Chapter 12 : XII
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The dungeon corridor in which we were standing seemed to shrink in on us as Malfoy’s words registered in my brain. The child was not his. He was not the one who had abandoned a helpless Fifth Year to the prospect of parenthood alone. It was not him. Relief floods through me as I breathe out, relaxing my hand that had previously been wrapped tightly around my wand in the pocket of my robes and leaning against the stone wall beside me.
“Well then whose is it?” I sneer, the anger I had previously felt not quite abated. Malfoy just stares at me, his eyes wide with disgust. Well I suppose it is good to know that old grudges do not die with a few meaningless snogs here and there.
“Did you honestly, for one moment, believe that I was the one who had knocked up Rivers? That I was the one who had abandoned her in her condition?” he finally breathed in dismay, clearly appalled I would have even considered it had been him. “Did she tell you it was me?”
“I wouldn’t put it passed you Malfoy,” I murmur. “You are a Slytherin after all, Merlin only knows what goes through your twisted minds,” shrugging casually, I remove a grain of dirt from behind my fingernail. “And yes she did tell me… Well she said it was a Malfoy and I just assumed-”
“You just assumed it was me, did you?” Malfoy cuts across me maliciously, stepping towards me menacingly. “Well you assumed wrong,” he spits out, anger darkening his molten grey eyes. “Slip your mind that there were three other Malfoys as well? Or did Castor fail to mention us poor, twisted Slytherins?” Malfoy’s voice reeks of hostility and bitterness as he towers over me. I can feel my eyes flare the moment he mentions Castor. That was a low blow even for a Slytherin. He knew nothing of my friendship with his brother; he had no right to mention it.
“Oh get over yourself Malfoy,” I snap, stepping closer to him with a challenge in my eyes. “Your family doesn’t interest me that much.”
“But Castor did, didn’t he,” Malfoy taunts, barely controlled fury written across his face.
“Yes, Castor interested me,” I reply truthfully. “Because he was different, he cared about people other than himself, he didn’t give a shit about any of your pureblood crap and he would certainly never molest girls whenever the time suited him,” glaring at Malfoy, I see him flinch at my last jibe. “And you want to know something funny… For a moment, I thought you were different too.” Malfoy’s eyes widen slightly in surprise. “But you’re not. In fact, you’re the worse of the lot.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about Weasley,” he sneers. “You know nothing about me or my family and don’t give me that bullshit about me molesting you… Do you know what they say about you behind your back? Do you know what they call you? They call you a whore, Weasley. They call you a home-wrecking slut, a leech to Hogwarts’ happiness… I didn’t used to believe them but now, now I’m not so sure.”
“So because people label me you think that you can take advantage of that? You think you have a right to use me at will? Because that it what it sounded like and I am pretty sure even you aren’t that stupid,” I spit.
“Do you really believe I take advantage of you? Is that what you think?” Malfoy look almost disappointed as he steps away from me, creating much needing breathing space between us. I can instantly feel the lack of his body heat and a shiver slides down my spine. “Because if that is what you believe, then I am done here,” he finishes with a sigh before stepping backwards again, giving me one last, searing look, and turning on his heel before disappearing in a flurry of black robes down the shadowy corridor.
When the shock of his departure slips away, I am left breathless and confused. Leaning against the wall, I slide down it, my legs feeling like gillyweed. A tidal wave of thoughts flood through my mind but I cannot seem to focus on any one of them, the overwhelming feelings that I had just made a terrible mistake preventing any other thoughts from forming entirely.
I cannot recall ever seeing Malfoy so furious. In fact, I cannot recall Malfoy ever displaying any kind of emotion what so ever, it had been one of the reason that I had not minded his company. The anger that had shone from his eyes was cold, like he had been letting it sit for a while. A flicker of a thought suggests that maybe his anger was not really aimed at me but the notion is soon quelled by instinct. He was angry with me… and it had been building for a while.
Shaking myself, I decide it is probably best that I do not dwell on why Malfoy is angry with me, his opinion is irrelevant. What is more important is that I had been wrong. Malfoy was not the father, or at least Scorpius Malfoy was not the father. Oh Merlin I am so stupid.
Andrius Phineas Malfoy.
How in Merlin’s name could I have let the fact that there were still two Malfoys at Hogwarts slip my mind? Rivers had made it pretty clear that the father was still a student here so it could not possibly have been Castor or Pollux (not that either of them would have gotten themselves into such a sticky situation) meaning that it had to be either Scorpius or the youngest Malfoy: Andrius.
I have never really spoken to Andrius as he is both a Slytherin and two years younger than me. In fact, I can only recall meeting him once, the summer before my Third Year when we were in Diagon Alley shopping for all Hugo’s school supplies and the books I needed. The Malfoy family had been doing the same and we had met in Madame Malkin’s. ‘Met’ in this case being the broadest sense of the word as my dad and Mr Malfoy barely acknowledged each other. It had been Mrs Malfoy that had made the brief introductions before Castor and I snuck off to avoid the awkwardness.
At the time, Andrius had been eleven and rather small for is age. He was also the only Malfoy child that did not inherit his father’s blonde hair but rather his mother’s almost black colour. His eyes were dark too, like the twins’; Scorpius was the only one to inherit the molten grey eyes of his father. I had never paid him much attention, I had no reason to.
It made more sense now that I thought about it. Rivers was in the same year as Andrius which meant they would have been far more acquainted than she would have been with his older brothers, in fact, I would go so far as to assume that Scorpius had never heard of her before her brother knocked her up. But as Malfoy just proved, it is never a good thing to assume.
But what was she thinking? What were either of them thinking? There are hundreds of spells and charms and potions to prevent pregnancy. But who am I to judge? Maybe they just got really unlucky. Oh she is in for a rough ride that is certain. Not only to be pregnant at such a young age but with a Malfoy child on top of it all.
“Uh… Rose?” a hesitant voice breaks through my thoughts. Glancing up in surprise at the recognisable voice, I spot Bethan March coming down the corridor towards me. “What are you doing on the floor?”
“What are you doing in the dungeons?” I retort, pushing myself up and dusting off my robes.
“I could ask you the same thing,” she remarks pointedly. “I just had detention,” she shrugs as if that were perfectly normal. Which it is not. March hasn’t had detention since Fourth Year.
“What did you do?” I probe as we both start heading in the direction of the Entrance Hall. March tries to fight back a smile.
“Uh… someone ran into my fist,” she mutters, blushing slightly.
“Someone ran into your fist?” I repeat doubtfully.
“Well… It was more like my fist ran into them… Their face to be exact,” she clarifies, not meeting my eye.
“Are you trying to tell me you punch someone in the face?” I ask in shock. She just purses her lips against a smile and nods. Well I didn’t see that coming. “May I ask why?” She just taps her nose, indicating it was a secret. Not that she was obliged to tell me anyhow. We weren’t friends.
Walking up the stairs in silence, I try to figure out who on earth the relatively passive Bethan March had seen fit to physically abuse. If it had been just a hex or something it would have made much more sense. But there is no way she would just go about punching people. Maybe she had a boyfriend I didn’t know about and had caught him cheating. But she had caught Leo cheating with me and all she had done was ignore him. And me.
“Codswallop,” she greets the Fat Lady who lets us in with nothing more than a tutting noise. “Bye,” she adds quickly to me before heading up the stairs to our dorm. I frown after her. What the hell was happening? First I catch my brother in the kitchens with a Slytherin, then I find Malfoy threatening his brother and now Bethan March is acting civil to me… and punching other people in the face.
Slumping into the overstuffed armchair by the fire I wonder if perhaps I am going slightly mad.
“You look perplexed,” someone snorts from the opposite armchair.
“You’re using big words,” I counter act, making Albus snort.
“Are you really going to kick me off the team?”
“Nah. Lucy quit and Dave promised to get his act together.”
“Yep, said she was worrying about NEWTs and that it was all too much for her. I didn’t push it. Give it a few days and I’ll ask her to come back. You know how she is,” he shrugged as if the thought of potentially losing a Chaser didn’t bother him much. I am definitely going mad. Albus Potter, not worked up about Quidditch. Not possible.
“Apparently Bethan March punched someone in the face,” I state, changing the subject. Albus turns slowly to look at me.
“You didn’t hear about that?” he asks in amusement. I shake my head. “The whole school is talking about it Rose, how could you not have heard about it?”
“Wasn’t at dinner,” I shrug again. “Do you know who it was?”
“Yeah, yeah I know who it was,” he smirks.
“Are you going to tell me?”
“It was Dave.”
“Like Dave, Dave?”
“Like Dave McLaggen,” he nods, clearly enjoying my shock.
“Beth punched Dave,” I repeat. He nods. “What the fuck?”
“He was pestering Lucy, trying to flirt with her… Told her not to quit the team, said she was a better player than you and that you should quit. At which point Bethan had enough and broke his nose. It was actually kind of scary. No one thought she had it in her. Of course, that’s when Neville came in and had to give her a detention although you could tell he wanted to congratulate her on her swing instead. He never liked Dave,” Albus rambles. When I don’t respond, he turns to look at me again.
“I’m going to bed.”
Waking up to a headache, I roll over and thank Merlin it’s Sunday. My head is in a complete muddle and I cannot seem to focus on anything in particular. Names echo in my head… Albus, Faye, Lucy, Bethan, Dave, Hugo, Malfoy, Will. Coming to the conclusion that my life has become unnecessarily complicated, I dither between going back to sleep or going down to breakfast.
Deciding to make the decision in a minute, I try to organise my mind.
Albus: there was definitely wrong with him. One of his team mates had quit the week before- Oh. Now it makes sense. The Gryffindor Rules. Rule #6. She had to play the next game because it was under a month away. Unlucky her. Although that does mean we might lose to Hufflepuff. Which would be mortifying. But at least it explains why Albus isn’t in St Mungo’s yet.
Faye: she was going to have a bloody hard time of it in the near future. But she shouldn’t be my problem, I had made her my concern. That was my fault. Andrius Malfoy was a dick who needs a good talking to.
Lucy: well she will just have to sort herself out.
Bethan: punched Dave in the face. I still cannot comprehend the idea. Bethan March punching Dave McLaggen in the face. For pestering Lucy. And she was civil to me.
Dave: Dave is a dick. If Lucy wants him, she is more than welcome to him. Provided he plays Quidditch like a semi-decent player.
Hugo: there is something up with that boy. Hanging around in the kitchens with a Seventh Year Slytherin? Hmm. And he knew my secret. And thought I was stupid. Well so long as he doesn’t tell anyone.
Malfoy: fuck Malfoy. Fuck Malfoy and his headfucking.
Will: there is something going on there that I cannot put my finger on. And that bugs me.
Sleep or breakfast? Sleep.
“Um, Rose?” someone’s voice penetrates the sleep still clinging to me. “It’s half one, you might want to get up, there is a Hufflepuff girl looking for you.” Rubbing sleep from my eyes, I turn over to see Bethan watching me in amusement.
“Is it really half one?” I yawn.
“Yep, you’ve already missed breakfast and if you are not carefully you’ll miss lunch too.”
“Thanks,” I nod, pushing my covers back and stumbling towards the bathroom. Looks like I won’t be having a long shower today. When I am dressed and a light more awake, I head down to the Great Hall and take a seat beside a frustrated looking Will.
“Morning sleepyhead,” he greets me with a smile. I just yawn.
“What’s got your wand in a knot?”
“Well while you were having a lovely lie-in, you missed a rather epic row between two of our Quidditch players,” he sighed.
“Lucy and Dave?”
“I wish,” he muttered glumly. “Albus and Keegan.”
“What?” I choke, trying not spit pumpkin juice all over him.
“Apparently Keegan told Al about how he felt for Lily and Al didn’t take it too well,” Will pushed back his plate dejectedly.
“Keegan- Keegan told Al? What in Merlin’s name was he thinking? Al’s got enough on his plate with Lucy and Dave begin twats without Keegan upsetting him as well! Oh for Merlin’s sake!” I rant a little loudly as some Fifth Years shoot me wary glances.
“Yeah well now we are definitely going to lose against Hufflepuff, you should have seen Lily’s face-”
“Oh God, Lily,” I drop my head into my hands. “Do you know where she is?”
“She ran out of the Hall in tears and no one’s seen her since,” he shrugs.
“Well it was delightful chatting to you Will,” I roll my eyes and he raises his eyebrows in agreement. “But I really have to go and find my cousin.”
Storming out of the Great Hall with a half-eaten sandwich in my hand, I try to think of all the places Lily could be. Why did Hogwarts have to be so big? Thinking of all the places I would go if I were upset, I decide to brave the snow and try the Quidditch pitch. When I am done with Lily, I am going to find Keegan and hang him up from the nearest tree. What was he thinking?
Trekking through the snow, I am grateful to find that my guess was correct and Lily is currently doing loop the loops in the sky above the pitch. When she spots me in the stands, she reluctantly lands and strides towards me. Her face is a mask of determination. Determination not to be upset. I give her a small smile and she breaks down in my arms.
Neither of us says anything as she cries into my shoulder. There is nothing to say. She likes a boy who likes her back but her brother won’t hear of it. I wonder if Keegan even knows how she feels.
“Merlin Rose this is so stupid,” she huffs at last. “Crying won’t fix anything!”
“Sometimes crying is good. It relieves stress. Although it might give you a headache in the meantime,” I shrug, not being one to cry very often.
“You don’t say,” she grumbles. “It was just the look on Al’s face this morning. He looked so drained, so hopeless, it was horrible.”
“What exactly happened?”
“Keegan must have told him last night that he, well, yeah… And this morning Al came to breakfast alone looking really down so I go and sit with him and then Keegan came in and joined us and Al just lost it. I’ve never seen Al lose it like that.” She bites back more tears. “Keegan wouldn’t even look at me; I didn’t understand what was even going on or what Al was talking about until Leo asked him… And now everything is just fucked up. Why did Keegan have to say anything?” she sighs.
“Because Keegan is honest. He couldn’t keep a secret like that from his best friend no matter the consequences. He likes you enough to brave Albus’ wrath and I would say that means he likes you an awful lot.”
“Don’t say that,” Lily whispers. “Please don’t say that, it will only make it worse.”
“I’ll see if I can talk to Al.”
“There’s nothing you can do.”
“There’s always something we can do.”
With Lily curled up in one of the armchairs in the kitchen with some of her friends and Al currently MIA, I head to the library. Away from people. Since when had I allowed my life to become so hectic? What happened to the days where I could go by without uttering a single word to anyone except the teachers – and sometimes not even to them?
“Rose?” a timid voice asks. For Merlin’s sake.
“Yes?” I snap, turning around to face a startled Faye Rivers. “Oh, sorry, I thought you were someone else,” I quickly mumble as she looks on the verge of tears. And believe me: one crying person a day is more than enough.
“I was looking for you this morning but your boyfriend said you were still asleep,” she said, taking a seat beside me. Hold on – my boyfriend?
“My boyfriend?” I raise an eyebrow.
“Yeah, the blonde guy with the friendly eyes… Something Henderson?” she frowns, clearly confused.
“Will’s not my boyfriend,” I laugh.
“Oh… Sorry,” she blushes. “It’s just you are always in the Great Hall together and you look kind of… Sorry, I didn’t mean to be nosy.”
“Don’t worry about it,” I shrug. “But he’s not my boyfriend,” I reiterate.
“You could do worse,” she giggles and I simply roll my eyes. “Anyway, I know you’re good a potions and I’m really struggling with this essay, is there any chance you could point me in the right direction?”
“Sure – I’m actually supposed to be helping my cousin with potions so you could join us if you want?”
“Really?” she smiles happily. “That would be amazing, thank you,” she grins again.
“Is tomorrow okay? I’ve got to finish this today,” I wave a hand at the Herbology essay in front of me. She nods eagerly. “So how are things?”
“Fine,” she shrugs. “Or as fine as they can be anyway.”
“Sorry about leaving you like that in the Owlery the other day by the way, I was just a bit shocked. You meant Andrius Malfoy right?”
“Yeah… Oh Merlin, did you think I meant his brother?” she gasps. “I’ve never spoken to him in my life!”
“That’s what I thought,” I smirk. “Have you spoken to Andrius yet?” Her face falls.
“No. He just turns the other way whenever I enter the same room as him,” she sighs.
“Have you told your parents?”
“Oh, my parents aren’t the ones to worry about,” she replies elusively, the shadow of a smile on her face as if I were missing something. Then her distant expression vanishes and she states with a smirk: “I hear Hufflepuff’s chances of beating your team keep going up.”
Walking into the Great Hall with Faye I come to an abrupt halt as Faye stops in front of me. “Are you okay?” I frown.
“Yeah… I just, I think I’ll eat later,” she mutters before turning away and hurrying off towards the Hufflepuff common room. How odd. Turning back around, I glance over the Great Hall in search of anything that may have triggered her departure. And instantly my eyes fall upon the Slytherin table.
Andrius Malfoy is sitting with his cronies, a girl with fake blonde hair and one too many buttons undone on her shirt for common decency, perched on his lap. She has her lips pressed against his neck as he chatters away to his friend. As his hand slips up her thigh, something inside me snaps.
Storming towards the Slytherin table, I ignore the whispers that break out around me.
“Malfoy,” I growl as I approach them. Andrius glances up in confusion before recognition dawns on his face. “Get up,” I demand.
“I said: get up!” I repeat, grabbing his ear like my mother used to do to Hugo and physically dragging him of the bench. Around us, Slytherins look entirely perplexed but not one of them moves to stop me. Students jump out of my way as I yank him towards the exit and down the corridor.
“Let go of me woman!” he protests. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“Get in there,” I order, letting go of his ear and shoving him into an empty classroom, throwing silencing spells over my shoulder so we are not overheard.
“What the hell is your problem?” he snaps, massaging his ear lobe.
“My problem? My problem is that you think it is okay to fool around with some random girl whose name you probably don’t even know while Faye is fucking pregnant with your kid! That’s my problem!”
“Faye? Who the fuck told you?” he growled.
“You don’t know anything about it!”
“I know enough to know that you are a pathetic kid who can’t take responsibility for his actions! I know that one of your brothers is appalled by what you’re doing and that a least one more would be if he knew! I know that eventually everyone is going to find out that Faye is pregnant and I know that unless you take responsibility for your part in it, she will take the fall for you because that is who she is! I know that she is terrified beyond belief at the prospect of being a mother at her age and that she is not sure she can do it on her own! I know that she just wants you to talk to her, to tell her that the fault lies on both of you and that you don’t blame her for what has happened… I know that you are better than you think you are.”
“You don’t know that,” he shakes his head. “You don’t know anything about me.”
“Yes I do. I was best friends with your brother for years. I might not know you, but I know about you. Castor always used to say that if anyone needed cheering up, they would go to you because you always knew how to make them feel better. He told me about the time you helped rescue a sodding kitten from a tree for an old muggle woman. The Andrius he told me about would never let a girl as fragile as Faye Rivers deal with something like this on her own. Castor was proud of the Andrius he told me about. He wouldn’t be proud of you now,” I state.
“But that’s not me anymore,” Andrius mumbles.
“Because I grew up, okay?” he snaps.
“No you haven’t. You’re still just a kid. You’re fifteen, you’re supposed to still be a kid and that’s okay. But you have to remember that Faye is only fifteen as well. She just as much a kid as you are and she is scared Andrius. She needs someone to be scared with her.”
“I am scared. I’m fucking terrified!” he exclaims. “But imagine what people would say if they found out… I mean it’s Rivers, she’s a freaking Hufflepuff for crying out loud!”
“Does it really matter to you what they say? If you like Faye that’s okay Andrius. Being a Hufflepuff is not a bad thing you know. If they are too ignorant to realise that then that is there problem but you are better than that. That’s why Scorpius is so angry with you – it’s because he knows that you are better than this and it frustrates him that you can’t see that too.”
“I think he’s just pissed I knocked someone up,” Andrius mutters.
“Do you really believe that?” I ask and after a few moments, Andrius shakes his head. “Then prove to him that you aren’t a coward. Prove to him that you can step up and take responsibility. Show him that he wasn’t wrong.”
“You’re Weasley right?” he asks after a long pause. “Rose Weasley?”
“Yes, I am.”
Hello again! I'm so sorry this chapter has taken so long, I was ill then away then ill then away, so yeah. Sorry. But enough excuses, I hope you enjoyed this chapter and please let me know what you think!
Okay so some people are a little confused with who some characters are so I thought I would just clear this up. Firstly you have the Malfoy Boys: Pollux and Castor (twins, graduated the year before this story takes place), Scorpius (Seventh Year) and Andrius (Fifth Year, the one who is in big trouble). Secondly I thought I would give a list of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team as they are some of the other main characters: Albus (Seeker, Captain), Keegan Finnigan, Will Henderson (Martha Henderson’s younger brother) and Lucy Weasley (Chasers), Lily Potter and Rose Weasley (Beaters) and Dave McLaggen (Keeper). Then you have Rose’s dorm: Rose, Lucy, Martha Henderson (Lucy’s best friend and sister of Will), Bianca Brown (slightly dim-witted) and Bethan March. So hope that clears some things up for you.
Also, heads up to 'rwsm' and anyone else who picked up on the fact Bethan March is James' ex.
Thank you somuch for reading and hopefully the next update will be much quicker!
~ Irish Myth
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