Chapter 13 : The Hard Truth
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We’re done for. We’re dead. We’re history.
These words circled through my head endlessly as I stared up into Mr. Malfoy’s face, terrified. It was if he hadn’t been real. Until this moment, he had been nothing but a lingering threat. Here was the man who had only existed in my family’s stories, here was the man who could not be trusted, here was the father of my boyfriend...it was all too much for me.
I was suddenly very aware of the position I was in. My hands were around Scorpius’ neck, his low around my waist. I stepped back quickly, going red in the face. How long had he been watching us? What had he seen? Why was he here? I started breathing heavily and had to grab the wall to keep from falling over. Draco surveyed the scene with distaste. Scorpius however, was very calm. Unnaturally so, actually.
“Hello father.” He said quietly. The tension in the air was so thick it was suffocating. I was starting to get dizzy. This was all too surreal. “Are you going to stand there blocking the door or will you let us inside.” Draco slapped him hard on the cheek. I gasped audibly.
“Don’t you dare speak to me that way insolent boy!” Scorpius looked shocked, but did not say anything. Apparently his father didn’t hit him often. “How dare you go against my orders? You have deliberately disobeyed me, and no son of mine will use that tone with me. How dare you go traipsing about with a Weasley?”
“Because I love her father, surely you understand that...I mean you have some experience in that arena, am I right?” Scorpius said coolly, staring hard into his father’s eyes. Draco’s face was livid at this response, and I had the feeling that I was missing something. What did Scorpius mean by ‘experience?’
We stood there on the porch for a long while. The world around us was eerily still. It seemed ironic. Finally, Draco stepped aside and permitted us to walk past him. I fought the urge to run in the opposite direction.
I could feel dread tingling in every pore as we walked into the house. It was utterly silent as I walked through the front hall into the living room. There was a small house elf cowering against the wall, obviously the Malfoy’s. At the sight of me, his already enormous eyes widened twice their size. Draco pushed the elf aside on his way in.
My parents were sitting on the couch looking very upset. I couldn’t read their emotions, but I knew that whatever they were thinking, it wasn’t good. Dad’s face was red and he looked as though he was trying to keep himself from blowing up right there. Mum face was expressionless, except for the hint of emotion betrayed by her eyes, something that looked a bit like disappointment and, if my eyes weren’t deceiving me, fear. Upon seeing my face, Dad stood up.
“Rosie, Spencer, come here.” He motioned us over to the couch, as if standing by Draco would poison us. I quickly scampered to his side, leaving Scorpius by his father.
“I’ve told you Weasley,” Said Draco, his voice dripping with cool malice, “his name is not Spencer, it is Scorpius Malfoy.” He had an almost amused expression on his face, his cynical smirk reminded me of Scorpius.
Dad shook his head. “Our daughter wouldn’t lie to us.” He said confidently putting his hand on my shoulder. My heart sunk to my feet. I tried to catch Scorpius’ eye but he would not look at me. I felt like crying.
Draco laughed almost cruelly, and I quickly realized how different Scorpius was from his father. “Apparently she would, but I would expect no less from your spawn.”
“Now you see here Malfoy...” Dad said, lurching forward and whipping out his wand. Mum put her hand on his shoulder.
“Ronald.” She whispered in an urgent tone. “We are not in Hogwarts anymore. Remember what happened last time.” Last time?
With an enormous amount of effort, Dad stepped back, but he kept his wand out. Draco continued to look smug yet angry. There was something wrong with this picture; the Draco Malfoy in my house was not like the Draco in Scorpius’ story. For some reason I was expecting a broken man, not this arrogant, demanding man standing before me. I was very intimidated.
“How can I be sure he’s your son?” Dad spoke up. “He told us he was a muggleborn. And besides, he looks nothing like you.” He was clearly grasping at straws at this point.
“Really? Well, we can change that.” Draco flicked his wand in Scorpius’ direction. Slowly his short brown hair began growing and lightening, and his eyes faded from brown to the cool gray that matched his fathers. I heard Mum gasp and Dad tightened his grip on my shoulder.
A fully disenchanted Scorpius stood before us, looking much calmer than I felt. His father looked at him with a disapproving eye. “Tell them who you are son.” He said quietly, almost threateningly.
“My name is Scorpius.” He said, looking at the floor. “I am who he says.” I had never heard him sound so meek. This was my Scorpius, confident and sarcastic...he had been reduced to a timid mouse in his father’s presence. Draco looked triumphant. Dad looked down at me for confirmation and I nodded, unable to look anyone in the eye for fear that the tears I was building up would spill over.
“Do you hear that? Our offspring have been flouncing around together. Seems ironic, doesn’t it? But I will not have it!” Draco practically roared.
“We didn’t know he was your son, Malfoy.” Mum spoke up for the first time. “And I would appreciate it if you would leave now, you are not welcome here.” Her voice trembled on the last bit, and this confused me. My mother was a strong woman, why did this man affect her so much?
Malfoy’s face was red. He looked positively livid at the fact that my mother was speaking to him in such a manner. Mum however, would not break her gaze, and finally Malfoy relented. “Take the boy home.” He spat at the house elf, which scurried hurriedly to Scorpius’ side. “I’ll deal with you later.” He hissed at Scorpius. I tried to catch Scorpius’ eye, but he was determined not to look at me. Please, I thought, willing him to hear me. He looked up briefly, mouthed something that I couldn’t make out...and then with a crack he was gone. The room was eerily still.
“Rose, go upstairs.” Dad told me. I couldn’t move. I just stood there stunned. “Now.”
“But-“ I began.
“You heard your father Rose. Go.” Mum said. I had never heard her sound so angry. I turned and fled up the stairs, still holding back the tears that were threatening to spill over. I couldn’t understand how this had happened. How had he even known that Scorpius was here? Why did things always have to go wrong?
I ran into my room and flopped onto my bed, letting the tears flow freely. Downstairs I could hear the muffled shouts of my parents and Draco. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but I could hear a few phrases such as “history repeating itself” and “like her mother.” Finally, I heard a crack and then silence. What were they yelling about?
I held my breath for a good thirty seconds and then I heard footsteps on the stairs. I curled up and quickly pretended to be asleep. The last thing I wanted to deal with was a confrontation.
I heard my door slowly creak open. “Rosie?’ my Mum’s voice seemed heavier than usual, like she was weighted down. I didn’t reply. She walked quietly over to my bed and sat down with a sigh. “I know you’re awake.” I felt her place a cool hand on my back...a peace gesture. I opened my eyes but didn’t say anything. We sat in silence for a long time. Mom absently fiddled with the note Scorpius had left me that morning. “You should have told us.” She said finally. I scoffed. Was she kidding? She was perturbed by my blatant reaction. “Why didn’t you?” she asked.
“Because I knew that something like this would happen!” I snapped, sitting up. “I knew that you would hate him just because of his father and I knew you would all blow things out of proportion and it would be terrible!” at this I burst into tears, unable to control myself. Mum sighed.
“Rose, we don’t hate Sp-Scorpius.” She seemed to wilt in front of me. “I am very disappointed in you for lying to me, but I don’t hate the boy.” I was terribly confused.
“What?” I exclaimed. “You and Dad were the ones who said ‘stay away from the Malfoy family, they’re trouble’ and now all of a sudden its fine?” I barked out an almost insane sounding laugh and flopped back onto my bed. Mum bit her lip.
“Yes, I did say that, but I will be the first to admit that I was wrong. He is nothing like his father, and it wasn’t right of me to forbid you to talk to him just because his father...” she trailed off and put her head in her hands.
“I really don’t understand what the whole blowup was about.” I said. “Obviously you and Dad will judge me now.”
Mum laughed humorlessly. “Rosie, I am the last person who could judge you.” I looked at her quizzically. She sighed heavily and bit her lip. I sensed there was something she was hiding from me.
“What is it Mum?” I asked quietly. She didn’t respond. “Mum.” I said urgently. She made an odd noise in the back of her throat.
“Rose, there’s something I should tell you.” She said finally. I waited while she stood up and walked to the other side of the room. She ran her hands through her long brown hair...a feature that I was relived not to have inherited. A short burst of air escaped her lips before she finally continued. “A long time ago, before you were born...when your father and I were dating, we got into a fight. It was a stupid fight...I-I can’t even remember what it was about. I think it had something to do with Uncle Harry...I just don’t remember. The point is we split up for a while. I was angry and hurt because he had just left more over something silly and I...” she trailed off and stared into space. I cleared my throat and she shook her head. “I was working for the ministry doing work with cohorts of the old Death Eaters and I had to interview him for some reason or another...” the story stopped making sense to me at this point...and it was making me uneasy.
“Who?” I asked...even though I felt I already knew the answer.
“Dra- Mr. Malfoy.” She said quietly. “Well, I already knew most of his story so they picked me to interview him and I went to his manor...we started talking. We had hated each other back in school, and he had tried to kill people who were very dear to me, so I was expecting the worst. What I saw instead was an almost broken man who was holding on to the one thing he had left...his pride. His father was in Azkaban and his mother had just died...he was so sad Rose.” I could sense pleading in her voice “We started talking...at first he was insulting me the way he always did, calling me Mudblood, making cracks about me being a know-it-all with bushy hair, and then...things changed. I think I penetrated some sort of invisible layer and all of a sudden he was so open, and then I understood how...lonely he was.” She put her hand up to her cheek and I saw that she was crying. My heart clenched as she took a deep breath. “He was being so honest with me, and after everything that was happening I really felt that I could relate and...and then we, we...” She wiped her eyes. “Rosie, you know I love your father very much, and what I’m about to tell you is all in the past and...” she broke off. All the color drained from my face.
“No.” I whispered, my throat tightening. “No!” I could feel the tears brimming in my own eyes. This was so surreal... “Please tell me that you didn’t...”
She sniffed. I had never seen my mother so broken. “I’m not proud of what I did Rose, but at the time it seemed right. I thought I loved him...” her voice broke and she had to take a moment to contain herself. “When your father found out, he was absolutely livid. He started yelling at me and said that if I couldn’t resist Malfoy then I might as well be with him...and so I was. I stayed with him for three months...I’m not proud of it Rose, I’m not, and I...it shouldn’t have happened. He was moody and proud and I just...I should have realized it from the start...” She sobbed silently. I was in shock. She took a deep breath. “Eventually your father apologized, said that he loved me and pleaded for me to come back...and I realized that I wanted to. When I told Draco he...he went mad. At first he started crying and saying I was the only woman he ever loved, then he started yelling and throwing things and said that he knew I would walk out on him, just like everyone else in his life. Well, your Dad didn’t like that and they started dueling and...it ended badly, and ever since then we haven’t spoken. He told me that he wanted nothing to do with his family and your father has hated him ever since, he thinks he seduced me and...well it’s just a sore subject.” She paused, taking in my ashen face. “I didn’t love him Rose, I promise I didn’t.” But I could see the doubt in her eyes as she spoke the words. I looked down at my hands, not knowing what to say. I couldn’t believe it. My mother had been the woman Scorpius was talking about...and he knew...he knew all along.
“Mum...” I began tentatively, “He’s not my...I’m not...Scorpius isn’t my brother is he?” Mum let out a sound between a laugh and a sob.
“No. No, you are your father’s, which is why he wants you to stay away from Malfoy’s son, I’m sure...and probably why Malfoy is dead set on his son staying away from you. You two being together was a reminder of everything that had happened, everything we were all trying to forget.” She sat down on the bed again, out of things to say.
“So...you aren’t angry?” I asked quietly. She sniffled a laugh.
“No Rosie, I’m not mad. I’m disappointed that you lied, but I’m not mad. In fact, I understand completely. You’re father might be a little upset for a while, but he will forgive you...you just have to give him a bit of time. He’ll come around. But...” she sighed, “I just need you to know to be careful in this relationship Rose...I don’t know if it’s the best idea.”
“Mum...” I said quietly through my tears. “I love him.” She smiled grimly.
“Alright.” She said. “Just don’t put your heart on the line.” She kissed me on the forehead and walked out of my room, turning out the light. “I love you Rosie.” She whispered.
“Love you too Mum.” I replied, tucking myself into bed. My heart was a hive of mixed feelings, relief, fear and sorrow all flew around inside me, and I felt like I might burst. Don’t put your heart on the line, Mum had said. “Too late.” I whispered into the darkness as I cried myself to sleep.
Poor Poor Rosie. Things just never seem to go her way, do they? *sigh* Well, I hope you liked the chapter...I made it extra good just for you all.
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