Chapter 4 : Four.
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“Dom! Dom, come on! Are you alright?”
I heard knocking and someone’s voice from behind the door to the bathroom. The water from the shower was cascading down my head, blocking my ears and making any outside sounds muffled and unclear.
I closed my eyes against the water. It was warm and refreshing as I massaged soap into my skin.
“Dom? Are you alright? You’ve been in there for ages!”
Rose’s voice was strained and impatient as she knocked again on the door. She stayed the night before, wanting to be with me as we made the journey to Galleacht, to Lorcan’s funeral. Past the shower curtain, I saw a simple black dress hung up on the back of the door. That’s how the day would pan out. I would finally leave the shower, get dressed, go to Ireland, cry at the funeral, go to the wake and return home. Probably cry some more. I felt tears prickle at the edge of my vision now.
I sat down in the shower, leaning my head on my knees, my wet hair falling around my face and shoulders. The water beat down on the back of my neck, relieving the tension in my muscles. I hadn’t slept well for a while, the dream constantly devouring my mind with images of Lorcan’s death. It had been easier since that afternoon with Lysander, Rose and Scorpius, but sometimes the dream with Lorcan didn’t come, and was replaced with wild visions of Scorpius ruining a wedding with a red-headed bride and a pale, faceless man.
“Dom...I’m coming in if you don’t come out in five minutes!”
Her voice was louder now, and I turned the water off. I stepped out of the shower and grabbed the towel from off the radiator, wrapping it around me. Eyeing the dress again, I opened the door and stuck my head out.
“Don’t worry, Rose. I’m still alive.”
She was sitting at the kitchen table, her expression pained and her eyebrows crossed in thought. A copy of the Daily Prophet was open in her hands. She too was wearing black - a smart skirt with a white shirt. On seeing me, she smiled brilliantly.
“Thank Merlin, I was about to come in and fish you out.”
“What’s wrong?” I asked her, stepping out from behind the door and crossing the room to stand next to her. It was fairly obvious what was wrong on the day of a funeral, but she was staring down at the newspaper, her eyes transfixed to it.
“Oh nothing,” she smiled again. It was so large and beaming that it had to be feigned. I raised an eyebrow doubtingly.
“I just don’t like funerals,” she said miserably, “who does?”
I patted her arm comfortingly, and she smiled at me again.
“Now go and get changed, breakfast should be ready in a minute.”
I returned to the bathroom, drying my hair with my wand and getting dressed. I looked at my reflection, the dress falling to just above my knees and a black cardigan surrounding my shoulders. I felt awkward and uncomfortable in it, the material of the dress was itchy and tight and I twisted ungainly trying to adjust it. The cardigan was ugly and old fashioned, and I couldn’t remember why I had picked it out. I tried desperately to rearrange my hair, which was still lank and lifeless no matter how many times I washed it. Eventually I gave up, pulling it back into a ponytail. I had been crying almost continuously, and my eyes were sore and red. My skin was pale, contrasting with the black of the dress. I looked like I was the one who was meant to be being buried.
I pinched my cheeks to get some colour and left the bathroom. Rose had made toast and tea and was already eating. She was still reading the newspaper. She was still looking disgruntled, but she looked up when I entered.
I nodded, sitting down opposite her and grabbing a piece of toast. I nibbled nervously at the corner, my stomach turning. I knew Rose would complain if I said I wasn’t hungry, and she would tell me to eat more, because I needed my strength. I needed Lorcan. That’s all I needed right now.
I placed the toast delicately on my plate, picking up my glass of orange juice and sipping from it. It tasted sour and unhealthy and I gagged, coughing unceremoniously. Rose looked up from the Prophet, her hand patting my back.
“You don’t have to eat it if you don’t want to,” she said comfortingly. I looked at her own plate, noting that she had eaten very little as well. This was odd.
“Are you alright?” I asked, “you haven’t eaten anything and you’ve barely let go of that paper.”
“Just catching up. Mum’s law might come through any day now.”
I could tell she was lying. She looked down at her plate again, and a faint blush traced her cheeks.
“You’re lying,” I said, pulling the paper out of her hands. She had been reading the gossip section, which was definitely unusual. Rose generally kept to the more academically stimulating articles. A large picture of Rose was staring at me in black and white print, continuously turning to her fiancé and flashing the camera a beautiful smile. That smile was strained too.
“Rose...what?” I stared at her. Her eyes were downcast, and she was fiddling uneasily with her piece of toast.
“It was Noah’s idea,” she said quietly, leaning over and attempting to steal the paper back from me. I pulled it out of her reach and read the article below the picture of the happy couple.
“Mr. Noah Bryant, of Witch Weekly editing fame, is proud to announce his engagement to Miss. Rose Weasley. Miss. Weasley, whose parents are two thirds of the Golden Trio, is said to be ecstatic about the marriage. The wedding date is yet to be set, but Mr. Bryant informs us that ‘he can’t wait to spend the rest of his life with her’...Really Rose? Are you that ecstatic about marrying him?”
I was angry now, my voice growing louder and more threatening. I stared at my cousin, and she stared back. Her blue eyes were brimming with tears.
“I don’t know.”
“You told us you loved him,” I retorted.
“I don’t know. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings,” she murmured.
“So you’d rather hurt Scorpius’?” I said angrily. Rose began to cry, her perfect make up smudging down her cheeks. I felt pity for her.
“Listen Rose,” I said quietly, pushing a stray strand of hair away from her face, “he told me that he fought for you. What happened?”
Rose’s breath caught in her throat, and she dabbed at her eyes, wiping away her tears.
“I told him about the engagement,” she began, “you were a bit...out of it. I wanted to talk to you, but all you did was cry and sleep. I was scared. Lysander and me have never been that close, plus Noah wasn’t exactly his friend. So I went to...I went to...him...”
Her voice began to break, and fresh tears filled in her eyes. She couldn’t even say his name. I shifted my chair closer to hers, placing my arm gently around her. I felt guilty. I should have been there for her.
“I didn’t know,” she whispered, “I didn’t know about him and his...feelings. Nobody had told me. So I went to him and told him about Noah and me. I was happy about it. But he just stared at me, and then...”
I had never seen her like this.
“He told me. He told me and I kissed him.”
“You kissed him?” I was surprised. Rose never did anything without properly thinking about it first so kissing Scorpius made her sound erratic and unpredictable. She nodded. While she had been talking, her hands had been rubbing at her tear stained eyes and face, but now they rested on her lips, as if trying to remember the moment.
“It was different,” she went on, “different to when Noah kisses me.”
“It’s called feelings,” I added rather spitefully, and she glared at me. I shrugged apologetically.
“He told me we could be together,” she continued, “he kept telling me that it would be perfect, that if we loved each other it would be all right. He made me laugh.” She had stopped crying now, and she sat upright in her chair. She smiled reminiscently, but it quickly faded.
“But I couldn’t do it. I said I was going to be with Noah,” she said. Her great stoicism was settling in now. She was reassuring herself that it was the right thing to do. Her voice was growing firm and strong, “I knew it was the right thing to do.”
And that was it. Rose had finished. She quickly patted her hair, and wiped her eyes and rearranged her shirt. She bent down, rummaging in her bag for her make-up. She rose, smiling down at me. It was like it had never happened.
“The port key leaves in about twenty minutes,” she said, “Lysander and Scorpius are coming to pick us up in about five minutes. Are you ready?”
She was still smiling. I simply stared at her. It was incredible how she could hide so much emotion behind her beautiful face. I knew she was distracting herself. I knew that she would come to her senses soon. She always did. It was just that this time she was taking a very long time. I noted how she had said Scorpius’ name, tenderly, as if she owed something to him.
She looking at me oddly, and then I realised that I had been staring at her for a while.
“Yeah,” I said distractedly, “yeah I’m ready.”
She smiled again, and disappeared into the bathroom. I stood, walking back towards my own bedroom. It was cold outside, and I needed a jacket. I shifted through the clothes in my wardrobe, but none them suited. Instead, I pulled on Lorcan’s old suit jacket. It was a little big, but it was cosy and warm. His scent still lingered around it, and that comforted me.
I left my room, switching off the light. Rose was waiting in the middle of the room, her make-up pristine.
“They should be here in a minute,” she said, looking at her watch. As if on cue, there was a knock on the door and Rose went to answer it. I slumped on the sofa, the high heels Victoire had picked out for me hurting my feet.
“Hey Dom,” Lysander said. He came over a sat next to me on the sofa, and I leant my head against his shoulder and he slung his amr around me.
“Hey,” I replied.
Rose remained standing, her hands twisting into a nervous knot. Scorpius was holding a bunch of flowers, which handed to me.
“Here. I knew they were your favourite.”
“Thanks Scor,” I smiled at him, and he smiled half-heartedly back. He kept sneaking glances at Rose, who kept her gaze fixed firmly on the ground.
“Well I’ve got to go and get my bag...” she said, rushing out of the room.
“I’ll go check whether the...” Scorpius said, slipping out of the front door.
I stood up, and put the flowers in a vase, filling it up with water from the tap. Lysander was still lying on the sofa, eyeing the front door suspiciously.
“Well that was awkward,” he said.
“She told me what happened between them,” I answered, returning to the sofa, “he told her he loved her and then they kissed...”
“They kissed?” He said, scandalized.
“Apparently. And then, well, it was a bit...it was a bit like...”
“A bit like what?” He asked.
“Us, and the night Lorcan died.”
If it had been awkward when Rose and Scorpius were in the room, it was nothing like what was happening now. Lysander’s eyes flicked down to his hands, and I smiled apologetically.
“Sorry,” I whispered.
“I don’t mind,” Lysander answered, “I’m sorry too.”
Our conversation was interrupted by Scorpius re-entering, an old drinks bottle clutched in his hand.
“It’s time to go,” he said.
“I’ll go get Rose.” I stood up and went into the bathroom, where Rose was. She was reapplying more make-up. It was obvious that she had been crying again.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” she stated, laughing half-heartedly
“Rose, listen to me,” I said gently, and she looked at my reflection in the mirror, “make the right choice. If you love Scorpius, go with him. If you love Noah, go with him. It’s all too soon before they’re gone.”
She hugged, and I felt tears prickling my eyes. Lorcan had gone.
“That was quite deep for you,” Rose said, smiling again. It was first smile today that was heart-felt and real.
Finally. I got this out. It's got lots of ScoRose, which is what I love. Feed the box below! Thanks for reading.
Edit 13/1/10: Typos.
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