Chapter 1 : Broken Strings
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Author's Note: Okay, I was feeling really mushy and mellow while listening to this song by James Morrison, and I thought: This has HPFF potential :] So I wrote a fic inspired by the song. I think it would flow better as you read it if you give the song a listen first, that way it connects better. Please let me know what you think by reviewing!
Two names. Four words.
What were we, really?
Rivals? Enemies? Allies? Accomplices?
Heads of our Houses?
Turning into dust?
There were times when I felt like he was my partner. Where he’d help me out during prefect meetings and sort business out for me before I could even stress about it.
And then there were times when I felt like he was put on this planet just to challenge me and pester me.
All these years – the fighting, the harassing, the bickering.
I never thought anything of it.
It was accustomed for us to hate each other. It was so easy to hate Scorpius that it came to me almost naturally. If I had no dislike for him, I probably wouldn’t know how to act around him. It would be uncomfortable. This, I thought, was way beyond peculiar, because when we fought, I could handle him. Having the urge to throttle him senseless made me feel comfortable being around him.
Together, we were disastrous.
But separate, we were… different people.
We acted more like ourselves when we fought, than when we were with our mates. It was almost like a sort of bond or understanding between the both of us. A silent agreement that made everything okay.
When I think about it… we’re quite dangerous. This connection we have. It’s nothing but dangerous.
Because there was no reason for it. No reason to have a connection. Our reputations, our family names, our mates… it just certified how wrong it was to be comfortable with each other as enemies. Everything was pushing on us, riding on our backs. Everything our lives held accountable for was up for grabs, on the line, close to being thrown to the wind – because of this menacing connection we had.
There were times when I couldn’t explain how I knew his every move. Call it observation, if you will, but all the little things he did… I understood why he did them. The little things. They made sense to me.
Like, for example, when Scorpius wakes up in the morning, he walks out from his Head Boy dormitory and closes the door firmly shut. He does that with every door he walks through. All the time. Scorpius can’t go a whole day without doing it. And he does it because he’s uncertain of reality. What can happen in an instant, what can change in the future. If he closes the door behind him, he’s mentally in control. Always. And he likes having that ability. The only time Scorpius doesn’t close the door behind him is if he’s holding the door for someone else. And if there is anyone behind him, anyone at all, he always holds the door for them. Even me.
Even though we knew each other so well, and grew so comfortable around each other, we never thought of it as surreal. We were… used to each other. And it was so wrong.
I disliked him with a passion, he disliked me with a passion.
It was the way it was.
So why do I suddenly feel so…messed up inside? It was in the middle of that corridor, just a few moments ago, where everything changed.
I’m walking down the vacant corridor now, thinking about the row we’ve just had. It happened minutes ago. We had fall outs regularly; a day didn’t go by without Scorpius and me raising havoc in the hallways of Hogwarts. But this one…this one particular fight was different. This row was worse.
It was the usual scenario: groups of students pressuring us on, circling around us, becoming our audience. We were throwing insults left and right. I’m sure that half way through our fight, we both forgot what made us angry with each other in the first place. It turned into a name-calling match within seconds.
Stuck up bookworm.
The words echo in my ears as I walk, step by step, around Hogwarts.
Mudblood. Mudblood. Mudblood.
Never, in all our seven years, had I ever heard him mumble that disgusting and degrading word. Not in all my life. Not even to me, during any of our arguments. He, too, seemed surprised that the word came out of his mouth. Must have been the Malfoy in him.
But I should have expected it, right?
We hated each other.
I loathed him.
He detested me.
It made sense.
It’s how it was supposed to be.
So why do I feel like I’ve just been stabbed in the chest?
I touch my face and feel my cheeks moist from crying. My vision becomes blurry as I keep walking down the corridor, passing the windows as I go.
Our connection was one of complication. It was disastrous, it was understandable. It was a lot of things, but this it was not. Doesn’t he know what he’s done? The connection… Scorpius has messed it up. He’s turned it into something it wasn’t supposed to be.
I feel so pained, I don’t know what to do. Feeling this way. Having this kind of reaction because of that row – that word – it scares me. I’ve never felt this way.
He didn’t say it because I was a muggle-born; he knew who my father was. He said it because he knew who my mother was. He said it because he knew it would hurt.
And boy, did it.
That word, carried on since our parents times…it was used to distinguish those not worthy of pure-blood presence. Even though I wasn’t a muggle-born, it still hurt the same. Not being worthy of his presence, like my mother wasn’t for his father. Scorpius mumbled those words because of the history behind it. Behind our families. What it causes, and what it affects. He created a portal where nothing was what it was anymore. Everything, every word, exchanged between us, felt like it was being ripped away at that very moment. Like there was no memory of us at all.
I don’t know why, but it’s made me immensely sad, and it’s freaking me out.
Why am I feeling like this?! I can’t understand it. Scorpius knows me better than anyone, though, doesn’t he? Maybe he would understand why I’m currently crying in a deserted corridor after having him disrespect my muggle-born mother. He wasn’t just insulting me when he said that, obviously.
It shocked the hell out of me. And my reaction to it, as well. Everyone was silent after he said it and the students started to walk away after a while. One by one, they were taking off. But Scorpius and I stayed, almost the last people to leave, and we just stared at each other – completely flabbergasted. And then I walked off. I pushed passed him roughly, and this time, he didn’t push back with his shoulder. Scorpius almost accepted it. He let me go. He let me go and didn’t even say anything for it.
And that hurt even more.
It’s amazing what one word can do to someone.
Two words. Only two meanings.
Only one thin line to differentiate.
Both are emotions that contain deep passion.
But can I choose a side?
I turn to look at the window, and I admire the beautiful stained glass glimmering due to the drops of water. It begins to rain harder now, and I push my hand against the glass. I wish I could run away from this. This feeling. Because it isn’t just one of pain or distress, but one of self-discovery. And the mixed emotions aren’t so easy to read. Part of me wants to find him and yell at him. Slap him. Tell him what a bastard he is and ask him why he would stoop so low. And then there’s another part of me… a part of me I’d like to hide.
It wants to find him.
And get him back.
This part of me is absolutely frightening.
I have been fighting this part for years. Hiding it during every moment I shared with him. Because it comes down to this – I can’t deny it. I loved arguing with him. He made me a fighter. Challenged me as a person. I grew up because of him. I grew up to show him who I could be. That I could be better than him. I never showed this side because… because the connection we had, that we both knew was there, it was enough for me. That silent connection – it was enough. I didn’t want to ask for anything else. Who knew if he felt the same way? Did I challenge him and make him better like he did to me? For me to push this idea too far would cause us to lose our connection. Even though I shouldn’t care anymore, because I feel like he’s already broken it. The strings that linked us are now broken.
I want them back. I want our broken strings back, so I can tie them together.
I stop walking and come to a halt, trying to control my ragged breaths.
What’s wrong with me?
Why does this hurt?
Why is this affecting me so?
That stupid word, said because of the pain it caused…
It was cruel, what Scorpius did.
Cruel because only he and I knew how bad that word truly was.
It affected our lives more than any else’s at Hogwarts.
Figuring I have no other place to really go, I decide to walk back to the Heads’ dormitory. I sigh, realizing my makeup is probably all down my face. I wipe my face with the sleeve of my zip up hoodie and cover my head with the hood. If I run into anyone, they’ll see how terrible I look. I hear the rain smack loudly against the window panes as I keep my stride up. A shower was what I needed. No, a nice hot bath. Yes. I needed to relax. I only hope Scorpius isn’t anywhere near where I’m headed. I don’t want to look at him.
I don’t want to see him ruffle his hair with his hands.
I don’t want to see him look at himself in the mirror before putting on his tie.
I don’t want to see him asleep on the couch having a nap.
I don’t want to see those icy eyes.
I turn the corner swiftly, my sneaker squeaking against the marble. I pass the portraits that talk. The paintings that don’t. The sculptures that could. I dig my hands into my jean pockets and walk faster.
I wish things were back to normal.
But they were never normal in the first place.
So it’s a lost cause, really.
I turn the doorknob to the Heads’ dormitory and walk it. I stop abruptly, wishing I had never walked inside in the first place.
Scorpius had his head down, having a seat on the couch, elbows resting on his knees, when I walked in. His head pops up as soon as I set foot inside. I stare at him, shocked. He looks at me, both happy and surprised to see me. He stands up quickly but doesn’t move his feet.
I don’t speak.
I look at the ground.
My heart is beating so hard against my chest. I just want to run into my room before I start to cry again. He’d think I was a pansy. Such a stupid reason to cry, he’d think, though he knew why it would make me this upset. A long sigh leaves me as I walk, ignoring Scorpius, so I can run up my stairs and take a bath.
I find him in front of me, blocking my path, within seconds.
“Rose,” he repeats again, strongly.
I keep my head down.
“Look at me.”
I don’t want to.
“I- I’m sorry.”
“I shouldn’t have- I didn’t mean to…”
You should have.
We hate each other.
It makes sense, Scorpius.
It’s quiet for a while and then he snaps, grabbing me by the shoulders. Now I have to look at him.
“Rose, look at me!”
And I do.
But I don’t expect to see his face look so torn. He studies my face, eyes darting back and forth, up and down. I can see he’s biting his tongue because he doesn’t know what to say.
“What are we?” I croak.
His face falls.
“What are we?” I ask again.
He looks away for a moment and doesn’t say anything. I continue walking but he grabs my arm and turns me back around.
“I know we’re not like this.”
“No. We are. We should be like this.”
We’re enemies, damn it.
Let it be.
“We aren’t enemies, Rosie,” he states, looking as sincere as ever. My voice gets caught in my throat.
“Yes, we are,” I argue.
“You can keep saying it, but you know you’re just using it as a scapegoat.”
My palms start to sweat. “Why would I use us being enemies as an excuse for anything?” I snap.
“Because the truth hurts.”
Scorpius moves closer to me and gently puts his hands on my shoulders and moves them down my arms. I feel like I’m being electrocuted. I feel so helpless. No. No. No. We were enemies. It was easier this way. He’s ruining me.
“Everything hurts,” is all I respond with.
This was what we needed. A reason to be separated completely. Scorpius did it when he called me a Mudblood. He called me a Mudblood because I wasn’t… does that make sense? We reached our breaking point. It was bound to happen.
“I know,” he whispers. Does he hurt, too?
He closes his eyes and rests his forehead on mine.
“I’m sorry.” His words hit the silence in the room like the wave of an ocean on the sand.
“You said it because you knew it wouldn’t end well.”
“I know,” he tells me.
He doesn’t move his position, but opens his eyes. “I wasn’t thinking. A part of me wanted to know what it would feel like if things became screwed up between us. The way our parents would have wanted. I wanted to know if I could live with it. But I can’t, Rose, I can’t.”
My mouth becomes dry. I… don’t know what to say.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean it. Believe me when I say this. I was wrong, okay? I can’t do it. When I said it, it made everything real. And I don’t want that hate to be real, Rosie. That’s the last thing I want. When ever I’m with you I feel so…”
I can’t listen to this.
“Connected,” he finishes.
There’s a hitch in my breathing as I listen to what he’s just said.
He feels it, too.
Our strings aren’t broken. They’ve just gotten more intertwined.
“You… you feel it?” I ask, wondrously.
He moves his hands up to my neck. “You know I do. We’ve had this link between us for years. Don’t think I didn’t notice,” he almost smiles but stops, making the corner of his lip twitch in the most adorable way.
“We fought for a reason.”
He’s right. He is so right.
I feel like someone’s finally shined the light in my direction.
The fights…they hid our connection. So we could live with it.
“If we didn’t pretend to hate each other, you know we wouldn’t have been able to take it,” he explains. “The loathing and the name calling helped us deal with how close we became, Rose. Tell me you understand this,” he almost begs.
My eyes tear up but I bite my lower lip so the water doesn’t spill. I’ll be damned if I start to cry this close to his perfect face.
He rubs my neck and moves his thumbs, making them graze my jaw line. Before I can even catch my self, I throw my arms around his waist.
I blink. How did that just happen?!
“You know me better than anyone,” he mumbles, moving his hand to the one around his waist, and makes me tighten my grip. My face grows hot. He knows just how to wind me up. I hate him for making me blush.
And then it clicks.
“Hell, I know you better than you know yourself,” he chuckles.
That’s the only thing I hate him for.
Two words. Two passionate emotions.
One line to cross.
“I don’t hate you,” Scorpius says, breaking the stillness in the room.
“I don’t hate the way you bite your lip when you try to stop yourself from getting upset. I don’t hate the way you stretch out your arms in class, blocking my view. I don’t hate the way you let your hair down before you stick your head out of your window in morning. I don’t hate how you look at me when you think I don’t notice.”
“You challenged me. You made me realize the principle of my life: You have to compete against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.”
“You’re always better,” I slip out before I can catch myself.
“No. I can be better. I can be a better person around you. I’ll show you.”
“If you let me.”
Cross the line, Rose. Cross the line!
“I don’t hate you, either,” I say randomly.
“What?” he breathes out, surprised by my suddenness.
“I don’t hate the way you always pester me to get out of your way in the corridors. I don’t hate how you ruffle your hair because you know I’ll notice. I don’t hate it when you get out of the bathroom in the morning and find me outside the door and bump into me on purpose-”
He cuts me off with the sweet taste of his lips.
Well, apparently he couldn’t wait for me to finish.
Such a Malfoy…
He pulls away and I notice his breath is ragged. Have I made him nervous?
He’s just kissed me. Scorpius Malfoy has just kissed me.
“I want to be with you, Rosie. Without the hate this time. With out all the false loathing.”
“We were kidding ourselves thinking we could pull that off, didn’t we?” I ask impossibly.
He pulls my hoodie down, letting my hair fall.
“Everyone thought we hated each other. I think that at one point, we believed that as well.”
“Yes,” I agree. “But even we didn’t notice how much of a cover up it was...” I blush again.
“Until now, that is?”
I nod. “Until now.”
“We have to stop pretending.”
He takes both my hands in his.
“They’ll kill us,” he says impossibly, referring to our parents.
“I know,” I whisper.
“We’ve crossed that invisible line, haven’t we?” His voice is scruffy.
Only one side.
I take him by the face and kiss him with all the frustration it took to get to this point.
“A long time ago.”
A.N. - I wrote this one-shot a certain way... I chose my words carefully. I want to you to tell me your own reasons for why they're connected. I introduced Rose talking about him on purpose, can you guess what hints I put in there to show that she really just loved him all along? ;D
Also, I would consider sobbing on the ground and asking you for reviews, but I sadly can't do that. I would really like you're input, so please leave me a review telling me what you thought of it =] and who knows, there might just be a cyber brownie in it for you...