Chapter 4 : Unanswered
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A long silence fills the compartment as Scorpius stares at me disbelievingly, large silver blue eyes wide. I stare right back, shifting uncomfortably, unable to say anything else. There’s nothing to say at the moment. I told myself I wasn’t going to tell him this and yet I did. Because as much as I don’t want to hurt him, I need Scorpius. He’s my best friend and he’s always been there for me. Even if we’ve only known each other for a year.
Finally, Scorpius opens his mouth and whispers, “What?” His voice sounds so broken that I look away quickly, staring at the red fabric of the bench that my hands are clenched tightly into. I can’t tell him the rest. I just can’t. I’ve already told him too much and I wish I could take it all back. I don’t want to ruin Scorpius’ life. I just want him to be happy. With or without me around.
“I…” That’s the only word I can say and it hangs in the air, the sign of a confession not to come, throwing up a wall in between us. There’s nothing I can tell him that won’t hurt him even more. I’ve hurt Scorpius enough in the past year. He doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t have a family, doesn’t have a home, and I’m his only friend. There’s absolutely nothing I can do to fix this though. Which is why I can’t tell him. Because if I can’t fix it then nobody else can, and soon enough I’ll be gone, just some body underneath a headstone, a lasting memory.
Nobody else deserves to go through that with me.
Scorpius is shaking now. He tries to hide it, but I can still tell. He’s afraid for me and honestly it makes me want to smile and cry at the same time. I feel peaceful. Like I know that there’s absolutely no way to fix this. It’s not any prophecy or vision, it just is. It’s the way life goes now. Truthfully, it seems accurate. I don’t know how to fix a spell that only one person has ever used. Especially when said one person is locked up in Azkaban.
Suddenly, his voice rings through the compartment, breaking our thick silence. “Spit it out,” he whispers. “Don’t lie to me, Al.”
I close my eyes. I can’t. I bite my bottom lip hard, most likely drawing blood, but I don’t even care. I can’t tell him the rest. I just can’t. It’s too much, too painful. And nobody can help me so it’s not like there’s anything that can fix that.
That’s when the compartment door flies open and I look up quickly, eyes widening as I wipe the blood off my lip. Scorpius jolts into his seat, turning his head to peer out the window at the trees and hills flying past. It’s almost as if nothing happened. When in all reality, absolutely everything changed in the past few minutes and there’s no going back now.
Rose enters the compartment lightly, Louis, Lily and Hugo in tow.
“Albus, my man!” Louis greets, throwing his arm around my shoulder as he slides in next to me. I know what’s expected of me now so I force a smile at him and prepare myself to play along.
Rose shoots me a concerned look before glancing at Scorpius who’s looked away from the window just in time to meet her gaze. They both flush and look away which Louis seems to see as he snorts. I look to Lily and Hugo to see that they’ve settled onto the floor and found a deck of Exploding Snap. I let my eyes watch them play, watching the simple game as if it will solve all my problems even if I know it won’t.
Louis finally lays back on the bench, removing his arm from around my shoulders and asks chirpily, “What were you two doing before we arrived? Something unnaturally boring? Snogging?”
I choke slightly and Scorpius’ eyes widen before he shoots a glance at Rose and flushes— again.
“Um... No,” I inform my cousin, rolling my eyes just a little. I have to be loose right now. To make everything seem normal that it. “That’s disgusting. And I’ve never snogged anyone if you must know.” How sad is that. I’m going to die without ever kissing anyone. I must sound like a complete prude.
Scorpius makes a face. “And I don’t… Like guys…” He says awkwardly, biting his lip as if this confession was something we all already didn’t know.
Louis smirks a predatory smile at the look on Scorpius’ face before winking at me and announcing honestly, “I do.”
“What?” Hugo demands, looking up from his cards at the wrong time and Lily’s eyes light with triumph as a card explodes. “Ouch! Bloody hell!” Hugo cries, dropping his cards and waving his hand about as if it will help.
Louis rolls his eyes. “I like guys,” he repeats calmly, ignoring the surprised looks he’s receiving from Rose and Lily and the skeptical ones Hugo and Scorpius are wearing. I shrug a little. I knew as much already. “Got a boyfriend too,” Louis continues, grinning widely. “They were travelling over the summer so I didn’t get to see ‘im. Kinda depressing if you ask me.”
I sigh just a bit. While I appreciate the small talk, it isn’t at all distracting. And what I need right now is a distraction. A big one. Anything to get my mind off of what I read just a few nights ago.
“Who?” Rose finally asks, staring at Louis carefully as she pushes her hair out of her face. Scorpius shoots her a wistful look at which I shake my head. The two of them are absolutely ridiculous and they just need to start dating already for Merlin’s sake.
A dreamy smile crosses Louis face, dancing in his blue eyes. “Julian Hayes,” he informs us, causing my jaw to drop in surprise. Not that there’s anything wrong with Julian, but I’ve never met him before. There’s also the fact that he’s—
“My cousin?” Scorpius exclaims, jaw dropping open.
Louis nods and Scorpius looks slightly alarmed and confused when suddenly Lily cries, “You can’t do that!”
We all look to her now, Hugo and Rose both looking as confused and overwhelmed as I feel. “Why not?” Louis demands, brow furrowing.
“Because!” Lily wails as if the world is ending. “I’m dating his cousin! And cousins dating cousins is just creepy.”
Rose, Hugo, and Louis all turn to look at Scorpius who blinks slowly, looking lost. I simply smirk.
Lily doesn’t mean Scorpius. James and I are about the only two people who know that Lily is dating Lorcan Scamander and has been for a while. Many people also seem to forget that Rolf Scamander’s half-brother—Alexander Hayes— married Daphne Greengrass. So maybe Lorcan and Julian aren’t technically cousins, but they’re pretty close.
“She means Lorcan,” I inform the group, trying not to snicker at the relief that crosses Rose’s face.
Hugo’s eyes widen. “You’re dating Lorcan?” He demands, nose wrinkling. “That guy’s a loon.”
“No he’s not!” Lily cries, standing up and stamping her foot before she glares at everyone. “He’s my boyfriend and there’s nothing you can say about that!” With that final statement she leaves the compartment, leaving us all staring after her.
“I wish James were here,” Rose says suddenly, blue eyes sparkling slightly. “He would’ve found the humor in that.”
“James finds humor in everything,” I say with a slight smile, turning my eyes to look out the window. I wish James were here too. He’s a git sometimes, but it’s nice to have an older brother around. I always felt protected with him at Hogwarts. Even if we didn’t talk often and didn’t get along. I always knew he’d be there for me. And now all I can do is send letters and wait for Hogsmeade weekends to pile into the Three Broomsticks with a thousand other cousins to see him.
Louis pouts. “Are you saying I’m not funny?” He asks, frowning. “Because I’m hilarious.”
“Sure you are,” Hugo snickers. Louis looks offended and settles for smacking Hugo across the back of the head. Hugo makes an annoyed noise and Rose chuckles. I don’t think any of them notice how silent and still Scorpius and I are. There isn’t much I can do other than sit here and wonder if anyone will notice our behavior. And hope that Scorpius forgets the conversation so I don’t have to tell him everything else. Even though I know that’s impossible.
I don’t want to tell him. Maybe it’s crazy. Maybe I’m crazy. But I’ve hurt him enough already. I want to be brave and strong and do this alone. Because if I’m going to die, I want to die peacefully. I want it to be sudden. As if it were just something that happened, not something that was caused by another person. I want everyone to be able to move on and forget me after too long.
I just don’t know if that’s too much to ask or not.
“Should someone go check on Lily?” Scorpius finally asks after a moment, pulling himself to his feet. A flash of something—I would wager jealousy—flashes through Rose’s eyes and she pulls herself to her feet.
Nodding to herself, she offers, “I’ll go with you.” Scorpius smiles a little and offers his arm gallantly, which Rose accepts with a blush and the two exit the compartment.
I don’t know if they’re far enough away to miss Louis’ call after them of, “Have fun snogging!” or the rowdy laughter that follows from Louis and Hugo. I let out a few forced chuckles, just wishing for the train ride to end soon.
Or if I had my way, everything would end soon.
The spell would win.
Because it’s the only choice I have.
A/N: First off I’d like to start out with an apology. The past few months have been absolutely hectic for me what with summer, my cousins leaving for their around the world trip, starting at a new school, and a lot more. But that isn’t really an excuse. Writer’s block isn’t either but I guess it’s all sort of true. Anyhow, if any of you have stuck around to read this then you’re amazing. And I promise I’ll try to update more often from now on. (And hopefully they'll be longer too, because this one is shorter than I want it to be. Boo.)
Anyhow, next chapter you find out exactly what the spell is. Excited, anyone? Sad? I should stop asking questions and give you the preview you all want to read since I have nothing else of worth to say. XD
“I don’t want to hurt you,” it escapes me as a whisper and I wish I could pull the curtains around my bed shut and hide forever.
Scorpius just shakes his head, a movement barely perceptible in the dark. “You’re hurting me more by keeping it a secret.”
And I know it’s the truth.
A review would be most appreciated.
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