Chapter 2 : A House On Fire
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Thanks to sammm again for this beautiful chapter image!
A/N: Just to make one thing clear: Rose and Scorpius are not brothers! God, no... Rose's parents are Hermione and Ron Weasley, and Scorpius's parents are Astoria and Draco Malfoy.
And before I forget, thank you for your magnificent reviews!
The door had to withstand a full blow as none other than Ron Weasley threw it mercilessly against the wall, electing three different reactions, and none of them positive: firstly, Rose huffed and shouted at him, following him just one step behind. Secondly, Hugo tried to hold her still while glaring at his father. Lastly, Hermione debated whether or not to take out her wand and curse her out-of-control husband in front of their children.
Ron was red from head to toe and more infuriated that anyone ever saw him. The only one who didn’t seem to take notice of this was his only daughter, who stood by herself in the middle of the lobby, defending her lover’s name, turning against her dad for the first time in her life. The tension in the room intensified as she, infuriated by the fact that no one seemed to take her seriously, took out her wand and pointed it against her father’s chest, making her brother tighten his grip on her other arm and call her ”insane” and her mother gasp.
“JUST SHUT UP, SHUT UP,” She screamed as louder as she could, making everyone around freeze.
“A lie, that’s what my life has been so far, dad!” she added breathlessly, the fire in her eyes threatening to consume her in the semi-darkness of the lobby.” A perfectly designed lie to excuse your and Mum’s sins, just because you and Mum weren’t able solve your issues before deciding to have kids. What was I supposed to be? The shining baby who would bring the family together? A trickery to be shown to the world, so you wouldn’t have to admit you could never get over your hate for an old enemy? “
“Bloody hell, Rose, you’ve had enough,” her brother cried, trying in vain to disarm her with his arms. Rose was like a snake, always writhing and getting away from him. He just knew that it was going to end up badly, if not catastrophic. And if Rose put the entire blame on her parents, he put all the blame on her.
“No, I don’t want to hear any more, “she said, furiously shaking her head and ignoring him, just when Hermione decided to take the next word. “Why would I, dad? What help would it be?” she asked glaring at her father as if he were the last man in the world.
“Rose Weasley, stop this instant, you have no idea what you’re saying,” her mother stepped closer. Rose decided to ignore her. She seemed unable to listen to anyone or anything.
Ron gripped the desk behind him so hard, that his purple veins were sticking out dangerously from his arms, and his breath was labored. He bit his lower lip from hard to harder in order to avoid responding to her. Cold sweat ran down his spine and it chilled him to the bone. It was like the Earth doubled its spinning speed.
“And now you blame him for this? Blame his son for your lies? Where do I count in all this, dad? What it is my point? I’ve fallen for him and you will not keep me away from him for an old vendetta. “When her father still refused to speak and her anger seemed to reach heights she never knew before. In those moments, she lost all the little control she still possessed.
” I swear, father, that if you don’t accept me as I am, I’ll curse you,” she said with boldness that only few knew she possessed. She looked like a queen who lost herself amongst her nemesis, but still refused to fall from grace.
” Haven’t you had enough? I’ve lived eighteen years, eighteen years drowned in your lies, believing each and every word you said and taking you for a saint, for the reason of my whole existence! And for what?” she asked, increasing the volume of her voice again. “Don’t you dare try and fool me this time, too!” she added sewing the desperate plea into his eyes.
Ron looked stunned at his daughter, as if he had never seen her before.
But she was not letting it go.
“Just leave it, dad, and wipe that innocent expression off your face! It doesn’t suit you anymore.”
It was a harsh thing to say. Ron paled so much that he could have been taken for a dead body. His knees shook so badly…had he not a hold on the desk; he would have fallen to his knees in front of his daughter.
Hugo shook his sister with all his force, while Hermione took out her own wand, ready to disarm Rose, not caring for anything else at this point; she was not letting this happen, especially because she knew the outcome.
Ron’s fist clenched, but his eyes were glassy. He was shaking as his mind refused to acknowledge that that was his daughter, the one he conceived and brought up for the past eighteen years. No...What had they done to his precious little angel? How had they managed to poison her? He was going to kill them. Yes, go out in the streets and murder them all the second she shut up and stopped tearing his heart apart.
Rose’s temper was taking the best of her, as it never had before. She knew that some of her accusations were overrated, but her heart was literally burning from having to realize the betrayal of the person she loved most in her life. At that point it was impossible for her to see things clearly, and her anger controlled her to a point where she didn’t feel like herself at all. She was panting and trembling in indignation, and her mouth had become so dry she felt that her words were split, rather than spelled-out…all she saw around her was a deep darkness, tainted with vivid, crimson flames and her dad standing in the middle of it, suddenly transformed from a protector to a tormentor.
She never had a life; she had just been used. Never loved, never cherished. Just paraded…and they wanted to take him away from her… Never… Thinking of him gave her new strengths.
“Rose, this is enough,” her mother stated in a stern voice, coming from behind to stand by Hugo.
“Rosie this, Rosie that!” She added with venom, determined not to cry, though she felt she crossed some sacred boundaries many minutes before. ”All you needed was a weapon, a puppet to raise so he could later stand above your old nemesis, wasn’t it, Dad? All those times you pretend to be by my side like a real parent, you were just plotting how to get your revenge. You never really loved me, Dad.”
At this point, Ron Weasley moved from his place as quickly as a ghost and slapped his daughter across her right cheek, letting a tear slide down his face as he did so.
“Go to your room and stay there before I forget you are my child,” he added in a low and dangerous tone, making Hermione and Hugo stand still. They never knew this side of him.
When Rose looked at him murderously and looking like she was prepared to refuse, his Auror reflexes took the best of him, and, with a few quick swishes of his wand, he levitated her to her room, despite her protesting form, locking her inside with the best spell he knew, a charm so strong that it was only used in Azkaban prison. He was making sure that she had no way whatsoever to get out.
The room was filled with a terrifying silence. No one breathed or moved, and the air was too thick to be exhaled. It filled their lungs, hurting every cell, punishing them for every word or act. No one could predict in that moment the faith of their family.
Hermione was too stunned and couldn’t form a coherent word, her mouth agape, while Hugo looked down, not wanting to believe what had just happened.
Ron’s harsh breathing was the only thing heard in the silence, for Hermione’s tears were silent on her cheeks, while the tables, the doors and the furniture…they all seemed dead at this point, stiff on the brush of a penniless artist. Minutes upon minutes passed, and none of the three moved while they heard Rose’s knocks on the door and her futile intentions to escape.
Then, unannounced and unpredicted, Ron let out a war-like cry, took the nearest chair and hit it against the wall, breaking it way too hard for any “Reparo.” It went like this for ten minutes, until the all the furniture in the lobby was shattered, and Ron broke every little thing he could lay his hands on.
“SHUT UP!” he cried to his daughter upstairs in a voice that didn’t seem to belong to him anymore—father and daughter at the hand of their hurt.
In the end, he took one long look at Hugo, came near him, put his palm against his son’s forehead, so as to soothe him, then turned to his wife, whose tears had fallen all the while.
“Please, Ron,” she pleaded in a faint whisper once she was only an inch from him while bowing her head.
Ron was not at all like himself. He cupped his wife’s chin with two fingers, not caring if he left bruises or not, and made her look at him.
“It’s all your fault.”
There was so much hate and pain in his eyes that she forgot how to breathe, and she turned her head to the side, slowly slipping from his grasp. She tried to raise her fingers to erase the tear she saw on his cheeks, but he turned away.
“I love you, Ron,” she carried on in a small voice. “Only you—don’t blame Rose for my sins. For she is young, and you don’t want her to make the same mistakes I did.”
Ron cringed and left out of the room without one look at her.
She was in her room for hours refusing to sob, even though she forgot to count the numerous tears that had fallen from her eyes. Her teddy bear clutched tightly to her chest, she refused to believe what she had just said and did. Yes, years put a lot of pressure on her, but he remained her dad, and she could not believe what he just done. They both made such huge mistakes…and she knew she could fight the whole world, but she could not fight her dad.
It was true…things had always been harder for her, for had she not learned to hate Scorpius, she would have felt free, she could have had him without having to bare so many emotions. But the truth was that she wouldn’t have had him, anyway, because his family would never have approved of her, and perhaps he had already forgotten her…
Why aren’t we aloud to love the ones we want?
Yes, they had made love. Yes, they had a history, and yes, with him, she felt as she never had before. He pierced her soul, had her in body and spirit, and she was now bare, no matter what she put on. No matter what words she said, her mind wandered to him, and his kisses were like burning tattoos on her skin. She craved him…
But he was a puzzle, an unsolved mystery and the dream of every girl at Hogwarts with a little brain to see just how much of a man he could be. And yet, she felt he belonged to her… what a foolish and childish illusion…
Rising from the floor and looking to the window, she indulged herself in sinking back into the memories. What was right and wrong, she did not know…
Ron stood in front of the door, feeling like he had lost his daughter forever. Like he also lost Hermione forever, and he just knew that his son was about to go and never come back. All was falling apart, like water slipping between his fingers, like sand in the winter wind.
The ache in his heart increased tenfold. It took him an unbearable amount of time to gather the courage to stand up and knock on her door.
Rose came back to her senses with a start and quickly erased the tear that stained her cheek. She knew whom was on the other side of the door but didn’t know what to expect.
Ron stood in the doorframe, watching his girl staring out the window, her back turned to him.
“Rosie...” he said so silently, as if he were afraid that the mere pronunciation of it would hurt.
“I always hated when someone called me Rosie, dad…” came her emotionless voice.
His eyes shot up.
“ …Hated it, because you were the only one allowed to call me this way.”
He meant to come close, but Rose’s body stiffened at hearing his footsteps on the floor. She still didn’t dare to turn her eyes to him.
“You have to apologize big time, dad, and you know it…” she said in a distant voice, like she was speaking to him from another world.” For lying, cheating, deceiving… but most of all, for using your own daughter,” she said, making her father watching her aghast while her eyes were hollowly peering outside the window. Ron’s heart skipped several beats at the silence that followed afterwards. She had always had this effect on him. No matter what he was trying to say or do, she was always one step ahead.
“I never suspected…”
Ron’s hand was on her shoulder now, but she refused to turn her eyes to her father, making him stand in the darkness of his mistakes*. She freed herself quickly from his grasp, as if it were poisonous, and spoke again.
“Little, little Rosie,” she said, her voice lowering several notes while she played with her beautiful locket, ”So innocent and so full of love for her perfect dad. Your plan worked perfectly, didn’t it, Dad?” she said bitterly and turned her hateful eyes to glare at him.
Ron’s blood froze: every father’s nightmare was about to come true. His child was about to tell him that she hated him.
But, unexpectedly, Rose didn’t lash out with harsh words but instead curled herself on her bed and started crying:
“You have no idea how much you hurt me, dad! No idea…”
Ron immediately rushed to hug her, capturing her small, sobbing form between his big arms. He couldn’t stand her crying, couldn’t bear to hear his little girl suffering because of him. No, it was not because of him, but because of that devil’s offspring…
“Rose, I only wanted you safe,“ he whispered to her, gently wiping her wet cheeks,” you are so innocent and know so little about him family…I warned you that they’ll try to hurt you, didn’t I?” he added, making her sob harder.” And I was right...first there was his father, trying to steal your mum from me, and then his son trying his do the same thing. They are all alike,” He snorted and thanked the Heavens for being able to hold his child again like this.
“Has he ever told you he loved you, Rose? No, for he knew it would have been a lie. Hasn’t he always been mean to you?“ he said in a softer, yet determinate voice, while cupping her face in his hands and looking into her eyes. “Don’t you see that this was the final blow in the face, getting under your skin? He knew you were an innocent, inexperienced girl, so he tried to…”
His face was becoming redder and redder and Rose had to bite the inside of her cheek in order to not confess anything to him. If he would have ever found out the truth…that she had already been his….
“You might have believed you loved him, but oh, no, this feeling is what the young and pure ones feel, when the wicked ones try to taint them, charm them with the devil’s methods…“ Rose hid her eyes under her lids and buried her head in his hands, praying he wouldn’t ever find out the truth. “Trust your dad with that,” he added with a small smile.
Trust. That was the word she just couldn’t associate her dad with. She mentally slapped herself as she heard him, but, although her mind was decided, her heart was torn apart; nothing would ever be the same between the two.
Ron rose from the ground and held out his hand for his beautiful daughter to take. He sighed as he waited, a little too impatient and disturbed by her displaying of ingratitude, as he took in the new curtains her mother had bought…Rose’s head shot up towards her father, but she said nothing. Rising from her bed, she stepped easily toward him and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek.
“I love you, Dad…”
Ron’s internally sigh of relief went unnoticed...it was over, and he had won: the story wouldn’t ever repeat again. His daughter was safe from whatever the future could bring: she would go to College, be great, as always, and in the end, would marry a good man that would provide for her well, not the son of that monster. She’d give him grandchildren to look after and would make him proud of her...in the end, every young girl makes mistakes…
Rose’s eyes were cold as her father hugged her, her eyes averted to the door, her body stiff. She hated to love her father now, and she knew, she just knew it wouldn’t be long before she’d take her grief and tear it away. She just didn’t know how long she’d last…for her heart had never lived in still waters
“The Potters are coming to dinner tonight,” said Ron, interrupting her train of thoughts. “ We will celebrate the finishing of your education. I am sure you will be happy to meet your cousins again.”
On Rose’s lips, there was one name that filled her heart with unlimited hope: Lily Potter.
“James Potter, slow down or I’m going to petrify that broom!” Harry Potter’s voice echoed across the lawn, for the fifteenth time.
“But Dad, I am a professional Quiddith player, I can’t handle…”
I said slow down!” he added in an even graver voice. Damn, his old man was still tough.
“That’s what happens when you brag,” Lily slowly whispered near him, while performing a dive that scared the living hell out of her father.
“Lily!” this time Ginevra Potter’s voice boomed.
“All good, Mom?” this one answered sweetly while stopping her broom instantaneously. “ We seem to have left you behind.
Ginny’s glare met a perfect, genuine smile, and she unceremoniously snorted: how she could have produced such a daughter, she’ll never know, but she was sure it was all Harry’s fault.
Albus Potter slowed down his broom, too, laughing heartily at the argument between his parents and his siblings.
“James, Lily… I am sure the world won’t come to an end in the next 5 minutes, so you might want to slow down. Or do you wish to see our cousins so desperately? ” he added in disbelief.
Lily snorted and muttered under her breath:
“Yeah, I wish nothing more but to see the “oh-so-perfect-I-can-never-do-wrong” Rose Weasley bragging about how perfection’s achieved. That will sure make my day.”
“You never get over your envy, do you?” said Albus in a slowly voice and with a sly smile making Lily almost push him off of the broom.
“Damn!” he shouted while trying to steady himself.
“That should serve you well!” Lily said to him with an evil gleam in her beautiful, hazel eyes.
“Hey,missy!” James screamed.
“What?” she answered promptly.
“You’re starting off behind,” this one answered bored.
And with these last words, he sped up again, Lily on his heels and both of them making Albus laugh again.
And then, Harry Potter—international hero and Head Of the Auror’s Department—performed two quick spells, making his two kids stop frozen in their tracks, while Ginevra chastised them properly.
“We’re near now. Just land safely and without any broken ribs, if you please!”
Albus landed first, his two glaring brothers on his heels.
“Vixen,” James muttered.
“Ugly bear,” Lily answered under her breath, while Harry rang the bell.
The Hermione that opened the door and Ginny instantaneously hugged looked pale and tired. Harry’s observant eye took her in immediately, asking with his look if there was something wrong. Ginny stood there in the doorframe trying to put the pieces together, carefully noticing that the things in the hall had been just recently put back together.
“What’s wrong” she whispered carefully.
“Nothing,” Hermione answered, avoiding both her friends’ stares and putting instead a brave smile on her face. Neither of the two were buying it.
“Hello, genius auntie!” Lily piped in, kissing Hermione on both cheeks. “You know we love you, don’t you?” she asked, her big eyes beaming at her as if waiting for some improvement. As Hermione nodded, she continued, “Right, so we’re here now. I’m starving—what’s for dinner?”
And, without answering, she entered the house, humming to herself.
“Bloody manners, Lily!” James pretended to chastise her, while saying a brief hello to his aunt and stepping inside.
“Hello, Aunt Hermione”,Albus entered the last with a smiling face. Congratulations for Rose’s graduation. I have brought a gift to her. It’s from all of us.” And with this he hugged his aunt and stepped forward.
“Come in,” Hermione said before Harry or Ginny had the time to object…”Ron’s not in an especially good mood…”
Hugo appeared at the corner of the stairs looking as if he would have much liked to go back, if his mother’s stare wouldn’t have stopped him in his tracks. All in one, he appeared to be surrounded by a gloomy atmosphere, just like how the clouds embrace a haunted house. Harry and Ginny exchanged some worried glances, while Ron seemed to have appeared from nowhere, dragging an absent Rose after him.
“Harry, Ginny!” he exclaimed, his eyes widening at the sight of them. “Guess who graduated today as a top student? Rosie!” he practically shouted the name. “Today we celebrate her, so I asked Hermione to prepare a special dinner for the occasion. Please join us, my friends.”
His words were filled with a fake excitement, his beaming a fraud, and his daughter kept her eyes down.
Something was very wrong. Harry and Ginny could both tell.
Rose’s eyes never left the floor to greet them, and it was not like her to be impolite to them, especially when they knew how much she was attached to them and her cousins. She was as uncomfortable as a bird in cage beneath Ron’s palms.
Pleasantries were exchanged, but they didn’t mean a thing. They all drank wine, but the only one who would talk was Ron…fast and overexcitedly, while beads of sweat gathered on his forehead and Hermione seemed unable to keep her glass straight, her trembling fingers curling tightly around it, knuckles long turned white. Albus saw the overall effect, too, and glanced at Hugo from time to time, but Hugo also looked down or sent angry glares toward his older sister. While trying to make small talk, and enjoy himself as he always did in his cousins’ house, this time something very wrong was happening.
From the decorations in the hall to the forced smiles of dear Rose, who was supposed to be celebrating one of the happiest days of her life, something was awry. The atmosphere was so dense and hot in the room, that he silently performed a cooling charm.
But James and Lily seemed to have none of it.
“So, dear Rosie-hun” Lily mocked in her sweetest tone” how does it feel to have achieved greatness? Does it really sparkle? I just can’t see the sparks, hun, I’m afraid.” She teased, pretending to caress a lock of her hair .” Weren’t you supposed to have some strange golden aura around your head, now that you’ve graduated?”
Rose didn’t bother with a glance.
“Oh, come on, you sodding offspring of my parents…
“James!” Harry tried to interrupt him.
“… you are so green with envy that you could suffocate from it. Honestly dear, you could get wrinkles from it.”
Lily’s features darkened immediately, and she said something under her breath that sure would have made Ginny lock her in a room for the rest of the year.
“We were talking about Rose, here,” Lily continued, after promising revenge to her brother. “Oi,Hugo, watch out for the sun now: with your dad’s ever-glowing aura you could double your freckle-count.
The elbow she received in the ribs was from Albus this time.
“Shut up,” this one whispered.” Something is very wrong here.”
“Yeah,” she responded, a little bit too loudly,” the queen of perfection has just been crowned.”
Her brother glowered at her with the same green eyes as her father’s and they looked as severe.
“Jesus, Lord and Merlin’s pants*, you resemble Dad far more than you should.” She half-whispered, half-screamed.
“Rose, dear, is everything okay? We are very glad for you, but you seem a little bit out of it. Do you need to rest?” Ginny asked, giving Rose’s hand a gentle squeeze from across the table.
She felt like screaming for help, trapped in the charade. Instead, Ron answered for her, his voice a little too loud while he grabbed her shoulders almost painfully.
“Of course, she is okay. She just graduated as a top student from Hogwarts. The smartest witch of her age, they said. Just like her…”
At this his voice fell so suddenly that the whole Potter family stopped and stared at him, and Hermione’s cheeks became so red, that no matter how much she tried to hide her face, angry tears could still be seen welling in her eyes.
“She’s so in trouble,” Lily whispered, pure venom dripping from her voice.
Ron’s neck bones cracked as he gave an almost heroic swallow then gripped his daughter’s shoulders a little bit harder, trying with all his might not to let the curtains fall now and reveal his lie.
But Harry finally decided to stand up, his wife following him shortly.
“Ron… what’s really happening here? Tell me the truth,” Harry ordered his friend, not understanding in the slightest why his best friends were acting so strange. At hearing his voice, all his three children turned their heads to him.
Ron’s eyes fell and he sighed with abandonment, while Rose managed to free herself from his sweaty palms and started to tremble at his side. Hermione looked desperately from her daughter to her husband.
But before anyone could react, Rose gave a start and moved quickly from her place, grabbed Lily’s hand, yanking her off from the table and dragged her along with her as she ran upstairs until she reached the attic, not letting Lily for one single moment to ponder, bruising the girl’s wrist. Lily was beginning to fear her cousin: so wrong was the rawness in her eyes, so desperate were her moves, but she didn’t have the time to think about it, for Rose, who during dinner had “borrowed” Albus’s wand, locked the door of the attic behind her and spun around to reach some vials hidden in the floorboards. As the blue drops dripped in one after another in a metal pot, she grabbed Lily’s hand once again and stepped close to the basin.
Lily stepped back and grabbed the door handle. Rose was towering over her by only two inches but never looked more frightened with her auburn curls loose and the fire in her eyes. She had only rarely seen Rose like that before and never towards her. And then, there was something desperate in her appearance, something she couldn’t put her finger on.
“Follow me,” Rose ordered, and then, they were both lost in the blue liquid from the Pensive, falling into an unknown abyss.
A/N: A thousand thanks to my wonderful cedrixfan who beta-ed this for me in record time(I forced her into correcting the mistakes from here before the queue closure). Cheers for Rachel!
Now the next chapter will be about Astoria Greengrass mainly and will be called "The Ice Queen".
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