Chapter 14 : Breakout: Rose POV
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After a lovely and completely filling dinner, Scorpius changed into a fetching pair of black trousers and a dark grey jumper. We spent a few, serious moments snogging before regaining our equilibrium and he held out his hand to me like I was a princess. He had the widest grin on his face and I knew that my own made us a matched set. After another slow kiss that made my insides zing, we apparated to Diagon Alley – just outside ‘The Quaffle.’ The new pub opened up about a year before by Oliver Wood and a few other retired quidditch players. It’s where everyone congregated on the weekends.
We hurried inside, escaping the chilled December air to find The Quaffle was completely packed. We were thrust immediately into a mass of people. After our quiet evening together, the noise from the music and crowd was deafening. That, accompanied by the smell of humidity, ale and butterbeer was an assault to the senses. Scorpius put a protective arm around me. I couldn’t see very much as the horde of people began to blur. I was getting pushed and bumped around by drunks trying to pass through to the bar. My gut knotted. Oh please, not now. Not a panic attack. I tensed up.
“Hey,” Scorpius turned me around carefully as the mob closed in on us and put both hands on either side of my face, blocking out the crowd and touching our foreheads together. “You want to head back? We definitely don’t have to stay here. We can just walk around Diagon Alley if you want.”
“Uh-uh,” I shook my head, closing my eyes briefly to get my bearings. “Just give me a minute.” I wasn’t going to let this get the best of me.
“Hey, Scorp!” I heard from across the room. “Over here!” said the familiar voice. I let Scorpius lead me over to a set of pub tables up against a wall on the far side of the tavern. It was a little quieter when we got there and I was relieved to see the voice belonged to James. He was standing with Samara, Lily, Fred and even Molly was there with Wolfram. Albus and Selenia were wrapped around each other in the corner and didn’t seem to notice they were in a bar with about 200 people around.
“Rose!” Fred saw me first. He enveloped me in a big hug and stood back. “You look great!”
“Yeah, Rosie,” James commented. “There’s something different about you…” I quickly looked away to avoid them seeing the flush in my face. Scorpius’s hand slid gently up my back and pressed firmly around my shoulders. As usual, his touch grounded me and eased my breathing.
“Hey, Lils! You guys are home for Christmas Holidays?” I quickly said, giving her a hug. A small pang of guilt pulsed in my stomach. I hadn’t even checked in with Hugo.
“Just back today,” she replied. “Hugo is staying to do some work with professor Longbottom.” It figures. Hugo was really into plants. I was sure that Professor Longbottom would be returning in a week or so - definitely before Christmas, I would be sure to check on my brother then.
I was startled by a crushing force around my arms and I tensed for an instant before I realized it was Albus. “You’re here!” he screamed like a little kid who just saw Santa Claus. He was bouncing up and down. He stood back and looked at me pointedly. “You look really good, like really good,” he commented.
The rest of the group nodded and before we got back on this topic of conversation, I decided to head them off. “It’s just been a long time since I’ve been out!”
“I think you look radiant,” Selenia beamed, a sly grin on her face. I knew that I couldn’t fool my best friend, but I also knew that she had enough discretion to wait until later to ask for specifics. I couldn’t hold the smile off my face, anyway. Samara was nodding alongside Selenia in agreement. They were both incredibly beautiful, but in opposite ways.
Selenia was the dark haired stunner with pale skin and sparkling, deep blue eyes. Her hair was short and straight. Since starting training, she had kept it cropped in a pixie cut that accented her heart-shaped face. She always dressed smart, but added her own flair. For example, tonight she was wearing a chocolate brown pencil skirt with a cream colored cowl neck sweater. She had offset the simple outfit with a chunky orange bracelet and a thin gold belt.
Samara, in contrast had gorgeous long blond hair that was never out of place. She always looked tan – like she had just come back from vacation in the south of France. Her makeup was perfect and she wore a confidence that said she knew she could get any bloke in the place. Sporting a black and white large print maxi dress with a diamond necklace, anyone else would seem overdressed for a bar scene, but Samara Tinsman pulled it off. And although they seemed a bit of a contradiction, she was the perfect match for James.
I usually felt a little self-conscious around these two girls. They were both so put together. Tonight was different. I was with Scorpius – finally. Not that I felt that I was just as stylish or with it as they were, I was just so happy. “Thanks,” I smiled to both of them. “The dress is Dom’s.”
“Speaking of,” James’s head swung around. “She’s here somewhere with Jax. I am sure she would want to see you… What can I get you to drink?”
“Firewhiskey,” I said without hesitation. “I’m making up for lost time.”
“Make it two,” Scorpius added. And then quietly so only I could hear, “No more lost time for either of us,” I felt my insides melt. I leaned up and planted a deep kiss (with tongue) right there in front of everyone. He reciprocated willingly and placed a hand on my cheek to make the kiss last longer.
“Oi! Scorp! She is our cousin, you know. If we could keep the public displays to a minimum that would be appreciated,” Albus was mocking his shock. What a hypocrite. He and Selenia were practically dry humping in the corner a few minutes ago. Not to mention what they do at other times. I decided to give him a taste of his own medicine.
“Like we haven’t had to listen to the two of you go at it all hours of the night,” I grinned. “You know, my room is directly below yours, Albus, and a silencing charm is not the worst idea,” I mock-scolded him. He gave a sheepish grin and Selenia turned her head into his shoulder, growing redder by the second, but giggling all the same. I know the two of them are really in love, and it doesn’t matter to me what they do together, it just felt great to be having a normal conversation that normal people my age have with each other.
The night went on like that for a while. Scorp’s mentee stopped to say a quick hello – Caesar Corner. We had played quidditch together and I remember that he was a fairly decent player. I knew Scorpius was happy to be working with him. He was at the pub with Colleen Creevey, Dom’s mentee. They made a cute couple. Scorp looked shocked to see them snogging each other. Men can be so clueless. We also got to meet Al’s mentee, Kali Goldstein. After talking to her for ten seconds I knew exactly why Scorpius said she was a great match with him. She will definitely keep him on his toes.
We all talked and even danced a little. After a few rounds, I figured it was my turn to buy. “Another round?” I asked over my shoulder as I headed toward the bar. Scorpius sent me a worried look and I knew what he was thinking. “I’m fine,” I mouthed at him and sent a grin his way. I wanted him to know how much fun I was having. He relaxed a little, but didn’t move his gaze from me.
“’Ello Love,” the bartender said in a familiar cockney accent.
“Astatine!” I exclaimed, “You work here?”
“Yes, love,” she replied. “Don’t pay me ‘nuff at St. Mungo’s, do they? Anyway, this place is fun. I like seeing all the young folks. Sorry, dear, but I never noticed you ‘ere before.”
“I haven’t been out in a while,” I really didn’t want to go into the details. I think she caught on, because she changed the subject. “What is you drinkin’?”
“Eight Firewhiskeys and two butterbeers please!” I said, after counting in my head the number in our fairly large party. She moved quickly for a witch in her sixties and promptly delivered my order. I left her a ten knut tip.
“See,” I said to Scorpius when I got back with the tray of drinks. I was trying to sound reproachful, but it is so hard when your face it simply beaming because you are so smitten. I knew his eyes had never left me.
“It’s all good,” I pecked him on the cheek. He stretched his hand to the back of my neck and brought me in for a more proper kiss, lightly tickling with his fingers. The tingling down my spine combined with the scent of citrus and cedar made my head swim.
“Now, it’s all good,” he said and flashed me a smile as he turned back to talk to Albus. I couldn’t restrain my own smile as I distributed the drinks to the rest of our group.
“Rose, love!” I heard from a few yards away. “AAAAAhh, I can’t believe it! You’re finally here! I just love, my lovely Rose love,”
Dom was drunk. She draped her arms around me. I turned to her and gave her a big hug. “Do you like my outfit?” I asked, taking a step back and twirling.
“You look fa-bu-lous…wait – did you have SEX?” she screamed. “Did you finally shag Scorpius?” I put my hands on her shoulders and shushed her loudly. Our entire family was basically standing right behind me. When I cautiously looked over my shoulder, Scorpius, Wolfie, Albus, Fred and James appeared to be deep in conversation with each other. Selenia and Samara also had their heads bent together. They weren’t fooling anyone, but I appreciated their attempt at propriety. Lily and Molly were both staring right at me, Molly with a look of utter shock on her face and Lily was giggling uncontrollably. At this point, Jax swooped in to rescue Dom from making a complete fool of herself – and me. “Alright there Rose?” he said, putting his arms around her and snuggling her close.
“I’m great, actually,” I replied. And I was saying it truthfully and wholly for the first time in a long, long time. It felt good to say it when you really felt it.
“That’s because she got lai—”
“Alright, love,” Jax squeezed Dom a little tighter. In reality, the three firewhiskeys I had drunk had made it so that I cared a lot less about her comments than I would have normally, but I didn’t think this was the time or place to clarify my sexual status.
After seeing that Dom’s filter was somewhat reestablished, Jax wandered over to the group of boys and we talked with Lily and Molly for a few minutes for some much-needed “cousin time.” Dom caught us up on Victoire and Teddy. Molly talked about what Lucy was up to. Lily was just excited that her parents had let her come out tonight. She was still a sixth year, but Aunt Ginny had agreed as long as Albus was with her.
I looked over at Scorpius and was pleased to see him in an animated conversation with James and Albus, no doubt about quidditch, by the gestures they were all making. Fred had, as usual, charmed his way to the only two girls not related to us in our party and was talking with Selenia and Samara about Merlin knows what. He was quite the smooth one. They were both sucked in by his dark skin and sexy grin. He always could snag any girl he wanted. It is a good thing that James and Albus were so confident with their women. Any other bloke would have been green with jealousy.
The night ambled on with drinks, good friends I hadn’t seen since Hogwarts days and, of course, my family. A few hours later, I found myself alone standing quietly against the wall, finally getting a little sleepy when Al came up to me and put an arm around my shoulders.
“It’s really, really good to see you out, Rosie,” he said earnestly. “We were all really worried about you – for a long time,”
“I know Al,” I felt myself getting a little emotional and I put an arm around his waist. “I’m not one hundred percent yet, but I’m getting there. Scorpius helps. A lot.” I looked around for him, but didn’t see where he was. Probably at the loo. Actually, I didn’t see anyone around. The pub was still busy, but there were significantly less people than when we had arrived. Wolfram had taken Molly home about an hour before and Samara and Selenia just left together, both having to get up early tomorrow. Dom and Jax had wandered off to talk to some of his quidditch buddies. James was working the crowd with Fred– they knew just about everyone in the pub.
“Where’s Lily?” I asked, realizing I hadn’t seen her since Molly left.
“In the back room with some seventh year git,” Al looked down at the floor, clearly irritated. He grimaced at his shoes and I knew he had been just chewed out by her. Lily had a temper to match her mothers and being the youngest with two brothers sometimes was just too much for her.
“Lily can take care of herself,” I tried to console him.
“Yeah, I just worry about…all you girls. Rose, if I never said it before, I want you to know that I’m really glad you and Scorpius are together. It seems like he helped bring you back.”
“You might want to mention that to my father. I don’t know how on board he’s gonna be when he gets the memo about us.”
“He’ll come around… maybe,” Al faltered. “Ron Weasley is a tough nut to crack. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that it works both ways. You helped Scorpius come back too. We thought for a little while he was headed for eternal dickheadedness.”
I laughed out loud. I don’t think I could’ve had this conversation with anyone else in my family except Albus, not even Dom. Al squeezed me a little tighter and I reached up and grabbed him in the tightest hug I’d given anyone since I was a little kid.
“I love you too, Al,” my voice was thick. I was so lucky to have the best family in the world.
“Hey, what’re you doing with my woman?” Scorpius boomed in mock alarm.
Al transferred my hug over to him. “I have more than I can handle, as it is,” he joked. He patted Scorpius on the shoulder. “It’s good to see the two of you smile.” Wow. If I didn’t know Al better, I would’ve thought he was drunk. I gave my cousin a warm smile as Scorpius pulled me in tighter.
All at once there began a disturbance in the pub. It started by the door and traveled in a wave across the entire building. There were gasps of shock and then screams of terror. I was so confused. Next came the hexes and curses. I couldn’t hear what they were shouting, but rather saw them shooting across in all directions. Scorpius and Al drew their wands first; I followed.
Then we saw them: tall figures in dark masks. It took me several moments to realize they were death eaters. I’d never seen one in person before. They were walking quickly and purposefully, aiming spells at people in their way, all who fell down instantly. Some people came to their senses and began apparating the hell out of there.
Albus pointed his wand toward the ceiling and shouted “Aurelius Adveho!” Red sparks shot up to the ceiling and passed right through it, into the night sky. Scorpius repeated the spell. A few others around the pub did the same. One of the cloaked wizards was headed toward us. I pointed my wand at the figure and – the words left me. He was getting closer. I started to tremble. “Studdify!” I shouted. Nothing happened.
“Petrificus Totalis!” Albus got there first. Scorpius grabbed me and pushed me up against the wall. Placing himself in front of me, he was holding me back with one arm against my chest and the other with his wand pointed at another attacker. “Diffindo!” the death eater was pushed back into the crowd by the force of his spell. Several people fell in a heap on the floor. Aurors were beginning to apparate all over the place and spells were flying everywhere.
“Rose! You have to get out of here. Get to the Potter’s, NOW!” he shouted urgently. My brain finally started to function. “Lily! She’s not of age yet! I have to help her!” Albus heard my cries and turned toward me, white as a ghost. “Shit, Rose, GO GET HER!”
I began to run toward the back room when a spell shot right in front of me. It passed by and hit someone to my right. I couldn’t see who it was, but they immediately crumpled to the ground. I screamed and ducked to the floor. Scorpius, thinking I was hit, roared and ran over to me, aiming a spell at the offending death eater. The man was hit squarely in the chest and flew back several yards across the bar, feet flying over his head. Scorpius pounced like a cat and landed, crouching down next to me. “Rose, Rose, are you okay?”
“Y-yes,” I stammered. “I need to get Lily! She’s in the back room!” Scorpius hoisted me up by my arm and we ran, staying as low as we could to the ground. We reached the back room and it was thankfully empty except for Lily, who was cowering in the corner. I turned to Scorpius. “I want to stay and fight,”
“Look, I can’t argue with you right now. You must get Lily home. She can’t fight and you are both in danger. Please take her wait at the Potter’s for me. I promise I’ll come as soon as this is over.” My retort was on the tip of my tongue when two death eaters paced through the doorway at that moment. Scorpius’s back was turned. I set my wand, but I was shaking so much. “Expularm..” the words faded in my mouth.
“Red!” the first death eater growled. Then he shouted behind him “I’ve found her, she’s back here!” His wand pointed at me and Lily, I panicked again and felt myself sinking into the floorboards. Before either one could get a curse off, Scorpius acted and aimed a protego charm around the three of us. It gave us a few seconds and I remembered my cousin, “Dom! Scorpius, she’s drunk! She’s in no state to fight. We have to get her out of here!”
“She’s an auror and she’s with Jax. We don’t have time to go and look for her. YOU NEED TO GO NOW!” The charm started to fade as more death eaters arrived, hitting the protective bubble with more spells. Without thinking, I grabbed Lily who was crying uncontrollably and turned on the spot, thinking the Potter’s, the Potter’s over and over in my head.
A/N: So I'm hoping to update a bit faster for the summer. Please let me know what you think! Feel free to make any predictions! ~Beth
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