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Prime Suspects by Phoenix_Flames
Chapter 14 : If I Were Lucky
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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And the next chapter! I'm so pleased with how these recent chapters have turned out and the turnover time. School has calmed down over the past two weeks. It will, unfortunately, come back with full force next week, but I've been taking advantage of my free time to update as much as I can!

I want to thank everyone who has been following so faithfully. Your input really makes my days and inspires me to write so much more.

Things are really about to pick up. I hope you enjoy! Be sure to let me know.





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We started talking again at some point. We talked about our worries; we reassured each other of other things. We made promises to always be there for the other. I promised that I would hold her again as soon as her hearing was over and we knew everything would be all right. I fell asleep long after she did, her head on my chest, her hands sprawled out along my stomach. I don't know how long I laid there, fretting the coming day, hating myself for all of my lies, wondering about what kind of person I was becoming, who I was becoming.

But I do know that, once I finally fell asleep, I had the greatest sleep of my entire life with Rose in my arms.

The next morning was slow, though. We both seemed to know what was going on, but neither of us talked about it. We didn't discuss then what was on our minds, what we were worried about. We knew what we were about to walk into, and we both just pretended like it wasn't about to happen.

I was up before Rose. I had so much less to worry about. If everything would go according to plan, Rose shouldn't find out that I am not Malfoy. That was not on my agenda for the day; I wouldn't let it be. In all honesty, I didn't have much to worry about. I found that all of my worry was for Rose.

I got up and fixed breakfast and coffee, and when it was 8:30 and I figured the day needed to get moving, I went to wake Rose up. I sat on the edge of my bed, her warm cup of coffee in my hand, and I nudged her shoulder gently. She grunted, and when she finally gathered her bearings, she sat up and rubbed at her eyes. I pushed her cup of coffee into her hands and then swept her hair out of her eyes. "Morning."

"Already?"

"Unfortunately," I said with a small smile.

She gave a defeated sigh, falling back against the pillow and sipping at the coffee. Her face brightened with the taste, and with that one simple look, I knew I had nailed her coffee for the morning. I had had two weeks to observe her favorite way to drink it. I knew how she liked it. With peppermint creamer, a drop of milk, and two spoons of sugar.

"You know," she smiled.

"Of course I do. I've watched you make your coffee for weeks now," I commented. "And we have a big day today."

The look on her face said that she had temporarily forgotten, that I had reminded her as I saw her fear and pain come rushing back. Her eyes found mine, and she didn't have to say anything to me for me to know that she was pleading with me.

"Hey, hey, everything will be okay," I said quickly. I leaned forward and held her cheek, rubbing my thumb against the smooth skin.

Her hand jumped to mine, and I thought I would lose my hand from the lack of circulation she gave me. "You'll be there, won't you? As soon as it's over. You'll be there?"

"Of course," I said quietly, and I knew she needed my support. I pulled her into my arms, her entire form shaking against me.

"You have to promise me you'll be there. Scorpius, I need you there," she said with shudders. She was crying, I knew it.

Breaking. She's breaking, my mind echoed.

"Rosie," I soothed. Oops, once again that nickname of hers popped out and I wondered what she thought of it. "Rosie, it's okay. I'll be there. I promise."

Once again she had me questioning why she was so worked up. If she didn't have anything to hide, then she shouldn't be worrying. I wish I could get into her head; I wish I could understand what was going on deeper. Or if she would at least tell me. She had me wondering if something huge would come out during her hearing today. Did she have something to say? Would she come clean? Even though I thought she was as innocent as could be, her actions had me worried. She honestly did have me doubting her innocence, and I felt terrible for thinking so.

"Rose, is there something you want to tell me before we go?" I found myself asking. The words just spilled out of my mouth before I could stop them. I didn't want to upset her though, but I found that I couldn't help myself. "Is there something you should tell me?"

"N-No," she gasped between her tears, still plastered to my front. "There's nothing. I would tell you if there was."

I tried to laugh, to change this situation around. "Good. So does that mean that you finally understand that we are in this together?"

"Yes," she whispered.

Even though she fell silent, I still knew how nervous she was, how scared. I hated feeling her so weak and terrified in my arms. It was so unlike her, and while I hated that, I did like being able to comfort her. "The hearing will be fine. You'll do great, and then I will be there as soon as it is over. Right by your side."

"I'm gonna need a hug afterwards," she chuckled as she pulled out of my arms, swiping at her eyes.

I laughed too and rose from the bed. We had to get moving for the day. I walked over to my closet and began to shuffle through the clothes. I had planned for a few hearings to attend as Malfoy, so I had my choices. But I'm a dude; I don't care all too much about what I'm wearing unless it just looks terrible. And I'm not embarrassed to admit that I know the colors that best compliment my skintone with my natural hair. Unfortunately though, I was appearing as Malfoy and I didn't know the best color shades. So I just grabbed a navy button down shirt and threw it on to the bed.

Rose, still there who had perked up slightly, was sipping at her coffee with her legs folded beneath her under the duvet we had shared. She shook her head at my choice. "The navy? No."

"What?" I asked. At first I didn't quite know what she was referring to. Was she really helping me with my clothes selection? "What's wrong with the navy?"

"Well, it's all right, but that crimson in there would look much better," she said. Her fingers were pointing towards the closet, as if it would direct me better towards the shirt she was speaking of.

I looked into the closet and flipped through a few until I came to the crimson dress shirt. Nodding at it in approval, I pulled it out and held it up to my chest. "Really? This one."

"Definitely," she said, nodding ecstatically. "It looks better. In so many ways. Your hair, your eyes. Wear the red. You'll look good."

"If you say so," I chuckled.

I slept shirtless last night, so I just slipped the dress shirt off of its hanger and began to undo the buttons. I was pulling it on over my shoulders and appraising my - well, I guess it wasn't my appearance but Malfoy's - appearance in the full length mirror. The red did look good on me.

It was only when I went to pull on a pair of black slacks did I realize that I was only in my boxers. I hadn't even noticed. I wasn't too embarrassed or moved by the fact that Rose was seeing me, or Malfoy rather in just his boxers. I didn't really mind, and neither did Rose. She didn't do or say anything about it. At least it wasn't an ugly sight for Rose; Malfoy has a good body. I tugged the slacks over my boxers and saw Rose approach my closet.

She rasped her index finger on her chin and pulled out a black and red tie. I straightened, zipping up my pants and tucking in the shirt, and Rose slipped the tie over my head. I became still as I watched her fingers move gracefully with the tie. I watched her do it like it was an everyday task for her. Hell, I couldn't even tie my own tie without magic yet. And she made it look like second nature.

"There," she commented, stepping away once she had finished folding my collar over the tie. When she became still, a different look came over her. Her face dropped, her smile vanished, and I knew something had gone wrong within her.

I took a step forward and grasped her by her elbows. "What is it?" I asked quietly.

She shook her head and pushed me away. Her smile was clearly forced. "It's nothing."

Lie. Obviously. I could only assume that her change in attitude was due to the trial. That she was once again hit with the reality of it. Because her face, to me, appeared guilty of helping me decide on my clothes, as if she were helping me dress myself for my death sentence.

While I was nearly certain that was her reason for her change in mood, it could very well just be because I didn't look as good in the red as she hoped I would.

I turned to look into the full length mirror, half expecting to see my own appearance staring back at me. Of course, it wasn't me though. I was still Scorpius, and I actually sighed in disappointment at that. But I still looked good. It certainly wasn't the color red that had brought Rose down several notches.

I decided to leave her to it though. I knew that was how she operated these days. So I grabbed my black blazer from the closet. I touched her shoulder reassuringly, told her to get ready and that I would make breakfast, and left my bedroom.

Rose was ready in a little more than half an hour. She showered, did her hair, make-up, and whatever it is that those girls do these days. I was sitting at the kitchen table when she came in. Her curled hair was pulled back in a clip, and she was wearing a tight black, knee-length skirt with a white blouse. Over that she wore a black blazer. Her heels were in her hands, and she huffed in an exasperated fashion when she sat down across from me.

"Relax," I commented lightly, sipping at my pumpkin juice.

"I'm trying," she muttered. She did everything but settle down. Her eyes were flying across the room, focusing on everything and yet nothing at all. She ringed her hands together in her lap, her back painfully straight.

"You look good, though," I commented, and even though my statement meant so much more than just her general appearance, no one would know. Rose did look great. She looked beautiful, grown up and like a business woman, and while I would complement her on her beauty any day, I wanted to also compliment her on the way she carried herself. When she is with me these days, it's a different story. She can let herself go a little because she knows that I will always be there for her, that I won't judge her or let my opinion of her change.

So she could show her fear around me. She didn't always have to be strong Rosie with me, but I knew that as soon as we stepped out of that door, she wouldn't let anyone see her fear. No one would know how terrified she truly is; no one would know how petrified, how fearsome, how alone and desperate she felt just for this to all be over.

I think that is one of the things I admire so greatly about her. She is so strong. All the time, and she can control the way she wishes people to perceive her. While I knew she could change the way people viewed her, I knew what was real. I knew her well enough and was smart enough to know that she truly was terrified. Only a fool would believe her to be fearless. I appreciated that she could be herself with me, even if seeing her break was hurting me on the inside.

"Thanks," she answered.

We didn't say anything else though. I could tell she was nervous, and I didn't want to spur those nerves further. When we had both finished eating, we had to do the inevitable though. I asked her if she was ready, and she took a minute to get a hold of herself before we approached the fire place. We stepped into the large hearth, and I grabbed a handful of floo powder before throwing it down and demanding the Auror Department.

We shot out of the fire place at the Auror Department. It was empty, as requested, I know, by Peakes. We stepped out, dusting the soot off of our nice attire and smoothing it out. At our commotion, Peakes and Ruckman stepped into the department.

"Right on schedule," Peakes said with a smile.

Rose's change in atmosphere did not go unnoticed to me. She straightened, went rigid, and I swore she even stopped breathing. She etched closer to me, one of her hands moving to my wrist, clasping it tightly.

Peakes looked at Rose's actions. I watched him eye our hands but quickly return to our faces, and he pushed it aside. "Anyways. You two ready for your hearings?"

"I guess," I commented, speaking for the both of us because I could tell that Rose wouldn't be doing so.

"Then, Miss Weasley, if you will come with me," Peakes said gently. He nodded to Rose and ushered her forward. She looked back and forth between Peakes and me, like she needed coaxing. So I urged her forward.

But I guess that wasn't what she was worried about. "Y-You mean we won't be together?" she questioned, startled.

"Not while Wizengamot is in session. You each have separate hearings."

"B-But," she blurted out painfully, her eyes set on mine.

"It's okay," I reassured her. "What'd I say? I'll be by your side as soon as itís over."

She didn't move. What more reassurance did she need? Her grip had turned from that of a frightened one to that of death. I had lost my circulation, and she wasn't letting loose or letting me take my hand back any time soon. All I did was nod, look deeply into her eyes and try to make that connection, try to embed that thought into her mind. "Promise."

She finally swallowed and let go of me. Peakes led her away from me and she was leaving the room, but before she turned for the door, our eyes met and I gave her a genuine smile. In that smile, I tried not to let my own fears bring me down. I tried not to think about my tedious directions for the day, how one mistake could send me down the wrong path, how I couldn't blow my cover for Rose today. She needed me to be Scorpius, and as much as I hated lying to her, I had to continue to be Scorpius. She needed me.

I worried that I would see her in my own appearance and I would do something out of character, that my anxiety for her while she was on stand and I was in the room as myself would seem out of place. She would have no reason to suspect me of anything other than worry, but still. The frets were the same.

Then she was gone from my vision and I wouldn't see her again until she was sitting in that domineering chair in the middle of Wizengamot.

Ruckman approached me, snapping me out of my trance. "Ted, get with it," he snapped.

"Right. Sorry."

Ted. My name. It was good to hear again. It reminded me of who I am. I think that I couldn't deny that I had been having an identity crisis recently. Who was I becoming while I was at that summer house? I responded fully to Scorpius now, no second thoughts. Now, Ruckman had called me Ted and I had almost missed it.

"What's going on with you two anyways?" Ruckman asked. He came to stand by my side, staring at the door that Rose and Peakes had just left through.

"What?" I asked, kind of appalled. Did it look like something was going on between us? "Nothing. We're friends. Finally, friends."

"All right. Whatever. I don't really care. Let's get moving," Ruckman said, dragging me with him.

My schedule was precise and had been laid out by Peakes. He was to be with Rose in a prepping room while I was supposed to be taking supreme caution to not be seen by Rose. I was to change into an outfit that Ruckman picked up from my flat. The clothes I wore to the Ministry would be given to Malfoy so that, if Rose and the real Malfoy crossed paths, then he would be wearing the correct outfit.

I followed in Ruckman's wake. He led me to his own office where he dug through a bag, pulling out my own clothes. I recognized the black pants and olive colored shirt. He tossed the items to me, and I quickly stripped down to naught but my boxers. Wearing just that I let myself begin to shift. I could feel myself growing a few inches, my hair growing longer, my nose shortening and turning up slightly at the tip.

I was me again. It was a relief.

I stumbled into my own dress pants, quickly buttoning my shirt, save the top two, and I flared the collar a little. I rumpled my hair, giving it some volume. I was me again, and thrilled to be so. I just wanted to be me. Normally I would come to work with any hair color other than my own, and being the metamorphmagus that I am, my coworkers allowed me to walk around the Ministry with my aqua, sometimes pink or purple, hair. It was normal for me because I liked to attempt to freak people out sometimes with my metamorphmagus abilities, but everyone become more used to it rather than freaked out.

But that aside, I didn't feel like rocking the aqua or black or purple hair for the day. I just wanted to be me. So I let my color change to its normal light, sandy brown color, tossing it to the side. I welcomed back my copper eyes, the grey of Scorpius Malfoy's feeling all too empty when I would look into a mirror.

When Ruckman saw that I was me and dressed, he made one comment before getting us on the move again. "Good to see you again, Lupin."

He picked up the clothes I had just been wearing and folded them, leaving the office. Ruckman and I made our way through the empty Auror Department and through the crazed Ministry. It was packed for the day due to the impending hearing. Word had, of course, spread, and reporters from all over had come to clutter the atrium in hopes of getting a word or two. Luckily they would be allowed nowhere near the Wizengamot.

I guess I hadn't been prepared for the uproar that would come with this day. As soon as Ruckman and I had stepped into sight, we had reporters on our tail. Being two Auros on the case, I guess they could find us of use to them. There was flashing of cameras, questions pitched to us that both of us were instructed to ignore. We forced our way through the crowd and finally reached the containee center.

Ruckman held his wand up to the lock on the door, and it granted us access. We slipped into the containee ward before any reporters could follow, slamming the heavy metal door shut behind us. The containee ward was pleasantly silent. Questions were still ringing in my ears, and while this ward was a simple hallway with cells lining the walls, I just wanted to stay in this ward for the rest of the day.

Ruckman approached the cell holding Malfoy and knocked before once again holding his wand up for access. There was a click, and Ruckman opened the door. I was on his tail, peering into the room over his shoulder. I wanted a good look at Malfoy.

He was curled up in a ball on his bed, facing the opposite wall, and he didn't stir even the slightest. Ruckman banged on the metal door, a loud sound echoing throughout the room. "Oi, Malfoy," Ruckman said loudly, his voice ringing. If Malfoy was a sleep, he would surely be awake now. "It's time for your hearing. Time to get up."

Malfoy didn't move again. He was still for many moments, and I looked to Ruckman, a suggestion on my lips to get Malfoy moving, but Ruckman held me off. He put up a hand, shaking his head. "He's fine. He's been like this for a while now."

Malfoy finally turned. He rolled over, took a good moment to stare at the two of us, his grey eyes empty, and he placed his feet on the cold floor. It took him quite some time to move from there, but he finally sat up. His hair had grown out a fair bit, and he was in desperate need of a shave.

But other than that, it was odd to see the person I was pretending to be. Right there in front of me. In an odd and twisted way, I did feel like I was watching myself. Like it was me sitting on that bed, awaiting my hearing.

Who had I become?

Was I now a mix of my old self and Scorpius? Was I becoming him, losing myself along the way? I responded to the name Scorpius or Malfoy without even thinking twice about it. I had taken on the entirely different persona without even noticing. Tedius.

Ruckman approached him with little patience, throwing the clothes at him. "Get dressed. Your hearing is in a half hour."

He lethargically got up and followed orders. He stripped down, replacing his clothes with the ones Rose had selected for me this morning. When he was dressed and I saw it from a different vantage point, I could firmly agree that she was right. It did look good.

Ruckman looked to me, then asked, "Anything else?"

"Yeah," I commented, looking at Scorpius. "He's in bad need of a shave and a haircut."

"Sure," Ruckman rolled his shoulders. He conjured a razor and scissors. He turned to me with them and muttered quietly before pushing them into my hands. "I have to let Peakes know our location. He's about to transfer Weasley. You let Malfoy do it, but stay on suicide watch."

Suicide watch? Blood hell. Really?

I knew what it was. I had my training; I had been on suicide watch before, but had Malfoy's situation really become so terrible?

I didn't question it. But I nodded and took the two sharp objects before Ruckman left the room. Malfoy knew what would be asked of him, so he came to me and took the objects from my hands. I watched him make his way to the sink and mirror on the other side of his cell where he immediately began to shave.

I stood behind him, my arms folded across my chest as I watched him carefully.

Scorpius finally muttered as he finished his right cheek. "I'm not going to kill myself."

His words surprised me. I guess it was kind of obvious that I was watching him closely for any suicidal actions with that razor in his hands, but I was taken aback to hear him voice that. I gave a sigh, my stance relaxing as my shoulders slouched. I moved from standing behind him to leaning against the wall so I could look at Malfoy properly. I tried to be laid back about it as I talked to him. "I know you are not going to kill yourself."

Malfoy looked at me as he touched up his side burns with the razor. His eyes had looked empty from the second he looked at me a few minutes ago, but now he was starting to look as if he were getting some emotion back. I didn't blame him though. Being locked up in a cell could do a thing or two to you.

"How much longer will this last?" he asked me before my emotions could get too sympathetic for him, before I could start to feel some ridiculous bond between him because I was in his appearance when I wasn't around him or some crazy shit like that.

He didn't specify his question, but I knew what he was asking nonetheless.

"I don't know, Scorpius," I said with a roll of the shoulders, his name sliding off my tongue before I could stop myself. It felt odd to say, instead of hearing it spoken to me. "Hopefully not much longer. If you're lucky, it could all be over today."

"I'm not lucky..." he commented, his voice trailing off as he focused on his appearance in the mirror again. He began to shave his chin. "If I were lucky, I wouldn't have been put in here in the first place. If I were lucky, I wouldn't have been put on trial for a murder I didn't commit. If I were lucky, I would be sitting at my desk at the Prophet still taking my life for granted."

I bit my lip, not quite knowing what to say to that. He was right. He had had some pretty bad luck lately, and he deserved for his fate to face a change. Karma, I thought. It would come. Eventually. It was clearly taking it's sweet time, but Malfoy would be reimbursed for all this that he had gone through. He had to be, right?

I started to feel terrible for him. Why was he receiving such different treatment from Rose? Well, I know exactly why. Because of who Rose's parents are, who her uncle is, and everyone's belief for her to do no harm because of those ties. But Malfoy? Stuck in a confinement cell because his father is Draco Malfoy, because her father was a Death Eater for the shortest of times. Malfoy was being punished for decisions that he hadn't made, decisions made by someone other than him, made when he wasn't even alive. How was that fair?

And somewhere in there he had mentioned that he would 'still be taking his life for granted.' I could understand completely if he had had a life changing experience here in this confinement cell. All he was doing was wasting his life away, waiting for someone else to make the decision on where he would spend it. Had he come to realize all the great things you could do with your life? Had he taken the smallest of things for granted and now understood their importance?

I didn't quite know what to say to him, but I realized then that Malfoy could manipulate your words to sound however he wished, as I had just discovered with one small statement. If he were lucky...That was all it took.

Then I had said it could all be over today. Would it really? I felt selfish when I began to debate my future, rather than the future of two innocent people. Here I was, wondering about ruining my friendship with Rose if she were to discover that it wasn't actually Scorpius Malfoy she had been with the entire time. I am selfish and conceited for thinking such things, and no matter how hard I tried to rather worry about Rose being thrown into Azkaban, I found that I couldn't. I had formed a bond with Rose over these past few weeks, and I found that I was more terrified to lose her as my friend and have her leave my life by choice rather than to see her thrown into Azkaban and taken away from me by force. I couldn't watch her willingly turn her back on me.

What had I gotten myself into? I felt as if I had dug myself my grave. I should have known when getting into this that there would be no easy way out.

If any of us were lucky, this would all blow over. Harmless. Rose and Malfoy wouldn't be sentenced to Azkaban. And if I were lucky, I could keep Rose in my life. If I were lucky, she wouldn't hate me for lying to her. But unfortunately, I just felt like her hate was an impending fate. I knew how she felt about deception like this.

Malfoy finished shaving, and I don't know why I felt like I had to say anything at all when he clearly had his mind so firmly set. So I knew there was only one thing I could say. The truth. He couldn't twist that.

"It may not be today, but you'll be free again. I don't think you killed anyone."





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