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Chapter 8 : Protectors of the Old Way.
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I didn’t know how long I had been asleep for, but I did know, that the last thing I did was have a painful conversation with my mother. The image of her closing the door on me kept playing in my mind. This, along with the throbbing sensation was making me want to scream out. Scorpius suddenly realised with a start that I was awake, and he looked at me with a grim expression on his face.
“What happened? It must have been something big, in order to splinch yourself like that,” he asked, nodding his head towards my leg. I shrugged at him. I did not want to speak for fear of crying. Scorpius smiled at me, and pushed a loose strand of hair out of my eyes. Then, he called Astoria, who ran into the room.
Scorpius stood up suddenly, and I looked at him surprised. I had only been awake for mere minutes, and he was leaving the room already. “Scorpius” I said. He stopped and looked at me. “I’ll tell you what happened” I said. I could already feel a lump in my throat, so I dreaded saying what had happened.
Taking a deep breath, I told them both what occurred, although I missed out the fact that I told them who had killed Uncle Percy. Astoria had become deathly pale, and Scorpius squeezed my hand so tightly, that I was sure it would burst. I asked them to leave me in peace once I had told them what I’d gone through.
I was not in the mood for sympathy. It seems strange, but sympathy, I was sure, would have made me cry even more. I cried into the darkness of the room. My family were always the source of my upset. It was as though the entire family had striven to upset me in any way possible. And then, there was my own mother. She had turned away her only daughter. Mudblood. It was the only word I could think of when I thought of my mother.
I looked down at my skin. Skin that comes from a Mudblood and a blood-traitor. It made me itch. It made me ashamed. My mind darted back to the book I’d been reading on the day that Uncle Percy had visited.
I could see the book in my mind’s eye. It was called “Inherrently Pure” and there was a line that I just couldn’t shake from my head. It kept replaying. Over and over. I stood up suddenly. I gasped as I put pressure on my splinched leg. Feeling shooting pains run up and down it, I thought about how this pain was because of my mother.
There was a pen on the bookcase, and I snatched it up, desperate to write the line somewhere. I was sure that if I wrote it somewhere, it would somehow leave my mind. I scanned the room for paper, but I couldn’t see anything at all. My leg was excruciatingly painful by this point, and I collapsed onto the bed. I felt the immediate relief of the weight being off of the leg. Although, I had nothing to write on, I was desperate to write.
The next thing I knew, my left hand was covered in my own handwriting. I felt relieved as I looked at it. The line was now out of my mind. It was written on my hand, over and over again and I felt my body relax as I re read it. People who originate from a long line of wizards should do all in their power to honour their magical roots and maintain the line of their ancestors...
A few days passed before I was back in full health. During the time I was stuck in the bedroom recuperating from my incident, there had started to be a group of people around the manor. I noticed on my first excursion to one of the lounges of the manor. I asked Scorpius who the people were on this day. We watched out of the window, as Draco spoke to a man on the grounds.
“I... don’t know” he said. “I didn’t really think about it,” he stated.
“Should we ask him?” I said quietly, as the two men shook hands and walked back towards the house.
A few minutes passed, as Draco said goodbye to the man, before Draco’s footsteps could be heard close by.
“Dad?” Scorpius called out. Draco answered and walked into the room. “Who... are all of these people around the Manor?” he asked slowly.
Draco walked into the middle of the room, and sat down on an armchair. He sighed slightly. “Oh, nobody” he stated, darting his eyes from me to Scorpius. Scorpius shook his head.
“You need to try better than that, Dad,” he stated, laughing.
Draco hesitated. “These people- they’re thinking about starting a new organisation for... people with a- certain background and they want the Manor as the base,” he said slowly. Draco was looking at me in particular now. It suddenly dawned on me that he’d want my opinion on it, for some reason.
“Who for? Ex-Slytherins?” I asked.
“Er, yeah... sort of” he said, smiling at me. I smiled back. “The Protectors.” He stated.
Scorpius was grinning. “I want to sign up!” he stated. I nodded, to show I felt the same. Draco went pale.
“Er...” he hesitated, “Scorpius, can I speak to you alone, please?” Scorpius nodded, and I stood up, limping out of the room with my face turning bright red.
I quietly waited outside of the door, wondering whether I’d be able to hear what they were speaking about, but whatever it was they needed to speak about must have been important, as I heard Draco cast a muffliatio spell on the door. I stepped back, feeling embarrassed that Draco thought that he would need to do that.
A few minutes passed, before Scorpius walked out of the room. He was red-faced and looked angry. I looked at him, wondering what the matter was. “Dad doesn’t want us to sign up. He says we’re too young.”
“What?!” I said. Both of us were 18, so we had been of age for a year already. Scorpius spent the entire day ranting. I’d never seen him so furious at his father. Or anyone, actually. That evening, an acquaintance of Draco’s stopped at the manor.
He was tall and fat, and his hair was combed over as an attempt to hide his bald patch. Scorpius ensured that we were in their presence when the man was speaking to Draco. He was smiling and asked Scorpius how he was. It was at this moment, Scorpius did something brilliantly manipulative. He told the man about his father’s reluctance to let us join the protectors.
As Scorpius told him, the man let out a huge belly laugh. “Well, your Dad joined up at 17!” He stated. Then, his smile dropped. I wondered what he meant. Draco had told us it was a new organisation. But nonetheless, Scorpius used this information to his advantage; later bringing it up in a conversation.
When Scorpius mentioned it, Draco’s face fell, and the colour drained from it slightly. Then, a few minutes later, Draco left the room, and returned once again, with a long piece of parchment in his hands.
He pulled it out, and on it, there was a list of signatures. It was a list of the members. Scorpius signed it happily. As I was about to sign, I noticed the heading. The Protectors of the Old Way.
I looked at it for a second, wondering the meaning. “The old way?” I said aloud. I looked over at Draco.
“The old way. The protection of pure-bloods... and half-bloods” he added, nodding towards me.
I paused, pondering the meaning. Scorpius looked at me. I could tell that Draco was also looking at me. Without a word, I put the quill to the paper and wrote my name. Then, Draco took the parchment, without saying a word and left the room.
I felt a hand in mine as I stood there.
As the next few days passed, I realised fully what I had gotten myself in to. It was a pro-pureblood organisation. If my parents knew...
But that was the problem. Would they really care? My mother had already let her feelings be known about me. Plus, what I’d done to Uncle Percy was unforgivable anyway. I was sure they’d pretty much disowned me by this point.
In the next few weeks, I did something I never imagined I would. I rejected the offer to play Quidditch with the Tornadoes. I wanted to be a good wife, and possibly mother when the time arose and I felt that could be best done if I was not away from home regularlly.
We’d set the date for the wedding. It was going to happen on the seventh of January, which was now, only a few months away.
I couldn’t believe it! I was marrying my first love. I couldn’t help but think about how lucky I was to be doing so. So many people don’t end with their first love, but I could see Scorpius and I growing old together. Having children, maybe even grandchildren.
I’d stopped worrying about telling my parents. They didn’t want to know anything about me before, so why should they know this? I was thinking to myself on a dreary, Autumnal day. We were just about to have the first meeting of Protectors, and I re-applied the new lipstick that Astoria bought me. It cost more money than all of my mother’s make up combined, I thought. I scolded myself for this. The closest thing I have to a mother is Astoria I told myself.
The meeting was held in the elaborate dining room of the manor. The members of the Protectors all seemed to be acquaintances of Draco or Astoria in some way. Most of them were men, and the few women, were harsh looking and intimidating. Astoria was the nicest looking woman there. Many of the men kept smiling at both her and me. I felt extremely uncomfortable, and I was wishing that I could just fade into the backdrop.
As the meeting began, I realised again, what I’d let myself in for. Their thoughts and opinions were much stronger than anticipated, and I felt a little bit uncomfortable. “What better way to start than to capture Potter!” Someone said, laughing. I suddenly realised the topic of conversation and started to listen intently. Everyone on the table began to agree, including Scorpius. I didn’t even want to think at that point. I just wanted to hear what was happening.
“He’s in hiding, since the thing with the Weasley...” someone stated. The room fell silent. I was holding my breath, desperate to hear what was going to be said on the matter. “But,” the voice continued, “we have someone who could access him...” she said.
Suddenly, everyones eyes were looking at me. I slunk further down in the seat. “I...I don’t know” I said quietly. It was a weak thing to say, but I couldn’t think of anything else. I couldn’t even process what they’d asked of me.
As the meeting ended, Draco walked up to me. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want” he stated, patting my back. I nodded to say I was grateful. Joining an organisation like this was one thing, but capturing my uncle to bring notoriety to the cause? I couldn’t do it.
Scorpius had other ideas. He spoke about it excitedly. He spoke about how exciting it would be. How much respect the cause would gain because of it... I told him I couldn’t do it, and he stopped mid sentence. He suddenly seemed angry. He asked me why. I couldn’t explain it, the way I wanted to. I wasn’t a killer. I knew that would be what it meant, and I knew it was something I couldn’t do.
“Have you forgotten what your family did to you!?” Scorpius stated, aggressively. “They disowned you, Rose. Why? Because you were a Slytherin.” I looked at him sadly. I understood him. It made sense, I knew it.
“Rose, I love you. You know I do. You need to do this. For yourself,” he said. His voice softer now. “We’ll be married in a few weeks, anyway. We can go abroad if you like, once you’ve done this” he stated, putting his hand in mine. I smiled at him. I could see passion in his face and it made me smile.
“Maybe then, provided you do this, we could have some kids...” he said, uncertainly. I grinned at this thought. I’d been daydreaming about children for a while, but I was worried it would scare him; to bring it up before we were even twenty years old. I nodded, smiling still.
“So you’ll do it!?” he asked. I suddenly remembered what I was smiling at. Then I realised. It was a proposition. I could capture Harry Potter and have children, or I could stay here, do nothing, and have no children... I looked into his eyes, wondering whether he meant it. His face showed no sign that he was lying, and I felt myself close to tears.
I loved Scorpius more than I could comprehend, and having a baby with him would be bliss. I couldn’t take that away from myself.
“I...I’ll do it.”
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