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Prime Suspects by Phoenix_Flames
Chapter 13 : Breakable
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5


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I woke up the next morning on the floor of my bedroom at the summer house. When I opened my eyes and turned slowly on the hard wooden floor, I felt like I had just come to from a crazed, drunken night being greeted by a terrible hang over. Of course, I knew that wasn't the case but it didn't change anything.

The duvet was twisted about my waist, and I sat up as slowly as I could, rubbing gently at my eyes. My eyes adjusted to the light. I could tell it was well into the daytime, and I wondered how long I had slept for. When I looked about the room, I muttered under my breath in surprise. "Holy shit..."

I was disappointed in myself as I appraised my work. The floor was littered with glass and scraps of book pages, random pieces of parchment, and pillow feathers. A heap of books with distorted spines was next to the shelves. Some of the wall paper was peeling away from the wall beneath it; some already littered the floor. There was a decent patch of missing paper from each wall, and in each patch, there were distinct red smears of blood.

I lifted my hands. Sure enough, my nails had feathers snagged in them, uneven and coated with dried blood. I picked a piece of glass out of my palm, muttering to myself, "I need a straightjacket."

Sometimes I don't understand why I get the way I do when the full moon comes around. You have to be bitten to be a werewolf; I had only inherited a few traits. Some moons were worse than others, but I had never had anything like this before. You would think that I had actually turned into a werewolf last night with a mess like this.

I rose slowly, the duvet falling to the floor, and I went to the door. I opened it slowly and stepped out into the hall, still rubbing my eyes. I wasn't looking where I was going, so it was no surprise to me that I actually tripped over something. But what surprised me was what it was. I looked to see what the object was and found that it was Rose. She was slumped against the wall beside the door in sleep.

Had she slept there all night? What was she doing?

I knelt down in front of her, not quite knowing what to do. Even though I had tripped over her leg, she was still completely out. Her head lolled about, but I couldn't see her face. Her radiant red hair hid her face from me. Uneasily I reached out and brushed her hair away from her face. Beneath the red mass, she looked peaceful and I hated that I was about to disturb her, but I figured that even if she wanted to go back to sleep, her bed would be more comfortable.

I touched her cheek and whispered her name. My hand molded against her cheek, and I rubbed gently with my thumb. "Rosie," I ushered. "Rose, what are you doing?"

"Hmmm?" She finally gave a stir. Her eyes fluttered open, and we made eye contact for a good while before either of us said anything.

I shook my head in confusion. "What are you doing? Did you sleep out here?"

"I guess I did..." she said, her voice faltering. It took her a moment for her to gather her bearings. I could tell that she felt a little out of element. She pushed her hair back, and it was only when she started to rub her eyes that I remembered my hand was still on her cheek. I retracted it and put it on her knee in a friendly fashion, giving a squeeze. The events of the previous night must have hit her because she looked startled then. "You were...You were freaking me out. I wanted to make sure you were okay, but you had the door locked! And, well, I didn't want to invade your privacy. You...I-I was worried."

"You were worried...?" I found myself asking with a smile. I didn't quite know why. I guess I found this somewhat groundbreaking that Rose was worrying about Malfoy. "About?"

"I was worried about you," she admitted in a bashful tone.

"Don't worry about me," I said in an ashamed voice. I didn't deserve her worry. If I could tell her the truth, I could understand her pity. But I would lie to her again in a matter of seconds, and that didn't deserve her pity.

"What happened in there last night?" she asked quietly. One of her hands covered mine, and our eyes made that kind of eye contact that made me want to just tell her everything. How could I lie directly to her face with those eyes?

I figured this conversation would last a little longer, so I maneuvered myself so that I was leaning against the wall next to her. Our shoulders brushed, but I didn't move my hand. I looked at the two of our hands, how hers was placed protectively over mine. I appraised it and the meaning behind it. How her dislike towards Scorpius Malfoy had changed so quickly to that of friendship, trust, and worry.

I couldn't help but smile.

When I didn't say anything, Rose gave my hand a weak squeeze and pressed further. "We had such a good day yesterday. I thought we forgot about everything."

"I-I know," I nodded, and before I even knew how I would play off my actions, Rose gave me an idea. "It did. It really did. You did. You helped me forget about everything. The trial, us being locked up here. It all helped, and I was able to while I was with you. Then we went to bed, and it just...It all came rushing back."

"What were you even doing?" she asked. She must have just noticed the scratched surface of the hand she was touching. She lifted it from her leg and gasped at the sight. I tried to pull it away; I didn't want her to see what I had done, but she wouldn't let me. She gasped in shock. "Scorpius! What the hell did you do?"

"Oh," I rolled my shoulders and tried to lighten the mood, "just scratched at the walls a bit."

"This is more than just scratching, Scorpius," she said in a soft and gentle tone. Her voice was delicate. It soothed me. I closed my eyes and just listened to her reprimand me for being so reckless. I was pulled out of my tranquility when she pulled a shard of glass out of my hand.

I yelped and tried to yank it away, but once again she wouldn't let me. She continued to pull out the feathers, random pieces of glass, all the while muttering her disappointment.

"I had no idea you..." She faltered. I guess she didn't know how to phrase it.

I thought I would help, though. I knew exactly what this was, and it was apparent that Scorpius Malfoy could play it off as well. For different reasons though, obviously. "You had no idea that I have rages."

"Yes," she said.

"S-Sometimes," I said, and as I began this conversation, I felt as if I were sharing a part of my real self with her.

"How often?" That gentle voice again.

"Every now and then," I answered. Once a month, I secretly thought. "It's not something that I would have expected you to know. I didn't do it much at Hogwarts. Only when I was by myself in the...Slytherin dormitory."

"What triggered it? I mean...If you would have let me in, I could have helped. We could have talked about it. There would have been no need to hurt yourself like this." That gentle voice. She was finished with my right hand and placed it delicately in her lap. I let my palm mold against her warm thigh and I let her take my left hand and go to work on that one. "We're here for each other, remember? We are all we've got here."

"I know. I'm sorry. I will next time," I nodded. I watched her face as she focused on her work, her brow pulled together, her nose slightly wrinkled, and her lips creased in a line. I didn't want her to think that yesterday had been a complete waste, so I did chime in with a smile. "Yesterday was a great day, wasn't it?"

"It really was," she giggled. "Although I am absolutely fried. My skin is on fire with this sunburn. I'll be spending today inside."

"Agreed," I said just as she finished with my left hand. She didn't let go of it; I let her hold on to it, turning it over between her hands. I found myself comparing our hands, how mine were large and calloused, and of course currently bleeding in this state, and how hers were small, how my fingers could curl over hers if I wanted them to, how I could probably hold her hands perfectly in mine.

She suddenly rose from her spot on the floor. As she did so, the pops and cracks the bones in her back made from an uncomfortable night on the floor did not go unnoticed. She grunted, and I stood up as well, following her into the bathroom. I watched her shuffle through the vials in the medicine cabinet. I didn't know what she was looking for, but she clearly did. So I waited patiently.

She finally pulled out a bottle of Essence of Dissany and asked me to put out my hands. I held them out to her, palms up, and let her put one drop of the liquid on each of my palms. The scratches, the deep cuts, the slivers of skin hanging off my nails suddenly vanished, and my hands felt a hundred times better. I sighed, rubbing my hands together.

Rose put the bottle away, chiming as she did so, "I don't know about you, but I didn't sleep well on that floor last night. I'm going to go back to bed for a few hours."

"I fell asleep on the floor too. I think I'll do the same."

We left the bathroom and I approached my bedroom, but I stopped when I remembered how destroyed it was. Rose peered into the room to see the damage I had done. The expression on her face showed that she was, at the least, appalled.

"But I kind of..." I faltered, for I didn't know what to say.

But Rose seemed to understand what I was getting at. She turned to face me, leaving my destroyed bedroom behind. She had a smile on her face and simply nodded. "I got it. You can come to my room."

I didn't say anything more. I simply smiled and followed her lead to her bedroom. We didn't say another word to each other as we simultaneously headed for her bed. I picked the left, and she picked the right. There was no arguing about it. We slid under the covers, and I gave her her respective space. I curled onto my side, the bed so inviting. I felt as if I were happily drowning in the goose feathered duvet, my body sinking into the mattress. I had just closed my eyes when I felt Rose shift from beside me. I then felt her cool cheek against the hot skin of my back. Her body moved closer to mine, and I felt her arm go around my waist and her hand rest on top of the duvet.

In any other circumstance, I would have changed this position. I would have gladly turned and put my arm around her in a protective manner because she clearly didn't mind physical contact in this sort of situation, but I remembered that she was taking care of me. She had just tended to my wounds, she was making sure I was all right; she was taking care of me. So I accepted it gladly, and I placed my hand over hers before drifting into sleep.

When we woke up, neither of us commented on the way we had slept. The day had disappeared; we had slept our way through it. Our positions had switched at some point during our sleep. I found myself wrapped around her, instead of the other way around like the nap had started off as. She was curled into a tiny ball, fitting perfectly into the curve of my body. She had pulled my hand into the arch of her body, taking me with her and holding it there, her stronghold.

I had to work my hand free from her grasp, and when it was, I felt the blood come rushing back to it.

But neither of us said anything about how we slept. I only assumed that Rose would accept this new friendship. The sharing of a bed didn't continue though. It didn't that night and the nights that followed. Rose and I spent the next two weeks bonding over our confinement together at the summer house. We repaired my bedroom, spent hours down by the beach, creating numerous games to entertain us in the sand and in the ocean; we would spend every waking minute together, relaxing in the hammocks, cooking together, cleaning up after ourselves together. It felt more like a vacation, rather than the two escapees we were supposed to be.

I don't know about her, but I was really having a grand time. I wasn't becoming bored with the routine. Every day was a new day; Rose made it special. It was an adventure, and there was always something new to do, something new to try. Being with her also helped me keep my head straight. When I was with her, I didn't think about anything but being in that moment with her. There was something about Rose that made me worry-free, that made me understand the chances and opportunities in life and made me want to jump in feet first. It was when I was by myself when I remembered what was truly going on beneath all of this, how it was all a cover-up, how I was playing Rose. It was when I was lying in my bed at night when I started to hate myself.

But then morning would come and Rose would be there. And that would make everything seem worth it.

Because I was having so much fun spending time with Rose, I wasn't surprised that the day of her trial was suddenly upon us. I was aware that it would be the following day. Rose, however, was still oblivious. So I had been anticipating Ruckman's appearance all day to inform us of the hearing. It would come as a surprise to Rose, and I would once again have to show off my acting stills and seem surprised that I, being Scorpius, would be attending my hearing tomorrow.

Ruckman was the only one who could come in and out of the house besides Rose and I. So I knew there wouldn't be an issue there, but when Rose and I had finished dinner and we continued on to cleaning the kitchen, I began to doubt my protective enchantments. Where was Ruckman? I thought he would have come by before now. Perhaps the Ministry had just been hectic all day and he hadn't had a free moment just yet.

Rose and I were having a conversation as I was brewing us some hot tea when a noise came from the fire place. Green flames were suddenly erupting, and Rose yelped in mid-sentence. She pulled her legs up beneath her under the couch and reached for her wand on the coffee table. She pointed it like a threat at the fire place until she could see who it was.

"Woah, woah," I heard John Ruckman's voice as the flames died down and he stepped out, wiping the soot off of his pants. "It's just me, Miss Weasley. Please lower your wand."

"Oh..." she said. I could tell that she could suddenly breathe again upon seeing the man who snuck her out of confinement. "Sorry. I just...It's been the two of us for so long. I wasn't expecting anyone."

"I'm sure you weren't. But I have important news," Ruckman said.

He went to sit in an arm chair. I peered into the sitting room and nodded to him. He nodded back to me, and I could tell from our eye contact that we shared so much more than the simple head nod. I asked him from the kitchen, "Can I get you a cup of tea?"

"Sure, Mr. Malfoy," Ruckman said, adding on my fake surname for good measure.

I poured three cups of tea and performed a good juggling act in taking the three of them into the sitting room. I handed Ruckman his cup and then placed Rose's gently in her hands. I sat right next to her on the couch, our legs touching. I noticed Ruckman's reaction to the two of us. He tried to not react, but I could tell that he was surprised from the progress Rose and I had made with our relationship. I was there when I tried to soften the fall for Rose when we came out of that fire place and she demanded that I not touch her.

"So what's your reason for visiting?" I asked, trying to jumpstart the conversation. I sipped gingerly at my tea. It seared my tongue, but it was the most soothing feeling as it reached my throat.

"Well," Ruckman began, "I have some news for the two of you. We are actually going to need both of you to come to the Ministry tomorrow."

"What...?" Rose's whisper was sudden, and I could tell that she was struck with fear in an instant. I placed my free hand on her back in reassurance and rubbed. She fell into my side, feeling her shake against me. "Why?"

"Your hearing," Ruckman tried to say in a sympathetic voice. His look was kind upon Rose.

I whispered something reassuring in her ear, and when I was done, I turned back to Ruckman. "We will be there. When and where?"

"We will need you on the Department of Mysteries floor at 10 AM tomorrow morning."

We both nodded. I knew that there would be more in-depth instructions for me, but that was something that couldn't be said in front of Rose. There was nothing more to be said, and truthfully I didn't know how to bullshit my way through the rest of it all. Ruckman clearly didn't know what to say either; he simply looked at the two of us.

Rose seemed to be unable to handle it, so she rose and went to drink her tea at the table. As she was walking away though, Ruckman took the opportunity to reach into his back pocket and pass me a note that had what I assumed were my instructions. I slipped it into my back pocket just as Rose sat down, sulking into her mug of tea.

"Well," I spoke up. "What has been going on at the Ministry? Any progress with a new minister?"

"Some. Percy Weasley and Geoffrey Sondheim are campaigning for Minister. The election is approaching," Ruckman said with a firm nod.

I thought this was brilliant news, actually. I didn't know Sondheim's politics well enough to judge if I wanted him to be the new Minister. I knew he was fairly good friends with Peakes, and that scared me a little, but that was something to worry about for another time. Percy, on the other hand. Well, that would be bloody brilliant if he were elected Minister. Clearly someone else in the room, though, disappeared tremendously.

"What?!" Rose gasped in shock, almost horror, from the table. Her hands trembled as she held her tea. I watched as the hot liquid sloshed over the edges and onto the table. She let go of it, clattering onto the wooden surface, and she groped her face. Her fingers lashed out for something to grab hold of, some sort of purchase. "My uncle is running?"

"Yes, Miss Weasley. Why?" Ruckman asked.

She was shaking, and I could tell something was going on. "He can't! H-He can't..."

"Rose, what are you talking about?" I interjected. My brow furrowed, and I wondered what could possibly be wrong. I had no assumptions on that matter.

She didn't answer. She simply dropped her tea and fled from the kitchen, whispering desperately under her breath again. "He can't." Moments later I heard the door to her bedroom slam, and I knew that she would be in there for the rest of the night.

Ruckman and I just looked at each other. He said something under his breath, then reminded me that my instructions were laid out specifically on the sheet in my pocket. So he dismissed himself and was flooing out of the fire place.

Once I was alone, I slowly and uneasily approached Rose's bedroom. I wasn't sure what to do, if I should at least attempt to soothe her, be there for her, to even try to find out what was wrong. It took me a good minute to finally make up my mind. Before then, I was just standing outside her door awkwardly, shuffling from foot to foot. Then I finally knocked and said quietly, hearing dead silence come from her room.

"Rose? You okay?" No response, not that it was much of a surprise. "Do you wanna talk about it?"

No response again.

I gave it a few minutes out there in the hall. I debated getting on the ground, waiting like she had for me two weeks ago. I sat for a good half hour, but I couldn't even hear her stir inside. I eventually retired to my bedroom for the night.

It was an hour or two later after I had showered, cleaned up some more, and had been lying in bed, wide awake and trying to sort out my thoughts, when I heard a knock from my door. I was surprised to say the least to know Rose had come out of her room. I sat up quickly, the covers of the bed pooling about my middle. My voice cracked as I responded. "You can come in."

She slid stealthily into the room. I couldn't see her, and she didn't turn on the light. She was quiet and slow. I could finally make out her silhouette as she stepped into the moonlight. She had a blanket wrapped around her body, clutching it to her. She asked quietly. "You're still awake?"

"Yeah," I answered, sitting up more and leaning against my pillow. "This is when I think. What's wrong?"

She unwrapped herself from the blanket and slid into the bed next to me without an invitation. Not like she needed one though; I didn't mind. She placed the blanket over her legs and etched down into my bed. I could hear her teeth chatter, so I turned towards the center of the bed and pulled the covers higher on her, sliding down beside her. Our heads were sharing a pillow as she turned to face me, and I put a reassuring arm around her waist, just like she had done for me.

"I'm scared," she finally admitted.

They were strange words to hear coming from her mouth. I hadn't known Rose to have such words in her. She always appeared fearless to me, and in all honesty, it terrified me to see her so scared. See her with her body giving off small tremors, her teeth chattering. I hated it. I wanted her to be all right, and it made me feel useless knowing I couldn't do anything about it. But I could try my best. I moved closer to her, as close as I knew possible so that we could still manage a conversation.

"What about?" I whispered. There was no need to talk any louder; she was right there, only a few inches in front of my face. I could smell her conditioner, her long red hair was tickling my arm above my head. I moved one of my hands so that I could absently play with her locks. This seemed to soothe her, and that made me feel slightly better.

"About what that Auror said about my uncle running for Minister," she answered. She stopped talking then, and I wondered if I would have to question her further. But she finally sighed, nuzzling into the pillow and going on. "I'm just scared that...That what happened to Mr. Jarvis will happen to him."

"Oh, Rose," I breathed, sounding more sympathetic and loving rather than sounding ridiculous like my jumbled thoughts. "You needn't worry about that. He will be fine. What happened to Mr. Jarvis was unfortunate, and I'm sure the killer had some motive, and I doubt Jarvis and your uncle have that motive in common."

"N-No," she shook her head as if trying to prove me wrong. "Y-You don't understand."

"I don't understand what?" I pressed.

Was there more to this? Was I about to be told something that could change this entire case? Why was Rose so worried for her uncle? Or was I crazy in thinking that the position as Minister for Magic was now cursed. I mean, being sworn in as Minister wasn't a figurative death sentence now, was it? I was thinking logically, right? It's Rose who is the crazy one here.

What wasn't she telling me? There was something deeper behind this all, something she was keeping to herself, and for whatever reason, I got the vibe that she was trying to hide it from me. That she didn't want me to know. But what could there be that she couldn't possibly want me to know? I was here to help her. We were in this together; didn't she know that by now?

"I..." She pursed her lips in pain, and for a mere second I thought she would cry. I immediately closed the gap between our bodies then, for I couldn't bear it if she cried. Her pain would be too much for me. I pressed myself against her, her arms squished against my chest, her form fragile in my arms as I rubbed her back with one hand, the other still entwined in her hair.

"You can tell me," I whispered directly into her ear. Reassurance. Maybe that was what she needed.

Her breath tickled my neck, made the hairs on the back stand up. It sent goosebumps down my spine, and even though I was warm as can be with Rose against me, I shivered. She noticed my tremors and was the one to comfort me this time as her arms wrapped around me and rubbed my back.

"I don't want to talk about it," she finally managed.

Lie.

I knew her well enough to know that now without even looking at her. But I let it slide. That's what I did last time and Rose came to me in her own time. That seemed to be how she worked. She was strong, and even though I don't condone it, she kept things on the inside. She would keep it bottled inside until she decided to share in her own time. No matter how much I pushed her or tried to pry it from her, it would only leave her when she was ready for it to.

I could tell Rose was still strong enough to keep her bearings, to stand her ground and abide by her own methods. That's how I knew she was still all right. Rose was fragile. Breakable.She was breaking. Slowly. I could tell that much. She was near tears; she was trembling. All she needed was a push and she would reach her breaking point, but I would never do that to her. But she was hanging by a thin thread.

So I knew there was only one thing to do.

"That's fine," I whispered. "I'm here for you, though, when you decide that you do want to talk about it."

"Thank you, Scorpius," she replied weakly.

"You're welcome," I muttered.

I thought the conversation would be over, but she continued to talk, however about other things. "And I'm nervous. About our hearing. What if we get convicted tomorrow? What if we donít come back here? What if, twenty-four hours from now, weíre in Azkaban?"

Convicted? My mind was suddenly racing. Was she really that nervous?

"We won't get convicted tomorrow. We know that Auror is on our side. He doesn't believe either one of us did it, and I know I'm innocent. Aren't you?"

"Of course, but - "

"Then we have nothing to worry about," I reassured her. "We just go in there, heads held high, and we tell the truth. Everything will be fine. I'll be right there the entire time. By your side."

"You're so calm in all of this," she commented.

"Because I know I'm innocent. Because I know that all of this was just one huge mess up. If they really found that strand of my hair, it was planted there. If it wasn't mine, then they read the identity wrong. I just have to wait for this to all be expunged."

"You're right," she finally breathed.

I was getting sweaty from being so close to her, breathing against one another, so I backed away from her. I settled onto my back, my arms still around her, and I adjusted her so that her head was on my chest. Rose accepted his action and draped her arm across my bare stomach. I found my free hand disappearing into her hair once again. I weaved through the long strands, untangling it, playing with it until I could feel her cheeks rounding against my chest with her smile. Her heart rate slowed, and I could tell that she was finally breathing easily again.

I nearly thought she had drifted into sleep when I heard her mutter against me. "Can I stay?"

I found myself kissing the top of her head, and I continued to play with her hair, a sign. I whispered into the darkness and said just before I heard her breathing even out in sleep. "As long as you like."







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