My gratitude goes to Rachelle (PenguinsWillReignSupreme) for being patient and looking over my work and helping me recapture my muse and to Gubby (GubraithianFire), whose night market idea worked wonders. I apologize for the gigantic wait between chapters; my muse pretty much died for this story. With that said, I hope this fat chapter makes up for it! Enjoy and please don’t forget to review! :D Without further ado, and for first time, I introduce - Dominique!
Everything was fading into night, into the beginning, into the end, and the city seemed to break away, the dregs of the morning left forgotten for the dreams of ten thousand doves, the tapping of imaginary piano keys. Everything was fading into night and though the moon was blooming into the creamiest of petals, without the seamless finality that the darkness brought, it hardly seemed that way.
She could hear, it seemed, the world
. People talking, laughing, arguing, smiling, feeling, breathing, living. Footsteps on cobblestone, whispers curving into the wind. Diagon Alley through the lens of night. She watched them with the lightest curiosity, watched them talk and laugh and argue and smile and feel and breathe and live and she drew them, drew every word, every laugh, every smile. She twirled the pencil in her hand, feeling it disappear into the air, into the same endless possibility that painted their laughter and sunsets and children’s eyes.
And when she drew, she made the world beautiful. She liked the idea of beautiful things. One day, she wanted a garden full of wildflowers.
It was not so much that she needed to see them or feel them brush against her skin and it was not so much that she wanted them to be all her own. And it was not so much that she liked beautiful things. For roses pricked and milky piano keys would one day yellow and rain could kiss and kill and love could fade to ash. She liked knowing that they were there somewhere in the distance, unbitten apples among solitary groves, and that they could perhaps one day be hers.
Dominique thought of beautiful things like leaves rustling and Sunday evening melodies and flowers drooping with morning dew when she worked, between steps, between breaths. They lingered softly, a hazy backdrop, and she smiled as she sketched because she knew tomorrow, the sun would shine again.
A light tap on the shoulder. It was Roxanne. She stood awkwardly poised, her frame balanced against the wind, her ragged red coat at the gale’s mercy. A sable lock uncurled and stamped itself onto her cheek.
Dominique reached fumbled with the corners of her robes and pulled out her parchment.
I invited Molly to come, if that’s okay.
Roxanne squinted slightly and smiled. “Of course!“
I think she asked Rose to join us. I’m sorry. I wouldn’t have asked Molly to come if I’d known. Are you okay with that?
Her smile lingered, lone sparks flying after a fire’s end. “Why wouldn’t I be?” She bent down to the ground, her lips near Dominique’s hair, her supposed indifference not quite reaching the honey of her eyes.
Dominique arose, packing her materials neatly under one arm. She was not naïve enough to believe Roxanne’s words so readily, but she said nothing more about the matter. It was not so much that she was afraid of offending her, as the fact that she was Dominique Weasley and that she kept her silence even though it was kept for her.
They waited quietly; the minutes passed infuriatingly slowly, caramel on the tongue. They listened to the sounds of others living, of others laughing, of others not waiting in the cold, waiting for someone they did not want to see.
Finally, it was Roxanne who spoke. The words seemed to bubble forth, to rip through her lips and she smiled as she spoke, she smiled, she smiled, and it was Dominique who knew what that smile meant, what that smile spoke on its own. “Why should I care if she comes? Isn’t she always the one who treats me badly? Have I ever – ever
– said anything rude to that girl? She’s hated me for as long as any of us can remember. Don’t shake your head like that. You know it’s true.”
I don’t think she hates you.
“Yes. She just adores me, doesn’t she?”
Dominique shifted, her eyes on the stars swirling in the inky sky. The clouds slowly rose and fell with the breaths of the heavens. She admired them and the bittersweet sentiments of years past fell to her as crusty autumn leaves to the ground they reluctantly kissed. They swirled now as they did when her mother had come home with Louis bundled in her arms and when Roxanne slowly explained to her why she wouldn’t be coming to Hogwarts and as they did when Teddy still loved Victoire. As they did when she could still speak.
It was Molly, wading through the crowd, her pasty skin flushed, Rose reluctantly trudging a few feet behind her. Molly’s auburn hair had poured itself into her eyes and as Dominique watched her near, she felt the smallest desire to turn back, to be loyal to her sister, who even now, was surely crying.
“Hi! How are you? I haven’t seen you in such a long time, Dom!”
There was a heavy silence as they both considered her words.
Rose arrived, yanking the ends of her robes up irritably. Dominique watched her cousin join them, the small scowl on her face seemingly etched into her features.
“Sorry I’m late. It’s been a long day at the Ministry.”
At the sight of Rose, Roxanne turned to Molly and smiled. “How are you and Teddy?”
She smiled weakly. “Fine, I suppose. Mum’s still not too thrilled with either of us and with Aunt Fleur and Uncle Bill and Nana Molly – well, it’s definitely been a bit lonely.”
Rose smirked. “I didn’t know you would be here, Annie.”
“Hello Rose. Is that going to be a problem?”
“No, not in the least. Just wondering, that’s all. You haven’t visited or called in such a long time.”
“Maybe,” Molly interjected, eyeing the two cautiously, “we should start shopping now?”
I think we should go in two groups.
“Yes, I’d like that too. I’ll go with Molly. Dom, you can go with Rose.”
Dominique felt a twinge of irritation, but dismissed it quickly. Rose wasn’t too, too
The night air felt cool in his face. He closed his eyes, momentarily forgetting the chatter and the push and pull of the crowd behind him. The world was painted in silence.
“I want this.”
He opened his eyes to the brunette standing in front of him. She was pouting slightly, her lips puckered upward in the shadow of a frown. She wasn’t beautiful, but she was Julietta, the
Julietta and she was so much more than he needed her to be. She wasn’t beautiful but she knew how to make him laugh and cry and she knew how to talk and make people listen. She could name the different kinds of roses and her favorite color was red, the kind of red found in sunsets and goodbyes and she was Julietta. She held a small, plain necklace in her palm.
“Then buy it.”
Julietta laughed. “No, it’s just a necklace. A useless trinket.”
“If you want it, then buy it. As long as you like it, it shouldn’t matter.”
As she reached into her robes, Scorpius watched her and wondered and wondered. She wasn’t beautiful. The thought tasted like broken glass, but it was true. But he did not need beautiful things. He had told himself that before. It was unnecessary, shallow. Sometimes, he wished she was beautiful. Only a little more. And it was not so much that he needed her to be beautiful so that he could be happy or that she could be happy. And it was not so much that he did not already love her. But only that he could admire her more.
“What is it?” She looked at him curiously.
“Oh – nothing.”
“Well,” she said, pocketing the necklace, “we should hurry. I still have more things I want to buy.” She stepped forward and a shaft of moonlight fell into her face and she walked quickly. He hesitated momentarily and hurried after her and he and she and all his ideas of beauty slipped into the crowd.
Rose sighed loudly. And Rose sighed and sighed.
“I can’t believe Annie came along. Why didn’t Molly tell me? Some friend she can be.”
You wouldn’t have come.
Why do you two hate each other so much?
Even under the darkness, it was clear Rose had reddened. “I do not. I’m not childish enough to go that far. Although I wouldn’t put it past her, I can still be mature about this.” Her eyes jumped from one store to the next. “I do need new robes…”
Molly and I think it’d be a good idea if you two stopped fighting all the time.
“We do not fight
. Sometimes we argue. Who can blame me?”
“Hardly,” she snorted, fumbling with something in her robes. “It still amazes me how Uncle George and Aunt Angelina raised her. She’s so weird
. And it’s not just that she’s a Squib because honestly, that doesn’t bother me. She always pretends like she’s not one of us, like being a Weasley is this horrible thing.”
Being around wizards and witches is uncomfortable for her. I think she feels left out because she’s not one.
“I refuse to believe that, Dom. You know I do. She runs a cafe in Diagon’s Alley, for Merlin’s sake! And she’s dating Lorcan Scamander. A wizard. If she’s so uncomfortable, she’d have run off by now. No – she’s just an annoying, an attention seeking – ” She paused. A small smirk twisted into her face. “It’s funny how everyone thinks the Weasleys are perfect, isn’t it? Roxanne pretends we don’t exist, half the family hates Molly and Teddy, and Victoire’s absolutely pathetic now. Lucy can’t hold down a job for more than a month. You’re stuck working in some run-down café with Roxanne. The only normal ones are me and Louis, I guess.”
Dominique felt stung, but she said nothing. The Rose Garden Café was a bit messy. That much even her optimism could not mask. But still – still
– it was not run-down. She looked at her cousin, irritation bubbling slowly. Who was she to say these things?
“Ooh, look, isn’t that cute?” She pointed to a table nearby laden with jewelry. “I want to see. Come on, Dom!”
Julietta made lots of promises. She promised to hold her tongue. She promised to be on time. She promised to be more silent and to sit still. She promised not to make any more promises.
Scorpius watched her, torn between exasperation and amusement. No matter what she had promised, she had gravitated again to a table of worthless baubles. By nature, he supposed. She held up another small necklace to a candle and her eyes twinkled as it sparkled. She sighed softly and put it back.
He turned around to face a lanky brunette. She was eyeing him with some hesitation, as though she regretted her sudden outburst. He stared, unable to place her freckled features to a name. And then, he realized. Prefects patrolling, a girl bristling over his tardiness, potions class in fifth year, a project long forgotten.
“Right,” he said coolly. Tense silence hung. Another breeze blew past them. From the corner of his eye, he could see Julietta hovering over a bracelet. She smiled to herself and so he smiled and she reached inside her robes. She frowned slightly and walked back.
“Hey, I’m out of money.”
“You spent it already?”
“Don’t look at me like that,” she scoffed, ignoring Rose entirely. “I only brought a few galleons with me. Can I borrow some?”
“What did you want to buy?”
“Come, I’ll show you.”
Dominique was not one for jewelry.
Dominique was not one for jewelry in the same way some were not for love or chocolate or roses. Dominique liked the idea of jewelry as something far away to be admired on someone else. The closer it was, the less beautiful it seemed to become. She held the bracelet in her palm and stared at the tiny, ornate moon carved into its side.
She considered buying it for herself and felt foolish immediately afterward, reminding herself of the girls she and Roxanne so often laughed at. But the way it seemed to catch the light...it seemed a waste to let it go…
Perhaps she would buy it for her sister.
Someone tapped her shoulder. “Excuse me, but I wanted to buy that.”
Julietta’s tone was polite. It had surprised her a little to see someone else standing where she had stood seconds before.
The other girl had followed them. The brunette that Scorpius had awkwardly introduced. Julietta vaguely recognized the Weasley girl, but not enough to care. She clung tightly to herself, uncomfortably aware of the night’s chillness. The crowd was thinning considerably as the night grew.
The Weasley girl stepped forward. “Dominique?” She turned to Scorpius, mildly embarrassed. “This is Dominique, my cousin.”
Rose watched the two girls exchange a look of confined incredulousness. Dominique, surprised that someone had been behind her all along, and Julietta, surprised that someone had not noticed.
Scorpius stepped forward and so, Rose stepped forward, eager not to be left behind once again.
He held his hand out, vaguely aware that the new girl, a blonde, was beautiful. He stifled the thought immediately; she was beautiful in a way Julietta was not, yet Julietta was beautiful in ways nobody could be.
“Sorry, but do you mind?” he asked, waiting. Waiting, waiting, because nobody had ever said no to Julietta or to the way she stood or to the way she walked or to the way that her plain brown eyes looked at them, caramel, summer afternoons, Ferris wheels, beaches, walking, roses, and said no.
Dominique reached for her parchment and scribbled quickly.
Sorry. I’m buying this for my sister.
He stared at the scrap of parchment on his palm. Julietta leaned in and squinted, her eyes tracing the swerving script illuminated by spare speckles of moonlight.
“Why are you writing?” she asked.
“Dominique is mute.” Rose flushed, a fact that did not escape Dominique or her displeasure. “Because of a disease she has.”
“I’m so sorry,” was all Julietta could manage.
Scorpius watched the ghost of a grimace that formed on Julietta’s face. She frowned slightly and he cleared his throat and asked her again, again, until the other girl would give in and Julietta would smile. “She was here first, you know.”
Dominique briefly considered the pair in front of her. Dominique was not the kind of girl who gave poets their weapons and she was not the kind of girl who lit her words with fire. Her words were soft, her world was silent. She let her finger scratch the ornate moon again and wished she could have the one hanging above her, so very far away. And she would be away from troubles, from people wishing but not wanting, watching but not speaking. And she was Dominique Weasley. The nice girl, who wished silently, but did not want, who watched but did not speak. She let others want and let others speak the words she knew would be so much more under her own hand.
And she was Dominique Weasley. She liked the idea of beautiful things, of knowing that they were somewhere in the distance, a hazy backdrop, a misty veil. She liked the idea of beautiful things, but on someone else, beauty untainted by her own essence. She held the bracelet in front of her. She wanted it.
She wanted it. Dominique Weasley gave. Dominique Weasley complied and smiled for it. Dominique Weasley was nice
I really am sorry. I hope you can find something else.
And she was and would always be Dominique Weasley. But perhaps now was the time to start speaking.
And later, Scorpius watched her, watched the first person to say no to Julietta walk away, to disappear into a slant of darkness as though she had never been there. It felt like releasing a small burden watching her walk away, away, away. And perhaps they could pretend that nothing had happened, that nothing ever would. She had said no. “I really am sorry,” the mute girl had written. “I really am.”
And Julietta had stared back, momentarily baffled. Because Julietta persuaded, Julietta took, Julietta made libraries with only parchment. An awkward silence descended between them now.
It was startlingly insignificant. It meant nothing, nothing, to anyone and it would not mean anything to anyone in ten breaths or ten minutes or ten years. But it was a first and it came with the weight that such a thing brought.
“Forget it,” she said, pulling her hair away from her eyes. She looked at the now empty roads, at the wind that traced the sky with its meaningless kisses, at the stones beneath her feet and at the stars that shone so uncaringly above. “Forget it,” she said and she smiled a little because she knew that he would not.
“You were unusually stubborn,” Rose noted, although she was smiling a little. Scorpius’s reaction had been particularly noteworthy – the surprised flush, the elevated tone. She giggled.
Dominique stared down at the bracelet, which now lay strung on a white wrist. It didn’t matter.
It did not matter in the way sunsets did not matter, in the way moths did not matter, in the way ponds with ripples did not matter.
But it made her smile. She had spoken for herself and those few words came with an unexplainable exuberance, an unexplainable freedom. She let her feet scrape the ground in a way her mother would have frowned at and she began walking faster, letting the cool air carry her.
She looked at the now empty roads which would surely be clamoring with footsteps and speech and wishes tomorrow, at the wind that weaved cheerfully through the heavens, at the stones beneath her feet and at the milky stars that swirled above, that had swirled when she could still speak, when Teddy had loved Victoire. The stars that swirled now, as she walked off, her mind filled with tomorrow’s words.
This chapter ended up being a lot longer than I expected. I hope the switches between the characters didn’t prove too confusing. Please leave a review telling me how you thought it was!