Chapter 9 : First Words
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It was March, the day of the hearing, and Scorpius was excused from classes, as was I. Although knew I never would have been able to concentrate, it was really that the nanny who usually flooed in was needed at the hearing to make a statement and someone had to be with Charlotte. Luckily, Dom and Al promised to let us borrow notes. I spent the day playing with Lottie, wondering if I’d ever see her again. The will had been clear, and Scorpius had looked five year older when he left that morning in dress robes, notes carefully jotted down on a huge scroll. But money talked, and so did a Dark Mark, even if it supposedly didn’t mean anything now, it still said watch out, you don’t want to be on my bad side like nothing else.
It was already growing dark outside, the twilight painting the world blue and the humidity from the afternoon’s rain fogging up the windows, making the outside world nothing more than a hazy sapphire glow.
Scorpius clamored through the portrait hole, and kicked his shoes off tiredly before coming over and sitting down at my side on the sofa.
“Well?!” I demanded, as Lottie grinned at her uncle and cuddled closer to my shoulder.
“They…” he began, then broke into a face-splitting grin, “They ruled in favor of the will. They said that it was plain and concise, and left no room for argument, especially with the testimonies of all the adults. Your Mum was brilliant Rose!”
My own face felt like it was going to crack from my smile, but I did manage to get out a smug, “Who do you think I got it from?” he rolled his eyes at me and held his hands out to Charlotte, who went obligingly. As I watched Scorpius bounce Lottie above his head, grinning at her giggles, I realized how badly I wanted to stay a part of this little family.
Dad had his arm around my shoulders. We walked inside and sat down, while I craned around, unsure of where, exactly, we were. After a bit I gave up, and just sat there, enjoying being with my dad. He smiled at me, asked me a question, I answered and laughed…laughed until I was crying, and then I couldn’t stop…
Rose, sweetie, wake up…”
I bolted upright in bed, gasping, tears running down my face. Scorpius was leaning over the bed, shirtless with a burp cloth over his shoulder. My heart was pounding furiously, feeling like it might thump right out of my chest. I choked out a sob and wiped frantically at my face, as I turned my head away from Scorpius. I had forgotten to pull the drapes in my haze last night, and I could see dawn stealing over the grounds, turning the fresh green spring growth deep blues and purples as the sun slowly made its way to the horizon.
The bed dipped under Scorpius’s weight, and I flinched as he pulled my hair over my shoulder, smoothing it down my back. I leaned forward, sobbing silently, as his legs brushed mine when he crossed them and scooted closer. “Rose…” he whispered, kneading the skin at the back of my neck tenderly. I silently shook my head at him.
“What’s wrong? Sweetie, please, what’s wrong, what did you dream?” he begged.
I shook my head again, and pointed wordlessly at the desk under one of the dawn-kissed views. He stared at me, then got up and walked over. I watched him sift through the scattered papers, vaguely noting that my cheeks were sticky from my tears. He found the letter, and brought it back to the bed, lighting my wand and reading silently, while I padded into the bathroom and washed my face. I already knew the words he was reading for the first time. It wasn’t just that I had already read it. They were the same words, the same excuses and apologies that were always in the notes from Daddy Dearest. Things like I’m sorry, and I deeply regret and It will never happen again and, of course, my personal favorite-I’ve changed.
I choked back a laugh as I dried my now salt-free face. They had been good words, a good letter, the first time, but I had heard these phrases countless times. When the owl arrived late last night, I had known, when I saw his handwriting, what it would say, it was always the same thing, wasn’t it? The same problems, the same lies, the same apologies. And I was sick of it. Because then this happened. Even if I wouldn’t, couldn’t, let him back into my waking mind, my heart took it up with my brain while I was asleep, reminding me of how good it felt to have a dad, to be loved and cherished and taken care of by a father.
I wandered back to the bed, pulling an over-sized sweater over my tank top on the way. I laid down facing Scorpius and fiddled with the ribbed cuff of my sweater.
“Rose, this is what upset you?” Scorpius asked hesitantly. I nodded. “It seems…to me…like this is a good thing.” He murmured hesitantly, scooting over and sitting by my head.
“Yeah, it was. The first time, but now that I know what he’s going to have written before I open the letters because he’s apologizing for the same thing, yet again…not such a good thing.” I climbed into his lap, and he leaned back against the headboard. “I don’t know, maybe he’ll change eventually, but it’s too hard in the mean time. It’s been ten years Scorp. It hurts.”
“I’m sorry sweetie. I’d take it away if I could.” I could feel his lips moving in my hair as he spoke. I smiled in spite of myself.
“You know, there’s only one other person who’s ever said that to me.” I told him.
“Yup, Mum.” I confirmed, wishing grimly I could take away her pain, too.
Scorpius’s hand was making a circuit up and down my back, and his heart thudded under my ear. I burrowed closer, breathing in the spearmint and boy-smell that was inherently Scorpius.
“I dreamed about Dad.” I said quietly after ten minutes of silence. “He was being nice, and I…wasn’t afraid. I wasn’t worried about how long it was going to last. I wasn’t anything, except happy.”
Scorpius hissed out a breath and tilted my chin up towards his face. “And that made you scream?” he asked, looking crushed and venomous, both at once, a strange combination.
“I screamed?” I was startled.
“Yup, I thought it was Lottie, hence the burp cloth, but once I got over to her crib I realized she was asleep, and then I heard you again. It scared the hell out of me.” I looked down, ashamed and angry. In what twisted world did dreaming about your dad make you scream? “Hey. Look at me.” I glanced up. “I will always be here to make your nightmares go away, do you understand me?” I nodded quickly.
“It upset me because it reminded me of what I can’t have.” I confessed.
“Oh, sweetie,” Scorp kissed my lips quickly, and held me tighter. By this time, the sun had risen, and it brought my spirits up with it. Lottie cried from the other room, and I went to get her. Scorpius was still sitting on my bed when I got back, and I smirked at Charlotte. “Look at him, acting like he owns my bed.” I murmured to the happy little girl. “Oi you, off the bed.” I said, only half-joking.
“Aw, why?” he asked, all innocence.
I raised an eyebrow at him. “Let’s see…no shirt…plus Quidditch…plus the light of day…equals you, getting a shirt or getting off the bed.” I told him tartly.
“Am I tempting you?” he asked with a smug grin, crossing his arms over his bare chest and looking for all the world like king of the hill.
“To stay in here and do nothing but kiss you all day? Yeah. But we can’t do that, can we Lottie?” I asked her, bouncing her in my arms. I was next to the bed now, and she leaned towards Scorpius.
“Da da!” she squealed. My mouth dropped open, and the self-satisfied look slid right off of Scorp’s face. When I didn’t hand her to him she scrunched up her face and started bawling. He got up and took her, looking dazed. “Da da…” he muttered, looking dazed. “Did you teach her?” he said, looking at me in befuddlement.
“Nope, not me; maybe Dom did it. Or maybe she just learned on her own somehow.” I wasn’t sure how, but there she was, almost nine months old, calling her uncle Da da. Who’d have known, eight months ago when we stepped on the Hogwarts Express, as strangers, that we’d be standing here, like this.
“She loves you,” I said, resting my chin on his shoulder. “Don’t stress out about it, they would want her to be happy, just like she is now.” I pressed a kiss to his neck, and he groaned.
“Now who’s tempting who?” he shot over his shoulder as we walked out of the room, Lottie waving a fist at me over his shoulder while I smirked at his back.
We made it through our N.E.W.T.S. alive, though barely. Strangely, Dom and Al, who had no baby to take care of, seemed more exhausted than Scorp and I did, although my theory was that they’re softer than we are. We’d been juggling a load of school work, plus Head responsibilities and Lottie for ten months, while they’d had considerably less to do, so we managed our time better. At least, that was what I told Al when he demanded how I wasn’t peeling paint off the walls yet one morning half way through testing.
And then suddenly we were packing and getting ready to go back to our homes. Scorpius was moving into his sister’s London flat, and I was going to live with Mum. I had all of my things neatly packed into my trunk and ready to go by the time Scorp was halfway through Lottie’s room, where he was growling at random pieces of tape and shoving baby clothes rather forcefully into boxes.
“Having fun?” I smirked and a footie sleeper went flying.
“No,” he said, heaving a sigh and plopping down into the rocking chair, “but at least Charlotte’s happy.” He indicated the little girl who was happily rocking away on her broom.
“You’re making this way to hard on yourself. Accio Charlotte’s clothes.” I waved my wand over the whole room, and one I had them all floating in the air, “Plica Charlotte’s clothes,” then deposited them into a boxed and taped it up. “Accio Charlotte’s toys.” And they went into another box. Scorpius was staring at me with a mixture of horrified why-didn’t-I-think-of-that and gratitude, as he grudging lifted his wand and started in on the bed linens.
We were finished with her room in ten minutes.
I was just giving myself a quiet pat on the back after depositing a stack of boxes by the portrait hole, when Scorp put his boxes down and slipped an arm around my waist, pulling me closer. “I knew there was a reason I was keeping you around,” he murmured in my ear, “Thank you.”. The warmth of his breath was doing funny things to my insides, but I tried to ignore it. “Humm, wanted for my mind…not a bad way to go…” I mused.
“Well,” he kissed behind my ear, “not just,” a kiss on my neck, “your mind.” He placed a light kiss on my collar bone, then came up to my mouth. “There are…other reasons,” he muttered against my lips, tightening his hold on my waist and bringing the other hand to cup my cheek before kissing me deeply. When we broke apart for air I suddenly remembered what I’d been about to do when he kissed me, and smacked his chest forcefully, not that it did much damage.
“Humpf,” I arched one eyebrow at him in what I hoped was a dangerous manner and planted my hands on my hips. He grinned at me and I turned around to walk off, slightly miffed but not all that upset. I knew he wasn’t using me, but I couldn’t let him off the hook easy, now could I?
“Hey!” he grabbed my hips and pulled me back against him, releasing my hips and wrapping his forearms around my chest. “Your heart. I love you for your heart.”
I stiffened. He loved me? We’d never exchanged those three words before, and while I knew how I felt, I hadn’t expected him to feel that strongly for months, if not years. I knew how much I relied on him, depended on him, needed him, but figured, Scorp being the bloke and all, he wouldn’t…
“Sweetie….Rose?” he asked, loosing his grip. “You don’t have to say anything…I just…it’s just…”
I spun around in his embrace and wrapped my arms around his neck. “I love you.” Three little words, they changed nothing and everything. Scorpius whooped and kissed my again, backing me up against the wall and cradling my face in his hands, thumbs tracing patterns on my cheeks as my fingers tangled in his hair.
Whoops, I guess I might have let him off the hook a little easy…
A/N: Hehe...Hi guys...I know it's been a while...okay, a, erm, long while. If it makes you feel any better, I have been writing! A condensed, five week college course in writing I started in July has kept me up to my eyeballs(and sometimes higher!) in typing, but the final is only a day away, and the last paper is finished, so hopefully I'll be able to write more again.
Now, on to news about the story:
I orginally was going to take this through the end of Hogwarts and then have a epilogue set a few years later...but I changed my mind. There's going to be at least another two chapters, maybe three, PLUS the epilogue. Maybe more, I figured I'd finish around five or six when I started, so this is huge. As is this author's note. I'm done now :)
Be sure to drop me a review!!
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