Chapter 14 : The Days Gone By Without You
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I was stepping in it. Oh, God, another body... they were everywhere... not a single person alive in sight...
I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.
An explosion behind me, people screaming...
Oh, God... oh, God... oh, God.
I hit the ground.
* * * *
I bolted up out of bed in the middle of a scream that was so painful to my throat, tears came to my eyes. I could hear frantic footsteps running towards me, but I was nearly blind in the dark.
“Rose! Oh my God, Rose, are you okay?”
I was sobbing. My cheeks stung. I heard a light switch on and then three screams of terror.
“Rose! Oh God, Rose, your face! Rose, what happened to your face? Rose! Rose?”
I slipped under.
* * * *
“Rosie? Rosie, sweetie?” My mother was crying.
Mommy, why are you crying? I’m in a better place now, Mommy. Don’t be sad for me. Don’t be sad because I’m dead.
“Rosie? Honey, wake up.” God, she was sobbing.
Please don’t cry. This is the way it’s supposed to be. I’m supposed to die without him. It’s okay, Mommy. It’s okay.
“Rose!” She was absolutely frantic. The hard edge to her voice scared me.
My eyes fluttered open.
Damn. So close.
“Rose! Oh, thank God!” She fell on me, sobbing. I patted her hair slowly, looking up at the ceiling.
I didn’t know how to feel anymore.
After a few moments, she lifted her head and looked at me. “Rosie... what happened? How did this happen to your face? What’s going on? No one could tell me anything specific... they told me to talk to you. Honey, can you tell me what happened?”
A single tear ran down my face. Even my mother... my beautiful, intelligent, ever-understanding mother... even she wouldn’t stand by me in this.
“I... I fell in love,” I whispered.
Her eyebrows shot up. “What? With who?”
Talking sort of hurt. But I gulped and summoned up those two fateful words...
The blood drained from her face. “Wh-What? Rose, didn’t he... he was all over the papers...”
I closed my eyes and breathed out through my nose.
“What happened to your face, Rosie?” my mother whispered, as if afraid to hear the answer. “Did he do this to you?”
My eyes snapped open. “No! God, no! Why the hell would you say something like that?” I demanded, glaring at her.
Her mouth was set in a taut, grim line. “Rose...”
“He went to war. God! That was his punishment for what he did. And I had a nightmare, and scratched my face in my sleep. That’s it.”
I watched as my mother closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths to steady herself. My face hurt like hell. I couldn’t talk without it hurting.
“Rose... I don’t want you seeing that boy. He’s only going to be trouble for you. Maybe the war will help straighten him out, and then you can...”
“Stop. Right now,” I said through clenched teeth. “Don’t say anything more. Please... just leave me alone.”
She looked at me with a sad, pitiful expression on her face. I wanted to curl up and die.
I thought you’d understand. I hoped, anyway. I thought you’d be open-minded... I thought you’d be different than everyone else. I was really hoping you’d be there for me. Thanks for letting me down.
“He’s just not right for you, sweetie. I want to see you with someone that will always take care of you and love you. The Malfoys aren’t the type to fall under that category.”
I turned my head away from her. She lingered for a moment, trying to catch my gaze.
“You don’t understand,” I whispered, so softly that even I barely heard the words.
“Rosie? Did you say something?”
I closed my eyes and shook my head. “No. Please just go. My face hurts and I’d like to sleep.”
Mum sighed. “Your father had to work, but he’s worried sick. We didn’t know what to think when we got the call... they made it sound as if you had gone insane.” She stopped and after a short pause continued, “I have to leave soon, Rosie. Are you going to be all right?”
“No, mother. I won’t be okay. But you’ve proved that there’s nothing you can do for me. So just leave.” The hard edge to my voice shocked me and I instantly felt a rush of guilt as I heard my mother inhale sharply.
She was silent for a moment. My stomach hurt as the guilt crawled around inside of me.
“Look what he’s done to you already,” she whispered curtly. And with that, she was out the doors.
Everyone was going to leave me. Everyone. No one understood.
Love isn’t like fairy tales. Love can happen fast, or slow. It can be pure, or it can be tainted.
But most of all, love can be horribly misunderstood and underestimated and doubted.
I miss you. You know that, right?
Where are you? Are you alone somewhere? Are you with your comrades, fighting? Are you afraid?
Do you miss me? Does the love you felt with me still beat in your veins?
Will you keep your promise?
Will we really see each other again?
I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.
* * * *
The months dragged on without him. I was merely a zombie dragging itself to class. I did my homework robotically.
It almost felt like I was always in this sort of fog... like I was wandering about, trying desperately not to fall asleep.
The letters made it a little easier, but not much.
My dearest Rose-
I’m okay. I promise. They’re putting me through a lot of training, but no battles yet. They say we might be facing some sort of coven dedicated to the ways of the vanquished Dark Lord soon, but it won’t be for a while.
I think about you every second my mind is unoccupied. My bones ache, but my heart aches even more for you. I can’t wait to get home to hold you in my arms.
I’ve dreamt of you every night. Whenever I feel like giving up, I picture our life together. It is such a comfort to me, knowing that we’ll be together. That I have something worth coming home to.
I cannot even begin to describe how hard it is being away. I know you must be feeling it too. I feel as if I might burst; there are so many things I’m going to say to you when we meet again.
Try not to miss me too much, my love. You’ll be seeing me very soon.
I love you.
To my love-
I saw my first battle today. It was a breeze. My unit was incredibly well prepared, and we only had to face three members of the coven. The rest have fled. We’ll be on high alert in case they try to mount another attack on our camp.
I’m getting really good at this, Rose. They want to promote me to Officer of my unit. I’m not afraid anymore. It gets easier every day.
Missing you, however, does not. I’m counting down the days. Only 67 days left until my evaluation, my love.
The boys are teasing me because I’m writing you so often. I guess they’ve never been in love, eh?
I love you, my beautiful, beautiful fiancée.
We lost a man from my unit today. My chest feels heavy all the time. I wish you were here to kiss me and tell me it’s all right.
Life ends in death. I must accept this. I miss you horribly. 52 days until my evaluation.
I can’t wait to see you.
I love you.
Things are getting tough here. The coven apparently has more members than we estimated. Much more.
I won’t be able to write as often as we’re moving around so much. Please know that I am thinking about you always.
I love you.
And then the letter came. The letter that caused my entire life to shatter into pieces before me.
To Rose Weasley:
My name is Andrew. I’m in Scorpius’ unit.
I knew you’d get worried if you didn’t hear from him.
I’m so, so sorry.
I saw him carried off on a stretcher. I’ve been asking around, but no one knows where they took him. No one knows if he was just unconscious or if he’s dead.
Now, don’t panic. I have enclosed the address of the hospital they usually transport soldiers to if they’re too seriously injured to be cared for in the field hospital.
I’ve tried writing a few times, but they can’t disclose information to non-family. I asked if they could to a fiancée, and they said yes.
If you can, get to the hospital. I’ve got a feeling he’s alive.
I’m sorry that that’s all I can give you.
I bit back tears of hysterics and blindly threw a bunch of clothes into a trunk. I grabbed it and my owl and ran down the stairs, bursting through the front doors.
I was immediately drenched by torrential rainfall. Fog swirled lazily on the ground and around the trees.
I ran all the way down to the Hogwarts train platform, where the spell that prevented Apparition was no longer present. I Apparated to a dingy alley near the main train station, and hurried to the window.
“I need to go to this hospital! Can you tell me which train to take? Please, my fiancé is hurt!”
The woman at the window immediately put her hand on mine, her eyes shining with concern. “All right dearie, you just hold on. I’ll look it up.” She grabbed a large book and murmured the address to the cover. The book opened and she smacked her finger onto the page. “Here we go. You need to go to Platform 11. The next train leaves in 5 minutes; it’ll be the ninth stop. Here’s your ticket.”
I tried to hand her the coins I owed, but she wouldn’t take them. “No, no, no. You just hurry and make that train.” I started crying with gratitude and managed to squeeze out a quiet thank you before running full-speed to Platform 11.
I made it just as the train was finishing boarding. I handed them my ticket and grabbed a seat, frightened tears pooling in my eyes and falling down my cheeks.
You can’t be dead. You promised me.
You promised me.
* * *
A/N Author’s Note: Hello readers! I’m SO SORRY for the horridly long wait. I’d started this chapter a while ago but lost momentum. Thank you to Solana for pushing me to git ‘er done! I hope you all enjoyed it. If I get enough reviews, that should be enough motivation for another chapter. ;) Mwahaha. Hope your summer is going beautifully! Thank you for reading and reviewing. I love you all.
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