Chapter 9 : The Way She Wanted
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Benjamin had just finished putting on his pyjamas when there was a knock on the door of the room that he shared with Alexander for the weekend.
“Come in” Alex said.
Scorpius peeked into the room.
“Ben, could I talk to you for a minute?”
He scrutinized his father questioningly.
“Sure. Go ahead” he answered curtly.
They went across the hall and into the room Scorpius was now staying in alone.
Benjamin turned around to face his father.
“What’s up, dad?”
Scorpius shifted uncomfortably.
“I just wanted to talk to you about all that happened today. I mean, we talked a lot about how Alex and Joy felt about finding out who their father was, and none about how you’re feeling about an addition of two siblings, Selene’s and my divorce or the sort of ‘breakup’ with your girlfriend. I just wanted to see how you were doing.”
Benjamin looked grim.
“How do you think I’m doing after a day like this?”
“I know, that’s why I wanted to talk to you-“
“Nothing you say can make me feel better!” he burst out.
“You cheated on my mum for twenty years! Of course I’ve suspected that you didn’t love each other but I never thought you respected her this little! And you haven’t treated the woman you claim to love with respect either. You have been acting like such an idiot! You know dad, I used to look up to you. For all my life you have been my idol, but after today you will never be that again.”
Scorpius looked like he’d been hit in the stomach. He swallowed.
“You have certainly not tried! You have hidden from your problems like the world’s biggest coward!”
“I suppose I have. I’m sorry, Ben.”
His apology didn’t calm Benjamin down. Instead he just looked angrier and angrier.
“I should hit you for treating my mum like this! I’m so mad at you! I can’t believe you’ve treated her so carelessly. I can’t believe you thought you had the right to sleep around with another woman as if it wouldn’t affect your family! Did you even consider how it would affect mum and me? Did our feelings ever occur to you or were you too busy trying to figure out how to get Rose naked without anyone noticing? Do you even care what I feel, or are you just talking to me because you can’t sneak into Rose’s room when she said those things too you?”
“Ben!” Scorpius interrupted him, looking devastated. “Of course I care about what you feel. I am sorry that I acted so carelessly.”
“You acted like a complete idiot. You never treated us right.”
“I know” Scorpius sighed. “Does…does that mean that you agree with Selene and think that I owe you not to tell the world that I have two more kids?”
Benjamin quirked an eyebrow.
“Does it matter to you what I think?”
Scorpius looked desperate.
“Yes! It matters!”
Benjamin looked at his father disbelievingly.
“So if I told you I wanted them to be a secret, for me and mum; would you respect that?”
“No. I meant what I said to your mum. They deserve to have a father and I’m not going to hide them. But I really wish you were on board with this, Benjamin. Your opinion really matters to me. If you have an idea of how we can make this easier on you when we tell people they’re my kids I really want to hear it. But just can’t ignore them, not even for you-“
Scorpius stopped mid-sentence and stared at his son.
“Yeah, seems that you have finally developed some good principals and stopped chickening out” Benjamin stated firmly.
“So... you don’t think I should do what your mother suggested?”
“No, ‘course not. I mean, you disrespected us, but if you’re going to try to be a better man you can’t hide behind anymore lies.”
Scorpius looked relieved.
Benjamin smiled slightly.
“And besides, I could never deny some of my best friends a father, even if he’s an idiot.”
“I’m going to work on that.”
“Good” Benjamin stated again.
They were quiet for a while.
“So” Benjamin started up again. “What are you going to do about Rose?”
Scorpius looked pained.
“I love her, I really do.”
“Exactly. What are you going to do about it?”
Scorpius sighed for the millionth time that day.
“Selene and I are getting divorced. I’m not going to do anything about Rose right now. Not until I’m legally divorced and not until you are alright with me dating which I expect is going to take a while. I’m going to try to be a better man.”
Benjamin looked sceptical.
“You’re going to try to be a better man by letting her believe that you don’t love her? ‘Cause that’s what she’s going to think if you don’t do anything about it immediately.”
“Yeah, but if I tell her I love her I’m not going to be able to stay away from her. It’s better that she’s mad at me, then we won’t...well...end up in bed together. ”
“Don’t wait. Then the chances are you’re never going to end up in bed with her ever again. Look, don’t worry about me. I wouldn’t want you to start flirting with women at clubs, to really try to find someone, that would creep me out. But you already have someone, someone you love, someone I like. Life is short, don’t wait for some stupid papers. Prove to her that she isn’t your Plan B!”
Scorpius stared at his son.
“But I want to try to do it right from now on, for you and Selene and for Rose and our children.”
“Well, then, just develop some power of resistance. The new Scorpius should be able to do that. “
Scorpius sounded sceptical.
“Yeah, I believe in you. I believe you can do things right from now on, alright?”
Rose was pushing her way through the snow, panting slightly. She regretted her decision to walk back from town in the beautiful, but tiring, winter weather. Everything around her was covered in snow, the trees and the houses, as well as her shoes and her shopping bags. She hoped her newly bought gifts were fine, because there was no way she was going back to town any time soon in this weather, with snow whirling down everywhere.
She had fallen asleep quickly last night, despite all her feelings, just because she had been so exhausted. It actually felt good that the kids finally knew and that she wouldn’t have to hide it all any longer. She was angry with Scorpius though, upset about the way he took her for granted and that he didn’t understand. But she also knew she was going to give in eventually. After all these years of being the other woman she probably wouldn’t be able to say no to being his for real. It was just a matter of time before she, in fact, would throw herself into his arms, even with the ominous feeling that Selene could come back any day and take him away from her. Rose wished it didn’t have to be that way, but she was doomed to it. She couldn’t be without him, that much had been proved during the years. No matter how many times she had told him it had to end she had always found her way back to him. But she still wished she could be his first choice.
She turned the last corner and was surprised not to hear the kids’ screams from the snowball fight they had just started when she left. She fought her way across the street, hoping they were inside to give her warm hugs and a cup of hot chocolate. She entered the house and dropped her shopping bags to the floor.
“I’m back!” she called, sitting down and trying to get out of her boots.
“We’re in the dining room!” Albus called back.
She took off her coat, hid the presents in a closet and stepped into her slippers. She threw a glance at her reflection in the mirror and giggled softly at how she looked. Her hair was dishevelled by the wind and a large amount of her curls had escaped the pony-tail and been decorated with little snowflakes. It didn’t really enhance the impression the she was wearing sweatpants and one of her brother’s old jerseys, but she shrugged and walked into the dining room.
Albus and Meryl were sitting at the table opposite of Mr and Mrs Malfoy senior.
He found her in the small library, on the windowsill of one of the old windows, reading.
She looked up, surprised. She’d probably been so absorbed in the book that she hadn’t heard him enter.
She tilted her head to the right.
He scratched his neck, shifting nervously.
“I was just thinking... we haven’t had a chance to talk since...?
“Since we found out we were siblings?”
She smiled at him, amused. He exhaled sharply and smiled back awkwardly.
He walked forward and sat down next to her.
“How are you feeling?”
She made a face.
“Really confused. I have all these mixed feelings. I mean, I’m happy my father isn’t some one-night-stand, but sad that your family is falling apart, and angry that I haven’t been told ‘til now. Feeling sorry for my mum, but still pissed that she couldn’t handle it better.”
“And about us?” Benjamin asked softly.
“Disappointed. I thought we were going to have a wonderful time together, my first real relationship. I didn’t think it would last forever, but I thought it would at least end for a real reason. I also didn’t think it would end this abruptly, when I was still having butterflies in my stomach whenever you were in the same room. I didn’t expect to feel a bit disgusted that I’d kissed you, or ashamed of everything I ever said to you and thought about you. I didn’t expect to have all my memories of you tainted. This sucks.”
She sighed again.
“I feel all those things too, Joy, but I’m trying to concentrate on the positive things about this.”
Joy looked sceptical.
“Positive things? Like what?”
“Like the fact that this means you will always be around.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Well, relationships fall apart. Brotherhoods and sisterhoods don’t. You’re an amazing person, Joy, and I’m glad that this means you will always be a part of my life.”
She stole a glance at him.
“That was really sweet, you know that?”
“I mean it. You guys are the best siblings I could have asked for if my dad just had to have illegitimate children.”
“Right back at you.”
They were quiet for a while.
“We would have made a fabulous couple though” Joy commented at last.
Benjamin put an arm around her and squeezed.
“We will be. In another life.”
They smiled at each other.
“Yeah” Joy agreed. “In another life.”
Rose felt her breath get caught in her throat. What were they doing here? Had Selene told them anyway and now they were here to yell at her? She blushed at the thought of her sloppy appearance.
“Mr and Mrs Malfoy, what a pleasure to see you” she finally squeezed out. “What in Merlin’s name are you doing here - I mean - any particular reason that you decided to visit us?”
She smiled what she hoped was an endearing smile.
“Well, we’ve been invited to lunch” Draco Malfoy replied smoothly.
“Lunch?” Rose repeated as a flock of butterflies appeared in her stomach, telling her to run.
She didn’t want to know if they knew she’d been trying to destroy their son’s marriage for the past twenty years; she just wanted to go hide under her duvet.
“Yes, lunch” Mr Malfoy responded. “And we were looking forward to seeing our grandson, but we’ve just been told he’s out.”
Rose looked baffled.
“Yes, out” Mr Malfoy smiled and gestured for her to sit down. “I have to say I didn’t know you were this eloquent, Rose.”
Albus let out a stifled chuckle and Rose blushed.
“But where are the kids?”
“They’ve gone to Mum’s and Dad’s house for lunch” Albus explained.
“And what, we weren’t invited?”
“Rose! You’re back!”
Scorpius suddenly appeared in the door that led to the kitchen, a strangely nervous smile on his face and an apron around his waist.
“Just sit down and I’ll bring out the food in a minute” he said happily, waving with a spatula as he spoke.
“You’ve cooked?” she asked sceptically.
“He better cook when he invites guests to our house and throw out half of the ones we’d invited” Albus commented resentfully.
Scorpius gave Albus a murderous glare and Rose felt confused. Why would Scorpius have invited his parents to have lunch at Albus’ house? And had he really thrown out the kids?
“Just sit down, Rose, and the food will be ready really soon, okay?”
They made their way through the meal; Albus and Meryl doing most of the talking. When everyone had finished Scorpius stood up and placed himself behind his chair, his hands resting on top of it. He cleared his throat.
“Mum, dad, there’s a reason I invited you here today and asked the children to eat elsewhere. There’s something I have to tell you.”
Draco and Astoria Malfoy looked surprised. Rose felt her pulse speed up. Was he going to tell them now? Was he was going to tell them she had knowingly given birth to two illegitimate children of his when she was present? She highly doubted they would be delighted at this sudden addition of grandchildren. On the other hand would it make her happy to know that he was standing up for their children. Or was he just going to tell them he was getting divorced? No, that couldn’t be it, there was no reason for him to do that in hers, Albus’ and Meryl’s presence.
“What is it, son?” Draco Malfoy asked.
Scorpius took a deep breath.
“Selene and I are getting divorced.”
His parents stared at him and raised their eyebrows.
“May I ask why?”
He looked straight into his father’s eyes and spoke as steadily as he could.
“Well, basically because I have two children that she’s not the mother of.”
“WHAT?” his parents yelled in chorus.
“You have two illegitimate children? How is that possible?” his father continued.
“You know very well that I never loved Selene. I wasn’t faithful to her because was in love with someone else and the kids just happened. I only found out yesterday and Selene couldn’t live with it so she left.”
“Well, you can’t let that tear apart your marriage” his mother reprimanded him. “You have to work on it, make compromises. Stop seeing that woman, pretend her children don’t exist and then you can get through this. You have to get through this, for
Benjamin, for your family. You can make this work” Mrs Malfoy established.
“I know I could, but I don’t want to. I love Rose and…”
His parents stared at him and so did Rose.
“Yes, Rose. I love Rose, just like I did when you decided you wanted me to marry Selene. And I did, I did what you asked me to do but I can’t anymore. Look where not following my heart has landed us, with almost twenty years of adultery, two illegitimate children and a divorce! I’ve tried my hardest to live the life you wanted me to live but now I want to try and live the life I want. If you can’t accept that then…”
Tears appeared in his eyes and he tried to swallow the lump in his throat.
“Then there’s nothing I can do about it. I still have to do this, try to make Rose forgive me for treating her the way I have and try be a real father for all my three children. Selene and I are over. You have to accept that.”
“Of course he is!”
“No, he isn’t!” Joy objected.
“But he must be!” Thalia persisted.
“I don’t think so” Joy stated.
Joy and Thalia looked up from their argument to find Benjamin standing on the threshold, looking slightly nauseous. He stepped inside the room the girls were staying in and sat down on Thalia’s bed next to Alexander. Joy and Thalia were sitting on the other bed, arguing.
“What’s up?” Benjamin asked.
“Well” Alexander said. “Joy and Thalia were playing cards and then they started arguing wheatear your dad’s filthy rich or not.”
Benjamin raised his eyebrows as the girls started laughing hysterically.
“You mean our dad…” he remarked and made Alexander jerk his head in irritation.
“Right, such a disturbing thought. Speaking of disturbing things, why are you looking so bothered?”
“Your mum and our dad have made up.”
Alexander looked surprised.
“What makes you say that?”
“I walked in on them snogging in the living room.”
They all made a face.
“That doesn’t have to mean anything though. By the looks of they seem to have had a
pretty large number of encounters with no strings attached during the years.” Joy
“I know…but it just seemed so…tender.”
Benjamin wrinkled his nose.
“They’re hopelessly, irrevocably in love, why wouldn’t they kiss tenderly?” Thalia demanded dreamily.
“Your mum didn’t seem mad anymore anyway.”
“Or she was just not thinking, for like the millionth time?”
“Should you really sound so descending, Alex? If she had always been thinking you wouldn’t even have existed.”
Alexander opened his mouth to argue back when the door swung open and interrupted him. Rose and Scorpius entered, hand in hand, and closed the door behind them.
“Sorry you had to see that, Ben” Scorpius apologized, his cheeks slightly red.
He rolled his eyes.
“I’ll survive. Try to avoid it in the future though.”
“We will” Rose promised.
“Did you guys make up?” Joy asked.
Both of them smiled spontaneously, unaware of the other.
“We did” Scorpius answered. “You see, I invited mum and dad for lunch and told them everything, to make it public that Rose is the one I want to be with, and to prove to Rose that I’m not going to take back my decision to be with her even if Selene would come back, to make it clear that she is my Plan A from now on.”
The children looked thoughtful for a moment.
“And I’m telling all the Weasly’s at dinner tomorrow” Scorpius added.
“That’s some Christmas gift for grandpa. I’m sure he’ll be delighted that a married man has shagged his daughter for years.”
The other kids laughed.
“Not to mention that his grandkids are Malfoy's” Benjamin said dramatically.
“Well, it doesn’t matter” Rose stated. “This needs to get out in the open and he’ll get over it eventually. The point is that we’re going to tell everyone together and that it’s going to be me and Scorpius together from now on.”
“And you’re happy with this, mum?” Joy asked.
“Yes” Rose answered softly. “I am. The question is though, are you all okay with this?”
She looked inquiringly at each and every one of them.
“We really hope you are” Scorpius added.
The children exchanged tired looks.
“If you showed us that you are serious this time, that you’re going to act like adults this time, I think we could all be okay with it” Benjamin said.
“I promise you I will do things right this time” he said.
“How?” Aleaxander challenged.
“By not sleeping together until I’m divorced. And by generally trying to consider other people before we do something.”
“Sounds like a good, grown-up plan.”
“Yeah” Scorpius said. “So will you be okay with this?”
Everyone mumbled affirmatively.
“Splendid” Scorpius smiled. “Now, from one important subject to another, what should we eat for dinner? Albus said we could choose between salmon and beef.”
“No, not salmon” Rose protested. “Salmon always makes me nauseous.”
“Come on, mum, please. It’s not as if you’re pregnant or anything” Thalia begged.
Rose stopped and looked thoughtful for a moment.
“Hm, coming to think of it, I haven’t had my period in a while…”
They froze and stared at her, their mouths falling open. The seconds passed in slow motion and no one was breathing. They has just opened their mouths to scream of protest when they were interrupted by a fit of laughter. Rose had fallen to the floor and was laughing hysterically.
“I’m sorry!” she gasped between the roars of laughter. “I just couldn’t resist! You should have seen your expressions…”
“So you’re not pregnant?” Alexander double-checked.
The kids growled.
“Congratulations, Scorpius” Alexander commented while exiting the door. “You’ve got yourself involved with a maniac. Good luck with that!”
Scorpius smiled happily and shrugged.
“As if I didn’t know that. I’m just happy that she’s finally my maniac.”
The kids tumbled down the stairs with Rose right behind them. Scorpius watched them descend with love in his eyes.
They were hurt – they were broken in so many ways – but they were and would always be – a family.
A/N: So what did you think? As you might have guessed this was the last chapter. I might one day feel inspired to write an epilogue or a one-shot or something about how things went, but I'm not promising anything. If you feel there's something about them you would like to read more about let me know and I might be inspired. :)
It has been a struggle writing this, becuase it's hard to finish a story and because english is not my mother tongue, and I want to thank all of you who has read and/or reviewed. I would love to know what you think about this chapter as well!
If you want to read more stuff from me you are welcome to keep an eye out for my name. I'm on the verge of starting to write a Lily/James... :)
Happy summer everyone! Hope you have enjoyed this story, I sure have enjoyed writing it!