The evening after I agreed to the task was followed by a night of restlessness. Eventually, I fell asleep at around six in the morning. Less than an hour later, I was woken by Scorpius. He smiled at me and kissed my forehead, telling me to get up. “We’ve got a big day ahead of us!” he announced cheerfully.
I bit my tongue to remain quiet. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation, but Scorpius’ bright mood was irritating. I was his future fiancé and today, I was expected to kill a member of my own family. Why was he so upbeat?
He looked at me once more, and laughed. “No chance of a lie-in today, I’m afraid!”
Refusing to say anything, I began to dress. I dressed as I used to look. Simple clothing, no makeup and my hair tied back. I looked much more innocent. Much more youthful.
I looked at Scorpius to get his opinion. He just shrugged. Now I was tempted to say something. He began to hum a song. It wasn’t something I was familiar with, but it irritated me.
“What are you so thrilled about?” I snapped. He looked over his shoulder at me.
“Nothing,” he said a tone of surprise in his voice. I snorted. “What’s your problem?” he asked.
I couldn’t believe he had to ask. “You really are a dumbass sometimes,” I stated. He looked surprised. “Or have you forgotten that I’ve got to betray my family- more than I already have?” I sat down on the bed. Scorpius sat next to me. His expression was solemn.
“They betrayed you. This is payback.” He stated slowly, putting his hand on mine. I looked over at him. I felt a tear run down my face.
“What if I don’t want payback?” I whispered.
Scorpius stood up. “You need to do this. Think about what they’ve done to you! What about that Mudblood mother of yours?”
I paused. “But-“
“Do you want to go back to them and live happily ever after? Well, it just isn’t possible. You can’t pretend you don’t know that.”
“But, it’s never a good thing to fight fire with fire, is it?” I stated. Scorpius’ face was now blotchy and red. I could see his anger.
“I can’t believe that’s what you think! After all they’ve done to you! You need to do this Rose! I love you so much. You know I do. Always have, in fact. But we can’t fight all of your battles for you!” His passion was clear, and I felt a rush of affection for him, despite how I felt.
I turned away from him, and I heard him leave the room. I could feel my body shake as I threw myself onto the bed. I was expecting to cry, but I couldn’t.
I felt as though I was unable to move. After what seemed like a long amount of time, a gentle knock issued from the other side of my door. Without being invited in, somebody walked in. It was Astoria.
She sat down on the bed, and touched my arm. I looked up at her. Her expression was that of concern. She sighed. “Scorpius is really concerned about you, you know.” She stated.
I sat up. “It’s really important to him that you do this,” she continued. “If you don’t do it for yourself, then please just do it for Scorpius,” she whispered. Before I could process what she’d said, she’d exited the room.
Her words resonated in my mind. Just do it for Scorpius. I looked down at my hand and admired the engagement ring placed on my finger. I felt my insides clench at the sight of it. Soon, I would be Mrs. Malfoy. We would be giving our life to one another.
If my parents taught me anything, it was that you compromise for the ones that you love. My parents seemed so different, but they put those differences aside to be with one another. It was what I’d have to do, too. I just knew it.
I walked out of the room and towards the dining room of the Manor. I saw a small amount of Protectors, and among them, Scorpius. The entire room ceased to speak when I entered it, and I could feel the gaze of expectant eyes on me.
“I’m going to do it” I said quietly. No one in the room reacted. I was sure that nobody had actually heard what I’d said. “I’ll do it,” I stated, louder this time.
“How do we know you will?” A stocky, bald man asked. I felt my cheeks go pink. There were so many people at this moment in time that had no belief in me at all. I looked over at Scorpius and I noticed that he was looking into space, not really registering what was happening in the room.
“We’re all thinking it, right now. Only, no-one wants to say it... How do we know that you’ll stick to your decision?”
I remained silent. I began to look everywhere except at people’s faces. I was determined to avoid the look of distrust on all of their faces.
“An unbreakable vow,” a woman stated. Her voice was quiet but purposeful, and everyone in the room turned to see who the woman was. Astoria. Her face was stony, and she was pale.
I nodded. Words would not materialise from my mouth. Do it for Scorpius.
The entire group looked around, searching for somebody willing to fulfil the vow with me. Scorpius stepped forwards. His face was pale, and I could see him shaking. I took his hand, and a tall man with long hair stepped forwards to carry out the vow.
Perhaps he stated his name, and I was too nervous to hear it, but I was sure that the man did not disclose his name. I stepped forwards, and put my hand into Scorpius’. He gripped it so tightly; I could feel my pulse in my hand racing.
The man placed the tip of his wand onto my hand, and he began to speak in a low, slow voice. “Rose Weasley, will you return to your family home, ensuring that no family members are aware of your mission?” The man paused and I nodded. My voice was refusing to work on me. I was concentrating on the pressure of Scorpius’ hand.
“-and, should a situation arise, where you are alone with Harry Potter himself, will you...” he hesitated, his eyes flickering with malice, “assassinate Potter?”
A loud collection of gasps issued throughout the room, but no one dared to speak, for fear of missing my reaction. I could feel the bile rising in the back of my throat, and I felt sick to my stomach. There was nothing I could do now. I had no other choice but to agree.
I say yes, but I say it so quietly, no one in the room can hear me. Instead of speaking again, for fear of being sick, I nod. I expect the room to erupt in whispers, but I found instead that the room was deathly silent. I feel my knees shaking, but I’m determined not to collapse. My hand feels strange as I pull it out of Scorpius’ grasp. There is a slight indentation in my hand from his nail, where he was holding my hand so tightly.
I look up at Scorpius and his face is white. I can see tiny beads of sweat forming on his forehead. I wait to hear something comforting, although I knew it would never happen.
“I love you” he whispered, placing his hand on my shoulder. I nodded, hoping that my expression told him I felt the same way. I knew if I spoke, I would cry.
Suddenly, I hear someone in the room, and realise that we are still being watched by the rest of the Protectors.
I begin to walk out of the manor, and Scorpius runs up behind me. “1st of September, I was thinking. The day we met. You know, to get married...” he stated.
I looked away, knowing I would cry at any second. I let my hand brush his, but don’t let a word escape my mouth as I apparate away.
I’m surprisingly focussed, and I apparate only a few minutes away from my parents home. I wonder whether they’d be at work right now. I wondered whether Hugo would be home for the Christmas Break, which was arriving very quickly.
I smiled suddenly. Hugo would be 17 now. Studying for his N.E.W.Ts and planning his future career. It made me so sad that I’d missed that.
I made my way up the garden path. I noted how everything was almost exactly the same, even down to the colour of the plant pots in the different corners of the gardens. When I finally reach the door, I go to knock, but something tells me to just walk in unannounced.
I push the door open as silently as I can, and the smell of my mother’s cooking hits me. I feel hungry immediately. I walk into the seemingly empty house, and move towards the kitchen. I hear two voices. A male’s voice and a female’s voice.
Feeling curious, I push the door open. Two people are stood there. A tall young man, and a slim brunette girl. Both people turn to face me, and the young man’s smile drops from his face. “Rose” he states. His face is pale white now, and his eyes are wide with shock.
I suddenly realise who this man is. Hugo. He’s changed from the last time I saw him, and it makes me feel exceptionally guilty for not being around for my little brother.
“If Mum knew you were here...” he began to say, unsure of what to do.
“I... I left Scorpius,” I began. I felt horrible for the lie, but I reminded myself that it wasn’t the worst thing I’d have to do. I felt tears well in my eyes for that reason. Hugo rushed to my side, and hugged me. “I need to hide from him,” I continued wildly. “Please, Hugo.”
Hugo grabs my hand and looks at the watch on his wrist. “Mum’s going to be back in 10 minutes. Get in my room. Stay quiet,” he states, pushing me upstairs.
I reach Hugo’s room, and I am just about to go into it, when I see my own bedroom. It still had a sign on it. ROSE, it stated in green and grey. I smiled to myself at the nostalgia. Hugo had actually created it for me once, and I stuck it proudly onto my door with permanent Spell-o-tape. I pushed the door open, and it creaked loudly.
When I walked in, I couldn’t help but gasp. The room was exactly how I’d left it. Socks strewn around on the floor, books open on my desk.It wasn’t dusty, which I found strange. Surely, after a few years, it would have accumulated some dust? But somehow it had not. I wondered whether anyone had been cleaning it.
From downstairs, I heard a loud popping noise, suggesting that my mother had returned home. I felt suddenly nervous that she was now in the house, and I wondered what she would do if she knew of my presence.
I sat down on my bed, and found my diary on the table. I picked it up, and opened it. I forgot that I got my father to cast a spell on it, so it made an alarm if you don’t say the password first.
“INTRUDER! IMPOSTER! TRESSPASSER! READING ROSE’S DIARY! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE IT IF SOMEONE READ YOUR DIARY, YOU SNEAK!” I threw the diary down immediately, but the damage had already been done. I heard footsteps hurtling up stairs, and suddenly, the door flew open.
Stood in the doorway, was my mother. Her hair wild, and her expression livid. Hugo was behind her, looking at the floor. Slowly, my mother turned to Hugo. “Go downstairs, Hugo,” she said it quietly, yet forcefully, and Hugo obeyed immediately.
My mother walked into the room and quietly closed the door. “Explain yourself” she stated.
I explained how I’d left Scorpius because I missed my family, and I also told her how I’d been ashamed of everything I’d done to the family. “I just want to be at home” I stated quietly. At this second, I suddenly realised that it was the truth. I felt like an idiot for being out of the family for so long. I hated what I’d done to them. And what I was going to do to them. There was no way to escape it, other than the unthinkable.
I began to cry. My mother cried too. She tried to hug me, but I knew I didn’t deserve it. Especially considering my fate.
My father came home a few minutes later. Hugo had clearly told him the situation, because he ran into my room, tears in his eyes, and hugged me. I tried to pull away, but he was holding me so tightly that I couldn’t. “You’re safe here” he stated. “You don’t ever have to leave.”
I felt sick on behalf of my parents. I was betraying them in the worst way possible. I feel the ring dig into my thigh through my jeans pocket, and it reminds me once more that I’m doing this for Scorpius.