Chapter 2 : Yes and No
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It had been a long time.
Roxanne felt a shudder going over her skin as the rough pad of his thumb caress the soft line of her jaw, almost as if she were as delicate as fine China and she had to close her eyes against the sudden sting of emotion. After an entire year, Benjamin Malfoy had come back and instead of being infuriated by this and hating him for how he had ruined their fragile friendship, her heart decided to dance in a rhythm that she barely recognized—or hadn’t since he had left.
Though Draco Malfoy was still regarded as something of an infamous mistake, he had plowed his way through the Wizarding world with the intention of making himself appear as kindly and respectable as Roxanne knew that he was. When she had been younger, there had only been a few times that she had met Mr. Malfoy and each time that he had come to her father’s joke shop, he had brought a reluctant Benjamin with him. “What are you gawking at?” he hissed at her and Roxanne jumped nearly three feet in the air.
The stack of Fever Fudge that she’d been hiding behind clattered noisily but the customers roaming about hardly noticed her mishap, “U-uhm,” Roxanne said nervously as she met a pair of eyes that were narrowed darkly on her flushed dark cheeks. “I just…”
“Just what?” Benjamin snapped as he lowered the bag of Canary Creams that he’d been considering moodily back onto their brightly colored shelf. “Thought you could catch me doing something evil?” he was taller than she was and bigger than her brother and Roxanne was frightened by it.
She was only ten years old, not even old enough to be at Hogwarts yet and Perce had been going around telling her scary stories about how awful it was. He was two years older and therefore, in her mind, a lot wiser than she was and with their parents continuing his lies, she had a vision of Hogwarts being like the entrance to Hell that she’d seen in Muggle movies. “N-no… I just…” Roxanne swallowed, “wanted to say hi.”
Benjamin barked a mean laugh that didn’t sound as if it were coming from someone so young and she’d warily eyed him, thinking that he meant to make fun of her. Plenty of people she didn’t even know did, saying that she wasn’t really a Weasley since her mum was black but instead of doing that, the boy said, “From all the way over there? You look like a pervert.”
Roxanne frowned, stepping from around the shelf of Fever Fudge and ignoring the ones that she had spilt earlier to say. “I’m not a pervert!” Benjamin grinned meanly and she frowned all the harder.
“So why’d you hide instead of saying hi?” Benjamin demanded suspiciously. He looked out of place in her father’s shop, an ugly look in his eyes, “What are you, a freak?”
Roxanne fumed and snapped. “Shut up! I got nervous!” she often came downstairs to see her father work but when she’d spotted Mr. Malfoy and his son walking inside, she’d been so flustered with nerves, having only seen him from a distance that she hadn’t been able to come any closer once the boy had been alone. “You look so mean!”
“And you look like a dumpy little snot. Who are you anyway?” Benjamin demanded rudely and she felt a sting that he didn’t know who she was. “You look vaguely familiar.” He blinked at her, expecting some sort of answer, but when she said nothing, he rolled his eyes as if wishing for lightning to strike them both, “you live around here?”
Roxanne swallowed. “I live upstairs. This is my dad’s shop.”
Benjamin eyed her stupidly. “You mean George Weasley’s your dad?” she flinched as he ran his eyes over her brown skin, her curly dark hair and her eyes, which were so brown they hid her pupils. “Oh. I heard there was a sexy black lady that lived here. That’s your mum, huh?”
“Yes,” Roxanne replied warily, not thinking that her mother was sexy at all. Benjamin stared at her for a while longer until she started to think that he might just walk away but when he didn’t, she decided that she should gather some courage and walked down to him. He didn’t take a step away but his entire body tensed with dislike before she swallowed hard, offered her hand and said sheepishly, “my names Roxanne Katie Weasley,”
Uncle Percy had told her once that offering your hand usually started a very good friendship but with the way Benjamin was looking at her hand, it might as well have been an insult. After a moment, he burst out laughing and she recoiled, flustered, “I don’t care—wait. All right,” he said after a second and took her small hand in his larger one and gave her a firm shake that nearly lifted her up off her feet, “Benjamin Frederick Malfoy.”
Roxanne felt a burst of triumph go along her skin and she smiled at him before considering his name for a minute and saying. “My uncle’s name was Fred. He was my dad’s twin—it’s funny that you’ve got his name,” she said with a little smile before letting it fall from the look he was giving her.
There had been a slight pause before Benjamin had let her hand go with a bit of a slap and she frowned, stung and nearly kicked him just as she would have done to Perce or Teddy Lupin. “It’s not funny, okay? I don’t want anything to do with you stinking Weasley’s.”
“That’s not very nice of yo—”
“Well, no one’s been nice to me.”
“I’m being nice to you.”
“What for?” Benjamin’s voice was laced with dislike and suspicion.
Roxanne shrugged. “Cause that’s what friends do, that’s what my mum says anyway.” She didn’t want to tell him that her mother spouted this because her father had been the first person to really be nice to her when they’d met on the Express so long ago.
Benjamin narrowed his eyes on her but something in his expression relaxed. “You must be stupid Weasley if you want to be my friend.” Roxanne shrugged and he laughed a little, considering her. “Just because you’re being nice to me and I’m talking to you doesn’t make me your friend. Got that?”
Roxane nodded stupidly. “Okay.” And smiled.
That caused Benjamin to flush and he opened his mouth to say something to that but just then a long, dark shadow fell over them and they looked up. Mr. Malfoy had found them and he appeared to have bought quite a bit of merchandise, judging from the bags in his hands, “There you are. I thought you’d walked off,” he said to his son, who grumbled in annoyance, flushing even deeper.
Roxanne stared up at him curiously. He was pale all over with silvery blonde hair that was slicked back importantly and his eyes were a cool grey but it was the fact that he seemed to be really unhappy that caught her attention, “I was talking to him, sir.” She said.
Mr. Malfoy gave her a soft smile and she beamed under such attention, knowing that her own father would be very proud of her for being so polite. He’d probably buy her something, “What a nice girl you are. You’re Roxanne Weasley, right?” she nodded and he sent his son a sidelong glance. “You weren’t being rude to her were you?”
Benjamin spluttered. “No! She was the one staring at me being all dopey and cu—I mean, no.” He said hastily while Roxanne grinned at him. His father regarded him curiously before letting it slide and reaching out to pat him on the head, which only humiliated him more, “aw Dad—not in front of the enemy!”
“They’re not the enemy and it’s time to go.” Mr. Malfoy said sternly before glancing at Roxanne again and giving her a welcoming smile. “Feel free to talk to him again. I haven’t seen him this happy in a long time.” And with that, he swept away, black robes rustling and after a slight hesitation, his son gave her a nod.
Roxanne waved him away as he started to turn. “Bye! Let’s play Exploding Snap next time!” and Benjamin’s face turned slack with something that looked really mean before he turned bright red.
“Stupid,” Benjamin snapped but he nodded covertly, ignored his father’s teasing smile and stomped out of the shop. Roxanne felt proud of herself then for overcoming her fear and talking to him and making her very own friend but now…
“You’re not going to faint or something are you?” Benjamin asked her just then and she snapped herself out of her thoughts and felt her cheeks turning pink. Wariness settled after a moment though when his thumb danced playfully over her lower lip and she turned her face away, “did I scare you that bad?”
Roxanne thought that was an understatement to how he was making her feel and she tried to gather her thoughts and churning emotions. “What are you doing here?” she demanded, finally forcing the question out as she turned her face back to his, though she couldn’t see it due to the darkness.
Benjamin seemed to want a closer look at her because there was a flicking noise, followed by an eerie, grey light that made her eyes hurt. His wand was raised carelessly over her face in his free hand and she was confronted with the first real sight of him that didn’t involve his face being thrust into shadows— “You still look like a dopey little lump, Weasley.”
Roxanne spluttered angrily at the insult and she glared at him for his nerve. He, on the other hand, looked as hauntingly attractive as the last time that she had seen him but she couldn’t quite recall the thin scar that was etched into his right eyebrow, “I-I do not! I’ve grown up!”
“Out,” Benjamin corrected with a murmur and his voice had changed as well, it was still deep but possessed what she would have thought a devil might sound like. Apathetic and cold… “You’ve grown out. Merlin, your tits are huge,” he said with a whistle while aiming his wand low.
Embarrassment coursed through her and she covered her chest instinctively even though the modest neckline of the gold gown that she’d picked wasn’t severe. Her mother would never have allowed her to walk out of the flat like that and she flushed all the more, “What are you doing looking at them anyway—no, I don’t care!” Roxanne cried as he opened his mouth, revealing shiny white teeth in the darkness. “Ben, what the hell are you doing here? You weren’t invited!”
Benjamin took a moment or two to answer as he surveyed her curiously with his wand, the light going over her softly but making her squirm. His other hand still caressed her jaw now and she was distracted by the care he put into the touch, “Obviously, sweet. Actually, I came all the way here to see you.” There was something sly in his voice and she wondered if he had lied but something in her grew excited by the prospect, “it’s been a long time since you’ve hissed at me.”
Roxanne flushed at the reminder of how their friendship had ended last year and glared at him, her irritation dampening her fear, interest and happiness to see him. “Well. You know what you said Benjamin—would you stop that?” she snapped as he stroked the corner of her mouth until her lips became pliant and pouty, “what do you want? I’m not going to ask again.”
The gentle touch on her skin was withdrawn for the moment but he ignored her question before raising his wand and looking around at all the Muggle things that surrounded them. Roxanne then recalled that she’d backed up against a table and her calves were burning with the imprint of the metal digging into her skin, “What is this place anyway? A museum?”
“It’s my granddad’s shed. He collects Muggle things,” Roxanne explained impatiently and Benjamin whistled under his breath before turning his head a little. She saw something shift against his neck and shrieked, “What’s that thing on you?!”
Benjamin burst out laughing and flashed his wand to his shoulder, where a thick braid of black hair hung lazily and she realized what it was. He had grown out his already long hair to the point where he needed it tied back, “You are such a wimp.” Roxanne glared at him, her heart slowing down. “You like my hair?”
Roxanne thought about it for a moment, remembering that he had let her run her fingers through it on the grounds of Hogwarts while they’d lounged on the Black Lake. The memories brought a flush to her cheeks and she was aware of how much she had missed him and the silky strands underneath her fingertips, “I dunno, its different I guess.”
“I’ll let you hold on to it if you like, Weasley.” Benjamin said with a purr and she blushed so red that he probably could have seen her without his wand. His eyes glowed and she glanced up at him, recognizing the blue-brown hue of them just as she would have recognized her own, “or pull. Whichever gets you off—?”
“Stop talking like that to me. I’m not one of your stupid girlfriends—”
Roxanne heaved a weary sigh even though her chest was pounding and pounding. He was still so close to her and he moved a bit further until she felt his thigh intruding between her legs so that there was no way for her to escape him and she almost went light headed from the pressure, “Back up, would you—Benjamin!” she cried angrily as he bent his head and pressed his lips to her ear, “stop.”
“I came all this way to see you and this is how I’m treated? You have no idea how long it took me to get through those fucking wards over this place.” Benjamin said with a pout in his voice and his breath washed over and she let out a shuddery sigh, “I just got back today. Don’t you want to know how my trip to Italy went?”
The last that she had heard, he and his father had decided to move to Italy for a while until some sort of scandal had died down. It had been around that time that their friendship had ended and she hadn’t even heard from him when he’d left—he’d completely ignored her anxious owls, willing to forgive him if he would just talk to her but he hadn’t and she’d left it alone. But she’d wondered… “You didn’t have to do this. You could have sent me an owl at my place.”
“Yeah. But that’s not nearly as dramatic.” Benjamin said to her and she pushed at his chest a little, trying to ignore how hard it was beneath her fingertips. “I was going to go into that stupid tent but I thought I’d wait in here for a while until the party faded down a little and then corner you.”
“My parents would have hexed you!”
Roxanne groaned and he bit down on the skin of her throat in response and she nearly shot out of her shoes. A dizzying feeling nearly overcame her but she shook it away, “B-Ben, you just can’t do whatever you want! Don’t you care about the consequences?!”
Benjamin snorted. “No. Of course I don’t,” he said and she could have kicked him if she’d been able to move properly. “Who would I be if I gave a damn about the consequences?” Roxanne fumed at his nerve but found it suspicious that he had been able to break down the wards to the Burrow so easily and she felt something uneasy go over her skin, which only caused him to smile against her skin. “I didn’t bribe someone so I could get in, all right? The wards weren’t that strong, a baby could have gotten in.”
“That’s not true. My Aunt Hermione and Uncle Harry put up those wards and they know a thing or two about protective spells, Malfoy.” Roxanne stated fiercely and he pulled back to stare into her face, as if he found this highly irritating and she pushed at his chest. “And no one is taking the risk of something bad happening—not like when my Uncle Bill and Aunt Fleur got married.”
Benjamin rolled his eyes; she was able to see the haunting glow from his wand that he found this to be a waste of his time. “They’re not nearly as strong as you think they are, Weasley if I was able to break through them, your family’s gotten soft.” Roxanne glowered at his nerve to insult her family and opened her mouth to cut him down a bit but he went on, “and plus, as much as everyone hates me, they can’t say that I’m stupid.”
Roxanne inhaled, annoyance spiking a little at this truth. Despite all the bullying that he had been subjected to in Hogwarts, Benjamin had proven time and again that he was nearly too smart for his own good and had gotten an Outstanding in nearly every class during his OWL year, “….So you did break in?” if someone like him could, then that meant anyone else had the chance.
“Proud of me? See how much I want to see you?” Benjamin asked with a grin and she sighed a little, wondering what he was really up to but feeling her heart nearly exploding with the thought that he had done all of this to be with her. “Thought we’d get a chance to talk,”
“Talk? Oh, about how you were a big fat prick and didn’t even owl me when you and your dad were gone? Or, when you said all of those nasty things about me behind my back?” Roxanne snarled; her good thoughts fading rapidly as she recalled these incidents. She pushed at his chest again but he caught her wrists in a powerfully gentle grip and her eyes widened in alarm.
Benjamin could snap her wrists if he wanted to but he had never physically hurt her and Roxanne flushed; her skin electrifying at the feel of his skin against hers. Somehow, this was a lot more intimate than his lips at her ear or throat and she felt a disastrous longing grip her, “Can’t you forget it, Weasley? It was ages ago and I take it all back.” He whispered and Roxanne snorted. “I never apologize for anything, so what? I thought about you while I was away you know.”
Roxanne felt her heart threatening to crush her but she snorted hard. “Yeah, I’m sure you remembered this stupid, immature loser that you couldn’t get away from fast enough.” She snapped; hurling his words back at him from that long ago day and he made a strange sound, like a growl and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. “W-what makes you think that I want to talk to you anyway?”
“Trying to say you haven’t missed me, Weasley? You can do a lot better than that you know.” Benjamin said with a frown and Roxanne glared up at him, hating that he appeared so calm. She wanted to say something mean and clever, shove him away…but she couldn’t, “and I’m not going to get my guts ripped out in this smelly place.”
There were a few sounds from outside just then and Roxanne wondered if someone were going to come in or had heard them talking. “Then I’ll do it tomorrow all right?” she spat and his cocky grin nearly had her kneeing him in the groin, “just send me an owl,”
Benjamin made a nasty sound with his teeth, not wanting to be anywhere near her family and she rolled her eyes a little before he requested. “Come over to my place with me tonight.”
“Come on, it’s been ages since you’ve been there. Since I’ve snuck you in anyway,” Benjamin said with an eye roll and Roxanne could recall various instances of when he had dragged her into their spacious Manor, both of them feeling rather pleased with themselves. “Don’t you want to know how I’ve been?” his voice lowered and she blushed a little, hating that his eyes were softening…she hated it when he did that! “Pretty please? Lie to your parents and come away for just a sec. We’ll talk and…”
And…? Roxanne thought feverishly but before she could say anything, there was the sound of the shed door opening and her cousin Dom-Dom’s voice. “R-Roxie? Your m-mum wanted me t-to tell you th-that its t-time to g-go home.”
Benjamin stiffened a little but Roxanne blew out a sigh of nervous relief at the sound of her younger cousin’s stutter. “All right! How’d you find me?” she called back and her captor shot her a venomous look.
“F-figured you’d w-want to g-get some air aft-after that d-dance.” Dom-Dom answered simply and Roxanne almost hid her smile but her cousin’s next words brought on a dose of fear. “C-can I c-come in? I th-thought I h-heard v-voices,”
Roxanne felt a cold sweat go down her back.
Benjamin started to smile and she shot him a warning glance but he said loudly. “Its only me, her best friend from Italy!” and there was a gasp from outside, followed by Dom-Dom shoving the door open with a bit more force than was necessary and stumbling inside, nearly falling over all the boxes and crates.
Roxanne surveyed her cousin, noticing her features from the wand light that Benjamin lazily cast at her and she saw a pair of big blue eyes widen. “It’s not what you think!” she found herself crying but with the way Benjamin was leaning over her and the fact that her wrists were captured, it was hard not to think something scandalous was happening.
Dom-Dom made a sound, like an embarrassed child. She was taller than her older sister, with their mother’s pale blonde hair that she wore in a simple bun and though she was very cute, Victoire in comparison had inherited the best characteristics from their parents. Roxanne often understood that Dom-Dom felt underrated when standing near her sister and it had made her very much a loner, “Y-you’re th-that M-Malfoy b-boy aren’t y-you?” she finally asked to Benjamin with anger, squinting.
“I sure am whichever Weasley you are.” Benjamin responded lazily and Roxanne could have punched him for saying something like that to her cousin, who was insecure enough as it was. “Mind leaving us alone?”
Dom-Dom surprised Roxanne by saying coldly. “No.”
Roxanne pushed at Benjamin with a bit more force and he finally stepped back so that she could slip away from him, although every inch of her was heated from where their bodies had touched. “You need to leave.” She said to him and he waved his wand a little, as if he were going to applaud her for sounding so tough.
“Hear me out first and then I’ll leave like a good little boy.” Benjamin whispered and Dom-Dom made a nasty sound underneath her breath and stepped closer to Roxanne. “Relax whomever you are, I’m not going to eat her.”
That was the word that was unsaid and Roxanne slid a glance at Dom-Dom to see if she had sensed it as well but her eyes were narrowed on Benjamin. None of her cousins had ever liked him and they had never seen why she had spent so much time with him—it didn’t simply have anything to do with his last name. There was something unsettling and predatory about Benjamin and Roxanne now admitted that she had never felt safe around him, but had never been able to leave him alone, “I’m g-getting U-Uncle H-Harry and y-your d-dad,” Dom-Dom said with a determined frown.
Before Roxanne could say anything, she had already turned away, the door shutting behind her, perhaps expecting her to come with her. Instead, she stayed put and eyed Benjamin warily, “All right. I’ll—”
“Come to my place?” Benjamin interrupted softly and Roxanne nodded, wondering why she couldn’t tell him no.
So, what do you all think so far? Please leave a review if you like and I'll see some of you again, back at Albus and then the others will probably wonder where Ms. Tang and Mr. Weeeasley have been. Until then! Much love.
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