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Chapter 12 : Full Moon Rising
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Author's Note: And the next chapter! Thank you so much to everyone who is following the story so faithfully. It really means a lot to me.
I know the pace has been a little off, but things will start to pick up again next chapter. Thank you so much for being so patient.
Be sure to review and let me know what you think! Think Peakes has something to do with it? ;) Guess you will have to wait to find out! Enjoy!
awesome chapter image by shudder @ TDA
I have to say that the rest of that day quickly turned around. It had started off terribly, and to be honest, it had been a long and eventful day. The busiest one since Rose and I came to the summer house, for sure. I had been to the Ministry twice, testified once, consoled Rose, taken a nap with her, and now this. All in all, the most important factor about the day was that I could finally call Rose my friend.
Sure, there was a lot more to the day that probably should be more important to me, but the in grand scheme of things, it wasn't. I valued this new relationship with her. Yes, I would have to come up with an idea to get Rose to the Ministry and watch her testify in two weeks, and I think I could honestly say that Peakes was terrifying me to an unusual extent, but that wasn't the most important thing about my day.
After our talk by the beach had quieted down, Rose and I had made a small sand castle. Then we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves afterwards my jumping on it and crushing it for no reason at all. Back at the house, I started to make dinner. Rose didn't leave to escape to her room this time. She actually skinned the potatoes for me and watched me do the rest. I could tell that cooking was not one of her talents. The amount of take-out she must eat probably surpassed the amount I ate when first living by myself. If she had wanted to cook at the flat she would generally rent out in Egypt, she would have a much more difficult time trying to whip something together with all the foreign ingredients she had to work with. I would have gotten take-out too.
"One night I'll make you cook something. See what cooking talents you have up your sleeve," I had mused to her as I cut the potatoes.
She had joked to me about lacking any experience in the cooking field what-so-ever. We talked about what she did in Egypt, how my assumptions were correct in her amount of take-out. We had a great dinner, and I believe that we would have stayed up until the early hours of morning, but we had both had a long day. So shortly after we ate, cleaned the kitchen, and had a cup of tea out in the hammocks, we went to bed. When Rose disappeared into her room, I stayed up a little longer just to put up those protective charms. I knew we were safe now; only Rose and I could come and go as we pleased. And when I told Rose that we had more protection, she wouldn't be told that she could even leave. That moment wouldn't come until we would both leave in two weeks for her hearing.
Not even that Scamander kid could come and go. Which I couldn't quite place a reason on that matter as to why I was relieved to know he couldn't drop by anymore. I wanted him to stay away, and I didn't know why I felt that way. It worried me for unknown reasons, but I told myself I was simply being protective.
But after all that, and despite all the bad for the day, I fell asleep with one of the biggest smiles on my face.
When I woke up the following morning, I woke up to an unfamiliar scent. I didn't open my eyes just yet; I could feel the intensity of the sun pouring into the summer house. But I inhaled deeply, and the scent of cinnamon pastries finally registered with me. I sat up slowly, reaching up to pat my crazed hair down. I threw the covers back, stretched, yawned some, and then entered the hallway.
It would be a good day. I could tell that much. A much better one than yesterday.
The sun had brightened the atmosphere in the house. Instead of being locked up, worrying about damaging my relationship with Rose, finding out who is guilty and who is innocent, I felt like I should be on vacation. But it was good though; it kept me from thinking about all the horrible things going on. Instead, I did treat it like a vacation. When at the house, I couldn't do anything more to help. So why mull over something you can't change?
I entered with a smile, the sun warming my skin, my eyes in search of Rose. I found her at the kitchen table. She had her legs folded beneath her as she sat in a chair, bouncing about in a rather animated fashion. She was munching on something with a hot cup of coffee beside her. Her hair was beautiful; I'll say that outright. It was curly, and she clearly hadn't done anything to tame it. But that was fine with me. I had realized that that was how I liked it best.
"Could have put on a shirt," she commented in between her bounces and taking a bite out of her breakfast. Her voice was a monotone, but I looked at her and saw a joking tone in her eyes and a smirk reaching her face.
I looked down at my body. Oh, I was shirtless. I hadn't realized or considered it important, but with the warm atmosphere, I hadn't even noticed. I was perfectly content. I didn't know why I was trying to impress anyone, if that was the case, but I secretly thanked Malfoy for at least staying in shape. He's pretty cut.
I looked back to her and rolled my shoulders. "Whatever. A man's chest new to you, Rosie?" I asked sarcastically.
She only laughed. As soon as the words had left my mouth, I noticed that I had called her Rosie for the first time while disguised as Malfoy. I wondered to myself if that would appear odd to her, hearing Scorpius Malfoy call her Rosie. But if she considered it weird, she didn't react to it.
I changed the subject as I looked into the kitchen for what smelled so good. I asked, seeming to be pretty surprised. "Did you cook?"
"Oh, Merlin, no," she laughed. She waved a hand of dismissal, and she seemed to know how absurd the question was just as much as I knew. "I can conjure things too though, you know. You just choose to conjure ingredients and then do the work yourself. I conjure the finished product."
"See, I call that cheating," I said. I pointed a finger at her even as I moved to go cut myself as slice of the cinnamon bread on the counter. It was still warm, even. I poured myself a cup of coffee and sat opposite of her. I sunk my teeth into the bread. It was delicious, and I found that I inhaled the thing in a matter of seconds. I looked to cut myself another piece, but I saw Rose's surprise on her face and decided to wait a few minutes.
"Geez, Malfoy. Hungry much?"
"Really, I guess," I said. I took a sip at my coffee, feeling my stomach growl. As the coffee hit, I realized how hungry I was. The churning over nothing, the growls. I never woke up this hungry. Well, only on one occasion did I wake up this hungry....
My face dropped and I looked at the empty plate in front of me. I wanted it to be full, full of food. And not just Rose's conjured cinnamon rolls that I remember being her mother's splendid recipe, but full of meat. Steak.
The full moon was fast approaching, and it had completely slipped my mind.
I don't turn into a werewolf like my dad did. You have to be bitten for that to actually happen, but I did inherit a few of those traits that go with being a full-fledged werewolf. I craved steak like no other, I ate enough for five people during the full moon phase, I would rage about the smallest things that erupted out of nowhere. It was why I freaked out yesterday in front of Peakes, why I basically attacked Malfoy. I had even said so. Why hadn't I made a stronger mental note about it instead of letting it slip my mind?
Rose was trying to be subtle about noticing my changing demeanor, and I tried to act like I didn't notice. I didn't need her to ask me any questions. If she asked me anything in this moment, I would be at loss for answers except for the ones holding the truth.
I simply tried to dismiss her looks and not get up to fix myself a steak for breakfast in that moment. I had to resist getting a second piece already, knowing it was probably too soon to do so. But I had to divert the topic that was looming over us if I didn't want to explode. So I drummed on the table with the palms of my hands and whistled under my breath, leaning back in the wooden chair on its back two legs like I was perfectly content.
Rose finally said something. Glad she could come up with something. I, for one, was lost. "What are we going to do today?"
I was glad to hear her pair the two of us together for our activities for the day. It only reminded me of our new friendship, and that led to the idea that she probably wouldn't lock herself in that room of hers for hours on end anymore. This was great news.
I rolled my shoulders. "I dunno. It will be a lovely day. Wanna do something down by the beach?"
"I can build a bigger and better sand castle than you," she challenged with a smirk.
Oh, game on!
I snorted, followed by a laugh as I took that task. "Challenge accepted!"
"No magic involved," she said. She had a finger pointing at me in a threatening fashion, but I knew she wouldn’t do anything with it other than maybe scratch me with one of those long nails of hers. She was just setting up the ground rules.
"Done," I nodded in agreement.
"You're so gonna lose," she said in a quiet and exasperated voice.
I almost sat up to retort in a jesting tone, but I remembered who I was. Who I was trying to be. Malfoy. I had almost said that I had years of experience from being beachside at Bill and Fleur's, but I remembered I couldn't say that. And that would be exactly the kind of advantage that Rose thought she had on me. Well, she would be in for a surprise. Guess I would just come off as a natural at building sand castles. This would be fun.
It would be good to be out of the house. I didn't do well in confined spaces when the full moon was around. I think I was easily set off by nearly everything. People who said the wrong things to me, music that was too loud. Sometimes I even felt like the walls of buildings were coming down on me, suffocating me. It was always good for me to be outside during that time. Until the moon came up at least, but that was when I would go back indoors, having a nice steak, and go to bed. If we could exhaust ourselves outside today, maybe I wouldn't have too much to worry about today.
We finished our breakfast. I helped her clean up and stole a few pieces of the bread when she wasn't looking. Then Rose did something that I believed would change the way the two of us lived together for the rest of our stay here. She opened the windows, letting that wonderful sea breeze in, and she turned on the wizard radio Ruckman had on one of the shelves. She cranked it up loudly, and the house suddenly had the vibe of springtime. I felt like I was at Bill and Fleur's, the familiar friendly and loving atmosphere, the feeling of togetherness and a sense of perfection. When we were there, even though there were always small troubles, no one ever let it get to them.
I had watched the Weasleys and Potters thrive even in the face of suffering or times of turmoil. They had all seen so much evil in their pasts, I guess, that they knew what the true horrors in life were. They couldn't let the small things like a low income or other day to day struggles get to them. Watching them over the years had been inspiring, a trait I hope I could one day possess, and now it was apparent that Rose had received it as well.
She was a prime suspect in a murder case, and she was holding herself together so well. Just like her mother and father. Just like her family. Rose was a strong woman.
I tried to not act like her actions surprised me for fear that she may turn it all around. I was still afraid that I would scare her off into her room once again, so even as she started singing while I was cleaning, I said nothing. I had a wide smile on myself though, and I found that, soon enough, I even started singing along.
I knew today would be a great day. I wouldn't have any rages. Not with Rose around like this. I could already tell that she did something different to me, the way she acted, the cheery vibe she carried herself with and placed on the entire room and over me. How could I not smile?
When the song grew with life, I found that I remembered the lyrics perfectly. It was an older song by the Weird Sisters. They were still around, but this song came out while my parents were still alive, even. I wasn't a singer; it wasn't pleasant to hear, and I only did it when I was comfortable with myself. Half the time I didn't even notice how into a song I was getting, and I believe that was what happened next. I turned to face Rose from wiping down the table and found myself bobbing my head to the song, shouting the lyrics.
She laughed, enjoying the song and both our singing. She clearly didn't care that I wasn't the best singer. Perhaps I would get crap about it later, but for now it didn't matter. I sang louder, and so did she. Rose had some lungs, that was for sure. She was jumping around in the living room. As she tossed her head, her long, red hair moved majestically behind her.
We sang right through that song and into the next, another by the Weird Sisters. At one point I don't even think what I was doing could be called singing. It was more shouting as I joined Rose in the living room. She jumped up onto one of the couches, bouncing around. I took one of her hands to help her leap from the couch to the coffee table where she kicked off the magazines ecstatically, and we danced around while I held on to her hand. We were laughing as we sang, "Can you dance like a hippogriff? Ma ma ma, ma ma ma, ma ma ma!"
Rose asked over the music with a genuine laugh, "You were the life of the Slytherin common room, weren't you?"
Slytherin? What was she talking about? Oh, right. Malfoy...
I chuckled, shuffling on my feet with her hand in mine. "Of course," I said. I wanted to say more, to keep the conversation going, to say something that could have gone on inside the Slytherin common room. But I didn't know. I didn't know any names of the Slytherins in Rose's year. I didn't go to Hogwarts at the same time as them. The only name I knew was Scorpius, and, well. I was already him.
I did know, though, that relationships between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins had improved greatly over the years. I had only heard stories of how fowl and cruel the lot of them were, but hardly any of them acted like such gits anymore. When I say this, I'm not saying they particularly get along these days, but they don't seek out trouble with each other anymore. There's just a mutual understanding between everyone.
I guess I could bullshit my way through some of it...
"You know, some of those Slytherins are dull duds," I said this as nonchalantly as I could manage. "You have to keep the atmosphere alive in there."
"I'm sure you and Rosier did a fine job of doing that. I'll give that to you. I didn't know you were capable of being so much fun," she said. She jumped from the coffee table to the couch again.
I didn't recognize the name Rosier, other than the one that stood out to me as a Death Eater during the Second Wizarding War, Evan Rosier. Perhaps his grandchild that Scorpius was friends with; maybe it was one of Scorpius' closer friends. I would just have to play along with it.
"Sure did," I smiled.
Luckily Rose didn't ask more about that subject. She hopped down from the couch and said in a perky tone. "I'm going to change. Meet you down by the beach?"
"Race you," I said, and before she could even register my challenge, I was bolting into my bedroom. I threw the door shut and scrambled out of my jeans and t-shirt. I pulled on a plain pair of shorts, sliding into my sandals. I was leaving the room in a matter of seconds, and as I left, I could see that Rose was still in her bedroom. But of course she was; she had gotten in there after I had and I knew she had more to deal with. Girls and making decisions on clothing and all...
I snagged a towel from the bathroom and was leaving the house before I knew it, headed straight for the beach. However, before the door could shut behind me, I heard Rose shout from somewhere within her room. "This isn't fair!"
I only laughed and set off at an easy stroll. I was maybe halfway down the grassy hill, the ground beginning to change from the champagne color grass to sand, when I heard a rumble behind me. I looked over my shoulder and Rose was sprinting down the hill faster than I had ever seen her move. Her eyes were ablaze with life and our game. She had pulled her hair out of its ponytail and was only wearing a long, thin white tank top over her swimsuit.
I made a noise of surprise and picked up my pace. Clearly I wouldn't win that easy. The sand between my toes slowed down my momentum, and Rose was by my side in a matter of seconds. She shouted wildly. "Never give up that easy! I'm going to win!"
I was gaining speed, and that was clearly unacceptable to her, so she grabbed onto the waistband of my shorts and tried to tug me down. She was unsuccessful, but it was a good effort. We ended up reaching the beach at the same time. Afterwards we simply laughed and started to finalize the rules of our sand castle competition. We agreed on things like no tampering with the other's castle, no stealing ideas, no using magic other than to conjure supplies, and so on and so forth. When we finished, I drew a line in the sand with my toe to show her side and mine and our competition was a-go.
We conjured numerous buckets of all shapes and sizes. It was a tedious but fun task. Every now and then I could hear Rose snickering from somewhere over in that huge hole she dug in the sand. My castle was coming along nicely. It took some time because weren't just making any old sand castle. Ours would be intricate. We stopped when we were thirsty to go up to the house and have a glass of water. Rose made a pitcher of lemonade; I made us some sandwiches. We had our lunches in the hammocks on the patio, soaking in the beautiful day. We would stop every now and then to tease the other about what was better about their own castle.
We had a marvelous day and it wasn't until dinner time when we finished up the job. "Done!" I shouted over my work, appraising the castle that stood as tall as my head, towers in each corner, a bridge you could even crawl under, and a moat in the front for any possible waves.
"So am I!" I heard Rose shout, and I peered around my castle to look at hers. It was just as good. I like to win and I don't give in easily, but I'll admit we had a tie. "Mine's better," she chimed with a smile.
"They're the same!" I laughed.
Just as she opened her mouth to retort, high tide rolled in and the ocean water filled the deep hole Rose stood in, taking half of her castle with her. "No, no, no! Not fair!"
I snickered. I knew she had worked hard. At least I had seen it before the waves took it down. I wanted to be kind, but how could I not tease her about that? "Ahh, sucks for you! Should have built a moat like I did."
"Whatever!" she shouted. I looked at her and saw clumps of sand coming my way. I shouted and ducked behind the safety of my castle. Rose was throwing sand.
"Hey now!" I protested. "If that's how it's going to be, then you're under attack!"
Next thing I knew, we were both throwing chunks of sad. Rose was malicious and excited in our castle wars. I was doing my best to be careful with where I threw the sand; I didn't want to nail her in the eyes with it. It was all fun and games, but it wouldn't be if someone got hurt.
I don't know how long we messed around for. The tide eventually washed away both of our castles, leaving us standing in heaps of wet sand, just throwing it at one another until we were covered in it. We rinsed off in the ocean, and by then the sun was setting. That was when I remembered that the full moon was rising tonight. I would need to get inside soon.
We retreated indoors shortly after. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to tease Rose about how she had become a human lobster in a matter of hours. I'm sure I was just as sun-burnt, but I couldn't tell yet. I would probably feel the pain of it tomorrow, and I tried to forget about that.
We had a great dinner. I cooked steak, and while there were only two of us, I cooked four. I told her we would have the other two for a later time, but I actually ate them in my room after she went to bed. We had had a long day, and as I was hoping, the sun had drained much of our energy. I didn't have to come up with any excuses about going to my room for the night. We were both exhausted, but I knew I still had a long night ahead.
Once I was in my room, the sun gone for the day and the full moon taunting me through its appearance in my window, I felt like a different person. Without Rose, I was aware of everything else that I had chosen to neglect all day. I felt the pain of my burnt skin, peeling with the sun's heat. I felt my only growing hunger for red meats. I tried to think about Rose, our day together, how she made me feel, how she calmed me and soothed me, but I found that I could only think about the very things that would ignite that small flicker of a flame into a blazing fire of hatred and anger. I thought about Peakes, how I was beginning to question if he was the root of this all, how I was betraying Rose, how someone had hurt her yesterday.
Suddenly any happiness I had had from the day quickly vanished. I was lying on my bed, clenching at the covers beneath me to divert any anger or rages, but I knew it would be of no use. I was fueled by my need to protect Rose, only then reminded of how yesterday I hadn't. I had let someone hurt her; I hadn't been there for her, and I could have stopped it.
The walls were beginning to feel as if they were coming in on me. Claustrophobia. That was exactly how I felt then. I squeezed my eyes shut as if I could force this world away from me. I could hear my heart drumming wildly in my chest.
I wish I had been smart enough to grab my tonics before coming here. I didn't think this case would take so long.
I gave a jolt, and I yanked the duvet straight off the bed. I rolled from the bed and onto the floor, throwing the duvet over my head as if it would hide me from the moon that I felt was only egging my rages on. I rocked back and forth, I'm ashamed to admit. There I was, huddled on the floor against the bed with the duvet over my head, rocking back and forth in the fetal position as if it would change anything.
Claustrophobia. I had to get out. But I couldn't go outside. Not without the moon making it worse, not without Rose seeing. It was impossible.
Had to make the room bigger.
I gave a distressed yell and rose from the ground. I threw the duvet down, and I didn't know exactly what I was doing next. I was all over the place. I punched the walls, pushed at them as if I could make them expand. I grabbed picture frames and threw them on the floor, listening to the sound of the glass shatter. I grabbed books, yanked them off their shelves and ripped the spines clear away from its pages. I clawed at the walls, throwing any hangings across the room; I tore at the wallpaper until I could hear it shred and the wall was stained with the blood from my fingertips.
In a matter of seconds I had become a crazed mess, and there was no way of stopping me.
If only I had been smart enough to silence my bedroom beforehand. The sound of Rose pounding at my door, asking me if I was all right, was inevitable.
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