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Chapter 17 : Set Fire to the Rain
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Walking up on the bitterly cold, hardwood floor, I felt my whole body whine in pain. It wasn't a good idea to sleep on the floor in the midst of winter or anytime of the year really, but it kind of fit. My head and heart hurt, my body should too.
For what seemed like the longest time I just laid there calmly enjoying the discomfort. I heard a knock on my door, but I didn't answer it. I was in mood for other people. Apparently, that didn't matter to whoever decided to come in. When I glanced up I let out the heaviest sigh I could muster and shook my head.
"I really don't have the energy for you right now."
"I came to say I'm sorry."
Letting out another sigh, my jaw tightened in annoyance. "Well… that's nice, but I want to be alone."
"Okay…" Her voice was soft and full of guilt, but I honestly didn't have it in me to be nice to her. "Well I'll see you later."
If she hadn't been a royal bitch to me yesterday I might have swallowed my pride, left my sullen attitude behind and forgiven her. But she was a bitch to me yesterday and I didn't feel like being nice to her. Maybe after a few hours of sulking I would get the strength to do so, but right now I didn't have it in me. So instead, I leaned up grabbed another blanket off my bed and snuggled on the uncomfortable floor. About a half hour later I heard two rounds of knocking. Once again I didn't move and once again the door opened anyway. I really needed to lock that door.
"So," Lauren murmured lowering herself down next to me. "What are we doing?"
She nodded, "Sulking…very productive."
"I thought so."
"What are we specifically sulking about?"
"In a couple hours time," I started dejectedly, "I'm going to see my father, my ex boyfriend and my cousin….I don't particularly want to see any of these people, but I have to. And until then I'd like to just lay in my unhappiness."
She adjusted her headband and stylish outfit, "And this is helping how?"
"I'm not happy and I can get it all out now so I can be composed later."
"Okay." Lauren nodded, stretching out her long legs next to mine. "I can get behind that concept."
Inhaling softly, I said, "I thought you might. Did you work out your career?"
"Kelly has a few ideas, but I'm not sure." Her voice wavered oddly unsure, which was unsettlingly to hear. Lauren always was sure of herself. She knew what she wanted and she got it. What made this any different? "I'm not like you and Kelly," She continued, "You two are so…driven. You know what and where you're going to be for the next forty-five years. I don't even know what I'll be doing in the next few months."
"Well you're right about Kelly. She knows exactly where she wants to go."
She turned and looked at me. "What about you?"
"I know I want to get into the ministry, but I have no idea where. And I have no idea what I'll be doing after Hogwarts."
"What about Scorpius?"
"What about him?" I scoffed hatefully, "Whatever we had…it doesn't matter now. Even if we get our memories back there's no point."
Lauren pursed her lips. "Did he say that?"
"He didn't mean it. He's just scared, imagine if you found out his mother hated you so much she erased your memories."
I frowned. "Are you defending him…you?"
"No. I'm not defending him. I'm just trying to make sure you don't do something you regret. I can't stand the guy, but…"
"But what?" I snapped harshly.
"But," She began, "He makes you happy."
"That was before he broke my heart." I let out a sigh, "Now he's just another asshole guy."
"Alright." Lauren sighed knowingly.
"What is it?"
"I think you both are ridiculous. At first I thought it was the stupidest thing you'd ever done, but now I think this is."
I sat up and glared down at her. "I didn't do anything! He was the one that decided that he didn't want to wait. That I wasn't worth it and we were better off going back to the way things were!"
"Wait…he broke it off?"
"I don't know what he was breaking off since we aren't together, but yeah."
Her face looked crestfallen. "Huh…I didn't see that coming."
"I did." I confessed turning to face her. "You should have seen his face when we came out of the pensive. He was so uncomfortable. I mean I was too, but he looked…destroyed."
"He couldn't have looked worse then you do."
"Thanks." I laughed hollowly. "That really helps."
She grabbed my hand. "I'm serious. You look broken."
"Look can we just stopping about it?" I closed my eyes tightly, "I'm sick of talking about it. I'm sick of thinking about it…I just want it all to go away. So please talk about something else, anything else."
"Um…I can't really think of anything." She shrugged thoughtfully. "My life has become quite basic."
I snorted coldly, "Lucky you."
"Oh cheer up mate. You're life has been worse."
I frowned. "I'm sure it has."
Lauren gave me this searching look and shook her head. I guess she was expecting me to be melodramatic and say I never have been this upset before. But I wasn't going to. I'm pretty sure I've been more upset before. But it was never this…way. Before whatever I was upset about was a huge blow that I got over quickly. All emotion; anger, tears were all used up in the moment and then were edged away hours later. This didn't. Maybe it was because I didn't scream at Scorpius. Maybe it was because I didn't hysterically cry and loose my mind like I wanted to. Or maybe it was because …this wasn't something stupid enough to spaz out about and then let go of.
After a few minutes she gave my hand a squeeze and left wordlessly. Checking my watch I sighed. I had twelve minutes before I had to pull my shit together and get dressed. I'd been up for three hours and still wasn't hungry. I could do this. I had to. I couldn't live in this state of constant stand still anymore. Things had to go on.
Rubbing my temples, I moved my hands down my face to wipe away any stray tears before pushing myself up to my feet. It was Monday how did that happen? I didn't go to any of my classes, but I couldn't bring myself to care. Tomorrow, I'll care. Tomorrow I'll go back to giving everything my all. I pulled on some jeans and some shirt. I wasn't even entirely sure it was clean, but I was beyond caring. Grabbing a granola bar from my stash in my closet, I crammed it into my mouth and leaned against my closet door as I chewed slowly. It didn't help me at all.
After brushing my teeth, washing my face and pulling my hair back into a ponytail, I starred at the mirror. I didn't even look like me. The hollow under my eyes looked darker than usual, making my whole face look as grim as I felt. I would be okay. I just needed to get through this one day, and then all the others would fall in line.
Walking across my room, I took nothing with me but my wand. I didn't even wear my Head Girl badge. It was always attached to my clothes, but today wasn't it. A headache ached in the back of my head, build large knots in my shoulders, but I did nothing to counter act it. No matter what I found out, there was no way things could get any better so I might as well go in as damaged as I can. At least that way there's no where to go but up.
Once I got to the door, I took a deep breath and starred at it. I could slink off to my dorm. I wouldn't feel particularly good about myself, but I could do it. It would be cowardly, and spineless of me. But would I feel better at the end of the day?
No. I really wouldn't. I would hate myself for not having the balls to stand up to them all. So, against my lesser judgment, I forced myself up the last few steps to the Headmasters office and knocked on the door.
Inside was my mother, father, uncle, aunt, Albus Mr. Malfoy, Mrs. Malfoy, Scorpius, the headmaster and…Kinsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic.
The room was pretty well divided in terms of seats. My aunt, uncle, my dad, Albus and the Minister of Magic were on one side. Whereas my mother, Hugo, Scorpius and Mrs. And Mrs. Malfoy sat on the other side. There was an empty seat next to my mother, I took it. The tension in the room grew with every step I took until I could feel every eye baring into me.
If I could describe in one word what my mother's face looked like, it would be rage. Pure, unfiltered rage, and I knew exactly who it had been directed at though I didn't look at him.
"Ms. Weasley," The headmaster started wearyingly. "I've heard several accounts of what has happened. Your father has denied erasing either yours or Mr. Malfoy's memory. As you know if your father has committed this crime he will be taken to jail until his trail. But we want to get all testimony's before we do this."
I nodded as my mother's hand slipped into mine reassuringly. "I understand."
"Now do you think your father did this?"
"This is something he would mention, think seriously about doing, but until I saw the memory I wouldn't have believed he would break the law over something like this."
The headmaster scratched his black thinning beard wisely. "I see. The problem we are running into Ms. Weasley is that your father has an alibi for the day in question."
My whole face dropped into shock. "Excuse me?"
"I looked into his work log Rose," My Uncle told me a few seats next to me. "He was away on business."
"What and he couldn't have lied and flooed in here?" I scoffed dismissively. "I'm sure it's not that difficult to get in here."
This was apparently my mother's cue. "Actually it is. Since the first war new measure's have been taken so no intruders can enter without the knowledge of the Headmaster."
"I don't understand." I stated simply. "If he didn't enter the grounds then who did? It was my father who did this…we saw the memory."
Albus cleared his throat awkwardly. "No it wasn't."
"What do you mean?" I snapped, "Who was it then?"
"It was Rachel." He admitted sheepishly. "She came to me afterwards and convinced me to keep you two away from each other.
I turned in my chair to glower at my cousin like I never had before. At that moment the Minister of Magic flooed out and Hugo left the room. My body was shaking as my blood boiled from my core.
"And you just what? LET HER? Am I piece of meat to be distributed at your will?" I spat at him lethally as my mother kept a firm grip on my arm.
The headmaster spoke, this time it was directed at the Malfoys. "I will get miss Levitt up here, and if this proves true we will restore her memory and expel her."
"I want more than expelled." Mr. Malfoy announced fiercely, "My son's brain could have been damaged by this. His whole career gone before he even had the chance to start it."
"I understand your concern-"
Mr. Malfoy cut him off swiftly. "No, I don't think you do. My son could have been impaired permanently!"
"I understand your concerns Mr. Malfoy." He spoke diplomatically. "But I must hear all the evidence before I act."
"How did she do it? Then?" I barked at my cousin demandingly, barely containing myself to my chair. "You can't make a polyjuice potion without DNA and Rachel has never been around my father."
It was Albus's turned to look ashamed and I was quite pleased with the scene. "I took one of the hairs from his comb and gave it to her."
The headmaster scowled disapprovingly, moving towards the door. "I will send for Ms. Levitt."
"What the hell is your problem Albus?" I raged unable to keep my fury in any longer. "What could I have possibly done to you to make you do this to me? What was I late to practice?"
My mother stood and forced me back down into my chair, which was surprising considering she was smaller than me. Then again my mother was always more forceful than her body permitted. Scorpius, who had been inexplicably silent during this whole thing, cleared his throat. Without meaning to, I shifted to see what he was going to say.
"I'd actually like to hear the answer to that." He spoke clearly with a very obvious threatening tone.
"You don't deserve her." Albus announced through gritted teeth.
I let out a loud scoff of disagreement. "What and you think you have the right to decide that? What am I the queen of England or something?"
"Albus, shut up," Aunt Ginny told her son sternly as she leveled him with a look. "You could get expelled!"
"He should be expelled." I told her bluntly.
"For what?" Albus cried in frustration. "I didn't do anything."
"Ever heard of people being charged for being accessories to a crime?" I told him cuttingly.
"Oh come on! Your acting like this is a big deal. I did you a favor!"
"YOU BIGOTED ASSHOLE!" I roared finally stepping out of my mother's grip. "HOW THE HELL DID YOU DO ME A FAVOR? THE WAR IS OVER! HE ISN'T A FUCKING DEATH EATER! HE'S A GOOD PERSON! YOU ON THE OTHER HAND ARE NOT!"
When I let out the last word of venomous hate, I let out a breath and seriously considered hexing the life out of him. And I would have. Even my mother couldn't have stopped me at this point. My cousin seriously needed to be in some pain. Some agonizing, leg twitching pain. After all the self-entitled bullshit he's been spinning to make this okay to myself. How could he do this to me? I loved him! When he split his knee open and was crying, who held him and told him it would be okay? ME! When he thought he couldn't make Quidditch Captain because he wasn't good enough who put in a good word with the previous Captain? And who gave him pep talks the week before to give him the confidence to not blow our first game? That would be. And why did I do all that? Was it for nothing? Did none of that matter now? He acted like he could just see something I couldn't. But what could he possibly be seeing that would make him do these things? It wasn't just that I hated what he did. It was the fact that I couldn't understand why he did it. He didn't have any justifiable reason to do any of this. But I never said anything else because at that moment the door opened and Rachel Levitt was in the doorway with the Headmaster.
For once, she didn't look so smug. Her blonde hair was pulled back off her face, and her face had no make up on it. Rachel's piercingly light eyes focused on me briefly before zeroing in on Scorpius. It was weird, but out of everyone…I wasn't mad at her, because she, unlike everyone else, never pretended for a second that she wasn't capable of this. All she wanted was to marry Scorpius. Get the pureblood title and have beautiful blonde babies. I couldn't even fight that, because she never wavered. Even my father, who did nothing in this whole situation, was still on my bad list. It was too conceivable for me to believe that he did this. It shouldn't be this easy. Then again everything shouldn't be this hard.
It was then that everything became…clear. My Aunt kept a tight grip on Albus. Uncle Harry was keeping his wife from killing his son. Mrs. Malfoy held her husbands hand firmly to stop him from killing my cousin. My mother was keeping me from killing everyone. But who was my dad keeping in line? No one. He wasn't keeping anyone in line. My father didn't ask if I was okay. This whole time he didn't say a word to me. Instead, he spent the time he was forced to sit in here glaring at the Malfoy's. This meeting wasn't about Scorpius getting me pregnant, having sex with me, trying to marry me, or anything like that. But the distinctive look on his face said it was. He wasn't worried about me. He was worried about what Malfoy had done to his daughter.
Taking a breath, I sat down and I did something I thought I would be unable to do just a few seconds earlier. I listened. Rachel was asked if she had done it, she looked at me an unashamedly said yes. I would have been…so embarrassed that I went out of my way to manipulate a man into being with me. I wouldn't be able to look anyone in the face if I did what she did, but she had no problem with it. Why? Because she owned it. She wanted something, and she went for it, it didn't work, but she doesn't care. Why? Because she did everything she could and now she was done. Maybe that was my problem. I didn't know how to let go of things when they were finished.
"Well Ms. Levitt given the evidence you will be expelled. Using that charm is illegal." He announced to the room very formally.
"Scorpius spoke up immediately, "What about Potter?"
I looked at my cousin and knew the answer before I could verbalize it. Frowning somberly, I told him, "They should both be suspended, and she should loose her prefect badge."
"Ms. Weasley, their crime's were severe-" The headmaster started shocked at my calm reply, but I had interject. He had to understand.
"I'm well aware of that Sir. But I don't want to ruin the rest of their lives." I glanced at Albus. As I looked into his green eyes I fought my anger. I fought my hate and tried to remember that deep down I loved him. And then I did what I always tried to do but always managed to mess up. I did the right thing. Expelling them wouldn't make my life any better and in the longer run I might feel guilty for not giving them one last chance to redeem themselves. It wasn't easy, but I knew I had to do it.
"I think they should have any privileges taken away, be suspended for two weeks and be forced to stay away from us." I answered hollowly, "I think that's pretty fair."
"That's it?" Rachel questioned, skeptically eyeing me.
I sighed and scanned her. "That and I want my memories back."
The headmaster went to his desk. After a few minutes of glancing at all of us thoughtfully he seemed to learn to agree with me. "Very well. Does that work with you Mr. Malfoy?"
And out of all the people in the room he could look at. Draco Malfoy moved a fraction of an inch in his seat to look at me. He looked so much like his son, that it broke me a little to look at him, but I didn't fight the tears that brimmed to the surface. I let them linger there so he could see. I wasn't putting on a charade. I was genially over this. As soon as I had the opportunity to get my revenge I realized it wasn't what I really wanted, and oddly enough I saw that Mr. Malfoy, the last person in world I thought would get that did without a word.
"Yes. But if I hear a word about either one of them harassing my son-"
"They will be expelled instantly." The headmaster agreed wisely. "Ms. Levitt, step forward and give them back what you stole."
Rachel scowled but did as she was told. "Fine."
Standing up, I tried to prepare myself. Finally I was going to understand something. She raised her wand and whispered a spell to quietly for me to hear and then there was a jolt and …everything came back. It was like a jellyfish jumped out of the ocean wandered on up the castle, came into the headmaster's office and calmly placed its tentacles on me. Forget the fact that they can't survive outside of water. This jellyfish had eyes and a face, and it sighed before it electrocuted me. And through that rush I saw everything. Every touch, every laugh, every argument whirled through my brain until it hit the last memory. Then everything just stopped.
My eyes filled with tears. I loved him. It wasn't just a little crush or something that we made up. I loved him and we had decided we were going to be together in spite of everything. It was like someone took a blood pressure clamp and suctioned all the blood out of my heart. Glancing over at Scorpius, I saw nothing at first, but then his clear grey eyes twisted and turned in regret. He was going to say he didn't mean it. But it didn't matter. He had given up and he was right. Clearly we didn't belong together.
My mum stood up and turned me around to look at her. "Are you okay?"
"No. I'm not. I have to go."
"Sweetie," She held onto me attempting to reassure me, but I didn't want it.
My blue eyes locked onto her warm brown ones. "Mum, just let me leave please…" I dropped my voice. "I can't be around any of them right now."
"Your father didn't do it sweetie. Why wouldn't you want to see him?"
Aware that everyone was blatantly listening to our conversation I let out a choked sigh. "Just because he didn't do it doesn't mean he wouldn't have. Why else would you have sided with me so easily?"
She didn't have an answer for that. No one did.
So I kissed her cheek and maneuvered out of her grip. Someone's hand grabbed me to stop me. It was my uncle. "Rose just wait okay?" His voice was so soft and gentle. He wanted to make everything all right, but what he didn't realize was that he couldn't fix this.
"Uncle Harry," I whispered, "Let go."
Looking up at him, my lip trembled, "Please."
I saw the conflict in his green eyes, so much like his sons, as he released me. Then I pushed open the door and cried all the way down the steps. By the time I got to library my face was puffy and red. It didn't matter to me. I just wanted to go somewhere that I knew they wouldn't think to look for me for awhile. Sitting in the back by window I buried my head into my hands and shook as I cried.
I cried harder as I recognized the voice. Why would Aiden be in the library right now?
"Rose?" His hand rested on my back. "Are you okay?"
"No. I am not okay." I cried furious at the question. If was bloody okay would I be sitting in the middle of the empty library crying my eyes out? God I dated such an idiot.
The chair next to me scraped as he sat in it and pulled me into his chest. "Want to talk about it?"
"Okay. Well then I'm going to sit here until you calm down."
I sniffed loudly looking as unattractive as I possibly could. "Why?"
"Because…That's what friends do."
Keeping to his word, Aiden sat there and let me cry into his chest until I was all cried out. He didn't say anything or try anything all he did was sit there and hold me. When I was done he hugged my lightly and left me there to my own thoughts. After that hard and heavy cry I was still mad as hell, but more than anything I was tired.
So I sat in library and calmly watched the snow fall outside. When the sky eventually grew dark, I walked back to my room, crawled into my bed and put my blanket over my head. I felt like a herd of centaurs had trampled all over me. Leaving nothing behind, but their hove marks and my broken body. Tomorrow I would put all of this behind me and remember that there are millions of people around the world that have it a thousand times worse then me. But tonight, I'm going to be self absorbed and think only of myself.
I'm trying to get these out as fast as possible. I hope you liked this chapter. The song in the summary and the title is Set Fire to the Rain By: Adele. THANK YOU ALL WHO REVIEWED! You guys really make my day by just taking a few minutes out of your life and telling me what you think. So please, PLEASE REVIEW! THANK YOU FOR READING!
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