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Chapter 11 : XI. Drunken Minds
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When the meeting finished, Rose stayed for only a few minutes, in which she exchanged a few words with her mother and aunts, after which Scorpius accompanied her back to Grimmauld Place and left, telling her that he was going to search for Penelope.
That had been almost twenty-four hours ago, Rose thought as she closed the large book she was reading and pushed it away from her, rubbing her eyes. She had researched cloning and DNA and wood properties some more, had a bite to eat, drank tea, tried to sleep but failed, looked for more information on the Hallows, paced around the room and had even tried to wake up Sirius Black’s portrait, though the man ignored her completely.
She hated to admit, as she was staring into the fire she had started in the study, night slowly creeping up on the snowy street, that she felt lonely without Scorpius there. It wasn’t even two weeks ago that she had found him in her shop halfway across the continent and looked at him with indifference and now... Well, as much as she hated to admit it, he had grown on her. She liked how they would chat into the night, drinking hot chocolate or sometimes wine. He would ask her the strangest things and she never felt shy about answering him. In a way, they had known each other for a long time but at the same time they were strangers. Nothing tied her to him and yet, here she was, thinking and worrying about him.
Sometimes, as the conversation died down and they became tired, she wondered what would happen if she were to close the distance between them, to bring her lips to his or lay her head against his chest. How would he react to crossing that invisible line they drew for themselves? But the thoughts left her as soon as they came and she reminded herself that she was just a pawn in the case, that he was there because he had to, not because he wanted to and every night as he saw her eyes drop, he would get up and go to his room.
Rose wanted to laugh at herself. She was being silly of course, she was a grown woman, not a silly teenager and she couldn’t just crush on every guy. Even though Scorpius wasn’t just any guy. He was an enigma, a riddle she was anxious to decipher. Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the front door closing and she grasped her wand, straining her ears to pick up on any sign that the person entering was an unwanted visitor. She relaxed as she felt Scorpius’ shape sink into the sofa next to her and she turned to look at him.
His uniform was wrinkled and dusty, his hair unruly. His whole appearance made Rose think he must be very tired, especially since he had his elbows propped on his legs and he was holding his head in his hands. She let him sit in silence for several minutes and finally decided to speak up.
“Scorpius?” his head snapped up and he looked at her, but the look in his eyes made Rose’s own eyes widen. There was nothing there, no light. He looked defeated. She bit her lip and searched for the appropriate words to say to him. He got up and took the bottle of Firewhiskey from the small table next to the sofa and poured himself a big drink. He raised the glass to his lips and drained its contents, pouring another.
“Did you find her?” Rose finally asked, when his hands had stopped shaking. He turned his back on her and stared into the flames, the glow from the fire casting eerie shadows around him.
“Dead.” the word rang in the empty room, sounding so wrong and cruel to Rose’s ears that she let out an involuntary gasp. She felt tears sting her eyes, and nausea tugging at her insides. A girl, no older than she was, was dead.
“I… I’m sorry.” was all she managed to say after a few minutes of silence.
“We found her in her bedroom. We decided to do another sweep of the house as a last resort, seeing as we didn’t find any leads on her whereabouts. Somebody brought her back and placed her in her bed.” he said and Rose wanted to tell him to stop. She didn’t want to know what happened to the woman or what the people that wanted to see her were capable off. However, she bit her tongue and let him continue. “She died as a result of an extreme form of Occlumency. Nothing we’ve ever seen before. Somebody poked around in her brain until her brain cells snapped and died. They literally melted her brain away, the fucking bastards! She was so young, she never got to live her life and now she‘s dead because she knew too little or too much!” he shouted and threw the glass at the fireplace, the alcohol making the flames rise.
Rose got up from the sofa and went behind him, circling his waist with her arms and pressing herself onto his back. She pulled him close and hugged him. To her surprise, he didn’t push her away, but relaxed in her arms. After some time, Rose felt him shaking and realized he was sobbing. Scorpius crashed to the floor, bringing Rose down with him, as he cried for his dead friend and all the things she never got to experience. Rose held him, whispering soothing words into his hair and stroking his back as he crumbled.
Rose didn’t know how long it had taken Scorpius to calm himself. She felt ashamed that she intruded on such an intimate moment. She was sure he didn’t want to be seen crying and by the woman he was protecting no less. But he never said a word and she didn’t comment on it either. They sat on the floor, having summoned the bottle and two glasses to them, their backs propped against the large sofa, Rose resting her head on Scorpius’s shoulder and he held her hand, making small circles with his fingers in her palm.
They didn’t speak and for once, Rose wasn’t bothered by the silence. She found it comfortable and appropriate. It was the only thing she needed tonight, silence and Scorpius and the fire. She had not known Penelope but her loss hurt her, hit her close to home and scared her.
“Tell me something about you.” Scorpius finally spoke, his tone even and steady. She raised her head from his shoulder and glanced at him, tilting her head slightly. He answered her unasked question “Take my mind off it.”
She sighed as she tried to find something interesting to share with him. Finally, she gave up and just drained her own glass, taking a deep breath as she begun speaking.
“I’m the biggest over-analyzer you’ll ever meet. I’m afraid of missed opportunities, I’d hate to think that I wasted my youth, sometimes it gets really loud inside my head. I love it when it rains and I’m scared of being easily forgotten. I believe in desperate acts, the kind that make you look stupid.” she finished and to her surprise, a smile formed on his face.
“You could never be easily forgotten, Rose.” he told her and took her hand once more. “As for opportunities, some you might miss, but others will come along, be sure of it.”
“Not easily forgotten, you say?” she asked him and smiled a little smile of her own. “What about you?”
“Me? I don’t want to be just another pretty book cover. I want people to see that there’s more to me than a face or a name. The things I don’t reveal, those are the ones I hold the closest. I live with the constant feeling that I’m in the process of ruining something great. I struggle everyday and sometimes I get tired. Really tired.”
“Why do you feel the need to struggle?” Rose asked and he tucked a piece of her dark auburn hair behind her ear.
“Because I don’t want to give in. Not yet. I’m not done proving myself.” he whispered.
“You can relax here, you know.” Rose said, feeling her heart was beating in her chest. “I don’t want you to prove anything to me.”
“I thought you wanted me to get off my high horse.” he told her with a smile. She felt the color spreading across her face and sighed in defeat. She was never good at hiding her emotions.
“I’m so glad you listened.” she replied and bit her lip. The air was different tonight. Something had shifted since the last time they sat in that room and she wondered if he could feel it.
“Rose? Do you think Romeo enjoyed it?”
“Enjoyed what?” she asked, taken aback by his question.
“Being Juliet’s secret.”
Her eyebrows shot up at his question, the wheels in her brain spinning. She knew the tale of the forbidden love, she had read it plenty of times. But what could his question mean? Did it mean what she thought it meant or was it just in her head? She must’ve been quiet for a good few minutes because he smiled and shook his head.
“You need to stop over-analyzing. Stop reading between the lines.” he said softly and his hand slid behind her neck and pulled her closer, as he closed the distance between them.
And his lips were on top of hers and she felt her heart beating out of her chest. She wanted to breathe, felt her lungs burning, but at the same time she didn’t want to stop. She brought her arms around his neck, one of them burying itself deep within his blonde hair and the other grasping at his shirt. Before she knew it, she was seated on his lap and one of his arms was tracing patterns across her back. Finally, when the need for air became too much, they broke apart and she saw his eyes searching her face for a sign. She smiled a little smile as she drew a deep breath.
“Don’t make me look stupid by running away.” he whispered against her lips
“I‘m not going anywhere right now.” Rose replied and he smiled, kissing her once again.
They lay on the same floor where they had been hours ago, just looking at each other, occasionally kissing. Neither wanted to break the silence. There were so many things Rose wanted to say, so many questions she wanted to ask. What would this mean tomorrow? Would it still matter when they woke up or would they go back to being like they were the day before? She felt his every touch burn in her skin, leaving marks he couldn’t see but that she would be feeling for a long time. Kissing didn’t mean falling in love. That much she knew. But she also knew she had been alone for far too long. She didn’t want that anymore. But looking at him in the dim light of the dying fire, she felt something else. Rose Weasley was scared.
If there was ever a time she wanted to not over-analyze, to stop reading between the lines as he had told her, it was now. But even now the implications of their stolen kisses weighed on her. She lived in a different world now. Could she come back? Give up her life and resume her old one? But if she did that, it would mean she did it for him. And maybe he didn’t want that. When this was all over, maybe he would just want to return to his old, Rose-free life. The long line of “could” and “would” made her head hurt and he must’ve picked up on that.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked, running his hand up and down her back.
“Just about life.” she replied and half-shrugged.
“What about it?”
“Sometimes I feel like something’s missing, something I never had in the first place. I’m waiting for that one big adventure. The one I’ll remember for the rest of my life. The one that’s gonna change everything.”
“Maybe this is it?” he asked and she sighed, taking in his words.
“This? You and me, in this house, with all that’s going on? I don’t think that’s going to change my life. One day soon everything will get back to normal. I’ll be gone and for you I’ll be just a memory.” she argued, noticing his face change as she spoke.
“What if I don’t agree with that? Or does my opinion not matter in this?” he asked her sharply and she understood her words had bothered him. She searched for a reply but her mind was spinning in vain. No clever come-back wanted to come to her.
“What do you want me to say, Scorpius? That I‘m going to spend the rest of my days loving you in secret?” she exclaimed and saw his grin return once more.
“I’d want you to say what was on your mind instead of composing bad poetry.” he chuckled.
“What would you know about poetry?” she asked, astounded. She knew close to nothing about him and his life. She didn’t know what she was doing.
“Why should you love me in secret when I want to love you out in the open, for the whole world to see?” he responded and she smiled.
“We’re getting ahead of ourselves. Look at us, already professing our undying love.” she frowned and her frown only made his grin bigger.
“I’m still young, Rose. I can choose to fall in love with whoever I please.” he said and looked into her eyes once again.
“It’s the Firewhiskey talking.” Rose retorted and got up, picking her glass as she went.
“Perhaps it is, but you know, drunken minds speak sober truths.” he said as he got up as well.
“Then maybe we’ll speak of your sober truths in the morning when we’re both sober.” she joked, but his face had now become serious once more. Taking the glass from her hand, he placed it back on the table and took her face in his hands, kissing her lips lightly.
“I don’t want to be alone tonight, Rose. Stay with me.” he whispered and his voice made her heart beat faster. She squeezed his hand and he lead her out of the study and up the stairs. They stopped in front of his room and he turned to look at her. She nodded and reached up to kiss his lips. Scorpius pulled her inside and the door closed behind them.
It didn’t matter that perhaps it was a mistake and it didn’t matter how they would feel tomorrow. With his words in her head, Rose stepped inside the room. They were young and nothing else mattered.
AN: There you have it, folks! The big Rose/Scorpius scene. The first big Rose/Scorpius scene. There's more to come! So, what did you think? Loved it? Hated it? Were they out of character? Comment below!
Thank you once again to everybody who read and reviewed! You make me smile!
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, it's property of JK Rowling. "Romeo and Juliet" was written by William Shakespeare.
In chapter 12 of "Twin Wands"? We see how Scorpius reacts to the events of this chapter! Plus, a surprise cameo by an all time favorite character!
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