Chapter 10 : X
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“Malfoy,” I attempt to growl but for some reason, the breath that escaped my lungs becomes caught in my throat and his name is released with a slight gasp. His smirk widens as he steps towards me, forcing me back through the portrait hole and into the kitchens.
“Thorn,” he murmurs huskily. His voice is so low; I involuntarily lean towards him. He chuckles darkly and I have to resist the urge to touch him. Whether to slap him or pull him closer, I am not entirely sure. Heat and lust seem to take over my body as he continues to step towards me. With each of his steps, I too step backwards. His molten eyes burn into mine causing my heart to race in a way I am not all too familiar with.
The Welcome Feast must be over as the kitchens are practically empty with only a few sparse House Elves wandering about. In my peripheral vision, I catch sight of a couple of them scurrying away and disappearing to Merlin knows where. As Malfoy steps still closer, the House Elves flee from my mind. The solid wood of one of the four long tables digs into the back of my thighs and I realise I am trapped. Malfoy smirks.
With one last step, Malfoy comes to a stop barely a breath away from me. I can feel the heat radiating from his body as he smirks down at me. Slowly, he lifts one hand to my shoulder, trailing a finger across my collar bone without breaking his eyes from mine. My skin seems to burn where he touches it. He traces the bone back to the shoulder and then runs it down my arm, sending a shiver down my spine. His smirk widens.
As his other hand comes to rest on my waist so lightly I can barely feel it, my jaw decides to clench. The fingers that are touching my hand flutter up to my face and gently caress my jawline, urging the muscles to relax. A finger brushes against my lips and they open in an involuntary gasp. A strange whining noise escapes me and I find my body propelling itself forward, towards him. He steps away, just out of reach.
My eyes flash with anger and he chuckles.
“Did you miss me Thorn?” he murmurs in my ear, stepping ever so slightly closer to me again. I find myself torn between wanting to annihilate him and wanting to press my body flush against him. My mind suggests the first; the rest of me, the second.
I decide it is time to turn the tables. My hand reaches up to the v-shaped hollow at the base of his neck and I trace a finger down his chest slowly until I reach his belt. His eyes widen in shock and as I run my finger back up, his eyes closed momentarily. Now it is my turn to smirk.
I step closer to him so that our robes are just touching, curling a hand around his neck. His eyes close again and he leans into my hand. I reach up on tiptoes and release the smallest of sighs millimetres from his lips. As he leans forward, I pull away, slipped around him so that I am stood behind him. He begins to turn around but freezes when he feels my hands on his back and my breath on his neck. I slide my hands down his sides and around to his front. He lets out a groan and falls forward, his hands reaching out to the table to steady himself.
Swiftly, I pull him around so that he is facing me. I close the distances between us, pressing my entire body up against his and I can feel his excitement digging into my thigh. I run my hands up his chest to grip his shoulders. His eyes flash open and consume mine. There is a fiery lust within them that makes my already taunt body shiver with delight. He stares at me for several painful moments before reaching a hand up to curl around my neck and yank me forward to meet his lips.
He swallows my moan as I sink into him, losing myself in his kiss.
There are moments in your life when you question everything. Everything. As Malfoy pulls me closer against him, I find myself in one of those moments. A myriad of thoughts flutter through my mind but I cannot seem to fix on any one of them. All I know is that Malfoy is kissing me and I am not being paid to kiss him back… And that doesn’t bother me.
Time seems to fade into nothing as I let my tongue run over his moist lips. His moan vibrates through my body as he opens his mouth to let my tongue in. I forget I even have the gift of sight as my world becomes a dizzying kaleidoscope of colours and sounds are left forgotten before I even recognise them. There is something different about kissing Scorpius Malfoy. Something exciting. Maybe it is because I am doing this without someone asking me to. Almost like I actually liked the guy…
“Dammit Thorn,” he moans against my lips. “You are the perfect distraction.”
It takes several long and painful moments for his words to register in my mind. Distraction. I am a distraction. That is all I am to him. A fucking distraction. A very big part of me knows I should not care in the slightest that that is all he views me as but for some reason, my pride (I am still a Gryffindor despite the rumours I hexed the Sorting Hat) gets the better of me and I pull away, rage building in my chest like fiendfyre.
Shoving him away from me, I spin on my heel, deciding it is probably best if I leave without a word. I could never have him guess that his words stung me in far more than they should have done. When I am almost at the entrance hole, a hand grabs my arm just above the elbow and force me back around.
“Thorn…?” Malfoy asks calmly, an eyebrow raised slightly to making him look somewhat amused. “Is something the matter?”
“Not at all, I simply figured you had been distracted enough,” I reply in a tone only slightly more clipped and cold than usual. “Is there a problem?”
“No… no… I just…” he mutters, a frown creasing his forehead that suggests his mind is full of thoughts he cannot quite fathom but the corner of his mouth is tilted up in the faintest of half-smiles. He looks on the verge of saying more but suddenly his features change from somewhat amused and thoughtful to resigned and distant. “Nothing. Thank you for your time,” he nods before stepping around me and out of the entrance hole without another word.
In the past few years, people have hurled insults at me as I walk down the corridor, or when they travel in packs across the courtyards, or over the Quidditch pitch as I smash a Bludger at their team. ‘Whore’ and ‘slut’ are words that I have become all too familiar with due to the nature of my ‘job’. And yet never, through all of those insults and snide remarks, have I ever felt as used as I do right now.
Shame burns my cheeks as I blink away the shock of this sudden emotion. I was a distraction. That was all I was. All I was good enough to be. And I had brought it upon myself. I had willingly allowed myself to kiss someone without having a reason to do so. I had willingly let my body’s instincts get the better of me as I practically threw myself at Malfoy. He had used me to distract himself from whatever problems he had in his life and once his mind had had a sufficient break, he left. He chose me because I had had no qualms about kissing him before. No doubt he thought I was easy as I had kissed the majority of his dorm-mates, not to mention the lengthy list of other boys at Hogwarts. What did it matter to him that I had a reputation? He wasn’t planning for me to be anything special.
While these kisses between him and I had been different because I wasn’t being paid to do it… They were only different for me. For him, they were just another distraction. I made it easy for him; he didn’t have to go through the hassle of getting himself a girlfriend who would be insistent on knowing all his problems. I was easy. So he used me. And I deserved it. I was a fool to think I was anything more. I was a fool not to see how disposable I was to him. I was a fool to even think that what I had with Malfoy was anything even remotely special.
So still reeling from shock and shame, I blink once more before heading out of the kitchen myself, my appetite having disappeared for perhaps the first time in my life.
The rain outside deters me from wandering around the Black Lake so I decide to head towards the Owlery, knowing it will almost certainly be empty at this time, especially on the first day of term. A cold wind whips down the stairwell as I head up to the circular room and I quickly summon my cloak from my trunk in my dorm. It takes a few seconds to arrive in which I stand, close to shivering, looking out at the vast blackness of the Hogwarts’ grounds.
Fastening my cloak with the emerald broach that Dominique had brought back from France for me a year ago, I glance around the seemingly deserted Owlery only to find it not quite as deserted as I had hoped. In the far corner, tucked onto one of the smaller window ledges, was a girl with hair so pale is glowed in the moonlight. She had her knees tucked up under her chin with her head resting in her arms as she shook gently. At first, I think she is shivering… but then it occurs to me that she is, in fact, crying.
I stare at her awkwardly, wondering if I would be able to slip away before she notices I am here. It is at that point that I realise I have seen her before, in a fairly similar situation… Except then we were in the toilets rather than up here in the freezing Owlery with no cubicles to duck into and out of sight. As I make to go back down the steps, my boot lands on a pile of regurgitated bones which crackle underfoot and alert the girl to my presence.
“Oh,” Faye Rivers gasps, her head snapping up to see me. She stares at me in shock for a moment before bursting into tears again, this time not even bothering to wipe them away. I stand frozen, half a mind to leave her to it and half a mind to make sure she is okay. This indecision in itself unsettles me as usually I would have walked straight out without a second thought but when I find myself crossing the feather covered floor of the Owlery and heading for the bawling girl, I really begin to question my sanity.
Deciding not to bother asking if she is okay, as she clearly isn’t, I sit beside her and rub her back in a fashion that my mother used to do when I was a child. She sobs for a while longer before hiccupping to a stop.
“I’m so sorry,” she mutters. “I usually have far more control of myself but lately…” she trails off, tears thickening her voice again. “You don’t have to stay, I’ll be fine,” she manages a weak smile as she hands me the perfect escape route but something tells me that she doesn’t really want me to go so I just shake my head and continue rubbing her back. “I’m Faye,” she adds on.
“Rose,” I nod. “Although the terms ‘whore’ and ‘bitch’ might be more familiar to you.”
“Does that not bother you? What they call you?” she asks and I have to admire her directness.
“No. Why should I care what they think? I don’t need any of them in my life and when I leave here, I will hopefully not have to see any of them again,” I explain but a tightening in my chest tells me the words are not quite as true as they once were.
“Oh… I wish I had your confidence,” she confides.
“Just because my reputation doesn’t bother me, doesn’t mean I would wish it on anyone else. I live my life the way I do for my reasons, I would strongly advise you not to want any of my traits because the cost of them is higher than you might be prepared to pay,” I reply with a little too much bitterness for my own liking.
Her confession takes a moment to register in my mind. My hand hesitates on her back and she looks up at me, fixing her amber eyes on mine. She looks so sad and I cannot help but think that pregnant women should be happy, not sad. Sadness could not possibly be good for either the mother or child.
“I’m sorry, you probably don’t care about my problems,” she quickly mutters, looking down. I cannot help but notice there is no resentment in her voice, she sounds perfectly sincere and apologetic for landing me in a potentially awkward situation. A part of me agrees with her but then I imagine that if I were in her position…
“Does he know?” I ask.
“The father? Yes… but he wants nothing to do with any of it,” she mutters through clenched jaws, forcing herself not to cry anymore. “He acts like he doesn’t care but I can’t tell if it’s an act and he is just as scared as I am or if he really is completely heartless,” she explains. “He messes with my head, Rose, he’s been messing with it for well over a year now,” she sighs.
“What about your parents? Have you told them?” I ask. She falls very quiet for a moment, gazing out across the blackness, before replying in a barely audible whisper.
“My parents are dead.”
After taking Faye Rivers to the Hufflepuff dorms and telling her that she needs to speak to Madame Pomfrey at least, I finally head back to the Gryffindor common room. It must be the early hours of the morning but I doubt very much that I will be able to sleep. Thoughts swirl around my head in a hopeless disarray.
Today my very narrow emotional range as been stretched and twisted and mutated until, for the first time in years, I am not sure what I am feeling anymore. Panic sinks its claws into my chest as I pace the common room. I hate not being fully in control. I hate feeling anything, let alone confusion about what I feel. I hate not understanding what has disturbed me to this extent.
Hatty James. Scorpius Malfoy. Faye Rivers. The names swirl around in my head and I cannot help but think that a month ago, anything that I had done or said to these people today, would never have happened. Something is messing with my previously content existence and I cannot say I particularly like it. I do not like feeling. Because, truth be told, it scares me shitless.
With dread in my stomach and a mask firmly in place across my face and all my guards up, I head down towards the dungeons for Potions. Zabini immediately pulls me aside to congratulate me on the potion I had left on his desk yesterday (that I had entirely forgotten about) before letting me sit down.
“Today I want you to join back up with your partner and chose a potion from one of the books on the shelves at the back to the classroom to brew. Begin,” Zabini orders without any preamble. Malfoy immediately gets up to grad a book which he subsequently beings to leaf through. When he pushes the book towards me, opened on page 923, I glance at the ingredients, memorize them and get up to collect them. It doesn’t matter to be what potion we do, so long as we do it better than everyone else does theirs.
We cut, measure and stir in silence. Neither of utters a word and I can sense him growing increasingly uncomfortable. Much to my delight, the silence does not affect me and I can feel the calmness I am so acquainted with settling over me once more. Of course, I have no trouble at all with the potion, Malfoy picked an easy one, and we are finished well before anyone else.
“So what have we got here?” Zabini murmurs from behind me.
“Mood Telling Potion,” Malfoy replies for me. Glancing down at the text book in confusion, I realise that we have indeed made a Mood Telling Potion. I wonder why Malfoy picked that one… no doubt because it was so simple.
“Interesting,” Zabini drawls. “But perhaps a more advanced potion would be more appropriate for two students such as yourselves,” he queries. “If you are interested in being more in tune with other people’s emotions, then perhaps you could try the Aura Elixir which allows the drinker to see the auras of those around him? If you have the book I asked Malfoy to give you, you shall find it on page 963.” With a swish of his long, black robes, Zabini wanders off to sneer into Albus’ failed Draught of Living Death.
Malfoy looks on the verge of saying something so I swiftly pull out the book in question and charm it to the correct page. A faint sigh escapes his lips as he looks resignedly down at the finished potion in our cauldron. I suggest he fetches some vials to put it in while I begin collect ingredients for our next potion.
“You are aware this potion takes three weeks to brew, right?” he mutters darkly when I return with an armful of ingredients.
“Have you ever heard of the Draught of Beauty?” I ask.
“Yes,” he frowns, looking puzzled.
“That takes seven hundred and seventy seven days to brew.”
Paris is so beautiful this time of year, next Christmas I insist you come and visit me! How is beloved Hogwarts? Is the snow six feet deep yet? I met a beautiful boy yesterday; he had hair the colour of the Gryffindor lion and eyes like the sea in the summer. If only I had a heart to give him… but alas, I fear my heart still belongs to Saskian. It is such a pity for we would truly have made a beautiful pair.
You must tell me if any of the Hogwarts boys have suddenly become dashingly handsome over Christmas. I am dying to hear of the man who will eventually capture your heart. Perhaps though you must wait until you come to France for English boys really cannot compare.
I arrive in England on the 24th of February and I expect to see you in Hogsmeade the following Saturday. I will not take any excuses, even if it is not a Hogsmeade weekend. You are a Weasley and all Weasleys know how to escape the castle grounds some way or other. Besides, I am exceedingly curious to meet this Mr Malfoy who writes such exquisite verse.
Anyway, I shall not bore you with more of my drabble. Be well, ma chère, and send Albus my love and thanks for his delightful Christmas present. Much love, Dominique.
I roll my eyes towards the end of her letter: Albus had bought her an Exploding Dungbomb II from George’s shop which, when let off, would vanish and leave a ghastly smell for several hours then, after ten minutes of a stink free area, it would appear and set itself off again. Dominique, of course, had seen it coming and had flooed over to Albus’ bedroom and deposited it under his bed while he was asleep. Apparently Ginny had to get George to come and get rid of it for her.
Finding a quill amongst the debris of my trunk, I smooth out some parchment and begin my response…
Hogwarts is as beautiful as ever although some of the students often mar the perfection of the view. It cannot be helped that these English boys lack the finesse of their French counterparts. As for your beautiful boy, I have no doubt that you will find something to do with him to entertain yourself. I know you lost your heart to Saskian (Saskian was Dominique’s first owl who had died stuck in a chimney because she had overfed it)but pinning after him will do you no good. You must live your life… Or some other such crap our mothers come up with.
Of course I shall meet you in Hogsmeade! I will write to Pollux and arrange a place for us to meet, I have no doubt that he is just as excited to meet you as you are to meet him. Although you must not be offended if his excitement does not show though, he is rather reserved.
Albus will not accept your love or thanks so I shall not bother giving them to him.
Enjoy the French air while you can, Rose.
Folding my reply up, I pull on my cloak to head to the Owlery and slip, unnoticed, through the common room. Albus is currently trying to round up our Quidditch team to go over game plans that we already know like the back of our hands. He needs to find himself a girl.
As expected, the Owlery is freezing in the fading evening light but the view is spectacular. I call down Nox, my owl, and attach the letter before giving him a treat and watching him fly towards the Southern horizon.
“Oh, hello Rose,” someone greats me.
“Rivers,” I nod as she comes closer.
“Just call me Faye, you know more about me than anyone on last name terms should,” she smiles and I note with relief that she does not look on the verge of tears today. “This is the second day in a row we’ve dumped into each other in the Owlery, you probably think I am following you,” she laughs.
“Not at all. Yesterday you were here first and today I was here first so I think it is safe to say it is merely coincidence,” I explain and she just smiles. Hufflepuffs never were ones for the particulars. “How are you?”
“Not too bad, hanging in there,” she sighs. “I went to see Madame Pomfrey today, like you suggested. She was very sweet about the whole thing although I could tell she was not all that impressed. She says I’ll have to have a check-up at St Mungo’s though soon.”
“St Mungo’s is bound to confidentiality, it is not possible for them to spill your secret if you do not wish them to do so,” I inform her. “Have you spoken to the father again?”
“No,” she looks down uncomfortably at her hands. “He just ignores me, as if I don’t even exist.”
“Surely he cannot ignore you forever, you must dump into each other in your common room or something,” I frown.
“He’s not in my House.”
“Merlin Rose, he makes me feel so shit,” she snaps. “He used to make me feel amazing, like I was the only person in the world for him but now he won’t even look at me! I don’t know what to do Rose… I- I think I love him,” she finishes in a whisper. I blink in surprise. That a girl could be in love with someone who treated her the way this boy clearly did, is something I cannot quite get my head around… especially at their age. So I ask the only question I can think of.
“Who is he?”
She sighs sadly, her blonde hair falling forward to cover her pretty face, before whispering a name, a name that sends a cold shiver of shock down my spine: “Malfoy.”
I'm so, so sorry it has taken me so long! But here it is, please let me know what you think in a lovely little review. And please come and check out my blog (link on author's page) to ask questions etc. I promise I will get around to asking the ones in the queue in the next few days. Thank you for reading and I hope my next update will be quicker than this was.
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