen at school and they were best friends from what she was able to gather but they'd never spoken more than two or three words to one another. It was more than obvious to sense that she didn't like her for whatever reason, “Uhm, right. This is Molly Weasley, my cousin,” she said, introducing her easily.
Bianca glanced between them doubtfully and Molly looked as if she might say something before the girl smiled. “I've heard about you. Your dad's Undersecretary to the Minister?”
“Right,” Molly said politely. Roxanne was handed her change and book and watched as her cousin paid for Lucy's gift, looking put out and probably feeling the unfriendly vibes the girl was throwing off. “The youngest ever.”
Bianca looked truly impressed by that but Adam was looking bored and shot Roxanne a sneaky wink. She stuck out her tongue at him, “That's pretty amazing. If you wanted, I would love to hear more about it, I'm trying to get into the Ministry myself after school,” she said to Molly as she received her book and started walking out with them.
Roxanne could practically see Molly wilting as the girl continued on, prattling about a mile a minute. Apparently she wanted to be a reporter and was eagerly awaiting some sort of internship with that horrid Rita Skeeter bitch that no one liked and she had a feeling that they'd get on really well.
“Anyway, Bee, we should be getting to your friends,” Adam interrupted loudly after about twenty minutes of the four of them walking out into the busy street. Beauty Within was in the same general direction of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes for a while and the walk had been nothing but torture.
Bianca blinked in surprise, having latched herself onto Molly like a parasite. Passerby pushed and shoved to get by, some of the children carrying large parcels and already sporting their fresh robes for school, “But,”
Adam reminded her curtly, though he was giving Roxanne a grin that she didn't really understand. He wasn't really as sly as Perce but he was doing a pretty decent job for right now and she absently thought that she'd give him a pat on the back later, “You're the one that's dragging me to see them, right? Come on or they'll run out of gloves or doilies or whatever the hell you want to help them with.”
Molly gave him a grateful look and Roxanne saved her by saying, before Bianca could protest to her boyfriend. “We've got to be heading back to my place. She's got to be home really soon so she can check out the latest nude portraits her mum made for a client,” she lied.
Bianca's face went slack and Adam roared with laughter. Molly turned beet red, but more from the fact that Aunt Audrey actually did make nude portraits for a select few, “I should give your mum a picture of me then!” he said and Roxanne wondered why he was looking at her as he said it. Again, Molly rammed her elbow into her side, “anyway, I'll see you on the Express later!”
“Sure, Adam, try to stay sane looking for those doilies.” Roxanne said to him dryly and Bianca frowned a little in annoyance. She gave her a weak smile in goodbye that the girl didn't return before steering Molly in a different direction that would take them to her father's joke shop faster.
Adam's, “See you then!” was drowned out by Molly's mortified, “Oh, my God, she's horrid!” and Roxanne roared with laughter. “Ugh, it was torture. I couldn't keep my head from spinning! Its not funny Roxie!”
“It is, if only you had seen your face!” Roxanne crowed happily and Molly glared at her for a moment before bursting into a sly grin. She looked a lot like Lucy doing that but her sister looked that way all the time, “what?” she demanded warily.
Molly fanned herself a little and waggled her eyebrows. How everyone else was able to do it and not her would forever make her jealous, “I saw the way that boy was acting around you! He likes you.”
Roxanne gawped at her. “Adam?” she asked in disbelief and Molly nodded vigorously until she snorted with laughter, “yeah, right. I know him all right from school and everything but he's not for me, I mean, what are you talking about?” she asked with a twist to her mouth.
“What's wrong with him?” Molly demanded as they walked past an apothecary and rounded a corner. Parents were fussing at their children and the various smells of restaurant food made her stomach growl a little and she hoped that her mother would be home soon so they could go out tonight. They always went out the day or so before Hogwarts, “I mean, he's not that cute but he's not bad.”
Roxanne thought Adam was a little cuter than that. “You're just comparing him to Kieran Rookwood, Molly. No one looks like that,” she said and her cousin harrumphed but didn't deny it, “I mean, Adam's nice looking and he's always been nice to his girlfriends and stuff but he's not for me.”
Molly frowned and almost rammed into an old lady carrying hat boxes and earning an affronted gasp. “Sorry!” she said to the woman while Roxanne watched the woman teetering away down the cobbled street, “and anyway, Rox,” she said, using the nickname Adam had given her eons ago. “There's nothing wrong with him. You should give him a shot if he asks you.”
Roxanne couldn't see herself with Adam in the slightest, she had never had any amount of attraction for him. He'd annoyed her when they'd been kids and at Hogwarts he was just a friend she talked to in the Hufflepuff common room and she was sure that, even with him flirting a few minutes ago, that it wasn't anything serious. “No thanks, I'm not looking forward to dating or anything for a while.”
Molly heaved a weary sigh at the words but didn't comment as they walked down to the joke shop. Fireworks were going off and melting into the blue sky, billboards and signs on every inch of the place, announcing half off deals on WWW's most “exciting” merchandise. It translated, in Roxanne's mind as “dangerous”, “Your dad's really going for it this year, huh?”
“Yeah, he's been blowing stuff up for days.” Roxanne said as she looked up at all the patched up and added onto parts of the shop. It really was like being back at the Burrow with her grandparents, “but then again, he's probably just celebrating the fact that he can make fun of me even more.”
Molly laughed as they reached the door and opened it, ignoring the sound of cheers from the employees. Kids were running around like imps, papers and foil were in every direction and it smelt like someone had left off some You-Know-Poo in the bathroom somewhere, “Roxie, there's nothing wrong with being made a Prefect!”
Just the words made Roxanne wince in horror. Her owl had arrived with all of her school things like usual, but with one more cryptic message announcing that, under the circumstances of Christina Monroe transferring to Beauxbatons, she would be Prefect for Hufflepuff House.
Apparently her marks hadn't been as bad as she'd thought. But considering the fact that Filch had an entire room of files dedicated to her pranks, she wasn't sure why McGonagall had allowed it.
Roxanne pressed her hand to her chest in agony. “Tell that to my ego! Mum was teasing me all day yesterday and snuck into my room and tickled me until I peed on myself!” Molly roared with laughter. It hadn't been the first time her mother had done something like that though and she groused moodily, “and then Perce took my badge and charmed it to say “Bloody Big Head””
Molly was still laughing as they waved to her father, who was too busy dealing with customers to pick on her just now. Perce was somewhere in the mist of robes and faces helping out for the day, “Its really not that bad, Roxie. I mean, nothing is that bad for long!” her cousin tried to say as they walked to the back of the shop, where the secret wall that would lead them to the flat was.
Roxanne, her brother and their parents were the only ones that knew what the password was and to anyone else, it was nothing but a blank expanse of wall. “Everything,” she whispered softly and as it melted away, her cousin still grinning, she wished that what she had said could be proven true.
“Hey, Bloody Big Head, are you ready yet?” Roxanne's brother asked as he came towards her with the day's misplaced products. Though they could have easily used their wands, people tended to pick things up and set them back down in different places all over the shop, which was a really taxing job to correct.
Roxanne was sitting on top of the counter by the register and kicked at him a little as he walked by. Their father was putting things back onto the shelves on the second floor, the third level having been cleared out by Verity earlier before she'd trudged out, complaining about the state of her feet. “Ready for what?” she growled.
“To be grilled and abused by your other fellow Prefects! You'll never have a day to yourself again.” Perce was saying to her evilly while he put back a bottle of Everlasting Daydream for Boys onto its shelf (It gave naughty fantasies and had really disgusting side effects), “Victoire was so worn out last year. And you've got Quidditch this year and homework and being annoying to keep up on.”
Roxanne couldn't really picture Victoire a Prefect but then again, she had probably excelled at the attention side of it. Dom-Dom would have surely withered under that sort of attention though and at the thought of her, she briefly hoped she wouldn't ask what had happened with her and Benjamin. At Aunt Audrey's, they'd been too busy running away from the adults to talk for long, “Shut up! What if you had been made Head Boy?” she demanded.
Perce shuddered noticeably at the very question as he came back, a grin spreading at the heated glare she sent him. The day had winded down finally and there was a pretty orange smear across the sky, announcing that it would be dark soon ant that Weasley's Wizard Wheezes would be closed soon. “Don't give me that look. Not my fault that you've inherited Uncle Ron's genes,”
Roxanne wanted to hit him but her brother was now leaning his back against the counter beside her and resting his head lightly on her arm. “What?” she asked, trying to sound mad at him and failing as she rested her cheek on top of his wavy hair, “I won't be the best Prefect but I'll be damned if I'll be the worst.”
“That's the spirit, Roxie.” Perce said to her happily and she rolled her eyes and listened to their father moving about on the second floor above them. He was humming something to himself or, sadly, talking to Uncle Fred which he sometimes still did, “I don't think you'll be a bad Prefect or anything, you've got some of mum in you too.”
Roxanne wished that she could be a lot more like their mother and felt guilt wrapping around her chest. If there was anyone she dreaded telling aside from her father and brother, it was her mother...the revulsion she would receive made her lay awake at night, dreading the morning. “I guess,” she said with a sigh.
Perce fiddled with his hands a little before resting them on his stomach, where she heard an ominous growl. She giggled, “I hope Mum gets here soon. I'm dying over here,” he said and Roxanne nodded in agreement as her own stomach snarled viciously, “why do you suppose she's at the Ministry so much anyway?”
“I don't know, but whenever I ask she always gets real quiet and secretive. You'd think we'd walked in on her and dad going at it again but no,” Roxanne said peevishly as her brother roared with laughter. “I know the Magical Games and Sports department is important but the next World Cup isn't until four years from now!”
Perce nodded, as he kept tabs on this sort of thing religiously. “I asked around trying to see if I could get any info and no one wanted to tell me shit!” he cried angrily, still resting his head on her arm.
“Oi, Fred, you watch your mouth until I get down there!” Their father warned from upstairs and her brother crowed a decent apology. “Damn straight you're sorry!” was their father's cross reply before he started moving about again, though the two of them were too busy laughing to really notice.
Roxanne, after quieting down, asked her brother. “You didn't try to ask Aunt Ginny?” she asked, since their aunt had started her own Quidditch team, the Wailing Banshee's a few years ago before quitting.
Perce nodded and he looked extremely serious as he lifted his head from her arm and rubbed his chin. Roxanne gave him dramatic music to go along with it and he grinned faintly, “I tried but she got all quiet on me when I went to visit. But then again, she was probably mad at me for putting Albus's underwear on his head and making him run around in circles...”
“I can't imagine why she'd be upset about that,” Roxanne said dryly.
Perce shrugged, looking confused before he continued on. “I talked to Leanne too about it when I was over the other night.” Roxanne gagged, though she had no right to when she still thought about what Benjamin had seduced her into doing. “She said her parents have been acting weird, people coming by her dad's broom shop ordering all sorts of stuff, like there's a big game coming up.”
Roxanne found this really curious, but there was nothing major happening in the Quidditch world from what she'd been reading lately. Then again Quidditch Weekly had a habit of hinting at certain information without giving the entire thing, “What about Uncle Oliver?” Uncle Oliver had played for Puddlemore United before the War but had gotten too many injuries to return but he kept them all informed, “I mean, he should know.”
“He told me to mind my own business! And Uncle Lee, he's commentator for the World Cup and he told me to mind my own bloody business!” Perce cried indignantly and Roxanne had a feeling that those visits had been why he'd been gone for so long during the past few days. “Its really irritating.”
Roxanne nodded her agreement, glancing down at her feet a little as she swung them distractedly. Though she didn't know why, she thought of her encounter with Adam Jordan earlier and found herself saying to her brother, “I saw Adam in Quality Quidditch Supplies today. He died his hair blonde this time and got some piercings that I know Aunt Alicia must be hating,” he looked awfully amused by that, “have you seen him?”
Perce nodded a little, looking suddenly keen. A sneaky look came into his face and Roxanne narrowed her eyes on him suspiciously, “Yeah, he's looking pretty good isn't he?” he asked and Roxanne shrugged, “I always figured that Adam's had a crush on you, you should give him a try.”
“He's got a girlfriend and I'm not interested!” Roxanne snapped in revulsion as her brother waggled his eyebrows at her. Why could everyone do that but her? It wasn't exactly fair, “you've never even really liked Adam!”
Perce groaned in aggravation and heaved an exasperated sigh, as if Roxanne hadn't pointed out the truth. Whenever he saw Adam, he made their conversations incredibly short and purposefully awkward, “Yeah, but he's better than say, Malfoy.” Her brother said with perceptive skill and at Roxanne's suddenly pale face, he cried furiously, “I knew it!”
“Knew what? Shut up!” Roxanne commanded as her brother's face morphed into one of both disapproval and strong dislike. She could feel the pound of her heart increasing painfully and she had to suck in a strong breath...trying not to think of how Benjamin had looked at her when he'd told her to leave.
Perce was watching her face critically and she didn't like the way his eyes were running over her, as if she had some sort of mark that he could see. Thanks to some Beauty Mark cream from Molly, Benjamin's hickeys had faded a long time ago but she didn't think that that meant much to her nosy brother. “Make me!”
“I'll get Dad on you!” Roxanne warned.
Perce ignored the threat and went on a tirade, obviously having wanted to pester her about this for days. “The way you've been acting for the last few days has something to do with Malfoy doesn't it?” when Roxanne shook her head, he ignored her and continued on in a rush of air. “Don't think that I haven't noticed all the Prophets talking about him and his dad sleazing back into the country!”
“So what if they have? I haven't even been reading the Prophet!” Roxanne found herself lying to him hotly. She'd been reading them secretly in her bedroom at night and catching up on the latest news that detailed the return of Draco Malfoy from scandal and back into the “warm” bosom of the Law Department. “Why do you automatically think something wrong with me is his fault?”
Perce's face was steadily growing angrier and she thought that in that moment he reminded her so much of their mother that it was eerie. This was a confrontation that she had been trying to avoid for days and she hopped off the counter hurriedly, desperate to storm back up to the flat, “Oi, don't walk away from me, Roxie!” her brother snapped, reaching out to snatch her arm.
“Let go, prat!” Roxanne snarled, though she knew that her eyes showed just how terrified she was of him knowing the truth. Something in her brother's face shifted and her entire body felt as if it were drenched in ice, “I-I haven't even talked to Ben since they came back!”
Perce caught onto her slip up with enough skill to rival the best of interrogators and Roxanne thought that this was perhaps the worst possible moment. Their father was asking them what all the yelling was about and coming downstairs and they would know...she would break...she would shatter and they would hate her.
“Roxie, what's wrong? Tell me. I'm worried about you!” her brother said sincerely, looking deeply troubled. It took all she had in her not to break completely, “Whatever he did to you, I'll kill him for, you never get this upset about anything and I know its his fault! Just tell me—dammit Roxie, what'd he do?” he demanded furiously.
Tears were starting to form and Roxanne looked away from him towards the front doors, hoping that something would happen to make this go away. “Leave me alone—” she started but the words trailed away as her salvation came in the form of Draco and Benjamin Malfoy entering back into her life. The world felt as if it were falling apart and she felt the fragile lining of her heart shattering all over again.
Hope you all enjoyed this! I'm going back to Audrey and her Weasley after this, so please stay patient!
A/N: Thanks for coming! How about leaving me a review at the end? :)
“Stop being a brat just because you haven’t gotten your way! Life doesn’t work like that Weasley! You can’t always get what you want!” The harsh words seemed to explode in her ears and Roxanne turned away from the sight of Mr. Malfoy and Benjamin walking into the shop, the two of them splashes of black and grey. That morning and all of its events seemed to pound and dance in her skull and she fought down the strangest urge to run away, refusing to give Benjamin that favor.
Kisses and touches and the fury of their fight caused a tumult of strange, torturous emotions to grip her heart. Roxanne blinked rapidly, pretending to find the worn maroon carpet under the soles of her trainers the most fascinating thing in the world, “Roxie, you all right?” Perce demanded, having noticed the flashes of fury, panic and heartache on her face.
“I'm fine, just leave me alone.” Roxanne said to him, turning to stare back into his concerned face. Perce frowned at her tone but, deciding that that might be normal and he'd have plenty of time to interrogate her later, he released her upper arm, “do you think I should go and get Dad?” she asked, nodding at their two visitors.
Mr. Malfoy and Benjamin were looking around the shop curiously, even though both of them had been inside more than once. And yet, for the past year they had been in Italy and familiar sights of home must have meant a lot, judging from the soft smile that was forming on Mr. Malfoy's face, “I'm sorry for coming in late but I think we caught you right before closing,” the man said upon noticing them.
Perce's face seemed to settle into an unconcerned mask, though Roxanne could feel his irritation and dislike. The Daily Prophet had given them enough information on Mr. Malfoy's return to the Ministry, the scandal that had caused him and his son to leave being the most intriguing mystery.
While no one knew what it was, there were many guesses going around from the gossip columns that Roxanne had read, none of them pleasant and most of them cruel. “Yeah, you did. Our dad is still upstairs though so he might not mind,” Perce was saying to Mr. Malfoy with a shrug, though his eyes were going over Benjamin with contempt.
Roxanne forced herself not to look at him or even notice his movements but that tug...that strange tug that always pulled her towards him was overpowering. Unwillingly, her eyes took him in, noticing that he had hung back a bit by a shelf flooded with Deflagration Deluxe, Basic Blaze Boxes and her father's other wild assortments of fireworks.
Dressed in a dark jacket, white shirt, faded jeans and a pair of green dragon hide boots, he still was able to remind her of a thief or a Muggle pirate. The long black braid down his back only gave him an air of something that was both interesting and ominous...too tempting to leave alone and Roxanne felt her chest twist. “If its a bother, we could always come back some other time,” Mr. Malfoy said to Perce with disappointment, looking a little uncomfortable, though Roxanne had a feeling that his mind might be on other things.
Perce appeared as if he wouldn't mind it if they did but before he could say anything, their father's voice alerted them to his presence. “What were you two arguing about? I could hear you all upstairs,” he sounded more annoyed than angry and Roxanne tore her eyes away from Benjamin, who hadn't even looked at her, to see him walking over to them.
Mr. Malfoy stiffened a little at the sight of him, as if he expected something like a wild exclamation or a banishment. Instead of using the Malfoy's strange scandal to his advantage, her brother only said to their father, “We're not as bad as you and mum when you get started.”
That had their father laughing a little and Roxanne felt his arm going around her shoulders as he stopped beside her. Perce got a pat on the head that made him roll his eyes with resigned suffering, “Sometimes I only start fighting with your mum just to have the great make up sex,”
“Dad!” Roxanne cried in horror as Perce made a gagging sound. Mr. Malfoy's eyes had widened a little and Benjamin, who had picked up a box of fireworks curiously, paused and glanced down at them, brow quirked. “No one wants to know!”
The disgust on his children's faces only seemed to make their father quite happy and he gave them both a kiss on the forehead. Perce groaned and squirmed away from him with an irritable laugh, “So, what's going on?” he asked curiously, finally catching sight of Mr. Malfoy standing politely in place, “well, shit, its been a while since I've seen you, Malfoy!”
Roxanne snuggled into her father's side a bit more, instinctively seeking protection as Benjamin glanced between them. There was a wary look in his blue-brown eyes that made her think of some wild creature about to pounce if necessary and she figured that he assumed everyone was against them. He had said that Roxanne would never understand what it was like walking with such a shameful stigma and she had to admit with a shamed frown that she didn't.
At her home, there were moments of anger and sadness but none of it could compare to the pain that Benjamin and his family had to endure on a daily basis simply for having their last name. “Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it? Its good to see you, you're looking well.” Mr. Malfoy said with a faint smile and Roxanne heard her father giggle a little (Perce sighed wearily). “I hope you don't mind me stopping by, I was hoping to get some last minute things for my daughter's birthday this weekend.”
“Not a problem, Malfoy, I was just about to close up shop but we're waiting for my wife to get back from work. And I never say no to a dad wanting to spoil his little girl,” Roxanne's father said with a grin at her. She blushed a little and saw Perce roll his eyes at them, even though everyone said that he was just as much of a brat as she was, “since when did you and yours get back? I heard you were abroad.”
Mr. Malfoy's face flooded with color and Benjamin walked over, the box of fireworks having been placed back on its shelf. There was a defensive look on his face and he had narrowed his eyes, as if daring them all to make another remark, “I just came back a few weeks ago, actually. I felt that after a year it was time to come home,”
The words caused her father to nod in understanding and Roxanne watched as he seemed to log in more questions for later. Although he had admitted more than once to saying that he and Mr. Malfoy weren't exactly friends, he wasn't the sort of person to ever be rude to a customer when he had no reason to.
Instead of prying even more into his personal life, her father merely gave him a welcoming grin. “Well, welcome back. Taint yourself with more Weasley products, Malfoy, I've got some good stuff that you might like—holy shit, what the hell happened to you?” he said rudely to Benjamin, having noticed him glaring a hole into the three of them.
Perce snickered and Roxanne gawped up at their father. “Dad!”
Mr. Malfoy looked a little taken aback but her father ignored their reactions, gushing to Benjamin foolishly. “I don't think I can call you little Malfoy anymore, you're massive!” he said to him and Roxanne saw Perce snort a little and his enemies father relax noticeably. “And so delicious looking too. Merlin, if I were twenty years younger, I don't know what I'd be doing to you.”
“Dad!” Roxanne cried as Benjamin roared with laughter. Mr. Malfoy's lips twitched a little, though there was a faint blush on his face that proved just how embarrassed he was by her father's antics and outrageous declarations, “would you stop?”
That only made her father waggle his eyebrows at her and Roxanne snorted with laughter before he returned his attention back to Mr. Malfoy. To her surprise, he appeared more amused now than anything, “Anyway, Malfoy, come with me. How old is your little girl turning? There are some really good love potions in the Wonder Witch section that she might like,” he was going into business mode and she frowned as he unwrapped his arms from her shoulders.
Mr. Malfoy, apparently relieved to be talking business, even when it had something to do with his own child, relaxed. An easy smile started on his face as her father pointed down to the Wonder Witch section of the shop, where garishly bright pink and purple products awaited, “She's turning nine, but I promised her I would get her a Pygmy Puff, is that what they're called?”
Pygmy Puffs were very popular with little girls and older women, though Roxanne shot her brother a look. Victoire had had a Pygmy Puff for years before Perce and Teddy Lupin had gotten their hands on the poor thing and used him for Bludger practice, “Yeah, that's what they're called, they're really cute, fluffy things.” Her father assured him with a gleam in his eye.
“I wasn't sure if she would be able to handle taking care of something so I was a tad worried when she asked.” Mr. Malfoy said to her father with a thoughtful frown. Roxanne had always wondered what his other two children were like since she had never met them before and found herself listening in curiously, “but she considers herself very mature.”
That made Roxanne's father laugh doubtfully before he said with a confident smile. “I'll let you know all about them, Malfoy but you should be careful. They need a lot of attention and some little girls can't handle it and abandon them,” he warned as they started to walk off.
Perce was frowning, his arms crossed. Benjamin looked a tad out of place as he watched his father leaving him behind, his obvious dislike of being stuck with the two of them for company apparent by his sudden scowl, “Dad, what are we supposed to do?” her brother called at his back.
“You're in a joke shop, Freddie! Talk to little Malfoy about girls or something. Beautiful girl, try not to fall in love back there!” their father teased at her over his shoulder. A very painful twist settled into Roxanne's chest and she hoped that her horrified expression didn't reveal how much the words had hurt her, “whew, that's not flattering!” her father laughed, though his eyes appeared more worried when he turned away.
Roxanne blinked rapidly to fight back a sting of nasty tears, hating that she was hurting her parents this way. While her father and Mr. Malfoy's voices became a bit hard to hear, she tried to inhale deeply and calm herself down, knowing that if she allowed Benjamin to get to her, he would only win. Molly had been right about that and she hated the thought of him controlling her emotions when he looked as calm and at ease as ever, as if nothing had happened between them.
After squaring her shoulders and turning to say something, desperate to make this as less awkward as possible, she heard Perce ask Benjamin rudely. “So where'd you get that shiner Malfoy?” and, knowing that she had been too distracted by the rest of him to look too closely at his face, Roxanne turned just in time to see Benjamin raise his hand to his eye.
The memory of raising her fist and punching him as hard as she had been able flashed in her mind. Added with the scar over his eyebrow, it only made him look like some rugged male character from a cheesy romance novel, though Roxanne felt a nasty bit of pleasure at the sight of the bruise. “None of your bloody business, Weasley.” Benjamin said as he lowered his fingers and raised his upper lip.
“Not my business but its just sort of hard not to notice.” Perce said while taking him in with heated dislike. Benjamin returned it, a cold expression entering his eyes and making Roxanne feel the slightest bit of chills, “Looks like someone got a good blow in.”
Benjamin's jaw tightened and Roxanne saw his eyes glance over at her for just one moment before sliding away. It left her feeling hollow, “Would you like to find out what a nice punch in the face feels like, Weasley? I owe you a few.”
Roxanne glanced between them with burgeoning unease. Though she knew, without a doubt now that her brother and Teddy Lupin had bullied Benjamin quite badly at Hogwarts, it still made her stomach twist. “Go ahead and try it. You're always getting into trouble anyway, no one's going to be surprised,” Perce said smartly and without a hint of concern for himself.
“You might want to be careful about what you're trying to say, Weasley.” Benjamin warned darkly and when Roxanne made a motion to step in, he shot her a glance that almost looked like like an apology. “I hate to ruin the special bond between siblings,”
“I'm just letting you know that your attitude and whatever the hell you think you can get away with won't get past me. Especially with my sister around,” Perce said with a very pleased look on his face that made him appear just like the bully that Benjamin had always said he was.
That caused a very strange reaction on Benjamin's face. Roxanne watched his eyes widen a little before a sly smile spread over his mouth, as if he knew a secret that he couldn't tell and she felt a bolt of terror—he was going to tell her brother what they'd done. “Get over yourself, Weasley. I'm not and have never been, interested in your sister, no matter if she is a really cute lump,” he stunned her by saying.
Roxanne felt dizzy with emotion, knowing that he was lying, that he couldn't be telling the truth. All of the hurt that he had caused threatened to build up and she could feel the press of his lips along her throat...the scent of him invading her nose and it was very hard to breathe, “Let's keep it that way, Malfoy. I don't care what everyone says about you and I could really give a rat's ass who your father is, but you keep yourself away from her.”
“Why so suddenly over protective, Weasley? I've been hanging around your sister and contaminating her for years.” Benjamin said with a wide eyed look of mockery. Roxanne felt herself flushing as he angled his head at her, a private smile spreading over his face and making her think of days gone by.
There had been so much fun between them over the years and it hurt so much to see him now after what he had done. How could he act so casual? How could he act like he hadn't done anything wrong and left her sobbing for days? Why...why was he looking at her like he wanted to eat her?
Roxanne suddenly thought in alarm, watching as his eyes, for just a moment, flared with need. The look was over before she could draw in a suitable breath and she heard Perce practically snarling, “My parents might not have cared that you two were hanging around each other but I've never liked it and I've never liked you.”
Or the way you look at her, Roxanne didn't hear him say. Those unspoken words hung in the air though and she felt an uncomfortable wave go over her, “Ooh, I'm so scared, Weasley.” Benjamin said with a mock shudder before he gave a cold bark of a laugh that felt like a sting to her heart, “I don't give a shit about what you think or how you feel and I didn't come in here today with my dad by the way, to get into it with you.”
Perce made a motion as if he wanted to prove to him how afraid he should be and Roxanne gripped his wrist. She might have made some sort of sound in response to it because her brother turned to her with a faint smile, “Why don't you go upstairs or something and get dressed before mum gets back?”
Roxanne knew that he meant well, in his own over-protective way but she gave him an annoyed look. Benjamin had turned away from the two of them, going back to the shelf of fireworks thoughtfully, the slightest of smiles on his face, “You don't have to act like this just because he's here. Stop it Perce, you're being stupid,” she hissed to her brother.
Perce had the audacity to turn a bit pink but he shrugged it off, glowering at Benjamin's tall form. He didn't appear interested or had even bothered to acknowledge her presence and Roxanne thought that it was silly of her to feel a sting from it, “What do you expect? I ask you what's been bothering you for the past few days and as soon as I mention that prick's name you look like you're about to cry.”
Ignoring her slight interruption, her brother went on in a low voice that caused Roxanne to feel a wave of guilt. It would take all that she had to keep what had happened a secret but she wasn't sure how long she would be able to fight it, “I don't want to hear it, Roxie.”
“Since when do you get off on being so rude? I don't...I haven't even talked to Ben. He and I aren't...we're not friends anymore, we never were,” Roxanne found herself saying tightly, knowing that her voice sounded harsh.
Perce's eyes widened a little at the expression on her face and he sighed heavily, briefly pressing his forehead against hers. Roxanne could feel Benjamin's eyes pressing into her commandingly, as if he were stopping himself from obeying that tug that seemed to push and pull them towards one another. “Look, Roxie, I'm sorry. But I really want to know what's been bothering you, you haven't even bothered to tell us.”
Roxanne felt her lips trembling and moved away from him, though she kept her fingers around his wrist. “Its..its nothing. Just before-school jitters,”
“Oh , bullshit. Since when did you ever care about going to school? Even being made Prefect can't make you want to work harder,” Perce said dryly, tearing apart her lie so easily that it scared her. “You can lie as much as you want but I know that whatever is wrong, has something to do with that thing over there,” he said in reference to Benjamin, who, upon sensing that he was the topic of discussion, raised his brows.
“Saying kind things, Weasley?” Benjamin asked dryly as he took two boxes of fireworks and balanced them in his arms. Roxanne had a feeling that he wasn't just going to use those for his sister's birthday party, “I can't understand why we're not best friends,”
Roxanne didn't know why she said it but she snapped angrily. “Would you mind shutting up, Ben?” she didn't register the look of genuine surprise on his face because she was snapping at her smug brother just as harshly. “And you can shut up, too Perce. Maybe you two have some sort of sexual tension going on that you should work out, I'm tired of listening to you harping at one another,” she said irritably, folding her arms.
“As if he'd be my type!” Perce snapped and while Benjamin's face had gone pale at the thought of rolling around in silk sheets with her brother, Roxanne never heard what else he would have said as the front doors of the shop opened.
“I could hear you fighting from outside. Luckily for me, you all haven't started eating one another from starvation,” their mother said with a laugh as she stepped inside. As usual, she was dressed in a simple set of robes and had managed to put her curly hair on top of her head, looking fresh and lively even though Roxanne knew she had to be exhausted.
Benjamin's lips twitched and Roxanne watched his cheeks turning faintly pink and almost found herself commenting on it. But it would be silly to assume that teasing him about his crush on her mother would have the same results as they used to, “Mum, don't be silly. You know Dad would eat us first,” Perce said by way of greeting and their mother roared with laughter.
Roxanne was glad to see her but noticed that there was someone standing behind her and would know the sight of that blonde Mohawk anywhere. “Who'd you bring back with you?” her brother asked curiously.
Their mother gave them both a teasing look as she motioned for her guest to step inside, Roxanne wincing when Perce roughly nudged her arm. Adam Jordan gave an awkward little wave as he made his way in, Benjamin giving a snort of disbelief at the sight of him, “My other son, Adam! I scooped him up while he was walking over and thought he and his family would want to come for dinner tonight.” Their mother explained.
“Hey, Rox, Fred,” Adam Jordan said with an embarrassed laugh while their mother reached up to pinch his cheeks. Roxanne had thought that he would have gone home by now but he explained his presence by saying with a shrug at them, “thought I'd stop by and get my girlfriend something before heading home.”
Perce nodded his approval while their mother gave the boy a fond little kiss on the cheek, making him blush. Benjamin, from the corner of Roxanne's eye, appeared a little envious as he watched the spectacle, “Where's your dad?” their mother asked after Adam had made the smart choice to step away.
“Oh, he's back by the Wonder Witch section,” Roxanne explained while shooting a look at Benjamin. The sounds of their father's talking could be heard coming closer to them and she felt a wave of relief at the thought that this would be over soon and he would go back to his life and she could return to acting out her own. “Mr. Malfoy and Benjamin came in at the last minute for some shopping,” she was surprised that she hadn't bumbled over the words.
Their mother took in the information curiously before finally turning her attention to Benjamin, who turned surprisingly pink. “This is Benjamin? I barely recognized you, you're so handsome!” she said with a laugh while walking up and making him bend down so she could get a good look at him. “I haven't seen you in ages!”
“Sorry about that,” Benjamin said with a shy grin. While her mother chatted away to him, asking questions here and there, Adam slipped by Roxanne's side and she barely noticed the grin he shot her and she briefly returned it, “no, no, I don't have a girlfriend,” she heard him say.
Roxanne felt another stab in her chest because she was just another mark on a long list of girls he had tossed aside. The feeling threatened to sink in but vanished as she heard Adam ask her in a low whisper, “So...what's freaky Malfoy and his dad doing here?”
“What do you mean?” Roxanne asked him dryly while Perce gave a rude laugh beside her. Adam's pierced eyebrow and lip only made her cringe a bit but she didn't detect any real malice behind his words, only curiosity, “he and his dad are just here to buy some stuff for a birthday party.”
Adam raised his brows a little at her defensive tone but Roxanne was already inwardly cursing herself. She had been defending Benjamin and his family for years and that was a strange habit to break, “Oh, well, I was just wondering. Merlin, he's even spookier up close,” the boy said while leaning away from her. Roxanne rolled her eyes, “its those eyes of his, you know? Its like he doesn't have a soul.”
“That's not even nice and you know it—” Roxanne started, though her voice was drowned out by Perce's laughter. “Shut up, Perce!” she snapped.
The sound of their father's voice broke up whatever fight had been about to ensue and she was relieved for it. “Angie, you're back! I knew my body started getting all tingly for a reason,” Adam and Perce roared with laughter, looking chummy.
Roxanne suspected that Adam's rude words comments about Benjamin had won her brother over a little. It made her a little sick to her stomach and she distracted herself by watching Mr. Malfoy handling a tiny cage carefully, a pink Pygmy Puff purring at him from inside, “Georgie, I'm having the same reaction,” their mother replied huskily.
“I see you've latched on to another man, traitor.” Her father replied with an exaggerated gasp. Mr. Malfoy's Pygmy Puff squeaked and chirped in agreement and she almost laughed, “thought redheads were your type?”
Adam and Perce were laughing loudly as Roxanne's mother grinned impishly. She gave her husband a flirtatious little wink, “Georgie, you'll always be my type,” that only made him puff out his chest as she turned her attention back to the boy, “Benjamin, you've gotten so big!”
“And then some,” Benjamin said suggestively, waggling his eyebrows.
Mr. Malfoy shot him a furious look even though Roxanne's parents were roaring with laughter. “Benjamin, don't be rude.” He chastised and his son heaved a sigh, shooting him a look that made her wonder what sort of tension they were experiencing at home.
When her parents eventually stopped laughing, Roxanne's father asked curiously, having spotted Adam finally. “What are you doing here, anyway?” and when the boy explained about getting something for his girlfriend, he gave a very serious nod. “I see, I see, that's some serious business. Beautiful girl, why not go show him some stuff in the Wonder Witch section?”
Roxanne wasn't sure if she liked the hopeful look on his face and shot Perce a glare when he started to smile smugly. “Why not, Rox?” Adam asked happily while slinging an arm around her shoulders and causing Benjamin to shoot him a dark look from the corner of his eye.
“Uhm, I'm not sure if I could help with that,” Roxanne muttered uncomfortably, feeling the trail of Benjamin's eyes on them before he looked away. Her mother was still chatting away to him before turning her attention to his father, going on in embarrassing detail on how handsome and tasty he looked (Mr. Malfoy actually blushed at some point), “I don't even really know your girlfriend,” she muttered.
Adam gave a careless shrug and pulled her closer to his side with an exaggerated sigh that made her laugh. “What's to know, Rox? She's a girly girl. Anything pink and frilly would do. Bianca made me stay with her for two hours looking at gloves and scarves and whatnot in Beauty Within—erm, sorry,” he said hastily at Benjamin and Mr. Malfoy.
Though he hadn't said anything negative about his wife's shop, Mr. Malfoy just gave him a nod. Benjamin on the other hand shot him a nasty glare that was only made worse when he flicked his eyes to her embarrassed face, “How about I get your stuff wrapped up for you, Malfoy?” her father asked, breaking the little silence that had fallen easily.
“Sure, I should be heading back soon. Benjamin, are you intending on paying for those?” Mr. Malfoy asked with raised brows, nodding his head at the boxes of fireworks in his son's arms. He received an annoyed glance, “I'm not sure if your sister would like the fireworks so much as your brother, something always explodes,”
That made Adam laugh. “Sounds like my dad,” he said while leading Roxanne towards the Wonder Witch section, ignoring how she couldn't return his enthusiasm. When she chanced a glance over her shoulder, she was surprised to find Benjamin staring at her, the look in his eyes so dark and heated that it made her blood boil.
His eyes, blue-brown and narrowed seemed to possess enough heat to burn Roxanne to the core. Chills danced on her skin and she forced herself not to think of kisses and touches and caresses... seeing the memories echoing between them before she forced herself to look away. “You all right, Rox? I know helping me get something for my girlfriend is awful but I'll make it easy on you and not keep you all night,” Adam was saying to her, noticing her face.
“I'm fine, I'll, uhm, help as much as I can.” Roxanne replied with an easy smile that she didn't feel. The press of Benjamin's eyes were still on her back and she wondered if it were her imagination that she had caught a flash of envy in them. It had to be a joke because he had made it more than obvious that he didn't care about her and she turned sharply away, willing the tug pulling her to him to stop.
Nighttime in Diagon Alley was noisy and loud, drunken voices and pub doors ringing in all directions. It wasn't a peaceful sound but over the years, Roxanne had been able to sleep without a care in the world, comfortable even in her Uncle Fred's room despite the sadness that she got occasionally of having it. There were no lingering traces of him here but Roxanne could feel whatever energy he left hanging about, though she was certain that it was mostly her imagination. Most people assumed that her brother would be here in Uncle Fred's room but her parents had decided that it being a much larger space would suit a growing girl better.
Over the years, she had flooded every space with furniture, toys and masses of clothes, wondering sometimes if Uncle Fred minded much that she had painted the room pink and pale blue. Fierce posters of her favorite Quidditch players took away from the extreme girlishness of her room, while photos and little trinkets on every available flat surface hinted at a childhood that she still loved.
Roxanne couldn't sleep and rolled over onto her side, the softness of her bed as fluffy as a cloud. Though her covers were light, her pillow soft and the familiar shadows of her Hogwarts trunk, desk and clothes soothing her body into a state of relaxation, her mind was whirling. Sometimes when she got this way, it would only take a few moments of counting dragons before her eyes grew heavy but tonight was different...nothing she'd tried for the last half hour had caused her to grow tired.
Whenever she managed to close her eyes, she seemed to relive every moment with Benjamin in jarring detail. It felt more than cruel that he had come back into her life right at a moment when she had started to feel a little peace, when she had been forcing herself to get through the day without crying. But now, the taste and scent of him was flooding back...she was remembering the look in his eyes when he had told her to leave and get out of his life.
“Bastard,” Roxanne muttered, pressing the heels of her hands into her eyes to try to block the memories out. It was so difficult when she felt that tug and pull even now, even with Benjamin being safely tucked away at the Manor...laughing with his family and putting it all from his mind. She didn't expect him to have his mind centered around her while with his family but she wasn't sure how he would react to her later at Hogwarts and if she would be strong enough to tune him out.
If she had been braver, she would have asked her mother for advice but she didn't dare confess to her troubles. The disappointment would kill her and Perce had only made it worse with all of his questions today and later, practically shoving Adam Jordan into her lap. “Ugh,” Roxanne groaned with distaste, rolling over onto her side and punching her pillow for something to do, “not my type at all, Perce,” she grumbled after she'd finished.
Though her brother knew that she didn't care about Adam, he had been overly nice to the boy during dinner. It had pained him, obviously but Perce had made it more than apparent that he thought the boy would make a much better boyfriend for her, their father appearing oddly hopeful even when he tried not to show it.
Roxanne knew that her parents weren't stupid, they had shot her worried looks during dinner and every mention of Mr. Malfoy and Benjamin had made her pale. It was so pathetic— Ping. Ping. Ping. Startled, she shot up in bed, thinking that she was hearing things but when the sound came again from her window, she stumbled out of bed, tripping a little as she wandered to it.
There was an alley down below and as she pushed her window open and looked for the source, she was amazed to find the familiar shape of Benjamin's silhouette. He was looking up at her, hand thrown back to toss one last rock before letting it slip from his fingertips and Roxanne felt her heart nearly stop, unable to utter a word.
Thanks for reading! Albus is up next! :)
A/N: Hello, all. I decided that instead of Audrey and Percy, I'd upate for this instead and I hope you really enjoy your dose of Benjamin. Much love. ;)
Roxanne's breath seemed to have shortened and she tried to gather her tumbling thoughts but found that she couldn't. What was he doing here? After the spectacle today and what had happened between them, what gave him the right to show up at her window? Anger started to form but Benjamin didn't vanish in a puff of smoke or turn around, he merely stared up at her, the expression on his face shadowed but she could feel the intensity of his gaze.
Roxanne bit on her lip and, seeing that the fire escape outside her window was still in decent condition after a year of misuse, she slipped out and landed onto it, heart pounding. There had been a lot of instances in the past where she would slip out of her room this way to meet with him in Diagon Alley, the two of them causing havoc wherever they ran.
Things had changed though and Roxanne shivered slightly from a sudden wind, her curly hair flying in all directions before she pushed it back and motioned for Benjamin to step up. When he did, there was a strange expression on his face and she was able to see that he had brought his wand with him, noticing a sudden shaft of silvery light. “What do you want?” Roxanne hissed down at him angrily, hugging her arms, “I don't want to see you.”
Benjamin looked around to make sure that no one was listening or coming up before he answered her. “Too bad, Weasley. I need to go over some things with you,” his voice was calm and controlled, though his eyes were shifting a little, as if he expected her to turn her back on him and slam her window shut.
It was oddly tempting and Roxanne fought the urge down, wondering what he could possibly have to say to her now. After what had happened and having her heart shattered into pieces, she didn't want to hear anything that came out of his mouth but... “What do you want to talk about? I'm done with you!” she snapped in a carrying hiss.
Benjamin actually flinched at the words and she glowered down at him, hating that he looked like some girl's wildest fantasty. It wasn't fair, “Sure you are, sweet. Come down and talk with me for a minute, this won't take long,” he said and she narrowed her eyes on him. He smiled, disarming her and making her wish that she could fight the tug and pull between them, “you can go back to hating me later.”
Roxanne didn't know what this could mean or what he would really want from her but this time, she wasn't going to let him bait and seduce her into letting down her guard. And this might be the greatest opportunity to make him hurt a little, “Fine, but I'm not going to waste my time with you all night. Wait down there for me,” she hissed down at him and he gave a curt nod.
Oh, she hated him just now. How was it that he could walk around like he hadn't done anything? Did sleeping with her and tossing her aside like he had so many other girls really been so easy? “..... I don’t even know how you’ve managed to go this long without some horrible bloke fucking and leaving you,” Roxanne's eyes welled with sudden tears but she fought them down.
She wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry this time and with a determined frown, she slipped back into her room, giving a sigh as the warm temperature heated her skin. Thinking that she would make him wait down there for as long as possible, Roxanne rushed to her closet, careful to make her steps as light as possible in case her parents or brother was still up. Perce was probably sneaking out to see Leanne anyway and their parents were probably either asleep, playing a game or doing the sort of things that gave her nightmares, “Ew, gross,” Roxanne muttered with a shudder. After wiping those horrible images from her mind, she dug around in her closet, thinking that she would show Benjamin that she didn't give a damn about him.
Contemplating whether or not she should dress cute or not, Roxanne recalled how he'd looked at her in the mini skirt and tank she wore to the Manor that morning. It hadn't taken him long to undress her either and a wild blush invaded her cheeks—she didn't want Benjamin touching her again or kissing her or.... “Screw him,” Roxanne said fiercely as she rummanged around.
After a while, she snatched a white long-sleeved shirt from the bottom of her closet, knowing that it was there for not being cute or all that attractive. After scouring around for a pair of loose jeans, she undressed quickly from her pajamas, dug in her drawers for a hideously old bra and got dressed. Benjamin wouldn't be remotely interested in her if he saw how she was looking and Roxanne smoothed her hands over her body carefully, hoping that she didn't appear too bad.
She may not be as thin as Molly and Victoire but she wasn't huge. That thought gave her a boost of confidence before she realized that her butt was perhaps a tad too big for these jeans. Too many Cauldron Cakes, she thought with a sigh before scouring in the dark for the trainers she'd kicked off by the door and shoving her feet into them. She was going to show Benjamin that she didn't need him!
Hoping that this decision wouldn't backfire, Roxanne quickly snatched an old coat from the floor, slipped into and then, went to her dresser again. After running a brush viciously through her hair, she used a pink rubber band to tie it up into a bun, knowing that he liked running his fingers through her hair.
Roxanne tried not to think about it, or the way his mouth had been trailing along the length of her neck in little kisses and bites that had gone lower and lower and—“Get a grip,” she snapped to herself. The lurid sensations took a moment to go away but when they did, Roxanne was left feeling both hollow and furious, hating that no matter what happened between them, she always went back...
There were beautiful robes and dresses on display in the shop windows of Beauty Within, the robe shop that Mrs. Malfoy owned. Roxanne would have been able to spot them from a mile away, the building itself being very large and boasting odd green bricks that glistened in the afternoon sun.
It had taken her a while to get here but Roxanne knew all the best shortcuts around Diagon Alley but it had still taken her longer than she would have thought and her legs felt like jelly. The sight of finely dressed mannequins in the shop windows spurred her on though and she forced herself across the street, narrowly missing a mother stacked high with boxes.
After the woman chastised her for not watching where she was going, Roxanne crossed over to the building, her heart flooding with happiness. Benjamin would most likely be here, and she hoped that she hadn't come here for nothing.
Roxanne looked down the sidewalk to make sure no one was coming before walking up to the shop windows and trying to peek around the mannequins. Sharply dressed seamstresses were strutting about in silver robes, carrying heaps of fabric and sewing utensils. From what she could see, a lot of girls were being fitted for fresh Hogwarts robes and preening on stools to better look at themselves in the mirror, where their mother's clapped and praised them.
Roxanne wouldn't be going to Hogwarts until next year, where she still hoped to be put in Slytherin House with Benjamin. Even with that knowledge, she felt a tad envious knowing that she wasn't even going to go shopping for her own wand for a few months when she wanted one now.
Sighing miserably, she continued to look around through the window, stretching and craning her neck until it hurt. The interior was intricate and elegant, the carpets plush and every available shelf filled with fabrics that ranged from normal colors to such splended creations that there was no way to take it all in.
Roxanne had always thought that walking into Beauty Within had been like stepping into a very pleassant and wonderful dream. There was no sign of a glowering black haired boy from what she was able to make out though and she frowned, backing away from the window.
Knowing that she would rather not go home disappointed, Roxanne considered going inside but before she could, the door opened. “Can I help you?” the voice startled her a little and she looked up to see a woman staring down at her kindly. She looked down at the whipped daisies in her hand, very sad to see that some of the white petals had been ripped away, “are you lost sweetie?”
“No, I'm not lost,” Roxanne said to the woman with a slight pout. The woman was heavy set, and looked a little younger than her parents, though there were worry lines around her eyes and mouth. Long black hair was tied up back from an average, if not pleasant face and the set of robes she wore were done in shades of blue and white, “Uhmm, you're Benjamin's mum?” she asked.
The question surprised the woman and she gave a soft smile, though a look of suspcion had entered her eyes. As Roxanne straightened and hid her ruined daisies behind her back, she got a reply, “Yes, I am, do you know Ben?” Mrs. Malfoy asked her carefully, studying her. “You look like you might be lost, I came out to see if you needed help.”
There was a hint of amusement in her voice and Roxanne had a feeling that she wasn't used to little girls coming into her shop alone. “Yes, I'm Roxanne Weasley, my dad is—”
“George Weasley, I know him. My husband buys more things from that shop than anywhere else and leaves nothing but a mess around the house,” Mrs. Malfoy interrupted her with a very aggravated eye roll. Roxanne wouldn't have figured Mr. Malfoy for actually playing with her father's products but it made her smile, “Ben told me about you.”
Roxanne started to smile before she noticed the look on her face. It wasn't very welcoming and she felt her shoulders sinking, “Oh. What did he say?”
Mrs. Malfoy heaved a sigh before looking over her shoulder to make sure that the shop was still bustling. When she turned back to Roxanne, she kept her tone light but there was a hint of disappointment and protectiveness in her words, “You seem like a sweet girl, but I'm not sure if Ben needs to see you right now. He was so upset the other day, I haven't seen him crying that badly in a very long time,” she sounded truly hurt and Roxanne felt it like a knife in her own chest.
“I'm really sorry about that, Mrs. Malfoy. My brother was being mean to him but I like Ben, I think he's really nice,” Roxanne said in a rush and Mrs. Malfoy blinked in surprise. A blush worked into her cheeks and she fumbled on, “That's why I came to see him, I wanted to say sorry—see?” she revealed the daisies from behind her back and to her embarrassment, a few petals fell onto the ground.
Mrs. Malfoy's eyes widened a little, taking her in curiously and trying not to smile. She somehow didn't look like a woman that smiled genuinely very often and Roxanne lowered the daisies morosely, thinking that she would be sent home, “Why don't you come in? Ben is here today, helping me with some things. I think if you're really here to be nice, he might want to see you but I'm never sure with him, he's awfully moody,” she warned and Roxanne nodded.
Feeling herself blushing at the obvious amusement on the woman's face, Roxanne slipped inside the moment she opened the door wider. All the noise and chatter from customers swamped her, along with the dreamy feeling that she was in a better place, “Where is he?” she asked Mrs. Malfoy politely, hoping that Benjamin would want to see her.
Mrs. Malfoy placed a gentle hand on her back and started leading her forward into the depths of the shop. There was so much activity that it made Roxanne's head spin but Benjamin's mother seemed to take it all in with patience, “Come on, I'll take you to him. Its a bit busy in here right now, I'm afraid.”
“Do you have to go back to work? Daddy says I'm not supposed to bother people when they're working but he's always sneaking off anyway,” Roxanne informed Mrs. Malfoy secretively and the woman laughed.
After giving her a reassuring smile, she replied. “I'm never too busy for my Benjamin and his friend?” Roxanne nodded fiercely and received a slight smile, “when do you go to Hogwarts, dear?” she asked curiously.
“Oh, uhm, next year—ooh, pink! I really like pink.” Roxanne cried happily at the sight of a shelf flooded with varying shades of her favorite color. Mrs. Malfoy laughed a little at her enthusiasm, “I'm going to be in Slytherin you know.”
Mrs. Malfoy appeared very surprised by this as they walked around racks of robes and finely pressed clothes. Girls were giggling and the sound of scissors snipping, mother's chastising and father's groaning oddly reminded Roxanne of the joke shop, “Would you be the first Weasley to be in Slytherin? What do you parents have to say about that?”
Roxanne shrugged, trying ot look very grown up for her. Mrs. Malfoy only appeared more amused, “I haven't told my parents that I'll be in Slytherin yet. But I might be the first Weasley to ever be in Slytherin! Me and Ben are going to stay friends if that's okay,” she said, peering up at the woman hopefully.
“Oh, that's perfectly fine by me.” Mrs. Malfoy said but she sounded a little worried and Roxanne hoped she didn't think she was lying. While she didn't want to believe that her brother and Teddy Lupin were bullying Benjamin at Hogwarts, she would never be mean to him and would punch anyone that did. That's what friends did after all, “there he is, why not tell him that?”
Roxanne felt herself grow a little nervous as she spotted Benjamin up ahead, holding stacks of robes, skirts and dresses in his arms. An elderly woman was going through a rack of clothes in front of her, already weighed down by expensive robes and glistening jewelry, “Ooh, I think this would suit me just fine!” the woman crowed, holding up a red skirt five times too small.
Benjamin's face was expressionless but from the tightening of his lips, Roxanne could see that he was having a hard time not making a rude remark. Mrs. Malfoy laughed behind her hand a little, even while the sight of her son obviously suffering shouldn't have been funny, “Benny, let me take those for you,” she offered sweetly, walking over and taking the heap of clothing from his arms.
Benjamin looked relieved but hadn't noticed Roxanne just yet as the elderly woman took in the sight of his mother with a crowing laugh. He cringed, “Pansy, darling, you look lovely! Perhaps you could help me with a slight problem I'm having? This skirt is simply divine bit I might need help getting into it,” she said with an exaggerated pout.
Mrs. Malfoy's face was nothing but polite even though Roxanne knew that no amount of magic or the grace of God would get the woman into that skirt. “Of course, Thelma, I'm at your service.” Benjamin rolled his eyes, “Benny, why don't you see to your little guest for me? I'll help Mrs. McLaggen for you.”
“Guest?” Benjamin asked incredulously, sounding instantly wary. Roxanne suddenly wanted to hide but she stood her ground just as he turned and spotted her, “w...what are you doing here, lump?” he demanded, looking both shocked, embarrassed and angry.
Roxanne opened her mouth to say something but Mrs. Malfoy, turning briefly away from a chattering Mrs. McLaggen said sharply. “Ben Frederick, that isn't nice! What have I told you about name calling?” she asked with a frown, which only made his face turn from pale to brilliantly red.
Mrs. McLaggen was tutting a little while Roxanne watched Benjamin frown up at his mother, looking betrayed. She sent him a stern, foreboding look that caused him to blanch with primal fear, “But she is a lump, Mum! She's all plump and stuff. What else am I supposed to call her?” Benjamin asked, sounding genuinely confused.
“Ben!” Mrs. Malfoy chastised and he tossed his hands in the air as if he couldn't quite comprehend her. Roxanne giggled, the sound catching his mother's attention and making her smile before she said to her son, “why don't you take her somewhere and go play for a while? I can handle the shop by myself for a few minutes.”
Roxanne wondered if Benjamin would tell her to leave but instead, his lips almost turned up in a smile before shrugged. There was as scowl trying to form, “Fine. Come on, lump,” he commanded and flinched away from the sharp look his mother gave him.
Surprised, Roxanne followed after Benjamin as he started leading her back outside, his head bent. Various customers said their hellos to him, most of them older women and Roxanne snickered a little as a few of them stopped the boy in his tracks to give him a few kisses and compliments.
“Old ladies really like you,” Roxanne commented as they stepped outside, the door clicking quietly behind them. Benjamin flinched a little and started walking down the sidewalk and away from the building as if he feared an older woman would run, grab him and smother him in more kisses, “I bet you don't like those kisses.”
Benjamin shot her a humiliated look as he faced her, stuffing his hands into his pockets and kicking at the ground. “Shut up, lump! I don't ask for it!” he cried.
Roxanne's lips were twitching and she took in his flushed face and pointed at a spot on his nose curiously. “You've got this big lipstick stain on your nose.”
Benjamin flushed almost as red as the lipstick on his skin and furiously wiped it away with the sleeve of his forearm. It only made the marks smear into his skin though and Roxanne laughed, “Shut up, Weasley!” he snapped angrily, sounding more embarrassed by the minute. “and don't you dare tell anyone what you saw in there!”
“Why would I?” Roxanne asked teasingly, grinning from ear to ear. Benjamin narrowed his eyes on her as she rocked back on her heels, “do you work in there with your mum a lot? Those old laides seemed to know you pretty well if you ask me.”
Benjamin grunted as he wiped at his face again. “I don't like that sneaky smile on your face. Anyone ever tell you that you're sort of annoying?” Roxanne frowned, thinking of her brother, Teddy Lupin and Victoire spouting that more than once at her. “But at least you're not mean about it.”
Roxannesmiled at the compliment, rocking back and forth on her heels for a while longer before asking. “Why are the ladies in there so nice to you though? I mean, I wouldn't like anyone snogging me all the time like that.”
Benjamin frowned thoughtfully, as if considering what to say. After a moment, he said with a grumble, “I don't want them slobbering all over me Weasley but I have to be nice to them for my mum. I come here all the time because I get tired of being at home, my dad is always working.”
Roxanne nodded in understanding, thinking that she would have to get home soon if she wanted to be there on time to see Uncle Lee and his family. At the thought of suffering with Adam Jordan though, she shuddered and glanced down at the daisies in her hands, wondering when she should give them to him. “Why don't you have friends come to see you from school?” when he shot her a glance, she looked awkwardly away before stepping away from him, “you don't want people coming to your house?”
Benjamin's face was guarded but she saw a flicker of sadness in his face before it faded away. “No one wants to come over a stinking Malfoy's house, okay? I don't have friends or anything, and I don't like going to school.” He said in a pained rush that made Roxanne feel very sad for him.
“I'd come over your house to play. It'd be really fun,” Roxanne said softly, wondering what his house could possibly be like.
Benjamin tried to glare at her but it was rather weak. It was obvious that he was trying hard not to smile, even as his cheeks turned very red, “Who said that I'd even invite you, lump?” he muttered.
Roxanne shrugged before rocking back on her heels, a smile threatening to form. He muttered something under his breath, looking embarrassed, “You're not as tough as you make yourself out to be, are you Benny?” she asked, grinning impishly.
Benjamin's face turned bright red and he spluttered angrily. “Don't you dare call me that in front of anyone, lump!” he cried and Roxanne roared with laughter, “what are you even doing here anyway, come to make fun of me some more about being a Malfoy?” he demanded.
Roxanne shook her head and said fiercely. “I came over here to apologize about what happened, I'm sorry that my brother made you cry.”
“Why're you apologizing for your prat brother? You didn't do anything!” Benjamin said, sounding more annoyed than angry as he looked at her. “You didn't have to come here, all right? I told you that I didn't want to be around you or your family.”
Roxanne's face morphed into a furious frown and Benjamin reeled away from the sight as if she might explode. “Don't call my brother a prat! I'm sorry that everyone's been mean to you at school but not all Weasley's are the same okay, Ben?”
Benjamin looked a little ashamed of himself for just one second before he stiffly said, his shoulders slumping. “So its okay for them to think all Malfoys are the same, Weasley?”
“No, its not. Its stupid and I don't care about any of that stuff, I just want you to be my friend,” Roxanne said fiercely, shoving the ruined daisies into his chest.
Benjamin spluttered something that sounded a lot like bad words as he scrambled to hold onto the flowers. “...They're all beat up.” He said in obvious disappointment and Roxanne felt her lips trembling and turned her nose up at him, determined to walk her way back home.
“Well, take them anyway!” Roxanne spat.
Benjamin's voice stopped her from walking away as he asked, sounding both happy and very confused. “Why do you want to be my friend so badly anyway, Weasley?”
“Cause I like you, we've got lots in common.” Roxanne said automatically, turning back to him with a serious look on her face. Benjamin was staring at her strangely, as if he had been hit over the head, “people say I'm not really a Weasley and people say you're not really a Malfoy. We should be friends and prove them wrong, right?”
There was a very awkward and long silence after that and Roxanne wondered if she had said something wrong. “Weasley, you're mental.” Benjamin suddenly said and Roxanne looked up to see him just an inch from her, peering into her face as if he could read her mind, “but I guess it'll be okay, even if your daisies are smashed.”
Roxanne stepped back from him but not before he placed one of the mangled daisies in her hair, the stem tickling her ear. Benjamin tucked a decent one behind his own, giving her a little wink that made her giggle, “You look dashing!”
Benjamin grinned, bowing his head and blushing a little. “Whatever, lump. So uhm, what do you want to do?” Roxanne shrugged, bubbling with happiness. “You want to blow up more bathrooms with me? I could tell you all about Slytherin—you're going to be a Slytherin aren't you?” he asked, gazing at her with a pleading look on his face.
Roxanne nodded importantly, knowing in her heart that she would be in Slytherin and that she would be able to see him all she liked. “Yep, I'll be the best Slytherin ever. I'm supposed to go home soon to have lunch but let's blow up some bathrooms tomorrow?” the boy nodded eagerly and she found herself taking in his smile, thinking it the sweetest thing—
“George!” the sound of her mother's terrified cry jolted Roxanne out of her thoughts and she padded quickly towards the door. “George—George!” her mother sounded as if she were in extreme pain and she felt her eyes welling with tears, hating that this still happened to both of her parents after all this time.
The Battle of Hogwarts had been nearly twenty years ago and yet, to her parents, they still suffered daily from the trauma of it, the memories still fresh. Roxanne blinked rapidly and cracked open her door, surprised to see that her father was leading her mother out of their bedroom, the two of them dressed in old Puddlemore United pajamas.
“Angie, its all right.” The soothing quality of her father's voice could have calmed anything and Roxanne glanced at her mother's ashen, horrified face, feeling an intense ache. “I'm alive, see?” her father whispered to his wife comfortingly.
“But...you were lying on the ground...and smiling...” Roxanne's mother sobbed brokenly, her shoulders shaking terribly. It caused her father's face to tighten, as if he were holding back tears before bringing her into his arms, his hand gently pressing her head against his chest, “I can't do a thing without you, Georgie—if something happened to you, I would die.”
Roxanne's heart stuttered. With her parents she had always assumed that her father would never survive with her but...there was so much that they never talked about with she and Perce, it almost made them seem like strangers. “Its all right, Angie, I'm not going anywhere. You can hear my heart beating can't you? You and the kids are all that keeps me going,” her father said to her, voice barely above a whisper. “And Percy too because lets face it, he's my second lover.”
The words caused her mother to laugh weakly while Roxanne wiped at her eyes, hating that she was seeing this at all. This was not how she would want to see her parents and she quietly stepped away from her door, allowing them to comfort one another in peace and feeling guilty that she couldn't help. Swfitly, she wiped at the tears on her face, inhaled and turned to her window, determined to get this thing with Benjamin over and done with for good, dreading every memory that came along with it.
“I thought you'd changed your mind.” Benjamin said the instant Roxanne hopped off of the ladder of the fire escape onto the ground. She jumped at the sound of his voice, spotting him leaning against their neighbors building casually, his wandlight giving his entire form an eerie sort of sheen, “you were up there for a long time.”
Roxanne didn't feel as if she owed him any explanations and wiped her hands onto her pants. There had been numerous times in the past where she had snuck out of her room to meet up with him in Diagon Alley but this was not a time where she would have run towards him.
Sometimes, he would hug her and lift her up for a second but those memories felt from half a century ago. “I had some things to take care of.” Roxanne said crsiply, walking over to him with her hands in her coat pockests.
Benjamin ran his eyes over her curiously, noticing her swept back hair and the unflattering clothes. A strange smile started in his face before he gave a short nod, “If you say so, sweet.”
“Don't call me that. What do you want anyway?” Roxanne demanded, flushing a little as he continued to stare at her. She felt that tug and pull between them again and had to look away first, hating that her heart was pounding so heavily, “shouldn't you be at home, doesn't your little sister have a birthday?”
Benjamin raised his black brows at the questions and the determined frown on her face as she turned back to him. Though there was space between them, it felt as if he were touching her, “Emily's birthday didn't go as planned.” He said tightly and Roxanne felt herself growing reluctantly curious, “mum and the kids aren't even living at the Manor with me and Dad right now, there's too much tension so they stay with her parents.”
Roxanne vaguely recalled him telling her this that morning she had been in his room, before everything had gone wrong. She folded her arms across her chest, unsettled that he watched the action from hooded eyes, “Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.”
“No need to say that because you don't mean it, Weasley.” Benjamin said defensively but when he didn't see any intended malice on her face, he grunted what might have been an apology. Roxanne highly doubted that it was and grew steadily more irritated, “we were gone for an entire year in Italy and I don't remember my parents being nicer to each other before we left.”
Roxanne was flooded once again with curiosity, wondering why he and his father had fled the country in the first place. Benjamin was a very complicated person to undrestand she could honestly admit that she had painfully never known him in the first place, as the boy she had befriended may have always been a stranger. It caused her chest to tighten painfully and she had to take a minute to ask, “What happened at your sister's party, I'm asking because I actually want to know.”
Benjamin studied her face with unecessary intensity before he conceded, looking as if he had been dying to speak to someone about it. Roxanne had a feelingt that this, coupled with what had happened between them had brought him here in the first place, “Mum and dad got into a big argument sometime after Emily finished opening her presents. I'm used to them arguing but I don't like it when they fight in front of my brother and sister, it scares them,”
Roxanne couldn't imagine her own parents doing such a thing. To her knowledge, they fought all the time but took their serious arguments elsewhere, “...What happened?” she asked, thinking of how uspet his siblings must have been.
“It got really out of hand because my Mum started mentioning all this shit that Dad had done and why we left for Italy.” Benjamin ran a hand down his face, a weary groan carefully smothered behind it. When he lowered it and spoke, there was a slightly amused smile on his face, “and well, let's just say my mum's dad kicked both of us out after that.”
Roxanne wasn't able to even understand the full misery of something like that happening and she stared at him worriedly, hating that she was so concerned. The Malfoys sounded like such a bizarre family and she knew that whatever Mr. Malfoy had done really tore the entire family apart, “...Ben, why did you and your dad leave?”
Benjamin shot her a narrowed look and Roxanne glared at him, wondering why she had bothered to ask. “Its none of your business, okay? It wasn't anything good and I didn't have to go with my Dad, I chose to so he wouldn't be alone, I mean,” he hesitated before saying in a tight voice, “he's sad all the time. It wouldn't have been good for him to be in a foreign country all by himself.”
Roxanne was startled by the words, more by Mr. Malfoy being depressed but recalling that when she had seen him as a child that he'd often appeared sad. Even earlier when he had been in the shop, there had been a lingering sense of misery hanging over his shoulders that now made her depressed, “And your mum didn't want you to go?”
“No, sweet, she didn't. I haven't even really talked to her since I came back and we barely said anything to each other at Emily's party, she hates that I left with my dad and didn't stay with her.” Benjamin said, his voice hollow. Roxanne knew he loved his mother dearly and could only imagine what it felt like, “but that's nothing for you to worry about, your parents get on really well.”
Roxanne had to stop herself from resting her hand on his arm, knowing that he would either rebuff the effort, or worse, manipulate her into a hug. And then a kiss, and then...she wasn't going to ever let that happen again, she vowed fiercely, willing her heart to stop pounding so hard, “They do but my parents argue sometimes, they're not perfect.”
Benjamin snorted doubtfully and Roxanne caught a flash of envy in his blue-brown eyes as he glanced at her. It was gone in an instant though, “I like your parents, they're more laid back than mine are and your mum made my dad blush. I don't think anyone's been able to do that in years.”
Roxanne almost laughed but forced it down, noting that he was watching her expectantly for some sort of reaction. When he didn't get the one he wanted, his face became hard and even, if she wanted to look closer, disappointed, “Was your dad able to get his job back at the Ministry all right?”
Benjamin appeared briefly surprised by the question and she frowned up at him, watching as he finally shifted off the wall and stood up straight. After stretching and causing her eyes to wander over his form unwillingly, he replied with a snort, “They did, but he had to go through a lot of paperwork. But you know that already since you heard him talking about it that morning at the Manor.”
Roxane wasn't sure why he had given her such a pointed look and she flushed angrily at the silent accusation. “I haven't told anyone about it—I haven't mentioned what I heard you and your dad fighting about, I still don't even get it myself.” She said, annoyed that he would think her so petty, “all I know is that you left for Italy for some scandal, didn't write to me and that our friendship was over.”
But they'd never been friends to begin with, Roxanne heard something hiss in a nasty reminder. Benjamin's face was unreadable and with the glow of his wandlight, it made him appear like some haunted fairy tale creature, “...Still hung up about that, aren't you, sweet?” Roxanne glared at him. “What I said about you was stupid and ages ago, why are you still letting it get to you?”
Roxanne gawped at him in outrage, feeling the need to smack, punch and kick him as hard as she could. With the bruise over his eye from her last attack, it was highly tempting to give him another and she had to stop herself, “I was under the impression that we were friends, Ben. What you said was nasty and cruel and if you had felt that way about me, why did you keep talking to me?”
Benjamin let out a weary sigh as he ran his fingers over his hair, which was in perfect condition. The black strands were like ink against his skin and Roxanne hated that she had loved running her own fingers through them, “Maybe you just had the wrong idea, okay, Weasley?” he snapped bitingly and Roxanne tried to mask her hurt but he was able to see it as clear as day. His face softened marginally, “don't you think you were better off not hearing from me for a year?”
“W..what do you mean? I was worried sick about you! There were all sorts of rumors going on about why you and your dad left and I thought I wouldn't see you again—but that doesn't mean that I thought about you all the time!” Roxanne cried desperately as a smug smile started to form. When he pretended to blush, she snapped, “oh, stop giving me that face, you get on my nerves!”
Benjamin let out a laugh that sounded oddly relieved to her ears as he bent and did the face she hated the most. The pathetic, dopey one that made him look like an exaggerated cherub and Roxanne groaned in irritation, pushing at him and hating that this was happening at all—she should not be standing here with him this way. “That one gets you every time,” he whispered, capturing her hand and pressing a kiss into her palm that made her think of...of...
Roxanne snatched her hand back angrily, not sure who she was more furious with at the moment. Benjamin stepped back from her, looking a little confused by his reaction to her and she snarled, “You're such a piece of shit you know that, Ben? One minute your're acting like the worlds biggest prick and the next you're pretending like nothing happened at all between us.”
Benjamin's face became guarded, though she saw his eyes flickering with various emotions that she couldn't identify. His entire body had gone stiff and he took her in more closely, it was more than apparent that she was wanting to get this over with, “...You're all spunky tonight, Weasley. I barely heard you say two words earlier,”
Roxanne thought that he had a lot of nerve. “You didn't say anything to me and you're being a prick—how can you stand there and look at me like you didn't do anything wrong?” she demanded in a harsh cry before lowering her voice quickly.
People in Diagon Alley were nosy and the last thing she needed was someone to come into the shop tomorrow spilling this to her father. Benjamin seemed to notice her sudden thoughts and a strange look passed over his face, as if he were thinking of how delicious it would be to make her grow loud, “Did you want me to stand there and talk about how much fun we had together that morning in front of your brother?”
That was exactly what she had thought he would do and Roxanne didn't hide the thought when she stared at him. Benjamin let out an incredulous laugh, “What do you want, Ben? Merlin, you're acting like my dad but I don't think calling you Beatrice is going to bother you. I do have a life.” There, that sounded nice and mature. He probably hadn't been expecting that from her and she tried to stop herself from smirking, “I'm actually heading out to a party in a few.”
“First of all, Beatrice sounds too much like Bellatrix and I'd rather you not call me a name that resembles that dead bitch.” Benjamin said with a trace of anger and Roxanne opened her mouth, thinking of apologizing before deciding that he didn't deserve it after what he had done to her.
Roxanne removed her hands from her coat pocket and straightened out her shirt, watching as he eyed her heatedly. There was anger crackling between them, true but that tug and pull was also demanding so much more... “Anyway, I have to get going soon so let's wrap this up, all right Ben? I'm needed elsewhere.”
“Is that so, lump?” Benjamin asked idly, sounding as if the thought of her being suddenly busy bothered him. A look of doubt entered his eyes though, along with a nasty twist to his mouth that ironcially made him more good looking, which Roxanne didn't find at all fair in the least, “you're going to a party dressed in that ugly outfit?”
Roxanne gasped in outrage at his nerve, even though she knew she'd chosen this outfit on purpose. It was so irritating how he was able to do this to her, make her unable to control her own emotions, “So what if I am?”
Benjamin laughed softly under his breath before running his eyes over her in a way that made her feel indecent. Roxanne could only imagine what he was thinking of and the various possibilities made her squirm, “That might stop anyone else from hitting on you, but not me. The more clothes you wear, the more I keep thinking about peeling them off so that's something to worry about next time.”
“Th-that hardly matters! I don't care what you think!” Roxanne cried angrily, feeling her face flooding with color. Benjamin eyed her with growing amusement and she huffed, hating that he had baited her so easily, “you're not the only bloke in the world!”
That really had Benjamin laughing and she glared at him as he gave her a cocky little smile worthy of a pompous prince. “I should be. Who are you going to this party with, anyway lump, that identity crisis that was in the shop with you earlier?”
Roxanne flushed at the question before turning her face up, feeling the glow of his wandlight on her face. It felt like a caress and she blushed all the further, knowing that the tug and pull between them was about to snap in mere moments if she didn't get out of here soon and prove to him that she didn't care. “You mean Adam? He's a family friend,” she said to him haughtily.
“Really? He looks like something I'd scrape off my shoes. And tell him that its more than obvious that he has a crush on you but pitiful attempts at flirting isn't going to get him anywhere so long as I'm around,” Benjamin said in a furious rush, the words coming out in a growl that made Roxanne jump, even as she took them in.
Waves of anger flashed through her and Roxanne found herself reaching out and stabbing him in the chest with her finger. Benjamin raised his brows at her but his eyes were flashing with anger and—could he honestly be jealous? “First of all, Adam can flirt with me all he fucking pleases because I know that he isn't afraid of being with me. Its just a shame that he's got a girlfriend because otherwise I'd be all over him,” she sneered.
Benjamin's face had clouded with warring emotions and Roxanne felt triumphant that she had caused him to feel a bit of her pain. Instead though, he roared with laughter, tossing his head back and causing her glee to vanish entirely, “Seriously, Weasley? Where the hell do you see yourself getting with that punk? He'd bore you in five minutes in and out of bed, if he even knows how to get you between the sheets in the first place.”
Roxanne let out a furious cry and shoved at his chest, watching as he stumbled back and nearly lost his balance. Tears were starting in her eyes again and she snarled furiously, hating that every inch of her was trembling, “I hate you, Ben! You walk around like you're this big shot but you're really just a coward that can't face what you're afraid of—get away from me!” she cried as he closed the space between them, his eyes sparking with heat, anger and to her irritation, amusement.
“Better keep your voice down Weasley if you don't want anyone to hear what I have to say next.” Benjamin warned around a husky laugh. Roxanne's eyes widened and she made to turn away but he reached out and wrapped one strong arm around her waist, pulling her closer until her chest was smashed against his.
A blush immediately began to form and she was bombarded with too many delightful, painful sensations. Too many memories were crowding her brain and she could feel his bare skin on hers again, taste his tongue and the scent of him, so wonderfully sinful that it burned her senses to a cinder was too much, “Ben, y-you let me go!” Roxanne commanded weakly, her mind still going.
“No, chance, sweet. You're not going to run off and have the last say this time,” Benjamin said in a deceptively soft voice, his wand held closely at his side. Roxanne doubted that he would ever raise his wand to her but it didn't comfort her just now as she was forced to stare into his face...familiar and not so familiar, “there are a few things that I'd actually wanted to talk to you about.”
When she struggled, he only held onto her tighter, until she was practically sharing his skin. Roxanne's entire face could have been glowing in the dark for all she knew and she fought down the silly reaction of curling up against him, wanting at the moment to ram her knee into his crotch. That was also something she didn't want to feel, she thought dazedly, “Like what?” she hissed up at him angrily.
“I didn't want to ask with your dad and brother around and didn't get my chance when your mum and that prat showed up.” Benjamin said with an eye roll while Roxanne struggled against him, causing his breath to catch, “keep doing that sweet and we might have a completely different problem.” He warned against her cheek.
Roxanne turned her face away, but not before he gave her a soft kiss. The muscles in her legs were giving out from pure foolish longing, “What is it Ben? You could have just said all this earlier—ever hear of sending an owl?” she asked bitingly.
Benjamin rubbed his mouth along her jaw, “I don't have an owl and I needed to talk to you in person.” He replied, listening to the soft inhale his kiss had caused, “...I know I was careful but you're not pregnant are you?” Roxanne heard herself make a strange squealing noise as he moved his head back to stare down at her. “You looked sick earlier and I needed to know.”
“...Is..Is that all this was about?! No, I'm not pregnant you prat! Get your hands off of me!” Roxanne snarled in a humiliated rush, wondering why he had the nerve to appear disappointed. Benjamin heaved a weary sigh, his eyes hooded and shielding his real throughts, “I've got to get going—there's a party I need to get to and I might just meet someone better.”
Benjamin's hold on her grew a bit tighter and the heat coming from his eyes was enough to stop her struggling. Roxanne stared warily into his eyes, knowing him well enough to sense that his patience, his need and his anger had reached their limit, “Keep telling yourself that Weasley but you know what's funny to me? I keep trying to put what happened out of my mind but I keep thinking about what you feel like and how you sound right when its about to get really, really interesting.”
Roxanne had gone stiff at the words, hating how that she had felt the same even after days and days. “S-so? That doesn't mean anything, you'll find someone else as soon as we get back to Hogwarts and I'll move on because you're not as fantastic as you think you are—stop that!” she snapped when Benjamin kissed a sensitive place along her ear.
“Tell yourself that you don't want this all you like, Weasley but I'm not going to bother denying that I want you all over again. I'm just not going to give in to it,” Benjamin said firmly, suddenly releasing her. Roxanne stumbled slightly and watched him stepping away, his eyes locking onto her own, “I've always given in to you but I'm not going to do it this time, not when you can't handle actually growing up.”
Roxanne felt a nasty sting in her chest at the words and opened her mouth to form some sort of retort but there was a loud pop, announcing that he had left her. And, just like before, she was alone, hearing her heart shattering but vowing that she would move on from him and become stronger. Benjamin Malfoy would not continue to possess any part of her.
Thanks for reading! Up next for real this time is Audrey and Percy, sorry for the long wait and until then, much love. :D
A/N: Hello, all! I'm back with my first update in about two months. Furious with me? I hope not! Hahaha. Anyway, enjoy.
Bells were ringing and for a moment Roxanne thought that it might be her heart as Benjamin's smile settled pleasantly in her mind. The two of them stood outside of his mother's robe shop, Beauty Within on a sunny afternoon with daisies tucked lazily behind their ears and laughter ringing between them, “And when you come to my house, Weasley, I'll teach you how to catch toads.” Benjamin was telling Roxanne as the shop's door opened and closed.
“Catch toads?” Roxanne asked him curiously, still thinking of how pretty his smile had been just a few minutes before. When she had come here earlier, she had been a bit nervous that he wouldn't want to be her friend but he had surprisingly accepted it, in his own weird way, “I've caught some before, they're really gross.”
Benjamin smiled confidently and placed a hand onto his chest, proclaiming. “You've never caught them at Malfoy Manor before. There's a lake in the woods by my house that I swim in and the toads are this big,” he said, making a rather large estimate with his hands that was simply gigantic.
Roxanne's eyes grew round at the idea of catching one of the things as a pet and showing her mother. It wouldn't make her happy really, when she preferred owls but maybe she'd let her keep one or two if she asked her dad first, “Wow, really?”
“Uh-huh. I caught some once but my mum made me put them back cause she said its not nice to put them in tanks and everything,” Benjamin said with a glum face as he suddenly squatted down on the sidewalk. Roxanne watched him pulling a bit of grass out of a crack with a snap and bent down beside him, “I like animals,” he mumbled.
“Really? Do you have an owl or a cat?” Roxanne asked eagerly, though she didn't mention that Perce had an owl that he had gotten from Uncle Harry as a birthday present. Benjamin wouldn't want to know that since they didn't like each other, “my dad doesn't like cats.”
Benjamin pulled up a few more bits of grass and placed them on her hair, laughing as she shook them out. He made sure his daisy was still behind his ear before shrugging, “I didn't want an owl or anything so I just use the school ones. And I really don't like cats or anything,”
Roxanne found a bit of dirt and began running her fingertips through it, drawing little circles. Benjamin erased them with a swoop of his hand and she glowered at him, “Prat!” she snapped and he laughed. “How come you don't like cats?”
“There're too many of them at Hogwarts, they get all over the place. And I keep getting into trouble with the Headmistress for trying to set them free,” Benjamin grumbled, sounding very annoyed. Roxanne giggled, “be quiet lump! I don't think its funny,keeping them in the castle and stuff like that.”
Roxanne thought about that for a while as they played in the dirt, making squares and broomsticks. She drew the logo for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and watched as Benjamin attempted a sloppy rendition of the Slytherin crest, “I really will be in Slytherin with you, you know.”
Benjamin was quiet for a moment as he drew flames spitting from the snake's open mouth and a few skulls. She thought it was a pretty bad drawing with all the skulls and added a flower or two, “Now you messed it up!” he cried in horror as she finished what she thought could pass for a kitten. He studied it with a smirk before asking, “If you get put in Slytherin, will your parents be mad at you?”
Roxanne hadn't really thought about what her parents would say since she hadn't told them yet. “No, but I think my brother would be. No one in my family has ever been put into Slytherin, they've all been Gryffindors and we only have one Ravenclaw,” she said with a frown.
“No Hufflepuffs either?” Benjamin asked and she shook her head. At that, he looked very relieved and nudged her in the arm, “you wouldn't want any Puffs in the family, everyone says they're really stupid.”
Roxanne frowned. “That's what Perce says. He said that Dad will take me back to my real family if I'm ever in Slytherin or Hufflepuff—he says that he had another sister and everything and that my mum and dad took me from someone else at St. Mungo's,” she said and Benjamin snorted.
“That's stupid, you look just like your mum,” Benjamin replied seriously and Roxanne glowed. He pinched her with one of his dirt smudged fingers, “you'll probably grow up looking like her if you're lucky,”
Roxanne scowled and fended him off, flushing. “What's that supposed to mean?”
Benjamin shrugged, turning pink. “Nothing, just that your mum is real pretty and sexy and stuff.” Roxanne didn't think her mother was sexy at all and didn't really know what made a person say that in the first place, “...so that means that you'll be pretty too.”
“Why do you care if I grow up pretty?” Roxanne asked keenly, although she was hoping that she did grow up looking like her mother. If she did, then perhaps Benjamin would think that she was prettier, “you wanna marry my mum?”
Benjamin turned red and snapped embarrassingly. “Don't be stupid, lump!” but he was very quiet for a while, making Roxanne envy her mother for a minute as she drew more circles in the dirt, nearly covering up the Slytherin crest. “But if you're in Slytherin with me at Hogwarts and you grow up to be pretty, everyone will be so jealous.”
“Huh?” Roxanne asked distractedly, turning her gaze away from the dirt portrait on the sidewalk. The shop door hadn't closed but she could hear chatter coming from inside, the sound infectious and very happy, “why does that matter?”
Benjamin broke out into a very arrogant grin and his blue-brown eyes twinkled, giving him a very haughty look. “Cause you'd be my frie—lump. You'd be my lump and no one would be able to do anything about it.” He glared at her a little when she opened her mouth to say something to that, “so you'd better be a Slytherin.”
“I'm going to be a Slytherin, I don't care what anyone has to say about it.” Roxanne said boldly and Benjamin gave her such a hopeful look that she almost forgot what she had to say next. “You didn't want to be in any other House?” she wanted to know, embarrassed.
Apparently no one had really asked him this before and Benjamin shot her a suspicious glance before turning away. “Not really, I mean, Hufflepuffs are losers and Ravenclaws are really snooty,”
Roxanne took immediate offense, thinking of her cousin Molly Weasley, who was also her best friend in the world. “I don't think that's very nice. My cousin Molly is a Ravenclaw and she's isn't snooty at all! She's real shy and turns all red and starts talking in Chinese when she gets mad.”
Benjamin found her outburst to be both something to fear and a little funny, given the smile that crept up into his face. He reached out and smashed her cheeks together, making her frown and swat at him, “Is that so, lump?” when he released her, Roxanne was flushed and annoyed, “your cousin is Chinese right?”
“Yep. My Aunt Audrey is, everyone always acts so surprised that she's not white or anything but she's really amazing,” Roxanne said happily, humming. She loved her Aunt Audrey a lot because she was very funny and told naughty jokes to she and Perce when Uncle Percy wasn't around. “And anyway, Ravenclaws are not snooty,” she defended tightly.
Benjamin held up his hands as if to fend her off and she shook her fist under his nose until he smacked it away. Laughing, he said, “All right, lump, they're not snooty or anything. But the Hat told me I was a little too ambitious to be in Gryffindor and I didn't want to be one anyway,”
Roxanne had heard that Slytherins were supposed to be really ambitious, whatever that meant and really nasty. Perce had told her that they would stab you in the back if they got a chance but Uncle Harry had made sure to say that not all of them were that way and she supposed he had every right to say so, “How come?”
“Cause they're all full of shit and bravery isn't so good if you don't have the brains to form a plan first,” Benjamin said with a rather cocky shrug, though he sent her an anxious look from the corner of his eye. Roxanne wasn't sure she agreed, even though she was impressed by his use of bad words, “the Hat also said that even though I was really ambitious, I was brave and left it up to me.”
Roxanne had been told that the Sorting Hat allowed the student to choose which House they wanted to be in. None of her cousins had told her about it since they'd all wanted to be in Gryffindor, Molly being the only one who'd been Sorted elsewhere so far, “So you wanted to be in Slytherin?”
Benjamin nodded determinedly and reached over to pinch her nose. She sneezed a little from the dirt on his fingers and he laughed, “Gross, Weasley.” He said with a grin and she ran her forearm across her face, “yeah, I wanted to be in Slytherin like my Dad. He and my Mum said that it would make them happy and stuff,”
“Oh...my Dad says that if I drop out of Hogwarts and play a lot of pranks that he'll be real proud of me.” Roxanne said happily and Benjamin gawped at her. Grinning, she said, “he and my Uncle Fred didn't graduate or anything, they dropped out and started their joke shop.”
Benjamin's face had gotten a little pensive and she wondered what he could be thinking about but he didn't say anything at first. After a few minutes, he asked quietly, “What was he like?”
Roxanne tilted her head in confusion. “You mean my uncle?” when he nodded, looking at her as if she held some sort of secret he needed answers to, she informed. “I don't really know a lot about him. My dad gets real sad sometimes when we ask about him but he has told me and Perce all sorts of funny stories,”
“Oh.” Benjamin said, looking very disappointed. He appeared as confused as she felt just then, “Were he and my dad friends?”
Roxanne thought about what she did know of her uncle and couldn't remember anyone mentioning that he had been friends with Mr. Malfoy. From what she had gathered from Uncle Ron when he was having one of his tantrums (As Aunt Hermione liked to call them), they'd hated each other, “No, I don't think so. How come?”
Benjamin frowned severely, looking very confused. After a moment, he stood up and dusted his hands on his trousers before helping her up and giving her a little shake that made her laugh, “I dunno, I just think its weird that I've got his name. I don't like it,”
“Why not?” Roxanne asked with a defensive frown. Her Uncle Fred had been a good person and maybe he and Mr. Malfoy had known each other or had gotten to be friends before he had died at the Battle but that was just what she wanted to hope.
Benjamin glanced at her before examining his dirty fingernails before lowering his hands and saying coldly. “Cause its your brother's name and Weasley's don't like Malfoy's, except for you. You're real nice to me but your cousins aren't,” he added with a very pleased smile, though he kicked hard at the sidewalk with his trainers.
Roxanne knew that he was right but she hated that he and her brother didn't get along and she didn't like that Benjamin had accused Perce of being a bully. She didn't want to think about her brother or Teddy Lupin shooting hexes at Benjamin, it made her sick to her stomach thinking about it, “Not all my cousins are mean though.”
“Really?” Benjamin asked doubtfully.
Roxanne thought of all her cousins for a long time, knowing that he would like some of them once he got to know them. But she wondered if it would be too late for that when he hated them so much now, “Well, everyone's pretty nice except for Victoire. She's meaner than a troll but not as ugly,” she said and he laughed.
“What's she really like then? Everyone goes on about her like she's a bloody angel and teachers are always fawning over her,” Benjamin said with a roll of his eyes, as if he knew otherwise. Roxanne loved all of her cousins very much but even she had to admit that Victoire wasn't the perfect angel that everyone made her out to be since she actually knew her.
“I'll show you some stuff she likes to do, okay?” Roxanne grinned impishly, suddenly thinking it would do him good to smile. So for a few minutes, she demonstrated some of Victoire's favorite habits by flipping her hair everywhere and twirling around. “Her hair's real long too so it always smacks someone in the face and I think she does it on purpose.”
Benjamin roared with laughter as she paraded in front of the shop windows crazily flipping and flopping her hair back and forth. “I've seen her do that!” he cried at some point when she struck a very sassy pose that she had seen Victoire doing in the mirror at Shell Cottage.
“And she always has to do this thing with her hips as she walks away like this,” Roxanne said with a laugh, taking a few steps and swishing her hips outrageously. She had to place her hands on her hips a little to do it right though and flipped her hair a little as she walked, “I think its supposed to make her butt look bigger or something,”
“Stop it Weasley, I'm dying!” Benjamin chortled, bent over as she continued to mimic her older cousin. Roxanne continued to swish back and forth, flipping her hair and batting her eyelashes and he asked in confusion, “what's wrong with your eyes?”
Roxanne stopped the act for a second or two, one leg outstretched and the other bent as if she meant to take flight. Victoire was practicing to become a ballerina and liked to show off to the rest of them even after they'd clapped a million times, “Its this thing she does to boys. She bats them like this,” she rapidly blinked until her head hurt.
Benjamin steadied her as she nearly lost her balance and tugged on a strand of her curly hair, making her yelp. After swatting him away, he laughed, “That's dumb. I've seen her around school and everything and I don't really think she's that pretty like all the other boys say,”
“Why not? Teddy Lupin says she's so pretty that she makes dead people rise from the grave but I don't think he was being very nice when he said it,” Roxanne said to him in a low whisper. Benjamin's face had turned into a scowl at the mention of the older boy but she went on in a rush, “Toire and Teddy hate each other.”
Benjamin didn't seem all that surprised that someone other than himself could hate Teddy Lupin and Roxanne hoped he didn't get a crush on Victoire. It made her sort of mad just thinking about it but he surprised her by saying, “That's cause they're both just alike, I notice a lot of stuff.”
Roxanne was curious but Benjamin had become distracted by her hair and was twirling a strand around his finger. It seemed to fascinate him and her stomach did a weird little flip that almost hurt, “Like what sort of stuff?”
“I dunno, just stuff.” Benjamin said with a careless shrug. “And everyone says that I'm bad,” he muttered bitterly before giving her a smirk, “you're pretty bad too you know, Weasley.”
Roxanne gawped. “I am not!” hastily, she amended. “I mean, I do get into trouble a lot but my dad used to put dragon dung into my Grandpa's stew too you know!” she snapped and Benjamin roared with laughter even though he hadn't accused her of that.
“No, I'm just saying that you've got some good Slytherin in you.” Benjamin complimented and she puffed out her chest, making him grin. He glanced down quickly before saying slyly, “You don't have anything right there to be puffing out you know,”
Roxanne glowered, confused. “What's that supposed to mean?”
Benjamin snorted, appearing very big and grown up. She hoped that she got just as big and important once she turned twelve but at the same time she had the strangest urge to kick him in the knees. “You're such a baby,”he teased.
“I am not!”Roxanne hissed, instantly furious.
Benjamin was still twirling a lock of her hair around his finger. “Are too,”
“I am not!” Roxanne denied, fuming.
“Are too,” Benjamin said happily, grinning into her face and giving her hair a playful little tug that made her stomp her feet. “You're all sweet, like sugar.”
Roxanne glowered at him, hating that he was obviously making fun of her. He looked as if he were having too much fun and she decided then and there that she was going to kick him as hard as she wanted in the knee, “Am not, prat! ”
“You are too, lump—Mum, how long have you been standing there?!” Benjamin suddenly cried, leaping away from Roxanne as if she were diseased. Turning, Roxanne saw that Mrs. Malfoy and what looked like a few older women had been watching them from inside the shop, “what're they all doing, hiding behind you?”
Mrs. Malfoy had been holding the door open as if she had come out to find them and Roxanne noticed a bit of parchment in her free hand. There was a very amused look on her face, as if she had been trying to stop herself from laughing out loud, “Ladies, get back inside please and continue shopping!” she said over her shoulders.
The older women, tittering and cooing at Roxanne and Benjamin, scattered back into the shop. Immediately, the sound of scissors snipping, seamstresses rushing back and forth and whining little girls drifted out to their ears, “Mum, what do you want?” Benjamin demanded, his face beet red.
“Benny, that's no way to speak to your mother.” Mrs. Malfoy tutted as she stepped out of the shop and lightly closed the door. Roxanne took her in with a smile, thinking that it hardly mattered that Benjamin was adopted when she appeared just like any other mother, “I actually just received an owl for your little friend here.”
Benjamin appeared reluctant to acknowledge Roxanne as anything more than a lump but he nodded slowly, taking the words in. “What's it about?” he demanded. “She's not causing any trouble, you can't just kick her out or anything, Mum,”
“The owl was from her parents darling and don't frown so much or your face will get stuck that way.” Mrs. Malfoy warned gravely and Benjamin immediately straightened out his expression, making Roxanne giggle. To her, his mother said warmly, “your father wrote to tell you to come home now, he said that your mother is going to...I'm sorry, beat him up in a bad way if you don't hurry?”
Roxanne's mouth fell open in alarm. “Wow, Mum must be really mad at me this time!” she said with horror and Mrs. Malfoy looked concerned, “I'll be okay, though. I was just supposed to have lunch with my Aunt Alicia and Uncle Lee,” absently, she added, “and their son Adam.”
“Who's he?” Benjamin wanted to know, instantly suspicious. His mother chuckled a little and he glowered at her, “What's so funny?” he demanded, looking furious and Roxanne tugged on his arm, “what, lump?”
Roxanne wasn't sure why she did it but she stood up on the tip of her toes and placed a very light kiss on his cheek. Mrs. Malfoy laughed as Benjamin's entire body went as stiff as a statue, his face turning brilliantly red, “Bye now! I’ll be back tomorrow and we can do more stuff.”
“Erm..” Benjamin spluttered, eyes wide. His mother was giggling a little as Roxanne said her goodbyes to her, promising that she would take very good care of him and after receiving her blessing and a pat on the head, he finally spat, “what'd you go and do that for?!”
Roxanne had already been hopping on her way but paused jerkily, nearly losing her balance. She righted herself and turned round to see him staring at her exactly where she had left him, his mother's gentle hand on his shoulder, “Cause everyone's going to be so jealous!”
“And why is that dear?” Mrs. Malfoy asked, speaking for her speechless son. Benjamin looked embarrassed and furious but Roxanne saw that he was starting to smile a little, as if he were shining from the inside out, “is it a secret?” his mother asked in amusement when she didn't answer right away.
Roxanne tore her eyes away from Benjamin and said proudly to his mother, fist to her chest. “Its because he's my friend and once everyone sees how nice he is and how cool we are together, they'll be so jealous. But it'll be too bad cause he's all mine,”
“Who says?!” Benjamin demanded, blushing even redder. Roxanne pointed to herself and he looked as if he might chase her but his mother kept her hand on his shoulder, preventing him from taking off, “go home before I chase you out of here lump but don't forget to come back tomorrow!”
Roxanne waved goodbye, singing happily to herself (And loudly enough that Benjamin hissed, “Not so loud!” to his mother's laughter). “Best friends forever, Ben Malfoy and Roxaaaaanne! Friends forever, friends forever...” and he was all hers, she sang privately to herself as she skipped. “Ever and ever...”
Roxanne heaved the last of her things onto the compartment while the last of the memory faded away, leaving her oddly hollow. Those moments that she had experienced with Ben as children felt from a completely different life and a strange knot formed in her chest and she couldn't help wondering why he still invaded her thoughts, “All set?” her brother asked when she made it back onto the platform.
Hogwarts students were rushing madly around the platform, the hooting of owls being answered by the hungry mewl of cats. The Express would be leaving in another twenty minutes and she wanted to make sure she said goodbye to her parents, feeling as if she would miss them more than usual this year, “Yeah, I'm all set. I can't believe all the textbooks I need for OWLs,” she complained and her brother patted her consolingly on the shoulder.
Perce had managed to get through his own OWLs without going insane, though he claimed he had nightmares of Zabini boiling him in a pot. “You'll do all right, Roxie, its all about balance. And don't buy any of those weird potions that are supposed to make you study better, all they do is give you gas,” he informed wisely.
Roxanne laughed a little, inwardly relieved that she was able to get along with him better for right now. Things had been a bit tense at the flat as her brother's suspicions about Benjamin had led her to nearly caving with guilt and his not so subtle hints that she should date Adam Jordan driving her mad, “I'll be sure to give some to Smith the moment we get to school,” she grinned.
Smith was, thankfully not Head of Hufflepuff House but he was perhaps the worst Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. He seemed to find the entire Weasley clan nothing more than a joke and often tried to belittle and bully anyone he could, “Why don't you just have Peeves do it?” Perce asked curiously as they wandered back to their parents, who were talking to Uncle Lee and a laughing Adam.
Peeves was actually a very good friend of Roxanne's, as strange as that might sound and she thought of him fondly for a moment. She wasn't quite sure why their strange little friendship worked out but she shrugged, “He might not want to, he'll probably want to play tennis or something and ask about my summer,”
That had Perce's brows going up skeptically. “Peeves can hold a conversation?” when Roxanne nodded, he laughed doubtfully, “how is that even possible? I've never heard him say anything that wasn't rude or made me jealous I hadn't thought of it,” he scowled.
“Believe what you want but he's not so bad,” Roxanne said lightly.
Perce was silent for a moment before he drawled. “Yeah, you used to say that about Malfoy too,” Roxanne tried not to show how much that hurt her but her brother was able to sense her distress even if she hadn't burst into tears, “you know, Roxie, I'm just going to beat the shit out of him once we get back to school.”
“What?” Roxanne asked in alarm. There was something about Benjamin now that told her that it would be a very bad idea if her brother threatened or even dared to raise his wand to him and she hated the thought of him fighting on her behalf, “don't do something so stupid—I'm not even upset, he has nothing to do with anything!”
Perce's face was incredibly stubborn and he stuffed his hands into the front of his Gryffindor robes. He narrowed his brown eyes on her irritably and Roxanne found herself crossing her arms over her chest, “You say that now but just wait until I ask him that myself. If I catch you looking at him all upset or if he says one thing that makes me think that he did something to you, its over,”
Roxanne's jaw dropped and she felt herself growing frustrated and desperate. It would be more than beneficial if she stayed as far away from Benjamin as possible and she knew that her chances of seeing him this year were very slim, “He's in your year, not mine you know. I won't be bumping into him anytime soon,” she said, hoping against all that was holy that it was true.
Perce opened his mouth to say something about that but decided against it and finished leading her back to their parents, Uncle Lee and Adam Jordan. Roxanne tried to erase the evidence that they had just fought from her mind but their mother shot them a suspicious glance before walking up and straightening her robes, “You doing all right?” she asked with a soft smile.
“Yeah, I'm fine, Mum,” Roxanne mumbled, unable to look her in the eye. Her mother tsked a little, smoothing down her curly hair a little and giving her cheeks a few light pecks that made her giggle despite herself, “stop that, I'm not a baby you know. I'm just going to Hogwarts!”
“To fail,” Perce added happily, sending her a teasing glance. Their father shot him a look and he groaned irritably, “I don't really mean it! She's a bloody Prefect now, she can't afford to fail.”
Uncle Lee roared with laughter and Roxanne buried her face on her mother's shoulder for a moment, receiving a comforting pat. Her father's best friend was the commentator for the World Cup and owned his own successful radio show and would, often go into detail on how he lost three of his fingers during the War. “I never thought I'd see the day!” he crowed.
“Shut up! I didn't want it!” Roxanne cried desperately.
“Too bad Licia isn't here to see this,” her mother said fondly, giving her back a gentle rub that made her feel like a baby. She barely noticed herself snuggling into her arms and her brother's exasperated sigh, “I think she'd be happy that something good came out of my womb.”
Perce groused. “What's that supposed to mean? I marinated in there too!”
Uncle Lee looked heartbroken by the obvious absence of his wife and Adam gave him a pat on the back but managed to wriggle away from a bear hug. Roxanne's father hugged him anyway and she could have sworn she heard his spine snap, “She had to be at Hogwarts early for a staff meeting. She takes being Muggle Studies teacher seriously,”
“Even if she is the worst Muggle Studies teacher they've ever had?” Perce asked dryly while Roxanne snickered. It was a well-known fact that Aunt Alicia was really bad at the class she taught, “its a good thing she makes up for it by being the Quidditch coach,”
Uncle Lee didn't appear offended by this and Adam was trying to recover from her father's bear hug. He looked a bit pale and was offered a sweet from Perce and he made the wise decision to decline, “True, and Quidditch is going to be such big news this year at Hogwarts,” he said to them silkily.
“What are you talking about Dad?” Adam demanded before Perce or Roxanne could, making their parents laugh. Uncle Lee pretended to examine his nails and he punched him lightly in the arm, “come on, for Merlin's sake! You keep mentioning it but you never say what it is!”
Uncle Lee swatted him away sharply and turned his nose up in their air, which gave him a very dramatic effect. Roxanne saw her father swoon and her mother steady Perce as he threatened to bow down to him, “I'm under threat of murder not to mention a damn thing more about it!”
Adam groaned in exasperation and Roxanne could understand his frustration all too well when her own parents would say nothing. Her mother had still been working rather long hours at the Magical Games and Sports department and she had heard from Molly that Uncle Percy had been working harder than usual at the Ministry.
There was apparently a lot of activity going around and not even The Daily Prophet could figure out the true nature of what the mysterious event could be. Roxanne knew that it must be something important and that the information carefully protected if even Rita Skeeter could learn nothing about it with all of her schemes.
All anyone seemed to agree on was that Quidditch was involved and Roxanne, when she wasn't looking up any sordid rumor about the Malfoy family, couldn't help but notice the spike in broomsticks. Uncle Oliver made the best broomsticks in the world and Roxanne recalled that her brother had told her that he'd been having a lot of special orders lately.
The fact that there were suddenly a lot illegal Port Keys being used around the country hadn't escaped her notice either. The Prophet had been reporting that for the last few days as well with no success as to why, “You all are so bloody annoying!” Perce groused loudly.
“Fred!” their mother snapped irritably as Roxanne continued to rest her head comfortably on her shoulder, breathing in her scent. “Don't lose your temper just because you're out of the loop for once, you'll find out everything you need to know in the next few months, possibly tonight once you get to Hogwarts.”
Perce heaved a sigh and looked as if he were contemplating death while their father gave his cheek a pinch. Adam was rocking back and forth on his heels, glancing every so often at Roxanne before looking quickly away, “Hogwarts aside, your uncle is so proud of you, Roxie-Woxie. You're making all the Hermione's in the world cheer,” Uncle Lee teased, a sly grin working into his face.
“Shut up and don't call me that!” Roxanne snarled, lifting her head from her mother's shoulder. Uncle Lee had always picked on her the most when she had been little and he merely grinned at her, making her all the more annoyed, “Aunt Hermione sent me sugar free candy to congratulate me.”
Perce had eaten most of them and Roxanne had only felt worse knowing that everyone else in the family knew of her shame. The Prefect badge itself (Her mother had gotten rid of her brother's charmed Bloody Big Head lettering for her) was tucked in her robe pockets, along with various trick sweets and a list of pranks her dad wanted her to accomplish by the end of the year for him.
“I think the fact that you're a Prefect is pretty great, Rox,” Adam said to her with a suddenly shy grin, lip ring catching the afternoon sun. His blonde Mohawk was spiked for the occasion and he hadn't changed into his Hufflepuff robes, “I mean, its not the end of the world.”
Roxanne didn't know what to say to this since she did consider it to be the end of the world but she did notice the pleased smile on her brother's face. He hadn't really paid her much attention when she had insisted Adam wasn't right for her, “Erm, thanks Adam,” she said lamely.
Adam broke out into a grin that made her wince a little when she glanced at his lip ring. It looked extremely painful but he didn't seem to act like it, “That's easy for you to say since you got the badge too. You've shamed me, son,” Uncle Lee said as he flipped his long dread locks in Adam's face. “Your mum and sister were happy but I cried for days.” Her uncle complained loudly, looking as if he might actually cry.
Adam blushed a deep red while Roxanne, prying herself away from her mother asked in sharp annoyance. “You're the other Prefect? Why didn't you say anything?” she demanded, punching him in the arm and making Perce grin proudly, as if his wildest dreams had come true and she instantly regretted it.
“I didn't want to be and I was so embarrassed that I tossed it in the rubbish. Mum and dad were wrestling in the kitchen and knocked it over and it fell out—that's the only way they found out about it in the first place!” Adam cried, defending himself as justly as he could while Roxanne wondered why his parents wrestled in the kitchen.
Perce rubbed his chin in approval and their father looked relieved that she wouldn't be wandering the corridors with a Hufflepuff boy she barely knew. Truthfully, she didn't know Adam all that well despite the fact that they had grown up together, “Seems like you and he are going to be spending a lot of time together, Roxie.” Her brother said happily, looking smug.
“Oh, shut up!” Roxanne snarled, annoyed.
Uncle Lee clapped a hand on his son's shoulder, making him stumble. Adam had already put up the things on his trolley so he had no excuse to use that would aid in a hasty escape, “But he's already dating someone, that horrible Bianca Shepard!”
Roxanne thought briefly of the girl, recalling that they had met in Quality Quididtch Supplies when she had been with Molly. The girl hadn't exactly been pleasant and she still wasn't sure why she and Adam were dating, they hadn't looked like they'd had much in common to her, “Dad, I've been dating her for months now!” Adam said with a groan, though he looked as if he regretted it.
Uncle Lee shivered as if he were reliving a horrible nightmare. Roxanne watched her father and brother exchange some sort of wordless conversation and instantly dreaded her future patrols with her fellow Prefect, “Break up with her, Adam. Go out with someone fun and energetic...you know, someone like Roxie-Woxie,”
Roxanne felt her entire face flush with embarrassment and Adam had the decency to laugh it away as a joke, though he sent her a glance that spoke otherwise. It made something uncomfortable settle in her stomach, “Trying to arrange a marriage, Lee?” her father asked his friend, looking far too interested as he slapped him on the back.
“I wish,” Uncle Lee laughed while his son stared anywhere but at Roxanne, his cheeks turning a bit red. Roxanne didn't bother to look at her brother, she was able to feel his smug smile like a slap in the face, “if they got married then we'd be related. But our romantic relationship would have to come to an end,”
Her father's face flushed and he bit down on his lower lip as if to hold in a tormented moan, making Perce roar with laughter. Adam was speechless, “It would break my heart but if our children suddenly fall in love with one another, who are we to stop them?” he cried dramatically.
Uncle Lee nodded while Roxanne prayed for the platform to suddenly open and swallow her whole. No one seemed to mind the fact that she wasn't interested or that Adam was currently dating someone at all and she wondered why it suddenly seemed to interest her father so much, “You told me that Roxie's been kind of down lately, Georgie. Love is the best remedy,” her father's friend teased.
“Dad!” Adam cried embarrassingly as Perce choked on his laughter.
Roxanne had tried her best to bring her mood up but after her last encounter with Benjamin in the alley, it had been even harder hiding the truth from her parents and their worry had increased. While they hadn't pressured her, it was obvious that they had been losing their patience but shoving Adam on her wasn't the solution, “Dad, would you knock it off?” she cried.
Perce sent her an irritated look and thumped Adam hard on the back as if he meant to ram the boy into her. Their mother's eyes narrowed a little and he said with a shrug, “We're just teasing you, Roxie. I mean, there's nothing wrong with Adam, he's sort of cute, you guys grew up together and he's not Malfoy.”
Adam's flushed cheeks suddenly paled and Roxanne saw her father and Uncle Lee suddenly halt in their teasing of one another. “...Malfoy? What brings him up?” the boy asked, looking chilled and annoying Roxanne, “he's such a freak.”
“Adam!” Roxanne's mother snapped disapprovingly. “That boy has it rough enough as it is without all that.” She said and Adam flinched a little, though he didn't look all that sorry in Roxanne's opinion, “he and his father just got back into the country, what they need is a little kindness.”
Uncle Lee snorted derisively and made a strange sound with his mouth, as if he were biting back words he didn't think the children needed to hear. Roxanne saw her father glance her way worriedly before they strayed away, as if he were willing himself not to think of something that scared him, “Draco Malfoy was a prat when he went to school with us, Angie. How can you forget all the shit he used to do?”
There was an uncomfortable silence as Roxanne's mother took a moment to answer and she stared at her curiously. She had heard stories about what Draco Malfoy had done to her family more than once but it had never stopped her from believing that he had changed and that his family deserved a second chance.
“All of that was over twenty years ago and he's not the same as he used to be, Lee, none of us are. The thing with it is, why hate someone forever over something they did instead of respect them for what they're doing now?” her mother asked with an understanding smile.
Perce's face was more than a tad skeptical and Adam looked as if he would rather chew on wood. Roxanne saw that her father appeared far more receptive, as if he had had the same train of thoughts himself, “She is right you know. Little Malfoy acts nothing like his dad from what I can see and Malfoy? Merlin, you'll never see a sadder person,” he said, nudging Lee.
“I don't give a damn about what he does now, once a prat always a prat. Just how he can't really get rid of that Dark Mark on his arm, I can't ever get my fingers back,” Uncle Lee said with surprising bitterness. He held up his right hand, showing off the stubs where his fingers used to be and Roxanne felt her stomach twist, “if he were really as reformed as everyone thinks, why'd he and his kid run off last year?”
It felt as if he had run a knife through her chest and Roxanne found herself reliving every painful moment that Benjamin had been away. She had been so worried about him while he'd been in Italy, possibly suffering and going through brutal encounters with strangers..never once giving her a second thought.
Suddenly, it hurt more now than it had then after everything that had passed between them recently. “They ran off to Italy for their own reasons. The Prophet says that Malfoy must have done something illegal at the Ministry that he wanted to hush up,” her father replied rationally, though Roxanne sensed that he may have believed some of the sordid rumors himself in the newspaper.
Roxanne's mother caught the expression on her face and gave her arm a gentle pat that seemed to speak volumes. “Regardless of what the bloody Prophet says, I think showing those two a bit of support could go a long way.” Her mother said firmly and she saw her father smile lovingly at her, “we don't know what happened so I'm not going to assume anything.”
Uncle Lee folded his arms across his chest stubbornly and Roxanne could see various horrors reflecting in his eyes. “Angie, you and George are just too nice. I mean, honestly, how would you feel if Roxie married someone like Malfoy's kid and not mine?” he demanded with a little spark in his eye.
“Whoa, we're not going to go that far.” Roxanne heard her father say hastily before her mother could respond, her eyes resting on her startled face longer than necessary. It made the guilt in her system spike rapidly, “my beautiful girl is too smart to fall for little Malfoy—even if he is bloody gorgeous. Have you heard some of the rumors about him? He goes through girls worst than Teddy Lupin,” he said with a disapproving scowl.
Uncle Lee roared with laughter at the mention of Teddy and Perce merely shrugged, as if he had no words to defend his best friend. “Yeah, you've got a point, Georgie. Might want to start sending out those invitations as soon as Adam dumps that Shepard girl, I think a pale blue stationary would look rather lovely,” he said dreamily.
Roxanne watched her brother and Perce roar with laughter, Adam too busy gazing at his feet in an effort not to look her way. But it still made her uneasy, the hopeful look in his eyes making her stomach twist and her heart flutter with panic and for a moment the panic became so intense that she wondered if she were light headed, “You all right, Roxie?” her mother asked suddenly.
“Yeah, I'm fine.” Roxanne lied brightly, trying to give a laugh. It felt as if she were trying to chew on sand and her mother's face grew concerned, “I mean, its not a big deal or anything. I haven't even talked to Ben since he and his dad came to the shop...” but her mind went to the meeting she had had with him in the alley and she blushed.
There was a very knowing look on her mother's face for a moment before it faded away and she dreaded what she could be thinking. “All right, Roxie.” Was all that she said and Roxanne felt her breath rush out in a painful gasp, confused and worried by the little smile on her mother's face, “I'm not going to pressure you into telling me what's been bothering you, come to me when you're ready.”
Blood pounding, Roxanne gave a jerky nod before turning away, looking for any excuse to be away from the conversation. Through the thick crowd on the platform, she was able to make out familiar faces of friends from her Hufflepuff dorm and the pounding of her blood seemed to ease, determination settling in.
This year was going to be different for her and she had to promise herself that she would not get wrapped up in any tender memories of Benjamin Malfoy. That hurt more than anything that she could properly describe and Roxanne swallowed hard and started to turn back to her family when she felt that unberable tug and pull, “Not now,” she whispered furiously, feeling tears stinging her eyes.
But it hardly seemed to matter as her eyes drank in the sight of Benjamin Malfoy moving like a prowling beast through the mass of black Hogwarts robes. There was something about the way he moved that demanded obedience and Roxanne watched several students move out of his direct path, as if he were venomous.
“Well, speak of the devil.” She heard Uncle Lee say dryly behind her and she nodded jerkily to herself, unable not to think of Benjamin as anything else.
Almost as if the words had been spoken directly in his ear, Benjamin angled his dark head in their direction, the look in his blue-brown eyes enough to ice the blood in her veins. Roxanne, despite willing herself to push him from her mind, felt her heart do a nasty little twist and her cheeks turned furiously hot, as if he were running his mouth along her skin in delicate places...
“Tell yourself that you don't want this all you like, Weasley but I'm not going to bother denying that I want you all over again. I'm just not going to give in to it,” Benjamin had hissed against her ear that night in the alley as she'd trembled with need and fury in his arms. Roxanne refused to believe it...she refused to believe that she could possibly still want something that she shouldn't, not after what he had done to her.
Roxanne willed herself to look away but Benjamin's gaze had fallen on her almost immediately, as if he hadn't been able to help himself. And to her utmost shame, she nearly lost her breath as he headed in their direction, every ounce of her anger nearly vanishing before she recalled the truth. This was not the little boy that she had known as a child, Benjamin Malfoy had changed and she would be a fool if she continued to believe otherwise.
Hope you guys enjoyed this! Next up is Audrey and Percy so be patient! :D