Chapter 10 : Will and Won't
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Roxanne's breath seemed to have shortened and she tried to gather her tumbling thoughts but found that she couldn't. What was he doing here? After the spectacle today and what had happened between them, what gave him the right to show up at her window? Anger started to form but Benjamin didn't vanish in a puff of smoke or turn around, he merely stared up at her, the expression on his face shadowed but she could feel the intensity of his gaze.
Roxanne bit on her lip and, seeing that the fire escape outside her window was still in decent condition after a year of misuse, she slipped out and landed onto it, heart pounding. There had been a lot of instances in the past where she would slip out of her room this way to meet with him in Diagon Alley, the two of them causing havoc wherever they ran.
Things had changed though and Roxanne shivered slightly from a sudden wind, her curly hair flying in all directions before she pushed it back and motioned for Benjamin to step up. When he did, there was a strange expression on his face and she was able to see that he had brought his wand with him, noticing a sudden shaft of silvery light. “What do you want?” Roxanne hissed down at him angrily, hugging her arms, “I don't want to see you.”
Benjamin looked around to make sure that no one was listening or coming up before he answered her. “Too bad, Weasley. I need to go over some things with you,” his voice was calm and controlled, though his eyes were shifting a little, as if he expected her to turn her back on him and slam her window shut.
It was oddly tempting and Roxanne fought the urge down, wondering what he could possibly have to say to her now. After what had happened and having her heart shattered into pieces, she didn't want to hear anything that came out of his mouth but... “What do you want to talk about? I'm done with you!” she snapped in a carrying hiss.
Benjamin actually flinched at the words and she glowered down at him, hating that he looked like some girl's wildest fantasty. It wasn't fair, “Sure you are, sweet. Come down and talk with me for a minute, this won't take long,” he said and she narrowed her eyes on him. He smiled, disarming her and making her wish that she could fight the tug and pull between them, “you can go back to hating me later.”
Roxanne didn't know what this could mean or what he would really want from her but this time, she wasn't going to let him bait and seduce her into letting down her guard. And this might be the greatest opportunity to make him hurt a little, “Fine, but I'm not going to waste my time with you all night. Wait down there for me,” she hissed down at him and he gave a curt nod.
Oh, she hated him just now. How was it that he could walk around like he hadn't done anything? Did sleeping with her and tossing her aside like he had so many other girls really been so easy? “..... I don’t even know how you’ve managed to go this long without some horrible bloke fucking and leaving you,” Roxanne's eyes welled with sudden tears but she fought them down.
She wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of seeing her cry this time and with a determined frown, she slipped back into her room, giving a sigh as the warm temperature heated her skin. Thinking that she would make him wait down there for as long as possible, Roxanne rushed to her closet, careful to make her steps as light as possible in case her parents or brother was still up. Perce was probably sneaking out to see Leanne anyway and their parents were probably either asleep, playing a game or doing the sort of things that gave her nightmares, “Ew, gross,” Roxanne muttered with a shudder. After wiping those horrible images from her mind, she dug around in her closet, thinking that she would show Benjamin that she didn't give a damn about him.
Contemplating whether or not she should dress cute or not, Roxanne recalled how he'd looked at her in the mini skirt and tank she wore to the Manor that morning. It hadn't taken him long to undress her either and a wild blush invaded her cheeks—she didn't want Benjamin touching her again or kissing her or.... “Screw him,” Roxanne said fiercely as she rummanged around.
After a while, she snatched a white long-sleeved shirt from the bottom of her closet, knowing that it was there for not being cute or all that attractive. After scouring around for a pair of loose jeans, she undressed quickly from her pajamas, dug in her drawers for a hideously old bra and got dressed. Benjamin wouldn't be remotely interested in her if he saw how she was looking and Roxanne smoothed her hands over her body carefully, hoping that she didn't appear too bad.
She may not be as thin as Molly and Victoire but she wasn't huge. That thought gave her a boost of confidence before she realized that her butt was perhaps a tad too big for these jeans. Too many Cauldron Cakes, she thought with a sigh before scouring in the dark for the trainers she'd kicked off by the door and shoving her feet into them. She was going to show Benjamin that she didn't need him!
Hoping that this decision wouldn't backfire, Roxanne quickly snatched an old coat from the floor, slipped into and then, went to her dresser again. After running a brush viciously through her hair, she used a pink rubber band to tie it up into a bun, knowing that he liked running his fingers through her hair.
Roxanne tried not to think about it, or the way his mouth had been trailing along the length of her neck in little kisses and bites that had gone lower and lower and—“Get a grip,” she snapped to herself. The lurid sensations took a moment to go away but when they did, Roxanne was left feeling both hollow and furious, hating that no matter what happened between them, she always went back...
There were beautiful robes and dresses on display in the shop windows of Beauty Within, the robe shop that Mrs. Malfoy owned. Roxanne would have been able to spot them from a mile away, the building itself being very large and boasting odd green bricks that glistened in the afternoon sun.
It had taken her a while to get here but Roxanne knew all the best shortcuts around Diagon Alley but it had still taken her longer than she would have thought and her legs felt like jelly. The sight of finely dressed mannequins in the shop windows spurred her on though and she forced herself across the street, narrowly missing a mother stacked high with boxes.
After the woman chastised her for not watching where she was going, Roxanne crossed over to the building, her heart flooding with happiness. Benjamin would most likely be here, and she hoped that she hadn't come here for nothing.
Roxanne looked down the sidewalk to make sure no one was coming before walking up to the shop windows and trying to peek around the mannequins. Sharply dressed seamstresses were strutting about in silver robes, carrying heaps of fabric and sewing utensils. From what she could see, a lot of girls were being fitted for fresh Hogwarts robes and preening on stools to better look at themselves in the mirror, where their mother's clapped and praised them.
Roxanne wouldn't be going to Hogwarts until next year, where she still hoped to be put in Slytherin House with Benjamin. Even with that knowledge, she felt a tad envious knowing that she wasn't even going to go shopping for her own wand for a few months when she wanted one now.
Sighing miserably, she continued to look around through the window, stretching and craning her neck until it hurt. The interior was intricate and elegant, the carpets plush and every available shelf filled with fabrics that ranged from normal colors to such splended creations that there was no way to take it all in.
Roxanne had always thought that walking into Beauty Within had been like stepping into a very pleassant and wonderful dream. There was no sign of a glowering black haired boy from what she was able to make out though and she frowned, backing away from the window.
Knowing that she would rather not go home disappointed, Roxanne considered going inside but before she could, the door opened. “Can I help you?” the voice startled her a little and she looked up to see a woman staring down at her kindly. She looked down at the whipped daisies in her hand, very sad to see that some of the white petals had been ripped away, “are you lost sweetie?”
“No, I'm not lost,” Roxanne said to the woman with a slight pout. The woman was heavy set, and looked a little younger than her parents, though there were worry lines around her eyes and mouth. Long black hair was tied up back from an average, if not pleasant face and the set of robes she wore were done in shades of blue and white, “Uhmm, you're Benjamin's mum?” she asked.
The question surprised the woman and she gave a soft smile, though a look of suspcion had entered her eyes. As Roxanne straightened and hid her ruined daisies behind her back, she got a reply, “Yes, I am, do you know Ben?” Mrs. Malfoy asked her carefully, studying her. “You look like you might be lost, I came out to see if you needed help.”
There was a hint of amusement in her voice and Roxanne had a feeling that she wasn't used to little girls coming into her shop alone. “Yes, I'm Roxanne Weasley, my dad is—”
“George Weasley, I know him. My husband buys more things from that shop than anywhere else and leaves nothing but a mess around the house,” Mrs. Malfoy interrupted her with a very aggravated eye roll. Roxanne wouldn't have figured Mr. Malfoy for actually playing with her father's products but it made her smile, “Ben told me about you.”
Roxanne started to smile before she noticed the look on her face. It wasn't very welcoming and she felt her shoulders sinking, “Oh. What did he say?”
Mrs. Malfoy heaved a sigh before looking over her shoulder to make sure that the shop was still bustling. When she turned back to Roxanne, she kept her tone light but there was a hint of disappointment and protectiveness in her words, “You seem like a sweet girl, but I'm not sure if Ben needs to see you right now. He was so upset the other day, I haven't seen him crying that badly in a very long time,” she sounded truly hurt and Roxanne felt it like a knife in her own chest.
“I'm really sorry about that, Mrs. Malfoy. My brother was being mean to him but I like Ben, I think he's really nice,” Roxanne said in a rush and Mrs. Malfoy blinked in surprise. A blush worked into her cheeks and she fumbled on, “That's why I came to see him, I wanted to say sorry—see?” she revealed the daisies from behind her back and to her embarrassment, a few petals fell onto the ground.
Mrs. Malfoy's eyes widened a little, taking her in curiously and trying not to smile. She somehow didn't look like a woman that smiled genuinely very often and Roxanne lowered the daisies morosely, thinking that she would be sent home, “Why don't you come in? Ben is here today, helping me with some things. I think if you're really here to be nice, he might want to see you but I'm never sure with him, he's awfully moody,” she warned and Roxanne nodded.
Feeling herself blushing at the obvious amusement on the woman's face, Roxanne slipped inside the moment she opened the door wider. All the noise and chatter from customers swamped her, along with the dreamy feeling that she was in a better place, “Where is he?” she asked Mrs. Malfoy politely, hoping that Benjamin would want to see her.
Mrs. Malfoy placed a gentle hand on her back and started leading her forward into the depths of the shop. There was so much activity that it made Roxanne's head spin but Benjamin's mother seemed to take it all in with patience, “Come on, I'll take you to him. Its a bit busy in here right now, I'm afraid.”
“Do you have to go back to work? Daddy says I'm not supposed to bother people when they're working but he's always sneaking off anyway,” Roxanne informed Mrs. Malfoy secretively and the woman laughed.
After giving her a reassuring smile, she replied. “I'm never too busy for my Benjamin and his friend?” Roxanne nodded fiercely and received a slight smile, “when do you go to Hogwarts, dear?” she asked curiously.
“Oh, uhm, next year—ooh, pink! I really like pink.” Roxanne cried happily at the sight of a shelf flooded with varying shades of her favorite color. Mrs. Malfoy laughed a little at her enthusiasm, “I'm going to be in Slytherin you know.”
Mrs. Malfoy appeared very surprised by this as they walked around racks of robes and finely pressed clothes. Girls were giggling and the sound of scissors snipping, mother's chastising and father's groaning oddly reminded Roxanne of the joke shop, “Would you be the first Weasley to be in Slytherin? What do you parents have to say about that?”
Roxanne shrugged, trying ot look very grown up for her. Mrs. Malfoy only appeared more amused, “I haven't told my parents that I'll be in Slytherin yet. But I might be the first Weasley to ever be in Slytherin! Me and Ben are going to stay friends if that's okay,” she said, peering up at the woman hopefully.
“Oh, that's perfectly fine by me.” Mrs. Malfoy said but she sounded a little worried and Roxanne hoped she didn't think she was lying. While she didn't want to believe that her brother and Teddy Lupin were bullying Benjamin at Hogwarts, she would never be mean to him and would punch anyone that did. That's what friends did after all, “there he is, why not tell him that?”
Roxanne felt herself grow a little nervous as she spotted Benjamin up ahead, holding stacks of robes, skirts and dresses in his arms. An elderly woman was going through a rack of clothes in front of her, already weighed down by expensive robes and glistening jewelry, “Ooh, I think this would suit me just fine!” the woman crowed, holding up a red skirt five times too small.
Benjamin's face was expressionless but from the tightening of his lips, Roxanne could see that he was having a hard time not making a rude remark. Mrs. Malfoy laughed behind her hand a little, even while the sight of her son obviously suffering shouldn't have been funny, “Benny, let me take those for you,” she offered sweetly, walking over and taking the heap of clothing from his arms.
Benjamin looked relieved but hadn't noticed Roxanne just yet as the elderly woman took in the sight of his mother with a crowing laugh. He cringed, “Pansy, darling, you look lovely! Perhaps you could help me with a slight problem I'm having? This skirt is simply divine bit I might need help getting into it,” she said with an exaggerated pout.
Mrs. Malfoy's face was nothing but polite even though Roxanne knew that no amount of magic or the grace of God would get the woman into that skirt. “Of course, Thelma, I'm at your service.” Benjamin rolled his eyes, “Benny, why don't you see to your little guest for me? I'll help Mrs. McLaggen for you.”
“Guest?” Benjamin asked incredulously, sounding instantly wary. Roxanne suddenly wanted to hide but she stood her ground just as he turned and spotted her, “w...what are you doing here, lump?” he demanded, looking both shocked, embarrassed and angry.
Roxanne opened her mouth to say something but Mrs. Malfoy, turning briefly away from a chattering Mrs. McLaggen said sharply. “Ben Frederick, that isn't nice! What have I told you about name calling?” she asked with a frown, which only made his face turn from pale to brilliantly red.
Mrs. McLaggen was tutting a little while Roxanne watched Benjamin frown up at his mother, looking betrayed. She sent him a stern, foreboding look that caused him to blanch with primal fear, “But she is a lump, Mum! She's all plump and stuff. What else am I supposed to call her?” Benjamin asked, sounding genuinely confused.
“Ben!” Mrs. Malfoy chastised and he tossed his hands in the air as if he couldn't quite comprehend her. Roxanne giggled, the sound catching his mother's attention and making her smile before she said to her son, “why don't you take her somewhere and go play for a while? I can handle the shop by myself for a few minutes.”
Roxanne wondered if Benjamin would tell her to leave but instead, his lips almost turned up in a smile before shrugged. There was as scowl trying to form, “Fine. Come on, lump,” he commanded and flinched away from the sharp look his mother gave him.
Surprised, Roxanne followed after Benjamin as he started leading her back outside, his head bent. Various customers said their hellos to him, most of them older women and Roxanne snickered a little as a few of them stopped the boy in his tracks to give him a few kisses and compliments.
“Old ladies really like you,” Roxanne commented as they stepped outside, the door clicking quietly behind them. Benjamin flinched a little and started walking down the sidewalk and away from the building as if he feared an older woman would run, grab him and smother him in more kisses, “I bet you don't like those kisses.”
Benjamin shot her a humiliated look as he faced her, stuffing his hands into his pockets and kicking at the ground. “Shut up, lump! I don't ask for it!” he cried.
Roxanne's lips were twitching and she took in his flushed face and pointed at a spot on his nose curiously. “You've got this big lipstick stain on your nose.”
Benjamin flushed almost as red as the lipstick on his skin and furiously wiped it away with the sleeve of his forearm. It only made the marks smear into his skin though and Roxanne laughed, “Shut up, Weasley!” he snapped angrily, sounding more embarrassed by the minute. “and don't you dare tell anyone what you saw in there!”
“Why would I?” Roxanne asked teasingly, grinning from ear to ear. Benjamin narrowed his eyes on her as she rocked back on her heels, “do you work in there with your mum a lot? Those old laides seemed to know you pretty well if you ask me.”
Benjamin grunted as he wiped at his face again. “I don't like that sneaky smile on your face. Anyone ever tell you that you're sort of annoying?” Roxanne frowned, thinking of her brother, Teddy Lupin and Victoire spouting that more than once at her. “But at least you're not mean about it.”
Roxannesmiled at the compliment, rocking back and forth on her heels for a while longer before asking. “Why are the ladies in there so nice to you though? I mean, I wouldn't like anyone snogging me all the time like that.”
Benjamin frowned thoughtfully, as if considering what to say. After a moment, he said with a grumble, “I don't want them slobbering all over me Weasley but I have to be nice to them for my mum. I come here all the time because I get tired of being at home, my dad is always working.”
Roxanne nodded in understanding, thinking that she would have to get home soon if she wanted to be there on time to see Uncle Lee and his family. At the thought of suffering with Adam Jordan though, she shuddered and glanced down at the daisies in her hands, wondering when she should give them to him. “Why don't you have friends come to see you from school?” when he shot her a glance, she looked awkwardly away before stepping away from him, “you don't want people coming to your house?”
Benjamin's face was guarded but she saw a flicker of sadness in his face before it faded away. “No one wants to come over a stinking Malfoy's house, okay? I don't have friends or anything, and I don't like going to school.” He said in a pained rush that made Roxanne feel very sad for him.
“I'd come over your house to play. It'd be really fun,” Roxanne said softly, wondering what his house could possibly be like.
Benjamin tried to glare at her but it was rather weak. It was obvious that he was trying hard not to smile, even as his cheeks turned very red, “Who said that I'd even invite you, lump?” he muttered.
Roxanne shrugged before rocking back on her heels, a smile threatening to form. He muttered something under his breath, looking embarrassed, “You're not as tough as you make yourself out to be, are you Benny?” she asked, grinning impishly.
Benjamin's face turned bright red and he spluttered angrily. “Don't you dare call me that in front of anyone, lump!” he cried and Roxanne roared with laughter, “what are you even doing here anyway, come to make fun of me some more about being a Malfoy?” he demanded.
Roxanne shook her head and said fiercely. “I came over here to apologize about what happened, I'm sorry that my brother made you cry.”
“Why're you apologizing for your prat brother? You didn't do anything!” Benjamin said, sounding more annoyed than angry as he looked at her. “You didn't have to come here, all right? I told you that I didn't want to be around you or your family.”
Roxanne's face morphed into a furious frown and Benjamin reeled away from the sight as if she might explode. “Don't call my brother a prat! I'm sorry that everyone's been mean to you at school but not all Weasley's are the same okay, Ben?”
Benjamin looked a little ashamed of himself for just one second before he stiffly said, his shoulders slumping. “So its okay for them to think all Malfoys are the same, Weasley?”
“No, its not. Its stupid and I don't care about any of that stuff, I just want you to be my friend,” Roxanne said fiercely, shoving the ruined daisies into his chest.
Benjamin spluttered something that sounded a lot like bad words as he scrambled to hold onto the flowers. “...They're all beat up.” He said in obvious disappointment and Roxanne felt her lips trembling and turned her nose up at him, determined to walk her way back home.
“Well, take them anyway!” Roxanne spat.
Benjamin's voice stopped her from walking away as he asked, sounding both happy and very confused. “Why do you want to be my friend so badly anyway, Weasley?”
“Cause I like you, we've got lots in common.” Roxanne said automatically, turning back to him with a serious look on her face. Benjamin was staring at her strangely, as if he had been hit over the head, “people say I'm not really a Weasley and people say you're not really a Malfoy. We should be friends and prove them wrong, right?”
There was a very awkward and long silence after that and Roxanne wondered if she had said something wrong. “Weasley, you're mental.” Benjamin suddenly said and Roxanne looked up to see him just an inch from her, peering into her face as if he could read her mind, “but I guess it'll be okay, even if your daisies are smashed.”
Roxanne stepped back from him but not before he placed one of the mangled daisies in her hair, the stem tickling her ear. Benjamin tucked a decent one behind his own, giving her a little wink that made her giggle, “You look dashing!”
Benjamin grinned, bowing his head and blushing a little. “Whatever, lump. So uhm, what do you want to do?” Roxanne shrugged, bubbling with happiness. “You want to blow up more bathrooms with me? I could tell you all about Slytherin—you're going to be a Slytherin aren't you?” he asked, gazing at her with a pleading look on his face.
Roxanne nodded importantly, knowing in her heart that she would be in Slytherin and that she would be able to see him all she liked. “Yep, I'll be the best Slytherin ever. I'm supposed to go home soon to have lunch but let's blow up some bathrooms tomorrow?” the boy nodded eagerly and she found herself taking in his smile, thinking it the sweetest thing—
“George!” the sound of her mother's terrified cry jolted Roxanne out of her thoughts and she padded quickly towards the door. “George—George!” her mother sounded as if she were in extreme pain and she felt her eyes welling with tears, hating that this still happened to both of her parents after all this time.
The Battle of Hogwarts had been nearly twenty years ago and yet, to her parents, they still suffered daily from the trauma of it, the memories still fresh. Roxanne blinked rapidly and cracked open her door, surprised to see that her father was leading her mother out of their bedroom, the two of them dressed in old Puddlemore United pajamas.
“Angie, its all right.” The soothing quality of her father's voice could have calmed anything and Roxanne glanced at her mother's ashen, horrified face, feeling an intense ache. “I'm alive, see?” her father whispered to his wife comfortingly.
“But...you were lying on the ground...and smiling...” Roxanne's mother sobbed brokenly, her shoulders shaking terribly. It caused her father's face to tighten, as if he were holding back tears before bringing her into his arms, his hand gently pressing her head against his chest, “I can't do a thing without you, Georgie—if something happened to you, I would die.”
Roxanne's heart stuttered. With her parents she had always assumed that her father would never survive with her but...there was so much that they never talked about with she and Perce, it almost made them seem like strangers. “Its all right, Angie, I'm not going anywhere. You can hear my heart beating can't you? You and the kids are all that keeps me going,” her father said to her, voice barely above a whisper. “And Percy too because lets face it, he's my second lover.”
The words caused her mother to laugh weakly while Roxanne wiped at her eyes, hating that she was seeing this at all. This was not how she would want to see her parents and she quietly stepped away from her door, allowing them to comfort one another in peace and feeling guilty that she couldn't help. Swfitly, she wiped at the tears on her face, inhaled and turned to her window, determined to get this thing with Benjamin over and done with for good, dreading every memory that came along with it.
“I thought you'd changed your mind.” Benjamin said the instant Roxanne hopped off of the ladder of the fire escape onto the ground. She jumped at the sound of his voice, spotting him leaning against their neighbors building casually, his wandlight giving his entire form an eerie sort of sheen, “you were up there for a long time.”
Roxanne didn't feel as if she owed him any explanations and wiped her hands onto her pants. There had been numerous times in the past where she had snuck out of her room to meet up with him in Diagon Alley but this was not a time where she would have run towards him.
Sometimes, he would hug her and lift her up for a second but those memories felt from half a century ago. “I had some things to take care of.” Roxanne said crsiply, walking over to him with her hands in her coat pockests.
Benjamin ran his eyes over her curiously, noticing her swept back hair and the unflattering clothes. A strange smile started in his face before he gave a short nod, “If you say so, sweet.”
“Don't call me that. What do you want anyway?” Roxanne demanded, flushing a little as he continued to stare at her. She felt that tug and pull between them again and had to look away first, hating that her heart was pounding so heavily, “shouldn't you be at home, doesn't your little sister have a birthday?”
Benjamin raised his black brows at the questions and the determined frown on her face as she turned back to him. Though there was space between them, it felt as if he were touching her, “Emily's birthday didn't go as planned.” He said tightly and Roxanne felt herself growing reluctantly curious, “mum and the kids aren't even living at the Manor with me and Dad right now, there's too much tension so they stay with her parents.”
Roxanne vaguely recalled him telling her this that morning she had been in his room, before everything had gone wrong. She folded her arms across her chest, unsettled that he watched the action from hooded eyes, “Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.”
“No need to say that because you don't mean it, Weasley.” Benjamin said defensively but when he didn't see any intended malice on her face, he grunted what might have been an apology. Roxanne highly doubted that it was and grew steadily more irritated, “we were gone for an entire year in Italy and I don't remember my parents being nicer to each other before we left.”
Roxanne was flooded once again with curiosity, wondering why he and his father had fled the country in the first place. Benjamin was a very complicated person to undrestand she could honestly admit that she had painfully never known him in the first place, as the boy she had befriended may have always been a stranger. It caused her chest to tighten painfully and she had to take a minute to ask, “What happened at your sister's party, I'm asking because I actually want to know.”
Benjamin studied her face with unecessary intensity before he conceded, looking as if he had been dying to speak to someone about it. Roxanne had a feelingt that this, coupled with what had happened between them had brought him here in the first place, “Mum and dad got into a big argument sometime after Emily finished opening her presents. I'm used to them arguing but I don't like it when they fight in front of my brother and sister, it scares them,”
Roxanne couldn't imagine her own parents doing such a thing. To her knowledge, they fought all the time but took their serious arguments elsewhere, “...What happened?” she asked, thinking of how uspet his siblings must have been.
“It got really out of hand because my Mum started mentioning all this shit that Dad had done and why we left for Italy.” Benjamin ran a hand down his face, a weary groan carefully smothered behind it. When he lowered it and spoke, there was a slightly amused smile on his face, “and well, let's just say my mum's dad kicked both of us out after that.”
Roxanne wasn't able to even understand the full misery of something like that happening and she stared at him worriedly, hating that she was so concerned. The Malfoys sounded like such a bizarre family and she knew that whatever Mr. Malfoy had done really tore the entire family apart, “...Ben, why did you and your dad leave?”
Benjamin shot her a narrowed look and Roxanne glared at him, wondering why she had bothered to ask. “Its none of your business, okay? It wasn't anything good and I didn't have to go with my Dad, I chose to so he wouldn't be alone, I mean,” he hesitated before saying in a tight voice, “he's sad all the time. It wouldn't have been good for him to be in a foreign country all by himself.”
Roxanne was startled by the words, more by Mr. Malfoy being depressed but recalling that when she had seen him as a child that he'd often appeared sad. Even earlier when he had been in the shop, there had been a lingering sense of misery hanging over his shoulders that now made her depressed, “And your mum didn't want you to go?”
“No, sweet, she didn't. I haven't even really talked to her since I came back and we barely said anything to each other at Emily's party, she hates that I left with my dad and didn't stay with her.” Benjamin said, his voice hollow. Roxanne knew he loved his mother dearly and could only imagine what it felt like, “but that's nothing for you to worry about, your parents get on really well.”
Roxanne had to stop herself from resting her hand on his arm, knowing that he would either rebuff the effort, or worse, manipulate her into a hug. And then a kiss, and then...she wasn't going to ever let that happen again, she vowed fiercely, willing her heart to stop pounding so hard, “They do but my parents argue sometimes, they're not perfect.”
Benjamin snorted doubtfully and Roxanne caught a flash of envy in his blue-brown eyes as he glanced at her. It was gone in an instant though, “I like your parents, they're more laid back than mine are and your mum made my dad blush. I don't think anyone's been able to do that in years.”
Roxanne almost laughed but forced it down, noting that he was watching her expectantly for some sort of reaction. When he didn't get the one he wanted, his face became hard and even, if she wanted to look closer, disappointed, “Was your dad able to get his job back at the Ministry all right?”
Benjamin appeared briefly surprised by the question and she frowned up at him, watching as he finally shifted off the wall and stood up straight. After stretching and causing her eyes to wander over his form unwillingly, he replied with a snort, “They did, but he had to go through a lot of paperwork. But you know that already since you heard him talking about it that morning at the Manor.”
Roxane wasn't sure why he had given her such a pointed look and she flushed angrily at the silent accusation. “I haven't told anyone about it—I haven't mentioned what I heard you and your dad fighting about, I still don't even get it myself.” She said, annoyed that he would think her so petty, “all I know is that you left for Italy for some scandal, didn't write to me and that our friendship was over.”
But they'd never been friends to begin with, Roxanne heard something hiss in a nasty reminder. Benjamin's face was unreadable and with the glow of his wandlight, it made him appear like some haunted fairy tale creature, “...Still hung up about that, aren't you, sweet?” Roxanne glared at him. “What I said about you was stupid and ages ago, why are you still letting it get to you?”
Roxanne gawped at him in outrage, feeling the need to smack, punch and kick him as hard as she could. With the bruise over his eye from her last attack, it was highly tempting to give him another and she had to stop herself, “I was under the impression that we were friends, Ben. What you said was nasty and cruel and if you had felt that way about me, why did you keep talking to me?”
Benjamin let out a weary sigh as he ran his fingers over his hair, which was in perfect condition. The black strands were like ink against his skin and Roxanne hated that she had loved running her own fingers through them, “Maybe you just had the wrong idea, okay, Weasley?” he snapped bitingly and Roxanne tried to mask her hurt but he was able to see it as clear as day. His face softened marginally, “don't you think you were better off not hearing from me for a year?”
“W..what do you mean? I was worried sick about you! There were all sorts of rumors going on about why you and your dad left and I thought I wouldn't see you again—but that doesn't mean that I thought about you all the time!” Roxanne cried desperately as a smug smile started to form. When he pretended to blush, she snapped, “oh, stop giving me that face, you get on my nerves!”
Benjamin let out a laugh that sounded oddly relieved to her ears as he bent and did the face she hated the most. The pathetic, dopey one that made him look like an exaggerated cherub and Roxanne groaned in irritation, pushing at him and hating that this was happening at all—she should not be standing here with him this way. “That one gets you every time,” he whispered, capturing her hand and pressing a kiss into her palm that made her think of...of...
Roxanne snatched her hand back angrily, not sure who she was more furious with at the moment. Benjamin stepped back from her, looking a little confused by his reaction to her and she snarled, “You're such a piece of shit you know that, Ben? One minute your're acting like the worlds biggest prick and the next you're pretending like nothing happened at all between us.”
Benjamin's face became guarded, though she saw his eyes flickering with various emotions that she couldn't identify. His entire body had gone stiff and he took her in more closely, it was more than apparent that she was wanting to get this over with, “...You're all spunky tonight, Weasley. I barely heard you say two words earlier,”
Roxanne thought that he had a lot of nerve. “You didn't say anything to me and you're being a prick—how can you stand there and look at me like you didn't do anything wrong?” she demanded in a harsh cry before lowering her voice quickly.
People in Diagon Alley were nosy and the last thing she needed was someone to come into the shop tomorrow spilling this to her father. Benjamin seemed to notice her sudden thoughts and a strange look passed over his face, as if he were thinking of how delicious it would be to make her grow loud, “Did you want me to stand there and talk about how much fun we had together that morning in front of your brother?”
That was exactly what she had thought he would do and Roxanne didn't hide the thought when she stared at him. Benjamin let out an incredulous laugh, “What do you want, Ben? Merlin, you're acting like my dad but I don't think calling you Beatrice is going to bother you. I do have a life.” There, that sounded nice and mature. He probably hadn't been expecting that from her and she tried to stop herself from smirking, “I'm actually heading out to a party in a few.”
“First of all, Beatrice sounds too much like Bellatrix and I'd rather you not call me a name that resembles that dead bitch.” Benjamin said with a trace of anger and Roxanne opened her mouth, thinking of apologizing before deciding that he didn't deserve it after what he had done to her.
Roxanne removed her hands from her coat pocket and straightened out her shirt, watching as he eyed her heatedly. There was anger crackling between them, true but that tug and pull was also demanding so much more... “Anyway, I have to get going soon so let's wrap this up, all right Ben? I'm needed elsewhere.”
“Is that so, lump?” Benjamin asked idly, sounding as if the thought of her being suddenly busy bothered him. A look of doubt entered his eyes though, along with a nasty twist to his mouth that ironcially made him more good looking, which Roxanne didn't find at all fair in the least, “you're going to a party dressed in that ugly outfit?”
Roxanne gasped in outrage at his nerve, even though she knew she'd chosen this outfit on purpose. It was so irritating how he was able to do this to her, make her unable to control her own emotions, “So what if I am?”
Benjamin laughed softly under his breath before running his eyes over her in a way that made her feel indecent. Roxanne could only imagine what he was thinking of and the various possibilities made her squirm, “That might stop anyone else from hitting on you, but not me. The more clothes you wear, the more I keep thinking about peeling them off so that's something to worry about next time.”
“Th-that hardly matters! I don't care what you think!” Roxanne cried angrily, feeling her face flooding with color. Benjamin eyed her with growing amusement and she huffed, hating that he had baited her so easily, “you're not the only bloke in the world!”
That really had Benjamin laughing and she glared at him as he gave her a cocky little smile worthy of a pompous prince. “I should be. Who are you going to this party with, anyway lump, that identity crisis that was in the shop with you earlier?”
Roxanne flushed at the question before turning her face up, feeling the glow of his wandlight on her face. It felt like a caress and she blushed all the further, knowing that the tug and pull between them was about to snap in mere moments if she didn't get out of here soon and prove to him that she didn't care. “You mean Adam? He's a family friend,” she said to him haughtily.
“Really? He looks like something I'd scrape off my shoes. And tell him that its more than obvious that he has a crush on you but pitiful attempts at flirting isn't going to get him anywhere so long as I'm around,” Benjamin said in a furious rush, the words coming out in a growl that made Roxanne jump, even as she took them in.
Waves of anger flashed through her and Roxanne found herself reaching out and stabbing him in the chest with her finger. Benjamin raised his brows at her but his eyes were flashing with anger and—could he honestly be jealous? “First of all, Adam can flirt with me all he fucking pleases because I know that he isn't afraid of being with me. Its just a shame that he's got a girlfriend because otherwise I'd be all over him,” she sneered.
Benjamin's face had clouded with warring emotions and Roxanne felt triumphant that she had caused him to feel a bit of her pain. Instead though, he roared with laughter, tossing his head back and causing her glee to vanish entirely, “Seriously, Weasley? Where the hell do you see yourself getting with that punk? He'd bore you in five minutes in and out of bed, if he even knows how to get you between the sheets in the first place.”
Roxanne let out a furious cry and shoved at his chest, watching as he stumbled back and nearly lost his balance. Tears were starting in her eyes again and she snarled furiously, hating that every inch of her was trembling, “I hate you, Ben! You walk around like you're this big shot but you're really just a coward that can't face what you're afraid of—get away from me!” she cried as he closed the space between them, his eyes sparking with heat, anger and to her irritation, amusement.
“Better keep your voice down Weasley if you don't want anyone to hear what I have to say next.” Benjamin warned around a husky laugh. Roxanne's eyes widened and she made to turn away but he reached out and wrapped one strong arm around her waist, pulling her closer until her chest was smashed against his.
A blush immediately began to form and she was bombarded with too many delightful, painful sensations. Too many memories were crowding her brain and she could feel his bare skin on hers again, taste his tongue and the scent of him, so wonderfully sinful that it burned her senses to a cinder was too much, “Ben, y-you let me go!” Roxanne commanded weakly, her mind still going.
“No, chance, sweet. You're not going to run off and have the last say this time,” Benjamin said in a deceptively soft voice, his wand held closely at his side. Roxanne doubted that he would ever raise his wand to her but it didn't comfort her just now as she was forced to stare into his face...familiar and not so familiar, “there are a few things that I'd actually wanted to talk to you about.”
When she struggled, he only held onto her tighter, until she was practically sharing his skin. Roxanne's entire face could have been glowing in the dark for all she knew and she fought down the silly reaction of curling up against him, wanting at the moment to ram her knee into his crotch. That was also something she didn't want to feel, she thought dazedly, “Like what?” she hissed up at him angrily.
“I didn't want to ask with your dad and brother around and didn't get my chance when your mum and that prat showed up.” Benjamin said with an eye roll while Roxanne struggled against him, causing his breath to catch, “keep doing that sweet and we might have a completely different problem.” He warned against her cheek.
Roxanne turned her face away, but not before he gave her a soft kiss. The muscles in her legs were giving out from pure foolish longing, “What is it Ben? You could have just said all this earlier—ever hear of sending an owl?” she asked bitingly.
Benjamin rubbed his mouth along her jaw, “I don't have an owl and I needed to talk to you in person.” He replied, listening to the soft inhale his kiss had caused, “...I know I was careful but you're not pregnant are you?” Roxanne heard herself make a strange squealing noise as he moved his head back to stare down at her. “You looked sick earlier and I needed to know.”
“...Is..Is that all this was about?! No, I'm not pregnant you prat! Get your hands off of me!” Roxanne snarled in a humiliated rush, wondering why he had the nerve to appear disappointed. Benjamin heaved a weary sigh, his eyes hooded and shielding his real throughts, “I've got to get going—there's a party I need to get to and I might just meet someone better.”
Benjamin's hold on her grew a bit tighter and the heat coming from his eyes was enough to stop her struggling. Roxanne stared warily into his eyes, knowing him well enough to sense that his patience, his need and his anger had reached their limit, “Keep telling yourself that Weasley but you know what's funny to me? I keep trying to put what happened out of my mind but I keep thinking about what you feel like and how you sound right when its about to get really, really interesting.”
Roxanne had gone stiff at the words, hating how that she had felt the same even after days and days. “S-so? That doesn't mean anything, you'll find someone else as soon as we get back to Hogwarts and I'll move on because you're not as fantastic as you think you are—stop that!” she snapped when Benjamin kissed a sensitive place along her ear.
“Tell yourself that you don't want this all you like, Weasley but I'm not going to bother denying that I want you all over again. I'm just not going to give in to it,” Benjamin said firmly, suddenly releasing her. Roxanne stumbled slightly and watched him stepping away, his eyes locking onto her own, “I've always given in to you but I'm not going to do it this time, not when you can't handle actually growing up.”
Roxanne felt a nasty sting in her chest at the words and opened her mouth to form some sort of retort but there was a loud pop, announcing that he had left her. And, just like before, she was alone, hearing her heart shattering but vowing that she would move on from him and become stronger. Benjamin Malfoy would not continue to possess any part of her.
Thanks for reading! Up next for real this time is Audrey and Percy, sorry for the long wait and until then, much love. :D
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