Chapter 10 : The Task.
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After having a very big fuss made of me, my parents finally decided that it would be a good idea to leave me alone in my room. I agreed with them. In a sense. My old bedroom was filled with memories of my youth. Everything I looked at made me feel a pang of guilt in some way or another. But I knew I needed to be alone.
I found a letter from Scorpius speaking of how terrible it must be for me, being at I assume it was from my sixth year at Hogwarts. I found books from my childhood. I noted that it had been a good childhood, and I had no reason to rebel against my upbringing. That made me feel even guiltier.
It proved I was just a rotten person.
The red coloured soup, smelled delicious. It had not been my mothers cooking which had greeted me earlier in the day; it was Hugo’s cooking instead. It was something for which he had a knack for, I could tell, because as soon as the soup touched my lips, it relaxed me. It tasted divine.
Hugo sat with me as I consumed the soup in my bed, and I smiled at him to show my appreciation of his cooking skills. He grinned back at me.
This was not my little brother. This was a smart, talented young man, who deserved better than me as a sister. “You’ve got talent,” I stated. His smile grew larger.
“I think Mum is irritated by it though. Mainly because I never clean after myself...” he stated mischievously, “but hopefully, once I leave school, I’ll go straight into catering with Sam.” His ears went pink as he said the name.
“Who’s Sam?” I asked, curious. “Is it the girl who was here earlier?” I added as an afterthought.
Hugo shook his head. “That was Sally. She’s a friend who was helping me with my essay,” he said. He cleared his throat, “Sam’s a guy that I’m... with”.
Hugo said it quickly, and his face went pink. I stared at him in surprise. There was so much information that I had to process from that sentence. Firstly, Hugo was gay. Secondly, he was in a relationship.
“Mum and Dad know, if that’s what you’re thinking. They met him a few days ago...” Hugo stated, unsure.
I’d missed it. The most significant event in my little brother’s life, and I’d missed it.
“I did invite you” he said quietly, “but the owl I sent came back with a note saying... what was it... No thank you, or something like that...”
I took another sip of the soup to avoid Hugo’s gaze. Somebody had purposely prevented me from knowing this.
“Anyway,” he said, hugging me tightly, “it doesn’t matter now, does it? You’re here now. Uncle Harry and Aunt Ginny are going to be here soon” Hugo added, standing up.
I attempted a smile, but I just couldn’t do it. My destiny was going to be fulfilled by the end of the day.
I realised that I’d fallen asleep, crying after eating the soup that Hugo gave me. My pillow was damp and my face sore. I felt pathetic. I wished that I’d have just stayed with Scorpius. I wished I didn’t join the Protectors.
Why didn’t I listen to Draco?
He’d experienced this before with the Death-Eaters. In reality, the Protectors were no different. How could I be so stupid? I knew I should have listened to him.
I wished that I’d have listened to Albus on the first day. I wished that I would have left the compartment with him, rather than befriending Scorpius.
I wished that Albus never told me about the sorting hat taking your thoughts into account. Maybe I would be a Gryffindor, after all. Or a Ravenclaw, like I’d always wanted to be.
I stood up, making my way to the bathroom. I threw up. It wasn’t a nervous throwing up. I didn’t know what it was. I assumed it was somehow guilt.
I splashed my face with cold water, and I re-gained my senses. I took a deep breath.
I had to do this. I had no other alternative.
This was for Scorpius.
I loved him, didn’t I? I shook my head. I was over thinking things. If I was really going to do this, then I shouldn’t be thinking this much.
I returned to my bedroom, and looked at the clothing in my wardrobe. A remnant from a much more innocent time. I pulled the necklace off of my neck. It was the small serpent that Scorpius gave me for Christmas in our first year. It was tarnished now. It felt strange not to wear it around my neck.
Someone knocked at my door, and my mother walked in slowly. She was pale, but her face had an unmistakable presence of hope. She sat down on my bed. She did not speak for a long time.
“I’m sorry. I’ve been a terrible mother,” she said quietly. So quietly, in fact, that I was not sure whether or not I’d imagined it. “But, I’m proud of you for coming home.”
I felt a shiver down my spine, and the guilt rose once more in me.
“You aren’t a bad mother. I’m just a bad person,” I admitted. My opinion was not new to me, but I saw my mother flinch as I said it.
She shook her head violently, and rushed over to me. She embraced me.
“I love you, Rose” she said, kissing my forehead. I felt sick once more. I concentrated on my breathing. My mother pulled away, and went to exit the room. “Harry and Ginny are here, so if you’re feeling ok, come down and see them. If not, I can send them up to you...” she said, trailing off. I shook my head and stood up.
I would go to them. My legs felt like dead weights, and as I walked downstairs, I begged that there would not be a time when I’d be left alone with just Uncle Harry. I feared what I’d actually do should the opportunity arise.
I sat in the living room, curled onto the sofa. I’d been hugged by my aunt and uncle, something which almost made me cry. My father misinterpreted this, however, and thought I was crying through happiness. He hugged me, “Harry and Ginny are ok, see, Rose?” I nodded.
I listened to events quietly. Apparently, after Percy’s death, Harry feared for his own safety and went into hiding with Ginny, and the kids.
They were hardly kids now, but I still knew that I would be removing their father figure from the world.
I tried to imagine how it would feel. I couldn’t imagine my father dead, nor could I imagine Draco dead. Both scenarios were impossible to imagine, and something I didn’t know whether I’d be able to cope with, should I experience them.
I chanced a look at Harry. His hair was speckled with grey, and there were wrinkles present on his face, but other than this, he looked no different to how I remembered him in my youth.
Suddenly, everyone stood up, going to help my mother to make tea. I stood up, too, but my father shook his head. I sat back down, and glanced at Harry again. He was remaining where he was sat. He looked tired, as though he’d not slept for a long time.
I willed him to leave the room, but he did not. He looked over at me and gave me a sheepish smile. I could not smile at him. I stood up suddenly.
This was it.
I walked over to him, he was still smiling at me. “Give your old uncle a hug?” he asked, holding his arms out awkwardly.
My hand clenched against my wand as I moved closer. I made sure that I did not meet his eyes. My heart pumping so quickly that I was sure someone would hear it.
All of a sudden, something flashed before my eyes.
I was 8 years old. I was sat by the tree, with Hugo and Molly sat next to me. Uncle Harry handed me a long present, and winked. He gave Hugo and all of the other cousins presents, too.
I ripped the paper open to see a “Junior Comet 9000”. It was something I’d wanted for an extremely long time.
I grinned up at my uncle. He knelt down to my level. “Promise me Rose. One day you’ll be the best Quidditch player in the world”.
I nodded enthusiastically. I then heard my father gasp in astonishment, “How much did that cost, exactly!?” he asked, astonished.
I looked over at my Uncle, and saw the same expression of love on his face.
There was no way I could do this.
I felt my body shake.
The engagement ring in my pocket dug into my thigh again. I pulled it out and handed it to my uncle with shaking hands. He took it with a look of confusion on his face.
“Thank you for believing in me” I said, with a dry sob. “I can’t do it,” I told myself.
I felt my legs collapse under me. My insides began to burn. It was a pain like nothing before.
I felt my body falling apart. My head pounded, and I couldn’t see properly. I screamed.
I felt a hand around my body. Being held was excruciating, and I could feel my heart slowing. My brain closing down.
It was my father who was holding me. So tightly.
I heard my mother scream in distress.
“I love you all” I screamed. I tried not to scream, but the vow had consumed my sense of control.
I cuddled into my father, and I felt a tear drop onto my face. It was hot. It felt like it burned my skin.
“We love you too” my father said.
Then, the urge to shudder passed through me. My pain ended. My fear ended.
At the age of nineteen, I died.
A/N: Thanks to everyone who’s read this so far... I hope you don’t hate me for doing this to Rose. Keep your eyes peeled for the epilogue! -Leanne x
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