Hugo looked down at the battered watch on his wrist. He sighed with exhaustion as he realised it was only half past seven in the evening. The restaurant would still be open for a long time.
Taking a deep breath, he walked towards the front of the shop. Although he was no longer “front of house” in the small Diagon Alley restaurant, he still felt that, as the co-owner, he should make himself known to his clients.
Suddenly, Hugo’s partner, Sam ran up to him. Sam’s hair was a golden, sandy colour, but it was thinning out these days. His face was stern looking, and Hugo wondered what could make Sam react to something like this.
“Is something wrong?” Hugo asked him. Sam hesitated.
“You... look tired, you should go home,” he said, kindly. He looked at him, surprised. The only time Sam had ever suggested Hugo going home early was when he collapsed after having the flu, around two years before. Hugo wondered what Sam was hiding from him.
“What are you hiding?” Hugo asked cautiously. Sam was starting to look around frantically. Hugo looked towards the front of house, and Sam attempted to block his view. He was too slow.
Sat at a table near the door, an unmistakable head of blonde hair was sat, looking over the menu. Sat with him, was a tall, red haired woman. Hugo felt his insides make a turn, and he manoeuvred around Sam.
“He’s not worth it,” Sam said frantically. But Hugo had already gone.
Scorpius Malfoy looked up, and a look of shock passed over his face as he realised who was approaching the table. Hugo could see his heart racing, and felt a savage sensation of pleasure seeing the look of surprise and fear in the other mans face.
“You aren’t welcome here” Hugo stated, quietly. Scorpius seemed to be frozen to his spot.
Hugo’s eyes moved over to the woman he was sat with. She was a pretty red headed girl. Hugo couldn’t help but notice how much she looked like Rose. This made him feel even angrier at the sight of him.
“Who’s this? Rose: Version two?” he said, nodding towards the woman. The woman looked at Hugo, confused. Hugo laughed bitterly. “Leave him. He killed my sister, his ex-girlfriend, did you know that? He’s only been out of Azkaban for two years...” The woman raised her eyebrows at Hugo, and then she looked over to Scorpius as though wanting to be told that Hugo was insane. Hugo’s guilty expression was clear on his face.
The woman gasped, and ran out of the restaurant. Scorpius seemed to have suddenly returned to his senses. “I didn’t know... your restaurant...” he muttered, looking at the floor.
Hugo snorted angrily, “Yeah, a restaurant called Hartley and Weasley what were the chances of this happening, I wonder...?” Hugo pulled in another breath, ensuring he remained relatively calm. “Your girlfriend’s ditched you. You might want to catch up with her...”
“I don’t care about her,” he snapped angrily. Hugo looked at the man sat at the table. He was pale and shaking. Hugo turned away. He decided he would go home after all. He grabbed his coat, and went to step outside.
The air was cool, and seemed to calm his anger. He wondered whether he’d dream about her again tonight. Rose would appear in his dreams every so often. Most of the time, it was when someone mentioned her, or even sometimes when he had to make a big decision in his life.
He suddenly felt someone stood next to him. The man was slightly taller, and he looked up to see who it was.
Hugo turned irritably. He would not be irritated by this.
“Do you ever stop thinking about her?” Scorpius asks quietly. Hugo turned back to the man.
He was about to tell the man that it was none of his business, when the desire to speak about her overtook him. “All the time,” Hugo whispered.
“I thought meeting someone else would help me. But it made it worse...” Scorpius stated. Hugo looked over the man critically. He looked much older than he should have. What seemed to be blonde hair, seemed, now that Hugo was closer, to consist mostly of grey hair.
Ten years of Azkaban seemed to have aged him dramatically. Without speaking, Hugo began to walk. Scorpius followed and we found ourselves sat outside of a small cafe at a plastic table with wobbly benches.
“Twelve years,” Hugo stated.
“Seems like more,” Scorpius replied.
Hugo looked at the floor. He wondered why he was here, speaking to Scorpius of all people. “How did you convince her?” Hugo asked. He wasn’t sure he wanted to hear the reply.
“Don’t,” Scorpius stated forcefully.
Hugo sighed, standing up. “I can’t shake the guilt. I wish I could go back and do something. We were going to get married,” Scorpius said quietly. “I’m glad she didn’t. I didn’t deserve her. She was perfect.”
Hugo felt his stomach twist. He knew they would have been married, but hearing it come from Scorpius made it seem to come into reality. “You killed my big sister,” Hugo stated.
Scorpius hung his head. “I pay for it in every waking minute. In fact, that’s not true because I dream about her too. I should still be in Azkaban. I shouldn’t be here. Rose should be here. I should be the one dead. She should be here, living and making a difference to the world,” Scorpius stated.
“Well, we agree on one thing, then,” Hugo stated coldly.
“I’m gathering names. Everyone in the Protectors. I only have one more to track down. He’s the most dangerous one. Threatened to kill me if I hand him in. I wouldn’t do it, if it wasn’t for Rose.”
Hugo nodded, acknowledging that Scorpius was doing one thing right.
Hugo looked down at the newspaper in shock. The large headline of the Daily Prophet announced:
Malfoy killed after revealing final member of dangerous organisation.
He re-read the article once more. Scorpius had done as he’d promised. He’d tracked down the final member of the Protectors, and had been killed as a backlash. But it was the final extract of the paper that he kept re-reading in particular.
“ The 31 year old pureblood was found clutching a small silver plated pendant, in the form of a snake. It is rumoured to be the sign of the well known hit-man, who is responsible for the death.
Hugo stared at the line. He recognised the necklace. It was Roses.
“You waited!” Scorpius stated, looking around the white room.
Rose smiled at him. Without a word, she nodded, holding her hand out to him. Scorpius took the hand in his own.
“I forgive you,” she whispered. Her voice was sweeter than he remembered it. Her hands soft and small. She pulled him away, and they moved on together.
AAAAH!! I just completed my first novella! I had a lot of fun writing this. It was a challenge for me, and I never expected to love it as much as I did. Thank you to everyone who's reviewed, or favourited, or even just read. I want to thank BrightStar and ariellem in particular. Without these two [amazing] writers I would have given up a while ago. Please let me know what you think! :D