Chapter 1 : Grin and Bear It
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I was so pathetic. Pathetic with a capital P. More pathetic than Moaning Myrtle. More pathetic than that other stupid ghost that always talked about joining the Headless Hunt even though it was very clear he still had a head. Even more pathetic than Weasley’s little brother.
I was the Queen of All Pathetic-ness. Put a crown on my head and give me a throne and I’d sit on it and cry.
Well, probably not. Unlike some sniveling girls whose names I’d rather not mention, I had better things to do with my time than cry. Crying was weakness. Rosiers were not supposed to be weak. Rosiers were not supposed to admit that we had emotions.
We were not supposed to admit when we felt like our hearts had been ripped to shreds and now the bleeding, dying pieces were being stomped on by a heard of centaurs.
I banished the thought quickly, blowing a strand of dark hair out of my face as I darted behind another statue of armor, breathing heavily, but trying to be quiet about it so that he did not know I was there. Now that would have been embarrassing. I could just picture the conversation.
“Why are you hiding behind that statue of armor, Anna?”
“Oh, me? I was just, uh, you know, doing an armor inspection you know. It’s a new part of prefect duties. Can’t have these bad boys rusting.”
Even more pathetic.
I sighed and leaned against the cold metal suit gently so that I did not knock it over and sighed lightly. How had I ended up like this? How was it that I had come to spying on my ex-boyfriend from behind suits of armor? When did I get so jealous?
Even in my head, the word had a bitter taste to it. Jealous. Me, jealous? No, there was no way. Rosiers didn’t get jealous – we got even. We got what we wanted. We did anything we could to get what we wanted. Isn’t that what Amelia always did?
Yes, it was, I thought regrettably. Although, for perfect Amelia, it never backfired on her. She never had to slink around the castle, hiding in shadows. She’s never had to do anything other than raise her perfectly manicured hand and bat her eyelashes and possibly add a whiny “please Daddy?” and she had everything she’d ever wanted handed to her.
Me, no. I’d had to work for everything I’d ever gotten. Amelia’s fiancé Roger Yaxley was instantly smitten. I’d come to school and been a social outcast. Relegated off into a corner as “Amelia’s scrawny little sister”. Well I’d shown them, hadn’t I? I’d gotten Scorpius Malfoy, in the end.
You’d lost him in the end too, a little menacing voice at the back of my mind quipped and I couldn’t help the low growl that slipped out from between my teeth.
A fresh wave of pain shot through my stomach at the thought of my own stupidity and I gritted my teeth, wincing slightly at the sound of them grinding together and I rubbed my knuckles over my temples. For once, I was glad that I was hidden behind the statue. If anyone had seen me like this, I wasn’t sure what I would do.
The sound of footsteps behind me startled me out of my own self-pity and I instantly snapped back to alert, burying the memories that were threatening to spill over into my consciousness once again deep down inside of me. I peered out cautiously from my hiding spot to see Scorpius himself coming around the corner and my heart jumped into my throat.
He looked so much different than he had this summer. It wasn’t that physically he looked any different – he was still the same tall, handsome, platinum blonde that he had always been. Maybe his hair was a little longer. But it was his entire persona. There seemed to be a slight spring in his step, and the slouching, lazy posture I remembered him having was straighter, taller, stronger. He was muttering to himself, his big hands gesticulating rather wildly in front of him, as if practicing what he was going to say.
I couldn’t help my slight snort of derision. Did he really need to practice what he was going to say to Weasley? For the love of Merlin, that girl would eat hippogriff feces out of his hand if he told her it was chocolate. It was obvious to just about everyone in this castle but those two bumbling idiots that they were smitten with each other. It made me sick.
He began to pace up and down the hallway, every few seconds sneaking a glance at his watch, and I felt a pang of sadness go through me. Had he used to watch the clock for me, when we were supposed to meet? Had he used to practice what he was going to say for me?
Of course he had, I tried to assure myself. Why wouldn’t he have? He had loved me. He’d told me more times than I could count. “I love you.” Whenever he’d come over to my house, it was the first thing he’d say after I greeted him. The last thing he said before he left. He’d signed his letters “love, Scorpius”. He’d loved me, damnit! Probably more than anyone ever had. And I’d gone and fricking ruined it!
I couldn’t stop myself – I kicked the stupid armor statue in front of me with all of my strength, putting all of my pent up regret and anger into it. The loud clanging sound of the reverberating metal echoed around the practically empty corridor and I froze in shock.
“Who’s there?” Scorpius’s deep voice called and I whimpered slightly, slinking back into the shadows of the niche that the armor was housed in.
I barely dared to breathe as I listened to his footsteps grow closer to my hiding spot. In a spurt of ingenuity, I ruffled up my perfectly straightened black hair and bit down on my bottom lip until I tasted blood in my mouth. I pinched my cheeks until I was sure that they would look pink and rosy and used my fingers to smear some of my lip gloss down the side of my chin. I unbuttoned the first few buttons on my blouse and yanked one of the tails out of my skirt. There. Now, I looked perfectly snogged.
A b right light shined into my little niche and I saw Scorpius stick his head of blonde hair around the statue of armor before his eyes grew wide and he took a step back.
“Anna?” he asked, his vision zeroing in on me and I felt my stomach clench at the sound of him saying my name. His posture instantly changed, and he once again became the Scorpius I knew – the sarcastic, cold, indifferent Slytherin. A jolt of emotion ran down my spine, but I couldn’t decide if it was sadness or relief.
“Oh, hello Scorpius,” I said, flipping on the switch of cool indifference I had grown so accustomed to using over the past few years. Internally, I felt a bit smug – despite all the panic I had been feeling before, I managed to keep my voice level and nonchalant. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Yeah,” he said unsurely, and I could tell that he didn’t know what to make of my appearance. “What are…what are you doing here?”
“What does it look like I’m doing here?” I asked silkily, and I could see him blush slightly despite the darkness.
“I’d say it looked like you were snogging, but considering you’re alone, I’d say you were spying on me.”
Was it really that easy to see through me?
I giggled my well practiced giggle and stepped out into the light of the corridor. “Don’t be ridiculous, Scorpius,” I told him, letting a little bit of venom seep into my voice. “I have much better things to do on a Friday night than spy on you.”
“Right, then who’s the bloke you’ve been snogging?” he asked, and I could tell that the thought he had me. Poor boy.
“I think it’s a well known fact that I have a boyfriend, Malfoy,” I smirked. “And I also think it’s a well known fact that said boyfriend has an invisibility cloak. Al kicked the suit of armor on accident as he left.”
Something dark crossed over Scorpius’s face for a moment, and I leaned against the opposite wall from him, just watching him. To be honest, I had no idea if Al even had the invisibility cloak. We’d never talked about it. And I seriously doubted he would have told me regardless.
“Shouldn’t you get going then?” he asked finally.
“Are you expecting someone?” I replied, cocking one of my eyebrows challengingly.
“Yes, actually, I am,” he answered, and it was his turn to smirk.
His words had a certain bite to them – they were meant to hurt. I plastered on my best fake smile, gritting my teeth as that same clenching feeling churned my stomach. I wasn’t going to let him know that he could still get to me. I would be damned before I gave him that satisfaction.
“Well we can talk while you wait, right?” I asked innocently, batting my lashes slightly. “We’re both in relationships now – what’s the harm in two friends talking?”
“We were never friends, Anna,” he said quietly, looking down at the ground.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t try to be now,” I reminded him, and despite the fact that his hair was mostly hanging in front of his face, I thought I saw him pale. “I made a stupid mistake, Scorpius-“
“I don’t want to talk about this,” he said gruffly, his head whipping up to glare at me, and I felt like I’d been slapped across the face.
“Can’t you just give me a chance to explain myself?” I cried before I could stop myself, pushing away from the wall so that I was standing about a foot from him. “Can’t you just give me one minute to have my say?”
“Can you really explain why you slept with Flint?” he growled his voice low and sounding rather hoarse. “Can you really expect me to trust anything you say as the truth?”
“I’ve never lied to you, Scorpius,” I told him, and I was astonished at the pleading sound that had entered my voice. It was how I’d been sounding to myself on the inside all along, but one that I’d never let out. It should never have been let out. Rosiers didn’t show vulnerability.
I tried to squash down all of those feelings again inside of me, but they were bubbling up too fast. I clenched my hands into fists, enjoying the feeling of my nails biting into my palm and I mashed my lips tightly together to stop myself from saying anything else that might set me up to be vulnerable again.
“You never lied, but you never told me the whole truth either,” he said quietly, staring right at me with those dark grey blue eyes of his and I felt more of my resolve crack. “Look at you, even now, standing there, straight as a rod, tight as a coiled spring. Isn’t this a lie, Anna? I bet on the inside you’re seething. That you want to hit me, to make me feel as bad as you do right now. Well don’t worry about it, I know exactly how you’re feeling right now – I went through it for months.”
I HATED him! I absolutely LOATHED him. I could feel the hands that I’d coiled into fists shaking with rage and I took a deep breath to try to calm myself down. I hated how he could read me like an open book. How he knew everything I was thinking, everything I was feeling. How even though I’d spent years perfecting the art of appearing a mask of serenity and cool on the outside, he could strip that away in mere seconds.
I felt exposed. I felt naked. And I felt scared.
I bloody hated him!
“You have no idea what I’m feeling right now,” I managed to say, grateful that I was able to keep a stutter out of my voice.
“I know exactly what you’re feeling right now,” he replied confidently, his eyes never leaving mine. “I can read it all over your face. In case you don’t remember, I spent two years trying to read you. I know what you’re doing right now Anna. You can’t keep that wall up forever. Sooner or later that mask of coolness is going to crumble.”
“No its not!” I shouted, unable to stop the surge of pure rage that coursed through me.
I stepped forward and clenched the front of his grey t-shirt in my hands, wanting to hurt him as badly as he was hurting me in that instant. I wanted his chest to ache like mine did, for his heart to be thumping wildly in his chest. I wanted his face to contort into the mask of agony which I was sure mirrored my own and for his eyes which held such bitter hatred to be clouded over with the indomitable sadness I saw in my own every morning.
“It just did,” he whispered quietly and what little was left of my resolve cracked.
I was still holding onto his shirt and for the first time, I think we both realized just how close were really were to each other. I could feel the anxiety radiating off of him and was acutely aware of the scent of the cologne he was wearing. It was oddly familiar, and yet not the same as I remembered. I looked up at him to see him staring intently down at me and my heart did a little off-beat in my chest.
“I love you,” I whispered so quietly I could barely hear myself, but from the way he bristled, I could tell he heard me. “I love you, and I’m so sorry.”
I watched was his face contorted with so many emotions that I couldn’t even name them all and then suddenly, his hand was on the back of my neck and he was pulling me towards him. I submitted instantly, standing up on the tips of my toes to press my lips to his.
There was no electricity, no spark like I remembered, but there was a sense of familiarity and home here with him that was unforgettable. I wound my hand through his long hair and he pulled me closer, pressing my back up against the cold stone wall with a rather loud thump.
Yes, yes, this is what I wanted. Oh Merlin, I had missed this. I had missed him. How had I ever let him go? I ignored that question and traced my tongue along his bottom lip, cupping his face with my left hand. Goodbye Weasley, I thought was his lips parted for me, I had the laugh this time.
Rosiers always got what they wanted.
As if he had read my mind, Scorpius stopped. I felt him stiffen around me and then as suddenly as he had pulled me to him, he pushed me away, stumbling away from me so fast that he bounced off the stone wall across the corridor. He was breathing hard and his hair was falling wildly into his eyes, but I would have had to have been blind to see the look of pure agony and shock in his eyes.
“What am I doing?” I heard him ask himself, and I felt my heart stop in my chest. “Bloody hell, what have I done?”
“Scorpius,” I said gently, stepping forward and placing a hand on his arm. He looked down at the hand that lay over his and instantly snapped it back, as if I had scalded him.
“Don’t touch me,” he growled his eyes still wide with horror. “Ever. Don’t ever touch me again. Don’t ever talk to me again. I’m done with you.”
“Scorpius,” I pleaded wildly, the sense of panic I’d been feeling since he pushed me away growing exponentially. “Wait-“
“No,” he yelled, pulling at his hair in frustration. “Look you and I, me and you, this cannot happen anymore. It won’t happen anymore. This was a mistake. This was a huge mistake.”
“Do you really think that?” I asked, shocked at the way my voice had gone hard and ice cold. “Even after what I said-“
“You don’t mean them,” he answered confidently and as I stood there, watching him pacing anxiously across the corridor, I almost believed him. “People who love other people don’t cheat on the ones they love. They don’t break their hearts and then just expect to be forgiven. It doesn’t work that way Anna. You don’t mean you’re sorry, and even if you did, I don’t forgive you. And I never will. Get it through your head and leave me the fuck alone.”
With that, he strode off down the corridor. I stood frozen to the spot, too in shock to even slap him. The rage was coming back quickly and with a vengeance. Where in the hell did he get off talking to me like that? If he wasn’t the biggest hypocrite alive then…
I love being me.
“If people who love each other don’t cheat on each other, then what are you going to tell Weasley?” I called down the corridor and felt a deep satisfaction when I saw him stop and turn slowly on the spot.
“Rose will never find out about this,” he called back.
“How do you know I won’t tell her?” I smirked despite the fact I was sure he couldn’t see my face.
“I know you won’t tell her because you won’t want to admit this failure,” he responded confidently, and all the pride I’d felt a moment before was instantly drained. Damn him!
I couldn’t even breathe as he turned around again and loped off down the corridor and around the corner. I felt like I’d been trampled by a heard of centaur. Or like someone had taken a troll’s club and smacked me over the head with it. I gripped onto the wall for support and stood there for a few moments, trying to get my head to stop spinning, but unable to.
The past few minutes kept replaying themselves in my mind, from the way I’d kicked the suit of armor to the taste of his lips, to the utter hatred in his voice in that last sentence he’d called down the hallway. I hated him. I really, truly hated him.
I took a few deep, shuddering breaths, trying to get the anger and perhaps vomit that was slowly moving up my throat back down and after a moment it settled again, feeling like a hard rock in the pit of my stomach. I took a step away from the wall, my limbs, like my stomach, feeling like they were made of lead. I wanted to cry, but I struggled with my tear ducts, swallowing the lump in my throat and blinking back the saltwater that had collected in the corners of my eyes.
“Anna, there you are!”
I groaned inwardly and turned slowly on the spot, trying not to grimace when I saw Al coming towards me down the hall.
“Hi,” I called, wanting to gag at how utterly chipper my voice sounded.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” he said, coming to stand next to me and slinging his arm heavily around my shoulder. He continued to babble on about something or another and I let him guide me around the castle, glad that I had his arm to lean on because I wasn’t sure that I would have been able to walk on my own.
“Are you listening?” he asked suddenly, coming to a halt outside of the library.
I wasn’t sure how long we’d been walking, but it had been long enough for me to get myself collected again.
“Of course,” I said, slipping once more into the mask of Anna – cool, calm, collected, and unexpectedly vicious – that I’d adopted over the past few years, smiling my most charming smile up at unsuspecting little Potter. “I’m so happy for you Al.”
“Thanks, love,” he said, bending down and planting a sloppy kiss on my cheek.
I turned my grimace into a smile and kissed him gently on the cheek back, feeling a little bit of myself die on the inside as I did so. A wave of pain washed over me again as he wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me towards the nearest table.
“Are you okay?” he asked, and I cursed myself for wincing.
“Perfectly fine, love,” I replied and he continued on babbling.
I smiled and nodded just like a good girlfriend would for the rest of the night, never once actually hearing what Al had to say. A part of me felt guilty for spending all of my time thinking about another bloke while I was with my boyfriend, but another part of me remembered what Amelia had told me from the time I was old enough to even think about boys .We were Rosiers. We didn’t have to like our positions in this world – we just had to grin and bear it.
A/N: And here we are folks - the story you've all been waiting for. If you're just joining us, welcome! This story is an accompanying piece to my previous novel Daddy Dearest, and would probably make a lot more sense if you read this first. If you're coming back, then welcome back! I'm happy to see you!
So yes, I'm sorry this has taken so long to get up -- I decided to take a mini break from writing after I finished Daddy Dearest, but I'm back now, and very excited. I hope you liked this chapter. I decided to treat you all for your patience by giving you this one first. In case you can't tell, its written from Anna's point of view. I've also decided to put chapter images at the beginning of each chapter - so whoever is featured in that chapter image will be the character who's POV we are in. Sound good?
Well yeah. I don't know what else to say. It's good to be back, and I hope you all enjoyed this first installment. I don't know who it's going to be next time, but I'm thinking Hugo. Sound good?
Thank you all so much for reading! Please, please review! :)