Chapter 18 : Realizations
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“How...” I started, but my tongue was thick and my mouth was dry. I sunk back down onto my pillow.
“Albus found you.” Olivia said evenly. “Early this morning.” She looked up, meeting my eyes. “What were you thinking Rose?” Her voice carried many things at once; anger, worry, and worst of all, disappointment. Her stare was too intense, I let my eyes fall.
“I... I don’t know...”
“You weren’t thinking.” She scoffed. “That’s your problem Rose, you haven’t been thinking.” She stood up and started pacing the room. “We find you this morning, passed out on the couch, reeking of alcohol, I mean look at yourself Rose, you’re a wreck!” She thrust a small mirror into my hand and I took it reluctantly. What I saw wasn’t a pretty sight. My hair was disheveled; my face a mess... mascara and eyeliner were streaked down my too sparkly cheeks. My eyes were red, bloodshot and puffy. I sighed and put the mirror down.
“It was just one night Olivia.” I mumbled, trying to push away the memories... along with the urge to vomit. “One really, really bad night.”
“That’s not an excuse Rose. You should have never gone out last night. Frankly, I’m surprised you made it back in your condition. Puck staggered in a few hours ago, so I know you weren’t with him. How did you get back?” Her demand was harsh, but her eyes were filled with worry. I unwillingly thought back to that late night rescue, my alcohol loosened tongue...
“I don’t remember.” I lied, avoiding her gaze. I could tell she didn’t believe me, but she let it go when she was my face.
“Come on.” She said softly. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”
As usual, I used my time in the hot shower to organize my thoughts. Though most of my recollections were muddled, a few things were crystal clear: Albus had told Scorpius where I was, so either Al was a major rat or Scorpius had sought him out to ask. Either way, he had cared enough to come after me, so he obviously still cared about me to a certain extent, or at least he felt somehow responsible for my foolishness. And true, I had wanted to make him jealous, which was stupid, but I didn’t want him to completely mess with my emotions again! It was my turn to screw with his head! I fumed as I washed my hair. I was still put out that he thought he could just re-enter my life whenever he pleased. And then there was that kiss, that stupid kiss... and the reluctant non-answer to my question. I was filled with so many emotions. Frustration, resentment, embarrassment, and one I hadn’t felt in a while... hope. A dim glimmer of hope that I couldn’t bring myself to put out. He still cared for me, it could be true. Something unspoken had been communicated last night, something deeper than the shallow lies.
When I got dressed and went down to the common room, I braced myself for the disapproving stares and whispered gossip, but none came. Apparently Al and Olivia had managed to save my reputation. I found the pair of them sitting on the couch, heads together in furtive conversation. I felt a slight pang at the sight of them together. I should’ve known that this would happen eventually, the two of them getting closer. But the fact that they had bonded at this particular time in my life, ganging up on me when I had no one else to turn to frustrated me to no end.
They looked up solemnly as I approached. I rolled my eyes. Who did they think they were, my parents? I thought about going straight to breakfast without them, but I couldn’t bring myself to be such a jerk, so I sat down reluctantly.
“Feeling better?” Olivia asked. She had supplied me with a hangover potion that Albus had made for me earlier.
“Yeah, thanks.” I said awkwardly, biting my lip. Suddenly guilt was eating away at my insides. I cursed my conscience.
“Good.” She gave a half smile. “Well I’m going to go.”
“Where?” I asked as she rose.
“To breakfast... I’m starving.” Out of the corner of my eye I saw Albus smiling at her proudly. She beamed and left through the portrait hole, leaving Al and I alone. Well, if you didn’t count the twenty five other Gryffindors in the room. Albus motioned for me to sit by him and I obliged. I had talked to ‘mom’, now it was time to deal with ‘dad’.
“What happened last night Rosie?” he asked. I shrugged.
“I dunno, I just made a stupid mistake, I can’t remember.” I spouted. I tried to leave, but he put his hand on my arm and made me stay.
“Olivia said that’s what you would say. But I’m not buying it.” He said. “What happened to you? You were a wreck when I found you this morning. You never drink Rose.” He sounded so disappointed.
“Al...” I began.
“I mean how could you?”
“You don’t understand, okay? I said I was sorry.”
“You can trust me Rose. You know that.”
I sighed. Maybe it was because Albus had been there for me my whole life, or when Olivia hadn’t, or maybe just because he was Al... but I found myself telling him everything. He was quiet through my whole story, even when I could tell that he wanted to say something. When I got to the part about what Puck had done, he looked fit for murder. I left out that bit about this kiss goodnight and the conversation between Scorpius and me. When I finished, he stared at me for a long while.
“Go ahead and say it.” I mumbled. He crinkled his eyebrows.
“You told me so.” I said sarcastically. Al laughed humorlessly.
“Never.” He said.
“So, you’re not going to kill me?”
“Kill you? He said, bewildered. “No, no I’m not going to kill you. I might kill Csintalan though.” I tried to laugh, but the memories of Puck were still too fresh. I shivered involuntarily. “So, Scorpius saved the day huh?”
“Yeah. If by saved the day you mean burst in and made things complicated, then yeah.”
“Wow, don’t you think that’s a bit harsh Rose?” Albus said. “I mean, he did get you out of there.”
“That’s just it though! He can’t just burst in and out of my life whenever he pleases after he so unceremoniously kicked me to the curb!” My anger from the night before was returning.
“And honestly Albus, if you needed my back so desperately, why didn’t you come and get me yourself?”
Al just looked bewildered.
“Excuse me?” He said belligerently. “What do I have to do with any of this?”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh please, don’t act like you don’t know.”
He scoffed. “Well, sorry, I really don’t know.”
I fumed. “You sit down and have this little talk with me last night about how much you don’t want me out with Puck-“
“Which you didn’t listen to, I might add.”
I ignored him. “-and then lo and behold, Scorpius happens to show up at the club and take me back to the castle without my permission, just in time for you to miraculously find me on the couch before anyone wakes up!” I remembered my embarrassment and anger from the previous night, and my voice started to rise. “Really? Really Albus? I mean for Merlin’s sake haven’t you got it into your head that I don’t want to deal with him anymore?” I was beyond angry, my face was hot and I was choking back cold tears. Albus had gone from concerned to indignant.
“Oh wow Rose, you’re right. I purposely set you up so that you would get drunk and Puck would practically date rape you, then I sent Malfoy after you to bring you back to me like a puppy while he further toyed for you emotions. And I planned to come downstairs and find you completely passed out on the couch and save you from certain humiliation, which you haven’t thanked me for by the way! Yeah, I planned all that, ya caught me!” He looked angry and hurt. That pesky feeling of guilt was burning a hole in my stomach.
“So, you didn’t send him after me?” I pulled my legs up to my chest.
“No.” He said bluntly.
“But he told me that you were the one who told him where I was.”
Albus didn’t look at me. “I haven’t spoken with him since he broke up with you Rose.”
He sighed and turned towards me. “Alright, fine. He came to me and asked where you were going with Puck tonight. The only reason I knew was because the guys were talking about it at practice yesterday. Then he left. That was it. I had no idea that he was going to go after you or anything like that and I certainly didn’t think that a rescue would be in order, but since it was I quite frankly am glad that he was there! I mean think about it Rosie, what would’ve happened if he wasn’t?”
My thoughts flashed back to that club, pressed up against the wall, hands on me, no room to breathe. I involuntarily let out a shudder.
“That’s what I thought.” He said.
“But still Al, that doesn’t change the fact that he hurt me and he hasn’t given me time to heal!”
“I’m not saying that what he did to you wasn’t wrong... but have you ever stopped to think that maybe there’s a reason for all of this that he hasn’t told you about?”
“It’s our parents; he doesn’t want to be with me because of our parents and he can’t stand to be around me anymore... I don’t know! I don’t know why he did it okay, he just did. He told me that I wouldn’t understand, and he was right. I don’t understand.”
“Rose, he knew about your parents before and that didn’t stop him. I really don’t think that he would just drop you like that. I mean as much as I thought I would never say this, Malfoy is a decent guy. Have you ever considered the fact that this might be as hard for him as it is for you, if not harder?”
“Albus, he doesn’t want anything to do with me. He won’t even look at me. I mean he’s dating Giovanna Hurdstrom for Merlin’s sake!”
“If you couldn’t be with the one person you truly cared about, wouldn’t you try your hardest to discourage them from trying to go after you? He wanted you to move on Rosie, for both of your sakes.”
I let his words sink in, their truth shocking me. “Wow.” I said quietly, looking at him suspiciously. “And you figured that all out by yourself did you?”
“Bet you didn’t know I was so insightful, did you now?” He said with false arrogance, sitting up proudly. I slugged him in the arm. “Hey!” he said, rubbing the sore spot.
“I’m sorry.” I said.
“It didn’t hurt that bad.” He joked.
“Shut up.” I said, rolling my eyes. “You know what I mean.”
“Yeah.” He stood up and pulled me into a hug. “I do.”
“Love you Al.”
“Love you too Rosie.” He tightened his hug and rubbed his knuckles on my head, which I hate.
“You’re squishing me.” I gasped.
“You deserve it.” He joked. His stomach grumbled loudly. “Woah, and that’s our cue. I think we should go eat.”
“Agreed.” Apparently, hangovers make you very hungry.
After breakfast, or brunch, Albus went to go watch the Slytherin verses Hufflepuff match, while I opted to go back to the tower for some much needed study time. I could still hear the score from the game as I sat on my four poster bed with my books spread out around me. If I squinted out the window I could just make out the small green and yellow clad players zooming around on their tiny brooms.
I was so wrapped up in my work that I didn’t notice Olivia until she was right in front of me.
“Hey.” She said brightly. I jumped about a foot in the air.
“Merlin Olivia! Do you want to turn me into a ghost?” I clutched my chest dramatically and she rolled her eyes.
“Sorry.” She said as she started rummaging through her trunk. “Hey, I just wanted to say... I’m sorry about what happened to you last night. That totally sucks.” She pulled out a notebook and quill and sat cross-legged on her bed.
“Oh, yeah. Albus told you then?”
“Yeah, is that okay?” she looked at me for approval, her eyebrows crinkling to form a ‘v’ on her forehead.
“Good. Puck is a total creeper, we should have your Uncle Harry sic Hagrid on him.” Hagrid was Albus’s godfather, and very protective of all the girls in our family. I snorted at the thought of him tearing Puck limb from limb.
“But in all seriousness Rose, I’m sorry you had to go through all that. I had no idea.”
“It’s alright. I just have a lot to think about.” Albus’s comments about Scorpius were circling around the back of my head.
“Yeah.” She said absently. “Hey, so about the ball...”
“Oh. I’ve decided I’ll go, I mean we can just go stag or something.”
Olivia bit her lip.
“What?” I asked dully.
“It’s just... Well...”
“What?” I asked impatiently.
“Well, I’m sort of going with Albus now.” She rushed her words. “But I mean if you really want to go stag I can just tell him and we can call it all off.” She said quickly.
“Oh, no. That’s fine I guess.” Once again, that odd feeling of exclusion rose in my chest.
“You can still come though, with us!” she said with too much enthusiasm.
“Yeah, maybe.” My voice was uncertain. The idea of being third wheel to my cousin and my best friend didn’t seem very appealing.
“It could be fun, I mean going with a date can be a drag anyways- “ she was cut off by a loud tapping against the glass window. I looked up to see a tawny owl, my mother’s, perched on the windowsill with a letter tied around it’s leg. Hastily, I unlatched the window and let it in.
“What is it?” Olivia inquired.
“It’s a letter from my Mum.” I explained as I untied the letter from the owl’s leg. The spiky scrawl of “Rose Weasley, Hogwarts, Gryffindor Tower” was not my mother’s, but my father’s handwriting. Curious, I sat down and began to read.
Rosie, it read,
I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that happened over the holiday, and I realized that some of the things I said to you were completely unfair. I wanted to apologize, and to let you know that I think young Scorpius is not a bad bloke. I felt a surge of guilt, realizing that I hadn’t told my parents anything about my breakup. In fact, I hadn’t corresponded with them since we parted on such negative terms. The reason that I was so upset, as you probably know now, is that Draco Malfoy almost took your mother from me, and I haven’t quite gotten over it. I know that’s not your fault or Scorpius’s, it’s just the complicated past of a bunch of old people that I shouldn’t have let interfere with my judgment. He is actually a good kid, and before I let my prejudices get in the way I found him rather enjoyable. So I’m basically saying I approve... although if he’s trying to, you know, get physical, then you are going to have to break up with him Rosie. And if you don’t, I will find out. I blushed scarlet
But I’m rambling. The reason I’m writing you is to give you some advice that I wish I had known a long time ago. Don’t let anyone’s opinion keep you away from someone you truly care about. Years ago, I almost lost the most important person in my life because I was too afraid to go after the woman I loved. I was too afraid to tell her what I really felt. Don’t be afraid, and don’t hold back. If you really love someone, then don’t let them get away. Don’t give up, and above all else Rosie, follow your heart. It will always know what’s right. I love you.
My breath was tight in my chest as I finished the letter, laying it down on the bed. I curled my hands into fists and started pacing.
“Are you okay Rose?” Olivia asked. I looked up, surprised. I had forgotten her presence.
“Yeah.” I said absently. “Yeah, I just... I need to do something. I gotta go.”
I practically sprinted out of the room, leaving her sitting bewildered on her bed.
I ran out of the common room and through the halls, running aimlessly. I almost plowed over Lily as she was heading for the Hufflepuff dorms, her arms full of weeds and dirt on her face.
“Lily!” I said breathlessly. “Where you at the match?”
“For a while.” She said simply. “But then I went to gather some specimen for the Herbology club.” I eyed the ‘specimen’ in her arms and then continued my inquiry.
“Did you see Scorpius?”
She thought for a moment. “No, actually. I don’t think he was there. Which is odd, because he usually is.”
So he must be in the dungeons.
“Great. Thanks Lily!” I called as I took off into a run once again, leaving my bewildered cousin behind me.
When I reached the dungeons, there was no one in sight. The corridor was empty, and my lone shadow flickered in the torchlight.
I reached the blank stone wall, which I knew for a fact contained the secret door to the Slytherin common room. I realized at this point that I had no idea what the password was.
“Erm...” I stared at the wall. “magic?”
“Power? Pureblood? Voldemort?”
I suppose I’m being rather stereotypical.
“Oh Merlin.” I said, exasperate. I banged my fist against the wall. “Hey! Open up! Please!”
I stomped my foot in frustration. Could things really be any more difficult?
“He’s not there you know.” Came a chilling voice from behind me. I let out a little shriek and jumped around to find the Bloody Baron floating behind me. Involuntarily, I shuddered. The Baron had always been my least favorite of the ghosts... he was so mysterious and scary.
“Who’s not there?” I gasped, catching my breath. The Baron looked at me somberly.
“Young Master Malfoy. He left in the early hours of the morning.”
“Did he say where he was going?”
“I’m afraid not.” Said the Baron. “But he did speak with the headmistress before he left-“ before he had finished his sentence I was running again.
The Head’s office was guarded by two stone gargoyles, neither of them very friendly or helpful.
“I need to speak to Professor McGonigal.” I practically demanded as I approached.
“Oh, need to do you?” One of the gargoyles clicked his stone tongue. “Hear that? This girl needs to speak to the headmistress.”
“Please! It’s urgent!” I pleaded.
“Oh, urgent is it?” the gargoyle replied.
“She did say please.” Interjected the other.
“Alright. But just this once.” The gargoyles slid aside to reveal a spiral staircase which I ran up as quickly as I could. I almost barged into the office, but thinking the better of it, I knocked quickly three times.
“Enter.” Came McGonigals voice from beyond. I pushed the creaky door open and walked into McGonigals orderly office. She looked up at me quickly before returning her gaze to her papers. “Shouldn’t you be at the Quidditch match Miss Weasley.”
“I was... studying.” I said lamely. She eyed me skeptically.
“Well, what can I do for you?”
I suddenly felt very childish. “Um... I was just wondering, if you could, please, tell me where Scorpius Malfoy went? I’ve been told that he came to talk to you.”
She sighed and straightened the already perfect stack of papers. “I thought that might be it.” She said. “I’m sorry but I cannot reveal that information, as much as I would like to help you.”
I bit my lip, trying not to let myself give up. “I understand.” I said quietly. “Could you possibly tell me when he plans on returning?”
McGonigal eyed me sympathetically. “He’s not.”
“P-pardon?” My voice quavered slightly. McGonigal sighed again and looked me straight in the eye.
“I’m sorry Miss Weasley, but he isn’t coming back. He’s gone.”
alright! well I am SO SO SORRY about the long wait for this chapter. my inspiration just completley died and i've been so stressed out and busy with school lately but I really hope you all can forgive me and I hope this chapter is worth it! I tried to make it extra long for you all. I'm sorry about all the reviews I haven't responded to, so many of my responsed were deleted when the site crashed so I'm trying to go back and redo them all. As always, reviews are appreciated! Thank you for understand :)