Chapter 17 : Beloved: Scorpius POV
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“Ro?” I called, trying to get my sleepy brain to start processing information. No answer. Forcing myself to wake up, I dragged my protesting body out of bed and checked the bathroom. Note to self: do not take any more violenti curses to the chest.
She wasn’t there. Not in the kitchen or any of the other bedrooms or anywhere else I could think to find her. In fact, I was the only one home. As I searched each room my head started racing, trying to think of where she could be that would make sense. Could Stannous have broken into the flat? Not possible. Panic set in as I realized I was failing at my very first Auror assignment after only a few hours. Shit!
Immediately, I sent two patronuses. One to Al and one to Rose. I wasn’t going to get Harry involved until I at least had some more information. Very soon after though, I started to get really nervous, thinking the worst. I was trying to think how I was going to tell Harry that I lost his goddaughter and screwed up my first ever assignment. I would probably be dismissed from the training program and get kicked out of the house. Unable to find a job, I would become one of those homeless wizards who live in the Underground of muggle London and bewitch people late at night to think they saw aliens or something.
It was with great relief that Al’s patronus arrived. “Rose is with me. We are visiting Dom. Don’t worry, you didn’t screw up. Take a shower and we’ll be home in about an hour.” Al always could read my mind. I really did need a shower. In front of the bathroom mirror, I slowly pulled off the bandage that Rose had applied over the wound last night. The curse had passed directly over my heart, but for some reason, didn’t affect the vital organ.
It actually looked really good. It was still tender and I had to be careful when washing, but she had done a fantastic job patching me up. The cut on my scalp was virtually gone and I didn’t feel any more pain from my cracked ribs.
After the shower, I realized how incredibly hungry I was. Apparating down to the kitchen I decided to make a big lunch for everyone. I figured Al and Rose probably wouldn’t eat at the hospital and they couldn’t go anywhere else since Rose is banned from public places. Mum and I used to cook all the time and it made me calmer to know I was making a good meal for my friends.
The intensity of the night before buzzed in the back of my mind, as I prepared a hearty soup and some warm bread for the gang. I began to replay the events over and over in my head. So much had happened. Everyone finally knew we were together and that made my heart soar. We had been having such a good time with all our friends at The Quaffle… then the attack ruined everything and practically scared the wits out of Rose. The worst part was the aftermath in Harry’s office. I never wanted Ron to find out about us as a couple that way. It just sort of happened. Rose had looked so hurt when he left us standing there.
There was a crack and I raised my head in anticipation of Rose and Albus walking into the kitchen, but was disappointed to see James and Samara. She was holding on tight to him as they entered the room, a worried look on her face. I smiled at both of them, but was getting a little nervous that Al had not returned with Rose.
“Soup?” I asked.
“Sounds great, mate,” James replied. He gave Samara quick kiss and came over to help me scoop it into bowls for the two of them. I pulled the warmed bread out of the oven and put it in a basket on the table.
“Rose and Albus should be back soon,” I said, craning my neck to peer down the hallway, hoping to hear the telltale crack that indicated apparition to the entryway. Since we were under the Fidelius, anyone with the secret could apparate directly into the foyer. “They went to see Dom,” I explained to James. “Have you checked on her yet?”
“No,” said James. “We will head over in a bit. Mum said she was doing alright, just needs to stay at Mungo’s for a few days to make sure there aren’t any residual effects. I don’t envy her Healers, Dom is not going to want to miss any training. Although, I’m sure you and Albus will keep her posted on anything she misses. Wow, this soup is really good!” he exclaimed with a mouthful dribbling down his chin.
“Thanks,” I shrugged. “All right there, Samara?” I noticed how quiet she was being.
“Sure,” she shrugged and looked into her soup. She wasn’t really eating, just sort of stirring it around the bowl.
Samara was absolutely beautiful. Not in the way Rose was beautiful, in everything she did and the way she cared for her friends and family, but more in a traditional sense. She wasn’t part Veela, but you could easily mistake her flowing blond hair, large blue eyes and graceful manner for Veela. She was also really funny and nice. I could see why James was attracted to her, but I always felt a little bit like she wasn’t his type – I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
“Sam’s just a bit upset at the events of last night,” James put an arm around her and pulled her closer to him. “I told her it goes with the territory of dating a Potter!” James chuckled with mild arrogance. That didn’t mean he was wrong. Trouble does seem to follow the Potter-Weasley clan. And the Malfoys…
“You get used to it, after a while,” I attempted a joke to make her feel better. She smiled briefly and I laid the butter on the table before checking on the soup once more.
Another crack down the hallway indicated that Albus had finally arrived with Rose. I could hear her chatting happily; her visit with Dom must have gone well. As they entered, I looked up in anticipation and then felt relief wash over me. She looked really amazing, as she smiled and turned to laugh with Albus. Her sunny face radiated into the dark, dank kitchen when she entered. I couldn’t put my finger exactly on what made her so beautiful, it just looked like all light in the room came directly from her.
“Mate,” James whispered in my ear, as he ladled another helping of soup into his bowl. “I think she’s yours now, you don’t have to drool over her from across the room anymore.”
James always did have a way with words.
“I can’t help it,” I said not looking away from her, “She does it to me every time.” I really didn’t care who knew I was desperately in love with Rose Weasley. I would do anything to make sure that she did not have another sad moment in her life.
I just needed to tell her that.
Before they could ask, I served both of them large bowls of soup and brought the bread down to their end of the table. I got myself a bowl and sat down next to Rose. She looked up at me gave me a quick kiss – too quick.
“Wow, this looks great!” Albus sounded famished.
“Thanks, Scorpius,” Rose gave me one of her special smiles. I melted. James rolled his eyes at me from the other end of the table, but I didn’t care.
“Does Harry know you went to see Dom?” I asked cautiously. I knew Rose wasn’t thrilled that she was basically on house arrest and required an Auror guard at all times, but I didn’t need any more trouble with the department and had been genuinely worried when I couldn’t find her earlier.
“He came and got us this morning,” Albus spoke first. “We didn’t want to wake you. Don’t worry; you are not on his shit list – unlike Uncle Ron.” Rose nodded to affirm that fact. Great. When Ron Weasley is pissed off, it usually meant trouble for me.
“So I take it you filled him in?” I spoke to Rose but was gesturing toward Al; referring to the conversation that happened after all the other Aurors had left Harry’s office last night (or was it this morning?).
“Uncle Harry did most of the talking,” she said dismissively. “But Al and Dom both know the deal now.” She looked deep in thought and then became very somber. I lowered my eyes with concern when she leaned over to whisper, “I do need to talk to you as well, somewhere private.” Her tone was very serious and all traces of the smiling, happy Rose that arrived a few minutes earlier were gone.
“Reg’s room?” I suggested, my heart rate rising with the pained look on her face. It was weird that we referred to every other room in the house by the current occupant - except for Regulus’s. It was on the top floor along with James’s room and was more secluded than her room or the parlor.
Although I had unofficially moved into Rose’s room, I still had some clothes and furniture in the dark, funereal room that used to belong to Regulus Black. If the room wasn’t so depressing, it would have been an ideal bedroom. Each floor had two bedrooms and one bathroom. Since James stayed in the other bedroom on that floor, it would have been a nice setup. He wasn’t home a lot, because he was usually travelling with the Quidditch team or staying at Samara’s place.
Rose nodded into her empty soup bowl and I tensed up next to her. Whatever was bothering her, she didn’t need it right now.
“We’ll clean up,” James announced and Albus nodded. “You two go on.” The entire room must’ve noticed the change in atmosphere between Rose and I.
“Thanks,” I stood up with her and held out my arm so we could apparate up to the top floor.
Regulus’s room was clearly decorated by some sick, twisted, dark witch who seemed to want to evoke every depressing thought within a young wizard. It didn’t feel cozy, just cold. Today, however, with her standing there in front of me, somehow the room felt warmer. I put my arms around her and pulled her close. She smiled warmly, but still had a look of worry in her eye. Placing my hands on either side of her face, I pulled her into a soft kiss. I missed kissing her, even though it had only been a few hours. Her face softened a little bit.
“I love you, Scorpius,” she said simply, twisting her fingers in the hair above my ears. “Uncle Harry said it first, and I guess it’s kind of obvious to everyone, but I wanted you to hear it from me,” her voice still had a trace of sadness to it, which did not evade me. However, I was so elated with the words that I pulled her into another, much deeper kiss. It lasted several moments. I was so wrapped up in her that it took a few seconds after we broke for me to get my own words out. My head was fuzzy with Rose.
“I love you too, Rose,” I breathed against her soft cheek. “I’ve loved you for so long; I can’t remember what it was like before.”
She smiled as a tear began to form at the corner of her eye. I couldn’t tell if it was from happiness, her face still had that look of worry.
“What is it, Ro?” I implored. I couldn’t think of anything that would be in our way now. We obviously had Harry’s blessing. The rest of the family seemed pretty happy for us – except for Ron. Was that it? Had Ron forbidden her to be with me? I resolved that no matter what it was, I wouldn’t let anything get in the way of us. Not after it took so long to get here.
“I need to tell you something,” Rose began slowly. “But I need you to know that I love you before I say it, and this has nothing to do with how I feel about you.”
“All right,” I was cautious. Why was she being so cryptic?
Rose sat down the bed. I followed and put my arm around her. I knew she would start when she was ready.
“When I was waiting for you at Uncle Harry’s house last night, I spoke with my Aunt Ginny,” she began, talking a little faster than usual. “Uncle Harry had confided in her about… what I told him a few months back. She began talking about the war and some of the horrible things that happened…”
I shifted uneasily, but didn’t move my gaze from Rose. I knew that our families had been on opposite sides of the war. While my father never really told me much, I knew that my grandfather had been imprisoned in Azkaban for his crimes until he died when I was about five. My grandmother had passed away shortly after that.
Once at Hogwarts, I had to endure some painful jeering because of the Malfoy name. When I asked my father about it, Draco Malfoy refused to speak. He told me to ignore the remarks and remember that I was much more like my mother than him. That was why I was sorted into Ravenclaw and not Slytherin. I knew it was not an issue I should press. It didn’t seem to matter to my friends, either. Neither Rose, nor James or even Albus had ever brought this up to me. Nor had Harry, for that matter, in all the times I spent at the Potters' over the years. But I knew how Ron felt. That much had been apparent last night.
Rose continued, “Scorpius, during the war, Uncle Harry and my parents were taken captive to your grandfather’s house, Malfoy Manor. My mum was tortured…” she paused for a long time, “… tortured a great deal because she was a muggle-born. I think that is why my father hates your family so much…” Rose put her head in her hands.
My mouth went dry. No words could come. Never in a million years could I have imagined this. My hands left her and dropped to my sides. I looked at Rose, but it was like I couldn’t see her. I could feel her trembling hands on my own, but I couldn’t move.
There was no way. No way. How could Father have allowed this to happen? It can’t be true. Ron must have made this up, told this lie to trick Rose into leaving me. I couldn’t believe that the cold, distant man I knew as my father was even capable of torture. He always seemed so… passive, letting life move past him while the rest of us were trying to muddle through the living part. Most of the time, he just sat in his study and did absolutely nothing at all.
“No,” I said hoarsely. “You’re lying.”
She began to cry. She had expected this. I could see in her eyes that she needed to tell me this, so it wouldn’t always be there, stuck in between us.
Confusion swirled around my head. I felt sick. Did Father do this to Hermione? My stomach lurched in revulsion to the image of Father torturing Hermione. I bolted across the hall to the bathroom and retched in the toilet. She had kept this from Rose, so that meant that probably most of the Weasley’s didn’t know other than Harry and Ginny. Had my mother known? She had always been so kind. Was that all part of an act? Did she keep the family’s dirty little secrets? The questions came faster and the confusion began pounding into the front of my head. I grasped my temples and squeezed as I collapsed backwards onto the cool tile floor of the bathroom.
The pressure in my head was building and I thought I might be sick again when I felt the warmth of a body sitting near my head and light pressure against my forehead. I carefully opened my eyes for a moment and saw Rose kneeling next to me, rubbing circles on my temples with her hand. No. She can’t do this. She shouldn’t be near me – or even look at me. I had to get out of there. I pulled myself up to the sink and dropped grasped the side for support. I didn’t even look at her as I turned to leave the bathroom. I heard her whimper as I walked down the hallway, but couldn’t react. I knew where I was going, but had to tell Albus first.
The forest looked much different in the day than it had the night Albus and I had visited months ago. There was much more damage than I remembered. The entire tree-line had been pushed back about thirty yards and there were many more craters in the rocks than had been there before. It was barren, dead, and dry. Gray stumps of varying heights peppered the expanse of rock that led to the treeline. I didn’t even notice the white smoke that was rising from within the trees. The sky was completely overcast, but the smell of burning wood was present. A December chill whipped through my robes, catching them up and wrapping them around my weak legs.
These things barely registered with me as I began my destruction. I was shaking so much, with anger and hurt and questions that I knew would never get answered. There was no one left to explain them to me. Why? How? I ran forward and flung my wand again and again at tree after tree. I set fire to about twenty feet of trees at once, with one great swoop from left to right of my wand. I tried blasting the rocks again, but found that less satisfying than watching the trees split apart and shrivel at my mercy. The smoke billowed around the edge of the forest and slowly crept toward me. I went for the largest trees I could find, using every curse I could imagine again and again.
I didn’t see the tall, dark-cloaked figure approaching from the far edge until it was almost next to me. As the shadowy figure paced toward me, I caught a glimpse of darkness in my periphery, and I whirled around and squared up with my opponent. My wand raised in response to the one pointed at my own chest.
As the words of the curse were on my lips, I froze, seeing a flash of bright orange from under the hood.
We stood for several moments, blue trained on silver with the cold December wind blowing our cloaks high.
I took a step back and lowered my wand, breathing heavy from the rush of adrenaline.
Ron, in turn, lowered his wand and pulled off his hood. We both stared at each other for another long minute. Finally, I turned to walk away.
“Hey!” Ron shouted behind me after I had gotten about ten meters from him. I stopped but did not turn. I wanted Ron to curse me, to do his worst. There wasn’t anything left for me anymore.
“Do you love her?” Ron’s words echoed angrily across the rock, but there was a hint of desperation behind them.
It seemed like such a silly, pointless question, in the midst of all this. Why would it matter? We could never be together. Not now. Now that I know what my family was, what they did.
“Do you love her?” Ron’s hot breath growled into my ear, grabbing the back of my robes and turning me around, he had snuck up behind me, without a sound.
I couldn’t speak due to the fabric stretched across my throat, so I only nodded as my silver eyes pierced the fierce blue ones that looked…hurt? And in that instant I knew that Ron learned what had happened to Rose at the cabin. That’s why he was here, at the place where a wizard can release his anger and magic and pain.
“Then, you stay with her. You put everything aside for her. And know that you will never be good enough for her.” I already knew that. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t be with Rose because of what my family had done.
Suddenly a realization hit me. I had to ask.
Ron was the only one who could answer my questions. With greater effort than I can remember every putting forth to make sounds escape my mouth, I choked out the words.
“Rose told me about Hermione,” Ron looked confused for a second until I continued. “About Malfoy Manor…” Realization glimmered in his eyes and he blinked up at the white sky undulating with the smoke we had both created and closed his eyes, sucking in a breath. We had more in common than either one of us had ever thought possible. Unadulterated, compulsive need forced the next question out of my mouth.
“Was it – my father?” Each word was quiet, but punctuated, if Ron hadn’t been face to face with me, he wouldn’t have heard them.
“No,” Ron replied curtly, but his eyebrows were raised in surprise. He had obviously not been expecting that question.
But then his throat caught, “it was - Bellatrix.” I nodded in relief, but I was unsurprised at his response. I had heard vicious stories about my great aunt’s brutality – especially toward muggleborns. Unable to speak, I acknowledged my understanding.
The fabric loosened around my neck as Ron slowly released his grip on my robes.
“I do love her,” I confirmed, being sure to catch his eyes this time. “I’ve loved her for as long as I can remember. And I won’t ever, ever hurt her. I will protect her with my life, because she is my life.”
We didn’t break eye contact. The haunted blue eyes slowly closed and opened again. I think I even saw some understanding within them. It had begun to snow ever so slightly, and flecks of white swirled like confetti around the choking gray smoke.
Ron patted me on the back, surprising both of us.
“I know that now. I just wanted to hear you say it. She loves you too. Everyone can see it.”
“I don’t know… I don’t know how she can forgive…this.”
“Why don’t you let her decide that?” Ron turned to face the forest, his voice suddenly lighter. “Nice place, isn’t this? Harry told me about it. Apparently, Albus brought him here a few months ago, to blow off steam…”
A/N: Hello again! Thank you to everyone who has been reading/reviewing this story. I wanted to mention that I am working off of the premise that Draco didn't talk about the war at ALL with Scorpius. I think I mentioned earlier that Ron/Hermione were pretty much the same way with their kids. I thought about this a bit, and it seemed to fit (at least to me) that they weren't about to relive some of their darkest moments to their own children, in the hopes of sparing them the gory details.
Anyway - please let me know what you think of this latest chapter!
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