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Chapter 5 : The Fifth Visitation
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“Rose, are you ready?” called Uther, as Rose began to do the last touches to her make-up. Running down the stairs to catch up with him, she grabbed his hand as they walked towards the fireplace, Uther’s hand already full of Floo Powder. Throwing themselves into the fire, Rose felt supremely sick before they landed in Madame Puddifoot’s in Hogsmeade.
Rose tried to relinquish Uther’s hand, but he had such a firm grip she could not. “Can you see Julia?” asked Uther, scanning around the little café. Squinting, Rose could see Julia waving excitedly at her, beckoning to come and sit with them. Opposite her, sitting casually on his chair, was Jack, and her heart flew into her mouth on seeing him.
His hair was styled for once in his life, and he was wearing something that could be described as smart casual. He beamed on seeing her, and she picked up her pace as she trotted towards him, her heart hammering wildly. Without a moment to digest what she was feeling she pointed at Uther.
“Jack, this is Uther. Uther this is Jack Spencer.” Uther’s face crumpled in confusion at these words, so Rose continue, trying to smooth out the tension, “I work with him Uther, this is Jack, I share an office with him at the ministry.” Uther’s face lit up with comprehension, but Rose could vaguely see a snarl appear on his lips.
Jack was giving one of his normal jokey smiles, so Rose side stepped round the table and sat opposite Julia, suddenly assured that she did not want to spend the evening looking at either Uther or Jack. She did not know why, but her heart was hammering wildly in her chest.
“So,” said Uther slowly, weighing up Jack with his eyes, “how long have you known Rose? How long have you been working together? What sort of work do you two do?” Jack batted him eyelids at these intrusive questions, but then slid his eyes over to Rose who found herself looking away from him almost guiltily.
“We’ve worked together for a couple of years. We’re good friends actually, we sometimes go to the Leaky Cauldron, to the Muggle cinema and regularly skive off our ministerial duties,” Jack smiled, a small chuckle escaping him.
Uther narrowed his eyes, and Rose had to force herself to not role her eyes. He was in one of his jealous moods. “Funny,” he growled, flicking his eyes up and down Jack as if to size him up, “Rose has never mentioned you before.” Rose could not help it; she rolled her eyes and firmly decided she hated testosterone.
“Really?” smiled Jack sweetly, “because she mentions you all the time.” Jack shot a look at Rose before continuing, “she’s said this was the sort of thing you would do. She said you hate a little bit of competition!”
The silence was cold and icy. Rose could see Julia biting her lip forcefully, and Rose shot an angry look at Jack. So what if she had told him her concerns about Uther? He did not need to bring them up now! Uther had curled his fists into little balls, and was gazing at Jack with such venom that Rose thought he was going to attack him.
“Competition?” hissed Uther, “are you seriously setting yourself up as competition against me? Rose and I have been meant for each other for years! Do you seriously think you could ever win?” For a moment, Jack looked slightly panicked, and he swallowed noisily. But then he stood up, and for the first time that Rose had known him, he looked genuinely angry.
“Sit down,” hissed Julia, tugging at his coat, “this really isn’t what we are meant to be doing!” But Jack did not listen, and instead kept his eyes firmly focussed on Uther, his own mouth contorting into a snarl. Uther mirrored him, and stood up as well, as if they were two male lions fighting for their pride.
“Yes, I am competition!” announced Jack, “because you do not know how to treat a woman as wonderful, beautiful, funny, intelligent and lovely as Rose here. But I would. I would because I love…” Rose had gone rigid at his words and was on tenterhooks to hear the rest of his proclamation, but then the whole thing took a nasty spin.
Uther propelled himself across the table and launched himself into Jack, the two of them knocked to the floor. Jack had been totally taken aback by this, so Uther had the advantage and he was raining heavy punches down on him. “I’ve fought for her for so long. You cannot take her away from me!”
Julia had let out a little scream and had run forward, trying desperately to pull Uther off Jack, but to no avail. Rose just stood, horrified at what they were doing, and only Madame Puddifoot herself, marching over with her wand pointed at them, broke up the fight.
“Get out!” she stormed, “both of you! I will not have fighting in my café!” Uther at least had the good grace to look a little guilty as he stood up, and he reluctantly held out a hand to help Jack up. Jack refused it, and pulled himself up, and this was the first time that Rose saw his bloodied lip.
“Jack…” she whispered, but he only shot her one furiously look, turned on his heel and marched out of the restaurant without saying a word. Rose’s heart was still hammering hard in her chest, and she was tempted to run after him, but she stayed perfectly still instead and watched him exit through the door.
The mood was icy as Uther and Rose walked back into their house. Rose immediately went upstairs to wipe off her make-up, but Uther caught her arm as she went towards the stairs. Turning around, she saw he had a remorseful face, so she was prepared to listen.
“I’m sorry Rose,” he said shamefully, “I shouldn’t have let it get so out of hand. It was very ungracious of me.” Rose did not say anything to him; maybe she would forgive him tomorrow, so she rolled her eyes and turned back up the stairs.
“Rose,” said Uther more forcefully, his eyes suddenly flashing with anger. “This is the problem. You don’t commit to anything, and you just walk away when there are problems in our relationship. You let everything fester and you will never just sit down and talk! You never want to communicate with me; instead you are blurting out all our problems to that idiot Jack.”
“Don’t call him that!” thundered Rose, “you spend your whole time trying to control me and my life and it is suffocating! You nag me to come home on time, you patrol me like I’m a naughty fourteen year old! I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own life! Have you ever even wondered why I chose Scorpius over you?”
Uther looked as though he had just been stabbed. He staggered back slightly, as if he had been hit by a huge force; his eyes widening as he seemed to consume Rose’s image. “I’ve booked the church,” he said abruptly, “two weeks today. I’ve spent my whole life waiting for you and I’m not waiting any longer.”
He suddenly turned away, and marched out the front door, slamming it behind him as he marched out into the night. Rose suddenly found herself screaming at the door, as if it were Uther. “I hate you so much! Everything always has to be about you and what you want! What if I don’t want to marry you?”
What if I don’t want to marry you?
Rose curled up on the bed. She was still in the clothes she had worn to the aborted date. Sniffing profusely, she had her eyes closed, as if it would stop her head hammering. To her surprise, it was Jack’s voice she heard. Was he really going to say that he loved her?
During the time she lay there, she wasn’t sure whether she was awake or asleep; all she knew was that her heart was aching. “Oh, Uther,” she mumbled, “what are we doing? Jack, what do I feel for you? What do you feel for me? And Scorpius, Scorpius my love, can I ever freely give my heart and soul to another?”
She opened her eyes, and she was no longer on her bed.
She was in the courtyard at Hogwarts, where everyone spent their breaks. It was fairly sunny and packed with students; first years playing gobstones, Rosaline sobbing over losing Albus for the umpteenth time and people chatting, giggling and socialising. Rose scanned the crowds, trying to see who she recognised.
First, she recognised Scorpius over the other side of the courtyard, sitting alone eating a Pumpkin Pasty. Picking up her feet, she jogged towards him, and saw his eyes were firmly fixed on a group of people; Rose and her friends.
“Rose, it’s only a detention,” Julia was saying kindly, “Cecelia’s had hundreds of detentions and she’s still alive.” Young Rose’s head was nestled into Uther’s shoulder, and she laughed gently at this. Turning her attention back to Scorpius, Rose saw he was intently focussed on the younger version of herself.
The mood of the group changed instantly. Uther had noticed Scorpius, and he marched over towards him. “Hey, Malfoy!” Uther bellowed as Young Rose, Julia and Cecelia cantered behind him. Julia’s eyes flicked nervously between Uther and Scorpius, before her eyes settled firmly on the former.
Scorpius gave a perfunctory reply, before Uther played his hand; “If you do anything to upset my girlfriend again…” Scorpius gave a drawled reply and Rose noticed the way Uther threateningly ballooned his body, and seemed to bear down on Scorpius.
Some more words were exchanged but Rose missed them as Scorpius’ focus had changed. He was now staring directly at her, and smile curling on his lips. Rose wanted to shout at him, and she dashed forward in order to grab him, but he eluded her, as the world dissolved around her, as it had so many times before.
Opening her eyes, she lifted her exhausted body with such force that she propelled herself off the bed. She saw him instantly, hovering in the hall. Screaming at him, she threw herself towards him. “Are you trying to make me go mad? If you want to tell me something, just tell me!”
He gave her a brief, heartbreaking smile before whispering, “you must find it out on your own.” Then before her eyes, he began to disappear. Trying to grab hold of his translucent figure, he dissolved into nothing before her eyes, and it was as if he had never been there.
“I really am going mad,” she muttered.
Okay, I know I was ages again for this sorry excuse of a chapter, but real life takes over! I really am trying to show the range of emotions that Rose is feeling, and what I want to know is who do you think that Rose will decide owns her heart totally? I will try to be quick with the next chapter, but I can't promise too much. I will probably upload the next long overdue chapter of Chained Lady Next. So if you want to read something, read that or my "personal best" story Legendary.
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