Chapter 17 : Be Still
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"We did everything we could," The healer began in a tone that I'd long come to associate with lost causes. "All we can do now is wait and see if he's going to wake up."
Scorpius's hand was on my shoulder; his reassurance was unspoken, but unyieldingly present. I leaned into him so much that the chair arm that was separating us dug into my side. My hand clamped onto his as he tried to take my pain away with just a simple touch. He helped, but nothing could fully eradicate the agony I was feeling.
"As for you," The other healer turned to me. "We need to do surgery on you now."
I wanted to protest, but I didn't. "Okay."
"Sign these and please change your emergency contact person."
My mouth was dry as I opened it to ask why when I saw that my last emergency contact was my father. It would have been better to just stab me straight in the heart. My eyes filled with tears and I let out a sigh.
"Okay." I told the healer, as I grabbed the quill and filled out all my medical information.
I was about to hand the emergency contact information to my mother when I realized she had gone home earlier. In front of me sat my Aunt Ginny, Uncle George, Uncle Harry, James, Lily and Hugo. All perfectly acceptable options to be in charge of me state and medical care. I filled out the forms and after a moments hesitation I handed the clipboard to Scorpius.
His hair was everywhere, and his face was unshaven. He looked a mess from occasionally napping in this waiting room with me. But in that moment, his light eyebrows lifted in confusion.
"What are you doing?" He asked in a hushed voice as his steel eyes examined me.
I shrugged, "I need surgery."
"But why are you handing this to me?" He asked in bewilderment.
"Look at them," I whispered so only he could hear. He looked at my crying family, my grieving family. "They can't handle this right now."
He didn't look so sure. "Rose-"
"Scorpius," I breathed, taking his hand in my own. "You're my family. I don't want to ask anyone else. And I understand if this is too much for you, but if that's the case then just say it." I closed my eyes in exhaustion. "I'll write down Hugo, and I'll go off to surgery."
My eyes were closed so I didn't see his face. But I did feel his body tense up and I did feel him grab the quill and sign his signature. When I opened my eyes he was walking off to hand the healer the paperwork. A smile crept up onto my face as I watched his familiar strut. As my eyes fell to the other side of the room, my eyes locked with Lily. She was the only person in the room that wasn't furious with me, and the only person in the room who was looking at me.
Her big brown eyes were red with from crying, but she wasn't crying anymore. Her 22 year old face looked at me dead in the eyes and knew exactly how broken I was. He was her brother. She loved him deeply and dearly, but I loved him more. Albus was my cousin, but I was always closer to him than he was to his siblings. His heart was still beating, and he could still wake up any moment from now. He could have his father's luck and wake up to fight another day. But at this point I didn't have any hope left. All I had left was pain.
"Ms. Weasley," A healer walked over to me, and moved around my hospital wheelchair. "It's time."
I nodded, as my family looked up from their damaged stupor.
Hugo stood up, and walked over to me. When he reached me, he swatted to be at eye level with me. "Rose," He cried, his voice breaking with emotion. "Promise."
"I promise." I cried grabbing his hand. "I will fight."
He kissed my forehead, and left the room. Lily was next, she held my hand and said. "I will see you in a few hours. Okay?"
"Okay," I breathed, "Make sure you eat something okay?"
Despite herself she laughed. "Yes mum."
No one else rose to say goodbye to me, but I could see on their faces why. None of them could bear to lose me. They couldn't bear to say goodbye. They couldn't handle this right now. So I gave them a watery smile and waved. The healer than pushed me out of the room and into my own hospital room to change into a hospital gown.
Scorpius was in the room. He sat on the bed and delicately helped me out of my clothes and into the hospital gown. In vain he tried to keep his face impassive. He did his best to stay calm and act like seeing the bruises and scars on me didn't bother him, but I always saw through him. And even in my weakened state I worried what this was doing to him.
"You know I feel like this is one of my better looks." I joked dryly as sat on the bed.
He didn't smile.
I grabbed his hand and pulled him over to me. He shunned away, and was unable to look me in the eye. I'd never seen him look scared in my life. He'd always been confident. He'd always been so sure in himself. But right now he looked so lost.
"Hey," I whispered cupping his face, "Look at me."
He shook his head, as his jaw trembled. "I …I can't."
"Scorpius Malfoy, look at me." I demanded softly as my eyes bore into his.
He gulped and curled his lip. Finally his eyes met mine and when they did I was blow aback by the intensity that was there. His eyes held so much force that I couldn't help, but cry.
"I love you." I said weakly.
"I know that." He nodded, "I do, but…I talked to the healer. He said you have 60-40 chance…I can't take losing you again…I…"
I leaned forward and kissed him. My lips tingled as his fingers held my face, and mine knotted in his hair. I felt a rip of pain tare through my stomach and I let out a low groan of pain as I pulled away from him.
"Did I hurt you?"
I clenched my eyes shut, and gripped his shoulders. "No. It wasn't you."
"Ms. Weasley," My healer announced as he walked in. "If you could lay down, we will take you into surgery now."
I nodded biting my lip as my body start searing with pain.
Scorpius arms moved around me, repositioning me into a laying position as I no longer had the energy to do it myself. As they began to feed me potions to sedate me, I intertwined my hand with his. The bed started to move and Scorpius moved with the bed, his face full of tears.
I looked up at him.
"Come back, or I'll go after you." He swore, his face entirely serious.
As we reached the doors, I kissed his hand. "I love you too."
Then a wave of exhaustion covered me like a blanket and I fell into a deep sleep.
When I opened my eyes I was in a park. I'd been lying on the ground, getting my jeans all grassy. My eyes squinted as the sunshine grazed my face gently. I looked down and saw I was wearing my Quidditch jersey. After a few seconds examination I saw I was fully healed, I didn't have a single scrape or bruise on me. For a second I listened and heard nothing but the sound of a warm breeze sweeping through the grounds. I looked around and saw no one until I saw a bench by a familiar looking tree. Albus looked better than he had in weeks, he was perfectly shaven, he had no bags under his eyes, and there was a spring in his step I hadn't seen in a long time.
Picking myself off the ground I wandered over to him slightly confused as to where I was and what the hell I was doing there.
"Hey Rosie." Albus grinned as I sat down.
I eyed him suspiciously. "Al-bus, what are you up-to?"
"Me?" He pointed to himself innocently. "Nothing. I'm just here to say goodbye."
"Goodbye?" I frowned in confusion, and then my stomach knotted. "Goodbye?" I repeated as my eyes filled with tears. "No…"
Albus put his arms around me fondly, with a sympathetic smile on his face. "It had to happen Rose. At the end of that fight one of us had to die, and I'm glad it was me."
"NO! It was supposed to me!" I screamed furiously. "It was always supposed to be me."
"No," He told me softly, "It wasn't. It was never supposed to be you."
Albus sighed and looked out at the bright green grass that matched his eyes so well. His smile was back, as he inhaled the fresh summertime air. Thought there wasn't a child in sight it had a childish energy to it that seemed to grow the longer we sat.
"Do you remember this place?"
I frowned, taking in my surroundings. "No."
"We used to come here as kids."
"Aunt Ginny took us on her day off…" I whispered as the memory came back to me. "But what are we doing here?"
"When I thought of a time I was the happiest I thought of those days. I thought of a time before I was bitter, before I was jealous. A time before I felt a pressure of being Harry Potter's son. And I came here."
Biting my lip I looked at him. "How can you be so…"
"Calm?" He interjected, "Because I've accepted what's happened."
"Well," I spat stubbornly. "I can't. I refuse to accept this."
Albus laughed, a deep hardy laugh. "I knew you wouldn't which is why I'm approaching you in the first place."
"What do you expect to gain from this? I'm not going to let you go. I can't. Okay? I can't." I told him simply crossing my arms.
"Rose, it was never meant to be you." He looked at me somberly. "I had stuff going for me, I did. I had a job, I had family, a few friends, but you have a much bigger destiny than I ever would have. You have a big life to live. More people rely on you than they did me. You can do much more good than I could have."
I frowned, shaking my head. "I don't believe that."
"I know you don't and I love you for that. But for the love of Merlin promise me you won't blame yourself for this. No matter what anyone says I signed up for this. I knew the risks and I took them."
"How can you be so okay with this? You're…you're…"
"Dead?" He muttered, "Everyone dies Rose. It was just my time."
Tears flowed down my cheeks. "But…why?"
"Because I've done everything I need to do."
"What aren't you saying?" I asked.
He shook his head. "You aren't getting it. I'm at peace. I've accepted this. I'm with my grandparents."
"Uncle Harry's parents?"
"Yeah." He grinned, "But back to the point. The point is you're going to get through this, all of it."
I sighed as I wiped away my tears. "How can you be so sure?"
"Because you have a lot to look forward to." He said mysteriously, Albus gestured up to the clear blue sky. "They talk a lot up there. I know where you're going and I want to say, before I have to go. I'm proud of you."
He pulled me into a tight hug. "Yes, I am….I can't stand Malfoy, but after the sap-fest I just witnessed-"
"You watched?" I backed away furiously.
"What else am I supposed to do with my after life?" Albus snorted, "Besides I didn't truly cross over yet. I was waiting on something."
I furrowed my eyebrows. "What?"
"You." He pointed. "Now my times is up, but I love you. Take care of yourself okay? And when the time comes they'll all forgive you."
I nodded as his hand wrapped around my hand. "I love you too."
"The ones we love never leave us Rose…Remember that."
For a second we sat there, the warm sun warmed my skin. His black hair shined in the sun as his pale skin made his eyes glow. I didn't want to let go and if I hadn't seen him I don't think I ever would have. But he was sincere. He honestly believed this was for the best. And he genuinely felt at peace. Though I don't think I'd ever fully forgive myself for involving him in the first place, the weight on my chest was lifted. How could I be mad or upset when Albus himself had never been better?
He grabbed something from his other side and grinned. I looked what was in his hand, and a sob escaped my chest. It was Mad Libs.
"When you have kids you'll play Mad Libs with them right?"
Inhaling sharply, I lowered my head on his shoulder and hugged him back. He whispered. "Time to go."
And then I felt his grip loosen on me, and then I felt everything around vanish, and then I felt nothing at all.
Scorpius nursed his coffee and fidgeted nervously in his chair as he went over every little detail of what could go wrong in his mind. To a stranger he must have looked crazy, but to the few that knew him they would know he was doing everything in his power to keep it together, which considering the circumstances was everything he had.
The rest of the Potter family had dispersed when a healer came in to give them news on Albus. Scorpius didn't hear what it was, but from what he could see from the looks on their faces it wasn't good news. As he had no real alliance to any of them, he kept to himself and just stayed focused on Rose. But after they all left, he felt sadness for them. Though he was never treated very warmly by Rose's family, he still knew at the end of the day they loved each other very deeply and that this loss wounded them.
James was the only one who stuck around and was the only one sitting the room with Scorpius now. His stomach growled signaling for the third time in the past few hours.
"Have you eaten?" James questioned from across the room.
Scorpius shook his head. "You?"
"Not a single bite…Want to get something?"
Frowning Scorpius shook his head. "I better not."
"You're worried she will wake up and you won't be there?" James voiced knowingly.
A blush crept on his pale face.
"I swear we will be gone thirty minutes tops. The healers have you written down as emergency contact and honestly she's going to be in there for three more hours you have to eat something or you'll be in there next."
Scorpius let out a small laugh at James. He was right. Scorpius had noticed in the short time he had come to know James that he usually was. So he looked at his watch and sighed.
Scorpius stood up. "Fine, but that's it."
Walking to the cafeteria together Scorpius and James both felt the slightly better. They didn't talk about Rose, or James, but they didn't want to. As they grabbed some much needed food they talked about other things. They shared Hogwarts stories, and Auror stories and finally after more than thirty minutes they realized there wasn't a way in the world they could ignore the present. Scorpius let out a sigh and gave James a frown.
"I'm sorry about your brother."
James's face tightened, but he nodded all the same. "Thanks…I know that takes a lot after everything he did to you."
Scorpius shrugged, unable to deny this. "He may never have been a fan of me, but he did a lot for the rest of you."
"True…he did." James's eyes became watery. "But …it's weird, but I kind of felt it coming and I think he did too."
"What do you mean?"
"The way he was acting before…Rose wasn't the only one saying goodbye, he was too. I think he knew that if it came down to him or Rose that would be him."
Scorpius didn't understand how he could know this. It was clear that Albus never explicitly said it so how could James understand his intentions?
His disbelief must have been clear, because James's face grew very sad. "You don't get it do you? You don't have that kind of …connection with your family?"
"No," Scorpius answered honestly, but flatly. "I don't."
"Why is that?"
"My father and I…have never really gotten along. It's like we can't keep it civil without one of us saying something to wound the other." Scorpius let out a bitter laugh. "It's kind of a family tradition."
James shook his head in disappointment. "It shouldn't be like that."
"That's the way my family is… Very cold and old fashioned…except my mum."
"What's she like?"
Scorpius snorted. "Fussy, she nit picks about everything…" A childlike smirk slid onto his face. "And warm. She's very warm."
"You'd like her…everyone does. She's the only person in the world who can make my dad stop being such an ass."
"Sounds like my aunt and uncle," James smiled as he stirred his straw around his water. "My uncle Ron was a good guy, but he had a temper…a lot like Albus actually. When he got an idea in his head that was it. Unless my aunt Hermione got an idea in her head…Then there was no way he could have won." He paused and sighed. "I think Rose always assumed she'd never find something like that. Someone who would keep up instead of holding her down."
Scorpius rolled his eyes. "Well clearly that's not the case."
"She's going to be fine." James sighed casually. "But I'm warning you in advance. Now that you're with her there's going to be a whole line of people that are going to come out of the woodwork to take you to down."
"I've been through it before," Scorpius scoffed as they rose from their seats and threw away their food.
James gave him a dark look as they walked together back to the waiting room. "Not like this…"
Scorpius adjusted his shirt and considered arguing with James, but there was something about the way he said it, like it was a proclamation that was written purely in truth.
When they got back James left and told Scorpius to owl him when Rose woke up. Though he nodded, Scorpius wasn't really listening. He liked having James as a friend, and enjoyed their talk, but if he was going to wait for Rose he'd rather wait alone.
Millions of thoughts swirled around in his head. As much as he wanted to believe James knew Rose better than he did and that he had no reason to worry he still did anyway. Then again he'd been awake for much longer than usual. He had tried to sleep, but couldn't do so for long. His brain just wouldn't shut off. There was just no way he could relax until he knew she was safe, until he held her in his arms.
After waiting for only two hours a healer came up to him. His whole throat seized up, as his grey eyes locked on the man who hadn't spent the past four hours operating on Rose.
Scorpius let out a heavy sigh of relief that had been growing his chest all day.
"But she's going to need some time to recover. I'm not allowing her go back to work for at least a month."
He laughed, heartedly. "I'm sure that will go over well."
"Well I'm afraid Ms. Weasley won't have a choice. She had very extensive surgery and her body needs time to recuperate."
Checking his paperwork he said, "You may see her now."
It was the weirdest thing, but he found this was this was the hardest part. When he thought she wasn't going to be okay, when he thought they weren't going to be okay he would take on anything just to fix that. But now he worried that something would go wrong. After all something always went wrong and he worried that it would happened when she wasn't strong enough to fight it off. But when he got into her room, that aching fear went away.
All his thought disappeared and all he could was smile at her. Her hair shined bright red in the horrible hospital lighting, and her pale face was far paler than normal, but he was beyond reassured to see her awake.
"Hey," She whispered softly, her voice quiet from exhaustion.
He grinned, and sat in the chair next to her. "Hey."
Gulping she frowned, her big blue eyes filling up with watery fear. "Albus is gone isn't he?"
"Yes." Scorpius frowned. "I'm sorry."
Her arms opened in a childlike gesture that he couldn't help, but love. He moved closer and cupped her face as silent tears rolled down her face. Wordlessly he wiped the tears off her face as her small arms locked around him like vines. Eventually she moved over and ordered him to get in the bed with her, and even though he knew the staff would scold him later for it, he still crawled in next to her anyway. Scorpius gently kissed her cheek, forehead, temple and any other part of her face could reach. And for the first time in days, they both slept.
Song in the summary is Be Still By: The Fray. There will be one more chapter of this story, and then in a week or two I will post the final part of the Rose-Scorpius saga which will be named, "Make You Feel My Love." Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing. You people are the best! PLEASE REVIEW!
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