Chapter 9 : Bombarda Maxima: Scorpius POV
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“Rose, love, he’s gone,” I said softly. I felt Albus press up against me as he almost fell, trying to get to Rose as fast as he could.
My body jerked as she started shrieking at the top of her lungs. Al scampered back a few feet, to allow Selenia to kneel down next to us. Rose was screaming nonsense at the top of her lungs.
Selenia gently removed my hands from Rose’s arms. I lifted my head to look over at her. I was too stunned to pose my question.
No, no, no. Rose began getting sick everywhere. I reached for her again and Selenia braced her arm across to stop me.
“Just give me a minute Scorp,” she said sharply. She did not take her eyes off of Rose and pointed her wand at the vomit. It was gone with a brief muttering from her lips, but I didn’t dare move just yet. Rose had passed out from the vomiting, but was still jerking about with her arms and legs.
I could feel Albus’s and Dominique’s legs pressing into my back as they leaned over to assess the situation.
“She’s unconscious Sels,” I said stupidly.
“It’s all right, Scorpius,” Selenia was murmuring incantations as she passed her wand up and down Rose’s body that was still shaking. I felt an ache pull at my gut as looked up and down her, trying to figure out if she was bleeding or anything. Rose was drenched in sweat and her hair was plastered in clumps across her pallid face.
A few wisps appeared out of the tip of Selenia’s wand and her eyes flicked back and forth, reading the results of the test she had just conducted. It must’ve been some sort of assessment. “Sometimes the body just shuts itself off. She’s not in any pain,” Selenia pronounced loudly after tipping her wand up and making some sharp movements in the air.
Slowly, Rose’s arms and legs began to quiet. Like an infant calming herself, Rose took deep, shuddering breaths inward and sobbed dry heaves as her eyes closed. I wanted to reach out and touch her, but Selenia still seemed to be doing some sort of incantation on her.
“Let’s get her moved to somewhere more comfortable,” Selenia sat back on her heels and began carefully levitating Rose up off the floor. The top from her pyjamas slid up slightly, revealing her left side.
“What the fuck,” Albus gasped behind me. I couldn’t move my eyes from the
tangled mass of red scars sprawled across the side of her body. Holy shit.
Selenia adjusted Rose’s top to lift it up and see how high the wounds spread without revealing any unnecessary parts of Rose’s front. They stretched all the way up to her shoulder. This type of mark could only have been produced by a dark curse repeated over and over.
“I heard him try to use Crucio,” Selenia’s voice was calm and even. She was going to make a great healer. I work great in the heat of the moment but, after it’s all over, I tend to lose my shit. For example, I just couldn’t stop my heart from bruising the inside of my ribcage.
“No.” Dom finally spoke. “This is an old wound. He did this to her two years ago.”
“Did you know?” I did’t know who Albus was asking. Selenia was her best friend. I was her boyfriend and Dom was her closest cousin - other than him, of course.
“I had no idea,” Selenia grabbed his hand over the top of her shoulder. He had lost a lot of color in his face.
I just shook my head back and forth before rubbing my forehead. I needed to stop the pounding.
“I didn’t know either,” Dom was uncharacteristically quiet.
“Dom, can you give me a hand? We need to get her into the shower,” Dominique started out of her haze to follow behind Selenia.
“Can I help?” I choked out powerlessly as Rose hovered past me. I wanted to touch her and hold her, but she had reacted so violently, I was afraid of hurting her or scaring her further. Rose was still jerking about with her eyes closed, as if having a bad dream.
“I need you to get to my healer bag and grab some ‘calming draught,’” Selenia ordered. As I paced down the hall toward her room, she called out, “Scorpius, can you also bring the ‘draught of dreamless sleep?’” I didn’t answer her because of the tightness in my throat.
I know now that I am completely, irrevocably in love with Rose and I will do anything to keep her safe. After delivering the potions, the bathroom door was promptly shut in my face. Irritated, I leaned up against the wall, waiting. Al was on the sofa, head in hands.
Selenia and Dom were in the bathroom with Rose for a long while. When they finally emerged, Rose was at least walking, but they surrounded her on both sides and immediately led her down the hall to her bedroom. The door closed with a click behind them. They wouldn’t even let me talk to her.
I sunk into the couch next to Albus. He was deathly silent. My head fell back against the cushion and breathed out through clenched teeth. On the outside, it might appear that I was calming myself, but quite the opposite. Thoughts were flooding my mind, not landing anywhere. What the fuck was going on? How the hell did Stannous penetrate the wards that were always up in our flats? Who were the other wizards with him? What was going on with Rose and why did she react that way?
Rose’s violent reaction had shaken all of us.
We sat unspeaking. Time was not something I could wrap my head around.
Albus broke the silence. His head in his hands, he spoke quietly, but the words grated out of him. “Do you think that Stannous… did things... to Rose at the cabin?” he whispered.
“Er…” I couldn’t. Not Rose. No.
“She says he didn’t touch her other than that god-awful curse.” I jumped. Dom was standing behind us. I hadn’t heard the door open. All I could do is stare at her.
“It was some bastardization of the cruciatus that burned her and left those scars.”
How could I be so thick? Two years. This happened two years ago and I never thought to ask her. I never even considered it. I was too wrapped up in my own bullshit to even think about what kind of torture she endured during her kidnapping with Stannous.
“I'm going to see her,” I got up, but Dom shifted to block me from heading down toward Rose’s bedroom.
“What the…?” I was on my last nerve. She was my girlfriend and -
“Sels and I have got it, all right?” What did she mean by that? Did she think I couldn’t take care of Rose? I had decided that I had sat there for just about long enough. Anger bubbled up and was pulsing through my veins.
I twirled around and peered into green eyes. Green eyes that were hardened and a vein in his neck that was bulging, too. It was the same vein that had been pulsing when he and his dad had their encounter at the Ministry. His breath came quickly, in shallow rasps. We were both close to losing it; we needed to get out of there.
I fisted my fingers into my hair, as if pulling at it would make my brain understand.
“Come on, mate,” he said. His voice was loud and unnatural. “We’re going out.”
“Scorp and I will be back in a few, all right?” Al pulled on my shoulder as Dominique nodded her understanding. She was a good auror and knew how to summon help, if needed. She also could hold her own in a fight. Just in case, I mouthed to her, “Call Harry if you need to.”
After putting up some more protective spells for good measure, Al and I headed out of the flat and I gave him my arm. I knew where I had to go right then. He took it without questioning me; we were brothers.
I apparated us to the edge of the Forest of Dean. My heart hadn’t stopped its abuse on the inside of my chest since the attack. I felt bruised from the inside out.
The realization of Stannous’s violence made my head swirl. I grasped my temples and looked around. We were standing on a wide expanse of rocks with the forest ahead of us. I took a few steps back and pointed my wand at a mid-sized tree on the very edge of the forest.
“Reducto!” I let the control and frustration throw itself out of me as the tree exploded just above the base of its trunk. The power of the spell whipped past us, our hair blowing back. The tree top slowly, gracefully arched backwards, gaining speed. However, the sound of the crash was drowned out by Albus’s spell.
“Diffindo!” He aimed for one of the larger trees. The strength of his magic stunned me as about a third of the trunk was completely obliterated. The top of the tree fell straight down and, as if in slow motion, began tipping to the right. “Incendio!” he screamed and I was once again reminded just how powerful the wizard next to me was as we were blinded by the flames engulfing what was left of the tree.
“Confrigo!” I began to blast the rock away. She had been living with this for two years. Alone. “Bombarda!” I should have been there. “Bombarda Maxima!” I should have made her tell me what happened after Stannous brought her back and left her in Hogsmeade.
No. I should have known something was wrong. I was a piece of shit.
“Sectumsempra!” I shouted at a tree to my left and it split along cracks in the bark. The crackling sound was drowned out by the roar of the flames already burning brightly from Al’s spells. I paused momentarily as a dark substance began to ooze from the cracks. It traveled too slowly to be blood. The tree gave out a low moaning sound of pain and I looked over at Albus. He was too fixated on his own destruction to hear it.
“Flipendo!” he yelled as the next tree-victim toppled over itself and landed somewhere on the forest floor. “Incendio! Crucio! AVADA KEDAVRA!” Albus cried out, advancing toward the forest and aiming his curses at successive trees.
“Fuck, fuck, FUCK!” Albus lamented as he ran forward, blasting three more trees from their roots. He continued attacking every tree in his path, using nonverbal -spells at this point. Twigs and sawdust and flashes of light were raining upon us as his arm was flying in a blur of fury and grief.
I let out a few more “Reducto” and “Diffindo” curses with all my strength before collapsing on the hard, stone ground and gasping for breath.
A new wave of emotion came over me as I fisted my hair and wrapped my arms around my head. The crushing weight from before had returned upon my chest. This time, it began to squeeze tears from my eyes as it pressed the air from my lungs. I wheezed an inward breath and let out a howl that did not sound human. And then another and another. You could swear a werewolf was on the prowl in the forest.
The sound roused Albus from his destruction-induced trance. He ran over to me and placed a hand on my back. He was breathing heavily, as if he had just run a marathon. Fuck, we were both spent. I gulped in the air, willing myself to stop crying like a little prick. I needed to get myself together.
“I will fucking kill that bastard the second I lay eyes on him.” Albus’s words were slow and calm, scary even.
“Not if I get there first.” I promised. My voice was uneven from the tears and emotion. My Rose. My Rose. I resolved to make this up to her. If I have to, I will spend the rest of my life searching for him, and consoling her.
Albus and I looked at each other and made an unspoken promise. He nodded his head imperceptibly and we understood each other, like so many of our unspoken words. We were in this together.
It took a few more minutes for us to collect ourselves and several “Aquamenti maxima” charms to put out the fires in the forest.
Al and I apparated back to our own flat. We both were in need of a shower and I needed a few minutes to recover from my outburst. I threw on comfortable sleeping clothes, grabbed a change for the morning and some blankets. Albus did the same.
When we arrived at the girls’ flat, it was very quiet. Al and I immediately reinforced the protective spells around the place again, leaving no opening or even crack in the wall unprotected. I didn’t know if it would do any good, and I would be sure to check the next day for any other spells that we could use. Quietly, I opened the door to Rose’s room. She was asleep on the bed, Selenia’s arms around her and Dominique sitting in the chair in the corner, wand at the ready.
“Hey Scorp,” Selenia roused and sat up groggily. I tossed my blankets on the floor.
Selenia rubbed her eyes and swung her legs off the bed. Her sad eyes grabbed mine as she moved toward me and wrapped me in an embrace. We had been friends for so long; we didn’t need words right now.
“Albus…” I began to try to tell her that he needed her. That he was hurting so much and she was the only one that could help him right now.
“Hey,” she took a small step back and steeled my eyes again, with both hands on my shoulders. “I’ll take care of Al. You take care of Rose, yeah?” I nodded back to her and gave her another quick, tight hug. I wanted to convey to her that I would do everything and anything to take care of Rose.
“I know, Scorp,” she gave me a taut smile and a gentle brush of her fingers across my hand as she left the room.
Dominique stood up and tossed me a pillow. “I think she will be okay with you here, I’m going back to my room.”
“Thanks, Dom,” I whispered. I settled myself on the floor as she crossed the room.
“Scorpius,” she paused at the door and fixed me with a hard stare. “She needs you. You can’t be a wishy-washy dipshit this time. This is not going to be fixed overnight. Please don’t play the hero for a month and then decide it’s too intense for you.”
“I know,” was all I could manage. I deserved that.
Not expecting it, a great calm spread over me, partly from being exhausted from the evening’s events and partly from the calm I experienced anytime I was near Rose. I didn’t even hear Dominique close the door as a fitful, yet much needed sleep enveloped my weary body.
A/N: Thanks so much for reading. I worked really hard on this chapter and I would love it if you could leave a review and let me know what you think! ~Beth
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