This must have been the fastest update of this story in ages for sure.
I put it up as soon as I finished rewriting the last part.
Disclaimer: All recognisable characters belong to JKR. Copyright infringement unintended.
23. In Pieces
“So? Am I going to get an answer or not??” spat Rose, her insides blazing as Ryan was busy staring at the ground while Lily, surprisingly, looked defiantly at her.
“I knew about Amy being Ryan’s child”, came Lily’s confident voice that turned Rose’s insides cold.
“How?” she asked numbly. She knew Scorpius wouldn’t tell her, nor would Lysander because they never got on well. Maybe Ryan had tracked her down…
“It doesn’t matter how I found out Rose. The fact remains that you don’t have the right to stop Ryan from meeting his child!”
Rose gaped at Lily. Was Lily actually siding with Ryan?
“Wha- You’re actually siding with him, Lily? Him?” she said, pointing an accusatory finger at Ryan, “The guy who dumped you like that? The guy who almost drove you to suicide?”
“It’s funny how you’re mentioning those things, Rose. Can I ask you why you dated him despite knowing his history with me and our family in general?”
Rose felt as if a bucket of ice had been upturned on her head. If there was anything in the world that could make her feel uneasy and feel as if there were live snakes in her belly, it was this question.
“That question can be answered later”, she said, feeling extremely uncomfortable, “What I want to know now is how Ryan got in touch with Amelia. What was doing with her today?”
“Today wasn’t the first time he’s meeting her. As a matter of fact, he saw her everyday”, said Lily coolly, crossing her arms.
“What?”, she said, the shock slowly being replaced by mind-numbing, vein-bursting anger, “he met Amelia everyday?”
“Yes he did. And why shouldn’t he? He’s her father after all!”
“You took my daughter to Ryan everyday?” repeated Rose, breathing becoming a lot heavier as white-hot rage flooded her.
The rage must have shown on her face, because Lily took a step backwards.
“You could have come to me after finding out the truth!” said Rose, her voice shaking, “You know Scorpius just recovered from an accident. Last thing he needs is Ryan visiting his daughter.”
“Amelia is Ryan’s daughter, Rose, not Scorpius’!” said Lily earnestly, “And he loves her. Don’t you actually care about what this is doing to him?”
“You think I would care about what he wants over what my husband wants?” hissed Rose, “You are mad!”
“I am not mad Rose, I-”
“I placed my trust in you, and you broke it. I trusted you with my baby’s life.”
“You broke my trust, Rose. I don’t see why me breaking yours matters. And it’s not like he’ll kill her. As I said, he is her father and he loves her.”
Rose curled her hands into a fist and bit her tongue to hold back the stream of abuses straining to come out of her mouth. She had never hit a girl before. But Lily was going to be first one to get it if she continued talking that way.
“I see”, said Rose acidly, “You thought that taking Amelia to Ryan was the perfect way of getting back at me?”
“No Rose. I just thought-” Lily started, looking alarmed, but Ryan interrupted her.
“She saw injustice. She couldn’t stand it. So she did what she could do”, he said, looking seriously at Rose, “Really Rose, how can you really hold me guilty of leaving you, when you very well knew that I hadn’t known about your pregnancy when we broke up?”
Rose gaped at him. Was he actually asking her that question?
“I am not sure about our relationship. My work is more important”, she said angrily, tears now building in her eyes, and predictably Ryan’s face grew pale, “Remember these words Ryan? You weren’t sure about me and our relationship. What were the chances of you staying back for the child?”
Ryan opened his mouth, but no sound came out of it.
“Rose”, said Lily impatiently, “The fact remains that Amelia is Ryan’s daughter as well. If he wants to see her, he will see her.”
“Lily”, Ryan hissed warningly, but Rose had enough of Lily’s nonsense.
“And who the hell are you to decide that?” whispered Rose dangerously, moving very close to Lily, “You are not her parent.”
Rose wondered why Lily was so insistent on Ryan meeting up with his daughter. Something inside her sunk a thought came to her mind. Did Ryan trick Lily into believing that he was in love with her, and probably would get together with her once he sorted out issues regarding Amy?
“Rose, I never meant to hurt you and Scorpius”, said Lily angrily, “But this is so wrong!! Amelia is comfortable with Ryan. If she wants to see him, you don’t have any right to stop her from seeing him. But if you do, you aren’t being a good parent Ro-.”
Lily stopped immediately as she clutched her left cheek in shock, which had been marked with a red handprint.
“Rose we should leave. Everyone’s staring”, came a calm voice behind her, tugging on her arm, but Rose was in no mood to listen. Manipulated or not, Lily should not have crossed the line. But she did, and therefore rightly deserved the slap.
“So how many times did he have to bed you to convince you that he is right and I am wrong?” spat Rose, watching Lily’s face flush at her statement.
Her mind started reeling as if being hit by a bolt of lightening.
Lily had indeed been sleeping around with Ryan.
So either she was getting back at her, or Ryan had manipulated Lily to get what he wanted.
“Rose. Come on!” said the voice next to her ear, sounding sharper than ever. This time Rose didn’t resist the force at her arm; she was too dazed and tired to resist. She simply went along with the pull.
She gasped sharply as the cold London air hit her face. She stared at the ground while being pulled around. The stone pavement seemed blurred, but she supposed it was because of the tears building in her eyes. Why was everything in her life going against her wishes just when she had thought it wouldn’t?
Before she knew it, she was in standing in dark area. From the musty smell, she could tell it was an alley.
“Rose. Can you tell me what was that all about? Why was Lily saying that Ryan is Amelia’s real father?”
She started on hearing that voice. Elora was looking at her, confusion written all over face, and she blanched. Elora must have heard everything.
“Because he is”, she said wearily, wiping her hands across her cheeks to stop the tears that were now making their way down her face.
“Rose”, gasped Elora, dropping the shopping bags in shock and leaning against the wall, “Ryan’s Amelia’s father? What-how-really?-oh my-When?”
“It was almost one and a half years before I got married to Scorpius”, said Rose tonelessly, looking ahead watching people just walk past her, none having any idea about the turmoil inside her as she narrated the story, “I was at a muggle bar, getting absolutely wasted because Scorpius had blown me off for some other girl. Ryan was there as well. We got to talking, had drinks, dancing, more drinks, and then-,” she paused, closing her eyes and shuddering, “We kissed. It was so overwhelming that I couldn’t stop myself from wanting more from him. We spent the night together. The next morning was quite something-,” she chuckled painfully, as she recalled the chaotic minutes after they both had woken up, “But something inside me had told me to give it a shot. There was the thrill of meeting up secretly, the dates were spontaneous and exhilarating. It was wild and passionate, and at the same time there was something really deep and meaningful about our relationship. I thought that he was the one. But then he broke up with me, claiming that his career was more important then. I had been shattered, and a week later, I discovered I was pregnant. I was so scared and terrified. I didn’t know what to do! Since it was Ryan’s of all people” she sobbed, “But Scorpius agreed to help me. And he has been so wonderful-and this git came back and wanted-and now Lily-.”
Rose hid her face in her hands, breaking down. She waited for Elora to walk away or get angry at her and slap her. But nothing came.
She finally looked up from her hands to find Elora still staring at her blankly.
“Say something, El”, said Rose sniffing, “Please just say something!”
“So he was really good in bed huh?”
Rose choked on her tears and looked at her in disbelief.
“Excuse me?!” she spluttered, “Did you just ask me if Ryan was good in bed?”
Elora shrugged before tucking her hair behind her ear, “You told me to say something. So I said something!”
Rose stared at her friend before a chuckle escaped her lips, “I don’t know who to thank for having a friend like you-”
“My parents to begin with. And then your parents because they’re friends with my parents.”
Rose smiled weakly, “So aren’t you going to say anything about what I told you just now?”
“Well”, started Elora, exhaling deeply, “Hearing that Amelia is Ryan’s kid shocked me, to say the least. What astounds me the most was the way Scorpius treats her. You cannot tell that he is fathering his enemy’s daughter!”
“I know”, said Rose softly, “Things were a little weird after we got married, but then after Amelia was born, I had found my perfect family. She is Scorpius’ life and soul. She brought him a kind of happiness that no one could. Everything was wonderful and perfect till Ryan came back into our lives. Scorpius became moodier, angrier, and he’d never stop suspecting-”
Rose lost her voice as a terrible thought sunk in.
“Oh God!” she breathed, her eyes widening in shock as she placed her hand on her chest to calm her racing heart.
“WHAT?!” exclaimed Elora, moving towards her in concern.
“Scorpius must have thought that I knew about Amy and Ryan meeting up! Rather, he must have thought that I took Amy to meet Ryan!”
Her stomach twisted very uncomfortably as her breathing slowed down.
“Are you mad?! Why would he think that?”
“Last night we had a fight about Ryan. I didn’t tell him about where I was going to be today-oh dear Merlin! It all makes sense. He looked so angry when he saw me at the restaurant-what am I-”
“Rose”, interrupted Elora impatiently, “You need to calm down. You really think that Scorpius believes that? Do you mean to imply that he doesn’t trust you at all when it comes to Ryan?”
The redhead opened her mouth to reply, but stopped immediately.
Didn’t Scorpius trust her at all? He had known for fifteen years after all. He knew her darkest and deepest secrets. He knew her better than anyone else, including herself. He knew that he could trust her.
But there was something about the look he had given her in the restaurant. His face was twisted in agony, as if he had been stabbed fatally. His eyes were blazing with rage and hatred which she had earlier believed was for Ryan. But his eyes had remained the same when he had turned to look at her.
She remembered how touchy and agitated Scorpius became whenever Ryan was mentioned, before the accident as well. He always hinted at, although rather subtly, her fooling around with her ex.
No, Scorpius did not trust her. At all.
The rage in her was now accompanied by sheer annoyance. She didn’t understand why he believed that she would do something that would hurt him. She was his wife, for the love of Merlin! She loved him, she had told him that repeatedly. Did he not believe her when she had said that?
Annoyance now blowing into full-fledged anger, she said, “No. He doesn’t trust me.”
“Whoa!” exclaimed Elora in surprise, “You look like you’re a second away from killing someone. Calm down. You need to remember that Scorpius is currently in a severe fit of rage-well I don’t really know if he is-however you’re the one in control of your senses. Think twice before you say anything at all to him-”
“Since when did you start advising people on their problems?” asked Rose, raising her eyebrows, “As far as I remember, I was the Agony Aunt for everybody who knew me.”
“I don’t know” said Elora smiling slightly, “It’s like I have gotten some superpowers since I got pregnant. I freak Albus out all the time these days. Sometimes he questions if I am me”, and then looking serious, “I have seen that Agony Aunts are unable to figure out what to when they have their own problems to solve.”
“Uh…thanks”, said Rose uncertainly before she looked at her watch, “It’s nearly five. I have got to go and talk to Scorpius.”
“Do you want me to come?”
“No. This is something that only the two of us can sort out. I’ll see you later?”
“Yeah. And I won’t tell Albus, if that is what you’re worried about!”
Rose walked back towards her house, having apparated a mile away instead of right in front of her house. It took her a lot of time to make herself feel a little better before she apparated or else she would have Splinched herself.
Her heart seemed to ram faster in her rib-cage with every step she took towards the house. She honestly had no clue as to what would happen next. It all depended what Scorpius had to say or believed.
Moments later it seemed, she was standing in front of the door and staring at it, millions of thoughts running in her mind.
She didn’t know how to start a conversation with him. She wasn’t sure if Scorpius was mad because he had seen Amelia with Ryan, or if he was mad that he saw with her with Ryan, or if it was both. Would he be planning to ignore what had happened or would he want to talk to her? Or worse, assume whatever he had seen had been right and therefore, not even hear what she had to say about the situation.
Feeling her head hurt a little, she decided that planning her response would not help. Breathing deeply, she opened the door to her house.
The lights in the house were on and it was completely quiet. Rose would have believed that there wasn’t anyone in the house, if she hadn’t noticed Scorpius standing in front of the door to their backyard, facing away from her. He was standing oddly still, so either he hadn’t heard her coming in or he was ignoring her.
She closed the door of her house loudly, and felt her stomach sink when she saw Scorpius hadn’t moved an inch.
He was ignoring her.
“Where’s Amy?” asked Rose curtly as she took her coat off to hang it on the hook.
He didn’t turn around or reply.
“I asked you where’s Amy.” she asked, sounding a little more impatient and louder than before as she moved towards the kitchen.
“Upstairs. Sleeping”, came his cold voice.
He was definitely upset with her.
“What’s gotten your wand into a knot?!”
“Like you don’t know.”
“We need to talk, Scorpius”, she said sharply, eliciting a snort from him.
“Really? We do?” he joked scathingly, “Aww…sadly, I’m not in the mood to talk!”
“Cut the theatrics, Scorpius!” she said, slightly wary of the mood he was in. She had to be slightly in control of her temper if they were to argue, because she knew he wouldn’t, “You really don’t think I took Amelia to Ryan, do you?”
Scorpius’ silence confirmed her worst fears. Scorpius did indeed think that she took Amelia to Ryan.
“Seriously?” she gasped in disbelief, “You actually think I took my child to that git? It was Lily who took her to Ryan! I was out shopping with Elora today!”
“I don’t want to hear it, Rose. You don’t need to justify what you did” came his cold voice, his back still turned to her, “I know the truth now. And now I am not going to stop you-,”
“What on earth are you yapping about?” asked Rose incredulously.
“Ah…would you look at that? Now someone else is being quite theatrical!”
“Shut it, Scorpius! Turn around so that we can talk like adults!”
“All the talking is done, Rose!” spat Scorpius, as he turned around. Rose felt a shudder run down her spine as she looked at his stormy eyes, tense jaw, and pale face, “I don’t want to hear anything from you! You cheated on me. And now I know the truth!”
“You think that you could meet up with Ryan behind my back and I would not find out about it?”
“ROSE!” he thundered, and she moved back in shock. He had never shouted at her the way he was shouting at her now, “I DON’T want to hear what you have to say in your defence.”
Rose looked at him in disbelief, her temper mounting slowly and steadily. He wasn’t even letting her speak!
“You don’t even know the whole truth” she said quickly before he cut her again, “There you go again, assuming that you know everything. That you’re always bloody RIGHT! How can you say that I had been cheating on you?! Do you even have any proof to believe that?! Just because Ryan and I were seen under the same roof does not mean that I am sleeping with him!”
“So you think I don’t know the truth, huh?” he gasped, looking at her stonily. He then turned towards the kitchen counter which had a magazine on top of it, something she hadn’t noticed before. Scorpius tossed the magazine at her, which she caught quickly before it hit her in the face.
“Open the earmarked page, and tell me that that if this much proof is not enough!”
Rose wordlessly opened the earmarked page. There was a photo of Ryan and a woman she assumed was Lily for there was a picture of Amelia’s pram, and nobody but Lily acted as Amelia’s babysitter the entire time Scorpius wasn’t around. And she was wearing the gigantic hat she had lent to her. Her eyes went to the upper right-hand corner and noticed the issue was the December one.
She suddenly remembered that Lily had taken the copy of December’s Witch Weekly from her only a few hours after the magazine had been delivered to her house. She hadn’t had the time to read it when Lily had dropped by and had borrowed the magazine on some lame excuse she couldn’t remember now.
There was no doubt why Scorpius thought it was her with Ryan. He had found the same hat in her closet yesterday morning, Amelia was there in the picture, a lot was written about the couple and he was already being so suspicious about her.
Lily was so going to pay for this.
“Scorpius”, started Rose looking pleadingly at her husband, trying to settle everything down with him before she went and sorted things out with Lily, “That is not me-!”
“I knew you would say that!” said Scorpius, sounding triumphant, “When I had first seen it, I couldn’t believe it either! I tried looking for you after I found it. I couldn’t find you anywhere-.”
“Because I was out shopping with Elora in Muggle Lond-”
“And then I decided to check at Ryan’s place. You weren’t there. But his little elf confirmed the story!”
Rose took in a sharp breath, gaping at Scorpius.
Ryan had an elf? An elf who claimed that she met up with Ryan?
“That’s preposterous!” screamed Rose, “Ryan does not have an elf! Maybe you got the wrong house!”
“I got the address from the Department of Magical Sports, Rose! And the elf said that you visited Ryan everyday! You got Amelia to him everyday! The elf told me that you two were-.” Scorpius’ voice cracked suddenly, and Rose started, wondering what had happened, “that you were in love. A bloody house-elf told me that! You told me that house-elves never lie, Rose! What the hell was I supposed to make of what I had heard?!”
“He must have mistaken Lily for me, Scorpius!” Rose cried out, moving closer to him, “I swear I have never-It was a co-incidence-I didn’t do anything! You have to believe me!”
Rose felt the tears escape her eyes as she looked at her husband, begging him to believe that she was completely innocent. For a moment, she thought she had seen his gaze softening as he looked at her.
“Is there anyone who can vouch for your story?” he asked sharply, and she was stung. He wanted an alibi. She was like just another criminal for him. He didn’t trust her a bit.
“So you don’t trust me? You aren’t willing to take my word, are you?” she asked, her voice shaking.
“Rose”, said Scorpius, sounding extremely agitated, “You are in love with him. He’s Amelia’s real father. If a woman gets chance to get back together with the father of her child, she wouldn’t hesitate. And now that I am completely useless, why would you want to be with me?”
She let a scream of frustration, and looked at him angrily, “For the love of Merlin, Scorpius, I am not in love with him. I am in love with you. He may be Amelia’s father by blood, but you are the one who really gave her any life of sorts! For everyone other than Ryan and Lily, you are Amelia’s real father. And nothing can change that fact. And you aren’t useless-”
“Do you have an alibi for today, Rose?” he interrupted, looking angrier as he crossed his arms across his chest, “I’d rather not listen to why you don’t think I’m useless, when I know that is what you’re thinking right now!”
Rose bit her tongue hard, keeping in the words about to pop out of her mouth. Scorpius could not have sounded more ridiculous than he was sounding right now.
“Okay. Since you don’t believe me…”, said Rose slowly, feeling tired, upset, and drained all of a sudden, “Elora. She knows everything. You can talk to her.”
“Elora is your friend Rose. She will back you up. And I saw you with Ryan almost an hour ago. Who is to say that she wouldn’t have a story ready for you?”
Rose gaped at Scorpius in disbelief.
“Are you serious?!?! You wanted an alibi, I gave you one!” she cried, wanting to strangle him for suggesting that Elora would make up a story to save her, or for rather seeming so convinced that he was cheating on her, “Are you so convinced about my infidelity that you aren’t even willing to listen to something that may actually prove that I am in fact innocent?! Stop being so stubborn and for once just try and see if you’re wrong this time!”
“I didn’t see Elora and Lily in the restaurant today!” hissed Scorpius, narrowing his eyes and clenching his hands in a fist, “I just saw that bastard with Amy and next thing I know, is you coming up to me and asking me what was I doing there!”
“Oh god!” moaned Rose as she covered her face. Was this actually happening? She lowered her arms in defeat and looked at her him desperately.
“What do you want from me, Scorpius?” she asked tiredly, her eyes watering up again, “I already told you that I am in love with you. I have always considered you as Amy’s real father. I don’t feel anything for Ryan now nor do I consider him Amy’s father. It was Lily who took Amy to Ryan. Elora and I were shopping in muggle London today and I ran into her at the restaurant, and that’s how you saw me there.”
Scorpius gave her a long hard look before looking away towards the fireplace. He quickly strode over to it, much to her surprise, and grabbed a handful of floo powder from the floo pot and disappeared immediately.
Rose had merely collapsed on the nearest chair, feeling utterly down when Scorpius reappeared a minute later.
“Lily isn’t at home”, he said curtly, “By the look of the place, it looks like she hasn’t been home in a while!”
Rose closed her eyes and breathed deeply.
“Scorpius, I’m really tired of this!” she said, her volume increasing with each syllable, “I feel sick after seeing the amount of trust you have in me. The things you’ve accused me of, the way you treated me- like a bloody suspect!- Do you have any idea just how insulting and offensive it is for me? You have got to stop!”
At the last word, she stood up upright, mentally begging him to end this torture.
“You’re right”, came his voice, unnaturally calm, after a minute long silence, “I have to stop doing this. I’ll stop once you leave.”
“I know” said Rose tiredly, running a hand through her hair, moving towards the staircase, “It’s been a long day. We’ll sort things out tom-”
“No, Rose”, said Scorpius forcefully, “You are going to leave. You are going to leave this house tonight.”
Rose turned around immediately, looking at him in shock.
“What?” she breathed, feeling as if all the air had been knocked out of her.
“You heard me”, said Scorpius, whose impassive expression was doing nothing to calm her down, “You can take Amelia with you once you find a decent accommodation. But then you have so many relatives. I don’t think any one of them would mind you staying over for a while.”
“No. Scorpius”, pleaded Rose immediately, moving towards him. “You can’t do this. I told you that I haven’t done anything- Do honestly have no trust in me? I know everything out there points at me cheating on you. But do you sincerely think that the Rose you know would cheat on you?”
She was standing very close to him. His eyes bore into hers, and for once, she didn’t look away as she usually did because she had felt he could read her like an open book. Because this time, she wanted him to read her, to know that she was saying the truth, and that she loved him so much that each of his accusations and insinuations pierced her like jagged knives.
“Can you swear on Amelia and tell me nothing ever happened between you and Ryan while I was gone?” asked Scorpius in his deep voice which suddenly sounded a little hopeful, “That you never met him behind my back and never did anything that anyone may call cheating?”
Rose opened her mouth immediately, the words ‘I swear’ almost popping out involuntarily, when she remembered that she had gone to visit Ryan, despite Scorpius’ warnings and behind his back. And Ryan had kissed her as well, even if she didn’t reciprocate.
She knew she couldn’t take a chance by swearing on her child because unlike what happened in the muggle world, things did happen to the person if they were under a false swear, and she did not want any harm to come to Amelia.
She just had to explain to him what exactly had happened, but the hopeful look dying on his face and being replaced by a look of disappointment as she hesitated in taking the swear, crippled every bit of courage in her. She opened her mouth to say something as he slowly moved away from her, not looking at her face anymore.
“I’ll get up by ten. I want you gone by then”, he said in a tone so indifferent that she was immediately reduced to tears.
He walked past her and stopped suddenly at the beginning of the stairway.
“My Rose wouldn’t have cheated on me”, he said, sounding extremely upset, “But then you aren’t my Rose now, are you? You’ve never been so.”
She stood rooted to her spot, shattered, as she watched him go upstairs and possibly out of her life.
Rose isnt the only one who's feeling drained right now. :(
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