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Chapter 8 : How to Heal a Weasley
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How could such a promising night have ended in such disaster? I don’t know what to do or where to go from here.
Wearily I start to climb the marble staircase but the effort is too much and I end up sinking down onto my knees halfway up the stairs, putting my face into my hands and just sobbing. I feel my heart re-breaking in my chest and – oh God – it hurts. It hurts so bad.
“Rose?” I hear someone far away call my name. “Oh God – Rose?”
I can’t see through my tears and I simply cannot stop crying.
“Talk to me, Rose, what happened?”
It’s Andrew. He takes my face into his hands and pushes my hair off my face. He clears the tears off my face and feels how cold I am. He’s swearing under his breath as he wraps his cloak around my shaking body and pulls me into his arms.
“Who did this to you?” Andrew growls.
“Sc….Sc…” I’m crying again but Andrew nods stiffly. He already guessed.
“Come on,” Andrew attempts to stand but I cling to him like he’s my life line. Andrew stoops down and cradles me in his arms and progresses to carry me up the stairs.
I finally manage to stop crying but I’m drained and exhausted. Andrew sets me down in the Prefect’s Bathroom and runs a bath for me. I sit at the edge of the swimming pool sized bath and don’t talk.
Andrew clears his throat and makes to leave but I grab him again and plead with my eyes. “Rose,” Andrew tells me very gently. “I will be back in ten minutes. I promise.” I shake my head not wanting to be left alone. “Trust me.” He looks worried. “Ten.”
Gently, he disentangles my fingers from his cuff sleeve and gives them a reassuring squeeze before leaving me.
I don’t have the energy to take off the dress which was supposed to bring me luck tonight but I do pull at it and it tears. The sound is satisfying and I do it again, and again until there are only emerald rags in my hand – once beautiful, now a mess. Much like my relationship with Scorpius.
After tearing apart the dress, it comes off much easier and I somehow work up the effort to unclasp my bra and take off my underwear. I slide into the bath beneath the foamy cover of lavender smelling, purple bubbles. The water is slightly too hot but I don’t care. Sitting in the shallow end, I clasp my knees to my chin and sit and wait for Andrew.
Andrew runs back into the bathroom and he sounds out of breath, but I don’t turn to acknowledge him. I just sit.
“I found Jennie and asked her to get you some clothes from your dorm.” Andrew says and when I don’t reply, he kneels at the side of the bath and uses his index finger to tip up my chin. He looks worried about me.
“Thank you.” I say hoarsely.
Andrew shakes his head. “Don’t thank me.” He says quietly. “So what happened?”
I shake my head. I don’t want to talk about it to him, or Clem, or Jennie, or Lily or Al – especially not Al.
Andrew goes to find some towels while I half heartedly wash my hair and perform a quick drying spell on it, but due to my last of focus, the spell only half works and I have to tie my hair back to stop it from dripping in my face. I huddle under the bubbles again and wash the make up and tears from my face and when Andrew places a pile of fluffy white towels on the side, he modestly turns around to show I can get out.
“No peeking.” I say trying for a light hearted jibe, but my voice is flat and crackly.
Andrew gives a slight laugh.
I stand up slowly and the water sloshes all around me. I towel myself dry and put on the clothes that Jennie sent for me; leggings and a large jumper stolen from my dad.
“You can look now.” I say with a sigh and drop the used towel down a chute which goes to the kitchens.
Andrew comes over to me and puts his arms around me. I don’t hug him back; I simply rest my forehead on his shoulder and try to numb the aching in my heart.
“Let’s get you up to bed.” Andrew says gently and with one arm still around me, leads me up to Gryffindor Tower.
He drops me off outside the Portrait of the Fat Lady. “Sleep well, Rose.” Andrew murmurs and softly kisses me on my forehead.
“Thank you for helping me.” I whisper.
“Don’t mention it, Weasley.” He says with a half smile.
“Night,” I sigh and turn to the Fat Lady. “Draconis,” I mutter and she swings open.
“Good night, Rose.”
I don’t go straight up to bed in case Jennie or Clem or Liz are still awake and ready to ambush me. Instead, I curl up on the squashy red sofa in front of the dying fire and think deeply. I don’t want to have to go into the Great Hall tomorrow and risk seeing Scorpius with Macy.
In fact, I don’t think I ever want to leave Gryffindor Tower again.
I’m beginning to doze off when I realise that even though I’m avoiding the girls in my dorm, I should really be avoiding Albus who could walk in here any second and ambush me about tonight. Seeing as Albus is the one I’m more scared of right now, I decide to sneak upstairs to bed.
I try and be as quiet as I can getting into bed, but as soon as my head is on the pillow, Jennie lights the candle next to her bed. I squeeze my eyes shut.
“Rose?” She whispers across the room. I ignore her and silently beg her to go to sleep before she wakes anyone else up. “Rose … I know you’re awake and if you want to talk to me, just say.” Jennie waits but even the thought of talking about it makes tears well up behind closed eyes. “OK.” Jennie sighs finally. “Goodnight, Rosie.” She blows out her candle and I hear her rustle her covers.
I can’t hold it back any longer; I stuff a corner of the pillow into my mouth and try to cry as quietly as I can. Something lands at the end of my bed and an hour later when I’ve cried myself to exhaustion and dehydration, I find a chocolate frog at the foot of my bed that Jennie had thrown from her emergency stash.
I consider going for a cuddle but the events take their toll on me and before I know it, I’m fast asleep.
I’m awake before everyone else with a banging headache from dehydration. It’s seven in the morning on a Saturday and I’m still exhausted but I force myself to get up and get a long drink of water from the bathroom. I’m still wearing the clothes Jennie sent me from last night so I slip on some flat shoes and go for an early morning walk around the castle to clear my head and stop me from moping in bed all day.
I know that sooner or later I am going to have to tell Al and Jennie and Clem and probably Andrew everything that happened, but for now, I want to try and forget about it.
The memories of how well and tenderly he treated me last night come rushing back with a pang in my already damaged heart. He carried me up three floors, stayed with me, and walked me to Gryffindor Tower to make sure I was okay without demanding that I tell him what happened even though I was a mess.
I feel like I need to find some way to pay him back for this. After all, he did help me out when we bumped into Scorpius and Macy in Scrviens.
And even when I blew him off totally for Scorpius, Andrew still came to pick up the pieces last night.
I head off to the library and find a desk in the more secluded part where I find some ink and parchment. I try to write a letter but I can’t think of the words to say. Instead I end up binning all of my lame starts, and when I distantly hear the clock strike 8, I decide to move somewhere else. Because if there’s one thing I’m known for, it’s hiding in the library when I’m upset.
I manage to haul myself out of the library and I think I’ve gotten away with it when I come face to face with – whom other – than Andrew himself.
“I thought I’d find you here.”
“What are you doing here so early?” I ask stupidly and flatly.
Andrew gestures down at himself. “Quidditch practise.” He explains and stifles a yawn. “Our captain has been drilling us since six and I’m knackered but I wanted to find you. How are you?”
I shrug. “I don’t know.” I say truthfully.
“You were in a state last night, Rose,” Andrew says seriously. “You scared me. You always seem so composed and calm and in control – but to see you like that –” he breaks off suddenly and shakes his head.
“I don’t think I can ever face him again.” I say simply. Andrew doesn’t know what to say so he just looks at me sympathetically.
“Are you coming for breakfast?” He asks.
“I’m not hungry.”
“You should eat something.” Andrew insists. “Have you spoken to Albus or any of your friends?”
I shake my head. “I haven’t seen them.” That’s not technically a lie.
“Can I escort you anywhere?” He asks.
“I don’t … really have anywhere to go.” I admit sadly.
“Yes you do.” Andrew says firmly and takes my hand. “Come on, Weasley, pull yourself together, you have a reputation to uphold.”
I allow him to blindly lead me though several passages, not paying any attention, until we end up at the doors of the Great Hall. I look at him in horror.
“I can’t do this.” I insist desperately.
“You can.” Andrew insists. Go in there with your head held high.
“You can, Rose. I promise you.”
But he won’t listen or allow me escape his vicelike grip on my hand. “Andrew,” I plead again and I feel like I’m about to cry as he marches me straight into the Great Hall, which is, to my relief, not as busy as I had feared.
Clem and Jennie are already at Gryffindor table – no Albus though, thank Merlin. Andrew drags me other to my friends and with a squeeze of my hand and a cheeky grin, lopes over to his own house table.
My friends seat me in between them and immediately begin to fuss over me; hugging and clucking and piling my plate with food that I know I don’t have the stomach to eat. They ask me about the night and note my red eyes and my ashen face and uncombed hair. They tell me they’re worried and ready to kick ass if needs be.
So I take a deep breath and try to tell them the whole story without crying.
I obviously fail and by the time Albus gets here and sees me in tears, he’s furious with his best friend. Al isn’t as frightening about it as I thought and doesn’t even say “I told you so” once.
They all look sadly at me and no one quite knows what to say.
Until Scorpius and Macy walk in and the glint of silver on her left hand makes my stomach drop and I think I’m going to be sick.
He’s given her a promise ring.
He’s given her a promise ring exactly like mine.
The rooms spins and I turn my head in just enough time as not to throw up all over Jennie.
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