Chapter 10 : X.
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She knows it’s over, she holds her head and says,
‘They can’t love me, they can’t love what I don’t show’.
It was eight o’clock in the morning, and I was sitting alone, listening to the gentle pitter-patter of the rain upon the roof when Lily Potter found me.
I watched her as she descended the stairs and ambled wordlessly through the kitchen.
She smiled happily when she caught sight of me sitting on one of the sofas nearest to the fireplace and I returned it sheepishly.
I had been reading, but had gotten bored, so I had been practicing Transfigurating several living room items and had done pretty well until I got bored of that too.
She was still dressed in her pyjamas – which were rather sweet, if you forgot the fact that she was sixteen, and not eight. They had little hearts and clouds all over them and looked like a quilt I had once had when I was eleven.
Her hair - her wild red, mane of hair – was loose and in tousled curls. They bounced around her face as she walked towards me, and her soft brown eyes took me in with a curiosity and interest that surprised me.
“Are you alright?” She asked me slowly as she sat down beside me. Her rosy pink lips curled upwards in a soft smile, but I did not return it.
“Fine.” I answered simply, lying through my teeth. “How are you?”
“Fine.” There was a flickering in her eyes; amusement, understanding.
“You’re awake early.” I mumbled, lowering my eyes.
“I could say the same for you.”
I had never considered Lily Potter before. She had never truly entered my head prior to this eventful year. She was always a child when I thought of her – but now? Now she was a girl full of such intelligence and perceptiveness that it worried me.
“You’re in love with my brother, and he’s in love with you. Yet, somehow, you both know that you cannot be together.” Lily murmured quietly, speaking as though she were speaking to herself, musing aloud to piece together her thoughts. Her eyes staring past my face, at all of the smiling photographs on the mantle upon the fireplace, and they held a dreamlike quality. Albus’s face would be there. Of course it would. “That must be a difficult situation to be in.”
I couldn’t help but stare at her.
“I’m intrusive, I know.” A small – however incredibly endearing – smile played upon her lips, appealing to a softer side of me that I had not know existed.
“It’s fine. You’re completely right, actually.”
Her eyes rose to meet mine, and she held my gaze for a long silent moment. I couldn’t look away; it was as though I were in a trance, in a blissful reverie.
I noticed then that despite her and Albus having different coloured eyes, they were still the same. They both were the same wide almond shape and were both framed by long, dark lashes that brushed against their cheeks when they looked down.
Unlike Albus and James, Lily had her mother’s eyes. Albus had his father’s and grandmother’s, and James had a mixture of the two – or his grandfather’s. I believe that was what he had once said to me.
Each one of the Potter’s were so completely spellbinding in their own way, it made me want to run, to get away whilst I still could – but I couldn’t. I knew that.
There was no getting out now. It was too late.
James had his wit, his charm, his unfailing charisma and his ability to look good-looking regardless of what he was doing or where he was. Everyone loved him, and not just because he was the star seeker for Puddlemere United. Albus and Lily were different, however. I saw that now.
I had been wrong in saying that Albus lived in James’s shadow.
He shone too brightly for that, just like his little sister.
Lily Potter saw the world in colour. She saw the details other people did not and was wise beyond her years. She was misunderstood, but all the world was in love with her. Despite her age, I could see now that she was the rock that held her family together. Without her, where would they be?
And then there was Albus. Dear sweet Albus.
Albus was clever, exceptionally so, and logical. He saw the world in black and white and was the sort of person that went on to being an Auror like his father and uncle, or a Healer like Teddy, or anything that requires a skill surpassing everyone else. He was brave, like his father, and strong like his infamous mother. He was perfect.
He was too perfect to ever want someone like me.
He deserved so much more.
“My brother loves you.” Lily was suddenly saying to me, her gentle eyes holding mine once again. “You’re the one he wants. Don’t think that you can easily forget that.”
I pressed my lips together. I couldn’t bear to hear the words. They were too much for me.
“I’m sorry, I’ve upset you. I don’t mean to intrude. I just... I don’t know how to not...” Lily’s pretty face was suddenly conflicted and she looked away from me, her eyes dropping to the hands that twisted upon her lap.
“You can’t help what you see, Lily.”
“Everyone always says you’re this horrid, dreadful person – but you’re not, are you?” Lily asked me, and once again she was smiling softly. I laughed quietly, though more to myself.
“They do, do they?”
“I’m sorry. I’ve done it again, haven’t I?” Lily blushed faintly pink, making me unable to stop myself from touching her head and shaking my head.
“I know there aren’t a lot of people who like me, but I gave up caring what people thought about me a long time ago so it doesn’t bother me – not any more.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, I like you.” Lily said, grinning slightly. “And so do my mum and dad, my brothers – of course, Rose, Lucy – and Fred, except he fancies you, so I don’t know if that would be under the ‘like’ section.”
I laughed, and it felt nice, to laugh honestly for once.
“I’m sure, however, that Rose would love you even more if you did something for her.” Lily suddenly said. Her tone was tone intriguing – mysterious even. I looked up at her curiously.
“What do you mean?” I asked her, frowning slightly.
“Scorpius Malfoy.” Lily stated simply. When I didn’t respond, and continued to look confused with my head tilted slightly to the side, Lily sighed heavily. “Rose... is clever, but she’s also blind when it comes to what she wants. What she wants, and what she needs, and what she must have is one thing only. Malfoy. I know that you love her, and so I want you to do that for her. Give her what she can’t live without.”
“But she does live without him. Everyday.” I argued.
Deep down, I knew I agreed with her – and always had – but in that moment, all I could see was Scorpius as I had last seen him; full of anger and concern and disbelief. It made me resent him.
“Barely,” Lily replied curtly. Her russet brown eyebrows drew together briefly, her eyes scanning my face as though she were searching for answers there. I could not fight her on this, I didn’t have the energy. She outmatched me, just as her brother did.
The damn Potters.
They were ruining, as well as completing, my life.
“You don’t agree with me?”
“I do. I just don’t know how.”
“Yes, you do.”
Those three words made my head snap up. Those were my words. They were, won’t they?
She had uttered them the way I always said them.
And she was right.
Lily smiled, her cheerfulness had the air of triumph, and she stood up.
“I knew you wouldn’t let me down.”
“You’re so –”
“Weird. I know.”
And with a parting glance, she was gone, grinning as she did so.
Bewildered, I shook my head, as I were though trying to shake my thoughts together so that they would make some form of sense.
It didn’t work.
“Good morning, Albus.” I heard Lily chirp, her exuberance obvious even in those three words.
“Uh – hey, Lily.” I heard Albus say in return, and I smirked slightly. I wasn’t the only one who thought that Lily Potter had somehow, over night, gone completely mad. “Are you alright? You seem... uh, happy.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Lily exclaimed, and I could hear her smile in her tone. “It’s Christmas and it’s a lovely, lovely day.”
“It’s raining, Lil’...” Albus muttered, no doubt scratching his head. I could picture him doing it; his eyebrows were drawn ever so slightly, his green eyes sparkled as they gazed at his subsequently shorter sister and in the most endearingly adorable manner ever, his dark chocolate brown hair fell in his eyes. I wanted to reach up at brush it away, my fingers resting there at his temple for a moment.
But I couldn’t. I was sitting alone, and he was in another room. With his sister.
Not me. Never me.
“Rain is beautiful too, Albus.” Lily said, then her voice dropped suddenly and I could not make out all that she and Albus were saying. “You’re such a stupid arse...what do you mean ‘why’... in there... be nice... no, you’re not ‘always’ nice... because Dad... yes... shut up.”
I heard quiet yet hearting, awkward yet spontaneous laughter, it was Albus’s.
It made me smile.
She had made him laugh. I felt a surge of affection towards Lily and regretted implying that she was insane. She wasn’t insane. She was brilliant, exceedingly so.
Just like her brother.
And the other one too.
Who could forget James?
“Go, Albus. Honestly, you are such a twat. Be brave. Go talk to her.”
“Alright – alright – stop hitting me. Shit, Lily. What’s wrong with you today? I thought you didn’t like Em – why are you suddenly lashing out at me for not wanting to go and make a fool of myself. Again.”
“Because I know what’s good for you, brother, and it’s in there. And, actually, I never said anything about ‘not liking’ her, I just didn’t know her and wondered why she was so... different. But now I understand.”
“You do? And how is that? Have you even talked to her or were you invading her head – like Dad told you not to?”
“I was not using Legilimency, Albus. I know better than to do what without reason.” Legilimency? What in the name of Merlin was Lily Potter doing knowing Legilimency? She was sixteen- she wasn’t even of age!
With a chilling realisation, I recalled the way she had always looked me in the eye, the way her smiles and expressions were always so understanding and knowledgeable. I felt cheated, I felt used.
“Don’t lie to me, Lily. I know what you were doing and I want you to promise me that you will never do it again. Professor Chambers had no right teaching that to you – and quite frankly, it’s wrong, Lily. A persons’ mind is private. It’s not one of your books.”
Professor Chambers was the Headmaster of Hogwarts up until my fifth year, when he had gotten fired for ‘mysterious circumstances’ according to Veronica. In truth, I reckoned he was either corrupt, moronic or having a relationship on the side with a student – or student(s).
I’d never liked him much. He had creeped me out.
“Don’t lecture me.” Lily snapped. Her bright, bubbly tone was gone. It caught me by surprise. “I did it to help you. I don’t like to see you unhappy, and quite frankly, I didn’t like seeing her like that either.”
“Not everyone can be happy like you, Lily.” Albus said sharply in return.
“Who said I was happy, Albus?” Lily had raised her voice now, and it made me cringe. “All I ever do is true to make you and James and Mum and Dad and Rose and every-fucking-one happy – but what about me? Do I ever get to be unhappy? Do I ever get to be upset and need someone to be there for me? No. No one thinks about that – I should know, considering how all I do is ‘intrude’ on peoples’ thoughts.”
“No – don’t. I don’t need your sympathy or your pity. I’m fine. Everything in my life is just fine. But it’s not in yours, so focus on that.” She sighed heavily, exasperatedly, and lowered her voice. I strained to hear, and focused hard on the two people I could not see. “That girl in there, she loves you, I know it – but you mustn’t rush her, Albus. There is... so much pain in her mind – in her heart – that she needs... some care.”
“Em doesn’t love me.” Albus muttered, sounding so sure of himself. It made my heart ache, and suddenly, I did not want to hear any more. “I don’t think she even fancies me.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Because I know her – I know who and what she is. She’s – she’s not capable of love.”
I touched my lips, as though I were expecting a sob to break through. Nothing happened, and so I closed my eyes, and continued to eavesdrop on a conversation I wish had never taken place.
“Wake up, Albus.” I heard Lily say softly, as though she was sighing. “Don’t let yourself be blinded by your own short-sightedness.”
“Merlin’s Beard, Lily, stop talking in bloody riddles. I swear, one of these days someone is going to send you to Azkaban for not making a word of sense.” Albus’s tone had lightened, I noticed, but that did not make things better for me.
“Stop stalling. Go. Make a stand. Declare yourself. You know – do whatever it is James is always going on about before games that involves... ‘nuts’.” Lily’s tone wavered, and I heard Albus chuckle very quietly.
“I don’t even know where she is.”
“Miss Delacour is sitting in the living room, on the red couch next to the fireplace, wearing a pair of holey jeans and a blue jumper. Her hair looks nice; even if it is a mess, and she has black eyeliner smudged all around her eyes making her look slightly panda-ish. She is also, most likely, listening to us and thinking that we are incredibly rude and that you are a pillock and will inevitably stop fancying you because she heard all the bullshit you just came out with.”
“You’re so weird, Lily, has anyone ever told you that?”
“Yes. Your girlfriend, about three minutes ago, actually.”
“She’s not –”
“If you don’t leave this kitchen right now, I swear in the name of all things good and Dumbledore, I will hex you.”
“I knew there was a reason Mum and Dad kept you around.”
“I’m sorry, by the way. I – I promise I will always be there for you if you – you know – ever should need me to be... you know, there and stuff.”
“‘And stuff’? Merlin, Albus, you really need to learn to make better speeches and declarations. I’ll have to teach you some time – when you’re not being a twat of course.”
“I love you, too.”
“Stay out of my head, Lil’.”
“I wasn’t even there, I swear. Something’s you can just... see naturally.”
I heard two sets of footsteps; one fading away and another growing louder as it came to me.
In frenzy, I shifted myself so that I was staring down at the book I had abandoned over an hour ago, and skipped to a random page. It was about Amortentia and love potions, so I turned skipped ahead to another. It was, fortunately, about the history of Everlasting Elixirs – a most confusing topic, if you ask me.
I sensed, rather than heard, Albus enter the room.
I felt his eyes on the back of my head and it made something peculiar happen in the pit of my stomach.
Almost like that clichéd expression. What was it?
How pathetic. I had butterflies in my stomach.
How the expression made any sense, I did not know. But it was relevant because he was doing exactly that to me - albeit without the insects.
I felt his hand brush lightly upon my shoulder, startling me, and I turned my head towards him. He’d shrunk back, looking down at his hand as though it had moved to touch me without his knowledge or permission.
“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.” He mumbled, his dark pink lips pursing in a fairly pensive manner.
“It’s fine.” I murmured softly. “How are you? Did you sleep well?”
“Wow. Social etiquette. I thought you were above all of that.” I could see that he was trying; trying to be the person he thought I wanted him to be - a friend, a Potions partner, someone strong and unable to be hurt by my selfishness.
“Stranger things have happened, Potter.” I replied. I, too, was trying my best. There was no choice in the matter; I had to try my very hardest – not for me, but for him.
“You’re – you’re studying. Who are you and what have you done with my lousy, no-good Potions partner? I mean, shit.” He exclaimed in disbelief, plucking the book out of my hands. He stared at it for a moment before he closed it. “Don’t. I like you being useless. It makes me feel better about myself.”
“Fuck off.” I snapped. I had never tried so hard in all my life so someone other than myself, and my mother. Being good, and moral, and unselfish was tiring.
Albus slumped down on the couch next with me with a heavy sigh.
He was exhausted; he had dark circles underneath his eyes.
“Why’re you awake so early? You look knackered.” I stated bluntly. One of my eyebrows rose, challenging him in a cold, bitchy manner as I would have done before he had warmed the winter in my heart.
“As do you.”
“Stop speaking Russian; it’s too early for foreign-ness.”
The old me would have realised this was a joke and either laughed, or sworn at him. The new, boring me didn’t understand and remained silent.
And Albus, being Albus, saw that change.
“Up? Up? Nothing’s up. Everything’s down.”
I couldn’t pretend any more. It was too hard.
“I – I heard you and your sister talking. I heard pretty much everything.” I looked down at my hands, ashamed of myself. “I’m sorry. I was going to pretend so that for once in my life I could do something that didn’t make me a selfish bitch – but I can’t. It’s too hard. You’re not like the others.”
“You – you heard?” The words tumbled from his lips, but he didn’t seem aware of them. He was staring at me, his mouth parted slightly and his eyebrows drawn together.
“I know about Lily – that she’s-”
“Don’t.” He muttered, interrupting me. “Em. You can’t tell people. Chambers went mad and was convinced that Lily was the next ‘Chosen One’ and taught her all of that... that stuff in secret. You have to promise me you’ll keep that between us. Please?”
He thought I was upset about Lily?
“Albus – no, I –”
“What? You’re not honestly saying you can’t keep this a secret. Fucking hell, Em, you of all people know that some good comes out of disobeying the authority. Or will you not do it because it’s for someone else? Is that it? You wouldn’t even do it for me, knowing that it’s my little fucking sister?”
“No!” I exclaimed, reaching forward in my desperation to take possession of his hand. He dropped my gaze to stare down at it. “I don’t care that your sister can perform Legilimency - why would that matter anyway? It’s supposedly mandatory for all Aurors. But – but that’s not what’s important right now.”
“About what?” His tone was suddenly cold. It made me pause, now hesitant.
“What Li- Lily said?” I murmured, pressing my lips together.
“It’s not important. None of it.”
“We wouldn’t work, you told me yourself. You don’t love me, and I – well, I shouldn’t love you.”
“Albus – don’t say that.” He had ripped his hand out of mine, and I was now, desperately, trying to claim it back. He glared at me, and I froze.
“Why not? It’s the truth, isn’t it?”
I shook my head fiercely.
“Fine. Go on then, tell me you love me. Tell me you can’t live without me. Come on, I dare you.” There was so much anger and bitterness in his eyes and on his face that I could do nothing but gape at him, wishing for him to stop. “You see? You don’t love me. You just – you just... You’re incapable of loving anything. You don’t even love yourself. You’re just path-”
“Albus. Get out. Get out now.”
I looked up.
Standing in the doorway was Rose, looking fiercer than I had ever seen her before.
She was wearing but a dress gown and her pyjamas, yet that didn’t matter. Her flaming red hair was wild and her eyes full of anger. She had her hands on her hips and her eyebrows rose dangerously. She was intimidating – scary, even.
Albus looked at me, all the hate gone from his eyes. He looked at though he had been slapped hard across the face, and brought back from a trance. His lips framed around my name, but no sound came from his mouth.
“Get out!” Rose cried, looking as though she wanted to launch herself at Albus and beat his lights out.
“I’m sorry, Em.” He whispered sadly, his hand briefly touching my cheek. “I’m sorry.”
I watched him walking away and felt as though I was going to be sick. Tears welled up in my eyes and spilled over the minute Rose wrapped her arms around me and promised that everything would be alright.
But it wouldn’t, would it?
I loved someone who didn’t trust me.
I loved someone who I could never have.
You would have thought that I had already exceeded the limit for a lifetime of tears, but I hadn’t.
I cried in my best friend’s comforting arms for what seemed to be hours, and still, those salty tears did not let up.
The pain in my chest, the aching in my heart grew heavy as the exhaustion and nausea crashed like a wave over me. I did not notice Rose side-long apparating us upstairs to our shared room as her family began to wake, or the stolen moments we shared together.
I did not know that Albus was receiving a letter, or that James was thinking about his girlfriend, or that Lily was trying to figure out if Roxanne was pregnant or not.
I was stuck; I was in a rut, and Rose was fighting to get me out of it.
When I woke, it was late morning. Eleven o’clock.
Rose was fast asleep, snoring slightly, with one arm wrapped loosely around me.
She looked so peaceful; it made the entire world suddenly seem so much better.
But it wasn’t, and I had to acknowledge that. I couldn’t just cry when things got bad, and run away. I had to fight, fight stubbornly like Rose was doing for me.
I slipped easily out from under Rose’s arm, and crossed the room to the desk by the window.
Typically Rose, upon the table there laid several sheets of parchments stacked neatly and a quill, waiting patiently to be used. In spite of myself and all that was going on in my life, I could not help but smile at that.
I sat down, slowly, and I picked up the quill.
“I do. I just don’t know how.”
“Yes, you do.”
I sighed. I could do this. I would do this. I would do this for her.
I picked up the quill, and allowed for the words to pour out of my heart and out of my mind onto the parchment in front of me. I could be honest in this, I could be honest to him.
Scorpius. Malfoy. Shitface. Whatever.
I’m sorry I suck. I’m annoying and I have been selfish. You’re a good friend – you’re also an asshole and a stuck up twat half the time as well, but behind all of that you are a good guy and you haven’t deserved all the shit I have put out.
At the party, I was attacked. I suppose you could say that. ‘Sexually attacked’?
But I fought back. I always do, don’t I?
However none of that matters, alright? What matters is that you need to be here right now. Not for me. I don’t need rescuing or protecting – Rose does.
She’s safe; don’t get your knickers in a twist. Physically, she’s grand. But, I don’t know, I just think that maybe for Christmas this year, she might actually get what she really wants?
What is that? Yes, yes, I’m getting there. Hold on. Patience.
Pretty much, she’s always been pining over this one guy since third year. She’s done everything to get his attention; she’s played dumb, she’s done her face up like a clown with make-up, she’s dated other guys – the lot. And yet, here we are, all these years later, and she’s alone. Its bullshit and it’s got to end. Now. Not next year. Right fucking now, before it’s too late.
She wants to be with you, you twat. Always has.
I know for a fact that you feel the same so, for once, don’t be a twat. Get your arse out of your stupid manner house and get to the Burrow. Immediately.
A.k.a this year’s Fairy Godmother/Father Christmas/Ebenezer Scrooge.
I was proud of myself. I’d done something right, for once.
Behind me, Rose began to stir, murmuring softly as she awoke from her undisturbed slumber.
“Em?” She was gazing at me sleepily, still in that blissful place between awake – and not quite awake. “Em... you were upset. Are you alright now?”
“It’s fine, Rose. I was just – well, in shock.”
‘Shock’? That’s how I was putting it?
I saw Albus’s face then, so real it was as though it were happening all over again. It was so full of revulsion, it made me shudder convulsively.
“Who are you writing to? Your mum?”
The very idea of it made me want to laugh.
“You can borrow my owl, he’s right over there.”
“Cheers, mine died ages ago.”
“Oh, that’s awful!” Rose exclaimed, sitting up quickly.
“Not really, I found it funny.”
I was sitting outside with Rose, in a rare moment of sunlight, when the Delacour-Weasley clan arrived. We were sitting on the warm grass, talking in quiet voices about anything that came to mind and my extended family ruined that simple, yet wonderful moment.
It was impossible not to notice their arrival, and even more so to ignore them and carry on.
Fleur stumbled around, swearing in French, Bill tripped over a gnome, swearing in English, and their children fell over each other and bickered and swore restlessly until they had all apologised to each other.
“Bill, help me!” My aunt shrieked. As she yelled, her French accent was suddenly heavier than I had heard it in a long time and it made me smirk slightly. “There is something crawling up my leg!”
“Bloody Nora. They really know how to make an entrance, don’t they?” I muttered to Rose, who had sat up straight and was staring at me strangely. “Hey. Don’t judge me. You’re related to them too. You’re just as mad.”
“Oh shush. I wasn’t even thinking that. I was just trying to work out whether you were glad that they had arrived or were still upset over my tosser of a cousin or... well, I was just being concerned.” Rose’s lips pursed, and she looked away. Her jaw had jutted out and she glared down at her shoes as though she were annoyed with them – or more plausibly, me.
“You’re not mad at me, are you Rose?” I blurted out in disbelief, pressing a hand against my mouth to stop me from laughing. “You are, aren’t you?” I couldn’t help but laugh then.
“Shut up.” She muttered, slapping my leg.
“And I thought I was the sensitive one around me. Jeez, Rosiekins, I’m sorry.” Still smirking, I unsuccessfully attempted to sound serious. Rose turned towards me again and she rolled her eyes.
“You’re so immature; no wonder you’re interested in Albus.”
Rose’s face froze. She had said it.
I took in a shallow, sharp breath and she smiled at me apologetically.
“I’m sorry. It – it just sort of slipped out.”
“That’s what she said.”
We both turned at the same time. My heart fluttered momentarily, recognising the wrong person, and then sank.
“Lysander Scamander, what in the name of Dumbledore are you doing here?” I exclaimed, unable to forget my heart, which was pounding erratically in my chest. “Shouldn’t you be off looking for weird and wonderful creatures that don’t actually exist?”
“Nope. Dom insisted on me spending Christmas here with her.” He responded cheerily, his crooked grin all too familiar to me. I wanted to squeeze my eyes closed, and ignore the boy who was suddenly on the verge of being a man, but I couldn’t. He was too much the same, yet he was so different.
“Oh.” I murmured, looking down. The bright, silvery gray eyes, so full of life and light, were on me as they had been so many times before, but I couldn’t handle it. I wanted to reach a hand up and brush the shaggy blonde hair from his eyes, but I knew I couldn’t.
“Ly – Ly, where are yo – Oh. Em. I didn’t know you’d be here.” Dominique, my dear sweet cousin, said as she approached, her smile completely gone now. Her eyes, slightly narrowed, looked me up and down, and then shifted to her boyfriend suspiciously. “I was hoping you’d carry my trunk upstairs?”
I rolled my eyes, pitying Lysander increasingly. She was of age, able to perform magic whenever she wanted, yet she still made him do her dirty work. He was still wrapped around her little finger, and he still did nothing about it.
“It’s so lovely to see you, Em.” Dom gushed, her two-facedness making me sick. She stooped low and kissed me on both cheeks before she snatched Lysander’s hand possessively and stalked away.
“S’later.” Ly called over his shoulder, grinning in a cheerful, albeit apologetic manner.
“I fucking hate her.” I muttered the minute they were out of sight. “I hope she falls in a pit and stays there.”
“Yes, bloody Dominique. I’d hardly call Lysander a ‘her’, now would I?” I snapped, irritated by Rose’s obliviousness – which to me was just plain stupidity.
“She seems friendly enough. I don’t know. I don’t usually see her; it’s mostly Victoire who comes around to visit.” Rose said neutrally with a shrug of her shoulders. I glowered, fighting off the desire to hex her.
“Ugh, Rose, you’re so annoying. Just agree with me for once, please?” I hissed as I scrambled to my feet. Rose, thinking I was in a strop because of her, stood up too and latched onto my arm.
“Fine. I loathe her, I wish she would go to – to somewhere bad and um, I hope she messes up her hair and gets mud on her face and has to eat snails. Oh wait, you people like snails, don’t you?”
“Us ‘people’ do not like snails, Rose. We like escargot. Get it right, will you?”
Rose laughed once, and then started to consider me curiously. I didn’t like the way her eyes searched my face, it reminded me of Lily Potter and the way she had stolen my thoughts and intruded on my private mind.
“You act strange around Lysander, why is that?” She inquired, painfully unaware of what it was that she was asking of me. “Do you fancy him or something?”
“Don’t go there, Rose. It’s too early for such bullshit.” I snapped before storming away from her, and into the house.
Rose stared for a moment with her mouth hanging open before she shook herself out of her reverie and hurried after me.
“But Em –” She was exclaiming as she ran into the back of me. I’d stopped in my tracks after entering the room to find my aunt and two cousins staring at me with very different expressions on their face. My Aunt Fleur looked at me with affection, whilst Victoire and Louis eyed me warily. We had not parted well, the last time we all met up.
“Good afternoon, darling!” My aunt exclaimed, her bright and sunny tone catching me off guard.
“Hi.” I mumbled in response.
“Hello, Em.” Louis mumbled, as awkward as I was. He forced a smile, and I do so in return.
“Em!” Victoire exclaimed, mimicking her mother. She boldly walked towards me, and threw her arms around me. She held me tightly, but I could feel that she was tense. No one, not even Victoire, could fool me. I saw right through her, just as I always had. “You look lovely!”
I wanted to laugh cruelly in her face over the irony of her statement. I had been crying for an hour straight sometime that morning, I had a split lip, I was pale and unkempt, and I had bruises on my face that had yet to recover.
Louis did not embrace me, but my aunt did the minute Victoire stepped away.
“How is your mother?” Fleur asked. Her accent was thick out of the blue again, as she wrapped her arms around me affectionately, and I nodded my head in response. “I hope you are not finding school to hard. I heard that you were sick – are you feeling better, darling?”
Again, I nodded.
“You do not look it. I am sorry, but you do not.”
Finally here was someone who truly saw me when they looked at me. I thought only Potters were capable of such feats.
“Your face – what has happened to your face?” She exclaimed in alarm, her fingertips lightly brushed against my swollen, tender lips and all my purple-green bruises.
“I fell.” I could have told the truth, but what good would that have done?
“You poor thing.”
She gave me a customary kiss on each cheek, just as Dom and Victorie had done, before she swept away in search of her husband, who was, no doubt, in the kitchen, hunting for ‘proper English food’.
Now only Louis was left, grinning impishly at me and Rose.
“How’s sixth year treating you?” I asked, attempting to start a conversation with him.
How easily I had forgotten; starting a conversation with Louis was damn near impossible.
“Had a good year so far?”
“Sick of Vicky’s pregnancy yet?”
“Sick of it? I’m dying.” I knew there was a reason I liked him more than the others.
“I can imagine.”
“No. You can’t. It’s all ‘do this’ ‘do that’ ‘get me a drink’ and ‘don’t do that you can endanger the baby’. The thing is a month old and she’s already gone mad.” He complained, his pretty – albeit handsome, of course - face crumpling in a mixture of annoyance, frustration and sadness. I smiled.
“It’s only been three days, Louis.”
“Don’t remind me. She’s going to be here for a month.”
I usually couldn’t stand Louis because he was, in a way, just like his sisters. He played the part of the happy child who lived in a happy world surrounded by happy people.
But now, I could see, as he aged, he was becoming more and more normal. He was wearing a dumpy sweater and jeans and not some designer suit that his mother had made him wear. His hair – which had always been well kept and combed – was a mess and he looked unhappy, tired, frustrated, bored and awkward.
Finally, my little cousin was becoming as miserable as everyone else in the world.
“Don’t worry kid, stick with me and she’ll avoid you like the plague. Apparently I have bad karma and it’s bad for unborn children. It’s bollocks, but hey! It doesn’t stop me sleeping at night and Victoire leaves me alone.”
Louis, then, did something he hadn’t done before – not by choosing to, I mean.
He hugged me. He honestly hugged me.
“Fucking hell, Louis. You smell like a rat – where have you been?”
“Go to hell, bitch.”
Whoever this new Louis was, l was totally digging him.
“Once you two have stopped making out, can we please go and get some breakfast?”
So, what do you think? Lily being able to perform Legilimency, Albus protecting her, Em writing to Scorpius, the introduction of Dom, Victoire, Fleur, Ly and Louis? I had a lot to cram in this chapter, and it’s the longest so far. My muse has been fickle lately, favouring photoshop and not fanfiction, and for that I am sorry. Don’t have much to say besides I would love it if you left me a review, and thank you, as always, for reading. Hope you enjoyed it!
Lyrics: It’s about time – Barcelona.
You should really check out of the song, or just the lyrics. It really fits Em, as do most songs by Barcelona, I have noticed. Maybe it’s just because of my love for them?
Who cares! Haha.
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