Chapter 5 : Happy Christmas... Sort of
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“Maybe is best you leave me alone,
A weight is lifted, on this evening,
I give the final blow.”
—It ends tonight, The All-American Rejects
Julian and Amelia, wonderful CI by rojia @ TDA
I walk through the snow, leaving footprints in my wake listening to the slight crunching sound underneath my feet.
I step up to the door, sighing, and knock on the door tentatively, quietly, as if I’m hoping no one will answer.
… Which I kind of am.
The door swings open to reveal a timid looking house elf standing in the warmth of the big mansion.
“Hey, there, Willow,” I say, flipping her a galleon as I pull my hood down. I smile at her.
She smiles back at me and says, “Willow is glad to see Master Scorpius, but Willow cannot accept so much money from him. Willow must give the galleon back to Master Scorpius.”
I roll my eyes at the tiny house elf. “Just take it, Willow. Please. It’s nearly Christmas, for Merlin’s sake.”
Willow smiles again. “Willow thanks Master Scorpius.”
I smirk slightly. “Master Scorpius accepts Willow’s thanks.”
Willow laughs and ushers me inside the house, walking me to the dining room, even though I know very well where it is, and then taking my coat and putting it on the coat hanger outside the door.
I step through the hall and open the large mahogany doors and sit down at the dining table, not caring that no one is there.
I sit in silence, watching the flame of the candle flicker, making light dance off the walls, making shadows move in strange ways.
The door opens and my parents and Grandparents enter.
I stand up from my seat politely before sitting back down quickly, not saying a word to any of them.
My parents sit across the long table from me, and my Grandparents sit at each end, leaving me stranded on the right side of the table.
“You know,” my mother starts off, “You should bring a date next year, Scorpius. Then you wouldn’t be so alone.” I immediately think of Rose, but my mother says, “Emma called again.”
I grimace as I think of Emma. She’s so fake. So annoying and rude, not in the least like Rose… Rose… Who’s so beautiful… So brilliant and funny… Who’s smile lights up her face…
“Leave the boy alone, Astoria,” my father says. “He’ll talk to Emma when he’s ready, my love.”
Narcissa (yes, I call my Grandparents by their first names) asks, “Did you hear about the Potters?”
I stiffen, staring at the table cloth to avoid the glances they shot at me.
“I have,” My mother supplies, “Nobody knows what it is, but they’ve been acting strange since their eldest son was involved in a Quidditch accident and wound up in the hospital.”
“St. Mungos?” Lucius asks, and they all turn to me.
I look up at them quickly, and then go back to staring at the table cloth.
It’s black with a pattern of white and golden flowers etched through it. Roses…
Why does everything remind me of her?
“Scorpius?” My father asks gently. “What’s wrong with James Potter?”
Slowly, I shake my head. “It’s his life. I’m not going to tell you so you can go gossip about him.”
Lucius snorts. “Since when do you care about Potter?”
I glare at him. “He’s my friend. I don’t care what you have to say about that.”
They all look at each other, and finally Narcissa murmurs, “But I need something to tell my friends.”
Merlin. She sounds like a whiny little child.
I look up at her, my temper flaring, and snap, “Oh? Well, why don’t you tell them about that month in Africa when you and Grandfather paid for me to stay at that Muggle woman’s home?”
Somewhere in my head, red lights are going off, and I’m screaming at myself, shut the hell up before you mention the Ebola! and Are you bloody insane? Dangerous topic! Dangerous topic!, but I don’t care. I’m past the point of just anger, and I feel like my blood is boiling over.
Something bad is going to happen, and yet I still can’t shut my mouth.
See? This is why I avoid my family as much as possible.
Narcissa and Lucius both look nervous, (rightfully so), and my father and mother turn to them, outraged.
“You did what?” My father cries, glaring at his parents.
“How could you?” My mother gasps, her face flushed.
Lucius turns on me, trying to direct the attention away from him and Narcissa. “You kept secrets too! You were acting odd afterward and you wouldn’t tell us what was wrong with you!”
Suddenly, the room goes silent. I look down at the floor and admit, “The hat put me in Ravenclaw for a reason. It was…” I pause, and then let out a bark of laughter. “It said that I was wise beyond my age, and that it was sad to see a child who had suffered so much.”
Confusion flashes across the faces of my father, Lucius, and Narcissa.
My mother glowers. “What exactly did you suffer through?” she hisses angrily. “If you’re trying to say we are awful parents, then you have something to learn, young man.”
I look up, glaring across the table at them, and suddenly, the words seem to spill out of my mouth, and I realize that I don’t really care who knows all of a sudden. “When I was staying with the Muggle woman, I caught a disease called Ebola.” I take a deep breath and continue, “The disease kills nearly everyone who catches it. You vomit for days and then bleed. It lasts from two to twenty one days. There is no cure. Some people live, others don’t.”
The silence continues for a moment as I stop talking, and then my mother begins to cry. My father looks completely shocked.
Lucius and Narcissa don’t say anything.
“Why-why didn’t you tell us?” My father breathes, staring at me, his silver eyes slightly pleading.
I sneer. “I was terrified. Of you all and what you would say.”
“Why tell us now?” Narcissa demands cruelly.
I let out a harsh laugh again. “I don’t give a damn anymore. I really don’t give a fuck. That’s why.”
“I assume we were the first ones you told about this,” Lucius growls at me.
I turn away, grab my coat off the coat hanger outside the door, and say, “No. You weren’t.”
“What?” My mother asks brokenly.
I wrap my cloak tighter around me and turn back to them. “James Potter was the first person I told, and he had the heart to comfort me, unlike you.”
And, with that, I turn from the Malfoy manor, my temper flaring, slamming the door shut behind me as I take off into the night.
I wake up to find my flat silent and empty.
Just how I like it.
Suddenly, I remember that I’m supposed to be going to the Potter’s house for Christmas today.
I get dressed quickly and eat a small breakfast. It’s around noon. I still have a few minutes to get there.
I apparate to the door, and as I am about to knock, loud, very angry sounding voices stop me.
“—Not fair, Uncle Ron,” Al protests.
“I don’t care!” Ronald Weasley explodes. “I don’t like him!”
“Dad,” Rose says, “You just don’t like his father, which isn’t fair. Scorpius hates his family too.”
“I. Don’t. Like. Him. I don’t want him treating James!”
“Well, that’s not really your choice, is it?” James’s voice cuts through the raw panic in the room like a knife. “I’m the one who’s probably going to die, so I think I’m the one who gets to choose who treats me.”
“James,” an unfamiliar voice says.
“I trust him, and I know he’ll try his damnedest not to let me die.”
“James,” that unfamiliar voice says again.
“So, I suggest you trust him too, because he’s staying.”
There are loud protests, and then footsteps, and the door flies open as I stumble back a few steps.
James slams the door behind him and rushes past me, not even realizing that I’m standing here.
I follow him around the corner to the other side of the house and watch as he sits down on a bench and begins to cry.
I walk over and settle down on to the bench next to him. He doesn’t seem to notice me and continues to cry his heart out.
I touch his shoulder gently, and he looks up at me, forcing a weak smile on his face. I smile softly back, and he murmurs, “You heard all of that, didn’t you?”
I smirk, and in an attempt to cheer him up slightly I say, “I should be in Slytherin for my eavesdropping skills alone.”
James lets out a watery laugh and says, “Thanks for trying.”
“To comfort you?” I grimace. “You know I’m not good at this kind of thing. I never have been.”
He nods, tears still dripping down his face.
“Jamie,” I whisper, using a nickname that Al and Rose had come up with during our first year. I later came up with nicknames for them, hence Rosie and Allie.
Yeah, I know. Not very creative, but hey, I was elven.
I wrap my arm around him and say, “Everything will be okay. I promise.” I watch as he slowly shakes his head. “You can’t believe otherwise,” I murmur, tightening my arm around him, quietly letting him that I’m still here.
Albus Potter’s P.O.V.
I glance out the window to see James sitting on a bench outside, snow drifting around him.
I feel my heart go out to him, and am about to go outside and comfort him, when, at that moment, I see Scorpius hug him, whispering something in his ear. James laughs weakly, clearly at some joke Scorpius attempted.
I turn away from the frosty window and say to Uncle Ron, “Why exactly do you hate him?”
Everyone looks at me, and I point out the window.
Rose moves first. She peers out the window and smiles softly, her blue eyes landing on Scorpius.
I hear her whisper his name softly.
Suddenly, I realize something for the first time, a small overlooked detail occurring to me.
Rose is in love with Scorpius.
I thought she just liked him as more than a friend!
Come on, Al. How could you be so daft?
Well, I’m not a Ravenclaw.
… Scorpius is.
Everyone else joins Rose and I at the window, pushing others aside to peer out at James and Scorpius. I look at the two of them again.
Scorpius is whispering softly to James, who is still crying. James is shaking his head, his dark brown eyes set and looking deeply hurt, but then Scorpius says something else and James freezes slightly.
Their eyes meet.
Finally, slowly, James nods.
Scorpius pats his shoulder and nods to the window.
None of us move fast enough, so they both catch us staring at them through the window.
James glares at all of us while Scorpius just rolls his eyes, smirking the Malfoy smirk that he loves oh so much.
They get up and walk inside a few moments later, James looking distinctly unsteady, and Scorpius just looking uncomfortable.
I talk first. “Hey, Scorpius. What’s up?”
He grins slightly at me, knowing I’m trying to ease the tension in the room, and ignoring everyone who’s staring at him tells me, “Nothing much.”
“How was dinner with your family last night?” Rose asks politely, biting her lip and looking up at him.
Scorpius tries to hold back his laughter and ends up choking, his face turning slightly red. When he recovers he admits, “The worst yet.”
“Really?” My Dad asks curiously. “What happened?”
Scorpius gives us all a look. Finally, he says, “You really don’t want to know. Trust me.” He makes a face and adds, “Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.” Suddenly, something seems to occur to him and he snorts. “And I didn’t even get to eat any food!”
“What?” Louis asks, looking amused.
Scorpius grins. “I left before they served the food.”
“That must have been a short dinner,” James mutters with a slight chuckle.
“Oh, yeah,” Scorpius agrees. “It lasted about ten minutes.”
Scorpius Malfoy’s P.O.V.
The day progresses slowly, with many awkward conversations, in which I sit quietly, and try to pretend I’m not there.
At dinner, I sit next to Rose and James. Al and one of their cousins—Louis, maybe?—sit across the table from us.
James, Al, and Louis are talking quietly.
I glance at Rose, and suddenly, Amelia’s words from the other day flash through my mind.
“So, I suggest you find a date quick or give up.”
“Rose?” I ask her. She glances up at me, and I continue awkwardly, “Um—there’s this St. Mungos Christmas party tomorrow, and I was—uh—wondering if you’d maybe want to go with me?” My voice gets a little high out of nervousness at the end of the sentence.
Rose’s jaw drops slightly, and she stares at me for a second.
Quickly I add, “Just as friends, of course!”
Well… Damnit. Merlin, why did that just slip out? I don’t want to go as friends. What was I thinking?
Rose smiles an odd smile that looks forced and says, “Sure, Scorpius.”
She’s probably going to—wait. Wait a minute.
Did she just say yes?
“Really?” I squeak, staring at her in amazement.
She giggles at the look on my face and nods. “Yeah. I’ll go with you.”
I grin at her. “Thanks, Rosie.”
She blushes. I stare at her for a second in confusion, but then turn away as I flush red too; remembering that the last time I called her Rosie was when I snogged her. I had mumbled it when we were kissing.
Oh. Just lovely. Merlin, why do you hate me so?
After a moment of awkward, nearly unbearable silence she says, “Not a problem. What should I wear?”
I grimace. “It’s supposed to be a ball, I guess,” I say, my nose wrinkling.
She laughs at my expression, and I feel my heart stop. I haven’t heard that laugh in forever… It’s so beautiful… “I’ll find something nice,” she tells me, still giggling. “What time should I be there?”
“Uh, do you want me to pick you up?”
She shrugs. “I’ll just apparate over to your house. What time do you want me there?”
“Uh, well, the party starts at six, so I suppose five thirty to five fifty?”
She nods, her red hair falling over her shoulders, her blue eyes still laughing. “Of course,” she agrees.
I turn and talk to Al and James, a smile still lighting my face.
The next night I wait in my apartment around five twenty five, waiting for her, hoping she’ll show up.
I wander around my house, aimlessly picking things up, not really caring that much. I stop when I find a picture of Rose, Al, James, and I in our third year. I had gone home with them for winter break.
I grin slightly, staring at the photo. Their parents had all been so surprised when the friend that James, Al, and Rose had all wanted to bring home was Scorpius Malfoy. They had been ready to kill me the moment they saw me step off the train with them, the four of us laughing.
At that moment, I hear a voice ask, “Scorpius?”
I turn, and freeze, my eyes widening. “Rose,” I say in return, my voice nearly choking. Holy Merlin…
Rose’s red hair is curled and falls over her shoulders gracefully, a strand falling in her eyes. She doesn’t push it away. She wears a long, strapless, floor-length, emerald green gown. The bodice of the dress is covered with silver beads, and they glitter in the light. It is fairly tight, but is cut beautifully, showing off her curves. Damn. Does she know how tempting that is?
The rest of the dress swirls gracefully around her, still managing to show off her long legs and her hips.
Merlin, I’m think I’m going to die.
Without even thinking about it, I reach out and brush the strand of hair in her face away.
She turns a furious red, and I pull back quickly, gasping, “Uh, sorry. Your hair fell out a little bit.”
She nods and turns away slightly. “That dress is very Slytherin of you,” I add with a grin.
She glances down at herself, and shrugs, blushing slightly, as well as looking like she might laugh.
“Shall we leave?” I ask.
She nods slowly, and we apparate to the St. Mungos’ Christmas party.
Everything is glittering and glamorous. “Oh, Merlin,” I mutter as Rose and I step inside. “What the hell is with this get-up?”
She glances around and nods slowly. “It is a little over the top.”
“‘A little’?” I quote under my breath and she smiles slightly.
“Okay, so maybe a lot, but—”
“Hey, Scorpius!” A voice calls. I turn around at the same time as Rose to see Julian and Amelia walking up to us.
Amelia spots Rose and her eyes widen. Then she smiles. She skips up to us and says, “You must be Rose Weasley. I’ve heard so much about you.”
“Have you?” Rose asks, raising an eyebrow and glancing at me. I blush and look down at my feet.
“Hey there,” Julian greets me. I grin at him. “How’re your parents?” he asks me curiously.
“Just like always,” I respond in a bored voice, glancing about. I don’t see anyone else I recognize all too well, so Amelia and Julian join Rose and I as we all walk into the ballroom.
Rose’s eyes widen as she looks around. “What the hell?” she mutters under her breathe, and I laugh. She glances up at me.
This is part of what I love about her. She never forces herself to be polite. In our second year she walked up to me one day when I practically fell asleep in class (the nightmares had been really horrible that year) and said, “So, tell me. What the hell’s wrong with you, Scorpius?”
I snicker at the memory.
A song starts up and I look to her, smiling softly. Teasingly, I sweep a low bow and ask, “May I have this dance, Milady?”
She grins, and then bobs a curtsey back at me politely. “You may, kind sir,” she responds, her shoulders shaking with laughter.
I pull her into my arms, and we swirl around the dance floor.
When the next song starts I continue dancing without even thinking about it, and she chortles.
“You know,” she says. “We’ll have to stop dancing eventually.”
I grin at her. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”
During the next song we step off the dance floor and Rose tells me, “I’m going to go get some food.”
“Alright,” I say. “I’ll catch up with you in a sec.”
I turn down a few halls, trying to find a bathroom, when I hear someone crying. My brow furrows and I turn around. I spot a young woman leaning against the wall, sobbing her heart out.
I am about to inch away quietly, when suddenly I realize who the person crying is. My eyes widen.
“Amelia?” I ask. I go kneel next to her. “What’s wrong?”
“J—Julian,” she starts, but she shudders again and her voice chokes off. My vision turns red for a moment, and there’s a roaring sound in my ears.
“What did he do to you?” I ask her, my voice coming out in a snarl.
She sobs again, resting her head on my shoulder, and I wrap my arms around her, comforting her, and finally she says, “I—I found him snogging some girl.” This confession seems to set off a whole new hysteria she’s holding back, and she starts gasping, “On our first date! I asked what he was doing and he said he only asked me because you told him to.” She looks up at me with wide, tear filled, trusting, dark grey eyes. “Did you tell him to ask me?” she questions, her voice choking.
“No!” I gasp, horrified. “I told him that I didn’t like you that way and I said if he didn’t believe me he could ask you out, but I never made him!”
Amelia nods and continues to cry into my shoulder. “I just—I feel so stupid,” she mutters. “I spent years pinning after him, and when he finally asks me out I find him snogging some other girl. I should have known, shouldn’t I?”
“Amelia,” I whisper. “You couldn’t have known he would do that. It’s too cruel.” She sniffles and I continue, “So, tomorrow you dump him. Slap him if you want. I won’t mind.”
She laughs wetly, still crying.
I pull her closer to my chest, hugging her to me, but it is at that moment I hear Rose say, “Scorpius, wh—what’s going on?”
I whirl around to look at her, and detach myself from Amelia, standing up quickly, staring into Rose’s tear-stained face.
“Wait, Rose,” I say, reaching a hand out to her. “Please, let me explain—”
“What is there to tell?” She asks angrily. She turns on her heel angrily and apparates away.
I sink down back onto the floor with Amelia. “I’m s—sorry,” Amelia sniffles. “Now I’ve ruined your night too.”
I shrug. “It’s okay. We just came as friends.”
Amelia shakes her head. “You might have said that, but you two are more than friends, Scorpius.”
I sigh slightly, and another voice interrupts us, asking, “Can I hide here too?”
I turn around and meet James’s eyes.
I blink at him in surprise, and then finally ask him, “Uh, what are you doing here, James?”
He rolls his eyes at me. “I came with someone.”
“Who?” I ask curiously.
He sighs and sits down next to me. “Violet Martin. She’s my fiancée.”
I stare at him. “I didn’t know you were engaged.”
He looks down at his hands, his brown hair falling slightly in his face and finally admits quietly, “Yeah, well, I kind of wish I wasn’t.” He looks up at me, and his hazel eyes meet mine. He looks away as quickly as possible.
I look at him. “Why not?”
He forces a smile and says, “We dated the year I got out of Hogwarts. I fell in love with her and asked her to marry me last year. We were planning for a wedding in June.”
I catch up quickly. “Four months away.”
He nods. “Exactly. So, I told her we either had to do the wedding sooner or cancel it. She freaked out, and finally I told her I had cancer.” He stops and looks at the edge of the hall, where the lights of the party dance of the walls, flickering, and the sound of laughter follows. He continues with some difficulty, finally muttering, “She was really upset, and at first I thought that was because I was probably going to die.” He swallows. “She decided to move the wedding to next week. Anyways, a few days ago I heard her talking on the phone to her friend. She was saying something about, ‘I can’t believe it. He’ll die, and if we don’t get the wedding done soon then I’ll never get the money.’ Then she added something about the fame of having the last name Potter.” He leans his head back on the wall. “Which made me realize she never loved me, she just wanted the fame of having the last name Potter and my money.”
I look at him sympathetically. “Bitch.”
“Exactly,” he says with a nod.
Amelia sniffles again, wiping the back of her hand across her face and James murmurs, “Oh. Hello. Who’re you?”
“Am—Amelia Lockhart,” she says, as he offers his hand. She shakes it as he returns, “James Potter.”
She smiles softly. “Yeah. I know.”
James glances at me, and I say, “Amelia is the main receptionist at St. Mungos.”
“Oh,” he nods shortly.
“I’m sorry about your disease,” she says to him, and he glances away.
“Everyone is,” he says bitterly, glaring at the wall across from us, where the door to a utility closet is.
Amelia bites her lip. “I suppose so.”
James sighs. There is a long silence, and then Amelia says, “You should break it off with her now. Before it’s too late.”
James looks at her, his eyes widening in surprise and tells her, “I think it might be too late already.”
She shakes her head. “You’re not married yet, are you?”
James blinks up at her and says, “Well… No…”
She smiles softly. “Then it’s not too late. You don’t want to give her what she wants, do you?”
“No,” James mutters.
“Then break it off,” she reasons evenly.
I glance between the two of them. Amelia is leaning around me so she can meet James’s eyes, her blond hair falling in her face, her dark eyes staring at him. James is looking at his hands, his hazel eyes seeing everything and nothing, his dark brown hair hanging down on his forehead.
In a sudden flash of clarity I know that they would make the perfect couple. I grin as I think about the two of them together.
James glances up and asks, “What’s with you?”
I wipe the grin off my face, and try to look at him innocently, saying very seriously (or, at least trying to), “You really should break it off with her. In fact, the sooner the better. You don’t want her around any longer.”
James makes a face and then smiles slightly. “Okay,” he mutters. “I’ll do it now.”
He stands up and takes off down the hallway. I stare after him and then say to Amelia, “You know, not all guys are like Julian.”
Amelia blinks at me. “What’s that supposed to mean?” she demands.
“Nothing,” I say, smirking.
Amelia and I start back into the main room as I hear someone screech, “What?!?”
Then James’s voice, responding evenly, “You heard me.”
“You can’t break up with me!”
“Actually, I very well can, Violet. I can do whatever I want,” James retorts, and Amelia and I enter the main room to see that everyone is staring at the two, her are right in the middle of the room. “And you never loved me, so I think I can very well break-up with you.”
Her chin flies up about an inch in the air. “How dare you say that, James Potter!”
“‘How dare I say that’?” James is seething. “How dare I? Violet, I think you need to learn some self-control. As well as work on your anger issues. How long have you been this messed up?”
Not necessarily an especially witty remark, but it’s so… James that I have to grin. “Go James,” I whoop under my breath, making Amelia smile.
“Well, you’re the one who had to ruin it all by going and getting cancer,” she shrieks at him, and I wince.
… People from the Daily prophet are here, aren’t they?
James doesn’t seem to notice. His face is blazing with anger as he yells, “‘I had to go get cancer’?!? It’s not like I had a choice, Violet! You think I want it? You think I want this? Do you think that I want to die in three bloody months, possibly even three fucking weeks?!” he cries.
Suddenly, James seems to realize that everybody is watching them. He whirls around, and his eyes meet mine.
His expression just says, shit.
Shit is right.
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