Chapter 1 : There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
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Chapter Title: The Smiths
Story Title: Coldplay
“I’m just too far from where you are,
I want to come home.”
~ Home, Michael Bublé
Chapter One: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
My voice was cold and unforgiving. “Which do you want, Malfoy? Me or your daddy’s ignorance that his son married a Weasley?”
“Rose…I can’t go back there. I’m sorry.”
His face was a mirror of sadness—the heartbreak etched into his features, and, despite myself, I felt my heart shatter into a thousand pieces. I opened my mouth to speak—to say I understood, that I loved him—only to find I had no voice. Panic began to claw my insides as I struggled to make him hear me; then his face began to shift and change, taking a gas-like form as it swam before me. His voice was growing louder and louder, till it was all around me, pushing down, suffocating me.
“Rose, please, don’t do this; you don’t know what you’re asking—”
His voice was desperate and anguished and I could feel a scream build up in my throat, burning and clawing.
“I-I can’t risk it, Rose,”
It was strangling, tying thick knots around my throat, and I was soundlessly screaming now, struggling to escape his voice only to find I couldn’t move.
“You don’t know what you’re asking for…”
And then he was gone, fading away as the blackness crawled in, smothering us—me—and his voice was the only thing there, filled with heartache and grief. I could feel wet tears run down my cheeks and I was screaming, yelling, shrieking, needing someone to find me, help me, save me—
I woke up with a shock, wide eyed, bolting upright in my bed. My breathing was ragged as I took in my surroundings, my skin flushed with panic. I was, to my intense relief, exactly where I was supposed to be; my old room in my parents' house, complete with my Celestina Warbeck poster and frilly bedspread, both of which I hadn’t yet bothered to replace with something more age appropriate.
I felt bile rise up in my throat and I cursed wordlessly at what was now becoming a familiar sensation, throwing off the bedspread in my rush for the bathroom. I barely got my head over the porcelain bowl before the acidic fluid exploded forth, vile and rank. I pressed my feverish forehead against my somewhat cooler forearm, trying to ignore the churning feeling in my stomach.
This wasn’t unusual for me. It had been he same nightmare, every night for six months—I would be in blackness, alone in a spotlight; and then he would appear, hovering just out of my reach. I would say that same line—that same damned line I mocked him so cruelly with back in our dingy flat in Rome, right before I left. And he would say the same lines back, the lines that broke my heart every time and suddenly I wouldn’t be able to speak—guilt, pain and hurt, all feeling so real, would fill me up, blocking any way for me to reach him. I was more than paralyzed; unable to move, unable to speak, unable to even think as his voice pressed down on me, overcoming me and, just before I think I am going to pass out…I wake up.
I dragged myself off the cold tiled floor to my feet, feeling heavy and groggy. Leaning over the freezing basin of the sink and turning on the water, I took several deep breaths and flicked cool water onto my clammy face, trying to wash away the remnants of my nightmare. It had been six months since I had left him; for six months I’d been living in my parents’ home and working at the Leaky Cauldron; for six months I had been pregnant; and for six months I had been waiting, waiting for the father of my child who, I knew, would never come home.
My eyes unconsciously slid to the ring on the third finger of my left hand; a constant reminder of the past three years. Hidden from the prying eyes of my family with a glamour charm—only those who knew it was there could actually see it—I’d kept the truth of my whereabouts for the past six months a well guarded secret for the time I had spent here. The baby, I claimed, was from a one-night stand and I flat out refused to talk about my absence. Scared to lose me again, my parents had grudgingly accepted my silence and skirted the subject of my pregnancy with a tenacity that would have put Professor Longbottom to shame.
After several moments, I was finally feeling like I wasn’t going to throw up last night’s dinner. I shuffled quietly back to my bed, glancing through the dimness at the clock on my wall, which read a quarter to six. I groaned as I pulled the covers up to my chin.
The good thing about working at the Leaky Cauldron was that it was a pub, hence not opening until ten. The bad thing about morning sickness was just that; morning sickness.
By the time I got up at half past eight, I had decided that lie-ins were pretty much pointless if I was going to get up to throw up every half an hour. Victoire had told me that during her pregnancy last year, she'd rarely been subject to morning sickness and when she did, she didn’t mind; “it’s all part of the growing stage, Rose!”
Personally, I think Victoire is just far too positive than what would be considered healthy.
Dragging myself out of bed for the umpteenth time, I heaved myself into the shower. Not for the first time, I considered the large bump where my previously flat stomach used to be.
I had considered telling Scorpius about it, but quickly dismissed it; I wanted him to come clean about us because he wanted to, not because he had to. While I might have felt somewhat guilty about it, I knew it was right—were he to come back because of his child, he would only come to resent it. When he came back—if he came back—I wanted it to be because he had realised what we had was worth any punishment his father could dish out.
I wanted him to come back because I was worth it.
Scorpius had sent me letters—always a different owl, always a different return address—once a week. Never failing to ask me to come home, he kept me up to date with his doings and whereabouts; currently, I knew, he was in Paris. Seeing those letters, however, brought me more heartache than comfort—every time I saw his familiar handwriting I actually felt a pull in my body, longing just to write back to him and say, I’m coming home.
I felt the burning sensation of tears prickling and I quickly rubbed them away, concentrating on the soothing pressure of water beating down on my shoulders. I couldn’t afford to dwell on Scorpius and his complete cowardice when it came to facing his father. No, I had thought about that one too many times and it really would be no good turning up to work angry and frustrated.
Suddenly there was a faint beating sound coming from my bedroom door. “Rose!” my mother's voice came drifting into the bathroom, clearer once I'd turned off the shower. “Rose, are you up?”
I stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around me. “Yes! Coming!”
I heard her footsteps move back down the stairs as I began searching my room for my clothes, which had been washed , ironed and consequently dumped on my floor. My room hadn’t changed much since I was seventeen—as my Celestina Warbeck poster and pale pink walls proclaimed; it hadn’t changed much since I was ten. I had the same lacy bedspread, the same antique furniture; all in all, my room was very pink. An odd choice, I now knew, considering the horrible combination the pink walls and my red hair made.
But I was a determined young thing and nobody could tell me otherwise.
I was able to locate my uniform with relative ease. It was quite simple—black pants, black t-shirt and a brown apron that tied around the waist, which I stuffed into my bag. I scooped down painfully to pick up my flats before scurrying out the door and down the stairs to breakfast.
One of my favourite things about being home was watching my mother bustle around the kitchen like the natural we all knew she wasn’t.
Mum wouldn’t be able to cook for any amount of money if it wasn’t for magic—and Hermione Granger-Weasley owned every magical cooking book known to wizardkind. Currently armed with her copy of Breakfast Meals to Charm Your Friends!, Mum bustled about the kitchen, frantically waving her wand and muttering menacingly to herself. Meanwhile, thoroughly unfazed by his wife’s diabolic murmurings, Dad relaxed at the opposite end of the table, flicking his way through the newspaper. His red hair—surprisingly bright for one of his, er, advanced age—sat happily in wild tuffs and his glasses were resting low on his nose as he scanned the paper for the juicy bits.
The only one missing from our little family gathering was Hugo, who had recently moved in with Lily Potter and Lorcan Scamander; the ultimate third wheel, I teased him, in what was seen by everyone (even myself, who had been missing for three years) as being practically a marriage. In reality, however, Lorcan and Lily were friends.
Right. Friends that flirted like newlyweds and bickered like my parents.
Silence was natural at the breakfast table at the Weasley-Granger home—arguments and discussion were saved for dinner time, if only for the reason that occasionally, despite popular notion, we appreciated silence. Being a Sunday, I was the only one with any work duties today—Mum was a lobbyist in the Ministry and Dad was a Senior Auror, neither requiring…well, much work actually. It was Mum’s job to put up a snit at various bits of politics she didn’t like and Dad just bossed people around, for most the part.
Come to think of it, my parents had pretty easy jobs. At least neither of them was hollered at at work, despite being noticeably pregnant.
As Dad tossed away the boring bits of The Daily Prophet, a flash of bold black text caught my eye. Quickly grabbing the section—economics, I noted—I felt my heart stop as the title struck me over the head like a mallet. His face was smiling garishly at the camera, flashes lighting up his face. I felt my stomach drop about a foot in fear as I scanned the article.
Edward Mucciler reports.
The world of the Wizarding economic stood stunned today as Malfoy Incorporated, headed by its founder, Lord Draco Malfoy, entured into a new area today—the entertainment industry. This morning, Malfoy Inc. signed the papers to absorb long standing and profitable family business Zonko’s—resurrected in 2002 after its closure during the Second War by heir Merton Zonko—for a cool four million Galleons, furthering their already vastly expanding empire. Already having acquisitioned Flourish & Blotts earlier this year and despite rumors of his wife's ailing health, Lord Malfoy was happy to give us a statement.
“This merger with the Zonko’s company marks another significant point in Malfoy Incorporated’s dealings,” he said. “We hope to further—“
“I didn’t know you were into economics, Rose.”
I jumped violently at the sound of my mother’s voice, rattling my cutlery loudly. Dad guffawed from behind his paper and I blushed. Mum raised an eyebrow but said nothing as she scooped eggs onto my plate. Despite having only thrown up just an hour ago, the food smelt delicious—bacon, eggs and sausage, complete with roasted tomatoes and hash browns.
“I-I’m not,” I stuttered, picking up my fork shakily. “Er, Lord Malfoy’s son…he was in our year; friends with Al. I was wondering what he was getting up to these days.” Liar!
Mum just shook her head, however, finishing up serving Dad and sitting down in her seat. “Oh no, you won’t find him in the papers, Malfoy made sure of that,” she said, picking up her fork. Dad, having quickly lost any remote interest in the conversation, began inhaling his food at warp speed.
“Oh?” I said, forcing myself to sound curious, but not enough to make her want to go in detail about it. “What happened?”
“Don’t know, just up and left out of the blue.” Right, this was getting awkward. Dad coughed loudly at the end of the table and Mum quickly hastened to correct herself. “Of course, most just assumed he took his daddy’s money and went on a binge—you know, drinking, sleeping with trampy girls—”
Dad coughed again, louder this time. Mum blushed, realising what she had said and said quietly, “Well, nothing like what happened with you, love.”
Any lingering awkwardness evaporating—well, for me at least—I felt a rush of relief and hid a grin at my good fortune.
See? Mum’s the word in my house.
A/N: Thanks for reading! If you could, let me know what you're thinking—too slow, too fast (ha), too much detail, not enough? Any plot holes you have spotted? Anything and everything is embraced! An update is already planned, I just have to write it. It should be up in a week or two. Thanks again!
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