Chapter 1 : Breathe Again
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Scorpius was taken aback when he woke up in a room, tied to a bed, in nothing but his boxers. His first instinct was to break free of the hold, but whoever roped him up did a proficient job. After several failed attempts Scorpius didn't even manage to loosen the hold. He tried to think back to how the hell he could have gotten in this position. For a brief, fleeting second he thought maybe Rose had put him in this situation. But that hope died viciously as he gray eyes looked around the dingy, unused guest room. He knew Rose would never leave him in this dirty of a room. His obsessive need for order was already gnawing at him more and more as he was trapped there.
As he looked around, he felt his brittle chin scratch his shoulder. Frowning, he remembered he had just shaved the day before. There was no reason in the world that his facial hair should be that long. It was almost as if he'd gone two days without shaving. That couldn't be right. But his stomach was completely empty and his mouth was dry.
The last thing he could remember was leaving Rose to go find James. He was looking in his flat…and then he couldn't remember anything else. There did seem to be a bump on his head…
Before he could call out to find out exactly what the hell was happening, Rachel Levitt walked through the door and sat on the edge of the bed. Her long blonde hair was perfect as it flowed down long past her chest.
"Rachel?" He croaked in surprise.
"Hello Scorpius. I hate that we have to meet again in this way," She shrugged, feigning sadness. "But after your little girlfriend and most of her family survived the last strike, I'm afraid we are here again."
He furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "But you…you helped us."
"I did, to give up my Wizard's debt to Albus and Rose, but that debt is gone now so I have absolutely no loyalty to either one of them."
"Albus is dead."
There was a flash of emotion in her eyes, just a flash, but then it was gone. She returned to her collected exterior.
"Yes well, he is a Potter. That was bound to happen eventually."
"What do you want?" He snapped, sensing the danger he was in.
"I don't want anything."
"Then why am I here?!"
Rachel frowned. "Because they want to hurt you."
"Who are they?!"
She didn't answer. Rachel stood up and left the room.
"WHO ARE THEY?!"
August 17 2029
Today marks the sixth week that Auror Scorpius Malfoy, age 24, has been missing. Sources say that his disappearance is not linked to any cases he was working and is more likely to be related to the recent breakout in Azkaban. His family, previously a prominent pureblooded family, has swayed far from the dark prestige it once held. So the question is whether it was perhaps an old enemy of Draco Malfoy that has captured his beloved only son?
Scorpius Malfoy lived alone in a two bedroom flat, but it was heavily rumored that his girlfriend, Auror Rose Weasley, daughter of Hermione Granger and the deceased Auror Ron Weasley and niece of Head Auror Harry Potter, was about to become his fiancée. Ms. Weasley has given no comment to the prophet, but those close to the twenty-four year old insist that they were headed for the altar. One friend of Rose's even mentioned, 'they were soul mates.'
Although it's no secret that Draco Malfoy has done a great deal of damage to the Death Eater community, could it have actually been the on again off again relationship with one Rose Weasley that signed Scorpius' death sentence?
Astoria Malfoy frowned, an expression that made her beautiful face crease, revealing her age. Taking the Daily Prophet in her hand, she walked into her husband's study with a heavy heart.
"What is it?" He asked softly, looking up at his wife.
She threw the Daily Prophet down at the desk and waited for him to finish reading it. "Rose is going to kill her."
"That is hardly a concern-"
"She's on edge Draco! Don't you see that? Weeks without hearing a scrap of news about Scorpius has sent her over the edge!"
His steel eyes locked on his wife. "But that's not-"
"He was going to propose." She stated flatly, crossing her tan arms. "Now I know you have always had an opinion of her because of her family, but as soon as Scorpius bought that ring she became our family too. She will go to the depths of hell for my son, and that means we will do the same for her."
Draco Malfoy opened his mouth to retort something, but after one look at his wife he quickly changed his mind. "What do you want me to do? I have every contact I have looking for him. Even the Weasley girl has done everything she can to find him…I can't stop this reporter from writing whatever she wants. There's nothing I can do."
"Her name is Rose, and what I'm asking is that…" Astoria's big hazel eyes filled with tears as her body shook. "What I'm asking is that you support her, because if anyone will find him it will her…I need her to find him…I need-" Her speech died as she was overwhelmed by tears.
Draco Malfoy rose from his desk, his receding hair pushed back as he moved to embrace his wife. He knew she needed to put her faith somewhere. She needed believe that someone would find their son and bring him home. At first she believed the Aurors would do it, but after several failed ventures her trust in them had died. Now the only person she believed would fight as hard as she and her husband would to find Scorpius was Rose. It took a few weeks for her to see it, but once you've been around someone enough you begin to see the core of who they are. And Astoria saw that it was literally killing Rose Weasley that Scorpius was out there somewhere and she couldn't find him.
Soothing his wife, Draco rested his arms on her shoulders and cradled her face into his chest as he rubbed her back. Draco felt numb. At first he wanted to just inform the authorities and figure out a plan, somewhere to put his excess energy. But now, weeks later he had nowhere to put his raw grief, so he did the next best thing, he repressed it.
In a dark London alleyway that the deep heat of the summer seemed to avoid, Rose Weasley walked into an abandoned building. Her red hair was tied back in a tight braid bringing out her pale skin and freckles. As she moved quietly through the building, her face was rigid and completely focused. Her face had aged considerably in the past two months. The lines in her face were more pronounced and her eyes were colder than before.
It took a moment for her to get to the floor she needed and when she did, she found her Azkaban escapee right where she expected him to be. This wasn't the usual target. He was a high level security risk, and was on the most wanted list, but Rose didn't hesitate for a second. She was the youngest Auror to be at her standing. Though she had little seniority, in the past two months she'd nabbed countless murderers and convicts to the point where she'd been promoted, twice. This was her life now, and she'd become ruthlessly good at it.
The man, Luke Ripley, had murdered six witches after robbing them blind. He was 34, tall, with dark hair and very suave. Ripley knew exactly how to talk a woman out of all of her savings, but after running into Rose twice, once in prison and once escaping from custody, he had learned she wasn't that type of woman. That wasn't the case at first. Initially, he thought maybe he could work her into getting him out, but after seeing how thoroughly aloof and unfeeling she was, he stopped bothering. Then when she almost caught him, as she was the only one smart enough to figure out his plot, he began to loathe her.
"Weasley," Luke Ripley snarled as he turned around. "If you know what's good for you, you'll turn around and walk out."
She grinned an unpleasant grin. "I've never really done what's good for me."
"I've heard. So is catching me another suicide mission?" He asked, not bothering to grab his wand.
"I doubt catching you is that dangerous," She said, circling him like a hawk. "We've caught you once, I'm sure I can do it again."
He sneered as he looked down at her. "You can try."
"Yes, I can."
There was a beat of silence. In that silence all that was heard were cars driving by and summertime bugs chatting and then there was a loud thunderous crash that was perfectly on time. For only an instant Ripley shifted to see what it was, but in that split second Rose had him disarmed and caged in robes.
A year ago she would have been victorious. Six months ago she would have been excited beyond belief. Two months ago she would have grinned so hard her face would have hurt. But now, at this moment, she barely cared.
"Who was with you?!" Ripley cried out in shock and disgust looking around the room, waiting for her partner to show up.
Rose gave him a sad smile. "No one. I set those fireworks up before I came in here."
As she transported him to the Ministry, she knew he was figuring her out, that she in fact didn't have a partner and hadn't been assigned one since Scorpius was taken. No one wanted to work with someone that had no regard for her own life. They wanted someone brave, committed, and a good worker, but not someone whose entire life had become their work.
After successively dropping Ripley in lockup, she apparated to Lauren's flat. She had promised her she would check in and have some tea. Rose didn't understand why Lauren bothered seeing her at all. They only made each other more depressed than they were before they saw each other. Still, the need for the label of friendship lingered in the air so Rose went.
Answering the door, Lauren looked incredibly worn. Her blonde hair was swept off her face by one of her old Hogwarts headbands. Rose almost smiled at the nostalgia of it all, but she didn't.
"Did you see?"
Lauren pulled her sweater farther over her shoulder as she handed Rose the day's Daily Prophet. Rose walked into Lauren's flat, her eyes digging into the paper with perfect distain. Once she saw the headline, her already darkened face tint red with anger at the words.
Rose ripped up the Daily prophet to shreds and chucked it into Lauren's fireplace. Lauren moved to her couch, curled up into a tight ball and eyed her best friend; she looked remarkably like a cat at that angle. She was trying to be considerate to Rose, but she knew, as any friend would know, that any effort she made would be worthless. It was all good in theory, but for a while now Rose had been long past listening to anyone.
"Can I get her fired?" Rose asked with a dark tone that she now used with casual everyday speech. "I mean I have to be able to get her fired, right?"
"I doubt it. It's not against the law to write guesses."
Rose chewed her lip bitterly and then looked at Lauren. "How are you?"
"I'm fine," Lauren lied. "We've been broken up for three weeks now so I'm through the worst of it."
"I still think it's a bloody waste. Why did you guys break up in the first place?"
Lauren pushed her blonde hair out of her face and her jaw tightened. "I'd rather not talk about it. I understand you're furious…because you're always furious now, but my past relationship is not something I'd like to relive."
"Aren't you supposed to be headed for a meeting right now?"
Rose swore as she checked her watch. "Merlin…you're right. I'm sorry, I should have been here earlier. I didn't expect my paperwork to take so long. I'll see you tomorrow." She paused, her face softening for a minute. "I'm sorry…I'm not trying to dump any of this on you…"
"It's fine Ro. Go to work."
Rose felt a wave of guilt rush up from her spine and creep up her throat as she looked at her disheveled best friend. She knew Lauren was broken and hurt from her break up with Hugo, though she'd be the last person in the entire world to admit it. They had ended things on uneasy terms and it was clear that neither one of them were really okay with how things were. Rose didn't know if it was because they both still had feelings for each other or because they had never really got closure, but either way she couldn't really care. On some level she cared, in the same way she'd always care about the welfare of kittens and puppies, but right now feeling anything other than anger hurt too much to process.
She'd been broken too badly to be repaired; now she just functioned as a part of society. She went to work, she ate, and she slept. Rose did everything she was supposed to do. For the rest of her life she could do this, helping others, doing the right thing, but taking joy in nothing. Until she got some kind of closure on Scorpius, she'd always just coast through life, starring at unlocked windows and doors, wondering if today was the day he'd wander back through. And until that day, she'd never give up on him or stop looking for him.
For a while she convinced herself it would be different if the situation had been different. If they'd had years of happiness together, if he'd died, or if they'd simply broken up, it wouldn't be as bad as this. The worst part was the lack of choice. Neither of them had chosen this so she found it impossible to walk away from.
At first people of all walks of life were coming up to her saying they were sorry, saying they understood. She wanted to slap them. She wanted to strike them down with every fiber of her being until they truly felt as cut open and raw as she felt every single moment of the day. But she didn't, because in spite of herself, she still had hope. Hope that each day would be the day that she heard something, saw something, felt something that told her that he was alive, that his heart was still beating. But every day came and went, and she heard not a single thing. There was not a trace of evidence to let that little piece of hope rise in her. So the hope began to erode, like an ocean does to the land, until the land is worn away.
Arriving back at the office, she walked through the Auror security and went to her desk. Before, her friends, colleagues and relatives used to visit her, but they didn't bother anymore. They knew it only would set her off.
Grabbing her paperwork, Rose headed into the conference room for her next assignment.
"Auror Weasley, you will assist Aurors Roberts and Andrews on this mission," Her uncle told her coldly as if he was speaking to a disobedient inferior officer he had no personal relationship with. "Then you will all report back to me when this mission is completed."
The three Aurors nodded and planned to meet by the elevators in fifteen minutes. Knowing that the other two Aurors probably didn't want to be anywhere near her, Rose took her time meeting them. She decided to get a cup of coffee before she left to waste some time. When she got there she saw Roberts and Andrews and moved to turn around when she felt herself being pulled into their conversation.
Rose caught one of them saying, "You know Potter's been a right prick for the past two months."
Another responded in a more sympathetic voice. "Well his kid was killed."
Her whole body shook with uncontrollable rage and it took every ounce of what little self-control she had left not to go into the next room and throttle the two men's throats.
"It has to be worse for Weasley though. You know they've sent her on almost fifty missions this month? I think they're trying to keep her busy."
The rude one said, "More like they don't want her around. You've seen her lately. She looks like one wrong look from someone and she'll rip their head off. Though I'm sure I could take her."
The other man laughed. "I'd pay a lot of galleons to see that."
"Don't get me wrong though, with all that raw rage she's got going on under those tight little outfits. I wouldn't mind shagging-"
Rose walked in, with an emotionless smirk on her face. "Lloyd, I would really love it if you would get me a coffee before we go. Do you mind?"
Lloyd Roberts was so shocked that he jumped and his brown eyebrows disappeared behind his forgettable brown hair. Jake Andrews snickered, flashing a smirk of his own at his colleague's face.
Lloyd nodded. "Uh…Yeah sure."
"Thank you so much Lloyd," Rose told him without an ounce of warmth in her voice. She moved to stand next to Jake.
Jake gave her a knowing smirk. "You did that on purpose."
"You have no proof," She said, letting out a very small laugh. Pausing, she shook herself and gave him a look.
"What?" He asked, raising his hands in innocence.
Blinking, she rubbed her eyes. "Nothing, sorry."
What was wrong with her? He'd said something funny and she'd laughed, but at this point she was so crazy she didn't understand herself anymore. Was she mad because he'd made her laugh? Or was she mad because she didn't know why she did?
Jake Andrews was two years older than she was. He was taller, with rich brown hair and deep blue eyes. A few months ago Rose remembered her coworker Jade saying he was the hottest guy in the department, and Rose could see why. Andrews had this easy smile and an every-man attitude that fit him in with any crowd. About two weeks earlier he had taken two days off of work. He had said it was a family emergency, but Rose didn't buy it. She always thought it was an unscheduled vacation, but never said anything because it wasn't her problem.
"You okay?" Andrews asked, sincerity beaming from his deep blue eyes.
Rose forced on a smile. "I'm fine."
"Glad to see you can still lie," he said, clapping a hand on her shoulder.
"Who says I'm lying?"
He snorted and shook his head. Then he lowered his lips to a centimeter away from her ear. "I did."
A shiver went down her spine as he walked away. It wasn't his voice that made her nerves stand on end, it was the way he had said it. There was a confidence in it that Rose hadn't been expecting. She watched Jake walk over to his desk with his coffee and grab his cloak. Roberts came into view with a coffee for her and an uncomfortable smile.
"Here Rose." He handed her the coffee.
She forced a smile on her face. "Thank you Lloyd. Shall we go then?"
When Lloyd looked the opposite way Rose dumped out her coffee and headed into the elevator. She was never a big fan of coffee and she didn't trust that Roberts wouldn't spit in it or do something to it. Roberts and Andrews stood in front of her, blocking her from the front of the elevator. Shielded from sight Rose let out a silent slow shuddering breath. A slow trickle of sadness passed through her. This time it had nothing to do with Scorpius and everything to do with Albus. She and her cousin used to plan times when they could meet on the elevator so they could get some cousin time in. It was ridiculous how covert they felt about the whole thing. Back then they'd laugh when people noticed the regularity of it. But now the elevator felt empty and lifeless with only the memory of what had been.
After work, Rose went to the cemetery where her father and cousin were buried. She cleaned the area up, added some flowers and then just sat there in the grass. Tears didn't come. All of her tears were gone. She didn't need to cry anymore. It was a purpose that she seemed to have outgrown. As she sat, her knees curled up into her chest, her head on her knees, she looked at the tombstones distantly. Out of the corner of her eye she saw someone going to another tombstone, but she didn't bother to look at them. If she had she might have noticed they were watching her.
But she didn't know, and there was no way she could have known, that it wasn't some stranger; it was her cousin, James.
Two months earlier he had made a promise to find Scorpius and he said he wouldn't return until he succeeded. His beard grown in from his time abroad and he had a few more scars, but he finally had an answer for his cousin. Walking towards Rose, he finally had an answer for her, but he knew it was not what she wanted to hear.
Song in the Summary is Breathe Again By: Sara Bareilles. Thank you for reading! This is the start of the last installment of this saga. If you are confused It goes, 'Rumor Has It,' 'Don't you Remember?' And now, 'Make You Feel My Love,' PLEASE REVIEW! I need feeback.