Chapter 14 : A Cruel Joke
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Scorpius was not at school when I returned.
At least, I didn’t see him. When I arrived at school I looked for him everywhere. He hadn’t answered any of my letters over the rest of the break, but I figured that his father was watching him. However, when he continued not to correspond once everyone else arrived back at Hogwarts on Friday evening, I became concerned. My first instinct was to ask one of his friends about him, but I realized that I didn’t know any of them. Throughout our relationship, however short or long, I had not met a single one of them. After a full day of searching for him on Saturday, Albus convinced me to give up for a while and take a walk with him on the grounds after his Quidditch practice.
“I think we’re ready for the game, don’t you?” Albus shook water out of his hair as we walked away from the pitch. I had made him shower because he smelled like a hippogriff on a hot summer day.
“Yeah, yeah you’ll do great.” I said distractedly.
“I’m sure he’s fine.” Albus reassured me as we walked towards the lake. This however, did not do anything to calm my apprehension. Something was wrong, I could feel it. But I tried to put my worry aside to talk to Albus.
Scorpius will be alright. I told myself, taking deep breaths of the heavy humid air.
“Now,” Albus took a hold of my wrists and flung them around before looking into my eyes. “What happened? Your letter was so rushed and confusing that I couldn’t really figure out what you were trying to say. Something about your Mum and Malfoy’s Dad...” I had sent Albus a note the day after Draco Malfoy’s appearance on my doorstep.
“I’ll tell you,” I said as we settled ourselves under the big beech tree by the lake. “but you have to promise not to interrupt me.” Albus was notoriously impatient when people when telling stories. After making Albus swear to secrecy, I told him the whole story, starting with Draco’s unexpected visit and ending with my mother’s story. When I finished, I looked up at Albus through bleary eyes. I had teared up for the twentieth time that day. “Sorry.” I muttered, wiping my eyes on my sleeve. “I’m just really worried about Scorpius, you know I...I thought I would hear from him by now...everyone else is hear, and I don’t know where he is...”
“Hey,” Albus said, pulling me to my feet and wrapping me up in a hug. “It’s alright, he’s alright. I’m sure he’s just taking a few more days of holiday. It’s going to be ok.”
“I just have a funny feeling about this...” I trailed off, sniffling.
“He’ll be here, don’t fret. Come on, let’s go back inside...it looks like rain.” It was true, the sky was quickly darkening and the air felt hot and heavy. As we got nearer to the door the first few drops started falling, and by the time we were inside the rain was pouring down heavily.
On our way back to the common room, we passed a group of girls. Geneva was among them. At the sight of Albus, she sniffed and walked faster. Albus snorted and rolled his eyes. I glanced at him inquisitively.
“Well, that was endearing.” I said sarcastically.
“We got in a fight over break.” He explained, brushing it aside as though it was no big deal. “She thinks it’s wrong that I spend more time with you than with her. I told her shoe could hang out with us, but she said that you would ‘tarnish her reputation’ whatever that’s supposed to mean.” I snorted. Like I had ever wanted the company of that little blonde nightmare.
“So...did you break up?” I tried to keep the happiness out of my voice. Apparently he heard it, because he shot me an annoyed glance.
“No Rose. I’m just getting sick of her possessiveness, but I think we’re going to make up this evening.” He winked at me and I suppressed a gag.
“Honestly Al, I can hardly see any amount of ‘making up’ to be worth it.” I said as we turned the corner, and then stopped in my tracks. In front of us was a blonde boy slowly sauntering towards the dungeons. Scorpius. I took off from Albus’ side.
“Scorpius!” I called, but he didn’t turn around. I ran up and put my hand on his shoulder. “Scorpius...oh!” I exclaimed as I looked at the face of a bewildered Hufflepuff. “You’re not Scorpius.” I said lamely.
“No, I’m Jason.” His eyes lit up with recognition. “And you’re Rose Weasley! Do you remember me, we met at that party a few weeks ago...” I had no idea who this boy was, all I knew was that he was not my boyfriend.
“Oh...yeah.” I lied. “Well, nice to see you James.” I said, scurrying away.
“Jason!” he called after me. Albus was laughing when I returned to him.
“You see? Worrying just gets you into trouble.” He threw his arm over my shoulder. “Come on, let’s go.”
Sunday came, and there was still no Scorpius. I tried to push his absence out of my mind...but I couldn’t suppress the tingling sensation of dread in my stomach. Something was wrong, I could feel it.
Olivia and posse (aka my former friends) arrived back from her family’s villa late Saturday night, and they were now scurrying around the new couture robes her super model mother had given to them for some reason or another. I was awakened by their incessant chatter, so I pulled myself out of bed and began to get dressed. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Olivia pull a deep green robe on that was completely adorable. Molly Geckler let out an ear-splitting squeal.
“Olivia, you look absolutely ah-mazing in that color...it’s marvelous!” she cried. Without thinking I locked eyes with Olivia and shot her a “who-does-this-girl-think-she-is” look. Olivia smirked back and for a moment it was like having my best friend back, but then she shifter her eyes into a condescending glare and we were back to square one.
The girls finally finished getting ready (“are you sure these shoe’s match my eye shadow?”) and started out the door. As I watched them retreat an urge over came me and I called out after them.
“Goodbye Olivia.” I said. She whipped around and stared at me coolly.
“Whatever Weasley.” She scoffed, putting emphases on my last name, but I could see the empty desperation in her eyes.
Instead of going down to breakfast with the bitchy brigade, I opted to stay in my room. I sat on the edge of my bed...hoping that maybe a white cat would slip through my window, but no cats came. I flopped on my back and stared at canopy of my four-poster. I tried not to think about Scorpius, tried not worry about him, tried not think about where he was, what he was doing, what was happening to him...Stop Rose, stop!
I sat up with a sigh and massaged my temples. I couldn’t take this uncertainty anymore. I rummaged about until I found a spare piece of parchment, and then I began my fifth letter to Scorpius in four days. My hands shook as I moved the quill across the parchment.
I’m really starting to worry about you...I haven’t heard any news from you, and if you’ve written any letters to me I haven’t received them. I’m giving this owl instructions to deliver this to you and only you. Please write me and tell me what’s going on.
I debated whether I was desperate enough to actually get up and go to the owlry. I was tired, but in the end, disparity won out and I pulled myself off the bed and went up to the owlry.
I didn’t have my own owl, and I didn’t want to trust one of the school owls with this important message, so I called down Albus’ owl, Oswald.
“Take this letter to Scorpius Malfoy.” I whispered as I tied the letter around his outstretched leg. “Make sure you don’t give it to anyone else, alright?” Oswald clicked his beak in agreement then sped out the window. I watched him leave and prayed that Scorpius would reply. Hearing from him would be the only thing that could extinguish the burning anguish in my stomach.
That night I ate dinner at my old table for the first time in a while. I had been given contemptuous looks, but allowed to sit at the end of the table next to Albus, and as far away from the other girls as possible.
I sat and fiddled absently with my robes as I scanned the Slytherin table. I saw many faces, but not the one I was looking for.
“You need to eat Rosie.” Albus instructed, waving a bowl of soup in front of my face, and splattering drops on the table. Geneva, who was on his other side, looked at him in disgust.
“I’m not hungry.” I mumbled. I still hadn’t heard from Scorpius.
“He’ll be here tomorrow.” Albus said confidently. “No way Malfoy would miss class, the kid has straight O’s. Don’t worry.” I was barely listening to him. A tall dark-haired girl was getting up from the Slytherin table. Giovanna Hurdstrom, I had seen her with Scorpius at the Quidditch match so long ago. Maybe she knew where he was. I was grasping at wands at this point, but I couldn’t help myself.
“I’ve gotta go.” I said distractedly as I pushed back the bench.
“Well ‘bye.” I heard Albus say in a slightly put out voice. I walked quickly out of the Great Hall and into the entry way.
“Giovanna!” I called, running after her retreating figure. She turned and looked at me with a mixture of confusion and disdain. I tried to ignore it.
“What do you want, Weasley?” she pursed her perfectly glossed lips at me. Giovanna and I had hardly ever conversed, but we knew each other. How could we not? She was the Slytherin Princess, and until Olivia’s hostile take over, I had been her Gryffindor counter-part. “Well?” Her snappy tone reared up my attitude, but I pushed it down. I needed to be nice to her if I wanted whatever information she had.
I took I deep breath. “I was just wondering if you know where Scorpius is.” She narrowed her eyes at me.
“We all assumed he was with you, until you showed up alone. Malfoy hardly told us anything before he started dating you, why would he reveal all his plans to us now?” I was taken aback by the venom in her voice. This girl had a vendetta against me for some reason.
“Sorry.” I said bluntly, not sorry at all.
“You should be.” She said snidely. “Did you know he was supposed to date me? Did you know that? We were going to be together before you stepped in and ruined everything!” She shrieked. “You might think that you are something special Rose Weasley, but you are not.” She stormed off down the hall, heels clicking and hair swinging.
“Well,” I sighed “so much for that.”
Monday rolled around, and I still hadn’t heard from Scorpius. I had grown accustomed to him meeting me at the portrait hole and walking me to Herbology on Mondays before we met up in Potions. Not having him by my side made the start of my day even worse than I had expected. Albus escorted me to class, deflecting all the stares and mutters in my direction. I held my head up high and tried to ignore them.
I could not focus all through Herbology. We were supposed to be nursing the mandrake plants, but I was distracted and kept pouring my potion on the floor. Albus had to grab my arm on several occasions to keep me from pouring it on him.
Finally the class was over, and it was time for potions. I walked slowly into the classroom, half expecting him to be there, but he wasn’t. Albus caught my eyes lingering on Scorpius’ empty seat, and steered me over to my spot.
“Alright class,” Professor Kirkland said, “before you begin working I want to remind you that your exams are coming up soon, and this potion will be on the test...” the door creaked open. “ah, Mr. Malfoy, how nice of you to join us.”
There he was, standing in the back of the room, all perfection.
Scorpius walked up to the front of the classroom and handed Kirkland a note. I tried to catch his eye as he walked back to his seat, but he didn’t even look my direction. A pang shot through my chest. What in Merlin’s name?
“Scorpius!” I whispered. He didn’t hear me, or at least didn’t react. I was so confused. I leaned back in my chair and tried to get him to look at me.
“Miss Weasley, ten points from Gryffindor for not paying attention.” Professor Kirkland’s voice snapped at me. I blushed and faced forward. I would just have to wait until class was over.
Finally, the bell sounded and everyone began to leave. As we walked out of the classroom I stayed to wait for Scorpius. Albus lagged behind, waiting for me.
“It’s okay.” I mouthed. “Go on.”
I was convinced that Scorpius hadn’t seen me. Why else would he have just ignored me that way? Finally, he came out of the room, but before I could say anything he brushed right past me and started off towards the dungeons. What had I done? Why was he doing this?
“Scorpius, wait!” I called after him. He didn’t stop. Didn’t even turn around. I started after him, but tripped and went flailing towards the ground. When I got back to my feet, he was lost in the crowd.
What was happening? Why was he ignoring me? I felt nauseous as I walked into the Great Hall for lunch. As soon as I sat down, I spotted Scorpius getting up to leave, determinedly not looking at the Gryffindor table. My pulse quickened and my worry turned to frustration.
“So, how did things go with Scorpius?” Albus asked, but I was already getting up to leave.
“Excuse me.” I muttered to Albus before storming out into hall. Scorpius was almost completely out of site.
“Scorpius!” I called after his retreating figure. He kept walking. We were the only ones around. “Scorpius, I know you can hear me.” He stopped. I held my breath. Slowly, he turned around.
“Hi.” I said breathlessly. “What- What in Merlin’s name is going on with you?” I inquired. He didn’t respond. “You’re whisked away from my house, you don’t answer my letters, you avoid me in the hallway...what’s wrong?” He still wouldn’t look at me. I stared at his vacant eyes. His expression was unfathomable. “Aren’t you happy to see me?” I said, taking his hand. “Scorpius?”
Slowly, he took his hand away from mine. “I can’t talk about this right now Rose.” He muttered, turning away. My heart froze.
“What? What’s happened to you Scorpius?” I grabbed his arm and his eyes flashed.
I blanched. “No!” I cried, anger flashing across my voice. “Not until you tell me what happened. Merlin, give me an explanation Scorpius...I deserve at least that.” People were streaming out of the Great Hall, looking at us inquisitively.
Scorpius sighed and looked down. “Fine. Meet me in the owlry at ten tonight.” He looked pained. He looked pained. I nodded, unable to utter any words. I watched as he walked away, fleeing the scene-my scene, as fast as his feet would carry him.
"Rosie, are you alright?" Albus came up and put his hand on my arm. I could see Olivia watching me from across the hall.
"I'm fine." I muttered, wiping my eyes. "Just fine."
As I approached the owlry, I couldn’t remember ever feeling so nervous in my entire life. Not when I’d first seen Scorpius in my room, not when he met my parents, not even when his father had shown up at my door. Well, maybe then, but that was more terror then nerves.
This was almost worse. Almost worse because, even though I had a feeling my heart was about to me crushed, I still had hope. Hope that maybe things wouldn’t turn out badly. And I couldn’t kill that hope, even to protect myself.
I wiped my damp palms on my robes and pressed my hand on the cold knob. The room was dark. It was past curfew, so I had borrowed Albus’ invisibility cloak. I had yet to take it off, so the magical torches that lit the owlry were all extinguished, leaving my eyes to adjust to the darkness. The owls were all awake, their round eyes piercing the night. Some of them swooped in and out overhead, carrying tokens from the hunt.
I sat on a stone bench, waiting for Scorpius. My heart clenched as I sat idly, trying not to think about what had happened in the hall earlier. Each time I let my mind slip, tears would come to my eyes, and I would have to bite my tongue to keep from sobbing.
The door creaked open and the torches sprung to life, crackling and shedding their light on Scorpius as he entered. Even through my hurt, the sight of him my heart skip a beat. I stared at his face. He looked so lonely, so sad. He stood there silently, staring right through me. I realized that I still had the cloak on. I took it off and a look of mild surprise passed over his face, but other than that, there was no reaction.
I cleared my throat. “Sorry, I erm...I forgot to take it off.” He nodded and I stood up, not knowing what to say. I stared out the window at the reflection of the stars glittering in the lake below. They seemed to be mocking me.
“Rose,” he said finally. I remained staring out the window. “We have to talk.” I took a deep breath.
“Alright.” I said evenly, bracing myself for what was to come.
“We can’t be together anymore.” And just like that, my world stopped. My heart tore down the middle. His words felt like a cruel joke, like torture.
“Well, that was sudden.” I said breathlessly as his words sunk in. I was so shocked that I couldn’t even cry. I looked at him, incredulous at the change in his demeanor. “Why?”
He turned away. “I wouldn’t expect you to understand.” This set me off.
“Oh really Scorpius? Well I understand more than you would think.” I stopped to steady my breathing. “You knew, you knew all along about our parents and you lied to me! You knew all along and it didn’t bother you before, so why would it now?” My voice was rising with hysteria, echoing off the stone walls. A few owls rose up and flew to higher rafters. “Whatever happened to all those things you said to me?”
He wouldn’t look at me. “Things have changed Rose. You don’t think this is hard for me? I can’t be with you.” His voice was firm, but his eyes were filled with pain.
“But you want to be, I know you do.” I was pleading now. What could I say? “Scorpius, I love you.” I attempted. “I-“
“Don’t.” he said, turning away. “Of all things, do not say that.” The pain in his voice stopped me. “It’s over Rose. I’m sorry.”
He looked me in the eye for the first time since he had returned. His emotion shocked me. His usual penetrating eyes were dull and full of pain and something else that I couldn’t fathom.
That was all it took. All it took for me to realize that he was serious, that this wasn’t some sort of twisted joke. I just wanted him to hug me, to comfort me and tell me that everything would be alright. He had been my strength, he was always there for me. When my world was falling apart, he made it better. But he couldn’t make it better this time, wouldn’t make it better, because he was the one causing the pain. He was depriving me off my one source of happiness, and the realization ripped my heart out.
“Please, just go.” I whispered, looking away. “Just leave me alone.” My voice, my eyes, my throat were burning from holding back tears. “Go.” I choked.
“Fine.” He said quietly. “Fine, I’ll go.” Then he turned his back on me for what I knew was the last time, and walked out of the owlry.
sad sad sad chapter! I don't really know what to say, except don't give up on the story...I still have six or seven chapters to go and it's really good (sorry, hate to brag, but it really is) so you should keep reading!
I want to hear you thoughts. What do you think? What do you think made Scorpius want to break up? Why was he so upset? What's going to happen between Albus and Olivia? I want to hear you theories.
Please be sure to leave a review!
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