Chapter 14 : Wary
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I glance up at Lily as she enters my room. She sits down beside me on my bed and asks, “What are you up to?”
I give her a lopsided grin, leaning back on my bed. “Divination.”
She glances at the things sitting on my bed and rolls her eyes. “So answer me this,” she says, smirking slightly, “Are you a true seer, or are you just lucky?”
I chuckle, and say, “I’m just lucky.”
But I know I’m lying. I may not randomly black out and spout prophecies that I can’t remember afterwards, but I can see things. Every once and a while I can make a small guess at the future. I’ve never told anyone before. It scares me sometimes, some of the things I see. I don’t understand most of them. They come and go, and so far I’ve been lucky enough to only have them when I’m alone. I can’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly freeze up at the dinner table. Oh, Merlin, that would be awful.
I smile at Lily and ask, “You want your future told?”
Rolling her eyes, she moves so she’s sitting across from me and sighs. “Alright. Just don’t go all Trelawney on me.” I snicker slightly at this, trying to imagine myself acting like Professor Trelawney. Lily makes her voice a bit higher pitched and wobbly and says, “Oh, my, oh, no… I see a grim… You’re going to die, dear.” We both laugh for a short moment. Even though I like Professor Trelawney I know she can be a bit eccentric sometimes, and her death predictions getting annoying fast. Lily grins and asks, “What do I do?”
I hand her a tea cup, smirking. “Try this one first.”
She rolls her eyes at me again and drinks the tea, handing me the cup after she’s done. I peer into the cup and feel my brow furrow as I look at the three symbols before me. I’ve never seen a mix of these three before.
“What is it?” Lily asks, leaning closer to me, raising an eyebrow at the look on my face.
“Well,” I say uncertainly, “There’s this dark cloud here,” I point and inform her, “That means great sadness. You also have a sun,” I point again, “Which means great… Happiness? And then there’s this one,” I point to a group of symbols that look like wilting flowers. “This one means the death of a loved one.”
She pulls back, giving me an odd look. Then she snorts. “You’re starting to sound like Trelawney, Al. Oh, you’re going to die. I can see death in your future. You have great pain ahead of you. You’re going to die soon.”
I laugh slightly, again, admitting the truth. Almost all Professor Trelawney predicts is death. Dad once told me that she predicted his death nearly every class. I wince, but then take my mind off of dad.
“I don’t know what it means,” I say, glancing again at her tea cup. I shake my head. “I’ll try something else then.”
“How about palm-reading?” Lily suggests with a laugh. I smile slightly, but comply, reaching for her hand.
I look down at her hand. “Well, your life-line is pretty long.” I bite my lip and trace the lines on her hand lightly with my fingers. “And this one, it’s the joy-line, as they call it. It’s pretty long too, but shorter than most. So… You’ll be fairly happy, and you’ll live a long time, but there’s something underneath, something that will cause you great sadness as well.”
“Like the death of a loved one,” Lily jokes, pushing her red hair out of her face, her eyes sparkling. I stop to look at her, but she just giggles.
Shaking my head against the odd sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I turn back to her hand. “This one’s the love-line,” I say smirking at her. “It’s pretty long. It stands for family, and just over-all, friends, boyfriends…” After a pause I pull back, dropping her hand and say, “You look pretty good, Lils.”
She gives a short laugh and looks up at me. “One more?” I raise an eyebrow at her, surprised, since she’s the one who always complains that Divination is pointless and ridiculous. Lily smile and informs me, “This is surprisingly entertaining. And you’re way better at this then Trelawney.”
I smile slightly. “That’s nice to know.” Glancing around, I pull my tarot cards of my bedside table, removing them from their box and say, “How about these?”
“Tarot cards?” Lily asks. “When did you learn those? Professor Trelawney hasn’t taught those.”
I smirk slightly and say, “I taught myself. They’re not hard.” I begin shuffling the cards as I tell her, “I shuffle. I have the original type of deck. With the four suits of the minors and the major and all that.” I glance at her and add, “And you have to choose which question you want the cards to answer.”
Lily sighs slightly. “How many do I choose?”
“However many you want answered,” I say vaguely. She rolls her eyes.
“Okay. I suppose… what does my future look like within the next two year?” She makes a face but then smirks at me.
I groan. “That’s even more vague then I’ve been being.” I shake my head and let her split the deck, drawing four cards off the top of the second half of the split deck and setting them out. I place them in a diamond formation and say, “This top one stands for romance, the right one for finances, the bottom for health and happiness, and the left for career.” She nods. I take a deep breath and then flip over the top card. I glance down at it and smile. “You’re lucky,” I inform her. “It’s the two of cups. The lord of love. And it’s facing you.” She glances at me in confusion and I say, “If the card is facing you then it’s positive, if it’s facing me, or in other words not facing you, it’s negative.”
“Oh,” she says skeptically.
I shake my head. “Anyhow, this card means affection, love, harmony, and the beginnings of a new romance, partnership, or friendship.”
She smiles, looking pleased with this result, and I flip over the second card. “The six of pentacles,” I say, looking down at it, and then switching my gaze up to her. “Or the lord of material success. It’s facing you, so it means clearance of debts and use of good fortune to benefit others.”
Lily nods, looking amused at the whole thing, and I move over to the left side. “The magician,” I read off of it. “The Magnus of Power. It’s negative, so it means confusion, hesitation, inability to make decisions, and lack of inspiration.”
I smile slightly. “You’re pretty lucky so far. You’ll do good with love and money, and just because you’re not motivated on your career doesn’t mean you can’t work to change that.”
Lily rolls her honey eyes and asks, “What’s next?”
“Health and happiness,” I say, moving to the last one. I flip it over and freeze for a moment, my breath caught in my lungs. I stare at it my jaw dropped slightly, my hands shaking.
“Al?” Lily asks, leaning closer to me. “What is it?”
“It’s…” My voice dies and I cough, working to get out, “It’s the three of swords. Or the lord of sorrow. And it’s negative.”
“So?” She demands, shaking her head slightly.
“I—it means loss, treachery, sorrow, and war.”
Lily’s eyes widen for a moment and she asks in a squeaky voice, “Is it just a coincidence that you’re predicted the death of a loved one every time you’ve done this for me?”
“I—” I pause for a moment. “I don’t know.”
We look at each other for a moment but then Lily gives a fake sounding laugh. “Well, I’ve heard it’s very easy to change the future. I don’t think I’ll need too much sorrow anytime soon.”
I force a smile at her, that sick feeling still in the pit of my stomach, and she leaves the room as I collect my tarot cards, letting out a sigh. Oh, Merlin, I beg, please tell me that was a coincidence.
Please tell me dad’s okay.
But of course, I don’t get an answer.
“Thanks for doing this,” Scorpius says awkwardly as we walk down the halls of St. Mungos. After a pause he adds, “Again.”
I smile at him. “Scorpius, you’ve done so much for me… I don’t mind going with you to visit your mum. It’s fine. Stop freaking out.”
He forces a smile back at me. We continue to wander down the hallways, more nurses greeting Scorpius by name the closer we get to his mum’s room. I feel my heart break slightly at this. How many times does he come here to get to the point that nearly everyone knows his name?
“So you were saying something about tarot cards,” he starts as we reach the door of his mum’s room. He opens it, glancing at me, but as he turns to go into the room he freezes, not even breathing.
“What is it?” I ask him nervously, trying to look over his shoulder. “Scorpius?”
The blood drains from his face and his mouth opens and closes, but no sound comes out. After a minute a slight squeaking sound emerges.
“Scorpius?” I ask again.
Finally, in the voice a two year old might use after waking up from a nightmare, he whimpers, “D—dad?”
My eyes widen at this. I finally manage to get a good view over his shoulder just in time to see Draco Malfoy, his blonde hair and silver eyes so familiar, turn to look at us. His eyes pass over me, an odd, sorrowful look crossing his face, and then he turns to look at Scorpius. “Dad?” Scorpius breathes again, and some of the color returns to his pale face. His silver eyes have suddenly come alive, sparkling oddly.
They stare at each other for a moment before Scorpius asks almost hopefully, staring at his father with a rising hope in his silver eyes, barely daring to breathe, as he whispers, “Are… Are you back? Are you staying?”
Draco’s hard gray eyes soften, and for a moment he seems to be trying to say something to Scorpius, but then he stops, small, unshed tears filling his eyes. It’s almost as if he’s unable to find the words for what he wants to say. After a moment of staring at his son, Draco Malfoy picks up his bag and pushes past us gently, leaving the room quickly without so much as a word.
We stare after him, and after he disappears down the hallway Scorpius stumbles unsteadily into the room, sinking on to a chair. I walk in after him, shutting the door behind myself, and go kneel next to his chair.
“What is it?” I ask quietly.
When Scorpius finally gets his voice back he lets out an odd, breathless sob like noise and says in an infinitely sad voice that makes my heart shatter, “He hates me.”
I shake my head at this. “No, he doesn’t,” I disagree softly, thinking about the way Draco had watched Scorpius just a few moments ago.
“He does,” Scorpius insists in a voice full of an excruciating amount of pain, raising his head so that his eyes meet mine. “Why else would he leave for six months?”
I’m at a loss of words all of a sudden. Draco doesn’t hate Scorpius; I can see it in his eyes. He was crying when he looked at Scorpius, he almost looked to be begging his son for forgiveness. But still, why would he leave? Astoria is sick—dying— so that would make leaving an even worse idea.
So what is he up to? I bite my lip, trying not to think about this. He’s Scorpius’s dad. I can’t accuse him of anything. That just wouldn’t be right. Especially not with all of the things Scorpius is going through right now.
But still, I find myself suspicious. Something else has to be going on. I don’t know what, but something.
I sigh and put a hand on Scorpius’s shoulder. “He doesn’t hate you.” He shakes his head, ignoring me, and I add, “Everything will be okay, Scorpius. Trust me.”
He looks up at me, biting his lip, looking as if he’s about to say something when a voice asks quietly, “S… Scorp… Scorpius?”
He jerks upright and turns to stare at his mum, who has opened her eyes slightly and is reaching out a shaking hand to him.
He rushes to her, biting his lip. “Mum,” he says softly as he grabs her hand. “It’s okay, I promise.”
She smiles feebly at him, and right then I notice how gaunt she looks. Her face is pale, the dark shadows under her eyes standing out very clearly. She’s beginning to look more and more like a skeleton from the last time I saw her, her hair tangled and knotted, and she’s barely able to move.
I bite my lip. This is awful. That people have to suffer like this. What’s the point of hanging onto a life so full of pain for so long, especially when you know you’re going to die? What’s the point of just sitting there in that bed, unable to do anything? What’s the point of it all?
And why her?
I sigh slightly, closing my eyes, scrubbing a hand down my face. It’s bloody awful. And Scorpius…
I look up at him, watching his bottom lip tremble as tears threaten to spill over. His silver eyes are so full of pain, of a useless hope, that it’s nearly devastating. It kills me slowly.
Why the hell does this happen? Why does fate do things this way? I sink into the chair Scorpius had previously occupied, sighing in exhaustion.
What’s the point? I ask silently again. What’s the point of making people suffer? What’s the point of tearing people’s lives apart?
What good does it lead to in the end?
I lean my head back against the chair and allow myself to think about dad for a moment, hoping that I won’t end up crying, but unable to stop myself.
I think back to my first trip to platform nine and three quarters when I was eleven, when he comforted me, telling me he would be proud of me no matter what. I think back to my sorting, remembering how instead of wishing that I would end up in Gryffindor I just sat there and allowed the hat to be placed on my head, thinking, I only want to make dad proud. I remember the looks on everyone’s face when the hat shouted Slytherin. But still, dad was proud of me. He didn’t mind that I was a Slytherin. I knew that Uncle Ron and some of the others did, but dad never cared. When I told him he just smiled at me and said, “It makes no difference to me, Al. You’re still my son. I love you.” I remember over the years how no matter what happened he was always there for me. How he always just smiled and told me everything would be okay.
And now he’s gone.
I blink tears out of my eyes, hoping Scorpius hasn’t noticed that I’m about to start crying.
I have to find him.
He was always so brave, always took care of me… Now it’s my turn.
It’s my turn to find him.
It’s my turn to be brave for my family.
I have to do this. If not for me or Lily or James or mum, then just for him. Always for him. He’s my dad.
I can’t ever imagine life without him. He was always there to bring sunlight and laughter, and just a strange sense of happiness that he always retained, no matter what happened, no matter what was going on.
He was always there. And now he’s not.
But he’s not dead, I think to myself. He can’t be.
He can’t be. I have to find him.
“Al?” Scorpius asks gently. I open my eyes to find him staring at me, his silver eyes shaded as he watches me hesitantly. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” I croak. “Just—Just thinking about dad.”
His face softens slightly, but he doesn’t move towards me. I notice that his mum’s hand is still gripped in his. “Al…”
I look up at him tiredly and he promises me softly, his eyes glittering at me, “We’ll find him, no matter what.”
“There’s only two weeks left until school starts again,” I say, exhaustion finally seeping into my bones. I can’t do this. But I have to.
“We’ll find him,” Scorpius repeats, determination in his voice, in his eyes. “He’s still alive out there somewhere. This Gage person—whoever he actually is— has no reason to kill him yet.”
I nod slowly, as Rose’s words from last night come back to mind. You just have to look at things a different way and you’ll find the answers you’re looking for.
I bring the list out of my back pocket, staring at the names on it, reading the ones we crossed off and feel my face pale. Of course. He’s one of three.
“What?” Scorpius asks, glancing at me.
I show him the list. “He’s one of these three,” I say, pointing to three names that my dad had scrawled down and I had partially crossed out.
“They’re dead,” Scorpius protests, his silver eyes narrowing.
I turn the list back to face me, and then look up at him, doubt crossing my mind for a second, and I look back down at the list.
Oh, what the fuck. I live in a world full of magic, ghosts, and thousands of other crazy things. Why is this any stranger? Someone faking their death and disappearing? Defiantly not the weirdest thing I’ve heard off. Hell, it might sound insane, but truly, it’s not. Magic is a world full of possibilities. Anything can happen.
I look back up at Scorpius again and say confidently, even though my voice is a little wobbly, “Apparently one of them isn’t.”
A/N: Two chapters in one day! I’m on a roll! I love this chapter. I don’t know why. When I read it it fills me with this fuzzy feeling… (weird, I know)
Well, any guesses, hmm? Who’s Gage? And Scorpius… :’( I feel so bad for him…
Chapter fifteen is pretty short and a very big filler, but it has to happen I suppose. We get some goofy Al and Scorpius interaction and Al goes all prophetic on us again.
Anyhow, as I’m done writing the story and must ask this question: What do you all think of a sequel? The idea popped in my head the other day, and suddenly I was like “Oh yay, more Al and Scorpius!” (I’m so pathetic sometimes. I would lose my mind if I didn’t have those two.) Anyhow, if you all want to read it, I’ll write it, so please, give me your opinion on that one.
The story will be twenty chapters, and will barely be a novel, but it’ll get there. :) I’m at about 52,000 words at the moment. I’ll do some editing, but it should end up around there.
Enough of my boring rambling, here’s the preview (which is probably why you’re all reading this author’s note in the first place… ha.) :
“What the hell?” I grumble to myself, rolling my shoulders back in an attempt to move without hurting myself more. I wince slightly. Damn, that hurt too. I squeeze my eyes shut against the pain, wincing again.
When I’m finally able to see straight the first thing I see is a panicked pair of silver blue eyes staring at me. Scorpius’s eyes widen and he finally says in a breathless, frightened voice, “Wh—what was… Fuck. Al…?”
Thank you all for reading! Please tell me opinions about a sequel…
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