Chapter 13 : The Rebellion, Pt. 2
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EDIT AN This chapter has been completely rewritten as of April 19th, because I figured that it needed a more clear ending as I was having quite a bit of trouble trying to write a sequel to this. So maybe this is better... closure? I don't know, but I changed it. Still kept some bits, but took a lot out, and put a lot in (obviously :P). It's shorter, but I hope it's still good! Let me know what you think!
General feedback/comments/questions/concerns/etc are welcome as always!
Chapter Thirteen: "The Rebellion, Pt. 2"
A Week Later…
Rose sat at the kitchen table, running a hand through her mess of reddish brown hair and unfolding that morning’s newspaper as a spoon stirred her cup of tea magically. Her eyes and nose were still a bit red from all the crying she’d done the last few nights; bags still lingered under them from the lack of sleep. Every time she closed her eyes she saw the same thing.
Her screams echo throughout the building. There’s chaos in the corridors as the children that had been freed run around, emerging from hundreds of different cells at different wings of Level Ten. Half a dozen kids in matching dark blue uniforms sprint around the corner nearly running into the knees of Draco, Scorpius, and I.
She shook her head, trying to shake away the memory as well as she took her cup in hand and set the spoon down on a napkin. The peace was short-lived, though, as the headline sent her reeling back into her morose feelings of despair and betrayal. She lowered the cup again before it ever reached her lips.
I stop walking, managing a small smile as I watch them run off toward a security wizard at the end of the corridor. I notice that a boy and girl at the back of the group are holding hands. Maybe things like being trapped in a cell Merlin knows how many miles beneath the ground brings people closer together. I turn to where Draco and Scorpius wait by the corner, his father’s hand gripping his shoulder firmly as he mutters into his ear.
I can’t tell what the conversation is about, but I can tell that it does not go well as Scorpius defiantly shrugs him off and stalks off.
As I approach Draco slowly, he looks up at me, trying to offer me a decent smile. I try to reciprocate the gesture, very weakly, but I manage it. “We’d better go see what’s going on down there.” He extends his arm, gesturing for me to proceed first.
I adjust my grip on the blanket that I’d been given earlier and had been draped over my shoulders, before walking before Draco around the corner. Another scream shakes the corridor, followed by a series of yells and the sound of a fierce struggle. My eyes immediately go to the center of the corridor, where the majority of the action is being carried out.
My mother is at the center of it.
She is being dragged to her feet by two security wizards on each arm, and another at her back pointing his wand square in the middle of it. She’s writhing and kicking and doing things considerably out of character for her in earlier years, like swearing and trying to resist the wizards overall. Her hair is knotted and wild, her face smeared with dirt and lip bleeding, and her eyes, when she finally looks up at me, are intense and vengeful.
I stumble away a few feet in shock.
As she stares at me, she seemingly calms down, and the security wizards take advantage of her weak point in the struggle. “Move!” The particularly burly and square-shouldered wizard at her flank roars, giving her a shove that would’ve knocked her back down on her face had she not been held upright by the others.
I don’t realize that I am standing in the middle of the corridor until they have to ask me to move aside, and I nod mechanically, unaware that I’m doing anything at all. I try not to look my mother in the eye again, not this way anyway, but it’s simply unavoidable.
“Look at me,” my mum hisses, the fight flooding back into her body again as she keeps them from pulling her down the corridor. She struggles harder against their grip, her arms turning red where their hands hold her. “Rosaline Weasley, you look at me right now!” The sound of my name makes me jump.
The authority in her booming voice shakes me enough to oblige, my eyes finally falling on my mother though I can’t bear it. I hate to admit it, even to myself, but I’m afraid of her now. After all that she’s done, especially to her own daughter, how can I not be? I know how everything’s supposed to happen, how my mum’s supposed to get locked up in Azkaban for life, and how they expect me to walk out of here like none of this ever happened and move on.
But how am I supposed to do that?
My father doesn’t even have custody of me anymore, and my mum would be in prison.
She leans as close to me as her restraints allow (I would lean away, but my body and mind are not cooperating), flipping her hair out of her face to show the crazed demeanor that occupies her face now. It’s almost unrecognizable to me. I want to look away, but I… can’t. “The battle may be over, but the war is about to begin,” she continues. “I’ve heard things; seen things that you probably would not believe could ever happen if I even began to tell you right now.”
“Keep it moving!” The burly security wizard shouts impatiently, and they all give a huge pull in unison to push her down the corridor. He tips his hat when he passes Draco.
Draco pats his shoulder as he walks, “I’ll be seeing you at work tomorrow, Toren.”
I hear this exchange as though it’s come to me on some imaginary breeze, almost like the voices are miles away instead of just a few feet. How can I believe my mother when I’ve seen the madness in her eyes? But judging by the way that her words sent chills up my spine, I can’t help but let the words repeat themselves in my head over, and over…
Suddenly, a hand squeezed her shoulder and Rose gave a start so big she nearly jumped out of her seat. She did, in fact, spill a bit of her tea, as it sloshed out of the tea cup as a result of the abrupt movement. Rose looked round, watching as a familiar blond slid into the seat next to her.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” admitted Scorpius quietly, glancing down at the newspaper that was spread out on the table. He frowned slightly, picking it up and folding it again. “You shouldn’t keep doing this to yourself, Rose.”
Rose averted her gaze, looking out the window. “Doing what?”
He sighed, as though he didn’t want to say what was coming next, but he had to.
“Reminding yourself of that night. Making yourself feel bad about what happened to your mum,” he put a finger under her chin and turned her head to look at him again. “You couldn’t have changed anything.”
Her eyes closed and she inhaled slowly, before exhaling.
“I know, I just… I don’t know why I feel so terrible,” she shook her head. “I just wish I could have stopped them from taking her away…”
“That wouldn’t have made the way she was any different. Your mum was already so far off her rocker that there was no chance in hell that she’d be able to get back on it. She was mad, Rose. Hitler level deranged,”
She shook her head sadly. “I don’t believe she was that bad. She was just… determined. Very determined. It was her nature,”
He sighed, taking her hands in his across the table.
“Look,” replied Scorpius, “I know you still want to believe that your mother wasn’t as bad as we all witnessed, but she was. You’ve got to accept that in order to move on.”
There that phrase was again. Move on.
He chuckled, continuing, “Sometimes, I think those security wizards might’ve confunded you, too.”
Rose knew what he was referring to. Many of the younger victims of her mother’s regime had been confunded in order to protect them, and enable them to lead trauma-free lives, because that’s all they had in front of them. It was also done in part to keep the whole thing a big secret that only a select few knew. Not really because they trusted them, but because Draco Malfoy had a lot of connections.
Even with her eyes shut, salty tears stung them. Rose wanted to cry, but mostly because he was right. They all were.
And it wasn’t fair.
She had not been confunded, no, but she still wished she could forget. If she could, Rose would erase that part from her memory, all the way up until the point where her mum cheated. She wanted things to be carefree and happy again, not broken and complicated.
But it wasn’t that easy. Nothing in life ever was.
Just then, there was a noise and Rose’s eyes snapped open. Through the back door came first her father, whose tie hung loose about his shoulders, the top button of his shirt was undone, and… his arm was slung around the shoulders of a woman who looked very familiar. Erin noticed the two teens sitting at the kitchen table first.
“Oh! Ron,” she said in surprise, her eyes widening. A gust of wind rushed into the room with them, sending Erin’s hair flying. She’d cut it since Rose had last seen her; it was shoulder-length and wavy.
It was like looking at a younger, much prettier version of her mother.
What the hell was going on?
Her mother was in prison, not dead.
“Dad?” Rose croaked, the tears that had welled up on the brims of her eyes spilling over and down her cheeks. She couldn’t help it.
Ron promptly dropped his arm from around Erin and took a furtive step forward. “Rose, it’s not what you think – Erin and I… she was just getting me to loosen up a bit, since I’ve been really stressed since, well, you know –”
Scorpius pushed his chair back with a loud scraping noise that told him to stop talking now.
“I don’t think right now would be the best time to try and explain yourself,” he said firmly. “I believe that your appearance does all the talking for you.”
Ron turned his gaze upon Scorpius, his eyes narrowing in both a what-the-hell-are-you-doing-in-my-house and a who-asked-for-your-opinion way. He opened his mouth to say something, but Rose stood and put up a hand to stop him again. He looked at her, his expression softening, only to find Rose shaking her head slowly.
Her eyes met her father’s for a moment. “She hasn’t even been gone for a week.”
“Rose,” her father tried to plead, “you don’t understand the gravity of things here. Your mother chose her fate. We’re not even married anymore, so there’s nothing wrong with me –”
“Stop!” Rose shouted, the rage inside of her finally exploding. “You still loved her! I know you did, and you did nothing to try and work things out! You did nothing to stop her from making that proposal! You could have stopped all of this, or at least slowed down the process, by making her stay!”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!”
Rose’s hands curled into fists on her side of the table. “Then tell me why you let her go!”
He swallowed hard and shook his head, half-turning away from his daughter as his chest heaved with anger. Ron shook his head. “Don’t blame this on me,” he told her. “Your mother has always been set in her ways. Nothing I said, or did, could have stopped her from going through with that proposal, from murdering Kingsley, from locking you and everyone else up. That woman is a force of nature when she puts her mind to something,”
She stared at him a long time.
“Rose, please believe me –”
“I can’t do this.” Rose turned and left the kitchen, rushing down the main corridor to the front door and wrenching it open. A blast of frigid air stung at her eyes and cheeks, but she ran outside anyway.
It didn’t even register to her that there was snow on the ground, or that she was wearing neither shoes nor cloak to protect her against frostbite and whatever else there was out there. All she could feel was her entire body breaking down, and her heart being ripped from her chest. She ran as far as the apple tree in their front yard, before collapsing to her knees and beginning to sob. Ice cold water seeped through the knees of her jeans, freezing her knees and making her shiver as her body shook with the sobbing.
Suddenly, a cloak was draped over her shoulders and she was being pulled into someone’s arms, strong and warm and safe. Scorpius brushed her hair out of her face and hugged her to his chest as she turned to bury her face into his shirt, holding on tightly to the fabric of it.
He was her security blanket; he’d been there from the beginning, pushing her through right to the very end. He’d never let her down, or betrayed her, because he knew how to read her emotions. But this was too much. She needed to stop breaking down over something that she should have just accepted and moved on from a week ago, when her mother had been taken away from her.
Though, her mother had not been all there in the first place, had she?
She had motivation, but too much of it sometimes. Enough, it seemed, to drive her to the brink of insanity – to a cell in Azkaban, even. Rose swallowed hard and took a deep breath, her grip on his shirt slacking a bit. Maybe Scorpius had been right.
They all had.
She needed to let go, once and for all, and this was the place to start.