Chapter 17 : Chapter 17
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I closed my eyes, trying my hardest to block out his voice. Unfortunately, holding cells were rather small, so ignoring someone confined in the same cement room as me was rather difficult.
“They know the traders were there, right? I mean, it wasn’t ourfault,” Scorpius continued, and I could hear the worry in his voice, and, without looking, I could picture the worried frown on his face.
“Surely your Dad will come soon, I mean, he has to-“
I let out a frustrated scream, my eyes flickering open.
“Scorpius, shut the hell up!” I yelled, turning to face him. My fists were clenched, and I probably looked a fright.
Scorpius, in contrast, was pacing up and down the cell, though he’d frozen mid-pace at my outburst. His eyes were wide, almost comically so, and I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty for yelling.
He was right, after all. This whole thing was my fault.
“You’re right, I’m an idiot. I know that, and saying it’s not helping matters,” I said dully, slumping slightly to rest against the wall, defeated. With that statement, I saw Scorpius’s brow furrow, and I knew he’d caught at least some of the possible double meaning there. I’d never tell him if I was merely talking about being an idiot now, or one in the past tense as well. He’d do better wondering about it.
There was silence. I studied my fingernails and scuffed my shoes into the worn flagstone floor, and Scorpius paced. Eventually, he changed direction and came to stand in front of me.
“Don’t they usually just send a warning for these sorts of things? It’s not like we’ve used magic in front of Muggles before,” Scorpius said quietly, and I could tell he’d been thinking about this for a while.
Technically, he was right. This, however, wasn’t a normal situation.
“This is an active investigation we’re mixed up in,” I said with a shrug, “the normal rules don’t apply.”
The fact that we’d done magic in front of not just one or two Muggles, but upwards of fifteen, was also a factor, but I didn’t say it. This wasn’t good, and we both knew it.
Again, silence fell. There wasn’t a lot either of us could say until some sort of decision was made higher up.
“Rose, we should talk about-“ Scorpius started, attempting to change the topic.
This particular topic, however, was not one I wanted to talk about.
“Not now,” I snapped, folding my arms across my chest. This was not the time for a relationship talk.
Especially considering we weren’t actually in a relationship.
“You cannot be serious.”
“Unfortunately, Rose, I am.”
I gaped at my father, momentarily stunned.
“But…but…” I looked around wildly for an excuse.
“Scorpius was injured! You can’t drag him in for questioning in such a state, surely!” I tried, clinging to the bars of the cell, with my father on the other side of them. He didn't respond, however, and simply walked away after uttering a pitiful 'best of luck'. Great.
Scorpius was sitting up against the wall, his hands wrapped around his legs. So far, he hadn’t spoken a word since my father delivered the news that we were to be questioned, now.
I wasn’t sure what to say to him. Hell, I wasn’t sure what to say to anyone at this point. Every word I uttered felt like it carried a huge weight, and that it could instantly be thrown in my face, used against me.
I suppose this newfound wariness would come in handy when we were questioned. Any minute now.
My mind wandered to Sophia, the poor girl who was surely frightened out of her mind right now. I hadn’t seen her since the Aurors had whisked her away, nor did I know what had happened to her. She’d survived, that much I knew.
All the traders had escaped, and Jack Pinton had been among them. Inwardly, I was furious and wanted to chase them down. Whatever was going on at that school, I wanted to know, and wanted to stop it. I was a part of it now, after all, though I still hadn’t figured out why they’d had my picture in the first place. Perhaps I’d shown up and had been a threat to them, a witch in their territory.
I had no idea, but I wanted, more than anything, to know. Unfortunately, they were out there, doing God knows what, and I was here, behind bars.
Frowning, I stared at the floor, waiting for the time to come, and our names be called for questioning. They’d come get us, Dad had said, when they were ready. Any minute now.
“I’m sorry for yelling at you, Rose.”
My eyes flicked to Scorpius’s still figure, analysing his face. He wasn’t looking at me, but at his hands, his gaze intense.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to say to his outburst.
“You…you were justified in doing so,” I finally stated, shrugging my shoulders slightly, “I was an idiot, I was rash. I’m always like that.”
My breath hitched slightly – this time, I knew both Scorpius and I were well aware that I was talking about the past as well as the present. Oh, yes, I’d had my reasons, but I should have told him. Now, with more maturity (or at least more experience, if not exactly maturity) on my side, I would have explained the circumstance. Lying to him, especially like I had, telling him I’d met someone else…it would have made him feel worse.
Tonight had shown me that. It was an awakening, as much as it sucked. I slumped back against the wall, staring at his face once again, even though he wasn’t looking at me.
“I’m sorry too, Scorpius,” I said finally.
The words rang in the air for a moment, and his eyes slowly rose to mine. Any minute now. He opened his mouth, to say what, I don’t know. There was a ringing from the cell bars, and we both jumped. An Auror, rather short, slightly bald, most definitely not my father, was standing there, looking expectantly at us.
“It’s time,” he said quickly, opening the cell.
Whatever Scorpius had been about to say, and all thoughts of past relationships (and current ones too, I wagered) left my mind, and I pushed off from the wall.
Right, let’s do this.
We weren’t in an actual courtroom, thank god. Instead, we were ushered to my mother’s office, as she was the Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Scorpius and I exchanged a glance as we entered, and I took a deep breathe. Here we go.
We took our seats (no chains like in the stories Uncle Harry sometimes told), and faced our questioner. I didn’t expect it to be anyone I was related to, and I wasn’t disappointed. A man, around my parent’s age, his hair slightly grey, was sitting behind my mother’s desk.
“You are Rose Weasley and Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy, yes?”
We both nodded.
“And you were both present at Edgeston Primary School earlier this evening?”
Again, we nodded.
“Now, Miss Weasley, can you please describe the events of the attack to me?”
My eyes narrowed slightly – I didn’t like being singled out. I took a breath, and started talking.
”Scorpius says you’re with someone else,” Miranda said, biting her nails anxiously.
I ignored her, turning over onto my stomach, scrutinizing the charms essay I had lying before me on my bed. I did not feel like having this conversation right now.
“Rose, you can’t not answer. He has a right to know a bit more, you know. The boy’s in love with you.”
I closed my eyes, squeezing them tightly, almost painfully so. Still I refused to answer, my quill scratching out a wrong word and replacing it with another.
“I don’t believe a word of it, just so you know. You’re not the type to cheat, no matter what your prickly attitude might suggest. God, Rose, you’ve barely even dated. You…wouldn’t, couldn’t do this.”
She sounded so sure. She was convincing herself that I was lying, and she was correct. I couldn’t tell her that, however. She’d instantly run to Albus or Scorpius, and everything would fall to bits. I was a liar, I was a bitch. I was a horrible person for doing this to him.
Which was a bit ironic since the whole reason I was doing it in the first place was because I was a terrible person and that he could do better.
“You will tell me, eventually,” Miranda said firmly, after a full minute’s silence between us.
I hated this. I hated the questioning. It felt like I was on trial, or under a spotlight, sweating bullets. I hated it.
“Could you describe these traders for us?”
“This girl, Sophia, what exactly was her involvement?”
“You say you didn’t realise the Muggles were present, and that it was for self-defence. At what point did you realise what you’d done?”
The questions kept on coming. Most of them were directed at me. I did most of the talking, and I refused to let myself stop and thinking, to freak out. I just kept going, the ball kept rolling. It’d be fine.
Somehow, the end arrived. The man, who’d never introduced himself, which only served to make him seem slightly inhuman, leant back in the seat, and smiled at us.
“Thank you,” he said curtly, nodding his head slightly.
I blinked. What did that mean? Were we free to go? Did we have to go back to that cell? Would they need a statement from Sophia, as she was a witness?
I opened my mouth to ask for clarification, but the man spoke again, cutting off any questions I’d been about to ask.
“As I’m sure both of you are aware, these traders are in fact being investigated by our department. As such, we are aware of their past involvement with the two of you, and knew about some of their activities at the school. Their inclination to perform magical in front of Muggles, despite the consequences, was also known to us,” he said calmly, his eyes level with mine.
“I’m also assuming that you are aware that there is a law stating that magic can be used in the presence of Muggles if it is being self-defence. Correct?” His eyes flicked between Scorpius and I, and involuntarily, I tensed. This was it.
We nodded in unison, and waited for him to continue.
“Considering that, I,” he paused, and glanced at a few of the other men in the room, “am letting you go. It will, however, remain on your record, and should you incur further offences, the consequences will be severe.”
I didn’t hear much past “letting you go”. My mind went into instant celebration mode, and I knew a grin was spreading on my face. I couldn’t help it.
I wasn’t sure what to say then, but luckily, Scorpius stepped in.
“Thank you, Sir,” he said, offering his hand out to shake the man’s. I watched, my eyebrows raised slightly, doubting that the man would accept his hand.
To my surprise, he smiled, and shook Scorpius's hand with vigour.
“You’re free to go now, both of you, but be sure to keep this quiet! Oblivators have been out at the school, cleaning up the mess, so don’t worry about that-“
A sharp tap at the door interrupted him, and all heads turned towards it.
“Sir, there’s been some sort of disturbance on the third floor-“ a voice spoke quickly, coming from a head poking around the edge of the door.
The room instantly moved into action, and all of them charged to the exit. None of them paid us any heed. As far as they were concerned, we were free to leave. They’d moved onto the next thing.
I blinked, and turned to look at Scorpius.
“Well, at least that’s over,” I said, shrugging one shoulder as I stood from my chair.
Stretching slightly, I turned to Scorpius, who grinned cheekily.
“Want to go check out that disturbance on the third floor? Who knows what it will be, and we have no leads anyway,” he said, obviously trying to convince himself as well as me that we shouldn’t instantly run after the traders.
“They,” I said, gesturing to the room around us, referring to the Ministry “will probably want us to lay low and stay out of it for a bit, so why not?”
Smirking slightly, I sauntered out of the room, Scorpius hot on my heels. What better way to avoid talking about our issues than by sneaking around the Ministry of Magic?
A/N: I am so, so sorry that it took me this long to update. All the previous chapter's I'd written during NaNoWriMo last year, and I happened to finish off at a rather intense point in the plot line. As it was, I've been avoiding writing more ever since, because I knew it was going to get tougher to write. Now, right in the middle of semester, I've stupidly decided it's time to pick it back up, so here I am.
Sorry for the wait, I swear it won't happen again (I'm already starting the next chapter! I promise! ;) ), and I'm also catching up on my review answering. I love every single review any of you've left for me, you have no idea how much they mean. Thank you all :) I'm so glad I still have people sticking with this story, which started up as a moment of insanity in November!
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