Chapter 11 : Falling Is Leaping
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Falling Feels Leaping
At her first impression, she thought that maybe she had walked into a different house, miles and ages away from the cold and foreboding hallway she had just stepped out of.
It was so, entirely different. It had a dissimilar vibe, even. It was huge, brighter. The room was so much larger that she would have expected. The ceilings were high and gave the room a feeling of calmness, and the walls were a creamy white, which was especially confusing after the cold, darkness of the previous hall. The room had only a hint of the bitter, unlived feeling from the rest of the manor.
There was a grand four-post bed, made messily, the pillows thrown unceremoniously. There were books strewn across on the bed, as well as a newspaper, and a silver tray at the foot of the bed. The tall wall behind the bed was a deep forest green that reminded Rose of the Hogwarts forest—beautiful in its mystery.
The muffled light that filled the room was coming from two tall stretching windows across one wall, and two large French doors on the other that Rose assumed led out onto a balcony. The grey, blizzard-dampened light came through and mulled across the dark wooden floor. The wall next to her was completely covered by elegant mahogany shelves, one side filled with books, stacked horizontally and vertically, artistic in their untidiness. The other side was filled entirely with what looked like records. Sure enough, there was an antique record player in the corner.
On the other side of the bed was a big, mahogany wardrobe, its polished doors wide open. It was empty, unlived in. Next to the wardrobe was a trunk, clothes folded messily inside. Around the trunk were more books, a broomstick, and other various scattered things. It looked as if Malfoy had just arrived, as if he didn’t even live here.
There were so many other things that Rose wanted to look closer at, like the books and records, the framed photo that was face-down on the bedside table next to the little clock, the telescope that sat next to the window, the green and black striped tie that hung from the bedpost. However, her brief observations and musings were put to a halt.
“Er—the bathroom is over here.”
He had already turned and was walking across the room to the double doors past the bed. Startled, Rose scurried after him, just now feeling the blood that was trickling down her leg. Her dad had always told her that she had amazing pain tolerance. But, she was distracted now too, that had to help.
She followed awkwardly through the grand doors into the bathroom.
It was all marble and golden, and spacious, with a wide white bathtub with claw legs, the feathered talons each wrapping around a glass ball. It was clean, and looked unlived in as well.
Malfoy walked over and turned on the sink. Rose stopped, again unsure of what to do.
He looked up, and caught her eye in the mirror above the sink. She looked at him, and then at her own reflection. Her eyes were wild, her hair messy. Her face looked in pain, with an odd grimace that she hadn’t realized she was wearing. Her eyes flickered back to his again. His face seemed to soften, the hard mask slipping slightly.
“Here, wash the blood off your hand.”
Rose stumbled slightly as she moved forward, thrusting her bleeding hand into the flow of water.
Malfoy nodded. He patted the marble countertop next to the sink.
Rose hopped onto the counter, flinching.
He walked out of the bathroom, and over the gushing of the sink she heard him rustling through something. He came back in with both hands full and a bandage tucked under his arm. He let it clatter onto the other side of the counter.
He almost seemed to be talking to himself. He turned off the sink and reached for Rose’s slightly less bloody hand. He took it again without hesitation. Sturdily, methodically, he unscrewed the ointment and put it on the cut. It stung, and tears spring to her eyes. Or, she told her self it was the stinging. Being so delicately cared for made her feel fragile, and thankful.
“The sting will go away in a second…” He was wrapping her hand in a bandage, and she focused on his hands, which were fairly large, but managed to be nimble at the same time. Strong, capable, flexing, and even gentle hands.
He tucked the end in neatly, and released her arm, not looking at her.
The pain had diminished already, to Rose’s surprise. Glancing at the ointment, she saw that it was the same magic ointment sold at St. Mungo’s that her mother had in the medicine cabinet. Malfoy took the ointment and the other things from the table, and walked back into his room to return them.
Carefully, Rose slid off the counter and landed precariously on her feet. Her blood was everywhere, she realized. Not only all over her clothes, but in odd squelched patterns on the counter and drops across the floor. Damn. Her clothes were damp, partly from the snow, and partly from the blood.
“Rose?” Malfoy came back through the doorway, speaking softly, his face back to the same half soft, half hard mask. “Does it still hurt?”
Her finger didn’t hurt, exactly. There was an odd pulling, expanding feeling in her chest. The back of her throat felt tight with emotion.
“No.” Rose said slowly, “Thank you.”
“Then what’s—why wou--are you still standing there?” He took another step forward.
“It’s just—it’s the blood.” Rose said, the guilt trickling into her voice.
“Oh, don’t worry about that, there’re maids that will get it.” He gestured with his hand. “Here, it’s okay.” Again, that same soft voice usually used when handling baby horses or something. It wasn’t a voice she was used to Malfoy using.
“They’ll get your clothes too.” He had a slight smile.
Rose felt a little bit dizzy. Her head was pounding distantly. She tried to take a step forward and stumbled slightly, catching herself on the edge of the huge bathtub.
“Whoa.” Her eyes were closed, but she heard him come up beside her. She could feel him hovering next to her.
“Oh.” Rose heard herself say. She stood back up, and he had already stepped away, as if trying to maintain a polite distance. The dizziness faded away.
“Okay.” Rose said, shuddering. Malfoy gave her the classic Malfoy look, raised eyebrow, but the effect was ruined slightly because he was frowning, and worry creases were back between his eyes. His eyes raked down her figure, tattered clothes and all, and then back up to her face.
“You did lose a lot of blood.” He said. Rose nodded, and leaned off the tub.
“Alright,” He said, walking slowly back out of the bathroom. Rose followed along behind him, again feeling unsure.
He walked over to his trunk by the wardrobe, and bent over, pulling some clothes out.
“Here’s something dry to put on,” He said, holding it out to her, and then turning back to his trunk.
Rose took the clothes from him and held them at a slight length from her body as to not get them bloody.
“Oh. That’s so…thank you.” Those annoying tears threatened to make a come back. She willed them down.
He looked like he was fighting a raised eyebrow.
“It is just cotton, not a ball gown or anything.” He tilted his head slightly at these last words, one side of his mouth lifting in that stupid, irresistible smile.
“I think ball gowns have gotten me into quite enough trouble already.” Rose managed, trying not to do a delirious giggle.
Malfoy did that half smile half smirk again, which looked as if, had it grown up, could have been something beautiful.
“Er… I’ll leave you to change then.” He finished somewhat awkwardly, shifting towards the door, the smile still fighting on his face.
“Malf—er, Scorpius--” Rose started unsurely.
He stopped with his hand on the doorknob, and looked back to her.
“Thanks again.” She said.
He opened the door, shaking his head.
“Honestly Rose, it’s really not a problem.” He gave her a slight nod, and then closed the door behind him, leaving her standing awkwardly in the middle of his room in blood drenched clothes, smiling.
She walked back into the bathroom, and put the clean clothes on the side of the counter that her blood wasn’t on. Turning back to the mirror, she examined herself. Aside from the gorily smeared blood across her face, and the way that her hair was matted on one side, she thought she didn’t look too bad.
She peeled off her once yellow shirt, and tugged at her pants until they came unstuck, pushing the bloody pile of cloth across the floor with her foot. Standing before Malfoy’s mirror in her underwear, she remembered the last time she had stood like this, naked before a mirror, her and her honesty, looking herself full in the face. It had been several months ago, before this whole Malfoy business had started. She had stood in her dormitory bathroom one morning as the shower warmed, thinking about her friends, her life; practically anything except Scorpius Malfoy. And now, here she was, standing practically naked in his bathroom. Ah, the irony.
Bending over the sink, she splashed her face with water, and washed her hands and arms. The cut was healing quickly already, part of the skin surface shiny and new. She stuck her head in the sink, feeling the cold water run down the back of her neck, tracking a wiggly path down her spine. After pulling a towel off the rack and wrapping her hair in it, Rose reached over to the other side of the counter to get the clean clothes.
They were so dry, clean, and warm. She held the bundle to her face and inhaled deeply. They smelled so good, so distinct. It took her a moment to define the scent.
It was Scorpius’ scent. How the air smelled around him, how his whole room smelled, how he smelled in potions, how he smelled when he had pulled her, dripping wet, out of the great lake, how he had smelled when she danced with him at the ball. A mix of French soap and sweat, the right-before-it-rains smell, possibly some cologne, trees and wood, and that particular boy scent that was impossible to describe but that all boys possessed.
It was a long-sleeve, white, cotton tee with a little V-neck, a button at the top that Rose could tell her never buttoned. She pulled it over her head, enjoying the smooth cotton slide across her skin. The bottoms he had given her were dark gray cotton shorts, very boxer-like, with a blue elastic waistband and three little buttons in the front. Very boxer-like, indeed. Rose shook her head, but couldn’t help the smile that fought to the surface.
Using her fingers, she combed her damp hair into a bun atop her head, used the towel to wipe up some of the blood, and then to wrap her dirty clothes. After glancing at herself in the mirror, Rose turned and walked through the doors back into his room.
He wasn’t there, she noticed immediately. She wondered where he had gone. Rose shivered, and realized that she was still cold. The room suddenly seemed much more foreboding without Scorpius actually in it.
She stood, arms wrapped around her body, in the middle of the room, unsure of what to do.
The book worm in her eventually won over, and she made her way across the wood floor to the big bookshelves. Tilting her head sideways, she looked at all of the different books. Many were French, and Rose briefly remembered the other day in potions when she had asked him about it.
Many of the titles were muggle classics that Rose recognized, from Romeo and Juliet and Wuthering Heights to Count of Monte Cristo and Anna Karenina. There were art books, too, and on the very far edge of the shelf she found a big stack of sheet music.
She walked over to the record player to see what record he had played most recently. It was by a classical composer named Schubert, and the first track was called Serenade.
She wanted to hear it, and her honest curiosity surprised her. She wanted to play it so badly. The needle looked delicate though, and she wasn’t exactly sure how to turn it on.
She found herself vowing to stop by a record store and buy it.
Tiptoeing, she looked through the tall shelf of records. This was even more surprising. He had all of the expected wizard music, and then a ton of muggle music too. It varied from classical like Vivaldi to 60’s rock like The Beatles, to the famous 80’s Witch band, Merlin’s Curve. And there was everything in between, too. He had death metal, gangster rap, mainstream hip-hop, opera, and musicals, all of which Rose had heard at some point. Compared to Rose’s very small exposure to muggle music, he seemed to have very broad taste.
She wandered over to his bed, which was scattered with a few books and today’s paper. She reached out and touched the green and black striped tie that hung from the bed post. She twisted it to see the back, which had a little satin tag that read ‘MALFOY’ in dominant, elegant letters. She let go of the tie and let it swing back to its home on the bed post. What an awful reminder.
Bending over a little, she picked up the photograph that sat face down on the bedside table. It was Scorpius, probably a few years ago, not smiling, with his parents standing behind him, each with a hand on his shoulders. She looked at the differences between the three of them. His father was looking out of the frame, looking tired, haughty, and uninterested. The muscle in his jaw was tight. The hand he had on Scorpius’ shoulder looked very white around the knuckles, as if he had been gripping very tightly. Scorpius’ mother had on her face what some might try to call a smile, but the effect was ruined by the suppressed anger in her eyes. She was leaning a little bit, away from her husband, but had her head tilted in the direction of her son.
Finally, Rose’s eyes rested on the blonde boy in the middle. Still hauntingly gorgeous, she realized suddenly another component of what made Scorpius so drawing to look at. It was his eyes. They looked sad, and hard, like they had been through more and seen more already than their years. They were the same eyes that Scorpius had today; Rose only really noticed them because it occurred to her how even more out of place they looked on this young boy’s face. Scorpius was leaning slightly towards his mother; maybe he was just leaning away from his father. The other haunting thing about the photograph was that Scorpius was the only one looking straight into the camera, his pain pooling sharply in his eyes.
This photo said everything, Rose realized. It made her sad. She flipped the frame back down, and understood why he had it like that in the first place. Instinctively, she brought a hand up to her cheek in her signature ‘worried’ stature when she felt wetness on her hand. Tears. Oh.
Rose took her thumbs and wiped underneath her eyes, and moved to sit on the bed, pulling her feet up underneath her and curling into a little ball. She debated getting under the covers, but thought with a tiny laugh that that might be overstaying her welcome.
Perhaps ten minutes past, when Rose realized she felt completely at peace in Malfoy’s room. No nagging worries, surprisingly. No over enthused mother breathing down her neck, no expectations to live up to, just being allowed to lie here in this soft bed and these delicious clothes, and be Rose, just Rose, without any judgment or criticism.
The latch on the door shifted noisily, and there was a creak as it swung open. Rose sat up on the bed. Scorpius pushed the door closed behind him with his foot; he was carrying a cup of tea in each hand.
“Hey.” She said, sliding off the bed and landing on the floor with a little thump.
“You look way better,” He said, his eyes very obviously sliding down, and then back up to her face, “I mean, without all of the blood and all.” The muscle in his jaw jumped, and he quickly looked away, setting the tea down on the table.
Whoa. What was that? Did she imagine that?
She nodded, trying to ignore that tightening feeling she felt in the pit of her stomach that made her breath whoosh in a little bit faster than normal.
“Here, I brought tea--” Standing up, he stopped suddenly, his eyes leaping to hers, “Have you been crying?”
“Oh,” Rose laughed, shaking her head, wiping her eyes again with the sleeve of the shirt, “It’s nothing, I’m fine.”
He was standing there awkwardly, with his hands in his pockets, an odd look on his face.
Rose stood still, wanting so bad to look at his face, knowing she couldn’t.
He walked to his trunk, and came back with a pair of dark grey cotton socks.
“Here, these will help if you’re still cold.” He handed them to her, barely smiling.
She sat on the bed and pulled the socks over her cold feet.
“Soft.” She said quietly, hesitating. “Thanks for the clothes.” Her eyes flickered up, and then back down.
She sensed him shift forward a bit.
“They look good on you.” He said, so quietly she wasn’t entirely sure he even said it.
She couldn’t help it then, she looked up to meet his eyes. She heard her breath intake, felt her throat tighten. They were blazing. Smoldering. Hurricaning. Conflicting.
Sliding off the bed, Rose moved towards him without thinking about it, without weighing the consequences, for once just doing what her body wanted. He moved to her at the same time, and they collided when she had barely taken two steps.
It was a crushing kiss at first, intense, and yet tender. One of her arms wound around his muscled body and found a home at the back of his neck, while the other was somewhere against his chest between their bodies. His hands found her face, and then moved into her hair. It was like fire: raging, uncontrollable, burning, captivating.
And then, suddenly, he pulled away, and the cold that hit her body contrasted with the odd feverish feeling he left. Her heart wrenched.
He had moved away, too far away to touch, which bothered Rose. She wanted to touch him. Her breathing sounded ragged in her ears.
His chest was rising and falling too, his hair in wild disarray, his eyes closed tightly. His hands were in fists.
“Shit.” He brought a hand to the back of his neck and looked at her. Ah, he was so beautiful.
“Rose.” She was immediately distracted by how he said it, his perfect, rounded lips shaping themselves around her name.
“What?” She was surprised to hear how throaty her voice was. “What’s wrong?”
“This—you --is possibly the most stupid--” He broke off as he searched for a word, running a hand through his hair, “—illegal thing ever.”
Rose just stood there, trying to figure out what he meant.
“I don’t really…” Rose shook her head vigorously, trying to regain her mind. She took a shaky step towards him. He scrambled back.
“Wait,” He said, his breath unsteady, “I don’t know if I’ll--” He shook his head, “If I’ll be able to stop if you come any closer.”
“Oh.” Rose said breathlessly. That same muscle in Scorpius’ jaw jumped, and he clamped his lips together. His chest was still rising and falling rapidly, and Rose noticed painfully how the top few buttons of his shirt were undone, revealing an impressive expanse of chest.
The fire was fading a little now, though, and the consequences of what had just happened began to dawn on her. Scorpius Malfoy. Son of Draco Malfoy, her father’s worst enemy. Grandson of Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy. Beautiful, complicated, intense—
And entirely off limits.
“I should leave.” Rose said, stepping back and feeling his bed against the back of her legs.
“No,” Scorpius said immediately, instinctively taking a step forward and then stopping. His face was in a pained grimace, which still looked beautiful. “Ahrgh.”
Days later, Rose knew that she would remember the look on his face right then when that knock interrupted them. It was a mixture or regret, panic, desire, confusion. It made her wonder what would’ve happened, if they hadn’t been interrupted.
But then he jumped into action.
“One minute.” He called to the person at the door, his voice surprisingly calm. He grabbed her hand and pulled her across the room to the wardrobe.
Rose hurriedly climbed in, her head throbbing.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered, “Just hold on for a minute.”
And then he closed the wardrobe door.
Do you hate me?? Was that okay? I've always been nervous about writing kissing scenes, I worry that they'll be too...I'm not sure. Too much? I felt like that was finally due. Thanks for hanging with me for all of those boring, non-kissing chapters. Sigh. I know.
I LOVE my reviewrers. You literally make my day better. Seriously. Top five highlight of my day-- also with sleeping, eating, and bathing. Sleep, eat, bathe, harrypotterfanfiction. Anyway, I love you guys! I feel very lovign right now! If you're reading this, I Love you and I hope you have an amazing day. If you want to review, I would love that! Favorite part? Least favorite part? And again, was the kissing scene okay? Sorry about the longest, most boring and insecure authors note ever--
Love you all to infinity,
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