Disclaimer (hey, look, I finally remembered): I don't own any of the characters, the places, or anything else you recognise, anything earlier in the story or anything later. It's all JK's. If it was mine, I'd be off sailing in the Medeterrainian, not here writing about someone else's story.
"Miss Granger," said Ryan sweetly, "do you have a boyfriend?" He batted his eyelashes, and I succumbed to the wishes of the patented puppy eyes that seemed to follow wherever small children go, replying with the biggest smile I could give the kid, "no, sweetie, I don't."
"Okay," he said, "only Jamie said you had someone in your room last night and that's why you weren't paying much attention, and I know that when mommy has someone in her room it's always her boyfriend and I was just wondering if you had one too."
I gave James a death glare and mouthed at him, 'we'll talk later'. He looked back at me with a questioningly innocent look on his face, like he didn't know what we were talking about, and I narrowed my eyes. He looked away guiltily as I turned back to Ryan. "No, sweetie," I smiled, " it wasn't that kind for visitor. Just a friend." I pushed the book he was supposed to be reading back towards him and opened it up. "What does this say?"
He frowned at the book. " Rat," he said.
"Good! What about this one?"
"Fat. Fat Rat."
"And this one?"
"Fat Rat and the Cat," he smiled up at me. "Fat Rat and the Cat! That's what it's called, Miss Granger! Fat Rat and The Cat!"
"Good boy, Ryan!"
"Are you sure you don't have a boyfriend?"
"Yes, Ryan." My thoughts flashed to Scorpius for a minute but I shook them off. No way was I going to think about him at a time like this. I pulled out Ryan's marking sheet and put a tick at the top; he'd done so well today I thought he deserved it. I was about to suggest we go out and get a drink- it was stinking hot in the classroom- when Ryan's eyes rolled back in his head and he rolled off his chair and onto the floor, his little hands shaking in whet seemed to be an epileptic fit. I wondered if he did have epilepsy, rather than 'visions', and was about to put those rumours down to small-town superstitions, when Ryan's voice came out dry and rasping, not his own at all.
"She will stop and take his hand, and he will betray those most dear to him. They will come but he will resist. Fire and ash float down from a starry sky, their pleads mix with the night. Dark will reign and once more will we stand under threat with a hero to save us all," he rasped dryly, his small limbs flailing. He gasped rapidly, short intakes of breath that frightened me to death. The jerky movements showed no sign of stopping, even since his prediction, until without warning, they slowed. His breathing became more even, until it, to was back to normal.
Soon he seemed just like a peaceful child, sleeping on the cold floor. He opened his eyes slowly, and when he noticed where he was, he frowned. "No!" His body seemed so frail as I helped him up onto his seat. "It wasn't' supposed to happen anymore..."
"What, honey?" I asked, which made me the Captain Obvious in this situation, but at that point I really didn't care.
Ryan looked at me like I was the stupidest person in the whole world. "The visions," he said slowly.
"Do you remember anything, hon?" I asked.
"No," he replied.
"Then how on earth did you know..."
"I woke up on the floor again," he said. "It only does that when I have what mommy calls visions. She says that that's when the devil possesses me and that I should resist it.... But I don't know what that means."
"Okay, honey," I said carefully. I stood up and shot a look at James, who nodded and mouthed, 'Seer'.
'No shit, Sherlock,' I mouthed back, and he scowled.
I turned back to the lesson, determined to go back to normal and deal with this later.
"Crap," I said the moment we got home. "Crap, crap, crap. How do I deal with this? I can't deal with this. Just my luck. I get sent on Witness Protection and end up stumbling across a goddamned Seer, the rarest magical talent in the history of forever, without being able to contact anyone, or do anything about it. Merlin on a Popsicle stick! What do I do?"
James said nothing. He just sat there, with a look of stunned silence on his face.
"James!" I said irritably. "A little help here?"
He sat there a little longer, then looked at me and said, "was it just me... Or did that kid look a hell of a lot like Scorpius Malfoy?"
I couldn't give him an answer, because he had just confirmed my deepest fears.
I couldn't go to sleep that night. I tossed and turned, but it proved impossible. Ryan's sweet face haunted my thoughts, as did Scorpius's smirk. I couldn't deny the similarities between the two. The same nose, the same eyes, the same blond hair that seemed to shine with its own light, it was so freaking white- I knew that he had to be related to the Malfoys somehow. And the only way I could think of was that Scorpius had to be the father.
I was just about to explore that possibility further when a voice whispered my name from the other side of the room. "Rose," it said insistently. "Rose."
I sat up in bed and only just stifled a scream, knowing there was no point this time- James wasn't likely to wake up, as I had learnt last night. I picked up my wand and flicked it, muttering "lumos" under my breath. The end of my wand lit up to reveal a smirking Scorpius, which I admit was his normal state, but that just pissed me off even more.
"I thought I told you to leave," I glared.
"Since when did I listen to you, Weasley?" He dead panned.
"Since when did you call me Weasley?"
"Since you refused my protection and kicked me out of the house, Weasley. I kind of got offended at that."
"Hasn't seemed to've stopped you," I pointed out.
"Touché," he - yup, you guessed it- smirked. "But what I'm saying, Weasley, is that you need me. He knows exactly where you are, you know. It's just a matter of time. Tomorrow, maybe? Or the next day? Who knows. But you'll need me when that time comes. I promise you."
I pointed my wand at him and muttered under my breath, "tantellegro!"
His shoes started moved. Then suddenly he was doing a fast paced tap dance, his feet clicking in his ridiculous shoes. I grinned broadly, and said pointedly, "is that so, Malfoy?"
"Yeah," he said breathlessly, and struggled to get his wand out of his pocket. I raised my eyebrows as his breath came out in huffs and he tried desperately to get the slippery wood out of the tight jeans he was wearing. Too tight, if you asked me. Though if his shirt was that tight I wouldn't be complaining. Although I hate the man, hot damn. He is fine.
I performed the counter-curse, and was about to disarm him when my wand shot out of my hand and I couldn't open my mouth. He raised his eyebrows, or rolled reversed. "Think you're so clever, don't you, Weasley?" He sneered viciously. "Gary is so much smarter than this, you have no idea. Admit it- you need my help." I felt the gag dissolve off my mouth and I hissed back at him, "never."
I saw fire flicker in his eyes. I held my breath, hoping feverishly (insanely) for him to burst. To get angry. To show his true colours at last.
For a moment it seemed he was going to. But the he calmed himself seemingly effortlessly, and leaned so close I could have kissed him so easily, and I found myself wondering what it would be like, to kiss him. After all these years, to remember what it felt like.
Oh, don't look at me like that. Of course I've kissed Malfoy before. Heck, half the female population of our year (and more besides) has.
Of course, I'd gone further than most.
And so I looked at his lips, and wondered if he would kiss me.
And for a moment there, it seemed he would. His mouth curved into a smile and he whispered to me, "why did we ever let it end, Rosie?"
Because you were to chickenshit, I thought.
"I didn't end it, Scorpius," I said breathlessly. "You did. You ran away." I pushed him off me, and while he made a small mewl of protest, he didn't stop me. I sat up straight, and looked him in the eye. "Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy," I shot at him, "you are a vain, arrogant, cowardly bastard. You never finish what you start, you run away, you hide from life. You broke up with me, if I remember correctly. Way back in third year. And that was only the first time that happened. Why I can never keep my hands off you, I don't know- but I know this. You are never, ever going to touch me again. I don't care what the circumstances are. You are a douchebag that should've never been unleashed on the unsuspecting public in the first place. A sociopath who doesn't care about others, only himself.
"You cannot love, Malfoy. And for that I pity you and your kin." I got up, acting as dignified as I could in only a singlet and the shorts I wear to bed. I walked calmly out of the room with my head held high, ignoring Scorpius's eyes boring into the back off my head, ignoring how the smell of him permeated the small room, ignoring how my heart beat faster when I passed him. I knew I was still in love with him. And that's what killed me the most.
I slept on the other couch that night. James woke me up in the morning, coffee in hand, bemused grin on his face. "Would you like to tell me why you're exiled to the couch on this fine morning? I was under the impression that you had your own big king-size in the bedroom down there."
I struggled up and reached for the coffee. "Malfoy again," I groaned. "Told him what I thought of him and then made a dramatic exit. Bloody should've thought that through first- these couches are uncomfortable as hell."
"Really," James said sarcastically. "I never would've guessed." He looked pointedly over to his own sparsely covered couch.
"Spare me," I replied, yawning. "You could always leave, it's not my fault you'd rather stay and annoy me instead of living in comfort with Albus and Fred."
"And who was the one begging for my help earlier... Rose?"
"And who was the one who nearly hexed your face off... James?" I retorted. He smiled at me and I nearly fell of my chair. "A smile?" I joked. "From the great James Potter? Can pigs suddenly fly? Is it snowing in August? What is going on?"
"Shut up, Rosie," he said, trying to keep a straight face. I grinned at him, and he ruffled my hair. He was about to say something, I thought, but right then the phone rang with an annoying, insistent tone. Confused, I picked up the phone. No one had this number except-
"Miss Granger?" Crackled the voice on the other end. "It's Ari Bremmer here. Can you come in? It's about Ryan."
"Ryan?" I repeated numbly.
“His mother wants to meet you.”
So sorry about the time it took me to update this thing- I'll do better next time, I promise. Anyway, with the time it took me to remember to add the next chapter on, i wrote another one- so here it is, just a week(ish) after the last one.
Please review! I need them. It's what an author lives on.
(You know. We don't need food or drink. We eat reviews for breakfast.)
Write a Review Witness Protection: Ryan, O, Ryan, wonderful and revered Seer, how we have wronged Thee.